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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 12-13-2015, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

http://thecripplegate.com/beware-the...-the-watchman/

I found this to be an interesting article and it seems the author hits the mark with some of the problems of Nee. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Quote:
Perhaps the best way to describe Nee is to label him a confused Christian mystic. Here’s one lengthy but insightful example. I chose this example because it is indicative of his writing style, as well as an excellent example of his lack of clarity:
Some years ago I was ill. For six nights I had high fever and could find no sleep. Then at length God gave me from the Scripture a personal word of healing, and because of this I expected all symptoms of sickness to vanish at once. Instead of that, not a wink of sleep could I get, and I was not only sleepless but more restless than ever. My temperature rose higher, my pulse beat faster and my head ached more severely than before. The enemy asked, ‘Where is God’s promise? Where is your faith? What about all your prayers?’ So I was tempted to thrash the whole matter out in prayer again, but was rebuked, and this Scripture came to mind: “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17 ). If God’s Word is truth, I thought, then what are these symptoms? They must all be lies! So I declared to the enemy, ‘This sleeplessness is a lie, this headache is a lie, this fever is a lie, this high pulse is a lie. In view of what God has said to me, all these symptoms of sickness are just your lies, and God’s Word to me is truth.’ In five minutes I was asleep, and I awoke the following morning perfectly well (The Normal Christian Life, 33-34).

While Nee places heavy stock in personal “spiritual” experiences of that kind, the more significant danger prevalent throughout his books is his consistent lack of clarity. Nee does not come right out and say that faith can cure physical illness, nor does he claim outright that he receives direct revelation from the Lord. He doesn’t hold his experience up as an example to follow, but simply relates it as it happened, and then passes it along to us.
This observation regarding of Nee's "lack of clarity" is a good point. As we know, in the LC, WN is held as a MOTA and as basically being infallible. When WN describes his experiences and doesn't provide any qualification about what these experiences should be taken to mean, it can lead to people trying to take this stuff too seriously. If he was a pattern for the LC, then members might strive to match his "experiences".

Sometimes its better to keep certain "experiences" to yourself. I believe that the experience that WN described here is one of those experiences. In the LC, the emphasis on "experiences" might not appear to be a problem at first sight, but there is, in fact, such a great weight placed on experiences. Following the example set by WN, there is not always clarification as to what these experiences should be taken to mean and thus it can lead to a lot of confusion.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

In the comments section at the end of the article, there is a post that caught my attention:
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That is the response I think a lot of people will have to this post--which is why I am thankful Tommy wrote it. Nee's works have been so helpful to so many Christians, especially those younger in the faith. That being said, I think a lot of people grow in their concern for some of the details of his theology as they grow in the faith.
It is undeniable that many have received help from WN’s ministry. For those who have received help, a proper response to WN’s ministry should be to not view his ministry as being a definitive guide to living a “normal Christian life”. Just as much as certain help to be found in WN’s ministry, there are some potentially serious pitfalls, many of which have been detailed already.

There is the notion in the LC that everyone must give themselves "absolutely" to a particular ministry because there is a perceived benefit being provided by that ministry. This was certainly the view that WL expressed in Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age. He brazenly admitted: “I feel no shame whatsoever in saying that I followed a man...” WL took great pride in his following Nee. He didn’t see any problem with following WN, even though he very well knew that he should have been following Christ.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

Do all to the Glory of God (Watchman Nee)
Chapter: Discipline Your Children Wisely
Point No. 5 - Consider Beating as a Big Thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nee
Do not make whipping a common thing. Look upon it as a big affair. Call the whole family together and let all know about it. For they father or the mother to whip a child is like a surgeon operating on a patient. It is not because of being provoked to anger, but because the cutting is necessary in order to deal with the difficulty. Likewise, in disciplining, the parent must be absolutely calm. No parent should beat the child when he himself is angry. How should it be done? I have a suggestion to make: When a child has made a very serious mistake that requires a whipping, you may ask his brother to prepare a basin of cold water and his sister to be ready with a towel. Then you should show your child wherein he is wrong and that a wrong must be seriously punished. Tell him that to flee from chastisement is also wrong. People who have the courage to sin ought to have the courage to accept punishment. After you have explained this to him, you may strike his hand twice or thrice. This may bruise his hand and cause it to swell. Call his brother to help soak his hand in the cold water to keep the swelling down. Then ask his sister to gently dry his hand with the towel. This whole act is like going through a ritual. This will show them that there is only love, no hate, in the family.
Some years ago the Chinese 'sisters' in the LC that I was meeting with were 'studying' this book of Watchman Nee. One of the 'sisters' decided to take this 'word' seriously and took action against her son. He was ten years old at the time. His 'sin' - wanting to play soccer with the neighbourhood kids after school. The sister forced her husband to beat his son with a rod till his son was bleeding. Then the mother cleaned the sons wounds. (I still to this day cry for the son every time I recall this episode.). I served with this brother and he broke down and cried for what he had done to his son. He was a good brother but his actions nearly destroyed him. He eventually did have a breakdown.

How can anyone in their right mind do this to a child? How can you take this word of WN and act on it? How many children did WN have? Does he speak from 'experience'?

THERE IS NO LOVE, MERCY OR COMPASSION IN THE LC
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

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Some years ago the Chinese 'sisters' in the LC that I was meeting with were 'studying' this book of Watchman Nee. One of the 'sisters' decided to take this 'word' seriously and took action against her son. He was ten years old at the time. His 'sin' - wanting to play soccer with the neighbourhood kids after school. The sister forced her husband to beat his son with a rod till his son was bleeding. Then the mother cleaned the sons wounds. (I still to this day cry for the son every time I recall this episode.). I served with this brother and he broke down and cried for what he had done to his son. He was a good brother but his actions nearly destroyed him. He eventually did have a breakdown.

How can anyone in their right mind do this to a child? How can you take this word of WN and act on it? How many children did WN have? Does he speak from 'experience'?

THERE IS NO LOVE, MERCY OR COMPASSION IN THE LC
This is a perfect example of how ready and willing LC members are to put into practice things that Nee/Lee taught. Of course, beating a child is one of the more extreme examples, but still, WN clearly endorsed it and described his own recommended method of corporal punishment.

As you put it, someone really has to be out of their mind to be willing to do something like this. Unfortunately, it really just boils down to people not being willing to give what they hear or read any amount of critical thought. The attitude is as simple as: "WN said it so it must be good advice." LC members have really gone off the deep end in this way.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Do all to the Glory of God (Watchman Nee)
Chapter: Discipline Your Children Wisely
Point No. 5 - Consider Beating as a Big Thing



Some years ago the Chinese 'sisters' in the LC that I was meeting with were 'studying' this book of Watchman Nee. One of the 'sisters' decided to take this 'word' seriously and took action against her son. He was ten years old at the time. His 'sin' - wanting to play soccer with the neighbourhood kids after school. The sister forced her husband to beat his son with a rod till his son was bleeding. Then the mother cleaned the sons wounds. (I still to this day cry for the son every time I recall this episode.). I served with this brother and he broke down and cried for what he had done to his son. He was a good brother but his actions nearly destroyed him. He eventually did have a breakdown.

How can anyone in their right mind do this to a child? How can you take this word of WN and act on it? How many children did WN have? Does he speak from 'experience'?

THERE IS NO LOVE, MERCY OR COMPASSION IN THE LC
Being a father I could see spanking a child once or twice, but beyond than until the child bleeds is incomprehensible. I'm sure in the LC there is no outrage. Along the lines of "I never did it and I never saw it results in the speaker being disengaged." Even if a husband hits his wife. Brothers get disengaged from domestic violence by saying we don't talk about those things around here.
I do agree with the last statement....THERE IS NO LOVE, MERCY OR COMPASSION IN THE LC....I would only add, just get right with the brothers.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

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The attitude is as simple as: "WN said it so it must be good advice." LC members have really gone off the deep end in this way.
Reinsert WN with WL and the same applies. Refer to the burnings, acceptance of television, work full time versus going to college....All of these if WL spoke against it, you didn't do it. If WL endorsed it, brothers did it. Even in dress attire it's as if WL was the LC fashion plate. Wearing black slacks, long sleeve white shirts, and a skinny tie became the trend.
This manner of dressing also became my aversion. Wear collared dress shirts of any color. Just no whites.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

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This is a perfect example of how ready and willing LC members are to put into practice things that Nee/Lee taught. Of course, beating a child is one of the more extreme examples, but still, WN clearly endorsed it and described his own recommended method of corporal punishment.

As you put it, someone really has to be out of their mind to be willing to do something like this. Unfortunately, it really just boils down to people not being willing to give what they hear or read any amount of critical thought. The attitude is as simple as: "WN said it so it must be good advice." LC members have really gone off the deep end in this way.
Reminds me of that husband who refused to help his sick wife do dishes because he didn't want to do it "out of his natural man," due to Lee's aberrant teachings. Notice how Lee's "natural man" teachings reinforced laziness and superseded hundreds of other New Testament teachings about love.

Nee never had children of his own, so it's hard to believe he would recommend something so harsh for others, yet never had to practice it himself.

On second thought, knowing the system as I do, it's actually easy to believe Nee would teach that. Think about how Lee raised his own sons, and then covered for them, as they bedeviled the saints for decades.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:13 PM   #8
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Reminds me of that husband who refused to help his sick wife do dishes because he didn't want to do it "out of his natural man," due to Lee's aberrant teachings. Notice how Lee's "natural man" teachings reinforced laziness and superseded hundreds of other New Testament teachings about love.
This is exactly the twisted mess some of these kinds of teachings create. Why does it always seem like these teachings get used in a way resembling some kind of reverse psychology?

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Nee never had children of his own, so it's hard to believe he would recommend something so harsh for others, yet never had to practice it himself.

On second thought, knowing the system as I do, it's actually easy to believe Nee would teach that. Think about how Lee raised his own sons, and then covered for them, as they bedeviled the saints for decades.
As the article makes reference to, because so much of Nee's life is shrouded in mystery, he seems to come across to many (especially LCers) as being some type of spiritual guru.

The commonly held LC notion that he had some deep spiritual insight has probably precluded most from realizing these tidbits about his actual streghts and weaknesses. As someone who didn't have kids, he had no business telling others how to raise their kids, or even giving advice. I wonder what other subjects he presented himself as an 'expert' on?
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:01 PM   #9
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I wonder what other subjects he presented himself as an 'expert' on?
Apparently pharmaceuticals, church business entrepreneurialism, church history, Greek and Hebrew scholarship, etc.
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nee, Paul, and Moses on disciplinary instructions

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This is a perfect example of how ready and willing LC members are to put into practice things that Nee/Lee taught. Of course, beating a child is one of the more extreme examples, but still, WN clearly endorsed it and described his own recommended method of corporal punishment.

As you put it, someone really has to be out of their mind to be willing to do something like this. Unfortunately, it really just boils down to people not being willing to give what they hear or read any amount of critical thought. The attitude is as simple as: "WN said it so it must be good advice." LC members have really gone off the deep end in this way.
Although Watchman Nee did not have his own children he had been in many homes having tended to many broken and ruinness family relationships by the time of his writing. Paul, the apostle, also did not have children and was never even married yet he wrote to Timothy twice, his last 2 epistles, with instruction on how ones ought to behave as parents, as slaves, as slave-owners, and as elders - he was never any of these.

Paul, by this time at his age and maturity in life, both humanly and spiritually, spoke according to his view. Watchman at his age spoke according to his view and his level of maturity. Both cared for the future of the church and saw the need for discipline early, and in a spirit of love only.

Righteousness and peace was a goal within the family and for the church life sought by both Paul and by brother Nee for both present and future purpose, to the glory of God.

The latter's well-intentioned recommendation might work very well, or it might not; but compared to Moses' instruction for dealing with a rebellious child (Deuteronomy), it was a very mild suggestion.

I happen to be listening to tapes on Deuteronomy at the same time I have been in Paul's writing to Timothy; and now have read Nee's word - and have my reactions to them all.
(Note: Moses also was in his maturity, at 120 years old)
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:53 PM   #11
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Although Watchman Nee did not have his own children he was in many homes tending to broken and ruinness family relationships by 1948. Paul, the apostle, also did not have children and was never even married yet he wrote to Timothy twice, his last 2 epistles, with instruction on how ones ought to behave as parents, as slaves, as slave-owners, and as elders - he was never any of these.
I agree with you, in principle, yet we should remember that Nee had just spent his last 6 years outside of the church, outside the ministry, and apart from shepherding families in their homes. Secondly, regardless of the maturity of the minister, we should still heed Paul's instruction to "test all things, hold fast to what is good," (I Thess 5.21) and "let each man prove his own work." (Gal 6.4)

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Paul, by this time at his age and maturity in life, both humanly and spiritually, spoke according to his view. Watchman at his age spoke according to his view and his level of maturity. Both cared for the future of the church and saw the need for discipline early, in a spirit of love only.
Looking at Nee's instruction to beat the child, I cannot help but remember Paul's instruction to, "fathers, do not provoke your children to anger." I am a firm believer that parental discipline should always fit the "crime," should always be age and gender appropriate, and should be accompanied by much loving instruction.

I would consider Dr. James Dobson a far more respected minister and teacher in this area of parenting and discipline. Unfortunately, neither Nee not Lee was humble enough to solicit proper ministry from ones like Dobson, rather took every opportunity to bad-mouth the likes of them for their own personal gains, and sadly, much loss to the children of God.

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Righteousness was a goal within the family that could then transfer into the church life, through children raised in the discipline and admonition of the Lord. "Godliness with contentment is great gain", both now and in the future saw both by Paul and Watchman Nee.

The latter's well-intentioned recommendation might work very well, or it might not; but compared to Moses' instruction, in a theocracy, for a rebellious child (Deuteronomy), it was a very mild suggestion.
Moses did command that the rebellious child be put to death. Had my father been able to apply this commandment, I would not be alive today.

What a warning to children! Hopefully it never happened! Mercy triumphs over judgment!
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:26 PM   #12
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Although Watchman Nee did not have his own children he was in many homes tending to broken and ruinness family relationships by 1948. Paul, the apostle, also did not have children and was never even married yet he wrote to Timothy twice, his last 2 epistles, with instruction on how ones ought to behave as parents, as slaves, as slave-owners, and as elders - he was never any of these.

Paul, by this time at his age and maturity in life, both humanly and spiritually, spoke according to his view. Watchman at his age spoke according to his view and his level of maturity. Both cared for the future of the church and saw the need for discipline early, and in a spirit of love only.
You do have a point here, the fact that WN didn’t have kids is not an immediate disqualification from talking about raising them. I’m sure a lot of the advice he gave was based upon what he observed around him. Where I have a lot of hesitation, however, is in regards to the fruit of the advice on families that both WN and WL gave. Many LC families have really suffered. Families have been hurt, there are some at odds with each other. Clearly, there was a lack in this area of each of their ministries.

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Righteousness and peace was a goal to gain within the family as a foundation for the church life, to the glory of God for both present and future purpose, sought by Paul, and also by brother Nee.

The latter's well-intentioned recommendation might work very well, or it might not; but compared to Moses' instruction for dealing with a rebellious child (Deuteronomy), it was a very mild suggestion.

I happen to be listening to tapes on Deuteronomy at the same time I have been in Paul's writing to Timothy; and now have read Nee's word - and have my reactions to them all.
(Note: Moses also was in his maturity, at 120 years old)
Concerning the case in Deuteronomy, I believe that the context of the punishment of death was that maybe certain rebelliousness had the ability to affect the small-knit communities of that time. The punishment itself involved bringing the son before the elders of the city: “then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city.

Maybe what WN suggested was applicable in early 20th century China, but it’s certainly not applicable, nor legal today. Rebelliousness is a phase that most kids go through. It’s generally not a problem that stays around forever. I remember when I was a kid, I was threatened with the belt a few times, but it never happened. It kept me in line, but honestly, I still harbor resentment that such a punishment was ever viewed as an option. It’s kind of hard to imagine any kind of corporal punishment being done out of love.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Nee, Paul, and Moses on disciplinary instructions

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Although Watchman Nee did not have his own children he was in many homes tending to broken and ruinness family relationships by 1948. Paul, the apostle, also did not have children and was never even married yet he wrote to Timothy twice, his last 2 epistles, with instruction on how ones ought to behave as parents, as slaves, as slave-owners, and as elders - he was never any of these.

Paul, by this time at his age and maturity in life, both humanly and spiritually, spoke according to his view. Watchman at his age spoke according to his view and his level of maturity. Both cared for the future of the church and saw the need for discipline early, and in a spirit of love only.

Righteousness and peace was a goal to gain within the family as a foundation for the church life, to the glory of God for both present and future purpose, sought by Paul, and also by brother Nee.

The latter's well-intentioned recommendation might work very well, or it might not; but compared to Moses' instruction for dealing with a rebellious child (Deuteronomy), it was a very mild suggestion.

I happen to be listening to tapes on Deuteronomy at the same time I have been in Paul's writing to Timothy; and now have read Nee's word - and have my reactions to them all.
(Note: Moses also was in his maturity, at 120 years old)
Dear brother,

Those who equate WN or WL with Paul are deceived. Those who advance the teaching of a man over that of the bible are deceivers.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:17 PM   #14
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This is an interesting topic. I studied the part on beating a child several years ago. Because my personal experience in China told me this was more likely Chinese cultural stuff, I didn’t take it seriously. But now I realize that a lot of LCers cite WN’s teaching like Bible, it would be helpful to figure out what the problems are with this teaching. Could anybody show some verses in Bible to me to against this teaching? Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:22 PM   #15
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Could anybody show some verses in Bible to me to against this teaching? Thanks.
I note 7 verses in Proverbs which encourage "discipline" for the child. Most of these verses are connected to the "rod", i.e. beating.

Then Deuteronomy 8:5 says, "Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you."

Hebrews 12:7 echoes this: "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?"

But where does the NT encourage violence against one another? The 12 closest followers of Jesus were called "disciples" - where did He beat them? Or suggest that they beat one another? And I'd suggest that it carries also to women, children, slaves, etc; violence is evidence of lack of power. Lack of control and lack of power. Period.

I got spanked. Not saying that I didn't deserve it, and maybe it did me some good. But Nee seems to be advocating ritualized violence. Will this really bring about "peacable fruit"? I doubt it. Scarred and alienated children, more likely. Demoralized, traumatized and bitter.
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:34 PM   #16
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Could anybody show some verses in Bible to me to against this teaching? Thanks.

How about the verse I mentioned in Ephesians 6.4?
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:44 PM   #17
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This is an interesting topic. I studied the part on beating a child several years ago. Because my personal experience in China told me this was more likely Chinese cultural stuff, I didn’t take it seriously. But now I realize that a lot of LCers cite WN’s teaching like Bible, it would be helpful to figure out what the problems are with this teaching. Could anybody show some verses in Bible to me to against this teaching? Thanks.
I can't say that I have a good answer to your question, but I can provide some of my thoughts on WN's view of discipline.

To quote some of the verses aron referred to:
Prv 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Prv 23:13-14 Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.

When you see these verses, the question arises: what are we to make of these kinds of verses? Obviously, WN's teaching would fall in line with Proverbs and other verses. But are these verses meant to be taken literally? It's probably safe to say that most people would agree that the point of these verses is about the need for discipline rather than the form of punishment utilized. What I would point out is that Biblical forms of discipline match what was socially acceptable at that time. Stoning people was also a form of punishment, both endorsed in the Bible and practiced by all. So obviously we can't take things too literally here.

I think this is exactly part of the problem with Nee's style of exegesis. Nee liked to take things literally, even to the point of reading much more into the text than is actually there. Of course, there is also the cultural aspect of it - that being that there was no negative stigma about beating or whipping a child back in Nee's time. Nowadays, employing this form of disciple can get someone arrested. WN even says you can go so far as to cause bruising and swelling. Would anyone in their right mind take this kind of advice now? Apparently someone thought it well to listen to Nee's advice. I think aron said it well when he put that Nee holds a 'ritualistic' view of discipline. It's certainly not the view the Bible presents.

WN claims that the act of beating a child is done in love, saying that the family should have towel and cold water ready to reduce the swelling. This doesn't seem very loving to me. If there were concern about pain and swelling, how about not inducing it in the first place? WN's advice here is simply absurd. There is really no other way to put it.
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:44 PM   #18
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Great! Brother aron gave me some description (I enjoy especially the New Testament part). Brother Ohio showed me specific verse. I'm very happy with those. Thanks to all of you!
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:35 AM   #19
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As a Chinese, I would point out that there is a Chinese saying "打是疼,骂是爱" which translates to "Beating is a sign of affection, Scolding is a sign of love".

The meaning behind this saying is that discipline is a sign that we care. This chain of thought is similar to that in Hebrews 12 v 6 to 11.

There is another saying (not sure of its origin) which says that suffering can make you better or bitter. [There is a bit of a wordplay here as "better" and "bitter" differ by one alphabet.]

But the idea is that two Christians who face difficult situations may respond differently: One may be bitter and leave the faith; another may deepen his faith in God.

Lastly, I would also point out that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." If taken literally in today's culture, it would be considered radical.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:45 AM   #20
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There is another saying which says that suffering can make you better or bitter.
Certainly I overstated my case. Long-time readers here will recognize my pattern of dramatic generalizations that are not universally applicable.

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Lastly, I would also point out that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." If taken literally in today's culture, it would be considered radical.
Nobody took that literally. (Except a few like Origen, who was deemed unbalanced for doing so.) Nor about drinking poison in Mark 16:18.

Violence was, and is, another story. You could get stoned to death for eating pork chops on Saturday. And Jesus didn't forbid violence per se, but he certainly was pointing in another direction. A new age had dawned, and the orientation of the Old Testement was being brought out of the shadows and into reality. The Old Testament wasn't being superseded as much as fulfilled. The True Son, the Last Adam, was coming home, and he was bringing us with him. Beating one another is an iffy proposition at best, here, and easily a path of stumbling.

Look at the scenarios: "Moses said for us to stone such a one - what do You say?" Look at Jesus' response to that. Now transpose that conversation onto the Proverbial "beating your child" dictum, hmm? What direction are we pointing, here? Backward, or forward?

And society itself has moved on. Why pretend we live in the middle ages? Human relations are governed by different rules today. Interpersonal violence isn't the norm any more. LC recruiters are going to have a hard time on the college campus if they think they can present these out-dated teachings and behaviors which look regressive, not progressive.
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:50 AM   #21
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As a Chinese, I would point out that there is a Chinese saying "打是疼,骂是爱" which translates to "Beating is a sign of affection, Scolding is a sign of love".

The meaning behind this saying is that discipline is a sign that we care. This chain of thought is similar to that in Hebrews 12 v 6 to 11.

There is another saying (not sure of its origin) which says that suffering can make you better or bitter. [There is a bit of a wordplay here as "better" and "bitter" differ by one alphabet.]

But the idea is that two Christians who face difficult situations may respond differently: One may be bitter and leave the faith; another may deepen his faith in God.

Lastly, I would also point out that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." If taken literally in today's culture, it would be considered radical.
I know these things. But to my understanding the Chinese saying is equivalent to a philosophical opinion that cannot be used as some verses in Bible. To me, Bible is God’s Word. The saying in the Bible is endorsed by God. When I meet a situation and need to apply God’s Word I’ll try to consult Holy Spirit not judge by myself.
My understanding on the stumble (some translate it into sin) is the deviation from God’s command (or the narrow road heavenly Father wants us to go). Only in this case, I agree that I should deal my sin seriously! In a word, Chinese saying is dead sentence but God is living and true and control everything.
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:55 AM   #22
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Could anybody show some verses in Bible to me to against this teaching? Thanks.
Best verse I could find that does not support this teaching is Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:45 PM   #23
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Best verse I could find that does not support this teaching is Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].
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Terrific, Terry!
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:59 PM   #24
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As a Chinese, I would point out that there is a Chinese saying "打是疼,骂是爱" which translates to "Beating is a sign of affection, Scolding is a sign of love".

The meaning behind this saying is that discipline is a sign that we care. This chain of thought is similar to that in Hebrews 12 v 6 to 11.

There is another saying (not sure of its origin) which says that suffering can make you better or bitter. [There is a bit of a wordplay here as "better" and "bitter" differ by one alphabet.]

But the idea is that two Christians who face difficult situations may respond differently: One may be bitter and leave the faith; another may deepen his faith in God.

Lastly, I would also point out that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." If taken literally in today's culture, it would be considered radical.
I've read the Hebrews 12. Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:28 PM   #25
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But now I realize that a lot of LCers cite WN’s teaching like Bible, it would be helpful to figure out what the problems are with this teaching.
To follow up with my last post, WN’s teaching of discipline is only scratching the surface of problems with his teachings.

A while back, I started a thread to discuss some of WN’s more questionable teachings, and particularly, those that LC members might not be so familiar with. You might find the thread interesting if you are particularly interested in WN. That thread can be found here: http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=5225

Because LCers are given to follow the ministries of WN and WL “absolutely”, it is worthwhile for them to consider just what they are following. Below are a few Nee quotes which can be found in the thread in the link.

These quotes don’t need much context. It becomes quickly evident that these are all example of Nee’s own speculation being presented as fact. Notice the lack of scripture references:
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Although we may not rate Adam's power as being a billion times over ours, we can nonetheless safely reckon it to be a million times over ours.

Today in each and every person who lives on earth lies this Adamic power, though it is confined in him and is not able to freely express itself… The work of the devil nowadays is to stir up man's soul and to release this latent power within it as a deception for spiritual power.
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The modern-day Church of Christ, Scientist was founded by Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy. She denied the existence of sickness, pain, sin, and death (though Mrs. Eddy has already died. Since according to her teaching there is no such thing as sickness, whenever one is sick he only needs to exercise his mind against any recognition of pain and he will be healed…
When this teaching was first promulgated, it was opposed by many people. Physicians especially opposed it, for if this were true, then there would be no need for physicians. Yet following their examination of those people healed by the Christian Scientist, these doctors were unable to repudiate it as false. Consequently, more and more people believe; even many famous scientists and physicians embrace this teaching. This is not at all surprising, though, since there is a reservoir of tremendous power in the soul just waiting to be released from the confines of the flesh.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:45 AM   #26
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Nobody took that literally. (Except a few like Origen, who was deemed unbalanced for doing so.) Nor about drinking poison in Mark 16:18.

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Hi Aron

I am interested about your understanding of Mark 16:18. The verse reads as follows

"They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed."

There are three items in this verse:-
1) Handling snakes and suffering harm
2) Drinking poison and not getting hurt
3) Healing hands by placing hands.

Items 1 and 3 were fulfilled by Paul in (i) Acts 28 v 3 to 6 and (ii) Acts 28 v 9 respectively. I don't know of any biblical passage of a person who drank poison and did not get hurt.

If items 1 and 3 can be interpreted literally, why shouldn't one expect item 2 to be understood literally too?

My view is that Mark 16:18 is understood in its literal sense, but that it does not apply now. Today, I would not touch a snake or drink poison for the sake of it; I would also see a doctor if I am ill.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:48 AM   #27
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I know these things. But to my understanding the Chinese saying is equivalent to a philosophical opinion that cannot be used as some verses in Bible. To me, Bible is God’s Word. The saying in the Bible is endorsed by God. When I meet a situation and need to apply God’s Word I’ll try to consult Holy Spirit not judge by myself.
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... these are all example of Nee’s own speculation being presented as fact. Notice the lack of scripture references:
Here are a few scriptural references.

Quote:
Ezekiel 18:16
He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.

Romans 12:13
Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

James 2:15
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

Isaiah 58:7
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Ezekiel 18:7
He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.

Job 31:32
but no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler--

Isaiah 58:7
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Where was the philosophical opinion or folk wisdom to remember the poor? It wasn't strongly promoted in his culture, so Nee didn't cover it in his "Do all to the Glory of God" book. And in the LC where I was, it was all about 'building up the Body', and promoting the ministry, and the minister (Lee).

And Nee was interested in what Nee was interested in, not in what God was interested in; often Nee's pursuit coincided with the Bible, but often it didn't. If he didn't have any folk wisdom or cultural pre-disposition that coincided with the words of scripture, then scripture was ignored. So his "glory to God" teachings didn't cover some basic essentials of the Christian walk.

The Lord Jesus taught, "Give to those who cannot repay you, and your reward in heaven will be great." In the LC we were told to ignore those who couldn't repay us, and go instead after the "good building material" on the college campus.

So they presume to be according to scripture, but in reality, they are not.

But none of us are: that is the core of the gospel. Only Jesus is sinless; only Jesus met every mark of God's righteousness. Our salvation is in Him. Somewhere along the way, in his rush to be a great Christian teacher, Watchman Nee forgot this simple fact. And those who think that the path of salvation is closely following the footsteps and writings of Nee (and Lee) will eventually find this out.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:03 AM   #28
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Best verse I could find that does not support this teaching is Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].
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Paul also said in 1 Thes 5:14: "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."

The idea here is to apply the appropriate medicine for the situation at hand.

The unruly are to be warned, not comforted or supported.
The feebleminded are to be comforted, not warned or supported.
The weak are to be supported, not warned or comforted.

Discipline would be appropriate in some cases. In other cases, an encouraging word to a child might be more helpful in encouraging the correct behaviour.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:04 AM   #29
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My view is that Mark 16:18 is understood in its literal sense, but that it does not apply now. Today, I would not touch a snake or drink poison for the sake of it; I would also see a doctor if I am ill.
I have not read a lot of Watchman Nee, and thus am not an expert in his teachings. I read a few books when I was in the LC, and have commented on the excerpts I've seen on this forum, and online (the Roberts/Hsu book, for example).

So I don't know what he said, but it seems that Nee would have taken Mark 16:18 literally. But he was smart enough not to apply it! In other words, he would ascribe these "supernatural" feats to our original, pre-fall state, which was lost by Adam's sin. Now, Jesus offers it again.

But we should be wise in how we apply it. "Be wise like serpents, guileless like doves." Jesus taught that if we go forth to battle with 10,000 troops and see an enemy coming with 20,000 soldiers, don't try to fight. So if I go to a church and they have cups of poison, passing them around to "prove" my spirituality, I will probably not take it!

In other words, don't let the enemy tempt you beyond your measure of grace.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:13 AM   #30
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Discipline would be appropriate in some cases. In other cases, an encouraging word to a child might be more helpful in encouraging the correct behaviour.
The New Testament of the Bible doesn't forbid physical discipline of unruly or disobedient children. But it presents a spiritual environment, and a clear spiritual walk, where we should be very cautious and circumspect about violence. Nee's adjuncts to violence, a tub of cold water and a towel, don't seem sufficient at all.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:05 AM   #31
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Hi markpaul

I agree with you that cultural sayings are not to be elevated to the same level as biblical words. My main purpose in quoting the Chinese saying is to show the context that Watchman Nee was living in. In the Chinese society, physical discipline is more common than one might expect.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:35 AM   #32
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To follow up with my last post, WN’s teaching of discipline is only scratching the surface of problems with his teachings.

A while back, I started a thread to discuss some of WN’s more questionable teachings, and particularly, those that LC members might not be so familiar with. You might find the thread interesting if you are particularly interested in WN. That thread can be found here: http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=5225

Because LCers are given to follow the ministries of WN and WL “absolutely”, it is worthwhile for them to consider just what they are following. Below are a few Nee quotes which can be found in the thread in the link.

These quotes don’t need much context. It becomes quickly evident that these are all example of Nee’s own speculation being presented as fact. Notice the lack of scripture references:
Thanks. Both Nee and Lee introduced questionable (false) teachings. In Chinese speaking Christian society, Lee’s heretical teachings were identified and posted in a lot of websites. However, Nee’s teachings (include questionable) are still accepted as orthodox ones.
Although I was LCer, I didn’t pay much attention on NEE or LEE’s teachings therefore I was not a real insider. But you guys (former LCers in this web) not only studied but also practiced their teachings thus you are experts on these stuff. I would like to learn from you guys on identifying false teachings with great pleasure.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:43 AM   #33
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Although I was LCer, I didn’t pay much attention on NEE or LEE’s teachings therefore I was not a real insider. But you guys (former LCers in this web) not only studied but also practiced their teachings thus you are experts on these stuff. I would like to learn from you guys on identifying false teachings with great pleasure.
I often consider his bad practices to be more detrimental to the church.

False teachings are in the realm of "say what I say," while his rotten practices are in the realm of "do what I do." We all know that bad behavior is more often imitated than words.

Much of Lee's more aberrant teachings were learned in the actual meetings, while his books have often been sanitized by polished editors.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:50 AM   #34
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Hi markpaul

I agree with you that cultural sayings are not to be elevated to the same level as biblical words. My main purpose in quoting the Chinese saying is to show the context that Watchman Nee was living in. In the Chinese society, physical discipline is more common than one might expect.
I see what you mean now. Thanks.
That's also my feeling his teaching came from Chinese culture not Bible. I lived in a community where beating one's own kids very popular.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:56 AM   #35
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I often consider his bad practices to be more detrimental to the church.

False teachings are in the realm of "say what I say," while his rotten practices are in the realm of "do what I do." We all know that bad behavior is more often imitated than words.

Much of Lee's more aberrant teachings were learned in the actual meetings, while his books have often been sanitized by polished editors.
I agree their books have been sanitized.
I came from China. When I was baptized and started my church life in LC in US, I noted the phenomenon that LCers studied either Nee’s or Lee’s writing in small group. However, that time I had a wrong idea that their writings were about how did they understood Bible. So I thought I should focus my attention on studying Bible first. Besides, I never heard of Nee or Lee in China before I came US. I more or less “despised” them so during the studying I often had absent mind on the materials. With the time being, when I became familiar with Bible I found I could not enjoy church life with other LCers because they studied Nee and Lee’s teachings and followed “absolutely” and had different opinions with me on Bible so I left. But their teachings had influences on me in an unseen way. Your direct experiences in LC and especially the lesson learned would be invaluable treasure to me. Your works like to put red tags on “brushed tomb” so that warn someone come afterward. Please continue the works!
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:15 AM   #36
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Paul also said in 1 Thes 5:14: "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."

The idea here is to apply the appropriate medicine for the situation at hand.

The unruly are to be warned, not comforted or supported.
The feebleminded are to be comforted, not warned or supported.
The weak are to be supported, not warned or comforted.

Discipline would be appropriate in some cases. In other cases, an encouraging word to a child might be more helpful in encouraging the correct behaviour.
Great, this is one more useful verse!
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:18 AM   #37
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I would like to learn from you guys on identifying false teachings with great pleasure.
My idea of Nee is that as a young, intelligent Chinese Christian he struggled to find a purpose and a center. I am not a Catholic or Orthodox, but I suspect that the schisms of East vs. West, and the subsequent Protestant splinterings, brought a kind of piecemeal gospel to China, where one group taught one thing, and another group stressed something else. Where to turn, where to go? As a young Christian Nee was seeking a kind of center or orientation.

Nee came under the influence of a "subjectivist" or "experiential" kind of teaching, which today would be under the heading of "Charismatic". One begins to seek experience at the expense of truth. Witness Lee said that Nee read all the Christian classics and thus was balanced, but that is impossible: he was putting out books in his twenties, and soon was running the largest Christian group in China. So his readings and fellowship with others became a supplement to his church work, and not a guide to it. He was committed to a path and beyond the hand of correction or control.

The most damning readings of his that I've seen were:

1) how to organize a church. He said, "Get in line with the person in front of you. Obey without question." Okay, but what about the Holy Spirit, guiding us through scripture? What about 'proving all spirits'? What about your own discernment, experience, and conscience?

Watchman Nee's subjectivity was superimposed upon the flock. Today in the LC one of the Maximum Leaders will speak about the "feeling in the Body" as if somehow they were attuned to every Christian heart and mind. This is a great danger of Charismatic groups - you get weakened to subliminal and outside control. Eventually this becomes so clear when scriptures are disregarded, and common sense is abandoned in the quest for "Christian experience". It is mysticism without boundaries - no one can control the madness of the prophet.

Secondly, if "get in line" and "obey without question" were so important to the Christian walk, why didn't Nee get in line and obey in the Protestant, or Anglican groups he grew up in and was exposed to? Why did he wait until he was in charge of his own church group before he discovered this 'spiritual principle'? Again, subjectivity and self-deception are at work.

2) When the Communists took power, Nee's counsel to Little Flock elders clearly exposed (for me) his source was of men and not of God; I think it was in the Roberts/Hsu book. Essentially Nee had human power, and another human power (Communists) was threatened by it and was threatening it. And his response to that threat exposed his source. The 'spiritual' veneer of his counsels was stripped away and he was revealed to be a man, like any other.

Would I have done better? Probably not. But I don't presume to be one of the great spiritual leaders of the 20th century. Nee clearly put himself at the head of the contemporary Chinese Church. He was set up as THE authority. And his follower Lee tried to be THE Christian authority on earth. Both of them eventually were exposed as frauds.

Remember that Jesus taught us that the first would be last, and the last first. Those who presume to be great in this age should be very careful of deceptive influence, and those who try to find someone "great" to obey without question are in danger of great disappointment. Look at Lily Hsu: her spiritual walk was oriented around the Great Man Watchman Nee, and when that image was broken, she suffered loss. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, not ourselves.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:45 AM   #38
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My idea of Nee is that as a young, intelligent Chinese Christian he struggled to find a purpose and a center. I am not a Catholic or Orthodox, but I suspect that the schisms of East vs. West, and the subsequent Protestant splinterings, brought a kind of piecemeal gospel to China, where one group taught one thing, and another group stressed something else. Where to turn, where to go? As a young Christian Nee was seeking a kind of center or orientation.

Nee came under the influence of a "subjectivist" or "experiential" kind of teaching, which today would be under the heading of "Charismatic". One begins to seek experience at the expense of truth. Witness Lee said that Nee read all the Christian classics and thus was balanced, but that is impossible: he was putting out books in his twenties, and soon was running the largest Christian group in China. So his readings and fellowship with others became a supplement to his church work, and not a guide to it. He was committed to a path and beyond the hand of correction or control.

The most damning readings of his that I've seen were:

1) how to organize a church. He said, "Get in line with the person in front of you. Obey without question." Okay, but what about the Holy Spirit, guiding us through scripture? What about 'proving all spirits'? What about your own discernment, experience, and conscience?

Watchman Nee's subjectivity was superimposed upon the flock. Today in the LC one of the Maximum Leaders will speak about the "feeling in the Body" as if somehow they were attuned to every Christian heart and mind. This is a great danger of Charismatic groups - you get weakened to subliminal and outside control. Eventually this becomes so clear when scriptures are disregarded, and common sense is abandoned in the quest for "Christian experience". It is mysticism without boundaries - no one can control the madness of the prophet.

Secondly, if "get in line" and "obey without question" were so important to the Christian walk, why didn't Nee get in line and obey in the Protestant, or Anglican groups he grew up in and was exposed to? Why did he wait until he was in charge of his own church group before he discovered this 'spiritual principle'? Again, subjectivity and self-deception are at work.

2) When the Communists took power, Nee's counsel to Little Flock elders clearly exposed (for me) his source was of men and not of God; I think it was in the Roberts/Hsu book. Essentially Nee had human power, and another human power (Communists) was threatened by it and was threatening it. And his response to that threat exposed his source. The 'spiritual' veneer of his counsels was stripped away and he was just revealed to be just a man, like any other.

Would I have done better? Probably not. But I don't presume to be one of the great spiritual leaders of the 20th century. Nee clearly put himself at the head of the contemporary Chinese Church. He was set up as THE authority. And his follower Lee tried to be THE Christian authority on earth. Both of them eventually were exposed as frauds.

Remember that Jesus taught us that the first would be last, and the last first. Those who presume to be great in this age should be very careful of deceptive influence, and those who try to find someone "great" to obey without question are in danger of great disappointment. Look at Lily Hsu: her spiritual walk was oriented around the Great Man Watchman Nee, and when that image was broken, she suffered loss. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, not ourselves.
Great observation! I have never thought these before. I'll post my opinion later.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #39
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Hi Aron

I am interested about your understanding of Mark 16:18. The verse reads as follows

"They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed."

There are three items in this verse:-
1) Handling snakes and suffering harm
2) Drinking poison and not getting hurt
3) Healing hands by placing hands.

Items 1 and 3 were fulfilled by Paul in (i) Acts 28 v 3 to 6 and (ii) Acts 28 v 9 respectively. I don't know of any biblical passage of a person who drank poison and did not get hurt.

If items 1 and 3 can be interpreted literally, why shouldn't one expect item 2 to be understood literally too?

My view is that Mark 16:18 is understood in its literal sense, but that it does not apply now. Today, I would not touch a snake or drink poison for the sake of it; I would also see a doctor if I am ill.
There are a few churches in West Virginia that take this verse literally. They handle poisonous snakes for show, to apparently prove their faith. So far a few pastors have died from the poison snake bites.

Not a smart idea, if you ask me.

Actually these miracles and millions more have transpired over the course of church history, but usually not by those who tempt the Lord for vain glory and the praise of men.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:59 AM   #40
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My idea of Nee is that as a young, intelligent Chinese Christian he struggled to find a purpose and a center. I am not a Catholic or Orthodox, but I suspect that the schisms of East vs. West, and the subsequent Protestant splinterings, brought a kind of piecemeal gospel to China, where one group taught one thing, and another group stressed something else. Where to turn, where to go? As a young Christian Nee was seeking a kind of center or orientation.

Nee came under the influence of a "subjectivist" or "experiential" kind of teaching, which today would be under the heading of "Charismatic". One begins to seek experience at the expense of truth. Witness Lee said that Nee read all the Christian classics and thus was balanced, but that is impossible: he was putting out books in his twenties, and soon was running the largest Christian group in China. So his readings and fellowship with others became a supplement to his church work, and not a guide to it. He was committed to a path and beyond the hand of correction or control.
According to my experience, there is an idea in certain Christian society that Bible should be modified with time being. If you have this thought in mind, you would expect the Bible like science should be developed. In this case you could not resist to the temptation want to contribute some ideas to the Bible like some famous scientists did to science. I have purchase a used book from a library with title “Words From God” (I cannot remember this is the accurate title). This book basically told me a female heard some Words from God and said Peter, Paul etc. didn’t understand Jesus’ teachings well, so God told her spoke out new revelations. I didn’t read that book further but through it away to garbage can. To my understanding, Bible is complete and closed to be modified from Rev. 22:18-19 (18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.). Think about it, what you can add if Jesus told you He will give His believers eternal life and live in the new heaven and earth! Of course you could argue that it indicate only the book of Revelation, but keep in mind that the book is the last one and the sentences are in the last four. If you cannot add to the last, how can you add something before?!
I don’t know too much about Nee’s teaching, but from Robert/Hsu book he claimed to be MOT that was equal to a position of Apostles Paul or Peter. We know that Paul or Peter’s teachings are parts of our Bible if they had written down. This kind of proudness or arrogance was easily captured by Satan but hard to be endorsed by Holy Spirit. So one seeking power instead of obeying God would be followed.

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The most damning readings of his that I've seen were:

1) how to organize a church. He said, "Get in line with the person in front of you. Obey without question." Okay, but what about the Holy Spirit, guiding us through scripture? What about 'proving all spirits'? What about your own discernment, experience, and conscience?

Watchman Nee's subjectivity was superimposed upon the flock. Today in the LC one of the Maximum Leaders will speak about the "feeling in the Body" as if somehow they were attuned to every Christian heart and mind. This is a great danger of Charismatic groups - you get weakened to subliminal and outside control. Eventually this becomes so clear when scriptures are disregarded, and common sense is abandoned in the quest for "Christian experience". It is mysticism without boundaries - no one can control the madness of the prophet.

Secondly, if "get in line" and "obey without question" were so important to the Christian walk, why didn't Nee get in line and obey in the Protestant, or Anglican groups he grew up in and was exposed to? Why did he wait until he was in charge of his own church group before he discovered this 'spiritual principle'? Again, subjectivity and self-deception are at work.
This part sounds to me the traditional Chinese culture again.

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2) When the Communists took power, Nee's counsel to Little Flock elders clearly exposed (for me) his source was of men and not of God; I think it was in the Roberts/Hsu book. Essentially Nee had human power, and another human power (Communists) was threatened by it and was threatening it. And his response to that threat exposed his source. The 'spiritual' veneer of his counsels was stripped away and he was revealed to be a man, like any other.
I agree his source was man (himself) not God. On the Communist stuff, I think Communist was basically Satan’s tool in craftiness and cheating. According to my historical knowledge on Chinese Communist, Mao had ever (before 1949) declared he would like to build up a democracy government like US. This saying cheated a lot of people including the political parties other than Guo Ming Dang that governed China that time. This is an example to show Communist craftiness. I think Nee was one of the people who were cheated. The evidence to support this is his adoption of People’s standpoint (see Robert/Hsu book). People are not smart enough to resist Satan’s temptation (Genesis 3:1-7) only Jesus can (Matthew 4:1-11). Therefore, one must be guided by Holy Spirit to resist Satan’s trick.

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Would I have done better? Probably not. But I don't presume to be one of the great spiritual leaders of the 20th century. Nee clearly put himself at the head of the contemporary Chinese Church. He was set up as THE authority. And his follower Lee tried to be THE Christian authority on earth. Both of them eventually were exposed as frauds.

Remember that Jesus taught us that the first would be last, and the last first. Those who presume to be great in this age should be very careful of deceptive influence, and those who try to find someone "great" to obey without question are in danger of great disappointment. Look at Lily Hsu: her spiritual walk was oriented around the Great Man Watchman Nee, and when that image was broken, she suffered loss. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, not ourselves.
I agree with you. If I were in his situation, I would have been stumbled too. I was a small Christian when I left LC but if I were a responsible brother or some kind of leader, I’m afraid I could not so easily left LC. Yes, I should often remind me with Jesus’ teachings!
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:17 PM   #41
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There are a few churches in West Virginia that take this verse literally. They handle poisonous snakes for show, to apparently prove their faith. So far a few pastors have died from the poison snake bites.

Not a smart idea, if you ask me.

Actually these miracles and millions more have transpired over the course of church history, but usually not by those who tempt the Lord for vain glory and the praise of men.
I think I could do this passively not actively. Otherwise, I would have put my Lord God in test (see Matthew 4:6-7).
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:37 PM   #42
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According to my experience, there is an idea in certain Christian society that Bible should be modified with time being. If you have this thought in mind, you would expect the Bible like science should be developed.
Interesting comments, markpaul.

In the USA, we have a progressive movement in government that wants to make our national constitution into a "living document," which needs to be changed regularly like the weather in Ohio. If the Bible, like our constitution, can be changed from generation to generation like the climate, then it becomes useless. The Bible is a "living document" not because evil men can add to it, take away from it, or change it, but because we have the living Spirit of God within us. Remember, "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (II Cor 3.6)
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:58 PM   #43
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Default Re: Article: Beware of the writings of the Watchman

Without referring to any particular teaching or writing of Nee, I have come to realize that Nee generally had an idea where he wanted to go when he started into any particular analysis of scripture. His command or rhetorical devices was put to good use causing the hearer/reader to miss where he misdirected us to accept things as according to the Bible where they were not. And as someone else has pointed out, he often used stories to make his point. So it is not the scripture that supports his positions, but a good-sounding story.

I do not conclude that it was always (if at all) because of an evil desire to gather followers or lead anyone astray. He probably believed what he taught. But it was too often not really from the Bible.

Even when I somewhat recently read one of the more spiritual (as opposed to doctrinal) writings — Sit Walk Stand — it seems that the overlay and what he made out of it was not derived from Ephesians, but forced onto it. There was even the background for Lee's eventual teaching on doing nothing until you had enough "dispensing" that it just happened. (You have to just sit until you are so inundated with God's dispensing that you need not try to be righteous, you just are. In the mean time, unrighteousness is just acceptable — and covered by grace.) Nee didn't say it outright, but did infer it if you pay attention. (Lee actually said it in so many words.)

But since most readers are not paying attention, they are captured by the apparent spirituality of the writing.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:18 PM   #44
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Without referring to any particular teaching or writing of Nee, I have come to realize that Nee generally had an idea where he wanted to go when he started into any particular analysis of scripture. His command or rhetorical devices was put to good use causing the hearer/reader to miss where he misdirected us to accept things as according to the Bible where they were not. And as someone else has pointed out, he often used stories to make his point. So it is not the scripture that supports his positions, but a good-sounding story.
Good points. The other day, I was skimming though Do All to the Glory of God. What caught my attention the most were the pages upon pages of "advice" that Nee presented. There is a very noticeable lack of references to the Bible. In that book, Nee discusses all kinds of things - marriage, family, friendship, recreation - you name it. Others have written entire books on each of these subjects. But not Nee. It seems he thought that he had the definitive insight into all of these topics. It doesn't take much to realize that Nee was doing nothing more than presenting his own opinion as fact, and he indeed had and still has an audience who takes no issue with that.

It goes without saying that people do need stories and examples that they can relate to. But it seems the pattern with Nee is that these things really got him sidetracked, sometimes in bizarre ways. In a quote I posted on a different thread that is linked in my last post, Nee describes a friend that he knew. This friend had met a Hindi man who could supposedly predict the future. Nee presents this story to his audience as "proof" that humans have an unrealized "latent" power in their soul. Obviously, Nee was standing on shaky ground with some of these subjects to begin with, but engaging in pure speculation based upon what a "friend of a friend" said is difficult for anyone to take seriously. Unfortunately, LCers are not willing to approach Nee's ministry with any level of criticism, and that is a big problem.

It's a good thing that LCers aren't completely aware of all the teachings that they are following "absolutely". They might be a bit surprised if not shocked.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:41 PM   #45
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Good points. The other day, I was skimming though Do All to the Glory of God. What caught my attention the most were the pages upon pages of "advice" that Nee presented. There is a very noticeable lack of references to the Bible. In that book, Nee discusses all kinds of things - marriage, family, friendship, recreation - you name it. Others have written entire books on each of these subjects. But not Nee. It seems he thought that he had the definitive insight into all of these topics. It doesn't take much to realize that Nee was doing nothing more than presenting his own opinion as fact, and he indeed had and still has an audience who takes no issue with that.

It goes without saying that people do need stories and examples that they can relate to. But it seems the pattern with Nee is that these things really got him sidetracked, sometimes in bizarre ways. In a quote I posted on a different thread that is linked in my last post, Nee describes a friend that he knew. This friend had met a Hindi man who could supposedly predict the future. Nee presents this story to his audience as "proof" that humans have an unrealized "latent" power in their soul. Obviously, Nee was standing on shaky ground with some of these subjects to begin with, but engaging in pure speculation based upon what a "friend of a friend" said is difficult for anyone to take seriously. Unfortunately, LCers are not willing to approach Nee's ministry with any level of criticism, and that is a big problem.

It's a good thing that LCers aren't completely aware of all the teachings that they are following "absolutely". They might be a bit surprised if not shocked.
Whether Nee or Lee, their opinions are received as fact. Speaking received from LSM leadership is considered coming from the spirit when in fact may be coming from the soul. It created a culture that is steeped in pride and lacking in humility.
You would never hear a blended or esteemed elder say, "I don't know if it's the Lord's leading, but in my opinion....."
There just isn't humility to consider their speaking may not be from the spirit.
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:20 PM   #46
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Good points. The other day, I was skimming though Do All to the Glory of God. What caught my attention the most were the pages upon pages of "advice" that Nee presented. There is a very noticeable lack of references to the Bible. In that book, Nee discusses all kinds of things - marriage, family, friendship, recreation - you name it.
I remember in that book, that Nee condemned games of chance, like with rolling a dice on a board game. This is utter nonsense. I believe board games are extremely healthy for families. Rolling a dice has nothing to do with gambling, it's all about having some "fun" with those you love -- you know "natural affection" -- the thing Nee and Lee hated the most.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:01 PM   #47
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I remember in that book, that Nee condemned games of chance, like with rolling a dice on a board game. This is utter nonsense. I believe board games are extremely healthy for families. Rolling a dice has nothing to do with gambling, it's all about having some "fun" with those you love -- you know "natural affection" -- the thing Nee and Lee hated the most.
Acts 1:26 "And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias.."

For the longest time I couldn't reconcile the above verse with what Nee taught. I had read what he taught about 'chance' long ago. It took me a while to come to the realization that the Bible doesn't revolve around Nee's own paradigm.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:53 AM   #48
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Whether Nee or Lee, their opinions are received as fact. Speaking received from LSM leadership is considered coming from the spirit when in fact may be coming from the soul. It created a culture that is steeped in pride and lacking in humility.

You would never hear a blended or esteemed elder say, "I don't know if it's the Lord's leading, but in my opinion....."
There just isn't humility to consider their speaking may not be from the spirit.
Even Paul said, "This is my opinion..." (1 Cor 7:40). Yes, it was the opinion of one who had the Spirit of God, but Paul also had the humility to realize that his readers also had the Spirit of God. So he gave his opinion, as one who had been given some measure of grace, to others who also had a measure of grace.

In the LC we got, "this equals that". Not "in my opinion this is that", but "this is that". As if, the 'oracle' had now spoken and it was definitively settled. The God's Economy overlay, and many other teachings, were merely that: overlays, interpretations and teachings. There are other stories one may tell from the Word, but the LC is closed: if Lee spoke something, that's it; if he didn't speak, then it doesn't exist. It -even scripture - can then be either explained away, or ignored.

So behind the speaking and the teaching of "the ministry" was another speaking and teaching. "Don't be negative." "Don't think." "Be positive for the ministry." This is intellectual and even spiritual slavery. You deny, repress or ignore the spirit God gave you, to uncritically receive the one God gave Witness Lee.

Again, I think this can be traced back to Watchman Nee. Nee came under the subjectivist school of Father Fenelon, Madame Guyon, and Jessie Penn-Lewis. I am not saying those authors were evil, or should be ignored, but Nee was in a place with no center, and no direction, so he took this as his own. There was no corrective measure to guide him. No healthy church life to come to on Sunday morning to hear healthy words. Watchman Nee simply wasn't subject to peer review of any type or stripe. What I remember is Margaret Barber told him he shouldn't be reading Penn-Lewis, then gave it to him anyway. And off he went. Next thing you know, "Spiritual Man" is on the bookshelves.

Then, the combination of the widespread and deep resentment against the Western 'foreign devils' combined with the Brethren teachings gave him an excuse to start his own Oriental-flavored fellowship, dominated of course by his subjectivist school of thought. And in this fellowship, basically whatever he felt or thought was supposedly inspired by God. Yes he was guided by the word, and by Christian writings, but he was also guided and even controlled by fallen human culture coming through his fallen human soul. And eventually he built a temple to culture and the soul, with the drapery of spiritual imagery. But it was his spiritual imagery; from his soul, and his culture. It was, simply, his opinion.

But it was sold as a one-for-one match with the Bible. It wasn't. So beware.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:37 AM   #49
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Acts 1:26 "And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias.."

For the longest time I couldn't reconcile the above verse with what Nee taught. I had read what he taught about 'chance' long ago. It took me a while to come to the realization that the Bible doesn't revolve around Nee's own paradigm.
Great find here!
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:01 AM   #50
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...there's an idea in certain Christian society that Bible should be modified with time being... In this case you could not resist to the temptation want to contribute some ideas to the Bible like some famous scientists did to science. I have purchase a used book from a library with title “Words From God”... This book basically told me a female heard some Words from God and said Peter, Paul etc. didn’t understand Jesus’ teachings well, so God told her spoke out new revelations. I didn’t read that book further but through it away to garbage can.
This sounds like the Eastern Lightning cult, which is an off-shoot of Lee's "Shouter" sect in the mainland China. Similarly, Witness Lee told us some parts of the Bible were "fallen" and "human concepts" and "natural" and should be ignored. He also told us that some NT authors like Peter and James were "low" and we should be careful to receive their words. Instead he recommended his "interpreted word".

The Eastern Lightning takes this even further, replacing God's word with the word of the author.

Were you at all exposed to the "Shouter" sect in China? I hear that they are very active. Supposedly they exalt Lee even beyond what he wanted! Which is a lot.

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I don’t know too much about Nee’s teaching, but from Robert/Hsu book he claimed to be MOT that was equal to a position of Apostles Paul or Peter. We know that Paul or Peter’s teachings are parts of our Bible if they had written down. This kind of proudness or arrogance was easily captured by Satan but hard to be endorsed by Holy Spirit. So one seeking power instead of obeying God would be followed.
I know at one point Lee accused his followers (today's 'Blended Brothers' of Anaheim California) of operating according to a spirit of human power, not a spirit of love. But they were following him, just as he followed Nee. So they were all being true to their source.

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On the Communist stuff, I think Communist was basically Satan’s tool in craftiness and cheating. According to my historical knowledge on Chinese Communist, Mao had ever (before 1949) declared he would like to build up a democracy government like US. This saying cheated a lot of people including the political parties other than Guo Ming Dang that governed China that time. This is an example to show Communist craftiness. I think Nee was one of the people who were cheated. The evidence to support this is his adoption of People’s standpoint (see Robert/Hsu book). People are not smart enough to resist Satan’s temptation (Genesis 3:1-7) only Jesus can (Matthew 4:1-11). Therefore, one must be guided by Holy Spirit to resist Satan’s trick.

I agree with you. If I were in his situation, I would have been stumbled too. I was a small Christian when I left LC but if I were a responsible brother or some kind of leader, I’m afraid I could not so easily left LC. Yes, I should often remind me with Jesus’ teachings!
Yes; Nee was operating in the sphere of human power, as was Mao and the Communists. They were threatened by him and his Little Flock, just as Herod and Pilate were threatened by Jesus. But Nee's response, to me, was not similar to Jesus' response. In his response, Nee revealed his source.

We agree here, as markpaul has said, that we probably would have been stumbled too. So we do not judge. But we need to be wary of Satan's schemes. He wants to lift us up, but then God has to throw us down. "He who exalts himself will be humbled" (Mat 23:12; see also Pro 29:23, Ja 4:6). It is just a simple fact.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:54 AM   #51
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I think I could do this passively not actively. Otherwise, I would have put my Lord God in test (see Matthew 4:6-7).
With regard to Mark 16:18 about (1) Handling snakes and suffering harm and (2) Drinking poison and not getting hurt, there are similar examples in the Old Testament.

Daniel being forced into a lion's den but not being harmed is analogous to the snake situation while Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego not being harmed when placed in a furnace is analogous to "drinking poison and not getting hurt".

Yes Daniel and these three youths did not court for trouble.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:59 AM   #52
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Without referring to any particular teaching or writing of Nee, I have come to realize that Nee generally had an idea where he wanted to go when he started into any particular analysis of scripture. His command or rhetorical devices was put to good use causing the hearer/reader to miss where he misdirected us to accept things as according to the Bible where they were not. And as someone else has pointed out, he often used stories to make his point. So it is not the scripture that supports his positions, but a good-sounding story.

I do not conclude that it was always (if at all) because of an evil desire to gather followers or lead anyone astray. He probably believed what he taught. But it was too often not really from the Bible.

Even when I somewhat recently read one of the more spiritual (as opposed to doctrinal) writings — Sit Walk Stand — it seems that the overlay and what he made out of it was not derived from Ephesians, but forced onto it. There was even the background for Lee's eventual teaching on doing nothing until you had enough "dispensing" that it just happened. (You have to just sit until you are so inundated with God's dispensing that you need not try to be righteous, you just are. In the mean time, unrighteousness is just acceptable — and covered by grace.) Nee didn't say it outright, but did infer it if you pay attention. (Lee actually said it in so many words.)

But since most readers are not paying attention, they are captured by the apparent spirituality of the writing.
You hit an important point here: “misleading”. In James 3:1 says “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” Why give teachers judgement with greater strictness? My understanding is because their teachings have greater impact on Christians. If someone’s teachings mislead Christian readers to a way deviate from Bible—God’s commandments that is equivalent to teach them to sin against God.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:25 AM   #53
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This sounds like the Eastern Lightning cult, which is an off-shoot of Lee's "Shouter" sect in the mainland China. Similarly, Witness Lee told us some parts of the Bible were "fallen" and "human concepts" and "natural" and should be ignored. He also told us that some NT authors like Peter and James were "low" and we should be careful to receive their words. Instead he recommended his "interpreted word".

The Eastern Lightning takes this even further, replacing God's word with the word of the author.

Were you at all exposed to the "Shouter" sect in China? I hear that they are very active. Supposedly they exalt Lee even beyond what he wanted! Which is a lot.

Yes, there maybe similar origin. As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong) “shouter” is a branch of LC. There are different sects among them. The extreme one called “Lord Changshou” and “King Changshou”. The “Changshou” is Lee’s Chinese name. They worshiped Lee! I heard of someone suggested that Eastern Lightning is a sect derived from “shouter” but I’m not sure. Do you have more information on these? I recommend to read through “God in life and nature but not in the Godhead” in this web to see if there is a connection. Also possible from the MOT teaching, I don't know.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:41 AM   #54
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Yes, there maybe similar origin. As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong) “shouter” is a branch of LC. There are different sects among them. The extreme one called “Lord Changshou” and “King Changshou”. The “Changshou” is Lee’s Chinese name. They worshiped Lee! I heard of someone suggested that Eastern Lightning is a sect derived from “shouter” but I’m not sure. Do you have more information on these? I recommend to read through “God in life and nature but not in the Godhead” in this web to see if there is a connection. Also possible from the MOT teaching, I don't know.
The article linked in the quote below contains some information on the subject. Basically, it appears that a member of the "Lord Changshou sect" (a Witness Lee worshiper) went on to become the founder of the Eastern Lightning:

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Back in Acheng City during 1989's Spring Festival, Zhao testified that Witness Lee is the Christ of the End Times and the King of Kings.
...
In March 1989, Mr. Zhao was made head of the Changshou sect in Heilongjiang and was named “Lord of Power”. He Zhexun was made the Leader of the Hengshan Church (a Shouter church).
...
At the end of 1990 because of pressure from the public security authorities and other reasons, the Changshou sect was broken up. Mr. Zhao saw his opportunity and sent some of his core people to various Changshou sect areas and got those believers to believe in the Lord of Power (that is, himself) instead of Witness Lee. He wrote his own tract, called “Preaching the Word”. Under this tract’s influence, his followers gave up the Bible and Witness Lee’s Life-Study of the Bible.
http://www.chinasource.org/resource-...ders-come-from
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:45 AM   #55
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Yes, there maybe similar origin. As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong) “shouter” is a branch of LC. There are different sects among them. The extreme one called “Lord Changshou” and “King Changshou”. The “Changshou” is Lee’s Chinese name. They worshiped Lee! I heard of someone suggested that Eastern Lightning is a sect derived from “shouter” but I’m not sure. Do you have more information on these? I recommend to read through “God in life and nature but not in the Godhead” in this web to see if there is a connection. Also possible from the MOT teaching, I don't know.
Here is a link on the connection between the EL sect and Witness Lee.

http://www.chinasource.org/resource-...deas-come-from

This is a website by an American Christian. Here is what it says about him:

"William Bennett is a US attorney and Hong Kong solicitor who has lived with his family in Hong Kong and the China mainland for a combined 23 years."

I think it is a good resource. There are others, but this is a good start. If you learn about these people, you can help others who get confused by their teachings.

(p.s. I just saw Freedom posted on this website also)

Essentially these people take the separation from the original word of the disciples and the fellowship of the apostles one step further. When you step back and look at it, it is simply a natural progression of what Witness Lee taught. The LSM followers of Lee strongly disavow the heretical teachings and violent practices of the EL and Shouters. But it is a fruit from the same tree.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:55 AM   #56
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The article linked in the quote below contains some information on the subject. Basically, it appears that a member of the "Lord Changshou sect" (a Witness Lee worshiper) went on to become the founder of the Eastern Lightning:
Alas, how terrible it is!
Let’s keep in mind I Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:07 AM   #57
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Here is a link on the connection between the EL sect and Witness Lee.

http://www.chinasource.org/resource-...deas-come-from

This is a website by an American Christian. Here is what it says about him:

"William Bennett is a US attorney and Hong Kong solicitor who has lived with his family in Hong Kong and the China mainland for a combined 23 years."

I think it is a good resource. There are others, but this is a good start. If you learn about these people, you can help others who get confused by their teachings.

(p.s. I just saw Freedom posted on this website also)

Essentially these people take the separation from the original word of the disciples and the fellowship of the apostles one step further. When you step back and look at it, it is simply a natural progression of what Witness Lee taught. The LSM followers of Lee strongly disavow the heretical teachings and violent practices of the EL and Shouters. But it is a fruit from the same tree.
Thanks for the comments. I didn’t study Lee’s writings too much (I mean I didn’t read his books systematically, just studied some parts here and there in small group studying). Your link is quite useful to me. Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:56 AM   #58
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When you step back and look at it, it is simply a natural progression of what Witness Lee taught. The LSM followers of Lee strongly disavow the heretical teachings and violent practices of the EL and Shouters. But it is a fruit from the same tree.
WL cultivated the environment that eventually lead to the EL. Instead of WL being at the top, the EL has someone else, who is even more bizarre.

In the quotes that I posted, it says that in the spring of '89, Zhao both testified that WL is the "Christ of the end times" and he was made a leader of the Changshou sect. Is this coincidence? I don't think so. This pattern sounds familiar with those who promoted WL during this same time period in Taiwan and the U.S.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:05 AM   #59
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Alas, how terrible it is!
Let’s keep in mind I Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
I would say that most LCers might think themselves to be immune to this "roaring lion". The LC system is viewed as being a safety net. Unfortunately, they are propagating the very system that is allowing the devil to devour people.

In the LC people aren't allowed the freedom to think for themselves. They think they are following God, but they are following a man. Those who seek to know the Word are quickly redirected to WL's ministry.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:21 PM   #60
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I would say that most LCers might think themselves to be immune to this "roaring lion". The LC system is viewed as being a safety net. Unfortunately, they are propagating the very system that is allowing the devil to devour people.

In the LC people aren't allowed the freedom to think for themselves. They think they are following God, but they are following a man. Those who seek to know the Word are quickly redirected to WL's ministry.
I agree. When I was in LC, most of LCers mentioned Brother Lee said. They often said some words like God's economy. Most of them read recovery version Bible. I don't have chance to read recovery Bible. How many differences comparing with other versions such as King James Version? Have you ever read both of them (I mean include the notes written by Lee)?
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:21 PM   #61
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I agree. When I was in LC, most of LCers mentioned Brother Lee said. They often said some words like God's economy. Most of them read recovery version Bible. I don't have chance to read recovery Bible. How many differences comparing with other versions such as King James Version? Have you ever read both of them (I mean include the notes written by Lee)?
Hi brother,

I'm not qualified to evaluate the RcV compared to the KJV, but anything that has a connection, association, or relationship with LSM is suspect to me. I don't need to be a Greek scholar to sense that LSM is a whitewashed grave full of dead men's bones, demons and evil Angels.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:49 PM   #62
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Hi brother,

I'm not qualified to evaluate the RcV compared to the KJV, but anything that has a connection, association, or relationship with LSM is suspect to me. I don't need to be a Greek scholar to sense that LSM is a whitewashed grave full of dead men's bones, demons and evil Angels.
My English is not good enough to make my idea clear. I would like to know if the heretic (in the link) just from Lee's teachings or also including his translation of the Bible. I haven't read the RcV, but I heard of some problems in it.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:52 PM   #63
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I agree. When I was in LC, most of LCers mentioned Brother Lee said. They often said some words like God's economy. Most of them read recovery version Bible. I don't have chance to read recovery Bible. How many differences comparing with other versions such as King James Version? Have you ever read both of them (I mean include the notes written by Lee)?
I have read the majority of the NT RcV footnotes. I have not read many of the OT footnotes. I would say that the footnotes always lead me to an understanding of what WL wanted us to believe about any given topic. In a 'normal' study Bible, the footnotes might be there to provide a discussion of a difficult passage, not so much to define particular teachings, especially as it would relate to a certain ministry.

I don't know what version the RcV compares best to. My guess would be maybe the ESV or NIV, but I have not engaged in a side by side comparison.

The translation itself probably isn't a bad translation per se, you just can't be guaranteed that there was no agenda behind the translation (and most of us believe that there was indeed an agenda).
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:56 PM   #64
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Alas, how terrible it is!
The EL is, by all accounts, truly evil; ISIS-level kind of evil. And the similarities of EL with the LC is this:

1) both sprang from the "sensuous" school of Watchman Nee, where one's sensory experiences and subsequent feelings dominate. It's not for nothing the Lee group in China was called shouters: they whip themselves into an experiential frenzy through shouting. People in these groups open themselves into forces unknown through soulish excitement.

2) both isolate from other Christians. Only they are the pure remnant chosen by God for His present move on earth. Everyone else is "Babylon"; no balancing word from outsiders can save them from deviation.

3) both exercise tight operational control. Conformity and unquestioning obedience is expected.

4) both are free to modify the Word of God due to reasons 1) and 2). The "feeling" or "leading" of the Maximum Leader is equivalent to God's present speaking. The Bible no longer guides, the Leader guides. Any safeguard from the flock of God (Christianity) is removed due to the group's isolation.

I don't know about the PRC shouters; probably they're similar, since they came from the LC (though the LC denies this, WL once claimed them as followers) and the EL came from the PRC shouters.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:59 AM   #65
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Hi brother,

I'm not qualified to evaluate the RcV compared to the KJV, but anything that has a connection, association, or relationship with LSM is suspect to me. I don't need to be a Greek scholar to sense that LSM is a whitewashed grave full of dead men's bones, demons and evil Angels.
The RecVers is actually an updated ASV 1901. It's definitely not a bad translation. It was developed in order to include Lee's notes. I still use my copies due to familiarity. I dont use them out in public, however, since I tired of being asked if I was a recovering alcoholic.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:51 AM   #66
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The RecVers is actually an updated ASV 1901. It's definitely not a bad translation. It was developed in order to include Lee's notes. I still use my copies due to familiarity. I dont use them out in public, however, since I tired of being asked if I was a recovering alcoholic.
I see. How about the notes? Are there problems?
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:00 AM   #67
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The EL is, by all accounts, truly evil; ISIS-level kind of evil. And the similarities of EL with the LC is this:

1) both sprang from the "sensuous" school of Watchman Nee, where one's sensory experiences and subsequent feelings dominate. It's not for nothing the Lee group in China was called shouters: they whip themselves into an experiential frenzy through shouting. People in these groups open themselves into forces unknown through soulish excitement.

2) both isolate from other Christians. Only they are the pure remnant chosen by God for His present move on earth. Everyone else is "Babylon"; no balancing word from outsiders can save them from deviation.

3) both exercise tight operational control. Conformity and unquestioning obedience is expected.

4) both are free to modify the Word of God due to reasons 1) and 2). The "feeling" or "leading" of the Maximum Leader is equivalent to God's present speaking. The Bible no longer guides, the Leader guides. Any safeguard from the flock of God (Christianity) is removed due to the group's isolation.

I don't know about the PRC shouters; probably they're similar, since they came from the LC (though the LC denies this, WL once claimed them as followers) and the EL came from the PRC shouters.
I agree with you. I may add some later.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:02 AM   #68
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I have read the majority of the NT RcV footnotes. I have not read many of the OT footnotes. I would say that the footnotes always lead me to an understanding of what WL wanted us to believe about any given topic. In a 'normal' study Bible, the footnotes might be there to provide a discussion of a difficult passage, not so much to define particular teachings, especially as it would relate to a certain ministry.

I don't know what version the RcV compares best to. My guess would be maybe the ESV or NIV, but I have not engaged in a side by side comparison.

The translation itself probably isn't a bad translation per se, you just can't be guaranteed that there was no agenda behind the translation (and most of us believe that there was indeed an agenda).
I see. Thanks. Is there any place mention the term "God's economy" etc?
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:17 AM   #69
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I have read the majority of the NT RcV footnotes. I have not read many of the OT footnotes. I would say that the footnotes always lead me to an understanding of what WL wanted us to believe about any given topic. In a 'normal' study Bible, the footnotes might be there to provide a discussion of a difficult passage, not so much to define particular teachings, especially as it would relate to a certain ministry.

I don't know what version the RcV compares best to. My guess would be maybe the ESV or NIV, but I have not engaged in a side by side comparison.

The translation itself probably isn't a bad translation per se, you just can't be guaranteed that there was no agenda behind the translation (and most of us believe that there was indeed an agenda).
I should explain more about I didn’t read Rcv and Lee’s notes. When I planned to read Bible (study Bible myself at home), I found Rcv was thicker than Chinese Union Version (Cuv) because the former including Lee’s notes. So I chose Cuv. After reading Cuv and other (e.g. NKJV), I found I could not enjoy church life with other LCers anymore. So I left without reading Rcv.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:12 AM   #70
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The EL is, by all accounts, truly evil; ISIS-level kind of evil. And the similarities of EL with the LC is this:

1) both sprang from the "sensuous" school of Watchman Nee, where one's sensory experiences and subsequent feelings dominate. It's not for nothing the Lee group in China was called shouters: they whip themselves into an experiential frenzy through shouting. People in these groups open themselves into forces unknown through soulish excitement.
I agree. I notice Robert.Hsu book point out that
Nee continued to overemphasize “spirit” (instinct) and depreciate “soul” (rationality and thoughts). He did not encourage believers to use rationality and the heart which were created by God to understand the whole truth and the revelation of the Bible. God created rationality and heart as functions of human beings, yet even today some believers in some Local Churches still are overly “emphasizing spirit,” and pay less attention to the entire and fundamental truth of the Bible.
Hsu M.D, Lily M.; Roberts M.A M.T.S, Dana (2013-04-02). My Unforgettable Memories:Watchman Nee and Shanghai Local Church (Kindle Locations 3830-3833). Xulon Press. Kindle Edition.

I think above observation is correct. According to my experience, LCers follow Nee’s this teaching closely. I often heard somebody say “use your spirit.” The problem here is “your spirit”. A mortal cannot resist Satan’s trick. If a Christian use his own spirit instead of consulting Holy Spirit, how could he overcome Satan’s attack? Jesus gave us excellent example when He met temptation from Satan: He simply cited scriptures to rebuke Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:04 PM   #71
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4) both are free to modify the Word of God due to reasons 1) and 2).
I was wondering if they are following Nee or Lee’s examples to do so. Anyway, I think this is a dangerous behavior. It reminds me at Genesis 3: 4-5. They’ve already shown Satan’s character!
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:03 PM   #72
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2) both isolate from other Christians. Only they are the pure remnant chosen by God for His present move on earth. Everyone else is "Babylon"; no balancing word from outsiders can save them from deviation.
Although Jesus did scold some churches (Revelation 2 and 3) and under Jesus’ light for the teachers to criticize other churches is okay, such conviction term “Babylon” they used is not suitable here. First Jesus’ scold aimed at their repentance and left the “door opening” for them. Second even if some churches did fall finally, only Jesus has final say to convict them.
Thank you to drive my attention to this interesting topic and make me understand God’s Words better.
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:55 PM   #73
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I see. Thanks. Is there any place mention the term "God's economy" etc?
The RcV uses the phrase "God's economy" in 1 Tim 1:4. LCers use this rendering as 'evidence' to support WL's own teaching of God's economy.
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:00 PM   #74
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I should explain more about I didn’t read Rcv and Lee’s notes. When I planned to read Bible (study Bible myself at home), I found Rcv was thicker than Chinese Union Version (Cuv) because the former including Lee’s notes. So I chose Cuv. After reading Cuv and other (e.g. NKJV), I found I could not enjoy church life with other LCers anymore. So I left without reading Rcv.
So much of the LC revolves around what supports their teachings. If someone chooses to use a Bible version besides the RcV that doesn't have an LC agenda behind it, they are not going to end up with a view that is supportive of the LC. That is the intention of the RcV, to support WL's teachings and provide a channel that all those teachings can be made known.

Some of the key teachings of WL and LSM don't seem so convincing when you look at the way other translations render the same verses they use to support their teachings.
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:31 PM   #75
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I left without reading Rcv.
Some of the Rcv notes are good. Many of them, in fact. Many are awful, though.

Two examples: in the Revelation 2 and 3 letters to the seven Asian churches, the Rcv notes say that the source problem was that the seven churches were not "absolutely identical". I think this may have been during one of the "storms" or "rebellions" in the LC movement, where the church leaders wrote to Witness Lee promising to completely reject any differences among them.

But notice - the church is build of living stones, not bricks (bricks are of course absolutely identical). But stones are unique. Also notice that Babylon the Great has enforced outward uniformity: no one can buy or sell without the mark of the beast. So Lee's idea to make everyone absolutely identical (to what, one also wonders?) is completely off base.

Second example: in the Psalms, Lee said that David was being "natural" and writing according to "fallen human concepts". Most of the Psalms that were not quoted in the New Testament were rejected by Lee.

Why? Because David fought with people, instead of blessing them! He should have forgiven his enemies, and turned the other cheek! I am not kidding. So David should have gone out and apologized to Goliath? When the wolf and the bear came for the sheep, David should have offered a second sheep?

1 Samuel 17:33 Then Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth." 34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant was tending his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.…

Etc etc. Probably 3/4 of the Psalms are rejected by Lee, and disparaged. If it wasn't cited so heavily by the NT he would have treated it worse. The Rcv treatment of the Psalms is ridiculous. Other books get this kind of treatment: James' epistle, the book of Job, some of Peter's epistle.

But Paul clearly told us that we struggle not against flesh and blood but spiritual forces. Yet Lee rejected this idea, or forgot about it, when covering the OT writings. Lee was clearly out of his league here: his lack of training, and outside counsel, was glaringly obvious. Yet in the LC everyone must be "positive" and "one with the apostle" so they sat there and passively listened to this amateurish garbage.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:41 PM   #76
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The RcV uses the phrase "God's economy" in 1 Tim 1:4. LCers use this rendering as 'evidence' to support WL's own teaching of God's economy.
I see. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:43 PM   #77
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So much of the LC revolves around what supports their teachings. If someone chooses to use a Bible version besides the RcV that doesn't have an LC agenda behind it, they are not going to end up with a view that is supportive of the LC. That is the intention of the RcV, to support WL's teachings and provide a channel that all those teachings can be made known.

Some of the key teachings of WL and LSM don't seem so convincing when you look at the way other translations render the same verses they use to support their teachings.
Thanks for the insightful comments!
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:44 PM   #78
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Some of the Rcv notes are good. Many of them, in fact. Many are awful, though.
Thanks a lot! I fortunately haven't read Rcv and the notes then!
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:42 AM   #79
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Thanks a lot! I fortunately haven't read Rcv and the notes then!
Like WL's ministry, it is certainly superior to what I would have done, had I tried. But I didn't try.

So I don't want to seem to be some critic sniping from the sidelines. I doubt I would have done better.

But my point was that in putting out a new version of the Bible, the LSM as the personal publishing arm of the Bible teacher WL, and WL himself, were exposed as rank amateurs, and in way over their heads. Some of it is decent, some is mediocre, and some is frankly awful. They had absolutely no business in attempting a new English version of the Bible, except to 1) control the discussion in the flock and 2) sell something else to a captive market.

Sorry to be so blunt but some of it leads me to this conclusion. If you want more details see the thread "The Psalms are the Word of Christ". WL completely dropped the ball, and in so doing he shut off the flock from the words of life. This is frankly inexcusable.

(and I am not deviating from this thread. Watchman Nee's subjective mysticism gave WL the free reign to personalize the Bible to his own fancy).
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:32 AM   #80
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But my point was that in putting out a new version of the Bible, the LSM as the personal publishing arm of the Bible teacher WL, and WL himself, were exposed as rank amateurs, and in way over their heads. Some of it is decent, some is mediocre, and some is frankly awful. They had absolutely no business in attempting a new English version of the Bible, except to 1) control the discussion in the flock and 2) sell something else to a captive market.
This is exactly right. WL and the LSM had absolutely no business producing a new version of the Bible. I think we could rest assured that any major translation had an exponentially larger number of scholarly resources put into the translation. WL and LSM have presumed that their work, done mostly by amateurs, represents the best available.

The RcV footnotes are just as big of an issue as the translation. WL is credited for ALL of the footnotes. Just by comparison, I opened my ESV study Bible and I see that there are six pages listing names of contributors for the study notes. What a difference that is.

What all this leads to is that there was no need for the RcV Bible in the way that it turned out. It comes as no surprise that there was an intention to control members' discussion and understanding of the scripture through the RcV footnotes.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:49 AM   #81
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Like WL's ministry, it is certainly superior to what I would have done, had I tried. But I didn't try.

So I don't want to seem to be some critic sniping from the sidelines. I doubt I would have done better.

But my point was that in putting out a new version of the Bible, the LSM as the personal publishing arm of the Bible teacher WL, and WL himself, were exposed as rank amateurs, and in way over their heads. Some of it is decent, some is mediocre, and some is frankly awful. They had absolutely no business in attempting a new English version of the Bible, except to 1) control the discussion in the flock and 2) sell something else to a captive market.

Sorry to be so blunt but some of it leads me to this conclusion. If you want more details see the thread "The Psalms are the Word of Christ". WL completely dropped the ball, and in so doing he shut off the flock from the words of life. This is frankly inexcusable.

(and I am not deviating from this thread. Watchman Nee's subjective mysticism gave WL the free reign to personalize the Bible to his own fancy).
What I was trying to say in previous is I had similar Chinese culture background, if I had read them I would have been trapped too (my faith is not strong enough to resist those misleading). I may add more to against his teachings on those you mentioned later to discuss with you on this topic.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:21 PM   #82
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I have to admit that my English is not good. In present situation, my English expression may be heard impolite (I’m certain my English expressions are not the same as native English speakers expect to other native English speaker). If I did offend you, please forgive me and point out them to me and I would be very happy to correct them. In the same time, I’m not trying to offend Chinese reader by often mentioning Chinese culture. I’m not trying to say the negative parts of Chinese culture. The reason I often mention Chinese Culture is simply because my Chinese culture background. As far as I know, western culture has its own flaw to deviate from Christian faith (I learned from persons in USA with western background). Because I don’t have western culture background thus I don’t like to mention those. Actually I’m a sinner. My sinful nature often leads me to sin against God. I’m struggling with that. When I say negative aspects of Nee or Lee’s Chinese culture stuff, I’m included automatically. I say those stuff to confess my sins so that Jesus’ blood to cover me, cleanse me and wash me. Thanks in advance for your understanding!
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:12 PM   #83
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Like WL's ministry, it is certainly superior to what I would have done, had I tried. But I didn't try.

So I don't want to seem to be some critic sniping from the sidelines. I doubt I would have done better.

But my point was that in putting out a new version of the Bible, the LSM as the personal publishing arm of the Bible teacher WL, and WL himself, were exposed as rank amateurs, and in way over their heads. Some of it is decent, some is mediocre, and some is frankly awful. They had absolutely no business in attempting a new English version of the Bible, except to 1) control the discussion in the flock and 2) sell something else to a captive market.

Sorry to be so blunt but some of it leads me to this conclusion. If you want more details see the thread "The Psalms are the Word of Christ". WL completely dropped the ball, and in so doing he shut off the flock from the words of life. This is frankly inexcusable.

(and I am not deviating from this thread. Watchman Nee's subjective mysticism gave WL the free reign to personalize the Bible to his own fancy).
As I mentioned before, with the Bible basis, I believe the Bible is complete and closed to be modified (the verses I cited says neither to be added nor to be taken away). Other verses to support above observation are Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 6:4-6 says “4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” All these are consistent each other to show the revelation was finished more than 1900 years ago.
On the Old Testament part, it is appealing to argue that “the parts were not quoted in the New Testament should be rejected.” But with the fact that the Old Testament was finished before Jesus’ first Advent tells me that the argument is flaw because Jesus or His Apostles never mentioned (correct me if you found opposite) the rejection claim before Apostle John wrote down the Revelation. If Jesus sent Lee (here I assume that Lee was humble himself said Jesus revealed the idea) to correct the “error” after about 1900 years, I would doubt Jesus’ deity. If Lee said those things with authority like Jesus did (Matthew 7:29), then I would face the same problem as Jews: either accept Lee is Christ or forsake Lee. Since Lee died many years, I don’t think I can accept Lee is Christ.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:47 PM   #84
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I’m not trying to offend Chinese reader by often mentioning Chinese culture. I’m not trying to say the negative parts of Chinese culture. The reason I often mention Chinese Culture is simply because my Chinese culture background. As far as I know, western culture has its own flaw to deviate from Christian faith (I learned from persons in USA with western background). Because I don’t have western culture background thus I don’t like to mention those. Actually I’m a sinner. My sinful nature often leads me to sin against God. I’m struggling with that. When I say negative aspects of Nee or Lee’s Chinese culture stuff, I’m included automatically. I say those stuff to confess my sins so that Jesus’ blood to cover me, cleanse me and wash me.
I don't think Watchman Nee disparaged (disrespected) Western culture, nor did he think Chinese culture was superior. I also do not disrespect Asian culture, nor do I think Western culture is better or more advanced.

The danger is in underestimating how much our "home culture" affects our thinking and understanding. And I believe Nee and Lee both missed this.

So when I point out the effect of Chinese culture on Watchman Nee's thinking or his 'normal' church life arrangement (the so-called Little Flock movement), it is not to say that it's inferior to a Western model of church, or defective. But I am pointing out that there is a cultural effect in place. And if we don't see it, it can hurt us. We are all sinners.

I believe that this is also what you are saying here.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:53 PM   #85
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On the Old Testament part, it is appealing to argue that “the parts were not quoted in the New Testament should be rejected.” But with the fact that the Old Testament was finished before Jesus’ first Advent tells me that the argument is flaw because Jesus or His Apostles never mentioned (correct me if you found opposite) the rejection claim before Apostle John wrote down the Revelation.
Lee did not reject them outright. But he did disparage them. He said they were "low" and "natural" and "fallen men's concepts". This is partway to the Eastern Lightning heresy to reject the Bible and create new "speaking from God."

And there is no precedent in New Testament scripture for treating the Old Testament writings the way that Witness Lee did. None.

And we treated Witness Lee's speaking as if it came from God, and the Old Testament prophet's word as if it were the natural concept of fallen humans. A very dangerous turn of events.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:27 PM   #86
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I don't think Watchman Nee disparaged (disrespected) Western culture, nor did he think Chinese culture was superior. I also do not disrespect Asian culture, nor do I think Western culture is better or more advanced.

The danger is in underestimating how much our "home culture" affects our thinking and understanding. And I believe Nee and Lee both missed this.

So when I point out the effect of Chinese culture on Watchman Nee's thinking or his 'normal' church life arrangement (the so-called Little Flock movement), it is not to say that it's inferior to a Western model of church, or defective. But I am pointing out that there is a cultural effect in place. And if we don't see it, it can hurt us. We are all sinners.

I believe that this is also what you are saying here.
What I'm saying is because my English is not good, I cannot express myself accurately. I don't like Chinese readers have an impression I just attack Chinese culture here. What I'm doing is trying to turn to Jesus Christ by confessing or exposing the conflict between Chinese culture and Christian faith existed in Nee or Lee and also existing in me if I mention Chinese culture too often without saying Christian faith simultaneously.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #87
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Lee did not reject them outright. But he did disparage them. He said they were "low" and "natural" and "fallen men's concepts". This is partway to the Eastern Lightning heresy to reject the Bible and create new "speaking from God."

And there is no precedent in New Testament scripture for treating the Old Testament writings the way that Witness Lee did. None.

And we treated Witness Lee's speaking as if it came from God, and the Old Testament prophet's word as if it were the natural concept of fallen humans. A very dangerous turn of events.
This is all the more dangerous to me because I would be misled to a direction not to God under the cover of Bible by the trick Lee did. I think it's almost impossible for an ordinary Christian to have perspective to see his or her Christian leader is leading him/her to a direction not directing to God.
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:08 PM   #88
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This is all the more dangerous to me because I would be misled to a direction not to God under the cover of Bible by the trick Lee did. I think it's almost impossible for an ordinary Christian to have perspective to see his or her Christian leader is leading him/her to a direction not directing to God.
The way that WL used his teaching of “God’s economy” was very crafty. First of all, his usage of that phrase took up a completely different meaning than what it actually means in the Bible.

In 1 Tim 1:3, the NIV renders Paul’s charge as being to “not teach false doctrines any longer”. In the RcV, a different rendering is used: “not teach different things”. Why is this significant? It is readily apparent that “false doctrine” has a much more precise meaning than “different things” What exactly does it mean to “teach different things”? Do you see what I’m getting at here? The phrase could mean just about anything.

WL took advantage of this. He also told everyone that “doctrines kill”. He took the emphasis off of doctrine and placed it upon the idea of “different things”, which he so presumed to define. Eventually, the notion within the LC became that to “teach different things” is to teach anything not taught or endorsed by LSM. The worst of this was when WL began dismissing entire books of the Bible.

In 1 Tim 1:4 (NIV), teaching false doctrine is put in contrast to “advancing God’s work”. It’s a simple charge, I think we all can understand what Paul was trying to convey here. Other renderings of “God’s economy” in verse 4 include: “the stewardship from God” and “godly edifying”. These other translations seem more meaningful, at least to me. Therefore, I think WL’s focus on the word ‘economy’ allowed him to take an idea that perhaps had some esoteric undertones when compared to the more well-known phrases, and he ran with it. In essence, he made a huge deal out of a simple matter and eventually constructed it into a false doctrine, trying to assign a meaning that had nothing to do whatsoever with the context of these verses.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:15 AM   #89
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WL’s focus on the word ‘economy’ allowed him to take an idea that perhaps had some esoteric undertones when compared to the more well-known phrases, and he ran with it. In essence, he made a huge deal out of a simple matter and eventually constructed it into a false doctrine, trying to assign a meaning that had nothing to do whatsoever with the context of these verses.
What really helped my understanding is that Jesus also used the word oikonomia in parable (Luke 16:2,3) which is rendered "stewardship". In other words, responsibility, and obedience. Not "masticating the processed Triune God to become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead."

A disciple is one who is consistently obedient to the purpose which God has given to him/her. "Behold I come to do Thy will/in the roll of the book it is written concerning Me". This is Jesus Christ our Savior; by faith we see, and now by faith we follow.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:05 AM   #90
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The way that WL used his teaching of “God’s economy” was very crafty. First of all, his usage of that phrase took up a completely different meaning than what it actually means in the Bible.

In 1 Tim 1:3, the NIV renders Paul’s charge as being to “not teach false doctrines any longer”. In the RcV, a different rendering is used: “not teach different things”. Why is this significant? It is readily apparent that “false doctrine” has a much more precise meaning than “different things” What exactly does it mean to “teach different things”? Do you see what I’m getting at here? The phrase could mean just about anything.

WL took advantage of this. He also told everyone that “doctrines kill”. He took the emphasis off of doctrine and placed it upon the idea of “different things”, which he so presumed to define. Eventually, the notion within the LC became that to “teach different things” is to teach anything not taught or endorsed by LSM. The worst of this was when WL began dismissing entire books of the Bible.

In 1 Tim 1:4 (NIV), teaching false doctrine is put in contrast to “advancing God’s work”. It’s a simple charge, I think we all can understand what Paul was trying to convey here. Other renderings of “God’s economy” in verse 4 include: “the stewardship from God” and “godly edifying”. These other translations seem more meaningful, at least to me. Therefore, I think WL’s focus on the word ‘economy’ allowed him to take an idea that perhaps had some esoteric undertones when compared to the more well-known phrases, and he ran with it. In essence, he made a huge deal out of a simple matter and eventually constructed it into a false doctrine, trying to assign a meaning that had nothing to do whatsoever with the context of these verses.
This is an interesting observation! You basic say that Lee first distorted some Bible verses then gradually replaced with Lee’s things and finally only the teaching endorsed by LSM left. This way would lead us to a place filled with Lee’s stuff labeled with God, Christ or Bible. In this case, how can you prevent person worship Lee if he/she enters the place?
This reminds me Mao’s trick. Communist based on Marxism, Leninism in the beginning. After a while Mao’s thought was added. Through many times power struggle, Mao basically criticized every one finally he gave Chinese people two options: (1) Mao’s thought (2) Mao’s thought. Please pick your choice. Finally all Chinese people in mainland worshipped Mao.

Who was the original author, Lee or Mao? I think none of them.

I think following verses applicable here (Ephesians 6:12-18[NKJV]):
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:10 AM   #91
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What really helped my understanding is that Jesus also used the word oikonomia in parable (Luke 16:2,3) which is rendered "stewardship". In other words, responsibility, and obedience. Not "masticating the processed Triune God to become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead."
Great interpretation!
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:59 AM   #92
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Freedom: The way that WL used his teaching of “God’s economy” was very crafty. First of all, his usage of that phrase took up a completely different meaning than what it actually means in the Bible.

In 1 Tim 1:3, the NIV renders Paul’s charge as being to “not teach false doctrines any longer”. In the RcV, a different rendering is used: “not teach different things”. Why is this significant? It is readily apparent that “false doctrine” has a much more precise meaning than “different things” What exactly does it mean to “teach different things”? Do you see what I’m getting at here? The phrase could mean just about anything.
Freedom is on to something here. Lee used this verse to make his own ministry the de facto standard for all N.T. ministries.

Whether we understand Paul's final word in I Tim. 1.3, the Greek word ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν, to be “not teach false doctrines any longer” or as the RecVers renders “not teach different things,” is really not much different semantically. Both translations pass muster. The crucial question we must ask is "different than what?" Paul makes it clear in context that he is referring to Jewish things, which he had battled throughout his entire ministry. Timothy knew this all too well.

This word ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν could be anglicized "hetero-doctrining" or better "teaching differently." We use the words orthodox and heterodox teachings to refer to accepted and not accepted teachings. So Lee in his RecVers is not wrong per se, but where he was wrong, and so very wrong, was to establish in the hearts of the faithful, that his teaching and his teaching alone was the de facto standard by which every ministry must be compared. Even the Psalmists and James must defer to his ministry, and thus be critiqued as substandard and thus different.

Let's talk about what this means to his adherents, especially those aberrant blendeds in Anaheim who are now running the show. For Lee and company the word "differently" takes on the narrowest of all possible meanings. Instead of referring to the common faith (Titus 1.4) acceptable to all the apostles, and summarized in I Cor 15.1-3
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Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
Lee's connotation, however, and often repeated, was "different in taste, different in feeling, different in sense, different in flavor, different in smell, different in appearance, etc." Even Titus Chu, who similarly had a Chinese accent like Lee, could not pass the necessary "smell" test. Hence he was quarantined as a rebellious leper, and will remain in isolation until long after he is buried.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:04 AM   #93
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Freedom is on to something here.
I agree. In the myopic, self-obsessed world of the LC, whatever Lee wasn't thinking or speaking today was "different teaching" and was to be shunned. Didn't matter if today's speaking was different than "early Lee" or from "early Nee" or from Christian orthodoxy for that matter. Even scripture could be "different teaching" if it didn't line up with today's version of "God's economy."
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:27 AM   #94
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Let's talk about what this means to his adherents, especially those aberrant blendeds in Anaheim who are now running the show. For Lee and company the word "differently" takes on the narrowest of all possible meanings. Instead of referring to the common faith (Titus 1.4) acceptable to all the apostles, and summarized in I Cor 15.1-3

Lee's connotation, however, and often repeated, was "different in taste, different in feeling, different in sense, different in flavor, different in smell, different in appearance, etc." Even Titus Chu, who similarly had a Chinese accent like Lee, could not pass the necessary "smell" test. Hence he was quarantined as a rebellious leper, and will remain in isolation until long after he is buried.
The ministry quietly replaced the standard of the common faith, because it was viewed as the only ministry on earth that encompassed all the items of "truth".

WL implied that everyone else had somehow compromised the truth. Thus to turn away from Lee's ministry was equated as turning away from the faith itself.

This is why it is so very dangerous for any group to think that they have something that others don't have.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #95
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. . . because it was viewed as the only ministry on earth that encompassed all the items of "truth". . . .
This has always been a completely hollow claim by the LCM over the years. And the reason is that theirs is such a narrow view of the scripture, the Christian life, the teachings of Jesus (and of Paul, Lee's favorite, even over Christ).

For example, any teaching that limits "God's economy" to "dispensing" then insists that only God's economy should be taught has effectively dismissed huge swatches of teaching in scripture. It is almost a theological scorched earth policy.

Jesus: "You've heard it said (concerning adultery) . . . but I say (harder rules)"
Lee: "We are free from the law." "The law is terminated."

Yeah. There's all the truth of the scripture.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #96
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WL implied that everyone else had somehow compromised the truth. Thus to turn away from Lee's ministry was equated as turning away from the faith itself.
Lee's subjective truth was implied to be received as factual. Because of the subjective truth, you can see where an "Us versus Them" mindset comes in. If you don't agree with Lee's subjective truth as being fact, you could see where the phrase comes in, "those who aren't with us are against us". Those of who ignored LSM's quarantines were deemed as being against them because of not being partial towards LSM in the matter. There's no middle ground.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:53 PM   #97
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Lee's subjective truth was implied to be received as factual.
All of us have subjective experiences of Christ. Thank God for that!

But whom of us presumes that our subjective experience is a one-for-one analog with reality itself, and that anything "different" (depending on how generous we're feeling [that old self-absorbed feeling, again]) is equivalent to falling away from grace?

Only those greatly deceived, is whom.

No, most of us are willing to have our personal truths pruned by the flock, by hard experience, and by scripture. Most of us.

---------------------------------------------

Put it another way: "So subjective is my Christ to me/real in me, and rich and sweet" (Hymns, 537) that I won't let Witness Lee's subjective experience of Christ displace it. Just as I don't expect my experience of Christ to dominate the flock, neither do I allow another's to dominate my perspective, and shape it so wholly.

Paul didn't impose himself as MOTA, nor did he subject himself to others' attempts, "not for one minute". No one should have such free reign in us, save Christ Himself. No single sinner can stand between us and Christ, as Christ stands between us and God. None. I don't see it anywhere in the Word. I see the opposite. "In the plurality of voices, there is safey" Proverbs 11:14

Again, look at the "much discussion" on important subjects, in Acts (e.g. 15:7). Where is much discussion in the LC? Nowhere, is where.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:01 PM   #98
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The RecVers is actually an updated ASV 1901. It's definitely not a bad translation. It was developed in order to include Lee's notes. I still use my copies due to familiarity. I dont use them out in public, however, since I tired of being asked if I was a recovering alcoholic.
I’m still interested in this part. If it is convenient to you, could you please tell me how Lee interpret following verses?
Matthew 23:1-4 (ASV)
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:06 PM   #99
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Second example: in the Psalms, Lee said that David was being "natural" and writing according to "fallen human concepts". Most of the Psalms that were not quoted in the New Testament were rejected by Lee.

Why? Because David fought with people, instead of blessing them! He should have forgiven his enemies, and turned the other cheek! I am not kidding. So David should have gone out and apologized to Goliath? When the wolf and the bear came for the sheep, David should have offered a second sheep?
Could you tell me whether Lee applied above teaching (or similar practice) in his life? I would like to check an idea and discuss with you later. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:23 AM   #100
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Who presumes that their subjective experience is a one-for-one analog with reality itself?
Let's look at this line from hymn #537 by Witness Lee, again. ""So subjective is my Christ to me/real in me, and rich and sweet"

The "my Christ" of Witness Lee was so subjective to him, that it could replace, or supersede, the objective Christ witnessed in the text of the Bible. You know, the One "who went around doing good", for example (Acts 10:38; cf Matt 9:35). As Lee disciple and current Maximum Bro BP is fond of saying, "We don't care for that." No indeed: you don't care for the objective reality in front of you, preferring the subjective "my Christ" of Lee.

Lee's Christ was so subjective to him, in fact, that nobody else's Christ mattered. In the LC, it was not the Christ of scripture, not anyone else's own experience of the Holy Spirit, not our God-given common sense, not our conscience, not the witness of Christian history, not the collective testimony of the flock of God. Only the subjective "my Christ" of the Deputy God mattered.

I'd say, maybe Witness Lee's "so subjective" Christ was a bit too subjective. Just a thought.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:25 AM   #101
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Second example: in the Psalms, Lee said that David was being "natural" and writing according to "fallen human concepts". Most of the Psalms that were not quoted in the New Testament were rejected by Lee.

Why? Because David fought with people, instead of blessing them! He should have forgiven his enemies, and turned the other cheek! I am not kidding. So David should have gone out and apologized to Goliath? When the wolf and the bear came for the sheep, David should have offered a second sheep?
I’m sorry I realized I’ve missed a Chinese cultural factor in previous discussion about Lee. When I was in China mainland, I observed Chinese teachers (tutors) taught things with authority like the knowledge invented by them (at least in primary and middle school). Besides this, we studied most of knowledge satisfied with reciting or writing down not for application. Even if someone learns knowledge for application, it would be assumed students not teacher applies them. Therefore, if a teacher teaches ethnical topics, he/she may give students teachings sound very high standard for talking in their daily life so that they may not be despised by their folks. These practices contradict to Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 23:1-4). So small Christians like me would expect big figures like Nee or Lee (at least they were Bible teachers) follow Jesus’ teaching (opposite to scribes). But quite possibly, Lee followed Chinese cultural tradition behaved like scribes. That’s why I was interested in whether Lee applied his above teaching.
Anyway, if Lee did apply, I apologize for my bad mouth and confess my sins to Jesus.
On the other hand, I myself affected by above culture factor. When I talk with other brothers or sisters in Church life or daily life, I more or less speak in a way like an authority. May Jesus’ blood cover my sins, cleanse me and wash me.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:17 PM   #102
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I’m sorry I realized I’ve missed a Chinese cultural factor in previous discussion about Lee. When I was in China mainland, I observed Chinese teachers (tutors) taught things with authority like the knowledge invented by them (at least in primary and middle school). Besides this, we studied most of knowledge satisfied with reciting or writing down not for application. Even if someone learns knowledge for application, it would be assumed students not teacher applies them. Therefore, if a teacher teaches ethnical topics, he/she may give students teachings sound very high standard for talking in their daily life so that they may not be despised by their folks. These practices contradict to Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 23:1-4). So small Christians like me would expect big figures like Nee or Lee (at least they were Bible teachers) follow Jesus’ teaching (opposite to scribes). But quite possibly, Lee followed Chinese cultural tradition behaved like scribes. That’s why I was interested in whether Lee applied his above teaching.
Anyway, if Lee did apply, I apologize for my bad mouth and confess my sins to Jesus.
On the other hand, I myself affected by above culture factor. When I talk with other brothers or sisters in Church life or daily life, I more or less speak in a way like an authority. May Jesus’ blood cover my sins, cleanse me and wash me.
It's hard to know what WL actually applied in his personal life. That is a only a guess to those of us who didn't know him. My own view of WL is formed from what he spoke in his ministry, and also the writings of former members, that most LC members have never read.

It does seem like WL viewed himself as the teacher and everyone else as his pupils. For rank and file members to call the teacher into question would have been unthinkable. Actually, when WL was eventually called out for not staying true to what he had spoken, he made the following statement: "None of you is perfected. Who can say that he is perfected? So you are not qualified to criticize what I am doing." WL didn't like anyone attempting to hold him accountable, and that has the obvious implication that he didn't practice what he preached.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #103
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It's hard to know what WL actually applied in his personal life. That is a only a guess to those of us who didn't know him. My own view of WL is formed from what he spoke in his ministry, and also the writings of former members, that most LC members have never read.

It does seem like WL viewed himself as the teacher and everyone else as his pupils. For rank and file members to call the teacher into question would have been unthinkable. Actually, when WL was eventually called out for not staying true to what he had spoken, he made the following statement: "None of you is perfected. Who can say that he is perfected? So you are not qualified to criticize what I am doing." WL didn't like anyone attempting to hold him accountable, and that has the obvious implication that he didn't practice what he preached.
I see. Thanks.
According to my observation, the teacher wants his pupils remember what he taught. If a pupil raises a question, he would definitely give you an answer then he want you remember his answer and doesn’t allow you express your understanding or opinion. The statement you mentioned is typical excuse for a Chinese teacher or leader not to accept any opinion other than his own.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:56 PM   #104
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Could you tell me whether Lee applied above teaching (or similar practice) in his life? I would like to check an idea and discuss with you later. Thanks.
I would say the answer is "no".

If you look at the Chinese principle of reciprocity, or Guanxi, if you give something then you are owed something back. Jesus taught to give when you get nothing back and you will be rewarded in heaven. Witness Lee would not do that, nor would he allow his followers to obey this teaching. I was there in the FTTA (Full-time Training, Anaheim [California]) and they were clear about this.

Second, if you break the set of social expectations of Guanxi, it is an unforgivable offense. Jesus taught to forgive. But if you violate the cultural norms of Guanxi in the LC you are never forgiven.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanxi

Guanxi largely originates from the Chinese social philosophy of Confucianism, which stresses the importance of associating oneself with others in a hierarchical manner, in order to maintain social and economic order. Particularly, there is an emphasis on implicit mutual obligations, reciprocity, and trust, which are the foundations of guanxi and guanxi networks.

Third, Witness Lee would never "lose face" to anyone. Anyone who caused him to "lose face" would never be forgiven in the LC. "You are finished", they said.

So this tells me that Witness Lee never overcame his native Chinese culture.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:08 PM   #105
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So this tells me that Witness Lee never overcame his native Chinese culture.
If he could not overcome his native culture, then he certainly was not the MOTA. Compare to Saul who became Paul and how he overcame his Jewish culture.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:22 AM   #106
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If you look at the Chinese principle of reciprocity, or Guanxi, if you give something then you are owed something back. Jesus taught to give when you get nothing back and you will be rewarded in heaven. Witness Lee would not do that, nor would he allow his followers to obey this teaching. I was there in the FTTA (Full-time Training, Anaheim [California]) and they were clear about this.

That's great! You understand Lee well (at least much better than I). This is a great opportunity for me to eliminate (or cleanse) Lee's effect (heretical teachings) latent in me by discussing with you. I'll discuss with you later. Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:24 AM   #107
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If he could not overcome his native culture, then he certainly was not the MOTA.
Great observation!
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:02 AM   #108
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If you look at the Chinese principle of reciprocity, or Guanxi, if you give something then you are owed something back. Jesus taught to give when you get nothing back and you will be rewarded in heaven. Witness Lee would not do that, nor would he allow his followers to obey this teaching. I was there in the FTTA (Full-time Training, Anaheim [California]) and they were clear about this.

Second, if you break the set of social expectations of Guanxi, it is an unforgivable offense. Jesus taught to forgive. But if you violate the cultural norms of Guanxi in the LC you are never forgiven.
The following quote is something I posted on another thread, but I think it applies here too:
Quote:
I brought the recovery to the United States, and you received it. You are the result of my work. Should I not expect that you all would be one with me, cooperating with me to promote the Lord's recovery? What is wrong with this?

Witness Lee, The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way, Volume 1, pg. 86
WL made it clear that he expected an attitude of reciprocity within the LC. Everyone was supposed to feel "indebted" to him, and this was supposed to be repaid through loyalty to him and his ministry office.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:37 AM   #109
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The following quote is something I posted on another thread, but I think it applies here too:
I brought the recovery to the United States, and you received it. You are the result of my work. Should I not expect that you all would be one with me, cooperating with me to promote the Lord's recovery? What is wrong with this? -- Witness Lee, The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way, Volume 1, pg. 86
WL made it clear that he expected an attitude of reciprocity within the LC. Everyone was supposed to feel "indebted" to him, and this was supposed to be repaid through loyalty to him and his ministry office.
This is a very accurate observation, Freedom.

I left in 2005 during the ugly fighting that surrounded the GLA quarantines. Basically the question presented to each and every brother and sister was this:
Who do you belong to? Whose fruit are you? Who raised you up? To whom do you owe your allegiance? Are you Witness Lee's fruit or are you Titus Chu's fruit? To whom do you owe your life?
I decided that when there is no good answer, then the question must be wrong. Like the Corinthians of old, I was neither "of Lee" nor was I "of Chu." (I Cor 1.12-13, 3:4-5) They were not crucified for me. I am of Christ, and it is now time for me to leave, because the apostle Paul would call all of these men "fleshly."
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:13 PM   #110
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WL made it clear that he expected an attitude of reciprocity within the LC. Everyone was supposed to feel "indebted" to him, and this was supposed to be repaid through loyalty to him and his ministry office.
I suppose that's where BP and RG drafted the Pledge of Allegiance for elders to sign their names with WL's ministry as indispensable.
Well, there's an expression "don't through out the baby with the bathwater."
What's the baby and what is the bathwater in regard to Lee's ministry?
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:16 PM   #111
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If you look at the Chinese principle of reciprocity, or Guanxi, if you give something then you are owed something back. Jesus taught to give when you get nothing back and you will be rewarded in heaven. Witness Lee would not do that, nor would he allow his followers to obey this teaching. I was there in the FTTA (Full-time Training, Anaheim [California]) and they were clear about this.

Second, if you break the set of social expectations of Guanxi, it is an unforgivable offense. Jesus taught to forgive. But if you violate the cultural norms of Guanxi in the LC you are never forgiven.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanxi

Guanxi largely originates from the Chinese social philosophy of Confucianism, which stresses the importance of associating oneself with others in a hierarchical manner, in order to maintain social and economic order. Particularly, there is an emphasis on implicit mutual obligations, reciprocity, and trust, which are the foundations of guanxi and guanxi networks.

Third, Witness Lee would never "lose face" to anyone. Anyone who caused him to "lose face" would never be forgiven in the LC. "You are finished", they said.

So this tells me that Witness Lee never overcame his native Chinese culture.
Yes, Guanxi is one of factors. This Guanxi is for ordinary people. But I also noticed both of Nee and Lee were builders of the LC churches, they might think those were their private properties like other Chinese built enterprises or even worse like Chinese Emperor built his kingdom. In their mind, they were policy maker but they were not necessary to obey it (that’s for others). In this sense, their position is higher than Moses, while ordinary Christians consider the churches were commonwealth. In other words, Nee or Lee thought those were “my” churches but LCers (at least some of them) thought “ours”. That’s the possible reason I would suggest. What do you think?
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #112
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WL made it clear that he expected an attitude of reciprocity within the LC. Everyone was supposed to feel "indebted" to him, and this was supposed to be repaid through loyalty to him and his ministry office.
I think this is great observation!
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #113
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I would say the answer is "no".

If you look at the Chinese principle of reciprocity, or Guanxi, if you give something then you are owed something back. Jesus taught to give when you get nothing back and you will be rewarded in heaven. Witness Lee would not do that, nor would he allow his followers to obey this teaching. I was there in the FTTA (Full-time Training, Anaheim [California]) and they were clear about this.

Second, if you break the set of social expectations of Guanxi, it is an unforgivable offense. Jesus taught to forgive. But if you violate the cultural norms of Guanxi in the LC you are never forgiven.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanxi

Guanxi largely originates from the Chinese social philosophy of Confucianism, which stresses the importance of associating oneself with others in a hierarchical manner, in order to maintain social and economic order. Particularly, there is an emphasis on implicit mutual obligations, reciprocity, and trust, which are the foundations of guanxi and guanxi networks.

Third, Witness Lee would never "lose face" to anyone. Anyone who caused him to "lose face" would never be forgiven in the LC. "You are finished", they said.

So this tells me that Witness Lee never overcame his native Chinese culture.
These verses from Luke chapter 6:31-34 sums up Lee's culture of reciprocity which didn't stop with Lee. The blendeds have carried on the tradition of reciprocity:

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:21 PM   #114
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I decided that when there is no good answer, then the question must be wrong. Like the Corinthians of old, I was neither "of Lee" nor was I "of Chu." (I Cor 1.12-13, 3:4-5) They were not crucified for me. I am of Christ, and it is now time for me to leave, because the apostle Paul would call all of these men "fleshly."
This is a great decision!
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:21 PM   #115
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Recently, I’m trying to figure out why I could not find out the message Nee or Lee found such as MOTA or “becoming God” etc in the same (or similar) version of Bible. I assumed at beginning I was too stupid to understand the high vision (hopefully this is the correct word, please correct it directly I don’t feel “lose face” because you cannot see me anyway [joke]), but afterwards I realized I didn’t stand at the similar position (or angle) to understand things. When ordinary Christians like me read Bible usually do it with reverence and seriousness to hope for learning things to instruct their life. But when big figures like Nee or Lee read they might use Bible as reference to find some useful things to help them make rules for their kingdom so that they could rule over ordinary Christians who would enter their kingdom. Following link is about Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Its leader was Hong Xiuquan who claimed was the second son of God and the younger brother of Jesus (see the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiping_Heavenly_Kingdom). You may find similar phenomenon. Maybe I'm wrong totally (I hope). Could you help me to escape from above view?
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:30 PM   #116
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Following link is about Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Its leader was Hong Xiuquan who claimed was the second son of God and the younger brother of Jesus (see the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiping_Heavenly_Kingdom). You may find similar phenomenon. Maybe I'm wrong totally (I hope). Could you help me to escape from above view?
I am helped by Jesus' teaching: "Who wants to be great in heaven, be small on earth."

And

"Those who exalt themselves will be cast down; those who humble themselves will be lifted up."

And

"You know that those who are great in the Gentiles lord over them; but do not be like the Gentiles in this matter."

On earth the Great Ones lord it over the little ones. This is the way of the world. In the flock we should not elevate ourselves. I know there are "apostles, teachers, shepherds and evangelists", but even then we should prove all things. When some claim to be "super-apostles" (MOTA) like Lee they are most suspect.

And those who claim to be God incarnate have left the Christian faith behind and are in the throes of madness and delusion. That is my attitude and I think it is pretty common in the Christian flock.

markpaul,

There are a lot of Christians who have gone on before you; listen to them. They went before you for a reason: to show you what to do, and what not to do! Satan wants you to repeat the mistakes of others. God wants you to learn from others.

If anyone exalts himself or herself, before they stand at God's Judgment Seat, then they are most fooled.

2 Cor 5:10 "We all have to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ" to answer for the things we do, both good and bad. Those who presume to be great on this earth, and in this age: I do not trust them.

Jesus is great, even the greatest of all. But He passed through death and resurrection. I have not, and you have not. So we are foolish to judge ourselves as better or worse than anyone else. Just take the least place, and don't trust those who elevate themselves above the flock.

Also, we were warned that "false Christs" will come. What do you think they will look like? I bet, a lot like the person Hong Xiuquan that you referenced. People who come among the flock, declaring, "I am great"; and "I am something".

Missionaries working with native Chinese speakers published a series of introductory Christian tracts, one of which Hong came across, though he apparently did not read at first. After Hong failed to pass the imperial examination that would have made him one of the scholar-officials, he had a delirious dream or a vision in which he was greeted by a golden-haired, bearded man who presented him with a sword, and a younger man whom he addressed as "Elder Brother."

This actually sounds a lot like the woman who claimed to be God incarnate in the Eastern Lightning cult. She failed her entrance exams, then she had a vision that she was actually God: in life, nature, and in the Godhead.

Who needs entrance exams when you are God? Gee, why didn't I think of that one? I could have saved myself a lot of trouble!
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:03 PM   #117
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I am helped by Jesus' teaching: "Who wants to be great in heaven, be small on earth."

And

"Those who exalt themselves will be cast down; those who humble themselves will be lifted up."

And

"You know that those who are great in the Gentiles lord over them; but do not be like the Gentiles in this matter."

On earth the Great Ones lord it over the little ones. This is the way of the world. In the flock we should not elevate ourselves. I know there are "apostles, teachers, shepherds and evangelists", but even then we should prove all things. When some claim to be "super-apostles" (MOTA) like Lee they are most suspect.

And those who claim to be God incarnate have left the Christian faith behind and are in the throes of madness and delusion. That is my attitude and I think it is pretty common in the Christian flock.

markpaul,

There are a lot of Christians who have gone on before you; listen to them. They went before you for a reason: to show you what to do, and what not to do! Satan wants you to repeat the mistakes of others. God wants you to learn from others.

If anyone exalts himself or herself, before they stand at God's Judgment Seat, then they are most fooled.

2 Cor 5:10 "We all have to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ" to answer for the things we do, both good and bad. Those who presume to be great on this earth, and in this age: I do not trust them.

Jesus is great, even the greatest of all. But He passed through death and resurrection. I have not, and you have not. So we are foolish to judge ourselves as better or worse than anyone else. Just take the least place, and don't trust those who elevate themselves above the flock.

Also, we were warned that "false Christs" will come. What do you think they will look like? I bet, a lot like the person Hong Xiuquan that you referenced. People who come among the flock, declaring, "I am great"; and "I am something".

Missionaries working with native Chinese speakers published a series of introductory Christian tracts, one of which Hong came across, though he apparently did not read at first. After Hong failed to pass the imperial examination that would have made him one of the scholar-officials, he had a delirious dream or a vision in which he was greeted by a golden-haired, bearded man who presented him with a sword, and a younger man whom he addressed as "Elder Brother."

This actually sounds a lot like the woman who claimed to be God incarnate in the Eastern Lightning cult. She failed her entrance exams, then she had a vision that she was actually God: in life, nature, and in the Godhead.

Who needs entrance exams when you are God? Gee, why didn't I think of that one? I could have saved myself a lot of trouble!
Thanks. I enjoy the verses you posted! I also thank you for your advices! Please keep me in your prayer that I'm not misled by heretical teachings to deviate from the narrow road and spend Jesus-centered life. Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:29 PM   #118
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These verses from Luke chapter 6:31-34 sums up Lee's culture of reciprocity which didn't stop with Lee. The blendeds have carried on the tradition of reciprocity:

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.
The LC made a big deal about being according to the Bible, and condemned every other group as deviating from the Bible.

Yet one can see that the Bible was abandoned in the LC wherever it came into conflct with LC culture. An example is above, quoted by Terry: in contrast to what was clearly written in the Bible, we were never permitted to squander precious resources (time, attention, money, care) on those who could not repay us. Instead, we were to go after the "good building material", especially young college students.

The widows, orphans, weak, sick and lame were ignored. Why? Because the LC leadership didn't think they would "receive back the same amount", in human terms. Suddenly heavenly principles, spelled out by Jesus Himself, were ignored, because they conflicted with LC culture.

Again, one can trace the roots of this phenomenology back to Watchman Nee himself. Nee's subjective mysticism elevated his experience above the safe counsel of the flock, and which eventually led his followers out of the Bible itself. First you leave the flock, then you leave the Bible.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:10 PM   #119
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The LC made a big deal about being according to the Bible, and condemned every other group as deviating from the Bible.

Yet one can see that the Bible was abandoned in the LC wherever it came into conflct with LC culture. An example is above, quoted by Terry: in contrast to what was clearly written in the Bible, we were never permitted to squander precious resources (time, attention, money, care) on those who could not repay us. Instead, we were to go after the "good building material", especially young college students.

The widows, orphans, weak, sick and lame were ignored. Why? Because the LC leadership didn't think they would "receive back the same amount", in human terms. Suddenly heavenly principles, spelled out by Jesus Himself, were ignored, because they conflicted with LC culture.

Again, one can trace the roots of this phenomenology back to Watchman Nee himself. Nee's subjective mysticism elevated his experience above the safe counsel of the flock, and which eventually led his followers out of the Bible itself. First you leave the flock, then you leave the Bible.
I was in a locality for a while where there was care for the widows and down and out, but none of the elders had been to the full-time training. It's the elders who have been to the training starting with that in Taiwan in the 80's that corrupted the saints, I think.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:08 PM   #120
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I was in a locality for a while where there was care for the widows and down and out, but none of the elders had been to the full-time training. It's the elders who have been to the training starting with that in Taiwan in the 80's that corrupted the saints, I think.
I agree.

Left alone, many of the LC elders were caring shepherds.

Twice I migrated to help start new churches. The beginning times were wonderful -- many answered prayers, full of brotherly love, focused only on the Lord, etc. Both were later severely damaged by outside manipulations. In both churches, the leading minister became sought after by both Anaheim and Cleveland. Both headquaters laid claim to their "rights" as indentured servants. Eventually both brothers were beaten up pretty badly, and both churches paid the high price of being spoils of war. Both churches lost wonderful ministers and shepherds.

Neither HQ cared at all for the well being of the brothers and sisters I knew and loved, rather they cared only that the church was in their "camp."
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:16 PM   #121
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I was in a locality for a while where there was care for the widows and down and out, but none of the elders had been to the full-time training. It's the elders who have been to the training starting with that in Taiwan in the 80's that corrupted the saints, I think.
I think most of the LC elders in the area I'm from attended the FTTT. That says a lot by itself. At any rate, I think they do care, but they also know very well where their political allegiances must lie. That is more important than caring for anyone.

What truly disgusts me is any notion that someone is worth the effort more than someone else. It all goes back to simple parables like the Good Samaritan.

I know that at some point, WL started insisting that all the YP get college degrees, using the examples of Moses and Paul to infer that an education is necessary to be 'useful'. Maybe what he said was with good intentions, but the end result has been that there is an utter lack of care for anyone who doesn't fit a very narrow profile.
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:58 AM   #122
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I know that at some point, WL started insisting that all the YP get college degrees, using the examples of Moses and Paul to infer that an education is necessary to be 'useful'. Maybe what he said was with good intentions, but the end result has been that there is an utter lack of care for anyone who doesn't fit a very narrow profile.
Yeah ... It all started with the nightmare of the "Young Galileans."
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:09 AM   #123
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I was in a locality for a while where there was care for the widows and down and out, but none of the elders had been to the full-time training.
There were indeed localities where elders heeded Jesus' dictum and encouraged care for those unable to repay in this age, but those elders were going "against the tide", to re-phrase Angus Kinnear.

The tide in the LC was a tide of convention, convenience, and culture. In other words, expedience: everything for the "building up" was entirely of and for this age, fully human in motive and expression. But in its insistence that it was fully divine, and not like the "fallen" and "twisted" and "corrupted" expressions of dreaded "Christianity", it became the worst of all, and the least like heaven.

"As in heaven, so on earth" - not a chance. Where's the love? Where's the respect, attention, care, intrinsic to every creature, especially those made in God's image? No, it became all about "good building material" and uplifting "the ministry".

Look at James: "...if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?…"

Probably not coincidental that Lee despised so much of James' epistle. It exposed the human element as seen in distinction-making aspects of his church-building scheme.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:31 AM   #124
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Look at James: "...if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?…"

Probably not coincidental that Lee despised so much of James' epistle. It exposed the human element as seen in distinction-making aspects of his church-building scheme.
The LC hypocrisy is sad. The whole system is now formed around recruiting college students and then sending them to the FTTA. Even having a college degree isn't enough in the LC. You have to go to the FTT for 2 years to truly be considered to be "useful". And now I hear that there is an extension program in Boston where you go another 1-2 years.

They must not see where this all is headed. By creating a special, elite class of members, the non-elite members feel neglected and worthless. I would surmise that at some point in the future, the LC is going to dwindle down to just those who have been to the FTT. Virtually all those I grew up with who didn't attend the FTT have left the LC. There is simply no way to feel "connected" when you know that you don't fit the mold.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:28 PM   #125
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The LC hypocrisy is sad..
Yes it is hypocrisy, because what the LC condemns others for is like a gnat compared to the camel in their eyes. And it is sad.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanxi

Guanxi largely originates from the Chinese social philosophy of Confucianism, which stresses the importance of associating oneself with others in a hierarchical manner, in order to maintain social and economic order. Particularly, there is an emphasis on implicit mutual obligations, reciprocity, and trust, which are the foundations of guanxi and guanxi networks.

Witness Lee never overcame his native Chinese culture.
I remember a testimony of a brother named Don Rutledge. He said that the Chinese brothers didn't have much use for him, until they found out that he was "tight" with Witness Lee. Suddenly their attitude totally changed and they became quite respectful, even solicitous of him, because they'd found out his position on the Guanxi network.

Actually there's nothing wrong with this - human organizations build and maintain ''social and economic order'', to quote Wikipedia, this way. This is indeed the proverbial "way of the gentiles"; it's just a Chinese variant. But to think that this is the heavenly way, and all others are fallen, earthly, dark, deformed, Satanic etc is just the most idiotic, self-willed culturally-myopic blindness imaginable. You'd think someone reasonably intelligent like Lee was would pick up on it. But he was removed from any objective critique, and thus the error could grow and grow and grow, until it really was the elephant in the room. It crushes everything in its path, and everyone sits around all day wondering why the furniture is always broken. Is it the materials? The glue? The stitching?

No; an elephant just sat on it. Like the one yesterday, and the day before...
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:47 AM   #126
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There were indeed localities where elders heeded Jesus' dictum and encouraged care for those unable to repay in this age, but those elders were going "against the tide", to re-phrase Angus Kinnear.

The tide in the LC was a tide of convention, convenience, and culture. In other words, expedience: everything for the "building up" was entirely of and for this age, fully human in motive and expression. But in its insistence that it was fully divine, and not like the "fallen" and "twisted" and "corrupted" expressions of dreaded "Christianity", it became the worst of all, and the least like heaven.

"As in heaven, so on earth" - not a chance. Where's the love? Where's the respect, attention, care, intrinsic to every creature, especially those made in God's image? No, it became all about "good building material" and uplifting "the ministry".

Look at James: "...if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?…"

Probably not coincidental that Lee despised so much of James' epistle. It exposed the human element as seen in distinction-making aspects of his church-building scheme.
As a disclaimer in many of my posts and rants, it's not directed at the general brothers and sisters in the local churches, but at elders, co-workers, etc who are deemed "responsible brothers" and as such are the ones promoting the system.
Aron, asked where is the love? Look no further than the verse in Luke 6:32

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

This type of love is conditional and reciprocal. If you're one who loves the ministry LSM publishes and only expresses positivity, you'll be loved. Anything less, there's no love.

This LC practice is contrary to the Bible. Nine instances it is said to "love your neighbor as yourself". There's no conditions attached.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:04 AM   #127
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As a disclaimer in many of my posts and rants, it's not directed at the general brothers and sisters in the local churches, but at elders, co-workers, etc who are deemed "responsible brothers" and as such are the ones promoting the system.
I second the motion ... err ... disclaimer.
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Old 12-27-2015, 03:48 PM   #128
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As a disclaimer in many of my posts and rants, it's not directed at the general brothers and sisters in the local churches, but at elders, co-workers, etc who are deemed "responsible brothers" and as such are the ones promoting the system.
Aron, asked where is the love? Look no further than the verse in Luke 6:32

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

This type of love is conditional and reciprocal. If you're one who loves the ministry LSM publishes and only expresses positivity, you'll be loved. Anything less, there's no love.

This LC practice is contrary to the Bible. Nine instances it is said to "love your neighbor as yourself". There's no conditions attached.
I think that for many rank and file members, there is a desire to follow the Bible and try to love others unconditionally, but most who have been around for a little while know how the system really works, that is, that you can only practice what the Bible says if it doesn't contradict what the LC is trying to accomplish.

Speaking for myself, what I came to realize is that the more involved I was in the LC, the more attention I received. The less involved I became, that attention waned. It even seemed like people started viewing me with an eye of suspicion.

For the leaders in charge, I think they operate with the mindset that there are limited resources, so they wouldn't want to "waste" any time on someone who will never realize their full LC potential.
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