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If you really Nee to know Who was Watchman Nee? Discussions regarding the life and times of Watchman Nee, the Little Flock and the beginnings of the Local Church Movement in Mainland China

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default My Unforgettable Memories: Watchman Nee and Shanghai Local Church - Dr. Hsu

I'm curious what people here think about this article. Also, has anyone heard the details mentioned in this article before?

Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

http://theadvocate.com/features/fait...an-nees-legacy

Former BR doctor publishes memoir of her shaken faith

BY MARK H. HUNTER

Special To The Advocate

September 01, 2012

Dr. Lily Hsu’s Christian faith sustained her through the brutal Japanese occupation of Shanghai during World War II and later coercive brainwashing by the communists, but what she witnessed when her church leader went on trial proved too much.

In “The Unforgettable Memoirs: My Life, Shanghai Church and Watchman Nee,” Hsu, a retired pediatric neurologist who practiced in Baton Rouge, describes how she gave up her faith for a time after hearing Nee admit sexual immorality and seeing him convicted of corrupt business practices.

What made the confession and conviction of the world-renowned Chinese theologian so shocking, Hsu, 81, said, was the evidence — evidence that few Christians in the Western world are even aware of.

“They showed me the nude pictures,” said Hsu, who moved to Texas but is visiting friends in Baton Rouge this summer.

Her 360-page book — seen as a cautionary tale by some and as a rehashing of communist smears by others — was published last year in Chinese. Hsu is searching for a company to publish it in English and provided a digital file of the English translation for this story.

Born Nee Shu-tsu in 1903, Nee adopted the name “Watchman,” as a biblical watchman on the wall, following his conversion to Christianity at age 17. He is credited with founding the Local Church Movement that planted hundreds of churches in China and later evolved into the modern underground “house” church movement. With his theological focus of “Christ in you,” Nee’s many books such as the best-selling “The Normal Christian Life” and “The Normal Christian Church Life” still can be found in the libraries of many pastors.

“Not very many Christians in the United States — or even in China — know he was excommunicated by the Shanghai Christian Assembly,” said Hsu, who insists Nee is not the martyr for the faith some make him out to be. “All the bad things have been covered up. The church leaders knew something, but they kept silent. I want to clear the fog.”

But Chris Wilde, director of communications for Living Stream Ministry, the primary publisher of Nee’s writings, calls Hsu’s book “mainly a re-statement of the old ‘official’ government charges that have been floating about concerning Watchman Nee since his trial in 1956.

“It is common knowledge that prominent Christian and other religious leaders were accused by the Chinese Communists of all manner of nefarious deeds during those years and the credibility of the Party’s allegations during that era has been viewed as highly dubious by most objective observers,” Wilde said in an email.

The daughter of a physician, Hsu grew up attending a Protestant church and a Christian missionary school, experiencing a personal salvation in the fall of 1947 at age 16. She was baptized, along with about 100 others, by Witness Lee, the renowned assistant to Nee. “When I came up out of the water, I had a sense of total victory,” Hsu said.

After graduating from high school in 1949, she studied medicine, regularly attended invitation-only lectures by Nee and became a leader in the church’s student group, attracting the attention of the communists.

By the mid-1950s, the “Campaign to Eliminate Counter-revolutionaries” was sweeping China with what Hsu describes as “fear, horror.” Children “confessed” against their parents and siblings, Hsu said. Christians were classified as “counter-revolutionary” and were systematically persecuted.

Hsu described being “isolated” from other Christians and even assigned a communist “shadow” who never left her alone for months at a time, even sleeping in her room.

She was in the courtroom when Nee admitted he made a motel-room film of a nude female church co-worker that was found in his personal belongings, Hsu said.

Communist prosecutors displayed negatives of the film frames at a public exhibition and at his trial, Hsu said, and she knew the woman in the film and was told her, “I told him (Nee) over and over again to destroy that film.”

“My personal morals are bad,” Hsu quotes Nee as telling the court before he was convicted for “counter-revolutionary activities in the guise of religion.” He was sentenced to prison, where he died on May 30, 1972.

“My whole heart was to church — to him,” she said, explaining how she felt cheated and quit her faith at age 23. “I was not against Christianity. I did not proclaim I deny the Lord. I just did not have God.”

And she was not alone. Hundreds of members of the Shanghai Christian Assembly, the flagship church of the Local Church movement and, the largest and most evangelical church in China prior to the communist takeover, were “shattered” in their faith, Hsu said, which is exactly what the communists wanted.

“I prayed for six months every day sincerely but no answer,” Hsu said. “Many other Christians did not get response from God. Two-thirds left the church.”

In 1980, after decades of emotionless living, agnosticism and two failed marriages, Hsu was gently reminded of her forsaken faith by a Christian medical professor she worked with in Shanghai.

“As I kneeled down, I could not control myself,” Hsu said, tears brimming up in her eyes. “There is a hymn called ‘From the day I have Jesus,’ I have joyful flooding in my heart!”

Likewise, many of her Chinese friends eventually returned to their faith and are “serving God with contrite hearts in their old age,” she said.

After returning to Christ, she came to the United States, passed required medical exams, completed a residency program in Florida and served a fellowship in her specialty at a children’s hospital in Ohio. In 1989, she moved to Baton Rouge, where she worked at the NeuroMedical Center and then the Baton Rouge Clinic, retiring in 2006.

She just wanted to forget the Shanghai church and Nee, but friends encouraged her to share what she knew.

“We’ve all seen national — and even local — spiritual leaders fall prey to sexual issues,” said the Rev. Mark Lubbock, a friend of Hsu and a Methodist minister who serves as executive director of Louisiana Men of Christ. “The context of Dr. Hsu’s book is a cautionary word of warning to all spiritual leaders to be sure they have in place an accountability process and structure to help them deal with the inevitable temptation.”

Similarly, another of her friends, Alex Cui, an evangelical Chinese pastor in Seattle, said, “Like everybody, Watchman Nee has sinned and some of his teachings are wrong.”

Hsu’s book describes how Nee controlled the church by demanding “absolute submission to the ‘Delegated Authority of God,’ Watchman Nee.” Some church members read Nee’s books on their knees, a practice she describes as “idol worship,” she said.

“If we do not learn the lessons that God blessed and disciplined the Local Churches in China, it can continue to happen,” Hsu writes, comparing Nee to Samson in her book’s conclusion. “Samson shamed the name of God but in the end glorified God.”
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

This is one of those things we'll probably never know the truth about. Speculation is a waste of time.

But I think it's important to learn to view spiritual figures such as Nee as fallible human beings, rather than as close-to-perfect saints and near idols, as the Living Stream Ministry views them.

Powerful religious leaders have long been known to sometimes take advantage of their followers. Did Nee do this? We don't know. But it would not be unheard of.

As one person said, the lesson to be learned is that a system of checks and accountability should be in place for Christian leaders. The LC had none of that. Still doesn't. In their system, the leaders are all-powerful, and the members suffer because of it.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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As one person said, the lesson to be learned is that a system of checks and accountability should be in place for Christian leaders. The LC had none of that. Still doesn't. In their system, the leaders are all-powerful, and the members suffer because of it.
I for one would not believe a single thing which I heard or read from the Chinese government about Christian leaders after their post-WWII takeover. Do you really think Watchman Nee would hold on to nude photos while on the run from Mao's goons? How easy would it have been for prison guards to strip down their prisoners for indicting photos?

I have to testify that when it came to morality, the Recovery leaders I have known were above reproach. They regularly practiced not being in the same room with the opposite gender. They did have in place systems of checks and balances in this area. They went overboard in the areas of dating and contact between the young people. In old traditional China, the brothers and the sisters even sat on different sides of the meeting room.

It was only the profligate sons of Witness Lee who have brought much shame to the Recovery in terms of sexual impropriety. Perhaps WL's biggest failure was to even allow his sons to walk through the doors of his ministry offices.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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I don't think this testimony can be discredited as Communist propaganda. One reason this woman's story is worth considering is the possibility that Nee laid a foundation for the way Lee responded years later to his family's situation (covering it up). In the local church we were always given a very one-sided view about why Nee was temporarily excommunicated. There may be more to the story, just like there was far more to the story about the "rebellions" in the 70's and 80's.

For another source, see below:

Watchman Nee

M. Irons

A theology professor at Hainan University in China sent us the following email in September, 2006:

Subject: Watchman Nee did the same thing

Dear Assembly people,

My name is Dana Roberts and I am currently working on my third book on Watchman Nee. The first book, Understanding Watchman Nee, praised him as a fine Christian but did not agree with his interpretations of man and the church. Last year I was asked by the publisher to do a new edition. In looking at Chinese sources I found evidence of what had only been hinted at. Nee had misused church money and he had at least two affairs with people in the church. This second book, The Secrets of Watchman Nee, was neutral and told readers that you must read any writer or preacher with caution.

Within months of publication I received a call from a woman who was the youth leader and Sunday School Superintendent of Nee's church in Shanghai. She had been present at Nee's trial in 1956. [One of the charges brought against him was licentiousness.] Nee had affairs with two girls she knew in the church. I have also talked to Nee's lawyer. Nee freely admitted it because the police found the pictures.

Why didn't the girls leave? Because they believed that all other churches were evil, and they made a pact to confess to God and stay in his true church. Does this sound familiar?

I am leaving for Shanghai tomorrow and will gather the last information.

One must always remember that Jesus prayed for the unity of the church. There is no true church. All churches that are really churches are justified by faith, rely upon the authority of Scripture and follow some basic instructions that were first formulated in the Apostle's Creed. After that, Christians ought to follow the example of the early synagogue and respectfully discuss it among ourselves without being puffed up with theological vanities.

--Dana Roberts, M.A., M.T.S.

Haikou City, Hainan Island, China

In Shanghai Mr. Roberts spoke with Watchman Nee's personal secretary, with the judge at his trial, and with local church members who had remained in the country after the revolution. He felt confident that these people knew the truth.

He said that there are a number of Chinese sources written by eyewitnesses, including the most recent, The Unforgettable Memoirs - My Life, Shanghai Local Church, and Watchman Nee, by Lucy M. Hsu, M.D. The back cover of the book says, "At sixteen, Lily made her way to the church on Hardoon Road, Shanghai....In this book, Dr. Hsu, a retired pediatric neurologist, rights a straightforward accout of her eight-year experience in the church. Her faith nearly ended as the private life of Watchman Nee was exposed in 1956..." In Simon Yee's review of this book on Amazon he brings out the author's perception that Nee felt great shame about his ongoing adultery, and because of it he did not often partake in the Lord's supper.

...

From: http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Arti...tchmanNee2.htm
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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It was only the profligate sons of Witness Lee who have brought much shame to the Recovery in terms of sexual impropriety. Perhaps WL's biggest failure was to even allow his sons to walk through the doors of his ministry offices.
Ohio I think you can only speak for the GLA.

No it wasn't only the profligate sons of Witness Lee who have brought much shame to the Local Church. Maybe they were the only ones whose gross sin was exposed in a public manner. The others were swept under the rug, usually by actions taken by Witness Lee or under his express direction. There are a number of examples on this very forum, and they were Elders.

Igzy's statement here still stands:

Quote:
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As one person said, the lesson to be learned is that a system of checks and accountability should be in place for Christian leaders. The LC had none of that. Still doesn't. In their system, the leaders are all-powerful, and the members suffer because of it.
After 20 years in the Movement, I can tell you that the system requires strict obedience to the leaders. I can't imagine the fear and consternation that would be placed upon a sister who was put in a compromising position by an Elder or other leader. It may be a little better now, but back in the 70s and even 80s I have absolutely no doubt that these kind of things happened.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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Ohio I think you can only speak for the GLA.
Those in Texas have said the same thing.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

Ok, very well then.

Care to comment on the other two paragraphs?
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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Ok, very well then.
Care to comment on the other two paragraphs?
IIRC, only the sons of Elee brought shame to the Recovery in the matter of sexual impropriety, taking advantage of their status. In this regard, I am not speaking of members of the LC's caught in affairs. Perhaps you are aware of other instances.

That's not to say that LC leaders have not taken advantage of their powers to abuse members in other ways.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

#1. I am personally aware of a married Elder having sexual contact with a sister. This was in California in the late 70s. This became somewhat of an open secret. He was sent away and I never heard where he went or what became of him. As always in the Local Church, we were all supposed to pretend it didn't happen. Time made it go away.... so we thought. This made a deep impression on me as a young person, and not so much that the sin happened, but the cover up and pretending it didn't happened. This was an Elder, and yes, it brought shame upon the Local Church.

#2. The brother who is mentioned in Jane Anderson's book was an Elder, and had been one for years. This was Texas. Same as #1. Cover up. Pretend it didn't happen. Send the perpetrator or the victim away. I was not personally involved with this situation, but there are a number on this forum who were affected. And, yes, shame was brought upon the Local Church.

There are other instances of major moral failure by LEADERS, BY ELDERS. Some are recorded here on this forum.

My reason for digging all this up is that you made a pretty bold statement:

Quote:
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I have to testify that when it came to morality, the Recovery leaders were above reproach. They regularly practiced not being in the same room with the opposite gender. They did have in place systems of checks and balances in this area.
If by "Recovery leaders" you only meant Witness Lee and LSM leaders, well this is still not a completely accurate statement. I can elaborate on this if you want, but suffice it to say that Witness Lee was not "above reproach" when it comes to morality and we have the testimony of more than just a few to testify to this.

Frankly I am shocked and a little shaken by the revelations in this book by this sister. (Dr. Hsu.) I have always heard the usual "canned" version of what took place with Watchman Nee and his trial and imprisonment. However, I have never heard one single confirmation of immorality from any credible source...maybe until now. I am NOT saying I am taking this thing at face value. I'm going to check into this person and her history. Maybe she has an ax to grind, maybe it can be proved she wasn't even there at that trial. I don't don't know. I must be honest though, at this point, I am far more willing to give Watchman Nee the benefit of the doubt more than I would ever give Witness Lee. I know too much to proceed otherwise.
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Last edited by Igzy; 09-04-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

Would any claim of moral high ground be sullied by doing something like, say, creating a false story of rebellion, ambition, and betrayal to throw the scrutiny off of his immoral son?

I would say "yes." And strongly. No need to engage in sexual immorality.

Just lie about the actions of others to hide the sexual immorality of another. That is enough for me. In this, Lee was immoral.

And don't start playing games of relative immorality. Lee did exactly the kind of thing that the RCC did in trying to hide its predator priests.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
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Yeah, what he say.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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If by "Recovery leaders" you only meant Witness Lee and LSM leaders, well this is still not a completely accurate statement. I can elaborate on this if you want, but suffice it to say that Witness Lee was not "above reproach" when it comes to morality and we have the testimony of more than just a few to testify to this.
Care to elaborate?
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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And don't start playing games of relative immorality. Lee did exactly the kind of thing that the RCC did in trying to hide its predator priests.
Was this written to me? Kind of like a cold wet slap in the face.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:59 PM   #14
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Care to elaborate?
I'll wait around until OBW is done with you
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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I'll wait around until OBW is done with you
Done with me?
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

King David & Bathsheba--we need look no further than the Holy Bible

"And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otx49...e_gdata_player
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

I don't think it should surprise anyone if this were true of Watchman Nee or any other Christian leader. The question I normally have with this sort of thing is: how is it handled? Generally cover-up was the method used in the LC system. Speaking of the GLA an elder there was originally sent there because he was having an affair with another elder's wife in LA. Another case was an elder involved in child molestation for years - that was on the west coast.

The LC system allows no recourse unless the elder-appointing-apostle takes action. If he wants to cover it up he has the authority to do so. But ultimately - like in Anaheim in the late 1980s - if justice is not done the discontent of the members will boil over and publicize what the apostle and his deputies tried so hard and so long to cover up. When this happens the game changes and now the apostle and his still loyal coworkers have to smear and malign the messengers.

It is a crooked system for the victims because their legitimate grievances are never addressed within a just framework of objective checks and balances. Instead they are left to the whims of a unilateral decision maker - the MOTA. In such a system the very act of questioning the MOTA's decisions is treasonous. You will immediately become persona non grata. Think about being a peasant in medieval Europe under the divine rights of kings and you will better understand how the LC system operates.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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I don't think it should surprise anyone if this were true of Watchman Nee or any other Christian leader. The question I normally have with this sort of thing is: how is it handled? Generally cover-up was the method used in the LC system. Speaking of the GLA an elder there was originally sent there because he was having an affair with another elder's wife in LA. Another case was an elder involved in child molestation for years - that was on the west coast.

The LC system allows no recourse unless the elder-appointing-apostle takes action. If he wants to cover it up he has the authority to do so. But ultimately - like in Anaheim in the late 1980s - if justice is not done the discontent of the members will boil over and publicize what the apostle and his deputies tried so hard and so long to cover up. When this happens the game changes and now the apostle and his still loyal coworkers have to smear and malign the messengers.

It is a crooked system for the victims because their legitimate grievances are never addressed within a just framework of objective checks and balances. Instead they are left to the whims of a unilateral decision maker - the MOTA. In such a system the very act of questioning the MOTA's decisions is treasonous. You will immediately become persona non grata. Think about being a peasant in medieval Europe under the divine rights of kings and you will better understand how the LC system operates.


You have a knack for summing up the truth of the situation in a direct, no-nonsense and understandable way. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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I don't think it should surprise anyone if this were true of Watchman Nee or any other Christian leader. The question I normally have with this sort of thing is: how is it handled? Generally cover-up was the method used in the LC system.
You are now extrapolating back in time, what has been witnessed under Witness Lee's leadership to Watchman Nee. This is a huge leap of inference. WN had numerous other co-workers, some still living and ministering, and none of them displays these same characteristics.

Angus Kinnear, who married T. Austen-Sparks' daughter, wrote WN's biography and translated some of his books. If any one should know the veracity of this report, it would be him. What did he say?

It seems I may be the sole voice here on WN's behalf, but the thread and the source article are titled, "Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr." Is there any question that WN was imprisoned for his faith, and subsequently was murdered there for his faith? I also seem to remember a verse somewhere which says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:27 AM   #20
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Let me just explain why I posted the two testimonies above. (Call this a "crystallization.")

My impression from reading this forum, and the Berean's forum, is that we all have had an assumption that Nee may have had faults, but that for the most part he wasn't to blame for what happened when Lee took over. Witness Lee was the one who took an otherwise legitimate movement to an extreme.

After I left the LC, I heard, through an older brother I trusted, that there was much more to the story of Nee's excommunication than we had heard. He even referred to a professional historian who knew some of the details. But until I learned about Lily Hsu more recently, I was not aware of any of this being in writing.

This is not about how the Communists later used the accusations against Nee. This is about the real story behind why Nee was excommunicated from the Church in Shanghai. What was the story we were given in the LC? That Nee was a chemist or pharmacist of some kind, that he left the full-time life and went back into business to support the full-timers in poverty, and that this was misunderstood and distorted by the church. He was excommunicated because he went back into business. In hindsight, does this make any sense at all?

His excommunication was treated as unjust, but Nee took it from the Lord and "bore the cross." Eventually he was restored to his ministry and leadership... by who? Witness Lee. I remember two books entitled "The Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry" that contained messages by both Nee and Lee. The strong impression given by the various stories that were told within the LC was that Lee was instrumental in restoring Nee's ministry, and that this qualified him to be Nee's successor, his heir apparent. When all of the church rejected Nee, Lee stood by him, and then was handpicked by Nee to lead the movement outside of China.

But what if Nee's excommunication was legitimate, for the reasons Hsu discusses? And what if Lee gained his prestige by protecting Nee from the consequences of his actions?

What I'm suggesting is that Nee bears a lot more responsibility for the direction the LC took under Lee's leadership than he is usually given. And that Lee may have learned things from Nee that gave him justification for later practices (including covering up moral scandal rather than dealing with it righteously).

Lily Hsu's story, what little I know of it, rings true to me. I remember when I first read John Ingalls's account of the events in the 80's. And then later I read Jane Anderson's book, which brought to light events in the 70's. Both times I thought, "Oh, so that's what happened. That's what was really going on." And once you see through the deception, you can't pretend to believe the lie anymore.

We were given one story about Nee's excommunication, which included (as always) the exaltation of Lee. But why should we think that Lee was pure in the matter?

I realize this is all conjecture. But why would Ms. Hsu make these things up? Why would she lie? She says that she knew one of the women involved. Is she a Communist operative? I strongly doubt it. More likely, she went through a crisis of faith, experienced a restored salvation, and has now decided (in fellowship with other Christians) that she should make her testimony known.

I just think there is much more to the story of the Local Church movement than we realize, and that it didn't just begin with Witness Lee, who took a healthy work in a wrong direction. I think the severe problems that we all experienced under Lee may have began with Watchman Nee in China, and that if this is the case, these things should be brought to light.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:58 AM   #21
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You are now extrapolating back in time, what has been witnessed under Witness Lee's leadership to Watchman Nee. This is a huge leap of inference. WN had numerous other co-workers, some still living and ministering, and none of them displays these same characteristics.
I'm not sure if you are referring to the alleged immoral characteristics or the cover-up methods. The point I was making is that the failure of Christian leaders should not surprise us i.e. sin should not surprise us. I'm not aware of how Watchman Nee's other coworkers handle sin among their leadership but I do know Witness Lee's methods and I also know Witness Lee was instrumental in getting Watchman Nee reactivated in his ministry. Being a master at cover up and selective with facts it would not surprise me to learn that Witness Lee did this on Watchman Nee's behalf. (Everything negative about Watchman Nee is lies, etc.) Or we can call into question the elders who excommunicated the apostle. On what grounds would they take this kind of action against such a high profile leader in their LC system knowing that it would be widely publicized and their decision come under close scrutiny?

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Angus Kinnear, who married T. Austen-Sparks' daughter, wrote WN's biography and translated some of his books. If any one should know the veracity of this report, it would be him. What did he say?
I don't recall what Kinnear wrote about these issues in Against the Tide if anything at all. But from an objective point of view his work would be one source document among what now appears to be several available to a student of Watchman Nee's life and work. Not the sole document.

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It seems I may be the sole voice here on WN's behalf, but the thread and the source article are titled, "Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr." Is there any question that WN was imprisoned for his faith, and subsequently was murdered there for his faith? I also seem to remember a verse somewhere which says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
So far I don't have any questions that he was imprisoned for his faith. If allegations of immorality are true and he repented for them but the Maoists used it as a pretext for his arrest so what? IMHO that doesn't make him less of a martyr at the hands of Communists. But anyway my understanding is the Communists didn't need such a pretext. They routinely rounded up Christian leaders and killed or sent them to work camps and all these surrounding issues were incidental to that wide sweeping activity.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:10 AM   #22
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This thread has been given a more benign title. As far as I could tell, nothing in the article claimed the book said Nee did not die in prison for his faith.

However, it is a fact that the book questions Nee's history and legacy as a Christian above reproach. That the book does that is a simple fact and not itself inflammatory.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:52 AM   #23
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What was the story we were given in the LC? That Nee was a chemist or pharmacist of some kind, that he left the full-time life and went back into business to support the full-timers in poverty, and that this was misunderstood and distorted by the church. He was excommunicated because he went back into business. In hindsight, does this make any sense at all?
Made little sense to me. I heard the same story often repeated.

I also heard that the elders asked Nee point blank if he was "living with another women," who happened to be his own mother. In his simplicity, Nee answered "yes," and thus bore the severe discipline of elders who acted hastily and ignorantly. It's almost impossible to believe that Nee's real living situation would not have quickly come to light, with subsequent apologies by the elders. In order to swallow this version of the story by Lee, I basically had to believe that all of those old Chinese saints were really "stupid."

I have also said repeatedly that Witness Lee's own versions of history, whether recent in time or more long-term since the Reformation, have always been self-serving, and have never accurately portrayed the facts.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #24
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I also heard that the elders asked Nee point blank if he was "living with another women," who happened to be his own mother. In his simplicity, Nee answered "yes," and thus bore the severe discipline of elders who acted hastily and ignorantly. It's almost impossible to believe that Nee's real living situation would quickly come to light, with subsequent apologies. In order to swallow this version of the story by Lee, I basically had to believe that those old Chinese saints were really "stupid."

I have also said repeatedly that Witness Lee's own versions of history, whether recent in time or more long-term since the Reformation, have always been self-serving, and have never accurately portrayed the facts.
Yes this is the kind of storytelling that skews the true history of the pre-Witness Lee dominated LC system. IMHO it really served 3 purposes with one underlying premise:

1. Demonstrated how humble and cross bearing Watchman Nee supposedly was. But he was also smart. If this story were at all true why wouldn't he just tell the elders: "Oh there must be some kind of misunderstanding. It's my mother." That simple statement would have saved the church from so much trouble and grief. Does it make sense that Watchman Nee would be so whimsical and nonchalant about the effects his supposed "yes" answer would have on the church? Why would he toy with the church instead of honestly telling them the full truth of his living situation?

2. It exposed the supposed stupidity of the local elders. And how much more spiritual the apostles are than the church.

3. It was always told within the context of Witness Lee jump-starting Watchman Nee back into ministry when the elders were humiliated and made to apologize to Watchman Nee in a formal manner.

What was the underlying premise Witness Lee was establishing with these stories? The authority of the apostles over the elders and "don't touch God's anointed" regardless of what he does. Those that heard this story would never want to question Witness Lee's behavior on anything - lest they be mistaken and humiliated. It created a mystique around Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #25
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What was the underlying premise Witness Lee was establishing with these stories? The authority of the apostles over the elders and "don't touch God's anointed" regardless of what he does. Those that heard this story would never want to question Witness Lee's behavior on anything - lest they be mistaken and humiliated. It created a mystique around Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.
This story was also told to show how we shouldn't "vindicate ourselves" despite being misunderstood. Nee was supposedly so much under the cross that he wouldn't tell the whole story, even if it meant sullying his reputation (and as alwayslearning said, confusing the church). Perhaps Nee felt the church was overall too busybody and needed a lesson. But his behavior still smacks of over-spiritual indulgence.

It seemed to have infected some LC brothers with the same annoying tendency. I recall a young elder I lived with acting this way. One day we had this short conversation.

Me: Can you tell me what time it is?

Him: Yes. (Followed by a blank stare.)

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:05 AM   #26
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Let me also point out that this kind of behavior by Nee (not setting the record straight) is the product of a mindset that is more interested in personal spirituality that the overall affect of one's behavior (which, by the way, is a LC trait).

Certainly if one is repeatedly attacked by hostile accusers there comes a time when one just ignores them and doesn't humor their slander. But was that the case here? The church had some problems with Nee, but asking him whether he was living with a woman has a implication that everyone accepts, just like asking someone the time. You ask someone if they can give you the time to hear the time, and you ask someone if they are "living with a woman not their wife" to find out if they are in a illicit relationship. Nee knew exactly what they meant and he should have answered what he knew they were asking, instead of playing word games.

But apparently his mind was just on one thing: being under the "cross." That's hyper-spiritual. He mind should have been on what's the best response for all concerned: the church, his mother, his wife, even himself... But instead of considering others he just thought about his own "spirituality."

That is if any of this story is even factual.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:19 AM   #27
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Another way to look at it is that the church leaders didn't phrase their question precisely, so Nee took advantage of that fact to confuse everyone.

Where's the virtue in that? Seems immature to me.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:30 AM   #28
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This story was also told to show how we shouldn't "vindicate ourselves" despite being misunderstood. Nee was supposedly so much under the cross that he wouldn't tell the whole story, even if it meant sullying his reputation.
There other even more destructive messages being conveyed here as we were subtly instructed never to "vindicate ourselves," That is, no matter what the leaders do to you, no matter how badly you are treated, and no matter how terribly mistaken the leaders may be, your sole responsibility is to shut up and take it. The abused's only recourse is to follow the Lamb to the cross, "opening not His mouth."

What a convenient and self-serving "truth" for those abusive leaders who long to continue unimpeded, bullying God's people. They, of course, do not have to live by the same rules, or practice what they preach to others. If they are not treated with the "abundant honor" befitting their status, they can levy lawsuits against their opponents, using all the saints' money, in the name of "fighting for the truth." They can also hold all of their members in constant fear, teaching them that like Ham, the third son of Noah, they will be forever judged by God for opening up their mouths against God's "deputy authority."

How powerful indeed to continually instruct the rank and file to remain, as the Lord Jesus was, silent amidst unrighteousness. And hopefully none of them notices that none of the Apostles were silent amidst persecution. They all stood up and spoke the truth, pricking the conscience of the unrighteous, even if it meant their own death. They were willing to die rather than to be silent during abuse, yet LC folks are taught just the opposite. And, btw, I am well familiar with the instruction in I Pt 1.23, but what Peter teaches there is not to "revile" in return, which is vastly different than just remaining dumb.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #29
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What saddens me is that another aspect of Local Church history turns out to be suspect. It reminds me of that verse about "myths and unending genealogies."

And I fully agree with you, Igzy, that a large problem with Nee (even regardless of the allegations) is his hyper-spirituality. There were many times in my own LC experience where I thought about speaking to elders or leading brothers in order to clarify a situation, but I chose to stay quiet to avoid the appearance of "self-vindication." Nee and M.E. Barber were held up as examples of those who knew how to bear the cross and die to self. So normal human reactions, including an honest desire to address misunderstandings, were repressed. This was extremely harmful over the long term.

The reason I posted about this new book is because it completed a picture, that the LC's problems most likely did not begin when Lee took over from Nee.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:44 AM   #30
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How powerful indeed to continually instruct the rank and file to remain, as the Lord Jesus was, silent amidst unrighteousness. And hopefully none of them notices that none of the Apostles were silent amidst persecution. They all stood up and spoke the truth, pricking the conscience of the unrighteous, even if it meant their own death. They were willing to die rather than to be silent during abuse, yet LC folks are taught just the opposite. And, btw, I am well familiar with the instruction in I Pt 1.23, but what Peter teaches there is not to "revile" in return, which is vastly different than just remaining dumb.
Paul spent a lot of time vindicating himself. Much of the book of 2 Corinthians is devoted to this.

And what about when Jesus vindicated himself (Jn 8:49; Jn 8:13-14; others?). I guess the LC just ignored these verses.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #31
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Certainly if one is repeatedly attacked by hostile accusers there comes a time when one just ignores them and doesn't humor their slander. But was that the case here? The church had some problems with Nee, but asking him whether he was living with a woman has a implication that everyone accepts, just like asking someone the time. You ask someone if they can give you the time to hear the time, and you ask someone if they are "living with a woman not their wife" to find out if they are in a illicit relationship. Nee knew exactly what they meant and he should have answered what he knew they were asking, instead of playing word games.
As the story was told, that is exactly the context -- as if Nee were "repeatedly attacked by hostile accusers," and took the Lord's instruction to "let your yes be yes, and your no be no." (Matt 5.37) Via identification with Nee in this supposed story, Lee also portrayed himself as one constantly under attack by those within and without, standing oftentimes all alone for the Lord and His testimony.

I find it ridiculous that Nee could be disciplined by the elders of a large church in Shanghai, without further inquiry, for answering simply "yes" to the question. There has to be more to the story, and as I have come to learn about all of Lee's history lessons, they will always be skewed in his favor.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #32
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Paul spent a lot of time vindicating himself. Much of the book of 2 Corinthians is devoted to this.

And what about when Jesus vindicated himself (Jn 8:49; Jn 8:13-14; others?). I guess the LC just ignored these verses.
Joyce Meyer made an interesting statement one time, as I was exiting the LC's. I'm not sure if she received it from another, but anyways it was helpful to me. She basically said ...
"Any truth taken to an extreme can become a falsehood."
Such were many things in the Recovery.

Yes, our Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, was basically silent in His sufferings leading to the cross. As Isaiah said, "He opened not His mouth." (53.7) That is true! But this was the only time He was silent, and that was the time of our redemption. Even as a 12 year old boy he responded to his parent's scolding, "don't you know I must be about My Father's business!" (Luke 2.49)
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #33
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Does anyone can see the link between WN, the history of sexual abuse in the LC the current practice of telling women that sexual abuse is in fact their own fault, not the mans. It seems that any time this topic is brought to light, current church members have an inability to respond to it, probably due to the veracity of this statement. Here in California I was abused as a young girl and told it was my fault because of how I dressed. The young boy was never even told to not do that again. A documented message by Chuck Debelak may sum it up best, "For sisters to learn in silence and to be in all subjection is for them to realize their position as women." It seems that this abuse in the LC has been well documented and clearly starts with WN. I wonder if any church member will say anything about this other than, "I have not seen this", but instead talk or address what countless others have expierienced regardless of their own personal expierience.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:56 PM   #34
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I find it ridiculous that Nee could be disciplined by the elders of a large church in Shanghai, without further inquiry, for answering simply "yes" to the question. There has to be more to the story, and as I have come to learn about all of Lee's history lessons, they will always be skewed in his favor.
Hi Ohio, the thread I started at http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3479
Stephen speaks of this disciplinary time where Watchman Nee withdrew from Shanghai 1942-1948. That can be found in part 2 of the audio.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #35
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Terry, could you post a brief synopsis of that tape? For example, does Kuang view Nee's discipline as legitimate? Does Kuang discuss the reasons why Nee was excommunicated (if that's what happened)? Did Nee withdraw from the assembly, or was it imposed on him?
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:05 PM   #36
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Hi Ohio, the thread I started at http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3479
Stephen speaks of this disciplinary time where Watchman Nee withdrew from Shanghai 1942-1948. That can be found in part 2 of the audio.
There's hundreds of messages on that website. You have to be more specific.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #37
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Does anyone can see the link between WN, the history of sexual abuse in the LC the current practice of telling women that sexual abuse is in fact their own fault, not the mans. It seems that any time this topic is brought to light, current church members have an inability to respond to it, probably due to the veracity of this statement. Here in California I was abused as a young girl and told it was my fault because of how I dressed. The young boy was never even told to not do that again. A documented message by Chuck Debelak may sum it up best, "For sisters to learn in silence and to be in all subjection is for them to realize their position as women." It seems that this abuse in the LC has been well documented and clearly starts with WN. I wonder if any church member will say anything about this other than, "I have not seen this", but instead talk or address what countless others have experienced regardless of their own personal experience.
Dear sister, not to negate any of the pain you have endured, but Chuck Debelak would never condone any of the things you have endured. Can you direct me to that message?

One of the reasons this forum exists is to call attention to the wrongs which have occurred towards God's children in the LC's. You are not alone. I personally left the LC's because I also was confronting abuses on all levels. They frankly do not know how to treat one another with the love of Christ, and it starts at the top and pervades the whole system.

In the past, many cases of abuse occurred, and they all were deferred to leaders who ended up doing nothing. Many of these tragic stories are recorded in this forum.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:21 PM   #38
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It is easily found on the internet but here is a link to the one I quoted but many more are to be found. I also have tapes of many brothers preaching a "Women are weak and should stay in the kitchen" message if you will. http://www.blendedbody.com/_cl/_audi...TY-export.html

It is incredibly well hidden in rhetoric how horrific these teachings are. These teachings allow for no growth in humanity, which God hopes and demands us to have. It specifically says things like "The weakness of women" yet never uses that kind of rhetoric when describing, if he ever does, mens shortcomings. These kind of teachings, and the style and tone of rhetoric used to do so, leave women feeling helpless and subject to abuse by this truly horrible cult. Chuck, as noted on this forum, falls in line with a long history of spiritual and physical abuse starting with Watchmen Nee. Furthermore, like all those men who teach these idea's in the Lords name are truly spiritually sick people. Their ability to confuse others, and even themselves into thinking they are speaking Gods word, is what makes them the ones who are truly spellbound by Satan.

Another quote from Chuck "However, the idea that the woman can stand out among men damages them. Without the covering of a man, a woman can easily succumb to Satan's attacks"

Still, no one has said they do, or do not, preach/believe in these ideas
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #39
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Another quote from Chuck "However, the idea that the woman can stand out among men damages them. Without the covering of a man, a woman can easily succumb to Satan's attacks"

Still, no one has said they do, or do not, preach/believe in these ideas
It probably would be best if the hundreds of women, who have taught or have been taught at his school, working with Chuck day in and day out, speak up for him now and how he has treated them.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #40
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Was this written to me? Kind of like a cold wet slap in the face.
Not to anyone in particular. It just seems that when this kind of thing is discussed, someone (usually of strong LRC persuasion) will justify Lee, the LRM, or the LRC by virtue of relative morality plays to try to diminish the problem well below someone else's problems.

Actually, you would not have risen to my radar unless you actually did it. And it was not in my memory (maybe a failing one??) so I wouldn't have pointed at you.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #41
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It seems I may be the sole voice here on WN's behalf, but the thread and the source article are titled, "Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr." Is there any question that WN was imprisoned for his faith, and subsequently was murdered there for his faith? I also seem to remember a verse somewhere which says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
I believe that you are not alone.

Igzy may not have been strong enough. He (correctly) said that we really don't know anything, so can't comment one way or the other.

But I believe that there is reasonably solid basis for suggesting that even the alleged confession was a matter of duress. We all like to think that we would all stand strong in the face of potential death. But since he was not required to deny his faith, maybe his own frailty in the face of likely torture would cause him to say almost anythying else.

In any case, this one lone witness who claims to have seen something almost 60 years ago in a context full of force and violence does not establish that it means what they say it means. ("You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." — Inigo Montoya).

But take the discussion to the doors of the LSM and to Lee himself and the situation is greatly changed. Nee may have prolonged his own life at the expense of accepting a false charge. But Lee prolonged his status as MOTA at the expense of lies heaped upon honest, faithful men. There is a very large difference. Not even part of the same discussion.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #42
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But apparently his mind was just on one thing: being under the "cross." That's hyper-spiritual. He mind should have been on what's the best response for all concerned: the church, his mother, his wife, even himself... But instead of considering others he just thought about his own "spirituality."

That is if any of this story is even factual.
And this thread is taking an interesting turn. I have always been bothered by the fact that living with his own mother, or an aunt (or other older relative) could have caused such a ruckus.

But the portrayal of this kind of hyper-spirituality is exactly the kind of thing that Lee loved about the story. And if there is any truth in it, then there was a truly unbalanced aspect to Nee's claims of spirituality (even if those claims were not as great as Lee would like us to believe he could have claimed).

And this is the kind of hyper-spirituality that makes the LRC among the worst places to try to live anything like a truly "normal Christian life." And if Nee actually did what is reported, he surely did not understand the normal Christian life, but some kind of ascetic, monk-like life of austerity and abuse.

And all of this is based on a number of unverifiable presumptions created by a combination of Lee's words and those of this new book.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:58 PM   #43
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It probably would be best if the hundreds of women, who have taught or have been taught at his school, working with Chuck day in and day out, speak up for him now and how he has treated them.
Hasn’t it been clearly delineated in this forum and all over the internet, published books, articles and tapes that there is a culture of silence in the LC? And because of this very topic, many women are not going to speak up for fear of Gods judgments and overstepping their “duty” as a women, Chuck even told them that himself. Furthermore, didn’t Charles Manson’s followers defend him? As with countless horrible people throughout history. Let us judge him on his published words, and not anecdotal evidence. On top of all that, if he were to help one hundred women but abuse one, does that negate the sin and act of abuse towards the one?

This is all off topic though. As a survivor of the LC I have no desire to prove myself to those that defend the LC and those that defend the rhetoric of “keeping women down” found in the church. I just find it incredibly interesting, and enlightening, for I had grown up in a bubble of dis-information, that these themes have started from the very beginning with WN.

Still, no one has said if they do, or do not, preach/believe in these ideas that started with WN and have traveled down the timeline of the LC's history.

Another quote that strikes a deep chord, almost proving the falsehood in the notion that a womens place is in the house and her only satisfaction should come from passing the message of recovery to her children. For is not one of the LC's major problems with second generation victims of this cult staying with the LC?

Chuck - "A woman's true satisfaction should only come when she sees the positive things in her children and her husband that she produced in her ministering of grace to them throughout their lives."
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #44
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It reminds me of that verse about "myths and unending genealogies."
In the beginning, God created the ground of dirt.
And the ground of dirt produced men who mucked it all up.
So God raised up Martin Luther.
And Martin Luther begat Calvin.
And Calvin begat Wesley (probably not).
And Wesley begat Darby and the Brethren. (One, two, skip a few)
And the Brethern begat those who begat Nee.
And Nee begat Lee.
And thus ended the begetting of the ground of dirt.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #45
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I find it ridiculous that Nee could be disciplined by the elders of a large church in Shanghai, without further inquiry, for answering simply "yes" to the question. There has to be more to the story, and as I have come to learn about all of Lee's history lessons, they will always be skewed in his favor.
Assuming the entire story is not pure fabrication I completely agree! There has to be more to it - what Witness Lee gave out was a cut and paste job to serve his purpose.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:46 PM   #46
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I like this thread because Watchman Nee is still considered as a "sacred cow" by many who left the LC system. He is irreproachable. They may reject Witness Lee's ministry but embrace Watchman Nee with somewhat of a blind loyalty. But to hear the tales told he was a super-human Christian who could do no wrong and anyone who questioned him was in error.

We often forget how very young Watchman Nee was when he was the main leader of the LC system. His ministry started when he was about 19 and he was imprisoned in 1952 when he was only 49. So he was the leading coworker/apostle with full authority to teach, appoint elders, etc. Of course immoral behavior can ensnare anyone at any age but the young are especially susceptible thus we have verses such as "Flee youthful lusts" etc.

So it is not outside the realm of possibility that Watchman Nee fell into sin and hopefully was restored. I think any serious student of his life and work should end any sense of idolatry towards him and analyze what facts currently exist in an objective manner. Obviously we cannot take the public relations main man at LSM i.e. Chris Wilde's word for it! One of their "products" is Watchman Nee. His pitches about this issue can be placed in the circular file upon receipt.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:52 PM   #47
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There's hundreds of messages on that website. You have to be more specific.
My apologies Ohio. When I started the thread, I intended to create a link to the specific audio. Apparently, that did not transpire.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:57 PM   #48
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So Nee was imprisoned in 1952 and then tried in 1956. Probably is true, but it puts the account in the new book many years after whatever is alleged to have happened. Funny that it would have been in front of the elders who excommunicated him for it and then the communists would try him for the same offense these many years later.

But it might explain a lot. Maybe one of the questions was "are you living with a woman" and the answer was "yes" but there was more for which we have no comment by Lee, so we are left with the notion that it was all just Nee's humility and the elders' stupidity (or rigidity).

As for revering Nee, I believe that you are correct. Too many have been giving him a free pass. I said the same thing a few years back. And there was at least one rather meek person who had been defending Nee that took person affront to it, although silently. Then he began to see what I was seeing and realized that Nee was not as different from Lee as we have been lead to believe. Without this particular thread, it might be that the similarity was more in poor interpretation of scripture. Of way too much eisegesis rather than exegesis.

Do we add these new charges? I'm not ready to bite on them. But it could be true. And we will probably never know.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #49
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Terry, could you post a brief synopsis of that tape? For example, does Kuang view Nee's discipline as legitimate? Does Kuang discuss the reasons why Nee was excommunicated (if that's what happened)? Did Nee withdraw from the assembly, or was it imposed on him?
Thanks.
Basically, Stephen shared the responsible brothers in Shanghai had a problem with Nee's pharmaceutical enterprise he started during the war. They had insisted Nee cease his pharmaceutical business. As Stephen shared, the reasons why Nee started the business was good, but it was of the flesh. As a result Nee withdrew from Shanghai to the north. This six year period of isolation was humanly a suffering, but spiritually lessons of the cross. It was in 1948 the responsible brothers from Shanghai sought out Nee and invited him back.
As Stephen indicated in his speaking, Nee being welcomed back issued in unity among the brothers and sisters meeting in Shanghai.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:56 AM   #50
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Nee being welcomed back issued in unity among the brothers and sisters meeting in Shanghai.
So this is the forerunner of following the LSM and idolizing Lee being the ground of unity as it is today.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:10 AM   #51
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My apologies Ohio. When I started the thread, I intended to create a link to the specific audio. Apparently, that did not transpire.
Terry, are you still able to direct us to that message?
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:40 AM   #52
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I like this thread because Watchman Nee is still considered as a "sacred cow" by many who left the LC system. He is irreproachable. They may reject Witness Lee's ministry but embrace Watchman Nee with somewhat of a blind loyalty. But to hear the tales told he was a super-human Christian who could do no wrong and anyone who questioned him was in error.
I fully agree with this. It was one of the reasons I began this thread.

"You know a tree by its fruit." In some ways Nee has borne bad fruit. For example, it's not just Witness Lee who misused Nee's teachings in regard to complete submission to spiritual authority. I know people who were involved in the "shepherding/discipleship" movement in the 70's, and Nee was a large part of that. I've also met other people who were in spiritually abusive environments, where Nee's writings had been used to justify the authoritarian approach by the church leaders.

I personally got a lot out of Nee when I first read him, and there are many things to appreciate about him. Clearly the Lord used him in a great way in China. But over the years being immersed in both Nee and Lee was damaging. And while Lee was definitely more extreme, certainly many aspects of what defined the Local Church began with Nee.

Here are examples of what I consider negative aspects of Nee's ministry, that Lee then took to another level. Some of this has been commented upon by others already.

1) hyper-spirituality and asceticism
2) extreme separatism from the world (Brethren style)
3) overemphasis on authority and submission
4) pride and exclusivity (the one true church, the consummation of the Lord's move)
5) contempt for other Christian groups, including charities
6) uplifting of the "church life" over normal human life and family life
7) introspection and subjectivity (especially trying to discern the spirit from the soul)
8) a warped view of humanity (rejecting anything "soulish," "natural" or "worldly")
9) using trainings to correct people's spirituality
10) a harsh and rebuking style of shepherding (M.E. Barber as the model)

I think all of this deserves to be reconsidered, in view of how this laid the foundation for Lee's own teachings and practices.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #53
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Here are examples of what I consider negative aspects of Nee's ministry, that Lee then took to another level. Some of this has been commented upon by others already.

1) hyper-spirituality and asceticism
2) extreme separatism from the world (Brethren style)
3) overemphasis on authority and submission
4) pride and exclusivity (the one true church, the consummation of the Lord's move)
5) contempt for other Christian groups, including charities
6) uplifting of the "church life" over normal human life and family life
7) introspection and subjectivity (especially trying to discern the spirit from the soul)
8) a warped view of humanity (rejecting anything "soulish," "natural" or "worldly")
9) using trainings to correct people's spirituality
10) a harsh and rebuking style of shepherding (M.E. Barber as the model)

I think all of this deserves to be reconsidered, in view of how this laid the foundation for Lee's own teachings and practices.
The one item which I found missing, and perhaps should be tops, was the institution of "the work" as a para-church structure which rules the churches. They have the constant rhetoric that "the work serves the church," but in reality the churches only exist to build up the empires of her most senior leaders. Without the formation of "the work" structure, so all-pervading in the Recovery, in the guise of the "true" N.T. ministry, most of these other ten items would be rendered ineffective.

But thanks for the list. Each of these items should be discussed. They have shaped us abnormally, and they need to be exposed to the light of day.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:12 PM   #54
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I'm curious what people here think about this article. Also, has anyone heard the details mentioned in this article before?

Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

http://theadvocate.com/features/fait...an-nees-legacy
"Her 360-page book — seen as a cautionary tale by some and as a rehashing of communist smears by others — was published last year in Chinese. Hsu is searching for a company to publish it in English and provided a digital file of the English translation for this story."

According to the story she is seeking a publisher in English. True it was "published" in Chinese, but I would like to know more about the publisher before I feel that lends any validity to the book. After all a legitimate publisher would seek out an arrangement to get a US publisher for it, or else would publish it in English themselves.

To my opinion we should not portray this as being "published" by a legitimate publisher unless we know that to be true. This is important because a legitimate publisher will vet a story and do their own fact checking first. Also, this seems like a big enough story that a legitimate publisher would in fact publish it if they found it to be true. Also it is hard to imagine that supporters of WN could exert any political influence to suppress this story if it were in fact true.

For these reasons I do not give any credibility to this story unless I see a real publisher take the story.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #55
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In response to IGZY and alwayslearning

Specifically about Nee, we have this new example of abuse that I cannot wait to read in English. And find it interesting that the last man that even I thought as good WN, also was a sexual deviant making pornography in motel rooms. I mean, you can’t write fiction any better than how the LC history has unfolded.
As I already mentioned I am delighted another source document as been produced on the life of Watchman Nee and like any document I think it should be seriously studied along with the other documents available.

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And if you cannot see how women are left shattered and abused by this church than also, we are coming to a dead end here.
I think most posters in this forum would readily admit that some women are left shattered and abused by the LC system. (I might add that some men are left shattered and abused as well.) I also think you'll find that some women who left the LC or are still in it do not feel they were/are abused or shattered. For example I know:

1. Some who left and returned to the LC for various reasons - one being they missed the sense of community.
2. Some who were so abused in their families growing up that the LC environment where they lived offered them a much welcomed sense of shelter and security.
3. Some who left and have not returned but still appreciate the experiences they had while in the LC.
4. Some who are happily married and active in the LC and who deeply love and respect their husbands and their husbands deeply love and respect them.

In such sensitive matters every person's experience is unique and should be respected as such. Attempts at universalizing one's experience will fail because there will always be at least one person who will say: "That might have been your experience and I'm very very sorry you had to go through that and I'm glad you are getting help to recover but that was not my experience."

So may I suggest when you communicate these kind of things on this forum that you use non-universal language and stay away from absolutes? I think you will find a very receptive and sympathetic audience.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #56
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Fact 7. Until men, in the LC or ex-LC members begin to acknowledge this and furthermore begin to call out these abuses and do something about it
Please give us details as to what you would specifically like male ex-members to do about rape and molestation in the LC system? Many left the LC because they found out what Witness Lee's son did to sisters in his employ. Many of them made public statements calling Witness Lee and his son out on it. His son was publicly excommunicated from The Church in Anaheim because of it. It was reported in the LA Times and I think OC Register.

As you should should know in the instance of rape or molestation the victims have to make some sort of statement as to what happened and press charges. If they are under aged the onus is on the parents or other adults to do so on the child's behalf. And then via the justice system if there is validity to the claims the rapist or molester can be prosecuted and the media will cover it.

I sincerely hope and pray that some of the victims of rape or molestation in the LC system would come forward and press charges and publicize what happened like some have done in the RC due to priests molesting them. Because until that happens I would suggest to you that nothing will change in the LC system if this kind of thing is routinely going on. Organizations understand criminal and civil charges ($) against them and trust me when I tell you the LC leaders will understand that language loud and clear. So if you seriously want to make changes and protect women in the LC please please convince some of the victims to come forward and please let us know the file numbers of their cases so we can follow it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #57
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Terry, are you still able to direct us to that message?
I hope so Ohio. Let's see.
http://www.christiantapeministry.com...ge.php?id=1250
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #58
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His excommunication was treated as unjust, but Nee took it from the Lord and "bore the cross." Eventually he was restored to his ministry and leadership... by who? Witness Lee. I remember two books entitled "The Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry" that contained messages by both Nee and Lee. The strong impression given by the various stories that were told within the LC was that Lee was instrumental in restoring Nee's ministry, and that this qualified him to be Nee's successor, his heir apparent. When all of the church rejected Nee, Lee stood by him, and then was handpicked by Nee to lead the movement outside of China.
Knowing how LSM likes to re-write history I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of their publications that portray as the one bearing the responsibility in the ministry as a means to produce a lineage.
As I understand it was not one brother, but multiple brothers who restored Nee. When Nee chose to go back to Communist China, there wasn't a handpicked heir, but sent his workers to various places in SE Asia. One to Hong Kong, another to the Philippines, and Lee of course went to Taiwan. As for Stephen Kaung he ended up in New York City by 1952.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:55 PM   #59
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Sensible people when presented with new information about a deceased figure do not immediately accept it as undeniable facts even though it cannot be absolutely proven. To expect that response from those in this forum is unreasonable. However to expect open discussion and acceptance that the new (to us) claims regarding Watchman Nee are within the real of possibility is reasonable and that is what is happening. I, for one, am thankful new documentation is coming out regarding Watchman Nee so we have more to work with when we piece his life and work together because I know Witness Lee's and LSM's version of events if fractionally true at all are self-serving.

Regarding Witness Lee in this and other forums disgust and outrage has been expressed at the abusive behavior of his son towards women and the cover up of this abuse by Witness Lee, coworkers and elders for decades. When this finally exploded publicly due to the efforts of the family of his latest female victim it resulted in a major division in The Church in Anaheim and most LCs in Europe formally in writing disassociated themselves from LSM where this particular son was the General Manager and considered to be Witness Lee's "top coworker". Shortly thereafter John Ingalls wrote a book titled: Speaking the Truth in Love which addresses these events in some detail. Needless to say Witness Lee and the LSM immediately started a smear campaign against the "rebellious lepers" who are full of ambition and are running a conspiracy against his ministry causing him and his family to suffer so much, etc...you know the drill.
Alwayslearning, I think you touched a lot of important points here. I would also add what is known about in North America as your post points out may very well be the tip of the iceberg. Quite possibly the language barrier between Chinese-speaking and English-speaking is an obstacle from the whole story being told. Who knows how much latitude there was in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc?
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:18 AM   #60
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for many years I too spread the messages of hate for women, as a woman! How brainwashed was I!
I heard Ron Kangas publicly denigrate women: "I am convinced that the only thing worse than a rebellious brother is a spiritual sister". I have heard him repeatedly say derogatory things about women, in effect that they should 'know their place'.

Why did I sit quietly and take such speaking? Because of 'the ground'. The "one church one city" idea had taken hold in me and whenever I heard that the poor should be ignored, or women were second-class citizens, I just said, "Well, it's the church". The "local church" idea had so thoroughly pickled my brain that I was incapable of confronting unrighteous, unbiblical and unscriptural behavior. I papered it all over in my mind because "It's the church".

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I have dealt with this guilt and am starting to wash myself clean by trying to actually do something about it, and hope you find that motivation one day too. Self-righteous outburst? That is one way to call a rape victim who is only plainly and simply describing factual events in an attempt to make this a better world. It is funny you say that because many of us victims felt like WE were the ones who were wrong and deserved to be raped, hardly self-righteous! I still am overcoming an incredible amount of shame, self-hate and a fear of men.
I think it is important that people be free to share. This anonymous account of course cannot be held by the readers as "factual" without corroboration, but still it is good for people to speak out. In the same vein I suspect the woman who wrote the account of her involvement with Watchman Nee and his "little flock" simply wants to say, "I am a human. I count, too. My voice is just as important as anyone else's." And it is. I don't have to 'believe' her account, but I believe in her right to speak. Her voice is just as loud before God's throne as Watchman Nee's voice is.

What we do know is that:

1) Women were repeatedly denigrated in this system. I heard it, I saw it. It was ignored, at least in part, because "It's the church". This "It's the church" idea is largely dependent on Nee's "local ground", or "one church one city" idea, which is based on a VERY selective reading of the Bible. Jesus never taught "one city one church", nor did Paul. But if you want it, you can selectively set up scriptures to support it (meanwhile ignoring the MANY uses of 'ekklesia' which don't fit your model), you now have a vehicle to herd the sheep into your pen, and voila! You have a system ripe for abuse and subsequent cover-up. Humans being human, after all.

2. We know that abuse did happen, and was covered up. Lee's son Philip was repeatedly caught, and we have independent, corroborated accounts in some localities, involving people with different levels of power (i.e. a church "elder" and a "sister") which were "hushed up" to protect the "local church" based on "the local ground". This is like Jerry Sandusky on the college campus being ignored in order to protect the Penn State football program. Or Catholic priests shuffled from parish to parish, even when they are known to exibit predatory behavior. Human lives were less important than an institution, in the "local church" case which was created based on a wrong idea. And righteousness and truth were less important than protecting "the system."

I don't care if I have to repeat it 596 times: the "local church" idea is based on a bad (selective) reading of the biblical record and its fruit is bound to be bad. Abuses and subsequent cover-ups are a natural by-product of an institution and ideology based on this thought system. If we expose root of this thinking then we won't have to interminably deal with the effects, all the while allowing the cause to roam free among us.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:22 AM   #61
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Thanks Terry.

Stephen Kaung said nearly nothing about Nee's excommunication, trial, and imprisonment that I had not heard before. Due to his accent, however, some words I could not distinguish.

He did, however, call the time surrounding Nee's pharmaceutical work a "dark spot in his life." That sounded a little strange to me. It just does not seem to be words someone in contemporary America would use to describe a business endeavor designed to support Christian workers attempting to live by faith in impoverished China and the subsequent discipline by the church.

Kaung never mentions the exact reasonings of the elders for their discipline of Nee, only that Nee honored it by saying, "I believe in the sanctity of the church."
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:24 AM   #62
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I'll wait around until OBW is done with you
Apparently he is finished with me.

You had something more to say?
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:51 AM   #63
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“Not very many Christians in the United States — or even in China — know he was excommunicated by the Shanghai Christian Assembly,” said Hsu, who insists Nee is not the martyr for the faith some make him out to be. “All the bad things have been covered up. The church leaders knew something, but they kept silent. I want to clear the fog.”

But Chris Wilde, director of communications for Living Stream Ministry, the primary publisher of Nee’s writings, calls Hsu’s book “mainly a re-statement of the old ‘official’ government charges that have been floating about concerning Watchman Nee since his trial in 1956.

“It is common knowledge that prominent Christian and other religious leaders were accused by the Chinese Communists of all manner of nefarious deeds during those years and the credibility of the Party’s allegations during that era has been viewed as highly dubious by most objective observers,” Wilde said in an email.
I would certainly agree with Chris Wilde that the events occurring during the trials in Communist China in the 1950s are suspect. How many cases are there where the Communists used fabricated materials to demonstrate deviancy? How many confessions were forced? It would be interesting to have some scholarly, factual, less-biased accounts of the whole trial system. In that way you could evaluate both the statements of Mr. Wilde and the account of Dr. Hsu.

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“She just wanted to forget the Shanghai church and Nee, but friends encouraged her to share what she knew.

“We’ve all seen national — and even local — spiritual leaders fall prey to sexual issues,” said the Rev. Mark Lubbock, a friend of Hsu and a Methodist minister who serves as executive director of Louisiana Men of Christ. “The context of Dr. Hsu’s book is a cautionary word of warning to all spiritual leaders to be sure they have in place an accountability process and structure to help them deal with the inevitable temptation.”

Similarly, another of her friends, Alex Cui, an evangelical Chinese pastor in Seattle, said, “Like everybody, Watchman Nee has sinned and some of his teachings are wrong.”

Hsu’s book describes how Nee controlled the church by demanding “absolute submission to the ‘Delegated Authority of God,’ Watchman Nee.” Some church members read Nee’s books on their knees, a practice she describes as “idol worship,” she said.

“If we do not learn the lessons that God blessed and disciplined the Local Churches in China, it can continue to happen,” Hsu writes, comparing Nee to Samson in her book’s conclusion. “Samson shamed the name of God but in the end glorified God.”
Here are two comments posted beneath the article:

1. "Why would anyone publish a book like this? Even if the story about Nee is true why bring it up after so many years? If it was a disgrace to Christ then why disgrace Him again. One has to wonder what the real motives of the author could be - certainly not honoring the Saviour."

As far as wondering to the motives of the author, I would say that they have a voice. Every victim of rape or sexual predation deserves to speak, and to be heard. Some of course are untruthful. But that does not mean we should therefore ignore every voice.

2. "I am ashamed. Ashamed that slander is broadcast for all to read. Please consider Jesus' words in John 8:7: "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Whether or not Watchman Nee is guilty as accused isn't relevant. It was always his belief that Jesus Christ alone is worthy to be called righteous. Read any of Watchman Nee's books, and you will quickly notice that he understands that man is condemned, Christ is our Savior, and self in us must be denied. Whether or not we live according to flesh or God's will, he preached that we are saved when to accepting Christ, and that our walk will impact only our reward. Watchman Nee was never an advocate for living according to self."

Nee may indeed have preached that "man is condemned", and "Jesus Christ alone is worthy to be righteous". And yes, Jesus did teach that those who have no sin should cast the first stone.

Dr. Hsu's account, to me, is not about whether Nee was a sinner or not, or who among us should cast stones at him. Rather, to me it reveals the creation of an organization in which "the system" is held as equivalent with God and thus cannot be questioned. In such a case, abuse and lies will follow because those (fallen) humans who align themselves strongly with the system (in this case known variably as "the ministry", "the local ground", "the ground of oneness", "the local church", "the Body of Christ" etc) and will be protected from the usual checks and balances which safeguard the weak from the strong.

In this case the strong are seen as deputies of God Himself and thus we cannot examine the fact that they may also sin without being accused of slander and "rebelling against God". This unexamined system creates "brothers transformed into bullies", and predators who are covered by a code of silence. Whether Nee preyed on Hsu and others is obviously important, but there is a bigger issue involved. Nee created a system in which abuse and predation were allowed, in the name of protecting the system. Because the system was held to be equivalent with God.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:09 AM   #64
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Why did I sit quietly and take such speaking? Because of 'the ground'. The "one church one city" idea had taken hold in me and whenever I heard that the poor should be ignored, or women were second-class citizens, I just said, "Well, it's the church". The "local church" idea had so thoroughly pickled my brain that I was incapable of confronting unrighteous, unbiblical and unscriptural behavior. I papered it all over in my mind because "It's the church".

Women were repeatedly denigrated in this system. I heard it, I saw it. It was ignored, at least in part, because "It's the church". This "It's the church" idea is largely dependent on Nee's "local ground", or "one church one city" idea, which is based on a VERY selective reading of the Bible.

I don't care if I have to repeat it 596 times: the "local church" idea is based on a bad (selective) reading of the biblical record and its fruit is bound to be bad. Abuses and subsequent cover-ups are a natural by-product of an institution and ideology based on this thought system. If we expose root of this thinking then we won't have to interminably deal with the effects, all the while allowing the cause to roam free among us.
aron, thanks, you are getting to the root of the problem.

I remember several times studying all the scripture related to "one church -- one city." Reading Revelation chaps 2-3, it made so much sense. Then I would read the rest of the references in Acts and the epistles, and it just did not seem that compelling, rather it appeared contradictory. I was just forced to conclude that W.Nee was way smarter than I, and he must see things that I don't.

This elevation of W.Nee and his teachings (which, btw, mostly came from the exclusive Brethren) above all others set the stage for whatever else followed. This teaching of "one church -- one city" became the compelling argument of this ministry for which all of Christianity should be rightfully condemned as hopelessly and helplessly divided. Hence, as planned, we are left with a sole source ministry in all the local churches. All other ministries were thus discredited because they have not seen the controlling vision of "one church -- one city."

As much as I appreciate W. Nee and his work for the Lord, his Brethren-influenced exclusive teachings did set the stage for other abuses down the road. Normal checks and balances provided by scripture were bull-dozed down with this one belief: due to the teachings of W. Nee (and later Lee), only we are right, all others are wrong, and whatever comes from the ministry is now the "new" right, an up-to-date definition of the new orthodoxy of truth and practice. In the minds of movement followers, Nee's and Lee's interpretations of the truths of the Bible supersedes the plain words of scripture.

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:16 AM   #65
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I don't care if I have to repeat it 596 times: the "local church" idea is based on a bad (selective) reading of the biblical record and its fruit is bound to be bad. Abuses and subsequent cover-ups are a natural by-product of an institution and ideology based on this thought system. If we expose root of this thinking then we won't have to interminably deal with the effects, all the while allowing the cause to roam free among us.
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Dr. Hsu's account, to me, is not about whether Nee was a sinner or not, or who among us should cast stones at him. Rather, to me it reveals the creation of an organization in which "the system" is held as equivalent with God and thus cannot be questioned. In such a case, abuse and lies will follow because those (fallen) humans who align themselves strongly with the system (in this case known variably as "the ministry", "the local ground", "the ground of oneness", "the local church", "the Body of Christ" etc) and will be protected from the usual checks and balances which safeguard the weak from the strong.

In this case the strong are seen as deputies of God Himself and thus we cannot examine the fact that they may also sin without being accused of slander and "rebelling against God". This unexamined system creates "brothers transformed into bullies", and predators who are covered by a code of silence. Whether Nee preyed on Hsu and others is obviously important, but there is a bigger issue involved. Nee created a system in which abuse and predation were allowed, in the name of protecting the system. Because the system was held to be equivalent with God.
Agreed. There is probably true that a group's general attitude toward women works to determine whether or not they are sexually exploited, but the linchpin is the group's attitude about itself. If the group is seen as the end, and the people in the group as the means to that end, then everyone is going to get exploited in some way.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:17 AM   #66
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Thanks Terry.

Stephen Kaung said nearly nothing about Nee's excommunication, trial, and imprisonment that I had not heard before. Due to his accent, however, some words I could not distinguish.
You would need to listen to part 2 where Stephen covers the period of excommunication.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:25 AM   #67
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As much as I appreciate W. Nee and his work for the Lord, his Brethren-influenced exclusive teachings did set the stage for other abuses down the road. Normal checks and balances provided by scripture were bull-dozed down with this one belief: due to the teachings of W. Nee (and later Lee), only we are right, all others are wrong, and whatever comes from the ministry is now the "new" right, an up-to-date definition of the new orthodoxy of truth and practice. In the minds of movement followers, Nee's and Lee's interpretations of the truths of the Bible supersedes the plain words of scripture.
And defending that you have the apologists like the two that commented on the Nee article who, when the history of these men is questioned, say things like, "Let's move on." "Let's not forget how these great Christians selflessly served." "Nee may not have been perfect, but his accusers are much worse."

Blah, blah.

Anything but face up to the fact that something is seriously systemically wrong with the system he founded. Why? Because as aron said, it's THE CHURCH, and you don't question THE CHURCH.

Can't make this stuff up, folks.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:11 AM   #68
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I heard Ron Kangas publicly denigrate women: "I am convinced that the only thing worse than a rebellious brother is a spiritual sister". I have heard him repeatedly say derogatory things about women, in effect that they should 'know their place'.

What we do know is that: 1) Women were repeatedly denigrated in this system. I heard it, I saw it. It was ignored, at least in part, because "It's the church".
I wonder how much of the current LC attitude towards women reflects the ancient Chinese customs concerning the woman's role in the family and society. Apparently many LC norms are rooted in these customs, perhaps much more than anyone has admitted. I have mostly noted the derogatory treatment of brothers from time to time, but patterns of abuse tend to replicate themselves in all relationships.

Personally, many years ago, I passed through some serious psychological upheaval and soul-searching related to my own views and treatment of women. Whatever bad attitudes I had accumulated within me from bad LC teachings and practices had to be completely uprooted. For one, and this was a serious first step, I could no longer place the church ahead of my wife. I still know many brothers who view it as a sign of manhood that "the brothers" take priority over their wives.

I am by no means a Chinese scholar nor versed in Confucius, but there are reasons why the Proverbs 31 woman is taught at every sisters' gathering. (At least by Titus Chu.) It seems readily apparent that our cultural backgrounds would have at least some influence upon which verses gravitate to. In the absence of other contemporary ministries, the default teachings concerning the sisters' roles in the church will reflect ancient Chinese mores, rather than 21st century western views. This explains (at least to me) why so many sisters secretly gravitate to Joyce Meyers for personal guidance, and James Dobson for child-rearing. Those old Chinese ways, even when taught in the context of Proverbs, do more to frustrate and hinder their growth than anything else.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #69
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You would need to listen to part 2 where Stephen covers the period of excommunication.
Thank you, I did.

Here is the link for part two of Kaung's message on Nee.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:29 AM   #70
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I wonder how much of the current LC attitude towards women reflects the ancient Chinese customs concerning the woman's role in the family and society. Apparently many LC norms are rooted in these customs, perhaps much more than anyone has admitted.
Definitely the Chinese culture permeates the LC system. (Some would consider it a Chinese Church with a few American hanger-ons.) But how much this reflects on the attitude towards women? I don't know.

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Personally, many years ago, I passed through some serious psychological upheaval and soul-searching related to my own views and treatment of women. Whatever bad attitudes I had accumulated within me from bad LC teachings and practices had to be completely uprooted. For one, and this was a serious first step, I could no longer place the church ahead of my wife. I still know many brothers who view it as a sign of manhood that "the brothers" take priority over their wives.
I think the whole way of prioritizing is completely skewed in the LC system and it got even worse in the 1980s when it shifted from the local church where you lived to the ministry of Witness Lee and his "office" as the top priority. Now there were two priorities way above wives and family.

As I already mentioned women were treated like second class citizens in the LC system - they were there to serve men who were busy making the important decisions about what God's next move on the earth was going to be. However even within such a context some couples were able to establish healthy and balanced marital relationships because they basically - in practice - treated the LC as just a church they attended and did not allow it's culture to influence their relationship to any great extent. Such couples were usually classified as SMOs - Sunday Morning Only but in truth sometimes they weren't even that because they were busy going to a B&B get-away for the weekend or doing some family event, etc.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #71
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I wonder how much of the current LC attitude towards women reflects the ancient Chinese customs concerning the woman's role in the family and society. Apparently many LC norms are rooted in these customs, perhaps much more than anyone has admitted. I have mostly noted the derogatory treatment of brothers from time to time, but patterns of abuse tend to replicate themselves in all relationships.

Personally, many years ago, I passed through some serious psychological upheaval and soul-searching related to my own views and treatment of women. Whatever bad attitudes I had accumulated within me from bad LC teachings and practices had to be completely uprooted. For one, and this was a serious first step, I could no longer place the church ahead of my wife. I still know many brothers who view it as a sign of manhood that "the brothers" take priority over their wives.

I am by no means a Chinese scholar nor versed in Confucius, but there are reasons why the Proverbs 31 woman is taught at every sisters' gathering. (At least by Titus Chu.) It seems readily apparent that our cultural backgrounds would have at least some influence upon which verses gravitate to. In the absence of other contemporary ministries, the default teachings concerning the sisters' roles in the church will reflect ancient Chinese mores, rather than 21st century western views. This explains (at least to me) why so many sisters secretly gravitate to Joyce Meyers for personal guidance, and James Dobson for child-rearing. Those old Chinese ways, even when taught in the context of Proverbs, do more to frustrate and hinder their growth than anything else.
The attitude toward women is different from the US in most if not all other cultures. I think this is best seen in how well US women do in the Olympics. To my opinion the US is the only country on Earth that treats women sports equally with men's sports.

However, the US as a society has only been around a couple of hundred years. I don't think we have been around long enough to consider ourselves a "model" of the way society should be.

As to the context of "rape" in this thread, I have noticed that different countries have a different view of rape. In many societies rape is used as an institutional way to keep women "in line". The US attitude and treatment of rape is probably the most enlightened and humane of any society on earth. It is shocking, as an American, to think that parents would tell their daughters to cover up a rape. But, go to Mexico, Afghanistan, or many other countries on this planet and that is standard procedure.

So this raises two questions for me:

1. The abuse this sister is referring to, although unsubstantiated, does support a culture of abuse towards women, which in turn is clearly demonstrated by PL, etal. Is this something of the Chinese culture and does it permeate the LC?

2. Is the US treatment of women more in line with the NT than the rest of the world?
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #72
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And defending [the Nee-ordained system] you have the apologists like the two that commented on the ... article who, when the history of these men is questioned, say things like, "Let's move on." "Let's not forget how these great Christians selflessly served." "Nee may not have been perfect, but his accusers are much worse."

Blah, blah.

Anything but face up to the fact that something is seriously systemically wrong with the system he founded. Why? Because as aron said, it's THE CHURCH, and you don't question THE CHURCH.
There are several scriptural bases used to justify the statement of " you don't question the Church". First, is that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, right? So we should love the Church, too. The church is the Bride, right? If we love Jesus we should love His Bride. And if we no longer love our neighbor, the truth, or righteousness, well, that's okay because we love the Church!!

Second, the Church is the Body of Christ right? and Christ is God, right? so the Church is God! A nice, neat, logical chain there. And since we alone (following Nee's lead) have "seen the local ground" and "seen the Body" then our Church is tantamount to God Himself. And if the leaders are fallible men, we just shrug and say, "It's the Church". As long as we revere "the Church" we can live with (i.e. cover over, ignore, forget about) the failures of fallen men, even those who as leaders of "the Church" are supposedly speaking for God.

This system resists light, truth, change, healing, repentance... it resists life itself. It resists God. If sister Hsu's testimony is seen as emerging from this system (along with our 'guest' recently posting here, and probably many others), it is not really shocking. Independent corroboration and establishment of the "facts" of each testimony is important, but there is also a larger story, within which all the smaller stories have been brought forth.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #73
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... Again, I never "attacked" Chuck, I only quoted him. ...
So what needs to happen is just men and women found here not stay silent about the women hating rhetoric found in the LC....
I read some of the messages you linked to, and I didn't see any hateful rhetoric. It was a very balanced and Biblical description of what the family is supposed to be. I have read similar things from other Christian teachers outside of the LC.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #74
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He did, however, call the time surrounding Nee's pharmaceutical work a "dark spot in his life." That sounded a little strange to me. It just does not seem to be words someone in contemporary America would use to describe a business endeavor designed to support Christian workers attempting to live by faith in impoverished China and the subsequent discipline by the church.
Having heard the many situations in which the Chinese in the LRC have mentioned how they never speak against someone they consider "above" them, I begin to wonder if it is that there is more to the story. And since Lee knew that non of the people who actually knew anything would speak up, he was free to do with the situation what he pleased.

In the meantime, we still don't know what it was that is being kept behind the curtain. It may not be anything like what we think. But it may be.

But this kind of comment by Kaung does suggest that just having a pharmaceutical business and living with his mother is not the whole story.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:03 PM   #75
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In the meantime, we still don't know what it was that is being kept behind the curtain. It may not be anything like what we think. But it may be.

But this kind of comment by Kaung does suggest that just having a pharmaceutical business and living with his mother is not the whole story.
Witness Lee said this about his relationship with Watchman Nee (not exact quote): Even though he knew about the negative things he never talked about them and just focused on the positives of Watchman Nee. He used the analogy to eat the chicken meat and not the bones. Of course he was saying this because that's what he expected his coworkers to do with him as well.

So Witness Lee knowingly gave a positives-only sanitized version of the life and work of Watchman Nee while sometimes acknowledging that negatives existed. Maybe we are now learning some of these negatives which IMHO is a good thing because it will give us a more complete picture of Watchman Nee as a flawed human being and not a super duper action hero.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:34 AM   #76
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I think we get into trouble when we place so much emphasis on "church"; on getting "church" right; defining "church"; dissecting writings on the "church", including the Bible. This is to lean on our own understanding of "church". The Lord is not obliged to commit himself to man's wisdom. Man has proven himself time and time again to not be very wise or smart. You may think you've "arrived" at "the church" but you can never really know for sure...can you?

The simpler alternative would seem to be to love and trust God, obey His commands, follow the Lamb wherever He goes, love one another, etc. Do these things, and how could you possibly help but arrive at a place where the Lord could point and say "here is MY church".

You can put something together and call it "the church" all you want, but if HE don't call it "the church", it ain't "the church."

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:04 AM   #77
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I think we get into trouble when we place so much emphasis on "church"; on getting "church" right; defining "church"; dissecting writings on the "church", including the Bible. This is to lean on our own understanding of "church".
Then we judiciously select those portions of the holy writ which line up with our understanding, and we can say, "It's in the Bible".

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The simpler alternative would seem to be to love and trust God, obey His commands, follow the Lamb wherever He goes, love one another, etc. Do these things, and how could you possibly help but arrive at a place where the Lord could point and say "here is MY church".
Ahhhh... it is simpler, but it is not easy. First, our disposition is to be first, so we need a system in which we can climb the ranks. Second, the world is also looking for a king, so if we have any gift it will try to co-opt us and pull is into its tentacles. And if we are seeking after God, the combination of the two can lead to a "religious Babylon" of one sort or another (I think the variations are nearly endless) in which well-meaning people are thrusting one another down in the service of "God".

With that small caveat aside, yes; the simpler alternative is indeed preferable, to me anyway. Love one another. Treat each other as if God loved them as much as He loves you. Jesus said to the disciples that He would build His assembly. If we take care of our part, I daresy He can take care of His.

Speaking of simple, we have a nice scriptural example in Joshua. "God said to go into that land. Let's do it". The others were worried about factors A, B, C... through T, but Joshua only saw God's word: "Go in". He was so simple that the subtle one couldn't entangle him. He made it to his destiny.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #78
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Does anyone can see the link between WN, the history of sexual abuse in the LC the current practice of telling women that sexual abuse is in fact their own fault, not the mans. It seems that any time this topic is brought to light, current church members have an inability to respond to it, probably due to the veracity of this statement. Here in California I was abused as a young girl and told it was my fault because of how I dressed. The young boy was never even told to not do that again. A documented message by Chuck Debelak may sum it up best, "For sisters to learn in silence and to be in all subjection is for them to realize their position as women." It seems that this abuse in the LC has been well documented and clearly starts with WN. I wonder if any church member will say anything about this other than, "I have not seen this", but instead talk or address what countless others have expierienced regardless of their own personal expierience.
I have been off the forum for the last week and just saw this thread.

I don't care to argue with someone who isn't here to respond.

If "Shattered" is still passively reading, I would say two things:

1) I know well the rawness and hurt that is attached to enduring abuse (though I know this completely unconnected with my family or the church). I can only imagine the pain you have endured and have wrestled with.

2) I would happily give my email address and then refer you to have fellowship with the very person (Chuck) you are publically demeaning. You might find a very different person than the caricature image that is portrayed here. I would hope there is a willingness for fellowship.

I can be reached at pdebelak@hotmail.com.

In Love,

Peter Debelak

P.S. IGZY, I am sorry for resurrecting this. I have been away and just saw this thread. I'm not diving into substance, inviting debate. Just wanted to convey a message. Thanks for indulging...
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:53 PM   #79
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Again, sorry, but since no one posted it, I will post the INTRO to the ENTIRE message from which Shattered drew her "quotes":

Quote:
As we share these messages on the husbands and wives, you all have to promise not to use them as a “club” to beat your spouse with. These messages are not meant to give you ammunition to harass and oppress your spouse. Please make a vow not to do this. So, sisters, the word for husbands is to the husbands, not you. Sisters have to close their eyes! And brothers, the word for the wives is to the wives, not you. You have to close your eyes.

Generally when we talk about marriage life, somehow the sisters get singled out and talked to. The message is simple: “wives submit.” But it is interesting to note that the Bible spends more time to admonish the husbands than the wives. The Bible very much focuses on the husbands' responsibility in the marriage life especially since this is a picture of God as the husband nurturing and preparing His church as the Bride of Christ. Therefore, we will begin our fellowship by concentrating on the husband's responsibility in the marriage life especially seen through the context of Ephesians 5:23-28, 31. Ephesians 5:22 does begin a section on marriage life with, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord.” But the rest of the chapter parallels the marriage life and particularly the husband's role to the wife with the role of Christ to His church, His Bride.
Read/listen to ALL the messages. The EMPHASIS of these messages was to challenge the traditional notion of "wives submit."

Christ DIED for His bride. And He DIDN'T WANT TO in his humanity ("Father, take this cup from me" - Luke 22:42). Yet He SUBIMITTED for the SAKE of the bride. That's the model this message about Christian spouses is based on.

Here's a bit more from the word to the husbands:

Quote:
The Lord said that He loves the church, but how? He gave Himself up for her! This is so touching. The Lord's model for everything in the human life is so wonderful. How many opportunities to experience Christ are lost because we do not know what Christ is after. Once we see the husbands relationship to the wife we say, “Lord Jesus, I need You. Only You live this way.” In this case in Ephesians 5:25, the Lord loves the church to the extent that He would give Himself up for her. In other words, the Lord will tell us and even we have had this experience: we go through a difficulty or hardship, and the Lord will always come to us and remind us that He also went through something like what we are enduring as a man. I am not asking you to do anything that I have not also gone through already. I gave Myself up for you. I could have just told you or ordered you to follow Me, but I didn't. I paid whatever price was necessary so that I would make sure you would be sanctified, you would have the life supply that would allow you to press on.”


Do we see this picture? This is the kind of commitment that a husband should give towards his wife. Whether it is concerning her body, we do whatever we can to ensure her health and strength. If it concerns her psychology, we consider her person holistically, emotionally, psychologically. The husband will consider whether she is doing okay after taking care of the kids all day or working. Is she growing humanly? Is she developing in her humanity? Is she happy, buoyant or pressured? Husbands will be watchful. This kind of commitment strikes at the heart of brothers because we tend to be absolute in an ethereal, mystical way, expecting the wives to “get in line and move” without any care for her feeling or condition. Very seldom we have the thought that it is my job as a husband to ponder her well-being psychologically....

...It is normal for us to follow the Lord in such a practical way. Yet, do we see how easily we can veer from such a living? We can be for God and the church and completely miss opportunities the Lord gives us daily with our wives?
This is from the same series of messages quote by Shattered. I won't make any arguments, other than to refer people to the messages themselves. Do these strike you as a message that nurtures rape?

Peter

P.S. Yes, sorry, I'm human and engaged in a bit of indignant defense.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:40 AM   #80
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The attitude toward women is different from the US in most if not all other cultures. I think this is best seen in how well US women do in the Olympics. To my opinion the US is the only country on Earth that treats women sports equally with men's sports.

However, the US as a society has only been around a couple of hundred years. I don't think we have been around long enough to consider ourselves a "model" of the way society should be.

As to the context of "rape" in this thread, I have noticed that different countries have a different view of rape. In many societies rape is used as an institutional way to keep women "in line". The US attitude and treatment of rape is probably the most enlightened and humane of any society on earth. It is shocking, as an American, to think that parents would tell their daughters to cover up a rape. But, go to Mexico, Afghanistan, or many other countries on this planet and that is standard procedure.

So this raises two questions for me:

1. The abuse this sister is referring to, although unsubstantiated, does support a culture of abuse towards women, which in turn is clearly demonstrated by PL, etal. Is this something of the Chinese culture and does it permeate the LC?

2. Is the US treatment of women more in line with the NT than the rest of the world?
These are very good and pointed questions. I don't want a "general" discussion about submission or women verses me to cloud the specific question about rape. When dealing with something so raw and horrifically damaging, abstractions don't get to the point.

Former LC Member:

It is quite possible that a system created a culture in which it was easier to justify rape. That is one possibility that sould be considered.

More likely, it is human nature to do horrific things to each other, like rape. If someone in a "power circle" does such a thing - it is very plausible that that "power circle" develops as "theology" to justify not making it public situationally. But that is not the same thing as a whole group holding a theology that fertilizes such behavior.

It seems to me it is the cover-up of power-brokers commiting sins that enters into theology, not the nurturing of the mentality that commits the sins in the first place. I say this knowing full well how that approach translates to the masses. But it is still different.

Does that make sense at all?
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:31 AM   #81
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I for one would not believe a single thing which I heard or read from the Chinese government about Christian leaders . . .
And neither would I believe a single thing I've heard about Nee from the Local Church establishment . . . Both use propaganda ...

Has anyone read Dr. Lily Hsu's book? I'm tempted to buy it, too look into her evidence.

After all I've gone thru with the local church, and seen, I'm not the least surprised to find this out about Nee.

So now we can't be sure what the truth is ...

I'd like to see the evidence, or as much as possible anyway ...
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #82
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

Hey Buddy how you doing? Been a long time! Hope you're well!

......

At first I was also little shocked by the allegations made in the book, but then I tried to put Nee into perspective. We will never know the real truth of the matter, but neither should we elevate any man like we did in the Recovery. Israel liked to elevate King David, but the Biblical record is fair to point out his failures. Likewise Nee and Lee were flawed men. It's not for me to diminish any of Nee's positive work for the Lord.

Our Lord Jesus alone was perfect and sinless. Praise Him!
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #83
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Hey Buddy how you doing? Been a long time! Hope you're well!
Thanks bro. Hope you are doing well as well ...

......

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Originally Posted by Ohio
At first I was also little shocked by the allegations made in the book, but then I tried to put Nee into perspective. We will never know the real truth of the matter, but neither should we elevate any man like we did in the Recovery.
Well it's one thing for a Christian teacher and/or preacher to fall into the weakness of the flesh. But it's another thing altogether when a Christian leader that claims to be God's delegated authority falls prey to the flesh.

And in reading reviews of Hsu's book, she tells that Nee required total submission to his authority.

So maybe Nee fell to the weakness of the flesh, maybe. But he was definitely wrong with his doctrine of delegated authority. Nee was a man. And in the Christian era our only authority is the headship of Christ ... not men.

And as far as using the Old Testament as a model of authority goes, I don't see why we would superimpose stories from the bronze age into the modern Christian era.

Blessings bro Ohio ...
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:57 PM   #84
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Agreed. Teachings about delegated authority bear no good fruit. There is skimpy New Testament support for them.

Isn't there a saying somewhere like, "pride precedes the fall?" Once a man is elevated to the position of deputy authority -- without exception -- he fails big time, and that's because power corrupts man.

Only Jesus is our Lord. The only deputy authority on earth in the Holy Spirit. And we both can agree on that!

Blessings to you bro.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #85
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By the way, I'm still interested in if anybody read this book. It's an expensive paperback, and not available in Kindle format, so I'm uncertain if the book is worth it or not. Any help, advice, or feedback would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:12 AM   #86
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Has anyone read Dr. Lily Hsu's book? I'm tempted to buy it, too look into her evidence.

After all I've gone thru with the local church, and seen, I'm not the least surprised to find this out about Nee.

So now we can't be sure what the truth is ...

I'd like to see the evidence, or as much as possible anyway ...
As far as "evidence", I am not a procedural buff, but my thought is that Hsu presents us with "testimony", which if uncorroborated (i.e. not independently verified) is not to be accepted as fact.

As to whether Dr. Hsu is a ChiCom plant (trying to sully Nee & thus weaken the growth of his remnant movements in China), or a pathological liar simply seeking attention, or a victim who has mustered the courage to step forward, we cannot tell.

Two places NOT to look for information are the current ChiCom gov't, and the LSm. Neither are regarded as transparent organizations. I would take neither Chris Wilde nor his counterpart in Beijing on face value.

Objective evidence might be sought in two manners. First, does any third party concur with (or rebut) Dr. Hsu's testimony? Was she there, at Conference X, sitting in the third row, as she alleges? Etc. How much independent account verifies the things that she writes? This would lend credence to what she relates, as regards to "what really happened".

Second, are there any good accounts of the Communist trials of the post-war era? Did the authorities commonly trump up charges by fabricating evidence of sexual deviancy? Were the charges against Nee exceptional, or the rule? This would help the reader decide whether to consider what is presented by Hsu.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:12 AM   #87
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By the way, I'm still interested in if anybody read this book. It's an expensive paperback, and not available in Kindle format, so I'm uncertain if the book is worth it or not. Any help, advice, or feedback would be much appreciated.
I think she has the English version available as a pdf format. Maybe she'd make it available, or parts of it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:40 AM   #88
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As far as "evidence", I am not a procedural buff, but my thought is that Hsu presents us with "testimony", which if uncorroborated (i.e. not independently verified) is not to be accepted as fact.

...

Objective evidence might be sought in two manners. First, does any third party concur with (or rebut) Dr. Hsu's testimony? Was she there, at Conference X, sitting in the third row, as she alleges? Etc. How much independent account verifies the things that she writes? This would lend credence to what she relates, as regards to "what really happened".
I agree with this, and realize there's a danger in accepting one person's testimony at face value.

I'm reposting a possible corroboration below. This is from earlier in the thread, but I think it got lost amid all the hubbub concerning accusations of recent abuse.

By the way, this comes from another website concerning a group similar to the Local Church, which is worth exploring.

***

Watchman Nee

M. Irons

A theology professor at Hainan University in China sent us the following email in September, 2006:

Subject: Watchman Nee did the same thing

Dear Assembly people,

My name is Dana Roberts and I am currently working on my third book on Watchman Nee. The first book, Understanding Watchman Nee, praised him as a fine Christian but did not agree with his interpretations of man and the church. Last year I was asked by the publisher to do a new edition. In looking at Chinese sources I found evidence of what had only been hinted at. Nee had misused church money and he had at least two affairs with people in the church. This second book, The Secrets of Watchman Nee, was neutral and told readers that you must read any writer or preacher with caution.

Within months of publication I received a call from a woman who was the youth leader and Sunday School Superintendent of Nee's church in Shanghai. She had been present at Nee's trial in 1956. [One of the charges brought against him was licentiousness.] Nee had affairs with two girls she knew in the church. I have also talked to Nee's lawyer. Nee freely admitted it because the police found the pictures.

Why didn't the girls leave? Because they believed that all other churches were evil, and they made a pact to confess to God and stay in his true church. Does this sound familiar?

I am leaving for Shanghai tomorrow and will gather the last information.

One must always remember that Jesus prayed for the unity of the church. There is no true church. All churches that are really churches are justified by faith, rely upon the authority of Scripture and follow some basic instructions that were first formulated in the Apostle's Creed. After that, Christians ought to follow the example of the early synagogue and respectfully discuss it among ourselves without being puffed up with theological vanities.

--Dana Roberts, M.A., M.T.S.

Haikou City, Hainan Island, China

In Shanghai Mr. Roberts spoke with Watchman Nee's personal secretary, with the judge at his trial, and with local church members who had remained in the country after the revolution. He felt confident that these people knew the truth.

He said that there are a number of Chinese sources written by eyewitnesses, including the most recent, The Unforgettable Memoirs - My Life, Shanghai Local Church, and Watchman Nee, by Lucy M. Hsu, M.D. The back cover of the book says, "At sixteen, Lily made her way to the church on Hardoon Road, Shanghai....In this book, Dr. Hsu, a retired pediatric neurologist, rights a straightforward accout of her eight-year experience in the church. Her faith nearly ended as the private life of Watchman Nee was exposed in 1956..." In Simon Yee's review of this book on Amazon he brings out the author's perception that Nee felt great shame about his ongoing adultery, and because of it he did not often partake in the Lord's supper.

...

From: http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Arti...tchmanNee2.htm
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #89
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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As far as "evidence", I am not a procedural buff, but my thought is that Hsu presents us with "testimony", which if uncorroborated (i.e. not independently verified) is not to be accepted as fact.

As to whether Dr. Hsu is a ChiCom plant (trying to sully Nee & thus weaken the growth of his remnant movements in China), or a pathological liar simply seeking attention, or a victim who has mustered the courage to step forward, we cannot tell.

Two places NOT to look for information are the current ChiCom gov't, and the LSm. Neither are regarded as transparent organizations. I would take neither Chris Wilde nor his counterpart in Beijing on face value.

Objective evidence might be sought in two manners. First, does any third party concur with (or rebut) Dr. Hsu's testimony? Was she there, at Conference X, sitting in the third row, as she alleges? Etc. How much independent account verifies the things that she writes? This would lend credence to what she relates, as regards to "what really happened".

Second, are there any good accounts of the Communist trials of the post-war era? Did the authorities commonly trump up charges by fabricating evidence of sexual deviancy? Were the charges against Nee exceptional, or the rule? This would help the reader decide whether to consider what is presented by Hsu.
Thanks Aron for your input. So I take it that you've read her book. Is it worth the $16 dollars?
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #90
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Default Re: Book challenges Watchman Nee’s legacy as martyr

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I'm reposting a possible corroboration below. This is from earlier in the thread, but I think it got lost amid all the hubbub concerning accusations of recent abuse.

By the way, this comes from another website concerning a group similar to the Local Church, which is worth exploring.

***
...

From: http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Arti...tchmanNee2.htm
Thanks for reposting. I missed this the first time around.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:11 AM   #91
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I noticed in my reposting above that the link didn't work. Here's the full link:

http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Arti...tchmanNee2.htm
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #92
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formermember, the link goes to a 404 and doesn't work ...
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:53 AM   #93
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formermember, the link goes to a 404 and doesn't work ...
http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm

The Geftakys Assembly (an "exclusive brethren" organization/movement/group) is eerily familiar to one from the Local Churches of Nee and Lee. Look at the glossary if you want to see biblical phrases re-coded to give special meanings to those within the group.

And this quote from the article:

"Why didn't the girls leave? Because they believed that all other churches were evil, and they made a pact to confess to God and stay in his true church. Does this sound familiar?"
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:54 AM   #94
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formermember, the link goes to a 404 and doesn't work ...
geftakysassembly.com/Articles/Perspectives/WatchmanNee2.htm

Just put "Http://" before the part above and you should get it.

The verbiage of the Geftakys Assembly (an "exclusive brethren" organization/movement/group) may sound familiar if you're from the Local Churches of Nee and Lee. Look at the glossary if you want to see biblical phrases re-coded to give special meanings to those within the group.

And this quote from the article:

"Why didn't the girls leave? Because they believed that all other churches were evil, and they made a pact to confess to God and stay in his true church. Does this sound familiar?"

Once you believe you have found the "true church" you are ripe for manipulation and abuse. In the Geftakys case it seems to have been less subtle than we have seen in the Local Church of Nee and Lee.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:35 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm

The Geftakys Assembly (an "exclusive brethren" organization/movement/group) is eerily familiar to one from the Local Churches of Nee and Lee. Look at the glossary if you want to see biblical phrases re-coded to give special meanings to those within the group.

And this quote from the article:

"Why didn't the girls leave? Because they believed that all other churches were evil, and they made a pact to confess to God and stay in his true church. Does this sound familiar?"
That link references the great "apostle" Troy Brooks, the indefatigable apologist of all things Nee. Was he not banned from these forums by our former moderators?

http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/Christianity.htm
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:47 AM   #96
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That link references the great "apostle" Troy Brooks, the indefatigable apologist of all things Nee. Was he not banned from these forums by our former moderators?

http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/Christianity.htm
I think Troy brooks came on the Geftakys website to make comments that the "non-LSM Nee" was pure. The author of the Geftakys website said he respectfully disagreed. So I don't think Brooks really added much to that website, other than his opinions, which they left displayed.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #97
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Default Re: New Book Challenges Nee's Legacy

Here is an interesting quote from the Geftakys website:

"Watchman Nee and George Geftakys both taught the carnal vs. spiritual Christian dichotomy, split rapture, and local gathering, learned from the Plymouth Brethren, and T. Austin-Sparks. But it was their doctrines of sinless perfection and the role of intuition, learned from Jesse Penn-Lewis and Madame Guyon, that opened a door for the possibility of immorality by elevating intuition above reason and the plain teaching of scripture."

Nee states these teachings very clearly in his book, The Spiritual Man:

Intuition is the sensing organ of the human spirit. The knowledge which comes to us without any help from the mind, emotion or volition comes intuitively. The revelations of God and all the movements of the Holy Spirit are known to the believer through his intuition.1

Spiritual life is maintained simply by heeding the direction of the spirit's intuition. The believer will wait quietly for the voice of the Holy Spirit to be heard in his spirit, intuitively. Upon hearing the inner voice he rises up to work, obeying the direction of intuition.2

"Self-deception was further enabled by Nee's teaching on the possibility of reaching a state of sinless perfection."

When a believer has experienced the practical treatment of the Cross, he finally arrives at a pure life. His soulish life has been terminated and the Lord has granted him a pure, restful, true and believing spiritual life. That which is soulish has been destroyed, but that which is spiritual has been established.3

1The Spiritual Man, Vol. I, p. 32
2Ibid. Vol. I, p. 149
3Ibid. Vol. II, p. 195

http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm

I never really saw the connection between Nee and the bretheren teachings before (though Ohio has oft cited it). Likewise, I never got the sense that "intuition" could be seen (as an alternative to scripture?) as such a guide. It is interesting to see such influences on his thinking.

And I don't remember much of this being taught in the Local Churches of Lee. It was mainly "I wanna be filled with the Triune God/He makes me happy; I wanna be filled with Him..." I don't remember much teaching on intuition, and none on sinless perfection in this age.

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I think Troy brooks came on the Geftakys website to make comments that the "non-LSM Nee" was pure. The author of the Geftakys website said he respectfully disagreed. So I don't think Mr. Brooks really added much to that website, other than his opinions, which they left displayed [but disagreed-with].
Mr. Brooks was one of those people whom I could not 'get' very well. He became impatient if you didn't come over to his side of the conversation fully and immediately. It is hard to have fellowship with such people.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:17 PM   #98
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I never really saw the connection between Nee and the bretheren teachings before (though Ohio has oft cited it).
So you never read the article Nigel Tomes wrote on Watchman Nee?
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:19 PM   #99
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I never really saw the connection between Nee and the bretheren teachings before (though Ohio has oft cited it). Likewise, I never got the sense that "intuition" could be seen (as an alternative to scripture?) as such a guide. It is interesting to see such influences on his thinking.
Several years ago when I was reading everything I could on the Brethren split, I also read Nee's book The Normal Christian ChurchLife. I repeatedly noticed that Nee attempted to correct the shortcomings and failures of the exclusive Brethren system by modeling the local churches after the open Brethren pattern. I noticed definite instances where Nee attempted to follow A. N. Groves, who was perhaps the most spiritual of all the original Brethren. Groves, a dentist who later gave up his practice for missionary travels, actually was the original link between those in SW England and Dublin, where the Brethren first met. Groves had an immense impact on brothers such as Robert Chapman and George Muller. I do believe that if Groves had remained in England, the course of Brethren history would have been altered.

Lee, however, seemed to relish the return to Darby exclusivism, which increasingly marked his ministry in his final years. The exclusives definitely loved their Bible expositions, filled with types and figures and obscure discoveries hidden from the rest of the body of Christ. Wm. Kelly was the 19th century role model for Ron Kangas, who both endeavored to publish every last dribble from the mouth of their respective mentors. Whereas the Open Brethren focused their energies into healthy Christian service, e.g. their many missionaries abroad and Muller's orphanages in Bristol, the exclusives lost themselves in their books, to the point where evangelism and good works almost were non-existent. Unfortunately, since the exclusive wing were the more prolific writers, theirs is the record which mostly exists until today.

Based on what has been learned over the years, I view all LSM-based books concerning Nee to be suspect. Not that I am elevating Nee to super-apostle status, but Lee did use Nee's reputation for his own gains. Books like Spiritual Authority were heavily skewed to influence leaders far beyond Nee's original intentions. Whereas Nee provided necessary balance, Lee slowly over time removed those checks and balances. As the saying goes, "any Bible teaching, taken to an extreme, can become a falsehood," even if Nee's good name was attached to it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #100
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So you never read the article Nigel Tomes wrote on Watchman Nee?
Nigel's article addresses events which occurred in the 1930's between Nee and the Taylor exclusives, which supposedly were of "pure" Brethren pedigree, which simply means that they successfully excommunicated all other Brethren branches first. The hard and fast rule of brethren excommunications is simple -- the earlier they excommunicate you, the healthier you will be, and the longer you remain in their system, the weirder you will be.

By the time Nee met the Taylor exclusives, they were nothing like the exclusives of Darby's day, which still had some amount of spiritual life remaining. Not only did Nee reject them, but the whole of the body of Christ did also. My question is whether Nee would have rejected the Darby exclusives. I know they would have rejected him.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:39 AM   #101
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Default Excerpt from Nigel Tomes' article on Nee & Brethren

An excerpt (thx Terry for the link):

The Exclusive Brethren – Where Are They Now?

What became of the Exclusive Brethren in later years? Where are they now? Already a “closed society,” they became increasingly isolated and restrictive. Moreover, they developed a teaching which reinforced their isolation. Even before the “China Episode,” “many brethren adopted the idea that God always has one particular man for the moment, to whose utterances peculiar value must be attributed.” (Frank R. Hole, p. 1)

In Watchman Nee’s era this “one particular man” was James Taylor. After the “China Episode,” this teaching became more explicit and entrenched. God’s unique spokesman accumulated titles, such as “today’s Paul,” “God’s Elect Vessel,” “the Man of God,” and “the Universal Leader.” The line of these “Men of Recovery” was traced back to John Nelson Darby and forward through J. B. Stoney, F. E. Raven, and C. A. Coates to James Taylor Sr. and then his son, James Taylor Jr. Not surprisingly, this line excluded Watchman Nee and many other servants of the Lord.

What was the result of the preeminence given to “today’s Paul”? “The Man of God” was “incited to put forth novel things in an unbalanced way. These unbalanced teachings were hailed as new light by his followers… until the teacher …became invested with almost papal authority by his admirers.” (Frank R. Hole, p. 1).

As one “Man of God” succeeded another it became increasingly difficult to reconcile the latest revelations with the inspired utterances of preceding “Men of God.” As a result the Exclusive Brethren’s teaching became progressively more remote from the inspired Word of God. The ministry by these “Men of Recovery” was published through one central depot, which controlled literature among these Brethren. They adopted a “one publication” policy. Today a residue of Taylor “exclusives” remains, isolated, inbred and irrelevant. For them, “today’s Paul” is a man named Hales who lives in Australia.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #102
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What became of the Exclusive Brethren in later years? Where are they now? Already a “closed society,” they became increasingly isolated and restrictive. Moreover, they developed a teaching which reinforced their isolation. Even before the “China Episode,” “many brethren adopted the idea that God always has one particular man for the moment, to whose utterances peculiar value must be attributed.” (Frank R. Hole, p. 1)

God’s unique spokesman accumulated titles, such as “today’s Paul,” “God’s Elect Vessel,” “the Man of God,” and “the Universal Leader.” The line of these “Men of Recovery” was traced back to John Nelson Darby and forward through J. B. Stoney, F. E. Raven, and C. A. Coates to James Taylor Sr. and then his son, James Taylor Jr.
Witness Lee taught this same thing. What he could not account for is the historical fact that in the early church there were apostles (plural) and throughout church history there has never been a universal leader, MOTA, etc. Let's take one slice of church history: AB Simpson, Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor and George Muller all ministered at the same time. Which one of these ministers was the MOTA in Witness Lee's scheme of things? Who was the universal leader?

Suppose we narrow things down and just discuss LC system history. Who is the MOTA today? How did a scheme that promoted the idea of a singular MOTA for decades suddenly change and become the plural BB? It is these kind of incoherent teachings and practices that call into question the integrity of the LC system's coworkers and elders. They make things up just to suit whatever they need in the moment and run with it hoping nobody will stop long enough to think through the inconsistencies of their positions and confront them on it. Usually their hope is fulfilled!
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:06 AM   #103
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Witness Lee ... could not account for is the historical fact that in the early church there were apostles (plural) and throughout church history there has never been a universal leader, MOTA, etc. Let's take one slice of church history: AB Simpson, Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor and George Muller all ministered at the same time. Which one of these ministers was the MOTA in Witness Lee's scheme of things? Who was the universal leader?
Here's another one: John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards. Which was "the deputy" authority, and which one was supposed to be "in subjection"? So confusing!

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Suppose we narrow things down and just discuss LC system history. Who is the MOTA today? How did a scheme that promoted the idea of a singular MOTA for decades suddenly change and become the plural BB?
You are right: it is inconsistent, and incoherent. I call it schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia (Mirriam/Webster) -- "contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes"
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:36 AM   #104
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Witness Lee taught this same thing. What he could not account for is the historical fact that in the early church there were apostles (plural) and throughout church history there has never been a universal leader, MOTA, etc. Let's take one slice of church history: AB Simpson, Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor and George Muller all ministered at the same time. Which one of these ministers was the MOTA in Witness Lee's scheme of things? Who was the universal leader?
Years ago the answer to your question was simple -- John Darby was the MOTA of the time -- every body knew that!

I have mentioned before how shocked I was when I actually read about Darby and Brethren history. For nearly a century, Darby and his most loyal minions regularly heaped condemnation upon George Muller. Just incredible! In fact, membership with the exclusives was often predicated upon your own judgment of Muller.

Spurgeon had nothing good to say about the little Darby clique. And this one was the ultimate kicker for me -- we had heard for years about John Darby the MOTA and Hudson Taylor the evangelist who brought the gospel to the "virgin" land of China, yet Taylor never worked with Darby, his so-called Minister Of The Age. How can that be?!? How could the fresh gospel move to China not be orchestrated by Darby?!? Taylor, however, received much spiritual help and support from Muller, the most condemned man of the day. That's like receiving care and guidance from John Ingalls.

There are lots of things that I received from Witness Lee, which are still valuable indeed, but church history in not one of them.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:20 AM   #105
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He said that there are a number of Chinese sources written by eyewitnesses, including the most recent, The Unforgettable Memoirs - My Life, Shanghai Local Church, and Watchman Nee, by Lucy M. Hsu, M.D.
I purchased this book and it just came in. Despite English on the cover the book is written in Chinese .... Will send it back to Amazon ...
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:47 AM   #106
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"I don't think this testimony can be discredited as Communist propaganda. One reason this woman's story is worth considering is the possibility that Nee laid a foundation for the way Lee responded years later to his family's situation (covering it up)."

That era in China was horrific with christian leaders being accused of raping children, immorality, and sexual crimes using public denunciation meetings to encourage congregations to levy false allegations against their former ministers. All this to bring down the christian community and church government. Many christian ministers were brought down this way, imprisoned, martyred, and tortured in China.

The Occam's Razor principle finds a ready application here. Chinese propaganda is the logical source of this allegation relying on the least amount of assumptions and plenty of evidence from testimonies from the christian communities in China who lived through that era.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #107
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"I don't think this testimony can be discredited as Communist propaganda. One reason this woman's story is worth considering is the possibility that Nee laid a foundation for the way Lee responded years later to his family's situation (covering it up)."

That era in China was horrific with christian leaders being accused of raping children, immorality, and sexual crimes using public denunciation meetings to encourage congregations to levy false allegations against their former ministers. All this to bring down the christian community and church government. Many christian ministers were brought down this way, imprisoned, martyred, and tortured in China.

The Occam's Razor principle finds a ready application here. Chinese propaganda is the logical source of this allegation relying on the least amount of assumptions and plenty of evidence from testimonies from the christian communities in China who lived through that era.
Cassidy, what makes the story difficult to dismiss (not saying whether I personally believe it) is that this woman is a well-respected medical doctor who knew W. Nee personally as a young girl in the church in Shanghai, who claimed to be present at his trial and saw the evidence herself, and who witnessed Nee's admission of guilt.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:58 PM   #108
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Cassidy, what makes the story difficult to dismiss (not saying whether I personally believe it) is that this woman is a well-respected medical doctor who knew W. Nee personally as a young girl in the church in Shanghai, who claimed to be present at his trial and saw the evidence herself, and who witnessed Nee's admission of guilt.
But of course..... they fabricated evidence to use against the accused. What she saw was a picture of a nude girl? Who took that picture?

As to Nee's confession what is the point of denying it if in doing so you face certain death for being unwilling to admit your guilt? Those so-called trials were kangaroo courts.... zealous communists inciting peasants to accuse, defame in screaming mobs. You say no it is not true and they kill you and harm your family. You confess to the allegation and you go to a reeducation camp and your loved ones might be spared. They turned families against one another, generation against generation, class against class, christian against christian.

I have no reason to doubt at this point that what the Dr. says she saw is how events unfolded in her viewpoint. She heard the communist officials accusation, she saw a nude photo, she heard Watchman Nee confess. Maybe it was not like this on the surface , I do not know. Others may know, yet assuming it unfolded like she said it does not change the horrific nightmarish context of the whole event and the fabrication of evidence by that regime.

But let's be clear, there were tens of millions of people in China who went through this.... not just Christians but any group or system perceeved contrary the authority of Mao and his ideology, or anyone not a peasant, farmer, or working class hero.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:34 AM   #109
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Cassidy, why was Nee excommunicated from the church in Shanghai?

What this book claims to deal with is the real reason behind the excommunication. What is your understanding of how these events transpired?
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:58 AM   #110
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But of course..... they fabricated evidence to use against the accused. What she saw was a picture of a nude girl? Who took that picture?

As to Nee's confession what is the point of denying it if in doing so you face certain death for being unwilling to admit your guilt? Those so-called trials were kangaroo courts.... zealous communists inciting peasants to accuse, defame in screaming mobs. You say no it is not true and they kill you and harm your family. You confess to the allegation and you go to a reeducation camp and your loved ones might be spared. They turned families against one another, generation against generation, class against class, christian against christian.

I have no reason to doubt at this point that what the Dr. says she saw is how events unfolded in her viewpoint. She heard the communist officials accusation, she saw a nude photo, she heard Watchman Nee confess. Maybe it was not like this on the surface , I do not know. Others may know, yet assuming it unfolded like she said it does not change the horrific nightmarish context of the whole event and the fabrication of evidence by that regime.

But let's be clear, there were tens of millions of people in China who went through this.... not just Christians but any group or system perceeved contrary the authority of Mao and his ideology, or anyone not a peasant, farmer, or working class hero.
Yes, I agree with you that this book and its testimony from the Chinese court doesn't mean much. WN confession could easily be understood that he was confessing that he was a sinner.

To me the issue is the story told us by WL and LSM as to why WN was excommunicated. We heard 2 different stories and LSM now puts out a 3rd story. I think the evidence has become overwhelming that these stories were fabricated by WL and perhaps others as a result of self serving motives.

If you conclude, as I have, that WL fabricated the ridiculous stories about why WN was excommunicated, and if you note the self serving purpose when he is portraying himself as the "continuation" of WN's ministry, then you have to conclude that WL was a false prophet.

I think it is becoming undeniable that WN was excommunicated for valid reasons and that WL portrayal was to make WN out to be superspiritual which apparently was a complete fabrication, and also to portray the elders as spiritually incompetent to be touching a spiritual giant like WN. On many levels I think those stories will receive God's judgment.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:49 AM   #111
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ZNPaaneah, list the differences in the 3 stories are you referring to and then explain why the Communist government persecutors version is the more credible to you or whichever version you hold.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:52 AM   #112
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Cassidy’s points are applicable to this situation and well founded.

Full disclosure here: My natural inclination is to give Watchman Nee the benefit of the doubt. Although I have been out of “the garlic room” of the Local Church for many years, and no longer consider Nee (much, much less Lee) a spiritual giant and folk hero, I still find it very hard to believe that a man who was used so mightily of God for so many years, could have fallen so hard into such gross sin.

However…it’s not like we are dealing with some “opposer” of Nee and the Local Church Movement. Neither are we dealing with some simpleton who would easily fall for trumped up charges by the communist stooges. She is a highly educated medical doctor. She also was an “insider”, not somebody looking at things from the outside.

The linchpin here, in my view, is Dr. Hsu’s testimony that she knew the girl in the film and that this girl claimed that she told Watchman Nee “over and over again to destroy that film”. So we are left to face some stark realities here folks. Either Dr. Hsu is fabricating, the girl in the film was fabricating or that it all happened as Dr. Hsu has related in the book.

Also there is the fact that "hundreds of members" left the church (two-thirds?). So are we to believe that ALL these members were simply duped by the communist government? Only one third of the church could see through the deception? Maybe the threat of physical harm from the communists was enough for the majority to defect from their beloved leader. I don't know.

Thankfully, for most of us, our faith no longer hinges on whether or not our spiritual hero’s are sinless robots, incapable falling into even the grossest of sins. As Igzy has said, this may be the greatest lesson for us out of this whole sordid mess -
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But I think it's important to learn to view spiritual figures such as Nee as fallible human beings, rather than as close-to-perfect saints and near idols, as the Living Stream Ministry views them.

Here’s the applicable quotes from that article:


http://theadvocate.com/features/fait...an-nees-legacy

She was in the courtroom when Nee admitted he made a motel-room film of a nude female church co-worker that was found in his personal belongings, Hsu said.

Communist prosecutors displayed negatives of the film frames at a public exhibition and at his trial, Hsu said, and she knew the woman in the film and was told her, “I told him (Nee) over and over again to destroy that film.”
(I’m assuming “was told her” should be “was told by her”)

“My whole heart was to church — to him,” she said, explaining how she felt cheated and quit her faith at age 23. “I was not against Christianity. I did not proclaim I deny the Lord. I just did not have God.”

And she was not alone. Hundreds of members of the Shanghai Christian Assembly, the flagship church of the Local Church movement and, the largest and most evangelical church in China prior to the communist takeover, were “shattered” in their faith, Hsu said, which is exactly what the communists wanted.

“I prayed for six months every day sincerely but no answer,” Hsu said. “Many other Christians did not get response from God. Two-thirds left the church.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #113
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Is there a way to discover more facts without jumping to a new conclusion upon receipt of each one?

It is clear that we do not have enough information to draw a conclusion. We can see some fairly damning "evidence" but also understand that almost everything about this evidence went through the hands of the government that was seeking to destroy Christianity. Since their methods appear to have commonly included accusations surround things sexual in nature, then we need to consider that too great a preponderance of Christian leaders dethroned in this manner could mean that much of it is questionable.

As for the veracity of this one writer/witness, it is incomplete. Her claim that she was told anything is hearsay unless we have separate confirmation concerning statements by this otherwise unknown person. This does not make her a liar. It makes her testimony uncertain. Just like a real trial, we can weigh the evidence and draw inferences and even conclusions. But the lack of a second witness coming forward to confirm the veracity of the charges in the midst of what was too easily a kangaroo court reduces our level of confidence in any conclusions.

It is not a simple as "the communist government would do anything" and so did that in this case. Neither is it as simple as "this woman was actually there and has no reason to lie." First, even if she has no reason to lie, is she certain that she knows of the truth, or has she been told something that she believes is the truth but it is not? Alternately, are we as certain as we think that she has no reason to lie?

The gut reaction to all of these would lead someone who has respect for Nee to conclude that the charges were simply false and that this witness was either allowed to witness a well-orchestrated charade, or is not reliable. But either could be wrong. All we have now is a fuzzy history made more fuzzy by the appearance of a witness after 50 years with uncertain credentials.

In other words, not much. But there is no way that it can be simply accepted as true, or simply dismissed.

And it is nearly as certain that we will not know anything unless some of those who knew about Nee's excommunication speak up. I have doubts that this will happen.

I have more recently begun to have questions and qualms about Nee's teachings anyway, so maybe it really doesn't matter. Maybe he just was lucky enough to not be doing whatever (including claiming to be such a special minister) in a time when his statements and actions were not scrutinized on the internet.

So maybe this new evidence is unnecessary.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:54 AM   #114
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Yes, I agree with you that this book and its testimony from the Chinese court doesn't mean much. WN confession could easily be understood that he was confessing that he was a sinner.

To me the issue is the story told us by WL and LSM as to why WN was excommunicated. We heard 2 different stories and LSM now puts out a 3rd story. I think the evidence has become overwhelming that these stories were fabricated by WL and perhaps others as a result of self serving motives.

If you conclude, as I have, that WL fabricated the ridiculous stories about why WN was excommunicated, and if you note the self serving purpose when he is portraying himself as the "continuation" of WN's ministry, then you have to conclude that WL was a false prophet.

I think it is becoming undeniable that WN was excommunicated for valid reasons and that WL portrayal was to make WN out to be superspiritual which apparently was a complete fabrication, and also to portray the elders as spiritually incompetent to be touching a spiritual giant like WN. On many levels I think those stories will receive God's judgment.
The elevated spiritual status bestowed upon W. Nee is just one more "root of evil" which has only served to corrupt the Recovery. Supposedly, by delineating a succession of MOTA's since the time of the Reformation, (think Luther, Guyon, Zinzendorf, Darby, Nee, Lee) that special and exclusive heavenly endorsements were bestowed upon these men and their movements. This is, by no means, a new phenomenon, since I once read a lengthy epistle of Paul's to the church in Corinth in which he discussed at length this same matter of being "of man." Whether it be Paul, Peter, Luther, Nee, or Lee, it's all the same. The only "Man" we should ever attach ourselves to is Jesus, the Son of Man, and Son of God.

I have to wonder if this matter of "man-exaltation" is just indicative of fallen man, or if in our case, there was not some element of the old Chinese tradition of ancestry worship. Lee gave Nee a complete pass on all "shortcomings" calling him the "Seer of the Divine Revelation." I now suspect that this had a number of self-serving ambitions attached to it. He definitely sent a strong message to his cadre of lieutenants (now Blendeds) that Lee too was worthy of such honor, and not only that, but that he too deserved a free pass for all of his own failings. And, by the way, these special ministerial perks should be passed on to his sons.

Titus Chu, the LC leader of the vast Great Lakes Area, stretching from the Mississippi River to the Allegheny Mountains, and from Kentucky to the North Pole, also saw fit to give Lee and his profligate sons a completely free pass when it came to all the improprieties and unrighteousnesses which seem to plague LSM from time to time. His justification was simple: "the failures of my spiritual father are none of my business."

While this sounds all good and "spiritual" to typical Americans, taught from adolescence to disrespect their parents, what does the Bible say? I Timothy 5.19 says, "do not accept an accusation against an elder unless there are two or three witnesses." Why didn't Paul instruct the saints that any problems with their elder, who was their spiritual father, should just be ignored? In fact, no where in scripture are we instructed to ignore the unrighteousness and failings of our leaders. Instead they are always held to a higher standard, and rightly so.

Now I'm obviously not talking about the many mistakes that we are all prone to. And by regularly serving the weak and fragile of God's people, those opportunities just multiply. A quick "I'm sorry" usually suffices for these inadvertent happenings. But what about when the saints are legitimately hurt? What if a leaders' walk is littered with a trail of precious and wounded saints? What about when his activities are criminal? Once we elevate our ministers to the status of MOTA or regional "apostle," then all accountability ceases. He now enjoys the "infallibility" status of Popes.

Like I said, that is a root of evil.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:40 PM   #115
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ZNPaaneah, list the differences in the 3 stories are you referring to and then explain why the Communist government persecutors version is the more credible to you or whichever version you hold.
Story 1 -- Watchman Nee was living with his mother, he was accused to be living with "a woman". Watchman Nee did not refute the accusation, rather he said it was true. Therefore he was excommunicated without any further investigation.

Story 2 -- Watchman Nee went back to work to help support his ministry. So much like Paul who made tents WN was working to support the ministry. He was excommunicated because he was working.

Both of these stories never made any sense to me. But when this most recent story came out I went onto an LSM cite and learned there is now a third story

Story 3 -- Watchman Nee objected when the church had a brother from the denominations perform baptisms. The leaders of the church being jealous of WN excommunicated him.

Now none of these stories make any sense. For example, why does WN submit to elders who excommunicate him if they are "denominational" or "divisive"?

Honestly, why do the elders or anyone else excommunicate WN for such trivial are ridiculous issues. If this is the case how is it that half the church wasn't excommunicated?

As a result of this latest testimony (not just the book, but there was a second story from a biographer of WN who had written a very favorable account of his ministry who then investigated the excommunication, talking to many members of the church that were there at the time. This person was not anti WN, to the contrary they were very favorable, yet the testimony was undeniable). You can find references on the ispeak@public square cite, Local Church, "Latest smear of WN" and "Why I believe WL was a false prophet".

The latest story, based on numerous eyewitness accounts is the only one of the four that makes sense. Apparently this was the second case of WN being in an affair, so the elders had talked to him, he persisted, what else should they do? It explains why the elders excommunicated him and it explains why he was subject to them.

If WL's story was true it wouldn't have changed again and then yet again.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:47 PM   #116
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I feel I have adequate evidence to conclude that the stories WL told to explain the excommunication were fabricated and designed to make merchandise of the saints. That by definition makes him a false prophet.

As for WN I don't know if I have the exact facts right, but I feel strongly that there was a legitimate basis to excommunicate him and that he submitted to this ruling accordingly. I hope it worked a repentance in him.

I feel that most lies have a kernel of truth. So when the first story was that WN was excommunicated for living with another woman I suspect that was true. However, WL changed the woman to his mother. This way if you heard this story and then asked someone who was there why he was excommunicated they might say "He was living with another woman" and then perhaps you would think "You idiot, that woman was his mother!" So the lie was designed to combat the truth.

However, the lie then changed to "he was working to support his ministry". Does that make any sense? Actually it does. According to the latest testimony he was excommunicated after the second reprimand. Perhaps after the first reprimand he had to return to his work because the church would no longer support his ministry.

So then how do you explain the latest lie? The Lord said "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks". WL is trying to create a super apostle that he is "carrying on the ministry". LSM is so full of political infighting and jealousy, this is the cause for the latest excommunications, it is very reasonable to fashion a story for WN as well.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #117
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Z,

Do these events all refer to the latter or former excommunication?

What does this have to do with the Chinese governments charges listed on Page 35 of this account?

http://books.google.com/books?id=l8E...icated&f=false
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #118
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I don't need any ancient Chinese ancestry worship to come up with an explanation that makes sense to me. WL came to the US with nothing. He discovers that we know about WN and hold him in high esteem. It makes perfect sense to fabricate many stories that show WL carrying on the Ministry of WN. WL got a lot of traction with this and even today you can see on LSM sites they continue to peddle this line. This heritage would be a lot less valuable if WN is just another frail man of flesh. Turn him into a "super apostle" with a lineage all the way back to Martin Luther of God's "special" move and who knows, you might be able to spin this straw into gold.

Once again there are two separate issues here. One is what happened with WN. We don't know exactly. It is not for us to judge.

However, what about the stories we were told by WL and the LSM. This is a different matter. I can see that if a brother were caught up in some fleshly sin and was excommunicated as a result by the elders and then some brother completely unaware of the situation were to contact me and ask me about this brother then I might be evasive, vague, even tell a half truth to protect the reputation of the brother. The mere act of fabricating a story does not, in my mind, convict WL of being a false prophet. However, if that story is fabricated with a motive to build my ministry, that is a very different issue. If this brother we are talking about is a leading minister, then the story is very different. It shouldn't be covered up, in this case I must be honest. I can try and be discreet, but even slightly dishonest has the appearance of evil and may in fact be evil. In the case of WN there is absolutely no doubt that WL's relationship to WN and WN's status as a "Minister of the Age" was used to build up WL's ministry. That is what convicts him of being a false prophet.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #119
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I feel I have adequate evidence to conclude that the stories WL told to explain the excommunication were fabricated and designed to make merchandise of the saints. That by definition makes him a false prophet.

As for WN I don't know if I have the exact facts right, but I feel strongly that there was a legitimate basis to excommunicate him and that he submitted to this ruling accordingly. I hope it worked a repentance in him.
While some have spoken of how this affects our understanding of Lee (and I have been one of them in other posts), I made no such mention here. So references to Lee are irrelevant as far as my last post is concerned.

And concerning Nee, you have placed the various fuzzy accounts together and created a question concerning both Nee and Lee. Still, my post questioned whether we could actually get enough actual evidence to form a rational conclusion, or whether we were going to be content to just jump on every fly that wanders by and with it declare that we know all there is to know about the swarm down at the sewage treatment plant.

BTW. For everyone. If the reigning source of teaching for the Little Flock was Nee, what happened to their numbers when Nee was excommunicated? And assuming they diminished, who was still around? If it was mostly those who cherished Nee, then it is understandable why Lee would wait some time before bringing Nee back. Let the negative ones dwindle away. Those remaining were for Nee, not against him.

But none of this has any bearing on establishing the truth. Just more speculation. The very kind I wondered out loud about.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #120
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Z,

Do these events all refer to the latter or former excommunication?

What does this have to do with the Chinese governments charges listed on Page 35 of this account?

http://books.google.com/books?id=l8E...icated&f=false
I can see you didn't check out the site I referred.

Here is a quote:

"http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm

This is a much better reference concerning the real reason behind WN's excommunication. This does make a strong case that the elders were completely justified in their actions and I assume they were also justified in welcoming him back.

This also does make a strong case, as you have argued, that WL has distorted the story for his own gain and also demonstrates a real character flaw / immorality in WL. His story about the excommunication appears to be a lie for his own benefit at the expense of the reputation of the elders. Apparently a recurring theme with WL."


I don't think the woman's book about the trial is very important in my own understanding of the events. It adds a witness testimony.

What is important is the research done by a biographer of WN on why he was excommunicated. Research done without any of the pressure of a Chinese trial and done after WN was dead. This research represents dozens of eyewitness accounts and testimonies. To me it proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Witness Lee lied to us. The lie he fabricated was designed to boost WN to the status of super apostle and discredit the elders and anyone else that might tell a different story. This lie was self serving in that it was designed so that WL's ministry could make merchandise of the saints.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #121
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While some have spoken of how this affects our understanding of Lee (and I have been one of them in other posts), I made no such mention here. So references to Lee are irrelevant as far as my last post is concerned.

And concerning Nee, you have placed the various fuzzy accounts together and created a question concerning both Nee and Lee. Still, my post questioned whether we could actually get enough actual evidence to form a rational conclusion, or whether we were going to be content to just jump on every fly that wanders by and with it declare that we know all there is to know about the swarm down at the sewage treatment plant.

BTW. For everyone. If the reigning source of teaching for the Little Flock was Nee, what happened to their numbers when Nee was excommunicated? And assuming they diminished, who was still around? If it was mostly those who cherished Nee, then it is understandable why Lee would wait some time before bringing Nee back. Let the negative ones dwindle away. Those remaining were for Nee, not against him.

But none of this has any bearing on establishing the truth. Just more speculation. The very kind I wondered out loud about.
Do you have enough evidence from the various sources being referenced to conclude that WL's explanation of why WN was excommunicated is fabricated?
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:45 PM   #122
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ZNPaaneah, list the differences in the 3 stories are you referring to and then explain why the Communist government persecutors version is the more credible to you or whichever version you hold.
Here is the reference for the latest story I found:

A number of brothers and sisters meeting with the local churches became another source of suffering to Watchman Nee through their dissention, immaturity, and ambition. Two years after the church life began to be practiced in Watchman Nee’s hometown in 1922, he was even temporarily “excommunicated” by some of his co-workers because he protested the ordination of some leading co-workers by a denominational missionary. Although most of the believers meeting with them sided with Watchman Nee, the Lord would not allow him to do anything to vindicate himself. That was a deep suffering to his natural man. (http://www.watchmannee.org/life-ministry.html)


Please note, I thought I had read that he protested the baptism, but here it says ordination, so there may be a fourth story as well.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:16 PM   #123
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Right. The 3rd story you mentioned was part of the 1922 excommunication.

So that only leaves the 1st and 2nd account. Why couldn't both of those be true concurrently?



In any case, what does that have to do with the allegations against Watchman Nee by the Chinese communist zealots? Which is more plausible requiring the least amount of assumptions?

1) That Watchman Nee like the rest of the christian community in China at that time were by persecuted with false allegations and fabrication of evidence to intimidate and break up the churches

or

2) Watchman Nee bribed tax officials, stole state secrets, had contracts with the "bandit Chiang", was an serial adulterer, created pornographic films, and toted them around on his person hoping they would not be found in his luggage.

You choose.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #124
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Do you have enough evidence from the various sources being referenced to conclude that WL's explanation of why WN was excommunicated is fabricated?
It was not what I was talking about. That is a different story. And it has its own conclusions. We are overlaying two different discussions due to relationship. But neither requires any particular outcome from the other.

My post was within the topic "New Book Challenges Nee's Legacy" and I did not reference Lee or quote from anyone else. I was entirely discussing Nee.

And when I said that to you, in reply, it was not to be snippy, but to confine the meaning of my remarks to Nee if there had been any uncertainty. So asking your new question is to change the purpose of my comment, or draw me into a discussion that I really was not interested in a the moment. In fact, it would seem that it would be better to separate these two thoughts (despite their interrelatedness) into two threads so that we don't keep having this kind of confusion.

Or alternately we have to label everything in sight to keep it all as clear as possible.

I see plenty of benefit in picking Lee's actions and words apart. You have done a fairly good job of laying out the metamorphosis of his claims. But it can stand as true even if Nee's excommunication was entirely stupid. And it can stand as untrue even if Nee was the kind of person that the Chinese government attempted to paint of him. So the constantly mixing the two discussions into one tends to drive us toward a singular result even though that may not be the correct analysis. I surely don't know what the correct analysis is. That is why I said what I did. And there has been a propensity by some to knee jerk into a conclusion at every little tidbit of information, no matter how small, unclear, or controversial it may be.

That is all I was saying. Back up and look at the whole to weigh it together rather than being swept up in the latest tidbit. And it was to no one in particular.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #125
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Right. The 3rd story you mentioned was part of the 1922 excommunication.

So that only leaves the 1st and 2nd account. Why couldn't both of those be true concurrently?



In any case, what does that have to do with the allegations against Watchman Nee by the Chinese communist zealots? Which is more plausible requiring the least amount of assumptions?

1) That Watchman Nee like the rest of the christian community in China at that time were by persecuted with false allegations and fabrication of evidence to intimidate and break up the churches

or

2) Watchman Nee bribed tax officials, stole state secrets, had contracts with the "bandit Chiang", was an serial adulterer, created pornographic films, and toted them around on his person hoping they would not be found in his luggage.

You choose.
Please look at this reference

http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm

The person is a theology professor at Hainan university who has written 3 books on Nee. After doing a biography the publisher asked the author to look into allegations concerning licentiousness and misuse of church funds.

After publication the author got a call from a woman who was in the church, she had been the Youth leader. Nee had had affairs with two girls in the church. The professor also talked to Nee's lawyer. Nee had freely admitted the affairs because they had strong evidence. This person also talked to Nee's personal secretary, the judge at the trial and members of the church who had remained.

Here is the thing, either it is very hard to believe that the right hand man of Watchman Nee, the man Nee entrusted to carry on the ministry while he remained behind to be martyred could really be that bad, or else it is very hard to believe that anyone who would promote Witness Lee could be that good.

Initially I felt that PL and TL were typical examples of the "preachers son". Sure, they had no business being involved in a church, but that shouldn't ruin WL's reputation. But the more you look at what WL did the harder it is to believe that PL and TL were really "the sinful ones". In the end I feel it is undeniable that WL is a false prophet. This story about WN, the teaching about the MOTA, the ground of the church teaching, the disparaging remarks about Christianity, the abusive behavior, the repeated schemes to take advantage of the saints, the cover ups, the smear campaigns, the excommunications.

But once I concluded that WL is a false prophet I was no longer willing to give Watchman Nee a free pass. If you go to the site I referenced (http://www.watchmannee.org/life-ministry.html) and read the biopic it is truly very difficult to believe the account.

1. They depict his first excommunication as everyone else is immature, jealous, etc. Excommunication should be something that is done after repeated warnings for someone who is actively doing works of flesh. One of which could be dissension. I am no longer willing to take at face value that there was no basis for WN to be disciplined or that the leaders of the church who took this action were "immature and ambitious" and "a source of suffering" for Watchman Nee.
2. There is no mention whatsoever on this site of the licentiousness and misuse of funds even though there has always been a back story of this. I refuse to dismiss out of hand these accounts. I cannot prove they are true and have no interest to. But I do know that romanticized biopic of Watchman Nee is clearly evading the true story.
3. If Witness Lee is telling the truth that his ministry is the continuation of Watchman Nee then that to me is a very poor reference for Watchman Nee.
4. On the other hand if Witness Lee was not telling the truth about being the continuation of Watchman Nee then I certainly wouldn't trust his version of why Watchman Nee was excommunicated. As a result that leaves me finding this story I have referenced as more credible.
5. Finally I have a very hard time considering the trial to be fair. However, if this had been someone convicted in a US court of tax evasion or some other crime I would not view that as a bogus trial. So I am still giving WN a free pass on that trial, and I think that is reasonable because the Chinese government shot their credibility with me by forcing churches to go underground. So then I will leave it for the Lord to judge if WN was truly suffering for the Lord when he was imprisoned.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #126
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Z,

You surmise: "Here is the thing, either it is very hard to believe that the right hand man of Watchman Nee, the man Nee entrusted to carry on the ministry while he remained behind to be martyred could really be that bad, or else it is very hard to believe that anyone who would promote Witness Lee could be that good."

This logic is faulty. There is no need for there to be any link in this case.
You are starting from a belief about the recent past and then working your way back half century to make an inference so you can draw a conclusion that supports your current beliefs about the recent past. If that sounds convoluted the logic deployed is even more so.


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Old 10-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #127
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Zhang Yinzian was a nun who recalls events of that time. The account is familiar to this thread. Here are some excerpts from an interview with her:

"The chapel was sealed and no one was allowed to enter. After foreigners left, everyone at the church had to go through a political review process. Both laity and clergy were scared and quit in droves. They answered the government's call and went home to farm. Some openly renounced the church."

"When we left the church, we weren't allowed to bring anything with us. We walked all the way to the village, and before we even had a drink of water, the local leaders dragged us to a public denunciation meeting. They paraded us around in the village, along with some Buddhist monks and nuns, Taoist priests, and several leaders of the local Protestant churches. We were ordered to stand in three rows in front of a stage. We faced hundreds of villagers with raised fists shouting revolutionary slogans. Some spat at us. Such hatred. As the leader worked up the crowd a peasant activist came up and slapped Bishop Liu on the face. My aunt stepped forward, "How dare you slap him." The activist used to be a poor farmer, and when the Communists confiscated the property of the landowners, he was one of the beneficiaries. He pointed at my aunt and yelled back, "You are a counterrevolutionary and we have defeated you. You are the lackey of the imperialists who exploited us." My aunt said, "We are not. We came from poor families and we've never exploited anybody." The activist shouted again, "You are still stubborn and won't admit your defeat. You need to be punished." Fists were raised and the crowd began chanting, "down with the counterrevolutionary nun!"

Regarding "confessions" she writes:

"We had to endure many more political meetings, but after a while the humiliating remarks or beatings didn't bother us anymore. We became smarter. We learned how to protect ourselves. All of those campaigns, whether to denounce landowners, Buddhists, Catholics, or intellectuals, were all the same. People would shout slogans---- "down with so and so!" "Beat Liu so he can never stand up!" "Long live Chairman Mao!" "Long live the Communist Party!" "Long live the victory of whatever!" --- and each time, we were made to confess. It got so we knew it by rote; all we did was change a few words."

Excerpts from "God is Red" by Liao Yiwu Page 19 and 20
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:57 PM   #128
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Cassidy,
That sounds like some local church meetings I've attended.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:02 PM   #129
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Sorry Cassidy but your logic isn't any better than ZNP.

You are talking in generalities - we now have specifics...and from what appears to be a very credible source. Watchman Nee's situation was fairly well documented. He was not tried en masse with "Buddhist monks and nuns, Taoist priests, and several leaders of the local Protestant churches". He was tried on some very specific charges. I am NOT saying that I think any, much less all, of the the charges lodged against him were legitimate, but let's just stick with the matter at hand, shall we?

The title of the thread is "New Book Challenges Nee's Legacy". There's no need to remind us all of how bad and unethical the Chinese communists were - most of us went to school and learned all about it. The woman who penned this book is not a Chinese communist. She was at one time a devout follower of Watchman Nee. If anything, I'm surprised that she was not called to testify against him. Maybe she was too young at the time. In any event, once again, she claims that she heard directly from "the girl in the film" and this girl told her that the story about the film was true. Dr. Hsu saw some frames from the film and claims this is the same girl. Pretty cut and dry. We can believe her or not. I think we pretty much know what side of the ledger we can put you down for.

And yes there is a Nee-Lee link regarding this matter, and it is very applicable to our discussions here on a forum whose members are mostly either current or former members of the Local Church Movement. Witness Lee gave us all a very sanitized version of the events in question. The reason why he cleaned it up for us is all too clear to most of us now. If his mentor was not "THE ONE MINISTER WITH THE ONE MINISTRY FOR THE AGE" then he certainly was not either.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #130
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And yes there is a Nee-Lee link regarding this matter, and it is very applicable to our discussions here on a forum whose members are mostly either current or former members of the Local Church Movement. Witness Lee gave us all a very sanitized version of the events in question. The reason why he cleaned it up for us is all too clear to most of us now. If his mentor was not "THE ONE MINISTER WITH THE ONE MINISTRY FOR THE AGE" then he certainly was not either.
It has always troubled me about how adultery has been handled in the Recovery. When Phillip Lee preyed on certain women, it was that family which was sent away. When Timothy Lee preyed on another brother's wife, it was they who were sent away. When the elder in Texas got exposed for adultery, the leaders there wanted to act according to scripture to confront the brother, but a last minute call by Benson to Witness Lee stopped that, and the brother was, once again, relocated.

This pattern of inaction, protecting the best interests of leaders and not the victims nor the flock, cannot help but to persuade the reader that perhaps horribly bad patterns were learned firsthand in mainland China. And to think that we were always told about how "moral" the Chinese people are, and how loose and immoral the typical American is.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:19 PM   #131
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UntoHim,

Sure. In this forum the link to discuss is here.... but the logic of linking actual events is extremely weak.

There is a substantial difference between corroborating events of that era vs making inferences and correlations of two men and different events that happened decades apart under entirely different circumstances. The former requires very little imagination and adoption of few assumptions while the latter requires much of both.

Using a completely unrelated matter to make my point: When Holocaust victim describes their experience, (the accusations, the pogroms, the denunciations, the camps, the conditions, etc.) I do not doubt the veracity of their claims. I do not require much convincing about their story because I am familiar with what occurred to millions like them.

Now if someone proposed a cause and effect correlation between Bernie Madoff (a modern day Jew) and the well to do Jews of the Holocaust then that requires adopting a huge set of assumptions. One would have to accept accusations (e.g. financial trickery, political conspiracy, greed, etc.) levied against Jews in Europe and make another set of assumptions about what his parents taught him, and another set of assumptions about the modern day behaviors of Bernie Madoff and then link them to make it work. Said differently, using ZNP's logic, one could explain Bernie Madoff's finance and conspiracy behavior as a result of his Jewish parents teaching him what they learned from his Jewish grandparents who came from Europe where the Nazi's arrested many Jews for the same so-called "greedy" behavior. The probability of all those assumptions falls of dramatically with each link.

What happened with Watchman Nee happened to tens of millions in that place and time. That is the simplest explanation with the least assumptions.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:07 PM   #132
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Allllriiiighttty then.....

How bout this.

In three paragraphs or less can you plainly tell us whether or not you believe Dr. Hsu's account, and if not give us some reasons why.

Let's drop Witness Lee out of the conversation...for now.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:12 AM   #133
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Z,
This logic is faulty. There is no need for there to be any link in this case.
I first learned of Watchman Nee and his personal story from Witness Lee's accounts and stories published by Witness Lee's publishing house. Once you decide that you cannot trust Witness Lee as a credible witness you have to throw those stories out and look for accounts that are not influenced by Witness Lee.

There is nothing faulty in this logic. This is why lawyers attack the credibility of a witness. If a witness is a liar in anything then they could be a liar in everything.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #134
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Allllriiiighttty then.....

How bout this.

In three paragraphs or less can you plainly tell us whether or not you believe Dr. Hsu's account, and if not give us some reasons why.

Let's drop Witness Lee out of the conversation...for now.
UntoHim,

At this point I do not really know one way or the other. I have not read her book but only the posted excerpts so I cannot form a stronger opinion about it. However, as I mentioned I have no reason to doubt that what she says she saw is how she saw it.

However, what she experienced most probably was a fabrication not uncommon against religious leaders and intellectuals at that time. What she describes in terms of confession, accusation, so-called evidence, congregations disbanding, etc. appears identical to many many accounts. That is why I posted the account of the nun, not to reiterate how bad the Chinese communists were but to show that the particulars were the same or similar. I believe that to be the most likely scenario.

There is a far less chance that she is doing it just for the money or fame or recognition.

And the least probable is that Watchman Nee bribed tax officials, stole state secrets, had contracts with the "bandit Chiang", was an serial adulterer, created pornographic films, and toted the incriminating sex films around on his person hoping they would not be found in his luggage.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #135
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Z,

You surmise: "Here is the thing, either it is very hard to believe that the right hand man of Watchman Nee, the man Nee entrusted to carry on the ministry while he remained behind to be martyred could really be that bad, or else it is very hard to believe that anyone who would promote Witness Lee could be that good."

This logic is faulty. There is no need for there to be any link in this case.
You are starting from a belief about the recent past and then working your way back half century to make an inference so you can draw a conclusion that supports your current beliefs about the recent past. If that sounds convoluted the logic deployed is even more so.


Does it bother you that the site portrays everyone else as immature and jealous and that WN had to suffer for their shortcomings?

Does it bother you that the account describes a young man who is vehemently dissenting until the church leaders have to discipline him, yet there isn't the slightest acknowledgment that the discipline might have been warranted?

Does it bother you that everyone agrees that WN was excommunicated for "living with a woman" but that WL says it is with his mother and all the witnesses and photos say otherwise?

Does it bother you that the researchers and former church members say he was guilty of "misuse of funds" and that only WL says that he was excommunicated because he returned to work to help support his ministry?

Honestly, how incompetent and heinous must the Chinese church leaders be for WL's accounts to be true?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #136
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Z,

Happy to address your questions but you will need to provide more detail and the logic you used tying things together. It would be helpful if rather than referring to a "site" that you point to the page or extract the portion you think is relevant.

On your third question: Does it bother you that everyone agrees that WN was excommunicated for "living with a woman" but that WL says it is with his mother and all the witnesses and photos say otherwise?

Who you mean by "everyone agrees"? You mean that all accounts state the reason was Nee
"living with a woman"? Who are "all the witnesses"? and what photos are you talking about?
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:18 PM   #137
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Z,

Happy to address your questions but you will need to provide more detail and the logic you used tying things together. It would be helpful if rather than referring to a "site" that you point to the page or extract the portion you think is relevant.

On your third question: Does it bother you that everyone agrees that WN was excommunicated for "living with a woman" but that WL says it is with his mother and all the witnesses and photos say otherwise?

Who you mean by "everyone agrees"? You mean that all accounts state the reason was Nee
"living with a woman"? Who are "all the witnesses"? and what photos are you talking about?
According to the biographies of Watchman Nee written by Angus Kinnear and Witness Lee, Watchman Nee left the leadership of the church in Shanghai in 1942. He went to work at his brother George’s chemical factory.

According to Lee “Satan stirred up turmoil among the saints in Shanghai against Watchman” (p.98). The rumor was that Watchman Nee was involved in adultery. One book called this into question, it was the personal diary of Wang Ming Dao, a Christian leader in China. When elders and members of the congregation in Shanghai were asked their response was vague “there were problems”. In his book Lee says “a rumor is nothing but a lie” (p.177).

While working at the factory someone was embezzling money and as Manager Nee should have known what was going on. As a result there is some confusion. The communists accused Nee of embezzlement.

According to Lee The elders at the Hardoon Road, Shanghai assembly asked him to stop preaching until he had given up his job. In 1947 Nee returned to the church and consigned the factory and all the property over to the church. At this time Lee was the leader of the church so both Nee and Lee acted as the leaders of the church. As a result he was returned to favor and began speaking in the church again.

Dana Roberts has been studying Watchman Nee for 25 years and published several books on him. He has researched this episode in his life specifically and the story he tells is that Watchman Nee was found in adultery, reprimanded by the elders and the second time he was asked to leave. He left for 5 years and began working in his brothers factory. At the factory there was a case of embezzlement which at the very least took place under the authority of Watchman Nee who was the manager. Nee was not allowed to return until 1947 and only after paying a very big financial price to the Church (signing over the factory) and was brought back by Witness Lee.

In addition a sister from the Shanghai church has also published a book, currently only in Chinese, that confirms this story. This book is essentially an eyewitness account of the events that surrounded Watchman Nee leaving the Shanghai church, and then a few years later being arrested by the Chinese authorities.

Since these events took place 60 years ago, and since there was considerable turmoil surrounding the Communist takeover of China it is difficult to confirm what is true. What all parties agree to (both Witness Lee and these witnesses from the church) is that there was a “rumor” going around concerning adultery and that Watchman Nee was asked to leave by the elders which he did for 5 years. He didn’t return until he had paid a lot of money to the church by signing over the factory to the church.

So then you are faced with a very plausible explanation for what this rumor was and why Watchman Nee was forced to leave and did leave for 5 years. An explanation that is either spelled out in graphic detail by a number of sources or else alluded to by virtually every other source when they say “there were problems”. A basic response given for years.

Or you can accept the ridiculous story given by Witness Lee that the elders in Shanghai accused him of living with a woman and he didn’t deny it so they excommunicated him, yet the woman was actually his mother.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #138
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Thanks.

"the story he tells is that Watchman Nee was found in adultery, reprimanded by the elders and the second time he was asked to leave"

Please provide his assertion (quote) here or link where I can read it online.

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:51 PM   #139
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Thanks.

"the story he tells is that Watchman Nee was found in adultery, reprimanded by the elders and the second time he was asked to leave"

Please provide his assertion (quote) here or link where I can read it online.

Here is the link to an email sent by Dana Roberts in which he refers to evidence that Nee had misused funds and had at least two affairs with sisters in the church.

http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #140
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Here is the link to an email sent by Dana Roberts in which he refers to evidence that Nee had misused funds and had at least two affairs with sisters in the church.

http://geftakysassembly.com/Articles...tchmanNee2.htm
I read that already but perhaps I missed it. Where does Mr. Roberts say that the two alleged affairs were the reason for the 1942 excommunication? I understood him to state that as part of the communist prosecution in 1956.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #141
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I first learned of Watchman Nee and his personal story from Witness Lee's accounts and stories published by Witness Lee's publishing house. Once you decide that you cannot trust Witness Lee as a credible witness you have to throw those stories out and look for accounts that are not influenced by Witness Lee.

There is nothing faulty in this logic. This is why lawyers attack the credibility of a witness. If a witness is a liar in anything then they could be a liar in everything.
I think we all need a Come to Jesus moment, that : joining the local church was a gigantic mistake.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:02 PM   #142
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At this point I do not really know one way or the other. I have not read her book but only the posted excerpts so I cannot form a stronger opinion about it. However, as I mentioned I have no reason to doubt that what she says she saw is how she saw it.
Cassidy, my man, we all know you have not read the book. And we have a straight forward translation where Dr. Hsu says she is a FIRST HAND WITNESS of "the girl in the film", telling her that she is the one in the film and that Watchman Nee was the producer of the film.

I asked you if you believe this account. I did NOT ask you about your opinion, or how strong your opinion is. "How she saw it"? You never had a daughter who was raped, have you? Well I have. I only wish I had the opportunity to question the rapist about how my daughter saw it. Defenders of abusers are never really concerned about how the victims saw it....especially when they are a degree or two removed from the events in question.

You are mincing words. If you think Dr. Hsu is a liar than why don't you just come out and say it. She's a grown woman, she's a big girl....I'm pretty sure she can take it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:39 AM   #143
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Sorry I don't have the translation of the book you refer to. I only saw the excerpts and if you drew conclusions from those alone then you have read something into to them that is not there. Send the translation to me and I will read so we are on the same page and talking about the same thing.

Also, don't pretend to know my personal experiences nor my sensitivities about rape. You are reading something into my posts which is not there. Stick to the facts presented.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:44 AM   #144
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Stick to the facts presented.
Then present all relevant facts, and attitudes.

Don't hold things back for the sake of your argument.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:49 AM   #145
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The facts are in the base note. Or at least I accept those as the facts. Are there other "facts"?
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:57 AM   #146
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The facts are in the base note. Or at least I accept those as the facts. Are there other "facts"?
Well, are there? That's what UntoHim asked you when he asked if you thought she was a liar. Your response was defensive.

Your attitude is relevant, because affects how you make an argument. So readers are entitled to know. This has always been the problem with your approach. You feign an objectivity you don't really have and you use it, not to the advantage of the overall discussion, but to your own position.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:07 AM   #147
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Well, are there? That's what UntoHim asked you when he asked if you thought she was a liar. Your response was defensive.

Your attitude is relevant, because affects how you make an argument. So readers are entitled to know. This has always been the problem with your approach. You feign an objectivity you don't really have and you use it, not to the advantage of the overall discussion, but to your own position.
Igzy,

From the base note we read Dr. Hsu's account.

She speaks of evidence "they" showed her. She heard Nee "confess" at a public trial. She knew the girl in the pictures the communist government showed at his trial. I assume, though it is not clear from the wording of the account, that the girl in question was at the trial and pleaded with Nee to destroy the pornographic film ( a film he allegedly made at least a decade before his trial and carried around in his bags).

I have not see any accounts were Dr. Hsu said the girl was raped. I have not seen any indication that Dr. Hsu was involved directly other than she knew Nee and the girl. I did not see where Dr. Hsu interviewed the girl in the pictures and documented that conversation.

Perhaps I missed a whole bunch of "facts" but so far we have the observations of a person who witnessed the kangaroo court trial of Watchman Nee.

If there are other "facts" post them here and I will read and address them.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:17 AM   #148
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Igzy,
If there are other "facts" post them here and I will read and address them.
I don't have a dog in this hunt. I just want honest, forthright discussion. I don't want lawyering. Thanks for keeping this in mind.

Please carry on, and welcome back.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #149
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I'll say one questionable thing about Dr. Hsu. It was slick of her to put English on the cover of her book ... that contains no English ...
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:37 PM   #150
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I'll say one questionable thing about Dr. Hsu. It was slick of her to put English on the cover of her book ... that contains no English ...
She's an American doctor practicing in Louisiana. What's she doing writing a book in Chinese, hoping to find an American publisher?
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:39 PM   #151
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I read that already but perhaps I missed it. Where does Mr. Roberts say that the two alleged affairs were the reason for the 1942 excommunication? I understood him to state that as part of the communist prosecution in 1956.
According to Witness Lee Watchman Nee was excommunicated in 1942 because another woman was living with him in his house. Witness Lee says this was a misunderstanding, the woman was his mother.

Dana Roberts in his book says that the rumor was that Watchman Nee was excommunicated because of adultery. When people from the Shanghai church were asked about why Watchman Nee left the church in Shanghai they said "there were problems".

There is no dispute over whether or not he was excommunicated for infidelity, the issue is whether this was a misunderstanding and he was actually living with his mother or whether this was truly a case of adultery.

This latest book is the testimony of a sister from that church who witnessed the trial. The trial in 1956 could not have had any influence on why he was excommunicated 14 years earlier and why it took 5 years to become reconciled back to the church.

However, the trial alleged infidelity with two sisters in the church in Shanghai.

Since these events took place 70 years ago and since events of this nature would naturally be handled very discreetly it is unlikely that we will ever know for sure. However, the diary of a very credible Christian leader in China supports the allegation that he was excommunicated for adultery.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #152
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Z,

Let's sort this out to make sure we are not interchanging the events of 1942 excommunication with the Chinese communist persecution of Watchman Nee in 1956.

A woman living in his house in 1942 is not the same allegation as alleging infidelity with two sisters presented by the Chinese Communists in 1956. Was the woman in his house one of these two sisters? There is no direct connection that I know of. Who is drawing this inference besides you?

Secondly, it is apparent that "there were problems". Of course, there were problems! The man was excommunicated from the church in Shanghai. That does not mean that the "problems" had anything to do with the alleged sexual exploits with two sisters. Other reasons were cited by other sources, the business was cited for one. Did Kinnear state the issue was sexual infidelity? Witness Lee said it was Nee's mother. You dismiss Lee as not a credible witness yet that does not strengthen your linking these events a bit.

My understanding of stated accounts is this. There was a belief that a minister should not engage in business and that put Nee on the outs with the elders. Then his mother came to visit and someone accused him about it but apparently Nee did not feel to vindicate himself. Why, we do not know for sure, but perhaps the suspicions already between him and the elders did not lend to good communication. Or as someone else has stated it was his acceptance that these misunderstandings were his cross to bear. So he was excommunicated from the church in Shanghai in any case.

Yet you acknowledge he was reconciled back to the church. You assume that it took 5 years to reconcile because the nature of the excommunication was infidelity. Yet, apparently they took him back anyway. Why? What changed? If your assumption about the sexual infidelity is factual then why would they take him back if he lived with a woman in adultery in 1942, had adulterous relationships with two sisters (when we are not told) , filmed a pornographic movie with a sister (when we are not told but he supposedly carried the film around in his bags for a decade or more till the Chinese Communists discovered it)? There is nothing in the documented reconciliation with the church in Shanghai that I know of that stated there was an inkling of sexual impropriety explicitly or implicitly. It is simply hearsay to attribute this to these sexual allegations. The clearing up of the misunderstanding about his business and his purpose in starting it satisfies all the angles and apparently his signing it over to them cleared up their indigestion about his motives.

And, oh by the way, where was Charity Chang during all this 1940's adulterous living (then his wife for almost a decade and love of his life since childhood)? Anyone know?

What we do know is this. The events of the persecution of Watchman Nee in 1952 and in his trial in 1956 were the same in content and form as the persecution of tens of millions of people in China in that era. Religious leaders and intellectuals were singled out and accused of everything from bribery, spying, sexual crimes, raping under age children, lackey of imperialists, and subjected to forced confessions, and fabricated evidence, incarceration, beatings, torture, and martyrdom. Watchman Nee was swept in that downdraft apparently by choice as he could have fled.

I will agree with you that the events occurred 60-70 years ago and it is unlikely that we will ever know for sure all the details and therefore a caution against dogmatism is advised. We are considering likelihood, probabilities, and what makes sense.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #153
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Z,

Let's sort this out to make sure we are not interchanging the events of 1942 excommunication with the Chinese communist persecution of Watchman Nee in 1956.

A woman living in his house in 1942 is not the same allegation as the alleged infidelity with two sisters presented by the Chinese Communists in 1956. Was the woman in his house one of these two sisters? There is no direction connection that I know of. Who is drawing inference besides you?
A woman living in the house was the reason Witness Lee gave for the excommunication. No one else gave that reason, everyone else said "there were problems". That was until the diary of a very well respected Christian leader in China was published which put adultery as the reason. The idea that Watchman Nee was excommunicated for adultery was always rumored. Witness Lee in his biography even alluded to this saying "a rumor is a lie". Watchman Nee alluded to this saying "The Watchman Nee they condemn I would condemn also". Mr. Roberts was asked to investigate the excommunication, not the trial. He said he found evidence of both adultery and embezzlement. No doubt some of the evidence pertains to this woman's testimony of what took place at the trial and also the evidence presented at the trial as well as interviews with Watchman Nee's lawyer and the judge. However, he also interviewed members of the church in Shanghai that also confirmed this was the reason.

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Secondly, it is apparent that "there were problems". Of course, there were problems! The man was excommunicated from the church in Shanghai. That does not mean that the "problems" had anything to do with the alleged sexual exploits with two sisters. Other reasons were cited by other sources, the business was cited for one. Did Kinnear state the issue was sexual infidelity? Witness Lee said it was Nee's mother. You dismiss Lee as not a credible witness yet that does not strengthen your linking these events a bit.
Of course it does. Lee makes it clear the reason for the excommunication was an allegation of infidelity. On this everyone agrees. Once Nee was excommunicated he went to work at his brother's factory. No one has determined Nee's responsibility in the embezzlement though everyone agrees he was the manager, the embezzlement took place, and the communists blamed him.

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My understanding of stated accounts is this. There was a belief that a minister should not engage in business and that put Nee on the outs with the elders. Then his mother came to visit and someone accused him about it but apparently Nee did not feel to vindicate himself. Why, we do not know for sure, but perhaps the suspicions already between him and the elders did not lend to good communication. Or as someone else has stated it was his acceptance that these misunderstandings were his cross to bear. So he was excommunicated from the church in Shanghai in any case.
That is not how I understand the sequence of events. My understanding is that Watchman Nee was reprimanded for an allegation of infidelity. The second time he was excommunicated. Once he was excommunicated he went to work for his brother. While working as a manager of the factory there was a case of embezzlement that was blamed on Nee by the Communists. For 5 years Nee was out of the church, only when Lee was made the leader in Shanghai was he brought back and this only when he signed the factory over to the church.

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Yet you acknowledge he was reconciled back to the church. You assume that it took 5 years to reconcile because the nature of the excommunication was infidelity.
No, I don't assume anything, I state as a matter of historical record that it took 5 years.

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Yet, apparently they took him back anyway. Why?
I would hope because he had a thorough repentance. Unfortunately the fact that Witness Lee orchestrated it and the fact that his "reconciliation" coincided with a sizable donation to a church that Witness Lee was leading has to be noted.

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What changed? If your assumption about the sexual infidelity is factual then why would they take him back if he lived with a woman in adultery in 1942, had adulterous relationships with two sisters (when we are not told) , filmed a pornographic movie with a sister (when we are not told but carried the film around in his bags for a decade or more till the Chinese Communists discovered it)?
You make excellent points, it may be that he wasn't reconciled because he made a thorough repentance but rather because he made a sizable donation and because Witness Lee felt this would benefit him. I don't know the answer to that, fortunately the Lord is the one who can sort this out at His judgement seat. What I do know is that I don't trust Witness Lee, I feel the evidence is very persuasive that Witness Lee manufactured the story for why Watchman Nee was excommunicated, and that the purpose of this story was to sell books and make merchandise of the saints (most Christian ministries don't sell very well when the minister is excommunicated for adultery).


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There is nothing in the documented reconciliation with the church in Shanghai that I know of that stated there was an inkling of sexual impropriety. It is simply hearsay to attribute this to these sexual allegations. The clearing up of the misunderstanding about his business and his purpose in starting it satisfies all the angles and apparently his signing it over to them cleared up their indigestion about his intentions.
No, hearsay is equivalent to a rumor. This story is supported by numerous witnesses. I agree that with Watchman Nee you should not listen to an allegation with less than 2 or really 3 reliable witnesses. I think we have more than that.


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And, oh by the way, where was Charity Chang during all this 1942 adulterous living (now his wife for almost a decade and love of his life since childhood)? Anyone know?

What we do know is this. The events of the persecution of Watchman Nee in 1952 and in his trial in 1956 were the same in content and form as the persecution of tens of millions of people in China in that era. Religious leaders and intellectuals were singled out and accused of everything from bribery, spying, sexual crimes, raping under age children, lackey of imperialists, and subjected to forced confessions, and fabricated evidence, incarceration, beatings, torture, and martyrdom. Watchman Nee was swept in that downdraft apparently by choice.

I will agree with you that the events occurred 70 years ago and it is unlikely that we will ever know for sure and therefore caution against dogmatism is advised. We are discussing likelihood and probabilities.
This is why I have not used or referred to the evidence from the trial.

Let me tell you a personal story. There was a man when I was growing up that I had a great deal of respect for and who was someone everyone in our town was very proud of. About 4 years later I was in high school and it was front page news that he was arrested for some very ugly and horrible crimes. I was outraged. What did I do? I went straight to the people who would know if this was true and they confirmed to me that yes this was true. I heard stories that were first hand, not second hand, not rumor, not hearsay. My father then told me that despite this man's failings he was still very skilled and talented.

Now if I was a sister in the church in Shanghai and Watchman Nee was arrested and accused of horrible crimes and I sat through the entire trial and saw all the evidence do you know what I would do? I would go straight to those sisters, their roommates, other people in the church and ask them if these things were so.

Now you ask where "charity chang" was? I lived in Taiwan for 8 years. This is a country where prostitution is run by the government. At the time of WN's excommunication I find it very difficult to believe Charity Chang had any means of support other than WN. There is no such thing as divorce and no one would have sympathized with her if she had. Speaking out against her husband would have destroyed any chance of his ministry succeeding and would have been similar to making yourself a social outcast.

However, a close relative did write a book about "his uncle" and that book really was to counter the super spiritualization that was going on about him.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:00 PM   #154
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Z, though I disagree with your assumptions and conclusions I appreciate that you provided a thoughtful reply.

In the beginning of that note you said: "Mr. Roberts was asked to investigate the excommunication, not the trial. He said he found evidence of both adultery and embezzlement. No doubt some of the evidence pertains to this woman's testimony of what took place at the trial and also the evidence presented at the trial as well as interviews with Watchman Nee's lawyer and the judge. However, he also interviewed members of the church in Shanghai that also confirmed this was the reason."

Please post the evidence that Mr. Roberts found. I read the site you linked and it only states that Mr. Roberts said he found evidence. Let's see the actual evidence. Please post them.He must provide more than just "I found evidence, trust me, I really did".

Please clarify the words in Red below. I do not understand why you included these in your paragraph.What is their relevance?

"Now you ask where "charity chang" was? I lived in Taiwan for 8 years. This is a country where prostitution is run by the government. At the time of WN's excommunication I find it very difficult to believe Charity Chang had any means of support other than WN. There is no such thing as divorce and no one would have sympathized with her if she had. Speaking out against her husband would have destroyed any chance of his ministry succeeding and would have been similar to making yourself a social outcast."
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:00 PM   #155
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My understanding of stated accounts is this. There was a belief that a minister should not engage in business and that put Nee on the outs with the elders. Then his mother came to visit and someone accused him about it but apparently Nee did not feel to vindicate himself. Why, we do not know for sure, but perhaps the suspicions already between him and the elders did not lend to good communication. Or as someone else has stated it was his acceptance that these misunderstandings were his cross to bear. So he was excommunicated from the church in Shanghai in any case.
This makes no sense. Either all the elders and members in the church in Shanghai were a bunch of bumbling, suspicious, arrogant idiots or that story was a fabricated fib passed on to us as Chinese mythology. How could any brother, let alone W. Nee, be excommunicated for 6 years without witnesses and proper examination?

And this story about getting excommunicated for working a job is equally absurd. Paul himself worked as a tent-maker, so that verse alone is enough to vindicate W. Nee's employment before the church. I have never met a Christian dumb enough to propose this, let alone a whole church full of them. Were they all on opium? Was this not the Lord's Recovery? Were these believers not those who held to the Bible as their only standard?

I will no longer believe that nonsense that the church in Shanghai, the leading church in the Recovery, had not a single wise man among themselves. Watchman Nee was excommunicated on a technicality based on a misunderstanding? It's hard for me to believe that the whole of the present Recovery is just as stupid as those Chinese saints were purported to be, but we were and still are.

Now I'm not making any accusation or judgment about W. Nee. I respect him as a servant of the Lord and a martyr for the faith of the gospel. But I can say of a certainty that every single story that we heard from Witness Lee is suspect, and none of his stories of church history are credible.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:08 PM   #156
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Yet you acknowledge he was reconciled back to the church. You assume that it took 5 years to reconcile because the nature of the excommunication was infidelity.

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No, I don't assume anything, I state as a matter of historical record that it took 5 years.
Note that it also took Philip Lee 5 years to be reinstated by the "new" elders in Anaheim as Witness Lee's most trusted co-worker.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #157
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Note that it also took Philip Lee 5 years to be reinstated by the "new" elders in Anaheim as Witness Lee's most trusted co-worker.
Good catch bro Ohio. Working backwards does that tip the evidence scale toward Nee's infidelity, like Philip's sexual indiscretions? Did history repeat itself?
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:38 PM   #158
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Good catch bro Ohio. Working backwards does that tip the evidence scale toward Nee's infidelity, like Philip's sexual indiscretions? Did history repeat itself?
Do we know if the original elders in Shanghai were replaced during those 5 years, as W. Lee did in Anaheim?

If the young Lee was anything like the older Lee, then W. Nee probably got "restored" because Lee replaced all/some of the elders in Shanghai. This would not be something foreign to him. This happened in Anaheim and Rosemead and how many other places.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:13 AM   #159
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Do we know if the original elders in Shanghai were replaced during those 5 years, as W. Lee did in Anaheim?
And I earlier asked what the excommunication of what could only be called the founder of the church in Shanghai had on the group.

Besides the possible change in the makeup of the eldership, was there also a significant change in the makeup of the church itself? Was there a marked reduction in numbers? Did the environment begin to resemble some of those small bands of LSM-faithful in the GLA and there eventually began to be a groundswell to return Nee to the fold? And was Lee behind such events?

And, on a different track, did Lee ever consider himself truly under Nee again? Or was this a game of smoke and mirrors in which Nee returns to appear in charge while the second in command has the real upper hand?

I doubt sufficient evidence for certainty. But it does paint a possibility that is not what has been put in the history we were fed. It is true that later events do not evidence the nature of earlier events. But it does create doubt. It clouds the view.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #160
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Z, though I disagree with your assumptions and conclusions I appreciate that you provided a thoughtful reply.

In the beginning of that note you said: "Mr. Roberts was asked to investigate the excommunication, not the trial. He said he found evidence of both adultery and embezzlement. No doubt some of the evidence pertains to this woman's testimony of what took place at the trial and also the evidence presented at the trial as well as interviews with Watchman Nee's lawyer and the judge. However, he also interviewed members of the church in Shanghai that also confirmed this was the reason."

Please post the evidence that Mr. Roberts found. I read the site you linked and it only states that Mr. Roberts said he found evidence. Let's see the actual evidence. Please post them.He must provide more than just "I found evidence, trust me, I really did".

Please clarify the words in Red below. I do not understand why you included these in your paragraph.What is their relevance?

"Now you ask where "charity chang" was? I lived in Taiwan for 8 years. This is a country where prostitution is run by the government. At the time of WN's excommunication I find it very difficult to believe Charity Chang had any means of support other than WN. There is no such thing as divorce and no one would have sympathized with her if she had. Speaking out against her husband would have destroyed any chance of his ministry succeeding and would have been similar to making yourself a social outcast."
I don't have a copy of the book so will not be able to provide the evidence given in the book. Also, I am less interested in WN's sins than in WL's fabricated story. Anyway I don't know if I will pursue this story any more or get this book. Personally I think the story is important, but I dislike dwelling on these stories.

I didn't want to give the impression that I lived in China, which is why I specified that it was Taiwan, but when Chiang Kai Shek fled to Taiwan he basically set up the society that was in China before the Communists took over. Therefore I think there are a lot of parallels between present day Taiwan and the China that Watchman Nee's wife was living in. That is the only reason I mentioned it. The point is that the general attitude towards infidelity in China (Taiwan) is quite different from the attitude I grew up with. One would hope that the church in China held a similar attitude to the one I have which I think we can assume since they excommunicated him, but living in China includes the attitudes of relatives, friends and neighbors.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:39 AM   #161
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Do we know if the original elders in Shanghai were replaced during those 5 years, as W. Lee did in Anaheim?

If the young Lee was anything like the older Lee, then W. Nee probably got "restored" because Lee replaced all/some of the elders in Shanghai. This would not be something foreign to him. This happened in Anaheim and Rosemead and how many other places.
We know that Witness Lee became the leading elder in Shanghai prior to WN's return, that he then orchestrated the return. don't know about any other elders whether they were purged or not.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #162
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I don't have a copy of the book so will not be able to provide the evidence given in the book. Also, I am less interested in WN's sins than in WL's fabricated story. Anyway I don't know if I will pursue this story any more or get this book. Personally I think the story is important, but I dislike dwelling on these stories.
Z,

A claim of having evidence is not evidence.

If and when you have it please post it here.

Thanks
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:44 AM   #163
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Please post the evidence that Mr. Roberts found. I read the site you linked and it only states that Mr. Roberts said he found evidence. Let's see the actual evidence. ...He must provide more than just "I found evidence, trust me, I really did'.
I am with Cassidy on this one. A website quoting someone who says he has carefully weighed the evidence is not evidence.

And we don't know if the Dr. Hsu's account is valid. She could be a ChiComm plant. Surely the Chinese Gov't wants to discredit the Little Flock movement. They remember that the Living Stream Ministry tried to send 30,000 "Recovery Bibles" into the country; who knows how much other literature, which they consider illegal, subversive, and anti-state, that they have snagged? Any organization they find threatening they will take down by any means. And the near-deification of Watchman Nee is one of the main bases supporting the "shouters" organization. If they can knock that out it would be a huge coup for them.

One of the main weapons of politics (and folks, we are talking politics [i.e. competing organizations and ideologies] here) is to knock down your opponent. "Let me tell you what an awful, evil person my opponent is" ...ever heard that argument in an election?

But, on the same basis, what evidence is there that the woman in question was Watchman Nee's mother? The one who was staying in his house, whose presence led to his expulstion from the group he had led for many years? Seems strange he would allow his ministry to be destroyed over a simple misunderstanding. Who is the source for "It was really his mother" -- Witness Lee? Is brother Lee's word our only evidence for the "it was his mother" account?
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:49 AM   #164
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I am with Cassidy on this one. A website quoting someone who says he has carefully weighed the evidence is not evidence.

And we don't know if the Dr. Hsu's account is valid.

But, on the same basis, what evidence is there that the woman in question was Watchman Nee's mother? The one who was staying in his house, whose presence led to his expulstion from the group he had led for many years? Seems strange he would allow his ministry to be destroyed over a simple misunderstanding. Who is the source for "It was really his mother" -- Witness Lee? Is brother Lee's word our only evidence for the "it was his mother" account?
This strikes at the core of the "history" that comes out of the LC system. We have discovered that Witness Lee is not a reliable source. Setting aside Watchman Nee and the Little Flock in China for a moment: Witness Lee and now the current Anaheim Politburo won't even discuss the negative part of their history in the U.S. Their position on "doing history" is never speak of the negative (unless it's about the opposers). This is a principle that directs their "historians". So Steve Isitt has to publish this part of their narrative and appropriately calls it Hidden History.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:20 PM   #165
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I noticed something in the last post that had never struck me before. We point out how the LSM/LRC has predetermined their positions on so many things without so much as a thought.

And we call it things like "Politburo" when we describe it.

Not saying that the description is not aptly deserved. But is this just a lighter version of the same thing? Is it not the labeling in a manner to elicit a conclusion without actually going through the steps of determining it to be true?

And is it a little like using the "C" word? Give it a label without explaining how it applies. Our arguments against the "C" word were that it did not supply sufficient information to adequately describe the actual problem(s) being picked on. So we should detail the problem(s), not just give a label.

Forget that those who disagree will generally read no further after you throw out the "C" word.

Is "Politburo" really much different? We can argue that it is appropriate. But do all agree? And does saying it provide sufficient evidence for others to understand why we use it? Or does it cause those not in lock-step with the ex-LRC goose-step to wonder if we are just drinking different Kool-aid.

I'm not picking on alwayslearning. I've done it. Most of us have done it. It just happened to stick out to me on this particular reading.

Don't need to have a different discussion. Just think about it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:06 PM   #166
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I noticed something in the last post that had never struck me before. We point out how the LSM/LRC has predetermined their positions on so many things without so much as a thought.

And we call it things like "Politburo" when we describe it.

Not saying that the description is not aptly deserved. But is this just a lighter version of the same thing? Is it not the labeling in a manner to elicit a conclusion without actually going through the steps of determining it to be true?

And is it a little like using the "C" word? Give it a label without explaining how it applies. Our arguments against the "C" word were that it did not supply sufficient information to adequately describe the actual problem(s) being picked on. So we should detail the problem(s), not just give a label.

Forget that those who disagree will generally read no further after you throw out the "C" word.

Is "Politburo" really much different? We can argue that it is appropriate. But do all agree? And does saying it provide sufficient evidence for others to understand why we use it? Or does it cause those not in lock-step with the ex-LRC goose-step to wonder if we are just drinking different Kool-aid.

I'm not picking on alwayslearning. I've done it. Most of us have done it. It just happened to stick out to me on this particular reading.

Don't need to have a different discussion. Just think about it.
I think you are over-analyzing. Writers have different styles. alwayslearning is obviously using metaphor to make dramatic point. Things would get pretty dull if no one could ever add color to their writing. And metaphor-free writing is usually colorless. I know exactly what he means, and he has a very valid point. A picture is worth 1000 words. A verbal picture is usually worth about 15 or 20. Cuts down on the verbiage.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #167
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And we don't know if the Dr. Hsu's account is valid. She could be a ChiComm plant.
No, we don't know. There is a lot of things we don't know and will never know. If there were iPhones and Facebood back in mid 20th century China you can bet that we would know. Good historians take into account as many sources as possible. Those sources who go back in time closest to the the events in question usually hold the most weight. 2nd and 3rd hand sources are usually used for corroboration. We don't have a lot to go on here. As people have already noted, we sure can't trust Witness Lee's filtered and sanitized version....his track record of giving a full and truthful account of events in the past is suspect to say the least.

Dr. Hsu has been very forthright concerning her experience with Watchman Nee and the Local Church Movement. She made no bones about the fact that she almost lost her Christian faith over the discoveries, and she says she was not alone. 2/3rds of the Church left. If this is true, this is very, very significant. We do have a problem in that the majority of those who were adults at the time are now well into their 80s and even 90s. Many are "buried" in Mainland China. Maybe some who are still in Taiwan could testify to the veracity of Hus's claims.

As for Dr. Hsu being "a ChiComm plant", well this is an absurd speculation. I can assure you that the PRC government is too busy trying to steal our nuclear/aerospace/computer/military secrets to bother sending somebody over to upset the apple cart of a tiny, obscure religious sect here in America.

For me, the thing about this whole deal that concerns me the most is how it "meshes" with what we now know about the history of the Local Church Movement. Over the past number of years it has become apparent that there is a thread of sexual sin that has plagued the leadership of the movement. This thread of sexual sin has been kept secret from most of the members for decades. Thanks to the Internet and some of these public forums we now know that this thread of sin exists, and it may be that it has existed since the very beginnings of the Movement. Movements are sometimes just like families....the past sins of the parents can affect the entire family over a period of generations. Many times the sins are repeated throughout generations.

Something to think about.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #168
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For me, the thing about this whole deal that concerns me the most is how it "meshes" with what we now know about the history of the Local Church Movement. Over the past number of years it has become apparent that there is a thread of sexual sin that has plagued the leadership of the movement. This thread of sexual sin has been kept secret from most of the members for decades. Thanks to the Internet and some of these public forums we now know that this thread of sin exists, and it may be that it has existed since the very beginnings of the Movement. Movements are sometimes just like families....the past sins of the parents can affect the entire family over a period of generations. Many times the sins are repeated throughout generations.

Something to think about.
Whether the "thread of sexual sin" runs thru the movement is one matter. The other matter is how sexual sin is handled by the movement especially when it involves leaders or their families.

WL's handling of the sexual sins of his own sons while they were involved with his own ministry, by covering up the sin and attacking the witnesses and the abused saints is, at least to me, a very strong indication of a learned and repeated pattern of response, especially when the reputation of the entire movement is at stake.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #169
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Where you have overbearing leaders you usually have presumption of sexual entitlement. Which is one more reason not to tolerate overbearing leaders.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #170
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And we call it things like "Politburo" when we describe it.

Not saying that the description is not aptly deserved. But is this just a lighter version of the same thing? Is it not the labeling in a manner to elicit a conclusion without actually going through the steps of determining it to be true?

Is "Politburo" really much different? We can argue that it is appropriate. But do all agree? And does saying it provide sufficient evidence for others to understand why we use it?
I use the words "Anaheim Politburo" because I just can't write "Blended Brothers" or "Brothers We" with a straight face! I laugh every time I think of those labels and how they were arrived at.

My basic assumption is that most people on this forum know why I call it the "Anaheim Politburo" and therefore every time I use it it I don't have to go through a step-by-step explanation of why. For those that don't know: I am referring to the governing body of the LC system which is headquartered in Anaheim, CA.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #171
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I think you are over-analyzing. Writers have different styles. alwayslearning is obviously using metaphor to make dramatic point. Things would get pretty dull if no one could ever add color to their writing. And metaphor-free writing is usually colorless. I know exactly what he means, and he has a very valid point. A picture is worth 1000 words. A verbal picture is usually worth about 15 or 20. Cuts down on the verbiage.
And awareness has a very valid point (IMHO) when he calls the LRC as cult. I do note that you didn't comment on that one. And that is probably good. But when I do it, will it be a matter of "valid point"? Or will it be suggested (which is all I did) that it doesn't help the conversation to throw out those kinds of comments. They are sort of "ad Hitlerum" logical errors. (For the reader that has no idea what that is, it is easiest to describe it as the fact that no matter how much something may resemble an aspect of Hitler, to say it out loud generally presumes everything about Hitler (to every other reader/listener) and the conversation grinds to a halt. It doesn't matter how much the one thing actually fits.)

And we got clear about the "C" word. It is just too much.

Or is it?? It sure won't be dull around here if we start that up again.

My point in responding back is this. Is it OK if it doesn't bother you? Politburo doesn't actually bother me. I understand it. I agree with the sentiment. But I am taking on the possibility of disagreement with that position by others. That is the only reason we avoid the "C" word. Or noting that Lee was sort of like Hi--er in some ways.

Or is that no longer a consideration?
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:36 PM   #172
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I use the words "Anaheim Politburo" because I just can't write "Blended Brothers" or "Brothers We" with a straight face! I laugh every time I think of those labels and how they were arrived at.

My basic assumption is that most people on this forum know why I call it the "Anaheim Politburo" and therefore every time I use it it I don't have to go through a step-by-step explanation of why. For those that don't know: I am referring to the governing body of the LC system which is headquartered in Anaheim, CA.
And which is run much like it's namesake, the governing committee of Russian Communist Party--secretive, abusive and with presumption of total authority.


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My point in responding back is this. Is it OK if it doesn't bother you? Politburo doesn't actually bother me. I understand it. I agree with the sentiment. But I am taking on the possibility of disagreement with that position by others. That is the only reason we avoid the "C" word. Or noting that Lee was sort of like Hi--er in some ways.

Or is that no longer a consideration?
I don't think the "P" word is in the same class as the "C" word. The "C" word is inflammatory. The "P" word is just a succinct way of describing the nature of an entity. It's actually funny.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:40 PM   #173
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I just can't write "Blended Brothers" or "Brothers We" with a straight face!
I suggest the "Bwah hah hahs"
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #174
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I don't think the "P" word is in the same class as the "C" word. The "C" word is inflammatory. The "P" word is just a succinct way of describing the nature of an entity. It's actually funny.
Are you sure it is that easy? Or is it just that easy for you?

Back in 1973, I lost someone by simply making a humorously sarcastic reference to "our atheist friend in Austin." They thought I really had an atheist friend in Austin. I was just making a tongue-in-cheek reference to Murray-O'Hare. Took longer to explain myself than to just be direct.

If we presume that everyone thinks like we do, then we should have no problem with the "C" word becuase they would all understand it for what it actually means.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #175
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And is it a little like using the "C" word? Give it a label without explaining how it applies. Our arguments against the "C" word were that it did not supply sufficient information to adequately describe the actual problem(s) being picked on. So we should detail the problem(s), not just give a label.
And we should be true to what we've seen. By now most out here realize that I freely use the "C" word in regards to the LRC.

I realize that most haven't seen what I've seen ; that during my excommunication meeting it was like the light came on and a cult was revealed right before my eyes. And once you see it, you can't unsee it.

So others that haven't seen it will disagree with me. That, calling the LRC a cult is a possible over shot, and undeserved label.

I also know the painful process of deprogramming afte