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Old 05-30-2017, 10:41 AM   #1
Jake
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Default Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

As far as I can tell, the entire concept of having one church per city seems to be an almost childishly simplistic reading of Paul's letters which refer to the church in some particular city. If we really want to be semantically strict, the only true "church" is the body of Christ, the universal church consisting of all believers. I think most Christians understand the distinction that when we say "church" in reference to a building, it's really just shorthand for "a meeting place for members of the Church", it doesn't mean that the Body of Christ is actually contained within that physical place. The idea that there is one church per city, and each of these city-based churches is somehow distinct and separate as an entity, seems to directly contradict the idea of the universal corporate Church.

It also seems strange that we would tie something divine to a man-made secular structure--cities, after all, are just arbitrary geographic boundaries created for political reasons. What happens when two cities merge? Does the decision of politicians miraculously result in the Body of Christ being rearranged? Merging several cities to create large mega-cities has been popular practice in urban development over the last few decades, how have LCs actually responded when this occurs?

Other denominations often name their churches after cities, neighborhoods or streets, but they don't make any claims about the city being some kind of divine basis for the unique expression of the Church, it's simply used to identify the location of the building...
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

You are right about the error of one church one city.

There have been many valuable posts and threads written about this subject on this forum.

Here is one such post within an informative thread.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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You are right about the error of one church one city.

There have been many valuable posts and threads written about this subject on this forum.

Here is one such post within an informative thread.
Could you or another long time poster point us to the best thread(s) on this topic?

I currently live in a city of 7,000 people within 10 miles of three much larger cities, only one of which has 'a local church'. I attend a 'community church' in one of the larger cities without a 'local church'. There are hundreds of churches within the county. It seems rediculous to think the one city with 'a local church' is the only city with 'the church' in it?
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

I'll try to briefly point out a couple of my views. First is that the word 'church' is a translation of 'ekklesia', which often meant meeting or gathering. If you look at the word in scripture such as the LXX, which predated Christ by centuries, it was already in wide use. "In the midst of the 'ekklesia' I will sing hymns of praise to You." (Psa 22:22; cf Heb 2:12)

Second, look in the NT and see usage of 'ekklesia' where we can't possibly translate it into our 19th or 20th or 21st century idea of 'church'. "And with these words he dismissed the 'ekklesia' ". (Acts 19:41).

Third, in the quote Ohio provided, that author talks about 'ekklesia' meeting in people's homes (e.g. in the greetings in Romans 16). Does that perforce involve all believers in Rome? Or is that what we'd call a 'home meeting'?

In sum, if we base a religious movement upon some forced and narrow reading that can't hold up across scripture, then we're mistaken, and building on the proverbial sand. (Somewhat similar to the enforced reading of JHWH as 'Jehovah' when the Hard J sound came from 18th century German, or insisting that everyone now observe the Sabbath because "its in the Bible"). Any critical reading makes these ideas look untenable.

In short, I see no more justification for One-city-one-church dogma than One Trumpet (the Bible was written by how many authors?) or One Apostle Per Age. It's merely starting with an ignorant and self-biased premise, finding six or eight verses that might support it, turning another 20 verses to fit the view, and then ignoring the dozen or so verses that can't fit. Wave the ones you like, saying, "It's in the Bible" and ignore the rest of the Bible, and centuries of Christian precedent and/or understanding.

Um, no.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Could you or another long time poster point us to the best thread(s) on this topic?

I currently live in a city of 7,000 people within 10 miles of three much larger cities, only one of which has 'a local church'. I attend a 'community church' in one of the larger cities without a 'local church'. There are hundreds of churches within the county. It seems rediculous to think the one city with 'a local church' is the only city with 'the church' in it?
David Canfield (brother from Chicago area) wrote an article which started a thread called Regarding the Ground of Locality which prompted much good discussion. The post I linked before was an anon post on this thread which apparently was from an ex-member who had at one time espoused the teaching.

Igzy started another thread called "Canfield on the Ground of Locality" which also generated much discussion.

Did Igzy ever post his 3200 word rebuttal? Huh?

Anyways, those should be a great starting point. It is a topic which pops up on most every thread.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Could you or another long time poster point us to the best thread(s) on this topic?

I currently live in a city of 7,000 people within 10 miles of three much larger cities, only one of which has 'a local church'. I attend a 'community church' in one of the larger cities without a 'local church'. There are hundreds of churches within the county. It seems rdiculous to think the one city with 'a local church' is the only city with 'the church' in it?
Even more ridiculously absurd is the demand that every believing, evangelical Christian in your city be required to submit to a few LSM appointed lackeys (sorry, I mean "elders.")
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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Originally Posted by Jake View Post
As far as I can tell, the entire concept of having one church per city seems to be an almost childishly simplistic reading of Paul's letters which refer to the church in some particular city. If we really want to be semantically strict, the only true "church" is the body of Christ, the universal church consisting of all believers. I think most Christians understand the distinction that when we say "church" in reference to a building, it's really just shorthand for "a meeting place for members of the Church", it doesn't mean that the Body of Christ is actually contained within that physical place. The idea that there is one church per city, and each of these city-based churches is somehow distinct and separate as an entity, seems to directly contradict the idea of the universal corporate Church.

It also seems strange that we would tie something divine to a man-made secular structure--cities, after all, are just arbitrary geographic boundaries created for political reasons. What happens when two cities merge? Does the decision of politicians miraculously result in the Body of Christ being rearranged? Merging several cities to create large mega-cities has been popular practice in urban development over the last few decades, how have LCs actually responded when this occurs?

Other denominations often name their churches after cities, neighborhoods or streets, but they don't make any claims about the city being some kind of divine basis for the unique expression of the Church, it's simply used to identify the location of the building...
Hi Jake,

If what you say here:

The idea that there is one church per city, and each of these city-based churches is somehow distinct and separate as an entity, seems to directly contradict the idea of the universal corporate Church.

Is true, then why did Jesus Himself refer to 7 churches in Revelation? Why did Jesus not just say "send it to the Church".. why "seven churches"?

Revelation 1:11
saying "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

Ephesus is a church - city, not denomination, house/street name, or country
Smyrna is a church - city, not denomination...
Pergamum is a church- city, not denomination...
Thyatira is a church- city, not denomination...
Sardis is a church - city, not denomination...
Philadelphia is a church - city, not denomination...
Laodicea is a church - city, not denomination...

So if we want to see how God/Jesus views the church entity, we can see that in Revelation 1:11.

But the idea itself, actually comes from church history. The Bible of course, reflects how things were at the time. It's no surprise that the Bible does not mention denominations or more than one church per city, because that's how things were.

I submit this section from this book, emphasis mine.

The Word of Truth: A Summary of Christian Doctrine Based on Biblical Revelation By Dale Moody
p. 435

The New Testament also speaks of the church as the one body of Christ composed of all true believers in all places, but it never speaks of a plurality of churches in one city (Col 1:18,24; Ephesians 1:22; 2:14-21;3:6-10;4:4,12; 5:23-33). It comes as a jolt, but it must be said again that the modern concept of a plurality of churches in one city is never found in the New Testament.

Dale Moody's credentials as a theologian can be found here:

http://archives.sbts.edu/the-history...rs/dale-moody/

I also present to you what the Orthodox church, one of the oldest churches, says:

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articl...nOneBishop.php

The model of church organization that was formed during the first three centuries of Christianity was based on the principle of "one city-one bishop-one Church",


It should be quite evident then, that historically and factually speaking, there were churches organized according to territorial boundaries.

I agree with what you said here:

"If we really want to be semantically strict, the only true "church" is the body of Christ, the universal church consisting of all believers. "

That is precisely what we believe. There is only one church, and the expression of that is one church per territory or city. Multiple churches per city does not reflect the "one church" very well.

In regards to:

"I think most Christians understand the distinction that when we say "church" in reference to a building, it's really just shorthand for "a meeting place for members of the Church""


If we are talking about denominations, like the Roman Catholic church, Orthodox, or even the pentecostal mega-churches, it's a whole lot more than "just a meeting place". "Just a meeting place" is like "hey, let's meet for church at the park today, and next week we can go to a cafe". That's "just a meeting place". But denominations are not like that.
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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Hi Jake,

If what you say here:

The idea that there is one church per city, and each of these city-based churches is somehow distinct and separate as an entity, seems to directly contradict the idea of the universal corporate Church.

Is true, then why did Jesus Himself refer to 7 churches in Revelation? Why did Jesus not just say "send it to the Church".. why "seven churches"?

Revelation 1:11
saying "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

Ephesus is a church - city, not denomination, house/street name, or country
Smyrna is a church - city, not denomination...
Pergamum is a church- city, not denomination...
Thyatira is a church- city, not denomination...
Sardis is a church - city, not denomination...
Philadelphia is a church - city, not denomination...
Laodicea is a church - city, not denomination...

So if we want to see how God/Jesus views the church entity, we can see that in Revelation 1:11.

But the idea itself, actually comes from church history. The Bible of course, reflects how things were at the time. It's no surprise that the Bible does not mention denominations or more than one church per city, because that's how things were.

I submit this section from this book, emphasis mine.

The Word of Truth: A Summary of Christian Doctrine Based on Biblical Revelation By Dale Moody
p. 435

The New Testament also speaks of the church as the one body of Christ composed of all true believers in all places, but it never speaks of a plurality of churches in one city (Col 1:18,24; Ephesians 1:22; 2:14-21;3:6-10;4:4,12; 5:23-33). It comes as a jolt, but it must be said again that the modern concept of a plurality of churches in one city is never found in the New Testament.

Dale Moody's credentials as a theologian can be found here:

http://archives.sbts.edu/the-history...rs/dale-moody/

I also present to you what the Orthodox church, one of the oldest churches, says:

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articl...nOneBishop.php

The model of church organization that was formed during the first three centuries of Christianity was based on the principle of "one city-one bishop-one Church",


It should be quite evident then, that historically and factually speaking, there were churches organized according to territorial boundaries.

I agree with what you said here:

"If we really want to be semantically strict, the only true "church" is the body of Christ, the universal church consisting of all believers. "

That is precisely what we believe. There is only one church, and the expression of that is one church per territory or city. Multiple churches per city does not reflect the "one church" very well.

In regards to:

"I think most Christians understand the distinction that when we say "church" in reference to a building, it's really just shorthand for "a meeting place for members of the Church""


If we are talking about denominations, like the Roman Catholic church, Orthodox, or even the pentecostal mega-churches, it's a whole lot more than "just a meeting place". "Just a meeting place" is like "hey, let's meet for church at the park today, and next week we can go to a cafe". That's "just a meeting place". But denominations are not like that.
The problem with Evangelical's teachings here on geographical oneness is that, if they are true, then LSM has failed worse than the denominations. Obviously the denominations have not interpreted scripture as you have, and since you have, then you are now responsible for what you believe.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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The problem with Evangelical's teachings here on geographical oneness is that, if they are true, then LSM has failed worse than the denominations. Obviously the denominations have not interpreted scripture as you have, and since you have, then you are now responsible for what you believe.
If the LC has become a denomination, then we cannot "fail worse" than any other denomination.

Denominations do not interpret as we do, because they are bound to modern concepts, and to say otherwise would be to deny their very existence. Remember these are historical facts, not opinions on scripture.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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If the LC has become a denomination, then we cannot "fail worse" than any other denomination.

Denominations do not interpret as we do, because they are bound to modern concepts, and to say otherwise would be to deny their very existence. Remember these are historical facts, not opinions on scripture.
Sure you can. Your worst failure is not becoming another denomination, but mistreating, condemning, and dividing the body of Christ, which is far worse.

And if those Blendeds would take a minute to be humble and honest, they would realize that is why Lee was repenting.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:56 PM   #11
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Sure you can. Your worst failure is not becoming another denomination, but mistreating, condemning, and dividing the body of Christ, which is far worse.

And if those Blendeds would take a minute to be humble and honest, they would realize that is why Lee was repenting.
A denomination is already a division in the body of Christ, so we cannot divide this further.

Lee's repentance was not for what you say it was. You've got a whole lot of confirmation bias happening there. There's a whole explanation about it here:

http://www.afaithfulword.org/articles/Offending.html

Why would Lee repent of a view, a belief, that he has staked his whole life and ministry on for decades.

As far as I can tell, he was repenting that the local churches did not live up to the standard.

The CBs exhibit a willingness to compromise the truth to avoid offending other believers. This Brother Lee would never do. ~ Lee would never avoid offending people where it concerns the truth.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

Evangelical,

Even if we take your interpretation of Rev. 1:11 as accurate, that still doesn't provide justification for the practices of the Local Church Movement. If we consider that there is such a thing as a Biblical "church in Anaheim" for example, then that church exists so long as there are at least 2 or 3 in all of Anaheim who profess a belief in Jesus Christ and are in fellowship with each other. It doesn't require that a group specifically adopts the name of "church in Anaheim", follows the teachings of Nee/Lee, and distributes publications of LSM. A group of satanists could buy a building slap the name "local church in ..." on it--just because LSM-affiliated saints put that name on their buildings, doesn't prove that they truly do represent the unique expression of the body of Christ in a particular city.

I think the litmus test for whether the LCM really believe what they preach, is if a group of Christians decided to declare themselves to constitute the local church in a city without any LSM presence, and they decided not to use any Witness Lee life studies at their meetings, they didn't promote the FTTA or LSM conferences and trainings, and yet they sought recognition as the unique exression of the body of Christ in their city, would the LSM-affiliated churches still take their claim seriously and accept them as saints on an equal footing with saints who do use LSM materials?


That said, I don't think your interpretation of Rev. 1:11 is accurate. The verse refers to seven churches in seven cities, but it doesn't specify anything about the organizational structure of those cities. It's a massive logical leap to suggest that the only legitimate church is one that uses the name "the local church in...", and there's certainly no provision in the Bible requiring members of the church to follow WL and buy LSM publications.

I actually agree with Watchman Nee's idea that Christians need to become more unified in order to prepare the bride of Christ, but I don't think LSM-affiliated churches are the best way to do that, considering their teachings and practices tend to alienate so many Christians. I've found that a far better way to create Christian unity is through ecumenism, bringing Christians together for fellowship from many different traditions, with mutual love and respect for each other. If the LCs are serious about Christian unity, they should be reaching out to Christians in their cities and participating in ecumenical activities, and yet it's been my experience that members of the LCs are extremely reluctant to participate in any outside Christian activities or visit other churches, they disrespect their non-LC brothers and sisters by discussing "religion" and "denominations" as the epitome of evil.

Also, as others have mentioned, what are Christians supposed to do who live in an unincorporated rural area? Just because someone doesn't live within a municipality, does that mean he can't partake in the body?

While Nee and Lee surely were insightful men with valuable contributions to make, we should all have the humility to admit that no man has all the answers, so the best way to learn more about the truth of Christ is to fellowship with Christians from different traditions. All Christians can learn important lessons from the writings of Nee and Lee, but likewise the followers of Lee and Nee could learn from other Christian traditions if they weren't quite so insular.


I just want to finish by saying that the only reason I'm critical of the LCM, is because I actually think that overall they're doing a lot of good things, and I know that many of the saints truly love the Lord and are trying to do the right thing. If I thought they were total heretics and cultists, I wouldn't waste my time writing about them.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:56 PM   #13
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Jake

I gave other references that stated how the churches were organized, in my last post to you. I think there is historical evidence for the one city per church thing.

We don't believe that the church has a name. The church has no name, and we don't use the city name to label ourselves like a denomination would. We are against de-name-iating. It is people's perception, that we take names and de-name-iate ourself according to the locality name. But that's not in our teachings:

"A local church is not a term used as a name, but it describes the fact of one church in a locality. " ~ The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures
by Witness Lee

"If we take the ground of locality as a standing to be independent from other believers, we are divisive." ~ Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee

If some live in an unincorporated rural area, where there is no local church, they can meet with a good denomination nearby if they prefer.

If you think that ecumenism is the right way, then you should try your best to make that unity happen, and if the Lord chooses to use ecumenism to do that then so be it. Provided you are careful of the "bad side" of ecumenism which is bringing in multi-faith concepts and compromises with God's Word etc.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:01 AM   #14
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I gave other references that stated how the churches were organized, in my last post to you. I think there is historical evidence for the one city per church thing.

We don't believe that the church has a name. The church has no name, and we don't use the city name to label ourselves like a denomination would. We are against de-name-iating. It is people's perception, that we take names and de-name-iate ourself according to the locality name. But that's not in our teachings:

"A local church is not a term used as a name, but it describes the fact of one church in a locality. " ~ The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures
by Witness Lee
If the church has no name, then why would LSM / DCP operatives instruct their adherents in Columbus, Ohio to file a lawsuit in order to secure THE NAME?

And by the way, I'm sure you could find a few tidy WL quotes justifying lawsuits to seize meeting halls and bank assets. (Appeal to Little Caesar's anyone?) Afaithfulword.com is such a rich resource for sideswiping inconvenient Bible verses.

All of your WL quotes are merely window dressing to hide the corrupt practices at LSM. But the inconvenient truth is that WL himself never allowed his lofty quotes to interfere with his practices.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:19 AM   #15
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If the church has no name, then why would LSM / DCP operatives instruct their adherents in Columbus, Ohio to file a lawsuit in order to secure THE NAME?

And by the way, I'm sure you could find a few tidy WL quotes justifying lawsuits to seize meeting halls and bank assets. (Appeal to Little Caesar's anyone?) Afaithfulword.com is such a rich resource for sideswiping inconvenient Bible verses.

All of your WL quotes are merely window dressing to hide the corrupt practices at LSM. But the inconvenient truth is that WL himself never allowed his lofty quotes to interfere with his practices.
Suing over the name of the church, are you aware of any material provided by LSM to defend such action?
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:29 AM   #16
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Suing over the name of the church, are you aware of any material provided by LSM to defend such action?
Suing over their name is what they did in GLA cities -- Columbus for one.

Justification for lawsuits is found in LSM's vast online library. Look under "appeal to Caesar."
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:35 AM   #17
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Suing over their name is what they did in GLA cities -- Columbus for one.

Justification for lawsuits is found in LSM's vast online library. Look under "appeal to Caesar."
Those are probably less well known than the Harvest House case. That's why I'm asking.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:46 AM   #18
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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The Word of Truth: A Summary of Christian Doctrine Based on Biblical Revelation By Dale Moody
p. 435

The New Testament also speaks of the church as the one body of Christ composed of all true believers in all places, but it never speaks of a plurality of churches in one city (Col 1:18,24; Ephesians 1:22; 2:14-21;3:6-10;4:4,12; 5:23-33). It comes as a jolt, but it must be said again that the modern concept of a plurality of churches in one city is never found in the New Testament.
But notice the words "the modern concept" in that last sentence. The Bible, including the NT, was not written with the modern concept in mind. Instead, we see both in original concept (e.g., Acts 19:41) and in example (greetings to specific, and separate, home 'ekklesia' in Rome in chapter 16 of that epistle) that there could be, and in fact were, multiple 'ekklesia' in larger urban areas. Multiple ekklesia meant perforce multiplication, not division. Like the LSM-affiliated churches with Meeting Hall One and Meeting Hall Two.

As the centuries passed, concepts changed, and newer meanings were then read back upon the text. And an opportunity was seen to condemn everyone else but the present reader.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:26 AM   #19
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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While Nee and Lee surely were insightful men with valuable contributions to make, we should all have the humility to admit that no man has all the answers, so the best way to learn more about the truth of Christ is to fellowship with Christians from different traditions. All Christians can learn important lessons from the writings of Nee and Lee, but likewise the followers of Lee and Nee could learn from other Christian traditions if they
Yes, and it is statements like this that indicate a rational man. But many conversations with this kind of tone and hopefulness have been started with LCMers here. But rarely do the LCM faithful concede to such reasonableness or embrace it.

Eventually you will begin to be frustrated with how they will never quite truly concede that Nee and Lee did not embody all truth and light. They will never quite concede that the LCM is just another movement of Christians like many down through history. They will never quite concede that they have made many mistakes.

And they will never quite concede that they are not the unique move of God.

Oh, I hold out hope that someday they will turn. But probably not today.

So get ready, Jake. There is likely a brick wall ahead. Just sayin'.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:27 AM   #20
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Multiple ekklesia meant perforce multiplication, not division. Like the LSM-affiliated churches with Meeting Hall One and Meeting Hall Two.
That's a good point, the LCs like to play with semantics, claiming that they can still uphold the one city-one church idea while splitting into "districts". Just because they use the terms "locality" and "district", they are still functionally identical to what other denominations would call, for example, dioceses, parishes and chapels. Do they really think God is going to get tricked by terminology and not be able to see the true nature of something?



Also, I want to clarify a point -- the universal body of Christ, and one Church, consists of all those who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If Christians from a given city don't all meet together in the same room, they are still one church. If some believers preach heretical statements when they meet, they are still the church. If some believers meet in a building with the name of a canonized saint on the door, or the name of a particular street or neighborhood rather than a city, they are still the church.

Therefore, the Catholic church is truly the church. Protestant churches are truly the church. Episcopal churches are truly the church. Followers of Witness Lee are truly the church, Seventh Day Adventists are truly the church, Baptists are truly the church, anabaptists are truly the church, pentacostals are truly the church--I would even go so far as to say that even nontrinitarian churches, while certainly committing grievous heresies, could in most cases still be the church. The LCs are correct when they claim that all Christians in a given city are members of the church in that city, but they are incorrect when they claim that the LC is the only legitimate expression of the church, and any Christians who don't meet with them are being sinful. Christ is the sole mediator, through him we are redeemed, and by the holy spirit we are sanctified. Through prayer we have a direct connection to God, and all man-made structures fall by the wayside.

My point here, is that the church is not limited to one particular meeting of believers, the church is everywhere that believers come together and pray in Jesus' name, and the fact that various different buildings may exist in a different cities with various different banners on the door, different hierarchical structures and different styles of prayer, doesn't detract from the oneness of the Church. Every time believers fellowship, they partake in and multiply the oneness, they don't detract from it.

It may be true that some particular organization, like the Roman Catholics, preach ideas that are probably heretical (although many learned and Christ-loving men think otherwise, so I have no authority to make that assertion). It can be true that the priests in that case are doing a disservice to their congregants by giving them false ideas about God, but it is equally true that the believers who gather within the Catholic Church are partaking in the oneness of the body of Christ, and despite their surroundings and physical boundaries that separate them from other Christians, they are still spiritually together with all other Christians.

It's hard to find the right words to express my ideas, I'm no theologian, but I hope I've conveyed it clearly enough.

Last edited by Jake; 05-31-2017 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Supplemental argument
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:17 AM   #21
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Ephesus is a church - city, not denomination, house/street name, or country
Smyrna is a church - city, not denomination...
Pergamum is a church- city, not denomination...
Thyatira is a church- city, not denomination...
Sardis is a church - city, not denomination...
Philadelphia is a church - city, not denomination...
Laodicea is a church - city, not denomination...
You are presuming that the reference to "church" in these places is to an assembly rather than to those in a city who are part of that larger "church" that is the universal body of Christ. The fact that you assert "city, no denomination" over an over is something not referred to in either way. The verses similarly do not declare that the mention of the "church" in connection with any of the city names is indicative of a single assembly rather than the whole of the believers in the area regardless of the actual number of assemblies there.

And several months ago you made a comment about the fact that these seven letters are to "the seven churches in Asia" followed by the naming of the seven churches in Asia. But there were other churches in Asia. At least one of them was written to by Paul. How do you now read "the" seven churches in Asia? Not so absolute and complete. Rather "the seven" is really a subset of more than seven. So maybe it is that your search of the minutia of the words is going well beyond what was being stated. All it meant was to address the issues of the Christians found in seven particular churches as they seemed to represent issues that were faced elsewhere, or would be faced elsewhere. It was not (and did not) provide anything definitive to confine the manner in which those in the named cities were meeting.

If the majority of commentators is to be believed, there was some kind of pagan practices going on in at least one city. Do you think that all of the God-fearing Christians would meet together with those who had such practices? Yet the letter did not ignore those with the pagan practices, but chastised them as part of the church that needed to deal with their deeds.


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But the idea itself, actually comes from church history. The Bible of course, The New Testament also speaks of the church as the one body of Christ composed of all true believers in all places, but it never speaks of a plurality of churches in one city (Col 1:18,24; Ephesians 1:22; 2:14-21;3:6-10;4:4,12; 5:23-33). It comes as a jolt, but it must be said again that the modern concept of a plurality of churches in one city is never found in the New Testament.
But for the LRC faithful, it should also come as a jolt that the Bible never defines what constitutes an assembly of believers other than it be an assembly of believers. When someone makes such a broad, weeping statement about the number of "churches" in a city, they are talking about the number of assemblies.

To mix "church" as the body of Christ with "church" as an assembly of believers is an exercise in equivocation. The church as the body of Christ is not defined by assemblies. It is not limited in scope nor separated by lack of being "together." On the other hand, "church" as an assembly does not have an impact on the church as the universal body of Christ, whether as visible or invisible.

In this city, there are many churches (assemblies) which together display the Body of Christ. You may like to say that there is a problem with the fact that there are so many assemblies and that they do not all agree on doctrines. But all those assemblies do not view their differences as being bars to the unity of the body in faith. They do not declare the others to be "not church." And they join together for many purposes, both social and spiritual (of course, everything is spiritual for the believer).

But there are a few very small groups around which are determined that there is a problem and that lack of total unity is a problem. And they take this position from the point of view that their position is correct and that everyone else is simply wrong and is therefore "not really church." So if there is a problem of division in the body of Christ, the most serious division the one that stands between you and everyone else. But it is not there because of everyone else. It is there because you declare that it is there and you cannot be one with the others (except if they drop everything and come to you).

And since you cannot defend your claims of being the sole holders of truth and right with respect to all the things that you declare to be keys to the "proper" or "genuine" church, you are forcing an unsupportable set of rules upon everyone else to either join-up or be cast aside.

You are the division. You are the worst division. There is no other analysis. Just like saying "city, not denomination" earlier as if it somehow makes it more real than it already isn't. You just say it over and over but cannot defend it with anything other than the reciting of verses that do not say what you try to force out of them.

Eisegesis. Reading into the verses. Confirmation bias. You believe in Nee's city-church, so you find it where it is not.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:03 PM   #22
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That's a good point, the LCs like to play with semantics, claiming that they can still uphold the one city-one church idea while splitting into "districts". Just because they use the terms "locality" and "district", they are still functionally identical to what other denominations would call, for example, dioceses, parishes and chapels. Do they really think God is going to get tricked by terminology and not be able to see the true nature of something?



Also, I want to clarify a point -- the universal body of Christ, and one Church, consists of all those who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If Christians from a given city don't all meet together in the same room, they are still one church. If some believers preach heretical statements when they meet, they are still the church. If some believers meet in a building with the name of a canonized saint on the door, or the name of a particular street or neighborhood rather than a city, they are still the church.

Therefore, the Catholic church is truly the church. Protestant churches are truly the church. Episcopal churches are truly the church. Followers of Witness Lee are truly the church, Seventh Day Adventists are truly the church, Baptists are truly the church, anabaptists are truly the church, pentacostals are truly the church--I would even go so far as to say that even nontrinitarian churches, while certainly committing grievous heresies, could in most cases still be the church. The LCs are correct when they claim that all Christians in a given city are members of the church in that city, but they are incorrect when they claim that the LC is the only legitimate expression of the church, and any Christians who don't meet with them are being sinful. Christ is the sole mediator, through him we are redeemed, and by the holy spirit we are sanctified. Through prayer we have a direct connection to God, and all man-made structures fall by the wayside.

My point here, is that the church is not limited to one particular meeting of believers, the church is everywhere that believers come together and pray in Jesus' name, and the fact that various different buildings may exist in a different cities with various different banners on the door, different hierarchical structures and different styles of prayer, doesn't detract from the oneness of the Church. Every time believers fellowship, they partake in and multiply the oneness, they don't detract from it.

It may be true that some particular organization, like the Roman Catholics, preach ideas that are probably heretical (although many learned and Christ-loving men think otherwise, so I have no authority to make that assertion). It can be true that the priests in that case are doing a disservice to their congregants by giving them false ideas about God, but it is equally true that the believers who gather within the Catholic Church are partaking in the oneness of the body of Christ, and despite their surroundings and physical boundaries that separate them from other Christians, they are still spiritually together with all other Christians.

It's hard to find the right words to express my ideas, I'm no theologian, but I hope I've conveyed it clearly enough.
In any given city, how can there be multiple legitimate expressions of the church today when Christ and the disciples only established one? Paul only established one church per city, that is a historical fact. That's why the bible never mentions more than 1 church per city. That does not mean there was only one meeting place per city, it means they all identified themselves as part of the one church.

In the whole history of the Bible, God never operated that way. When Jesus came to earth, the Pharisees and Sadducee were not "legitimate expressions of Judaism". They were constructs of man that Christ opposed. Likewise, all the denominations we see today cannot all be legitimate. If they are legitimate, then it means the LGBT church in my area is legitimate, and a church that prays to Mary and dead saints is legitimate.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:19 PM   #23
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Paul only established one church per city, that is a historical fact.
Yes, and they all studied Witness Lee each morning in order to prepare for the prophesying meeting. And they all had standing orders with LSM. And they all attended the seven feasts each year.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:31 PM   #24
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Yes, and they all studied Witness Lee each morning in order to prepare for the prophesying meeting. And they all had standing orders with LSM. And they all attended the seven feasts each year.
They would have studied the writings of the MOTA at that time, who was the apostle Paul.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:57 AM   #25
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Yes, and they all studied Witness Lee each morning in order to prepare for the prophesying meeting. And they all had standing orders with LSM. And they all attended the seven feasts each year.
And this is why we have nearly no historical records from the original twelve Apostles -- like Thomas, Bartholomew, Andrew, et. al. -- they were all quarantined for not attending the MOTA's semi-annual trainings.

No doubt they had drums in their meetings too.

Finally, it all makes sense.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:32 AM   #26
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the MOTA at that time. . . was the apostle Paul.
Had the NT concluded with the apocalypse of Paul, or some final epistle by Timothy, your argument might have merit. But it has none. The NT was concluded by John's writings; John who'd been there at the beginning, who'd gone to the mountain with Jesus, and who'd leaned on his breast.

Yet John was not MOTA, nor Peter or Paul or James. It was Jesus, and always will be. Preach Christ and not the 'normal church'; Christ and not 'The vision of the age'. The 'unique move' and the 'ministry of the age' are trojan horses, covers for the minister of the age, God's deputy and seer of the unique restored vision. It is the kingdom of self, the kingdom of self-deception. I was there and saw the dejection and discouragement as the latest 'flow' arrived from the 'oracle' in Anaheim. Eventually one of the faithful would brighten and exclaim, "But it's the church!" (Which btw is probably what some said when Johannes Tetzel was passing through.)

19th- and 20th-century Protestantism has been rife with claims of oracular primacy, of God's special, final vision to end the age. Charles Taze Russel, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen White, Witness Lee, Joseph Smith, Elizabeth Claire Prophet, Herbert W. Armstrong: claim 'the mantle', whip them into a pre-millenialist frenzy, and charge them a buck (or two) apiece for your pamphlets and training seminars. Charlatans and frauds. . .the self-deceived with their captive flocks.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:11 AM   #27
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In any given city, how can there be multiple legitimate expressions of the church today when Christ and the disciples only established one? Paul only established one church per city, that is a historical fact. That's why the bible never mentions more than 1 church per city. That does not mean there was only one meeting place per city, it means they all identified themselves as part of the one church.
See, here you're conflating "the church" with "expressions of the church". There can be people who meet separately, and still be all members of the same universal church, even if they don't necessarily realize it, and everywhere they meet, they are partaking in a true and legitimate expression of the one church.

The followers of Nee and Lee are no more or less legitimate of an expression of that same universal church when they meet together than any other congregation of Christians. Under ideal conditions Christians wouldn't see any barriers between themselves, and would feel totally free to worship together always, but the LCM isn't really helping that to occur by elevating the writings of two men to be nearly as important as the Bible itself.

As the saying goes, "actions speak louder than words", and you can call yourself the "church in Anaheim" all you like, but so long as they're following specific non-Biblical religious teachings, set liturgies, an obscure Bible translation, and other exclusionary elements, they're not substantially different from any other denomination or sect.

For all the talk I hear from saints in the LC saying that Nee and Lee were just ordinary men, they weren't prophets, they just happened to be burdened by God to recover the early Church, and they came in a long line of theologians working towards that recovery, why when I go to the conferences don't I ever see a single book on the shelf or even a citation in the outlines, from a single non-Nee/Lee source? Why nothing from Martin Luther or the early church fathers? Why nothing from C.S. Lewis? Why no contemporary writings from living theologians? Even if we could definitively say that Nee and Lee wrote the greatest biblical commentaries of all time, it's still true that man by his very nature can never be perfect. By not reading and studying a wider body of literature (as Nee himself did) they're limiting themselves to a single narrow perspective on the Bible, which is ultimately a harmful exercise. It's just as bad as considering the Roman Catholic Pope to be infallible. It's either you stick with nothing but the Bible itself, or if you do go to outside commentaries, you need a variety to contrast different perspectives and draw nearer to the truth.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:59 AM   #28
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They would have studied the writings of the MOTA at that time, who was the apostle Paul.
Yes. Maybe Witness Lee's writings will become Scripture too.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:22 AM   #29
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Yes. Maybe Witness Lee's writings will become Scripture too.
For the Blendeds this has already happened.

How many times has the words of Lee superseded scripture?

And do they not PSRP his outlines? That's pray-read, study, recite, and prophecy the teachings of Lee.

Did not the Blendeds state that in the FTT's, the trainees should become WL "tape recorders," and become immersed in his writings before they take on the challenge of reading that difficult and easily misunderstood Bible which demands the "interpreted word" to fully know.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:51 PM   #30
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For the Blendeds this has already happened.

How many times has the words of Lee superseded scripture?
And how many times did Lee's teaching categorise scriptural text as low, or fallen, or vain, or natural human concepts? And by contrast, how many times have LC members categorised Lee's writings as low, or fallen, or vain, or natural human concepts? And what explains this disparity in reception?
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:08 PM   #31
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And how many times did Lee's teaching categorise scriptural text as low, or fallen, or vain, or natural human concepts? And by contrast, how many times have LC members categorised Lee's writings as low, or fallen, or vain, or natural human concepts? And what explains this disparity in reception?
You and I have repeatedly brought this point up -- How can Witness Lee be permitted to challenge and downgrade certain scriptures when no one on earth is permitted to challenge his own teachings and practices? -- under the threat of lawsuits for outsiders and quarantines for insiders.

Since I was in the LC's for so long, I know the events leading up to the quarantines in the GLA. For several years after Lee's passing, Titus Chu and his team of workers compiled reams of quotes from the writings of W.Nee and early-Lee. Titus Chu had the nerve to challenge the Blended's teachings and practices by using the books off their own printing presses. Titus Chu tried to reform the Recovery much the same way as Martin Luther did with Rome.

We know how that went. I understand that these documents and record of events were conveniently kept from rest of the Recovery.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:50 PM   #32
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If the LC has become a denomination, then we cannot "fail worse" than any other denomination.

Denominations do not interpret as we do, because they are bound to modern concepts, and to say otherwise would be to deny their very existence. Remember these are historical facts, not opinions on scripture.
The matter of ministry churches has been addressed on afaithfulword, but that's precisely what LSM affiliated local churches are and that's ministry churches. Action in the great lakes area among other places is a transparent indicator. If one considers themselves meeting as the church in a particular locality, but when the locality isn't submitting to LSM, those willing to submit to LSM's fellowship separate and form another assembly.
What is that? Some may say it's a denomination. Some may say it's a sect. It's clear it is ministry churches.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:53 PM   #33
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Did not the Blendeds state that in the FTT's, the trainees should become WL "tape recorders," and become immersed in his writings before they take on the challenge of reading that difficult and easily misunderstood Bible which demands the "interpreted word" to fully know.
I believe this is a problem of FTT. Trainees are being trained according to the ministry. When confronted with scripture the ministry doesn't cover, they're not equipped for an immediate response.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:26 PM   #34
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For the Blendeds this has already happened.

How many times has the words of Lee superseded scripture?

And do they not PSRP his outlines? That's pray-read, study, recite, and prophecy the teachings of Lee.

Did not the Blendeds state that in the FTT's, the trainees should become WL "tape recorders," and become immersed in his writings before they take on the challenge of reading that difficult and easily misunderstood Bible which demands the "interpreted word" to fully know.
One of the final things that caused me to leave TLR was realizing Witness Lee's writings had indeed trumped scripture as the authoritative word on what to believe and practise. That's a dangerous place to be!
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:25 PM   #35
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One of the final things that caused me to leave TLR was realizing Witness Lee's writings had indeed trumped scripture as the authoritative word on what to believe and practise. That's a dangerous place to be!
JJ, you are right, it is dangerous!

Returning to scripture is the solution. I can't tell you how helpful the epistle of James has been to me since leaving TLR. It has become part of my detox, like a colon enema, for this recovering judgaholic.
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:02 PM   #36
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As far as I can tell, the entire concept of having one church per city seems to be an almost childishly simplistic reading of Paul's letters which refer to the church in some particular city. If we really want to be semantically strict, the only true "church" is the body of Christ, the universal church consisting of all believers. I think most Christians understand the distinction that when we say "church" in reference to a building, it's really just shorthand for "a meeting place for members of the Church", it doesn't mean that the Body of Christ is actually contained within that physical place. The idea that there is one church per city, and each of these city-based churches is somehow distinct and separate as an entity, seems to directly contradict the idea of the universal corporate Church.

It also seems strange that we would tie something divine to a man-made secular structure--cities, after all, are just arbitrary geographic boundaries created for political reasons. What happens when two cities merge? Does the decision of politicians miraculously result in the Body of Christ being rearranged? Merging several cities to create large mega-cities has been popular practice in urban development over the last few decades, how have LCs actually responded when this occurs?

Other denominations often name their churches after cities, neighborhoods or streets, but they don't make any claims about the city being some kind of divine basis for the unique expression of the Church, it's simply used to identify the location of the building...
Jake,

One of the first things that got my attention about the Bible was shared by Bill Mallon when he was visiting some friends in Dallas, after leaving "it". It seems almost too logical to have been missed, yet I/we missed it.

In the Bible are two categories of scripture: 1) prescriptive, and 2) descriptive. If you Google it, you'll see that this is a commonly accepted practice on accurate interpretation of the Bible.

To me, the entire dogma of one church/one city is wrongly based on a description of the situation at the time when the church was in its infancy. It was never intended to be a "prescription" or command to be obeyed for all times. That's simply the way the church began. If not in cities, then where? Surely not all believers even lived in cities. The church met in cities because that's where larger numbers of believers lived. Therefore, the church was described according to the city.

I have never seen verses that command or prescribe that the church is confined to the city limits. All the verses use the location of the church, by city, to deliver a message or make some salient point.

The term "practical expression of the church" is used by Lee to prop up his argument. This term is not in the Bible. I believe we should say what the Bible says and not invent terms to support our dogma. We should also read the Bible in a way to pay attention to whether there is a command to be obeyed or simply a picture being painted for context to describe an event or situation.

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Old 06-07-2017, 04:38 AM   #37
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In the Bible are two categories of scripture: 1) prescriptive, and 2) descriptive. If you Google it, you'll see that this is a commonly accepted practice on accurate interpretation of the Bible.

To me, the entire dogma of one church/one city is wrongly based on a description of the situation at the time when the church was in its infancy. It was never intended to be a "prescription" or command to be obeyed for all times. That's simply the way the church began. If not in cities, then where? Surely not all believers even lived in cities. The church met in cities because that's where larger numbers of believers lived. Therefore, the church was described according to the city.

Nell
Great point, Nell, and let me add two more examples concerning the early church that are descriptive, but never should be prescriptive.

First, there was a short time when the early church had "all things common." (Acts 2.44; 4.32) The "prescription" of this teaching was actually taught by Karl Marx in the 19th century, and the implementation of this teaching has come to be known today as Communism.

Second, there was a brief time in the early church when they "handed over" their belongings to the apostles. (Acts 4.34-35) Barnabas was led by the Spirit to do this. This practice really happened, but quickly ended with the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5.1-11). The apostles never taught this. Ironically both W. Nee in 1948 and W. Lee in 1988 attempted to use this practice as a money grab under the auspices of global evangelization.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:25 AM   #38
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In the Bible are two categories of scripture: 1) prescriptive, and 2) descriptive. If you Google it, you'll see that this is a commonly accepted practice on accurate interpretation of the Bible.
This is probably the way that some came up with the alternate explanation that there is the law and prophets, and the commentary (referring to the OT). It is mostly the same in the NT. Jesus said and did. Everyone else has commented. Not saying there is no value in the comments. It is part of the scripture. But it is not there to provide something entirely new, but to explain what was God's speaking and doing into the lives of the people who began to follow.

And explanations do not create prescriptions about something that the source never commented on. Not in any field of study or inquiry.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:03 PM   #39
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This is probably the way that some came up with the alternate explanation that there is the law and prophets, and the commentary (referring to the OT). It is mostly the same in the NT. Jesus said and did. Everyone else has commented. Not saying there is no value in the comments. It is part of the scripture. But it is not there to provide something entirely new, but to explain what was God's speaking and doing into the lives of the people who began to follow.

And explanations do not create prescriptions about something that the source never commented on. Not in any field of study or inquiry.
Excellent point.

Where were you 30 years ago when I needed you?
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:12 PM   #40
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Excellent point.

Where were you 30 years ago when I needed you?
Same place you were. Getting steeped in prescriptions. Well. Barely. I left almost 30 years ago. But it took another 18 years to start to figure this stuff out. And some of this is just occurring to me now — 30 years later. Don't beat yourself up. It takes a lot of time. And my mind still reverts to some of those old LRC mantras despite it being 30 yeas ago (this August) that I left. But now I recognize them a little more often.

Can you imagine what it was like the first time a silver tray with tiny cups of grape juice came past me on a Sunday morning? It was hard to say "I am one with these people" and pick one up. But it got easier each time. I know you have been through it.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:11 AM   #41
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

It's been almost 10 years since I last posted. A big echo from me to Jake's explanation, which I tried to deliver c. 10 years ago.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:46 AM   #42
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Nell>"I believe we should say what the Bible says and not invent terms to support our dogma"

Ironically, the words "terms", and "dogma" are not found in the Bible.

"Trinity" is not found in the Bible but the concept is so someone invented the term to describe the concept.

It's just the way we communicate.

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Old 08-16-2017, 07:48 AM   #43
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Jake>"Under ideal conditions Christians wouldn't see any barriers between themselves, and would feel totally free to worship together always..."

Why ideal? When has there ever been ideal conditions? You're justifying the erection of barriers. You are adding a condition for unity that is not found in the Bible.

The Apostle charged that there be "no divisions among you", he did not say "under ideal conditions there will be no divisions among you".

By injecting the notion of ideal conditions you facilitate division. There are no ideal conditions, there are always challenges, disagreements, conflicts in personality, etc. No one should think their differences cannot be solved just because conditions are not ideal. That becomes an excuse to erect barriers and create divisions.

Conversely, if you understand that you with all your problems and differences and the other believers with all theirs are to be the testimony of the oneness of Christ in the place you all live then you will work towards that. You will not make excuses for erecting barriers and creating divisions, but rather you will come together to resolve those differences, allow the Lord to work in you, and maintain the testimony of the oneness. The symbol of a lamp stand in each city mentioned in Revelation 2&3 represents that concept. There is no room for more than one lamp stand per city just because conditions are not ideal.

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Old 08-16-2017, 02:47 PM   #44
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So ideal conditions can be replaced with another ideal condition? Is the new ideal condition better than Jake's ideal condition? Just askin'.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:51 PM   #45
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So ideal conditions can be replaced with another ideal condition? Is the new ideal condition better than Jake's ideal condition? Just askin'.
.. and just sayin.....Until the Lord returns I do not believe any ideal condition will ever exist. That would suggest to me at least that the problems are left to perfect the saints as each situation is unique and personal. Lacking ideal conditions are not an excuse to erect barriers and create divisions. Brother Jake is not alone in his viewpoint as is evident by the numerous divisions in Christendom.

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Old 08-16-2017, 05:37 PM   #46
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So ideal conditions can be replaced with another ideal condition? Is the new ideal condition better than Jake's ideal condition? Just askin'.
That is correct only if you refuse to admit the condition is a division or barrier. Also it must be promoting the church of Witness Lee.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:09 PM   #47
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

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Jake>"Under ideal conditions Christians wouldn't see any barriers between themselves, and would feel totally free to worship together always..."

Why ideal? When has there ever been ideal conditions? You're justifying the erection of barriers. You are adding a condition for unity that is not found in the Bible.

The Apostle charged that there be "no divisions among you", he did not say "under ideal conditions there will be no divisions among you".

By injecting the notion of ideal conditions you facilitate division. There are no ideal conditions, there are always challenges, disagreements, conflicts in personality, etc. No one should think their differences cannot be solved just because conditions are not ideal. That becomes an excuse to erect barriers and create divisions.

Conversely, if you understand that you with all your problems and differences and the other believers with all theirs are to be the testimony of the oneness of Christ in the place you all live then you will work towards that. You will not make excuses for erecting barriers and creating divisions, but rather you will come together to resolve those differences, allow the Lord to work in you, and maintain the testimony of the oneness. The symbol of a lamp stand in each city mentioned in Revelation 2&3 represents that concept. There is no room for more than one lamp stand per city just because conditions are not ideal.

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This is so rich. For the renowned defender of LSM to tell others not to erect barriers in their fellowship is just more than I can handle.

Have you ever read the story of Paul Hon's brother Henry? He just recently got cut off from the fellowship for paying too much attention to home meetings and vital group gatherings. Imagine that! Right out of WL's own playbook. I guess ole brother Henry Hon was just not "up-to-date" as LSM loves to say.

The Blendeds you defend are not just the best fence builders in history. They can build fences and erect barriers that move over time. What may once have brought you into fellowship now can get you cut off from the fellowship. Sounds a whole lot like all the other storms and quarantines I have read about.
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:53 AM   #48
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Teacher teach thyself.

This is so rich. For the renowned defender of LSM to tell others not to erect barriers in their fellowship is just more than I can handle.

Have you ever read the story of Paul Hon's brother Henry? He just recently got cut off from the fellowship for paying too much attention to home meetings and vital group gatherings. Imagine that! Right out of WL's own playbook. I guess ole brother Henry Hon was just not "up-to-date" as LSM loves to say.

The Blendeds you defend are not just the best fence builders in history. They can build fences and erect barriers that move over time. What may once have brought you into fellowship now can get you cut off from the fellowship. Sounds a whole lot like all the other storms and quarantines I have read about.

Isn't bro. Hon's decision to fellowship in homes like erecting a wall between his fellowship and the denominations who disagree with meeting in homes?

Not all denominations would agree that meeting in homes is the right way, and may even frown upon the practice. I think the liturgical churches might see it this way.

Does Brother Hon's church join a denominational church occasionally, even a Catholic one?
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:36 AM   #49
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Isn't bro. Hon's decision to fellowship in homes like erecting a wall between his fellowship and the denominations who disagree with meeting in homes?

Not all denominations would agree that meeting in homes is the right way, and may even frown upon the practice. I think the liturgical churches might see it this way.

Does Brother Hon's church join a denominational church occasionally, even a Catholic one?
And there you have it folks!

Another advocate for LSM condemns Henry Hon for meeting "house to house" and not in a God-ordained meeting hall with the LSM sanctioned name of the "no name" local church on its signboard.

Does anyone else remember the chaos of the "New Way," with elders locking the doors to their meeting hall on Lord's Day morning? All because Witness Lee said to.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:19 AM   #50
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And there you have it folks!

Another advocate for LSM condemns Henry Hon for meeting "house to house" and not in a God-ordained meeting hall with the LSM sanctioned name of the "no name" local church on its signboard.

Does anyone else remember the chaos of the "New Way," with elders locking the doors to their meeting hall on Lord's Day morning? All because Witness Lee said to.
Why the double standards from you ?

Why is the local churches ("LSM") divisive for meeting in a meeting hall and not meeting with denominations, and Hon's fellowship are not also divisive for meeting in homes and not with denominations?
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:15 AM   #51
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Why the double standards from you ?

Why is the local churches ("LSM") divisive for meeting in a meeting hall and not meeting with denominations, and Hon's fellowship are not also divisive for meeting in homes and not with denominations?
Is Hon spreading the lie that his denomination is the one true church who has recovering biblical truths and propagates the teaching of a modern oracle of the time? Is he claiming a desire for oneness, but practicing division? Does Hon implicitly and explicitly condemn other Christian believers that don't fall in line with his denomination?

If so - I agree with brother "Evangelical"'s question
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:23 AM   #52
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Why the double standards from you ?

Why is the local churches ("LSM") divisive for meeting in a meeting hall and not meeting with denominations, and Hon's fellowship are not also divisive for meeting in homes and not with denominations?
Isn't the expression "not meeting with" equivalent with "divisions among you". Paul commanded that there be "no divisions among you". Saying that you won't meet with certain christians indicates that there are divisions among you.

I have met with numerous groups that cover the entire spectrum of Christianity except for Catholics. (I cannot recall attending a Catholic service though perhaps I have and just forgot.) Only one gave some kind of test and warned against meeting with other groups. That was the Lord's Recovery Church.

The warning they gave was extreme, Ray Graver in teaching on the Lord's table warned that you could get sick and die if you took the table with anyone other than the Lord's Recovery Church. Ray Graver also required elders to sign a loyalty pledge to Witness Lee.

Then the Blended's as a whole agreed to excommunicate Titus Chu and entire churches because he published outside of LSM.

This is the very thing that Paul commanded that we were to not allow.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:06 AM   #53
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Why the double standards from you ?

Why is the local churches ("LSM") divisive for meeting in a meeting hall and not meeting with denominations, and Hon's fellowship are not also divisive for meeting in homes and not with denominations?
LSM excommunicated Henry Hon for meeting house to house.

LSM excommunicated Titus Chu for writing a book.

LSM excommunicated Nigel Tomes for exposing their false teachings.

LSM excommunicated John Ingalls for righteousness sake.

(This forum is filled with the details and many more cases of expulsion.)
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:58 AM   #54
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LSM excommunicated Henry Hon for meeting house to house.

LSM excommunicated Titus Chu for writing a book.

LSM excommunicated Nigel Tomes for exposing their false teachings.

LSM excommunicated John Ingalls for righteousness sake.

(This forum is filled with the details and many more cases of expulsion.)
So then LSM is the "Division Among You" that Paul prohibited. I guess that is what DAYstar stood for.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:24 AM   #55
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So then LSM is the "Division Among You" that Paul prohibited. I guess that is what DAYstar stood for.
Bahahaha ... good one bro ZNP.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:55 AM   #56
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Bahahaha ... good one bro ZNP.
You know, I didn't really get the point or the humor but it doesn't really matter now cuz it always warms my heart when something makes my brother awareness' day just a little bit better.

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Old 08-18-2017, 10:28 AM   #57
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As far as I can tell, the entire concept of having one church per city seems to be an almost childishly simplistic reading of Paul's letters which refer to the church in some particular city. If we really want to be semantically strict, the only true "church" is the body of Christ, the universal church consisting of all believers. I think most Christians understand the distinction that when we say "church" in reference to a building, it's really just shorthand for "a meeting place for members of the Church", it doesn't mean that the Body of Christ is actually contained within that physical place. The idea that there is one church per city, and each of these city-based churches is somehow distinct and separate as an entity, seems to directly contradict the idea of the universal corporate Church.

It also seems strange that we would tie something divine to a man-made secular structure--cities, after all, are just arbitrary geographic boundaries created for political reasons. What happens when two cities merge? Does the decision of politicians miraculously result in the Body of Christ being rearranged? Merging several cities to create large mega-cities has been popular practice in urban development over the last few decades, how have LCs actually responded when this occurs?

Other denominations often name their churches after cities, neighborhoods or streets, but they don't make any claims about the city being some kind of divine basis for the unique expression of the Church, it's simply used to identify the location of the building...
Wow, Jake, I think you are taking a lot of different concepts, blending different ingredients in your blender, and pouring out a smoothie that doesn't taste so good to me. I would say you are correct about the universal church body. I think your perception of the "local church" (disregard the LSM definition and practice in that term) is off the mark. My reading and understanding of the scriptures would be that those of the universal body, living in a certain city, meet in some fashion as an, for lack of better terms, a franchise of the universal church, representing and functioning as members of that universal body- hence the scripture talks in terms of THE church in such and such cities. The head of the Universal church is Christ our Lord. THE church "franchise" in each city has elders who oversee the practical aspects of the gathering of the saints, and shepherd the believers in the environment of the city they live and meet in. I wold say the function of the elders is to keep the saints pointed to the head, who is Christ Jesus.

If 2 cities merged, and a new city emerged, THE church in the new city would still be THE church meeting in the new city.

The problem with the LC/LSM was that someone, WL to be specific, and the BBs now, reverted from recovering a healthy understanding and practice of the biblical concept into the Roman Catholic system of Popery. The elders, instead of directing the saints to the head, gave obeisance to the LSM pope! Thus the recovery crashed, and the resulting unscriptural remains are still the smoldering heap that falsely uses "THE church in" title, while acting in the exact same manner as the Roman Catholic model.

Thus, in my opinion, the recovery of The church in xxxx still needs to take place! How saints meet in a city- homes or buildings, would be up to the saints and elders of that location.

I would disagree with you that most Christians have a healthy view of the church, else why is one of the first questions asked when meeting another believer "what church do you go to?". No, I feel there is a tremendous need for the recovery of the genuine understanding and practice of the scriptural concept of THE church in xxxx. This wasn't, isn't, a WL concept, but that man and his organization, while introducing something that was lacking, ended up creating a worse mess in that the whole concept was never recovered, but was polluted with his popery.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:45 PM   #58
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A corny example that breaks down would be the NFL. NFL sets the rules of the game and coordinates the schedule. So, in San Diego, well it used to be!, the Chargers were the NFL in San Diego, the franchise. But locally, there was a coach that coordinated the local team. Within that team were offense, defense, punters, kickers, 2nd string, waterboys, special teams, etc. The coach did not set his own rules but developed a team according to the head, the NFL. In some cities, coaches, depending on personnel went for a running game, some passing, some combo, some defensive dominance etc, so there was a local strategy dependent on the local situation.

So, let's say an extremely talented, articulate player-lets say Tom Brady decided to exercise his thinking over the other teams and drew them off to not listen to the NFL, and created his own league and called it NFL. Maybe a lot of the rules were the same, still played with a football-although deflated, ahem.
Now there would be a problem. The need would be to recover the proper relation to the NFL, and the teams would need to let go of the Bradyfalse NFL and get back to practicing and playing under the correct head.

I know it's a poor example, but it somewhat explains my views.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:20 PM   #59
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Default Re: Justification for One City-One Church dogma?

Boxjobox, I'm glad you've got the guts to keep saying this. I want to encourage you to take advantage of what this site provides: discussion, in the interest of finding truth and rejecting falsehood.

I'm still studying this topic, having been badly burned by it, and am therefor cautious. But, I lean toward what you are saying, versus the "contortions" I read some making on it.
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