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Old 08-23-2016, 01:21 PM   #1
DistantStar
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Default One Church - One City - Biblical?

By the way, everyday I pass by the LC church on my way to campus. Today I noticed an inscription on a board that says "The Church in Pretoria".

It made me think of the ridiculousness of it all. Pretoria is the capital city with more than half a million people. Why should all of them go to one building?

Suppose parliament decides to cut the city in two: West Pretoria and East Pretoria. And currently the church is in West Pretoria. Will it then be right or wrong, in the LC eyes, to have a "church in" in both West Pretoria and East Pretoria? In other words, "The Church in West Pretoria" and "The Church in East Pretoria". If this is acceptable, why not divide it further and say a "church in" in each street? If wrong, then there can be only one gathering place. Let me make it clearer. If it is wrong to have a church in both the West and East, then suppose this: The whole world is Pretoria. There used to be only one church location. Then it was divided into a billion pieces. With that logic, it will never be right to have gathering places other than the first one.

Why bind the morality of where you may and may not meet on political structures?

Food for thought. I'd like to hear opinions.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:07 PM   #2
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Here is a problem with your denomination: God never asks us to forsake our individuality to such an extent. The Local Church denomination does. . .
The Local Church is totalitarian in scope. All your thoughts are pre-arranged. You don't need to think because someone supposedly much more capable has already done the hard work for you.

It is nice, you know, at first: Just do what the Ascended Master up front is telling you. Plus it's all reinforced by negative injunctions: You don't want to be negative, do you? You don't want to be independent, or divisive, or ambitious, or - gasp - rebellious, do you? Then just repeat today's platitudes.

I was there until the "man becoming God" part. Then I became silent. Then I left.

1. The reasoning was poor. "The Oracle says so" was the bottom line. A few verses were offered. All the unhelpful verses were quite ignored.

2. We all know what happened to those who lifted themselves too high, and took positions not explicitly given them by the Creator. "You shall be like Gods, knowing good from evil". There's a lot of sketchy stuff there. People sitting too high up at the banquet table, getting sent down in shame. Warning after warning.

3. Even if being like God is something to be desired, it doesn't say you will be God. My dog is like my cat in that both are furry mammalian quadrupeds living in my house; both come running when food is proffered. Both enjoy being petted and rubbed and told nice nothings. But my dog is not my cat.

4. By definition God is one. If everyone and everything becomes God, then where is God? It seems like somebody is thinking too much, and not thinking enough. They didn't think it through.

5. Lastly, I was there. I remember the crestfallen faces at the trainings as the latest 'revelation' rolled out. The old soldiers, who'd been through so many campaigns, flows and moves, were like, Huh? Then some young, burning acolyte screamed, "I'm a God-man!!" and raced up and down the aisle, waving their arms. The crowd began to stir, slowly building to a frenzied roar. All discretion, common sense, circumspection went out the window. From then on, it was, Prop up the Oracle. He says we're becoming God so let's get behind the latest speaking.

I really loved the Local Church. I wanted to be 'sold out'. But I never really could get excited about some of the theology. And the "becoming God" thing was just a venture into the abyss of Lee's imagination.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:16 PM   #3
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Pretoria is the capital city with more than half a million people. Why should all of them go to one building?
The Local Church plays word games. If you live in a big city, you go to Meeting Hall One of the Church in Pretoria, or Meeting Hall Two, or Three. So that is okay.

But First Baptist Church or Second Baptist Church isn't okay, because that is taking a name.

So whatever they call themselves is not a name, but whatever anyone else calls themselves is a name.

And they never think that multiple meetings of Christians in a large city like London or Pretoria is somehow good? Like, the grains of wheat are being multiplied? Instead they think multiple assemblies is "division". Why isn't it "multiplication".

Answer: because that doesn't fit with the official narrative. Um, okay. So it's good to have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at sister Halliday's house, or the Saturday morning prayer meeting on church property, because that is a Local Church activity and is by definition proper, but it's not okay for the Presbyterians to gather and pray to God? Because that's by definition divisive?
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

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The Local Church plays word games. If you live in a big city, you go to Meeting Hall One of the Church in Pretoria, or Meeting Hall Two, or Three. So that is okay.
I didn't know they have more than one hall, though it makes perfect sense. In this sense "Christians on Campus" counts as another meeting place.

Like you said, for them other denominations are wrong for doing the same.

This is some stunning hypocrisy.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:16 PM   #5
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By the way, everyday I pass by the LC church on my way to campus. Today I noticed an inscription on a board that says "The Church in Pretoria".

It made me think of the ridiculousness of it all. Pretoria is the capital city with more than half a million people. Why should all of them go to one building?

Suppose parliament decides to cut the city in two: West Pretoria and East Pretoria. And currently the church is in West Pretoria. Will it then be right or wrong, in the LC eyes, to have a "church in" in both West Pretoria and East Pretoria? In other words, "The Church in West Pretoria" and "The Church in East Pretoria".
Things like this have actually happened (sometimes in reverse). Here is an example quoted from an LC website:

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Saints began to meet as the church in Toronto in the 1960s. At that time a number of municipalities were federated into a regional government known as Metropolitan Toronto. In 1967 a number of municipalities were merged into a six-city configuration that included the City of Toronto, North York, and Scarborough, among others. The meeting hall of the saints was in North York, but the church in 1974 was incorporated as the church of the Torontonians. Subsequently, saints began to meet as the church in Toronto and the church in Scarborough. In 1998 the provincial government consolidated all six cities into the City of Toronto. Based on that decision, the three churches all became the church in Toronto with three halls corresponding to the meeting halls of the three churches.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

DistantStar,

It might help to see that the word translated 'church' is from the Greek 'ekklesia', which didn't mean 'church', but rather 'meeting', or gathering, or assembly, and there could be any number of them occurring simultaneously, or sequentially, in any given geographical area.

If you see the Psalm 22 - "I will sing praises to you in the midst of the solemn assembly" -- the word in the LXX (Greek OT) is 'ekklesia', and this translation predates Christ by centuries. Yet there was no 'church' as we think of it. But rather an 'assembly', or gathering. A bunch of people together in one place for some purpose.

And in Acts 19:41, "And with these words he dismissed the assembly", the word translated into English 'assembly' is actually 'ekklesia'.. but it doesn't make sense to call it 'church' because it wasn't a religious assembly, but simply a gathering of people. Only later did 'ekklesia' take the connotations of 'religious assembly', specifically 'Christian assembly', and one that was a standing organization apart from any actual physical gathering in one place and time (or meeting, in LC parlance).

I touched on this earlier: what we do today, often, is read back onto the text a meaning that we have today, but that may actually have had little to do with what the authors meant, and wanted their contemporary readers to understand. Because today's needs, and situations, are often different from the original, and we don't even know what the original really was (very well), so we simply appropriate the words for today's needs. Lee was a master at this, and all the while selling the whole "cut straight the word" shtick as if only he was capable of doing it. Patent nonsense.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:33 AM   #7
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The Local Church plays word games. If you live in a big city, you go to Meeting Hall One of the Church in Pretoria, or Meeting Hall Two, or Three. So that is okay.

But First Baptist Church or Second Baptist Church isn't okay, because that is taking a name.

So whatever they call themselves is not a name, but whatever anyone else calls themselves is a name.

And they never think that multiple meetings of Christians in a large city like London or Pretoria is somehow good? Like, the grains of wheat are being multiplied? Instead they think multiple assemblies is "division". Why isn't it "multiplication".

Answer: because that doesn't fit with the official narrative. Um, okay. So it's good to have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at sister Halliday's house, or the Saturday morning prayer meeting on church property, because that is a Local Church activity and is by definition proper, but it's not okay for the Presbyterians to gather and pray to God? Because that's by definition divisive?
I think you are mistaken about what the Local Church believes about this. There is nothing wrong with multiple meetings/assemblies in different locations within the same city. It is more about identification.

The Meeting Hall 1 etc would simply be the name of the building, just like a street name.
They are not calling themselves the "Meeting Hallers" or the followers of the "Meeting Hall" which would be like the denominations do calling themselves "baptists" etc. That is, I can believe in water baptism but I don't have to call myself a Baptist. I can believe in the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues but I don't have to identify myself as a pentecostal. I can meet at a meeting hall but I don't have to call myself a "meeting haller", I am just Christian. I can meet in a park but that doesn't make me a "Park Christian", I am just a Christian.

If we would draw a circle around a city and count all of the believers inside of it, that is the church in that city. If 50 who call themselves "the church in " meet on one street and another 100 meet in another place and also call themselves "the church in ", then it is one church (practically). If the 50 call themselves by their street name e.g. "the 57th streeters" and separate themselves from the 100 who meet on a different street, that would be like denominations do.

The local church does not teach they cannot have any name. They only teach that the only name they should take is the name of the locality in which they dwell, and the name Christian (of course).
Even so, this name of locality does not specify a doctrinal emphasis (as in pentecostal, baptist, presbyterian, ), founder name (as in Luther-an"), it is simply to say that the church dwells in this particular city. But it is all the one church.

Identification and names are important to men and to God. If I go to New York I am a Christian in New York (I don't become a "New Yorkerist Christian"), if I got o London I am a Christian in London (not a "Londoner Christian"). That is, I am not identified by the place I am in (Christ is the only identification), but if you want to find me I have to tell you the place where I am currently (because we are bound by space/time).
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:38 AM   #8
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. . the word translated 'church' is from the Greek 'ekklesia', which didn't mean 'church', but rather 'meeting', or gathering, or assembly, and there could be any number of them occurring simultaneously, or sequentially, in any given geographical area.
For corroboration, one might see the greetings given by Paul at the end of his Roman epistle. See for instnance the phrase, "Kai ten kat oikon auton ekklesian" . . . "And the church at their house" (16:5)

The 'ekklesia' which was at the house of Prisca and Aquila (see Rom 16:3,4) was what we'd refer to as a 'home meeting'. Others might call them 'house churches'; they're prevalent in places like mainland China where independent Christian organizations are suppressed.

But my point is this: Like in Pretoria, in Paul's Rome there might be a number of independent 'ekklesia' going on at any given moment. Yet they all have the same Lord, faith, confession, and Spirit, and all are still one Body, because 'ekklesia' in scripture are arguably meetings, gatherings, as well as perhaps the larger extant Body of all who believe, regardless of temporal association (e.g. Meeting Hall One, Meeting Hall Two, Baptist Church on Maple Street). In New York City one can hardly suppose that every Christian know and regularly gather with every other for prayer, service, and worship. That various groups would spring up, each attempting to follow the Lord, is not perforce indicative of division, darkness, and decay. Rather it can be seen as the multifarious expression of the multifarious wisdom of the Heavenly Father, that every tribe and people and tongue and 'ekklesia' would glorify His name, and seek His will to be done on earth as in heaven.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:50 AM   #9
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They are not calling themselves the "Meeting Hallers" or the followers of the "Meeting Hall" which would be like the denominations do calling themselves "baptists" etc. That is, I can believe in water baptism but I don't have to call myself a Baptist. I can believe in the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues but I don't have to identify myself as a pentecostal. I can meet at a meeting hall but I don't have to call myself a "meeting haller", I am just Christian. . .
Yet Witness Lee himself publicly referred to his followers and affiliates in China as 'shouters'; they've also been called 'criers' and 'yellers'. They're identified by their behavior, which behavior Lee's LSM operatives originally promoted there as the way for them to 'eat the divine'. Lee didn't have a problem with that name, apparently. And rightly so, since the name 'shouters' could be used to differentiate Lee-affiliated Christians in China from others. Names are useful, that way - it's why we use them.

And 'Christian' was an appellation given by non-Christians at Antioch to identify Jesus' disciples as 'those who are of Christ'. Yet the Christian disciple eventually received and even embraced this name. Likewise, Living Stream Ministry is a name to specify a certain publishing house, the Meeting Hall One in Seattle is a building where some Local Churchers meet (btw they refer to themselves as 'the saints', and non-LC'ers as 'Christians'). Bibles for America is a publishing distribution outreach, Continuing Steadfastly is a magazine for young people, etc. We all take names; it's how we distinguish things from one another. So we can have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at Sister Smith's house, clearly differentiated from the Saturday morning Bible study meeting at the meeting hall. Those are modifiers to distinguish characteristics of time, place, disposition. Is that perforce sectarian? Then why condemn everyone else as so being?

The local church pretends it doesn't use names, so that it can create and condemn 'the others', here given the pejorative 'denominations', i.e. those who use names, and if they don't use a name they're dismissed anyway, as an unaffiliated 'free group'.

Everything has a name. Jesus asked the man at the Gadarenes, "What's your name?" The demons replied, "Oh, there's a lot of us in here". Likewise we could identify the different forces driving the local church: The Church that Condemns Everyone Else; The Holier-Than Thou Church; The 'Everyone is Divisive But Me' Church; etc. There are plenty of applicable names here.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:02 AM   #10
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There is nothing wrong with multiple meetings/assemblies in different locations within the same city. It is more about identification..
I don't know if you remember in the late '90s when the internet took off, and the LSM promoted each local church to have its own website. They gave each fellowship a template and asked them to fill in the blanks.

If you googled 'the church in ...', it read, "A local church, the church in ..., enjoys Christ and recommends the ministry of Witness Lee, Watchman Nee."

They identified themselves by affiliation and recommendation. So the ministry that supposedly purified and pruned the church from any affiliation and identification save with Jesus Christ Himself eventually usurped that, and became the sole mediatory agent to God. The local church of the Lord's recovery was led to identify herself with a ministry, and a minister, not with the Lord.

And yet everyone else was roundly condemned as 'taking another name'. Please. Spare me.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:06 PM   #11
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Yet Witness Lee himself publicly referred to his followers and affiliates in China as 'shouters'; they've also been called 'criers' and 'yellers'. They're identified by their behavior, which behavior Lee's LSM operatives originally promoted there as the way for them to 'eat the divine'. Lee didn't have a problem with that name, apparently. And rightly so, since the name 'shouters' could be used to differentiate Lee-affiliated Christians in China from others. Names are useful, that way - it's why we use them.

And 'Christian' was an appellation given by non-Christians at Antioch to identify Jesus' disciples as 'those who are of Christ'. Yet the Christian disciple eventually received and even embraced this name. Likewise, Living Stream Ministry is a name to specify a certain publishing house, the Meeting Hall One in Seattle is a building where some Local Churchers meet (btw they refer to themselves as 'the saints', and non-LC'ers as 'Christians'). Bibles for America is a publishing distribution outreach, Continuing Steadfastly is a magazine for young people, etc. We all take names; it's how we distinguish things from one another. So we can have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at Sister Smith's house, clearly differentiated from the Saturday morning Bible study meeting at the meeting hall. Those are modifiers to distinguish characteristics of time, place, disposition. Is that perforce sectarian? Then why condemn everyone else as so being?

The local church pretends it doesn't use names, so that it can create and condemn 'the others', here given the pejorative 'denominations', i.e. those who use names, and if they don't use a name they're dismissed anyway, as an unaffiliated 'free group'.

Everything has a name. Jesus asked the man at the Gadarenes, "What's your name?" The demons replied, "Oh, there's a lot of us in here". Likewise we could identify the different forces driving the local church: The Church that Condemns Everyone Else; The Holier-Than Thou Church; The 'Everyone is Divisive But Me' Church; etc. There are plenty of applicable names here.
The issue is largely one of identification, not of naming.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:15 PM   #12
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I don't know if you remember in the late '90s when the internet took off, and the LSM promoted each local church to have its own website. They gave each fellowship a template and asked them to fill in the blanks.

If you googled 'the church in ...', it read, "A local church, the church in ..., enjoys Christ and recommends the ministry of Witness Lee, Watchman Nee."

They identified themselves by affiliation and recommendation. So the ministry that supposedly purified and pruned the church from any affiliation and identification save with Jesus Christ Himself eventually usurped that, and became the sole mediatory agent to God. The local church of the Lord's recovery was led to identify herself with a ministry, and a minister, not with the Lord.

And yet everyone else was roundly condemned as 'taking another name'. Please. Spare me.
Yet they did not take the name of Lee or Nee, did they?
Local church describes the kind of assembly it is. It is not a name, just like "Christianity is not a religion, it is a personal relationship with Jesus blah blah".
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:37 PM   #13
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Yet they did not take the name of Lee or Nee, did they?
Local church describes the kind of assembly it is. It is not a name, just like "Christianity is not a religion, it is a personal relationship with Jesus blah blah".
Of course the blended brothers and elders took the name of Nee and Lee. Every book in their book rooms are by Nee and Lee. Every note in the recovery version bible is from Lee and Nee. It is only the LSM local churches that claim they are not a denomination.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:51 PM   #14
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Of course the blended brothers and elders took the name of Nee and Lee. Every book in their book rooms are by Nee and Lee. Every note in the recovery version bible is from Lee and Nee. It is only the LSM local churches that claim they are not a denomination.
Someone has rightly said that Witness Lee has merely changed the "one man speaking" in every congregation to the "speaking of one man" in every local church.

This is very true. Yes, denominational and community churches have the speaking of one man, the pastor, but is that not far better than to have the speaking of only Witness Lee in every Local Church? I think so.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:54 PM   #15
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Ok guys, I think we're kind of hijacking this thread from DistantStar. Can somebody point me to where we can break this thing off to a new thread?

Thanks!


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Old 09-02-2016, 02:17 AM   #16
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I forgot to add something.

Both this year and last year they invited me to join others in staying at the church for two weeks. In that time would would wear a suit, read the Bible and attend seminars by... you guessed it... Witness Lee. During that time all technology use, from laptops to cellphones is also restricted.

I'm not one for isolating myself from my family and dear friends, so when they invited me I always gave an unclear answer (though I guess I should have been more direct).

I suppose that things like this can be good, but it sounded really disturbing.
It did not sound at all like other Bible camps to which I've been invited which one can hear is more open and connected.

Just an extra thought.
Wear a suit - oh no, read the Bible? terrible! seminars by a man - even worse. technology restricted? how to survive?

They what else?, stole your money, raped you, left you for dead?

isolated from family for 2 weeks? - are you serious.. ever been on Summer camp? ever traveled overseas for work? ever been a Boy Scout?

Seriously dude, stop being delusional. Many are well meaning people with a heart for Jesus, you'd be safer there than in your local shopping mall. Or rather, safer than a choir boy in a Catholic church.

Some people here are frauds and making it out to be some death cult.
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Old 09-02-2016, 03:05 AM   #17
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Of course the blended brothers and elders took the name of Nee and Lee. Every book in their book rooms are by Nee and Lee. Every note in the recovery version bible is from Lee and Nee. It is only the LSM local churches that claim they are not a denomination.
Ahh I get it. They aren't confused and worldly enough for you. They don't have enough of those "how to get rich" and new age books from your local Christian bookstore! So that means they must be in some kind of self-serving man-following cult! Would it help them somehow if they had some books by Creflo Dollar on their shelf as well? Would that make you more comfortable? Sorry for them that they found Creflo Dollar's books a bit too contrary to the teachings of a man who died in a Chinese prison cell. Sorry for you that you don't know the difference between men who wrote that they tried to live and belief and your average American church preacher out to make a buck!
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:12 AM   #18
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Wear a suit - oh no, read the Bible? terrible! seminars by a man - even worse. technology restricted? how to survive?
Why do we need to wear a suit to read the Bible? Why do we need one exclusive ministry to understand its contents? Because it's all about conformity. Not to the image of Christ, but to the image of the ministry. Everyone has to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatsoever", according to this ministry.

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Would it help them somehow if they had some books by Creflo Dollar on their shelf as well? Would that make you more comfortable? Sorry for them that they found Creflo Dollar's books a bit too contrary to the teachings of a man who died in a Chinese prison cell. Sorry for you that you don't know the difference between men who wrote that they tried to live and belief and your average American church preacher out to make a buck!
Your argument sounds like the man praying in Luke 18:10, who said, "I'm so glad I'm not like that man over there, that sinner". Yes it's good news that the LC isn't much like Creflo Dollar. The bad news is that the LC isn't very much like Christ, either. They're more like the Pharisees, who studied the Bible and condemned everyone else.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:48 AM   #19
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Why do we need to wear a suit to read the Bible? Why do we need one exclusive ministry to understand its contents? Because it's all about conformity. Not to the image of Christ, but to the image of the ministry. Everyone has to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatsoever", according to this ministry.
I can still remember back in May of 1987 sitting in the church in Taipei hall #1 auditorium balcony and seeing Witness Lee on stage all giddy because we all wore the same blue LSM jackets and uniforms.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:58 AM   #20
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we all wore the same blue LSM jackets and uniforms.
It's Maoism with a religious face. Culture re-emerges, triumphant at last. Of course he was happy. He was home.
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Old 09-02-2016, 03:45 PM   #21
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Why do we need to wear a suit to read the Bible? Why do we need one exclusive ministry to understand its contents? Because it's all about conformity. Not to the image of Christ, but to the image of the ministry. Everyone has to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatsoever", according to this ministry.

Your argument sounds like the man praying in Luke 18:10, who said, "I'm so glad I'm not like that man over there, that sinner". Yes it's good news that the LC isn't much like Creflo Dollar. The bad news is that the LC isn't very much like Christ, either. They're more like the Pharisees, who studied the Bible and condemned everyone else.
That's not about conformity, it's about respect. Just like taking shoes off when going into a Hindu temple or wearing a Sarong is respectful. Dressing nicely is not unique to the Lord's Recovery. Many churches do it. Dressing nicely is to show respect for the Lord. You would wear a suit to a wedding or a funeral or a job interview right? And when you do I bet most people are a wearing black suit right, is not that a kind of conformation as well?
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:35 PM   #22
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That's not about conformity, it's about respect. Just like taking shoes off when going into a Hindu temple or wearing a Sarong is respectful. Dressing nicely is not unique to the Lord's Recovery. Many churches do it. Dressing nicely is to show respect for the Lord. You would wear a suit to a wedding or a funeral or a job interview right? And when you do I bet most people are a wearing black suit right, is not that a kind of conformation as well?
I take your point about respect. I am not sure what happens in the local church where you live, but in the local church I am in, the dress code for a brother serving at the Lord's table (i.e. breaking the bread and distributing bread and cup) would be white long-sleeved shirt with trousers.

If dressing respectfully was the main point, then they would not have stipulated it as "white". A blue shirt could also be respectful.

It seems like there is a degree of "uniformity" expected.

You probably know this:- the oneness that God wants is unity, not uniformity.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:50 PM   #23
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The oneness that God wants is unity, not uniformity.
"That they all may be one"....NOT "That they all may look as one".

Thanks you micah6v8 for pointing this out!

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Old 09-02-2016, 09:13 PM   #24
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That's not about conformity, it's about respect. Just like taking shoes off when going into a Hindu temple or wearing a Sarong is respectful. Dressing nicely is not unique to the Lord's Recovery. Many churches do it. Dressing nicely is to show respect for the Lord. You would wear a suit to a wedding or a funeral or a job interview right? And when you do I bet most people are a wearing black suit right, is not that a kind of conformation as well?
I understand the rationale of wearing what is known as the "Sunday best" is this:- "You are coming to church (God's house) to worship. How dare you approach God in nothing but your best?"

One thing the LSM got right is that the church consists of the believers, not the building. It also explains why the LSM church buildings are not lavishly decorated.

Should it not follow then that the LSM should also ask their members to wear the same Sunday attire for their weekday small group meetings and prayer meetings held in saints' homes? (God is also present in those meetings and could you afford to be less respectful?)

I googled and came across this interesting article about wearing "Sunday best".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timoth...b_7272212.html

Not having a dress code could be helpful:- First, it encourages people to "Come as you are" (certainly good for those unbelievers who dare not believe that God would accept them in their fallen state).

Second, it symbolizes that God looks at our inward appearance rather than our outward appearance.

Similarly, if I am approaching the throne of God when I pray in my room, what I need is a humble spirit, not my best clothes.

If I am speaking forth God's word (prophesying) in a meeting, I do not need to dress smartly to impress the church members that my message is to be believed. The content of my sharing should be the key.

I have not known any biblical characters (Jesus, John the Baptist, Elijah) who were known for dressing up even though they went round saying they were God's messengers and speaking His word.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:18 PM   #25
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I take your point about respect. I am not sure what happens in the local church where you live, but in the local church I am in, the dress code for a brother serving at the Lord's table (i.e. breaking the bread and distributing bread and cup) would be white long-sleeved shirt with trousers.

If dressing respectfully was the main point, then they would not have stipulated it as "white". A blue shirt could also be respectful.

It seems like there is a degree of "uniformity" expected.

You probably know this:- the oneness that God wants is unity, not uniformity.
There is no policy about that. No dress code. I would say only about 10% dress according to your regulation. Some feel that dressing like that is respectful towards the Lord.

This is a quote from Lee's
"THE LIFE AND WAY FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH LIFE"

Furthermore, do not try to unify the work. Do not say, "We are in America, so we should be unified. Let us have a conference to unify the situation." This is wrong. We strongly insist on having the unity, but we are altogether against unification and uniformity. I have the full assurance that in the early days the churches in Judea were quite different from the churches in the Gentile world. The apostles did not try to unify the churches or make them uniform.
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:39 PM   #26
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There is no policy about that. No dress code. I would say only about 10% dress according to your regulation. Some feel that dressing like that is respectful towards the Lord.

This is a quote from Lee's
"THE LIFE AND WAY FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH LIFE"

Furthermore, do not try to unify the work. Do not say, "We are in America, so we should be unified. Let us have a conference to unify the situation." This is wrong. We strongly insist on having the unity, but we are altogether against unification and uniformity. I have the full assurance that in the early days the churches in Judea were quite different from the churches in the Gentile world. The apostles did not try to unify the churches or make them uniform.
Seems to be a dress code for Full Time Training
http://www.fttamidage.org/traininginfo.htm
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:56 PM   #27
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I understand the rationale of wearing what is known as the "Sunday best" is this:- "You are coming to church (God's house) to worship. How dare you approach God in nothing but your best?"

One thing the LSM got right is that the church consists of the believers, not the building. It also explains why the LSM church buildings are not lavishly decorated.

Should it not follow then that the LSM should also ask their members to wear the same Sunday attire for their weekday small group meetings and prayer meetings held in saints' homes? (God is also present in those meetings and could you afford to be less respectful?)

I googled and came across this interesting article about wearing "Sunday best".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timoth...b_7272212.html

Not having a dress code could be helpful:- First, it encourages people to "Come as you are" (certainly good for those unbelievers who dare not believe that God would accept them in their fallen state).

Second, it symbolizes that God looks at our inward appearance rather than our outward appearance.

Similarly, if I am approaching the throne of God when I pray in my room, what I need is a humble spirit, not my best clothes.

If I am speaking forth God's word (prophesying) in a meeting, I do not need to dress smartly to impress the church members that my message is to be believed. The content of my sharing should be the key.

I have not known any biblical characters (Jesus, John the Baptist, Elijah) who were known for dressing up even though they went round saying they were God's messengers and speaking His word.
I do not agree with dress codes. I am not saying that people should not dress up. I am saying that they should be led by the inner leading of the Lord. A dress code somewhat violates that principle. Some women wear head coverings for the same reason. Many don't. There is no regulation about that.

Then there is respect for the feeling of the Body. Suppose someone dressed in pyjamas, because they felt the Lord tell them to do that. But what about the Body? If the majority of people would be offended because we dress a certain way, then we should respect that and not offend their conscience. I cannot think why anyone would be offended if we dress up in business attire. If the leading brothers dressed in pyjamas probably someone would be offended.

It is also about the respect of the Lord's table. If the Lord's table is held in a house people will normally wear their best as well. It's about not treating the body and blood of the Lord as a common thing. The Lord's table is not the same as coming to a friends house for a snack.

There are other reasons people dress up. I recall one writing of Lee's (I forget which one) that says we should dress nicely for our husbands and wives at home. I suspect this is a cultural thing, there is nothing religious or practical about that. I have been to some Chinese folks homes where the husband and wife dresses as if they were for a business meeting. It is funny to see them do the dishes etc in their good clothes.
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:06 AM   #28
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Seems to be a dress code for Full Time Training
http://www.fttamidage.org/traininginfo.htm
So? The training is a kind of college campus. Most college campuses have codes and regulations, FTT is no exception.

Many other Christian colleges and campuses have strict codes, there is a list here:

https://collegetimes.co/strict-college-campuses/

There are no such regulations for the church meetings. Not for mine anyway.
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:29 AM   #29
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So? The training is a kind of college campus. Most college campuses have codes and regulations, FTT is no exception.

Many other Christian colleges and campuses have strict codes, there is a list here:

https://collegetimes.co/strict-college-campuses/

There are no such regulations for the church meetings. Not for mine anyway.
So what is the rationale for the FTT having a dress code?
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:17 AM   #30
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So what is the rationale for the FTT having a dress code?
Because it's a training. You go there to be trained. It is to promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training.
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:28 AM   #31
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Because it's a training. You go there to be trained. It is to promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training.
How does having a dress code promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training?
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:44 AM   #32
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This is a quote from Lee's
"THE LIFE AND WAY FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH LIFE"

Furthermore, do not try to unify the work. Do not say, "We are in America, so we should be unified. Let us have a conference to unify the situation." This is wrong. We strongly insist on having the unity, but we are altogether against unification and uniformity. I have the full assurance that in the early days the churches in Judea were quite different from the churches in the Gentile world. The apostles did not try to unify the churches or make them uniform.
Lee flatly contradicted himself elsewhere, in his RecV footnotes. All churches were to be exactly identical, quote-unquote. No differences whatsoever.

That was his idea of why the seven Asian churches in Revs 2 & 3 weren't blessed by God. See e.g. his footnote in Rev 1:20 - he prescribed "not having any individual distinctiveness". Oh, but you may say, That's organizational, not related to persons. But we all know how it works in the LC of Lee. Everybody, at some point, is expected to get it. Those who don't get it, and remain distinct, are allowed to remain, as long as they are positive. But the clear understanding is conformity and uniformity. Again and again this theme is pushed. Every local church was a "Witness Lee duplication center". We were to be "Witness Lee tape recorders". Etc ad nauseum. So don't dismiss it as so benign. It isn't.
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:47 AM   #33
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How does having a dress code promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training?
Ask any college which has dress codes, or the military or police why they have dress codes. I think there's something about clothing. Why do brides wear wedding dresses? Why wear black at a funeral?
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:04 AM   #34
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Lee flatly contradicted himself elsewhere, in his RecV footnotes. All churches were to be exactly identical, quote-unquote. No differences whatsoever.

That was his idea of why the seven Asian churches in Revs 2 & 3 weren't blessed by God. See e.g. his footnote in Rev 1:20 - he prescribed "not having any individual distinctiveness". Oh, but you may say, That's organizational, not related to persons. But we all know how it works in the LC of Lee. Everybody, at some point, is expected to get it. Those who don't get it, and remain distinct, are allowed to remain, as long as they are positive. But the clear understanding is conformity and uniformity. Again and again this theme is pushed. Every local church was a "Witness Lee duplication center". We were to be "Witness Lee tape recorders". Etc ad nauseum. So don't dismiss it as so benign. It isn't.
The meaning is spiritual not physical. I think he means their nature, not their practical appearance. This is from the Rev 1:20 commentary:
"They should be of the heavenly nature and should be in a heavenly position like stars."

He's saying that all of those churches had problems because they didn't hold onto Christ, they didn't have His heavenly nature and position.

The key thing is that they all shine the same light which is Christ.

Nowhere anywhere in any footnote of the Bible or his books does he say everyone has to dress the same.
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:11 AM   #35
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The meaning is spiritual not physical. I think he means their nature, not their practical appearance. This is from the Rev 1:20 commentary:
"They should be of the heavenly nature and should be in a heavenly position like stars."

He's saying that all of those churches had problems because they didn't hold onto Christ, they didn't have His heavenly nature and position.

The key thing is that they all shine the same light which is Christ.

Nowhere anywhere in any footnote of the Bible or his books does he say everyone has to dress the same.
Conformity and uniformity was stressed every which way. Almost always with some spiritual gloss, but the message was clear. You'd have to be culturally tone-deaf not to get it.

Now, granted, some are tone-deaf, and don't get it, and go along fine in the LC. But the vast majority get it clearly. Don't stand out in any way. Be a small potato. Disappear into the faceless proletariat.
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:51 AM   #36
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Conformity and uniformity was stressed every which way. Almost always with some spiritual gloss, but the message was clear. You'd have to be culturally tone-deaf not to get it.

Now, granted, some are tone-deaf, and don't get it, and go along fine in the LC. But the vast majority get it clearly. Don't stand out in any way. Be a small potato. Disappear into the faceless proletariat.
Well said -- "always with some spiritual gloss."

I have a long time friend and elder in the LC's, who went out to Anaheim for some fellowship with Witness Lee. His dear wife happened to pack his clothes, and for one day he was "assigned" to wear a nice, but colorful, plaid shirt. (Kind of like Norm Abram from TOH and NYW)

Witness Lee took one look at him and had a fit. Apparently he got "disrespected." Though he knew him personally, WL went to Titus Chu (mid-level-management) instead and chewed him out so that my friend would "get it" worse, and the entire GLA would learn their lessons well.
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Old 09-03-2016, 06:20 AM   #37
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Ask any college which has dress codes, or the military or police why they have dress codes. I think there's something about clothing. Why do brides wear wedding dresses? Why wear black at a funeral?
You now appeal to convention and custom, the very things the LSM LC bases it's existence on the condemnation thereof.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:07 AM   #38
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You now appeal to convention and custom, the very things the LSM LC bases it's existence on the condemnation thereof.
Oh the irony!
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:13 AM   #39
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They what else?, stole your money, raped you, left you for dead?
No need to be sarcastic. The absence of more evil does not justify the evil that exists.

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isolated from family for 2 weeks? - are you serious.. ever been on Summer camp? ever traveled overseas for work? ever been a Boy Scout?
You miss my point. Isolating yourself from people whom you love while having your means to contact them restricted is disturbing. In my post I neither endorsed nor denounced it. It is my testimony. I stated the way it seemed, or did you not read my next sentence?:

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I suppose that things like this can be good, but it sounded really disturbing.
It can be good, I agree. My point is that this is precisely different from other bible camps, or did you not read what I said?:

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It did not sound at all like other Bible camps to which I've been invited which one can hear is more open and connected.
Even in this they are not like other churches. Everything the LC denomination does is weird to say the least.

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Seriously dude, stop being delusional.
Thanks for summing up the reason why I left. People like you in the LC denomination who believe that those not in their denomination is somehow deluded.

Then again, we think you are. I get that. What bothered me is this perception that the LC church is somehow special and not driven by "division" like the "denominations". I (and I believe most Christians) do not view people in other denominations as such. I view it as good people who disagree on minor (or major) things. So yeah, Catholics might be misguided but that doesn't mean that their churches are not blessed while my church is. That God has forsaken their community and He only cares for mine. I can pray for them, but (if they believe what I state below) they are still my brothers and sisters and I will fight for them. And die with them.

I will attend events which are held for all denominations. I haven't met a church that won't. Does the LC denomination ever join with other denominations?

Slightly off topic but not quite, this year I went with a best friend to a place called Eksderde where we stayed for a few days (In Afrikaans "Ek is derde" means "I am third" - "Jesus first, spouse second, me third"). Everyone slept on mattresses and we would attend sermons the whole day long for the entire weekend, with the time between sermons spent with other believers. It was fantastic. The worship, the messages, the brothership. All of it was truly blessed with a lot of people who thought they were Christians giving their hearts to Christ truly for the first time. It was beautiful how at first the one preacher said something along the line of: "We are all from different denominations. For this weekend we put them aside and we worship and grow together. When we go home we can go to our denominations again".

This paradox is what non-believers and the LC denomination miss: We are united in our division.

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Many are well meaning people with a heart for Jesus, you'd be safer there than in your local shopping mall. Or rather, safer than a choir boy in a Catholic church.
I agree. That's why I don't make the same mistake that the LC denomination is making. I believe that any one, no matter in which church (even the Catholic Church) is saved if he believes that Jesus Christ was God himself (yet His perfect son) who came to earth, took our sins upon himself, died and rose again. The majority of members in the LC denomination are saved. I grant you that. That does not mean that there are not serious problems within it, just like there may be problems in the Catholic church.

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Some people here are frauds and making it out to be some death cult.
Like who?

Tell me, what books beside Witness Lee do the "elders" or whatever they are called read? I'm honestly not asking a rhetorical question here. I really want to know.

Edit: Where I said: "It can be good, I agree. My point is that this is precisely different from other bible camps, or did you not read what I said?: "

I meant that as a reply to what you said (at the moment it looks like I replied to myself. I meant it as an answer to this quote:

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ever been on Summer camp? ever traveled overseas for work? ever been a Boy Scout?
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:23 PM   #40
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I'm sorry if I offended your feelings when I said delusional. I said that not because of the denominations being deluded, but because you made it sound the LC is some sort of death cult.

It is great you experienced some unity on the interdenominational or crossdenominational camp. I have also experienced such camps when I was younger. I would encourage you to follow the Lord as best you can, into a denomination, or out of a denomination, it does not matter, all that matters is you follow the Lord. It is more important that we follow the Lord in or out, than to blindly follow any denomination without the Lord.

People left their divisions at home, and came together in unity. But if the unity they and you experienced is so great, as you say, why remain divided? Why does it not continue Sunday to Sunday? Why are there two or three different churches on the same street that do not speak with each other unless they have one of these occasional organized church camps?

Yet went back straight to their divisions. What is the purpose for the divisions? There is no need for them. If they can be in a unity for a camp, they can't be in unity every Sunday? Where is the sense in that?

This is why I believe such a unity is not a unity at all. It is a false unity. What you experienced was true unity, but the unity was not genuine and sincere. Because everyone went back to being divided again.

"unity in division" is just illogical and plain wrong according to the Bible. It is like saying a divorced couple which comes together occasionally for their child's birthday party is a genuine unity. But these occasional signs of friendship and good will, do not change the fact that they remain divorced.

I believe many denominations are separated by something as thin as a hair. I know of one long running dispute between the Lutheran church and another major denomination on the nature of the bread and wine. Many Lutherans, for example, will not take bread and wine in a different church, even if it is for special family occasions.

Denominations will split themselves over such minor things, including the proper method of baptism. They forget that it is the fact they are all baptized in the same name of the one Christ, that is the important thing, not the method of baptism or whether you believe the bread and wine is a symbol or more than a symbol.

I found many of those in denominations were too blind to see the things which divided them are trivial and they had more in common than not.
That is probably why those in your church camp went back to their own denominations and did not remain in unity.

If I was you I would ask them, "since our time in unity was so great in the camp, why cannot we meet the same way every Sunday?".
Then when they tell you, it is for this small reason or that small reason, or because it is too hard, or too inconvenient, you might get the real sense of what division is all about. And realize, what you think is "unity in division", is not unity at all. Their ways and methods are too entrenched, their pastors or priests would lose their jobs, their organizations would lose money, there is too much bad blood and negative history between them.

There is also such a thing as a false unity. Remember Satan tries to bring unity as well, unity against God. That is, if all of the churches start to join the Roman Catholic church and come under the Pope, beware, that may be a genuine unity, but may not be of God.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:51 AM   #41
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Yet went back straight to their divisions. What is the purpose for the divisions? There is no need for them. If they can be in a unity for a camp, they can't be in unity every Sunday? Where is the sense in that? .
Why can't the local church be in unity every Sunday? Some of them are in meeting hall A, some in meeting hall B. Division! Some go to Chinese-speaking meeting, some to English-speaking. Why can't they remain in fellowship?

You use one ruler to measure yourself, and another ruler to measure others.

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Yet This is why I believe such a unity is not a unity at all. It is a false unity. What you experienced was true unity, but the unity was not genuine and sincere. Because everyone went back to being divided again.

"unity in division" is just illogical and plain wrong according to the Bible. It is like saying a divorced couple which comes together occasionally for their child's birthday party is a genuine unity. But these occasional signs of friendship and good will, do not change the fact that they remain divorced.

I believe many denominations are separated by something as thin as a hair. I know of one long running dispute between the Lutheran church and another major denomination on the nature of the bread and wine. Many Lutherans, for example, will not take bread and wine in a different church, even if it is for special family occasions. .
I'd argue that your division is the most divided of all, the "everyone is blind but me" division. Who can have fellowship with your group.

Yes, Christianity is divided. Some is geographical, and practical, just like Meeting Hall A, and the College-age training meeting. Do you really expect every single Christian to be in one room on Sunday morning at 10 AM to hear one person speak one message? Some Christian disunity is deliberate, small-minded and unfortunate, just like in the local church where someone goes to another local church where they like the eldership better. They don't even "migrate", just drive past one meeting hall, to another. Everybody has division. Only God is undivided. We aren't there, yet.

But the local church of Nee and Lee solution to division is like the woman who swallowed the fly. Yes there was indeed a fly down there. But her solution was eventually to swallow a spider, cat, dog, and horse... "You strain the gnat and swallow the camel".

The camel you swallow is condemnation of everyone else for being wrong, and pleading for mercy for your defects which (you hope) are so small and few. I don't think God is impressed. I surely am not.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:28 PM   #42
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Yet went back straight to their divisions. What is the purpose for the divisions? There is no need for them.
I can't help but notice you ignoring all of my points except the one on division. No answers on them? No opinions? No advice on the books they read? Nothing? Interesting...

Do you still not get it? All the denominations are willing to meet except the LC denomination. Why is that?

Stop having this inside perspective of "Oh, we are united while they are divided". You are part of the division. The LC's mere existence means there is a division in Christiantiy, or don't you realise that? You are just as much a denomination as any other. If there were only one denomination, let's say the Methodists, and the LC came along... then don't you think the LC are, by establishing themselves, creating division? The same applies when there are a hundred denominations and the LC came along.

I noticed you think the Catholics as being rather wrong (they most likely are) but don't you see how akin you are to the Catholic church? The Catholic church has a number of churches around the globe, each one almost identical in practise and belief, while they look on the poor, divided Protestants. Sound familiar? The LC denomination is the same: We are correct, look at those poor, divided denominations.

You are a PART of the denominations. You are just one out of hundreds.

The best thing any of us can do in regards to the LC denomination is to drill it into their heads that they are just like all the other denominations. They are just another part of the division. Or do you think yourself special?

By using "denomination" we establish two facts: that the LC does believe in the foundation of Christianity (Jesus' divinity, death and resurrection), making them true believers (though with some big issues), and secondly, that they are just another group with just another set of beliefs. By using this word we can remain respectful of them as fellow Christians while also making clear to them that they are not above or beyond any other denomination. This term minimizes them. It takes away their "Us against Them" mentality.

Look at the LC church from the outside. Most of us on this forum used to be in it and since we left it we have got a good insider and outsider view. See your denomination from, let's say, a Baptist's eyes:

The Baptist went to a church where he did Baptist things. Later on as he drives through the town he sees a number of different denominations. He disagrees with them, but he still loves them and he attends inter-denominational events. Then he passes by the LC denomination. These people (in his eyes) are a weird bunch. They are not quite like any normal denomination. They are born-again, that's true. But they view themselves as special and they, unlike most other denominations, are strictly against socializing with other denominations - they are extremely isolated. They never attend events with the Baptists.

Who is pushing division here?

This is how I started to doubt the LC. When I invited a friend from Zimbabwe to attend a meeting, I could see everything through his eyes. I saw him looking at the other people very suspiciously. When they sang the songs and talked about the god-man, he didn't sing or talk. He looked very agitated. I suddenly viewed everything through fresh eyes... through the eyes of an outsider. It was then that I realised how... peculiar... everything is.

Today I realised another fact. I used to be in South Africa's most "traditional" denomination, the NG Church (Nederduits-gereformeerd). You know those churches with a piano, a long sermon, and only a select number of slow songs. A great place actually, no one is pushing an agenda. No weird trainings like the LC and no focus on money like some other churches.

But as I went to university, I started viewing myself as "non-denominational". Not anti-denominational, just non. I didn't know where to fit in. At this moment I'm still looking for the right one. Like C. S. Lewis put it, I am currently in the Hall of Christianity. A number of Christians already found their rooms, I have not yet.

The absence of a church made it easier for me to join the LC completely. If I were a steadfast Methodist, I would not have joined so easily.

P. S. For any Catholics here, I am not saying that all of you have this condescending view (probably few do). I'm simply making a point.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:27 AM   #43
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Why can't the local church be in unity every Sunday? Some of them are in meeting hall A, some in meeting hall B. Division! Some go to Chinese-speaking meeting, some to English-speaking. Why can't they remain in fellowship?

You use one ruler to measure yourself, and another ruler to measure others.
Unlike the denominations, we do not call ourselves the "meeting hall A" and the "meeting hall B Christians" like the denominations. This means we identify ourselves as all being the same. It is not about which location we meet in, but how we identify ourselves. Those in meeting hall B, will travel and meet those in meeting hall A, it switches around, people visit various other meeting homes. We come together as a whole group regularly and do not remain independent.

We use the same ruler. We measure ourselves by this ruler of just calling ourselves Christians and we measure others by the same. Why the denominations don't define themselves as just Christians and not baptist Christian, Lutheran Christian, etc.?


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I'd argue that your division is the most divided of all, the "everyone is blind but me" division. Who can have fellowship with your group.

Yes, Christianity is divided. Some is geographical, and practical, just like Meeting Hall A, and the College-age training meeting. Do you really expect every single Christian to be in one room on Sunday morning at 10 AM to hear one person speak one message?
I agree it is not practical to have "one speaking person a message", so we don't practice that. We practice that every member can function by speaking. So our approach is more practical, more like the New Testament church.

Anyone can have fellowship with us. The sign on the front says "all welcome".

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Some Christian disunity is deliberate, small-minded and unfortunate, just like in the local church where someone goes to another local church where they like the eldership better. They don't even "migrate", just drive past one meeting hall, to another. Everybody has division. Only God is undivided. We aren't there, yet.
Much of Christian disunity started 500 or so years ago. It started in your country didn't it? Still remains today right? What happened to the Christian concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation? Clearly your approach to unity does not work and is far more impractical than Lee/Nees, given the entrenched organizational structures. Are the Catholics going to open their cathedrals to the Lutherans and say "please come and celebrate your communion on our altar". Are they doing that? They will never do that.
Will the Catholics allow a Lutheran to conduct a homosexual blessing service? I doubt it.

I often see two or more large denominational buildings on the same street. There capacity each is 200, yet the regular attendance is more like 50 every Sunday. How it is practical to operate two large buildings next to each other when the attendance is so low? More practical and efficient that they both move into one building.

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But the local church of Nee and Lee solution to division is like the woman who swallowed the fly. Yes there was indeed a fly down there. But her solution was eventually to swallow a spider, cat, dog, and horse... "You strain the gnat and swallow the camel".

The camel you swallow is condemnation of everyone else for being wrong, and pleading for mercy for your defects which (you hope) are so small and few. I don't think God is impressed. I surely am not.
here is your backward logic:
It is right to condemn a group which condemns the division and stands in unity.
It is wrong to condemn denominations which are a division. Groups which stand apart from the division are seen as divisive for doing so.

But I think from what I know of God, God stands with those who are against disunity, just as Christ stood against his disciples being divided, we stand against Christianity being divided.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:35 AM   #44
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I can't help but notice you ignoring all of my points except the one on division. No answers on them? No opinions? No advice on the books they read? Nothing? Interesting...
We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves. We just call ourselves Christian.

In your last point it said:

""We are all from different denominations. For this weekend we put them aside and we worship and grow together. When we go home we can go to our denominations again".

It's kind of funny because a weekend it seems is all they can tolerate of each other.

But we are made up of people from all sorts of denominations (originally), and can meet week to week as "Christians".

So we don't have to have weekend unity, we can have regular ongoing unity.

Even if we meet with these denominations for a weekend, they would not come with us and join us week to week. So they are the divisive ones, not us.

The denominations can too, if they drop the denomination thing, but as you can see from their words, they can't wait to "go home to our denominations again".

The thing is, Christ did not build the rooms in the halls of Christianity. We did. They actually do not exist, only in the minds of those who think that division is normal.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:04 AM   #45
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We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves. We just call ourselves Christian.

In your last point it said:

""We are all from different denominations. For this weekend we put them aside and we worship and grow together. When we go home we can go to our denominations again".

It's kind of funny because a weekend it seems is all they can tolerate of each other.
You have no idea how funny ... Or should I say sad ... That this sounds to me.

You have no idea what Lee and his Blendeds have done to brothers they can't "tolerate."

But, of course, you dare not consider those facts.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:28 AM   #46
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You have no idea how funny ... Or should I say sad ... That this sounds to me.

You have no idea what Lee and his Blendeds have done to btothers they can't "tolerate."

But, of course, you dare not consider those facts.

2 Chronicles 15:7 "But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work."

1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Matt 5:12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:56 AM   #47
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We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves. We just call ourselves Christian.
By making an "us vs them" distinction you are, by doing so, making a denomination.

If you do not see the hypocrisy in this then nothing can convince you.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:00 AM   #48
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We can either have one of two things:
One person (or a select group) interpreting scripture, like the Catholic Church and cults, or individuals interpret scripture.

Which one does the LC denomination subscribe to? If the former, then you are a borderline cult and the natural question will be: "Who interprets scripture?". If the latter, then denominations make sense as people will disagree.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:07 AM   #49
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We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves.
So what? You've created a false dilemma. The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate.

And you do classify yourselves. You make it clear that you are followers of the teachings of Nee and Lee.

The fact is you are worse than a denomination. You have all the bad characteristics of the most divisive ones while pretending not to be one. So you are a denomination in spirit while not even admitting it.


Evangelical, why do so many of your posts reek with "we are so much better than everyone else." Your conceit is palpable.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:54 AM   #50
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So you are a denomination in spirit while not even admitting it.
EXACTLY what I've been trying to say.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:11 PM   #51
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So what? You've created a false dilemma. The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate.

And you do classify yourselves. You make it clear that you are followers of the teachings of Nee and Lee.

The fact is you are worse than a denomination. You have all the bad characteristics of the most divisive ones while pretending not to be one. So you are a denomination in spirit while not even admitting it.


Evangelical, why do so many of your posts reek with "we are so much better than everyone else." Your conceit is palpable.
If I have ever said we or I am better than anyone else, please quote me? Then you presume to scold me for it.

If you can't quote me, I will take your silence as admission of your false accusation.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:14 PM   #52
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So what? You've created a false dilemma. The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate.
If you want the truth, please read and pray over these verses, so that God's truth can grow in you:

https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:59 AM   #53
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If you want the truth, please read and pray over these verses, so that God's truth can grow in you:

https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations
Christians are famous for using their pet doctrines to condemn others. The nastier the "pet," the better it was. Some pf these pets are like pit bulls.

It tnen provides them with great excuse for not loving one another. The source for this is not truth, but pride.

There was a Christian out my way, who took serious the Lord's command to pray in his closet. He was thus able to visit every church around and use his favorite pet verse in order to condemn them. Would you like to meet my "pit bull?"

Since this was our Lord's direct command to the disciples, i do believe he had far more justification than any "one city one church" preacher.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:29 AM   #54
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Christians are famous for using their pet doctrines to condemn others. The nastier the "pet," the better it was. Some pf these pets are like pit bulls.

It tnen provides them with great excuse for not loving one another. The source for this is not truth, but pride.

There was a Christian out my way, who took serious the Lord's command to pray in his closet. He was thus able to visit every church around and use his favorite pet verse in order to condemn them. Would you like to meet my "pit bull?"

Since this was our Lord's direct command to the disciples, i do believe he had far more justification than any "one city one church" preacher.

“Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone -- and hurt them to the bone -- you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time.” Dave Van Ronk

This is why Paul charges us to "speak truth in love".
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:28 AM   #55
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If you want the truth
The truth about what, the proper church life? The Normal Christian Church? Or the Central Lane of the Divine Economy?

It might behoove us to mention that in Second Temple-era Israel there already existed a wide narrative on the ground among the populace, referencing scripture, about God's coming Messiah, or Christ. This pre-existant narrative is referenced repeatedly in the gospels. The main thrust of the New Testament was to show that Jesus the Nazarene was God's promised Christ. The "recovery of truth", so-called, of people like Nee and Lee, was instead a distraction and diversion, a snare and stumbling. The proper church, so-called, saved no one; but rather became a stronghold of every unclean thing, and it was papered over like the whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones (fallen human custom, traditions, and culture). Its promulgators continually attempt to get one not to look away to Jesus, but to look away from Jesus, and to stare instead at the faults of the brothers and sisters in faith. This distracts one from the obvious fact that as sinners, they're also caught by the same cobwebs and vapours they so eagerly and assiduously condemn. Just like the leaves of Adam and Eve, the new teachings cover nothing, but rather expose the separation and fall of humanity away from God's grace.

Luther did, arguably, recover truth, even necessary truth. As did others, like Wesley, later and independently, for the British (though, of course Puritans and others pre-dated him). What was their truth? To re-establish what the NT clearly laid out - that Jesus was God's Lord and Christ, and salvation was to be found in believing into his name. Salvation was not found in submission to church magistrates, or in keeping the feasts and holy days.

The recovery of the supposedly proper church by Nee did nothing to add to this. He merely borrowed Brethren teachings, and used this as a lever to separate the Chinese from the Western imperialists. Then, once established, he began to impose native Chinese culture; he was blind to his own biases. For example, he felt there must be one Big Boss, otherwise everything might dissolve into chaos. This is fallen human culture taking the letter of Paul ("God gave apostles, evangelists, prophets") and suborning both the letter and spirit of Jesus, to take the least place, for those who desire to be great. Again and again, Jesus remonstrated with His disciples not to strive for earthly primacy. But in Nee's culture it was imperative. Guess who won - culture won.

In the local church of Lee, we elevated men, were respecters of persons, despised the poor, refused to give to those who could not repay us in this age, reserved the chief seats at the feasts for dignitaries and program zealots, rejected love as "honey" and "natural affection", thought that weird, reflexive behavior was spiritual (greeting each other with, "amen, amen"), and judged "poor Christianity" continually, even as we piously claimed the mantle of Luther, Wesley et al. Our continual judgments of "denominations" made us like the man praying at the temple, despising his neighbor. Note that the despiser actually was correct in his judgments: the other one was, indeed a drunk and a liar, a pathetic noob. But instead of humbling himself and repenting, the man poured out judgment and self-righteousness: "I'm not like that sinner over there". No indeed, you're worse; you're a sinner who's lacking mercy. If you, a sinner, show no mercy you will be given none for your own sins. With what you judge others, you yourself are guilty as well.

And I haven't even gotten to the teachings! The scriptural text was mauled by Lee. As I said, the notion of God's Christ was already on the ground, when Jesus began to move about in Galilee and beyond. For example, the crowds asked John the Baptist, "Are you the Christ?" Clearly eschatological expectation was high. Herod the Idumean (Edomite) sat on the throne, as hated and feared as any man ever was by a captive populace. Where was the Son of David?

When Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God", he was drawing on an extant knowledge base and belief set. The NT was in continual reference to what was held as truth, "that which was written might be fulfilled", and hoped for in soon reality, on the ground. How else could the disciples remember, "Zeal of Thy house has eaten Me up" if they didn't already know it? They knew the prophetic utterance. Now, they realized, it was concerning Jesus. The Kingdom of God was indeed near! Because God's promised King was here.

Instead, in Nee and then Lee's oriental-flavored sheep fold, we got "God's economy", and other distractions. To him, the narrative was all about the NT believer enjoying grace, participating in the economy of God, and standing in the proper church. No, sorry; it's about Jesus. It always was, always will be. If the believer doesn't see Jesus and His relation with the Father, how can the believer enjoy "mystical union" with the Son, God's Christ? Only the Spirit can reveal the Son. Lee's logic failed.

And, then through the Son, to see the Father of Lights? No, we got a "processed God" smoothie, bland and generic. "Christ" was whatever Nee or Lee needed at any moment for perceived exigencies. Early Nee taught localism and autonomy, but later Nee taught consolidation and control. Why? Because the needs on the ground were changing, the "truth" changed along with it.

The "truth about the church" is nothing but a distraction and a stumbling. The denominations are arguably cobwebs and vapours, but this anti-denominationism is worse, it draws in those who seek Christ, and entangle their minds with thoughts of judgment and condemnation. "We're not like the denominations over there". No indeed, you're even further away from Christ, being more "of Nee and Lee" than denominations are of Luther or Wesley, or Corinthians were of Apollos or Cephas.

(Please understand that I'm not speaking of Evangelical specifically, nor his/her experience(s), but reference his/her arguments as I perceive them, and share experience and observation in the local church of Lee. And yes I'm making generalizations, just as Lee did when he said, "Most Christians don't know 'x'....". But my generalizations here are admittedly provisional and open to correction.)
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:48 PM   #56
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The truth about your statement "The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate." The Bible is the truth, so I gave you truth, because I gave you the verses about denominating.

The intention of my post should have been clear from the part of your post which I quoted, apologies if not.

I provided a page under the title of denominating, that gives 15 or 16 bible verses about denominating.

If you believe that denominations are the right way, then I encourage you to do your best to keep denominating. If not ,then do your best to live the nondenominational life. There is no middle ground, no half way between denominating and not, there is no fence upon which you can comfortably sit.

If you stand in a denomination, stand absolutely. If you stand as a free group, stand absolutely. If you stand on the ground of the church, stand absolutely. Otherwise, you are in a marsh. If you give up the denominations, yet you are not absolute for the proper ground of the church, you are in a marsh. You may also be in the local church life and not be absolute. That is a marsh. Even the Lord cannot heal a marsh. A marsh is a neutral, halfway place, full of compromise.
The Visions of Ezekiel, by Witness Lee
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:14 AM   #57
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There is no middle ground, no half way between denominating and not, there is no fence upon which you can comfortably sit.
This is what we (especially myself) are trying to tell you. You can't have it both ways. You are a denomination as well, whether you like it or not.

Like I said, either a select few interpret scripture, or individuals do. If the former you will have one church, like the Catholic Church. And we will ask: "Who interprets scripture?". If the latter, then - and the evidence is obvious - people will disagree on certain points and thus it is only natural for denominations to form. Then obviously each one (and the LC denomination fits) will believe all the others to be wrong. The problem is that most denominations are aware of the differences and they still respect and join in hands and prayer with other denominations whereas the LC denomination does neither.

THIS is the crux of the whole matter.

Funny how you ignore my replies.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:40 AM   #58
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This is what we (especially myself) are trying to tell you. You can't have it both ways. You are a denomination as well, whether you like it or not.

Like I said, either a select few interpret scripture, or individuals do. If the former you will have one church, like the Catholic Church. And we will ask: "Who interprets scripture?". If the latter, then - and the evidence is obvious - people will disagree on certain points and thus it is only natural for denominations to form. Then obviously each one (and the LC denomination fits) will believe all the others to be wrong. The problem is that most denominations are aware of the differences and they still respect and join in hands and prayer with other denominations whereas the LC denomination does neither.

THIS is the crux of the whole matter.

Funny how you ignore my replies.
You do not have the full story. We are all from denominations, we have family in denominations. We do not insist that they leave their denominations and join us. We happily meet and pray and read the Bible with our denominational family members and friends. We regularly have members of denominations join us for a meal, bible study and prayer. Sometimes Catholics, sometimes people of other faiths too such as Buddhists and Hindus. Before I left the denominations I happily met with the LC and they with me, for a number of years. No one questioned or criticized me. No one forbade me to meet with denominations. What we don't do, is build up denominationalism, that is the difference between us and denominations.

Regarding lack of respect, you will find it is the other way around. The LC is often more accepting of denominations than denominations are of it. They rejected the LC when they came to America. They published books saying they were a cult. They assumed many things and lies were spread about them. This had severe consequences for it in Asia which faced persecution. The arguments against them were largely due to cultural bias, and had little basis in reality.

After much misunderstanding, a 6 year was study done by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and with Fuller Theological Seminary and concluded "we were wrong".

I would encourage you to download and read this:
http://www.equip.org/christian-resea...-were-wrong-2/

For Christians in America, being labeled a cult member may
only result in humiliation; for Christians in Asia, it can
result in persecution to an extent we never have to worry
about here.


Lee often commended other Christian leaders and groups for their
teaching, evangelism, and good works,2 and nothing he
taught would preclude LC members from making common
cause with other Christians in areas unrelated to the
furtherance of denominationalism



Those labeling them a cult were heavily biased and did not properly research the LSM:

A number of mostly American cult theology experts immediately and completely rejected our re-assessment of the orthodoxy of LSM and associates, using as their basis the work done in the 1970s and 1980s which we believed our more recent re-evaluation had exposed as inadequate and in error (even our own previous work). Most of these experts had done no original research at any time on the teachings and practices of LSM and associates. None had conducted contemporary comprehensive re-evaluation and research. This rejection was summarized in an “Open Letter” (2007) that repeated the early criticisms and failed to produce any new criticisms as well as failed to present any new research or evaluation. Many well respected Christian leaders were persuaded to sign in support of this “Open Letter,” although the vast majority of signers had never researched or evaluated the LSM and associates teachings for themselves.


The study concluded:

I]Finally, the local churches are an authentic expression of
New Testament Christianity. Moreover, as a group forged in the
cauldron of persecution, it has much to offer Western Christianity[/I]


Here is a site of testimonies by educated people from denominations that confirms the genuineness of the local churches:

http://an-open-letter.org/testimonies/


It is the conclusion of Fuller Theological Seminary that the teachings and practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.

My conclusion is simple and straightforward–LSM is not guilty of denying any essential Christian truth that is a basic part of historical orthodoxy. While I have minor reservations about some of LSM’s ecclesiological conclusions I do not think these rise to the level of false teaching. For me these differences provide a basis for ongoing dialogue in the love of Christ.

I have come to see that these brothers deeply love the church. Their practices make some American Christians uncomfortable. I believe American Christians, in general, should be more uncomfortable with their easy-going, deeply individualistic relationship with the body of Christ. Given the need for genuine contextualization there is still work to be done but I am confident that LSM is not denying anything essential to following Jesus Christ in faith, hope and love.



You can read about the effects of calling the local churches a cult here, particularly in China where people were arrested and executed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_..._controversies
In the summer of 1976 Peter Gillquist, the presiding NCAO apostle, became the head of the new books division at Thomas Nelson Publishers (Nelson), a respected Bible publisher. The first book Gillquist commissioned was The Mindbenders by Jack Sparks.[31] Sparks was listed as the putative author but the chapter on the local churches was written by Braun, who, although he had never met with the local churches, blamed Watchman Nee and Witness Lee for his negative experience with Gene Edwards.[32][33][34][35] Meanwhile, SCP was independently developing Wallerstedt’s manuscript into a book titled The God-Men.[36] First editions of both The Mindbenders and The God-Men were published in 1977.[37][38]

Responding to the strong demand for countercult publications after the Jonestown tragedy of November 1978, second editions of both books were published.[39][40] Before and after each edition of either book was published, members of the local churches wrote letters of protest to the authors and publishers and attempts were made to contact them both personally and by phone. Nelson alone received approximately three hundred responses.[41] InterVarsity Press, the publisher of the second edition of The God-Men, received a response including over five hundred pages of supporting documentation refuting the book’s charges.[42]

The Mindbenders and The God-Men accused the local churches not just of theological error but of sociological deviance, including practicing authoritarianism, thought reform, isolation of members, deceptive recruiting, use of fear and humiliation to control members, and financial malfeasance.[43][44] Following publication, members of the local churches became objects of harassment, physical assault, and attempted deprogrammings. In addition, members were dismissed from jobs and family relationships were damaged.[45] In China the Three-Self Patriotic Movement commissioned two men to write a book to provide justification for a nationwide persecution against the local churches.[46][47][48] The authors relied on The God-Men and its accusations in their writing.[49][50] Over two thousand local church members were arrested, many were given extended sentences, and some were even executed.[51]

Fuller Theological Seminary's research found nothing really wrong with Witness Lee or the local churches:

In the first decade of the 21st century, two different groups initiated multi-year studies of the local churches, such as J. Gordon Melton called for in 1985. One was undertaken by a panel of faculty members from Fuller Theological Seminary, including President Richard J. Mouw, Dean of Theology Howard Loewen, and Professor of Systematic Theology Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen; the other was by Christian Research Institute, headed by Hank Hanegraaff, along with Answers in Action, headed by Gretchen Passantino. The Fuller panel stated:

It is the conclusion of Fuller Theological Seminary that the teachings and practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.[82]
The Fuller panel further wrote that “the teachings of Witness Lee have been grossly misrepresented and therefore most frequently misunderstood in the general Christian community, especially among those who classify themselves as evangelicals.”[83] Christianity Today endorsed the Fuller panel’s findings in an editorial in its March 2006 issue.[84]
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:31 AM   #59
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You do not have the full story. We are all from denominations, we have family in denominations. We do not insist that they leave their denominations and join us. We happily meet and pray and read the Bible with our denominational family members and friends. We regularly have members of denominations join us for a meal, bible study and prayer. Sometimes Catholics, sometimes people of other faiths too such as Buddhists and Hindus. Before I left the denominations I happily met with the LC and they with me, for a number of years. No one questioned or criticized me. No one forbade me to meet with denominations. What we don't do, is build up denominationalism, that is the difference between us and denominations.
Good to hear.

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Regarding lack of respect, you will find it is the other way around.
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After much misunderstanding, a 6 year was study done by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and with Fuller Theological Seminary and concluded "we were wrong".
When I first searched up the LC, I came across the gotquestions website which talked about them and referred to that study.

Edit: http://www.gotquestions.org/Witness-...al-church.html

Do not misinterpret me. I do not believe the LC to be a cult, merely a denomination - and that is my point. I do believe that most members are truly saved and that you are all my brothers and sisters. It is the finer points on doctrine and practice (especially in regards to other believers) which bothers me. But yes, you do believe the basics: Christ's divinity, life, death and resurrection, all for our sins. And that is what truly matters.

I looked up the word "denomination" in the Oxford English Dictionary online today. The only reason the LC cannot be classified as a denomination according to them, is the fact that you do not have an official name. That's the only reason. Otherwise you fit it very neatly.

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5. A collection of individuals classed together under the same name; now almost always spec. a religious sect or body having a common faith and organization, and designated by a distinctive name.
Common faith and organization... think about that.

Edit: It seems you need to either have a subscription with the OED, or (like me) you can access it if you are at some institution like a university. If you can't access it, I won't mind sending screenshots of the webpage.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:06 AM   #60
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We do not insist that they leave their denominations and join us.
To put it simply, do you believe that the LC (or whatever you call yourselves) is a denomination? If not, why not?
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:53 AM   #61
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To put it simply, do you believe that the LC (or whatever you call yourselves) is a denomination? If not, why not?
No, because it does not fit the description of a denomination, one of which can be found here (better to open the link because the formatting is messed up here):

http://www.gospelway.com/church/denominations.php

B. The Denominational Concept of the Church
Modern denominations include many local congregations, and they claim there is one universal church composed of all "saved" people. But they add something new - the denominations. All these "saved" people in all these local churches are now divided into denominations.
The concept of a denomination, as commonly believed today, involves all the following elements:
* Each denomination is an affiliation or confederation consisting of a number of local churches.
* Each denomination has its own peculiar name, doctrine, organization, plan of worship, etc., which distinguishes it from other denominations.
* Each denomination claims it is composed of Christians, but it does not claim to contain all faithful Christians. Each denomination believes there are faithful children of God in other denominations. "There are saved people in all the denominations." "We're all going to heaven, just by different routes." "One church is as good as another." It's just a matter of personal preference, like different kinds of cars, colors of clothes, etc. So "join the church of your choice."
Ask any informed denominationalist, and he will confirm what we have said. Ask: "Are there saved Christians in your denomination?" He will say, "Yes." Ask: "Are there Christians in other denominations, who will go to heaven?" He will say, "Yes." Ask: "Does one have to be a member of your denomination to go to heaven?" He will say, "No." So each denomination claims to consist of some Christians, but not all Christians.
A denominational preacher once said the following in a letter to me:
"There is only one 'holy Christian Church,' of which Christ is the Head, but it is now made up of many denominations ... But faith in Christ is the first criterion of membership in the holy Christian Church, and we feel that such believers can be found in all Christian denominations."


Apart from all the other signs of a denomination such as organization, a big one for me is this one:
"Each denomination claims it is composed of Christians, but it does not claim to contain all faithful Christians"

That is, a denomination thinks that some Christians are in it and other Christians are in another denomination. To denominate is to see divisions, to not denominate is to see the whole as God sees it and try and practice that.

They do not consider that all believers are in the same church in their locality, whether they are in a denomination or not.

To consider ourself different from another believer in our locality is to denominate ourself. Because the Bible teaches we are all the same (one Father, one Savior, one baptism, one Spirit etc).

The local church considers all believers to be in it as soon as they believe in Christ.

It's really just a matter of how we view ourselves and how we view other Christians.

If we consider other Christians to be not part of us for whatever reason, then we have already denominated ourselves. If the Lord's Recovery has gone this way then I suppose it is more accurate to call it a denomination.

But you must understand that each church in each locality is autonomous, so some churches may be like this and others may not be. There is no regional or top-down hierarchy and control. It depends on the path that the elders and church have taken. Have they stayed true to the teaching of Nee/Lee or have they diverged.

So it may not be correct to say that ALL local churches have become or are a denomination. I have not seen much evidence of this in mine.

In some countries and regions such as South East Asia, the local churches are mostly a scattering of people meeting in houses. In others it may look much more like any other denomination.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:34 AM   #62
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Common faith and organization... think about that.

Edit: It seems you need to either have a subscription with the OED, or (like me) you can access it if you are at some institution like a university. If you can't access it, I won't mind sending screenshots of the webpage.
It's ok about the OED, i have hard copy .

Well I've been in denominations decades longer than I have in the LC and it has never felt like a denomination to me. It could be just that they are so different to denominations that I am persuaded they are not one. Or they truly are not a denomination.

In regard to your comment I quoted above, we have the common faith but we are no organization.

That is, there is no organization called the "local church organization". Living Stream Ministry is a ministry, that is an organization. But the church is not, in keeping with the concept of the church being the Body of Christ, and not an organization of man. There is a clear distinction between church and ministry.

There is no organization, just as there was no human organization with Christ and his 12 disciples. just people grouping themselves together to serve the Lord. There is no human organization, no hierarchy, and no official, permanent leader. The organization is spiritual.

There is no pressure to come to church meetings or not come to church meetings and no pressure to say or do anything in the meetings. There is encouragement for sure, but no pressure.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:38 PM   #63
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Evangelical, the "one ocean" is the "My church" that Jesus is building. This is not the same thing as the Local Church system.
In as much as they are an organization called Local Church (which they are not), I would agree. But there is no such thing as a Local Church organization.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:19 AM   #64
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In as much as they are an organization called Local Church (which they are not), I would agree. But there is no such thing as a Local Church organization.
Organization is on the way?
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:48 AM   #65
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Wow, I wonder how the common brothers and sisters in the Local Churches feel about the huge air fares and luxury hotel and meeting accommodations being spent on these "Elders and Responsible Ones"? Why the Gold Coast in Australia? For the brothers coming from North America and Europe, you couldn't find a place on earth further and more expensive to get to.

But, what the hey, no place is too far, or too expensive or luxurious for brothers to come together to be blended!


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Old 10-08-2016, 09:21 AM   #66
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Training -
General Subject-
RETURNING TO THE ORTHODOXY OF THE CHURCH.

The book cover pic is all the info I have.
Wonder what orthodoxy they are returning to.
Theosis? Return to the Eastern Orthodoxy? They condemn Roman Catholicism.
Eastern Orthodox is organizational too. Given it is training for elders and responsible ones, church affairs have to be concerned topics, not just about training to prophesy to each other that 'we are gods'.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:31 PM   #67
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In as much as they are an organization called Local Church (which they are not), I would agree. But there is no such thing as a Local Church organization.
It doesn't matter how you parse it, or how theologically sound you think your group is. They have meeting places, whether owned or rented, a schedule of meetings, a way that they do meetings (in accordance with the LSM, all the way down to which song, or songs on occasion, will be sung) arrange to have electricity and water, and even a decision on what ministries will be acceptable for discussion. There is an organization. It is registered with the state and the city in which it meets.

The only way that there is no organization is if it has no rules (just right), no set meeting place or time, and whoever happens to show up at any random time in the same place (random, again) to read, study, pray, etc., about whatever moves them (and not the schedule maker). In that case I will agree that there is no organization.

Organization is a red herring. It is a form of equivocation in which you fail to use the word for the massive amounts of organization that always goes on, then quibble over whether certain minor things (that are not actually any different between the LCM and the rest of Christianity) are important and declare that you are not an organization. Maybe not in some very minor point. But you don't even compare your minor point to how other groups are with respect to that point. You compare that small minor point to all the regular stuff that the others do/have. As if that is the only organization you have.

You are comparing the pollution of various vehicles by pointing to the bicycle in he front yard compared to all the cars on the road. But you ignore that you also have cars. They are just not in the front yard at the moment. They are hiding behind the closed garage door so no one will know they are there.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:24 PM   #68
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It doesn't matter how you parse it, or how theologically sound you think your group is. They have meeting places, whether owned or rented, a schedule of meetings, a way that they do meetings (in accordance with the LSM, all the way down to which song, or songs on occasion, will be sung) arrange to have electricity and water, and even a decision on what ministries will be acceptable for discussion. There is an organization. It is registered with the state and the city in which it meets.
Long ago I concluded that all the pitfalls of organizational structure stem from centralization under a common headquarters. This is what the Apostle Paul faced with the Judaizers who wanted to keep Jerusalem as command central. Headquarters and Hierarchy go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other, and they fuel each other, and together they make organization. That's just the way it is.

As much as Evangelical would like to believe it, the proper name, or the supposed lack thereof, has nothing to do with organization. In the same vein, the more you call an organization an organism, the more you have hypocrisy; because hypocrisy is basically dishonesty, the refusal to admit what really is, and deception, lying to others what really is.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:44 AM   #69
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It doesn't matter how you parse it, or how theologically sound you think your group is. They have meeting places, whether owned or rented, a schedule of meetings, a way that they do meetings (in accordance with the LSM, all the way down to which song, or songs on occasion, will be sung) arrange to have electricity and water, and even a decision on what ministries will be acceptable for discussion. There is an organization. It is registered with the state and the city in which it meets.

The only way that there is no organization is if it has no rules (just right), no set meeting place or time, and whoever happens to show up at any random time in the same place (random, again) to read, study, pray, etc., about whatever moves them (and not the schedule maker). In that case I will agree that there is no organization.

Organization is a red herring. It is a form of equivocation in which you fail to use the word for the massive amounts of organization that always goes on, then quibble over whether certain minor things (that are not actually any different between the LCM and the rest of Christianity) are important and declare that you are not an organization. Maybe not in some very minor point. But you don't even compare your minor point to how other groups are with respect to that point. You compare that small minor point to all the regular stuff that the others do/have. As if that is the only organization you have.

You are comparing the pollution of various vehicles by pointing to the bicycle in he front yard compared to all the cars on the road. But you ignore that you also have cars. They are just not in the front yard at the moment. They are hiding behind the closed garage door so no one will know they are there.
I agree there is organization, there must be, otherwise it is chaos. Consider Jesus was highly organized. The times, the donkey, the last supper, the cross, the details, everything was pre-arranged. But it was not an organization.
I am saying the local church is not "an organization". You cannot find anything called the Local Church (capital L and C) Organization, anywhere.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:52 AM   #70
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I agree there is organization, there must be, otherwise it is chaos. Consider Jesus was highly organized. The times, the donkey, the last supper, the cross, the details, everything was pre-arranged. But it was not an organization.
I am saying the local church is not "an organization". You cannot find anything called the Local Church (capital L and C) Organization, anywhere.
You are splitting hairs. Look at that definition I gave you. The LC has a common faith and an organization (whether officially or no is irrelevant). You admitted to both points. That makes you a denomination.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:57 AM   #71
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You are splitting hairs. Look at that definition I gave you. The LC has a common faith and an organization (whether officially or no is irrelevant). You admitted to both points. That makes you a denomination.
Only in your eyes. Was Jesus and his 12 disciples a denomination of Judaism? Or were they the genuine church?

If we are a denomination and not the genuine local church, then please tell me who is? If you know who is a denomination then surely you know who is the genuine local church? Let's hear it.

The strange thing is most Christians know what is a denomination but they don't know what is a genuine local church. They claim to know God who is invisible yet cannot point me to any sort of visible genuine local church. In their blindness they take issue with anyone saying their church is the genuine local church and not a denomination. I wonder if you are the exception to my observation and can enlighten me?
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:57 AM   #72
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If we are a denomination and not the genuine local church, then please tell me who is? If you know who is a denomination then surely you know who is the genuine local church? Let's hear it.

The strange thing is most Christians know what is a denomination but they don't know what is a genuine local church. They claim to know God who is invisible yet cannot point me to any sort of visible genuine local church. In their blindness they take issue with anyone saying their church is the genuine local church and not a denomination. I wonder if you are the exception to my observation and can enlighten me?
Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church, this shouldn't seem exceptional to anyone.
You are making the Lc the exception, although it fits a fairly basic definition. As you are the one making the exceptional claim, the burden of proof falls to you.
You have used the phrase "genuine local church" repeatedly. Where is this phrase in the bible? Where does this concept originate?
I believe in an invisible God. I have faith that the God who lives within me and moves within my heart and the circumstances of my life, does the same in the hearts and lives of all believers. (There is a verse that confirms this somewhere.)
It stands to reason that an invisible God would build in an invisible way. As in the picture from Esther, nobody could see what happened in her heart or in the hearts of those who prayed and fasted with her, but God moved.
This talk of "genuine local church" puts me in mind of an analogy with Calvinism. They believed in God's elect and insisted on proofs from outward circumstances of believers.
Your insistence on not being a denomination reveals your judgement against your brothers and sisters trying to love and follow the Lord as best they can.
Your insistence on no name just makes you "the man in the yellow hat" or "the artist formerly known as..."
We all know the hallmarks of this form and teaching;
Conformity, a fancy lingo and judgement.

So be simple don't be hardened, drop your concepts,
Eat that tree! Take in Jesus every moment, He's so sweet!
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:49 PM   #73
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Your insistence on not being a denomination reveals your judgement against your brothers and sisters trying to love and follow the Lord as best they can.

Your insistence on no name just makes you "the man in the yellow hat" or "the artist formerly known as..."

We all know the hallmarks of this form and teaching: Conformity, a fancy lingo and judgement.
Can I add a few more infamous "no-names" to your list?
  • A Fistful of Dollars
  • For a Few Dollars More
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Thinking back on those quarantines, lawsuits, and LSM makes my list perhaps a little more appropos. At least to my generation.

IIRC, TC often mentioned "East Clintwood" in his sharing.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:05 PM   #74
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So be simple don't be hardened, drop your concepts,
Funny how every human being except Witness Lee had concepts. Only Lee had pure revelation, not needing to drop any concepts.

I believed that, once, but now the notion itself looks like fallen human concepts.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:42 PM   #75
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I believed that, once, but now the notion itself looks like fallen human concepts.
I'm not sure I follow what you're saying.
To me a concept is defined as a thought or an idea
I have multiple concepts that I wrestle with every day. I pick them up from books, TV Facebook - all the likely places. Most can be easily discredited or dismissed.
Sometimes an idea or concept can get a hold on me and shapes my interaction with the world,sometimes for decades, not a bad thing if it is not a bad idea.
The problem comes with sophomoric ideas which sound good on paper but in practice are quite damaging (communism, socialism, "genuine local church")
I included the words from the song bc I felt it would get to the heart of the matter better than my reasonings bc of the irony.
I don't really advocate dropping a concept w/o thinking, nor mindlessly accepting an unexamined teaching.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:09 PM   #76
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Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church, this shouldn't seem exceptional to anyone.
You are making the Lc the exception, although it fits a fairly basic definition. As you are the one making the exceptional claim, the burden of proof falls to you.
You have used the phrase "genuine local church" repeatedly. Where is this phrase in the bible? Where does this concept originate?
I believe in an invisible God. I have faith that the God who lives within me and moves within my heart and the circumstances of my life, does the same in the hearts and lives of all believers. (There is a verse that confirms this somewhere.)
It stands to reason that an invisible God would build in an invisible way. As in the picture from Esther, nobody could see what happened in her heart or in the hearts of those who prayed and fasted with her, but God moved.
This talk of "genuine local church" puts me in mind of an analogy with Calvinism. They believed in God's elect and insisted on proofs from outward circumstances of believers.
Your insistence on not being a denomination reveals your judgement against your brothers and sisters trying to love and follow the Lord as best they can.
Your insistence on no name just makes you "the man in the yellow hat" or "the artist formerly known as..."
We all know the hallmarks of this form and teaching;
Conformity, a fancy lingo and judgement.

So be simple don't be hardened, drop your concepts,
Eat that tree! Take in Jesus every moment, He's so sweet!
Exodus16, we do not say that believers are not part of Christ's church. That is your misrepresentation of our beliefs. We say that because believers are part of Christ's church, they should not be in denominations and should be united on the ground of locality.

Jesus the visible man, started one and only one visible church on Earth 2000 years ago. Many of the books of the New Testament are in fact letters written by God's apostle Paul to local expressions of the one church in each city (Corinth, Ephesus, Rome etc). These letters are not written to a multitude of denominations in each city. Jesus said to Peter that he will build His church. This is where the idea of a genuine local church comes from. He did not say "I will build many denominations". So can you please tell me which church today is the one genuine visible church on Earth?
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:50 PM   #77
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Exodus16, we do not say that believers are not part of Christ's church. That is your misrepresentation of our beliefs. We say that because believers are part of Christ's church, they should not be in denominations and should be united on the ground of locality[
My dear brother, normally I do not even participate in circular debate, it always goes nowhere. However, to be united on the doctrine of locality IS the definition of a denomination. To denominate based upon different interpretations of doctrine is very common as you well know. If your unity is based upon locality then you are no different than the Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc...; each have their distinguishing doctrines that set them apart. Likewise, LSM Churches have their own branded doctrine as well. You are simply trying to convince us that your denomination is better than the rest.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:58 PM   #78
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NewManLiving, if I leave a denomination and call myself just a Christian and meet with other Christians in my locality, I am not in a denomination. Because of that reason, I am in a better condition than being in a degraded denomination. My denomination is not better, because I don't have a denomination.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:20 PM   #79
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It is unclear to me what you really think. If you are part of the LSM franchise churches then you are most definitely in a denomination. On the other hand, if you believe that there can be a so-called local church without the Blendeds blessing or using any LSM materials; simply by coming together for the sake of unity in a city then you have a most difficult task. That would require you stick to the fundamentals of our common faith. So tell me brother where do you stand? You can't have it both ways. I believe that even you can't deny that LSM is an organization. No book ministry was ever in charge and in complete control of the Churches of God at any time. LSM authoritarianism is NOT found in the New Testament.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:28 PM   #80
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NewManLiving, you are forgetting or perhaps not aware that I believe LSM is an organization and that it is perfectly acceptable for a ministry to have an organization. But the church belongs to God and not something built by the hands of men but men working in cooperation with God. (On this point many mistakenly believe that something built by God does not involve fallen men or is purely an invisible and spiritual thing.) I would reference Nee's writings about the difference between the church and the ministry. Many people and on this forum do not know the difference between church and ministry and cannot differentiate between the two. In regards to the practical administration of each local church, we don't have to use LSM material, just the Bible is fine. There is no one from LSM leadership telling us what to do so there is no authoritarianism. In fact, there is a thread on this forum showing the diversity of views and practices (Indonesia, for example). Two local churches may be completely different, yet both use LSM material and be in fellowship with the BB.

There is no authoritarianism, as evidenced by many local church websites, for example this one:

http://pj.localchurch.my/faq.php

Who is your leader?
Our unique leader is Christ. We have no official, permanent, organized human leadership. Furthermore, there is no hierarchy of any kind and no worldwide leader. We regard no person as infallible, and we do not follow anyone blindly. On the contrary, we follow only those whose teaching and practice is in accordance with the truth of God's Word. Those who take the lead do not lord it over the saints, but rather shepherd them in love. Likewise, those who serve the Lord do not control the churches, but rather serve them as bondslaves of Christ in the ministry of the living Word



In fact if you or others attend a denomination or even a small nondenominational house church or community church with a so and so pastor or priest, and you cannot have a church meeting or service if that pastor or priest is not present, I can quickly show you that you have a leader with an authoritarian structure, much more easily than you can say about us.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:46 PM   #81
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Brother it is you that does not know the difference. Do you really think that I or anyone else on this board accept your eutopic view of LSM churches. LSM churches support the ministry. We all know what Nee said but what Nee said is NOT the practice of diehard LSM churches. There is one and only one publication and it's not the Bible. Try standing up in a meeting and quote something from a Stephen Kaung book (do you know who he is) or anyone else beside Nee or Lee and you will be shot down. I think you know this brother. Many of us tried to defend it in the beginning, same as you. I truly believe that you are trying to convince yourself not us. That is why you say one thing and then contradict it with another
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:01 PM   #82
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Our autonomy and independence without any sort of authoritarianism is the reason why I can be on this forum today and my experiences and testimony can be completely different from yours or anyone else.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:39 PM   #83
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My question was concerning what you can and cannot say in an LSM controlled church. The brother, Stephen Kaung I mentioned is 101 years old and a co-worker of Nee as was Lee. He is a humble servant of Christ and completely Christ centered. Stephen was in the USA and began a work for the Lord before WL arrived in the USA. As a matter of fact he helped WL come here. WL subsequently took over by subversion some of the assemblies started by Kaung. He built upon another man's work. This subversive practice of taking over local assemblies also happened in India. I would venture to say it still goes on. Now our brother Kaung did not sue or make a fuss he just left it to the Lord and moved elsewhere. He is still preaching the riches of Christ today at various conferences and localities. The Lord has blessed his humble servant with a long life for his obiedience and his self denial. Now this brother also has books available to read which are full of light. You or anyone else in an LSM controlled church dare not even mention his name. I challange you if you are as free as you say you are to read others' material and discuss it in a meeting. You would be cut off and you know it. As for being on this board I seriously doubt anyone knows it but yourself
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:22 PM   #84
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Quote from Evangelical:
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"Our autonomy and independence without any sort of authoritarianism is the reason why I can be on this forum today and my experiences and testimony can be completely different from yours or anyone else."
Dear brother Evangelical,

I appreciate that you have come to this site to discuss the local churches with us.

I have been sitting on the sidelines of your discussions in this forum, partly because I have precious little time to participate these days, and partly because I have no heart to "debate".

Are you aware that many who frequent these boards have spent decades of our lives associated with the local churches? I myself was from 1978 to 2015.

So, when we say that the Living Stream Ministry exerts authoritarian rule over the local churches, and the Bible is secondary to Living Stream Ministry materials in church teaching and governance it isn't doctrinal. That's simply, and sadly what we observed.

Grace to you, in Christ.

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Old 10-12-2016, 12:38 AM   #85
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Our autonomy and independence without any sort of authoritarianism is the reason why I can be on this forum today and my experiences and testimony can be completely different from yours or anyone else.
Sounds good. Let us continue to hear from you.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:13 AM   #86
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Brother it is you that does not know the difference. Do you really think that I or anyone else on this board accept your eutopic view of LSM churches. LSM churches support the ministry. We all know what Nee said but what Nee said is NOT the practice of diehard LSM churches. There is one and only one publication and it's not the Bible. Try standing up in a meeting and quote something from a Stephen Kaung book (do you know who he is) or anyone else beside Nee or Lee and you will be shot down. I think you know this brother. Many of us tried to defend it in the beginning, same as you. I truly believe that you are trying to convince yourself not us. That is why you say one thing and then contradict it with another
I too was actively serving in the LC's for 30 years, until the quarantines in the GLA began, and I got to see through the facade of our supposed "heavenly vision," which all faithful members were obedient to. The "heavenly" part was nothing more than idealistic, pseudo-spiritual teachings promoted by Nee and Lee, which no one at LSM ever cared to practice. The "vision" part simply demanded an allegiance to headquarters, overruling both the Lord, the scriptures, and our consciences.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:06 AM   #87
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Exodus16, we do not say that believers are not part of Christ's church. That is your misrepresentation of our beliefs. We say that because believers are part of Christ's church, they should not be in denominations and should be united on the ground of locality.

Jesus the visible man, started one and only one visible church on Earth 2000 years ago. Many of the books of the New Testament are in fact letters written by God's apostle Paul to local expressions of the one church in each city (Corinth, Ephesus, Rome etc). These letters are not written to a multitude of denominations in each city. Jesus said to Peter that he will build His church. This is where the idea of a genuine local church comes from. He did not say "I will build many denominations". So can you please tell me which church today is the one genuine visible church on Earth?
I don't believe I am misrepresenting your beliefs, your own words are.
By set up denominations as the opposite of the genuine local church ipso facto those who meet with denominations are not part of the genuine local church.
In response to your biblical references, Christ said I will build my church, without qualifiers. I can point at his visible church, whenever believers gather together in His name. Regardless of what doctrines and teachings they espouse, if they love the Lord and believe his word. Amen. (and I've given you a bit of wiggle room with believe his word - believe doesn't mean agree with another's interpretation)
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:11 PM   #88
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In your previous post, you said "Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church". You claimed that we say that believers are not part of Christ's church.

But we never say believers are not part of Christ's church.

The church is expressed on this earth in localities, and where there is an expression of the church, that expression must be one. Let us be simple. Let us not be complicated by the confusion in Christianity. It is a shame to ask people what church they belong to. If someone is a brother, that is all we need to know. I belong to the church, and you belong to the church. We all belong to the church.
Witness Lee, Basic Principles for the Practice of the Church Life

What you believe in is a confusion of different fellowships within the one city and not biblical Christianity. The situation of Christians being divided according to denomination is not biblical. These are not "one visible church" as you claim, but many visible denominations.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:11 PM   #89
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What you believe in is a confusion of different fellowships within the one city and not biblical Christianity. The situation of Christians being divided according to denomination is not biblical. These are not "one visible church" as you claim, but many visible denominations.
Lee established false standards for Christian meetings in order to condemn the rest of the body of Christ. For example, even though the New Testament rejects circumcision as a requirement for salvation (Acts 15.1, 28), it does allow for for both Jewish and Gentile ministries (Gal 2.7-9). These, in effect, were two emerging N.T. denominations, contrary to Evangelical's rigorous claims. You can say that circumcision is nothing, neither is uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Gal 6.15) Cannot the body of Christ also say that Luther is nothing, Baptism is nothing, Pentecostalism is nothing, locality is nothing, but we are all one in Christ!

It doesn't take more than a passing interest in people to know that different peoples need different meetings of the church, and for sure churches would develop over time to meet these different needs. The N.T. mentions widows, for example, (Acts 6, I Timothy 5) and were not many gatherings, prayers, fellowships, etc. needed to care for them? If a church is primarily a widow-serving church (e.g. Gahanna Community Church) is it not still a church, though it is affiliated with widow-serving churches around the world? Or is it a dreaded denomination because of the burden the Lord put in their heart?

LSM prides itself with all their language meetings, i.e. Chinese-speaking, Spanish-speaking, college-speaking, new-ones-speaking (Yes, I have heard all of this) It is a joke to declare that some of the larger churches do not have "divided" English and Chinese churches in the same city. They have different places to meet, different offerings, different leaders, etc. but since both are attached to LSM, they declare them as "one church" in the city, with, of course, 94.5% of its members living in different cities.

Hypocrisy, my friends, is doing what they do, but claiming you do not, so that you can condemn them. (Romans 2.1)
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:08 PM   #90
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Ohio, yes, believers who attend Lutheran church can indeed say that. And so can those who attend the Baptist church on the same street. But then if they believe that they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names. That is, Christ and their locality is not enough for fellowship.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:01 PM   #91
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Ohio, yes, believers who attend Lutheran church can indeed say that. And so can those who attend the Baptist church on the same street. But then if they believe that they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names. That is, Christ and their locality is not enough for fellowship.
Christ plus locality?
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:11 PM   #92
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Christ plus locality?

Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

We need locality to be "assembled together".

Christ covers only the spiritual aspect. Locality covers the practical aspect.

It is possible to fellowship in locality but not in Christ, and in Christ but not in locality. The internet is an example of that. This forum is somewhat a fellowship. Does it make this forum a church? No. We are not floating spirits, we have physical bodies and are constrained by space and time. So the locality is important.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:30 PM   #93
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Ohio, yes, believers who attend Lutheran church can indeed say that. And so can those who attend the Baptist church on the same street. But then if they believe that they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names. That is, Christ and their locality is not enough for fellowship.
Columbus, OH has three LC's. One is of Lee, one is of Chu, and one is of Christ.

If they are all one, all on the local ground, all standing for the testimony of Jesus, then as you say, "they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names."

Obviously there are serious problems with your thought lines. There is far more bad blood between these three lovely congregations, than there is in any three other congregations in town. A few lawsuits will do that. Why did this have to happen? Columbus is not unique. Some cities have more than 3 divisions.

Given enough time, they will be like the Exclusives in London who literally had 20 different gatherings, all claiming to originate from the visionary teachings of John Darby, who btw was the source of Nee's "revelations."

Like I said, your utopean vision produces only more divisions, and has never been practiced in church history. It exists only as a matter of pride, a self-roghteous pride that enables its adherents to condemn all outsiders, while sitting in trainings shouting their slogans to one another.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:31 PM   #94
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Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

We need locality to be "assembled together".

Christ covers only the spiritual aspect. Locality covers the practical aspect.

It is possible to fellowship in locality but not in Christ, and in Christ but not in locality. The internet is an example of that. This forum is somewhat a fellowship. Does it make this forum a church? No. We are not floating spirits, we have physical bodies and are constrained by space and time. So the locality is important.
Yes, assembly is important, but not locality.
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:19 PM   #95
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Columbus, OH has three LC's. One is of Lee, one is of Chu, and one is of Christ.

If they are all one, all on the local ground, all standing for the testimony of Jesus, then as you say, "they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names."

Obviously there are serious problems with your thought lines. There is far more bad blood between these three lovely congregations, than there is in any three other congregations in town. A few lawsuits will do that. Why did this have to happen? Columbus is not unique. Some cities have more than 3 divisions.

Given enough time, they will be like the Exclusives in London who literally had 20 different gatherings, all claiming to originate from the visionary teachings of John Darby, who btw was the source of Nee's "revelations."

Like I said, your utopean vision produces only more divisions, and has never been practiced in church history. It exists only as a matter of pride, a self-roghteous pride that enables its adherents to condemn all outsiders, while sitting in trainings shouting their slogans to one another.
Like so many things in the Christian life the Bible sets the high standard and church is no exception. Wasn't easy for the apostle Paul either and was not meant to be a recipe for success. Yet practical oneness should still be the goal and I believe this was Paul's vision as well.
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:26 PM   #96
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In your previous post, you said "Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church". You claimed that we say that believers are not part of Christ's church.

But we never say believers are not part of Christ's church.


What you believe in is a confusion of different fellowships within the one city and not biblical Christianity. The situation of Christians being divided according to denomination is not biblical. These are not "one visible church" as you claim, but many visible denominations.
There you did it again. You just said when I meet with believers, but not according to your prescribed doctrine, I am not the visible church. I knew Pentecostal who said I didn't have the Spirit bc I didn't pray in tongues. I didn't let that slide either.
Every time believers gather together, they assemble those are synonymous terms. That's the church, simple as could be.
we're all human and fallen and every biblical church was full of arguing and sin and division even as today. In the world we live in everything is confusion, anyone who says differently is selling something.

Last edited by Exodus16; 10-12-2016 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Conflating two threads
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:57 PM   #97
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There you did it again. You just said when I pray with a sister at the baseball diamond that is not the visible church. Every time believers gather together, they assemble those are synonymous terms. That's the church, simple as could be.
Except we're all human and fallen and every biblical church was full of arguing and sin and division even as today. In the world we live in everything is confusion, anyone who says differently is selling something.
You and a sister praying together are in the one church, but you can't claim to be "the church" or "a church". Those words would be exclusive to every other believer in your city. I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".

If we cut up a body and scattered the body parts around a city, and called each body part "a church", that is the situation of denominationalism and Christianity today, where each "body part" considers itself to be a church. Similarly we cannot look at the arm and say "that is the body", and look at the leg and say "that is the body". Obviously they are only body parts.

On this basis, that is why if you say you and a sister praying are "a church", you are wrong, and if you say you are "the church", you are also wrong.

Only if we consider all of those parts to belong to the one body, can we call it "a church" and "the church".

I draw your attention to the fact that the context of Matthew 18:15-20 which talks about two or three gathered in Christ's name, is dealing with a sinning brother and prayers of agreement. In fact, if you compare Matthew 18:16 with 18:17, you will see that it says to tell it to the two or three, and then tell it to the church. Clearly, the two or three cannot be the church. The church is something more than just two or three gathered together, it involves a godly appointed leadership and administration. Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church".
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:59 AM   #98
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I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".

. . .Only if we consider all of those parts to belong to the one body, can we call it "a church" and "the church".
The Lord Jesus said that if two or more gather in His name, He will be there among us. But you say, "That's not the church". So the presence of the Spirit of Christ is insufficient?

And from thence, how much further, to the Great Harlot, with a scarlet robe and gilded cup full of abominations? Not too far, in my estimation.

And how much further, to the One Publication edict, with no buying or selling in the "local churches" apart from the Mark of the Ministry? Not much further, just a little more.

To me, this is someone coming along and saying, "Everyone but me is in confusion and division. I'm here to save you. My logical constructs will show you the way home." Servitude follows forthwith. This is not the home Christ promised.

"For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand fast, therefore, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of slavery."

I remember once, when the Ascended Master in Anaheim had an inspiration, that we all gather in Vital Teams by geography, and go and canvas the neighbourhood for the New Move of the Lord. In six years, he said, the Lord would return. We watched this on video in silence . . . the video ended. Silence. Then one sister piped up brightly, "But it's the church!" Nothing was too ridiculous for us, we felt. Because it's the church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:50 AM   #99
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The Lord Jesus said that if two or more gather in His name, He will be there among us. But you say, "That's not the church". So the presence of the Spirit of Christ is insufficient?
aron,

Well you don't understand what the Lord Jesus meant. The verse does not say that 2 or 3 gathered is a church. It is talking about 2 or 3 witnesses as per 2 Cor 13:1 "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

The context is dealing with a sinning brother and prayers of agreement, and we can see that it says if a person does not listen to the two or three, then tell it to the church (compare verse 16 and verse 17). So clearly, the church is bigger than just the two or three, and the church is not the two or three. Reading from verse 15 gives the right context, and for convenience, many bible versions have titled this section "dealing with a sinning brother".

Dealing with a Sinning Brother (MKJV) Matthew 18:15-20
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

The local church is a bigger city-wide entity, with a leadership (elders were appointed in every church) and with an administration and authority (Matthew 18:17). So it's not right to say two or three gathered are "the church".
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:59 AM   #100
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aron,

The verse does not say that 2 or 3 gathered is a church.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whenever two or three of you are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst."

But you say this is insufficient, and propose improvements, necessary ones.

I remember distinctly that the Ascended Master in Anaheim felt we weren't vital enough, and sent out trainers. They had us come up front and thrust out our two arms as we sang, "PSRP/BNPB makes the eagle fly", and as we waved them up and down. Such was the spirit then motivating the assembly.

But it's the church, right?
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:09 AM   #101
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"Truly, truly, I say to you, whenever two or three of you are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst."

But you say this is insufficient, and propose improvements, necessary ones.

I remember distinctly that the Ascended Master in Anaheim felt we weren't vital enough, and sent out trainers. They had us come up front and thrust out our two arms as we sang, "PSRP/BNPB makes the eagle fly", and as we waved them up and down. Such was the spirit then motivating the assembly.

But it's the church, right?
If two or three are the church as you say, then how do you explain "the church" in verse 17 here?:

Matthew 18: 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Matthew 18:17 And if he refuses to hear them (the two or three, emphasis mine), tell it to the church.

Obviously, the two or three in verse 16 is not the same as the church in verse 17.

It is saying, in verse 15, talk to your brother first, then in verse 16, take one or two with you (that is the two or three), and then in verse 17, tell it to "the church". Obviously two or three brothers with you cannot be "the church". Telling it to the church means tell it to the elders of the church. The church is not just two or three, it is bigger than that.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:13 AM   #102
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aron,

19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.".
It says, "concerning anything", not "concerning a sinning brother". Why be so narrow, and restrictive in interpretation? Because your preferred reading forces it?
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:19 AM   #103
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"Truly, truly, I say to you, whenever two or three of you are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst."

But you say this is insufficient, and propose improvements, necessary ones.

I remember distinctly that the Ascended Master in Anaheim felt we weren't vital enough, and sent out trainers. They had us come up front and thrust out our two arms as we sang, "PSRP/BNPB makes the eagle fly", and as we waved them up and down. Such was the spirit then motivating the assembly.

But it's the church, right?
It's very safe to say, in the context of those scripture, that "tell it to the church" is to tell it to the elders, not to tell it to the whole city of believers. And they most probably were the elders in the assembly the two parties met with.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:20 AM   #104
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It says, "concerning anything", not "concerning a sinning brother". Why be so narrow, and restrictive in interpretation? Because your preferred reading forces it?
Because I've bothered to look up the verses and the context. "concerning anything" is a general statement and also includes the context of the previous verses about a sinning brother (presumably to pray and agree about what action should be taken). Still doesn't prove that two or three can be a church. You'd have to explain why it says we should "tell the church" in verse 17. By your reckoning, just having two or three with you should be enough (verse 16).

I agree that Jesus is in the midst of two or three, but that doesn't make those two or three a church, anymore than the Lord's presence with us individually makes us a church.

Jesus sent his disciples out two by two:

Mark 6:7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.

To say that two or three can be a church, is to say that the 12 disciples were in fact 6 churches which doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:13 AM   #105
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Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

We need locality to be "assembled together".
No, you do not. You need people to be assembled together. And that is what the church is--people.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:14 AM   #106
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You and a sister praying together are in the one church, but you can't claim to be "the church" or "a church". Those words would be exclusive to every other believer in your city. I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".
But that is exactly what the LC does. You get certain few people together who all wish to behave in a certain way, and then you call that "the church."
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:23 AM   #107
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But that is exactly what the LC does. You get certain few people together who all wish to behave in a certain way, and then you call that "the church."
By behave in a certain way, do you mean singing hymns, praying and remembering the Lord with the Lord's table as He instructed? And each local church is different really in how it does things. Some have music, some don't, some divide into groups for the prophesying meeting, others remain in one big group, etc.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:24 AM   #108
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No, you do not. You need people to be assembled together. And that is what the church is--people.
How can we assemble together without locality? People must be in the same area.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:34 AM   #109
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I agree that Jesus is in the midst of two or three, but that doesn't make those two or three a church, anymore than the Lord's presence with us individually makes us a church.
According to Witness Lee's exposition on Ephesians, this book by Paul defines the church as being 7 things:

1. The Body of Christ

2. The New Man

3. The Kingdom

4. The Household of God

5. The Dwelling Place of God

6. The Bride of Christ

7. The Warrior

So then let us consider these 7

1. If two are three are gathering together in the Lord's name, and He is in their midst, they are genuine believers, they are surely the Body of Christ. Perhaps they are merely a fingertip, but we would all agree that a fingertip is part of our body.

2. According to WL the difference between the Body and the New Man is that the New Man needs both life and the person of Jesus Christ. But, if Jesus is in their midst, then surely they have the person of Jesus Christ.

3. The kingdom requires the King. Every member is a citizen with both rights and responsibilities. There is absolutely no reason why these two or three would not be exercising their rights, carrying out their responsibilities, and be in fellowship with the king.

4. Household refers to the "life and enjoyment", the "family life" of the church. No one can say that two or three is insufficient to have this type of experience. As long as Jesus is in the midst they can surely be the household of God.

5. The dwelling place of God -- clearly Jesus word that He would be in their midst is evidence that they can be the dwelling place of God.

6. The Bride of Christ, like the Bride of Adam given because it was not good for Adam to be alone. If two or three are meeting with the Lord in the midst then they are clearly not alone and there is no reason to say that this cannot be the Bride of Christ.

7. The Warrior -- 1 will chase a thousand, two ten thousand, and who knows how many three will chase. Combine these with the Lord Jesus. Surely they can be a warrior.

Let's also talk about hypocrisy. I once met with a "church" in the LRC that had 3 members (1 family and me, they did have very small children, too young to be believers). We met every Sunday for our worship service. We were encouraged to do this and discouraged from looking for a local Christian meeting. This was in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1986-1987.

Imagine the hypocrisy of teaching that two or three cannot be a church until of course the alternative is having your members meet with other Christians, then of course it can be.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:39 AM   #110
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According to Witness Lee's exposition on Ephesians, this book by Paul defines the church as being 7 things:

1. The Body of Christ

2. The New Man

3. The Kingdom

4. The Household of God

5. The Dwelling Place of God

6. The Bride of Christ

7. The Warrior

So then let us consider these 7

1. If two are three are gathering together in the Lord's name, and He is in their midst, they are genuine believers, they are surely the Body of Christ. Perhaps they are merely a fingertip, but we would all agree that a fingertip is part of our body.

2. According to WL the difference between the Body and the New Man is that the New Man needs both life and the person of Jesus Christ. But, if Jesus is in their midst, then surely they have the person of Jesus Christ.

3. The kingdom requires the King. Every member is a citizen with both rights and responsibilities. There is absolutely no reason why these two or three would not be exercising their rights, carrying out their responsibilities, and be in fellowship with the king.

4. Household refers to the "life and enjoyment", the "family life" of the church. No one can say that two or three is insufficient to have this type of experience. As long as Jesus is in the midst they can surely be the household of God.

5. The dwelling place of God -- clearly Jesus word that He would be in their midst is evidence that they can be the dwelling place of God.

6. The Bride of Christ, like the Bride of Adam given because it was not good for Adam to be alone. If two or three are meeting with the Lord in the midst then they are clearly not alone and there is no reason to say that this cannot be the Bride of Christ.

7. The Warrior -- 1 will chase a thousand, two ten thousand, and who knows how many three will chase. Combine these with the Lord Jesus. Surely they can be a warrior.

Let's also talk about hypocrisy. I once met with a "church" in the LRC that had 3 members (1 family and me, they did have very small children, too young to be believers). We met every Sunday for our worship service. We were encouraged to do this and discouraged from looking for a local Christian meeting. This was in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1986-1987.

Imagine the hypocrisy of teaching that two or three cannot be a church until of course the alternative is having your members meet with other Christians, then of course it can be.
I can claim those 7 things of myself as an individual, but I am not a church or the church. I think there is something missing and that is the city boundary of locality.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:39 AM   #111
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By behave in a certain way, do you mean singing hymns, praying and remembering the Lord with the Lord's table as He instructed?
No, I mean like meeting at 10AM, brothers in the front row, sisters in the second row, to sing from the LSM hymnal--"Praise of the Lord," then "Remembrance of the Lord," and then "Worship of the Father"--before the 5-minute "opening word" delivered on the LSM outline, followed by the 2-minute "prophecies" on the Witness Lee excerpts, finished with the 5-minute "closing word."

If you really believed that all that is required for a "local church" is singing, praying, and remembering the Lord--on the ground of locality, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:41 AM   #112
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How can we assemble together without locality? People must be in the same area.
You seem to have morphed the concept of location into the very LC concept of "locality." The verse you quoted does not say anything about that.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:45 AM   #113
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No, I mean like meeting at 10AM, brothers in the front row, sisters in the second row, to sing from the LSM hymnal--"Praise of the Lord," then "Remembrance of the Lord," and then "Worship of the Father"--before the 5-minute "opening word" delivered on the LSM outline, followed by the 2-minute "prophecies" on the Witness Lee excerpts, finished with the 5-minute "closing word."

If you really believed that all that is required for a "local church" is singing, praying, and remembering the Lord--on the ground of locality, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.
We aren't the church because we do these things in a certain way but because we meet to fellowship with and remember the Lord. These things have evolved over the years in what we do and things change. Sometimes we don't have the prophesying meeting because of other matters, sometimes it becomes a prayer meeting instead. Sometimes the meeting starts at 9.45 am and other times starts at 10.20 am. For example. But the things we do don't make us the church, it's who we are.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:47 AM   #114
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You seem to have morphed the concept of location into the very LC concept of "locality." The verse you quoted does not say anything about that.
The concept means what it says. Locality is "the state or fact of being local or having a location". The Bible mentions a church in Corinth (a locality/location), a church in Ephesus (a locality/location etc).
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:48 AM   #115
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We aren't the church because we do these things in a certain way but because we meet to fellowship with and remember the Lord. These things have evolved over the years in what we do and things change. Sometimes we don't have the prophesying meeting because of other matters, sometimes it becomes a prayer meeting instead. Sometimes the meeting starts at 9.45 am and other times starts at 10.20 am. For example.
Who is "we"?

As I said, if that was what you actually believed, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.

Answer me this--Ohio mentioned places like Columbus or Toronto that have more than one group meeting on the "ground of locality." How do you distinguish which is legitimate?
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:50 AM   #116
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The concept means what it says. Locality is "the state or fact of being local or having a location". The Bible mentions a church in Corinth (a locality/location), a church in Ephesus (a locality/location etc).
The "church in Corinth" simply means the part of the church (the people) who are in the city of Corinth--in other words, all the believers in Corinth.

People in the LC would claim to agree this is what it means, but practice otherwise.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:50 AM   #117
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I can claim those 7 things of myself as an individual, but I am not a church or the church. I think there is something missing and that is the city boundary of locality.
Great, why don't you clear this up for us. Exactly how many believers does it take to be a church? Also it is understood that these two or three meeting together are doing it in a locality, so a city boundary is included in this definition. For example, when I met with that family in Hanover we were within the city boundary of Hanover. So did the three of us constitute the church in Hanover, NH?

Can 4? How about 10? How about 25? What exactly is the minimum acceptable number to be a church?
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:51 AM   #118
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Also, Evangelical, you changed Hebrews 10:25 ("not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together") to say: "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together on the ground of locality."

But that is not what it says.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:54 AM   #119
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Who is "we"?

As I said, if that was what you actually believed, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.

Answer me this--Ohio mentioned places like Columbus or Toronto that have more than one group meeting on the "ground of locality." How do you distinguish which is legitimate?
Not really, brethren do not hold to one church per city.

I am not familiar with the church in these cities but having three local churches in one locality without fellowship with or recognition of each other would be a divided local church to me.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:56 AM   #120
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Also, Evangelical, you changed Hebrews 10:25 ("not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together") to say: "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together on the ground of locality."

But that is not what it says.
Neither does it say "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together in your favorite denomination". The locality is to stress we meet because of our location and not our denominational preference or any other thing.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:59 AM   #121
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Great, why don't you clear this up for us. Exactly how many believers does it take to be a church? Also it is understood that these two or three meeting together are doing it in a locality, so a city boundary is included in this definition. For example, when I met with that family in Hanover we were within the city boundary of Hanover. So did the three of us constitute the church in Hanover, NH?

Can 4? How about 10? How about 25? What exactly is the minimum acceptable number to be a church?
It takes all the believers in the city to be a church I think. If you met on the ground of locality within the city boundary I think you were the genuine church in Hanover, but all believers in the city should fellowship with you too.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:03 AM   #122
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The "church in Corinth" simply means the part of the church (the people) who are in the city of Corinth--in other words, all the believers in Corinth.

People in the LC would claim to agree this is what it means, but practice otherwise.
And also, the church in Corinth had a plurality of elders and some sort of administration, and not just a group of believers in the city. Yes, LC hypocrisy has been pointed out by many, but the local church in each city needs some sort of administration and eldership.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:04 AM   #123
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...but all believers in the city should fellowship with you too.
How about YOU should fellowship with all believers in the city.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:06 AM   #124
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How about YOU should fellowship with all believers in the city.
If the city has only a Roman Catholic church and a Jehovah Witness church, for example, please tell me how we should do that? We should join their services are you saying? The Catholic think I've come to join them to become a Catholic and want to baptize me and the JW do as well. What should I do?
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:08 AM   #125
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If the city has only a Roman Catholic church and a Jehovah Witness church, for example, please tell me how we should do that? We should join their services are you saying?
How many people do you have to have to have a church? You said that 3 is not enough. What is the minimum number?
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:23 AM   #126
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How many people do you have to have to have a church? You said that 3 is not enough. What is the minimum number?
The context of 3 not being enough was 2 or 3 calling themselves a church or the church, to the exclusion of a larger number of believers in the same city. If there truly is only 2 or 3 believers in a city that is enough for a church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:55 AM   #127
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Let's also talk about hypocrisy. I once met with a "church" in the LRC that had 3 members

Imagine the hypocrisy of teaching that two or three cannot be a church until of course the alternative is having your members meet with other Christians, then of course it can be.
The FIRST table meeting in the Recovery was W. Nee and a few sisters who broke bread.

Heard that story numerous times.

Does Evangelical now tell us that was NOT a church meeting?
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:58 AM   #128
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No, I mean like meeting at 10AM, brothers in the front row, sisters in the second row, to sing from the LSM hymnal--"Praise of the Lord," then "Remembrance of the Lord," and then "Worship of the Father"--before the 5-minute "opening word" delivered on the LSM outline, followed by the 2-minute "prophecies" on the Witness Lee excerpts, finished with the 5-minute "closing word."

If you really believed that all that is required for a "local church" is singing, praying, and remembering the Lord--on the ground of locality, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.
And they tell us when to stand up, kneel, and then sit down.

Sounds like the Catholic Church I grew up in.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:02 AM   #129
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The FIRST table meeting in the Recovery was W. Nee and a few sisters who broke bread.

Heard that story numerous times.

Does Evangelical now tell us that was NOT a church meeting?
The context is found in #122, Koinonia said every time we gather, two or three, that we are a church or the church.

Doesn't make sense because, when 10 families drive to church on a Sunday morning and pray in the car, they are not 10 churches. When Christ sent out his disciples two by two, he did not send out 6 churches, etc.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:05 AM   #130
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If the city has only a Roman Catholic church and a Jehovah Witness church, for example, please tell me how we should do that? We should join their services are you saying? The Catholic think I've come to join them to become a Catholic and want to baptize me and the JW do as well. What should I do?
I said fellowship with believers. Yet, you changed this to a comment about
JW and Catholic meetings.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:07 AM   #131
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We aren't the church because we do these things in a certain way but because we meet to fellowship with and remember the Lord. These things have evolved over the years in what we do and things change. Sometimes we don't have the prophesying meeting because of other matters, sometimes it becomes a prayer meeting instead. Sometimes the meeting starts at 9.45 am and other times starts at 10.20 am. For example. But the things we do don't make us the church, it's who we are.
I love that last line. It explains it all. The basic message is simple: You and only you are the true church. Nobody else is the church.

You can do anything you like, but it's still OK, cause you are the church.

Other congregations are not the church, no matter what they do.

That, my dear friend, is a recipe for corruption. It's no wonder that Lee's subordinates began proclaiming, "even if Lee is wrong, he's still right."

Do you have any idea how much unrighteousness Witness Lee & Sons Ministry LLC has gotten away with based on the dissemination of that thought.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:07 AM   #132
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I said fellowship with believers. Yet, you changed this to a comment about
JW and Catholic meetings.
I know, and believers are in JW and Catholic meetings and a multitude of other denominations. You see we face a practical difficulty in fellow shipping with all believers.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:07 AM   #133
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The context of 3 not being enough was 2 or 3 calling themselves a church or the church, to the exclusion of a larger number of believers in the same city. If there truly is only 2 or 3 believers in a city that is enough for a church.
So you are now saying that 2 or 3 are a church, the requirement is to "call yourself a church"?
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:09 AM   #134
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I love that last line. It explains it all. The basic message is simple: You and only you are the true church. Nobody else is the church.

You can do anything you like, but it's still OK, cause you are the church.

Other congregations are not the church, no matter what they do.

That, my dear friend, is a recipe for corruption. It's no wonder that Lee's subordinates began proclaiming, "even if Lee is wrong, he's still right."

Do you have any idea how much unrighteousness Witness Lee & Sons Ministry LLC has gotten away with based on the dissemination of that thought.
I am pretty sure that it is who Jesus is that makes us the church. Receiving him is enough for salvation, two or three gathering together into His name is enough to be a "gathering of the called out ones" hence His church.

Of all the absurd and poorly supported teachings of Witness Lee I always thought this dismissal of the 2 or 3 can't be a church was the worst and most absurd and most hypocritical.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:10 AM   #135
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I love that last line. It explains it all. The basic message is simple: You and only you are the true church. Nobody else is the church.

You can do anything you like, but it's still OK, cause you are the church.

Other congregations are not the church, no matter what they do.

That, my dear friend, is a recipe for corruption. It's no wonder that Lee's subordinates began proclaiming, "even if Lee is wrong, he's still right."

Do you have any idea how much unrighteousness Witness Lee & Sons Ministry LLC has gotten away with based on the dissemination of that thought.
Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:13 AM   #136
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Not really, brethren do not hold to one church per city.

I am not familiar with the church in these cities but having three local churches in one locality without fellowship with or recognition of each other would be a divided local church to me.
But it was LSM's own operatives who divided the church. Firstly, by encouraging the locals to disrupt all the meetings, and finally by assisting the locals to file lawsuits. They did this in all GLA churches, the worst being Columbus, Mansfield, and Toronto.

Sorry, Evangelical, but the more you post, the more you are convicted by your own words.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:16 AM   #137
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Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
If Thyatira is a church lampstand in Revelations 3, then so is the Catholic church I grew up in.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:18 AM   #138
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If Thyatira is a church lampstand in Revelations 3, then so is the Catholic church I grew up in.
Should you join the Catholic church then? Afterall they were the first church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:26 AM   #139
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But it was LSM's own operatives who divided the church. Firstly, by encouraging the locals to disrupt all the meetings, and finally by assisting the locals to file lawsuits. They did this in all GLA churches, the worst being Columbus, Mansfield, and Toronto.

Sorry, Evangelical, but the more you post, the more you are convicted by your own words.
Am I correct then or not? Is it a divided church or is one of them a true local church and the others false churches.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:35 AM   #140
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Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
I believe that any gathering of the called out ones into the name of Jesus is an ekklesia, or church.

I believe the teaching that 2 or 3 can have the presence of God but cannot have the Lord's table and therefore is not a church is total and complete BS. There is no biblical basis for that and logically it is absurd.

I think the idea that the gathering has to refer to themselves as a "church" is novel, probably unique to you, and is total and complete BS. What they have to do is refer to the name of Jesus.

I think any precondition about the name of the gathering is the first step towards a denomination. That is a heresy. It doesn't become damnable until it is exclusive and condemns others.

I think that the church, the body, the new man, the warrior, the kingdom, etc. are all very important. But not in the way that Witness Lee teaches. His approach is to make the fellowship completely dependent and controlled by him. His only real requirement, in practice, is that he appointed the elders and if they don't comply with headquarters he will remove the elders. I also feel that Witness Lee has been completely hypocritical on this point 2 or 3, making exceptions to his rule when it pleases him. I met with a "Lord's Recovery Church" that had 3 members. I met with another one that had less than 20, maybe even 10.

Also, the teaching is absurd because there is no teaching as to how many you need to be a church. If 3 are not enough to have a Lord's table how about 4, 5, or 6? If six is enough, why does that sixth person make it legitimate?

As to the Catholic church. I think there are some genuine believers that are "Catholic" and that when they gather together it is an ekklesia. Did you ever see "The Mission"? The movie reveals all that is bad about the Catholic church and also all that is good.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:37 AM   #141
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I am pretty sure that it is who Jesus is that makes us the church. Receiving him is enough for salvation, two or three gathering together into His name is enough to be a "gathering of the called out ones" hence His church.

Of all the absurd and poorly supported teachings of Witness Lee I always thought this dismissal of the 2 or 3 can't be a church was the worst and most absurd and most hypocritical.
I think I found a picture of the church:

http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.c...eteers/id/1539
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:40 AM   #142
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You and a sister praying together are in the one church, but you can't claim to be "the church" or "a church". Those words would be exclusive to every other believer in your city. I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".

If we cut up a body and scattered the body parts around a city, and called each body part "a church", that is the situation of denominationalism and Christianity today, where each "body part" considers itself to be a church. Similarly we cannot look at the arm and say "that is the body", and look at the leg and say "that is the body". Obviously they are only body parts.

On this basis, that is why if you say you and a sister praying are "a church", you are wrong, and if you say you are "the church", you are also wrong.

Only if we consider all of those parts to belong to the one body, can we call it "a church" and "the church".

I draw your attention to the fact that the context of Matthew 18:15-20 which talks about two or three gathered in Christ's name, is dealing with a sinning brother and prayers of agreement. In fact, if you compare Matthew 18:16 with 18:17, you will see that it says to tell it to the two or three, and then tell it to the church. Clearly, the two or three cannot be the church. The church is something more than just two or three gathered together, it involves a godly appointed leadership and administration. Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church".
I edited my post 122 before I saw that you had already replied. I realized it was too limited in scope. Even so your response is at best semantics but sadly So farcical - "the" church "a" church
Christ will build his church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:40 AM   #143
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Should you join the Catholic church then? After all they were the first church.
They were not the first church. First church was Jerusalem.

We are responsible for what we know. If I know of serious corruption in my church, then I should leave. And that's what I did. I learned about all the corruption at LSM at the same time their people were coming to a LC near me in order to bring us under subjection.

So I left.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:42 AM   #144
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I edited my post 122 before I saw that you had already replied. I realized it was too limited in scope. Even so your response is at best semantics but sadly So farcical - "the" church "a" church
Christ will build his church.
Might seem like that but the Bible never uses the word churches (plural) in the context of a city. Always one church per city, that's historical fact.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:43 AM   #145
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Am I correct then or not? Is it a divided church or is one of them a true local church and the others false churches.
They are all real churches believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is you alone who wrongly define churches as "true, local, or false."
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:44 AM   #146
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They are all real churches believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is you alone who wrongly define churches as "true, local, or false."
But the bible never mentions three churches in the one city. Can't have three lamp stands in one city. So they can't all be real churches.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:48 AM   #147
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It takes all the believers in the city to be a church I think. If you met on the ground of locality within the city boundary I think you were the genuine church in Hanover, but all believers in the city should fellowship with you too.
1. So let me get this straight. The church in Houston with 200 members is the church because only those 200 members are the real believers in Houston?

2. Or are you saying that these 200, as ambassadors of Christ, are representing all believers in Houston?

Let's assume it is 2 since #1 is so farcical as to be too easy to blow apart.

So, these 200 represent all believers in Houston, therefore they can meet as the church.

So then, how did they get this prestigious honor? Did all other believers give it to them? Did Jesus? Did they claim it for themselves?

Oh yeah, we are still in the LRC twilight zone, they claimed it for themselves. Can 100 claim it for themselves like the church in Austin? Yep.

How about 50 like the Church in College Station? Yep.

How about 25 like the church in Odessa? Yep.

Is there any minimum requirement for a church to have a certain number of members before they can claim the ground? Nope.

But, 2 or 3 can't because? Oh yeah, you have to have a Lord's table to be a church. Can 2 or 3 meet together into the name of Jesus and break bread in remembrance of His death and resurrection? Of course. So why can't they have a Lord's table?
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:52 AM   #148
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Jesus said He would build His church, his gathering of the called out ones, the gathering of the redeemed.

This gathering does not represent all believers in a city, it represents Jesus.

They must have the Lord's table, but they do that in remembrance of Jesus, not of other believers in their city.

As the Body of Christ they must have the life of Christ.

As the New Man they must have the person of Christ.

As the Kingdom they must have the king of kings.

It is not about "representing" the believers, it is about representing Christ. Expressing Christ. 2 or 3 can express Christ, they can remember Christ, they can be redeemed, they can gather, they can be an ekklesia.

No one made Witness Lee God (except of course Witness Lee) that he gets to decide who is and who is not the church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:55 AM   #149
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But the bible never mentions three churches in the one city. Can't have three lamp stands in one city. So they can't all be real churches.
What is a city? Some rural first century village in Asia Minor with 247 residents and a baby or two on the way?

How many cities are in NYC? Their are probably hundreds of "cities" in each of the 5 boroughs. You place fictitious demands on scripture that it never makes.

You are just like the brother I knew of who condemned every Christian church (yours included) for NOT praying in their closet, as Jesus demanded. As least he had a prescriptive verse for his ridiculous claims. But he could happily sit in his closet all day long praying like that Pharisee on the street corner. His conscience never bothered him either.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:10 AM   #150
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Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
I don't believe the Roman Catholic Church or any Protestant church nor the Local Church denomination is "the church"
The church is not about doctrines and teaching but people.
I can disagree with a brother/sister and still meet together with them.
You can claim the Biblical support of one city one church ; but it is unsubstantiated. The brothers from the Lc do not fellowship, pray or coordinate with anyone who doesn't follow their prescribed doctrines/methods and are more divisive than any denomination.
Do you pray with your Eatern Orthodox neighbor, or your Presbyterian neighbor?
whatever doctrine a person clings to be it speaking in tongues, ground of locality or full immersion baptism doesn't divide them from Christ. What divides the body is refusing to accept those who don't agree with you.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:22 AM   #151
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Might seem like that but the Bible never uses the word churches (plural) in the context of a city. Always one church per city, that's historical fact.
Yup. Every believer in the city. And the believer may fellowship in different meeting halls but they are all the church. This is the lip service of the Lc movement, but the reality and practical application is that The Lc do not endeavor to be one with all the believers. The Lc is divided from the other believers by the doctrine of the ground of locality. They are not inclusive but exclusive.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:44 AM   #152
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So why can't they have a Lord's table?
They can't have a Lord's table unless they "take the ground."
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:49 AM   #153
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You see we face a practical difficulty in fellow shipping with all believers.
Who does? Who is "we"? I face the same difficulty. Yet, since coming out of the LC, I endeavor to fellowship with any believer that comes across my path--because that is what the Lord wants. Don't you think that makes the Lord happy? He prayed "that they all may be one" (John 17). And LC people think that "taking the ground" and calling themselves "the church" is the answer to that prayer. Sadly, it is just another part of the division.

It is a heart-matter. Not a name-matter.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:32 PM   #154
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They can't have a Lord's table unless they "take the ground."
Oh. What verse is that about "taking the ground"? No doubt this is the portion of scripture that will resolve all this about what is and is not a church.
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:21 PM   #155
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Oh. What verse is that about "taking the ground"? No doubt this is the portion of scripture that will resolve all this about what is and is not a church.
Exodus 32.5-6 seems to describe it well.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:09 PM   #156
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Exodus 32.5-6 seems to describe it well.
I can't find this term in his written ministry, so he obviously knew it was bogus, but was the term based on any portion of scripture?
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:11 PM   #157
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I can't find this term in his written ministry, so he obviously knew it was bogus, but was the term based on any portion of scripture?
Perhaps there are a few "verses" in the old supplement.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:00 PM   #158
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I don't believe the Roman Catholic Church or any Protestant church nor the Local Church denomination is "the church"
The church is not about doctrines and teaching but people.
I can disagree with a brother/sister and still meet together with them.
You can claim the Biblical support of one city one church ; but it is unsubstantiated. The brothers from the Lc do not fellowship, pray or coordinate with anyone who doesn't follow their prescribed doctrines/methods and are more divisive than any denomination.
Do you pray with your Eatern Orthodox neighbor, or your Presbyterian neighbor?
whatever doctrine a person clings to be it speaking in tongues, ground of locality or full immersion baptism doesn't divide them from Christ. What divides the body is refusing to accept those who don't agree with you.
Exodus16, you can claim that but the fact is many of us have a denominational background, have left our denominations and meet as one. That is a greater example of Christian fellowship and unity than "hand shaking over the fence" between denominations.

In my time in the local churches we have at times read the Bible and prayed with Catholics, house churches, and even met with Buddhists and individuals from various other religions. So this disproves your claims. What we don't do, is join Catholic mass and join their services (and why should we?).

Regarding church, we do church according to what the Bible shows us.

For example, you think that just because you meet with a sister and have Christ in your midst, you are a church. This is a common belief and I used to think like this too that if I meet with a couple of Christians we are a church.

But the Bible tells me that you cannot be a church for the following reasons:

You need leadership, elders (Titus 1:5). Without elders you cannot have an administration and authority for deciding matters and cannot exercise discipline (Matthew 18:17).

You need to observe the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 11:24).
Baptism is also what the church does (Acts 2:41).

Furthermore, the elders must be male which disqualifies you because you are sisters (1 Timothy 3:2).

Furthermore you cannot be a church unless you have a lampstand (in Revelation, each city-church had a lampstand).

You can have the Lord's presence just as anyone individually can, or even an unbeliever can have the Lord's presence.

Sorry but that does not make you a church.

I like this website:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs...look-like.html

"6 Ways the Bible Tells Us What Church Should Look Like".

Having Jesus in your midst is only one of those 6 qualifiers.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:13 PM   #159
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Who does? Who is "we"? I face the same difficulty. Yet, since coming out of the LC, I endeavor to fellowship with any believer that comes across my path--because that is what the Lord wants. Don't you think that makes the Lord happy? He prayed "that they all may be one" (John 17). And LC people think that "taking the ground" and calling themselves "the church" is the answer to that prayer. Sadly, it is just another part of the division.

It is a heart-matter. Not a name-matter.
When I was still in the denominations, the local church fellow shipped with me. So that disproves your claims that we do not fellowship with other believers. I wouldn't be in the local churches if not for their fellowship.

Unlike denominations we use fellowship to build the church.

We fellowship with any believer that comes across our path as well. I fellowship with other believers at my work place. I've fellow shipped with people of various denominational backgrounds even those of different religions. We have prayed, read the bible together and sung songs. We are all about fellowship with believers. And the sort of fellowship we are about is bible reading and prayer, not just doing something social.

Don't think we are not fellow shipping with other believers just because we are not holding a "ecumenical church service".

Regarding hearts and names, both are important. You cannot say it is only about the heart. For example, how would any husband feel if their wife changed their surname to another man's surname? Suppose the other man's surname is better. She may still be his wife in her heart, but taking another name would be not right at all, even if the other man's name is a better name.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:24 PM   #160
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What is a city? Some rural first century village in Asia Minor with 247 residents and a baby or two on the way?

How many cities are in NYC? Their are probably hundreds of "cities" in each of the 5 boroughs. You place fictitious demands on scripture that it never makes.

You are just like the brother I knew of who condemned every Christian church (yours included) for NOT praying in their closet, as Jesus demanded. As least he had a prescriptive verse for his ridiculous claims. But he could happily sit in his closet all day long praying like that Pharisee on the street corner. His conscience never bothered him either.
Wait a minute, we are wrong because we read the Bible as city and not "city" ? Who is being fictitious?, pretending city in the bible doesn't mean city.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:28 PM   #161
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Jesus said He would build His church, his gathering of the called out ones, the gathering of the redeemed.

This gathering does not represent all believers in a city, it represents Jesus.

They must have the Lord's table, but they do that in remembrance of Jesus, not of other believers in their city.

As the Body of Christ they must have the life of Christ.

As the New Man they must have the person of Christ.

As the Kingdom they must have the king of kings.

It is not about "representing" the believers, it is about representing Christ. Expressing Christ. 2 or 3 can express Christ, they can remember Christ, they can be redeemed, they can gather, they can be an ekklesia.

No one made Witness Lee God (except of course Witness Lee) that he gets to decide who is and who is not the church.

2 or 3 can do all those things but to be a biblical church they need a lampstand and they need to have the Lord's Table and baptize and plurality of (male) elders.

According to these biblical qualifiers of what is a church, 2 or 3 sisters having a prayer time together in a park does not qualify. I am not really stating a Lee or Nee doctrine here, that is what I believed and what many others believed when I was in denominations. Everyone knows that the idea of "2 or 3 plus Jesus is a church" is wrong. That is a lie based upon out of context interpretation of Jesus's words, when he was speaking about church discipline. He said tell the problem to your brother, if he won't listen, tell it to 2 or 3, and then if still no good, tell it to the church. So the church cannot be just the two or three, otherwise there is contradiction between Matthew 18:16 and 17.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:36 PM   #162
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1. So let me get this straight. The church in Houston with 200 members is the church because only those 200 members are the real believers in Houston?

2. Or are you saying that these 200, as ambassadors of Christ, are representing all believers in Houston?

Let's assume it is 2 since #1 is so farcical as to be too easy to blow apart.

So, these 200 represent all believers in Houston, therefore they can meet as the church.

So then, how did they get this prestigious honor? Did all other believers give it to them? Did Jesus? Did they claim it for themselves?

Oh yeah, we are still in the LRC twilight zone, they claimed it for themselves. Can 100 claim it for themselves like the church in Austin? Yep.

How about 50 like the Church in College Station? Yep.

How about 25 like the church in Odessa? Yep.

Is there any minimum requirement for a church to have a certain number of members before they can claim the ground? Nope.

But, 2 or 3 can't because? Oh yeah, you have to have a Lord's table to be a church. Can 2 or 3 meet together into the name of Jesus and break bread in remembrance of His death and resurrection? Of course. So why can't they have a Lord's table?
If the two or three have a lampstand, they can be the church. If they are 2 or 3 without a lampstand, they are not the church. We did not invent the idea that each biblical church has a lamp stand. That's what Jesus tells us in Revelation. You claim to adhere to the fellowship of the apostles, actually you are ignorant of these basic biblical observations. The fellowship of the apostles tells us that they ordained elders in each city church (Titus 1:5, Acts 14:23). If you don't believe that then you are not in fellowship with the apostles on this matter.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:36 PM   #163
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When I was still in the denominations, the local church fellow shipped with me. So that disproves your claims that we do not fellowship with other believers. I wouldn't be in the local churches if not for their fellowship.
I did not make such a claim.

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Unlike denominations we use fellowship to build the church.

We fellowship with any believer that comes across our path as well. I fellowship with other believers at my work place. I've fellow shipped with people of various denominational backgrounds even those of different religions. We have prayed, read the bible together and sung songs. We are all about fellowship with believers. And the sort of fellowship we are about is bible reading and prayer, not just doing something social.
Again, you keep talking about "we." Who is "we"?

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Don't think we are not fellow shipping with other believers just because we are not holding a "ecumenical church service".
I never suggested such a thing.

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Regarding hearts and names, both are important. You cannot say it is only about the heart. For example, how would any husband feel if their wife changed their surname to another man's surname? She may still be his wife in her heart, but taking another name would be not right at all.
Evangelical, I know these analogies very well. I spent most of my life there. I grew up there. This whole thing about the wife and her husband's name is just WL's idea. The church is the church because it is--period. Look--I don't agree with denominations. But I also don't agree that a group can just claim to be "the church."

It has become fashionable recently for LCs (look at LC in Irvine, for example) to say--"the church in X is not our name it's our description." This is wrong. "The church in X" is the description of all believers in that place; it is not a description of one particular group.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:26 PM   #164
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If the two or three have a lampstand, they can be the church. If they are 2 or 3 without a lampstand, they are not the church. We did not invent the idea that each biblical church has a lamp stand. That's what Jesus tells us in Revelation. You claim to adhere to the fellowship of the apostles, actually you are ignorant of these basic biblical observations.
Sorry for my ignorance. But can you try to explain what it means for a "church" to have a "lamp stand".

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The fellowship of the apostles tells us that they ordained elders in each city church (Titus 1:5, Acts 14:23). If you don't believe that then you are not in fellowship with the apostles on this matter.
OK, so now we are getting somewhere. You are saying it cannot be a church without ordained elders. Who ordains them? It isn't about the number who are meeting but rather it depends on how many ordained elders you have. Did I understand this correctly?

The reason I am so shocked by this definition is that I am aware of "the church of Christ", and "the church of God" and "the church of the saints". But according to you what really defines the church is the elders. These can't be self appointed, but rather "ordained" elders. Is that what you are saying the fellowship of the apostles is on this question?
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:30 PM   #165
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2 or 3 can do all those things but to be a biblical church they need a lampstand and they need to have the Lord's Table and baptize and plurality of (male) elders.

According to these biblical qualifiers of what is a church, 2 or 3 sisters having a prayer time together in a park does not qualify. I am not really stating a Lee or Nee doctrine here, that is what I believed and what many others believed when I was in denominations. Everyone knows that the idea of "2 or 3 plus Jesus is a church" is wrong. That is a lie based upon out of context interpretation of Jesus's words, when he was speaking about church discipline. He said tell the problem to your brother, if he won't listen, tell it to 2 or 3, and then if still no good, tell it to the church. So the church cannot be just the two or three, otherwise there is contradiction between Matthew 18:16 and 17.
So let me understand, in the New Testament we have Jesus Christ, we have believers who have received Jesus Christ, we have a promise that 2 or 3 meeting in the name of Jesus will have Jesus in their midst, and we have the church, another entity.

The church as an entity is not just the gathering of the called out ones, but also must have the Lord's table, a Lampstand, and at least 2 male elders, ordained by an apostle. Is this how you define a church?

The elders therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock. (1Pet 5:1)

Peter was an elder. Who ordained him?

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues. (1Cor 12:28)

Why only elders? Why not apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues? Isn't this also part of the apostles fellowship on this matter?

Rev 2:1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:".

You referred to the Lampstands in Revelation, each one has an angel. Why isn't this a requirement?

It seems to me that if having an angel is a requirement, and based on your other requirements I see no reason why this wouldn't also be one. So, if having an angel is a requirement when does this take place? Do they first have a lamp stand before they get an angel or do they get the angel first, or do they get both an angel and lamp stand at the same time?

But regardless of which it is, what is the prerequisite? What do you need before you get the angel? What do you need before you get the lamp stand? Do you need two elders first before you get an angel, and only then do you get the lamp stand?

Also, what about 1Cor -- God hath set some in the church -- apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. If you don't have all of these gifts then are you really a church? If not then not having miracles or gifts of healing would prove that you really aren't a church. On the other hand if not having miracles doesn't mean you aren't a church, then why is that less important than elders?
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:50 PM   #166
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So let me understand, in the New Testament we have Jesus Christ, we have believers who have received Jesus Christ, we have a promise that 2 or 3 meeting in the name of Jesus will have Jesus in their midst, and we have the church, another entity...
Those qualifiers I described were enough (in my mind) to show that 2 or 3 sisters is not a church.

Of course there are more qualifiers that you have mentioned that I did not think worth mentioning. I did not mention apostles and their appointment of the elders because we would then be discussing about whether Witness Lee was an apostle or not.

Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church..."

So we can add that if the 2 or 3 gathered in His name do not have elders appointed by an apostle, then they are not a church. Self-appointed elders are not a church.

In the bible church has a definite meaning and the idea of any group of Christians calling themselves a church makes them a church is not correct.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:05 PM   #167
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I did not make such a claim.
Again, you keep talking about "we." Who is "we"?
I never suggested such a thing.

Evangelical, I know these analogies very well. I spent most of my life there. I grew up there. This whole thing about the wife and her husband's name is just WL's idea. The church is the church because it is--period. Look--I don't agree with denominations. But I also don't agree that a group can just claim to be "the church."

It has become fashionable recently for LCs (look at LC in Irvine, for example) to say--"the church in X is not our name it's our description." This is wrong. "The church in X" is the description of all believers in that place; it is not a description of one particular group.
Sorry I understand now, it seemed to me you said that in the local church you didn't fellowship with any other believers and now you do.

If that particular group is the church in X, then it would be a description of all believers in that place, and they would be correct to say that the church in X is not their name but their description. They are not being exclusive but being inclusive. But they cannot deny that they are not the church in that city, if that is what they are.

If they said that the church in X is their name, that would be describing themselves as a group, independent of all the believers in their city, and this would not be according to the truth.

It is quite biblical to have a visible presence in the world and be known as "the church". The church is not, as you seem to portray it, a mishmash of individual believers meeting here and meeting there without any real identity that can be pointed to for practical and administrative purposes.

We can find in Acts 21:18 for example, that there is an entity called "the Jerusalem church" which was overseen by elders:

Acts 21:18 The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present.

So Paul traveled and met with an entity called "the Jerusalem church", though that is not their name, but what they are.

Imagine if Jerusalem was a scattering of individual "two or three" household churches and people meeting sporadically in parks and other places, Paul would not know whom to speak with. If you and a sister were praying together in a park, would you expect Paul to come to you? He would want to know where are the overseers of this entity called "the church".

Seems that you and others are in denial that a group of people called "the church in ..." is truly what they are according to the pattern the bible gives us. Suppose that there was another church started in Jerusalem in the time of Acts 21:18 - does that make "the Jerusalem church" another denomination? Of course not.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:08 PM   #168
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Those qualifiers I described were enough (in my mind) to show that 2 or 3 sisters is not a church.

Of course there are more qualifiers that you have mentioned that I did not think worth mentioning. I did not mention apostles and their appointment of the elders because we would then be discussing about whether Witness Lee was an apostle or not.

Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church..."

So we can add that if the 2 or 3 gathered in His name do not have elders appointed by an apostle, then they are not a church. Self-appointed elders are not a church.

In the bible church has a definite meaning and the idea of any group of Christians calling themselves a church makes them a church is not correct.
So when I felt that Jesus being in their midst was enough (in my mind) that was proof I was outside of the fellowship of the apostles. But when you decide to ignore certain descriptions because they weren't important (in your mind) that is acceptable?

Once again I reject your interpretation of the apostles fellowship. In my experience and my understanding of the fellowship of the apostles there is a continuum.

Suppose you have two or three gathering together, fellowshipping, Jesus is in their midst. A year later there are six. Even among these six it becomes clear that there are different functions, different gifts, teachers, prophets, governments, etc. A year later they have 12 and they begin the Lord's table. Then someone meets this small group, and this group of twelve merges with another small fellowship. Now you have 25 adults, about 55-60 when you include children. It is hard to meet in a house so they rent a room at a hotel conference center once a week. They begin to save money for a meeting hall. They begin to fellowship with other Christians in the same State. Some saints migrate out to this small church, including two elders.

I have just given you the history of the church in Odessa, which is not that different from the church in Houston. At what point did they become a church? I was there, according to you it was when the two elders from Dallas and Irving moved out. From my experience that is absurd.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:23 PM   #169
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If that particular group is the church in X, then it would be a description of all believers in that place, and they would be correct to say that the church in X is not their name but their description. They are not being exclusive but being inclusive. But they cannot deny that they are not the church in that city, if that is what they are.
No, they are a part of the church in that city.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #170
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It is quite biblical to have a visible presence in the world and be known as "the church". The church is not, as you seem to portray it, a mishmash of individual believers meeting here and meeting there without any real identity that can be pointed to for practical and administrative purposes.
That is because a group cannot claim any identity without self-separating themselves as something different--something other than simply in Christ and in the church. LC members often like to say that "the church is not a building," and this is true. But in my experience, they often make a different error--they equate the church with meetings. This is also wrong. "The church" does not equal meetings. The church is people, whether those people are in meetings or out of meetings.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:35 PM   #171
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No, they are a part of the church in that city.
Only if they give themselves a name. That's why they say the church in X is not their name but their description.

Allow me to point something out to you.

The word denominate means "to call" or "to name". Look it up:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denominate

A denomination, is a group of people who have named themselves as something other than just Christian, and a group of Christians (a church), which does the same. On this basis, we do not fit that category, we are not a denomination.

Paul, was against what Christians said, not who they followed. 1 Corinthians 3:4 says "when one says.." 1 Corinthians 1:12 says "one of you says...". Paul is writing to all the believers in the city of Corinth and telling them not to say they follow him, and not even to say "I follow Christ". In Paul's mind, the church was in unity despite everyone following different ministers, as long as they did not call themselves by their favorite minister's names. He never said stop following me and follow Silas instead, or stop following Silas and start following me. He cared about what they said and what names they took, that is why we care about that as well.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:51 PM   #172
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That is because a group cannot claim any identity without self-separating themselves as something different--something other than simply in Christ and in the church. LC members often like to say that "the church is not a building," and this is true. But in my experience, they often make a different error--they equate the church with meetings. This is also wrong. "The church" does not equal meetings. The church is people, whether those people are in meetings or out of meetings.
I agree with you that the view that church is meetings is wrong. Meetings are how the local church is practically expressed. Some in your local church may be careless to make that distinction, or perhaps truly believe that church is meetings. The teachings of Lee/Nee at least, do not say that. Or perhaps this was a conclusion you drew from your observations.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:14 PM   #173
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Only if they give themselves a name. That's why they say the church in X is not their name but their description.
Evangelical, the word "denomination" is not a Bible word; it is a dictionary word. This whole thing about "names" is an invention. This does not mean that I agree with all of the sorts of names that people come up with--I do not. I am just pointing out that you have traded the biblical standard for assessing truth for WL-isms and "Websters" (WL's favorite).

Again, the group that calls itself "the church in Irvine" is not the church in Irvine (in totality). To make such a claim is ridiculous. Who composes the church in Irvine? You would say, "All the believers in Irvine." Then, how can "the church in Irvine" describe you group. It doesn't.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:16 PM   #174
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Meetings are how the local church is practically expressed.
According to...?
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:49 AM   #175
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2 or 3 can do all those things but to be a biblical church they need a lampstand and they need to have the Lord's Table and baptize and plurality of (male) elders.

According to these biblical qualifiers of what is a church, 2 or 3 sisters having a prayer time together in a park does not qualify. I am not really stating a Lee or Nee doctrine here, that is what I believed and what many others believed when I was in denominations. Everyone knows that the idea of "2 or 3 plus Jesus is a church" is wrong. That is a lie based upon out of context interpretation of Jesus's words, when he was speaking about church discipline. He said tell the problem to your brother, if he won't listen, tell it to 2 or 3, and then if still no good, tell it to the church. So the church cannot be just the two or three, otherwise there is contradiction between Matthew 18:16 and 17.
If you go back, I think you'll see that I never proposed two or three as a church. What I said were that two or three had the Lord's promised presence, which you deemed insufficient. You then proposed an ontological entity which had all the hallmarks, to me, of the Great Harlot. See e.g. One Publication edict, with no buying or selling unless it had the Mark of the Ministry (to avoid confusion, of course).

Two or three may have the Lord's name, His presence, His commission ("God forth before Me"), His binding and loosing, and His testimony ("Tell it to the church"). But all this seems insufficient, because, "It's not the church."

Then your alternative comes along, with the Seer of the Revelation, God's Oracle, who by Paul's word wasn't even qualified to be a local elder (see, Timothy and Philip Lee, His admittedly "unspiritual cooks"), etc. Forgive me if I'm nonplussed.

And Lee's benefactor Nee wasn't much better, if at all, basing his main teachings on the revelations of women, from the secret rapture to the three parts of man, all the while insisting that women aren't qualified to teach. And on and on; exceptions become rules and rules exceptions based on contingencies and whims, with the only constant being that Maximum Brother is always right.

We can "do church" with two or three or with a mega church. Or on a boat or a plane. Or along the highways and byways. Don't be narrow where Christ is broad. Your narrowness may indeed produce a gilded cup, but you can't guarantee it's contents. Lee said it had, "More God", but the testimonies of many say otherwise.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:23 AM   #176
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If you go back, I think you'll see that I never proposed two or three as a church. What I said were that two or three had the Lord's promised presence, which you deemed insufficient. You then proposed an ontological entity which had all the hallmarks, to me, of the Great Harlot. See e.g. One Publication edict, with no buying or selling unless it had the Mark of the Ministry (to avoid confusion, of course).

Two or three may have the Lord's name, His presence, His commission ("God forth before Me"), His binding and loosing, and His testimony ("Tell it to the church"). But all this seems insufficient, because, "It's not the church."

Then your alternative comes along, with the Seer of the Revelation, God's Oracle, who by Paul's word wasn't even qualified to be a local elder (see, Timothy and Philip Lee, His admittedly "unspiritual cooks"), etc. Forgive me if I'm nonplussed.

And Lee's benefactor Nee wasn't much better, if at all, basing his main teachings on the revelations of women, from the secret rapture to the three parts of man, all the while insisting that women aren't qualified to teach. And on and on; exceptions become rules and rules exceptions based on contingencies and whims, with the only constant being that Maximum Brother is always right.

We can "do church" with two or three or with a mega church. Or on a boat or a plane. Or along the highways and byways. Don't be narrow where Christ is broad. Your narrowness may indeed produce a gilded cup, but you can't guarantee it's contents. Lee said it had, "More God", but the testimonies of many say otherwise.
aron, I was more addressing a view like Koinonia proposed that two or three sisters could constitute a church.

I think of it like this. Jesus and the 12 disciples can arguably be considered the first church. Suppose at that time another group of disciples started another "Jesus group", could they claim the Lord's presence? No. Jesus remained only with those he chose to be His first church.

Similarly, after Jesus's ascension, His presence for the church remained with the genuine church that He established.

Just because two or three believers get together does not mean they can claim to be a church established by Christ.

In the bible times the church was a particular visible entity in each city. It was not a haphazard or random scattering of small groups and believers. This is why churches were easy to persecute - everyone knew where they were. Persecutors did not have to chase Christians down rabbit holes or find them scattered around in parks by 2 or 3.
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:16 AM   #177
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Evangelical, the word "denomination" is not a Bible word; it is a dictionary word. This whole thing about "names" is an invention. This does not mean that I agree with all of the sorts of names that people come up with--I do not. I am just pointing out that you have traded the biblical standard for assessing truth for WL-isms and "Websters" (WL's favorite).

Again, the group that calls itself "the church in Irvine" is not the church in Irvine (in totality). To make such a claim is ridiculous. Who composes the church in Irvine? You would say, "All the believers in Irvine." Then, how can "the church in Irvine" describe you group. It doesn't.
Koinonia, the word denomination is not in the bible because there were no denominations at that time. However the bible speaks against sects, party's, factions, schisms (Galatians 5:20, 1 Corinthians 11:19, 1 Cor 12:25).

A denomination is essentially an organized or institutionalized faction or schism in the body with a name.

Perhaps it's logic you are struggling to understand.

Suppose there is once an apple pie (all believers in a city), called the Apple Pie, and it is cut into 4 pieces (there are schisms). Each of those 4 pieces gives itself a name and separates practically (each piece then becomes a denomination). Suppose they decide to name themselves Hot Dog Apple Pie, Muffin Apple Pie, Hamburger Apple Pie, and Pizza Apple Pie.

Suppose that one of those pieces realizes they are wrong and want to go back to being just Apple Pie with the other pieces. Suppose Pizza Apple Pie decides to call itself Apple Pie again. So there is Apple Pie, Hot Dog Apple Pie, Muffin Apple Pie, Hamburger Apple Pie.

It is correct for Apple Pie to say they are Apple Pie. They have not created for themselves another division, but have gone back to being what they truly were. That's why it is not logical for you to say that those who leave denominations and don't take another name for themselves (even the name or label non-denominational can be divisive) have created another denomination.

Ecumenism on the other hand, or denominations hand shaking over the fence, tries to bring the pieces together to create a
"Hot Dog Muffin Hamburger Pizza Apple Pie".

Until they drop their respective names and labels Hot Dog, Muffin etc, they cannot be Apple Pie again.

Now after all that I'm hungry....
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:26 AM   #178
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According to...?
This verse which describes the prophesying meeting:

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"

Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 is also further proof against a claim that two or three having fellowship can be a church.

If you are only two or three, then how can others weigh what you said?:

1 Cor 14:29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

Therefore a church is two or three, plus others. So more than three, at least four.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:09 AM   #179
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aron, I was more addressing a view like Koinonia proposed that two or three sisters could constitute a church.

I think of it like this. Jesus and the 12 disciples can arguably be considered the first church. Suppose at that time another group of disciples started another "Jesus group", could they claim the Lord's presence? No. Jesus remained only with those he chose to be His first church.

Similarly, after Jesus's ascension, His presence for the church remained with the genuine church that He established.

Just because two or three believers get together does not mean they can claim to be a church established by Christ.

In the bible times the church was a particular visible entity in each city. It was not a haphazard or random scattering of small groups and believers. This is why churches were easy to persecute - everyone knew where they were. Persecutors did not have to chase Christians down rabbit holes or find them scattered around in parks by 2 or 3.
According to Witness Lee the "model" of the first church was Mary, Martha and Lazarus and Jesus meeting together.

Hence the hypocrisy in his ministry. He has a meeting of 3 saints into the name of Jesus as his prototype of the true church but then claims that 3 people in a home meeting cannot be the church. His prototype is a home meeting of 3 people, all from the same family.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:22 AM   #180
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According to Witness Lee the "model" of the first church was Mary, Martha and Lazarus and Jesus meeting together.

Hence the hypocrisy in his ministry. He has a meeting of 3 saints into the name of Jesus as his prototype of the true church but then claims that 3 people in a home meeting cannot be the church. His prototype is a home meeting of 3 people, all from the same family.
And the famous first Lord's table meeting in the new "Recovery" was W. Nee and a couple sisters.

Didn't they "take the ground."
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:45 PM   #181
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Jesus and the 12 disciples can arguably be considered the first church. Suppose at that time another group of disciples started another "Jesus group", could they claim the Lord's presence? No. Jesus remained only with those he chose to be His first church...
I think John and James saw some casting out demons in Jesus' name and god upset. "Master we must stop this!"

Jesus' reply put an end to your theory.
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