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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 01-04-2016, 05:04 PM   #1
aron
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Default Training vs Seminary

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Originally Posted by Watchman Nee
If the return of the Lord should be delayed, it will be necessary to raise up a number of young people to continue the testimony and the work for the following generations. Many co-workers have already prayed concerning this matter with the hope of providing a suitable place for the purpose of training young people. My thought is not to establish a seminary or a Bible institute, but to have young people staying together to live the Body life and practice the spiritual life. In such a place they would receive training for the purpose of edification, by learning to read the Scripture, to pray, and to build up a good character. On the negative side, there would be training for the purpose of learning how to deal with sin, the world, the flesh, and the natural life. At a suitable time, the young people would return to their respective churches in various places to be tempered together with other saints to serve the Lord in the church. I have purchased over ten acres of land at Chenru, in the suburbs of Shanghai. Planning for building on that site is in progress, and before long, young people will be able to go there for training.
~Watchman Nee, Watchman Nee’s Testimony. Comp. K.H. Weigh. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991: p. 41-43.

What is the difference between a training, versus a seminary or Bible institute? According to the paragraph above, it is to have a seminary or Bible institute but strenuously deny that it is so; rather call it a training, so as to distinguish it from the fallen and corrupt religious system. Other than that I can see little or no difference.

Just change the label, and all things are new! Who knew?
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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~Watchman Nee, Watchman Nee’s Testimony. Comp. K.H. Weigh. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991: p. 41-43.

What is the difference between a training, versus a seminary or Bible institute? According to the paragraph above, it is to have a seminary or Bible institute but strenuously deny that it is so; rather call it a training, so as to distinguish it from the fallen and corrupt religious system. Other than that I can see little or no difference.

Just change the label, and all things are new! Who knew?
I have heard FTTA trainees refer to the training as a "Bible School" when explaining the training to outsiders. I've even heard them use this terminology when discussing it with newer LC members.

It's ironic though. If what they're attending isn't a seminary, then why can't they come clean and say that, especially to outsiders? I know very well that they want to lead outsiders to believe that they are attending a seminary, all the while, within the LC, there are denials of the training being such.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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According to the paragraph above, it is to have a seminary or Bible institute but strenuously deny that it is so; rather call it a training, so as to distinguish it from the fallen and corrupt religious system. Other than that I can see little or no difference.

Just change the label, and all things are new! Who knew?
Seminary bad. Training good.

Pastor bad. Full-Timer good.

Church bad. Meeting hall good.

Communion bad. Breaking bread good.

Christian bad. Saint good.

Denomination bad. Local church good.

First Church in Cleveland bad. Church in Cleveland Meeting Hall #1 good.

One man speaking bad. One Lee speaking good.

I think we are on to something here!
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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I have heard FTTA trainees refer to the training as a "Bible School" when explaining the training to outsiders. I've even heard them use this terminology when discussing it with newer LC members.
Unbridled subjectivism inevitably leads to self-delusion.

"When we do it, it's living, vital, and real; when others do it, it's dull formalism."
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:59 PM   #5
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Unbridled subjectivism inevitably leads to self-delusion.

"When we do it, it's living, vital, and real; when others do it, it's dull formalism."
It's funny how this mindset works in the LC. At the same time, seeing the hypocrisy of it all is what I think can free people from the system. If only LCers began to realize that they criticize exactly what they are. That would really be the breaking point for the LC.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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It's funny how this mindset works in the LC. At the same time, seeing the hypocrisy of it all is what I think can free people from the system. If only LCers began to realize that they criticize exactly what they are. That would really be the breaking point for the LC.
It's been mentioned on the forum before about hierarchy. When other do it it's hierarchy, when we in the local churches do it, it's not hierarchy. It's fellowship.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:16 AM   #7
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Seminary bad. Training good.

Pastor bad. Full-Timer good.

Church bad. Meeting hall good.

Communion bad. Breaking bread good.

Christian bad. Saint good.

Denomination bad. Local church good.

First Church in Cleveland bad. Church in Cleveland Meeting Hall #1 good.

One man speaking bad. One Lee speaking good.

I think we are on to something here!
Sermon bad. Message good.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:36 AM   #8
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The Full Time Training in Hamilton, New Zealand is registered with the government as the "Diploma of Biblical Studies."

http://www.nztc.ac.nz/ftth.html

(Perhaps this is to make it easier to obtain visas for foreigners to take part in the training?)

Do note that the website goes on to say "The Full-time Training is neither a theological seminary nor a divinity school but a place where young Christians come to pursue Christ and learn to live Him in a normal, daily way."

There is a saying, "The bible is not for information but for transformation". I think that is the argument the LSM-ers are putting forth:- That seminaries are too academic and do not necessarily improve one's relationship with God.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:29 AM   #9
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I think that is the argument the LSM-ers are putting forth:- That seminaries are too academic and do not necessarily improve one's relationship with God.
But the FTT is not academic enough. It survives on ignoring what the Bible actually says and instead substituting what they think improves their relationship with God. Things like speaking in religious clichés. Pumping fists.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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Do note that the website goes on to say "The Full-time Training is neither a theological seminary nor a divinity school but a place where young Christians come to pursue Christ and learn to live Him in a normal, daily way."

There is a saying, "The bible is not for information but for transformation". I think that is the argument the LSM-ers are putting forth:- That seminaries are too academic and do not necessarily improve one's relationship with God.
Even if seminaries and Bible schools lack this experiential aspect, it's still their mandate. Whether and how much they accomplish it is a different argument. I bet you could look at the statements put out by all the seminaries and Bible institutes, and most would include some variant of the FTT New Zealand statement, above, or Watchman Nee's original statement in the first post.

"We serve to equip young people with the truth, and to be constituted with the life of Christ such that they serve Him in their churches and neighborhoods." etc etc. Transformation of human lives is part and parcel of the process. And if you look around (I doubt the LC has; they specialize in not looking around) most of the schools make this explicit in their mission statements.

The only difference between the "training" of the LC and the seminaries and Bible institutes is that the first is affiliated with Witness Lee's teachings, and the others are not. Other than that, minimal difference. Sorry.

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But the FTT is not academic enough. It survives on ignoring what the Bible actually says and instead substituting what they think improves their relationship with God. Things like speaking in religious clichés. Pumping fists.
And they do try to be scholarly, today: I read one of the latest A & C position papers and it would qualify as an undergraduate-level paper, but certainly not graduate level. Nobody is going to take their supposed scholarship seriously. Just more merchandise to wave in front of the faithful remnant. They're so out of touch they don't even know what scholarly looks like; they're probably 80 years behind the times. Or more. Only an ignorant person, or the die-hard LC faithful, will actually receive what they put out, as if it were valid.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:53 AM   #11
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And they do try to be scholarly, today: I read one of the latest A & C position papers and it would qualify as an undergraduate-level paper, but certainly not graduate level. Nobody is going to take their supposed scholarship seriously. Just more merchandise to wave in front of the faithful remnant. They're so out of touch they don't even know what scholarly looks like; they're probably 80 years behind the times. Or more. Only an ignorant person, or the die-hard LC faithful, will actually receive what they put out, as if it were valid.
I think you should not conflate LSM with FTT. I get your point about LSM wanting to appear scholarly with its A&C. However in this thread, we are talking about the FTT, not LSM. FTT is not meant to be academic; one is not required to write a thesis/article in A&C before he can graduate from FTT.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:23 AM   #12
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Even if seminaries and Bible schools lack this experiential aspect, it's still their mandate.
I agree. Here is an analogy:-

A man immigrates to a foreign country. He identifies a problem in the country:- there are many obese people in the country. He explores the country and finds their universities offer studies in Nutrition. He thinks to himself, "You can't solve the country's obesity problems with courses in Nutrition." This man instead sets up a Fitness Boot-Camp. And in his boot-camp which he has instituted, after meals, but before the next workout session, he gives some informational lectures on nutrition:- what makes a healthy diet.

Now the only mistake that this man has made is to wrongly assume that the university's purpose in offering studies in Nutrition was to create healthy graduates. In practice, the school wouldn't mind if on graduation day, its graduating class students were obese. The school only intended to teach nutrition.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:32 AM   #13
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An analogy does not truth create.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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An analogy does not truth create.
True.

But, in this context, makes no sense.
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Old 01-06-2016, 02:01 PM   #15
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I think you should not conflate LSM with FTT...
Thanks for sharpening my argument.

Let's say that the Christian seminary or LSM full-time training is to provide attendees with both subjective, life-transforming experiences along with a set of objective facts (the truth) which equips and prepares them for a life of service in the church.

Now what seminary worth its salt would deny the first experience, of life? Which seminary says, "We don't care for righteousness or holiness. We only want to teach dead letters." None. So the actual mandates of XYZ Seminary and FTT XYZ, however phrased, are not different.

If you look at Nee's defining statement quoted in the first post, he says, "the purpose of our training center is, 'blah, blah, blah'. But this is not a seminary or Bible institute." But if you examine the 'blah, blah, blah' it's quite similar to what Dallas Theological Seminary or any of the rest are doing. But it's not a seminary. Why? Because Nee's Little Flock is doing it!

Secondly, as regards the practice of marshalling a readily-agreed-upon set of propositions in a logical and coherent thought-world or system that matches reality as it exists "out there", as seen by the scholarly output, so-called, the FTT XYZ seems to have nothing. And the A&C arm of LSM as its adjunct doesn't bolster the case. From what I've seen, they know almost nothing of case presentation and arguments. Lee said something, therefore it is so. Their A and C forays to place Lee into the larger conversation make that weakness plain.

And back to my premise, the 'training centers' set themselves up as distinct from the religious systems of the world. In this they only reveal their confusion and alienation. The main distinction seems to be a display of snooty better-than-thou attitudes. "But we're not like the rest". How so? By your arrogance? Or by your creating straw-men entities ("dead religion') which you set yourselves against?
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:12 AM   #16
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"- young people staying together to live the Body life and practice the spiritual life.

- training for the purpose of edification

- learning to read the Scripture

- to pray

- to build up a good character.

- of learning how to deal with sin, the world, the flesh, and the natural life.

At a suitable time, the young people would return to their respective churches in various places to be tempered together with other saints to serve the Lord in the church."


~W. Nee, as quoted by LSM

So how does this differ from a Bible institute or seminary? They also desire to build up character (or they did, 100 years ago), to create community, and to propagate the truth as they see it. All this is and was of course not merely for the edification of members but to prepare them for service in the churches.

Yet Nee said, "My thought is not to establish a Bible institute or seminary". What gives, here? Upon further thought, maybe what made sense was, "My thought is not to establish a (Western) Bible institute or seminary", but rather an Asiatic one.

At that time, Bible institutes and seminaries in China would be run by Westerners, and inculcate the natives with European mores, traditions, and values. Nee created an indigenous one, with Chinese, or local values. So "denomination" was synonymous with "Barbarian" (i.e. European/American, or Western), and "indigenous" was synonymous with "local" or "Chinese".

By contrast, on American soil, the Western denominations had their seminaries and Bible institutes to train up pastors for Methodist and Presbyterian and Baptist and Congregational flocks, which assemblies were perhaps affiliated and sympathetic with each other, but essentially independent. They were truly local. But the Nee model, sprouting from what Lee called "virgin (Chinese) soil", was shaped by the "Jerusalem principle", i.e. Centralized Control, by "Authority and Submission", i.e. unquestioned obedience, and by "handing over" and "lining up."

In the American colonies, the tradition of independence and individual rights had led to the American Revolution, as a reaction to English attempts at "Authority and Submission", "handing over", and "lining up." In China this never happened. So perhaps the best explanation for Nee's alternative "training center" model is as a Chinese-culturally-flavored one. But it's still a seminary or Bible institute by another name. It's just not Western in orientation.

In my local church, 30 years ago, it was really local. We gave talks among ourselves on Sunday morning. Today it is all about conformity to the center. Instead of "each answering to the Lord", per Hymn 834, each group now must answer to Anaheim. According to Lee, each local church must be "absolutely identical", with no differences whatsoever. This rigid conformity to the center is arguably a reflection of Lee's native culture, just as "handing over" and "lining up" reflected Nee's.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: Training vs Seminary

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By contrast, on American soil, the Western denominations had their seminaries and Bible institutes to train up pastors for Methodist and Presbyterian and Baptist and Congregational flocks, which assemblies were perhaps affiliated and sympathetic with each other, but essentially independent. They were truly local. But the Nee model, sprouting from what Lee called "virgin (Chinese) soil", was shaped by the "Jerusalem principle", i.e. Centralized Control, by "Authority and Submission", i.e. unquestioned obedience, and by "handing over" and "lining up."
It is one of life's (mine at least) greatest hypocrisies that the Lee/Recovery/LC's began in the US as a reaction to deadening and controlling denominations only to become a more deadening and controlling denomination under LSM.

It is just as the Lord instructed -- Judge not or you will be judged, and how you judge others is how you will be judged.


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In my local church, 30 years ago, it was really local. We gave talks among ourselves on Sunday morning. Today it is all about conformity to the center. Instead of "each answering to the Lord", per Hymn 824?, each group now must answer to Anaheim.
Mine too! We had a great time. We were fruitful, joyful, blessed by God in many ways. It all ended with the "New Way" mandates from Lee, along with regional directives from TC to "follow Lee closely."
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:31 PM   #18
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True.

But, in this context, makes no sense.
I thought it was the analogy provided that was senseless.

It was busy describing two schools of nutrition (of sorts) and the differences in their outcomes. But it is being set up against two versions of what we would call seminaries and assuming that one, like the school of nutrition that really taught exercise with nutrition on the side, was superior because it claims to teach an experiential side of theology that is superior to academic knowledge.

But there are two problems and they stem from errors in the comparison.

First, the claim that the experiential learning is actually beneficial or correct is a presumption that is debatable.

Second, the claim that regular seminaries are simply there to teach academic studies is, from what I have learned from students at a local seminary (of national and international renown) to be a false claim. Surely the kind of experience that they learn is not identical to the kind that would be taught be the LCM and its seminary, the FTT, but they do not simply teach knowledge.

And when it comes to seeing what kind of understanding of scripture is seen in the graduates, I would suspect that those from the FTT are very poorly taught since the general lines of teaching (as we already know) are highly suspect. Therefore, the nature of the experience that they learn would also be subject to question.

And thus, the truth claimed to be supported by the analogy is suspect.

And this was a flaw in many of both Nee's and Lee's teachings. They told stories, and because the story seemed to make sense, the spiritual parallel that was then claimed to be supported by the story was determined to be true. Irrelevant that it was not in scripture, or even contrary to it. Great story — bad theology.

Analogies should only be accepted as supporting or explaining something that is already accepted as truth. It should never be the basis for making it true.

And so . . . an analogy does not establish something as true just because it seems to look like the analogy. It requires more than an analogy to make it true.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:53 AM   #19
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Mine too! We had a great time. We were fruitful, joyful, blessed by God in many ways. It all ended with the "New Way" mandates from Lee, along with regional directives from TC to "follow Lee closely."
6 One Body universal,
__ One in each place expressed;
Locality of dwelling
__Her only ground possessed;
Administration local,
__ Each answ’ring to the Lord;
Communion universal,
__ Upheld in one accord.

Yes it was Hymn 824 that I was thinking of; thank you. 'Each answ'ring to the Lord' became 'each answ'ring to Anaheim'.

And the "Lord's move", so-called, of Witness Lee echoed that of Watchman Nee before him. Independence and localism were wedges to drive Christians away from any other fellowships, which were held to have unscriptural ties to extra-local religious bodies.

Then, once separated, the screws were tightened, to get these independent bodies to come under central control. And voila, a new denomination gets created. The regional or national training place is no different in aim or function, here, than a denominational seminary or Bible institute, all the rhetorical flourishes and protestations aside.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:45 AM   #20
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6 One Body universal,
__ One in each place expressed;
Locality of dwelling
__Her only ground possessed;
Administration local,
__ Each answ’ring to the Lord;
Communion universal,
__ Upheld in one accord.

Yes it was Hymn 824 that I was thinking of; thank you. 'Each answ'ring to the Lord' became 'each answering to Anaheim'.

And the "Lord's move", so-called, of Witness Lee echoed that of Watchman Nee before him. Independence and localism were wedges to drive Christians away from any other fellowships
In Corinthians we have "many members but one body" in each church, which is the program I initially bought into.

Over time Lee surreptitiously morphed this into "many churches but one body," and somehow convinced us that the only true "body" was at LSM.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:52 AM   #21
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In Corinthians we have "many members but one body" in each church, which is the program I initially bought into.

Over time Lee surreptitiously morphed this into "many churches but one body," and somehow convinced us that the only true "body" was at LSM.
And Lee convinced us that the true head of the true body occupied a certain chair at a certain desk in a certain room at LSM HQ. This deputization of God, on earth, was a blatant usurpation of the theocracy of God. Yes God is indeed deputized on earth, but in all the members. And whosoever wants to be great should be the least. Interestingly, on another thread I recently quoted Nee as saying that women could be great in works but not in persons (CW Set 3, vol 58, ch 13, sec 1). So, men can be great in persons? Contrary to Jesus, who lowered Himself and became least of all? Contrary to Paul, who was less than the least of all the saints? Those who presume greatness in this age are the least in the next. Matt 23:11; Mark 10:43; Luke 22:26; Matt 20:26. These are not esoteric, hidden truths. They are plain facts, repeatedly stressed in scripture by the Lord Himself.

As OBW observed, our teachings become the bases for our experiences. So this stress on subjective experiences, within the context of a man-exalting, rigidly centralized and controlling system, is also suspect. And the proposition that students at seminaries lack subjective experience is prima facie absurd. How do you know this? Or is it just convenient to your argument?
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:25 AM   #22
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At the outset, I acknowledge I did not go to either a seminary or the FTT. I am open to hearing from one who has gone to either of them to know more on what happens at a seminary.FTT. I can only assume that the daily schedule of FTT as set out in this website is correct
http://www.ftta.org/prospective-trai.../schedule.html

There is always room for improvement when providing analogies, such as my one on about Nutrition.

Hopefully, I have improved my analogy below with these amendments in blue.

A man immigrates to a foreign country. He identifies a problem in the country:- there are many obese people in the country. He explores the country and finds their universities offer studies in Nutrition. He thinks to himself, "You can't solve the country's obesity problems with courses in Nutrition." This man instead sets up a Fitness Boot-Camp. And in his boot-camp which he has instituted, after consuming nutritious meals (which are part of the camp), but before the next workout session, he gives some informational lectures on nutrition:- what makes a healthy diet.

My purpose in providing the analogies was not that the boot camp was better than the University teaching Nutrition. I did not mean that subjective experiences are better than objective truths. I was illustrating what could possibly go through a person’s mind when he sets up an alternate institution (be it a bootcamp or a FTT) to target a problem (be it spiritual decay or obesity).

I accept that theologians have a role to play in God’s kingdom. They can clarify bible passages for the other believers (who do not have the luxury of time to investigate/research) so that the fellow believers understand the bible better and not be misled by false teachings. [Similarly, a student in my Nutrition analogy could have written a final year research assignment exposing the counter-productivity of a certain fad diet. The study, when published in the country, leads the people in the country to change their dietary choices, alleviating the country’s obesity problem]

My fear is to have a group of Christian theologians who philosophize on questions like “Why pray when God already knows everything” but who do not actually pray themselves. While their ability to answer such questions can be edifying to other believers in these believers’ spiritual walk, these theologians could themselves possibly miss out on God’s kingdom if they fail to have a personal relationship with God.

If biblical knowledge is not applied, it is futile. As James 1 v 22 to 24 puts it, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Bible knowledge can itself be an idol. It is possible to be drawn to theology for the intellectual challenge it provides rather than love for God.

A seminary is a school which trains people for church ministry. Correct me if I am wrong:- I believe the main way of training in seminaries is by teaching theology. I do not think the seminary has the mandate to enforce that you live out your faith. (It might fear litigation from a disgruntled student for breach of civil liberties if it interfered too much in the student’s life like sanctioning him for not attending church on Sunday). Whether you graduate or not would depend on your performance on the course (including the assignments you write) rather than the assessor grading your spiritual health.

I agree that both a seminary and the FTT teach theology. But since FTT is more of a “two-years religious retreat”, rather than as an education institution, it has the flexibility and freedom to also require its trainees to attend church meetings and stipulate timings for praying.

Similarly, it is not within a University's mandate to control what its students actually eat or whether they exercise.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:36 AM   #23
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I agree that both a seminary and the FTT teach theology. But since FTT is more of a “two-years religious retreat”, rather than as an education institution, it has the flexibility and freedom to also require its trainees to attend church meetings and stipulate timings for praying..
micah6v8,

Thank you for expanding your reply. I admit that I approached the initial quote by Nee, in explaining his training center, with some bias. So your comments are very helpful, in delineating possible real differences between what he (and later Lee with FTTA) were doing with their work, and what the denominations and other Christians were and are doing with their seminaries.

Nonetheless, most seminaries originally were established not merely to teach objective truth but also to shape and mold those who would become shepherds in the church. I understand that today the mandate of personal transformation may have receded somewhat, or even prominently. But Nee was writing 80 years ago, when the difference was perhaps not so stark as he imagined.

But thank you for commenting. I often oversimplify in order to make my point.

In this light, the real problem with Lee was not that he had bias, and approached the scriptural text with conclusions already in hand, but that he wasn't willing to allow his subjective assessments to be placed in a larger conversation. If he did so, he might have more closely approached objective reality.

According to Lee, Nee had subsumed (absorbed and overtaken) the conversation. And Lee was closely following Nee, so in closely following Lee we in the LC were following the apostles. There was no bias, therefore no need for "much discussion", a la Acts 15:7, which according to Lee would only bring in distortion and confusion.

So let's let go of the experiential side, and just look momentarily at what's presented as objective fact. If you look at Lee's stress in scripture, he typically likes to contrast the vanity of human effort versus the reality of "living Christ". For example, in his exegeses in Psalm 34, he either sees David's vain strivings and imaginations, or the revelation of the coming Christ:

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... here is a quote (in red) from the Life-Study of Psalm 34:

Concerning the righteous man, David said, ‘‘He keeps all his bones; / Not one of them is broken’’ (v. 20). This is a verse concerning Christ because David was a type of the suffering Christ. When Christ was on the cross, the soldiers did not break His legs when they saw that He had already died (John 19:33). John said, ‘‘These things happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘No bone of His shall be broken’ ’’ (v. 36).

Before this Lee says there is no righteous person. Verses 1 through 19 are called "natural". Suddenly in verse 20 Lee is confronted with a referenced verse. He can't ignore it. So he says that we have 19 verses with no righteous person, then suddenly, with no context, one verse with the righteous suffering Christ, then back to "no Christ" again. That is what I mean by szichophrenic. It is a contradictory exposition. You have no reality, then reality, then no reality again.

There were times in describing his sufferings that David typified Christ. When we look at Psalm 34, we can see the mixed expressions of David’s sentiment. Verse 20 refers to Christ, but most of this psalm is not according to the tree of life. Our concept needs to be changed to the divine concept according to the tree of life. As we grow in Christ, our concept will be changed.

I find this to be a wholly unsatisfactory exposition of the Psalms. This is quite perfunctory. If v 20 had not been cited in John 19, Lee probably would have ignored the whole of Psalm 34 altogether.
In scripture, Lee either sees the vain psalmist, or the prefigure of the NT "Christ-enjoyer". But he refuses to acknowledge Christ Himself unless the NT reference forces him (even then sometimes he balks - see Peter's epistles, for example). So my point is, what's the Christ you're enjoying in your supposedly recovered Church life? The one in the Bible, or the one in your imagination? I see the latter, here. And given the fact that your "Christ" isn't tethered to the larger Christian conversation, I don't see much chance for it to emerge from the dark shadows of your mind.

(I know this wasn't the point of the thread, initially. Please bear with my little excursus).
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:24 PM   #24
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micah6v8,

I think that the problem is that while the FTT may talk about experience, from the way Jesus talked, the main experiences should be in practical obedience to very practical commands. Not saying there is nothing spiritual in those commands. But as spiritual as they sound at times, they ultimately require very practical application that appears very natural.

Especially when your (not you personally) worldview is that anything "natural" is fleshly and therefore unspiritual, and further to be avoided.

But if the whole of the commandments is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself, then the primary "experiences" of the LCM which I have to assume are emphasized in the FTT are too often the exact opposite of love your neighbor as yourself (unless you really despise yourself, in which case I guess they meet the criteria).

Yes, just teaching nutrition does not solve obesity. It takes an overall healthy lifestyle which will include aspects of nutrition (even without learning much about it). But my observation of the "full gospel" of the LCM is that it is far from nutritious, therefore it is unlikely to generate experiences that are truly aimed at a proper Christian living.

For example, I have heard it said by more than one of them that having a higher lexicon will enhance your experience of Christ. But this is a falsehood. Just saying things better does nothing for your actual experience. However, if you think you are better, then you . . . well . . . think you are better. In effect, if you feel better about it, it must be better.

But since I believe that true experience of Christ is in the practical application of love God and love neighbor, it is in the learning of the actual commands of Christ that a Bible scholar is able to help people on the right path, not in having subjective experiences that are colored by ones' notion of things like higher lexicons, better meetings (even ones in which so many "prophesy"). I believe that those apparently spiritual things rob us from the real following of Christ.

So while either analogy could make a point about learning not being the same thing as knowing (or intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom), it does not get at what is right or wrong with either kind of "seminary" (though I am sure that many in the LCM, and especially in the FTT would think otherwise).
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:51 AM   #25
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micah6v8,

I think that the problem is that while the FTT may talk about experience, from the way Jesus talked, the main experiences should be in practical obedience to very practical commands. Not saying there is nothing spiritual in those commands. But as spiritual as they sound at times, they ultimately require very practical application that appears very natural.

Especially when your (not you personally) worldview is that anything "natural" is fleshly and therefore unspiritual, and further to be avoided.

But if the whole of the commandments is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself, then the primary "experiences" of the LCM which I have to assume are emphasized in the FTT are too often the exact opposite of love your neighbor as yourself (unless you really despise yourself, in which case I guess they meet the criteria).

Yes, just teaching nutrition does not solve obesity. It takes an overall healthy lifestyle which will include aspects of nutrition (even without learning much about it). But my observation of the "full gospel" of the LCM is that it is far from nutritious, therefore it is unlikely to generate experiences that are truly aimed at a proper Christian living.

For example, I have heard it said by more than one of them that having a higher lexicon will enhance your experience of Christ. But this is a falsehood. Just saying things better does nothing for your actual experience. However, if you think you are better, then you . . . well . . . think you are better. In effect, if you feel better about it, it must be better.

But since I believe that true experience of Christ is in the practical application of love God and love neighbor, it is in the learning of the actual commands of Christ that a Bible scholar is able to help people on the right path, not in having subjective experiences that are colored by ones' notion of things like higher lexicons, better meetings (even ones in which so many "prophesy"). I believe that those apparently spiritual things rob us from the real following of Christ.

So while either analogy could make a point about learning not being the same thing as knowing (or intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom), it does not get at what is right or wrong with either kind of "seminary" (though I am sure that many in the LCM, and especially in the FTT would think otherwise).
Hi OBW,

Since we are talking about practical application, I thought you might find this interesting

http://www.christianpost.com/news/fr...e-word-134883/

On a separate note, when you mention higher lexicon, were you referring to new words coined by Witness Lee such as
“tea-ification” the process where water becomes tea
"Christified"- the outcome when we are saturated by Christ
"sonize"-the process of becoming a son
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:20 AM   #26
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While I agree that the “experiential component” of the LSM church life will hardly lead to Christian growth, I suppose by God’s grace, God was able to bring some good out of it to those “functioned” in the church.

For example,



“prophesying”:- Might improve one’s public speaking. Job skill



“youth/children’s ministry”:-Might learn to relate better to youths and children. Improve parenting skills.


“providing translation in a congregation with different languages”:- Might improve one’s translation skills. Job skill
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:24 AM   #27
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On a separate note, when you mention higher lexicon, were you referring to new words coined by Witness Lee such as
“tea-ification” the process where water becomes tea
"Christified"- the outcome when we are saturated by Christ
"sonize"-the process of becoming a son
Partly. It is also wrapped in saying things like "He's the sevenfold intensified Spirit in our spirit" or using one of those strings of adjectives you find on the training banners in regular talking. And others. Always thinking that your way of saying it is better, and that for that reason you are better along with your experience.

The real problem is that for the LCM, the Christian life it about meetings and quiet times. It is not about going to work, shopping in the grocery store, or driving down the road. It is the reason that so much belittling of human recreation went on. Those activities were only seen when compared to their version of spiritual activities which involved being in meetings or having quiet times.

It is based on a false sense of what is spiritual and what is secular. But the truth is that for the Christian, there should be no secular world. Everything should be spiritual. Not because you call on the Lord in the LCM way constantly, but because it is the Christian that is involved and it should therefore be undertaken in the way of someone who is a peacemaker, who is hungering and thirsting for righteousness, etc.

And one flaw in understanding of spiritual activity is also seen among many non-LCM Christians. And that is in the fact that too many think that spiritual activities are only in meetings, or with respect to the assembled church, or with respect to the overt preaching of the gospel. They do not understand the living of ordinary lives doing ordinary things in the manner of God's image bearers being righteous in everything they do as spiritual. (More of that false spiritual-secular dichotomy.)

While it is true that none of us succeed in being perfect in the image bearing activities, the giving of grace by Christ for our failures is not an excuse to not try until we think we can succeed in all things. It is so that we do not lose heart as we work to fulfill the righteousness of the law.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:36 AM   #28
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The real problem is that for the LCM, the Christian life it about meetings and quiet times. It is not about going to work, shopping in the grocery store, or driving down the road. It is the reason that so much belittling of human recreation went on. Those activities were only seen when compared to their version of spiritual activities...
Testimonies in LC meetings were often included how the Lord came into the housewife's caring for her children, or standing in the checkout line. But it typically linked to the LC church life of being "filled with the Triune God", and that through the mediatory effect of "the ministry", in HWMR, publications, meetings, trainings, etc. And this created, as OBW says, a false sense of what is spiritual versus secular.

For a rebuttal, see Jesus Himself. He was repeatedly accused of not being spiritual enough, for not segregating Himself from the riff-raff of the world, and for not observing the religious forms and customs and niceties.

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While it's true that none of us succeed in being perfect in the image bearing activities, the giving of grace by Christ for our failures is not an excuse to not try until we think we can succeed in all things. It is so that we do not lose heart as we work to fulfill the righteousness of the law.
Somehow Jesus managed to fulfill the righteousness of the law, and yet be so normal and approachable. By contrast, the LC loudly rejected "religion" but arguably created a religion far more subtle and pernicious than the one it left. And the false dichotomy of "full-time training" vs "seminary" is an example. "Oh, we're not like 'X'", one says; all the while 'X' is just a make-believe construction, mostly unrelated to the actual world out there.

Nee was arguably directing and training people into a spirituality built around a congregational experience built around a Great Man syndrome. And when the Great Man collapsed into fallen humanity, their spirituality was ruined. LC/LSM apologists will point out Lily Hsu's failures as a Christian, but I wonder how many of her young compatriots fell from grace the same way? The training they received reinforced this, didn't prevent it. They were conditioned, and their conditioning was ruinous when the storm rose and the winds flew and the flood came.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:45 AM   #29
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One very close to me went to the first FTT in Taipei. She stayed for only the one session, was very unhappy, and came home.

In just a few years in became obvious that the training was actually to be a two year deal. Minor flags went off in my head. My mother had been to a Christian and Missionary Alliance CMA in the mid twenties. Even WL spoke somewhat kindly at times of A B Simpson. He was at least involved with a Bible school at both Nyack NY and Toccoa GA. My mother was a real Christian and received good help there. The school at Toccoa Falls was a two year course. I was "born" in the AOG which was organized in 1914 and I believe in the early thirties began Central Bible Institute in Springfield, MO. Then later a very small sect known as the LC starts a bible school with a two year course just as the CMA and AOG. To me that was remarkable. The CMA school at Taccoa Falls and the AOG school now offer baccalaureate degrees so it follows the LC schools will do the same. I don't think it can be called Lee University but maybe Blended University and I'm sure there are plenty of other names available from the deep thinkers.

The FTT does have a unique aim as I heard from RK on more than one occasion, "we would like to have your young ones for two years, break them, and produce good material for the LC." Something quite upsetting, mean,wreckless, whatever about such talk. The daughter of an elder I know revealed she was so unhappy at the end of the two years had she not landed the husband of her dreams, she was out.

There is just so much wrong with the LC establishment. The bad, evil far outweighs any good.

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Old 01-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #30
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The FTT does have a unique aim as I heard from RK on more than one occasion, "we would like to have your young ones for two years, break them, and produce good material for the LC." Something quite upsetting, mean,wreckless, whatever about such talk. The daughter of an elder I know revealed she was so unhappy at the end of the two years had she not landed the husband of her dreams, she was out.

There is just so much wrong with the LC establishment. The bad, evil far outweighs any good.
One of the things that really drove me to become concerned about the LC is the FTT. The amount of pressure for young people to attend is insane. In does not at all reflect a normal decision that some people make to attend a Bible school or seminary. I know so many who attended, and they returned as completely different people. This made me set my mind that I would not attend, and thankfully I never did.

I find it to be completely disgusting how those like RK would talk about needing to "break" young people, in order to make them good LC material. Frankly put, that is cult-talk. There is no way around it. The underlying message of this kind of talk is that individuality and uniqueness are not wanted nor are compatible with the LC.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:30 PM   #31
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I find it to be completely disgusting how those like RK would talk about needing to "break" young people, in order to make them good LC material. Frankly put, that is cult-talk. There is no way around it. The underlying message of this kind of talk is that individuality and uniqueness are not wanted nor are compatible with the LC.
It's not so much cult-talk as it is military-talk. That's one reason why the LC is more adaptable for the Chinese -- they have mandatory military service built into their culture, while the Americans do not.

Public shaming to subjugate the brothers was built into the program. Many have said that TC was Lee's best student. Interestingly, TC's father was a general in Chiang Kai-sheks’s Nationalist Army who fled the mainland during the Communist takeover.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:12 PM   #32
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I have noted that there is too often a push to use military themes when discussing the Christian life and calling. But from what I can tell, the uses of military analogies is really rather limited, and even then it is difficult to assert that the purpose of them was to infer that the Christian life should be like the military.

Rather that there are some aspects of military discipline that are worthy of our consideration. Just as there are some aspects of training for sporting events that are worthy of consideration.

Not that there are aspects of military discipline that should be forced onto anyone. Or severe, over-emphasized aspects of physical training for sports that should be.

These are just more of the tendency to over-apply analogies that Lee was famous for. "The transliteration of the word would by dynamo, therefore it is just like a power plant, wires, and electricity."

Yeah, right.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:31 PM   #33
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These are just more of the tendency to over-apply analogies that Lee was famous for. "The transliteration of the word would by dynamo, therefore it is just like a power plant, wires, and electricity."

Yeah, right.
And, "We should learn from Mao's Red Guards." Remember that one?

No, dude; learn from Jesus. "Take My yoke upon thee and learn from Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:16 PM   #34
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It's not so much cult-talk as it is military-talk. That's one reason why the LC is more adaptable for the Chinese -- they have mandatory military service built into their culture, while the Americans do not.

Public shaming to subjugate the brothers was built into the program. Many have said that TC was Lee's best student. Interestingly, TC's father was a general in Chiang Kai-sheks’s Nationalist Army who fled the mainland during the Communist takeover.
2 Tim 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen the idea expressed in the above verse used in ways to support the LC:
Serving as a soldier = attending the FTT
Civilian affairs = anything non-LC related
Commanding officer = WL or the blendeds

WL really did take advantage of the military analogies found in the Bible, and it wasn't hard for him to find ways to apply everything to the LC. All the characteristics of the military had parallels that he could apply to the LC. Things like not having an opinion, submitting oneself, doing everything as a collective group, etc. It is no wonder that he liked that analogy so much.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:01 PM   #35
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2 Tim 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen the idea expressed in the above verse used in ways to support the LC:
Serving as a soldier = attending the FTT
Civilian affairs = anything non-LC related
Commanding officer = WL or the blendeds

WL really did take advantage of the military analogies found in the Bible, and it wasn't hard for him to find ways to apply everything to the LC. All the characteristics of the military had parallels that he could apply to the LC. Things like not having an opinion, submitting oneself, doing everything as a collective group, etc. It is no wonder that he liked that analogy so much.
One of the most pathetic things in Lee's checkered history was to declare himself "commander-in-chief" of God's army, usurping the rightful place of the resurrected Christ. As such, he could hire and fire anyone he chose to, and institute martial law so that he suspend all the rules, which he clearly did when we consider his sons.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:17 AM   #36
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I have noted that there is too often a push to use military themes when discussing the Christian life and calling. But from what I can tell, the uses of military analogies is really rather limited, and even then it is difficult to assert that the purpose of them was to infer that the Christian life should be like the military.
I would agree with you on this. My takeaway from the military analogies found in the Bible (such as Eph 6), is that Christians should be aware what they're up against (the devil). I don't see how any of that would translate to there being a need to behaving as if in the army, renouncing opinions, etc. WL really went off the deep end in this respect. Analogies are only analogies, WL had the habit of taking analogies too far.

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One of the most pathetic things in Lee's checkered history was to declare himself "commander-in-chief" of God's army, usurping the rightful place of the resurrected Christ. As such, he could hire and fire anyone he chose to, and institute martial law so that he suspend all the rules, which he clearly did when we consider his sons.
What I find to be the most troubling are the implications of WL's need to run the churches military-style. I'm not entirely convinced it was totally a Chinese/cultural thing. My impression of the early LC is that things were strict, there was a unspoken understanding of submission to WL, but none of it had to be forced, like things became later. Even the amount of control WL had from day one, there was really no pressing need to run a training or to assert authority in an overt manner. So what made him change?

It seems that the main problem he kept running into was that of those who were not afraid to call him out, or those not afraid to think for themselves. He had to find a way to put a stop to this, thus the advent of the FTT. I am inclined to think that the FTT was viewed as some sort of "insurance policy", namely to reduce the likelihood of 'damage' cause by any defectors. The more young people that they can 'break', the better.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:27 PM   #37
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WL really did take advantage of the military analogies found in the Bible, and it wasn't hard for him to find ways to apply everything to the LC. All the characteristics of the military had parallels that he could apply to the LC. Things like not having an opinion, submitting oneself, doing everything as a collective group, etc. It is no wonder that he liked that analogy so much.
I think of two words to sum it up: conformity and uniformity. All local churches in the new 'military regime' had to be "absolutely identical" (his words). See e.g. the footnotes in Revelations 2 and 3.

That's where my "bricks in the wall" analogy came from. No more living stones, but featureless and bland bricks. See e.g. Genesis 11:3

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Even the amount of control WL had from day one, there was really no pressing need to run a training or to assert authority in an overt manner. So what made him change?

It seems that the main problem he kept running into was that of those who were not afraid to call him out, or those not afraid to think for themselves. He had to find a way to put a stop to this, thus the advent of the FTT.
There was a stated change in stress from "life" to "truth", and the establishment of the FTT, and the Life-study trainings. Just meeting on the "local ground" and "enjoying Christ" was deemed insufficient to keep the sheep docile within the pen.

And yes, it was a firewall against the freedom which is in Christ Jesus to make an appearance in the Local Churches. Freedom, to Lee, meant loss of control, and instability. But conformity and uniformity, however dull and deadly, were safe, from his perspective.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:20 PM   #38
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What I find to be the most troubling are the implications of WL's need to run the churches military-style. I'm not entirely convinced it was totally a Chinese/cultural thing. My impression of the early LC is that things were strict, there was a unspoken understanding of submission to WL, but none of it had to be forced, like things became later. Even the amount of control WL had from day one, there was really no pressing need to run a training or to assert authority in an overt manner. So what made him change?
The story I was told was that the early conferences at the L.A. Convention Center? became too chaotic in nature, and Lee instituted the training format in order to provide a little order. That was just the beginning.

The "real" reason for training regulations and registrations was to collect a "donation."
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:41 AM   #39
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The story I was told was that the early conferences at the L.A. Convention Center? became too chaotic in nature, and Lee instituted the training format in order to provide a little order. That was just the beginning.
"It's the life, life, life, that makes me want to shout - Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord!!"

So went the song. Life was pouring in, through our youthful and ignorant enthusiams, trained and manipulated by Lee & cronies. But what happened when the enthusiasms got too extreme? Clamp down time. Beat on a few sheep, and although some will leave, the rest are now cowed into submission. Perfect cult fodder. In Lee's phraseology it was a turn in focus from "life" to "truth".

Here's a testimony from an experience during the 1970s:

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Your comments remind me of an experience both Don O and I went through in Detroit. This was in 1973. Don and I were sent to Berkeley by the elders because of their growth in young people to find out what they were doing. It was exciting being out there seeing what was going on. We came back and over the next several weeks we instituted changes. All I can say is that young people were attending our meetings like never before. It was a little bit crazy but energizing.

The problem was that Don and I had some concern about the elders support despite sending us out to Berkeley. They seemed to be putting on the brakes. In any case, some of the sisters painted our metal chairs different colors as they were excited about what was going on. It was fun but kind of crazy. What happened next was that a couple sisters talked to the elders and said we were rebelling. In the next meeting Don and I walked in and it was very solemn and the song was "follow brothers"... Don was overwhelmed and cried like a baby in the meeting and I was like "what just happened"? They never asked us anything and just blasted us. In any case, it was probably the beginning of the end for me. Any further effort in trying to reach young people was over. The next step: in early 1974 everyone "migrated" to Ft. Lauderdale and that was another disaster. Ron K went to Anaheim.
A little bit crazy but energizing. That was the LC that I remember. "Hey - let's paint all the chairs different colors!!" But crazy is only temporary, to separate you from the larger Christian flock. Then the rules and regulations of deadening Local Church Religion come in. That's what the training is: a formalization of dogma, culture, and ritual. Full indoctrination into the Mind of Nee, or later the Mind of Lee. Be conformed to their image.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:25 AM   #40
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"It's the life, life, life, that makes me want to shout - Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord!!"

So went the song. Life was pouring in, through our youthful and ignorant enthusiams, trained and manipulated by Lee & cronies. But what happened when the enthusiasms got too extreme? Clamp down time. Beat on a few sheep, and although some will leave, the rest are now cowed into submission. Perfect cult fodder. In Lee's phraseology it was a turn in focus from "life" to "truth".
Either extreme of the LC is something that can be attributed to WL, and it's funny how he was not willing to take responsibility for either one. When things got out of hand, he was nowhere to be seen. When the legalism became too intense, he blamed it on his minions.

A pattern that I noticed in the LC is whenever a troubling situation arose (locally), there was the tendency to dismiss by saying that the brothers aren't perfect, or that the saints are "still learning", or that the church-life is just a big 'hospital'. There are all kinds of excuses, and all these excuses lead members down the path of viewing themselves as inferior and stupid. Of course, WL is viewed as the wise one who had all the advice to 'fix' everything.

In essence, the underlying message becomes that because the average Joe can't seem to do anything right, there is a need to be trained and 'perfected'. The train of though goes down the path of "only in the FTTA can someone learn how to practice the church-life correctly, only in the FTTA can someone learn to not make the silly mistakes that everyone else seems to make. Two years in the training = twenty years in the church life" It all misattributes the real problem at hand. The real con-man remained at large until the day of this death. And his seven-fold-blendified continuation would have nothing to do with holding him or themselves accountable.
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:30 PM   #41
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"It's the life, life, life, that makes me want to shout - Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord!!"

So went the song. Life was pouring in, through our youthful and ignorant enthusiams, trained and manipulated by Lee & cronies. But what happened when the enthusiasms got too extreme? Clamp down time. Beat on a few sheep, and although some will leave, the rest are now cowed into submission. Perfect cult fodder. In Lee's phraseology it was a turn in focus from "life" to "truth".
Reminds me of the so-called pots and pans era in the LCM (up to about mid-73 I think). Jane mentioned something about it in her book. A lot of utter nonsense. In a regional conference in Dallas, they were shaking green and white pom-poms. Of course those came from the local high school (where I went at the time) and I really thought they were off their rocker. Before the conference was over, John Ingalls (I believe) had put the clamp on that. I actually don't think he had any ulterior motives. But I saw too many things later on that suggested that Lee was generally busy setting things up so that he could knock them down.

Sort of a "Tide Rushes In" thing for you Moody fans except that there it was "I build them up, you knock them down like they were made of clay." In this case the builder was also the destroyer. The ultimate abusive parent.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:49 PM   #42
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Reminds me of the so-called pots and pans era in the LCM (up to about mid-73 I think). Jane mentioned something about it in her book. A lot of utter nonsense. In a regional conference in Dallas, they were shaking green and white pom-poms. Of course those came from the local high school (where I went at the time) and I really thought they were off their rocker. Before the conference was over, John Ingalls (I believe) had put the clamp on that. I actually don't think he had any ulterior motives. But I saw too many things later on that suggested that Lee was generally busy setting things up so that he could knock them down.

Sort of a "Tide Rushes In" thing for you Moody fans except that there it was "I build them up, you knock them down like they were made of clay." In this case the builder was also the destroyer. The ultimate abusive parent.
Ahhh, the Moody Blues...forgot all about them, now I'm thinking of Proco Harem (sorry about the spelling).
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:22 AM   #43
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I think it's Procol Harem.

And the LCM leadership should be a whiter shade of pale in fear of the Lord. And a deep crimson in embarrassment when they have to stand before Him, the real Crimson King.

Sorry about that. I just got some bad 60s band/song puns going in my head.
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:57 AM   #44
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One of the worst things that has ever happened to me was finding Watchman Nee books (along with Kenneth Hagin and others). I think I originally found them in my church book store - Calvary Assembly of God in Winter Park. I think hyper spirituality says it all. Why are we calling these wolves Christian leaders. I think that is part of the problem. There is something so wrong with them. Not fleshly sin (that too) but something much worse. Religious and spiritual. So is sorcery and mysticism.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:01 AM   #45
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I think hyper spirituality says it all.
One of the things which should be noted about Watchman Nee is the influence of Jessie Penn-Lewis and other mystics; people unfettered by the safety and shepherding of the flock, who felt free to pursue personal mysticism.

The second edition of Spiritual Man 'editor's preface' admits that large portions of the book were merely cribbed, unattributed, from these sources. This was arguably the foundation for Nee's entire ministry.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:16 AM   #46
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One of the things which should be noted about Watchman Nee is the influence of Jessie Penn-Lewis and other mystics; people unfettered by the safety and shepherding of the flock, who felt free to pursue personal mysticism.

The second edition of Spiritual Man 'editor's preface' admits that large portions of the book were merely cribbed, unattributed, from these sources. This was arguably the foundation for Nee's entire ministry.
Nee came under the tutelage of a former missionary who'd broken off from her sending church(es). Let's take the tale for what it is: Margaret Barber was too pure and spiritually advanced to suffer under the corruption of the Western missionaries. So rather than obey their dictates, she broke off and went solo.

Fine. Then this spiritually-developed woman began to teach and train Watchman Nee. And she told him NOT to read Jessie Penn-Lewis, and he surreptitiously got hold of the "War on the Saints". Which he then copied verbatim into his foundational "Spiritual Man" book. Which laid the foundation for him to be a "spiritual giant" of the 20th century.

Note that "giants" were unholy monsters who ate the flesh of men, per Genesis. Ones who lifted themselves up beyond their measure. Why should any Christian want to be a giant?

Probably Dana Roberts or some critical biographer has noted these imbalances laid into the foundation of Watchman Nee's spiritual thought, and work. Not sure. For sure we saw the fruit: the Local Church meat grinder, which spit out how many battered and disillusioned believers? No way to know.

And then the unbalanced, hyper-spiritual self-fixated and myopic thought-worlds and practices led through Nee and then Lee into the Lord Changshou Shouters and the Eastern Lightning. More self-obsessed fruit from the Nee tree.

Yes, he appears to have been a giant, all right. A gigantic monstrosity.
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