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Old 10-09-2016, 07:40 PM   #1
ZNPaaneah
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Default Do you think Christianity is degraded?

On this forum Witness Lee's disparaging remarks concerning Christianity have been quoted and rebuked repeatedly. Therefore it is only fair and reasonable that those of us who have taken issue with Witness Lee on this point respond to this question. What say ye?
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do you think Christianity is degraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
On this forum Witness Lee's disparaging remarks concerning Christianity have been quoted and rebuked repeatedly. Therefore it is only fair and reasonable that those of us who have taken issue with Witness Lee on this point respond to this question. What say ye?

ZNPaaneah, to get to the heart of the matter, we should consider these questions:

What is Christianity?

Christianity is a religion comprising 20,000+ denominations.

Did God start Christianity? No, men did. Men start religions, God started His church. Good reference here is "Christ versus Religion - by Witness Lee".


What does degradation mean?

Degradation basically means not normal. Watchman Nee wrote what is a normal church in his normal church life books. In recent times, some have published books explaining how Christianity is essentially pagan ("Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola Author and George Barna").

A degraded system -referring mostly to the organized hierarchical church.
clergy/laity distinctions, cathedrals, idols etc.

Does a church have to build a cathedral and have a priest to be degraded? No - any church which has one church leader and no functioning members is essentially degraded. A degraded church could be a non-denominational house church.

Degradation means loss of function. If your body's arm stops working you could say the arm is degraded, it cannot function as an arm. The same with the body of Christ.

Degraded Christianity locked up the Bible for hundreds of years, and was released through Luther and others.

Degradation is caused by not accepting Christ's Headship.

Lee holds a view that the church become degraded from the second century.

Is it true?

History would say yes. The degraded system was in place for hundreds of years soon after Constantine made Christianity a state religion.

Is Christianity degraded today?
If we believe that Roman Catholicism at least, is part of Christianity, the answer is an obvious yes.

What does the Bible say?

Judaism is Satanic (Rev. 2:9-10. )
Catholicism is demonic (Rev. 2:24-28)
Protestantism is dead and Christless (Rev. 3:1-5, 20-21).

We cannot find a genuine church in any sort of "ism".
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do you think Christianity is degraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
ZNPaaneah, to get to the heart of the matter, we should consider these questions:

What is Christianity?

Christianity is a religion comprising 20,000+ denominations.

Did God start Christianity? No, men did. Men start religions, God started His church. Good reference here is "Christ versus Religion - by Witness Lee".
Witness Lee defines religion as anything that we do for God apart from God. I reject this definition as not Biblical. It is very clear from the fellowship of the Apostles that this is not a valid definition.

So, no, I disagree with your assertion. Prove it from the fellowship of the Apostles. Witness Lee's books can be referenced by you all you wish, but the ultimate authority in my opinion, and Witness Lee's opinion, is the fellowship of the apostles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What does degradation mean?

Degradation basically means not normal. Watchman Nee wrote what is a normal church in his normal church life books.

A degraded system -referring mostly to the organized hierarchical church.
clergy/laity distinctions, cathedrals etc.

Does a church have to build a cathedral and have a priest to be degraded? No - any church which has one church leader and no functioning members is essentially degraded.

Degradation means loss of function. If your body's arm stops working you could say the arm is degraded, it cannot function as an arm. The same with the body of Christ.

Degraded Christianity locked up the Bible for hundreds of years, and was released through Luther and others.

Lee holds a view that the church become degraded from the second century.

Is it true?

History would say yes. The degraded system was in place for hundreds of years soon after Constantine made Christianity a state religion.

Is Christianity degraded today?
If we include Roman Catholicism in Christianity, the answer is an obvious yes.
Once again, you can reference Watchman Nee books if you please, but I will only acknowledge the authority of the apostle's fellowship on this topic.

I find the reference to "hierarchical" and "organized" idiotic. The New Testament provides a lot of discussion on the organization of the church. The idea that "hierarchical" is equivalent to "degraded" is based on a very poor assumption that the term "nicolaitan" refers to a hierarchy that stifles the function of the members of the Body. That is a very poor and self serving example of biblical interpretation. No verse is of its own interpretation, particularly when you have an undefined term that you define a certain way because that is what you want it to mean. Even the term "the body of Christ" implies organization. Our body is highly organized. All life forms are organized. I consider Witness Lee's use of this to be very hypocritical. He condemns all Christian organizations as being "organized" hence degraded. Yet he himself was the head of a very big organization and he put his profligate son in charge of a Christian ministry even though he was well aware of how degraded he was. He condemned seminary and then set up his own seminary. His condemnation was merely self justification.

I also find the term "not normal" to be "not useful". The record in the New Testament is very clear, what we see in all forms of Christian meetings is in fact what has been accurately described with great detail in the New Testament. Therefore it is "typical", it is "expected", it is "anticipated", and it appears to be "necessary". Is it normal for a child to get measles or mumps? It is typical, it is common, and it may be necessary to develop immunity either by getting the childhood disease or by getting a vaccination. But the word "normal" may not apply. Therefore I feel this term is not helpful in understanding this issue.

What you refer to as "degraded Christianity" I see as something that Christians need to experience and overcome to grow into full maturity. You cannot overcome these things if you do not experience them, just as you cannot develop immunity to the mumps unless you experience it, either by being exposed to the disease or to a vaccine. In my understanding the reference to "false prophets", "heresies", "false teachers", all refer to these necessary diseases that we must overcome. Jezebel and Balaam are examples. The teaching of the Nicolaitans is an example. The Judaizers were an example. James is an example of someone who was exposed to this disease, developed immunity to it, overcame it, and then his ministry was a vaccination for the Body of Christ.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do you think Christianity is degraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Witness Lee defines religion as anything that we do for God apart from God. I reject this definition as not Biblical. It is very clear from the fellowship of the Apostles that this is not a valid definition.

So, no, I disagree with your assertion. Prove it from the fellowship of the Apostles. Witness Lee's books can be referenced by you all you wish, but the ultimate authority in my opinion, and Witness Lee's opinion, is the fellowship of the apostles.



Once again, you can reference Watchman Nee books if you please, but I will only acknowledge the authority of the apostle's fellowship on this topic.

I find the reference to "hierarchical" and "organized" idiotic. The New Testament provides a lot of discussion on the organization of the church. The idea that "hierarchical" is equivalent to "degraded" is based on a very poor assumption that the term "nicolaitan" refers to a hierarchy that stifles the function of the members of the Body. That is a very poor and self serving example of biblical interpretation. No verse is of its own interpretation, particularly when you have an undefined term that you define a certain way because that is what you want it to mean. Even the term "the body of Christ" implies organization. Our body is highly organized. All life forms are organized. I consider Witness Lee's use of this to be very hypocritical. He condemns all Christian organizations as being "organized" hence degraded. Yet he himself was the head of a very big organization and he put his profligate son in charge of a Christian ministry even though he was well aware of how degraded he was. He condemned seminary and then set up his own seminary. His condemnation was merely self justification.

I also find the term "not normal" to be "not useful". The record in the New Testament is very clear, what we see in all forms of Christian meetings is in fact what has been accurately described with great detail in the New Testament. Therefore it is "typical", it is "expected", it is "anticipated", and it appears to be "necessary". Is it normal for a child to get measles or mumps? It is typical, it is common, and it may be necessary to develop immunity either by getting the childhood disease or by getting a vaccination. But the word "normal" may not apply. Therefore I feel this term is not helpful in understanding this issue.

What you refer to as "degraded Christianity" I see as something that Christians need to experience and overcome to grow into full maturity. You cannot overcome these things if you do not experience them, just as you cannot develop immunity to the mumps unless you experience it, either by being exposed to the disease or to a vaccine. In my understanding the reference to "false prophets", "heresies", "false teachers", all refer to these necessary diseases that we must overcome. Jezebel and Balaam are examples. The teaching of the Nicolaitans is an example. The Judaizers were an example. James is an example of someone who was exposed to this disease, developed immunity to it, overcame it, and then his ministry was a vaccination for the Body of Christ.

If you think we can do things for God without God, makes me wonder why God gave us the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts etc. And why Jesus said:

John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.
"

Hierarchy is also mentioned in Matthew 23:9 and

Matthew 20:25 "But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them."

So the fellowship of the apostles, no, the words of Christ Himself, tells me that hierarchy is not normal.


I'm curious to know if you think the Reformation should have happened? Or perhaps Christians should have stayed in the Roman Catholic church and overcame it rather than separate from it.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:52 PM   #5
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If you think we can do things for God without God, makes me wonder why God gave us the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts etc. And why Jesus said:
I don't think that and I didn't say that. I said that Witness Lee defines religion as meaning that, but it doesn't mean that. Read the New Testament, the term is defined in the New Testament and it does not mean that.

According to James "religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation".

Now as you point out, according to Jesus "apart from Me you can do nothing".

Therefore a logical person would put these two together to say that the New Testament defines religion as a "looking after orphans and widows in their tribulation by being joined to Jesus as the vine in obedience to the Lord's command to love your neighbor as yourself".

It is very alarming to me that Witness Lee felt it necessary to denigrate this term.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:09 PM   #6
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Hierarchy is also mentioned in Matthew 23:9 and

Matthew 20:25 "But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them."

So the fellowship of the apostles, no, the words of Christ Himself, tells me that hierarchy is not normal.
Yes, the New Testament talks about hierarchy that can be negative. You then conclude that it is not normal. But that is not supported by Matthew who also says "since they sit in Moses seat do all they say". Moses seat was set up by God. Since he was unable to care for the millions of people he set up a hierarchy. Try reading the Bible.

Peter also speaks of hierarchy:

5 Elders who [are] among you, I exhort, who [am] a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and of the glory about to be revealed a partaker,
2 feed the flock of God that [is] among you, overseeing not constrainedly, but willingly, neither for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind,
3 neither as exercising lordship over the heritages, but patterns becoming of the flock,
4 and at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory.

Elders are a form of hierarchy in a family.

Overseeing is contrasted with "lording it over". The proper function is to oversee, the distorted function is to "lord it over". A proper motive is out of a ready mind of one who is serving the Lord, an improper motive is for filthy lucre. An improper approach is to lord it over, a proper approach is to be a pattern to the flock.

But whether it is proper or improper, it is still organization and hierarchy.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:25 PM   #7
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Yes, the New Testament talks about hierarchy that can be negative. You then conclude that it is not normal. But that is not supported by Matthew who also says "since they sit in Moses seat do all they say". Moses seat was set up by God. Since he was unable to care for the millions of people he set up a hierarchy. Try reading the Bible.

Peter also speaks of hierarchy:

5 Elders who [are] among you, I exhort, who [am] a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and of the glory about to be revealed a partaker,
2 feed the flock of God that [is] among you, overseeing not constrainedly, but willingly, neither for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind,
3 neither as exercising lordship over the heritages, but patterns becoming of the flock,
4 and at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory.

Elders are a form of hierarchy in a family.

Overseeing is contrasted with "lording it over". The proper function is to oversee, the distorted function is to "lord it over". A proper motive is out of a ready mind of one who is serving the Lord, an improper motive is for filthy lucre. An improper approach is to lord it over, a proper approach is to be a pattern to the flock.

But whether it is proper or improper, it is still organization and hierarchy.
Normal for the Jews perhaps, not normal for God's church. Jesus did not desire any sort of clergy-laity structure in the church, all were equal in importance and function. The historical fact is that there was no clergy class in the early church.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:32 PM   #8
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I don't think that and I didn't say that. I said that Witness Lee defines religion as meaning that, but it doesn't mean that. Read the New Testament, the term is defined in the New Testament and it does not mean that.

According to James "religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation".

Now as you point out, according to Jesus "apart from Me you can do nothing".

Therefore a logical person would put these two together to say that the New Testament defines religion as a "looking after orphans and widows in their tribulation by being joined to Jesus as the vine in obedience to the Lord's command to love your neighbor as yourself".

It is very alarming to me that Witness Lee felt it necessary to denigrate this term.
What you described in James there is true religion. Lee did not really denigrate this term "religion". In fact, if you read LIFE-STUDY OF JOHN MESSAGE NINETEEN, Lee says that Judaism is the only real, genuine and true religion. Many Protestants would not speak so kindly about Judaism. Lee says that religion is good, but it is not the living person of Christ. It is on the basis of religion not being able to give life, that Lee speaks against it. It goes something like this - religion is good, but life is better. If we have life, then religion is a negative thing.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:47 PM   #9
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from "Misrepresenting Witness Lee’s Critique of Christianity ".
To say that something is degraded simply means that it has fallen below its ordinary standards or that it has negatively changed in its function and structure.17 According to Witness Lee’s teaching in Practice, the system of Christianity is degraded in its standards, function, and structure because it has developed “formalities and rituals,” “regulations and unscriptural practices,” “hierarchy” with “ambition” for position, and the “clergy-laity system.” Today’s Christianity is also full of divisions.18 It is these negative matters that kill the organic function of the members of the Body of Christ.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness_Lee
This degraded religious system [of Christianity] takes the natural, human, traditional, cultural, and religious way. Humanly speaking, religion is a good thing, but spiritually speaking it is something against God's economy. God does not want a religion, but He surely wants to see His economy accomplished. We are not here for religion but for God's economy, which is to propagate His completed Christ to produce the church as the Body of such a Christ.
— Witness Lee, The God-ordained Way to Practice the New Testament Economy

The church includes all those who share the common faith that saves us, the one faith spoken of in Ephesians 4:5. This faith is held in common by all who are saved (2 Pet. 1:1). This faith causes the believers to be one and does not divide them. Any creed or system of teaching that goes beyond the common faith divides the believers.
— Witness Lee, Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 6
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:49 AM   #10
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Default My personal opinion whether Christianity is degraded

Now my personal opinion about whether Christianity is degraded.

More than 30 years in degraded Christianity myself I can conclude that many things I have seen and experienced can only be because of widespread degradation and not just bespoke examples of bad churches.

This is because the system is wrong. Many bible colleges of large denominations are producing paid ministers, clergy who are not Christians. Some are Buddhist, some are atheist. They stay in that role because it's a job. They may care for humanity, but they don't believe the Bible. Some are into spirit-ism, some are clairvoyants and spirit mediums. Because they are ordained, they are allowed to handle the bread and wine, but a regular lay person cannot. In a real church it is not possible for a leader to not be a Christian. But the degraded system of Christianity has made this possible. This is because it is about promoting and building up the organization rather than the kingdom of God. For that reason they do not really care if the leaders are Christians or not. As long a they are qualified and experienced to lead a service it is acceptable for them.

Social clubs - many churches are essentially just Christ-less social clubs. In my experience Bible studies were actually not about studying the bible but discussion about ones favorite movies in relation to some ethical or human consideration. Most of the discussion was nothing about God or the Bible.

In a Christ-less degraded church service, it is possible to attend a service and never hear the name of Christ mentioned once. It is possible to hear about many things about finance, miracles, healings, how to be a good husband or wife, but nothing about Christ.

I have also been in churches which hold meditation services, very similar to yoga meditation classes. It promotes tranquility and perhaps has some benefit to the soul but again, has nothing to do with Christ.

Christians not knowing how to pray or the basics of the Bible - only a degraded system could produce converts or church members who cannot pray or know the basics of the Bible. In many churches the things the members can do or not do is controlled by the pastor or priest. There is actually no freedom to pray in the middle of the service or speak or share a message from the Bible. Everything is controlled by the pastor or priest and order of service. A service cannot happen without the pastor or priest being present. This is a degraded situation.

I could go on with many other examples of the degraded system of Christianity.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:55 AM   #11
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Normal for the Jews perhaps, not normal for God's church. Jesus did not desire any sort of clergy-laity structure in the church, all were equal in importance and function. The historical fact is that there was no clergy class in the early church.
Jesus told Peter to "feed my sheep". Peter talks about "overseers". That is organization and that is hierarchical. A father and grandfather having authority in the family is a hierarchy, it is organization. This is why it is idiotic to use these terms as some kind of basis to identify "degradation". By definition, when a living organism dies and degrades it loses its organization.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:59 AM   #12
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What you described in James there is true religion. Lee did not really denigrate this term "religion". In fact, if you read LIFE-STUDY OF JOHN MESSAGE NINETEEN, Lee says that Judaism is the only real, genuine and true religion. Many Protestants would not speak so kindly about Judaism. Lee says that religion is good, but it is not the living person of Christ. It is on the basis of religion not being able to give life, that Lee speaks against it. It goes something like this - religion is good, but life is better. If we have life, then religion is a negative thing.
Once again, Witness Lee is not the authority, nor is this thread talking about his ministry. We have rebuked and repudiated much of what Witness Lee taught, you responded "what about you"? That is what this thread is about, it is a response to your question.

On this thread it is the apostle's fellowship that is the authority.

There are 6 mentions of the word. Two in the book of Acts, two in Galatians, and two in James. None of them support Witness Lee's definition. His definition is not according to the fellowship of the apostles and I reject it. This is a New Testament term and I will stick to the New Testament definition.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
from "Misrepresenting Witness Lee’s Critique of Christianity ".
To say that something is degraded simply means that it has fallen below its ordinary standards or that it has negatively changed in its function and structure.17 According to Witness Lee’s teaching in Practice, the system of Christianity is degraded in its standards, function, and structure because it has developed “formalities and rituals,” “regulations and unscriptural practices,” “hierarchy” with “ambition” for position, and the “clergy-laity system.” Today’s Christianity is also full of divisions.18 It is these negative matters that kill the organic function of the members of the Body of Christ.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness_Lee
This degraded religious system [of Christianity] takes the natural, human, traditional, cultural, and religious way. Humanly speaking, religion is a good thing, but spiritually speaking it is something against God's economy. God does not want a religion, but He surely wants to see His economy accomplished. We are not here for religion but for God's economy, which is to propagate His completed Christ to produce the church as the Body of such a Christ.
— Witness Lee, The God-ordained Way to Practice the New Testament Economy

The church includes all those who share the common faith that saves us, the one faith spoken of in Ephesians 4:5. This faith is held in common by all who are saved (2 Pet. 1:1). This faith causes the believers to be one and does not divide them. Any creed or system of teaching that goes beyond the common faith divides the believers.
— Witness Lee, Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 6
The fellowship of the apostles define what the common faith is that we all share.

The issues you raise -- formalities, rituals, regulations, unscriptural practices, hierarchy, and clergy laity system are all depicted in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. Therefore I will address these by looking at those verses.

Quote:
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This is because the system is wrong.
We need to look at the cause. I believe the cause for the issues you raise is due to false prophets, false teachers, the flesh, sin, and people leaving the fellowship of the apostles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Many bible colleges of large denominations are producing paid ministers, clergy who are not Christians. Some are Buddhist, some are atheist. They stay in that role because it's a job. They may care for humanity, but they don't believe the Bible. Some are into spirit-ism, some are clairvoyants and spirit mediums. Because they are ordained, they are allowed to handle the bread and wine, but a regular lay person cannot. In a real church it is not possible for a leader to not be a Christian. But the degraded system of Christianity has made this possible. This is because it is about promoting and building up the organization rather than the kingdom of God. For that reason they do not really care if the leaders are Christians or not. As long a they are qualified and experienced to lead a service it is acceptable for them.
Here you are talking about nominal Christians. The term degraded refers to something that was at one time not degraded. A nominal Christian may never have been a genuine believer, hence they are not "degraded", they are simply false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Social clubs - many churches are essentially just Christ-less social clubs. In my experience Bible studies were actually not about studying the bible but discussion about ones favorite movies in relation to some ethical or human consideration. Most of the discussion was nothing about God or the Bible.

In a Christ-less degraded church service, it is possible to attend a service and never hear the name of Christ mentioned once. It is possible to hear about many things about finance, miracles, healings, how to be a good husband or wife, but nothing about Christ.

I have also been in churches which hold meditation services, very similar to yoga meditation classes. It promotes tranquility and perhaps has some benefit to the soul but again, has nothing to do with Christ.
Once again you are not talking about degraded Christianity but nominal Christianity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Christians not knowing how to pray or the basics of the Bible - only a degraded system could produce converts or church members who cannot pray or know the basics of the Bible. In many churches the things the members can do or not do is controlled by the pastor or priest. There is actually no freedom to pray in the middle of the service or speak or share a message from the Bible. Everything is controlled by the pastor or priest and order of service. A service cannot happen without the pastor or priest being present. This is a degraded situation.

I could go on with many other examples of the degraded system of Christianity.
Pastors controlling services are not in and of themselves evidence of a degraded meeting. I was in large meetings in Taipei, in Hall 1, led by Witness Lee, and he fully controlled what took place in the meeting. Yes, we typically had an opportunity during the meeting to speak into a microphone, but I have never had the level of control in a Christian context that I experienced in the FTTT. They controlled the clothes we wore, the food we ate, where we slept, how much time we had for a shower, what time we were awake, what time we slept, how we exercised, etc. No one thought that this level of control could be exhibited in a regular meeting, but the thought was that since we put ourselves into a position where Witness Lee could control everything it would be very beneficial.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:31 AM   #14
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These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: 2 I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; 3 and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name’s sake, and hast not grown weary. 4 But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love. 5 Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.

The "first works" are not the issue with this church, and Jesus charges them to continue with them.

Their works, their toil, they can't bear with evil men, they tried those that call themselves apostles and are not and found them false.

These are the works that we are doing on this forum. We cannot bear with evil men like Phillip Lee, or those that rubber stamped his appointment like the elders in Anaheim. We are examining Witness Lee's claim to apostleship and the leaders of the LC claim that he was "the minister of the age" and we have found this claim to be false.

This work requires patience. We have had to bear slander and libel for the Lord's name. I would like to think that we have not grown weary.

The issue with this church is that they left their first love. [Please note, a church is a gathering of the called out ones. This forum is a gathering of the called out ones]. Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. The one who didn't come to judge the world but that through Him the world might be saved. The one who loved us and died for us. The good samaritan who tells us, once we have been nursed back to health, to "go and do likewise". That is the one they left.

They need to remember where they have fallen from, repent and do the first works. This is what we are doing on this forum. We remember where we have fallen from, we repent, we endeavor to do the first works again.

But what is true of all, those that need to repent and those that have repented and the Lord Jesus is that they all hate the works of the nicolaitans. Now I don't have to put my spin on what that is, I don't need to define what that is, because Jesus tells us what it is. They teach in like manner to Balaam who taught Balak to place a stumblingblock before the children of Israel. This refers back to Matt 18 where Jesus said it was better to put a millstone around your neck than to stumble the babes in Christ. This refers to Witness Lee's teaching on Deification, which in my mind is placing a stumbling block before the children of God.

The cause of a church becoming "degraded" is to "leave their first love". This is the strategy of the enemy. This is the temptation. Those that lead the church astray are "false prophets" who place stumbling blocks before the children of God.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:45 AM   #15
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Normal for the Jews perhaps, not normal for God's church. Jesus did not desire any sort of clergy-laity structure in the church, all were equal in importance and function. The historical fact is that there was no clergy class in the early church.
That's not true at all.

The New Testament is filled with verses delineating organizational structure with elders and deacons. There were also many gifted ones named apostles, prophets, shepherds, evangelists, teachers. What do you think they all did in the meetings of the church? Sit in the back row and sleep?

Do you have any idea how narrow-minded and skewed your definition of "functioning" is? If someone stands up and reads a line from a footnote, you shout and proclaim that all the members can function, and then simultaneously you condemn the body of Christ for being dead .. Because they can't stand up in their assembly and read a footnote by WL.

Oh the hypocrisy! Why do you think so many of us have left? You have simply replaced the so-called "one-man-speaking" with the "speaking-of-one-man." That is no improvement at all! At least the former speak from the word of God.

I've been to many churches, including the LC's. There are always going to be some who sit silently in the meetings, and probably come only on Sundays. I saw that in all the LC's I visited. Who are you to categorically condemn them all? How do you know what they believe or how they function in the body of Christ? I saw far too many showy performances in LSM trainings to believe for a moment that they had the market on spiritual reality and functioning.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:37 PM   #16
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That's not true at all.
The New Testament is filled with verses delineating organizational structure with elders and deacons. There were also many gifted ones named apostles, prophets, shepherds, evangelists, teachers. What do you think they all did in the meetings of the church? Sit in the back row and sleep?
So I ask you, where are these gifted ones in the organised denominations today? Paul desired everyone to desire gifts and especially to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14). So where is the opportunity for a non-theologically trained and unqualified person to use their gifts such as prophesy and teaching in a 1 hour Sunday service?


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Do you have any idea how narrow-minded and skewed your definition of "functioning" is? If someone stands up and reads a line from a footnote, you shout and proclaim that all the members can function, and then simultaneously you condemn the body of Christ for being dead .. Because they can't stand up in their assembly and read a footnote by WL.
My Bible tells me that in the body of Christ every member is needed, everyone has gifts, and we cannot say we don't need anyone.

On that basis the system of only a few theologically qualified ones providing a service to a congregation Sunday in and Sunday, must be rejected.

That sort of system arose in the early middle ages and did not originate in the New Testament.


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Oh the hypocrisy! Why do you think so many of us have left? You have simply replaced the so-called "one-man-speaking" with the "speaking-of-one-man." That is no improvement at all! At least the former speak from the word of God.
Umm, the majority of churches they don't speak from the word of God but from the Sunday service sheet or prayer book. It is like that in the majors - Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran. What makes this somewhat different from people merely reading footnotes in LSM, is that there is no freedom for a member to pick and choose what they want to say from the book, and the same service is followed every Sunday (there are some variations of course, but usually minor). Since this is the majority then my statement that "Christianity is degraded" is no less true.


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I've been to many churches, including the LC's. There are always going to be some who sit silently in the meetings, and probably come only on Sundays. I saw that in all the LC's I visited. Who are you to categorically condemn them all? How do you know what they believe or how they function in the body of Christ? I saw far too many showy performances in LSM trainings to believe for a moment that they had the market on spiritual reality and functioning.
Ohio, when you say "always going to be some who sit silently" I don't think you comprehend the situation. Every Sunday, every week, every year, in Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, which is the majority of Christianity, they hold a service, the Priest says the same thing every Sunday from the same prayer book. The congregation respond in the same manner at the same time when the Priest instructs them to. The only time the congregation can "function" is when they sing the hymns or respond to the rote prayers and responses written in the service books. And you say LSM is a cult? Well the average Sunday service looks more like a cult to me. The same order of processions, rituals, the robes, the candles and other things in the church, just enhance that cult-like effect.

Pentecostal churches have more freedoms but they are still tightly controlled by the pastor. I have friends who were worship leaders who were instructed by the pastor when they could raise their hands in worship and when they shouldn't. On the flip side, I have also been to Presbyterian churches where the pastor forbade anyone from closing their eyes and raising their hands during worship because it was too "Pentecostal".

So I am confident to stand by my statement that "Christianity is degraded". Because the majority of churches in the world today are of the sort I have just described.

If you have a problem with such generalisation, I will not say 90% are degraded or 20% are degraded because it doesn't make sense to talk like that. If our body is sick, even though it may affect only one part of our body, we will say "I am sick". We do not say "20% of my body is sick".
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:04 PM   #17
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8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again: 9 I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


Here we see the dichotomy. We have those who have overcome in Ephesus, they have eaten from the Tree of life, they are genuine believers and they are now following the Lord to the cross of Christ. There is a reward in this church, the crown of life.

But there is also a synagogue of Satan, composed of those who say they are Jews and are not. This is not a "degraded" church, it is a nominal church. They are a church in name only, not in reality. There was a fork in the road in Ephesus, some left their first love, some were faithful to their first love. In Smyrna this is more than a temptation, we can now see what happens if you go down this road. For those who abandon their first love they end up in the "synagogue of Satan", a church that claims to be genuine but is false. For those who are faithful to hold onto their first love they end up on the cross of Christ, suffering tribulation for a season.

Genuine believers will suffer tribulation and will be faithful unto death.

But, this is necessary to receive the crown of life. This is something that we must overcome so that we would not be hurt by the second death.

Witness Lee teaches that these churches represent different churches in church history. But this doesn't make sense because he also teaches that we need to partake of the tree of life, and we all want to receive the crown of life.

So although there are some interesting parallels with history, I feel that we all need to experience Christ in all of these experiences. As a child you may have "overcome" measles, mumps and rubella, not just one childhood disease but maybe three, maybe four, maybe five. All of use need to learn to cling to our first love and we need to follow the Lord to the cross and be faithful unto death.

But, if Satan will disguise himself as an angel of light why wouldn't he also disguise himself as a "synagogue of Satan" claiming to be a church when he isn't. The test is if you are faithful unto death.

James talks about this test when he says that Abraham was justified by works. How are we supposed to know which are the genuine Christians and which are those of the synagogue of Satan? Simple, the genuine ones are justified by works. What was Abraham's work? He was faithful to go to the cross and let everything that he had given himself to be sacrificed to God. Satan would never do this.

In our experience with Witness Lee, when Watchman Nee was excommunicated for living with a mistress this was similar to sending Witness Lee to the cross and seeing everything that he had given himself to be sacrificed to God. There is no advantage in being the closest coworker of Watchman Nee if he is an adulterer. Was Witness Lee faithful unto death? No, he created a lie in which he said the elders excommunicated Watchman Nee for living with a woman, but the woman was his mother.

If he had been faithful he would have had tribulation for a season, but in the end the 2nd death couldn't hurt him. But now, not only is he dead, but his legacy is suffering loss as well. That lie is causing his whole ministry to go up in flames.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:04 PM   #18
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Once again, Witness Lee is not the authority, nor is this thread talking about his ministry. We have rebuked and repudiated much of what Witness Lee taught, you responded "what about you"? That is what this thread is about, it is a response to your question.

On this thread it is the apostle's fellowship that is the authority.

There are 6 mentions of the word. Two in the book of Acts, two in Galatians, and two in James. None of them support Witness Lee's definition. His definition is not according to the fellowship of the apostles and I reject it. This is a New Testament term and I will stick to the New Testament definition.
I'm confused ZNPaaneah. When I post something not related to Lee or Nee, I am told that this forum is about Lee or Nee's ministry. Now when I post something in reference to Lee, I am told by you that it is not about Lee. It seems this forum has some sort of identity crisis. Or at least, it is convenient for some members to decide when it is about Lee and when it is not about Lee, to suit their own purposes.


You said

It is very alarming to me that Witness Lee felt it necessary to denigrate this term.

I was not talking about his ministry but refuting what you said. My post showed you that he did not "denigrate a term". He spoke positively of religion, even saying Judaism is the true religion. He spoke of religion for what it was - a system of beliefs and rituals. He said that systems of beliefs and rituals do not give life. If we are a Christian we would have to agree with that. Religion does not give life, and from this point of view religion is a negative thing. Even your pet verse in James - taking care of orphans and widows, does not give life. It is a good thing to do, but cannot give life.
You seem to be twisted Lee's words to mean that he was against taking care of orphans and widows. That is not the meaning of being "against religion".
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:12 PM   #19
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I'm confused ZNPaaneah. When I post something not related to Lee or Nee, I am told that this forum is about Lee or Nee's ministry. Now when I post something in reference to Lee, I am told by you that it is not about Lee. It seems this forum has some sort of identity crisis. Or at least, it is convenient for some members to decide when it is about Lee and when it is not about Lee, to suit their own purposes.
I defined the thread with the first post. If you want to persuade me you will need to do it with the fellowship of the apostles. That is my requirement. You asked me this question, I have started this thread in response to you, and I am willing to discuss this. However, my requirement is that I will submit to the fellowship of the apostles. I will recognize that as having the authority. This is fully in line with Witness Lee's ministry as he also said that the ultimate authority in the New Testament is the fellowship of the apostles. You can quote Witness Lee all you want, but if you cannot make your argument from the fellowship of the apostles it just proves that "degraded Christianity" is a false construct of Witness Lee and not a New Testament truth.

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You said

It is very alarming to me that Witness Lee felt it necessary to denigrate this term.

I was not talking about his ministry but refuting what you said. My post showed you that he did not "denigrate a term". He spoke positively of religion, even saying Judaism is the true religion. He spoke of religion for what it was - a system of beliefs and rituals. He said that systems of beliefs and rituals do not give life. If we are a Christian we would have to agree with that. Religion does not give life, and from this point of view religion is a negative thing. Even your pet verse in James - taking care of orphans and widows, does not give life. It is a good thing to do, but cannot give life.
I'm sorry but your credibility is already at rock bottom. Your contention now is that Witness Lee did not denigrate the term "religion"?

“Anything that is scriptural and even spiritual, yet without life, becomes religion” (Witness Lee, Christ versus Religion, Chapter 12, Section 6)

"Religion is a human invention, a product of the fallen human mind." (Witness Lee, Life Study of John, Chapter 14, Section 1)

"religion is anything done for Christ but not having the presence and reality of Christ." (Witness Lee, Enjoying Christ as the All-inclusive Spirit for the Practical, Genuine, and Real Church Life, Chapter 1, Section 3).

"Religion is to try to worship God but without God, Christ, or the Spirit." (Witness Lee, The Recovery of Christ in the Present Evil Age, Chapter 1, Section 2)


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You seem to be twisted Lee's words to mean that he was against taking care of orphans and widows. That is not the meaning of being "against religion".
Oh my bad, did I twist Witness Lee's words? Here, let Witness Lee respond:

"Religion is something formed by the human mentality under Satan's instigation and inspiration in order to oppose God's economy. Apparently, religion is for God, but in actuality, it is fully against Him." (Witness Lee, The Lord's Recovery and the Present Situation of Religion, Chapter 2, Section 1)

We do not like to set up social and charitable works such as schools and hospitals. The apostle Paul did not do this kind of work. (Witness Lee, Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 15, Section 2).


Honestly Evangelical, do you even know Witness Lee at all? Witness Lee claimed that according to the New Testament religion in not a good word.

"Of course, I realize that this word does not sound well to religious ears. But if we read our Bible in Galatians, we can see that religion is not a positive word." (Witness Lee, The Indwelling Christ in the Canon of the New Testament, Chapter 11, Section 2).

So go ahead, use the Bible and prove that the word Religion is not a positive word.

I have already discussed the letters to the churches in Ephesus and Smyrna in Revelation 2. In this portion you can see those who claim to be Jews and are not. They are nominal, pretending to be believers, but actually they are the synagogue of Satan. You can call them a false religion, followers of a false Christ, a different gospel, another Jesus, fruit of a cursed tree, etc. But when you denigrate all religion because of the false ones it is as though you are cutting cancer out with a butter knife. Witness Lee equated the Judaizers in the book of Galatians with all religion. That is clearly not the New Testament understanding of the word. As I have said there are references to religion in Acts, Galatians and James. The only way you can get Witness Lee's definition is to ignore 2/3 of the uses, and then to equate Judaizers with the Jewish religion in the book of Galatians, which Paul does not do. He gives his testimony of leaving the Jewish religion, and then he gives his experience of Judaizers damaging the church. These Judaizers were acting according to their own opinion and not according to revelation.

But that cannot and does not mean that everyone who was ever in the Jewish religion was lacking in Revelation. Such claim would be idiotic. But, yes, that idiotic claim is Witness Lee's claim.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:25 PM   #20
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8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again: 9 I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


Here we see the dichotomy. We have those who have overcome in Ephesus, they have eaten from the Tree of life, they are genuine believers and they are now following the Lord to the cross of Christ. There is a reward in this church, the crown of life.

But there is also a synagogue of Satan, composed of those who say they are Jews and are not. This is not a "degraded" church, it is a nominal church. They are a church in name only, not in reality.

Genuine believers will suffer tribulation and will be faithful unto death.

But, this is necessary to receive the crown of life. This is something that we must overcome so that we would not be hurt by the second death.

Witness Lee teaches that these churches represent different churches in church history. But this doesn't make sense because he also teaches that we need to partake of the tree of life, and we all want to receive the crown of life.

So although there are some interesting parallels with history, I feel that we all need to experience Christ in all of these experiences. As a child you may have "overcome" measles, mumps and rubella, not just one childhood disease but maybe three, maybe four, maybe five. All of use need to learn to cling to our first love and we need to follow the Lord to the cross and be faithful unto death.

But, if Satan will disguise himself as an angel of light why wouldn't he also disguise himself as a "synagogue of Satan" claiming to be a church when he isn't. The test is if you are faithful unto death.

James talks about this test when he says that Abraham was justified by works. How are we supposed to know which are the genuine Christians and which are those of the synagogue of Satan? Simple, the genuine ones are justified by works. What was Abraham's work? He was faithful to go to the cross and let everything that he had given himself to be sacrificed to God. Satan would never do this.

In our experience with Witness Lee, when Watchman Nee was excommunicated for living with a mistress this was similar to sending Witness Lee to the cross and seeing everything that he had given himself to be sacrificed to God. There is no advantage in being the closest coworker of Watchman Nee if he is an adulterer. Was Witness Lee faithful unto death? No, he created a lie in which he said the elders excommunicated Watchman Nee for living with a woman, but the woman was his mother.

If he had been faithful he would have had tribulation for a season, but in the end the 2nd death couldn't hurt him. But now, not only is he dead, but his legacy is suffering loss as well. That lie is causing his whole ministry to go up in flames.
ZNPaaneah, you just said this thread is not about Lee's ministry. But I can find one of your paragraphs starting with "Witness Lee teaches..", so you are talking about his ministry. You are losing credibility as one who says one thing but does another.

Anyway, you seem to be arguing semantics about degraded versus nominal. But the meaning of words are not your strong point (as I and others have pointed out to you before).

Nominal means:
(of a role or status) existing in name only.
(of a price or charge) very small; far below the real value or cost.

Degraded means:
reduced in quality; inferior.

Nominal can mean worse than degraded. Nominal can mean "in name only" and so you could be saying that the church in Smyrna are not real Christians at all. It could mean "far below the real value or cost", or not living up to the standard.


the historical accuracy of:

Witness Lee teaches that these churches represent different churches in church history. But this doesn't make sense because he also teaches that we need to partake of the tree of life, and we all want to receive the crown of life.
,

is not that important. What is more important is that we strive to be the kind of church God wants us to be. LSM and the recovery has tried to be that kind of church and promote that kind of church.

The majority of Christianity has been content to replicate and further hundreds of years of man made traditions and rituals.

Which one is doing what God wants? Those who try and fail (as you claim LSM has), must be better than those who don't try at all.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:32 PM   #21
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I defined the thread with the first post. If you want to persuade me you will need to do it with the fellowship of the apostles. That is my requirement. You asked me this question, I have started this thread in response to you, and I am willing to discuss this. However, my requirement is that I will submit to the fellowship of the apostles. I will recognize that as having the authority. This is fully in line with Witness Lee's ministry as he also said that the ultimate authority in the New Testament is the fellowship of the apostles. You can quote Witness Lee all you want, but if you cannot make your argument from the fellowship of the apostles it just proves that "degraded Christianity" is a false construct of Witness Lee and not a New Testament truth.


I'm sorry but your credibility is already at rock bottom. Your contention now is that Witness Lee did not denigrate the term "religion"?

“Anything that is scriptural and even spiritual, yet without life, becomes religion” (Witness Lee, Christ versus Religion, Chapter 12, Section 6)

"Religion is a human invention, a product of the fallen human mind." (Witness Lee, Life Study of John, Chapter 14, Section 1)

"religion is anything done for Christ but not having the presence and reality of Christ." (Witness Lee, Enjoying Christ as the All-inclusive Spirit for the Practical, Genuine, and Real Church Life, Chapter 1, Section 3).

"Religion is to try to worship God but without God, Christ, or the Spirit." (Witness Lee, The Recovery of Christ in the Present Evil Age, Chapter 1, Section 2)




We do not like to set up social and charitable works such as schools and hospitals. The apostle Paul did not do this kind of work. (Witness Lee, Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 15, Section 2).

Honestly Evangelical, do you even know Witness Lee at all?
ZNPaaneah, you defined the thread in the first post in which you made reference to Witness Lee twice. You then proceeded to say that this thread is not about Witness Lee's ministry, yet you continue to quote and reference him, which is, lo and behold, his teaching and ministry. I personally am fully able to talk about this matter without referencing Lee, which I have done when I described my personal experiences in degraded Christianity. It seems you are unable to prove Christianity is not degraded without making counter-arguments to Witness Lee's teachings.

Others, such as testallthings has already picked up your inability to quote and reference on topic, when you provided a quote to me in another thread from Watchman Nee's book that was nothing to do with what you said it meant. So you are not the best person to be defining the context of threads. It is not my credibility in question here, but rather your rationality and consistency.

Further, your insistence that it is about nominal Christianity versus degraded is frankly, idiotic (to use a term you used previously). Nominal means "in name only" therefore you are saying these churches in Revelation are "in name Christians" only and not real churches. That is worse than saying they are degraded. You are not the expert of the English language and logic that you think you are, ZNPaaneah.

I thought this thread would be about people's personal experiences of why Christianity is not degraded. Perhaps it is the great church you currently attend, perhaps a great one you attended in the past. Perhaps there is an entire country with no degraded churches at all, that I know nothing about and would love to visit. So far no one has been able to provide anything to support the idea that Christianity is not degraded, except counter-arguments to Witness Lee's doctrine.

Even if I agree with you that Lee was wrong about Christianity being degraded, doesn't change the fact that the majority of churches established in most cities and towns around the world, are full of Sunday Christians promoted by a religious organisation and structure that runs counter to the new testament blueprint that Christ established with his closest 12. That is an observation that not just Lee, but many church leaders and lay people in the past have made. That is why institutionalised Christianity is on the decline in many areas of the world, and house or community churches are growing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:47 PM   #22
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Anyway, you seem to be arguing semantics about degraded versus nominal. But the meaning of words are not your strong point (as I and others have pointed out to you before).

Nominal means:
(of a role or status) existing in name only.
(of a price or charge) very small; far below the real value or cost.

Degraded means:
reduced in quality; inferior.

Nominal can mean worse than degraded. Nominal can mean "in name only" and so you could be saying that the church in Smyrna are not real Christians at all. It could mean "far below the real value or cost", or not living up to the standard.
Yes, nominal is definitely worse than degraded. It is a deceit, a false church.

The point is that no real church can be a nominal one. A "degraded" church would be a genuine one, only reduced in quality.

Therefore you cannot confuse them with a nominal one, they are completely different.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:50 PM   #23
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Further, your insistence that it is about nominal Christianity versus degraded is frankly, idiotic (to use a term you used previously). Nominal means "in name only" therefore you are saying these churches in Revelation are "in name Christians" only and not real churches. That is worse than saying they are degraded. You are not the expert of the English language and logic that you think you are, ZNPaaneah.
Obviously those that say they are Jews and are not, but are of the "Synagogue of Satan" are nominal, not genuine. That is very clear. Also they are clearly worse. You cannot refer to them as "degraded" because they were never a genuine church to begin with.

Nor are they referred to as the church in Smyrna, rather they are the ones persecuting the church.

The analogy I use is of a childhood disease. If the disease were a virus, the virus would be the false teacher, the false prophet, Balaam, Jezebel, etc. That virus is not a "degraded church", it is not nor has it ever been a church. However, when a child gets the disease and is sick, that is what I understand by the term "degraded church". You are referring to a sick church.

My argument is that these childhood diseases are crucial, our immunity to them is our defense. This is why civilizations that have many domesticated animals are the dominant civilizations, they have a number of these childhood diseases. This is why the American Indians (North America, Central America and South America) were wiped out by Europeans. Therefore, I see that being exposed to these "diseases" and developing an immunity to them is a crucial step in the maturation of Christians. We need to overcome them, and we can't overcome them if we are not exposed to them.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:54 PM   #24
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I thought this thread would be about people's personal experiences of why Christianity is not degraded.
That is because you don't listen to what others say, only to what you assume they will say. Yes, there are false prophets, false Christs, nominal Christians, false churches, Judaizers, Cults, etc.

But when you confuse them with backsliders and Christians who are weak in the faith you cannot accurately discern what is going on. As a result Witness Lee slanders and defames all believers. That is his error.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:15 PM   #25
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That is because you don't listen to what others say, only to what you assume they will say. Yes, there are false prophets, false Christs, nominal Christians, false churches, Judaizers, Cults, etc.

But when you confuse them with backsliders and Christians who are weak in the faith you cannot accurately discern what is going on. As a result Witness Lee slanders and defames all believers. That is his error.
Misunderstanding is a two-way street ZNPaaneah, but I should apologise for my confrontational tone and try to stay objective.

I think people can be offended if they identify with a denomination and read Lee say such things about their denomination, they take as a personal attack on them. They might say "I am a Lutheran, Lee said Lutheranism is degraded, therefore he is saying I am degraded". I was the opposite. When I read that about my own denomination (at the time I was attending) being degraded, I actually agreed with that statement. I could not think of any other word to describe it.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:16 PM   #26
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Others, such as testallthings has already picked up your inability to quote and reference on topic, when you provided a quote to me in another thread from Watchman Nee's book that was nothing to do with what you said it meant.
Oh, my bad.

You said "My post showed you that he did not "denigrate a term".

are you saying that these quotes of Witness Lee are not on topic or have nothing to do with what you said?


“Anything that is scriptural and even spiritual, yet without life, becomes religion” (Witness Lee, Christ versus Religion, Chapter 12, Section 6)

"Religion is a human invention, a product of the fallen human mind." (Witness Lee, Life Study of John, Chapter 14, Section 1)

"religion is anything done for Christ but not having the presence and reality of Christ." (Witness Lee, Enjoying Christ as the All-inclusive Spirit for the Practical, Genuine, and Real Church Life, Chapter 1, Section 3).

"Religion is to try to worship God but without God, Christ, or the Spirit." (Witness Lee, The Recovery of Christ in the Present Evil Age, Chapter 1, Section 2)


You said "You seem to be twisted Lee's words to mean that he was against taking care of orphans and widows. That is not the meaning of being "against religion".

And to that I responded with the following quotes to show that Witness Lee was against charitable works and was against religion.


"Religion is something formed by the human mentality under Satan's instigation and inspiration in order to oppose God's economy. Apparently, religion is for God, but in actuality, it is fully against Him." (Witness Lee, The Lord's Recovery and the Present Situation of Religion, Chapter 2, Section 1)

We do not like to set up social and charitable works such as schools and hospitals. The apostle Paul did not do this kind of work. (Witness Lee, Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 15, Section 2).


Are you saying that these quotes do not adequately respond to what you said?
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:22 PM   #27
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So I ask you, where are these gifted ones in the organised denominations today? Paul desired everyone to desire gifts and especially to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14). So where is the opportunity for a non-theologically trained and unqualified person to use their gifts such as prophesy and teaching in a 1 hour Sunday service? And I ask you, where are these gifted ones in the Recovery? Many have been quarantined and excommunicated over the years.

And since when does the functioning of all the members get limited to some 1 hour service?



My Bible tells me that in the body of Christ every member is needed, everyone has gifts, and we cannot say we don't need anyone. True

On that basis the system of only a few theologically qualified ones providing a service to a congregation Sunday in and Sunday, must be rejected. And the dominating Papal system in TLR must also be rejected.

That sort of system arose in the early middle ages and did not originate in the New Testament. Very little at LSM originated in the NT




Umm, the majority of churches they don't speak from the word of God but from the Sunday service sheet or prayer book. It is like that in the majors - Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran. What makes this somewhat different from people merely reading footnotes in LSM, is that there is no freedom for a member to pick and choose what they want to say from the book, and the same service is followed every Sunday (there are some variations of course, but usually minor). Since this is the majority then my statement that "Christianity is degraded" is no less true. Most "Evangelical" Christians do not meet in those archaic institutions. Where are you from man?


Ohio, when you say "always going to be some who sit silently" I don't think you comprehend the situation. Every Sunday, every week, every year, in Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, which is the majority of Christianity, they hold a service, the Priest says the same thing every Sunday from the same prayer book. The congregation respond in the same manner at the same time when the Priest instructs them to. The only time the congregation can "function" is when they sing the hymns or respond to the rote prayers and responses written in the service books. And you say LSM is a cult? Well the average Sunday service looks more like a cult to me. The same order of processions, rituals, the robes, the candles and other things in the church, just enhance that cult-like effect.

Pentecostal churches have more freedoms but they are still tightly controlled by the pastor. I have friends who were worship leaders who were instructed by the pastor when they could raise their hands in worship and when they shouldn't. On the flip side, I have also been to Presbyterian churches where the pastor forbade anyone from closing their eyes and raising their hands during worship because it was too "Pentecostal".

So I am confident to stand by my statement that "Christianity is degraded". Because the majority of churches in the world today are of the sort I have just described. And I am confident in saying TLR is degraded. This forum is filled with its degradation.

If you have a problem with such generalisation, I will not say 90% are degraded or 20% are degraded because it doesn't make sense to talk like that. If our body is sick, even though it may affect only one part of our body, we will say "I am sick". We do not say "20% of my body is sick".
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #28
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Misunderstanding is a two-way street ZNPaaneah, but I should apologise for my confrontational tone and try to stay objective.

I think people can be offended if they identify with a denomination and read Lee say such things about their denomination, they take as a personal attack on them. They might say "I am a Lutheran, Lee said Lutheranism is degraded, therefore he is saying I am degraded".
There are two very different ways to look at the situation.

Witness Lee's way is that there is a group of elite Christians, they meet in the proper way, on the proper ground, with the vision of the age. These ones alone are faithful to the Lord. We cannot compromise with "degraded Christianity" but instead they need to repent and join us. (I am summarizing many, many quotes of Witness Lee that I have posted already on this and the other forum).

The Second way is similar to how the children of Israel entered the good land. Initially only a handful were ready to enter the land. These were the elite, Joshua and Caleb. But they realized they needed to enter as a nation and not as a few. As a result the Israelites continued to wander for many more years before the second generation was matured enough to enter. Those that tried to enter on their own were wiped out. Instead of "degraded" the issue with this approach is a necessary maturation process. I would argue that you must distinguish between the genuine believers and the false ones (the synagogue of Satan, Balaam, Jezebel, etc). Then, for the genuine believers everything that happens to them is necessary. We need to overcome these various "diseases" but if we do we will be fully matured and the result will be the church in Philadelphia.

I personally do not believe that you can have the church in Philadelphia until you have overcome Jezebel and Balaam. This is why I do not like to look at these churches as "historical" but rather as necessary experiences that you need to go through to be fully matured.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #29
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Oh, my bad.

You said "My post showed you that he did not "denigrate a term".

are you saying that these quotes of Witness Lee are not on topic or have nothing to do with what you said?


“Anything that is scriptural and even spiritual, yet without life, becomes religion” (Witness Lee, Christ versus Religion, Chapter 12, Section 6)

"Religion is a human invention, a product of the fallen human mind." (Witness Lee, Life Study of John, Chapter 14, Section 1)

"religion is anything done for Christ but not having the presence and reality of Christ." (Witness Lee, Enjoying Christ as the All-inclusive Spirit for the Practical, Genuine, and Real Church Life, Chapter 1, Section 3).

"Religion is to try to worship God but without God, Christ, or the Spirit." (Witness Lee, The Recovery of Christ in the Present Evil Age, Chapter 1, Section 2)


You said "You seem to be twisted Lee's words to mean that he was against taking care of orphans and widows. That is not the meaning of being "against religion".

And to that I responded with the following quotes to show that Witness Lee was against charitable works and was against religion.


"Religion is something formed by the human mentality under Satan's instigation and inspiration in order to oppose God's economy. Apparently, religion is for God, but in actuality, it is fully against Him." (Witness Lee, The Lord's Recovery and the Present Situation of Religion, Chapter 2, Section 1)

We do not like to set up social and charitable works such as schools and hospitals. The apostle Paul did not do this kind of work. (Witness Lee, Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 15, Section 2).


Are you saying that these quotes do not adequately respond to what you said?
ZNPaaneah, in all those quotes I cannot find anything which is out to denigrate the term religion.

Religion in this context means a system of beliefs and rituals. If you prefer to use the definition of religion in James, that is fine, but the majority of people in the world do not define religion in this way.
So when Lee speaks of religion he is not speaking about helping orphans and widows, but a system of man-made beliefs and rituals.
Lee is saying that a system of beliefs and rituals cannot give life.

This is what his first quote means
"“Anything that is scriptural and even spiritual, yet without life, becomes religion”

The fact that I found one quote where Lee spoke positively of religion, saying it is good, proves that he did not denigrate the term.

Yes, he said religion is against God. But it is. Hard for you to argue that Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc is not against God in as much as they reject Christ.

Lee was not against helping widows and orphans, he was saying that like Paul, it is not the focus of his ministry.

In short, his view is that religion is good from a human perspective, but cannot give life, only Christ can.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:33 PM   #30
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ZNPaaneah, in all those quotes I cannot find anything which is out to denigrate the term religion.

Religion in this context means a system of beliefs and rituals. If you prefer to use the definition of religion in James, that is fine, but the majority of people in the world do not define religion in this way.
So when Lee speaks of religion he is not speaking about helping orphans and widows, but a system of man-made beliefs and rituals.
Lee is saying that a system of beliefs and rituals cannot give life.

This is what his first quote means
"“Anything that is scriptural and even spiritual, yet without life, becomes religion”

The fact that I found one quote where Lee spoke positively of religion, saying it is good, proves that he did not denigrate the term.

Yes, he said religion is against God. But it is. Hard for you to argue that Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc is not against God in as much as they reject Christ.

Lee was not against helping widows and orphans, he was saying that like Paul, it is not the focus of his ministry.

In short, his view is that religion is good from a human perspective, but cannot give life, only Christ can.
And where in the New Testament does any of the apostles say this?

Witness Lee's definition is not supported by the New Testament. The word "religion" is never used in the way he describes nor can it ever be defined in his way. He has confused the "Judaizers" with the Jewish religion.

In the church in Smyrna we learn of "the synagogue of Satan", people who say they are Jews and are not. You can't call them the Jewish religion, they aren't. Yes, the synagogue of Satan is accurately described by Witness Lee's definition, but he has incorrectly defined religion as being the synagogue of Satan and that is a mistake.

Witness Lee made a big deal of how the "sheep and goats" do not refer to the believers and unbelievers, but rather to two types of unbelievers. That definition is crucial for understanding eternal salvation.

Well, in the same way he has mashed up "the synagogue of Satan" with all religion. This is a mistake.

To equate pure religion with "the synagogue of Satan" is to denigrate pure religion.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:36 PM   #31
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There are two very different ways to look at the situation.

Witness Lee's way is that there is a group of elite Christians, they meet in the proper way, on the proper ground, with the vision of the age. These ones alone are faithful to the Lord. We cannot compromise with "degraded Christianity" but instead they need to repent and join us. (I am summarizing many, many quotes of Witness Lee that I have posted already on this and the other forum).

The Second way is similar to how the children of Israel entered the good land. Initially only a handful were ready to enter the land. These were the elite, Joshua and Caleb. But they realized they needed to enter as a nation and not as a few. As a result the Israelites continued to wander for many more years before the second generation was matured enough to enter. Those that tried to enter on their own were wiped out. Instead of "degraded" the issue with this approach is a necessary maturation process. I would argue that you must distinguish between the genuine believers and the false ones (the synagogue of Satan, Balaam, Jezebel, etc). Then, for the genuine believers everything that happens to them is necessary. We need to overcome these various "diseases" but if we do we will be fully matured and the result will be the church in Philadelphia.

I personally do not believe that you can have the church in Philadelphia until you have overcome Jezebel and Balaam. This is why I do not like to look at these churches as "historical" but rather as necessary experiences that you need to go through to be fully matured.
I can't say I disagree with you. I personally think of it is as either historical or present. For example, in a non-historical way, today we may say that our church might become this or that (and reference a certain church in Revelation). This is about our condition as a church.

In the context of Lee's ministry and his role in the world (and Nee's), in a prophetic and destiny sort of way, Lee saw it as a historical continuation of the process of reformation or what he called recovery. There was Catholic, then Luther, then Presbyterian, Baptist, brethren, pentecostal, etc then just "the church" (Nee/Lee).

Personally I do not see it as much of a historical thing as Lee did but a conditional one. It is possible for any local church to become one of the churches mentioned in Revelation.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:43 PM   #32
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And where in the New Testament does any of the apostles say this?

Witness Lee's definition is not supported by the New Testament. The word "religion" is never used in the way he describes nor can it ever be defined in his way. He has confused the "Judaizers" with the Jewish religion.

In the church in Smyrna we learn of "the synagogue of Satan", people who say they are Jews and are not. You can't call them the Jewish religion, they aren't. Yes, the synagogue of Satan is accurately described by Witness Lee's definition, but he has incorrectly defined religion as being the synagogue of Satan and that is a mistake.

Witness Lee made a big deal of how the "sheep and goats" do not refer to the believers and unbelievers, but rather to two types of unbelievers. That definition is crucial for understanding eternal salvation.

Well, in the same way he has mashed up "the synagogue of Satan" with all religion. This is a mistake.

To equate pure religion with "the synagogue of Satan" is to denigrate pure religion.
ZNPaaneah, most people in the world use the term religion to mean a system of man-made beliefs and rituals. Continuing to argue your point of view from the "correct" view of the meaning of religion (as taking care of orphans and widows), is not logical. The Bible says only God or Christ gives (eternal) life. Religions don't give life. Actually, even taking care of orphans and widows does not give eternal life. Both false religion and true religion cannot give life. We are against religion on the basis that it does not give life, everyone will die someday and people without life will go to hell for eternity. Care for widows and orphans all you like but when they die they will go to hell without Christ.

I am really itching to start a discussion with you about "sheep and goats" and a strange doctrine resulting from that which says we can be saved by giving someone a cup of water. But perhaps for another time.
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Old 10-10-2016, 10:45 PM   #33
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Umm, the majority of churches they don't speak from the word of God but from the Sunday service sheet or prayer book. It is like that in the majors - Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran. What makes this somewhat different from people merely reading footnotes in LSM, is that there is no freedom for a member to pick and choose what they want to say from the book, and the same service is followed every Sunday (there are some variations of course, but usually minor). Since this is the majority then my statement that "Christianity is degraded" is no less true. Most "Evangelical" Christians do not meet in those archaic institutions. Where are you from man?
Ohio, the numbers, the facts, show that most Christians meet in those archaic institutions. Evangelicals make up only 13% of the world's Christian population. If you are trying to say that Evangelical Christianity is not degraded, then the percentage in degradation is still 100-13 = 87% which is still a majority. Yet, I know that evangelical churches are also just like any other in many respects. Many evangelical denominations have accepted homosexuality as normal.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:29 AM   #34
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ZNPaaneah, most people in the world use the term religion to mean a system of man-made beliefs and rituals. Continuing to argue your point of view from the "correct" view of the meaning of religion (as taking care of orphans and widows), is not logical. The Bible says only God or Christ gives (eternal) life. Religions don't give life. Actually, even taking care of orphans and widows does not give eternal life. Both false religion and true religion cannot give life. We are against religion on the basis that it does not give life, everyone will die someday and people without life will go to hell for eternity. Care for widows and orphans all you like but when they die they will go to hell without Christ.

I am really itching to start a discussion with you about "sheep and goats" and a strange doctrine resulting from that which says we can be saved by giving someone a cup of water. But perhaps for another time.
We are discussing "degraded Christianity". I have already said that in this thread my standard as to what is and is not degraded is the fellowship of the apostles. I don't care what "most people think". I care what does the NT say about religion. The apostles used this term, so what did it mean. Witness Lee tries to tell you that it was used by the apostles to mean one thing, but that is not true. It wasn't used by them to mean that at all.

Instead the term Judaizers did mean that, Jezebel, Balaam, Nicolaitans, synagogue of Satan. I don't disagree that the truth of what Witness Lee is teaching is not in the New Testament, but I disagree with applying it in a broad brush to all religion. This is a huge point and the way Witness Lee operated. He takes a genuine truth, like the ground of the church, shows all the verses, spends a lot of time proving there is this truth, and then misapplies it. The ground of the church was purchased by the Lord's blood. The idea that it is therefore the boundary line of a city which may change 20 different times over 100 years, which is subject to the vagaries of the world, is absurd. Yes, there is a ground of the church, that is a very well established truth in the Bible, but saying that this ground is defined by the boundary of a city is based on the poorest possible evidence for such an important truth.

By applying words concerning "the synagogue of Satan" to "pure religion" Witness Lee justifies all kinds of sins. He slanders all other believers. He teaches against having any charitable giving other than to the Living Stream Ministry for standing book orders, chairs, motor homes, tennis rackets, legal defense teams, etc. You are straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:43 AM   #35
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I am really itching to start a discussion with you about "sheep and goats" and a strange doctrine resulting from that which says we can be saved by giving someone a cup of water. But perhaps for another time.
I think it would help everyone on the forum if you introduced yourself so that we knew a little bit more about who we are fellowshipping with.

One brother on this forum is from Southern California, another is from Austin Texas, another is from Dallas, two are from Florida, one is from Ohio, another from Toronto and another from Seattle.

I was from both Houston Texas and NYC. I also was with the church in Irving TX for 18 months and Odessa Texas for several years. Most of the ones who post the most came into the church in the 70s. We were in every Life Study either with WL or else in the video conference. Many of us went to the FTT in Taipei in the 80s.

I would estimate that everyone on this forum (with the possible exception of Awareness -- I still have no idea what he accepts) accepts 90+% of Witness Lee's doctrines. Our primary issue is with the practice (the sins, the lawsuits, the slander, the investment scams, the bullying, etc). It is not so much what they say but what they do. For many of us on this forum who post regularly, we knew that through our speaking we had taught this way to many people, so we felt accountable for the hypocrisy.

It seems to my observation that you think we are on this forum because we read a snippet of Witness Lee's that we disagreed with. Look at the testimonies, many gave 20 years or more to the LRC. Besides being in the church for 20 years I served in LSM for more than 5 years (printing, construction, training). For 2 1/2 years I was full time.

So I think it will eliminate a lot of misunderstandings if you just did a better job of introducing yourself and perhaps trying to understand us a little as well. Thanks
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:05 PM   #36
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Default Re: Do you think Christianity is degraded?

It's one thing to call non-LC/LSM Christianity degraded yet LC is very much part of Christianity. Perhaps it's A concept that only through LSM publications can one become zealous for Jesus. That one can be in fellowship with those who have the pulse on what God's move on the earth is.
Call it whatever you like. Knowing how some in the Local Churches think very highly of it's movement, there are many Christians beyond the LC fellowship who are just as zealous as one might find within the LC fellowship.
Going back to the question of ZNP, is Christianity degraded? Yes, all of it is since man is imperfect.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:46 PM   #37
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NEUTER WORDS


The word religion is found twice in the letter of James. In itself it doesn't have a positive or a negative connotation. It needs other words to define it. This is not something new. The New Testament has many examples of words that although in themselves “neuter” may have striking and sometimes opposite meanings.

Think about the word god/God. The word might refer to the only and wise God and to the god of this world (Satan). Or consider the word father/Father. The word often refers to God our Father but also to Satan the father of lie.

In the letter of James we have the example of the wisdom that comes from above and the wisdom that is devilish.

Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

For James, religion can be vain (1:26) or pure (1:27).

Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:44 AM   #38
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Christ was never against religion per se, but against hypocrisy.

Nee and Lee twisted this simple fact in order to condemn all others but themselves.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:08 AM   #39
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NEUTER WORDS
By all means, you can say that "pure religion" is different from "vain religion". Witness Lee does not make this distinction.

This anti religion flavor in the LRC is very influential. Why is it that their are no charitable works in the LRC? It is because Witness Lee labeled them as "religion" which has a negative connotation. Even if it is "good" it "distracts" you from the central lane. What is the "central lane"? It is attending his trainings, paying his fees, buying his books, supporting his ministry and supporting his legal defense team. The only "charity" is a donation to his ministry or you can invest money with him and then wave your right to that money (only he has the right to sue others).

This has been my point, his definition of religion is not according to the NT but rather serves his purposes to collect every dollar he can from the saints.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:47 AM   #40
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12And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword: 13I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. 15So hast thou also some that hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans in like manner. 16Repent therefore; or else I come to thee quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.


This is the church where we can really see what Witness Lee refers to as “degraded Christianity”. You have Balaam, a false prophet, teaching the believers to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. You have still more who hold the teachings of the Nicolaitans (which are in like manner to Balaam’s teachings). They are dwelling where Satan’s throne is. Faithful brothers like Antipas are being killed in their midst.

But here is the thing, if you want the hidden manna you need to overcome the things in Pergamum. If you want a white stone with a new name written on it you need to overcome the things in Pergamum. It seems to me obvious that this “white stone with a new name” refers to the children of Israel crossing the Jordan river and entering into the good land. So is this church really degraded, or does our entrance into the rich church life take place when we overcome these things?

If you think of these things as “degraded” then you don’t want anything to do with them. But if you think of them as something that you must overcome in order to be fully matured it is a very different attitude.

Who is Balaam? He is the NT meme for a false prophet. Did he speak the word of God? Yes. Did he have genuine experiences of God? Yes. Were his prophecies concerning Israel false? No. So then, what makes him a false prophet?

He was motivated by money, a house full of gold to be precise. He was willing to sell out to Balak to teach him how to stumble the children of Israel with idolatry and fornication.

So then, how does he do it? How do you teach the children of Israel to eat things sacrificed to idols while at the same time speaking God's word?

1. You build a true teaching on the MOTA, showing from the Old Testament types that a prophet like Moses would come, Jesus.

However you place the context of this teaching about NT ministries and let the naive babes in Christ come to the erroneous conclusion that they have discovered some secret principle that at any given time the Lord is only moving through one genuine ministry, the one with the vision for the age. You don't say it in those words, you let Ray Graver and others like him say it. Your protestations make it sound not like a disagreement with Ray but that you didn't want it revealed who you were. Then, bingo, you are now the MOTA, another Jesus, and all the churches are now "indebted" to your ministry. Partaking of your ministry is akin to eating things sacrificed to idols.

2. Problem is that your Balaam's sins, his actions are going to cause confusion. So you build this doctrine of deification. Because of all the time you have spent in the Bible, in the word, at the feet of Watchman Nee, etc he has become "deified". Everyone under his ministry will be deified too, only not to the same extent. So the reason you don't understand and have questions is that he is deified and you have not been deified as much. If that doesn't shut you up then remember, a question mark looks like a serpent. Finally, if you are still going to ask questions we can get rid of you like we did with so many others.

Does Balaam preach the gospel? Sort of, it is a different gospel, but it is a gospel of being deified, of being the elite Christians, and the gospel of being the only ones to know who the MOTA is.

We also have the Nicolaitans which are described as being "in like manner" to Balaam in that they also cast a stumbling block before the children of God. This tells us a lot about what is going on. You have two approaches to the church life described by Jesus in Matt 18, one approach we seek out the lost sheep, we bring them back to the fold, we rejoice. The other is you place a stumbling block before the lambs of God, they are sacrificed to Satan, God's enemy. If you want to enter into the rich church life then you overcome these ones, you have to follow the Lord:

7 Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh! 8 And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 9 And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire. 10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. 12 How think ye? if any man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go unto the mountains, and seek that which goeth astray? 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth over it more than over the ninety and nine which have not gone astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

As you can see, according to the Lord's word, these experiences "must needs be that they come". Therefore I don't like the term "degraded" church, rather I prefer "necessary experiences to mature into Christ"
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:50 PM   #41
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ZNPaaneah, with some connection to to Lee's book The Overcomers, we could consider his view of church ages in history to be stages of overcoming.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:10 AM   #42
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ZNPaaneah, with some connection to to Lee's book The Overcomers, we could consider his view of church ages in history to be stages of overcoming.
No, you are not reading this correctly.

I have no issue with someone who wants to tie this to historical churches, because I think that does have some validity.

But my point is that everyone needs to go through these experiences.

For example, we might look at history and see that there was a specific time in history when Measles was first spotted, then Mumps, then Rubella. That is not my point.

My point is that today, all children need to be immune to all of these diseases. I am likening being immune to a disease to "overcoming" that disease.

My second point is that what Witness Lee refers to as "degraded Christianity" is merely a church that has become infected with one of these diseases. Imagine your child has the measles. Do you say they are "degraded"? I think this terminology indicates a view and an attitude that is not helpful.

If you do not have a cure then, yes, quarantine may be required. But for anyone who has overcome one of these diseases that is no longer a worry, you are immune, there is no need to excommunicate the infected one, rather nurse them back to health.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:57 AM   #43
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I think systematic abuse of children and cover ups is degraded.
I think marrying homosexuals is degraded. I think praying to dead saints and Mary is degraded. I'm sort of happy with the word.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:29 AM   #44
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I think systematic abuse of children and cover ups is degraded.
I think the systematic abuse of sisters at LSM and cover ups is degraded.

That is exactly what happened at LSM for many years. Lee's sons molested the volunteer help and Lee himself covered it up. So how is Lee and the Recovery any better than the Catholic church? They are both degraded!

Those who protested (Like John Ingalls, John So, Bill Mallon, etc. and etc.), speaking up for the saints, were shut down, their reputations were smeared, branded as rebellious lepers, part of some vast right wing conspiracy. Blessed are they. They suffered for righteousness sake. The Lord will one day reward them. Listen to what the Lord has to say ...
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10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:22 AM   #45
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Default The stats are in - Christianity is Degraded

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...-gay-marriage/

Overall, a solid majority of white mainline Protestants (62%) now favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed, with just 33% opposed, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. A similar share (63%) say there is “no conflict” between their religious beliefs and homosexuality.


http://www.pewforum.org/2016/05/12/c...-gay-marriage/
Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage

Public opinion on same-sex marriage

In Pew Research Center polling in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 57% to 35%.

Since then, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown. Based on polling in 2016, a majority of Americans (55%) support same-sex marriage, compared with 37% who oppose it. See the latest data on same-sex marriage.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:40 AM   #46
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Witness Lee condemned religion as “degraded”.

Judaism is Satanic (Rev. 2:9-10. )
Catholicism is demonic (Rev. 2:24-28)
Protestantism is dead and Christless (Rev. 3:1-5, 20-21).

I define religion as a "looking after orphans and widows in their tribulation by being joined to Jesus as the vine in obedience to the Lord's command to love your neighbor as yourself”. I get this definition by combing the only use of the term “pure religion” in the New Testament with Jesus’ commands to us.

Vain religion is another New Testament term and I define it as any organized form of worship that teaches you to love your neighbor as yourself but that doesn’t practice it. Basically it is a shell of “pure religion” having the appearance but not the reality.

For example, in the movie “Spotlight” which focuses on how the Pedophile priests in the Catholic church were first exposed it shows many charity events taking place in the city that were run by the Catholics. In those events were many of the key people who ultimately did know about the scandal but were able to ignore it thinking the good they were doing outweighed this evil. That is “vain religion”. They had the pretense of loving their neighbor without actually giving a hand to those that were truly suffering.

Extending this example you can see that the work these reporters did could be viewed as looking after orphans and widows in their tribulation in obedience to the Lord’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. The decision to do this was made by a Jew and many of the reporters were “backslidden catholics”.

Once again, I would argue that the church in the New Testament is defined by its actions, not its doctrines. Calling yourself the one true proper church who alone stands on the ground against degraded Christianity, etc., etc. does not make it so. Yes, you can argue that the corruption within the Catholic church demonstrates that they are demonic, but by that same logic the corruption within the Lord’s Recovery Church also demonstrates that they are demonic. You can argue that protestantism has a name that they are alive but are dead. But by the same logic you can say the same of the LRC church.

So then we are stuck with two key verses on this. Jesus said to "judge not lest you be judged" but in the same sentence told us not to cast our pearls before swine. Now unless this was referring to some strange practice akin to the LRC's burnings, where the Jews would cast their Jewelry into a pig farm this word implies judging people as pigs and dogs. So it is not as simple as "don't judge". Likewise, in Corinthians Paul says that a spiritual man judges all things and is judged of no one. That seems to defy Jesus word.

How to reconcile this? Well, Jesus was a spiritual man. When Jesus was crucified He judged all things. How? By judging Himself. Judge not lest you be judged does not prohibit judging yourself. If a spiritual man judges himself then he is not judged by any man, but rather by himself.

So then how can I know a pure religion from a vain one? In the pure religion you will see the mark of the cross, the members will be judging themselves, their flesh, their worldliness, their sin. In the vain religion they will be judging all other men other than themselves.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:51 AM   #47
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Witness Lee condemned religion as “degraded”.

Judaism is Satanic (Rev. 2:9-10. )
Catholicism is demonic (Rev. 2:24-28)
Protestantism is dead and Christless (Rev. 3:1-5, 20-21).
What I posted yesterday on the other thread about WL's use of blanket statements might have been better for this thread. When I really think about it, there are certainly cases where such statements could be valid. For example, the Catholic Church sex abuse cases certainly could be called 'demonic' and that would be a fair assessment. But on the other hand, it must be acknowledged that such statements can also serve a dual purpose. If a certain group likes to promote an anti-Catholic narrative, then any wrongdoing on the part of the Catholic church serves to fit that narrative. In other words, when people of such groups react to things like sex abuses, is it really the people who were harmed that they are concerned for, or is it a sort of "mock outrage" because it fits the narrative?

With that in mind, I do not see blanket statements like the ones Lee made as being acceptable when there is no intention or purpose but to criticize. And I don't see many cases (if at all) where such statements would serve any real purpose. What I mentioned yesterday is the seven churches in Revelation all had differing states from one another. The call was for those in each church to overcome that particular state. Even in Philadelphia, there was the need to "hold fast" in order to overcome. So Christians or different groups all have their own obstacles to overcome. If those in the LC are obsessed with other Christians are doing (or failing to do), then it is likely they will miss out on an assessment of their own state.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:21 AM   #48
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When Jesus was crucified He judged all things. How? By judging Himself.
ZNP, I've been chewing on this and I do not understand how you substantiate this from Scripture.

Please explain.

Thanks
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Old 11-24-2016, 05:27 AM   #49
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The genuine church is founded not on doctrine nor practice, but is...
...built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:20.

The genuine church is founded on the person of Christ Jesus himself.

All others that are founded on doctrine or practice (e.g. helping orphans and widows) are degraded, because they have not "held onto the head":

Col 2:19 "He does not hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, which is nourished and held together by its joints and ligaments, grows as God enables it."

A church that does not hold onto Christ but holds onto other things (good works, sound doctrine etc), have become separated from the Head and lost the reality, since the "reality is Christ" (Colossians 2:17).

The RC church is one that has held onto a doctrine and practice of good works, worship of saints/angels etc.
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:12 AM   #50
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A church that does not hold onto Christ but holds onto other things (good works, sound doctrine etc), have become separated from the Head and lost the reality, since the "reality is Christ" (Colossians 2:17).
The RC church is one that has held onto a doctrine and practice of good works, worship of saints/angels etc.
What about churches that hold to a doctrine of using only publications published by a certain publishing house?
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Old 11-25-2016, 03:18 PM   #51
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Once again, I would argue that the church in the New Testament is defined by its actions, not its doctrines. Calling yourself the one true proper church who alone stands on the ground against degraded Christianity, etc., etc. does not make it so. Yes, you can argue that the corruption within the Catholic church demonstrates that they are demonic, but by that same logic the corruption within the Lord’s Recovery Church also demonstrates that they are demonic. You can argue that protestantism has a name that they are alive but are dead. But by the same logic you can say the same of the LRC.
I agree, but would expand upon this. The church in the New Testament is defined by it's actions which are informed by it's doctrines. For example, Witness Lee's exclusive and extremely sectarian teachings regarding "the ground of the church" influence, or inform as it were, the divisive and damaging attitude and actions his followers have towards their brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the early days of the movement in America, this was exemplified by Local Church members "marching on" the Moody Bible Institute (and church?) with placards announcing "Down With Christianity!" and other such absurd and obnoxious declarations. These followers of Witness Lee didn't just dream up these slogans out of nowhere - they came straight from the teachings of Witness Lee himself.

Although the public actions of Local Church members has become quite a bit more tame and civilized over the years, the underlying horrific and deplorable attitude instilled by the teachings of Witness Lee are still alive and well to this day, especially in the older members. Nothing of this history has been repudiated or repented of. In fact the Blended Brothers have doubled down on this in recent history by their attitude and actions towards members within the movement who disagree in the slightest.

-
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Old 11-26-2016, 01:05 AM   #52
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What about churches that hold to a doctrine of using only publications published by a certain publishing house?
The publications are all about Christ and help us hold onto Christ so don't see a problem. If a church uses 3 or 4 or 10 publications and only one of them is about Christ, how do the publications not about Christ add anything?
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:28 AM   #53
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ZNP, I've been chewing on this and I do not understand how you substantiate this from Scripture.

Please explain.

Thanks
Drake
The altar is the place where all the offerings are offered. Its essential meanings are judgment, redemption, and consecration. When the Israelites offered anything to the Lord, it must be brought to the altar. Everything they offered had to pass through the altar; it had to be killed and burned upon the altar. This signifies judgment. As a Christian you may feel that you have offered yourself quite properly to the Lord. Yes, God needs your offering, but His first demand is that you put everything on the altar. He must judge you by death and by burning. This may seem a frightening prospect, but we must realize that all that is natural about us must be judged. God can never accept the natural man or his living as material for His building. All we are, all we have, and all we can do must be judged by the altar. The altar typifies the cross. We must be checked and judged by the cross. (The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 5, Section 2)

He 7:22*by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant. 23*And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing: 24*but he, because he abideth for ever, [g]hath his priesthood [h]unchangeable. 25*Wherefore also he is able to save [i]to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26*For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27*who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself.

Anything belonging to the building of God must be judged by the cross, exposed and cleansed by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it is outside the building. Anyone who thinks he is clever and adequate for God’s building has not judged himself, and has no boundary line. When there is no separating line, no outer court, then the whole world will be the outer court for the building of the church. That is wrong! We must have the separating line—the judgment of the cross and the exposing and cleansing of the Holy Spirit. (The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 5, Section 3)

Jesus had to be baptized to “fulfill all righteousness”. The process of baptism includes repentance, which is a personal judgment of sins, self, the flesh, the world, and Satan. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the reality of baptism. God offered up His son, to be examined (judged), convicted, condemned, crucified, dead, and buried. His resurrection and ascension were also God’s judgment. However, according to Hebrews Jesus “offered Himself up willingly”. This term “offered” has the essential meanings of judgement, redemption and consecration.
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:46 AM   #54
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I agree, but would expand upon this. The church in the New Testament is defined by it's actions which are informed by it's doctrines. For example, Witness Lee's exclusive and extremely sectarian teachings regarding "the ground of the church" influence, or inform as it were, the divisive and damaging attitude and actions his followers have towards their brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the early days of the movement in America, this was exemplified by Local Church members "marching on" the Moody Bible Institute (and church?) with placards announcing "Down With Christianity!" and other such absurd and obnoxious declarations. These followers of Witness Lee didn't just dream up these slogans out of nowhere - they came straight from the teachings of Witness Lee himself.

Although the public actions of Local Church members has become quite a bit more tame and civilized over the years, the underlying horrific and deplorable attitude instilled by the teachings of Witness Lee are still alive and well to this day, especially in the older members. Nothing of this history has been repudiated or repented of. In fact the Blended Brothers have doubled down on this in recent history by their attitude and actions towards members within the movement who disagree in the slightest.

-
For example, everyone agrees that the parable of the good Samaritan likens the church to an Inn where those who have been beaten by the law can convalesce and recuperate. Therefore, a church that has those who are sinful, beaten up by the law, sick, and weak does not in any way suggest it is not a true church. On the contrary is a hospital that has no sick people truly a hospital?

No, what suggests it is a true church is the action of helping those whom the Good Samaritan brought to them.

Another example -- Witness Lee said that Jesus eating with Mary, Martha and Lazarus was a type of the church. It is not the number of people, but rather the experience of death and resurrection and the presence of Jesus that makes this a type of the true church. It wasn't Martha's teachings about the resurrection but rather Lazarus experience of it.

Another example -- Matthew 18 talks about the church and dealing with sin. Evangelical is not wrong to say that excommunication is a function of the church, he is only overly simplistic opening the door to being mocked. The reality is that the church is the place to deal with sins. That is a key function of the church. Therefore the "true" church will be dealing with sins, the false church will be covering them up. Once again, defined by the actions, not the teaching because covering up sins implies liars and cheats. A liar or cheat who teaches the people of God to sin and commit adultery, that would be Balaam and Jezebel.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:19 AM   #55
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The altar is the place where all the offerings are offered. Its essential meanings are judgment, redemption, and consecration. When the Israelites offered anything to the Lord, it must be brought to the altar. Everything they offered had to pass through the altar; it had to be killed and burned upon the altar. This signifies judgment. As a Christian you may feel that you have offered yourself quite properly to the Lord. Yes, God needs your offering, but His first demand is that you put everything on the altar. He must judge you by death and by burning. This may seem a frightening prospect, but we must realize that all that is natural about us must be judged. God can never accept the natural man or his living as material for His building. All we are, all we have, and all we can do must be judged by the altar. The altar typifies the cross. We must be checked and judged by the cross. (The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 5, Section 2)

He 7:22*by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant. 23*And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing: 24*but he, because he abideth for ever, [g]hath his priesthood [h]unchangeable. 25*Wherefore also he is able to save [i]to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26*For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27*who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself.

Anything belonging to the building of God must be judged by the cross, exposed and cleansed by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it is outside the building. Anyone who thinks he is clever and adequate for God’s building has not judged himself, and has no boundary line. When there is no separating line, no outer court, then the whole world will be the outer court for the building of the church. That is wrong! We must have the separating line—the judgment of the cross and the exposing and cleansing of the Holy Spirit. (The Vision of God's Building, Chapter 5, Section 3)

Jesus had to be baptized to “fulfill all righteousness”. The process of baptism includes repentance, which is a personal judgment of sins, self, the flesh, the world, and Satan. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the reality of baptism. God offered up His son, to be examined (judged), convicted, condemned, crucified, dead, and buried. His resurrection and ascension were also God’s judgment. However, according to Hebrews Jesus “offered Himself up willingly”. This term “offered” has the essential meanings of judgement, redemption and consecration.
Thanks ZNP.

I understand the logic you have applied but though I agree your argument is logical and scriptural I am still wondering if it is completely accurate.

I was struggling with the notion that Jesus judged Himself on the cross. I agree that He offered Himself willingly to the cross, subjected Himself to be examined and proved to be spotless before the crucifixion, and that sin, Satan, the world, and us were judged on the cross, etc. However, by the time of the crucifixion He had already proved Himself and all that pertained to Him in life, living, thought, demeanor, etc. as sinless and spotless and without fault. Therefore, what was there for Jesus to judge on the cross concerning Himself that had not already been judged before He was crucified?

That is why I say that your last point about baptism almost persuades me because Jesus judged Himself at His baptism. He stood as a man, though sinless, in the position of death represented by His baptism. If you argue then that the cross is the reality of baptism and therefore since Jesus' representative judgement at baptism was actualized at crucifixion and He judged Himself on the cross then I go along with you for the moment though somewhat reluctantly.

However, as I think through this some more I reserve the right to change my mind.

Drake
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Old 11-26-2016, 02:22 PM   #56
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Thanks ZNP.

I understand the logic you have applied but though I agree your argument is logical and scriptural I am still wondering if it is completely accurate.

I was struggling with the notion that Jesus judged Himself on the cross. I agree that He offered Himself willingly to the cross, subjected Himself to be examined and proved to be spotless before the crucifixion, and that sin, Satan, the world, and us were judged on the cross, etc. However, by the time of the crucifixion He had already proved Himself and all that pertained to Him in life, living, thought, demeanor, etc. as sinless and spotless and without fault. Therefore, what was there for Jesus to judge on the cross concerning Himself that had not already been judged before He was crucified?

That is why I say that your last point about baptism almost persuades me because Jesus judged Himself at His baptism. He stood as a man, though sinless, in the position of death represented by His baptism. If you argue then that the cross is the reality of baptism and therefore since Jesus' representative judgement at baptism was actualized at crucifixion and He judged Himself on the cross then I go along with you for the moment though somewhat reluctantly.

However, as I think through this some more I reserve the right to change my mind.

Drake
The term "sinless" implies judgement. Who says He is sinless? How did they determine that? Likewise with terms like blameless and spotless.

The resurrection from the dead is a judgement, by God, that He is righteous.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:43 AM   #57
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http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...-gay-marriage/

Overall, a solid majority of white mainline Protestants (62%) now favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed, with just 33% opposed, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. A similar share (63%) say there is “no conflict” between their religious beliefs and homosexuality.
First, unless someone is playing with terms, you are talking about mainline Protestants. By reversing the emphasis and saying mainline Protestants you imply all Protestants or something more significant than the group that the term actually implies.

I did not try to dig into the statistics and what they really said, but are you sure that your characterizations are correct relative to the actual data?

Also, there is a difference between favoring gay marriage and being tolerant of such a thing in secular society. Are you sure that the study correctly differentiated between these two positions or that you understood the possibility of such an allowance by those of otherwise strong religious belief?

I would say that there is a significant difference between favoring gay marriage and thinking that it is a correct position for purposes of the church. The government is not the church nor the church the government. If our position with respect to those that do not follow the Christian moral guides is to criticize and insult, then we really need to go back and read the great commandment a few times more.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:51 AM   #58
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First, unless someone is playing with terms, you are talking about mainline Protestants. By reversing the emphasis and saying mainline Protestants you imply all Protestants or something more significant than the group that the term actually implies.

I did not try to dig into the statistics and what they really said, but are you sure that your characterizations are correct relative to the actual data?

Also, there is a difference between favoring gay marriage and being tolerant of such a thing in secular society. Are you sure that the study correctly differentiated between these two positions or that you understood the possibility of such an allowance by those of otherwise strong religious belief?

I would say that there is a significant difference between favoring gay marriage and thinking that it is a correct position for purposes of the church. The government is not the church nor the church the government. If our position with respect to those that do not follow the Christian moral guides is to criticize and insult, then we really need to go back and read the great commandment a few times more.
Baptists, Catholics, Assemblies of God and Methodist all prohibit same sex marriage. I think that is very clear as to their official position.

I agree with you that Evangelical does not know how to handle statistics accurately or else he is one of those liars that uses statistics to lie which Mark Twain warned us about.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:07 PM   #59
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Baptists, Catholics, Assemblies of God and Methodist all prohibit same sex marriage. I think that is very clear as to their official position.

I agree with you that Evangelical does not know how to handle statistics accurately or else he is one of those liars that uses statistics to lie which Mark Twain warned us about.
I do not know how to handle statistics? I did not handle anything. I quoted directly from the website. You might be blushing a little right now.

Today a good Christian is considered someone who doesn't cause a fuss and lets gays marry. A bad Christian is someone who speaks out against it. The Bible says that in the last days good will be caused evil and vice versa.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:47 PM   #60
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Today a good Christian is considered someone who doesn't cause a fuss and lets gays marry.
Where in the NT are we told that we have the authority to tell others what they can and cannot do?

If we prohibit gays from marrying in the church, that is what we have authority over.

We can exercise our right as a citizen by voting, running for office, etc. But the church is not part of this world and vice versa.

We have been given one commission, to preach the gospel to the nations, baptizing them into the name of the triune God.

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A bad Christian is someone who speaks out against it. The Bible says that in the last days good will be caused evil and vice versa.
I wouldn't go that far, that is a little extreme. I would say a bad Christian is one who condemns sinners rather than preaching the gospel of salvation. But go ahead, speak out against it. I am of the persuasion that judgement begins with the house of God. I am focusing my attention on speaking out against the evil in the house of God.

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I do not know how to handle statistics? I did not handle anything. I quoted directly from the website.
My point exactly.

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You might be blushing a little right now.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:22 PM   #61
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Where in the NT are we told that we have the authority to tell others what they can and cannot do?

If we prohibit gays from marrying in the church, that is what we have authority over.

We can exercise our right as a citizen by voting, running for office, etc. But the church is not part of this world and vice versa.

We have been given one commission, to preach the gospel to the nations, baptizing them into the name of the triune God.



I wouldn't go that far, that is a little extreme. I would say a bad Christian is one who condemns sinners rather than preaching the gospel of salvation. But go ahead, speak out against it. I am of the persuasion that judgement begins with the house of God. I am focusing my attention on speaking out against the evil in the house of God.



My point exactly.



The government did not invent or create marriage. Marriage came from God (see Genesis), and Christians are supposed to be representatives of God, therefore Christians should uphold the true definition of marriage in the world.

If the church is not part of this world then why is the church pursuing worldly things? Why churches hold rock concerts and entertain Christmas trees, Jingle Bells, and Santa Clause? Why many approve or accept gay marriage? Why is the church divided into so many divisions which Paul says is worldly.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:48 PM   #62
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If the church is not part of this world then why is the church pursuing worldly things? Why churches hold rock concerts and entertain Christmas trees, Jingle Bells, and Santa Clause?
And why do worldly churches in the Recovery get tax exempt status, buy buildings, get phone lines, use computers, surf the internet, use smart phones, get college degrees, and sit on cushioned seats?

So worldly! Don't they know we are awaiting new heavens and a new earth?

At least stringed instruments and musical worship bands are in the Bible.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:40 PM   #63
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The idea of holding rock concerts for entertainment purposes however is not in the Bible.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:49 AM   #64
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The government did not invent or create marriage. Marriage came from God (see Genesis), and Christians are supposed to be representatives of God, therefore Christians should uphold the true definition of marriage in the world.
That is true. But that does not deny the world's governments the ability to use the word in conjunction with something that we do not believe is marriage. Even something that we would stand against as being marriage.

It is clear that we do not consider gay union as marriage in the Biblical sense. But the government is fully within its right to define a legal sharing of property and other rights to any combination of persons that would not be considered marriage to the church and call it anything they want — including "marriage."

Stand firmly on the premise that such is not the position of the church. It should not be. But stop tilting at windmills. There is no declaration in the Bible that Christians (or Jews for that matter) fight to preserve the "sanctity of marriage" in terms of the world's use of the term and practice. Only that we stand firm to preserve that sanctity for and among ourselves.

We stand upon greater defined terms on many other things. Bearing false witness is, to us, a problem even if the person against which the false witness is given deserves the result. The world does not always agree, even though the laws may generally agree with our position.

And this one will get most of us (including me). The government sets speed limits. Do we agree with the world and assume that the allowance of up to 10mph over is acceptable, or stick to the posted speed? It does seem that in some places to do so it as your own peril. But it is the law. And we are commanded to obey the laws given by both God and government except where it would be impossible to obey God's and that of the government. And speed limits would not be in that category.

So the real question about marriage in the context of the world is whether it is the loving thing to do to take strong antagonistic stances against homosexuality in these ways. Do we find ourselves at odds with the command to love others as ourselves when we take this kind of position? I am not saying to give up on holding to the correct Christian understanding of marriage for purposes of what the church will recognize and take part in causing to become.

Tolerance is a maligned term these days. From both sides of it. On one side, there is a push to declare that tolerance is proof of bigotry. On the other side, tolerance is decried as being acceptance of wrong as right. Neither is correct. Tolerance is the result of holding strongly to standards for myself that I do not force upon others. Neither do I condemn them for their stance. If there is condemnation to be given, it is God's task to make that condemnation.

I am not speaking in terms of toleration of immorality among the church. Tolerance is mostly eliminated within this context. We are clearly charged to take a stand within the church.

(Do not take that last part to mean that I agree with a lack of tolerance for disagreements over nonessential doctrines, positions, and practices.)
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:54 AM   #65
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The idea of holding rock concerts for entertainment purposes however is not in the Bible.
You are correct. The Bible is silent on it, so there is nothing encouraging or denying such things.

"Not in the Bible" is not an invitation for preclusion. Driving an automobile is not in the Bible. Neither is using an airplane to fly between destinations, or even just around the area for the joy of flying.\

There is more than one place where the "preacher" said to enjoy life. Not just enjoy it in poverty and asceticism. But in full living. Today, that would easily include going to a rock concert. Nothing to exclude it.
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Old 11-29-2016, 02:27 PM   #66
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The idea of holding rock concerts for entertainment purposes however is not in the Bible.
Can you define a "rock concert" for me?

I kind of think you are making up things to condemn Christians for. If that's the case, you should take your message to Alt-Views sub-forum. They regularly bash all things Christian over there. You'll then be in good company.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:18 PM   #67
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Can you define a "rock concert" for me?

I kind of think you are making up things to condemn Christians for. If that's the case, you should take your message to Alt-Views sub-forum. They regularly bash all things Christian over there. You'll then be in good company.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koovuH7zX48

I am not sure that even awareness would tolerate this in that sub-forum.

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Old 11-29-2016, 07:26 PM   #68
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Can you define a "rock concert" for me?

I kind of think you are making up things to condemn Christians for. If that's the case, you should take your message to Alt-Views sub-forum. They regularly bash all things Christian over there. You'll then be in good company.
Just go on youtube and search for christian rock concert, you will see. It is concerning that you would think a rock concert to be part of "all things Christian". There's an audience, there's a stage, there's performers, that's a concert.
Did Jesus say "Go ye into all the world and hold rock concerts"
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:33 PM   #69
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You are correct. The Bible is silent on it, so there is nothing encouraging or denying such things.
"Not in the Bible" is not an invitation for preclusion. Driving an automobile is not in the Bible. Neither is using an airplane to fly between destinations, or even just around the area for the joy of flying.
There is more than one place where the "preacher" said to enjoy life. Not just enjoy it in poverty and asceticism. But in full living. Today, that would easily include going to a rock concert. Nothing to exclude it.
There are verses about not loving the world and being separate from the world. (2 Cor 6:17).
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Old 11-29-2016, 07:37 PM   #70
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That is true. But that does not deny the world's governments the ability to use the word in conjunction with something that we do not believe is marriage. Even something that we would stand against as being marriage...
So marriage according to God and marriage according to the government is different. They cannot be both marriage, they must be two different things. Anyone who marries according to the government must not be truly married in God's eyes.

For a Christian obedience to God's law comes first (that homosexuality is forbidden), obeying the government's law comes next.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:57 AM   #71
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There's an audience, there's a stage, there's performers,

that's a concert.
That's your definition?

Sounds like many of LSM's training meetings I attended.

Did you ever see Jake Jacobson go at it? What a performer! Those were the days.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh how you love to condemn all of Christianity based on fringe elements, but why is it you constantly ignore all the genuine concerns that are posted about leadership at LSM????

You remind me of the Pharisee's condemning the Lord Jesus for being a winebibber and a friend of sinners.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:00 AM   #72
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That's your definition?

Sounds like many of LSM's training meetings I attended.

Did you ever see Jake Jacobson go at it? What a performer! Those were the days.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh how you love to condemn all of Christianity based on fringe elements, but why is it you constantly ignore all the genuine concerns that are posted about leadership at LSM????

You remind me of the Pharisee's condemning the Lord Jesus for being a winebibber and a friend of sinners.
You must not believe in 2 Cor 6:17 then. Rock concerts are part of the worldly mixture in Babylon. "Other groups of Christians use natural and worldly ways to attract people. They use the ways of being social, of rock music, and of choirs with colorful robes." ~ W. Lee

Religious people of the degraded denominations use such worldly ways to attract people to "Christ" (merely emotional feelings or experiences), which is spiritual incest.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:19 AM   #73
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The government did not invent or create marriage.
Jesus said to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars" in reference to taxes. One major reason for the governments "legalization" of gay marriage was for them to be able to collect taxes, clarify rental agreements, resolve issues with health insurance and hospitals, wills, etc. They have the NT authority to do that.

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Marriage came from God (see Genesis), and Christians are supposed to be representatives of God, therefore Christians should uphold the true definition of marriage in the world.
They do that with their own marriage.

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If the church is not part of this world then why is the church pursuing worldly things?
The church is not part of the world. We are the kingdom of heaven, Jesus is our Lord and He told us clearly that "His kingdom is not of this world, if it were his followers would fight for Him". Try reading the gospels, it might help you.

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Why churches hold rock concerts and entertain Christmas trees, Jingle Bells, and Santa Clause? Why many approve or accept gay marriage? Why is the church divided into so many divisions which Paul says is worldly.
Why do some people think the gospel is a matter of law and not of grace? Why do some think that we have been commissioned to condemn the world of sin when our Lord Jesus said that He did not come to condemn but to save? Lack of revelation. They need to hear the gospel of grace.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:22 AM   #74
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The idea of holding rock concerts for entertainment purposes however is not in the Bible.
We were told to take the gospel to the "uttermost part of the Earth". Including music in worship is definitely a Biblical idea.

Who made you the Lord to decide what is and is not of God. If a servant of the Lord needs to be corrected the Lord will do it, not you.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:17 AM   #75
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We were told to take the gospel to the "uttermost part of the Earth". Including music in worship is definitely a Biblical idea.

Who made you the Lord to decide what is and is not of God. If a servant of the Lord needs to be corrected the Lord will do it, not you.
Sorry but Christian death metal, for example, is not spreading the gospel and they certainly aren't "servants of the Lord". They are not after edification of the spirit in Christ, but entertainment of the flesh.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:18 AM   #76
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Jesus said to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars" in reference to taxes. One major reason for the governments "legalization" of gay marriage was for them to be able to collect taxes, clarify rental agreements, resolve issues with health insurance and hospitals, wills, etc. They have the NT authority to do that.



They do that with their own marriage.



The church is not part of the world. We are the kingdom of heaven, Jesus is our Lord and He told us clearly that "His kingdom is not of this world, if it were his followers would fight for Him". Try reading the gospels, it might help you.



Why do some people think the gospel is a matter of law and not of grace? Why do some think that we have been commissioned to condemn the world of sin when our Lord Jesus said that He did not come to condemn but to save? Lack of revelation. They need to hear the gospel of grace.
You would do better without the condescending tone. Don't forget the other part of the passage "render unto God what is God's". Marriage is God's, so we must render marriage unto God. Jesus did say we should be separated from the world, however that does not mean we should have no influence in it, as the words "salt" and "light" imply.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:15 AM   #77
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Sorry but Christian death metal, for example, is not spreading the gospel and they certainly aren't "servants of the Lord". They are not after edification of the spirit in Christ, but entertainment of the flesh.
Then let the Lord judge. There are people who dress up in robes, and teach Sunday school, but as you have pointed out, are not walking according to the Lord's leading. There are others who are in so called "christian bands" and they also are not walking according to the Lord's leading.

Singing the oldies but goodies does insure that you are walking according to the Lord's leading. Teaching Sunday school does not guarantee it either.

I think that is the point everyone has been trying to get across to you.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:19 AM   #78
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You would do better without the condescending tone.
Really, I thought you would like that, I learned that from you with your reference to go read Genesis and learn that God created marriage.

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Don't forget the other part of the passage "render unto God what is God's". Marriage is God's, so we must render marriage unto God. Jesus did say we should be separated from the world, however that does not mean we should have no influence in it, as the words "salt" and "light" imply.
Having a godly marriage is an influence, being in the world but not of the world shines a light and acts as salt.

The best way to influence the world is to save sinners.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:36 AM   #79
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You must not believe in 2 Cor 6:17 then. Rock concerts are part of the worldly mixture in Babylon. "Other groups of Christians use natural and worldly ways to attract people. They use the ways of being social, of rock music, and of choirs with colorful robes." ~ W. Lee

Religious people of the degraded denominations use such worldly ways to attract people to "Christ" (merely emotional feelings or experiences), which is spiritual incest.
Would you please try to read what I say, without reading into it.

Would you also please respond with Bible thoughts of your own rather than from Lee.

Music about the Savior is no more a gimmick than giving them a New Testament or taking them to Starbucks.

Note that pianos were considered "sensual" by John Darby and the Brethren. The Church of Christ still rejects them. By their standards Lee used "worldly methods to attrack people."
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:24 PM   #80
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There are verses about not loving the world and being separate from the world. (2 Cor 6:17).
And, as I mentioned, they are not the only verses on the subject. You are taking a verse from its context and forcing it to obey your definitions of what is "the world." To take on a context that it does not naturally have. To your mind it fits, but your mind is not the decider of truth.

The real problem is what you define as "in the world" or "of the world" or even simply "the world."

Taking enjoyment of anything is potentially "the world" or not "the world." There is nothing that makes any particular kind of music simply "the world." Same for driving any particular kind of car. I've seen Yugos and Mercedes in LRC parking lots. The Yugo may have been "in the world" while the Mercedes was not.

You and anyone else in the LRC are not the arbiters of what is, by definition, always "in the world."
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:37 PM   #81
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So marriage according to God and marriage according to the government is different. They cannot be both marriage, they must be two different things.
Yes and no. Go to any dictionary and look at how many rather simple words have more than one meaning. And in some cases, if you do not know the context in which the word is used, you could not determine what was being intended by the word. Sometimes almost contradictory meanings.

The same goes here. Neither forces the other to conform to its definition. There is the definition as we understand it from the Bible. That is not forced out of existence by the government's desire to allow for a similar-looking thing that does not actually compare in full. Neither does the Bible's meaning force the government's definition to be non-existent.

Sometimes it feels like I am talking to Rain Man.

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Anyone who marries according to the government must not be truly married in God's eyes.
You would be correct in this to the extent that the ones marrying do not otherwise qualify to do so according to God. But what about ones who are of opposite sex who don't really think they will likely remain married to the same person for more than a few years? Are they married? They probably don't even think about God. Does it make them not married?

There is nothing in the laws of the land that forces you to marry another person of the same gender. So you are free from obligation to obey the government over God.

And the use of the same word for two things that sort of look alike but are not truly so is linguistically acceptable. Same word. Two definitions for two different, even if similar-looking things.

Worry more about loving your neighbor. The Bible will survive this. As will the Christian faith. Will some fall away? Surely. But most didn't need gay marriage to cause that.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:47 PM   #82
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Sorry but Christian death metal, for example, is not spreading the gospel and they certainly aren't "servants of the Lord". They are not after edification of the spirit in Christ, but entertainment of the flesh.
And even if I tend to agree with you on this point, death metal is a small offshoot of "rock." You are too busy defining everything by the extremes. Rock is a broad genre. It goes from folk to things like death metal. And little of it is at the death metal end of the spectrum.

So what is it about a group of musicians an singers provide an evening of entertainment, whether secular or Christian, as they play and sing . . . what is it that makes any of it unacceptable?

Maybe the propensity that certain performers have to use profanity and glorify immorality? I would agree. But that is not all rock.

They way you rail on so much that you haven't really thought about, I feel like singing along with a certain song . . . .
Like a rock, I'm gonna roll over you.
(where did he get that line?)
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:59 PM   #83
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You are too busy defining everything by the extremes.
Boy, you said it right there.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:31 PM   #84
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lol you and others here define the LSM by its extremes all the time...

What makes it unacceptable is its entertainment value. Christianity is not about entertainment. Jesus did not ask his disciples to go into the towns two by two and mime the gospel. Nor did Jesus ask his disciples to act out the gospel in a play. Jesus could have said those things, they were not unknown to them, but he didn't. I believe the word Jesus used was preach, and preach has a specific meaning to do with speaking. Jesus said preach the gospel, not sing it, not mime it, not play it on a guitar.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:15 PM   #85
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Really, I thought you would like that, I learned that from you with your reference to go read Genesis and learn that God created marriage.
Touchy. I was not being condescending, neither did I tell you to learn that God created marriage. "see Genesis" was a reference. I agree, having a godly marriage (or just having a heterosexual marriage, even it is ungodly) is a positive influence. But I don't think homosexuals are saying to themselves "wow look at that perfect hetero couple, I don't think we should get married". Someone has to say what's wrong is wrong and what's right is right.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:18 PM   #86
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Would you please try to read what I say, without reading into it.

Would you also please respond with Bible thoughts of your own rather than from Lee.

Music about the Savior is no more a gimmick than giving them a New Testament or taking them to Starbucks.

Note that pianos were considered "sensual" by John Darby and the Brethren. The Church of Christ still rejects them. By their standards Lee used "worldly methods to attrack people."
Pianos with the black keys taken out are okay. Joke.

All denominations except the Catholics in the past considered pianos to be unacceptable, including the baptists (C. Spurgeon). The first local church I attended had no musical instruments. If you haven't tried worship without musical instruments before you quickly realize how much of a distraction they are. Multiply that distraction by amplified volume, electric guitars etc and there is the difference between genuine worship and worship induced by sound waves. It's all an act to make the audience part with their money. I'd like to see them draw the same crowds without rock music, then we'd see just how genuine they are.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:58 PM   #87
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Pianos with the black keys taken out are okay. Joke.

All denominations except the Catholics in the past considered pianos to be unacceptable, including the baptists (C. Spurgeon). The first local church I attended had no musical instruments. If you haven't tried worship without musical instruments before you quickly realize how much of a distraction they are. Multiply that distraction by amplified volume, electric guitars etc and there is the difference between genuine worship and worship induced by sound waves. It's all an act to make the audience part with their money. I'd like to see them draw the same crowds without rock music, then we'd see just how genuine they are.
There are two notable distractions here.

First is me trying to sing without musical accompaniment.

Second is trying to have an intelligent conversation with you.
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:29 AM   #88
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lol you and others here define the LSM by its extremes all the time...
I think this is the danger of a thread titled "do you think Christianity is degraded"

Clearly we would all agree that there are worldly people, there are people who are nominal Christians, there are people who are conflicted or compromised Christians, there are Christians who are not completely faithful, and let's be real, there are not any Christians anywhere who have "arrived" and are now in a position to judge others.

The title invited your judgement, but we all know we have been told very clearly to not judge until the time:

1Cor 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Wherefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God.

We all have opinions about what is good and what isn't, but we don't know the hidden things of darkness nor do we know the counsels of the heart. Until these things are brought to light we cannot judge.

This thread is a response to Witness Lee's teachings that Christianity is degraded, it is a window into how comments like this spawn divisive and extreme comments. It is illustrative of how these comments are irresponsible. This is similar to Paul's word concerning Cretans, saying that "this word is true therefore rebuke them strongly".

Let's assume for the sake of rational discussion that WL was not referring to frauds, charlatans and nominal Christians but rather to dear believers who have fallen into a "degraded" situation. This kind of teaching will not lead to them being delivered but rather to an air of superiority, being puffed up one against another, people glorying in things that they received freely and which they should therefore give freely. You act like you are rich and are already reigning as kings, leaving the other 99% of Christians behind. This kind of teaching leads to complacency as though you are filled and have need of nothing.

Would a father teach a son this, or would a charlatan trying to sell some snake oil teach this? This kind of teaching sounds like ten thousand other used car salesmen hawking their wares and why everyone else's product is inferior.

WL had great swelling words, but where was the power? It is a tiny group that continues to splinter into ever smaller fragments.
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:35 AM   #89
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Someone has to say what's wrong is wrong and what's right is right.
I agree. What I disagree with is that this someone is you or me. I have been given a commission to preach the gospel, I have not been given a commission to judge the world. I can judge myself. Judgement does begin with the house of God. If you want to take issue with some denomination marrying gays and having homosexual priests, I would agree with you.

But I do not see the church as a political organization, I do not see our calling as a calling to change the secular laws of a nation, I do not see our calling to condemn the world.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:41 PM   #90
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I agree. What I disagree with is that this someone is you or me. I have been given a commission to preach the gospel, I have not been given a commission to judge the world. I can judge myself. Judgement does begin with the house of God. If you want to take issue with some denomination marrying gays and having homosexual priests, I would agree with you.

But I do not see the church as a political organization, I do not see our calling as a calling to change the secular laws of a nation, I do not see our calling to condemn the world.
But I am not talking about judging the world. Judgement begins with the house of God, as you say. I have provided statistics that 63% of Protestants say there is “no conflict” between their religious beliefs and homosexuality. My judgement is that this is a sign of degraded Christianity. I am more than happy to consider Protestants to equal "the world" if you like, in which case I will not judge them, but last time I checked Protestants are considered to be part of Christianity.

Regarding preaching the gospel - what is the gospel? The gospel includes: "repent for the kingdom of heaven is near". Telling others to repent because their ways are wrong is part of preaching the gospel. So I don't know why you say on the one hand your job is "to preach the gospel" yet on the other is not to tell others right from wrong. You must not be preaching the gospel of the kingdom, but the significantly shortened version. According to the Bible, it is our job to say right is right and wrong is wrong. This is not for judgement but for warning and repentance.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:49 PM   #91
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The bible indicates we should not judge the world. But it does not say we cannot judge Christians. Consider Revelation 2:20 where Jesus condemns a church for tolerating Jezebel. In that passage Jesus is not speaking to a particular denomination but the local church in the locality of Thyatira. If there is sexual immorality among the believers in our city, it is our duty and our right , as members of the local church in the city of wherever we live, to say it is wrong. It is okay for us to say to the Catholics, it is wrong to abuse children, and to the Lutherans, it is wrong for people in same-sex marriages to be ordained. Your view of tolerance for these sorts of things and not judging until the time is not something which Jesus would support, based upon Revelation 2:20. As an analogy, I see it as tolerating an intruder in ones house. And according to the Bible, Christians in a denomination are part of our "house" the body of Christ, or the locality in which we reside. So we are right to judge them as if they were part of our local church meetings. Just because they meet in a different place and call themselves a different name, does not mean they are not in the same church as us.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:06 PM   #92
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I may end up ruffling a whole bunch of feathers here because many here on this forum are fellowshipping in a denominational church.

I am not going to criticize anyone who attends the 4 walled 'church'..especially given the LC/LSM experience.

That said.. I have come to understand and agree that what Nee & Lee and others before them and after them have said is TRUE. I HATE when people say ' so & so converted to CHRISTIANITY'! WE did not convert to a religion!! We saw the Light and turned our hearts and our lives over to GOD HIMSELF. HE IS NOT A RELIGION.. HE IS NOT A 'CHRISTIAN' RELIGION.

But the LC/LSM while saying the right things became an instrument of Satan himself by dividing and even destroying the lives of the followers of JESUS CHRIST.

After Lee emphasized the RCC, CHRISTIANITY AND RELIGION is degraded, he himself fell into Satan's trap. And the LC/LSM that disparaged the very things they exposed became one with religion. I think this happened because Lee became prideful.. and that became his downfall..

I just want you guys to know if you don't know this already, the true believers are beginning to leave the man made church, the clergy-laity system, the 'church' of the Nicolaitans that Jesus Himself hates IN DROVES. AND none of them have ever heard of Witness Lee or the LC/LSM.

I am hearing testimony after testimony of people saying 'The LORD told me to get out'. Many express themselves differently of course but that is basically what they are saying. AND they are also saying the walk is not easy because few if any understand them. Most that I know that are leaving the man made church is there is no real message..no gospel..the truth has been watered down. It is a good feel, prosperity community. No teaching.. it is becoming a one world religion. Many denominations are already returning to the RCC where they came out of.

Check out Kenneth Copeland and his conversation with the pope for starters.

I used to struggle on how to respond to people when they asked me 'what church do you attend?' Now.. I just tell them the LORD took me out of the man made church after I studied Revelation 2 & 3. I am not forsaking the assembling spoken of in Hebrews btw.

And if you guys remember.. I did attend a charismatic man-made church from 2005 - 2010/11. While I did learn some things and my faith did grow, it was just a temporary place I needed (I think I needed) to be. So my upbringing is: Catholic, LC, a taste of charismatic, WOF (word of faith), Pentecostalism and now F R E E D O M in Christ..

To those of you who are attending a 4 walled fellowship group, don't be throwing stones at me! If that is where God has you..that is where GOD HAS YOU.

All I know is He pulled me out and I am thankful.

Blessings to all.
Carol
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:56 AM   #93
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Regarding preaching the gospel - what is the gospel? The gospel includes: "repent for the kingdom of heaven is near". Telling others to repent because their ways are wrong is part of preaching the gospel. So I don't know why you say on the one hand your job is "to preach the gospel" yet on the other is not to tell others right from wrong. You must not be preaching the gospel of the kingdom, but the significantly shortened version. According to the Bible, it is our job to say right is right and wrong is wrong. This is not for judgement but for warning and repentance.
You do a very poor job of quoting people. You change what people say, you read in things they didn't say and you misinterpret what they said. It seems there are numerous posters complaining of you doing this, not just me.

Yes, if your word is in the context of the gospel, calling people to repent from sins, that would be great. Whenever you preach the gospel there is a call to repentance, there is also a path for that repentance, the way of salvation, and the good news of the kingdom of God.

The US is not the kingdom of God. Passing laws is not the way of salvation. What works is a new heart.

You are trying to complain about the Supreme court, laws of this land and then somehow tie this into the preaching of the gospel. You have confused "legalism" with Evangelism.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:02 AM   #94
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The bible indicates we should not judge the world. But it does not say we cannot judge Christians. Consider Revelation 2:20 where Jesus condemns a church for tolerating Jezebel. In that passage Jesus is not speaking to a particular denomination but the local church in the locality of Thyatira. If there is sexual immorality among the believers in our city, it is our duty and our right , as members of the local church in the city of wherever we live, to say it is wrong. It is okay for us to say to the Catholics, it is wrong to abuse children, and to the Lutherans, it is wrong for people in same-sex marriages to be ordained. Your view of tolerance for these sorts of things and not judging until the time is not something which Jesus would support, based upon Revelation 2:20. As an analogy, I see it as tolerating an intruder in ones house. And according to the Bible, Christians in a denomination are part of our "house" the body of Christ, or the locality in which we reside. So we are right to judge them as if they were part of our local church meetings. Just because they meet in a different place and call themselves a different name, does not mean they are not in the same church as us.
The Supreme court is not "my house", nor is the Whitehouse, nor is Congress. Those houses belong to the world.

You were railing against the laws of the US, the Supreme court, etc. Are you now narrowing your bile to just Christian denominations? More specifically are you now focusing on the Lutheran denomination?

It seems like you are painting with an awfully broad brush when you condemn Christianity for being degraded because of the Lutheran denomination. Lutherans make up 2% of Christians in the US, but you are going to condemn all Christians because of the policy of these 2%?

Please clarify, are you still railing about the US Supreme court, US laws, or have you narrowed down your complaint to just Christianity, specifically Lutherans? Also, are you condemning all Christianity because of what 2% of them do?

I hope you notice that absolutely no one on this thread has defended the Lutheran decision, nor has anyone tried to say that homosexual sex isn't a sin. So far all of the issues raised have been your foray into politics as though that was our calling and your condemnation of a very large group of people because of the stance of a very tiny minority.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:49 AM   #95
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The Recovery is not built upon the foundation of Christ and His revelation in the word of God, rather it was founded on the scathing condemnations of all Christians past and present.

Evangelical is just another proof of this. He has somehow deluded himself into believing that if he can continue his judgmental rants on the entire body of Christ, all things Christian, every Christian gathering big and small, all the world, including the USA, then on the judgment day he will look relatively pleasing to the Lord.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:35 AM   #96
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The Supreme court is not "my house", nor is the Whitehouse, nor is Congress. Those houses belong to the world.
This is absolutely true. Jesus said His KINGDOM is not of this world... and because we are IN Him and HE IN us, His Kingdom is our kingdom. The problem we have is even though we are not of this world, we are still in the world and eat, drink, work, go to school, dress up, pay bills, shower, cleanse ourselves just like everyone else. The difference is we try to follow the Spirit. We pay attention to Him. Our intuition, our insight is sharpened, our hearts and thoughts purified by His Word and by the Blood of the Lamb.

You know as ex LCrs, we were taught 'Christianity is degraded'. We read church history etc.. And we went along with the teachings. But 'I' personally thought it was a 'revelation' given to Nee & Lee. I thought everything I learned about the RCC and the denominations came solely from Nee & Lee and thus the 'adulation' of them. YET what they preached against, they became. LEE and his appointees, controlled the sheeple. Today I think it is the 'blendeds' who control the LSM sheeple.

Now that I am studying the scriptures for myself as are many, many others who have never heard of the LC/LSM GOD HIMSELF is showing me, He hates the clergy laity system, (the works of the NICOLAETANS).

Jesus said Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

He doesn't say 'AND bring them 'to church'.

The man made church is a business organization with a tax deduction status using God's Word to 'reach people'.

God may use that entity but 'that is not HIS PERFECT WILL

There are no denominations, no LC/LSM, no religion in all all of heaven nor will there be denominations, LC/LSM during the millennium reign or when God creates a new heaven and a new earth.

These revelations are being revealed to many, many people who are walking and seeking the LORD in a deeper way. They are leaving the denominations by droves. Their testimony is God is telling them to leave. I started noticing the "Word" came to many of them around 2013. That's when I began noticing the 'exodus'. It has continued even till now.

Many are not celebrating Christmas. Not because they were TOLD by man but the Holy Spirit began revealing things to them. Many still do and that does not take away from their relationship from GOD.

We are not all on the same page. Some of us have more insight, revelation, understanding than others.

Just saying..... jusg saying.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:16 PM   #97
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You do a very poor job of quoting people. You change what people say, you read in things they didn't say and you misinterpret what they said. It seems there are numerous posters complaining of you doing this, not just me.

Yes, if your word is in the context of the gospel, calling people to repent from sins, that would be great. Whenever you preach the gospel there is a call to repentance, there is also a path for that repentance, the way of salvation, and the good news of the kingdom of God.

The US is not the kingdom of God. Passing laws is not the way of salvation. What works is a new heart.

You are trying to complain about the Supreme court, laws of this land and then somehow tie this into the preaching of the gospel. You have confused "legalism" with Evangelism.
ZNPaaneah, in preaching the gospel how can we tell someone to repent of something they do not know is wrong? We must tell them what is right and what is wrong, so they know what they are repenting of. I can imagine you preaching the gospel to a homosexual couple, and asking them to repent, Jesus loves them. Then they will ask you, repent of what? And you will not tell them that homosexuality is wrong, because it is not your place to do so. So your gospel preaching will be in vain.

I believe it is you who have misrepresented what I said, and then you claim I do the same. As an example of how you have changed what I have said, my posts have not been about the laws of the land or the Supreme court but concerning the statistics that "Protestants (62%) now favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed", which is related to the topic of degraded Christianity. If you look through my previous posts you will see they are focused on the topic of the church, not the laws of the land. If Protestants were not degraded, then that statistic should say "0% favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed". Regardless of what the laws of the land or Supreme court say, it is that a majority of Protestants support gay marriage which demonstrates their degradation.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:37 PM   #98
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ZNPaaneah, in preaching the gospel how can we tell someone to repent of something they do not know is wrong? We must tell them what is right and what is wrong, so they know what they are repenting of.
Not sure that you really have to do that. No matter what the issue (at least in terms of major points of immorality and unrighteousness) people know. They may have figured out how to talk themselves into believing that it is not, but somewhere inside, they know.

After that, the preachcing of the gospel — whether in just being a good representative of the righteousness of God living in the world and being seen by the unsaved, or just saying that you were once not like that and have changed because of Christ, or doing a serious telling of God and salvation — is all we have to do. Whether anything comes of it is not ours to do.

It is not in hammering people with their sin that they seek forgiveness. That usually results in the opposite effect. Hardening of the heart.

And outlawing things according to Christian morality just helps those who would obey laws to think they are really OK without God because they can keep those more Christian-like rules. Those who don't or wont generally are not interested in being good anyway.

"Turn or burn" is only effective on those who are on the verge or believing anyway.

Why not preach the gospel to a homosexual without forcing the issue of homosexuality? If they actually turn to Jesus, even if they have not yet seen the error of their sexual preferences, they are still at least started down the road. Brow-beating them with the error of their ways is proof that you don't really want people to believe in Jesus, but to act like it. And wanting the laws to support your position only makes you even more reprehensible in the sinner's eyes.

Love your neighbor. All that crap about "tough love" is not relevant to the kind of love that Jesus was talking about.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:09 PM   #99
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Telling people that homosexuality is wrong is "hammering people with their sin", is it?

It would not make sense to tell a homosexual couple to repent of their sin of stealing a candy bar when they were 6 years old, when the "elephant in the room" is staring you in the face. Jesus always addressed the biggest sin first. For the rich man it was his money, for the tax collector it was his greed.

When John the baptist came to Earth, he did not preach only to those who were "on the verge of believing". The call to repentance was universal. If they responded negatively to that it was not his fault but theirs.

Mark 1:15 says to repent and believe, not believe and then repent later when you feel like it.

In reference to the gospel, we are not "gospel caterers" but gospel preachers. To cater the gospel is to make it attractive and palatable to the sinner. To preach the gospel is to tell it in its pure and unadulterated form as much as possible. We do not need to make the gospel attractive and palatable to sinners. The gospel in and of itself is attractive to those who would believe.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:13 PM   #100
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The Supreme court is not "my house", nor is the Whitehouse, nor is Congress. Those houses belong to the world.

You were railing against the laws of the US, the Supreme court, etc. Are you now narrowing your bile to just Christian denominations? More specifically are you now focusing on the Lutheran denomination?

It seems like you are painting with an awfully broad brush when you condemn Christianity for being degraded because of the Lutheran denomination. Lutherans make up 2% of Christians in the US, but you are going to condemn all Christians because of the policy of these 2%?

Please clarify, are you still railing about the US Supreme court, US laws, or have you narrowed down your complaint to just Christianity, specifically Lutherans? Also, are you condemning all Christianity because of what 2% of them do?

I hope you notice that absolutely no one on this thread has defended the Lutheran decision, nor has anyone tried to say that homosexual sex isn't a sin. So far all of the issues raised have been your foray into politics as though that was our calling and your condemnation of a very large group of people because of the stance of a very tiny minority.
ZNPaaneah, the statistics were 60% or thereabouts of Protestants, see no conflict between their religious beliefs and homosexual marriage. What are you doing about that? All the other Christians in your city is your "house", or do you not believe that you are one body with all the denominations and not divided? If such being the case, you should have no issue with speaking up about the sins and "Jezebels" in your locality, as Christ wishes you to do as per Revelation 2:20. Are we making our "house" a better place by trying to clean it up? Or are we letting it degrade in the name of "love and tolerance"? We cannot focus solely on gospel preaching yet ignore the state of our own house.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:50 PM   #101
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But I am not talking about judging the world.
Fooled me:

Post #45 Evangelical:

Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage

Public opinion on same-sex marriage

In Pew Research Center polling in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 57% to 35%.

Since then, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown. Based on polling in 2016, a majority of Americans (55%) support same-sex marriage, compared with 37% who oppose it. See the latest data on same-sex marriage.

Post #61 Evangelical:

The government did not invent or create marriage. Marriage came from God (see Genesis), and Christians are supposed to be representatives of God, therefore Christians should uphold the true definition of marriage in the world.


Post #70 Evangelical

So marriage according to God and marriage according to the government is different. They cannot be both marriage, they must be two different things. Anyone who marries according to the government must not be truly married in God's eyes.

For a Christian obedience to God's law comes first (that homosexuality is forbidden), obeying the government's law comes next.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:53 PM   #102
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The Recovery is not built upon the foundation of Christ and His revelation in the word of God, rather it was founded on the scathing condemnations of all Christians past and present.

Evangelical is just another proof of this. He has somehow deluded himself into believing that if he can continue his judgmental rants on the entire body of Christ, all things Christian, every Christian gathering big and small, all the world, including the USA, then on the judgment day he will look relatively pleasing to the Lord.
When the Lord returns he won't be giving the USA a candy bar for all the bad things it has done, I can tell you that.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #103
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Fooled me:
Post #45 Evangelical:
Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage
Public opinion on same-sex marriage
In Pew Research Center polling in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 57% to 35%.
Since then, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown. Based on polling in 2016, a majority of Americans (55%) support same-sex marriage, compared with 37% who oppose it. See the latest data on same-sex marriage.
You didn't quote my first statistic regarding Christianity, here is another from that website:.

Roughly six-in-ten Catholics (58%) now support same-sex marriage, as do nearly two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (64%).

So the Catholics and the Protestants both are degraded in the majority. You just can't handle that the statistics speak for themselves regarding the degradation of Christianity. If that number grows to 80%, 90% or 99% in a few years time, you will still not admit that Christianity is degraded.


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Post #61 Evangelical:

The government did not invent or create marriage. Marriage came from God (see Genesis), and Christians are supposed to be representatives of God, therefore Christians should uphold the true definition of marriage in the world.
This is about what Christians should do - uphold the true definition of marriage in the world. Do you see anything judgmental or condemning in that statement about the world? I don't.

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Post #70 Evangelical

So marriage according to God and marriage according to the government is different. They cannot be both marriage, they must be two different things. Anyone who marries according to the government must not be truly married in God's eyes.

For a Christian obedience to God's law comes first (that homosexuality is forbidden), obeying the government's law comes next.
Nothing judgmental about the world here either. It makes the point that if the government's and God's view of marriage is different, then they must not be the same thing.

You said I was "railing against the laws of the US, the Supreme court, etc.".

In these statements of mine which you quoted, I cannot see any railings against the laws of the US or the Supreme court. We did discuss this in another thread however and you must be getting confused. This thread is about degradation of Christianity. If Christianity supports or agrees with pro-homosexual marriage laws, it is only another sign of their degradation.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:34 PM   #104
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When the Lord returns he won't be giving the USA a candy bar for all the bad things it has done, I can tell you that.
You dodge, weave, and spin the conversation just like a politician.

You really have quite a talent.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:53 PM   #105
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Ok guys, the gay marriage argument has run it's course. Actually, I can't remember Witness Lee ever addressing the matter. Same for Nee.

Let's move on.

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Old 12-02-2016, 08:12 PM   #106
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Ok guys, the gay marriage argument has run it's course. Actually, I can't remember Witness Lee ever addressing the matter. Same for Nee.

Let's move on.

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See the section:
"A Faithful Appraisal of the Degraded System of Christianity"
at
http://www.contendingforthefaith.org...istianity.html
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:48 AM   #107
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ZNPaaneah, the statistics were 60% or thereabouts of Protestants, see no conflict between their religious beliefs and homosexual marriage. What are you doing about that?
I guess right now what I am doing is exercising my senses to discern good from evil:

Heb 5:12For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. 13For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. 14But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

This is based on the rudiments of the gospel. As I have already pointed out, when I was baptized I made a statement that the world is corrupt, has been judged and will be terminated and buried. I am all for being a good citizen who takes part in the legislative process, but that is not the way of salvation for a corrupt and sinful world.

The only way they will be saved from sin is by receiving Jesus Christ.

The "fact" that 60% of "Christians" are either nominal or not walking by the Spirit is not news to me. If you were walking through the desert with Moses and saw the rebellion of Korah, what are you going to do about that? I'll stand with God and let Him judge that.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:01 AM   #108
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See the section:
"A Faithful Appraisal of the Degraded System of Christianity"
at
http://www.contendingforthefaith.org...istianity.html
This article makes the distinction that when Witness Lee said that Christianity was degraded he was referring to the "system".

I think it would be a good idea if we all agreed that there is some truth here. We can agree that the parable of the Tares can be applied to Christianity, whether or not you would do that. We can also agree that the discussion of the churches in Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea certainly raise issues that are "below the standard" (which is how they define degraded).

Since this thread came out of the thread on defining the church from the NT teaching there is certainly a lot of overlap.

Perhaps the real issue is concerning what is the proper response to the degradation, similar to what Evangelical asked "What are you doing about it?"

Those of us who have participated on this thread obviously take issue either with the degradation or with WL's response. So then it is only fair to ask what the proper response should be?
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:52 AM   #109
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See the section:
"A Faithful Appraisal of the Degraded System of Christianity"
at
http://www.contendingforthefaith.org...istianity.html
Now the wordsmiths ar LSM are writing articles claiming that others are misrepresenting Lee's condemnation of Christianity. What a hoot!

I heard it and read it for years. So .... There's nothing wrong with his ministry, just all of our ears.

Homework assignment: read Lee's Life-Study message on Lot in Genesis. It is like message #54 or #55. Then tell me who misrepresents who.
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:51 AM   #110
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Default Re: Do you think Christianity is degraded?

Technically this thread is about what do you think: Is Christianity degraded?
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:39 PM   #111
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I guess right now what I am doing is exercising my senses to discern good from evil:

Heb 5:12For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. 13For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. 14But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

This is based on the rudiments of the gospel. As I have already pointed out, when I was baptized I made a statement that the world is corrupt, has been judged and will be terminated and buried. I am all for being a good citizen who takes part in the legislative process, but that is not the way of salvation for a corrupt and sinful world.

The only way they will be saved from sin is by receiving Jesus Christ.

The "fact" that 60% of "Christians" are either nominal or not walking by the Spirit is not news to me. If you were walking through the desert with Moses and saw the rebellion of Korah, what are you going to do about that? I'll stand with God and let Him judge that.

The bible indicates we have a responsibility for the state of the church, that will not be accomplished through baptism. That is our duty also, not merely to preach the gospel and forget about the state of God's house. When I speak against denominations and particularly the degradation, what I am doing is caring about the state of God's house. Furthermore, by separating myself from that environment, I am also making a statement that Jezebel will not be tolerated in the church, as much as is up to me. So far, as far as I can tell you have presented two ways that people are caring about the state of God's house, that is
By baptism -great
By not getting married to someone of the same sex - great also.

Others I'm not so convinced about:
Preaching the gospel - great but this is more for the unsaved than God's house
By tolerating Jezebel- uh oh, not really helping anything here.
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:35 AM   #112
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The bible indicates we have a responsibility for the state of the church, that will not be accomplished through baptism.
Do you understand what I mean by baptism? I am not referring to dunking people into water, I am referring to immersing them into the triune God, having them walk by faith to follow the Lord into death and resurrection. If you understand that, then of course it will be accomplished by baptism. That is the way of salvation given to us by Jesus.

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That is our duty also, not merely to preach the gospel and forget about the state of God's house. When I speak against denominations and particularly the degradation, what I am doing is caring about the state of God's house.
Perhaps, I'll let the Lord judge.

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Furthermore, by separating myself from that environment, I am also making a statement that Jezebel will not be tolerated in the church, as much as is up to me.
Oh. Can you please show me the basis in the NT for separating yourself from other Christians because they don't measure up to your standard? As an inner city teacher I would love to be able to separate myself from those that don't measure up, make my job a whole lot easier. Great statement -- we'll provide you with the education once you measure up.

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So far, as far as I can tell you have presented two ways that people are caring about the state of God's house, that is
By baptism -great
By not getting married to someone of the same sex - great also.

Others I'm not so convinced about:
Preaching the gospel - great but this is more for the unsaved than God's house
By tolerating Jezebel- uh oh, not really helping anything here.
I have no issue with three of those points, but one I am stunned that "tolerating Jezebel" is what you got from my posts. Can you point to the post where "I presented tolerating Jezebel as a way that people can care about the state of God's house". If you can, I'll clear up the confusion. If not I will agree with Ohio that you intentionally misquote and misconstrue what others say, which is deceitful.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:21 AM   #113
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Well Lee writes about this - we don't separate because of the condition or standard but because of the ground. As a teacher I might separate myself from students that are from another school, because I work in a different school. If the other school is catholicism for example, i might separate myself from that because I am not catholic, just Christian.

My comment about Jezebel was in relation to what I said, in regards to the verse in Revelation, not something you said. Although I am replying to you, my remarks are general and not directed at you specifically. I think my discussion style is sometimes misconstrued because I make general remarks related to whoever they may apply to, not necessarily to the person I am discussing with. I am certain you are not one who tolerates Jezebel in the church.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:10 AM   #114
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So you say that you, unlike others, do not tolerate Jezebel. You also make ground the standard by which you separate.

Several questions

1. Define what you mean by the "ground of the church".

2. How does standing on this ground not tolerate Jezebel?

3. What is it precisely that prevents Jezebel from standing on your ground?
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:05 AM   #115
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Default Re: The stats are in - We are not the judge

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Telling people that homosexuality is wrong is "hammering people with their sin", is it?
The call to repent of your sins can only be relevant to those who recognize that they are sinning. Browbeating people who disagree as to what is and is not sin is not helpful. They have already rejected the understanding of the Bible, or outright rejected the Bible.

So if you want to move those people toward salvation, you need a different approach. You need to meet them where they are instead of arguing with them about where they aren't.

The idea of enticing any kind of sinner to coming to believe in Christ prior to understanding the full weight of their sins is not in opposition to the Bible. You are correct that there are calls to repent. But notice that Jesus captured the hearts and belief of many, seen most clearly in some of the healings, where there was obvious belief in Jesus. But Jesus had to then tell them to leave their life of sin. Their belief came first, then the call to righteousness.

I do not pretend that just anyone can become a believer. It is not a simple thing. But it is not a requirement that they understand the full depth of their sin to do so. In that case, while there is some reason to maybe help them to understand truth that they have not seen, how that happens and on what timeline is not necessarily required to be "right now without further ado" just because it is a sin that you think is more heinous than others. Don't bother making comparisons to murder or to stealing candy bars. Neither is the same and neither forces how recognition of guilt and repentance should occur. You clearly think that if it is bad you just have to stop while other sins can continue and you just take grace. How about theft? Or adultery? Or . . . . You can decide which ones you think need to be addressed immediately and which can be worked out over time. But someone else may disagree with which is which. Who gets to say?
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:10 AM   #116
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All the other Christians in your city is your "house", or do you not believe that you are one body with all the denominations and not divided? If such being the case, you should have no issue with speaking up about the sins and "Jezebels" in your locality, as Christ wishes you to do as per Revelation 2:20.
Where is the requirement to speak up about anything? Not tolerating and speaking up are not synonyms. The requirement is to overcome. To not hold to her teachings. To hold fast to what you have.

And you can be assured that these discussions happen all the time. But it is not everyone's charge to speak out in the open forum of the church. But it is for some and they do just that.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:11 AM   #117
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When the Lord returns he won't be giving the USA a candy bar for all the bad things it has done, I can tell you that.
He won't be giving countries anything because countries are not Christians. People are. How the country thinks, votes, behaves, and acts is not relevant. Only that of the Christians.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:07 PM   #118
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He won't be giving countries anything because countries are not Christians. People are. How the country thinks, votes, behaves, and acts is not relevant. Only that of the Christians.
Now that's something I agree with - hence the reason I quoted the statistics showing Christianity being degraded. So I would be very concerned that majority of Christians in america believe in things against God.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:09 PM   #119
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Where is the requirement to speak up about anything? Not tolerating and speaking up are not synonyms. The requirement is to overcome. To not hold to her teachings. To hold fast to what you have.

And you can be assured that these discussions happen all the time. But it is not everyone's charge to speak out in the open forum of the church. But it is for some and they do just that.
This idea of not speaking is wrong and stupid. As is the idea that we can preach the gospel by not saying anything.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:10 PM   #120
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The call to repent of your sins can only be relevant to those who recognize that they are sinning. Browbeating people who disagree as to what is and is not sin is not helpful. They have already rejected the understanding of the Bible, or outright rejected the Bible.
They are a sinner and in rebellion against God. That is where they are at, is it not? So if I start with the sin I'm starting with where they are at. God started with John the Baptist's baptism of repentence remember. Repentance from what? From sin, from rebellion. So even God started his preaching the gospel with addressing the sin. You can't start or heal a relationship with anyone without addressing the things that divide first. Can learn a lot from watching Dr Phil.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:17 PM   #121
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So you say that you, unlike others, do not tolerate Jezebel. You also make ground the standard by which you separate.
Several questions
1. Define what you mean by the "ground of the church".
2. How does standing on this ground not tolerate Jezebel?
3. What is it precisely that prevents Jezebel from standing on your ground?
The church Jesus spoke to about Jezebel was a genuine church because it was a locality church, not a denomination. But in its condition it tolerated Jezebel. It is possible to stand on the proper ground and tolerate Jezebel, the verse shows that.

It is possible to stand on the wrong ground and not tolerate Jezebel. Jezebel is not just the ones accepting immorality, but in any church with a female priest or pastor because Jezebel is a woman who likes control.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:24 AM   #122
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They are a sinner and in rebellion against God. That is where they are at, is it not? So if I start with the sin I'm starting with where they are at. God started with John the Baptist's baptism of repentence remember. Repentance from what? From sin, from rebellion. So even God started his preaching the gospel with addressing the sin. You can't start or heal a relationship with anyone without addressing the things that divide first. Can learn a lot from watching Dr Phil.
And there is a reason that the "great commission" was not actually given to everyone. Not saying there is no cause to speak the gospel.

Your version of how to preach the gospel is based on the "if you beat them, they will repent" theology of I'm not sure who. But it is not the way it was done in the Bible. Even John the Baptist's declaration to repent was not specific as to what was the sin to be repented.

And it is likely that they couldn't repent of the sins that had not been laid out. Like thinking of adultery in your heart = adultery. When those people came to the Jordan, they did not repent of the sins they didn't know about.

But if we take the example of the one we are supposed to be following, the only bold declarations about people's sin was made to those who were the elite of the Jewish religion. To the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. But to the publicans and sinners, he ate with them. He taught them and brought them to see who he was and to believe and repent.

And since neither you nor I have completely stopped sinning, why do we spend our time forcing the unsaved to straighten up before they come to Jesus? It was the Temple that was cleared with a switch, not the dark alleyways where the prostitutes work their trade.

Zacchaeus was attracted to Jesus. It was after Jesus came to dine with him that he recognized his sin and repented. You are set to force the sinners to understand their sin first. To come with a life already in transition.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:58 AM   #123
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Now that's something I agree with - hence the reason I quoted the statistics showing Christianity being degraded. So I would be very concerned that majority of Christians in america believe in things against God.
Did the statistic refer only to those who provided clear evidence that they were other than social/cultural Christians? Or was it based solely on some level of church attendance?

But when you make a statement about whether people believe things "against God," remember that not standing as opposed to the law of the land that homosexuals can exist without penalty and may even join in a civil union that is given all the legal status of marriage and even the name (for legal purposes, not religious)? Or was it about thinking that it is morally OK? They are not the same thing.

Just want to make sure that you are representing your statistics properly.

In any case, I can assure you that I am unaware of any in the group that I meet with, or with any in other similar groups that actually think those things are morally OK. I realize that a particular Baptist assembly has voted to allow homosexuals. But that is like saying that there is a tiny pimple on an other wise healthy whale. You are making small exceptions into the rule so that you can continue to justify your dividing from the rest of the body of Christ by denigrating them all.

I know of persons who were financially corrupt that were in the LRC. Their actions were not hidden. In one case he was eventually run off but not until after several years.

If your answer is that we have to allow for grace to work, then why not do the same for those who don't even believe? If you think you just need to beat them with it, then someone should have been shouting at this person from the first day that it was known until they repented or left.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:05 PM   #124
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They are polls, and can be as good as polls can be. Averages, I presume. There will be areas with a low result and other areas with a high result. Pollsters get it wrong, just look at the elections. Does that mean they be ignored? No, they still provide valuable information. For example, polls incorrectly predicted the election result, however they correctly represented the popular vote.

Regarding "beat the sinner" methods. Let's consider an example. Ted and Fred are happily married and want to become Christians. They were raised in a culture where gay marriage is universally accepted as normal (let's say Canada, for example), they don't know it is wrong. They ask you "OBW, I want to be a Christian, what do I have to do?" What would you say to them?

I would say - well you need to repent of your sin first. And they would say "what sin?, I am a good person, I give to the poor, I help bake cakes for the local church". I will say, God does not approve of homosexuality, you need to repent of that. If they repent, great, I can continue with God's grace and assurance of salvation etc etc. If not, it is hardly appropriate to continue the conversation about God's forgiveness etc.
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:55 PM   #125
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Regarding the polls, you seem to demonstrate that you really didn't read the statistics very carefully. If it is just another of a group of "polls are polls" then you might not have paid close enough attention to what was meant by the stratification labels. Was Christian clearly Christian or just culturally so? Was "mainstream" mentioned and not clearly stated as including evangelicals (in the normal use of terms here it would not) or what other qualifiers?
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Regarding "beat the sinner" methods. Let's consider an example. Ted and Fred are happily married and want to become Christians. They were raised in a culture where gay marriage is universally accepted as normal (let's say Canada, for example), they don't know it is wrong. They ask you "OBW, I want to be a Christian, what do I have to do?" What would you say to them?

I would say - well you need to repent of your sin first. And they would say "what sin?, I am a good person, I give to the poor, I help bake cakes for the local church". I will say, God does not approve of homosexuality, you need to repent of that. If they repent, great, I can continue with God's grace and assurance of salvation etc etc. If not, it is hardly appropriate to continue the conversation about God's forgiveness etc.
While I understand your concern, it seems that your version of what they have to do to be saved is contrary to what even you have said in other places. When asked "What must I do to be saved," it was Peter or Paul (can't remember which at the moment) that said "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." Not "Recognize everything that I say is a sin and repent of that first, then believe and you will be saved."

I do not pretend that the homosexual who would turn to believe in Christ without recognizing the status of their "lifestyle" as sin according to that Christ is stepping into a difficult situation. But if you don't have to absolutely cease sinning to be a believer in Christ, why should he? Parse through your hierarchy of sins and note that the only sin for which forgiveness is not given is the sin of not asking for forgiveness.

You would have it such that there is much that the homosexual must do before he can be saved. That sounds like a works-based salvation.
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:20 PM   #126
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You seem to be saying that you would tell them to believe in Christ to be saved before telling them what they are to be saved from. At this point they are still unaware of what it means to be saved and they still believe that homosexuality is okay. Not very effective gospel preaching.

If you think that "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" means repentance is not required or you can repent later you are sorely mistaken. See Acts 17:30,31.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you...
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Old 12-07-2016, 06:35 PM   #127
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Default Our responsibility to uproot and tear down

Some, have taken issue with the local church's stance on denominations, saying we should build up and not tear down.

But the bible and common sense tells us that if there is an old building and we want to build a new one, we must tear the old one down first.

Jeremiah 1:10 says: See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."

The churches role on the Earth today is not only to build and plant, but to uproot, tear down, destroy and overthrow.

Some may say, "you are speaking against fellow believers, the bible says to edify and love". The bible says that in reference to individuals but does it say to edify and love worldly institutions? Consider this - the Roman Catholic church - is this not the religious arm of the old Roman Empire? The Anglican church - is this not the religious arm of the old English Empire? How can God destroy the Roman Empire yet leave the Roman church intact?

To tear down various human empires is also to tear down their religious entities. Tearing down these two denominations alone will result in the majority of Christianity without a denomination which will bring a vast improvement.
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:17 PM   #128
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The reason you can't find any real local church or its members is because it doesn't exist. It is just an idea, which was useful to separate the Chinese Christians from the Western yoke (the dreaded Denominations). But shortly after they all came crowding into Nee's Little Flock assembly, he "recovered" the Jerusalem Principle. Lo and behold, the churches weren't local at all, but part of a larger Body! And that Body, lo and behold, needed an extra-local apostle! How convenient! Nee knew just the man for the job. "Centralization" followed "locality" like a tail following a dog. They were part and parcel.

Locality never was real. It was merely an idea, a lever, an engine to bring people from someone else's delusion, into Nee's. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.
It doesn't exist because everyone is too busy building up their favorite denomination (including the Local Church, if you like).
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:38 PM   #129
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It doesn't exist because everyone is too busy building up their favorite denomination.
I just love these generalizations.

One day you tell us that all Christians are lukewarm and passive Sunday-only sit-in-the-pew give-a-few-bucks members.

The next day you inform us that all Christians are too busy building up what the Lord has committed to them, aka those evil "denominations."

You really have no idea what Christians are doing because "the wind blows where it wills," and so it is with the children of God "who are born of the Spirit." (John 3)
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:19 PM   #130
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A generalization is what it means. You and others should be able to understand that a generalization could cover 51 to 100 % of the truth. I would put that at more than 51% however, since I can guarantee that if I go to any denomination in my local area on a Sunday that most are "sit in the pew give a few buck members". They give a few bucks so the preacher can keep his job. They can't wait for the service to end so they can get on with "blowing wherever they like".
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:29 PM   #131
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The church Jesus spoke to about Jezebel was a genuine church because it was a locality church, not a denomination. But in its condition it tolerated Jezebel. It is possible to stand on the proper ground and tolerate Jezebel, the verse shows that.
Then what is the point of the term "the proper ground"?

If Jesus purchased the ground, then it belongs to Him and Jezebel has no standing on it. Hence his word that He has this against them that they tolerate the woman Jezebel, since she has no standing to be there they shouldn't have tolerated her.

Obviously if your "proper ground" is the boundary of a city you will have Jezebel's inside the boundary, you have a worldly ground.

But if the proper ground is the ground purchased by Jesus redemption, then there is absolutely no reason why Jezebel would have any right to stand on that ground.

The only sign given of a "true church" is the sign of Jonah.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:19 PM   #132
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Then what is the point of the term "the proper ground"?

If Jesus purchased the ground, then it belongs to Him and Jezebel has no standing on it. Hence his word that He has this against them that they tolerate the woman Jezebel, since she has no standing to be there they shouldn't have tolerated her.

Obviously if your "proper ground" is the boundary of a city you will have Jezebel's inside the boundary, you have a worldly ground.

But if the proper ground is the ground purchased by Jesus redemption, then there is absolutely no reason why Jezebel would have any right to stand on that ground.

The only sign given of a "true church" is the sign of Jonah.
I think you are confusing the difference between the foundation of the building which is Christ, and the ground which the building rests upon which is the locality.

Jesus spoke to the church in Thyatira about Jezebel. Suppose that the church had two denominations - Lutheran and Baptist. Suppose that Jezebel was tolerated in the Baptist church but not the Lutheran church. To whom does Jesus's words apply? It must be to both churches, because his letter was addressed to Thyatira, not to the baptists or the Lutherans alone.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:26 PM   #133
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Some, have taken issue with the local church's stance on denominations, saying we should build up and not tear down.

But the bible and common sense tells us that if there is an old building and we want to build a new one, we must tear the old one down first.

Jeremiah 1:10 says: See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."

The churches role on the Earth today is not only to build and plant, but to uproot, tear down, destroy and overthrow.

Some may say, "you are speaking against fellow believers, the bible says to edify and love". The bible says that in reference to individuals but does it say to edify and love worldly institutions? Consider this - the Roman Catholic church - is this not the religious arm of the old Roman Empire? The Anglican church - is this not the religious arm of the old English Empire? How can God destroy the Roman Empire yet leave the Roman church intact?

To tear down various human empires is also to tear down their religious entities. Tearing down these two denominations alone will result in the majority of Christianity without a denomination which will bring a vast improvement.
What gives you the right to tear down what God had a part in building?

The church has no mandate today to "uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow." You have gone off the deep end.

How about you do us and the LC's a huge favor and tear down LSM. It is nothing but a worldly organization, an obscure denomination, a money-making enterprise scamming God's people, a retail business peddling God's word.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:29 PM   #134
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What gives you the right to tear down what God had a part in building?

The church has no mandate today to "uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow." You have gone off the deep end.

How about you do us and the LC's a huge favor and tear down LSM. It is nothing but a worldly organization, an obscure denomination, a money-making enterprise scamming God's people, a retail business peddling God's word.
God does not build anything other than "His church" (Matt 16:18). There is nothing in the bible that talks about God "having a part in building denominations" or churches (plural). All the other buildings are counterfeits, therefore I have the right to tear them down.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:31 PM   #135
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I think you are confusing the difference between the foundation of the building which is Christ, and the ground which the building rests upon which is the locality.
Colossians 2.7 specifically says that we are "rooted and built up in Christ."

Christ is not only our foundation, He is also the ground, and He is also the building.

Please study your Bible again.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:34 PM   #136
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Colossians 2.7 specifically says that we are "rooted and built up in Christ."

Christ is not only our foundation, He is also the ground, and He is also the building.

Please study your Bible again.
That rules out the denominations then, because Christ is not their ground. What is the ground of Roman Catholicism for example? I'll give you a hint: (their ground is in their name). Is it standing on the person of Christ? Or is it standing on a doctrine which says that the Roman catholic church is the true church, and "The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth". Their ground is not Christ.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:38 PM   #137
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God does not build anything other than "His church" (Matt 16:18). There is nothing in the bible that talks about God "having a part in building denominations" or churches (plural). All the other buildings are counterfeits, therefore I have the right to tear them down.
You are no different. You also are a denomination. Start with yourself. Tear your own church down. Judgment begins with the Recovery.

There is neither anything in the Bible about selling books, selling tennis rackets, selling motor homes, selling seats in trainings, etc. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.

Are not all the denominations also ministries? Then by your own definition, they are not bound by your rules, just like you give LSM a free pass for all of its corruption.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:39 PM   #138
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That rules out the denominations then, because Christ is not their ground. What is the ground of Roman Catholicism for example? I'll give you a hint: (their ground is in their name). Is it standing on the person of Christ? Or is it standing on a doctrine which says that the Roman catholic church is the true church, and "The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth". Their ground is not Christ.
Millions of real "evangelicals" will agree with you on that!
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:43 PM   #139
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You are no different. You also are a denomination. Start with yourself. Tear your own church down. Judgment begins with the Recovery.

There is neither anything in the Bible about selling books, selling tennis rackets, selling motor homes, selling seats in trainings, etc. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.

Are not all the denominations also ministries? Then by your own definition, they are not bound by your rules, just like you give LSM a free pass for all of its corruption.
I agree that the denominations are ministries. That is why they often bear the name of their founder. I think the issue is denominations claiming to be churches. When that happens it creates a division. If the LSM claimed to be the true church then that would be an issue. But they have never claimed that. The local churches don't bear the name of their founder.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:15 AM   #140
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I think you are confusing the difference between the foundation of the building which is Christ, and the ground which the building rests upon which is the locality.
No doubt one of us is confused. So the building is the church, the foundation is Christ, and the ground that this all rests on, for eternity, is "locality".

Now a major tenet in WL's and WN's teaching is that you have to buy the ground. Abraham buying the burial plot, David with the Sin and Peace offering, etc.

So then do you agree that the purchase for the ground on which the church is built was Christ's redemption?

This creates a dilemma. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world, yet their is nothing more of this world than the boundaries of worldly cities.

Jesus said to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and to God that which belongs to God. No doubt we have been redeemed by Jesus and we belong to Him. But the land that these cities are built on has been purchased by Caesar and belongs to him.

How can that be? How can Caesar own the land that the church is built on?
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:09 AM   #141
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They can't wait for the service to end so they can get on with "blowing wherever they like".
And the solution is to come under the ministry of the age? Because if you are local, but not kow-towing to the Generals in Anaheim, you're still deemed "not meeting".

The solution is to blow up Christianity, not with another organizational scheme a la Nee & Lee, but "be burning in Spirit". That and love, a little humility in receiving the Lord's speaking in His Body, not despising the gifts of the little ones and exalting the pseudo-Giants, and all that Evangelical dismisses so categorically might be very different.

Might not. But I'll take that chance, over the latest 5 Year Plan from Chairman of the Body.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:50 PM   #142
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And the solution is to come under the ministry of the age? Because if you are local, but not kow-towing to the Generals in Anaheim, you're still deemed "not meeting".

The solution is to blow up Christianity, not with another organizational scheme a la Nee & Lee, but "be burning in Spirit". That and love, a little humility in receiving the Lord's speaking in His Body, not despising the gifts of the little ones and exalting the pseudo-Giants, and all that Evangelical dismisses so categorically might be very different.

Might not. But I'll take that chance, over the latest 5 Year Plan from Chairman of the Body.
I like your idea of blowing up Christianity but by being burning in Spirit.

I wonder if you know which denomination/church you think should or can do that? Is it the ones holding routine church services as they have for the past few hundred years, or is it the ones who actually teach and try to practice being burning in Spirit?
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:44 PM   #143
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Default Re: Do you think Christianity is degraded?

I've heard a lot of folks here in my place disparaging Christianity.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:57 PM   #144
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I've heard a lot of folks here in my place disparaging Christianity.
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
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