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Old 11-30-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
aron
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Default Keeping score

There is a guy at work who always compares, unfavorably, my work with his. At one time he got so bothered he called a staff meeting and said, “Look how much I do, and how much my co-worker here does. Is this fair?” He was genuinely bothered. My answer was, “You do may do even twice as much as the rest of us do, but the quality is only half as good, if that. I continually have to go after you and correct what you’ve done. It is sloppy work and unacceptable.”

My point is this: we all, instinctively, compare what we do with what others do, but because of our bias we misjudge. Jesus, as usual, put it best: we can perceive the splinter in the other’s eye while being oblivious to the beam in our own.

Notice that in the parables the observer may be, to some degree, right. The Pharisee praying in Luke 18 correctly perceived that around him were many sinners: robbers, adulteresses, evil-doers, and tax collectors. In Matthew 18:28 the unforgiving servant was, in fact, owed money by the other. But the problem was that their perception was distorted. Like the parable of the splinter and the beam, the observer could only see the failure of others, but is missed their own. Thus, they misjudged. Their attempt to “keep score” was flawed, and could not stand before God.

Likewise in John 8 the woman was, indeed caught in adultery. But the accusers themselves were guilty before God. So who of them could condemn her?

And on the positive side of the ledger, the story of the “widow’s mite” comes to mind. The rich ones may have congratulated themselves on the hefty “clunk” their bags of gold and silver may have made when falling into the offering box. But Jesus said that the widow had “put more” (Mark 12:43, NIV) than the rest. God was judging differently than they were. God's scale is different than ours.

So who of us can judge? Who among us can “keep score” on this side of the Judgment Seat? I warrant that none can do this, truly. We can see, partly, but are prevented from seeing all, and then judge incorrectly by both our lack of omniscience and by the distorting effect of our own soul's bias. That is why I spoke of my co-worker initially. He did correctly perceive that his output was higher than the rest of us. But his resentment was ill-founded because there were other factors at play which he didn’t and couldn't account for. And going home at night and congratulating himself on how much “more” he was doing than everyone else was like the praying Pharisee: he could see only a little, and using this limited sight as the basis of assessment and comparison was vain.

This brings me to the purpose of this thread. The other day I saw a website promoting one of the “servants of God”, Dong Yu Lan. I quote: A servant of Christ for the work of expanding the kingdom of God on the earth and the growth in the life of the children of God

http://reino.net.br/artigos/dong-yu-lan-eng.html

(to be continued)
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:18 AM   #2
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The other day I saw a website promoting one of the “servants of God”, Dong Yu Lan.

http://reino.net.br/artigos/dong-yu-lan-eng.html

A servant of Christ for the work of expanding the kingdom of God on the earth and the growth in the life of the children of God

In the year 1975, brother Dong received the burden from the Spirit to help the churches in Brazil and South America to call upon the name of the Lord. This is a biblical practice in order for one to live in spirit and walk in fellowship with God, and also to pray-read the Word of God to obtain life. At that time, he was invited to minister to a group of young people in the city of Ribeirão Preto and there his main burden war to lead all saints to call upon the name of the Lord. The churches have experienced a great spiritual renewal from that time on. More than three thousand churches were raised in all South America as a proof of his labor in the Lord, confirming that the burden which he received was from the Spirit.

Another remarkable feature of this servant of God is to help the churches to not only to listen and appreciate the words of God, but also practice them, apply them in their daily living and disseminate it to other people. Thus, by giving due importance to the name of the Lord and His word, the churches that receive such aid now enjoy the reality of the church in Philadelphia, a model of a normal church mentioned by the apostle John in the Book of Revelation (3:7-13).

For over 30 years, year after year, this servant of the Lord has ministered Bible conferences regionally, nationally and internationally throughout South America and other regions to where he is invited. His biggest burden is to help the children of God to prepare themselves for the Lord’s return and hasten it (2 Pe 3:9, 12) by means of the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom (Mt 24:14). All his life and ministry are controlled by that vision. In many trips it has made in various countries, always says that “Christ is our life, the church is our living and the Lord’s return is our goal”. In order to fulfill this burden and meet God’s interests, he has helped the children of God to take the Word as food, not as mere knowledge.

In order to record and propagate the precious revelations dispensed by the Spirit to this servant of God during conferences ministered by him, árvore da Vida Publishing House began to publish them in book form. There are now over 100 titles put out and distributed on a large scale in Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, Italian, French and Korean. One of his publications which has helped many children of God to walk and live the spirit is the “Daily Food”, a bimonthly journal that now has over 40,000 subscribers.

The burden that has burned in brother Dong’s heart over the years is to expand the sphere of the kingdom of God on earth, and he does that by cooperating with the establishment of the testimony of the oneness of God’s children in each city. To expedite the process of expanding the work of the Lord on earth, the Spirit, through brother Dong, produced some effective tools, such as árvore da Vida Retreat – extraordinary space for events with capacity for 10 thousand people, where two international conferences are held every year, the árvore da Vida Publishing House – the publisher of his books, and the árvore da Vida Newsletter – which aims to supply in a simple and clear way the word to all of God’s children; árvore da Vida Expobook – a bookstore-library bus that travels throughout the country taking the truth about the oneness of the Body of Christ; the Cooperatives of Colporteurs – units for the dissemination and distribution of books for churches and colporteurs, operating in various regions of Brazil, the CEAPE - Center for the Perfecting and Propagation of the Gospel; and the Colporteurs – brothers and sisters who take spiritual food to the children of God through the written word.

Among the titles published by brother Dong Yu Lan besides Daily Food mentioned above, we point out these classics: The Salvation of a Society in Crisis – The book of Judges; The Promise of Life and the Reward of the Kingdom; Daniel – The Destiny of Human Government; How to Serve God? – the book of Leviticus; A Vision of the Tabernacle; The Character of the Man of God; To Be Like God in Life and Nature; A Man according to God’s Heart; and The Greatest Suffering of Jesus. All these titles are published by árvore da Vida Publishing House.


www.dongyulan.com.br

I don't think I need to go into detailed, excruciating analysis of these statements. Suffice it to say they are clearly biased.

1) Those who promote themselves are merely playing a "confidence game": they convince the simple ones that they are the latest and greatest, and of the need to sign on with their pyramid scheme. Then their acolytes go around promoting the advancement of their hero, because the raising of the hero validates their own involvement. The acolytes are unable to perceive their own gifts apart from propping up the hero. And the hero looks around and says, "See all the churches raised up! See all the books published! See the radio and tv and webcasts, the jet airplanes and conference centers! Am I not God's man of the hour?" And so forth; round and round it goes, until inevitably it all comes crashing down.

2) With one puff of breath God can burn up your hundreds of books, thousands of subscribers, trips around the globe, and whatnot. Look at those before the Judge: "Didn't we do this? Didn't we do that?" They have clearly been trying to keep score. God says, "Your evaluations mean nothing here. Go away." See e.g. Matt 7:22,23.

3) Conversely, the drab, Marxist/Leninist/Maoist "we are all small potatoes" idea supposedly balances the "great man of the hour" theory (I guess). This also flies in the face of scripture. In scripture we are told repeatedly that there is variation. Some have 2 or 5 talents, some 1 or 10. Some stars burn brighter than others, and emit more light. 1 Corinthians 15:41 clearly says this. Jesus taught continually about the "great" and "least" in the kingdom, and used parables like being seated at a feast to illustrate degrees of glory. But the invisible, eternal realms of heaven correspond inversely to the kingdoms of this age. Those who promote themselves in this age, even if they use spiritual terms, beware! And if someone's ministry necessitates pushing everyone (else) into the bland faceless proletariat, again beware. Some of us have gifts. Let them come out. But don't be tricked into promoting people, works, gifts, doctrines, or ministries. God will judge all in "that day". Don't try to anticipate God, in this age. You are not able, and you'll be disappointed at the Judgment Seat. Jesus warned us, clearly and repeatedly. Don't let yourself be deluded.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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don't be tricked into promoting people, works, gifts, doctrines, or ministries. God will judge all in "that day". Don't try to anticipate God, in this age. You are not able, and you'll be disappointed at the Judgment Seat. Jesus warned us, clearly and repeatedly. Don't let yourself be deluded.
I like Dong's case because his self-promotion is so crude. The spirit at work here seems pretty clearly revealed. With Lee it's a little more restrained, and less blunt, but the pattern is obvious if you know what to look for; Dong is definitely a fruit from the "Lee tree". Look at LSM's incessant promotions of the "rich ministry" of Lee, and the "high peaks" revealed to the rest of us "mooing cow" proletariat saints. And, how we were all "poor" in "Christianity", now the "riches" have been release to us. And so on. They are keeping score. They think they can compare, and judge.

With Nee it's the same; when he was read into the Congressional register, they testified of the millions of Christians who'd been aided by his writings, his standing among 20th century Christian thinkers, etc. Do you think the Congressional Register is going to impress anyone at the Judgment Seat? Do you really think God is going to say, "What? He's in the Congressional Register? By all means, please enter into the kingdom. Come right in."

If the Congressional Register isn't going to sway at the Judgment Seat, why allow it to sway us today? Let's be real, here, folks. The simple fact is nobody knows. Nee might be a great man, he might not. We don't know. But the fact that we are running around trying to convince ourselves that he is a great Christian, makes me very suspicious. Some other force is at work here, and that force will not be able to stand at the Bema. Why then yield to it, here? It clearly distorts, corrupts, and divides the ekklesia of Jesus.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Keeping score

Good Happy Friday Aron and saints,

I have not finished reading your thread but before going further I want to add to your comment:
Quote:
In the year 1975, brother Dong received the burden from the Spirit to help the churches in Brazil and South America to call upon the name of the Lord. This is a biblical practice in order for one to live in spirit and walk in fellowship with God, and also to pray-read the Word of God to obtain life.
I want to echo your comment because while the LC went overboard in 'calling on the Lord', it is a great blessing and revelation to do so with a pure heart. I am thankful we went over scriptures concerning the importance of addressing the Lord Jesus. (Of course over time, I have heard the LC people drop the Name of Jesus in their prayers. It is 'LORD..this and LORD that."

In most cases, I hear the Name of Jesus only when they "Call on the Lord".


On the flip side of the coin, I hear so many brethren pray to "GOD". Some end their prayers 'in the Name of Jesus' many do not. A huge problem addressing our prayers only to 'God' is there are a whole lot of unsaved people who pray to 'God'...yet they do not know their Savior--Jesus Christ.

Many pray 'Oh GOD in the Name of Jesus or "IN Jesus Name". Nothing wrong with that except few people do not know how to lead people to Christ because they never address the Lord Jesus in their prayers. They do not know that there is no other Name under Heaven given among men whereby we are saved. They do not realize that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. They are not going to confess God is Lord in the Name of Jesus !!

"In the Name of Jesus or Jesus' Name" is common place is as common place as "O Lord Jeeesus" was for us in the LC.

I do pray "In the Name of Jesus" now & then because I do not want to be so dogmatic and set in 'my ways'. Perhaps the Holy Spirit on occasion does nudge me to pray "In the Name of Jesus'.

That said... whether it is the residue of the LC doctrine in me or the Spirit has truly revealed me the Living Word, we are told by Jesus Himself, no less no person can come to the Father but through Him. And thus when I am leading people to Christ or discipling the young babes in Christ, I do my utmost best to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, through the Scriptures. I do not know if I would have learned the importance of addressing our Lord Jesus had I not been in the LC. Maybe--maybe not.

When Jesus instructed the people to pray "Our Father Who art in Heaven...." He could not tell them to address Him as "Lord Jesus." 1) How would that have looked to the unsaved people? As it was the religious folks were trying to find fault with Him every which way..surely they would have crucified Him right then and there !! Secondly...the Lord Jesus had not yet died, resurrected and been Glorified by the Father.

So it was not feesable for people to pray to Him directly although many believed He truly was the Savior and Son of God.

Next.. it is with a pure heart and through His Spirit in us we address the Lord Jesus. If it becomes repetitious without concentration and Love for Him, then it said in vain and for naught.

So there is my .02 and 1/2 cents worth for the day.

Carry on..
and May the Spirit of Christ draw us all nearer and dearer to our Creator.

Carol g
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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So there is my .02 and 1/2 cents worth for the day.
I remember how WL would teach "Christ in His human living did this", or "Christ in His human living did that". Why not simply say "Jesus"? Do you think you sound more 'spiritual'?

I like the blind beggar Bartimaeus who shouted the name of Jesus to the heavens. They tried to stop him and he shouted it all the louder. "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!"

What a prayer. The mercy of God comes to us through His Son Jesus. God has revealed to us the name of His Son, sent to us in redeeming love. And it is indeed Jesus, the son of David in the flesh, declared to be Son of God in power in the resurrection from the dead by the Spirit of Holiness (Rom 1:3,4).

Hebrews 2:9 says, "We see Jesus" when looking at the OT's testimony. Not, "we see Christ in His human living." No; we see Jesus. Do not deny the Name (Rev 3:8).
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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But the prayer we were taught by Jesus was simply "Our Father in heaven . . ." It never once mentioned Jesus or the Spirit. Yet it stands as the scriptural pattern for prayer.

Don't presume that Jesus "couldn't" anything. That is a presumption that fits with someone's insistence that we really should rewrite it into "Lord Jesus now living within us." That he is in us is a certainty. A truth. But it is not to "within us" that we pray. It is to the God of the universe. We like the hominess of it. But when Jesus laid out that prayer, it was not simply homey. It was solid. It spoke of God's kingdom and his existence outside this sphere. It begged for help. It plead for forgiveness. It admonished us to likewise forgive (a link to "love your neighbor"?). It reminded us that we are frail and easily are tempted. And then closed by ascribing all that was worth anything to God.

Are we not sure that any insistence on how we pray (differently from what is recorded for us) is little more than some kind of human preference?

Yes Jesus said to "ask it in my name." But he did not insist upon a prayer to the Spirit, or to himself. Only to God. And when named, only to the Father.

I do not insist that we do not pray in those ways. But I find no basis in the heart of the NT revelation to insist on it either. Or to suggest that there is a lack in prayers that don't.

As to the "heart of the NT revelation," it is not Paul's writings, but the gospels. I return once again to the Hebrew saying "God spoke (referring to the Pentateuch and some of the prophets); all else is commentary, and apply it to the NT. The Gospels are God's speaking. Jesus spoke and acted. The rest is commentary. Important, but of different substance. It is to show the application of God's speaking. (That is God's speaking through the Son.) Surely God spoke what was to be recorded in the epistles. But it is verbose discussion of what was already laid out directly through Jesus words, coupled with the words of God's promise to Abraham and to others along the way. I find none of them instilling a new way to pray.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
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OBW: "Surely God spoke what was to be recorded in the epistles. But it is verbose discussion of what was already laid out directly through Jesus words, coupled with the words of God's promise to Abraham and to others along the way. I find none of them instilling a new way to pray."

I propose that there are many new ways to pray, as many as are those who pray. None of them necessarily preempts another, or 'instilled' among the faithful as THE new way to pray. They are to be done in our closet, not before men.

And there are likewise many new ways to "see Jesus" in text, just as the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews did. Don't we all have the same Spirit of revelation indwelling us? But again, this is not something to be imposed upon the community. It is our secret garden, and should instill in us a power of living that is displayed before all; just as Jesus' secret life with the Father was clearly evidenced by the good works He did.

See Peter's point to Cornelius in Acts 10:38. Jesus "went around doing good" (NIV), not merely philosophizing and teaching, and organizing followers. Our prayers, if they have substance, will not be hidden forever. They will indeed shine forth.

We have Jesus, before us, praying. He is interceding before the Father's throne. With such a High Priest speaking on our behalf, can we not also be encouraged to speak to our Father through Him? Can we not also hear Him interceding for others, and in our prayers say, Amen?
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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I propose that there are many new ways to pray, as many as are those who pray. None of them necessarily preempts another, or 'instilled' among the faithful as THE new way to pray. They are to be done in our closet, not before men.
And in that I agree heartily.

My comment, though long and (typically) verbose, was to note that there are many things mentioned through example or comment concerning the content of our prayers. Yet it does seem to fit within the overall theme of the Lord's Prayer, or at least portions of it.

The point was that the only prayer given as a "do it this way" did not suggest most of the things that we so often cling to. It was very well thought-out. And it was to the Father without reference to Jesus or the Spirit.

As for the "in Jesus name" bit. That was never meant to be a tack-on, but was a statement of the reality of the prayer. And sometimes we are praying in his name (according to his will) and sometimes we are not. The prayer ending does nothing for the prayer. It sounds nice. And some people expect it (so it might be less divisive to just give it to them). But it is either true or not true without reference to any such statement on its end.

I just no longer sit silently when someone tells me that "this is the way" when I find nothing that actually says that. (Of course, no one actually did that.) In scripture there are many prayers given. They are seldom just some formula. They are of all types.

But, once again, there was a pattern designated, therefore I find no fault in any prayer that does not go beyond it. There is nothing to knock them down a peg for any failure in form or content.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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And in that I agree heartily.

My comment, though long and (typically) verbose, was to note that there are many things mentioned through example or comment concerning the content of our prayers. Yet it does seem to fit within the overall theme of the Lord's Prayer, or at least portions of it.

The point was that the only prayer given as a "do it this way" did not suggest most of the things that we so often cling to. It was very well thought-out. And it was to the Father without reference to Jesus or the Spirit.
To clarify...I often very respectfully, with a deep reverence pray the Lord's Prayer, as Jesus Himself taught His disciples. But I usually add some aromic spices to the prayer, making it very personal. It goes something like this: Our Father, MY Abba Father, You Who are in Heaven, how Holy & Blessed is Your Name. May Your Kingdom come and Your Will be done here on earth, but especially in me as Your Will is done in Heaven. Bless the Bread of Life as You give us this day, as you give me our daily bread, that nourishes us and sustains us. And Thank You for forgiving us, forgiving me my trespasses. Thank You Father for the Precious Blood of Jesus that has washed away all my sins. Lead me away from all temptation as You deliver me from all evil. To You be all the Glory, to You be all the Praise, Power and Honor for You alone are Worthy.

Sometimes I tweek it. I pray like I talk....long winded. So I try to spice up my prayers & mix the ingredients so they don't sound so boring to the Lord.

The point I was making is: It is easy for us to get stuck praying the same way all the time. In the LC, it was "LORD" and "O LORD JESUS". To others it is "O God________ in the Name of Jesus.

Nothing wrong with either address so long as it comes from a pure heart.

GOD has many Names. Over the years, I have learned and am still learning how to use them all.

Quote:
I just no longer sit silently when someone tells me that "this is the way" when I find nothing that actually says that. (Of course, no one actually did that.)
Thank You OBW for making this clear !! WHEW! I understand your sentiment. Part of the reason I stopped going to 'church' was for example the emphasis that being 'filled in the Spirit' means being 'baptized in the Spirit' which means -speaking in tongues-. While I am open to receive the gift and by FAITH, I pray in tongues on occasion, I know from experience and the Word that a person can most certainly be Filled with the Holy Spirit w/o speaking in tongues.

Quote:
In scripture there are many prayers given. They are seldom just some formula. They are of all types.
And you hit the nail perfectly on the head!! That was exactly what I was trying to say and 'missed the mark'. So Thank You !

P.S. However "in keeping score", I stand firm in my belief, we believers SHOULD address our LORD & KING Jesus in prayer more often than not. For Jesus Christ is our Savior. And while the doctrine of the Trinity is complex to our minds, it was the Son Who died for our sins, not our Father Who art in heaven. -no need to turn it into a debatable discussion. Me personally, I -understand- in my spirit the function of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit and thus I have an inward knowing of when to address each Member of the Godhead. The inward knowing came from pausing on the scriptures when each Member is addressed in the Bible.

And again...Shalom in Yeshuah Hamashiah

Peace
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:28 AM   #10
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The point was that the only prayer given as a "do it this way" did not suggest most of the things that we so often cling to. It was very well thought-out. And it was to the Father without reference to Jesus or the Spirit.
I like this point, because the so-called "Lord's prayer" in the gospels is actually quite formulaic; it is very well thought-out, as OBW put it. But nowhere in the subsequent scripture or church history do we see people (except for a few extremists, possibly) insisting not to go beyond this.

So we have a well-structured template given to us, for safety, encouragement, and guidance, but are nowhere told not to deviate from the formula. I find all of this quite heartening.

In my own case, though my prayer life is limited, when the word of God does come alive in me, it often does such that my mouth spontaneously opens and I find myself declaring the word back to God. This may sound like the "pray-reading" idea, except that it's simultaneously less structured (not limited to, "Oh Lord Jesus, 'salvation'; amen, 'salvation'; yes, Lord, 'salvation'; praise the Lord, 'salvation'!") but at the same time it's much more constrained. Because I'm not interested in declaring Witness Lee's words, nor those of some other minister. The 'interpreted word' for me contains only a fraction of the power of scripture itself.

That was why I got so miffed at WL & Co for telling us to ignore the words of scripture, as in the bulk of the Psalms, for example, as "natural concepts" of their sinful human authors. If WL had repeatedly told us that the centrality and universality was found in Christ, why was not Christ also in the Psalms? Especially given that with Jesus, with Paul, in the epistle to the Hebrews, and in subsequent church history all this was repeatedly affirmed and encouraged? Why rob us of the intrinsic power of scripture, that it may come alive, and into our hearts and "dwell in us richly"? If this word spoken from God does indeed live and move and act within you richly, don't you think your prayer life would increase in power?

Then it's the "Christ within you" praying to the "Christ standing before the Father's throne", and the reality of the Son of Man astride the earth, with an opened heavens, with angels ascending and descending, becomes your daily existence. Why rob people of this experience, substituting instead your hermeneutical grid (God's economy, the ground of the church, etc) upon scriptures and then the flock? When your interpretations cause you to downplay, ignore, and suppress the Word of Christ, then I suggest you re-examine the thought process that got you to that point.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #11
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The other day I saw a website promoting one of the “servants of God”, Dong Yu Lan.

A servant of Christ for the work of expanding the kingdom of God on the earth and the growth in the life of the children of God

In the year 1975, brother Dong received the burden from the Spirit to help the churches in Brazil and South America ...The churches have experienced a great spiritual renewal from that time on. More than three thousand churches were raised in all South America as a proof of his labor in the Lord, confirming that the burden which he received was from the Spirit.


I don't think I need to go into detailed, excruciating analysis of these statements. Suffice it to say they are clearly biased.
I know that I promised not to go into excruciating detail in the Dong encomium, quoted above, but wanted to make one point to show how flawed I think their logic is.

They say that the raising up of thousands of churches is "proof" of God's favor. If that is so, then surely God is delighted with Mormons, right? I mean, 14.8 million Mormons (per Wikipedia) can't be wrong!

Or, for that matter, how about Walt Disney? Surely God blessed him greatly. Look at the marvelous growth his company has had.

And the Roman Catholic Church: at one point they owned something like 2/3 of the real estate in Europe. Very successful. So why was Luther so angry, anyway?

And so forth. This was what I meant by the vanity of "bean counting", here on this side of the judgment seat. It is vain, and it shows you've been distracted from the Spirit, which is given "without measure", but is only limited by your ability to receive. If you start counting, you have lost your aim, and will surely suffer loss.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:39 AM   #12
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And so forth. This was what I meant by the vanity of "bean counting", here on this side of the judgment seat. It is vain, and it shows you've been distracted from the Spirit, which is given "without measure", but is only limited by your ability to receive. If you start counting, you have lost your aim, and will surely suffer loss.
Since you are on the topic of keeping score, I can't imagine how much corruption has entered into the Recovery church thru this door.

Leaders like Titus Chu sincerely felt that his reward was based upon how many saints were under him. He and other leaders had numerous battles between regions due to this. Battles were fought over the rights to younger workers, which, btw, was one of the chief incentives to startup the FTTT and FTTT. They fought over the rights to which churches belonged under their "care," resulting in a few "border skirmishes." The underlying thought of the recent GLA quarantines could be reduced to "who do you belong to, Anaheim or Cleveland?"

Within his region of influence, TC never allowed others to take credit for the Lord's blessing. Both times when I migrated to start new churches, the Lord blessed our sacrifice and obedience to Him with new believers and the freshness of the Spirit in the Word. But TC could never allow any satellite church to receive glory. Slowly he would decapitate each church by relocating its pillars to other places, deceiving us with promises that the Lord would send more blessing.

There was no such thing as, "if a member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it." (I Cor 12.26) That verse in the GLA should read, "if a member is glorified, it is because God is blessing TC." Years ago, he told John Ingalls, "you owe Brother Lee everything, including your own life," and the unspoken message received by many of TC's followers was similar, "I owe Brother Titus everything, including my own life."
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:58 AM   #13
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Years ago, he told John Ingalls, "you owe Brother Lee everything, including your own life," and the unspoken message received by many of TC's followers was similar, "I owe Brother Titus everything, including my own life."
I was never in the GLA, but in Southern California the speech and behavior existed in regard to Witness Lee. I disagreed. I was not baptized in his name. Nor was he crucified for me.

13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:13
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:11 PM   #14
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Aron,

In recent months, I came across a blog post on a site that I read frequently that suggested that the evangelical branch of Christianity is too enamored with spontaneous prayers and thinks too little of thought-filled written-and-read prayers.

Given the format of the Psalms, it is likely that everything there was drafted and edited to meet the requirements of their poetry. And since the content is so meaningful and not just random stuff thrown together, it is likely that each writer spent a good bit of time before any one Psalm was finished.

And while I might give Paul some room to simply spout those prayers of his off the top of his head, it is not clear that it is always the case.

But we diligently disdain written prayers as "poor" and just talk off the tops of our heads. I'll tell you that the top of my head has seemed rather poor in recent years. I used to think my prayers were pretty good. But over time I think that less and less. I almost avoid public praying out of concern with the poor quality of them.

We think it is just going to come to us. We open our mouths and start speaking. I dare not say that it is a bad thing to do. But we more often get "into our minds" in a way that I might agree is really not intended. Surely we always need our minds active and in gear. But when they become burdened with scrambling for another word to say that won't sound like we are on something illegal, or seriously ADHD, we have winged it just a little too long.

An aside. Saw a T-shirt that said:
CDO
It's the same as OCD except it is in alphabetical order as it should be.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:13 AM   #15
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Since you are on the topic of keeping score, I can't imagine how much corruption has entered into the Recovery church thru this door.

Leaders like Titus Chu sincerely felt that his reward was based upon how many saints were under him. He and other leaders had numerous battles between regions due to this. Battles were fought over the rights to younger workers... They fought over the rights to which churches belonged under their "care," resulting in a few "border skirmishes."
If you look in the gospels, there a couple of instances, I believe, where the disciples were arguing with each other over who was greatest. We are not given the details of the arguments by the various parties, but don't you think keeping score entered in? I can imagine Peter, chiming in at some point, "Oh yeah, but I walked on water!" Everyone had gifts; everyone had results, everyone had some fruit, something of value. But by counting them, while you yet dwell in the flesh, you abandon your source, and your heart moves toward the other side.

"When the light becomes darkness, how great is the darkness!"

"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

Don't be tempted to try and keep score. You will only lose. Don't compare yourself with others. You are not able. Believe me, God is able. Every hair on your head is numbered. Everything is carefully weighed in the balance. But it is not your balance, it is God's.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:54 AM   #16
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Given the format of the Psalms, it is likely that everything there was drafted and edited to meet the requirements of their poetry. And since the content is so meaningful and not just random stuff thrown together, it is likely that each writer spent a good bit of time before any one Psalm was finished.
Some of the Psalms seem hasty, spontaneous, or shall we say, "inspired". Look at the heading of Psalm 57: "A psalm of David, when he hid in a cave, while Saul's men looked for him". If anything sounds spontaneous it is that.

But even that undoubtedly went through a redacting process, even started by David himself. Anyone who's tried to write a song or a poem knows this. The amount of work to make it flow, and make it move naturally through your lips and tongue, can be substantial.

And the order: why did Absalom's rebellion get into Psalm 3? Chronologically it didn't fit. But if you look at Psalm 1 as a principle of right living (fulfilled by Jesus), Psalm 2 presents the righteous king (again, Jesus the Nazarene), and lo and behold Psalm 3 comes along with rebellion and usurpation! Surprise, surprise!

I don't think the composition was as spontaneous as we might imagine, nor was the arrangement doe randomly. To go back to my mantra on WL and the Psalms, these texts were ignored because we didn't understand them, not because they lacked value. It's Aesop's story of the fox and the grapes, all over again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fox_and_the_Grapes

And to turn our "careful composition" theme to the NT, I recently realized just how powerful those boilerplate Christian verses actually were, and perhaps how they came to be written. Think about the apostle John, and all the nonsense he had heard over the years. So when he composed the fourth gospel, he was shooting bullets right into the heart of darkness itself. "God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, that all of us who believe might not perish, but have eternal life". Think how much ignorant speculation which that statement would have removed!

Likewise, I always thought of John's "Revelation" as if he awoke one day, from "being in spirit", and there was a document on the table in front of him! Today I see it as a very careful composition, resulting from years and years of scripture study, prayer, contemplation, and hard experiences. John had likely been the un-named second disciple in chapter one of his own gospel, walking with the Baptiser. John knew the high priest (Jo 18:15,16); he went through everything with Jesus, and then what followed. He saw Paul come, and then go. He saw the Spirit's power, and the degradation that crept in behind. So when one day on Patmos the Spirit said to him, "What you see, write, and send to the seven churches in Asia", there was a LOT there to write! These were very tightly woven compositions. We can spend our lifetimes teasing them apart. And we should. I argue that the High Peak lies in the distance. To say we have arrived is to sit down in the wilderness and to refuse to go on.

These texts are a true garden of delights. They are living words. They come from God. They will take you beyond your dreams. You cannot exhaust them. They are truly "without measure". And yes, they testify concerning Jesus (Jo 5:39); in fact that is the whole point.
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