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Old 09-22-2014, 03:01 AM   #1
Nell
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Default The Church with No Name?

When I first "came in" to the Local Church, it was still a local church. "Denominations" were exposed and condemned. There was a meeting hall, of course, but there was no name on the property because to "take a name" would be to become a "denomination". The "local church" was NOT a denomination. The "local church" was "one" with all Christians in the city. This was the prevailing teaching in the church in Houston where I first began my journey. They were quite proud of this standing and made much of the fact that there was no name and the meeting hall was just that...a place to meet. The church had an address, but not a name. All Christians were welcome.

How the worm has turned. I was in Oklahoma City over the weekend and decided to drive by the meeting hall. There was a HUGE sign out front!

"The Church in Oklahoma City Meeting Hall" it proclaimed. Last summer I drove by 6355 Windswept in Houston. Same thing. A HUGE sign out front.

I don't know why this shocks me so much. Yet another sign of the apostacy? Or, is it an admission of what it always was...another denomination?

We used to hand out business cards with "Jesus is Lord" on the front and a simple address on the back. That ended years ago. I guess that carries the virtue of honesty too...Jesus isn't Lord there anymore, or, He never was. Don't hand out cards that imply otherwise. (Maybe "Lee is Lord" cards instead with a disclaimer that Lee is dead.)

I guess in a way it makes sense. When the local churches became a franchise outlet of the Living Stream Ministry, it only makes sense to advertise. In fact, the font on the sign, at least in Oklahoma City, looks like the Living Stream Ministry font used in its publications.

Oh. And remember when "the ministry" began? Lee's ministry meetings were separate from church meetings. In Austin, the "ministry" messages were advertised prominently as Lee's ministry and was strictly separate from church meetings. The "Ministry Meetings" were held in the community room of a nearby shopping mall. Local church elders delivered the messages. In Austin, it was George Whitington who delivered Lee's messages, beginning with what later became "Life Studies". That didn't last long either. The meetings moved from the mall to the hall. At that point, "the Ministry" and "the Church" merged, and once again the truth of the situation became evident. It was a Witness Lee takeover, never to look back.

Just keep in mind....in the beginning it was not so.

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Old 09-22-2014, 05:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Church with No Name?

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Just keep in mind....in the beginning it was not so.

Nell
Oh Nell ... a few fancy signs don't a hypocrite make.

"Have you not read" about the church with no name in Columbus Ohio which has sued in court to keep the rights to their name?
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Church with No Name?

The churches had to formally take names in order to receive the legal status of non-profit income tax organizations didn't they? At one point does the claim to be THE church in a locality cease to be a means to unity with all Christians and become a claim of arrogance? Whatever that point is, Lee's Local Churches crossed it years ago in the 1970s if not before. When the training and Life Studies were first being promulgated, the Church in Miami was totally absorbed in their consumption. Lee's image on the TV screen and amplified voice dominated the meetings. The church was all Lee all the time. Reminds me of a song... "I've been to the desert in the church with no name..."
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:03 AM   #4
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The churches had to formally take names in order to receive the legal status of non-profit income tax organizations didn't they?
Yes. You do. This was always the case from day one. We had yearly business meetings, the charter was read, etc. We were doing business as "The Church in ...." on file with the Secretary of State.

Still, you are not required to have a sign out front. It's a choice. There was derisive criticism of poor degraded Christianity for having a sign out front.

I believe claiming to be THE church is divisive. Why not just let the Lord call you the church, if indeed you are! Wait! He did! When 2-3 are gathered in His name. Of course, the LC doesn't gather in Jesus' name. It's about Witness Lee. So they don't qualify on that one either.

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Old 09-22-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:15 AM   #6
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I can't help but wish I knew who Nell is. I came into the 'church' in 1972 in Dallas. Our first 'ministry meeting' was at a Holiday Inn near SMU. I ushered at the first meeting and a nosey old aunt of my wife came into the meeting after it was over advertising another Christian group. An elder told me to get her out. I told him I couldn't because she was my wife's aunt. That was not the highlight of my entrance into the church life in Dallas.

In the metroplex now all the churches advertise they follow the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Doesn't that sound like first Corinthians? What a can of worms.

But I still say if the Lord is OK with it all I can do is get out which I have done. It's no worse than JW, LDS, and others which seem to be flourishing. I'm really thankful that I'm still a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I do appreciate most of you posters.

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Old 09-22-2014, 10:17 AM   #7
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When I first "came in" to the Local Church, it was still a local church. "Denominations" were exposed and condemned. There was a meeting hall, of course, but there was no name on the property because to "take a name" would be to become a "denomination". The "local church" was NOT a denomination. The "local church" was "one" with all Christians in the city. This was the prevailing teaching in the church in Houston where I first began my journey. They were quite proud of this standing and made much of the fact that there was no name and the meeting hall was just that...a place to meet. The church had an address, but not a name. All Christians were welcome.

How the worm has turned. I was in Oklahoma City over the weekend and decided to drive by the meeting hall. There was a HUGE sign out front!

"The Church in Oklahoma City Meeting Hall" it proclaimed. Last summer I drove by 6355 Windswept in Houston. Same thing. A HUGE sign out front.

I don't know why this shocks me so much. Yet another sign of the apostacy? Or, is it an admission of what it always was...another denomination?

We used to hand out business cards with "Jesus is Lord" on the front and a simple address on the back. That ended years ago. I guess that carries the virtue of honesty too...Jesus isn't Lord there anymore, or, He never was. Don't hand out cards that imply otherwise. (Maybe "Lee is Lord" cards instead with a disclaimer that Lee is dead.)

I guess in a way it makes sense. When the local churches became a franchise outlet of the Living Stream Ministry, it only makes sense to advertise. In fact, the font on the sign, at least in Oklahoma City, looks like the Living Stream Ministry font used in its publications.

Oh. And remember when "the ministry" began? Lee's ministry meetings were separate from church meetings. In Austin, the "ministry" messages were advertised prominently as Lee's ministry and was strictly separate from church meetings. The "Ministry Meetings" were held in the community room of a nearby shopping mall. Local church elders delivered the messages. In Austin, it was George Whitington who delivered Lee's messages, beginning with what later became "Life Studies". That didn't last long either. The meetings moved from the mall to the hall. At that point, "the Ministry" and "the Church" merged, and once again the truth of the situation became evident. It was a Witness Lee takeover, never to look back.

Just keep in mind....in the beginning it was not so.

Nell
I visited the 'church in San Diego' in 2005. I was shocked to see a huge sign at the entrance of the building that said "The church in San Diego meeting hall". I commented on the sign. They sheepishly giggled and said 'Yeah... we put a sign up there'. I did not go any further than that. My heart knew. It was more confirmation I made the right decision to leave when I did... 1978/79.

Peace, Blessings and Showers of God's Love,
Carol
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:22 AM   #8
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Yes. You do. This was always the case from day one. We had yearly business meetings, the charter was read, etc. We were doing business as "The Church in ...." on file with the Secretary of State.

Still, you are not required to have a sign out front. It's a choice. There was derisive criticism of poor degraded Christianity for having a sign out front.

I believe claiming to be THE church is divisive. Why not just let the Lord call you the church, if indeed you are! Wait! He did! When 2-3 are gathered in His name. Of course, the LC doesn't gather in Jesus' name. It's about Witness Lee. So they don't qualify on that one either.

Nell
Yes, well in the scheme of things it is, to me, one more step down from the ideal. One small step for man, one giant step down for a dream of God. The Local Church takes it's place beside the other denominations with the dream of going back to the original New Testament model of what a church is supposed to be. It makes me a little sad. Is that what you are getting at?
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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The churches had to formally take names in order to receive the legal status of non-profit income tax organizations didn't they? At one point does the claim to be THE church in a locality cease to be a means to unity with all Christians and become a claim of arrogance? Whatever that point is, Lee's Local Churches crossed it years ago in the 1970s if not before. When the training and Life Studies were first being promulgated, the Church in Miami was totally absorbed in their consumption. Lee's image on the TV screen and amplified voice dominated the meetings. The church was all Lee all the time. Reminds me of a song... "I've been to the desert in the church with no name..."
Was the real church we read of in the bible a 'BUSINESS'??? Honestly... I don't know but I do not think so. That is what Christianity has become...Local churches..LSM... any everything in between the mega churches and the denominations.

What I highlighted brought me back to the days I started cringing at what the LC was becoming. I have fond memories of the first 2 yrs I was in San Diego. 1975/76. Even though we were reading the life studies, I thought they were helpful since I had never in my life picked up a bible. But I started seeing BIG changes in 1977. By 1978, Big Brother Lee was amplified in almost all our meetings. No longer were the local elders teaching us the Word of God.

The SPIRIT and the Bride say "COME LORD JESUS".
Shalom everyone,
Carol
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:42 AM   #10
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Yes, well in the scheme of things it is, to me, one more step down from the ideal. One small step for man, one giant step down for a dream of God. The Local Church takes it's place beside the other denominations with the dream of going back to the original New Testament model of what a church is supposed to be. It makes me a little sad. Is that what you are getting at?
For me, it's about the hypocrisy. It's so blatant.

Also for me, the more I know, the less certain I am that fallen man can get very little related to the church "right". I think there is waaaaay too much "church talk"; waaaaay much "leaning on our own understanding".

There's too much "church talk" and not enough reliance on a simple walk with God. Not enough reading the Bible and obedience to its commands. Not enough "when we sin, repent." Not enough "when someone sins against us, go to the brother". When God speaks, we listen and obey. If He tells us to go somewhere and meet with certain Christians---GO! If He tells us to share the gospel with someone, we speak.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. People think "this is it" only to spawn yet another denomination. This is what I see among Christians. Trying to "get it right"; trying to figure out "the church". Didn't Jesus say "I will build my church"? Why not get out of the way and let him? Didn't Jesus say "Follow Me"? What a great idea? He builds his church and we follow him.

The problem with thinking you've figured out "the church" is...you haven't. It's not possible. The best you can do is get to know Him, obey Him, and trust Him to lead you in the path you should go. When you mess up, talk it over with Him.

Forget the "church talk". If Jesus is your best friend, I think you'll be OK.

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Old 09-22-2014, 11:45 AM   #11
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For me, it's about the hypocrisy. It's so blatant.

Also for me, the more I know, the less certain I am that fallen man can get very little related to the church "right". I think there is waaaaay too much emphasis on "the church". Waaaaay much "leaning on our own understanding".

There's too much "church talk" and not enough reliance on a simple walk with God. Not enough reading the Bible and obedience to its commands. Not enough "when we sin, repent." Not enough "when someone sins against us, go to the brother". When God speaks, we listen and obey. If He tells us to go somewhere and meet with certain Christians---GO! If He tells us to share the gospel with someone, we speak.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This is what I see among Christians. Trying to "get it right"; trying to figure out "the church". Didn't Jesus say "I will build my church"? Why not get out of the way and let him? Didn't Jesus say "Follow Me"? What a great idea? He builds his church and we follow him.

The problem with thinking you've figured out "the church" is...you haven't. It's not possible. The best you can do is get to know Him, obey Him, and trust Him to lead you in the path you should go. When you mess up, talk it over with Him.

Forget the "church talk". If Jesus is your best friend, I think you'll be OK.

Nell
Someone said, "aim for Christ," and you will get both Christ and His church. Aim for the church, and you get neither.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #12
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Someone said, "aim for Christ," and you will get both Christ and His church. Aim for the church, and you get neither.
The first person I heard say this was Benson Phillips. He was apparently not listening to himself.

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Old 09-22-2014, 12:36 PM   #13
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I believe this was a rephrase of C.S. Lewis' quote: "Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in: aim at Earth and you will get neither."
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:38 PM   #14
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Still, you are not required to have a sign out front. It's a choice. There was derisive criticism of poor degraded Christianity for having a sign out front.
Nell,

I think I understand your entire meaning based on all the posts. But this one part brings up something that I just want to make sure about.

You aren't suggesting that taking down the sign at the local meeting halls makes any actual difference are you?

Pretty sure I know the answer.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #15
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Nell,

I think I understand your entire meaning based on all the posts. But this one part brings up something that I just want to make sure about.

You aren't suggesting that taking down the sign at the local meeting halls makes any actual difference are you?

Pretty sure I know the answer.
No. Short of shutting the place down, not much will make a difference. Lord shine your light.

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Old 09-22-2014, 12:53 PM   #16
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No. Short of shutting the place down, not much will make a difference. Lord shine your light.

Nell
As I thought. And agree.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:10 PM   #17
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Nell,

I think I understand your entire meaning based on all the posts. But this one part brings up something that I just want to make sure about.

You aren't suggesting that taking down the sign at the local meeting halls makes any actual difference are you?

Pretty sure I know the answer.
We took a lot of heat for not having a sign out front, as if we were being deceptive. Looking back, the biggest thing we had to hide was our relationship with Lee and LSM.
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:12 AM   #18
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The problem with thinking you've figured out "the church" is...you haven't.
But Nell, doesn't this idea -- Recovery, Restoration, whatever name -- come from the belief that the RCC corrupted the early Acts church, and that God's blessing, not to mention the return of the Bridegroom, will result if we can only get it back to its pre-corrupted state?

It's a funny idea, when you step back and take a look at it ... very reverse-engineering ... very Cargo Cultic.

And it is exclusive and divisive. It's a, we're the true bride and all y'all, all the rest in Christendom, are not.

That's why the trouble with taking a name. They didn't want to identify with the whores that corrupted the early Acts church. They were/are THE LORD'S RECOVERY. Everybody else is not.

But putting a sign up, now that betrays that they aren't identified with all the rest. I can't believe they are actually doing it. I remember, it was such a source of pride that we had no name.

To me, and I'm not surprised, the sign makes them a laughingstock.

And you are right, all failures of building the church boils down to what causes the failure of all human systems: human nature, even of the "regenerated ones."

That "old man" is like a cartoon character. Drop a piano on him, and flatten him flat as a flitter, and he springs back up, fine as new.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:56 AM   #19
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That's why the trouble with taking a name. They didn't want to identify with the whores that corrupted the early Acts church. They were/are THE LORD'S RECOVERY. Everybody else is not.
As I have said on occasion, I understand and sort of like the cargo cult idea. But what we really have is not quite that. They claim they found the shell of one of the original planes. But it turns out that it was fabricated out of plastic like something from Disneyland. With a rope around it so that you can't touch it and see that it is not really a plane.

They created the back story that would live on as the "recovered" story.

Yes, we can say that the RCC is partly responsible for he problems in the church today (along with everyone else). And they may qualify as one of the more problematic of the church "types" in the seven letters in Revelation. But the rest of us are somewhere in there and those other types each require that the people "overcome" (whatever that actually means ó not dissing it, but asking).

The "name" problem is part of the fictional back-story. The Legend. It is put out there as a bugaboo to shout at. If you shout loud enough, maybe God will hear you. (Maybe like those prophets of Baal trying to bring down fire from heaven.)

But eventually you get too much flack about being so hard to find. So you give in and declare that your name is a non-name and put out your sign. Parse through the words and declare it to be non-descript enough to pass muster. BTW. Were there any signs in front of the LRC meeting halls when Lee was still alive?
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:25 PM   #20
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But Nell, doesn't this idea -- Recovery, Restoration, whatever name -- come from the belief that the RCC corrupted the early Acts church, and that God's blessing, not to mention the return of the Bridegroom, will result if we can only get it back to its pre-corrupted state?
Yet for all the LCs attempts to criticize the RCC and use it as an example of what not to do, it pretty much ended up like another mini-version of the RCC within Protestantism, a universal catholic church with Anaheim as it's Vatican city, where LSM factory blending operations take place, in which blended brothers are cloned for each age as their Pope(s) and universal publications such as HWMR are minted for all LC laity to consume.

So the LCs could be an example for how when you curse something, those curses may end up backfiring onto yourself in ways that are even more ridiculous.

Jesus told us to bless those who curse us. Should we then bless the LCs? After all, they are in the business of cursing former members. Maybe ex-LCers suffer because we are hung up on criticizing the LC system when God wants us to move on so we can heal. Maybe we're cursing ourselves by cursing the LCs as they cursed the RCC and everyone else. Perhaps the wake of destruction left by Witness Lee can be described as a huge cyclical curse-fest that can only be broken when the hurt people decide to finally break the cycle by blessing.

If that's true, I'm sorry for all the fault finding of Witness Lee I've done in recent posts. What use is it to dwell on the glaring faults of a man who has long died? Perhaps God has much in store for us if we can move on.

May God bless those in the LCs so that they can find the freedom promised in Christ.

1 Peter 3:9
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:38 AM   #21
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Jesus told us to bless those who curse us. Should we then bless the LCs? After all, they are in the business of cursing former members. Maybe ex-LCers suffer because we are hung up on criticizing the LC system when God wants us to move on so we can heal. Maybe we're cursing ourselves by cursing the LCs as they cursed the RCC and everyone else. Perhaps the wake of destruction left by Witness Lee can be described as a huge cyclical curse-fest that can only be broken when the hurt people decide to finally break the cycle by blessing.

If that's true, I'm sorry for all the fault finding of Witness Lee I've done in recent posts. What use is it to dwell on the glaring faults of a man who has long died? Perhaps God has much in store for us if we can move on.

May God bless those in the LCs so that they can find the freedom promised in Christ.

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Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
But it was Paul who said there should be disputes over the truth so that what is actually true may be found.

And unfortunately, avoiding the actual face-to-face hashing out of the disagreements is what gave us the fragmented situation we have today. It is rather benign to have one church whose style of "worship" is one way while another's is different. But just "agreeing to disagree" on a lot of the things that separate us is not what was intended.

The purpose of the nailing of the theses on the door was to announce an opportunity for people among a single community of believers to face differences of opinion and see where the discussion would lead. It was the "we have already decided and will not consider" attitude of the hierarchy of the church that divided us then and continues to divide us now.

There are two parts to reconciliation. One would be ideal but not likely. The other is imperative. The first is that we somehow actually begin to morph together but continue to have internal doctrinal differences that we slowly hash through, but in the meantime live with the unsettled nature of things. The other is to remain in siloes, but have an honest unity with our brothers and sisters with whom we do not entirely agree. There should be a core of belief that is common among us that we all identify with. From one extreme to the other. (That does not include those who disagree on the deity of Christ.)

This problem has been with us since the early days of the church. The Council of Nicaea was important in bringing together some divergent thoughts. But it was also part of the start of creating bright lines over every little thing and tossing people out for straying just a little. We now refer to those early writers as part of our "fathers" in theology. But we have little concerning the variants of the day because rather than hashing it out, they silenced those who did not support the official position. Everything was fully decided. And often by threat of harm.

So I would agree that cursing the LRC is a problem. But having open discussions of the issues that are seen as plaguing the group are part of the process of arriving at the truth. Meantime, they are set that their internal decisions, void of vetting against the thoughts of others, are not only the ones they will stick to, but the ones that everyone should follow or be reprobate.

We should bless the people. But we should be honest concerning discussion of the disagreements on what is true and righteous.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:27 AM   #22
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Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Yes! Search the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Another LC issue ... receive the word we're cranking out, but don't ask questions.

My point will always be...don't lean unto your own understanding. Balance your searching of the scriptures with your personal and intimate walk with Jesus. All the "church talk", as has been noted, is just that...talk. it's man's interpretation of scriptures...or, man's interpretation of another man's interpretation of another man's interpretation of scriptures! Search the scripture for yourself. Even Lee gets to interpret the scriptures. He also has the right to be wrong.

Lee was another John the Baptist. Pointing to himself instead of the one who was coming. Lee became a rival to Jesus just as John did. John the Baptist was removed from the scene. No one talks about John the Baptist anymore, yet Lee still has a following. Lee's "ministry" should have ended when he died. We don't need Lee's "ministry". We just need to continue to search the scriptures FOR OURSELVES. Have our own personal walk with Jesus. Credit the interpretation of others only as that...their interpretation.

Following fallen men can only lead to following their fallen beliefs and teachings and...hypocrisy.

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Old 09-24-2014, 08:49 AM   #23
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bearbear

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So the LCs could be an example for how when you curse something, those curses may end up backfiring onto yourself in ways that are even more ridiculous.
Could be. Then again maybe not. How would you measure whether that is occurring? If you were able to show that LCs were having greater than a normal statistical distribution of misfortune, how would you go about ruling out other possible causes?

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Jesus told us to bless those who curse us. Should we then bless the LCs? After all, they are in the business of cursing former members. Maybe ex-LCers suffer because we are hung up on criticizing the LC system when God wants us to move on so we can heal. Maybe we're cursing ourselves by cursing the LCs as they cursed the RCC and everyone else. Perhaps the wake of destruction left by Witness Lee can be described as a huge cyclical curse-fest that can only be broken when the hurt people decide to finally break the cycle by blessing.
I think this supposition is seriously unfounded, bearbear. Who is cursing anyone here? I haven't seen it. Can you cite three examples? What do you mean by "hung up?" Some of us were in the Local Churches for a decade or more. Our experience there effected us socially, psychologically and spiritually. We may have perhaps already "moved on" without reflecting about the possible effects that the LC had on us. This is a place where we can talk about our experience with others who are interested because they too have "been through it.'

Discussing what we experienced with others may have a therapeutic effect. It may aid a person in re-evaluating their beliefs and values so that they can go on with their lives in a positive way. We may be in a position to offer mutual reciprocal support to each other. I can testify that I have witnessed that kind of healing and support going on between the members here including myself.


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If that's true, I'm sorry for all the fault finding of Witness Lee I've done in recent posts. What use is it to dwell on the glaring faults of a man who has long died? Perhaps God has much in store for us if we can move on.
What use? Witness lee's teachings and practices are still being followed religiously by thousands of people. If those teachings and practices are false or harmful and we do not address those problems who will?

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May God bless those in the LCs so that they can find the freedom promised in Christ.
Amen.

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1 Peter 3:9
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
Amen.

I don't think that this website was designed to be a place for insulting anyone. I try to avoid that. If you ever see me doing that, please let me know
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:33 AM   #24
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But Nell, doesn't this idea -- Recovery, Restoration, whatever name -- come from the belief that the RCC corrupted the early Acts church, and that God's blessing, not to mention the return of the Bridegroom, will result if we can only get it back to its pre-corrupted state?

It's a funny idea, when you step back and take a look at it ... very reverse-engineering ... very Cargo Cultic.

And it is exclusive and divisive. It's a, we're the true bride and all y'all, all the rest in Christendom, are not.

That's why the trouble with taking a name. They didn't want to identify with the whores that corrupted the early Acts church. They were/are THE LORD'S RECOVERY. Everybody else is not.

But putting a sign up, now that betrays that they aren't identified with all the rest. I can't believe they are actually doing it. I remember, it was such a source of pride that we had no name.

To me, and I'm not surprised, the sign makes them a laughingstock.

And you are right, all failures of building the church boils down to what causes the failure of all human systems: human nature, even of the "regenerated ones."

That "old man" is like a cartoon character. Drop a piano on him, and flatten him flat as a flitter, and he springs back up, fine as new.
In the current pop culture, it's the equivalent to the expression "If it's on the Internet, it must be true."

If Witness Lee said it, it must be true.

If I put up a sign with a name on it, and tell you I don't take a name, then I don't take a name. So shut up and stop questioning me. Do as I say, not as I do. And I am not a hypocrite.

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Old 09-24-2014, 10:11 AM   #25
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Yet for all the LCs attempts to criticize the RCC and use it as an example of what not to do, it pretty much ended up like another mini-version of the RCC within Protestantism, a universal catholic church with Anaheim as it's Vatican city, where LSM factory blending operations take place, in which blended brothers are cloned for each age as their Pope(s) and universal publications such as HWMR are minted for all LC laity to consume.

So the LCs could be an example for how when you curse something, those curses may end up backfiring onto yourself in ways that are even more ridiculous.

Jesus told us to bless those who curse us. Should we then bless the LCs? After all, they are in the business of cursing former members. Maybe ex-LCers suffer because we are hung up on criticizing the LC system when God wants us to move on so we can heal. Maybe we're cursing ourselves by cursing the LCs as they cursed the RCC and everyone else. Perhaps the wake of destruction left by Witness Lee can be described as a huge cyclical curse-fest that can only be broken when the hurt people decide to finally break the cycle by blessing.

If that's true, I'm sorry for all the fault finding of Witness Lee I've done in recent posts. What use is it to dwell on the glaring faults of a man who has long died? Perhaps God has much in store for us if we can move on.

May God bless those in the LCs so that they can find the freedom promised in Christ.

1 Peter 3:9
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
Witness Lee taught his followers to judge people and their hearts, as if he knew what was in the hearts of man. All those outside the Recovery were judged as hopelessly divided and more. Leaders within the Recovery, and there is a long list here spanning decades, were judged for being "ambitious." Vague accusations of conspiracy and rebellion were thrown in.

There is a difference between judging others and properly recording history and warning the church. The NT is filled with warnings from the OT failures. They should not be considered as "judging."

I admit that some times forum posts cross the line into the area of judging. One distinguishing point of judging is known here as "ad hominems." Instead of pointing out one's failure, it attacks the person. It is similar to raising a child. A proper parent should never tell a child, "you are evil" or "you are stupid." That is destructive judgmentalism. A proper parent instead addresses the behavior of the child, while constantly extolling the child's inherent worth.
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:11 AM   #26
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...
Jesus told us to bless those who curse us. Should we then bless the LCs? After all, they are in the business of cursing former members. Maybe ex-LCers suffer because we are hung up on criticizing the LC system when God wants us to move on so we can heal. Maybe we're cursing ourselves by cursing the LCs as they cursed the RCC and everyone else. Perhaps the wake of destruction left by Witness Lee can be described as a huge cyclical curse-fest that can only be broken when the hurt people decide to finally break the cycle by blessing.

If that's true, I'm sorry for all the fault finding of Witness Lee I've done in recent posts. What use is it to dwell on the glaring faults of a man who has long died? Perhaps God has much in store for us if we can move on.

May God bless those in the LCs so that they can find the freedom promised in Christ.

1 Peter 3:9
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
Above all else, the standard is TRUTH. What is true? Faultfinding is scriptural. I'm not talking about malicious faultfinding for no good purpose. It doesn't sound like that's what you've done.

We have to be diligent to find the truth of every situation. Not only for your own sake, but for the sake of others. When I was in the Local Church of Witness Lee, I was deceived. I needed someone to speak the truth to me ... in love. I clearly remember the day I was handed a document which supposedly cleared the LC and WL from any wrongdoing. Interestingly enough, reading that doc, I had this realization: "everything they said about us is true".

That opened the door for me to eventually walk away.

One of the biggest shortcomings...weaknesses...reluctancies, etc., of Christians today is not wanting to confront sin. Their own sin and the sin of others. I was deceived but I made the choice to ignore the signs that there was trouble in the LC and with WL. I believed the LC leadership rather than searching the scriptures and finding out the truth. I ignored that voice that told me "something is wrong". This was my sin.

I also have made the choice to confront the sin of others, mainly by telling the truth. There is a price to pay for telling the truth, but it is scriptural and you have to do it. Someone told me the truth and as much as it hurt, it helped me.

I'm not saying we have to go around indiscriminately shooting our mouths off and mow people down with our version of the truth. In our walk with Him, as he speaks, in the spirit of love we just tell the truth. This is what it means to be a Christian.

You can't change another person. You can only speak when the Lord tells you to speak. The change is up to them and the Lord. They may not hear you immediately, but the truth has a ring to it! The word will not return void.

Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Obey Him. Obey his Word. Love Him and love the brothers. Sometimes this means, love them enough to tell the truth.

While I'm in sermon mode, there is an excuse we were taught that goes like this: I don't feel the Lord wants me to ...., "life will do it all", I don't feel the leading..., I'll pray about it...

Well. There are some things you don't have to pray about. There are some things you don't need to "feel" like doing. There is no verse in the Bible that says "life will do it all". That's a Witness Lee teaching which is non-scriptural.

The Bible is full of commands that we as Christians must obey. You don't have to pray about whether to obey the Bible or not. You may need to pray for the courage to obey, but scripturally, you do as you have been commanded in His book.

The end. (for now?)

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Old 09-24-2014, 12:52 PM   #27
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Well. There are some things you don't have to pray about. There are some things you don't need to "feel" like doing. There is no verse in the Bible that says "life will do it all". That's a Witness Lee teaching which is non-scriptural.

The Bible is full of commands that we as Christians must obey. You don't have to pray about whether to obey the Bible or not. You may need to pray for the courage to obey, but scripturally, you do as you have been commanded in His book.
Excellent. Nobody's put that into words that I've heard yet. Some LSM folks that I'm still related to are still so engrossed in this teaching and use it as an excuse for not doing what's right time and time again to the hurt of others. So sad. But after it all I still love them. I can't force it down their throats but I can speak it in love.

Yes, there is a price to pay for telling the truth. But I'd much rather pay that price than the one of my Lord's disapproval.

Thank you, Nell.
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:45 PM   #28
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Still, no matter what you say about following the commandments in God's word, there are commandments I refuse to follow. In short, and there are many, I refuse to stone anybody -- even nor a child with ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder). Not doing it. Not me.

And if God wants to smite me for it, so be it. Let the smiting begin. I'm with Jesus on the stoning-commandments-business. I certainly ain't pickin' up a stone. Not me. I'll pass on all those kinds of commandments. Thank you very much.
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Old 09-24-2014, 03:08 PM   #29
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Still, no matter what you say about following the commandments in God's word, there are commandments I refuse to follow. In short, and there are many, I refuse to stone anybody -- even nor a child with ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder). Not doing it. Not me.

And if God wants to smite me for it, so be it. Let the smiting begin. I'm with Jesus on the stoning-commandments-business. I certainly ain't pickin' up a stone. Not me. I'll pass on all those kinds of commandments. Thank you very much.
Wise decision. You're obeying this commandment instead: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

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Old 09-24-2014, 03:17 PM   #30
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Excellent. Nobody's put that into words that I've heard yet. Some LSM folks that I'm still related to are still so engrossed in this teaching and use it as an excuse for not doing what's right time and time again to the hurt of others. So sad. But after it all I still love them. I can't force it down their throats but I can speak it in love.

Yes, there is a price to pay for telling the truth. But I'd much rather pay that price than the one of my Lord's disapproval.

Thank you, Nell.
Here's an amazing verse on that subject:

17 Donít hate your brother. Rebuke anyone who sins; donít let him get away with it, or you will be equally guilty.
Leviticus 19:17 (NIV)

If you don't rebuke a sinning brother, you hate him, and you are as guilty as he is. That's powerful stuff.

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Old 09-25-2014, 12:39 AM   #31
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Jesus told us to bless those who curse us. Should we then bless the LCs? After all, they are in the business of cursing former members. Maybe ex-LCers suffer because we are hung up on criticizing the LC system when God wants us to move on so we can heal. Maybe we're cursing ourselves by cursing the LCs as they cursed the RCC and everyone else. Perhaps the wake of destruction left by Witness Lee can be described as a huge cyclical curse-fest that can only be broken when the hurt people decide to finally break the cycle by blessing.
Didn't Jesus also give his followers the power to bless and the power to curse?

I think some folks like that verse just a little too much...
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:46 AM   #32
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...I think this supposition is seriously unfounded, bearbear. Who is cursing anyone here? I haven't seen it. Can you cite three examples? What do you mean by "hung up?" Some of us were in the Local Churches for a decade or more. Our experience there effected us socially, psychologically and spiritually. We may have perhaps already "moved on" without reflecting about the possible effects that the LC had on us. This is a place where we can talk about our experience with others who are interested because they too have "been through it.'...
I could be wrong...but I thought I detected a bit of wistfulness in bearbear's post.

In any event...I'm pretty sure there are folks in the Recovery who view any candid acknowledgment of anything negative from the Recovery's history...or deceitful speaking or cover-ups within the Recovery...as exposing Noah's nakedness...and therefore...a curse...

It's spelled --

-C-
-U-
-R-
-S-
-E-

"curse"
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:58 AM   #33
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Were there any signs in front of the LRC meeting halls when Lee was still alive?
Interesting question. To the best of my memory, our locality got a sign within a few years after Witness Lee passed away.

Even as a young person, I was old enough to remember that signs were bad, just like "denominations" were bad, and calling a "meeting hall" a "church" was bad. And saying "church of [name of city]" was bad -- it had to be "church in [name of city]" -- lest we forget that we are in, not of, the world. Interesting that the church without a name has to have its non-name pronounced just so.

Even as a young person, I was surprised that we were getting a sign.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:14 AM   #34
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Here's an amazing verse on that subject:

17 Donít hate your brother. Rebuke anyone who sins; donít let him get away with it, or you will be equally guilty.
Leviticus 19:17 (NIV)

If you don't rebuke a sinning brother, you hate him, and you are as guilty as he is. That's powerful stuff.

Nell
It takes guts.
But you're right. There it is in black and white. Thanks, Nell!
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:48 AM   #35
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...as exposing Noah's nakedness...and therefore...a curse...
How do you know about that? Who told you? That was covered up thousands of years ago so...how do you know about it now?

Hummm....anything written up in the Bible is not exactly the best kept secret, is it?

This is not the first time a "descriptive" was misused as a "prescriptive", but this one is almost comical. The account of Noah's nakedness was a description of something that actually happened. It wasn't a prescription for covering the sins of the "deputy authority". Witness Lee misused this passage of scripture as a convenient teaching to promote covering his own sin and the sins of his deputies who acted on his behalf. If anything, Lee, et al, should be held to a higher standard.

There is only one way to cover sin and that is with the blood of Jesus. Confess, repent, ask forgiveness. No exceptions. No one gets a free pass. Not Noah and not Witness Lee.

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Old 09-25-2014, 07:16 AM   #36
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Didn't Jesus also give his followers the power to bless and the power to curse?

I think some folks like that verse just a little too much...
Did He? What verse is that? I'm serious. I don't know of such a verse. I know God blesses and curses as he will, but I don't know that we are supposed to take that upon ourselves.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

On the contrary...

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, ...

Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, ...

Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

James 3:8-10
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

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Old 09-25-2014, 07:20 AM   #37
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Did He? What verse is that? I'm serious. I don't know of such a verse. I know God blesses and curses as he will, but I don't know that we are supposed to take that upon ourselves.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

On the contrary...

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, ...

Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, ...

Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

James 3:8-10
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

Nell
Thanks Nell,

Rightly dividing the word of God. (II Tim 2.15)
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:21 AM   #38
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I could be wrong...but I thought I detected a bit of wistfulness in bearbear's post.

In any event...I'm pretty sure there are folks in the Recovery who view any candid acknowledgment of anything negative from the Recovery's history...or deceitful speaking or cover-ups within the Recovery...as exposing Noah's nakedness...and therefore...a curse...

It's spelled --

-C-
-U-
-R-
-S-
-E-

"curse"
Wistfulness? Yes. The C-U-R-S-E? Definitely not.

The heart of what bearbear said is actually what the LORD said through Paul:

May God bless those in the LCs so that they can find the freedom promised in Christ.

1 Peter 3:9
Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.


I say, AMEN to bearbear's (and the Lord's and Paul's) words.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:56 AM   #39
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By Nell:
Donít hate your brother. Rebuke anyone who sins; donít let him get away with it, or you will be equally guilty.
Leviticus 19:17 (NIV)

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It takes guts.
But you're right. There it is in black and white. Thanks, Nell!
I said there were many and here's another one: I will not stone anybody nor will I go around rebuking others. Again, if by not rebuking I'm guilty, let the smiting begin.

I'm with Jesus on this too. He did not rebuke the unclean. He ate and drank with them. And the Pharisees followed Leviticus and rebuked him for it.

Think of the woman at the well. I think Nell and Dancing would have rebuked her, with something like "go away you whore."

And would have picked up the first stone for the adulterous woman.

So y'all like the rebuking verse in Leviticus, what about all the other old covenant laws in Leviticus? Cherry pickin' anyone?

This desire to rebuke, to the point of digging up a verse to support it, is exacting what I'm talking about when I question the fruits of old covenant Law, or the New Testament as Law, for that matter.

I'm very glad I no longer live with a rebuker, like when growing up. My mother would rebuke my uncles and throw them out of her house for having a beer before coming over, and would continue to rebuke them as they went out the door. It was hateful, and completely void of the forgiveness of Christ.

Instead of going around rebuking others, why not go around forgiving others? Like Jesus.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:01 AM   #40
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I believe claiming to be THE church is divisive. Why not just let the Lord call you the church, if indeed you are! Wait! He did! When 2-3 are gathered in His name. Of course, the LC doesn't gather in Jesus' name. It's about Witness Lee. So they don't qualify on that one either.
Very true Nell. When you claim to be something at the exclusion of others, it is division. Why not call it what it is.
Present time fellowship in the LC is based on receiving a specific Christian publisher. If you don't receive publications of this Christian publisher, there cannot be fellowship.
They may not teach it, but the practice is making their receiving narrower than God's receiving, Reference to Romans 15:7.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:28 AM   #41
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By Nell:

Think of the woman at the well. I think Nell and Dancing would have rebuked her, with something like "go away you whore."

And would have picked up the first stone for the adulterous woman.
Not at all, awareness. I would have been the first to have embraced her. I'll bet Nell would too.

It's not the weak and sinful who are in such a serious condition, it's those who reject His Word that are in most serious danger. His top word is to love. But even He can only love on those who reject His Word so long. His Word is all our salvation! If we reject that we cut ourselves off from salvation!
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:16 AM   #42
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By Nell:
Don’t hate your brother. Rebuke anyone who sins; don’t let him get away with it, or you will be equally guilty.
Leviticus 19:17 (NIV)

I said there were many and here's another one: I will not stone anybody nor will I go around rebuking others. Again, if by not rebuking I'm guilty, let the smiting begin.
I'm with Jesus on this too. He did not rebuke the unclean. He ate and drank with them. And the Pharisees followed Leviticus and rebuked him for it.
Think of the woman at the well. I think Nell and Dancing would have rebuked her, with something like "go away you whore."
And would have picked up the first stone for the adulterous woman.
So y'all like the rebuking verse in Leviticus, what about all the other old covenant laws in Leviticus? Cherry pickin' anyone?
This desire to rebuke, to the point of digging up a verse to support it, is exacting what I'm talking about when I question the fruits of old covenant Law, or the New Testament as Law, for that matter.
I'm very glad I no longer live with a rebuker, like when growing up. My mother would rebuke my uncles and throw them out of her house for having a beer before coming over, and would continue to rebuke them as they went out the door. It was hateful, and completely void of the forgiveness of Christ.
Instead of going around rebuking others, why not go around forgiving others? Like Jesus.
Hummm...I'm feeling a bit rebuked about now. How 'bout you Dancing? Tell me awareness, are you cherry pickin' or am I?

Jesus forgave those who were clean. Forgiveness follows confession, and repentance.

As we walk with Jesus, talk with Him, pray, love the brothers, obey His voice, obey his commandments, He will direct our paths. Rebuking a sinning brother is not a bad thing. It's scriptural and purposeful. If the Lord tells you to speak such a word, you need to obey Him. It's hard, though, to say such a word if you haven't dealt with your own heart, forgiven the sinning brother. It's never easy, and you will likely be misunderstood. People may turn on you and blame you. People may embrace the sinning brother and condemn you for speaking the truth...condemn you for obeying the Lord. You still have to obey.

Here are some more powerful verses about speaking the truth in love and its purpose or goal:

1 Corinthians 5:5 ...deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

So, awareness, I guess you forgave your Mom?

Nell
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:34 AM   #43
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Default Bonhoeffer on "Cheap Grace"

ďCheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?...

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.Ē
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:40 AM   #44
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Rebuking a sinning brother is not a bad thing.
But Nell we're all sinners. So I guess you are pretty busy rebuking sinners. You'll never keep up. You'll spend your life rebuking others.

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So, awareness, I guess you forgave your Mom?
Yes, she was my mother. But forgiving doesn't erase all the damage she did to others by holding to her Law. We have to love our mothers, even if they're Bible crazy.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:47 AM   #45
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Default Re: The Church with No Name?

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... So I guess you are pretty busy rebuking sinners.
Nope.

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Yes, she was my mother. But forgiving doesn't erase all the damage she did to others by holding to her Law. We have to love our mothers, even if they're Bible crazy.
So we're on the same page.

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Old 09-25-2014, 11:01 AM   #46
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Default Re: The Church with No Name?

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... So I guess you are pretty busy rebuking sinners.
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Originally Posted by Nell, in response

Nope.
Truth is Nell, since we're all sinners, if we're gonna rebuke, we should be busy rebuking our self.

Quote:
So we're on the same page.
Nell
Cool. How'd that happen? I don't know. But I like it.
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:16 PM   #47
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Default Re: The Church with No Name?

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Hummm...I'm feeling a bit rebuked about now. How 'bout you Dancing? Tell me awareness, are you cherry pickin' or am I?

Jesus forgave those who were clean. Forgiveness follows confession, and repentance.

As we walk with Jesus, talk with Him, pray, love the brothers, obey His voice, obey his commandments, He will direct our paths. Rebuking a sinning brother is not a bad thing. It's scriptural and purposeful. If the Lord tells you to speak such a word, you need to obey Him. It's hard, though, to say such a word if you haven't dealt with your own heart, forgiven the sinning brother. It's never easy, and you will likely be misunderstood. People may turn on you and blame you. People may embrace the sinning brother and condemn you for speaking the truth...condemn you for obeying the Lord. You still have to obey.

Here are some more powerful verses about speaking the truth in love and its purpose or goal:

1 Corinthians 5:5 ...deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

So, awareness, I guess you forgave your Mom?

Nell
Truth spoken in love....Thank you.

And this explains why I love the law. I can see God's aspirations for ME. I can receive His discipline AND GRACE as I confess my shortages.

"Oh how I LOVE Thy law!" This is how we're perfected
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:23 PM   #48
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Default Re: Bonhoeffer on "Cheap Grace"

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“Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?...

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
What a warning to us! This was spoken in Germany, around or right at the time of the Nazi ascension to power. The church was asleep because of this cheap grace! And the Jew hatred spread like a malicious poison. The rest is a most regrettable history!

My point here is that if we don't take discipleship seriously we very easily become the next tool in Satan's hands to persecute those whom God loves and died for. We become a tool of hatred, not love. And we don't perceive it because we hate His law and won't humble ourselves to it.

Lovers of cheap grace hate God's law.
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:40 PM   #49
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My point here is that if we don't take discipleship seriously we very easily become the next tool in Satan's hands to persecute those whom God loves and died for. We become a tool of hatred, not love. And we don't perceive it because we hate His law and won't humble ourselves to it.
Back atchya sister.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:09 PM   #50
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Back atchya sister.
So, you love His law after all! Wonderful to hear!

You must have reconciled your past hurts through confession and repentance!
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:51 PM   #51
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So, you love His law after all! Wonderful to hear!

You must have reconciled your past hurts through confession and repentance!
Yer just being silly Dancing ...
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:18 PM   #52
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Default Re: The Church with No Name?

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I could be wrong...but I thought I detected a bit of wistfulness in bearbear's post.

In any event...I'm pretty sure there are folks in the Recovery who view any candid acknowledgment of anything negative from the Recovery's history...or deceitful speaking or cover-ups within the Recovery...as exposing Noah's nakedness...and therefore...a curse...

It's spelled --

-C-
-U-
-R-
-S-
-E-

"curse"
That's one reason I focus more on orthodoxy then orthopraxy, on the teaching more than on the doing. Jesus said "judge not lest ye be judged." I'm not interested in judging the local church or people here. I focus on the truth of their propositions not their behavior. Not one person in the church or on this website has done one thing that isn't common to humanity. Really if we are familiar with humanity, there are few surprises. What I find interesting is the gap between what people do and what they claim. When that happens and is observed people get upset and call it hypocrisy. I think sometimes the indignation we feel when we see that conceals a clear dispassionate view of what is happening. Unless the person were to describe the experience to us or we commit our own hypocrisy, how would we ever know what the experience is like? I know what it's like and few have ever admitted to being a hypocrite to me.

Now when I was in the local church there was very little in the way of moral or ethical teaching. The focus of the meetings was almost always on following the Spirit in your spirit. And yet the social structure seemed quite rigid. It seems that although we were not permitted to talk about it, everyone was supposed to follow a strict but unspoken code. I wonder if that was how it seemed to a person growing up in the local churches. I was 24 yo when I got involved in the "church life" so I don't have that perspective.

Why would it matter to one's conscience if the name of the church went on a marquee or not? I don't think it would. It isn't the conscience that is offended. It's the losssof a distinction, the claim of uniqueness that is lost. the church becomes one among many instead of being the one and only. that's a big step down.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:10 AM   #53
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...What I find interesting is the gap between what people do and what they claim. When that happens and is observed people get upset and call it hypocrisy...

Why would it matter to one's conscience if the name of the church went on a marquee or not? I don't think it would. It isn't the conscience that is offended. It's the losssof a distinction, the claim of uniqueness that is lost. the church becomes one among many instead of being the one and only. that's a big step down.
You're right, the feeling that our group is so special and so distinct is diminished a little when some of these distinctions in practice fade away.

But I think it can be a matter of conscience, when we've spent soooo much time listening to folks criticize or even condemn other groups for "having a sign" (yep, we really did some criticizing and condemning of other groups for having a sign out front!).....and then.....guess what.....oh yeah.....now we have a sign too....just like everybody else. And to the extent that we ourselves participated in this kind of talk (hallelujah, praise the Lord, our church is called a meeting hall and it doesn't have a sign!), doesn't that create an issue of conscience?
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:51 AM   #54
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So I think it's really a matter of attitude more than anything. If all we talk about here is the Recovery's teaching, that churches should not put signs out front, then it might sound as if the Recovery is just a group that has some quirky teachings.

But if we're willing to acknowledge the behavior, coupled w/the teaching, then we start seeing the attitude that's manifested. When we acknowledge that, after years of teaching that churches should not have a name or a sign -- and, yes, chiding other churches that do have signs (they don't "see the vision" like we do, see, they have signs!) -- and then.....after all that.....they quietly put up their own signs, just like everybody else, and quietly set aside the no-sign teaching......well, then, we're painting a picture of the attitude the Recovery takes toward other groups.

And it's not the prettiest picture. 'Cuz it's not the prettiest attitude.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:36 AM   #55
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Default Re: Orthopraxy or orthodoxy

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You're right, the feeling that our group is so special and so distinct is diminished a little when some of these distinctions in practice fade away.

But I think it can be a matter of conscience, when we've spent soooo much time listening to folks criticize or even condemn other groups for "having a sign" (yep, we really did some criticizing and condemning of other groups for having a sign out front!).....and then.....guess what.....oh yeah.....now we have a sign too....just like everybody else. And to the extent that we ourselves participated in this kind of talk (hallelujah, praise the Lord, our church is called a meeting hall and it doesn't have a sign!), doesn't that create an issue of conscience?
IIRC it was LSM which was first to get a sign.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:07 AM   #56
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IIRC it was LSM which was first to get a sign.
Yes but the LSM always had the dodge that it was a business. So when WL hired his admittedly unspiritual son PL to run the LSM office, he passed it off as a business decision. The concerns of WL's underlings was waved away. "It is a business."

So when it was convenient, as it often was, LSM was held to be a publishing house, and subject to different rules. Or no rules at all.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:50 AM   #57
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Yes but the LSM always had the dodge that it was a business. So when WL hired his admittedly unspiritual son PL to run the LSM office, he passed it off as a business decision. The concerns of WL's underlings was waved away. "It is a business."

So when it was convenient, as it often was, LSM was held to be a publishing house, and subject to different rules. Or no rules at all.
I remember going to trainings on Ball Road and seeing signs for the first time, and since I was a "good little boy," I basically thought "no sign good, good sign better!"
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:15 AM   #58
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Yes but the LSM always had the dodge that it was a business. So when WL hired his admittedly unspiritual son PL to run the LSM office, he passed it off as a business decision. The concerns of WL's underlings was waved away. "It is a business."

So when it was convenient, as it often was, LSM was held to be a publishing house, and subject to different rules. Or no rules at all.
Not so much that "It's a business" but it's HIS BUSINESS and none of yours. He'll run it how he sees fit. "The church" had long since been swallowed up. Since it's a business, they can have signs out front...is that it?

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Old 09-26-2014, 08:59 AM   #59
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"The church" had long since been swallowed up. Since it's a business, they can have signs out front...is that it?
Right. And the local churches now were ministry stations, where that designation became more convenient. And likewise new rules could now be applied... it was probably about convenience really: condemn Christianity where that was convenient, and then do the same thing where that was convenient. Just put a new label on the same package, and voila! "Behold, all things have become new".
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:20 PM   #60
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Default Re: Orthopraxy or orthodoxy

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Yes but the LSM always had the dodge that it was a business. So when WL hired his admittedly unspiritual son PL to run the LSM office, he passed it off as a business decision. The concerns of WL's underlings was waved away. "It is a business."

So when it was convenient, as it often was, LSM was held to be a publishing house, and subject to different rules. Or no rules at all.
Since it is a business first and foremost, whistleblowers need to be shown the door. Nothing personal, it's just business.
So when church leaders are quarantined or brothers and sisters not welcome to fellowship, keep in mind it's a business decision.
LSM doesn't want anyone driving the moneychangers out of the temple.
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