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Old 08-15-2020, 07:43 AM   #1
Nell
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Default "We Don't Care for Right and Wrong"

RIGHT AND WRONG...SAME TREE!?

Not caring for “right and wrong” doesn’t make right and wrong “go away.” You still have a conscience and a moral sense of right and wrong. This is can be a real problem for those who remain in the Local Church and are bothered by their conscience, but continue to meet there because of the threats of what could happen if you leave.

According to Lee, the verses in Genesis 2 are the foundation for his “right and wrong” vs. “life” doctrine. There are no other scriptures that even remotely support this teaching, Are there? In fact, Gen. 2:9 and Gen. 2:17 are the only mentions of “tree of knowledge” in the entire Bible.

Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.


PRESCRIPTIVE V. DESCRIPTIVE
Is this yet another example of “prescriptive vs. descriptive” scripture? Lee has prescribed that, because the knowledge of good and evil are on the same tree, we should avoid certain knowledge and specifically the knowledge of good and evil altogether. Since “right and wrong” were on the same tree, both are dismissed as something not to “care for.”

So when “only caring for life,” what exactly do you “care for?” You care for what Lee, et al, tells you to care for. Additionally, there are the “Care For” police monitoring your every care, and when you care for something other than the ambiguous “life,” you’re busted.

TRAIN UP A CHILD (Proverbs 22:6)
Did you ever lie to a child? Even a child knows when he is being lied to. Children know. We know. The problem with Witness Lee’s teachings is that we already knew “good and evil.” Why wouldn’t we? Good and evil are on the same tree. That child that you lie to may NEVER stop asking questions…to catch you in your lie.

Right and wrong is something every loving parent has taught their children from the time we first tried to stick tweezers into a power outlet. So Witness Lee tried to undo the training and common sense our parents instilled and enforced, and substitute a word that only fit his narrative because only he could define “life” to his satisfaction. We thought he had the goods, so like loyal little soldiers, we tried to fall in line and salute. Is it even possible to “unteach” the values of knowing (and doing) right from wrong? “Following Lee” became almost like a drug to dull your conscience.


THE GOOD OLD DAYS
In the “good old days” when I first started meeting with the church, the ministry of the word was amazing. Two brothers stood side by side and shared. When one finished, the other picked up the next sentence and continued for … another hour. When the two messages ended, there were testimonies for another hour. When someone stood to dismiss the meeting (so the childrens workers would be relieved of duty) everyone groaned…already??? Looking at your watch, you had been sitting for almost 3 hours and it seemed like 30 minutes. Amazing. Truth was there and truth set us free!

So what happened? Truth left the building. Truth didn’t leave me, though. When apostasy set in, it was too late. I already knew truth, right and wrong, good and evil. My parents began to teach me right from wrong, because they had the same training which they passed down to us kids.

When I heard the “different teachings”, I remembered those 3 hour meetings…sitting on the edge of my seat… . This is what empowered me to leave…the knowledge of good and evil…right and wrong. The very thing that caused me to stay in the early days, helped me to leave when the time came.


TRUTH
Truth is a powerful thing. Truth about right and wrong, good and evil, is who God is. James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Of course, we know that Lee tore the book of James out of his Bible.

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Old 08-15-2020, 12:29 PM   #2
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Great topic Nell, and one that bothers me a lot. It screams "aberrant group" or "abusive church".

The catch phrase tends to be something like "We (or God) don't care for good and evil, right and wrong, only life".

Well.........

Hebrews 5:11-14
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

To start, verse 11 (which I'd always mentally skipped over before) stuck out to me this time and made me chuckle because it could so easily be spoken to the co-workers......who no longer even try to understand.

This portion is pretty clear that an attribute of mature believers is that they are in the solid food of the word to the point where they, by constant use, have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil!

This is written as something to attain to, not something to avoid.

That's all I need to know to discard this bad doctrine of LSM. The "don't care about good and evil" teaching in the local church thus causes believers to remain infants.....and renders them ones who can sit in an environment surrounded by wrongs and who are not even able to distinguish the wrongs that are going on right around them.

Pretty handy doctrine for an abusive church.
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:16 PM   #3
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Oh yeah, and Genesis 3:22 says "And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.""

If knowing good and evil is literally described as an attribute of God, how on earth can anyone conclude that God "doesn't care for it"?

This is one of those teachings that the more you drill down, the more it falls apart.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:23 PM   #4
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Good points and good questions. Concluding that God "doesn't care for life" isn't the teaching of a sober minded man.

To drill down a little more, it's the perfect "non-answer" to any question that calls "the ministry" to account. And I think that's the point: avoidance. There are so many nonsensical Lee teachings that those who believe them need to come up with some way to shut down the conversation. What better way than to "only care for..." something that is undefined and inexplicable?

That is, inexplicable to everyone except Witness Lee. You depend on Lee for answers rather than growing in the Lord, walking with him, following him, praying to him and looking to him for guidance.

Here's what Peter tells us:

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Nell

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Old 08-18-2020, 10:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: "We Don't Care for Right and Wrong"

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RIGHT AND WRONG...SAME TREE!? Not caring for “right and wrong” doesn’t make right and wrong “go away.” You still have a conscience and a moral sense of right and wrong. This is can be a real problem for those who remain in the Local Church and are bothered by their conscience, but continue to meet there because of the threats of what could happen if you leave.

According to Lee, the verses in Genesis 2 are the foundation for his “right and wrong” vs. “life” doctrine. There are no other scriptures that even remotely support this teaching, Are there? In fact, Gen. 2:9 and Gen. 2:17 are the only mentions of “tree of knowledge” in the entire Bible.
Yes, but there are many mentions of the tree of life. I suspect the word only mentions the knowledge tree once, because it's not a good thing and is temporary, but the tree of life will remain. Just my thought.

However, one can make some augment that the same principle of life and death (i.e., right & wrong) is in scripture throughout. In other words, that even though something may not appear to be right, God is apart from that concept of right & wrong and chooses to have His purpose of life through it regardless. Think of the scoundrel, heel-holding Jacob. Think of King David, who had some really big "wrongs," yet God calls him a "man after my own heart." There are many examples where something is not so according to our concept of right & wrong, yet the point God makes is He is the source of life and salvation.

Of course, I get that this concept can be abused and probably was by WL and/or followers.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:26 PM   #6
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To drill down a little more, it's the perfect "non-answer" to any question that calls "the ministry" to account. And I think that's the point: avoidance. There are so many nonsensical Lee teachings that those who believe them need to come up with some way to shut down the conversation. What better way than to "only care for..." something that is undefined and inexplicable?
It's also curious that "we don't care for good and evil" or "we are not in the realm of right and wrong" are usually rolled out whenever someone is trying to say "Hey, that's wrong!"

It's a classic example of a thought-stopping cliche, and it's incredibly effective until you learn what it is and you realize how deformed you have to make the story in Genesis in order to squeeze this kind of lesson from it. It is a perfect non-answer. I mean, how are you supposed to respond to that kind of statement, besides, I guess, laughing in their face?
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:44 PM   #7
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Yes, but there are many mentions of the tree of life. I suspect the word only mentions the knowledge tree once, because it's not a good thing and is temporary, but the tree of life will remain. Just my thought.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is never once described as a bad thing. In fact it's described positively repeatedly. It was "bad" because it was forbidden. It wasn't forbidden because it was bad.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has stuck with us. We ate of it. So we have the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life remains in the Bible because we got cut off from it and are still waiting to be restored to it.

My thought is that it's a slippery slope you're describing to say something like "God is apart from that concept of right and wrong." God certainly let David know through Nathan that what he had done was wrong, and God punished David severely for it. God held quite tightly to the concept of right and wrong. But with God, it just doesn't stop there. He can always redeem even the most horrible situation. But He definitely doesn't skip over the right/wrong or "not care for it".

I honestly can't think of one scenario where we can say "God doesn't care about right and wrong." His sending His own Son to die was precisely because He had to care about right and wrong. He couldn't just forgive us without His righteousness being taken care of. If God didn't care about right and wrong, He wouldn't be God. I think this is one of the biggest misrepresentation, idolatrous, "God in Lee's own image" teachings that Lee put forth and wove almost inextricably throughout his ministry and throughout the atmosphere in the local churches.
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Old 08-22-2020, 07:34 AM   #8
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I honestly can't think of one scenario where we can say "God doesn't care about right and wrong." His sending His own Son to die was precisely because He had to care about right and wrong. He couldn't just forgive us without His righteousness being taken care of. If God didn't care about right and wrong, He wouldn't be God. I think this is one of the biggest misrepresentation, idolatrous, "God in Lee's own image" teachings that Lee put forth and wove almost inextricably throughout his ministry and throughout the atmosphere in the local churches.
Maybe it's better to say that God doesn't care so much about OUR concept of right and wrong. He is the Righteous One, and there is a right way - His! The tree of knowledge of good & evil is about us having control - we will know what is right and wrong, therefore we don't need to be dependent on Him. Therefore we can make our own choices and plans, and follow the desires of our own heart. In this way we become independent "gods." Of course, this is the supreme deception, because the end of our way is just death!
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:46 AM   #9
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Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. (Psalm 89:14)

Right and wrong are not moving targets, at least not to God. Right and wrong is not a "concept" or attitude that is subject to "situational ethics" or the moral judgments of men...even of men claiming to be speaking for God. Most importantly, at least for our purposes here, right and wrong is not at variance with, contrary to, much less antithetical to "life".

Right and wrong are not moving targets because righteousness and justice are not moving targets. This word "foundation" in Psalm 89:14 brings with it the connotation of "a fix place". God's righteousness and justice, and by extension, God's judgment of right and wrong, are in a fixed place, which is his throne. Anyone who tells us that we can have God's life apart from his throne is selling us a bill of goods. It is a very dangerous thing for a man to think that he is qualified to teach others to "not care for right or wrong, but only care for life". We need not look further than the life and times of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee for strong confirmation of this. And now, in the Local Church of Witness Lee, we find a sizable lot of very sincere Christians who have become shipwrecked in a system of error by abandoning the righteousness and justice of God in favor of the teachings and practices of Nee and Lee. May God have mercy.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:54 PM   #10
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Maybe it's better to say that God doesn't care so much about OUR concept of right and wrong. He is the Righteous One, and there is a right way - His! The tree of knowledge of good & evil is about us having control - we will know what is right and wrong, therefore we don't need to be dependent on Him. Therefore we can make our own choices and plans, and follow the desires of our own heart. In this way we become independent "gods." Of course, this is the supreme deception, because the end of our way is just death!
I think I wrote something along these lines in a previous post and then deleted it because I hadn't laid it out very well.

This is my own viewpoint, of course, but I think that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (which means when they eat it they get exactly what it says....."the knowledge of good and evil") was forbidden because the time was premature. The Hebrews 5:14 verse I quoted earlier says "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

If distinguishing good from evil is a trait of mature believers, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden relatively soon after Adam and Eve were created (i.e. not yet that mature), I think the test was obedience. And once they showed they would obey God, possibly after a period of time once they had become more mature, the tree would have been made available to them. After all, the NT says believers will judge angels. Is that something given to us only after the fall or was it something intended all along even if the fall hadn't occurred? If intended all along, we certainly can't judge angels without the knowledge of good and evil. And it takes maturity to do that.

Anyway, the TOTKOGAE was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and made you like God. Doesn't sound like an inherently bad tree to me.

And it's funny, the whole reason they ate of the tree was because they DIDN'T distinguish between good and evil! The serpent spoke some true words and some false words. Eve didn't distinguish between the two, (and good ol' Adam was fixated on a butterfly or something off to the side), and look at the utter mess that has been borne out in humanity because of it. Distinguishing good from evil, from my view, cannot have been something that God wanted us in ignorance of forever.

There's a variety of interpretations, and so that's one of mine, I guess.
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Old 08-22-2020, 08:44 PM   #11
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There's the doctrine, and then there's the practice. That is, the practice of living a life of "not caring for right and wrong." ...and calling it the "church life."

What scenario are we talking about? It's probably not when you have heard truth spoken, or you obeyed the Lord's speaking, etc. More likely, you "don't care for right and wrong," when your conscience is bothered and you have a sneaky feeling something is not right. Your conscience waves red flags, blows a whistle, screams "nooooooooo" !!!!! Your conscience cares for right and wrong. That's what it does. You need a way to shut it up with the "ministry" hence, "we don't care for....".

It could be as simple as hearing something in the meeting that doesn't sound right. You make a choice to ignore the warning. You might venture out on the forum and read something that so obviously is true, or "right", but it's against "the ministry" so you can't go there. You would get yourself into so much trouble, so you have to ignore that nagging voice.

Not "caring for right and wrong" is the way to sear your conscience. The way to close your eyes, cover your ears, shake your head saying "la la la la la la."

It's the way to rationalize practices you have nagging questions about. If you do this long enough, you may begin to "call evil good and good evil."

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Old 08-22-2020, 09:11 PM   #12
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The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is never once described as a bad thing. In fact it's described positively repeatedly. It was "bad" because it was forbidden. It wasn't forbidden because it was bad.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has stuck with us. We ate of it. So we have the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life remains in the Bible because we got cut off from it and are still waiting to be restored to it.
Great points here, Trapped.

This is so incredibly different from what Lee taught in the Genesis Life Study, and which laid a foundation for so many of his other teachings.

Lee taught that the TOKOGAE was inherently evil, and hence dangerous to eat, forever injecting Satan himself into the flesh of all mankind. Lee also downplayed the actual act of disobedience committed by Adam, which is emphasized by Paul in Romans.

Lee loved to use the example of a child raiding the medicine cabinet. Sure the child was told to stay out of the medicine, but the parent cared little about the act of disobediance, rather was concerned about the child being poisoned.

But where is that in the scripture? So after learning Lee's teachings here, then when we actually read the scripture, our concept is skewed out of place. The facts of the story then must fit our preconceptions, courtesy of Lee.
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:23 PM   #13
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What about nothing good dwelling in our flesh (Romans 7:18) - where did that "no good thing" come from?
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:38 PM   #14
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What about nothing good dwelling in our flesh (Romans 7:18) - where did that "no good thing" come from?
The "no good thing" is sin.

Sin indwells us. Sin entered, as Ohio alluded to from Romans 5, through the offense, through the disobedience.

17 For if by the offense of the one death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as it was through one offense unto condemnation to all men, so also it was through one righteous act unto justification of life to all men.
19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be constituted righteous.

We are never, ever told that sin or anything entered "through the fruit" or "through the tree". It's the act, the behavior, the actions, the disobedience that's the source of all the problems. The sin that indwells us is there because of the choice Adam and Eve made. I know one of Lee's favorite words was "element", trying to pass off somehow that "sin" or "Satan" was an "element" inherent in the tree, but the verses to back that thought up are simply an echo into silence. They are not there. Sin isn't something outside of us that is separate from us that we can ingest. It's not part of the tree. Sin is our actions and our thoughts and our behaviors.
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:45 PM   #15
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Great points here, Trapped.

This is so incredibly different from what Lee taught in the Genesis Life Study, and which laid a foundation for so many of his other teachings.

Lee taught that the TOKOGAE was inherently evil, and hence dangerous to eat, forever injecting Satan himself into the flesh of all mankind. Lee also downplayed the actual act of disobedience committed by Adam, which is emphasized by Paul in Romans.

Lee loved to use the example of a child raiding the medicine cabinet. Sure the child was told to stay out of the medicine, but the parent cared little about the act of disobediance, rather was concerned about the child being poisoned.

But where is that in the scripture? So after learning Lee's teachings here, then when we actually read the scripture, our concept is skewed out of place. The facts of the story then must fit our preconceptions, courtesy of Lee.
Yes, once you start putting your eyes on Lee's proclamations about this story in Genesis, it becomes pretty shocking pretty quickly 1) just how deviated from scripture his "interpreted word" on this one was, and 2) just how many dark, twisted, controlling, oppressive teachings sprung from his manhandling of this one story. In my view, as I think I said earlier, the teachings that come from this one story are some of the most insidious forms of leaven that is spread through the local churches as a whole.

Something did happen within us. We sinned, and now sin is in us. But it didn't come from the tree. It came due to the disobedience, the offense, which, as you said, Lee merrily skipped over as a lesser emphasis.

Isn't it amazing? Lee skips over the whole point - sin entered due to disobedience - and instead spits out the dead opposite lesson: God doesn't CARE about right and wrong!

And the ever-confounding head-scratching question that aron so used to love to ask: why on earth didn't any of the thousands of listeners ever clear their throat to point to what so clearly doesn't make sense, and disagree with the one teaching it!?
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:57 PM   #16
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There's the doctrine, and then there's the practice. That is, the practice of living a life of "not caring for right and wrong." ...and calling it the "church life."

What scenario are we talking about? It's probably not when you have heard truth spoken, or you obeyed the Lord's speaking, etc. More likely, you "don't care for right and wrong," when your conscience is bothered and you have a sneaky feeling something is not right. Your conscience waves red flags, blows a whistle, screams "nooooooooo" !!!!! Your conscience cares for right and wrong. That's what it does. You need a way to shut it up with the "ministry" hence, "we don't care for....".

It could be as simple as hearing something in the meeting that doesn't sound right. You make a choice to ignore the warning. You might venture out on the forum and read something that so obviously is true, or "right", but it's against "the ministry" so you can't go there. You would get yourself into so much trouble, so you have to ignore that nagging voice.

Not "caring for right and wrong" is the way to sear your conscience. The way to close your eyes, cover your ears, shake your head saying "la la la la la la."

It's the way to rationalize practices you have nagging questions about. If you do this long enough, you may begin to "call evil good and good evil."

Nell
Their practice is to apply it when they are wrong and to conveniently forget it when they believe others are wrong.

Harvest House calls them a cult? Somehow "we don't care for right or wrong" evaporated and it mattered a whole lot to them. If Harvest House was wrong......why didn't the local church only care for life, rather than caring $136 million about right and wrong?

In-house abuses, sin, wrongdoing that are sorely mishandled? All of a sudden "we don't care for right or wrong" and "you are on the wrong tree, brother" and "we just say amen". They are all part of a tidy little package of abusive and thought-stopping cliches ready to be whipped out whenever they fear their whitewashed image is at risk of getting tarnished (read: their sins exposed).

I totally agree it's a conscience-searing teaching. I've seen elders who will apologize to a saint for a minor infraction then turn around and justify abuse and cover abuse by saying "we are not here for right or wrong", revealing their hardened and charred conscience beneath. It's shocking.

The "call evil good and good evil" verse is preceded by a warning: "woe to those" who do it. As with many other deviations in the local church, the way they use (abuse) scripture here is serious and grave. I don't think they understand how much God cares for His oppressed children, and how much His wrath is stored up toward those who oppress them, particularly those who do it knowingly.
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Old 08-23-2020, 08:28 AM   #17
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The "no good thing" is sin.

Sin indwells us. Sin entered, as Ohio alluded to from Romans 5, through the offense, through the disobedience.

17 For if by the offense of the one death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as it was through one offense unto condemnation to all men, so also it was through one righteous act unto justification of life to all men.
19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be constituted righteous.

We are never, ever told that sin or anything entered "through the fruit" or "through the tree". It's the act, the behavior, the actions, the disobedience that's the source of all the problems. The sin that indwells us is there because of the choice Adam and Eve made. I know one of Lee's favorite words was "element", trying to pass off somehow that "sin" or "Satan" was an "element" inherent in the tree, but the verses to back that thought up are simply an echo into silence. They are not there. Sin isn't something outside of us that is separate from us that we can ingest. It's not part of the tree. Sin is our actions and our thoughts and our behaviors.
It's interesting that Galatians 5 talks about the "works of the flesh" vs. the "fruit of the spirit." Matthew 7:16 also says, "You shall know them by their fruits" (which can pertain to either flesh or spirit).

So why the picture of fruit trees in the Bible? Is it because we ingest/eat fruit, thereby taking something that is outside of us, into us - to become part of us? Just because the only mention of the TOKOG&E is in Genesis, doesn't mean it's not still around and strongly influencing us . . . or is that not the thought you are trying to put forth?

(BTW - I did find what you said about the TOKOG&E earlier to be a pretty fascinating thought! Once we are centered as God intended us - on Him - then maybe we are entrusted with a certain distinguishing/control on our own part(?). But then again, this doesn't seem to be the picture the Perfect Man portrayed to us when He walked among us, as He was fully dependent upon the Father in all things . . .)
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Old 08-23-2020, 10:07 AM   #18
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It's interesting that Galatians 5 talks about the "works of the flesh" vs. the "fruit of the spirit." Matthew 7:16 also says, "You shall know them by their fruits" (which can pertain to either flesh or spirit).

So why the picture of fruit trees in the Bible? Is it because we ingest/eat fruit, thereby taking something that is outside of us, into us - to become part of us? Just because the only mention of the TOKOG&E is in Genesis, doesn't mean it's not still around and strongly influencing us . . . or is that not the thought you are trying to put forth?
Coming out of our background with LSM, we were on a diet of extreme inference mixed with steroids. By that I mean that the "true" meaning of every O.T. story, teaching, song, prophecy, event, etc. was never found in the plain text of scripture, but what Lee could read into it. Of course, much of this may be legitimate, with both Jesus and the Apostles applying these types, shadows, figures, examples, etc. to Christ, the church, the believer, etc. It was the Brethren who ramped up this practice well beyond the boundaries of scripture. Nee, Lee, and the Blendeds just followed in their footsteps.

Let me give one blatant example of extreme inference. Recently we have discussed the teaching that "honey" related to the OT offerings referred to "natural affection." Obviously this is a false inference since Paul speaks of those in the church "without natural affection." (2 Tim 3.3) The entire N.T. is filled with examples and exhortations to love one another warmly with brotherly affection, with citations too numerous to mention. Is there any indication whatsoever in the N.T. that "honey" refers to our natural affection? I didn't think so. Somebody just made this one up.

Furthermore, we learn that this bogus teaching on natural affection, both among the Brethren and with LSM, was regularly employed in the aftermath of quarantine and excommunications as a method of halting the departure of the saints. In other words, forget about how lovely John Ingalls is, and how much he ministered the living word to your faith, "he is a leper, get over it, because we said so." The Brethren used this same rotten tactic on George Muller.

So what are the guidelines to inference in Bible commentary? This is definitely a much needed discussion. The Bible regularly employs inference to teach us, yet we know that inference gone crazy can also destroy God's people. So all Bible commentary must have certain boundaries and limitations. I prefer to limit inference to the boundaries of the N.T. In case of doubt, less is more. I believe that our primary focus must firstly examine the plain words of scripture. This entire notion that the plain text of scripture is part of the "low gospel," and that the "high peaks" are hidden in the text only to be "recovered" in these final days is just foolishness, and a means of deception.
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Old 08-23-2020, 11:21 AM   #19
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It's interesting that Galatians 5 talks about the "works of the flesh" vs. the "fruit of the spirit." Matthew 7:16 also says, "You shall know them by their fruits" (which can pertain to either flesh or spirit).

So why the picture of fruit trees in the Bible? Is it because we ingest/eat fruit, thereby taking something that is outside of us, into us - to become part of us? Just because the only mention of the TOKOG&E is in Genesis, doesn't mean it's not still around and strongly influencing us . . . or is that not the thought you are trying to put forth?

(BTW - I did find what you said about the TOKOG&E earlier to be a pretty fascinating thought! Once we are centered as God intended us - on Him - then maybe we are entrusted with a certain distinguishing/control on our own part(?). But then again, this doesn't seem to be the picture the Perfect Man portrayed to us when He walked among us, as He was fully dependent upon the Father in all things . . .)

The fruit in Genesis is what is eaten. This fruit eaten by Adam and Eve became poop (if you believe it's a literal garden, etc, which I do).

The fruits spoken of in Galatians and Matthew (and elsewhere) are what is produced. They are the product (love, faith, hope, kindness, patience, etc) of a genuine believers Christian life, not something that is ingested or eaten. These aren't things we eat. The picture there is not so much of fruit trees, as it is of a product.

I don't think they are the same kind of fruit......at all.

The TOTKOGAE is still strongly influencing us. We still have the knowledge of good and evil, and so we are still influenced by what was eaten way back when.

What I see, and I may be wrong, is that you are accepting Lee's unsupported interpretation and are trying to support some conclusions drawn from what is a wrong interpretation from the get-go. The angle I'm coming from is having scrapped Lee's teaching and looked at it without his overlay, and so many things he says are just not there to begin with. Other than happening to use the same English word "fruit", there is otherwise no connection, stated or even remotely implied, between the fruit in those NT verses and Genesis. And the word "fruit" is not even used in the same way.

(Yeah, my "what if" interpretation on the maturity thing is just that....a "what if". Point well taken on the Son being submissive to the Father, but I think there is a difference between being dependent on the Father, and having discernment yourself. He didn't make us to be dummies. Sons of the Most High is an honor indeed.)
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:13 AM   #20
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Default Re: "We Don't Care for Right and Wrong"

Why did God use trees for the two choices? It's pretty simple. Trees grow, get roots, branch out and bear fruit. And He said they were good for food. Yes, Trapped, food does become poop after ingesting, but part of it becomes part of you, right?

So we need to be careful about what we take into us, because we were made like sponges to soak up something.
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Old 08-24-2020, 06:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: "We Don't Care for Right and Wrong"

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There's the doctrine, and then there's the practice. That is, the practice of living a life of "not caring for right and wrong." ...and calling it the "church life."

What scenario are we talking about? It's probably not when you have heard truth spoken, or you obeyed the Lord's speaking, etc. More likely, you "don't care for right and wrong," when your conscience is bothered and you have a sneaky feeling something is not right. Your conscience waves red flags, blows a whistle, screams "nooooooooo" !!!!! Your conscience cares for right and wrong. That's what it does. You need a way to shut it up with the "ministry" hence, "we don't care for....".

It could be as simple as hearing something in the meeting that doesn't sound right. You make a choice to ignore the warning. You might venture out on the forum and read something that so obviously is true, or "right", but it's against "the ministry" so you can't go there. You would get yourself into so much trouble, so you have to ignore that nagging voice.

Not "caring for right and wrong" is the way to sear your conscience. The way to close your eyes, cover your ears, shake your head saying "la la la la la la."

It's the way to rationalize practices you have nagging questions about. If you do this long enough, you may begin to "call evil good and good evil."

Nell
Very good Nell. There's the doctrine and then there's the practices. Quite often the practices are "not caring for right and wrong" as a means to excuse bad behavior. Those having their conscience affected and rise up are met with a paraphrased "you're on the wrong tree".
After decades of hearing "not caring for right or wrong", one my become cynical towards the Local Churches. As long as you speak positively for the ministry, everything under the sun is okay.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:37 AM   #22
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"Living Christ" by Witness Lee Is a series of 3 messages and is a pretty quick read, but I'm referencing the first message.

Lee shares his personal testimony after being a believer for 50 years.

Into the first message Lee tells us that there are two sins: unbelief and "not living Christ and not living by Christ."

Then he tells us that the Lord asked him if he had ever confessed the sin of not living Christ. He replied that he had not. Hence Lee begins a lengthy discourse on his personal experience as he began to confess this sin and began "living Christ". He soon concludes that in his own experience "there is no end to the daily confession of this sin." And "it is extremely difficult for us to live Christ every moment of the day." (Yet he continued to teach "living Christ".)

He eventually concludes that "even the best brothers and sisters among us only "live Christ" 5% of the time." (Yet he continued to teach "living Christ.")

As Jane Anderson notes in The Thread of Gold, Chapter 24, 11h, "...he was struggling under the need of constant confession, trying to do something he called "living Christ", failing in his attempt, repetitively analyzing the matter, and then telling others they were failing in a worse way. He was certainly not preaching Christ or words of faith. His testimony was one of hopelessness and futility. This testimony was actually his own admission that what he had been teaching for many years was not working well at all."

This gives new meaning to "we don't care for right and wrong." Then, with this failure as a backdrop, he begins to teach us about "The Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."

If you struggle or struggled under the weight of Witness Lee's ministry, you're not alone.

Nell
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:41 AM   #23
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Lee shares his personal testimony after being a believer for 50 years.

Into the first message Lee tells us that there are two sins: unbelief and "not living Christ and not living by Christ."

Then he tells us that the Lord asked him if he had ever confessed the sin of not living Christ. He replied that he had not.
Nell
Hmmm.. I wonder if he was confusing 'living Christ' with 'LOVING Christ' Because he sure seemed to be lacking love for Christ and the brethren! And it trickled down..
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:55 AM   #24
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If you struggle or struggled under the weight of Witness Lee's ministry, you're not alone.

Nell
In other words, Lee himself struggled under the weight of his own teaching!!
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:05 PM   #25
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Also just skimmed the first part of the message you linked to. Holy mountain of assertions with no scriptural support, Batman! Lee makes claim after claim and statement after statement that are simply not true!!

He says the TOTKOGAE is anything that is not of God. Um, where does he get that from?? It is literally described as “making you like God, knowing good and evil.” God himself says “behold they have become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” How on earth does Lee get that that same tree is “everything that is not of God”?
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:00 PM   #26
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In other words, Lee himself struggled under the weight of his own teaching!!
Right from the horse’s mouth!
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