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Old 04-27-2015, 06:57 AM   #1
aron
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Default Love to the loveless shown

There was a line in a hymn that I always liked, and still remember: "Love to the loveless shown, that they may lovely be". When considering the "Ministry Churches" under the thumb of the LSM, I was wondering how to show love? Paul once wrote, "Love doesn't seek its own things but the things of others" (cf 1 Cor 13:5).

In the LSM program, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the "hook" to get ones into "the church, His Body" (never mind that WN abandoned "the church, His Body" nearly a century ago). The LC assembly is then the vehicle for people to come under the "ministry of the age". Which ministry, like a leech, continually cries "give, give." (Prov 30:15). This ministry only knows to seek its own things.

But the LC program is not unique in this regard. And none of us have been untouched by the fall. So how to show love? We are all of the "loveless" variety, in some manner: unloved, unloving, and unlovable. Yet God's love has come to us in His Son. God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son. To me, this revelation has so much power that we can never fully unwrap it. The heights, the depths, the breadths and widths, unsearchable in full. The Ministry Churches have deliberately limited their search, by allowing only "One Trumpet", and that the current Blendeds interpreting and re-speaking the output of a deceased brother in Christ named Witness Lee.

I argue that God's speaking is much broader than that. In order to "purify" or "restore" or "recover" God's speaking, the LC program limited itself to the output of one supposedly purified person. This man was supposedly so transformed as that little or no trace of the fallen human soul contaminated his ministry. Additionally, his position as "Deputy God" (their term, not mine) made him essentially "ex cathedra", i.e. in an untouchable position. Even when he was wrong, he was right. So God had supposedly raised up one man who was both dispositionally and positionally sanctified such that God could now entrust His current speaking to this one oracle.

But the record bears the fruit of this notion. I won't belabor it, put it out as a contrast to what God is perhaps doing. We all can partake of the unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ, and hold forth to LC'er and non-LC'er alike. This revelation is limited by the past speaking, but it expands and unfolds through the current discussion. First, it's limited by God's word, which is fixed. No Book of Mormon necessary to expand God's message. And second, this fixed canon is largely shaped by the Fathers, and those who studied them (not saying that we need to join the Orthodox or the RCC, but that the Protestant "sola scriptora" [i.e. 'me, my text and my logic'] has its lacks).

And finally, this discussion continues today. God's love is to continually speak the revelation of His Son Jesus Christ to us, continually drawing us to ourselves. We don't need to slag the counterfeits repeatedly. Deny them, yes. It was already being done in the composition of the NT. But pay attention to the reality. The shadows will fall away.

My point is to focus on the light, not on the darkness. WL supposedly held a position so exalted that he could characterize every other ministry as "dark" and "twisted". Nobody could cut the word straight like he could. But if we instead open to the speaking going on, which - "shocker" - might be going on at the nearby Presbyterian or Lutheran or even Armenian Orthodox church, or even some non-organized and unaffiliated Bible study in someone's home on Thursday nights, we might tap into God's speaking. I have a word, you have a word, that guy over in the corner may have a word. Nobody is so transformed to monopolize the word, and nobody is so deformed as to escape the word. Everyone has a part. Jesus is available to all, in all, through all. "It pleased God to reveal His Son in us". This is indeed the "fullness of the times" of Galatians 4. It pleases God to reveal His Son in the gentiles, in every tribe and tongue and nation. That sound you hear is the sound of many waters.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:02 AM   #2
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While Lee was alive, his ministry was dynamic, and it might have been possible for them to be in line with something that God was speaking. After he died, his ministry became static. Obviously, the blendeds completely reject this notion.
I would not say that the situation is completely static, even with WL no longer speaking. The Blended Curators have the same dynamism (subjective interpretation) available for WL's ministereal corpus as he did with his predecessors Nee, Pember, Govett, Alford, Luther et al. So there's a capacity for light, and new speaking. But it grows increasingly limited. The scope of dynamism shrinks, while God's speaking expands around it. Thus, instead of the whole Christian world rushing in to hear the "High Peak" ministry of WL, it grows increasingly marginalized. In this view it does seem static indeed. It nearly shrinks to nothing.

It does this in two ways: first, the ministry misses the riches in the word. I didn't get my "Psalms" revelations in a vacuum, but repeatedly exposed myself to the ministry of others, while being immersed in the word, and a vision began to grow within me, ever stronger. This word of Christ indeed began to dwell in me richly. Like WN had before, I sorted through the works of others, did my own "mix and match", and a compelling narrative emerged. But unlike WL claiming Nee to be the "seer of the age", I don't imagine that every other ministry then becomes null and void. On the contrary, at best I have a tiny piece of the puzzle, and if I got anything real and solid it was within the context of that larger ongoing discussion.

Second, the LC ministry became marginalized because it placed the burden of God's so-called oracle on the shoulders of one man. Only Jesus can bear this; He alone is the sole vector of God's message of love. So WL not only missed riches of Christ staring him in the face, in the plain words of scriptural text on the page, he then had to constantly churn out new material. And what was the content of his novelty? Various "moves" and "flows" and "works". Revelations of things which took our eyes off of Jesus. The Body, the New Jerusalem, the Church, the Ministry, the High Peak Processed and Consummated Corporate Expression of Divinity and Humanity, etc.

I think these visions grew ever more esoteric because they were increasingly removed from the person of Jesus Christ, plainly revealed to us all in scripture. But with a little humility, and a little seeking - remember "seek and ye shall find" still applies today - the revelation of Jesus Christ will blossom as fresh as the day that you, like the Samaritan woman, wanted to run around and bang on doors and exclaim, "Is this not God's Christ?!" WL robbed us of our openness, but it is still there, waiting, around us. It's still there.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for this post aron.

I found an "updated" version of this hymn by one of my favorite singers, Fernando Ortega. (see Listen Up!) I think he may have changed some of the lyrics, or added some stanzas. If you find one more to your liking, please put up a pointer to that one.

In the Old Testament, as far as love is concerned, the concentration was upon God's love towards us: "The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness." (Jer 31:3) Then, in due time, came the ultimate expression of God's love towards us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16).

While the Son was still among us, he seemed to speak of an ushering in of a new era concerning love: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another". This new era, the New Covenant, was ushered in by a "new commandment" which, according to the apostle Paul, was "written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts" (2 Cor 3:3). Now, what is the practical outworking of God's love towards us, his disciples? How could we ever repay for God the Father's love, the Savior's sacrifice and this "love which has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Rom 5:5)? I think the answer can, at least in part, be found in one of the last words of Jesus Christ to his disciples in Matthew 26: "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me'."(vrs 35-40)

"Love thy neighbor has thy self" is just a soundbite unless we "did it to one of the least of these my brothers", which is indicative of a life-long manner of living. And most importantly, the love of God - the true love of God put into action - is done without personal fanfare or even acknowledgement in this life. Remember that "the righteous", almost incredulous at the giving of the Lord's reward, said "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?..."
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Love to the loveless shown

From post #298 of How Much to Throw Out, Ohio said "For years we talked God, love, oneness, church, etc. yet in the end, we didn't even know how to treat one another with common courtesy."

I've seen it the NW how Steve Isitt had been handled in the Puget Sound area and in Spokane. Brothers talk about love, but they wouldn't even give him the time of day.

Mario Sandoval had his experiences in Ontario and in Vista which in chronicled in Hear the Cases
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3303

Same can be said for many others.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:24 PM   #5
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It goes without saying that everyone who has left or was kicked out of the LCM is going to feel wronged and possibly harbor feelings of anger towards it. I wouldn't say that is necessarily bad, because I believe such feelings are a defense mechanism that protects us from getting sucked back into the system. Even though I'm not fully "out" of the LCM yet, knowing what I now know, I could never go back to the level of involvement that I was once at. There is good reason for me to have my guard up. I have been wronged and hurt in the LCM. At the same time, I realize that I have to move on. When I realize how many are still there hurting, my heart really goes out to them.

I have no desire to to see LCers have their paradigm collapse on them, but for those I know, I want them to know that there are explanations as to why they've experienced the things that they have. Not everyone in the LCM has fared so well, the movement has a trail of casualties that it has left behind. I admit that I have little capacity to love, however, I realize that showing love towards those in the system that has wronged me is what I need to do. On the one hand I think that it is necessary to stand firmly against the LCM politics (this is especially true for those who are still in contact with LCers), on the other hand, there is no need to purposefully create confrontation when contacting LCers.

Some verses that I find helpful are Eph 4:14-16
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

I feel like at one point I was child who was tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine coming from the blendeds. I was tricked by those around me, duped into keeping silent and keeping concerns to myself. I saw backstabbing and plotting going on. This was all taking place within a group that calls itself the "Lord's Recovery". Because I have seen how wrong it is and what kind of situation I was immersed in, what I can do now is to speak the truth in love to those I know in the LCM.

I have concerns about what I've experienced, and I feel that I must speak truthfully according to my convictions. I might only be able to do this on this forum, but at least I am doing what I can. The truth isn't always easy to swallow. It can hurt sometimes. It's hard to think that I wasted so much of my time with LC nonsense, but because I have shared my experience, others in the LCM who might be reading this forum could possibly be helped. If the truth is spoken out of love towards those in the LCM, then in some ways we have done our part. It's not easy to love everyone, especially those who have really wronged us. If they can't accept the truth, then that's really their problem. So many who have left the LCM, have just "moved on". That's not to say that there is any obligation to help those still in the LCM, but I think some are needed who wish to help those still in the LCM. The LCM a self-reinforcing system, and I think it takes a lot of doing for anyone to realize what all the LCM really is.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:01 PM   #6
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What does L C M stand for? I'm too long out of there.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:00 AM   #7
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"Love thy neighbor has thy self" is just a soundbite unless we "did it to one of the least of these my brothers", which is indicative of a life-long manner of living. And most importantly, the love of God - the true love of God put into action - is done without personal fanfare or even acknowledgement in this life. Remember that "the righteous", almost incredulous at the giving of the Lord's reward, said "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?..."
It is life-long, as you say, and it is continuous. We know not the day nor hour that our Master returns, and if we expect to be found "so doing", a la Matt. 24:46 and Luke 12:37, 43.

So what is this love being shown? Jesus said, "I was sick and you cared for Me, and in prison and you visited Me, and hungry and you fed Me. I was thirsty and you gave Me drink." Now, this care, visiting, feeding and so forth is entirely possible to be seen in two aspects. One of course is physical. People are sick, and in jail, and hungry and cold. So if we merely wave them off with, "Be warmed and be filled", what is our blessing?

But there is a second part that is equally real. It is the spiritual dimension. There is spiritual care, visitation, feeding, clothing, housing, shepherding. And this is what I was specifically referencing previously. The Christ that we share is not static, but entirely dynamic. Jesus met no one's needs, but was the transparent vector, or conduit, for the Father to take care of His children. Likewise we are not supposed to interfere, but rather present this dynamic Christ to those whom God places us with. And this may be LC saints, unbelievers, Christians in various groups and places. We'll see the gamut of folks from the confused to the religious know-it-alls.

The key is, I believe, not to say, "You are wrong" (because we all are wrong), but rather to say, "Come and see the Christ that I view!" And this Christ is and should be leading you deeper into the Father's mysteries. And this leading is occurring in the flock. The LC has walled themselves off from the flock - no wonder they are in such shape. We who are connected to the larger Christian polity have eyesalve to give, food, water, clothing, and comfort.

I have been working with some Muslims for several years now, and we are tentatively acknowledging God together. One of them recently asked me, "Have you seen the television program about Jesus Christ?" I guess one of the cable channels had been running something. I confessed that I hadn't seen it, but maybe had seen a promo running. So I was vaguely aware.

The Muslim said, "We believe that Jesus Christ was a prophet, and it is not right to portray a prophet like that. It is disrespectful." I admitted that God's commandment included restrictions against graven images, and some Christians, myself included, believe that includes religious imagery like crosses, paintings and so forth. So accepted her censure.

The dynamic Christ will allow a Muslim to reprimand me for violating God's command. The religious me would never allow this. But God is dynamic, and arranges all, and all of the arrangement is profitable. It took me years of interacting with Christianity, post-LC, to begin to open to God, but when I started to get fed it was truly wonderful. Suddenly I had food to offer others! I really felt like that Samaritan woman - I wanted to run around and shout, "Come and see! Come and see!" It is the most blessed thing to feel that God is speaking to me, little old me. Nobody me, and God is coming down to share His heart in Jesus Christ. It's really too tremendous. And this is not in a vacuum, but in the flock.

I love the story of the old hermit living in a hole in the desert. He had renounced all worldly goods and things. Every now and then a package would arrive from a rich old lady in Rome (this was in the 4th century). He'd get some sustenance or things for practical care. Then he would write her a letter. These letters are full of his desert visions. He was not alone. He was, in spirit, with a little old lady from Rome, and she with he. His visions were not in a vacuum, but in the body of Christ, and for the body of Christ. We cannot overstress that Jesus Christ is revealed in the collective.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:12 AM   #8
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What does L C M stand for? I'm too long out of there.
Local Church Movement. I think you will also see other acronyms, but most of them are easily deciphered by the context. I have never seen any good reason not to just use the good old LC.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:27 AM   #9
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Local Church Movement. I think you will also see other acronyms, but most of them are easily deciphered by the context. I have never seen any good reason not to just use the good old LC.
The LC, or Local Church, is also aka "The Church with No Name", aka "The Lord's recovery (with a small 'r')", aka "Christians on Campus", aka "The Lord's Move to Europe", aka "Living Stream Ministry", aka "Defense and Confirmation Project", aka "Bibles for America", aka "FTTA", aka "Affirmation and Critique", etc.

Known by others as LC, LCM, LRC (Lord's Recovery Church), Liites, Lee-ites, the Blendeds, and so forth.

Did I miss any? Probably a few - it's a lot to keep track of.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:24 AM   #10
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The LC, or Local Church, is also aka "The Church with No Name", aka "The Lord's recovery (with a small 'r')", aka "Christians on Campus", aka "The Lord's Move to Europe", aka "Living Stream Ministry", aka "Defense and Confirmation Project", aka "Bibles for America", aka "FTTA", aka "Affirmation and Critique", etc.

Known by others as LC, LCM, LRC (Lord's Recovery Church), Liites, Lee-ites, the Blendeds, and so forth.

Did I miss any? Probably a few - it's a lot to keep track of.
Tell me again about that church in Columbus with no name which took "themselves" to court in order to keep their name.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:35 AM   #11
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Tell me again about that church in Columbus with no name which took "themselves" to court in order to keep their name.
Tell me again mummy

. . .

You and Lee against the world
Sometimes it seems like you and Lee against the world
And for all the times we've cried
I always felt that God was on our side

(with apologies to whoever wrote that song for Helen Reddy)
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:03 PM   #12
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I feel like at one point I was child who was tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine coming from the blendeds. I was tricked by those around me, duped into keeping silent and keeping concerns to myself.
The system has instilled fear which results in speculations, assumptions, etc. There's a serious lack of asking direct questions. What if I asked brother BP, do you feel brother the quarantines had basis?
To often the conditioned responses have been "the brothers said" or " I feel to honor the feeling of the Body".
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:15 PM   #13
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It goes without saying that everyone who has left or was kicked out of the LCM is going to feel wronged and possibly harbor feelings of anger towards it.
I don't feel wronged or have anger, basically mistrust and the principles seen in Isaiah 5:20 and Acts 5:1-2 became part of LSM practices.
I love the brothers and sisters in the local churches, but the system that has muted their liberty, I have no tolerance.
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:14 PM   #14
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I don't feel wronged or have anger, basically mistrust and the principles seen in Isaiah 5:20 and Acts 5:1-2 became part of LSM practices.
I love the brothers and sisters in the local churches, but the system that has muted their liberty, I have no tolerance.
The reason that I feel wronged is because the LC has misrepresented itself for what it really is. I spent years devoting my time to a system that wasn’t what I thought it was, and at the end of it all, I have nothing to show for it. That’s not to say that I was expecting to get back out of it what I put into it, but all the same, it was really an experience of wasted time and energy.

I think I’m slowly working to put such attitudes behind me, and obviously that is something that does take time. At the same time, my heart really goes out to those trapped in the system of the LC, who are devoting their time and energy to it. I am especially concerned for the younger generation and those who are my age. The LC is a system that likes to put the younger ones out on the firing line. The problem is that those who are younger are not going to have any idea of what they are really promoting or fighting for. That is what the issue is really all about to me. Because of my frustration with the LC, I just want those in the system to see it for what it really is. Because I am not completely “out” of the LC, I have the ability to discretely express my views. I think the key is how I go about doing that. I can do that out of frustration, or I can do that because I love those in the LC and want to see them able to make an educated decision as to whether or not the LC is right for them.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:41 AM   #15
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The reason that I feel wronged is because the LC has misrepresented itself for what it really is. I spent years devoting my time to a system that wasn’t what I thought it was, and at the end of it all, I have nothing to show for it. That’s not to say that I was expecting to get back out of it what I put into it, but all the same, it was really an experience of wasted time and energy.

I think I’m slowly working to put such attitudes behind me, and obviously that is something that does take time. At the same time, my heart really goes out to those trapped in the system of the LC, who are devoting their time and energy to it. I am especially concerned for the younger generation and those who are my age. The LC is a system that likes to put the younger ones out on the firing line. The problem is that those who are younger are not going to have any idea of what they are really promoting or fighting for. That is what the issue is really all about to me. Because of my frustration with the LC, I just want those in the system to see it for what it really is. Because I am not completely “out” of the LC, I have the ability to discretely express my views. I think the key is how I go about doing that. I can do that out of frustration, or I can do that because I love those in the LC and want to see them able to make an educated decision as to whether or not the LC is right for them.
Dear Freedom,
I believe there is one thing you have to show for the time in the LCM and that is people. I wager that if you stop and think about individuals who cared for you and with whom you shared many experiences, you will find that this is the redeeming element. Even though my stay was short I have fond memories of individuals like Tom McNaughton, Rick Coleman, Phil Comfort, Tony Lions and on it goes. Nothing can diminish or take away from godly friends in Christ regardless of the organization and what it did. Take heart my brother soon and very soon you will know even as you are known and until then we see through a glass dimly. In the light of eternity all will be clear. Until then rejoice in Christ and in the cloud of witnesses, the individuals.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:27 AM   #16
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Dear Freedom,
I believe there is one thing you have to show for the time in the LCM and that is people. I wager that if you stop and think about individuals who cared for you and with whom you shared many experiences, you will find that this is the redeeming element. Even though my stay was short I have fond memories of individuals like Tom McNaughton, Rick Coleman, Phil Comfort, Tony Lions and on it goes. Nothing can diminish or take away from godly friends in Christ regardless of the organization and what it did. Take heart my brother soon and very soon you will know even as you are known and until then we see through a glass dimly. In the light of eternity all will be clear. Until then rejoice in Christ and in the cloud of witnesses, the individuals.
That is true. I have a lot of fond memories of LC individuals that I know. I have respect for those who are able to interact on a normal level outside LC meetings and activities. Some LCers don't have that ability.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:26 PM   #17
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That is true. I have a lot of fond memories of LC individuals that I know. I have respect for those who are able to interact on a normal level outside LC meetings and activities. Some LCers don't have that ability.
I believe the general feeling is loving the brothers and sisters in the local churches, but hating the system. A system that is contingent on the existence of deputy authority; a teaching and practice that erodes any humility and instills pride. A pride that disables good brothers from having to apologize and say they're sorry.
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