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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 05-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #1
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Witness Lee would countenance no peers. His model of "the work" was himself as an apostle with the status of a Paul while his coworkers had the status of a Titus or Timothy who he could give dictates to and expect them to be followed. This practice was propped up with MOTA and deputy authority teachings.
And with this being said, maybe it's about time we start to explore a little more deeply the life and ministry practices of one Watchman Nee. After all, we know very well where Witness got many of his "MOTA" notions. Maybe Lee was a little more of a "chip off the ole block" than we have been willing to admit to ourselves over all these years. (ok, ok...maybe just speakin for myself here)

Far be it from me to take away any of the accolades and rewards due to our brother Nee, for he almost single-handedly turned a godless nation towards our Lord and Savior, and for this his rewards are in heaven, and so richly deserved. Nevertheless, we must learn from his history or we may very well be doomed to repeat it...at least in part. There is little doubt now that our brothers and sisters in the Local Church/LSM have already decidedly thrown in their lot with the whole "MOTA" fantasy - they are "all in". May God have mercy.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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Learning and understanding Watchman Nee's ministry is much more available than learning and understanding Watchman Nee the person. We can read in Watchman Nee's ministry where Witness Lee and LSM had flagrant disregard not just what Watchman Nee ministered, but what the Bible says.

Two of Watchman Nee's disciples have ministered in the US since 1960 in Witness Lee and Stephen Kaung. Are they similar or are they different in relation to Nee's ministry?
I have the opinion Nee's disciples including Kaung aren't wanted in the LC fellowship because these ones did not and do not emphasize ground of locality, ministry of the age, deputy authority, etc.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:21 PM   #3
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Default Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

Relating to the topic of deputy authority is Watchman Nee's book on spiritual authority.
Though scriptural in content, are Nee's conclusions sound?
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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Relating to the topic of deputy authority is Watchman Nee's book on spiritual authority.
Though scriptural in content, are Nee's conclusions sound?
Page 43, Spiritual Authority, WN
"It was right for Martin Luther to rise up to speak for the basic principle of justification by faith. It is also right for us to leave the denominations to stand as the testimony of oneness in the local church. Since we have seen
the glory of Christ and the Body of Christ, we cannot have any other name apart from the name of the Lord. The Lord’s name is of foremost importance. Why is salvation not only through the blood of Christ but also through
the name of the Lord? This is because the Lord’s name means resurrection and ascension. God has only one way of salvation, and He has placed this under the name of the Lord. In baptism we are baptized into the name
of the Lord, and our meeting together is in the name of the Lord. Therefore, the cross and the blood alone cannot solve the problem of denominations. If a man sees the glory of ascension, he cannot insist on any name other than that of the Lord’s. We can only exalt the Lord’s name. There cannot be any other name. Today’s denominational organizations are overthrowing the Lord’s glory. This is a blasphemy to the Lord."

So, according to WN it is right for us to stand against any group that lifts up any name other than Jesus.

I would argue that the LRC does this on several levels.

The teaching of the "ground of the church" is a violation of this principle. The ground of the church is the name of Jesus, which appears to be WN's meaning in this paragraph as well. To say that the boundaries of a city trump Jesus' name is outrageous. To say that you need to receive LSM ministry to be a church is no different from being "baptized into a denomination". I think this word by WN clearly convicts the LRC and LSM of the sin of rebellion.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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Relating to the topic of deputy authority is Watchman Nee's book on spiritual authority.
Though scriptural in content, are Nee's conclusions sound?
Quick break from sabbatical is in order for this thread.

I think Terry has it pretty close here. But I would restate his question as follows:

"Though full of scripture, does Nee faithfully analyze its meaning and thereby arrive at sound conclusions?"

When we started looking at this book a couple of years ago, I began to see Nee engaging in selective rewriting of scripture. If you actually read the verses that he uses in the first chapter of the book, you find that he consistently takes verses that speak of "power" and immediately carries on as if they say "authority." If you look in the fifth paragraph of the book, he does actually quote from the ending of the Lord's Prayer, then immediately restates it as referring to authority and glory.

Why? Maybe because he thinks it is true and sees no reason to provide a legitimate explanation.

Because of things like this, I cannot refer to his book as "scriptural" unless the term only means that there are a lot of verses cited and/or quoted. But to me, "scriptural" can only be attributed to a book outside of the scripture itself if it faithfully quotes, analyzes, and applies the scripture in a manner that clearly springs from that scripture.

And replacing one important term with a different one — one that does not mean the same thing — and then using that altered term as a foundation for insisting upon its importance is not "scriptural." It is mishandling the word of truth. It is the fabrication of a myth. And a myth that now underpins the unrighteousness of the leadership of yet one more exclusivist, remnant theology sect.

This is the beginning of the march to "discover" deputy authority.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
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Relating to the topic of deputy authority is Watchman Nee's book on spiritual authority.
Though scriptural in content, are Nee's conclusions sound?
Page 49, Scriptural Authority, WN
Since God is the One who establishes authority, there is no need for deputy authorities to try to build up their own authority. I know of a few brothers and sisters who were so foolish in the past that they thought they could direct others with their authority. They were trying to build up their own authority. This is foolish in the eyes of God. Hebrews 5:4 says, “No one takes the honor upon himself, but only as he is called by God.” The same is true with authority; no one can take authority upon himself. When God grants one to be an authority, he has authority. Hence, there is no need to demand obedience from others. If others insist on being wrong, let them be wrong. If others will not obey, leave them alone. If others want to take their own way, let them take their own way. We must never argue with others. If I am not appointed by God to be the authority, why do I have to demand obedience from others? On the other hand, if I am an authority appointed by God, why do I have to worry that others will not submit to me? If there is authority with me, others are disobeying God when they disobey me. So why do I need to be concerned with others’ disobedience? If authority is with me, others will be arguing with God when they argue with me. There is nothing more serious than this in the whole world. We do not need to force others to listen to us; we can give everyone the liberty to do what they want. If God backs up the authority, what more do we have to fear? Have you ever seen a king on earth backing up his ministers? No! However, if you are a deputy authority, God will sustain you, support you, and even back you up.


I think this is reasonable, but does not describe what we have seen in the LRC with LSM, WL, PL, and the Blendeds.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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Page 49, Scriptural Authority, WN

Since God is the One who establishes authority, there is no need for deputy authorities to try to build up their own authority. I know of a few brothers and sisters who were so foolish in the past that they thought they could direct others with their authority. They were trying to build up their own authority. This is foolish in the eyes of God. Hebrews 5:4 says, “No one takes the honor upon himself, but only as he is called by God.” The same is true with authority; no one can take authority upon himself. When God grants one to be an authority, he has authority.
This may sound good, but why teach it? It's like arming people with guns, teaching them gun safety, and then leaving the guns laying around for the wrong person to use them. Why not limit your teaching to the Bible? Why even discuss the authority of a "deputy?" Why not focus your teaching, as the Apostle Paul does, on the character of the Lord's servants and on the numerous warnings in the Bible about the abuse of authority. I daresay that the word "deputy" has never helped anyone but he who misused it for his own selfish gains. Paul called this filthy lucre.

Supposedly Witness Lee himself was there in person for all of Nee's messages on spiritual authority, and supposedly he should have been the one with the most fear of the abuse of authority. He claimed to be absolutely one with Watchman Nee and his ministry. Yet was he not the one who abused these teachings the most? Why did he teach others like the God-fearing John Ingalls these messages about deputy authority and then neglect to teach his own profligate sons?

Timothy and Philip Lee obviously knew what it meant to wield great authority over the brothers and sisters in the Recovery. I'm sure they witnessed daddy's public rebukes, humiliations, and chastisements for many years. They obviously lusted over the great adoration their father regularly received. By all accounts, Lee's own sons knew little about respect, morality, virtue, kindness, faith, godliness, decency, etc. yet Witness saw fit to place Philip over LSM and all the workers.

It's hard not to believe that the teaching of deputy authority in the Recovery had far more to do with Chinese culture than the Bible, especially since the Recovery has become little more than the Lee Dynasty.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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This may sound good, but why teach it? It's like arming people with guns, teaching them gun safety, and then leaving the guns laying around for the wrong person to use them. Why not limit your teaching to the Bible? Why even discuss the authority of a "deputy?" Why not focus your teaching, as the Apostle Paul does, on the character of the Lord's servants and on the numerous warnings in the Bible about the abuse of authority. I daresay that the word "deputy" has never helped anyone but he who misused it for his own selfish gains. Paul called this filthy lucre.
It is Pandora's box, once it is opened you can't put it back. Once there are 350 million guns in the USA it is a little pointless to talk about getting rid of guns. Once Satan has rebelled it is too late to talk about how much better life would be if he had never rebelled. Jesus said that the believers would rule over cities. Therefore we are being trained in the matter of authority and should not shy away from this topic. Also, Hebrews talk about the word of righteousness which immature Christians are unable to deal with, so there are scriptural topics which are not suitable for all Christians.

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Supposedly Witness Lee himself was there in person for all of Nee's messages on spiritual authority, and supposedly he should have been the one with the most fear of the abuse of authority. He claimed to be absolutely one with Watchman Nee and his ministry. Yet was he not the one who abused these teachings the most? Why did he teach others like the God-fearing John Ingalls these messages about deputy authority and then neglect to teach his own profligate sons?

Timothy and Philip Lee obviously knew what it meant to wield great authority over the brothers and sisters in the Recovery. I'm sure they witnessed daddy's public rebukes, humiliations, and chastisements for many years. They obviously lusted over the great adoration their father regularly received. By all accounts, Lee's own sons knew little about respect, morality, virtue, kindness, faith, godliness, decency, etc. yet Witness saw fit to place Philip over LSM and all the workers.

It's hard not to believe that the teaching of deputy authority in the Recovery had far more to do with Chinese culture than the Bible, especially since the Recovery has become little more than the Lee Dynasty.
I went straight to the chapter about "The Kind of Person God uses to be his deputy authority". He has 3 requirements which I found somewhat strange.

1. You need to recognize that all authority comes from God. So for example, the laws that regulated the formation of Daystar come from God. Skirting those laws and playing fast and loose with the laws is in essence thumbing your nose at God.

2. Must deny themselves. For example, if you had a profligate son that you wanted to be part of the ministry you would deny that desire and discipline him once his sins were manifested.

3. The third requirement is that you have constant, intimate communion with the Lord. You might wonder how you would know that someone does this? WN quotes (John 5:19) “I can do nothing from Myself; as I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just, because Ido not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me” (v. 30). He said that "a wild person who has no control of himself is far from God".

"Please give me the liberty to say a frank word. The problem with many of God’s servants today is that they are too bold, or to put it in a stronger way, they are too reckless."

So, it seems to me that the lawsuits were an example of a man who was not in constant, intimate communion with God.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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IMHO in regards to so called "spiritual authority" the question 2000+ years after the NT was written is: where does spiritual authority reside? If it resides in a certain person or select group of leaders than we are in trouble. Because this idea and practice allows this person or select handful of people to freely say and do whatever they want and everyone else is expected to submit to them regardless of what their own conscience says or what the Word of God says. The MOTA+ trumps all! And those who following their conscience speak out against some of their unsavory actions are considered rebellious, lepers, etc.

Martin Luther got this when he said at Worms the Bible and his conscience are his authority regardless of what the pope and his cohorts said or did past and present.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
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Default THE REQUIREMENTS OF VARIOUS DEPUTY AUTHORITIES

Concerning Husbands

The Bible teaches the wife to submit to the husband and the husband to exercise authority. However, there are requirements which the husband has to fulfill. Ephesians 5 mentions three times that the husband has to love the wife. He has to love his wife as himself. Although there is such a thing as authority in the family, those who are in authority should fulfill God’s requirements. The requirement of a husband as a deputy authority is to love his wife. There is a pattern for the husband’s love for the wife—Christ’s love for the church. Just as Christ loved the church, husbands should love their wives. The love that a husband has towards his wife should match that of Christ’s love towards the church. In order for a husband to maintain his authority in representing God, he must love his wife.

Concerning Parents

Children should obey their parents. But as deputy authorities, parents also have their responsibilities and requirements. The Bible says that parents should not provoke their children to anger. Although parents have authority over their children, they have to learn to control themselves before God. They cannot say that since their children have been begotten and are being raised up by them, they can treat them at will. God created us,
but He does not treat us at will. He gives everyone a free will. Hence, parents should not provoke their children to anger. Some people dare not do certain things before their friends, students, subordinates, or relatives, but they readily do them before their children without any hesitation at all. This is wrong. The greatest thing parents need to do is to exercise self-control. They have to control themselves through the Holy Spirit. Parents can deal with their children only to a certain extent. Their authority over their children is for the purpose of educating them only. They have to warn and nurture their children with the teaching of the Lord. There is no sense of domination or punishment here. A parent’s heart should be for education, not for punishment.
Page 84

Interesting Watchman Nee included husbands and parents among various deputy authorities. As I had learned in the local churches, it was only the co workers who were deputy authority and elders are delegated authority. It was only selected brothers who could properly discern what the feeling of the Body was.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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in regards to so called "spiritual authority" the question [] is: where does spiritual authority reside? If it resides in a certain person or select group of leaders than we are in trouble. Because this idea and practice allows this person or select handful of people to freely say and do whatever they want and everyone else is expected to submit to them regardless of what their own conscience says or what the Word of God says...
here is a section from page 80 "Elder's training, book 9"

"The New Testament leadership in the Gospels was a person. That person was the Lord Jesus Himself. But from Acts to Revelation, the unique New Testament leadership became the teaching of the apostles. Thus, neither Peter nor Paul controlled any church, but their teaching controlled. We can see this in 1 Timothy where Paul exhorted Timothy to remain in Ephesus in order that he might charge certain ones not to teach different things other than the economy of God (1:3-4). Different teachings are teachings which are different from the apostles' teaching concerning God's economy. This teaching is the unique leadership."

In this section Jesus, the subject, gets 2 quick sentences and the bulk of the attention goes to "teaching". Notice how easily Witness Lee turned the focus away from the leadership example of Jesus Christ. Jesus had led people back to their Father in heaven by doing: by serving (see John 13:12-17), by healing, feeding, comforting, and freeing people from oppression. Yes Jesus taught, but the focus, authority, and basis of his ministry was arguably "good works" --- see e.g. the declaration by one who was there with him: "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." ~Acts 10:38

Lee transformed this "doing good" into being a talking head, and selling one's messages, or teachings, for lucre. This is an infection from the spirit which was operating in Simon Magus, and which clearly penetrated the souls of both Lee and his fellow merchandizer Dong Yu Lan. Good works were ignored in the rush to convert "grace" into "cash".
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #12
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here is a section from page 80 "Elder's training, book 9"

"The New Testament leadership in the Gospels was a person. That person was the Lord Jesus Himself. But from Acts to Revelation, the unique New Testament leadership became the teaching of the apostles. Thus, neither Peter nor Paul controlled any church, but their teaching controlled. We can see this in 1 Timothy where Paul exhorted Timothy to remain in Ephesus in order that he might charge certain ones not to teach different things other than the economy of God (1:3-4). Different teachings are teachings which are different from the apostles' teaching concerning God's economy. This teaching is the unique leadership."

In this section Jesus, the subject, gets 2 quick sentences and the bulk of the attention goes to "teaching". Notice how easily Witness Lee turned the focus away from the leadership example of Jesus Christ.
I think what Witness Lee said in above quote is partly true but the apostles' teachings only play a part in the NT leadership.

There isn't a NT leadership in the Gospels and then a different one after that. The Gospels were all written at different times. John was one of the last books written. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body the church and it's Leader. And one of the main ways he leads us is through our conscience.

During the time of the early church there were also the apostles and their teachings. And these apostles had apostolic authority and provided in-person leadership to the church and their teachings were also authoritative. Today what we have left are some of their teachings in writing which is part of the NT. And we also have some of the teachings of Jesus Christ in writing and his example.

So today 2000 years later we have the Lord Jesus Christ who is alive and well and able to lead His church and we have the NT which includes His teachings and the apostles' teachings. This is where spiritual authority resides.

What the LC systems has done is equate Witness Lee's teachings with the apostles' teachings. If you listen carefully to them and watch their practice that is what it amounts to. And when Witness Lee was alive they thought he was the apostle with apostolic authority. So him in-person and his teachings were authoritative. And now that he is dead his teachings are equal to the NT or higher in status for all intent and purposes. That is why they could have a big division over which is the correct and official exegesis of Witness Lee's teachings i.e. BB/LSM or Titus Chu? Nothing to do with the NT. Let's have a fight over the interpretation of Witness Lee's teachings!
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

Watchman Nee writes the following in Spiritual Authority, "God alone is authority in all things; all the authorities of the earth are instituted by God."

"We should not be occupied with right or wrong, good or evil; rather should we know who is the authority above us."

"...he who walks after reason and sight goes the way of reason; only he who obeys authority enters Canaan by faith. None who follow reason can walk the spiritual pathway, because it is beyond and above human reasoning."

"People will perhaps argue, `What if the authority is wrong?' The answer is, If God dares to entrust His authority to men, then we can dare to obey. Whether the one in authority is right or wrong does not concern us, since he has to be responsible directly to God. The obedient needs only to obey; the Lord will not hold us responsible for any mistaken obedience, rather will He hold the delegated authority responsible for his erroneous act. Insubordination, however, is rebellion, and for this the one under authority must answer to God."

Nee argues for strict authoritarianism over the normal exercise of human conscience and reason. History has show the disastrous consequences of such teaching. No wonder tyranny has been so prevalent in the Local Churches.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:57 AM   #14
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Default Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
The Bible teaches the wife to submit to the husband and the husband to exercise authority. Children should obey their parents. But as deputy authorities, parents also have their responsibilities and requirements.
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In this section Jesus, the subject, gets 2 quick sentences and the bulk of the attention goes to "teaching". Notice how easily Witness Lee turned the focus away from the leadership example of Jesus Christ. ... Lee transformed this "doing good" into being a talking head, and selling one's messages, or teachings, for lucre.
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What the LC systems has done is equate Witness Lee's teachings with the apostles' teachings.
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Nee argues for strict authoritarianism over the normal exercise of human conscience and reason. History has show the disastrous consequences of such teaching. No wonder tyranny has been so prevalent in the Local Churches.
Great points by all posters.

The message of the Bible clearly tells us that the true God of the universe created the heavens and the earth, and He alone is the true absolute authority. Sure He places some authority in man, but that is never absolute, and always with numerous caveats. Whenever the importance of human authorities becomes exaggerated, and the necessary warnings and exemptions are removed, conditions are rife with abuse. Both the church and secular history are filled with these tragedies.

There was a time when Lucifer, the Daystar (take note of that title!) on high, was given great authority from God Himself to administer the universe. That authority was parlayed into the first coup d'etat in recorded history. One third of the angels "obeyed" their authority to their own peril. Obviously God has not provided them with an exemption for "obeying the authority" which God had put in place.

With Nee's exaggerated sense of deputy authority, based more on Chinese culture and dynastic history than the Bible, it's easy to see how Zeek has rightly concluded, "No wonder tyranny has been so prevalent in the Local Churches."
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:15 AM   #15
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Lucifer... was given great authority from God Himself to administer the universe. That authority was parlayed into the first coup d'etat in recorded history. One third of the angels "obeyed" their authority to their own peril.
In zeek's quote, Nee wrote that insubordination to authority was akin to rebellion. It seems as though Nee himself found a way around this dilemma, and was able to establish his own authority, via his "ground of the church" interpretation. Based on the exposited "ground of the church" he could form and lead a spin-off from a spin-off from a spin-off from a spin-off (Nee was ex-Brethren, itself broken from Protestantism, which had left Catholicism, which had split from the Orthodox) and there teach absolute obedience to (his own) authority within this new group.

It is little wonder that his spiritual heirs are bullies, sycophants, and merchandizers. Had Nee's "ground of the church" teaching and organization been true to the word coming from God's throne (i.e. obedient to God's disseminated authority), his new organization and its subsequent spin-off progeny would have been immune to usurpation by such rebellious forces. Instead, these groups had their doors wide open with positions ready for the new bosses. For a behind-the-scenes view of this process, see Paul's word on "...the kingdom of the air... the spirits now at work in those who are disobedient" in chapter 2 of his letter to the Ephesians. The repeated turmoils, rebellions, schisms, and quarantines have naturally followed suit behind such an organized, collective disobedience to the authority of God's holy word.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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It is little wonder that his spiritual heirs are bullies, sycophants, and merchandizers. Had Nee's "ground of the church" teaching and organization been true to the word coming from God's throne (i.e. obedient to God's disseminated authority), his new organization and its subsequent spin-off progeny would have been immune to usurpation by such rebellious forces.
I have placed in italics the portion of aron's post I wish to emphasize. I can very well understand aron's point if your are referring to the late Witness Lee and his handpicked "blended brothers". However if you are referring to other brothers Nee had discipled, I say you're going too far. My perception of Stephen Kaung is a polar opposite of Witness Lee. A merchandizer? If any posters or lurkers have been to his Family conferences in Virginia or the West Coast Conferences held each summer, you would know his books are at little or no cost at all. A bully? Not hardly. Probably more one who hadto bear the cross from being bullied. Sychophants? That's a term I don't hear used apart from Obama's administration or LSM. Having been a junior to Witness Lee, Stephen by now must be in his mid-90's. As for other brothers Watchman Nee had discpled, I don't know much about them. My best estimate is when it came to teachings on deputy authority and the local ground, the late Witness Lee over-emphasized it as a doctrine.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #17
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I can very well understand aron's point if your are referring to the late Witness Lee and his handpicked "blended brothers". However if you are referring to other brothers Nee had discipled, I say you're going too far.
I was writing from a reference point of being part of the Living Stream group, and then observing its progeny:

Arvore da Vida

http://www.arvoredavida.org.br/

and the group run by Chu.

http://ministrymessages.org/

I am aware that Nee influenced others, but don't know many details of their teachings, activities and organizations, and did not mean to disparage them. Actually I don't disparage any person, but rather the teachings which allowed so many in the flock of God to become controlled by rebellious forces, who set themselves up as 'authorities' on earth. Nee was perhaps a better man than I. But his ideas have splintered and stumbled the flock of God now how many times? Too many to count. And his heirs that I am familiar with (Witness Lee, Benson Phillips, Titus Chu, Dong Yu Lan) have certainly followed Nee's 'authority' teaching to its natural end: centralized control, with an 'acting God', followed by the inevitable turmoil and further splintering, and with bewildered sheep wondering what happened to the vaunted "oneness" of their flock. If Nee's teaching on authority was any good, why have its fruits been so persistently bad?
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:54 PM   #18
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I understand what you mean Aron. I realize there was no intent to disparage any. Ones you had mentioned: Benson, Titus, Dong, etc seem to come out of the Lee discipleship camp much more than Nee. This is where our frame of reference has it's orientation. Watchman discipled many others, but Witness seemed to have discounted all of them (exclusion by omission) except for himself. I think in part like with Titus Chu, Witness Lee was difficult to work with in addition to not embracing the ground of locality doctrine to the extent Witness Lee dd.
Sure there have been many other gifted brothers in the Recovery, but IMHO they were influenced in their Christian life more through Watchman Nee and Theodore Austin Sparks well before Witness Lee arrived in North America.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:12 PM   #19
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I understand what you mean Aron. I realize there was no intent to disparage any. Ones you had mentioned: Benson, Titus, Dong, etc seem to come out of the Lee discipleship camp much more than Nee. This is where our [limited] frame of reference has it's orientation.
I admit to a limited view, and something of a bias. And I myself may posess little authority in either heaven or on earth. But to equate the authority posessed by the Lord Jesus Christ, as clearly evidenced in the Gospels and foretold in scripture, in any way with the 'deputy authority' of the talking head Witness Lee is a joke. And it was Nee's teaching, and precedent, that put a gullible flock and an open dias in front of Witness Lee and his cohorts. That is, to me, irrespective of how well-behaved some of Nee's other co-workers and disciples may have been.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:03 PM   #20
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In zeek's quote, Nee wrote that insubordination to authority was akin to rebellion.

It is little wonder that his spiritual heirs are bullies, sycophants, and merchandizers.
This obvious connection has to be examined. For Nee and Lee to teach absolute submission to human deputy authorities, beyond the prescribed words of the Bible, is to establish a system where one man will rise to the top of the heap conquering all others in the process. Though Nee spoke numerous teachings to the contrary, attempting to neutralize the inherent tendencies of man's fallen nature, still we must examine the fruit of this teaching in order to validate it.

Both the Roman Church, the Brethren exclusive system, and the Recovery all stressed singular human authorities endued with tremendous human authority over their members. Each stressed that insubordination to deputy authority was akin to rebellion against the throne of God. Whether the pope, the Oracle of God, or the Minister of the Age, each was elevated to a position as vicar or God-man status, placing his own teachings equal with or above those of scripture. Each system had leaders who robbed the Head of His rightful place over the flock, and each had leaders who felt a certain sense of entitlement to abuse the flock of God when their authority was threatened.

When Christ is replaced with a man on the top, God-pleasing gets replaced with man-pleasing. Instead of pleasing only the Head, the Knower of hearts, men begin to seek the glory of man at the expense of genuine faith. Men of faith are replaced with sycophants jockeying for position in earthly kingdoms. Blessings from God slowly dry up, and leadership is forced to seek the gains of filthy lucre. Merchandizing the teachings of man result in an effort to prop up whatever heavenly blessing once existed.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:21 PM   #21
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If Nee's teaching on authority was any good, why have its fruits been so persistently bad?
Now you and I can talk.

Having been in the Recovery for 30 years, and prolly spending the last 25 wondering within when "the blessing" will one day be "restored," we have no other choice but to consider why, if this teaching truly were recovered from the Bible, why the results were so contentious, not just with outsiders in the form of persecution and subsequent lawsuits, but with insiders and the numerous storms and rebellions which occurred so frequently.

Saying that we were so close to God's heart that we regularly incurred the wrath of God's enemy, more so than any other christian group on earth, just don't cut the mustard anymore.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:56 AM   #22
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This obvious connection has to be examined. For Nee and Lee to teach absolute submission to human deputy authorities, beyond the prescribed words of the Bible, is to establish a system where one man will rise to the top of the heap conquering all others in the process.
Again, Watchman Nee:

"Whether the one in authority is right or wrong does not concern us, since he has to be responsible directly to God. The obedient needs only to obey...Insubordination, however, is rebellion, and for this the one under authority must answer to God."

Notice how easy it is to slide from this to "Witness Lee: even when he's wrong he's right." Turns out that God is a respecter of persons, after all.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:30 AM   #23
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Again, Watchman Nee:

"Whether the one in authority is right or wrong does not concern us, since he has to be responsible directly to God. The obedient needs only to obey...Insubordination, however, is rebellion, and for this the one under authority must answer to God."

Notice how easy it is to slide from this to "Witness Lee: even when he's wrong he's right." Turns out that God is a respecter of persons, after all.
Apparently Philip Lee's favorite quote from the ministry is, "we don't care for right and wrong, we only care for life." After hearing of his lack of respect for other persons, this quote becomes more than fitting.

This diseased distortion of the truth concerning righteousness and the law ran rampant throughout the Recovery due to many of Lee's errant teachings. I remember the time a family with children took hospitality with us. When I told the ~10 year old boy to please get his shoes off my couch, he informed me ever so matter-of-factly that "in our house, we don't have rules, because the law kills us." I didn't know who to wallop, him or his mother. Anyways, "sit up straight!"

Because both Nee and Lee were elevated to positions of such spiritual authority, far beyond the limits prescribed by the New Testament, their unbalanced sayings took on a life of their own. The basic foundational support of every child of God -- the plain words of scripture -- were superseded by Nee-isms and Lee-isms. When the Minister of the Age's own grown son, an unbelieving profligate and womanizer, is placed in charge of his entire ministry, something has run horribly amok.

It started with Nee's errant views of deputy authority. They were the open door to a whole host of evils.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:19 AM   #24
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Nee only recognizes one exception to the principle of absolute obedience to authority:

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The whole New Testament stands behind delegated authority. The only exception is found in Acts 5.29 when Peter and the apostles answered the Jewish council which forbade them to teach in the name of the Lord Jesus. Peter answered by saying, "We must obey God rather then men." This was due to the fact that the delegated authority here had distinctly violated God's command and trespassed against the Person of the Lord. Such an answer as Peter's can only be given under this particular situation. In all other circumstances we must learn to be subject to delegated authorities. We can never bring in obedience through rebellion.
Other than that, even slavery and subordination of women is OK. Women, children, and slaves are instructed to obey authority unconditionally no matter how tyrannical. No wonder the leadership suppressed this book in the USA. Nee's teaching is diametrically opposed to American values.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #25
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Nee only recognizes one exception to the principle of absolute obedience to authority ...
Just the phrase "absolute authority" negates the matter of mercy so indigenous to the concepts of love and grace surrounding the cross of Christ. Where was "absolute authority" when the disciples wanted the Lord to judge those performing wonders, but not in their circle of fellowship. Where was "absolute authority" when Paul, the supposed archetype MOTA of God's New Testament Economy did not slay the slave Onesimus on the spot for abandoning his owner, Paul's own friend Philemon.

No one here is sponsoring anarchy in the kingdom of God, but isn't it extremely self-serving for any minister to elevate himself to prominence as the Minister of the Age, and then teach "absolute authority" in order to control God's people from disobeying your directives or voicing concerns about your leadership?

These are the same kinds of cultural mandates which created millennia of Chinese dynasties. It may sound "spiritual" to unsuspecting westerners when sprinkled with a few O.T. stories, but no other minister would espouse them, including the original apostles.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #26
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Nee's teaching is diametrically opposed to American values.

I would say much more than Nee's teaching, the LC/LSM practice of deputy authority is in opposition to AMerican values.
Meaning LC/LSM teachings on deputy authority is 100% with the coworkers/elders/secular leaders. While husbands and parents are excluded. I seem to recall portions of Lee's ministry where he tried to de-emphasize the parental love for our children. That we could love out children too much.

Based on Nee's teaching if an elder/coworker was to "touch" my children, that would be usurping the father's/parental responsibility as deputy authority. In non-LC Christian circles them emphasis is not as deputy authority, but as shepherds of the home. As I see, it is the responsibility of each parent to lead their children to Christ.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:11 PM   #27
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Apparently Philip Lee's favorite quote from the ministry is, "we don't care for right and wrong, we only care for life." After hearing of his lack of respect for other persons, this quote becomes more than fitting.
That quote I see was and still is applied in response for accountability and responsibility, but has since been paraphrased to say something to the effect of, we don't care for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we only care for the Tree of Life.
Quite simply leading brothers do not like to be put on defense for their actions or lack of, thus this is their counter-strike towards those who expect a response for a lack of accountability and responsibility.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #28
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Maybe Nee didn't realize it, or maybe he was plotting complete control, either way, his delegated authority and MOTA doctrines ended up being a machination for a cult.

All cults would totally agree with Nee, on these matters.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:10 PM   #29
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Maybe Nee didn't realize it, or maybe he was plotting complete control, either way, his delegated authority and MOTA doctrines ended up being a machination for a cult.
True dat. "He who would be greatest among you must become the least" became "Do whatever Big Brother says; he's clearly the greatest".
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:56 AM   #30
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Maybe Nee didn't realize it, or maybe he was plotting complete control, either way, his delegated authority and MOTA doctrines ended up being a machination for a cult.

All cults would totally agree with Nee, on these matters.
And having no delegated authority is the machination of anarchists. This is not an easy topic. Human authority has been the biggest issue we have had for the last 2000 years.

I am a teacher. I went to school in England and the US and have been a teacher in the US and Taiwan. England and Taiwan give teachers a lot of delegated authority relative to the US. There are pros and cons for each. I think the US system should get top marks for empathy, but overall they should score the lowest on this one criteria. In the US individual students are allowed to bring down the school to a much higher degree than is allowed in England or Taiwan.

I have also travelled to a number of countries other than the US. Based on my personal experience and first hand observation I would say that the US has the best government in the world. However, that is much more a comment on how poor human government is rather than on how good the US government is. Also, to my opinion the negatives of the US government are becoming more negative (primarily the negative impact of the US on its neighbors, economically, environmentally, and militarily) while the positives are not getting more positive (primarily human rights).

Likewise, delegated authority in the family is a major issue with no clear answer. In this country, more than any other, we protect the rights of children and women. However, one result is that 40% of families are now headed by a woman, which is much, much higher than other first world nations. There are many negative consequences of removing a father from a family. As a teacher I know that when I call home due to some child's very poor behavior it is my hope that I will get a father. If I get a father I rarely ever have to make a second call. If I get a mother, aunt, grandmother or step dad then the problem is rarely resolved. Instead the most common response is "I can't do anything with him".

So I would hope that if someone is going to argue that WN was wrong that they would at least point out who was right.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:55 AM   #31
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And having no delegated authority is the machination of anarchists. This is not an easy topic. Human authority has been the biggest issue we have had for the last 2000 years.

So I would hope that if someone is going to argue that WN was wrong that they would at least point out who was right.
I am a firm believer in the offices of elders and deacons established for every congregation. There is safety in the plurality of leadership. Plurality among the elders and plurality among the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. Safety in numbers, as they say.

Regardless of Nee's original thoughts about The Work and spiritual authority, under Lee it came to mean one unquestioned leader at the top, over all the workers and the elders, whose authority only grew year by year. Lee was peerless and his authority was absent of input from other spiritual men. Yes, he might have appeared grandfatherly and austere to most of the saints, but look what happened when he transferred a fraction of his authority to his two sons.

Regardless of what the saints believed about "local" churches and leadership autonomy in these churches, I witnessed too much to the contrary. Both Lee and Chu ruled with an iron fist. They both could be so incredibly charming to the saints in general, and yet so overly dominant and abusive to other leaders. The word "local" became basically a farce and a smokescreen when attached to the mounting authority of these so-called "deputies" of the body of Christ.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:08 AM   #32
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That quote I see was and still is applied in response for accountability and responsibility, but has since been paraphrased to say something to the effect of, we don't care for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we only care for the Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life is connected to the throne of God. Where righteousness is trampled underfoot, man is driven out from the Tree of Life. Righteousness is altogether intertwined with accountability and responsibility. The "Tree of Life" addressed here by the likes of Phillip Lee and others at LSM is really the Tree of Lawlessness.


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Quite simply leading brothers do not like to be put on defense for their actions or lack of, thus this is their counter-strike towards those who expect a response for a lack of accountability and responsibility.
Leading brothers in the LC's especially don't want to answer for the rottenness at headquarters. Many elders I knew were very upright, yet could never hold others accountable at headquarters. What was done and said there was, by definition, "right." Hence the prevalent saying, "even when they are wrong, they are right."
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:57 AM   #33
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So I would hope that if someone is going to argue that WN was wrong that they would at least point out who was right.
Great post bro Z.

But what do I know?

The LRC claims to be a Bible based church.

So I looked there to find "who was right."

I searched the Bible for "delegated authority" and "minister of the age." Result : no hits. So I narrowed the search to "delegated." Again no hits.

But "authority" pulled up :

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you:


So does Jesus qualify as someone who knows who is right?

Other than that, right now, I got nothing. But maybe I'll know everything some time soon. I'll get back to you then.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:14 AM   #34
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But "authority" pulled up :

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you:

So does Jesus qualify as someone who knows who is right?
So google got it right about authority in the church.

Who knew?
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:42 AM   #35
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So google got it right about authority in the church.

Who knew?
Nah bro Ohio. I was using the e-Sword Bible reference, searching the KJV, and didn't use google. But maybe I should have. But I doubt the Critical Text translations would be any different.

However I'm sure the search results would be different in the RcV, if footnotes are included in the search.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:42 AM   #36
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Nah bro Ohio. I was using the e-Sword Bible reference, searching the KJV, and didn't use google. But maybe I should have. But I doubt the Critical Text translations would be any different.

However I'm sure the search results would be different in the RcV, if footnotes are included in the search.
Methinks LSM ought to use that search tool and get re-educated when it comes to authority. That's one topic they have entirely messed up.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:00 AM   #37
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Great post bro Z.

But what do I know?

The LRC claims to be a Bible based church.

So I looked there to find "who was right."

I searched the Bible for "delegated authority" and "minister of the age." Result : no hits. So I narrowed the search to "delegated." Again no hits.

But "authority" pulled up :

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you:


So does Jesus qualify as someone who knows who is right?

Other than that, right now, I got nothing. But maybe I'll know everything some time soon. I'll get back to you then.
Wow! Who would have thought? The Bible doesn't mention Fathers or mothers! It doesn't command you to "honor your father and mother". It doesn't talk about obeying authority! It doesn't talk about headship. It doesn't mention laws, or elders, or excommunication, or any vestige of authority! Were you doing a search of the King James Bible or the Anarchists Bible?
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #38
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I am a firm believer in the offices of elders and deacons established for every congregation. There is safety in the plurality of leadership. Plurality among the elders and plurality among the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. Safety in numbers, as they say.
I think any group will be subject to being dominated by a gifted member. Look at basketball teams. The "superstar" literally molds the team to their image and if it doesn't fit they drive the other players away. This does not seem unreasonable to me for a ministry. So plurality will always be influenced by how gifted someone is.

Our govt is set on "checks and balances" and "plurality rules" yet it has quickly become an oligarchy. The rich and powerful will always seek to have more voice in govt than others.

However, the church should be structured much more like a family in which everyone has a stance and stake in the family. A father is not a dictator. A grandfather presumably would have something at stake in every child, not just a favored son. The Lord talked about the shepherd versus the "hired hand". A father is not a "hired hand", which is certainly a key safeguard. I would like my "leaders" to be invested in my success and well being.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:06 PM   #39
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I think any group will be subject to being dominated by a gifted member. Look at basketball teams. The "superstar" literally molds the team to their image and if it doesn't fit they drive the other players away. This does not seem unreasonable to me for a ministry. So plurality will always be influenced by how gifted someone is.

Our govt is set on "checks and balances" and "plurality rules" yet it has quickly become an oligarchy. The rich and powerful will always seek to have more voice in govt than others.

However, the church should be structured much more like a family in which everyone has a stance and stake in the family. A father is not a dictator. A grandfather presumably would have something at stake in every child, not just a favored son. The Lord talked about the shepherd versus the "hired hand". A father is not a "hired hand", which is certainly a key safeguard. I would like my "leaders" to be invested in my success and well being.
Bro ZNP, Nee in his Spiritual Authority says we all should find our authority. And you sound like your authority is in the local church. So are you in rebellion to your authority?

Nee says : respect your authoritah ....
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:31 PM   #40
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Bro ZNP, Nee in his Spiritual Authority says we all should find our authority. And you sound like your authority is in the local church. So are you in rebellion to your authority?

Nee says : respect your authoritah ....
http://www.talkingwav.com/south_park/cartman_07.wav
In my experience as a father you have absolute authority over the kids life when they are an infant and every year you give up some authority as the kid wants more authority over their own life. However, children in their 20s still want advice, help and counsel.

Likewise, in my experience if someone asks for your advice and then completely disregards it you are much less inclined to respond the next time the request is made. If you want counsel you have to respect the counselor, otherwise you will not pay any attention to the counsel.

It is a blessing to have someone you can ask advice and counsel of. But, sometimes when you ask advice it is not a simple question, but something you need the other person to be invested in. If you want to go to graduate school and need some advice it might require that this person really know you, your financial situation, your family situation, where you are in your career, your goals, etc. So, to my mind the fact that your father has been invested in your life from day 1 really gives them the inside track. Now I recognized this from the first day I met with the LRC, hence I gave much more respect to those that I knew had been invested in my Christian life and didn't give any regard to some guy living 1,000 miles away.

So then, it is not merely about who is "appointed" the elder, or who is the "apostle". Obviously I deferred to them on matters they had authority over, but when it came to my life and my decisions I would fellowship with those I felt were most invested in my well being.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #41
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Were you doing a search of the King James Bible or the Anarchists Bible?
So you think Jesus was an Anarchist? The Romans thought so too. That's why they hung him. As they did all Anarchists. Jesus was just one among thousands (mostly Pharisees) they hung on a cross for insurrection against Rome.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:17 AM   #42
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So you think Jesus was an Anarchist? The Romans thought so too. That's why they hung him. As they did all Anarchists. Jesus was just one among thousands (mostly Pharisees) they hung on a cross for insurrection against Rome.
This may explain the confusion of your other posts. I don't think Jesus, Lord of all, is an anarchist. I think you are.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:07 AM   #43
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Hi Harold, good to see you....kind of...

Please stay on topic. The last few post are wondering a bit. I think this topic is controversial enough without having to resort to agitating other members. Let's keep the Topiq Nazi on the sidelines where he belongs.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:18 AM   #44
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Hi Harold, good to see you....kind of...

Please stay on topic. The last few post are wondering a bit. I think this topic is controversial enough without having to resort to agitating other members. Let's keep the Topiq Nazi on the sidelines where he belongs.
I respect your authoritah .... sorry ... It went off topic at post #38 ...
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:41 AM   #45
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Wow! Who would have thought? The Bible doesn't mention Fathers or mothers!
So now we're not talking about spiritual authority, but natural authority. Of course parents are an authority. They change the diapers. Still, who can have authority over a baby? Just command it to do something and see what happens.

You are confusing authorities. Normal authorities are not the same as God authorities.

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Were you doing a search of the King James Bible or the Anarchists Bible?
I already stated it was the KJV.

The point is that "delegated authority" as taught by Nee & Lee, and "Minister of the Age, are not in the Bible. They are extra-Biblical teachings and practices, that require a "Sleight of Mind spell casting trick of verbage" to gain all-in allegiance.

And don't try to bait me into the subject of Christian anarchy. However, if we're talking about sticking to scripture, at least there's more support for Christian anarchy than delegated authority or the MOTA.

But we're good boys and won't talk about that.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:17 AM   #46
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So now we're not talking about spiritual authority, but natural authority. Of course parents are an authority. They change the diapers.

You are confusing authorities. Normal authorities are not the same as God authorities.


I already stated it was the KJV.

The point is that "delegated authority" as taught by Nee & Lee, and "Minister of the Age, are not in the Bible. They are extra-Biblical teachings and practices, that require a "Sleight of Mind spell casting trick of verbage" to gain all-in allegiance.

And don't try to bait me into the subject of Christian anarchy. However, if we're talking about sticking to scripture, at least there's more support for Christian anarchy than delegated authority or the MOTA.

But we're good boys and won't talk about that.
In Nee and Lee's teaching they refer to "delegated" authority using Police and the uniform as one example. Hence, anarchy is relevant to their teaching. They also use Fathers, Mothers, head covering and other scriptural references. The issue with the teaching is not that the NT does not teach this concept, it does. The issue isn't that some of what Nee and Lee taught was scriptural, it was. The issue is that they went too far and also misappropriated the teaching. MOTA is a clear example of their error.

Yes the NT teaches delegated authority, especially when Paul says to "obey" those in authority.
Yes their is "delegated" authority in the church, particularly when Paul says to let everything be done in order, and where he says that we need to learn how to behave in the house of God.

However, Jesus made it very clear that we are to call no man "Rabbi", hence the teaching of MOTA is clearly prohibited by Jesus. That teaching is heretical. To justify that teaching with "delegated authority" is to misappropriate that teaching. Lee and Nee clearly mishandled the word of God and did not cut it straight.

PS. -- Honoring your father and mother is a commandment with the two promises that it will "be well with you" and that "you will live long". Hence, I don't accept your distinction between this being a "natural" delegated authority whereas Elders and Apostles are "spiritual" delegated authority.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:21 AM   #47
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In Nee and Lee's teaching they refer to "delegated" authority using Police and the uniform as one example. Hence, anarchy is relevant to their teaching. They also use Fathers, Mothers, head covering and other scriptural references. The issue with the teaching is not that the NT does not teach this concept, it does. The issue isn't that some of what Nee and Lee taught was scriptural, it was. The issue is that they went too far and also misappropriated the teaching. MOTA is a clear example of their error.

Yes the NT teaches delegated authority, especially when Paul says to "obey" those in authority.
Yes their is "delegated" authority in the church, particularly when Paul says to let everything be done in order, and where he says that we need to learn how to behave in the house of God.

However, Jesus made it very clear that we are to call no man "Rabbi", hence the teaching of MOTA is clearly prohibited by Jesus. That teaching is heretical. To justify that teaching with "delegated authority" is to misappropriate that teaching. Lee and Nee clearly mishandled the word of God and did not cut it straight.

PS. -- Honoring your father and mother is a commandment with the two promises that it will "be well with you" and that "you will live long". Hence, I don't accept your distinction between this being a "natural" delegated authority whereas Elders and Apostles are "spiritual" delegated authority.
I would quibble but not cuz this was a great post. Thanks ZNP.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:22 AM   #48
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Misappropriation (great word by the way) of principles of authority is a calling card of abusive groups. Heck, it is a calling card of almost all abuse, spiritual or otherwise. It is taking advantage of another's good faith and intentions.

Nee's distorted view on authority is just one more example of why spiritual teaching needs to be vetted by the Body of Christ. I am under authority in the church I'm in. I honor God by being so. But if my church ever got on a tear, like the LC did, of making a big deal about spiritual authority, I would strongly consider leaving, because I know emphasizing it is a pretext to abuse.

Jesus specified tying a millstone around one's neck and throwing it in the sea being better than the consequences of such abuses. LC leaders, take note.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:31 AM   #49
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Misappropriation (great word by the way) of principles of authority is a calling card of abusive groups. Heck, it is a calling card of almost all abuse, spiritual or otherwise. It is taking advantage of another's good faith and intentions.

Nee's distorted view on authority is just one more example of why spiritual teaching needs to be vetted by the Body of Christ. I am under authority in the church I'm in. I honor God by being so. But if my church ever got on a tear, like the LC did, of making a big deal about spiritual authority, I would strongly consider leaving, because I know emphasizing it is a pretext to abuse.

Jesus specified tying a millstone around one's neck and throwing it in the sea being better than the consequences of such abuses. LC leaders, take note.
Refreshing Igzy.

Stopping this abuse of "spiritual" authority in the local churches will have to come from the bottom up. The small potatoes will have to wise up and proclaim : "Take your spiritual authority and shove it ... we follow Christ!" Many have stated that with their feet.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:53 AM   #50
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Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you:
So have we simply dismissed Jesus' teaching here? In Nee's book it would seem to read:

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 And so shall it be so among you.

And authority doesn't work at all with babies. No matter what you do they just cry, eat, and mess their diapers. Authority does not exist to them yet.

Jesus sought to subvert people from the world system to the Kingdom of God. He was a non-violent revolutionary. That's why they killed him. It was the subversive element in Paul's teaching that got him killed as well. Who, if anyone, is practicing the Kingdom of God today?
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:38 PM   #51
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However, the church should be structured much more like a family in which everyone has a stance and stake in the family. A father is not a dictator. A grandfather presumably would have something at stake in every child, not just a favored son. The Lord talked about the shepherd versus the "hired hand". A father is not a "hired hand", which is certainly a key safeguard. I would like my "leaders" to be invested in my success and well being.
Love is essential in any family environment. Same goes for where each of us fellowship on Lord's Day morning. When ZNP says he would like his leaders to be invested in success and well-being, that is simply more than setting meeting times, making announcements, or shaking hands after the meeting is over.
Just as a father knows his children and is involved in his children's lives, same goes for leaders of the church.
The difference between a shepherd and a hirling (aka steward of a system), a shepherd goes after the one that has gone astray. A hirling doesn't concern himself about the ones that go astray, only the ones that are present. If a church leader wants to be a shepherd, a brother or sister hasn't been attending for a while, he has to go after them. Otherwise if a church leader has the mindset "if you want to be part of the churchlife, you have to be here", that's an indication the church leader is more like a hirling than a shepherd. Even more so if you feel more responsible to the feeling of the Body enimating from Cleveland or Anaheim.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:45 PM   #52
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The difference between a shepherd and a hireling (aka steward of a system), a shepherd goes after the one that has gone astray. A hireling doesn't concern himself about the ones that go astray, only the ones that are present.
During my last time of fellowship in the LC, I voiced my ever-growing concerns that a serious conflict of interest existed when all 3 church elders were employees of Titus Chu in Cleveland. It didn't matter that it was the hard-earned offerings of the saints which supported them because it was Titus who cut the check. It was more than abundantly clear in situation after situation, that their loyalty to Titus Chu far exceeded their care for the sheep of God.

Calling it a "conflict of interest" was just a kind way of saying that they had all become hirelings. Obviously they did not see things that way, and took great offense at my concerns. These hirelings were simply being loyal to their boss. They may have prided themselves with the fact that were "co-"workers with the great "apostle" Titus Chu, but there was no "co-" about their service to him. Whatever liberty they had once enjoyed was forfeited once they were on the payroll. They had lost the Christian liberty and rights they once had concerning where they lived and how they served the Lord.

The one elder, who was placed in charge by Titus Chu over the other elders, knew nothing about the condition of the saints in the church. He came from the Chicago area after Chicago's leaders flip-flopped on their loyalty to Titus Chu and the truth of the scriptures. One time I protested the sweeping changes that this maximum elder was instituting in my church, and he replied to me, "sometimes we need to shock the saints." After I left the church, I learned that many indeed had been "electrocuted." He was just a hireling doing his job, and a bad one at that.

Such was the false authority imposed upon the precious saints in the local churches. Titus Chu exercised a false authority when he relocated maximum brother to take over our church. The other elders believed a false authority by submitting to him. What is significant about these verses is that the Lord cares little about how "one" the shepherds were with their headquarters. Healthy authority is related to how we conduct ourselves in the house of God, composed of His own children.

Matt 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Matt 20:26 But it shall not be so among you.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #53
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Calling it a "conflict of interest" was just a kind way of saying that they had all become hirelings. Obviously they did not see things that way, and took great offense at my concerns. These hirelings were simply being loyal to their boss. They may have prided themselves with the fact that were "co-"workers with the great "apostle" Titus Chu, but there was no "co-" about their service to him. Whatever liberty they had once enjoyed was forfeited once they were on the payroll. They had lost the Christian liberty and rights they once had concerning where they lived and how they served the Lord.
When a brother is simultaneously an elder and a co-worker, how does a conflict of interest not exist? Isn't this a case of “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
(Matthew 6:24)

On one hand as an elder serving the local assembly and on the other hand serving a ministry. Sooner or later which of the two is more of a priority?
When a brother is an elder/co-worker, is he just an elder when not abroad fulfilling the co-worker function?
The concept is no different from the family unit. When a father's employer has him traveling for work or if family situations results in the husband and wife being separated or divorced, how is the father going to shepherd his family? He's not if he's not home. He needs to be home in order to do that.

Same applies to the local assembly. When an elder/co-worker is out of town, he won't be able to fulfill his responsibility to shepherd the church. When you have this conflict of interest, invariably being a co-worker reduces the responsibility of an elder to a "rubber-stamp" function.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:00 PM   #54
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When a brother is simultaneously an elder and a co-worker, how does a conflict of interest not exist?

Isn't this a case of “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (Matthew 6:24)
The conflict of interest exists in the Recovery because of their rule that the most senior worker (Titus Chu in the GLA) directs all the movements of the other workers. Titus Chu is the de facto master of all other co-workers and full-timers. All the GLA workers found this out the hard way, the most recent being John Myer. As the Master, Titus Chu had the right to abuse and publicly shame all the other workers under his "perfecting care." Once this became totally unsuitable to the coworker, he had no other recourse but to leave the Recovery completely. There was no arbitration available for relief.

The churches learned this the hard way. They had no claim to the worker's time or service. He could be ordered to leave for the weekend with just a moment's notice. Neither could the worker have the liberty to follow the Lord directly. His movements must be initiated by headquarters.

Back in the late 80's, after one gifted and beloved brother quit his job to serve full-time, I watched both Witness Lee and Titus Chu fight over his "service." Both wanted him in their "territory." It was only his wife's threats of divorce which stopped him from repeatedly relocating at their bidding. Because we knew the "rules," his local church had no way to keep or protect him from this. After Lee's death, Titus Chu finally got his way and relocated the family to Toronto. There he remained until Chu's public invectives got so abusive that he abruptly quit serving. No one came to his aid. No amount of medicine could reduce the stress-induced hypertension he suffered. The public assaults were so caustic, that he was almost physically beat up by a zealous brother thinking he was doing God a favor and ridding the Recovery of such a "plague." Such were the "perfecting" methods of the "master" Titus Chu.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:31 PM   #55
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When a brother is simultaneously an elder and a co-worker, how does a conflict of interest not exist? Isn't this a case of “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
(Matthew 6:24)
Then it doesn't matter where the paycheck is coming from. Without a doubt, elders should not be paid from a ministry.

But if someone is really a gifted shepherd they don't need a paycheck from either TC or the church.

IMVLE the best shepherds and the best evangelists were not on any payroll at all.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #56
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The conflict of interest exists in the Recovery because of their rule that the most senior worker (Titus Chu in the GLA) directs all the movements of the other workers...The churches learned this the hard way. They had no claim to the worker's time or service. He could be ordered to leave for the weekend with just a moment's notice. Neither could the worker have the liberty to follow the Lord directly. His movements must be initiated by headquarters.
This way of doing things was set up by Watchman Nee. His model was: the work is regional and has a center and the church is local and has no center. In his book The Normal Christian Church Life he indicated that coworkers could be considered as apostles with authority in the work and this authority included appointing elders. But workers had no authority in church administration - this was the sphere of the elders. Once appointed the workers needed to leave them alone and let them do their jobs locally.

But problem arose because:

1. Some coworkers were also elders and
2. When coworkers who were not elders were in their "home church" what was their function i.e. when they were not traveling etc. They had authority in the work but none in the church.

What now? How did everything and everyone fit together?

To address this he wrote Further Talks on the Church Life and tried to find a way to make it work. I appreciate his efforts but IMHO trying to find a quick and easy tidy model from the early NT church is a futile exercise. A lot was going on back then and they were figuring it out as they went along with no intention that it would be an ironclad model for future generations.

Anyway obviously Nee's model didn't work if Witness Lee is any indication of it's fruit. Under him the work was not regional it was global. His practice in the Far East and elsewhere is that he ruled the work and the work ruled the churches. Period. Titus Chu in the GLA is just a miniature of that modus operanti.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:22 PM   #57
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Then it doesn't matter where the paycheck is coming from. Without a doubt, elders should not be paid from a ministry.

But if someone is really a gifted shepherd they don't need a paycheck from either TC or the church.

IMVLE the best shepherds and the best evangelists were not on any payroll at all.
I agree ZNP. Once an elder becomes a co-worker and supported financially as such; liberty, principles, and integrity risk being compromised if it hasn't already. For one the financial support alone dictates you must be biased towards the ministry that supports you. In the end, no room for impartiality.

That is why for brothers who are elders and wish to remain impartial, if you need financial support have an employer that won't create a conflict of interest between yourself and your responsibility to the saints. Or be self-employed. In those circumstances, there would be less of a possibility of becoming compromised.

"After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers. 4 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks." Acts 18:3
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:30 AM   #58
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Anyway obviously Nee's model didn't work if Witness Lee is any indication of it's fruit. Under him the work was not regional it was global. His practice in the Far East and elsewhere is that he ruled the work and the work ruled the churches. Period. Titus Chu in the GLA is just a miniature of that modus operanti.
I don't think this will be about getting a better model. Not to say that WN's model wasn't flawed.

It seems to me that Jesus Christ is Spiritual Authority. If you are truly under His headship then you will be one with His authority. I think it is ridiculous for a person to say that they were truly one with the head and at the same time allowed themselves to be pushed around by WL, or worse, PL.

When I was in the LRC we heard repeatedly that "the ministry is for the church, the church is not for the ministry". If that was an empty expression it was because those who ignored it were not truly under the headship of Jesus Christ.

Does that mean that you might suffer the slings and arrows of the enemy? Yes, but that is not because of a faulty teaching, but because the enemy has not been dealt with yet.

There is one thing that WL shared that has come back to me over and over again because I am realizing how true it was and how he, more than any other had the experience to speak this truth. He said that "a counterfeit is 97% right." I think many on this forum are thinking that if WL was a false teacher then his teachings need to be 50% false. They only need to be 1% false, just like he taught about a counterfeit bill.
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:48 PM   #59
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This way of doing things was set up by Watchman Nee. His model was: the work is regional and has a center and the church is local and has no center. In his book The Normal Christian Church Life he indicated that coworkers could be considered as apostles with authority in the work and this authority included appointing elders. But workers had no authority in church administration - this was the sphere of the elders. Once appointed the workers needed to leave them alone and let them do their jobs locally.

Anyway obviously Nee's model didn't work if Witness Lee is any indication of it's fruit. Under him the work was not regional it was global. His practice in the Far East and elsewhere is that he ruled the work and the work ruled the churches. Period. Titus Chu in the GLA is just a miniature of that modus operanti.
The appointment of elders was a serious failure in the Nee-Lee model. Yes, as both Nee and Lee taught, the Bible indicates that Titus (v1.5) was sent by Paul to appoint elders in Crete. But look at all the problems which develop based on that faulty exposition of the Bible ...
  • Titus was not the apostle establishing those churches in Crete, Paul and Barnabas were. Titus was only acting as Paul's "deputy" to appoint elders.
  • Then are we to believe that only a "deputy" of the actual establishing apostles can appoint elders?
  • By Nee and Lee teaching this, they have made an event in Acts into a church law, allowing for no alternatives to exist.
  • Since according to Nee and Lee, only the one who establishes the church can be considered her apostle to appoint her elders, hence their proof text (Titus 1.5) already violates their very teaching.
  • Lee and Chu appointed elders in churches they had never even visited, let alone raise up thru the gospel.
  • Lee and Chu removed elders in established churches, whose only "fault" was not bringing their saints to ministry conferences and buying ministry books.
  • Nee and Lee's appointment of elders rarely considers the "approval" and recommendation of the saints, and the qualifications itemized by Paul in his pastoral books.
  • Nee and Lee's appointment of elders takes no consideration of the succession of elders. What "apostle" is supposed to appoint elders when the original elders pass away.
  • Nee and Lee's appointment of elders ironically coincides with Ignatius' establishment of bishoprics to appoint and oversee elders, which they vehemently condemned.
  • Nee and Lee regularly condemned hierarchy, only to establish their own, using different phraseology to deceive the unsuspecting.
Like Darby and the exclusive Brethren before them, Nee and Lee ultimately invented a system more obnoxious than the system they loved to condemn. Lee loved to neutralize the spiritual concerns of the saints, by regularly whitewashing the truth. That by definition is hypocrisy.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:02 PM   #60
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It seems to me that Jesus Christ is Spiritual Authority. If you are truly under His headship then you will be one with His authority..
Jesus had authority because he was under authority. There was a man (Jesus the Nazarene) on the earth fully obedient to the Father's will, and thus was a vehicle for the power of God. The Roman centurion's statement "I also am a man under authority" makes a clear analogy: the centurion could tell his servants what to do, and they obeyed, because he himself was obedient to Caesar, and thus Caesar 'spoke' through the him. He was an extension of Caesar's will. (See Matt. 8:9) The centurion recognized this relationship existed also, with Jesus and the Father who is in heaven. Jesus could merely speak a word, and the centurion's servant would be healed.

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I think it is ridiculous for a person to say that they were truly one with the head and at the same time allowed themselves to be pushed around by WL, or worse, PL.
I guess the story we got sold was that WN got "perfected" under Miss Barber, and thus after that he didn't need to be under anyone's authority. He was only under God. WL, henceforth, sold himself as WN's sole deputy.

Conversely, the argument went that WN was under a vision, a hermeneutic, and WL likewise was under this vision. Again, therefore, they didn't need to be "under" anyone. They had a vision straight from the throne, and if you wanted to be right with God, so the story went, you had to be under Nee & Lee. The divine hierarchy went: Jesus Christ, then WN, then WL, then whomever WL chose at his right hand.

Thus, if PL was under WL, you had to be under PL to be right with God. So you ended up with an organization of christian brothers, scattered here and there, each waiting for a phone call from "the office" in Anaheim to tell them what God's next move on the earth was going to be. Ultimately, the fruit borne by WN's 'authority' teaching revealed what its source was.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #61
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I guess the story we got sold was that WN got "perfected" under Miss Barber, and thus after that he didn't need to be under anyone's authority. He was only under God. WL, henceforth, sold himself as WN's sole deputy.

Conversely, the argument went that WN was under a vision, a hermeneutic, and WL likewise was under this vision. Again, therefore, they didn't need to be "under" anyone. They had a vision straight from the throne, and if you wanted to be right with God, so the story went, you had to be under Nee & Lee. The divine hierarchy went: Jesus Christ, then WN, then WL, then whomever WL chose at his right hand.

Thus, if PL was under WL, you had to be under PL to be right with God. So you ended up with an organization of christian brothers, scattered here and there, each waiting for a phone call from "the office" in Anaheim to tell them what God's next move on the earth was going to be. Ultimately, the fruit borne by WN's 'authority' teaching revealed what its source was.
I was never sold this story. I heard RG develop this line of reasoning but felt he was cracked, however it was never put forward in such a way publicly as a sanctioned teaching. This was Ray's personal "light". Perhaps later on it was a sanctioned teaching, but I never heard it.

I did meet PL, sent from WL to the church in Irving at the time of the building. There was no way anyone could tell me that "I had to be under PL". I lost a little respect for RG that he didn't see it the same way.

I was sold on the idea that WN was a "true man of God" but never heard the "MOTA" exposition at the time. That view has been tarnished recently, and perhaps in the final judgment will be corrupted even more, but I'll leave that to the Lord.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:15 PM   #62
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Conversely, the argument went that WN was under a vision, a hermeneutic, and WL likewise was under this vision. Again, therefore, they didn't need to be "under" anyone. They had a vision straight from the throne, and if you wanted to be right with God, so the story went, you had to be under Nee & Lee. The divine hierarchy went: Jesus Christ, then WN, then WL, then whomever WL chose at his right hand.
IIRC, Don Rutledge was visited by one of these divine hierarchy proponents back in the 80's. As I remember it, first was the Father, then the Son, then the Spirit, then came Witness Lee. Immediately Don asked who was #5, and it was yet unknown.

Apparently Don did not stay long enough to learn that #5 was Philip Lee, his father's most trusted co-worker.

For a group which so criticized the Papal hierarchy of Romanism, they sure wasted a lot of valuable time deciding and fighting over who Lee's successor would be.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #63
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I was sold on the idea that WN was a "true man of God" but never heard the "MOTA" exposition at the time. That view has been tarnished recently, and perhaps in the final judgment will be corrupted even more, but I'll leave that to the Lord.
I never heard of nor read of the MOTA doctrine in any of Nee's ministry I have read. If it is, someone please provide the source.
Even before 2000 I had never heard of "ministry of the age" teaching. It was not until 2003-2008 did I hear of this wind of teaching.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #64
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I guess the story we got sold was that WN got "perfected" under Miss Barber, and thus after that he didn't need to be under anyone's authority. He was only under God. WL, henceforth, sold himself as WN's sole deputy.

Conversely, the argument went that WN was under a vision, a hermeneutic, and WL likewise was under this vision. Again, therefore, they didn't need to be "under" anyone. They had a vision straight from the throne, and if you wanted to be right with God, so the story went, you had to be under Nee & Lee. The divine hierarchy went: Jesus Christ, then WN, then WL, then whomever WL chose at his right hand.
This is about what I was told. Once a brother becomes someone of respect, there is little if no need to be "right" with your fellow brothers and sisters when it comes to matters needing reconciling. One elder might adopt the concept, "I don't have to apologize to nobody". That is because the concept exists the ONLY one you had to be right with was God. He was the only one you need to have accountability and responsibility towards. Many times I have agreed with Ohio the system that exists in the recovery has produced spiritual bullies out of decent brothers. Hypothetically if you are one who has authority over me, you can mistreat me in a variety of ways and I am expected as a brother in Christ to take the cross.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:57 AM   #65
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I was never sold this story. I heard RG develop this line of reasoning but felt he was cracked, however it was never put forward in such a way publicly... [t]his was Ray's personal "light".
Actually I was never sold this story -- "WL uber alles" -- by RG or anyone else, per se. What I was sold on was a "well-ordered church life". Remember that I and so many others were trying to escape the chaos of late-20th century USA life. Broken homes, drug addiction, violence, no order and no stability. Suddenly we find a spiritual "home" where everything seemingly has its place. "Brothers" sit in one area and "sisters" sit separately; "leading ones" and "co-workers" are clearly delineated. The headquarters seems to have a plan; even though it changes frequently and some of the rank-and-file have become discouraged, at least there are continual directives from above. There is structure, apparently.

Now, to someone who's struggling to emerge from chaos, this is a great opportunity to grow. It is like being a sprout in a greenhouse. Everything is climate controlled, there is "daily food" and so forth.

Looking back, several decades later, it actually looks like perpetual kindergarden. Nap time is still once a day, milk and cookies, storytime, and we are still reading "See Spot run". In other words, the greenhouse is about one foot tall, and one foot wide. Great for the first month, or even a fortnight. But rather restrictive soon after that.

Problem is, we fervently declared, during that first month, "We are for the Lord's recovery" -- we even sang it enthusiastically -- remember the melody from "I've been working on the railroad"? We pummelled this mantra into the front of our brains and when we started to hear ideas like the RG/BP "minister of the age" stuff, of a man so great that he was accountable only to God, well, we just kept singing, "We are for the Lord's recovery". We may not have bought into it, but we had bought WN's Local Church premise and now we had to live with the 'extras' - that WL was God's chosen man of the hour, with the accompanying rebellious subordinates and the inevitable storms and so forth.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:55 PM   #66
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And having no delegated authority is the machination of anarchists. This is not an easy topic. Human authority has been the biggest issue we have had for the last 2000 years.

I am a teacher. I went to school in England and the US and have been a teacher in the US and Taiwan. England and Taiwan give teachers a lot of delegated authority relative to the US. There are pros and cons for each. I think the US system should get top marks for empathy, but overall they should score the lowest on this one criteria. In the US individual students are allowed to bring down the school to a much higher degree than is allowed in England or Taiwan.

I have also travelled to a number of countries other than the US. Based on my personal experience and first hand observation I would say that the US has the best government in the world. However, that is much more a comment on how poor human government is rather than on how good the US government is. Also, to my opinion the negatives of the US government are becoming more negative (primarily the negative impact of the US on its neighbors, economically, environmentally, and militarily) while the positives are not getting more positive (primarily human rights).

Likewise, delegated authority in the family is a major issue with no clear answer. In this country, more than any other, we protect the rights of children and women. However, one result is that 40% of families are now headed by a woman, which is much, much higher than other first world nations. There are many negative consequences of removing a father from a family. As a teacher I know that when I call home due to some child's very poor behavior it is my hope that I will get a father. If I get a father I rarely ever have to make a second call. If I get a mother, aunt, grandmother or step dad then the problem is rarely resolved. Instead the most common response is "I can't do anything with him".

So I would hope that if someone is going to argue that WN was wrong that they would at least point out who was right.
I appreciate this perspective very much, when it comes to human relationships and structures. But I find an absolutely fundamental flaw in this sort of analogy between human organizations and the work of God.

Before Christ, there was an inherent need for delegated authority. God needed "representatives" through whom He could speak and exercise authority.

But Christ entirely changed that paradigm at the most fundamental level. The fact that the Spirit can and does indwell a believer; that a believe can receive a leading, a restricting, a speaking, a psalm, a message - directly from God means that God "delegates" through every believer. Indeed, He does so differently through each and at different times. But His authority is not "delegated." Through Christ, He can execute his authority directly.

To say otherwise - or to contrive a system of delegated authority - or to compare the need for it with human institutions and structures - is to disbelieve the gospel of Christ.

You can say I am over spiritualizing, but I don't know how to understand the gospel of Christ differently. Either Christ can speak to each one directly (albeit aided through much care and shepherding of one another) and thus does not need "delegated authority" or God cannot do this and thus we must set up a system of delegated authority.

It cannot be both - otherwise, the central question would always be: do I trust the speaking within, or do I trust the "delegated authority of God". That sort of doctrinal set-up is shizophregenetic.

Thoughts?

P.S. None of that is to say that believers do not submit to other believers. Indeed, through Christ within, this happens all the time. But the source of that submission is different. It is not inherent and automatic submission because of someone's status, but rather because of the restricting Spirit.

P.P.S. The waters muddy, of course, when you ask the question abouth whether a believer is really responding to a command of the Lord within, or just being anarchic. To know the Lord's voice is not automatic. The counsel of older, wiser believers is needed. Shepherds are needed. Scripture teachers are needed. But there is a key difference: when a believer errs under the "each believer answers directly to the Lord's authority" paradigm, he hurts himself and must learn from that before the Lord... When a believer errs under the "delegated authority" paradigm, the effect can be extremely damaging to entire congregations.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:12 AM   #67
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to contrive a system of delegated authority - or to compare the need for it with human institutions and structures - is to disbelieve the gospel of Christ.


Thoughts?
Amen. "There is one mediator between man and God, and that is the man Christ Jesus." I remember that quote from somewhere. Or am I misremembering it?

And who mediates between the sinner and Christ? "The Holy Spirit, whom I shall send; he will lead you into all of the reality of our Father's kingdom". The spirit brings us into all of the reality of what Christ taught and lived. Not some of the reality, but all of it.

Of course this is within the context of the collective. And there is hierarchy within the collective. Some have one talent, some two, some five. Some rule over one city, some over ten. But it cannot be overstressed that: A) the disciples were continually bickering over which of them was the "alpha dog", and could be seen angling for choice positions; and B) Jesus completely flipped this fallen and natural survival instinct, which otherwise becomes a constant motive force driving our collective [read: organizational] behaviors, on its pointy little head.

And how soon are these things forgotten, whenever two or three gather in the Name!
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:57 AM   #68
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Thoughts?
Let's describe "delegated authority".

1. Parents are "delegated authority". I think the need for parents as a delegated authority holds true regardless of it being a Christian or non Christian family.

2. Teachers are "delegated authority" and are actually referred to as "parenti in loci". If the children of Christians go to school they should be under this authority every bit as much as a non Christian.

3. Police are "delegated authority". True your conscience trumps the law, and a genuine believer will walk according to a higher law. But the church is composed of genuine believers, mature believers, immature believers, nominal believers, gospel contacts, etc. I think Christians must respect the police as a "delegated authority".

4. Ushers in a church meeting are a delegated authority. Suppose someone who is unruly, drunk, or belligerent comes into a meeting and for the safety and well being of the members needs to be escorted outside. This should not be a "group" decision, but those appointed for this should be able to respond immediately. Paul said let all things be done in order, this is only one example.

5. Sunday school teachers are a delegated authority.

6. Someone must be responsible for the meeting hall, paying the bills, turning on the AC, or heat, fixing leaky faucets, etc. This is "delegated authority" and it would include the ability to sign checks. Having a bank account and authorizing certain people to sign is "delegated authority".

7. If the church has a van some people may have permission to drive that van, that is "delegated authority".

8. Suppose two saints have a dispute or need counseling. Perhaps husband and wife. They need to talk to someone who is both impartial and also someone that they both know and respect. For this counseling to work everyone will have to agree up front that they will respect, i.e. heed, the counselors advice. That, is by definition, delegated authority.

9. If the church is going to invite a speaker someone needs to be responsible for that choice, that is "delegated authority". Once again, another example of "let all things be done in order".

10. If one saint is causing many to complain concerning their behavior, which can be interpreted to be sinful by some and rude by others, what do you do? You can pray that they heed the Spirit speaking directly to them, but are you really going to allow anyone and everyone to hijack the church meetings? Anything that you do to respond to this situation other than pray is going to be "delegated authority". If a brother "needs to speak to them" then the question is "on who's authority?" If the church gathers for an emergency meeting to vote that is another form of delegated authority.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:19 AM   #69
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Default Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

Here is an example of the extreme views W. Nee purported concerning "Delegated Function being Deputy Authority." -- Collected Works Vol 47, pg 175 ...
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No one dares to say that he would not submit to the Lord's authority. But there is also the authority of the members in coordination that we have to submit to. We have to realize that all the members are joined together. If we do not receive help from other members, we are in rebellion. Sometimes the Lord uses one member directly. At other times, the Lord uses a member to supply another member. When the head directs the eyes to see, the whole body takes the seeing of the eyes as its own seeing because when the eyes see, the whole body sees. This delegated function, which is deputy authority, is also the authority of the Head. If any other members think that they can see for themselves, they are in rebellion. We cannot be so foolish as to think that we are almighty.
Twice in this short section, Nee uses examples of members not "submitting" to one another, and jumps to the extreme, citing they are "in rebellion." The apostle Paul's premier teaching on this subject -- First Corinthians -- with the host of problems they manifested among their members -- never once mentioned this sin of "rebellion." Yes, Paul taught us that we need the other members of the body, but he never introduced such condemnations upon their shortcomings.

Just cracking this book again, randomly opening to this section, gives me a peephole into the extremes of the Recovery system I once lived in. With such a "foundation" in the Recovery as this, one can easily understand how minor differences between leaders can easily rise to the level of spewing epithets like "rebel" and "leper." Teachings such as this can easily be used by abusive leaders.

The primary message of the New Testament, however, is not that we must find another member to submit to, rather that we must love the Lord and submit to Him. The whole law is not summarized in "submit to thy neighbor," but to "love thy neighbor."

Nee's extreme teachings have distorted the message of the gospel by introducing Chinese customs and culture. While they apparently sound spiritual and scriptural, we must look at the fruit. Teachings on submission and authority have produced ruling dynasties in China for millennia, and one might conclude that LSM had similar motives for the church of God. While these teachings and strict authoritarian rule of law might result in a well-ordered society, they do so by producing slaves of their citizens.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:30 AM   #70
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Let's describe "delegated authority".

1. Parents are "delegated authority". I think the need for parents as a delegated authority holds true regardless of it being a Christian or non Christian family.

2. Teachers are "delegated authority" and are actually referred to as "parenti in loci". If the children of Christians go to school they should be under this authority every bit as much as a non Christian.

3. Police are "delegated authority". True your conscience trumps the law, and a genuine believer will walk according to a higher law. But the church is composed of genuine believers, mature believers, immature believers, nominal believers, gospel contacts, etc. I think Christians must respect the police as a "delegated authority".

4. Ushers in a church meeting are a delegated authority. Suppose someone who is unruly, drunk, or belligerent comes into a meeting and for the safety and well being of the members needs to be escorted outside. This should not be a "group" decision, but those appointed for this should be able to respond immediately. Paul said let all things be done in order, this is only one example.

5. Sunday school teachers are a delegated authority.

6. Someone must be responsible for the meeting hall, paying the bills, turning on the AC, or heat, fixing leaky faucets, etc. This is "delegated authority" and it would include the ability to sign checks. Having a bank account and authorizing certain people to sign is "delegated authority".

7. If the church has a van some people may have permission to drive that van, that is "delegated authority".

8. Suppose two saints have a dispute or need counseling. Perhaps husband and wife. They need to talk to someone who is both impartial and also someone that they both know and respect. For this counseling to work everyone will have to agree up front that they will respect, i.e. heed, the counselors advice. That, is by definition, delegated authority.

9. If the church is going to invite a speaker someone needs to be responsible for that choice, that is "delegated authority". Once again, another example of "let all things be done in order".

10. If one saint is causing many to complain concerning their behavior, which can be interpreted to be sinful by some and rude by others, what do you do? You can pray that they heed the Spirit speaking directly to them, but are you really going to allow anyone and everyone to hijack the church meetings? Anything that you do to respond to this situation other than pray is going to be "delegated authority". If a brother "needs to speak to them" then the question is "on who's authority?" If the church gathers for an emergency meeting to vote that is another form of delegated authority.
I can't put my finger on it but it feels like you are misconstruing Nee's Spiritual Authority.

Apes have "delegated authority." Is this what you mean? A pack of wolves have "delegated authority." Is this what you mean?

Primitive human tribes, that believe all kinds of wild mythologies, have "delegated authority." Is this what you are speaking of?

Aren't you speaking of human authority? Not kingdom authority?
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:35 AM   #71
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Here is an example of the extreme views W. Nee purported concerning "Delegated Function being Deputy Authority." -- Collected Works Vol 47, pg 175 ...
Twice in this short section, Nee uses examples of members not "submitting" to one another, and jumps to the extreme, citing they are "in rebellion." The apostle Paul's premier teaching on this subject -- First Corinthians -- with the host of problems they manifested among their members -- never once mentioned this sin of "rebellion." Yes, Paul taught us that we need the other members of the body, but he never introduced such condemnations upon their shortcomings.

Just cracking this book again, randomly opening to this section, gives me a peephole into the extremes of the Recovery system I once lived in. With such a "foundation" in the Recovery as this, one can easily understand how minor differences between leaders can easily rise to the level of spewing epithets like "rebel" and "leper." Teachings such as this can easily be used by abusive leaders.

The primary message of the New Testament, however, is not that we must find another member to submit to, rather that we must love the Lord and submit to Him. The whole law is not summarized in "submit to thy neighbor," but to "love thy neighbor."

Nee's extreme teachings have distorted the message of the gospel by introducing Chinese customs and culture. While they apparently sound spiritual and scriptural, we must look at the fruit. Teachings on submission and authority have produced ruling dynasties in China for millennia, and one might conclude that LSM had similar motives for the church of God. While these teachings and strict authoritarian rule of law might result in a well-ordered society, they do so by producing slaves of their citizens.
Excellent point. On one hand he says "we cannot be so foolish as to think we are almighty", a valid basis for seeing the need for different functions in the society. We cannot be the policeman, teacher, govt leader, secretary, etc. We each have a function in society but need the other members.

But then to extrapolate that reality to say that we are "in rebellion" if we do not submit. That is both absurd and something that is a natural outgrowth. For example, in my son's school they give materials they want us to use to help prep him for the State exam. They give these to the parents months before the test. These are good and useful materials. But I have completely ignored them for the last 3 years and do not consider that to be "rebellion" or a crime. My son began school in 1st grade 18 months developmentally delayed. By 3rd grade he was less than a year behind. Last year he was on grade level, and this year we expect he will be at the top of the class based on pretests.

I ignore their materials because they are much less effective to what I do. Also, the Bible says that the responsibility for my kids education is the Father's, not the schools. They work for me, I don't work for them. Likewise the police are also my employees, as are the politicians, etc. WN flipped this whole thing on its head. A good example of his error and WL's error.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:38 AM   #72
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I can't put my finger on it but it feels like you are misconstruing Nee's Spiritual Authority.

Apes have "delegated authority." Is this what you mean? A pack of wolves have "delegated authority." Is this what you mean?

Primitive human tribes, that believe all kinds of wild mythologies, have "delegated authority." Is this what you are speaking of?

Aren't you speaking of human authority? Not kingdom authority?
Nee and Lee both used these examples to explain the concept.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:18 AM   #73
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Nee and Lee both used these examples to explain the concept.
Well you've just explained the local church in a nutshell ... the local church was a natural system with Nee and Lee as the Alpha Dogs. No wonder I left. It was just more hooey to deal with in the world ... and was a natural "godless" system of authority -- like animal instincts.

If we've already got all those delegated authorities in our world, why do we want to add more?

The Pope is a delegated authority. Do we submit there? Why then submit to the local church? What's the difference?
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #74
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Well you've just explained the local church in a nutshell ... the local church was a natural system with Nee and Lee as the Alpha Dogs. No wonder I left. It was just more hooey to deal with in the world ... and was a natural "godless" system of authority -- like animal instincts.

If we've already got all those delegated authorities in our world, why do we want to add more?

The Pope is a delegated authority. Do we submit there? Why then submit to the local church? What's the difference?
Human society requires delegated authority. The human body also has "delegated authority". That is not the error.

The error is that the hand has to obey the eye. That is absurd, the hand obeys the head. The eye serves the head, but in the end the head makes the decision.

If the Lord speaks through a member, as he did with Ananias, Acts 9:10, then that person has acted as a deputy authority, in the same way that the hand of the Body acts on behalf of the head. Today we have robotic hands that can actually be hooked directly up to the brain and act at the discretion of the Brain.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:26 AM   #75
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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Let's describe "delegated authority".

1. Parents are "delegated authority". I think the need for parents as a delegated authority holds true regardless of it being a Christian or non Christian family.

2. Teachers are "delegated authority" and are actually referred to as "parenti in loci". If the children of Christians go to school they should be under this authority every bit as much as a non Christian.

3. Police are "delegated authority". True your conscience trumps the law, and a genuine believer will walk according to a higher law. But the church is composed of genuine believers, mature believers, immature believers, nominal believers, gospel contacts, etc. I think Christians must respect the police as a "delegated authority".

4. Ushers in a church meeting are a delegated authority. Suppose someone who is unruly, drunk, or belligerent comes into a meeting and for the safety and well being of the members needs to be escorted outside. This should not be a "group" decision, but those appointed for this should be able to respond immediately. Paul said let all things be done in order, this is only one example.

5. Sunday school teachers are a delegated authority.

6. Someone must be responsible for the meeting hall, paying the bills, turning on the AC, or heat, fixing leaky faucets, etc. This is "delegated authority" and it would include the ability to sign checks. Having a bank account and authorizing certain people to sign is "delegated authority".

7. If the church has a van some people may have permission to drive that van, that is "delegated authority".

8. Suppose two saints have a dispute or need counseling. Perhaps husband and wife. They need to talk to someone who is both impartial and also someone that they both know and respect. For this counseling to work everyone will have to agree up front that they will respect, i.e. heed, the counselors advice. That, is by definition, delegated authority.

9. If the church is going to invite a speaker someone needs to be responsible for that choice, that is "delegated authority". Once again, another example of "let all things be done in order".

10. If one saint is causing many to complain concerning their behavior, which can be interpreted to be sinful by some and rude by others, what do you do? You can pray that they heed the Spirit speaking directly to them, but are you really going to allow anyone and everyone to hijack the church meetings? Anything that you do to respond to this situation other than pray is going to be "delegated authority". If a brother "needs to speak to them" then the question is "on who's authority?" If the church gathers for an emergency meeting to vote that is another form of delegated authority.
What you describe here are matters every human organization needs. There is nothing that distinguishes these examples from a meeting of Jews or of Libertarians or the PTA.

Parents are a good example, because the Bible specifically commends us to them. But Jesus also said to leave them and follow Him.

This follows the point I made about Christ being the paradigm shifter in regards to authority. Here's my thesis:

Humans need structures of authority, even delegated authority, UNLESS, they have access to and follow Christs direct demands.

Your examples raise the question of where the SOURCE of the authority comes. A group can delegate its collective authority and the. Choose to submit to it in a pre-defined sphere, such as care of a meeting hall or ushers in meeting. But this is a practical arrangement or "contract" for the sake outward stability.

"Delegated Authority" when it comes to interpreting the word or the spiritual health of individuals, marriages, gospel work, etc... Is VERY different.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #76
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... the local church was a natural system with Nee and Lee as the Alpha Dogs. No wonder I left. It was just more hooey to deal with in the world ...
It was a natural system with a veneer of spirituality. Thus its great holding power on the hearts, minds, and lives of so many.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #77
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What you describe here are matters every human organization needs. There is nothing that distinguishes these examples from a meeting of Jews or of Libertarians or the PTA.

Parents are a good example, because the Bible specifically commends us to them. But Jesus also said to leave them and follow Him.

This follows the point I made about Christ being the paradigm shifter in regards to authority. Here's my thesis:

Humans need structures of authority, even delegated authority, UNLESS, they have access to and follow Christs direct demands.

Your examples raise the question of where the SOURCE of the authority comes. A group can delegate its collective authority and the. Choose to submit to it in a pre-defined sphere, such as care of a meeting hall or ushers in meeting. But this is a practical arrangement or "contract" for the sake outward stability.

"Delegated Authority" when it comes to interpreting the word or the spiritual health of individuals, marriages, gospel work, etc... Is VERY different.

Thoughts?
My point is that if you have access to Christ's direct demands and follow them then you have acted as a delegated authority.

For example, I remember a story of a man in China, he was a believer. The Lord began bothering him tremendously till he had no choice but to signal time for the miners to come up at the end of the shift, even though the shift didn't end for another hour. When they came up they were outraged, he was fired on the spot, and then the mine exploded. He had saved everyone alive. He had acted as a "delegated authority" which he had trumped his human authority.

However, had the Lord not spoken to him and he had done that he would have been fired and maybe sent to the gulag.

Even though the Lord tells us to "leave our parents" the NT also teaches us to honor our parents, including the example set by Jesus.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #78
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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Human society requires delegated authority. The human body also has "delegated authority". That is not the error.

The error is that the hand has to obey the eye. That is absurd, the hand obeys the head. The eye serves the head, but in the end the head makes the decision.

If the Lord speaks through a member, as he did with Ananias, Acts 9:10, then that person has acted as a deputy authority, in the same way that the hand of the Body acts on behalf of the head. Today we have robotic hands that can actually be hooked directly up to the brain and act at the discretion of the Brain.
If I have a computer problem and you know the fix, you are my authority. Tomorrow if you have a computer problem and I know the fix, I'm your authority. If I lose my keys and my son knows where they are, he's my authority.

Where's my need to be under Nee and Lee?

Where's my need to be under the Rome Catholic church or the local church?

I once thought I needed to be under Lee and the local church, but I weren't right in the head back then. That was misplaced trust and authority. I wouldn't respect Chairman Mao Tse-tung's authority either ... except for the gun.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #79
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If I have a computer problem and you know the fix, you are my authority. Tomorrow if you have a computer problem and I know the fix, I'm your authority. If I lose my keys and my son knows where they are, he's my authority.

Where's my need to be under Nee and Lee?

Where's my need to be under the Rome Catholic church or the local church?

I once thought I needed to be under Lee and the local church, but I weren't right in the head back then. That was misplaced trust and authority. I wouldn't respect Chairman Mao Tse-tung's authority either ... except for the gun.
You almost have it. I agree with the whole thing except the inference that you are now right in the head.

Sorry if that sounds rude, but spending every day of your life on forums bashing a guy who has been dead for 15 years...well, just saying.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #80
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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My point is that if you have access to Christ's direct demands and follow them then you have acted as a delegated authority.

For example, I remember a story of a man in China, he was a believer. The Lord began bothering him tremendously till he had no choice but to signal time for the miners to come up at the end of the shift, even though the shift didn't end for another hour. When they came up they were outraged, he was fired on the spot, and then the mine exploded. He had saved everyone alive. He had acted as a "delegated authority" which he had trumped his human authority.

However, had the Lord not spoken to him and he had done that he would have been fired and maybe sent to the gulag.

Even though the Lord tells us to "leave our parents" the NT also teaches us to honor our parents, including the example set by Jesus.
I agree that through Christs speaking, we will act on His behalf and even exercise His authority. That happens fluidly through his instant speaking/leading.

That is different than having a DOCTRINE of "delegated authority" which results in certain individuals having "status" of "delegated authority". That is both over and under-inclusive of the way Gods authority works thru humans.

Your example of the Chinese miner is good. But it's altogether too clear an example to build a doctrine around. It's one thing to follow the Lords leading as an individual. It's entirely another to claim that The Lord told ME what YOU should do. If its saving people's lives, that's one thing. If its what materials to read or when to "volunteer" or what I should do in a difficult marriage... That's another.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:03 AM   #81
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"Delegated Authority" when it comes to interpreting the word or the spiritual health of individuals, marriages, gospel work, etc... Is VERY different.
This is hitting the nail on the head. Policemen, school teachers and even parents do not automatically carry the delegated authority of God. Nee was flat out wrong in this matter. Of course he wrote "The Spiritual Man" in his mid-20s, so it's no wonder that it contains the thoughts and notions of a very young man who was more influenced by Christian mystics and Chinese culture than the Word of God and historic Christian thought. Though they would vehemently deny it, much of the "theology", norms and culture in The Local Church spring from what was taught by Nee back in early part of the 20th century in Mainland China. Needless to say, Witness Lee took the mistakes and false teachings of Nee and magnified them many times over.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #82
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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This follows the point I made about Christ being the paradigm shifter in regards to authority. Here's my thesis:

Humans need structures of authority, even delegated authority, UNLESS, they have access to and follow Christs direct demands.

Thoughts?
Nee's paradigm for deputy authority uses Moses as a type of today's spiritual authority in the church. Those who voice their "concerns" about his leadership, will end up with leprosy as Meriam did. Great fear is needed to hold the church under such authority. The curse of Ham for exposing Noah's impropriety was also effectively used to silence the church, and deliver the leadership from accountability.

Moses, however, was never a type of the MOTA or an apostle. Moses was type of Christ. (Heb 3.2-6) Moses as a "deputy authority" was a type of Christ, our New Testament authority, and not some gifted leader or church founder. In the church age, God has given all authority to His Son.

Catholicism uses the concept of "deputy authority" the same as Lee did. They have long proclaimed that the pope is the "vicar" of Christ, thus placing one man on earth (in Rome) in the place of Christ, since He has apparently "left" and gone back to heaven. Likewise, the Recovery uses the concept of "deputy authority" when claiming Lee was the consummate MOTA and the "acting God," claiming that all authority has been placed in one man for God's move on earth.

Another interesting connection between Rome and Anaheim. Rome calls the Pope "the Holy See," while LSM calls Nee the "Seer of the divine revelation." Supposedly they both can "see" things on God's heart which none of us can see, and which were never recorded in the Bible.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #83
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Nee's paradigm for deputy authority uses Moses as a type of today's spiritual authority in the church. Those who voice their "concerns" about his leadership, will end up with leprosy as Meriam did. Great fear is needed to hold the church under such authority. The curse of Ham for exposing Noah's impropriety was also effectively used to silence the church, and deliver the leadership from accountability.

Moses, however, was never a type of the MOTA or an apostle. Moses was type of Christ. (Heb 3.2-6) Moses as a "deputy authority" was a type of Christ, our New Testament authority, and not some gifted leader or church founder. In the church age, God has given all authority to His Son.
Amen! I've always been bothered by the use if Moses or other OT figures as examples of deputy authority. In the OT God NEEDED deputy authority. But Christ completely altered that! To revert back to an OT pattern on the matter of Gods administration is to deny the gospel of Christ!
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #84
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I agree that through Christs speaking, we will act on His behalf and even exercise His authority. That happens fluidly through his instant speaking/leading.

That is different than having a DOCTRINE of "delegated authority" which results in certain individuals having "status" of "delegated authority". That is both over and under-inclusive of the way Gods authority works thru humans.

Your example of the Chinese miner is good. But it's altogether too clear an example to build a doctrine around. It's one thing to follow the Lords leading as an individual. It's entirely another to claim that The Lord told ME what YOU should do. If its saving people's lives, that's one thing. If its what materials to read or when to "volunteer" or what I should do in a difficult marriage... That's another.
Here is the doctrine of fluidity.
1Cor
14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

Ohio
"Another interesting connection between Rome and Anaheim. Rome calls the Pope "the Holy See," while LSM calls Nee the "Seer of the divine revelation." Supposedly they both can "see" things on God's heart which none of us can see, and which were never recorded in the Bible."

Again, totally unscriptural.

Peter Debelak
"Amen! I've always been bothered by the use if Moses or other OT figures as examples of deputy authority. In the OT God NEEDED deputy authority. But Christ completely altered that! To revert back to an OT pattern on the matter of Gods administration is to deny the gospel of Christ!"


When Paul says "Put on Christ" that is analogous to the Policeman's uniform. The authority is from Christ, not WL.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:31 PM   #85
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Nee's paradigm for deputy authority uses Moses as a type of today's spiritual authority in the church. Those who voice their "concerns" about his leadership, will end up with leprosy as Meriam did. Great fear is needed to hold the church under such authority. The curse of Ham for exposing Noah's impropriety was also effectively used to silence the church, and deliver the leadership from accountability.

Moses, however, was never a type of the MOTA or an apostle. Moses was type of Christ. (Heb 3.2-6)...
Exactly! Mishandling the word of God to strike fear in those who dare to question the MOTA. Who wants to be considered a leper or cursed? Nobody. Well the only way to avoid it is blind loyalty and adherence to the authority. Even if you're right and the MOTA is wrong don't say anything. Don't be negative. Don't question. Question marks are in the shape of a serpent and come from the devil. Just nod and agree and shout "amen" and repeat Witness Lee messages and all will be well with you!
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:42 PM   #86
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Exactly! Mishandling the word of God to strike fear in those who dare to question the MOTA. Who wants to be considered a leper or cursed? Nobody. Well the only way to avoid it is blind loyalty and adherence to the authority. Even if you're right and the MOTA is wrong don't say anything. Don't be negative. Don't question. Question marks are in the shape of a serpent and come from the devil. Just nod and agree and shout "amen" and repeat Witness Lee messages and all will be well with you!
Sounds like the Borg to me. I thought God didn't want robots. He doesn't. But Lee wanted them. And now the BBs (Blended Borgs) want followers to be non-thinking robots. What a bewitching Nee & Lee's spiritual authority doctrine is. (Gal 3:1).
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #87
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Default Re: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee

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Here is the doctrine of fluidity.
1Cor
14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

Ohio
"Another interesting connection between Rome and Anaheim. Rome calls the Pope "the Holy See," while LSM calls Nee the "Seer of the divine revelation." Supposedly they both can "see" things on God's heart which none of us can see, and which were never recorded in the Bible."

Again, totally unscriptural.

Peter Debelak
"Amen! I've always been bothered by the use if Moses or other OT figures as examples of deputy authority. In the OT God NEEDED deputy authority. But Christ completely altered that! To revert back to an OT pattern on the matter of Gods administration is to deny the gospel of Christ!"


When Paul says "Put on Christ" that is analogous to the Policeman's uniform. The authority is from Christ, not WL.
I can't tell if we're disagreeing on any key issue any more... It seems as though you are in disagreement with Nee's articulation of delegated authority while still maintaining that God does, in some ways, delegate authority. I'd likely agree...

As a secondary point, "put on Christ" can mean a lot of things other than te wielding of authority over others.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:05 PM   #88
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The curse of Ham for exposing Noah's impropriety was also effectively used to silence the church, and deliver the leadership from accountability..
Right. "Whenever you all come together, each one has" something to share, as long as it is exactly what has just been delivered from the podium. Otherwise, silence.

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Moses, however, was never a type of the MOTA or an apostle. Moses was type of Christ. (Heb 3.2-6) Moses as a "deputy authority" was a type of Christ, our New Testament authority, and not some gifted leader or church founder. In the church age, God has given all authority to His Son..
Again an amen. "in the last of these days, God has and is speaking to us in the person of His Son." Not in a deputy, or proxy, but in the Son Himself.

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Catholicism uses the concept of "deputy authority" the same as Lee did. They have long proclaimed that the pope is the "vicar" of Christ, thus placing one man on earth (in Rome) in the place of Christ... Likewise, the Recovery uses the concept of "deputy authority" when claiming Lee was the consummate MOTA and the "acting God," claiming that all authority has been placed in one man for God's move on earth..
One problem with the tree of knowledge is that you have 20/20 sight as regards to the failures of others, but are blind to your own. Nee & Co. rightly noted the "Babylonian" nature of the Romish system, and then gradually built their own replica, complete with synods of bishops (sorry, blendeds) and bulls (accords).

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Rome calls the Pope "the Holy See," while LSM calls Nee the "Seer of the divine revelation." Supposedly they both can "see" things on God's heart which none of us can see, and which were never recorded in the Bible.
Ironic, given the amount of vitriol the Nee/Lee crew had for the RCC, that they fell into the same trap. The terminology may have been refined, but the same deceptive hierarchical structure beckoned them 'upward'. It's so inviting up there at the top, right next to Jesus! Just ask James and John (a certain "leading angel" also comes to mind).
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:25 PM   #89
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IMVLE the best shepherds and the best evangelists were not on any payroll at all.
I'm not familiar with that particular acronym, but I think you are spot on here.

Not saying that there are no excellent shepherds or evangelists on some payroll somewhere. Just that when it comes to the LRC, it seems that the less beholden the more responsible.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:36 PM   #90
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I can't tell if we're disagreeing on any key issue any more... It seems as though you are in disagreement with Nee's articulation of delegated authority while still maintaining that God does, in some ways, delegate authority. I'd likely agree...

As a secondary point, "put on Christ" can mean a lot of things other than te wielding of authority over others.
I don't think we were ever in disagreement. I think that WN misapplied a legitimate principle. I think that the verse "put on Christ" is an example of the NT version of this principle and this proves that WN, WL and the blendeds misapply it. As others have said the authority is Christ. Moses is a good example and Christ is the fulfillment. The idea that someone would apply that to themselves is self serving and an insult to the Lord Jesus.

His teaching being erroneous doesn't mean the principle that he based it on is. On the contrary I would say he took a Biblical principal that is applied in the NT to the Lord Jesus and applied it to himself. That would make him a "false Christ". Ouch. Look at how dangerous it is to not be balanced by others in fellowship.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #91
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I'm not familiar with that particular acronym, but I think you are spot on here.

Not saying that there are no excellent shepherds or evangelists on some payroll somewhere. Just that when it comes to the LRC, it seems that the less beholden the more responsible.
This is my version of IMHO, it means In my very limited experience. It seems a contradiction to call your own opinion "humble", but you are ceding the fact that your experience is limited.

To me this is the same principle as people who say they have the best job in the world and can't believe they get paid for it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:11 PM   #92
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I hate to bring this thread forward, but this particular quote just sort of bugged me as I read back through it due to the resurrection of the kind of dismissal of the errors of Nee that has occurred lately. I have omitted the writer because I am not picking on anyone. Just trying to deal with a question that often comes up in so many discussions.

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So I would hope that if someone is going to argue that WN was wrong that they would at least point out who was right.
Why must there be an identification of who is right to establish who is wrong? If the Rosetta Stone of our faith (scripture) disagrees with Nee or Lee, then it is irrelevant who is right when determining that either of them is wrong.

And in newer discussions, we are now begin faced with yet another version of what is right (and you guys are wrong). The need to pin it all down so neatly, especially when done at the expense of reasonable and accurate handling of scripture, just seems to be more than even the Bible itself requires. Our faith is not in the propositions of heaven, hell, Calvinism, Arminianism, substitutionary atonement, and so many other things. It is true that the better we understand some of them, the better we are able to recognize our failures in sticking to the faith. But it is faith in the person and work of Christ that is crucial, and then to obedience to his commands.

And knowing a lot of theology is not among the commands. But when someone comes along and tries to limit our freedom in Christ by putting on yet a different set of "thou shalts" and can't make them stick to the scripture any better than Nee did on spiritual authority or Lee did on God's economy, I have no qualms in casting such nonsense aside even if I cannot assert with certainty that a specific alternative is instead right.

Some might think that it just doesn't matter then and we should leave those who claim certainty alone. If they were not enslaving Christians to yet another "this is the way" coupled with fear concerning their destiny (or euphoria over the idea that they are God's chosen people and the rest are street derelicts) I could agree. And for that reason I am not very critical of Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, AOG, Lutheran, Anglican, CofC, DofC, and other Christian groups. (Didn't mean to exclude anyone unjustly. Just can't remember all of them by name.) But those who set out to create subcultures who insist on extremes are enslaving Christians. The RCC has done it on some issues. The LRC is deep in this arena. And every so often it seems that another comes along. Not as seriously flawed as the LRC. But equally certain that their understanding is simply it. Unwilling to actually discuss anything else.

Why should I need to be like them, insisting on what is absolutely right to establish that they are wrong? Much better to hold strongly to the core of the faith, but with love. Then to hold to the rest with a much looser grip, and with love.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:40 PM   #93
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Concerning Elders

The elders are the authorities in the local church. All the brothers have to submit to the elders. Titus 1 speaks of basic qualifications of an elder—self-control and submission. A lawless person can never execute the law, and a
rebellious person can never make others submissive. An elder must exercise strict self-control. A common trait among many people is the lack of discipline. Hence, in appointing elders, we have to select those who are
particularly exercised in self-control. God appoints the elders to manage the church. As such, they must be submissive and must exercise self-control. They must set their hearts to be a pattern to all in everything. God
never appoints a person who loves to be the first among others (like Diotrephes) to be an elder. The elders are the highest deputy authority in a local church. For this reason they must be men with self-control.

First Timothy 3:4-5 speaks of another basic qualification of an elder—he must be able to manage his own house. Managing one’s house does not refer to managing one’s parents or wife, but it refers mainly to managing
one’s children. An elder has to teach his children to walk soberly and to be obedient in all things. A man must first be a good father before he can be an elder. He must first be an authority at home before he can be an elder in the church.

An elder must not be an arrogant person. If a person becomes proud as soon as he assumes authority, he is not qualified to be an elder. An elder in a local church should feel as if he has no authority at all. If an elder is always conscious of his authority, he is not qualified to be an elder or to handle the affairs of the church. Only the foolish and the narrow-minded are proud. Such ones cannot stand the temptation of God’s glory, and they
cannot bear God’s commission and assignment. Once such ones are entrusted with something, they fall into a snare. This is why a new convert cannot be an overseer (1 Tim. 3:6—in Greek this word means a novice in a
trade. For example, among carpenters there are masters who have been in the trade for decades, and there are novices who have barely learned to handle a hammer.), lest he be blinded with pride and fall into the judgment
suffered by the devil.

Page 85

Very good words by Watchman Nee. However in the practices in the local churches how can you submit to the "deputy authority" when there is no love or humility exhibited?
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