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Old 12-01-2011, 06:45 AM   #1
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Default Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

As I go on and discover more and more the riches that God has placed in so many Christian teachers, old and new, I find less and less interest or need to visit Witness Lee's teachings. When I do they sound stranger and stranger. Like others have said, there is so much errant teaching and pure speculation masquerading as revelation mixed in with the good that one must have continual guard up to filter it out.

Here is a classic example from the last chapter of Lee's book A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing (1990 ISBN: 978-0-87083-562-9). First is a paragraph of what I would call "good Lee," an enlightening insight into two aspects of our relationship with God. Lee, with his accountant's mind, was good at this kind of comparison and contrast:

"The Father is both our God and our Father. His being our Father means that we are born of Him. His being our God means that we were created by Him. If we were only created by God but not begotten of Him, we are not in the church. By being born of God we enter into a life relationship and an organic union with Him. First, God created us, and then He begot us. Since we are created by God and born of God, our relationship with Him is twofold. First, we are God’s creatures, and He is our Creator. Then, we are God’s children, and He is our Father. If there were no children of God, there would be no church. We in the church have been both created by God and born of God. Thus, we are created as proper human beings and born as children of God. This is the church."
That's good stuff (although Lee under-emphasized the Biblical matter of adoption.)

Unfortunately, only two paragraphs later "bad Lee" pops out in the following infamous speaking:
"Ultimately, the church is a group of people who are in union with the Triune God and are mingled with the Triune God. The Triune God and the church are four-in-one. Because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all one with the Body of Christ, we may say that the Triune God is now the “four-in-one God.” These four are the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body. The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused." [emphasis added]
That sounds like the carrying-on's of someone who doesn't know when to be quiet. Lee's late-in-life output more and more took on this characteristic of heady metaphysical speculation, as if he felt the need to push the envelope more and more to show he was still receiving "recovered truth."

Should a person risk taking in ideas like the "four-in-one God" in order to obtain the good things Lee has to offer? Why when there are so many decent, healthy and down-to-earth alternatives out there?

LRCers don't care. To them there is no bad Lee, even when he talks nonsense like the "four-in-one God." But more sober-minded people need such a filter, and unfortunately no warning label comes on LSM products.

It appears simply that the average Christian could not safely navigate the whirlpools of bad Lee to find the calm waters of good Lee. Unless someone takes his ministry and reinterprets it with the bad parts removed, it's just difficult to recommend it in any form.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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It appears simply that the average Christian could not safely navigate the whirlpools of bad Lee to find the calm waters of good Lee. Unless someone takes his ministry and reinterprets it with the bad parts removed, it's just difficult to recommend it in any form.
And it's also difficult to imagine that it will ever come close to being mainstream. Some good portions of his ministry will find their way into the teachings of others via circuitous paths, as Nee's did. The Body will simply filter the rest, as it should and always has. But as a whole it will most likely always be considered fringe.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Should a person risk taking in ideas like the "four-in-one God" in order to obtain the good things Lee has to offer? Why when there are so many decent, healthy and down-to-earth alternatives out there?
Igzy,

There are very few people, authors, teachers, ministers, bloggers, and scholars that I agree with 100% on everything they say or teach.

I don't like mushrooms on my pizza either. I can tolerate most other toppings but prefer pepperoni, actually double pepperoni. When I encounter something I do not like I simply flick that topping off and if I think that particular topping spoils the whole pie then I set the whole aside and go to a different pizza.

Now I understand you have a strong aversion to some of Witness Lee's writings and teachings and if the whole is spoiled for some of the toppings then you are right to go elsewhere. Yet some folks happen to like Witness Lee's teachings in whole or in part. That is their right as well.

If you intended to make the case against the whole of Witness Lee's teaching with the example you used you failed to do so. Just because you do not agree or understand what Witness Lee meant does not mean that everyone else should reject it as you have. Until, you can make a scriptural case against the great truth of the Body of Christ then I think the testimony of scripture is sufficient.

So yes, one does not need to accept or reject the whole.

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Old 12-01-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Lee's late-in-life output more and more took on this characteristic of heady metaphysical speculation, as if he felt the need to push the envelope more and more to show he was still receiving "recovered truth."

Should a person risk taking in ideas like the "four-in-one God" in order to obtain the good things Lee has to offer? Why when there are so many decent, healthy and down-to-earth alternatives out there?
WL had the character trait that only wanted to hear positive feedback. Hence, over time he became surrounded by handlers who only sang his praises. He had no contemporaries to balance his teachings, which continually pushed the envelope to new limits. This danger exists with all Christian leaders, though unfortunately, when it comes to their own ministries, they just can't see the impending pitfalls.

Another self-created booby-trap is the recovery theme. Though I do agree with some elements of the notion of "recovery," it placed demands of WL to always come up with new lights and insights for his lackeys to "ooh and aah" over. The "four-in-one-God" was one such development. To the LC faithful, this is just a "natural progression of the N.T. revelation," but to real students of the Bible, this sounds alarms.

Personally, I like threads like this because it seems to follow the thought of Paul's admonishment in Hebrews 5.14, but these forums seem to have little tolerance for this strain of thought, as was again evidenced with the recent debate and subsequent departure of ZNP. Perhaps with all of Igzy's vast linguistic skills, he can succeed where others have failed.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Here is a classic example from the last chapter of Lee's book A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing (1990 ISBN: 978-0-87083-562-9). First is a paragraph of what I would call "good Lee," an enlightening insight into two aspects of our relationship with God. Lee, with his accountant's mind, was good at this kind of comparison and contrast:
"The Father is both our God and our Father. His being our Father means that we are born of Him. His being our God means that we were created by Him. If we were only created by God but not begotten of Him, we are not in the church. By being born of God we enter into a life relationship and an organic union with Him. First, God created us, and then He begot us. Since we are created by God and born of God, our relationship with Him is twofold. First, we are God’s creatures, and He is our Creator. Then, we are God’s children, and He is our Father. If there were no children of God, there would be no church. We in the church have been both created by God and born of God. Thus, we are created as proper human beings and born as children of God. This is the church."
I'll stop there.

I will agree that this could be good. But let me suggest why even this "good Lee" may be off-the-mark.

When he says "If we were only created by God but not begotten of Him, we are not in the church" I think he has said something that may or may not actually be true, but based on the revelation available, cannot be asserted in such a manner.

Why? Because there are many aspects of the church. And there is the notion of being begotten. But it is not simply any one thing that is the reason we are the church or that without that aspect in the way Lee taught it there would be no church.

What is the church? It is many things. The gathering, assembly of believers. It is the body of Christ. It is many things. But nowhere is it stated that being "begotten of God" is a requirement for being in the church. Unless we are going to note that those that are truly what evangelicals commonly called "saved" are, by definition, begotten of God.

Now, as someone has pointed out, Lee does not entirely ignore the basic process of salvation. But do we think that when he says "begotten of God" here, he simply means anyone who is simply saved?

And I think that the answer is in the rest of his speaking/writing. If the church is "a group of people who are in union with the Triune God and are mingled with the Triune God" then we have to know what it is that he says is "in union with" and "mingled with" the Triune God. And there is much more than "begetting" (in the sense of salvation) in Lee's version of "union" and "mingled." It takes much more.

It takes being "practically" joined with a certain kind of outward church. You can't just argue that we are the church. You are only really the church if you are practically meeting on the ground of locality. And so many additional requirements. Like accepting the teachings coming from the LSM. Agreeing wholeheartedly with every teaching in that great body of work. Establishing a standing order for a preset amount of regularly-generated new materials.

Yes. Begetting sounds so good. But even if he only means "saved" when he says it, he has then withheld materially important information about what else you need to be "in the church." It is a little like accepting that some religious nut (any type) says that the USA is correctly a country in the northern half of the Western Hemisphere, but then goes on to claim that it is illegitimate because it is not entirely following the OT law of God, or Sharia (sp?) law. Yes, the first part is correct. But they want to add provisos according to their own imagination as to what is truly correct.

So, unless you are going to read Lee like fortune cookies and be sure to only read the good ones (and never even get a hint of the caveats, exceptions, provisos, quid pro quos in other of his cookies) then you are best off to avoid even the supposedly good cookies. Once you read a bad one (and don't know it) how do you separate the good from the bad when you discover that you've been reading (and eating) a mixture of good and bad cookies?
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Igzy,
There are very few people, authors, teachers, ministers, bloggers, and scholars that I agree with 100% on everything they say or teach.
So yes, one does not need to accept or reject the whole.
Cassidy,

Thanks for the response. Firstly, part of the problem with Lee's ministry is that there are so many questionable "toppings" that flicking all the potential bad ones off in order to get the good ones is a non-trivial challenge, even for those with solid theological backgrounds. If someone orders a pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, anchovies, pineapple, artichoke and jalapenos you'd probably wait for the next round rather than try pick off all the toppings you don't like. It's a matter of playing the percentages.

Secondly, I'm a pretty smart guy and I studied Lee for a long time. And I still don't know what the four-in-one God thing was really about. I have to believe few others really do either. Adding a "person" to the Godhead is just heresy plain and simple. The argument that Lee was on some higher plane that we can't understand is bogus and it actually makes my point--that some of his stuff is not fit for general consumption, due to the high possibility of misunderstanding. (Or perhaps the danger is someone will understand it, who knows?)

Thirdly, I didn't realize it was an option in the LRC to "remove toppings" from Lee's pizza. I thought you had to eat the whole thing or be deemed out of whack with the ministry of the age and the up-to-date move of God. After all, isn't that what the one publication thing was about?

Lastly, I was not attempting to make an argument that Lee should be avoided at all costs. I was just attempting to start a discussion on the challenges of taking in his ministry.

Your response sort of sounds like that of people who argue that riding a motorcycle without a helmet is up to discretion of the individual. It is, but that doesn't make doing it the smartest thing in the world, at least without fully understanding the dangers. Make no mistake, there are dangers with Lee's ministry. I experienced them firsthand.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

Cassidy,

You are correct that it is entirely everyone's personal right to take all, most, some, little, or none of Lee. But the concern is that if there truly are problems intertwined in the good, then are we to presume that those who see (or think they see) it simply keep quiet?

I'm not suggesting that you do or don't see it. Or that you do or don't agree. I'm not talking about you. Just the discussion about having this discussion.

But just as those who want to take it all have the right to take everything Lee said without a second thought, do others who think there is a legitimate reason to be concerned about that have no right to speak out?

It is almost the worst kind of postmodern "it's right for me" approach to claim that everyone can think what they want, but they should simply keep it to themselves — except for me because mine is not only right for me, but for you too.

I know that it is possible to assert that I/we are just doing that when we speak out against Lee. But we don't start with the presumption that we are simply right and only those who agree should speak. We think that there are legitimate cases to be made from scripture, so we make them. If someone can make the counter argument successfully, then we have reason to reconsider. Most of us got here by doing exactly that. We began to take in legitimate spiritual/scriptural data not pre/re-arranged by Nee, Lee, and the BBs/LSM and determined that the direct sources did not always agree with Lee. For some of us, we concluded that there was good reason to even get our good teachings somewhere else.

My take is that there is too much of a "package deal" in Lee's teachings to presume that hardly anyone will not either accept it all (at some level) or reject him altogether. He makes each piece fit with the next piece that ultimately brings the whole dispensing, ground, MOTA, Spiritual Authority thing to bear.

It is very difficult to cherry-pick Lee. It's not obviously good and bad fruit hanging in open view on a tree. It is a grey mixture of things mixed together in a lump of dough, a pot of thrice-reheated lentil soup, or stew. I will show my true colors and conclude that if you can find a clean, isolated, good teaching (meaning that two paragraphs later it is not altered beyond recognition) it is like an effort in dumpster diving. A needle in a haystack. It is so seldom that neatly separated from the junk and therefore even the good becomes questionable once the message is over.

When I read people that generate that kind of junk, I do it for something much less important that my primary theology and doctrines. It might be like taking the IRS position on something (contrary to what you think is correct) just to be sure that you have thought of everything. That is the highest place I give Lee. A source of alternate thought to at least consider rather than simply rejecting without a thought. Like Lee says to do with his teachings — accept them without a critical thought.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Personally, I like threads like this because it seems to follow the thought of Paul's admonishment in Hebrews 5.14, but these forums seem to have little tolerance for this strain of thought, as was again evidenced with the recent debate and subsequent departure of ZNP. Perhaps with all of Igzy's vast linguistic skills, he can succeed where others have failed.
Not to take this thread off track (God forbid), but Ohio could you please tell us how ZNP’s thread could be compared to this thread. How was “the strain of thought” in ZNP’s thread anything close to what we see here? ZNP all but admitted it was a kind of litmus test to see if some of us would see the error of our ways in “judging Witness Lee’s person” and “speaking evil of a brother”. When pressed to tell us what he meant or give concrete examples he passed on the chance by throwing out red herrings or putting forth arguments that were largely disconnected from the matter at hand. When pressed further he simply chose to withdraw. The bottom line is that ZNP, bless his heart, feels that the criticisms of Witness Lee are too harsh here on the Forum. This is all well and good. His voice is a good as anybody else’s. But the thread he started was not a genuine attempt at mutual discussions, but rather a not-so-veiled attempt to silence them, or at least redirect and/or distract. This is where, as the administrator, I have to step in and “defend” the Forum.

ZNP is a valued member of the forum as far as I’m concerned. I hope we will still hear from him. What he must understand is that what we are doing here has nothing to do with questioning Witness Lee’s salvation or “standing before the Lord”. There are “judgments” that the Lord has reserved for Himself at the Day of Judgment, and I think most of us have been around long enough to know what those are. The Word actually spells these judgments out for us. There are also “judgments” that we believers have been entrusted with, here on earth, here in the age of the church. I think we should be bold and not despise the trust that the Lord has entrusted us with. I am afraid that we abdicated this trust when we were in the Local Church. This was to the detriment of our souls and to the well-being of our families.

Now all this being said, I wholeheartedly agree that Igzy has started a very well thought out thread. Let’s dig in!
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Until, you can make a scriptural case against the great truth of the Body of Christ then I think the testimony of scripture is sufficient.
Nowhere does the testimony of Scripture on the Body of Christ necessitate the conclusion that the Church becomes part of God to the point that we can equate the Body with the Persons of the Godhead.

The Body of Christ teaching is about two things. (1) We are the extension of Christ to do his work on Earth, and (2) Each member has a place and purpose in the Body and those differ.

There is no implication that we must "go" to the idea that the Body means we are now part of God. To say so is just speculation, it's not scripture.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Here is a classic example from the last chapter of Lee's book A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing (1990 ISBN: 978-0-87083-562-9). First is a paragraph of what I would call "good Lee," an enlightening insight into two aspects of our relationship with God. Lee, with his accountant's mind, was good at this kind of comparison and contrast:
"The Father is both our God and our Father. His being our Father means that we are born of Him. His being our God means that we were created by Him. If we were only created by God but not begotten of Him, we are not in the church. By being born of God we enter into a life relationship and an organic union with Him. First, God created us, and then He begot us. Since we are created by God and born of God, our relationship with Him is twofold. First, we are God’s creatures, and He is our Creator. Then, we are God’s children, and He is our Father. If there were no children of God, there would be no church. We in the church have been both created by God and born of God. Thus, we are created as proper human beings and born as children of God. This is the church."

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I will agree that this could be good. But let me suggest why even this "good Lee" may be off-the-mark. When he says "If we were only created by God but not begotten of Him, we are not in the church" I think he has said something that may or may not actually be true, but based on the revelation available, cannot be asserted in such a manner.

Why? Because there are many aspects of the church. And there is the notion of being begotten. But it is not simply any one thing that is the reason we are the church or that without that aspect in the way Lee taught it there would be no church.
This is a distinct example of how one can be so much against WL, that he is willing to alter the basic truths of the Bible in order to reject every statement Lee has ever made.

How can one be part of the church, if not begotten of God? Is that not what tares are -- part of the church, but not born of God? Which aspect of the church includes the un-regenerated?

These are the kind of basic frustrations that ex-members face when visiting this forum. Many Bible teachers, apart from WL, have made similar statements as that which Igzy has quoted above. I certainly have no problem with it. If OBW's pastor had said it, he would have received it without hesitation.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:52 PM   #11
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This is a distinct example of how one can be so much against WL, that he is willing to alter the basic truths of the Bible in order to reject every statement Lee has ever made.

How can one be part of the church, if not begotten of God? Is that not what tares are -- part of the church, but not born of God? Which aspect of the church includes the un-regenerated?

These are the kind of basic frustrations that ex-members face when visiting this forum. Many Bible teachers, apart from WL, have made similar statements as that which Igzy has quoted above. I certainly have no problem with it. If OBW's pastor had said it, he would have received it without hesitation.
Actually how I read OBW's comment is that there is more to being the church then being begotten. And I would further suggest that "being begotten" needs finer definition. Does knocking on a door, reading the Mystery of Human Life to someone, having them say a canned prayer and baptizing them in their bath tub = they are begotten? Is that the magic formula?

But setting this aside if Witness Lee were honest he would say: if you are not in an LSM based church you are not part of the church because this is what he believed and practiced and passed on to the Blendeds. Thus the idea that they speak for "the Body" when quarantining Titus Chu, etc. regardless of what the Church in Cleveland says about it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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This is a distinct example of how one can be so much against WL, that he is willing to alter the basic truths of the Bible in order to reject every statement Lee has ever made.

How can one be part of the church, if not begotten of God? Is that not what tares are -- part of the church, but not born of God? Which aspect of the church includes the un-regenerated?

These are the kind of basic frustrations that ex-members face when visiting this forum. Many Bible teachers, apart from WL, have made similar statements as that which Igzy has quoted above. I certainly have no problem with it. If OBW's pastor had said it, he would have received it without hesitation.
I tend to agree with Ohio. The first section of Lee's about God being God and Father is pretty innocuous. To say we need to be born again to be in the Church does not imply that we don't also need to be chosen, called-out, redeemed, sanctified, and everything else being brought into the Church implies. "Born again" plainly implies all that as well in Lee's theology.

Lee is clearly making the distinction between just being a creation and being a new creation. You cannot be a member of the Church spiritually without being a new creation, which means being born again. And you can't be born again without be chosen, called-out, redeemed, etc, etc. God can be your God if you are not born again, but he can't be your Father unless you are born again.

As with children, it's best to pick your battles. Don't make everything a fight or you might end up losing the war.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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I tend to agree with Ohio. The first section of Lee's about God being God and Father is pretty innocuous. To say we need to be born again to be in the Church does not imply that we don't also need to be chosen, called-out, redeemed, sanctified, and everything else being brought into the Church implies. "Born again" plainly implies all that as well in Lee's theology.

As with children, it's best to pick your battles. Don't make everything a fight or you might end up losing the war.
Leaving aside the analogy to "fighting battles and winning wars," are we not attempting to positively affect those in the LC's? How can LC members hear our many legitimate concerns, when we also undermine what they rightfully hold dear? Must we not limit our "concerns" to those instances where LSM ventures beyond the boundaries of scripture? Are not we also compelled by scripture to afford our LC brethren every liberty within the limits of the Bible?

I am convinced that if we do not actively chart this course of action, then all the LC members we face will only fortify their strongholds. That's exactly what I did.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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If you intended to make the case against the whole of Witness Lee's teaching with the example you used you failed to do so. Just because you do not agree or understand what Witness Lee meant does not mean that everyone else should reject it as you have. Until, you can make a scriptural case against the great truth of the Body of Christ then I think the testimony of scripture is sufficient.

So yes, one does not need to accept or reject the whole.
Cassidy, the phrase "three-in-one," while not being scriptural per se, has long been accepted by the orthodox church as a description of the mystery of our God -- Father, Son, and Spirit. To now apply this to the present day body of Christ, using the expression "four-in-one," is a stretch of hyperbole no Christian scholar is willing to make. The Bible frankly does not say it, so why should we? Does not the Bible provide us with enough fellowship and teaching concerning God Himself, that we need not add to the Bible, especially those phrases fraught with danger?

I was under the teachings of WL for three decades. I surely know what WL meant.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #15
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Cassidy, the phrase "three-in-one," while not being scriptural per se, has long been accepted by the orthodox church as a description of the mystery of our God -- Father, Son, and Spirit. To now apply this to the present day body of Christ, using the expression "four-in-one," is a stretch of hyperbole no Christian scholar is willing to make. The Bible frankly does not say it, so why should we? Does not the Bible provide us with enough fellowship and teaching concerning God Himself, that we need not add to the Bible, especially those phrases fraught with danger?

I was under the teachings of WL for three decades. I surely know what WL meant.
Okay Ohio, then what did he mean by 4-in-1?

Are you saying Witness Lee taught the Body was in the Godhead? I would object to that.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:22 PM   #16
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Nowhere does the testimony of Scripture on the Body of Christ necessitate the conclusion that the Church becomes part of God to the point that we can equate the Body with the Persons of the Godhead.
I agree.

Yet, where did Witness Lee conclude that the Church as a 4th Person becomes part of the Godhead?
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:17 PM   #17
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Okay Ohio, then what did he mean by 4-in-1?

Are you saying Witness Lee taught the Body was in the Godhead? I would object to that.

Cassidy
What WL taught was that the body is in God and that God is in the body just as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. I agree with everything except this phrase "just as." Once WL used this phrase "just as," and others like it, then the next step or two was to use the phrase "four-in-one." Do you see how each of these "baby steps" leads to a conclusion which appears scriptural, yet is not? This is the danger in basing your theology on "inference" and not on the plain words of scripture.

Once the expression "four-in-one" is used, most readers then consider that the body is "in the Godhead," even if WL says it is not. WL uses similar logic to imply that we are made god. Even though he adds caveats about the Godhead, he still says that we are "made god." This is another wrong step of inference. Yes ... "God became man," and yes ... we have the divine life, and yes ... we partake of the divine nature, but no ... we cannot infer by these, that we are "made god." The Bible never says that. It is these "leaps of inference" in WL's teachings that cause us so much concern.

In the early days of the Recovery, WL would speak about returning to the "pure word of God." He also said we have no need for "systematized theology." I still agree with these. This return to the "pure word of God," brought much blessing to the children of God, including those in the Recovery. Unfortunately, this practice has changed over the years. Now in the Recovery, returning to the "pure word of God" is looked upon with suspicion. That should tell you a lot.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:31 PM   #18
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What WL taught was that the body is in God and that God is in the body just as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. I agree with everything except this phrase "just as."
Then what did the Lord Jesus mean when He said:

John 17: 20-22

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:04 PM   #19
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Then what did the Lord Jesus mean when He said:

John 17: 20-22

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
Good question. This oneness in mysterious.

WL thought he had the answer, but he could not be "one" with any other Christians. In fact, he couldn't be one with brothers like John Ingalls, who was with him for years and years. John Nelson Darby also thought he had the same answers, but he and his followers couldn't get along with anyone either. What kind of oneness condemns all others and can't get along with the brothers next to you?

The Bible says that we should prove all things, to try them by testing. The Bible also tells us to know them by their fruit. Some of WL's teachings and conclusions I just could not unravel myself. I have rejected them because they are not Biblical and they bore bad fruit. I could not reject them because they sounded "bad." Actually many of WL's teachings sounded "good," but that is not the true test we should apply to them.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:26 PM   #20
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Good question. This oneness in mysterious.
Well then Ohio, if this "just as" and "even as we" spoken of by Jesus concerning the oneness between the Father, the Son, and the believers is mysterious then it is understandable why the statement "just as" from Witness Lee will also appear mysterious to you since John 17 is part of the whole line of his teaching on this topic.

But you said you understood what Witness Lee's teachings being a part of the group for decades. Somewhere there was a deviation from your understanding of his teachings on this particular topic else you would have been able to reconcile the 4-in-1 statement with John 17: 20-22 and done so effortlessly without any concern about the scriptural integrity of the teaching, and the words "just as" would not have been the point of disagreement.

In my view, "just as" is mysterious but knowable, profound yet a reality, counter-intuitive to the mind yet to be experienced.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #21
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Well then Ohio, if this "just as" and "even as we" spoken of by Jesus concerning the oneness between the Father, the Son, and the believers is mysterious then it is understandable why the statement "just as" from Witness Lee will also appear mysterious to you since John 17 is part of the whole line of his teaching on this topic.

But you said you understood what Witness Lee's teachings being a part of the group for decades. Somewhere there was a deviation from your understanding of his teachings on this particular topic else you would have been able to reconcile the 4-in-1 statement with John 17: 20-22 and done so effortlessly without any concern about the scriptural integrity of the teaching, and the words "just as" would not have been the point of disagreement.

In my view, "just as" is mysterious but knowable, profound yet a reality, counter-intuitive to the mind yet to be experienced.
Dear Cassidy, the "deviation" as you label it, occurred as I explained in my other posts.

Regardless of how "effortlessly" these teachings should be "reconciled," without our concerns about their "spiritual integrity," these teachings and their teacher still need to pass certain biblical tests. I already had given WL and his ministry every benefit of the doubt for close to thirty years. No one could question my devotedness nor my loyalty to the ministry of WL and the cause of the Recovery. The real "deviation" in any of WL's teachings has to be weighed against the scripture.

Regardless of how good and how convincing and how effortlessly the teachings of any minister seem to "reconcile," they must be compared to scripture and they must be evaluated by the scriptural tests afforded to us. I noticed that you sideswiped the comments which I had made about these "tests." Perhaps it would be wise for you to consider them.

WL draws some conclusions here, but we must evaluate the hypocrisy that surrounded him and his ministry. If he is going to teach something new in the way of recovery, shouldn't his ministry also exemplify that teaching? The Apostle Paul was our pattern in this regard. He did help to clarify the teachings of the new Covenant, but he also was a pattern of God's love and righteousness. He was not like the "many" peddling the word of God.

In this regard, WL failed miserably. He taught us something new and something higher about "oneness" from John 17, yet nothing at LSM matched this "oneness." By condemning all of Christianity, and promoting his "high peak teachings," he set himself up as a pattern. He was forced to live a higher standard. His integrity, or lack thereof, was on full display. These are the tests the Bible provides. How can I continue to hold onto all of WL's special teachings about "oneness," when both he and his closest adherents continually violated these special teachings?
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:51 AM   #22
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This is a distinct example of how one can be so much against WL, that he is willing to alter the basic truths of the Bible in order to reject every statement Lee has ever made.

How can one be part of the church, if not begotten of God? Is that not what tares are -- part of the church, but not born of God? Which aspect of the church includes the un-regenerated?

These are the kind of basic frustrations that ex-members face when visiting this forum. Many Bible teachers, apart from WL, have made similar statements as that which Igzy has quoted above. I certainly have no problem with it. If OBW's pastor had said it, he would have received it without hesitation.
There you go again.

I would suggest that you did not read all of my post and understand it in full, but instead took a single "cookie" of the text and made it into something that stood alone. If all I had wanted to say was that you didn't have to be begotten of God (in the sense of salvation) to be in the church, I would have stopped after that opening point.

But further on I admitted that if all Lee meant was to say that you have to be saved to be in the church, then that was good. But if that was the case, then you wouldn't find that garbage only two paragraphs later. And if I were trying to find the good in Lee, I wouldn't need to go to the last chapter of some book, and read only one paragraph and stop reading. I wouldn't need to be careful that the importance of being begotten was to be essentially cast aside and an overlay of becoming part of the Trinity (the Quadrinity?) made to be the important thing about the church.

Do you think that Christianity is considered to be part of that Quadrinity in the understanding of the majority of the LRC faithful as the result of hearing or reading that particular portion? Since virtually nothing of Lee is ever just written, but first spoken, do you think that those that heard that message went away impressed by the fact that since they are begotten of God, they are in the church? I really don't think so. Just as Lee probably said that one sentence because he knew he had to, then spent the rest of the time talking about other things, the popcorn testimonies afterward, along with the talk at the dinner table the next day, was probably about being part of the Quadrinity.

My point was that the only truly sound thing in his statement was a warm-up for the second act. He didn't write the chapter to tell us that we needed to be begotten of God to be in the church. He said we need to be begotten of God to slide the obviously correct in ahead of the questionable so they could go down together. Like the little pill pockets we put medicine in for our 15-year-old Chihuahua so he won't try to spit it out.

And if the "medicine" was really good for us, then that might be fine. (I'm still not sure that tricking anyone into believing even something true is a good thing.) But we are not talking about medicine. We are talking about putting a bunch of some non-nutritive, inorganic substance into just enough food that you will take it, then become convinced that the non-nutritive portion is the most important part.

Once you do that, then your very correct statement about needing to be begotten of God becomes almost irrelevant. So if you had read the whole thing as a package, you might have realized that I did not intend to suggest that Lee's one good statement, if taken alone, might not actually be good. Rather that it was part of a larger context in which its correctness became secondary to the garbage that it was being asked to support and convey.

As for what I think about the ones who teach at my church, including the senior pastor, I can assure you that I take exception to things they say all the time. I can give a specific example from the most recent sermon. My wife and I both considered it to be a very incorrect interpretation of scripture. But it did not teach anyone to feel superior, or to ignore righteousness.

The spiritual and moral significance of the things I take exception to from my current sources are in a completely different league from what I keep seeing here and recalling from my days in the LRC. I never heard all of Lee's teachings. I never read all of his books, even when there weren't as many. But the things that stand out in my mind from the time that I heard or read any of it back in the 70s and 80s are not the things that I want to be holding onto today. I don't recall much of the simple gospel, but rather the uber-wows of being God's chosen ones standing in for the majority of poor,poor Christianity that was all going to spend 1,000 years in a little dark closet.

Please read my posts as a unit, not like verses of scripture, all broken into discreet snippets to be understood alone. I do not say that the snippet Lee said was wrong. I say that contextually its correctness was misused and even lost in a sea of incorrectness. It becomes a lost ingredient in warmed over lentil soup.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:23 AM   #23
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Okay Ohio, then what did he mean by 4-in-1?

Are you saying Witness Lee taught the Body was in the Godhead? I would object to that.

Cassidy
Then he shouldn't have used the term "four-in-one God." Because everyone agrees that "three-in-one" is talking about the Godhead. That's the point of reference. So it's logical for readers to presume that "four-in-one" is talking about the Godhead as well. The phrase implies adding a Fourth that gains the status of the original Three. Otherwise, why use the phrase in the first place?

Saying later that the Body doesn't become part of the Godhead doesn't fix the problem, because then people become confused as to just what "four-in-one God" means.

It's like if Lee would say because kids eat a lot of candy that candy is now the "fifth food group." The original four food groups (meat, grain, dairy, fruit/veggies) are supposed to be the healthy essential foods. So then people would ask "oh, so you are saying candy is now a healthy, essential food group?" To which you would answer if you responded like you did here "When did Lee say that?"

The point is Lee should have never used the term "four-in-one God" and it certainly shouldn't have been published. Since he did, my case is made. It's a loose, confusing and dangerous speaking. Man becoming God falls into the same category.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:27 AM   #24
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Dear Cassidy, the "deviation" as you label it, occurred as I explained in my other posts.

Regardless of how "effortlessly" these teachings should be "reconciled," without our concerns about their "spiritual integrity," these teachings and their teacher still need to pass certain biblical tests. I already had given WL and his ministry every benefit of the doubt for close to thirty years. No one could question my devotedness nor my loyalty to the ministry of WL and the cause of the Recovery. The real "deviation" in any of WL's teachings has to be weighed against the scripture.
I agree wholeheartedly Ohio and that is why I said "scriptural integrity", not "spiritual integrity" as you say above.

You said your point of departure with Witness Lee was his use of the term "just as" when referring to the oneness between the Father, Son and his believers. I call your attention to the Lord Jesus' use of the same term to describe the oneness in John 17 and you characterize it as "mysterious". Indeed it is, nevertheless established by His speaking.

Therefore, if your issue is with the term "just as" then you need to blame Jesus (or at least mention it to him ) for using ambiguous terms to describe this mystery.

I actually thought your issue with describing the oneness between the believers and God would not be with "just as" since that is the exact term used by Jesus, but rather your issue would be with "4-in-1".

"Just as" has not only scriptural integrity it is scripture verbatim.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:34 AM   #25
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There you go again.

My point was that the only truly sound thing in his statement was a warm-up for the second act. He didn't write the chapter to tell us that we needed to be begotten of God to be in the church. He said we need to be begotten of God to slide the obviously correct in ahead of the questionable so they could go down together. Like the little pill pockets we put medicine in for our 15-year-old Chihuahua so he won't try to spit it out.
Well, now you are ascribing motive. And whether you are right or not doesn't change the fact that Lee mixed the good with the bad, which was my point and I think we can agree on that common denominator.

Why he did it is another matter. I'm sure he thought everything he said was true. He likely didn't say to himself "I'm going to speak this orthodox thing so that I can catch them off guard with the junk." Although that was the net effect whether he intended it or not.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:38 AM   #26
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"Just as" has not only scriptural integrity it is scripture verbatim.
Right, but "just as" cannot mean just as in every way. Proof of that is that the way the Father and Son mutual indwell each other is as two eternal fully divine beings from eternity to eternity.

We cannot participate in that "just as" fashion. So that puts a kink in your thesis.

Likely what the Lord meant is we enjoy a spiritual union with the Godhead which allows us to experience the same type fellowship They do. There is no need to extrapolate it to the nth degree as you do. "Just as" cannot mean "just as in every way."
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:49 AM   #27
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I agree wholeheartedly Ohio and that is why I said "scriptural integrity", not "spiritual integrity" as you say above.
Sorry about the error. My mistake.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:49 AM   #28
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Then he shouldn't have used the term "four-in-one God." Because everyone agrees that "three-in-one" is talking about the Godhead. That's the point of reference. So it's logical for readers to presume that "four-in-one" is talking about the Godhead as well. The phrase implies adding a Fourth that gains the status of the original Three. Otherwise, why use the phrase in the first place.

Saying later that the Body doesn't become part of the Godhead doesn't fix the problem, because then people become confused as to just what "four-in-one God" means.

It's like if Lee would say because kids eat a lot of candy that candy is now the "fifth food group." The original four food groups (meat, grain, dairy, fruit/veggies) are supposed to be the healthy essential foods. So then people would ask "oh, so you are saying candy is now a healthy, essential food group?" To which you would answer if you responded like you did here "When did Lee say that?"

The point is Lee should have never used the term "four-in-one" God and it certainly shouldn't have been published. Since he did, my case is made. It's a loose, confusing and dangerous speaking. Man becoming God falls into the same category.
Okay Igzy, I understand how the term four-in-one might lead some to believe it is in reference to the Godhead, in isolation. But even the quote you provided in the base note it is clear he did not mean that.

Is your issue that there is no such four-in-one entity? Or is your issue that Witness Lee was careless in his use of term "four-in-one"?
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:58 AM   #29
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I actually thought your issue with describing the oneness between the believers and God would not be with "just as" since that is the exact term used by Jesus, but rather your issue would be with "4-in-1".

"Just as" has not only scriptural integrity it is scripture verbatim.
Actually the Bible says "even as."
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #30
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Right, but "just as" cannot mean just as in every way. Proof of that is that the way the Father and Son mutual indwell each other is as two eternal fully divine beings from eternity to eternity.

We cannot participate in that "just as" fashion. So that puts a kink in your thesis.

Likely what the Lord meant is we enjoy a spiritual union with the Godhead which allows us to experience the same type fellowship They do. There is no need to extrapolate it to the nth degree as you do. "Just as" cannot mean "just as in every way."
I have no thesis, Igzy. Jesus said "just as" so it is "just as". We can choose to ignore that or we can determine what he meant. Witness Lee said this way according to your base note:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused."

How could it be more plain? How would you describe it?
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:07 AM   #31
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Okay Igzy, I understand how the term four-in-one might lead some to believe it is in reference to the Godhead, in isolation. But even the quote you provided in the base note it is clear he did not mean that.
I disagree with your statement that it is "clear" that he did not mean the Body is part of the Godhead? How is it clear? What "base note" are you talking about?


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Is your issue that there is no such four-in-one entity? Or is your issue that Witness Lee was careless in his use of term "four-in-one"?
The latter. But that being the case, I have issue with using the phrase "four-in-one" in any sense. There is no "four-in-one" entity in which all aspects are part of the Godhead, therefore using the phrase four-in-one is reckless, because it clearly references three-in-one.

Let's face it. Using the term "four-in-one" was meant to get a response of that in some fashion the Body is elevated to the level of God. I think we need to be very careful when we start swallowing that kind of stuff because the fact is the Bible doesn't not plainly give is authority to do that. Why would the Bible be coy about our "becoming God" if it were indeed true? Why wouldn't it just come out and say it?

Since declaring oneself God is a form of blasphemy, I think I need more that just a indirect possible implication of it before I start announcing it to the world, if it's all the same to you, thank you very much.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:15 AM   #32
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Actually the Bible says "even as."
The greek word is kathos translated: as, just as, even as, according as, like as; depending on translation version.

I quoted ESV which uses "just as" in the first instance and "even as" in the second.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:18 AM   #33
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I disagree with your statement that it is "clear" that he did not mean the Body is part of the Godhead? How is it clear? What "base note" are you talking about?
I provided the quote from your base note. Here it is again:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused."


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Old 12-02-2011, 07:29 AM   #34
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I have no thesis, Igzy. Jesus said "just as" so it is "just as". We can choose to ignore that or we can determine what he meant. Witness Lee said this way according to your base note:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused."

How could it be more plain? How would you describe it?
I'd would stop short of saying the Body becomes part of God.

LRC logic makes a habit of jumping to tenuous conclusions, of reductio ad absurdum, of misusing logic.

Here's an analogous example of the type of logic Lee and his followers indulge in on a regular basis: I am a man, but I'm also a woman. How? Because I am joined to my wife and am one flesh with her, therefore I also have a woman's body. So I am a woman, too.

This is the same type logic the LRC uses when it says stuff like "we have God's life and nature therefore we become God." It's just invalid reasoning and speaking.

Since you have never learned to think critically about Lee's teaching, but have been trained to accept it and defend it, it's hard for you to see that.

Put another way, if Lee was a comedian instead of a teacher, you would all be laughing at some of his more extreme jokes, but no one else would be. No one else would think they were funny. And when you explained why they were funny people might say, "that doesn't make sense" or "that's in bad taste." To which you would answer, "But can't you see if you look at it like this, and hold your head like that, and flap your arms, that on Tuesdays it might be funny?" To which they might answer, "Uh, maybe..." To which you would say, "See? They can't prove those jokes aren't funny!"
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #35
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Here is WL's quote:
Quote:
"Ultimately, the church is a group of people who are in union with the Triune God and are mingled with the Triune God. The Triune God and the church are four-in-one. Because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all one with the Body of Christ, we may say that the Triune God is now the “four-in-one God.” These four are the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body. The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused."
WL says "the Triune God is now the “four-in-one God.” WL is saying "the body is God." That is an undeniable conclusion of his statements here. Does this not blow your fuses Cassidy? Did you read that? Then you attempt to derail this thread by nit-picking "just as, even as, like as, etc."

Anyways, if you are enamored by these statements, that is your choice, and the liberty you have. The facts of history tell us that some of these so-called "high peak truths" really were diversionary in nature. They were simply smokescreen to divert the attention of the LC's away from the chaotic events surrounding Anaheim, with the subsequent quarantines.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:42 AM   #36
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The greek word is kathos translated: as, just as, even as, according as, like as; depending on translation version.

I quoted ESV which uses "just as" in the first instance and "even as" in the second.
So "just as" could simply mean "similar." It doesn't necessarily mean "identical."
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:46 AM   #37
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I'd would stop short of saying the Body becomes part of God.

LRC logic makes a habit of jumping to tenuous conclusions, of reductio ad absurdum, of misusing logic.

Here's an analogous example of the type of logic Lee and his followers indulge in on a regular basis: I am a man, but I'm also a woman. How? Because I am joined to my wife and am one flesh with her, therefore I also have a woman's body. So I am a woman, too.

This is the same type logic the LRC uses when it says stuff like "we have God's life and nature therefore we become God." It's just invalid reasoning and speaking.

Since you have never learned to think critically about Lee's teaching, but have been trained to accept it and defend it, it's hard for you to see that.

Put another way, if Lee was a comedian instead of a teacher, you would all be laughing at some of his more extreme jokes, but no one else would be. No one else would think they were funny. And when you explained why they were funny people might say, "that doesn't make sense" or "that's in bad taste." To which you would answer, "But can't you see if you look at it like this, and hold your head like that, and flap your arms, that on Tuesdays it might be funny?" To which they might answer, "Uh, maybe..." To which you would say, "See? They can't prove those jokes aren't funny!"
You are filtering Witness Lee's teaching on this topic through your definitions and when it does not match you object that he is the one with the faulty understanding.

Both parts of this statement is accurate and maintain scriptural integrity:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused."

You apparently do not agree the second but do you agree with the first?
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:50 AM   #38
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So "just as" could simply mean "similar." It doesn't necessarily mean "identical."
Provide some scriptural evidence for this argument.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:51 AM   #39
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You are filtering Witness Lee's teaching on this topic through your definitions and when it does not match you object that he is the one with the faulty understanding.

Both parts of this statement is accurate:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused."

You apparently do not agree the second but do you agree with the first?
As long as "four-in-one" means "four-in-one God" I disagree with it, yes. And Lee already established that when he says "four-in-one" he means "four-in-one God." The Body isn't God.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:53 AM   #40
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Provide some scriptural evidence for this argument.
I'm going by the definition you gave. One of the definitions was "like as." That means "similar."

Please stop littering the thread with questions you already know the answer to if you read my posts.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:59 AM   #41
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You are filtering Witness Lee's teaching on this topic through your definitions and when it does not match you object that he is the one with the faulty understanding.
My knowledge isn't in a vacuum. My conclusion is that Lee was mistaken, yes. A lot of people who are smarter than me agree. Should I believe them or Lee? If so, why?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:18 AM   #42
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Here is WL's quote:


WL says "the Triune God is now the “four-in-one God.” WL is saying "the body is God." That is an undeniable conclusion of his statements here. Does this not blow your fuses Cassidy? Did you read that? Then you attempt to derail this thread by nit-picking "just as, even as, like as, etc."

Anyways, if you are enamored by these statements, that is your choice, and the liberty you have. The facts of history tell us that some of these so-called "high peak truths" really were diversionary in nature. They were simply smokescreen to divert the attention of the LC's away from the chaotic events surrounding Anaheim, with the subsequent quarantines.
Whether I am enamored with such statements is irrelevant. Whether such statements are valid or true or accurate according to the scriptures is relevant. Orthodox christians believe in the Trinity and use that term to describe God yet that term was not used until AD170. One could argue (and some do) that christians are enamored with the extra-biblical term "Trinity" and ascribe motives for its introduction (and it took hundreds of years to sort it all out by the way). Therefore, it is also irrelevant whether there were ulterior motives in determining whether the term "Trinity" is accurate according to the scripture.

The question is simply, is it or isn't it?

So back to the teaching at hand, you said: " WL is saying "the body is God." That is an undeniable conclusion of his statements here. Does this not blow your fuses Cassidy? Did you read that?"

Yes, I did. It reminded me something similar I read about the Body being Christ:For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] the Christ, 1Cor 12:12

This verse states plainly that the Christ has a body in the way our body is a part of us and is us.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:20 AM   #43
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As long as "four-in-one" means "four-in-one God" I disagree with it, yes. And Lee already established that when he says "four-in-one" he means "four-in-one God." The Body isn't God.
Okay.... my question was do you agree with the first part of the statement?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:28 AM   #44
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Yes, I did. It reminded me something similar I read about the Body being Christ:For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] the Christ, 1Cor 12:12

This verse states plainly that the Christ has a body in the way our body is a part of us and is us.
Well, if you want to play that then I can also say my body isn't me, because the Bible plainly says I continue on even after my body decays. When we say our bodies are us we do not mean that it is us in the way our soul/spirit is us. There is a difference.

Sorry, but this verse fails to support the notion of a "four-in-one God." The downside of making such declarations far exceeds their "wow, look what I see that no one else sees" benefits.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:32 AM   #45
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I'm going by the definition you gave. One of the definitions was "like as." That means "similar."

Please stop littering the thread with questions you already know the answer to if you read my posts.
"Similar" would be more like the word "paromoios". That is "nearly like" according to the greek.

Not the same as "kathos" which means just as, even as, or as.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:35 AM   #46
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My knowledge isn't in a vacuum. My conclusion is that Lee was mistaken, yes. A lot of people who are smarter than me agree. Should I believe them or Lee? If so, why?
You should believe whomever you want.

The question is whether you agree with this part of the statement:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated,..."
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #47
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"Similar" would be more like the word "paromoios". That is "nearly like" according to the greek.

Not the same as "kathos" which means just as, even as, or as.
So are you saying that "just as" means identical? I've already shown that can't be so. So the question becomes how are they different.

"Just as" cannot be taken in an absolute sense it this case. Like it or not, the Lord used hyperbole sometimes. For example, He said the mustard seed is the smallest of seeds. But it wasn't. He was just making a point.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:46 AM   #48
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You should believe whomever you want.

The question is whether you agree with this part of the statement:

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated,..."

Depends on what he meant by "cannot" and by "confused" and by "separated."

But that point is off-topic. Please stop harping on it or explain why it's important and what you are getting at.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:54 AM   #49
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The first part of the statement falls within the orthodox understanding of the trinity, the second part does not. This reflects what we already know about Witness Lee - He may have been a good accountant, but he was a lousy theologian.

Soon I think we may see the ole "two sides to the divine truth" argument, or maybe the ole "economic versus essential" argument. These are (and have been for centuries) arguments used by false teachers and heretics. The Mormons teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Fine. Very biblical. AND? What ELSE do they teach about Jesus Christ? (see Internet for details) The Oneness Pentecostals teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Fine. Very biblical. AND? What ELSE do they teach about Jesus Christ. They teach that Jesus Christ IS the Father and the Jesus Christ IS the Holy Spirit. Almost all deviations from orthodox Christianity teach sound, orthodox, biblical things along with the false and heretical ones.

We can repeat and consider all the sound, orthodox, biblical things that Witness Lee taught. Fine. But if that's all he taught we would not be here today on this forum. The Local Church would not be considered as a Christian cult by many apologists, theologians and scholars.

The bottom line is that presenting the sound, orthodox, biblical teachings of Witness Lee as a defense against the questionable, unorthodox, unbiblical teachings is a non sequitur. Let's deal with the questionable, unorthodox, unbiblical teachings as they are stated. If somebody, in one breath, taught that Jesus was God, then in the next breath taught that Jesus was not God, would you accept them as orthodox and biblical? Of course not. Now I realize that what we are dealing with in Witness Lee's teachings are not that blatant, and there are some nuances to be dealt with to be sure, but orthodox teachings do not offset unorthodox teachings.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #50
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The bottom line is that presenting the sound, orthodox, biblical teachings of Witness Lee as a defense against the questionable, unorthodox, unbiblical teachings is a non sequitur.
>> Amen <<
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:09 AM   #51
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Okay Igzy, I understand how the term four-in-one might lead some to believe it is in reference to the Godhead, in isolation. But even the quote you provided in the base note it is clear he did not mean that.

Is your issue that there is no such four-in-one entity? Or is your issue that Witness Lee was careless in his use of term "four-in-one"?
Bilb...I mean Cassidy,

Witness Lee and those who followed him have a history of being loose and careless with terms. Then when called on it, all kind of word dancing has to take place. For people who place so much emphasis on "truth" and accuracy, you guys sure spend a lot of time 'splanin what Witness Lee, or one of his successors reeeealy meant.

What's really offensive about this term is that we know that whenever someone from the Living Stream Church dares to mention the fourth of the "godhead" they are talking exclusively about those who are "built up" under the ministry of Witness Lee. As if the Godhead is bound by whatever a group of pompous delusionals decides. Sort of like the tail wagging the dog, or the Pope telling heaven what it has decided.

P.C.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:17 AM   #52
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

My body is "me" in a sense, but not all senses, and certainly not in the most important senses. My body is not my person, it is not my essence. I can lose parts of my body and not lose who I am essentially. I can exist apart from my body. I will get a new spiritual body.

So while it is not necessarily incorrect to say the Body of Christ is "Christ" in a sense similar to the way our bodies are us, that does not dovetail into the notion that the Father, Son, Spirit and Body are now on some kind of equal footing that declaring them the "four-in-one God" or even "four-in-one" would imply.

Saying "four" when three of the four are the Father, Son and Spirit makes all of the four peers in some sense. My body is not my peer. Neither is Christ's Body Christ's peer.

You wouldn't call Christ and his Body the "two-in-one Christ," so why would you call the Trinity plus the Body the "four-in-one God?"
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:40 AM   #53
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Depends on what he meant by "cannot" and by "confused" and by "separated."

But that point is off-topic. Please stop harping on it or explain why it's important and what you are getting at.
Off topic?

Why this is the point! It is only off topic to you because your definitions are different that WL's. You opened this conversation using this very point explaining to audience that this is a good example of the "bad Lee". You then went on to explain what Lee meant implying that He taught the Body was brought into the Godhead when he did no such thing. You used as a proof point this statement from Lee:

"Ultimately, the church is a group of people who are in union with the Triune God and are mingled with the Triune God. The Triune God and the church are four-in-one. Because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all one with the Body of Christ, we may say that the Triune God is now the “four-in-one God.” These four are the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body. The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused." [emphasis added]

What this statement shows very clearly by its construct is that he did not teach what you say he did as he further explains what he meant by both the "Triune God" and the "four-in-one God" bold above in blue.

"The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated,..."

This means that Witness Lee holds the precise orthodox view of the eternal Trinity. They cannot be confused in that there are three, the Father, Son, and Spirit and they cannot be separated, that is, they co-exist, are co-equal, and nothing can come between the three in the Godhead eternity to eternity.

"....
and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused.
"


This means that this Divine Trinity when He becomes one with His believers through the divine life forms a great corporate divine-human entity which Lee terms the "four-in-one" blended together by God Himself.

Your mis-understanding is that when WL makes the second half of the statement that he negates the first part of the statement. The argument you make is that God is always God in the Godhead. So based on that you object and overwrite the first part of statement with the second half. However, WL obviously holds a different than you. In his view both parts of the statement are absolutely true: The Godhead never changes from eternity to eternity and furthermore there is a divine-human incorporation that God has created (which the Bible refers to as the new creation, the Body of Christ, the Church, etc.).

Because in your view. as expressed in the base note, a reference to God must always include the Godhead then you filter WL's statements that way and Lee becomes a "bad Lee" because again in your view there is no room for a different view and so Lee must be teaching that the Body of Christ is incorporated into the Godhead. Which he did not.

His statement shows very clearly that he believed both parts of the statement to be very true precisely because he holds onto the first part unambiguously, that is, the Godhead cannot be confused or separated.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:55 AM   #54
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Off topic?

Why this is the point! It is only off topic to you because your definitions are different that WL's.
It's off-topic because whether or not the Trinity can be confused or separated is irrelevant to whether someone should use the term "four-in-one God."

But, regardless, welcome back, Bilbodog!
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:02 AM   #55
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Because in your view. as expressed in the base note, a reference to God must always include the Godhead then you filter WL's statements that way and Lee becomes a "bad Lee" because again in your view there is no room for a different view and so Lee must be teaching that the Body of Christ is incorporated into the Godhead. Which he did not.
The point was "Four-in-one God" is sloppy term to use. He shouldn't have done it. The fact that you have to jump through so many hoops to explain what you think he meant proves my point.

The Bible does not teach that we become God, whether the Godhead or otherwise. Lee mistaught. That's "bad Lee."
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:30 AM   #56
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The point was "Four-in-one God" is sloppy term to use. He shouldn't have done it. The fact that you have to jump through so many hoops to explain what you think he meant proves my point.

The Bible does not teach that we become God, whether the Godhead or otherwise. Lee mistaught. That's "bad Lee."

That (or otherwise") is the fundamental point of departure Igzy, between your understanding and WL's on this particular topic.

Though I hold a different view from you yet, I am not even trying to change your mind about that either. I would not even object to anyone being disgruntled about the use of the term "four-in-one" because it sounds too much like the Godhead term "three-in-one". A fair critique.

What I did object to is attributing a teaching to Witness Lee that he never held or taught. He has never taught that the Body collectively or any single member individually becomes incorporated into the Godhead and usually added that clarification as he did in the passage you quoted. But those clarifications are often overlooked because people tend to filter through the lens of their own personal beliefs. And in some cases people know WL did not teach a certain thing but for other reasons (that only God knows and will judge) they purposely mis-represent his teachings. For them there will be a greater judgment I believe. I do not think that you are purposely misrepresenting WL though just to be clear.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #57
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That (or otherwise") is the fundamental point of departure Igzy, between your understanding and WL's on this particular topic.

Though I hold a different view from you yet, I am not even trying to change your mind about that either. I would not even object to anyone being disgruntled about the use of the term "four-in-one" because it sounds too much like the Godhead term "three-in-one". A fair critique.

What I did object to is attributing a teaching to Witness Lee that he never held or taught. He has never taught that the Body collectively or any single member individually becomes incorporated into the Godhead and usually added that clarification as he did in the passage you quoted. But those clarifications are often overlooked because people tend to filter through the lens of their own personal beliefs. And in some cases people know WL did not teach a certain thing but for other reasons (that only God knows and will judge) they purposely mis-represent his teachings. For them there will be a greater judgment I believe. I do not think that you are purposely misrepresenting WL though just to be clear.
I can understand your point. But what I think you fail to see is that there were some fundamental misconceptions in Lee's view which led to his problems.

The first is that because we partake of God's life and nature that we in some sense become God. This is not really supportable by scripture.

The second is the idea that we can somehow become God but not become the Godhead. God implies the Godhead and there is no God outside the Godhead. Saying we become God but not the Godhead is like saying someone becomes human but doesn't become a person. It's like saying I drank beer but didn't drink alcohol. It's just double-speak.

So when Lee started splitting these hairs he was asking to be misunderstood. You can't blame people for misunderstanding his double-speak.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:38 AM   #58
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I can understand your point. But what I think you fail to see is that there was some fundamental misconceptions in Lee's view which led to his problems.

The first is that because we partake of God's life and nature that we in some sense become God. This is not really supportable by scripture.

The second is the idea that we can somehow become God but not become the Godhead. God implies the Godhead and there is no God outside the Godhead. Saying we become God but not the Godhead is like saying someone becomes human but doesn't become a person. It's like saying I drank beer but didn't drink alcohol. It's just double-speak.

So when Lee started splitting these hairs he was asking to be misunderstood. You can't blame people for misunderstanding his double-speak.
I do not see it as doublespeak. It was something WL believed and he spoke the convictions of those beliefs. He also was a gifted Bible teacher and knew how to construct the teachings from the ground up. A math teacher might reiterate basic math fundamentals before launching into to a higher study of Trig or Calculus. Such a math teacher is not setting up his students to swallow false Calculus rules (as OBW suggests) but rather covering the fundamentals again so there is no misunderstanding about what he is about to say. That is just good teaching methodology.

Now if someone wants to ascribe sinister motives to that approach then they cannot be stopped and attempts to persuade them otherwise are futile and pointless since such a mentality will always reach the same conclusion.

And besides, there is no other way to explain such biblical mysteries if you believe them without sounding a bit double-spoken though it may be perfectly clear to yourself.

For instance, take this similar example: I think we will agree that the Godhead is eternally unchangeable, the same from eternity past to eternity future, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, co-existing in mutuality, etc. etc. Let's call this Assertion/Belief #1.

Now again for example: Does the Godhead now include the resurrected flesh of Jesus since His ascension? How does one explain how the resurrected flesh of Jesus is incorporated into the Godhead without violating Assertion.Belief #1? And if you believe that His resurrected flesh is not part of the Godhead then how does that work exactly with His resurrected body? Since, after all Jesus is God. And if you argue that His flesh was always part of the Godhead from eternity past then there will be some explaining to do about when flesh was created and when the Word became flesh and what is meant by the verses which talk about preparing a body for Him.

I do not mean that this is entirely unknowable in this life, I mean to say that explaining it will make one sound like they are engaging in doublespeak even if they have thought it through. If I were attempting to teach such a profound matter I would reiterate the fundamentals about Christ becoming a man, being born of a virgin, being the seed of the woman, resurrecting with a body, and of course, the unchangeable Godhead before launching into an explanation of the teaching above. A skeptic would claim I am prepping the students to receive something bad by telling them something good and true that they already know. And nothing would be farther from the truth. Rather I would be reaffirming the orthodox understanding of the Godhead, basics about the faith and who Jesus was and is and what happened to Him before attempting to explain the more complex, diffcult, and mysterious subject.

Now some of the students may not hunger or care for higher math and are content with making pottery in home economics and that is fine too. We all need pots. There is no need to convince them either. Pots hold things like flowers. They are pretty to look at and smell nice. Their world view is just as valid though different.

So, it is erroneous and/or presumptuous to think anything other than Witness Lee spoke what he actually believed. And besides, good or bad motives are irrelevant as you point out to OBW as we cannot really know for sure. And the whole argument about "bad fruit" as a gauge of the teachings is also subjective because for all the persons in here who claim "bad fruit" there are tens of thousands out there who will claim "good fruit". So that doesn't work either. And a double-speak sounding teaching proves nothing about the scriptural integrity of a teaching as it could sound like double-speak for any number of good, wholesome, and sound reasons.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:23 PM   #59
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...before attempting to explain the more complex, diffcult, and mysterious subject.
And what exactly are Witness Lee's credentials that makes him qualified to be teaching a whole Christian movement about these complex, difficult and mysterious subjects?

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So, it is erroneous and/or presumptuous to think anything other than Witness Lee spoke what he actually believed.
Presumptuous? Don't know about you but none of us have to presume anything when it comes to Witness Lee and his teachings. You are dealing with people who have over a century (centuries) of combined "quality time" sitting in those hard plastic seats, 10 days at a time, three times a day, pen in paper in hand, listening to, taking copious notes on and being tested on every word that Witness Lee taught. Then for the rest of the six months we lived it, breathed it, pray-read it, sung it - this was called "the church life". Actually the quote in question is not complex or difficult or mysterious to most of us. It's vintage Witness Lee. We presume very little around here. And you?
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:25 PM   #60
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So, it is erroneous and/or presumptuous to think anything other than Witness Lee spoke what he actually believed. And besides, good or bad motives are irrelevant as you point out to OBW as we cannot really know for sure. And the whole argument about "bad fruit" as a gauge of the teachings is also subjective because for all the persons in here who claim "bad fruit" there are tens of thousands out there who will claim "good fruit". So that doesn't work either. And a double-speak sounding teaching proves nothing about the scriptural integrity of a teaching as it could sound like double-speak for any number of good, wholesome, and sound reasons.
Well, just for the record when I said double-speak I didn't mean being deceitful, I meant being confused.

As for the rest of your thesis, it seems you are making the case that we cannot know if Lee was a good teacher or a bad teacher. Is that your point?
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:39 PM   #61
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Well, just for the record when I said double-speak I didn't mean being deceitful, I meant being confused.

As for the rest of your thesis, it seems you are making the case that we cannot know if Lee was a good teacher or a bad teacher. Is that your point?
The criterion being used to characterize good vs bad is subjective and unreliable. Using those same criterion others outside of this forum will come to different conclusions. However, we can assess the teachings against the scripture to determine whether they are sound or have any basis.

Yes, I know that you did not mean deceitful. OBW did so I covered all the bases a indicated.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:45 PM   #62
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So, it is erroneous and/or presumptuous to think anything other than Witness Lee spoke what he actually believed.
Also, just for the record, it is equally erroneous and/or presumptuous to assume Lee was sincere about everything he spoke.

Further, the "he was sincere" argument only goes so far. God surely judges the ignorant sinner differently from the knowing sinner. But both are in error. To give a teacher a total pass because because he was "sincere" is going too far, particularly when some of the things he was sincere about did considerable damage.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:51 PM   #63
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And what exactly are Witness Lee's credentials that makes him qualified to be teaching a whole Christian movement about these complex, difficult and mysterious subjects?


Presumptuous? Don't know about you but none of us have to presume anything when it comes to Witness Lee and his teachings. You are dealing with people who have over a century (centuries) of combined "quality time" sitting in those hard plastic seats, 10 days at a time, three times a day, pen in paper in hand, listening to, taking copious notes on and being tested on every word that Witness Lee taught. Then for the rest of the six months we lived it, breathed it, pray-read it, sung it - this was called "the church life". Actually the quote in question is not complex or difficult or mysterious to most of us. It's vintage Witness Lee. We presume very little around here. And you?
Those are all experiences that make up your world view. Thousands of others sat in those same hard seats, did all the same things, and have an opposite view.

What does that prove? Is there something definitive about that other than everyone who sat in those seats got callouses on their buttocks?

And for credentials for teaching first and foremost the person must be given by God to the Body. For me I personally pay attention to someone who is gifted, uses the Bible, and is a born-again christian. It is a plus when a teacher also through revelation opens the Bible with valuable inspiring insight. Externals such as education, PHD in theology, low-born or high-born, rich country or poor country mean little to nothing compared to the other.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:54 PM   #64
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Those are all experiences that make up your world view. Thousands of others sat in those same hard seats, did all the same things, and have an opposite view.
We can't really trust that. These people have been threatened with outer darkness for dissenting with Lee. Their testimony is therefore unreliable.


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It is a plus when a teacher also through revelation opens the Bible with valuable inspiring insight.
Valuable and inspiring? How about helping you to know the Lord, become holy, righteous and loving?
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #65
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Also, just for the record, it is equally erroneous and/or presumptuous to assume Lee was sincere about everything he spoke.

Further, the "he was sincere" argument only goes so far. God surely judges the ignorant sinner differently from the knowing sinner. But both are in error. To give a teacher a total pass because because he was "sincere" is going too far, particularly when some of the things he was sincere about did considerable damage.
Right. I never said sincere was the only criterion. Actually, I don't recall mentioning sincerity. Nevertheless, though sincerity is a good quality everything must be tested against the scriptures.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #66
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We can't really trust that. These people have been threatened with outer darkness for dissenting with Lee. Their testimony is therefore unreliable.




Valuable and inspiring? How about helping you to know the Lord, become holy, righteous and loving?
Sure those things too as long as they are consistent with scripture.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:00 PM   #67
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Right. I never said sincere was the only criterion. Actually, I don't recall mentioning sincerity. Nevertheless, though sincerity is a good quality everything must be tested against the scriptures.
Saying he believed what he taught is an appeal to sincerity. Also, in the past you've made the argument that because Lee really believed all his Recovery/MOTA stuff that therefore he was not to blame for being mistaken or messing up lives by it.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:04 PM   #68
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And the whole argument about "bad fruit" as a gauge of the teachings is also subjective because for all the persons in here who claim "bad fruit" there are tens of thousands out there who will claim "good fruit". So that doesn't work either.
What you have dismissed is a test prescribed by the Lord Himself. The children of Israel received a New Covenant from a Galilean Man with little to no known credentials. He was up against all the leaders of His day. Many just could not decipher the teachings themselves, so He asked Israel to compare Himself to the hypocrisy of their current leadership. To say that tens of thousands out there who will claim "good fruit," therefore the test is somehow bad, did not measure up in Jesus day, neither in our own day.

They examined Jesus high and low, up and down, and they found Him blameless. The apostles were held to many of the same high standards. They pioneered a new message, hence their life had to measure up.

WL also brought a "new" message, a recovery of numerous truths, consummating in the high peaks. He condemned all of Christianity all during his life. He claimed that, since his arrival in the 1940's, not a single quality book was written by another minister. He accepted no peers, not even those who had been with WN. He claimed to be the Minister of the age and the acting God here on earth.

Should not his life and work measure up to such claims? Should not he be held to high standards? Should he at least have been able to manage his own household?
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:07 PM   #69
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Saying he believed what he taught is an appeal to sincerity. Also, in the past you've made the argument that because Lee really believed all his Recovery/MOTA stuff that therefore he was not to blame for being mistaken or messing up lives by it.
Wow. You have quite an imagination.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:17 PM   #70
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What you have dismissed is a test prescribed by the Lord Himself. The children of Israel received a New Covenant from a Galilean Man with little to no known credentials. He was up against all the leaders of His day. Many just could not decipher the teachings themselves, so He asked Israel to compare Himself to the hypocrisy of their current leadership. To say that tens of thousands out there who will claim "good fruit," therefore the test is somehow bad, did not measure up in Jesus day, neither in our own day.

They examined Jesus high and low, up and down, and they found Him blameless. The apostles were held to many of the same high standards. They pioneered a new message, hence their life had to measure up.

WL also brought a "new" message, a recovery of numerous truths, consummating in the high peaks. He condemned all of Christianity all during his life. He claimed that, since his arrival in the 1940's, not a single quality book was written by another minister. He accepted no peers, not even those who had been with WN. He claimed to be the Minister of the age and the acting God here on earth.

Should not his life and work measure up to such claims? Should not he be held to high standards? Should he at least have been able to manage his own household?
Yes, Jesus was blameless and every word He spoke was true to the last dot.

But should the veracity of His truth proclaimed by Himself and His disciples be dismissed because a few wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume others who were not in their immediate band? One was a thief, should we dismiss His whole ministry citing Jesus' inability to select good, holy, and righteous people?

Of course not. They were not disqualified from speaking for God in spite of their impetuous attitude and spirit or that one them was a thief.

Nevertheless, if you wish to apply a tighter standard then you should do so for your own peace of mind. I would only caution you that in doing so you consider your own condition in regard to sin and failures and attitude toward other believers and thereby determine whether that disqualifies you from speaking for God here in this forum or elsewhere.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:27 PM   #71
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Yes, Jesus was blameless and every word He spoke was true to the last dot.

But should the veracity of His truth proclaimed by Himself and His disciples be dismissed because a few wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume others who were not in their immediate band? One was a thief, should we dismiss His whole ministry citing Jesus' inability to select good, holy, and righteous people?

Of course not. They were not disqualified from speaking for God in spite of their impetuous attitude and spirit or that one them was a thief.

Nevertheless, if you wish to apply a tighter standard then you should do so for your own peace of mind. I would only caution you that in doing so you consider your own condition in regard to sin and failures and attitude toward other believers and thereby determine whether that disqualifies you from speaking for God here in this forum or elsewhere.
So you are saying the standard for vetting the behavior of someone who claims to have the "ministry of the age" is no different than that of a guy who posts his thoughts on an Internet forum? We shouldn't expect a higher standard for the so-called MOTA?
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:03 PM   #72
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So you are saying the standard for vetting the behavior of someone who claims to have the "ministry of the age" is no different than that of a guy who posts his thoughts on an Internet forum? We shouldn't expect a higher standard for the so-called MOTA?
What are you talking about?

Sounds like you ran out things to discuss on this thread and are now tossing bait out.

Start another topic, else not interested.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:15 PM   #73
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Those are all experiences that make up your world view. Thousands of others sat in those same hard seats, did all the same things, and have an opposite view.
Good point. And it just so happens that I am an expert in the world view taught by Witness Lee, and which is imbibed by his followers to this day. This world view taught by Lee and put into practice by his followers cannot be neatly boxed up in a quote or two from any of the highly edited "books" put out by the LSM. If all you have is selected quotes from books, 'fraid you have come to a gunfight with a knife. Good luck.

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And for credentials for teaching first and foremost the person must be given by God to the Body. For me I personally pay attention to someone who is gifted, uses the Bible, and is a born-again christian. It is a plus when a teacher also through revelation opens the Bible with valuable inspiring insight. Externals such as education, PHD in theology, low-born or high-born, rich country or poor country mean little to nothing compared to the other.
I'm sorry, your computer screen must have some dead pixels and you just missed my question. Here it is again.
And what exactly are Witness Lee's credentials that makes him qualified to be teaching a whole Christian movement about these complex, difficult and mysterious subjects?
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:20 PM   #74
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Well, now you are ascribing motive. And whether you are right or not doesn't change the fact that Lee mixed the good with the bad, which was my point and I think we can agree on that common denominator.

Why he did it is another matter. I'm sure he thought everything he said was true. He likely didn't say to himself "I'm going to speak this orthodox thing so that I can catch them off guard with the junk." Although that was the net effect whether he intended it or not.
You could say that I was ascribing motive. It may not have been his motive. But it is essentially what happens over and over in his messages, books, etc. Nee did the same thing some times. Make a bunch of very simple, obviously true statements and then make just one more that is not so simple or necessarily true. Neither may have intended to do it as a trick. But it works as one. Once you are on the bandwagon of shouting "Amen!" to every one of them, it doesn't phase you to say "Amen!" to that last one even though you might not have done it if you had taken the time to think about it.

And even if it is soundly arguable that Lee did not intend to use the comment about begetting to butter us up for the 4-in-1 talk, it really is not hardly relevant to the meat of the chapter. The chapter appears to be about a "church" whose definition is not the same as what I understand it to be. Yes, you need "begetting" to get into either. But in Lee's, you really need much more. Begetting just turns on your GPS. You've got to travel some distance, watch out for some pot holes, and say the right phrase at the little window in the door when you arrive to really be "in the church" according to Lee. That "truth" in the early paragraph is lost in a sea of nonsense. Where is the value of truth when you have to dodge so much to find it? Even if Lee's motives were truly pure, the teachings were not.

And the result is the same.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #75
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What are you talking about?

Sounds like you ran out things to discuss on this thread and are now tossing bait out.

Start another topic, else not interested.
Not at all. The issue of the thread is the vetting the good Lee from the bad Lee. Since I believe claiming to be something called "the minister of the age" is part of the bad Lee I would at least expect a person claiming such a preposterous thing to be held to a higher standard by his followers than other let us say more humble brethren. Apparently not, however.

I was attempting to segue into the whole MOTA thing as part of the bad Lee.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #76
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Let me just cut to the chase on what I think.

Witness Lee will always be fringe and his followers will always think that is some kind of validation of him and them, a kind of reverse sour grapes. The only way any of his unique stuff is going to become mainstream is by it being filtered through other teachers. The Body overall is not going to accept Lee's teaching directly. He was too controversial, too abrasive, too exclusive and too downright wrong on too many issues. It just isn't going to happen.

In other words, the good Lee will not be separated from the bad Lee except by the process of some of his stuff being assimilated indirectly over a long period. This is pretty much what has happened with Nee and so you can expect at best the same with Lee, though probably to a much lesser amount.

The movement he started will exist in a fringe manner barely on the radar. Some members will continue telling themselves they are the remnant or Recovery or whatever. Most others ill, wisely, come to doubt it and it will be talked about less and less.

You heard it here first, folks.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:00 PM   #77
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Good point. And it just so happens that I am an expert in the world view taught by Witness Lee, and which is imbibed by his followers to this day. This world view taught by Lee and put into practice by his followers cannot be neatly boxed up in a quote or two from any of the highly edited "books" put out by the LSM. If all you have is selected quotes from books, 'fraid you have come to a gunfight with a knife. Good luck.
I'm sorry, your computer screen must have some dead pixels and you just missed my question. Here it is again.
And what exactly are Witness Lee's credentials that makes him qualified to be teaching a whole Christian movement about these complex, difficult and mysterious subjects?
I'm sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear about my definition of credentials for a Bible teacher which are very likely different from yours. I consider Witness Lee to have all the attributes I mentioned of a teacher.

What credentials do you expect?
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:02 PM   #78
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What credentials do you expect?
How about humility?
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:06 PM   #79
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All this talk about the body in very literal terms. Has anyone considered that all of this "body" talk in the NT is descriptive in terms of the inter-workings, the relationships, etc. That it may not be intended to mean that Christ has a literal body that is the church and that means that we (the church) are part of God.

Paul's speaks of the workings of the church in terms of a body. A body has many things that must be done, accomplished. It has all kinds of features, functions, strengths and weaknesses. The same is true of this thing called the church that is comprised of the many different ones who have been redeemed. The descriptives of a body are quite useful. And since we actually are the hands and feet (and even voice) of God on earth today, there are some analogies in that way. But getting so literal about the church as the body of Christ meaning that we are literally everything below the neck of the Son, part of the Trinity, and therefore are part of the Three, making any kind of 4-in-1, even without sharing Godhead, is a long stretch of the purpose of the discussion of "body" in 1 Cor 12.

And since 1 Cor 12 is brought up, why do we feel that Paul's discussion starting at verse 12 using the analogy of a body is intended to mean something literal about a body? The description is about how we interact like different parts of a body. How we perform different functions. How everyone is not the same. It is not a discussion about how we are part of Christ and therefor present in the Trinity.

We are the body of Christ. I am not dismissing this point. But I'm fairly sure that the meaning of this is something quite different than what would get you attached to the Trinity as a 4th wheel.

What do you think when someone says "the church, which is his body"? I think it is quite a simple way to say something so profound. "Body" — one word of 4 letters — speaks so much about our relationship with each other and with God. We work as a unit. We are the physical presence of God (scary, isn't it?). We do (hopefully) operate under the direction of Christ, so there is a "head-body" relationship.

But to assert that it means that we literally are just the body part of an otherwise floating head called Christ is just nonsense. It is to take the meaning too far. Nothing in the use of the term asserts or requires such an understanding. Instead, it should be understood in the way it is given. And that is as a directive to see each other's contribution to the workings of the church as important no matter how important or unimportant you may think it is.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:27 PM   #80
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Nevertheless, if you wish to apply a tighter standard then you should do so for your own peace of mind. I would only caution you that in doing so you consider your own condition in regard to sin and failures and attitude toward other believers and thereby determine whether that disqualifies you from speaking for God here in this forum or elsewhere.
Elders and deacons have selected according to established criteria. Do you think think God would select a Minister of the Age with none? No one is ever disqualified from "speaking for God." Some criminals have even spoken for the Lord before their execution. Being able to speak for God was never the question ... but you knew that!

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Old 12-02-2011, 04:43 PM   #81
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All this talk about the body in very literal terms.
OBW,

Your description of the Body of Christ sounds like you are talking about the 82nd Airborne. :rollingeyes2:

Besides the direct declaration of the Lord Jesus himself that we are members of His Body there are many examples in the Bible that are difficult to interpret any other way other than an organic life relationship - the Vine and the branches, the church being produced from Christ as Eve was from Adam, the seed and the harvest, rivers of water springing up from within the believer, the Body of Christ, etc.

However, I did agree with you specifically on one point. You said: "And since we actually are the hands and feet (and even voice) of God on earth today, there are some analogies in that way."

That is not a small point.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:48 PM   #82
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Elders and deacons have selected according to established criteria. Do you think think God would select a Minister of the Age with none? No one is ever disqualified from "speaking for God." Some criminals have even spoken for the Lord before their execution. Being able to speak for God was never the question ... but you knew that!

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Of course He would! It is He who gave the gifts to the Body.

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:22 AM   #83
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Of course He would! It is He who gave the gifts to the Body.

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
It's hard for me to believe that someone representing LSM would actually deflect all of my concerns about the character and personal behavior of their leader by quoting this verse above and pointing out that I too am a sinner.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:14 AM   #84
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It's hard for me to believe that someone representing LSM would actually deflect all of my concerns about the character and personal behavior of their leader by quoting this verse above and pointing out that I too am a sinner.
Ohio, your argument always retreats to the same place regardless of the topic. The base note in this thread is posing a different question. So I see no need to debate your perpetual argument every time you retreat to it. I figure if you were interested you would have responded to my argument or with scripture to counter my argument. I would have been very interested in such a conversation with you but you passed it by. That is fine too.

And you are a sinner and so am I and so was Witness Lee. There is none righteous, no not one.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:04 AM   #85
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OBW,

Your description of the Body of Christ sounds like you are talking about the 82nd Airborne. :rollingeyes2:

Besides the direct declaration of the Lord Jesus himself that we are members of His Body there are many examples in the Bible that are difficult to interpret any other way other than an organic life relationship - the Vine and the branches, the church being produced from Christ as Eve was from Adam, the seed and the harvest, rivers of water springing up from within the believer, the Body of Christ, etc.

However, I did agree with you specifically on one point. You said: "And since we actually are the hands and feet (and even voice) of God on earth today, there are some analogies in that way."

That is not a small point.
No one said it is a small point.

But to arrive at the conclusion that it is so thoroughly "organic" in the way that Lee taught, you have to take every one of those passages and milk them for every possible analogy you can dream up.

The vine and the branches speaks of a source of supply. It does not speak about every possible nuance of the trunk/branch relationship that can be dreamed up.

Of course the church came "out of Christ." It is the result of accepting Christ, and obeying Christ. Of becoming His follower/disciple.

Seed and harvest is quite different. That actually makes us no more than "relatives" of each other. Seed doesn't make you the body of the seed — it makes you the offspring.

The problem is not that all of these are separate items are not true. It is that there is nothing that makes any of them join up with all the others to cause any reference to the church as the "body" to mean more than what it means where it is written. In 1 Corinthians 12, the "body" reference is about the multitude of differing functions in the church, like it is in a body. It does mention Christ as the head. As it should. When and how we function should be a matter of interaction with Christ.

And since the term "body" is used in a lot of similar "organizations" such as the 82nd Airborne, a legislative "body," and others, I suspect that using the term "body" back in the 1st century AD likely also conveyed meaning without requiring such an all-encompassing meaning to be included without mention. This is the problem with Lee's teaching here. It is not that there is not a valid reference to "body," but that there are specific things meant by the analogy, not every possible connection imaginable. It does not mean that we should require the most unified connection with Christ and each other that we could be referred to as being there with Christ in the Trinity.

I suspect that if that kind of thing were said to Paul, he would have ordered that such a thing never be said again.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #86
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Ohio, your argument always retreats to the same place regardless of the topic. The base note in this thread is posing a different question. So I see no need to debate your perpetual argument every time you retreat to it.
Cass ... you've been on this forum for only a few days ... and you learned all that!

...

Didn't WN write a book, The Character of God's Workman? Sounds to me like a good place to hold a "retreat."
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:20 AM   #87
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The problem is not that all of these are separate items are not true. It is that there is nothing that makes any of them join up with all the others to cause any reference to the church as the "body" to mean more than what it means where it is written. In 1 Corinthians 12, the "body" reference is about the multitude of differing functions in the church, like it is in a body. It does mention Christ as the head. As it should. When and how we function should be a matter of interaction with Christ.
OBW,

Thanks for your response. I disagree in that all those items mentioned convey a life relationship. Seed to harvest, vine to branches, etc. Actually, you are going out of your way to deny the obvious in this case.

As pertains to the body of Christ, even if you were to relegate the meaning of I Cor 12 to simply a functioning of member, coordination, or cooperation like the 82nd Ariborne you deny the plain statement of the text for it does not say only that Christ is the Head, it says that Christ is the Body.

For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] the Christ, 1Cor 12:12
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #88
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Cass ... you've been on this forum for only a few days ... and you learned all that!
Ohio,

I have been posting in this forum for a few days.

You make interesting arguments when you choose to. My observation is that you retreat to a fall back position, a moral argument, very quickly, and the same one at that.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #89
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And since 1 Cor 12 is brought up, why do we feel that Paul's discussion starting at verse 12 using the analogy of a body is intended to mean something literal about a body? The description is about how we interact like different parts of a body. How we perform different functions. How everyone is not the same. It is not a discussion about how we are part of Christ and therefor present in the Trinity.
This is the fruit of the whole "Recovery" mindset, that is their central hermeneutic regarding the existence of major hidden truths in the Word which are more important than what the Word plainly teaches. Lee's focus on finding meaning where meaning wasn't apparent led to most of the defining doctrines of the LRC movement being ideas that the Bible does not plainly teach. E.g.:
  • Recovery
  • Only one church per city
  • Son being Father, Son being Holy Spirit
  • Economy being dispensing
  • Mingling
  • Becoming God
  • Minister of the age

All these things are not plainly taught in the Bible. But they are major pillars of the LRC. Lee's focus on being different and being independent led to this. The Body becoming part of God is just another example of the kind of fringe teachings produced when one looks for hidden messages in the Bible and doesn't regard the counsel of others.

Amazingly, at the same time, Lee and the LRC ignored or marginalized plain biblical teaching. E.g.:
  • Loving God and people as the primary commandments.
  • Ministering to the less fortunate.
  • Leadership as an act of service.
  • Not lording over the members.
  • Not thinking of oneself more highly than one ought to.
  • Not being of a particular minister.
  • Submitting to one another (including to those who don't meet with you).

The last one is telling. Had Lee submitted to the Body, meaning the whole Body, he might have been balanced by it. But he took the path that he was his own best counsel and the rest of the Church had nothing to offer. The result is fringe ideas which will probably never become mainstream.

This phenomenon of a single leader thinking he or she had the inside track on the truth has happened again and again in history, both in Christian and non-Christian movements. It happened with Lee. It happened Herbert Armstrong. Also with William Miller, F.E. Raven, Mary Baker Eddy, Ayn Rand, Elizabeth Prophet, and many others. The result is always the same. The leader is elevated to the status of a special prophet far and above others by a small and highly devoted but highly myopic group of followers.

The single most important factor in creating these imbalanced, fringe movements is that the founder or leader claims to be a special vessel of revelation and leadership. Lee did this as well. It was one of his biggest errors, and he erred in such spectacular fashion that he basically sealed his fate as being at best considered a devoted but highly eccentric fringe religious leader.

For for all Lee's talk about blending, he never blended with any teacher after Nee left the picture. He only blended with himself. The results speak for themselves. He became quite imbalanced and produced a cult-like exclusive following. Just like every other mistaken teacher in history who has claimed to have the inside track on the truth.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:55 AM   #90
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Ohio,

I have been posting in this forum for a few days.

You make interesting arguments when you choose to. My observation is that you retreat to a fall back position, a moral argument, very quickly, and the same one at that.
This has been the top deception out of LSM: promoting WL as the Minister of the Age, the acting God, such a wonderful God-man whose character is impeccable and whose teachings consummate twenty centuries of orthodox Christian heritage.

Before you decide to completely discredit me, don't you think it is legitimate to consider The Character of God's Workman? It was so important to WN that he wrote numerous books about the subject. If we set WN aside for a moment, the New Testament is also filled with the subject. Paul wrote a whole book -- II Corinthians -- in response to those who questioned his character and teachings. Did you ever wonder why Apostle Paul never retreated to a corner when examined, passively claiming "all men have sinned ... there is none righteous ... yada yada "

The question is not whether the minister is sinless, but whether he is blameless and irreproachable, as the Bible commands.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:01 AM   #91
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As pertains to the body of Christ, even if you were to relegate the meaning of I Cor 12 to simply a functioning of member, coordination, or cooperation like the 82nd Ariborne you deny the plain statement of the text for it does not say only that Christ is the Head, it says that Christ is the Body.

For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] the Christ, 1Cor 12:12
And when Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said "this is my body," which is the logic the RCC uses when claiming the elements of the Lord's Supper become the literal body and blood of Jesus.

You've come full circle. Congrats.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:03 AM   #92
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This has been the top deception out of LSM: promoting WL as the Minister of the Age, the acting God, such a wonderful God-man whose character is impeccable and whose teachings consummate twenty centuries of orthodox Christian heritage.

Before you decide to completely discredit me, don't you think it is legitimate to consider The Character of God's Workman? It was so important to WN that he wrote numerous books about the subject. If we set WN aside for a moment, the New Testament is also filled with the subject. Paul wrote a whole book -- II Corinthians -- in response to those who questioned his character and teachings. Did you ever wonder why Apostle Paul never retreated to a corner when examined, passively claiming "all men have sinned ... there is none righteous ... yada yada yada in yiddish"

The question is not whether the minister is sinless, but whether he is blameless and irreproachable, as the Bible commands.
Discrediting you? No, not at all. You simply engage in one line of argument. Maybe that is your thing. That's fine too.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:14 AM   #93
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And when Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said "this is my body," which is the logic the RCC uses when claiming the elements of the Lord's Supper become the literal body and blood of Jesus.

You've come full circle. Congrats.
Don't impose your faulty conclusions on me. I don't believe in transubstantiation either.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:20 AM   #94
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Don't impose your faulty conclusions on me. I don't believe in transubstantiation either.
If you don't want people to claim you said things you didn't then don't make the claim about them.

I didn't say you believed in transubstantiation. My plain point was your logic for saying the Body of Christ is literally Christ is exactly the same as that which the transubstantianists use to claim the bread literally becomes Christ's body. You take one verse which may just be metaphorical and you insist it's literal.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #95
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Ok, anybody else got another classic example of Good Lee/Bad Lee?
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:24 AM   #96
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If you don't want people to claim you said things you didn't then don't make the claim about them.

I didn't say you believed in transubstantiation. My plain point was your logic for saying the Body of Christ is literally Christ is exactly the same as that which the transubstantianists use to claim the bread literally becomes Christs body.

You take one verse which may just be metaphorical and you insist it's literal.
So, the Body of Christ is either literal or metaphorical in every biblical instance? Cannot be both metaphorical and/or literal?

That's a question.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #97
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So, the Body of Christ is either literal or metaphorical in every biblical instance? Cannot be both metaphorical and/or literal?

That's a question.
I'm not quite sure what you mean, but my point is that if Matt 26:26 is not literal then it's possible 1 Cor 12:12 is not literal either.

Your logic seems to simply be that since 1 Cor 12:12 sounds literal it therefore must be literal. But if that's the only reason to consider it literal then you should apply the same logic to Matt 26:26.

Because unless you have a better explanation to claim the Body is literally Christ other than the literal sound of the text then you are cherry-picking if you don't apply the same logic to Matt 26:26.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:53 AM   #98
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Ok, anybody else got another classic example of Good Lee/Bad Lee?
My contention in a nutshell is that Lee's bad teachings came out of those periods of time when his character was also in question.

Sorry if this appears to trigger moderator action. The OP never designated Good/Bad as teachings only independent of one's character.

Let me just itemize a few examples from my thoughts before I get cited by Topiq again.
  • High peak theology (Bad Lee) followed the smear campaign and quarantines of many godly brothers
  • LSM takeover actions of the Jan 1974 workers' gathering followed Daystar corruptions
  • The healthiest time of WL's ministry in the US (Good Lee) followed a period of repentance as testified those who were there in the beginning
Some have said that bad behaviors come out of bad teachings, but I have said that the reverse has occurred more often.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:00 AM   #99
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Ok, anybody else got another classic example of Good Lee/Bad Lee?
Yes, I did with my post here which is threatened to be buried in the banter.

A point being that good Lee basically only happened when he just attempted to teach the scripture. Bad Lee happened whenever he attempted to be the minister of the age.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:08 AM   #100
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I'm not quite sure what you mean, but my point is that if Matt 26:26 is not literal then it's possible 1 Cor 12:12 is not literal either.

Your logic seems to simply be that since 1 Cor 12:12 sounds literal it therefore must be literal. But if that's the only reason to consider it literal then you should apply the same logic to Matt 26:26.

Because unless you have a better explanation to claim the Body is literally Christ other than the literal sound of the text then you are cherry-picking if you don't apply the same logic to Matt 26:26.
Any particular topic or verse in the Bible may be literal, may be metaphorical, or may be both. It must be determined in its context.

For instance, the bread that Jesus broke and gave to his disciples was not His physical body. The bread was a symbol as was the cup. Yet, the symbol speaks to the literal body and blood being broken and the ongoing remembering through these symbols by the partaking of the life and ever-efficacious blood by His believers. That is the organic reality behind the symbols of the bread and blood.

In Cor 12 there are both metaphor and literal explanations about the Body of Christ. The metaphor is the human body Paul talks about and the literal is when he says:

...so also [is] the Christ, "

Though Christ is the Head, He is also, according to this plain statement, the Body.

Some will claim that such a teaching suggests that the members of the Body of Christ are actually Christ. And they would be right. That is not "bad Lee" that is just good sound bible teaching.

If we only have two choices then that would be "good Lee".
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:20 AM   #101
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Thanks Igzy. I guess I was thinking of one particular teaching. Maybe taking just one bite at a time. Your post can certainly serve as a comprehensive outline from which we can pick and choose our next teaching/practice.

Ohio,
I think teachings may or may not be connected with ones character. No doubt we can rightly judge a person's character by their behavior (their actions as well as their words). A minister/leader may very well teach sound and biblical things, but if they have some bad character flaws this may come out in their behavior, even to the point where it may disqualify them for ministry. If a minister/leader, by his actions/behavior, brings shames upon the Name of the Lord and his Church, I believe there comes a point when they have abdicated their privilege to minister.

Something related would be the teaching of false/heretical doctrines which may influence the practice of those who follow the teacher. This would be my point in saying that bad practices (not necessarily behavior) come out of bad teaching. One example would be the common Local Church teaching that their group, and their group alone, is practicing the "recovered church-life". The PRACTICAL result in the hearts and minds of those who imbibe this teaching is an exclusive, divisive attitude/behavior towards other Christians. This, of course, is just one of a great number of Witness Lee's teachings that have a negative impact on those who follow.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:21 AM   #102
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Any particular topic or verse in the Bible may be literal, may be metaphorical, or may be both. It must be determined in its context.

For instance, the bread that Jesus broke and gave to his disciples was not His physical body. The bread was a symbol as was the cup. Yet, the symbol speaks to the literal body and blood being broken and the partaking of the life and ever-efficacious blood by His believers. That is the organic reality behind the symbols of the bread and blood.

In Cor 12 there are both metaphor and literal explanations about the Body of Christ. The metaphor is the human body Paul talks about and the literal is when he says:

...so also [is] the Christ, "

Though Christ is the Head, He is also, according to this plain statement, the Body.
Well, such an argument is certainly not decisive, it's quite tenuous in fact. The bottom line is that 1 Cor 12:12 is not enough to go around making the claim that the Body becomes God.

I believe the Body is Christ in the sense that it is the extension of Christ as our own bodies are extensions of us. But no one believes his body is him in the same way our soul/spirit is. In like manner, we should not think the Body is Christ in the same way Christ is Himself. Which is what Lee seemed to believe and what you seem to be defending.

But again, the tenuous scriptural support for this belief, along with its controversial and fringe nature is enough to label it as "bad Lee." Only fringe groups, and I would consider Eastern Orthodox fringe, defend such ideas. You know someone by the company he keeps.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:59 AM   #103
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Well, such an argument is certainly not decisive, it's quite tenuous in fact. The bottom line is that 1 Cor 12:12 is not enough to go around making the claim that the Body becomes God.

I believe the Body is Christ in the sense that it is the extension of Christ as our own bodies are extensions of us. But no one believes his body is him in the same way our soul/spirit is. In like manner, we should not think the Body is Christ in the same way Christ is Himself. Which is what Lee seemed to believe and what you seem to be defending.

But again, the tenuous scriptural support for this belief, along with its controversial and fringe nature is enough to label it as "bad Lee." Only fringe groups, and I would consider Eastern Orthodox fringe, defend such ideas. You know someone by the company he keeps.
Your claiming it is not decisive does not make it any less real either.

However, we have yet another clear direct statement from the Lord concerning His Body which is also instructive. He says to Saul, who held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, and who while arresting the believers who call on His name in various cities throughout the region on the road to Damascus:

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,”

Was Saul persecuting His believers or persecuting Jesus?

The answer is yes. Just as if you were punching me in the arm and I would then tell you to stop hitting me. Because my arm is me.

From this incident and the events that followed Paul develops His great teachings on the the Church as the Body of Christ. For Paul, the Body of Christ was a reality.

And it is a good bet that Paul was a member of a fringe group but he had no interest in defending Eastern Orthodox ideas.

All of this is "good Lee" sound orthodox biblical teaching that cuts straight the Word of God.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:40 AM   #104
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However, we have yet another clear direct statement from the Lord concerning His Body which is also instructive. He says to Saul, who held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, and who while arresting the believers who call on His name in various cities throughout the region on the road to Damascus:

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,”

Was Saul persecuting His believers or persecuting Jesus?

The answer is yes. Just as if you were punching me in the arm and I would then tell you to stop hitting me. Because my arm is me.
The whole "my arm is me so the Body is Christ" is vague and gimmicky. And Lee used it to support conclusions which probably should not be made. As I said, your body isn't you in the purest sense. Your soul/spirit is, but not your body.

I've heard that argument before and the Body could be explained just as validly and more accurately the way I did.

The question becomes then, who do you want to side with and why. I choose not to side with Lee because he hasn't shown me the kind of righteous, holy and loving living that going out on the limb with him on a teaching like that would require. Plus many other smarter, more educated, more humble, more devout and more righteous men would disagree with him. That's good enough for me. Only the Lord knows why you choose Lee over others.

So, let's leave it at that, Bilbo. I know from experience that you'll beat this horse forever if we let you.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:00 PM   #105
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Only the Lord knows why you choose Lee over others.
That's alright Igzy. We can wrap this up. Could have done it a long time ago but I don't want to ignore someone if they want to have a genuine discussion. And since, I was being challenged or asked I felt a need to provide an explanation.

In closing the short answer is this: His sound, orthodox, biblical, insightful, and enlightening teachings from his cutting straight the Word of God are the primary reason I like Witness Lee's teaching and Watchman Nee for that matter. Yet, my preference depends on the subject as there are dozens of authors I enjoy reading.

Thanks and enjoyed the conversation.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:28 PM   #106
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Thanks and enjoyed the conversation.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #107
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Glad you guys are going to end the day on a harmonious note.

Moderator note: Until we all see a bright light and Cassidy proclaims "I am Bilbodog whom thou persecutest!" he shall be known as Cassidy.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:47 PM   #108
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OBW,

... you deny the plain statement of the text for it does not say only that Christ is the Head, it says that Christ is the Body.

For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] the Christ, 1Cor 12:12
The text of 1 Cor. 12:12 does not plainly state that “Christ is the Body.”
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #109
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All this talk about the body in very literal terms. Has anyone considered that all of this "body" talk in the NT is descriptive in terms of the inter-workings, the relationships, etc.
I agree with you, OBW. Many, maybe all, Bible illustrations, comparisons, metaphors, etc. are used to teach us, in ways we can easily understand, about our relationship with God. They are not things in themselves that are to be taken in an exacting, literal way. For instance, the Lamb of God, clearly conveys something about Christ's relationship to us and His purpose for coming among us. He was not a literal little wooly lamb with four legs who belonged to God.

Two of the most outstanding relationship descriptors in the Bible are Father and Husband. These two speak volumes. We understand a lot by both of them about how God relates to us and we to Him. Even my grandchildren can understand me when I say God is our Father.

Now just what would they (or others who had not been soaked with Lee teachings) understand by the following verbage?

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This means that this Divine Trinity when He becomes one with His believers through the divine life forms a great corporate divine-human entity which Lee terms the "four-in-one" blended together by God Himself

I’ll can visualize the blank looks on my granddaughters faces if I were to make such a statement to them. But, I would never make such a statement because it’s not in the Bible. This statement is Lee's description of the New Jerusalem. He also said, similarly, of the New Jerusalem that it was the mingling of the tripartite man with the Triune God for eternity. These are just different ways of saying what he eventually spelled out, which was “man is becoming God.”

Please, anyone, show me where Scripture that says the New Jerusalem is a divine-human entity blended together by God or that it is tripartite man mingled with the Triune God.

I can show that the Bible says plainly that the New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God, the Holy City, the Lamb’s wife. It says there is a throne in that city that belongs uniquely to God and the Lamb. We can understand such statements … but a blended divine-human entity??? ... a mingling of the Triune God with tripartite man???

Revelation ends with a wonderful relationship. The Lamb of God marries the holy city Jerusalem. (Note that a lamb marrying a city is not a literal matter, either.) This marriage is a holy relationship that will last forever; it is not some kind of fourth thing called a great corporate divine-human entity which God has blended together.

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Old 12-03-2011, 02:47 PM   #110
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Default Does I Cor. 6:17 support Lee's "mingling" teaching?

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Ok, anybody else got another classic example of Good Lee/Bad Lee?
The opening question is: Can good Lee and bad Lee be separated? I would say that the real need is to separate bad Lee from the good Word of God. Bad Lee is like leaven that leavens the whole lump. I have another example.

Lee says that I Cor. 6:17 shows the mingling of the Lord as the Spirit with our spirit. Does it really?

Lee says:
In verse 17 Paul says, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” The word joined in this verse refers to the believers’ organic union with the Lord through believing into Him (John 3:15-16). This union is illustrated by that of the branches with the vine (John 15:4-5). It is a matter not only of life, but also in life, the divine life. Such a union with the resurrected Lord can only be in our spirit.

The expression “one spirit” indicates the mingling of the Lord as the Spirit with our spirit. Our spirit has been regenerated by the Spirit of God (John 3:6), who is now in us (I Cor. 6:19) and is one with our spirit. This is the realization of the Lord who became the life-giving spirit through resurrection (I Cor. 15:45, II Cor. 3:17) and who is now with our spirit (I Tim. 4:22). This mingled spirit is often referred to in Paul’s Epistles, as in Romans 8:4-6. (Life Study of I Corinthians, pp. 345-46).
Note that Lee references a number of verses which make his claim (organic union, mingling) look as if it is supported by other scripture; however, none of these verses really support his claim.

Back to the verse itself and looking at the Greek meaning of “joined” it is plain that the verse is not talking about mingling.

joined
G2853
κολλάω
kollaō
kol-lah'-o
From κόλλαkolla (“glue”); to glue, that is, (passively or reflexively) to stick (figuratively): - cleave, join (self), keep company.

In light of this, I Cor. 6: 17 is saying something more like: he that is “glued” or “stuck to” or “cleaving to” or “keeping company with” the Lord is one spirit. This shows the “one spirit” connection between us and the Lord is like being glued to Him, cleaving closely to Him. It is not one of being mingled with Him. When two things are glued or stuck together, they become one, yet they are not mingled. This provides a much more accurate understanding of this verse. Lee’s handling of the Word here was sloppy and it should be noted that his “mingling” interpretation of this verse went on to become one of the foundational stones upon which he built his high peak theology of man becoming God.

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Old 12-03-2011, 04:10 PM   #111
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Back to the verse itself and looking at the Greek meaning of “joined” it is plain that the verse is not talking about mingling.

Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane,

It is not "joined" that is referring to the mingling specifically in your references, rather "one spirit".

Examine the references from Witness Lee you posted.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:19 PM   #112
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Ohio,

You make interesting arguments when you choose to. My observation is that you retreat to a fall back position, a moral argument, very quickly, and the same one at that.
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Discrediting you? No, not at all. You simply engage in one line of argument. Maybe that is your thing. That's fine too.
Dear Cassidy, what you call "retreating to one line of argument," I consider being focused on the "weightier" matters. I understand you would like to debate scriptural words and phrases such as "just as," as was done the other day. That is your retreat. Reminds me of the years of word games I endured with LSM. They have seasoned wordsmiths on staff who love to keep all the issues on some esoteric literary level.

To coin a phrase, "I'm a simple man, I have no use for words." LSM uses words to deceive, to coverup their actions, and to attack those who are eyewitnesses and "whistle-blowers" for their many improprieties. The Bible tells us plainly not to sue our brothers, but LSM will pen a dozen booklets to justify this practice, and eventually their entire membership agrees with them to make void the word of God in order to keep their traditions.

Perhaps other posters have the time and interest to engage you in endless doctrinal debates.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:39 PM   #113
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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I agree with you, OBW. Many, maybe all, Bible illustrations, comparisons, metaphors, etc. are used to teach us, in ways we can easily understand, about our relationship with God. They are not things in themselves that are to be taken in an exacting, literal way. For instance, the Lamb of God, clearly conveys something about Christ's relationship to us and His purpose for coming among us. He was not a literal little wooly lamb with four legs who belonged to God.
I agree with this. Related to the "body" metaphor, Apostle Paul taught "if the foot should say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body." Paul spoke as if one member was "the foot." Who was this member? Is "the foot" still alive in some churches? Paul did not say some member was like the foot. No. He referred to that member directly as "the foot."

Here Cassidy follows WL to selectively make a certain metaphor literal to promote one's own teachings. As much as I love Martin Luther, I cannot agree that he maintained his power base in Germany by doing the same thing with the phrase, "This is My body." Using a literal interpretation of this phrase, he rejected all fellowship with the Swiss brethren, and maintained his own power base, creating a division in the body of Christ.

Had WL been willing to accept a little balance from other members in the body of Christ, we would not be having this discussion about the body being in the Godhead.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #114
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Default Re: Does I Cor. 6:17 support Lee's "mingling" teaching?

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Thankful Jane,

It is not "joined" that is referring to the mingling specifically in your references, rather "one spirit".

Examine the references from Witness Lee you posted.
The fact is that I already examined them and that is why I wrote what I did. I saw plainly that Lee was referring to "one spirit" when he spoke about mingling.

That is the problem. You cannot say "He that is glued to the Lord is mingled with the Lord." It doesn't work.

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Old 12-03-2011, 09:26 PM   #115
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

Bilbodo...I mean, Casidy,

There is a biblical basis for rejecting the entirety of Witness Lee's Ministry. In a word - leaven.

Any ministry that would lead its followers to believe that the one who brought the ministry is the, "Acting God," "One Man," "Oracle," "Apostle for the Age," the vicar of Christ or any other such nonsense if chock full of the leaven of the Pharisees, rotten, stinky pride. Any ministry that would lead it's followers to look at themselves with swollen pride and call themselves "The" whatever, should be rejected wholesale.

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Old 12-03-2011, 09:43 PM   #116
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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That's alright Igzy. We can wrap this up. Could have done it a long time ago but I don't want to ignore someone if they want to have a genuine discussion. And since, I was being challenged or asked I felt a need to provide an explanation.

In closing the short answer is this: His sound, orthodox, biblical, insightful, and enlightening teachings from his cutting straight the Word of God are the primary reason I like Witness Lee's teaching and Watchman Nee for that matter. Yet, my preference depends on the subject as there are dozens of authors I enjoy reading.

Thanks and enjoyed the conversation.
Cassidy
It has already been proven from I Cor. 6:17 that Lee didn't cut straight the Word. He cut around it whenever it served him. It is perfectly clear that I Cor. 6:17 is not talking about a so-called "mingling" of God's Spirit with our spirit. In fact, it shows quite the opposite. It is talking about the free will act of joining ourselves to the Lord, as opposed to someone joining their biological body with a harlot - something else that Paul mentions in the same chapter. This verse has absolutely nothing to do with "mingling."

Furthermore, Lee taught that our spirits are irreversibly mingled with God's Spirit. So then why the need to join yourself to Him, if it's already been irreversibly taken care of? Sort of like Lee saying that "The Lord be with your Spirit" is proof that the Lord is in our human spirit. When, in fact, it is a prayer or an admonition from Paul that we let the Lord be with our spirit.

Lee was loose and sloppy with the Word when it served him, and is not worthy to be called a biblical scholar. He was an accountant with a talent for organizing and controlling people. As an accountant, he was also good at counting people.

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:21 AM   #117
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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Bilbodo...I mean, Casidy,

There is a biblical basis for rejecting the entirety of Witness Lee's Ministry. In a word - leaven.

Any ministry that would lead its followers to believe that the one who brought the ministry is the, "Acting God," "One Man," "Oracle," "Apostle for the Age," the vicar of Christ or any other such nonsense if chock full of the leaven of the Pharisees, rotten, stinky pride. Any ministry that would lead it's followers to look at themselves with swollen pride and call themselves "The" whatever, should be rejected wholesale.

P.C.
This is actually a very important point and one I figured this thread would come down to.

Lee's claims that those who don't follow him are out of sync with God (claims of being "the Recovery," "God's unique move," the "minister of the age," and the only proper local churches were part of this) intersperse his writings to the point of being practically inseparable.

It's my belief that the average Christian cannot take in Lee's writings without risking being negatively affected by these types of outrageous and unsupportable claims. I've experienced firsthand how the brainwashing effect of being told one is leaving "God's best" waylays one's spiritual and personal life. Of course, there is a difference between reading it and being immersed in a culture that believes it. But even then this leaven is a major problem, and is enough reason to tell average Christians to steer clear of Lee's writings.

As I've said, the only likely way Lee's ideas will be dispersed is by them being repackaged in the writings of reputable teachers. You can see the minor influence of Watchman Nee in the writings of Joyce Meyer, for example. But with Lee, advanced teachers are going to get major red flags when they come upon his talk about "the Recovery" and "God's unique move" and "the ministry of the age." This will likely ensure that Lee's views will remain marginalized.

That would be great disappointment to LRCers because they believe there is this huge lack of "high peak" teachings in the Church today. But this thought is very misleading. The fact is you can go into Barnes & Noble and pick up a good systematic theology book and read a lot of inspiring high peak stuff. Christianity is not near as ignorant of solid theology as Lee wanted everyone to think. The real issue is that most Christians are not that interested in talking about it. But the good pastors know good theology, and the best know how to use it without making it the central focus.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:54 AM   #118
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Default Re: Does I Cor. 6:17 support Lee's "mingling" teaching?

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The fact is that I already examined them and that is why I wrote what I did. I saw plainly that Lee was referring to "one spirit" when he spoke about mingling.

That is the problem. You cannot say "He that is glued to the Lord is mingled with the Lord." It doesn't work.

Thankful Jane
Yes, but your argument against mingling hinged on the greek word for "joined", yet the references you provided showed clearly that Witness Lee hinged the term mingling on the "one spirit".

According to the verse it is the act of being joined that results in the state or condition of being one spirit.

This word for one in 1 Cor 6:17, "heis" in greek, is the same word used by Jesus when referring to relationship that He has with the Father:

John 17: 21-23a that they may all be one (heis), just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one (heis) even as we are one (heis), 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one (heis)

I Cor 6:17 He who is joined (kollao) to the Lord is one (heis) spirit.

Therefore, the characterization of mingling resides with the "one spirit" (heis), the many "one"'s (heis) as in John 17 and not "joined" (kollao) as you argued.

So according to John 17 the Lord Jesus said the "heis" He had with the Father was that the Father was in Him and He in the Father. This mutual indwelling between the Father and the Son is referred to as co-inherence ("see blue text above in John 17)), borrowing a more accepted theological term. The Lord Jesus said that the believers were to be "heis" with the Father and the Son. He says They (Father and Son) would be in the believers and the believers would be in the Father and the Son and that the believers, as a result, would be perfectly "heis".

Therefore, according to the Lord's prayer in John 17 the believers were (future tense at that prayer's instance) to be brought into the co-inherence of the Father and the Son.

I'll pause to let that percolate before continuing.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:19 AM   #119
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Default Re: Does I Cor. 6:17 support Lee's "mingling" teaching?

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Yes, but your argument against mingling hinged on the greek word for "joined", yet the references you provided showed clearly that Witness Lee hinged the term mingling on the "one spirit".

According to the verse it is the act of being joined that results in the state or condition of being one spirit.

This word for one in 1 Cor 6:17, "heis" in greek, is the same word used by Jesus when referring to relationship that He has with the Father:

John 17: 21-23a that they may all be one (heis), just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one (heis) even as we are one (heis), 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one (heis)

I Cor 6:17 He who is joined (kollao) to the Lord is one (heis) spirit.

Therefore, the characterization of mingling resides with the "one spirit" (heis), the many "one"'s (heis) as in John 17 and not "joined" (kollao) as you argued.

So according to John 17 the Lord Jesus said the "heis" He had with the Father was that the Father was in Him and He in the Father. This mutual indwelling between the Father and the Son is referred to as co-inherence ("see blue text above in John 17)), borrowing a more accepted theological term. The Lord Jesus said that the believers were to be "heis" with the Father and the Son. He says They (Father and Son) would be in the believers and the believers would be in the Father and the Son and that the believers, as a result, would be perfectly "heis".

Therefore, according to the Lord's prayer in John 17 the believers were (future tense at that prayer's instance) to be brought into the co-inherence of the Father and the Son.

I'll pause to let that percolate before continuing.
Please take note of this: I get the fact that Lee “hinged the term mingling on ‘one spirit.’” There is no need for you to keep saying this. It is very clear that this is what he did.

I’m glad you are focusing on this because this is the problem with what Lee did. He made his “mingling” interpretation of “one” by using only the last part of the verse. He did not take into account the true meaning of the first part. This is sloppy handling of the Word. The word “joined” in the first part negates and excludes his interpretation of “one” in the last part. It actually proves that his “mingling” interpretation of “one” is wrong.

In other words, you cannot say that two things that become one by being glued or cleaving together are now mingled with each other. This is simply not possible. The very fact that two things are glued together makes it plain that the two are distinct from one another and are not mingled with each other. So in light of the whole verse, His interpretation is not rational and is wrong.

As for the oneness we have with the Father and Son, it is not mingling—it is indwelling, as you so clearly pointed out in the rest of your post. Your argument actually supports mine because indwelling is not mingling. To dwell means to reside in or inhabit, like I reside in my house. I have made my house my home (similar to Scripture that says that Christ makes His home in our heart). My house has not and will not ever become me. I am distinct from my house, yet I dwell in it. God knew we would easily understand the concept of dwelling in this way. John 1:14 says the Word dwelt (tented, encamped, tabernacled) among us. The scripture also says we are His temple and that the Spirit of God dwells in us (I Cor. 3:16). This is a good picture of our oneness with Him, and indwelling is clearly not mingling.

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:37 AM   #120
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

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This is actually a very important point and one I figured this thread would come down to.

That would be great disappointment to LRCers ...
This point also had a huge bearing on me personally, and also the ones I was with. We just "knew that we knew" that we were in something "very special" to God, and that the Recovery would soon make a huge impact upon the greater body of Christ. I distinctly remember as a young man praying and waiting for the books Mindbenders and God-men to get exposed and then open the way for the Recovery to explode onto the scene. The longer I waited the more this gnawing feeling grew in my heart -- "what happened?" The hype surrounding the "new way" revived that hope, but the quarantines of the late 80's distinguished it for good.

Much of the corruption in the Recovery resulted from holding onto this kind of vain hope. If we were "that special," then any business venture (ie Daystar) would be blessed. If we were "that special," then any naysayer was opposing God himself. If we were "that special," then all our teachings would revitalize and revolutionize the entire body of Christ. If we were "that special," we would soon bring the Lord back. I really believed that.

This is why I often say that our exclusive claims and our elitist pride are the root of the problems in the Recovery. These allowed certain men to elevate WL to acting god status. In conclusion, much of our hope and faith in the Recovery was simply based on WL and LSM hype.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:14 AM   #121
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Default In terms of teaching there is no truly "good Lee"

I like the way Jane put it. I drafted the following to attack one of Lee's clear errors that had nothing to do with one of the debacles, but did play into almost all of his subsequent errors.

I think that we are too often impressed with the over-the-top bad that comes in the midst of the crisis when it comes to Lee’s teachings. But we don’t really look at how pervasive the roots of those things have been in the whole of the history of the LRC. These roots are evidence of the constantly active “bad Lee.”

I do not recall which forum is was several years ago that Steve began to reveal the teachings of Lee that he truly liked and held to. In it, we looked at James, and most notably Lee’s relegating it to something of a “black-ground” example to avoid. Then to a portion of Colossians (I believe) in which Lee almost immediately directed that the plain meaning of the passage did not really mean that, but something else. There were one or two more before the thread fell to the wayside. But I began to ask early on how it was that an epistle was to be dismissed, and words written set aside for alternates. The response was that “God’s economy” demanded that James was not truly authoritative speaking concerning the Christian life and that the passage in Colossians must mean something other than what the words said. Those were not his precise words, but the content of them.

For me, this brought back into the discussion of the book, The Economy of God. The discussion that I had been involved in was a resurrection of a much older discussion. This “current” discussion was in 2007. Someone was quoting from chapter 12 of the book and we were discussing the merits of the claims Lee was making in that passage. It caused me to take some time to look back into the beginning of the book.

The Economy of God. It was based upon messages given by Witness Lee from August 4 through September 2, 1964. I’m not sure of the publication date, but the original preface is dated January 11, 1968. It was revised and republished in 2005 as part of the Collected Works of Witness Lee.

In the preface, Lee says

Quote:
The word economy used in the title of this book may sound somewhat strange to the reader. “God’s economy” is a quotation from 1 Timothy 1:4. Economy is the Anglicized form of the Greek word oikonomia, which denotes primarily a household management, a household administration, arrangement, distribution, or dispensation (of wealth, property, affairs, etc.). It is used with the intention of stressing the focal point of God’s divine enterprise, which is to distribute, or dispense, Himself into man.
The first chapter is an exercise in how not to read scripture. It dutifully begins with a reading of 1 Timothy 1:3-7. But it quickly turns the very structure of the verses on their heads. It is immediately declared that the two “very important” words here are economy and misaimed. Then come two paragraphs talking about Judaism and Gnosticism. Finally, we get to it. The definition of God’s economy.

But Paul was not defining God's economy. He never did it. He was concerned about keeping the teachings good so that the result would be God's economy. And God's economy is almost clearly the whole of the Christian life, both separately and together. But let's see Lee's definition.
Quote:
THE DEFINITION OF GOD’S ECONOMY

What is God’s economy? The Scriptures, composed of sixty-six books, contain many different teachings, but if we would make a thorough and careful study of the Scriptures with spiritual insight, we would realize that God’s economy is simply His plan to dispense Himself into humanity. God’s economy is God’s dispensation, which means nothing other than God dispensing Himself into the human race.
A logical device to overwhelm the audience with an insurmountable task of a “thorough and careful study of the Scriptures.” God’s economy is” nothing other than . . . .”

No verses. No support. Just a statement claiming thoroughness.

And this is the underpinning for dismissing James. Rejecting the obvious meaning in Colossians. It is the core of “don’t care for right and wrong, just the spirit” because that one is closely tied to “don’t try to be righteous, just wait until you have the necessary dispensing.” (I put it in quotes because not because there is a place that uses those exact words, but because that is the crux of the teaching, not just something I am saying.)

This is essentially core to dismissing and dissing Christianity. They don’t teach Lee’s version of “God’s economy” so they are to be rejected. It is never given as the reason for righteous action, but the restraint from righteous action. It taught us to refrain from “trying” to do anything good (tree of knowledge) instead of just coming to get more dispensing.

The chapter eventually does provide a few more verses. But none of those verses actually say anything about God’s economy. Yet Lee builds his “what it is” based on conjecture and analogy (even to the business world). He speaks of the “process” that the Son went through in incarnation through ascension and declares that this is part of the dispensing.

What Lee totally ignores is that 1 Timothy 1:3-4 never even suggest is that God’s economy is something identifiable to be attained in itself. Those verses very clearly state that bad teachings result in certain problems while good teachings will produce God’s economy. Good teachings will produce the kind of dispensing that Lee is talking about? If that is true, then “all scripture” that is “profitable for teaching,” etc., should flood us with God’s economy. So if that is the case, how can God’s economy be an overlay that dismisses some of that “all scripture”? How can it be used to dismiss its clear statements and replace them with others. (I reject your reality and replace it with my own.)

For me, this rejects Lee. Not because he was unsaved (I seriously doubt any such thing). Not because he mixed business with the church. Not because he lied about true teachers of the Word to hide the sins of his retched son. Because he is proving himself unqualified to handle words — any words — in a proper manner. I will not impugn his motives. I assume he really believed what he was teaching. But in terms of “rightly dividing the word of truth,” I believe that he didn’t have a clue. He had something else. He may never have seen the source of his error — culture, philosophy, whatever. But he was not bringing the Word of God to us. Instead, he had to claim to speak for God in saying something different so that his contrary words would be accepted in opposition to what was already written. He may have honestly believed that he really did speak for God.

And I think that Nee did as well. He essentially said so in his preface to The Spiritual Man.

So, in terms of being a minister of the New Testament, I believe that Lee is rejected. As a teacher, he is, in terms of good and bad, simply bad. Not because everything is “bad.” But his whole premise was to find hidden meaning with his decoder rings. The most prominent ring from his personal ministry (post Nee) was “God’s economy.” It was a device for the rewriting of scripture. You may find many “fortune cookies” of sound words. But once those little strips of paper are placed back in their context, there is almost always a rewrite, a redefinition, or a dismissal of existing scripture associated with it.

I’m sure that some will complain that this kind of inquiry is too intellectual. But so much of Lee’s underpinnings were faux intellectualism and part of setting the record straight includes showing the lack of true intellect that we were expected to follow anyway.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:38 AM   #122
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Please take note of this: I get the fact that Lee “hinged the term mingling on ‘one spirit.’” There is no need for you to keep saying this. It is very clear that this is what he did.

I’m glad you are focusing on this because this is the problem with what Lee did. He made his “mingling” interpretation of “one” by using only the last part of the verse. He did not take into account the true meaning of the first part. This is sloppy handling of the Word. The word “joined” in the first part negates and excludes his interpretation of “one” in the last part. It actually proves that his “mingling” interpretation of “one” is wrong.

In other words, you cannot say that two things that become one by being glued or cleaving together are now mingled with each other. This is simply not possible. The very fact that two things are glued together makes it plain that the two are distinct from one another and are not mingled with each other. So in light of the whole verse, His interpretation is not rational and is wrong.

As for the oneness we have with the Father and Son, it is not mingling—it is indwelling, as you so clearly pointed out in the rest of your post. Your argument actually supports mine because indwelling is not mingling. To dwell means to reside in or inhabit, like I reside in my house. I have made my house my home (similar to Scripture that says that Christ makes His home in our heart). My house has not and will not ever become me. I am distinct from my house, yet I dwell in it. God knew we would easily understand the concept of dwelling in this way. John 1:14 says the Word dwelt (tented, encamped, tabernacled) among us. The scripture also says we are His temple and that the Spirit of God dwells in us (I Cor. 3:16). This is a good picture of our oneness with Him, and indwelling is clearly not mingling.

Thankful Jane
You're discounting the biblical definition of the divine-human co-inherence by considering only the picture of a house while ignoring the many other pictures in the Bible to explain the mysterious and complex relationship between God and man. Using only the picture of a physical structure one would have to conclude as you do, but, that would be shorting the complete revelation in the Bible.

For instance, John 17 shows the nature of the oneness between the Father, Son, and the believers. It is a co-inherence just as that between the Father and Son in eternity. It cannot be said that the Father and Son have only an indwelling equivalent to that of a house with each other but nothing more. By using the illustration of house and going no further you leave out relevant facts that would aid in understanding this great mystery. Furthermore, applying your logic and definition to the Trinity would place you outside the pale of orthodoxy (well into into tritheism).

Besides, how does one understand or explain how two dwelling places inhabit each other if not by some other biblical examples?

You said: "...you cannot say that two things that become one by being glued or cleaving together are now mingled with each other. This is simply not possible."

Of course it is possible! These are two apects of one thing.

The first aspect is the joining and the second is condition of having been joined. The Bible provides us such an illustration of the wild olive branch grafted into a cultivated olive tree. When the wild olive branch is "joined" or grafted into the cultivated olive tree it begins to absorb the life sap supply from the cultivated tree. The life essence of the cultivated olive tree becomes the life of the grafted branch. In the same way the believer is initially grafted or joined to Christ and in that position is now able to draw through his own being the life essence from the cultivated olive tree. The fruit is a result of the sap of the cultivated olive tree saturating the grafted branch, becoming its very life, and expressing that life in olives. This also is an illustration of the divine-human mingling confirming that the joining and the mingling are perfectly congruent in 1 Cor 6:17. Being joined and glued to Christ starts the process as without that no mingling can begin. Once joined, absorbing the essence of the divine life is the mingling.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:38 PM   #123
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Cassidy,

A grafted branch is only hitching a ride with the tree to which it is grafted, and, as you point out, draws it's sustenance from the parent tree. The two never at any time co-inhere. The one part of the tree continues to be what it is by nature, and produce what it produces by nature, and the other part does the same. Hybrid breeding seems to be a better example of "mingling" than does grafting. I should know, I'm a hybrid. Can't divide me up into my 4 percentages. Anyway...

Now, I pointed out something earlier that you refused to answer. Maybe you are too intellectual to stoop to my level. But give it a try. Stooping (humbling) can be very good for the Christian progress. Lee said that mingling is irreversible. It is in one of the Corinthian footnotes. If you need me to copy paste it I can. So, according to you, the joining takes place, resulting in irreversible (according to Lee) mingling. Is that right? Yet, in I cor. 6, Paul was addressing behavior that had to do with sexual immorality. He was talking about a choice one makes to either be joined with a harlot, and become one body with her, or join one's self to the Lord and be one spirit with Him.

Lee's teaching that being "mingled" with the Lord is irreversible is misleading at best. From II Cor. 7:1 it is clear that one can be defiled in both the flesh and the spirit. If joining ourselves to the Lord results in irreversible "mingling" then there would be no need for any admonition from the Apostles. Go home Paul, I got this.

And here is another thought. Could it be that in the Lord's prayer, in John 17, that the Lord wasn't talking about "co-inherence" of the Triune God at all? So many of the Local Church teachings are based upon Witness Lee's assumptions and leaps. If "Bruther Lee" said it that makes it the word from on high.

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Old 12-04-2011, 01:40 PM   #124
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You're discounting the biblical definition of the divine-human co-inherence
I'm sorry, please show me which book, chapter, and verse that the words "divine-human co-inherence" are used and defined. I don't think we are talking about biblical definitions. We are talking about men's definitions, as they try to define God and place Him in a box, ready for marketing.

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:01 PM   #125
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The disastrous results of the Bad Lee’s Bad Theology:

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http://www.agodman.com/blog/we-are-b...-grafted-life/

"we are becoming the tree of life!
We are not becoming “THE TREE OF LIFE” just as we are not becoming God in His Godhead, but by being grafted into Christ and as branches in the vine, we are part of the tree of life! When we are grafted into Christ, His divine life fills our human life, mingles with our human life, and spontaneously enriches, uplifts, and transforms our human life. In His economy God dispenses His divine life and element into us to mingle Himself with us and make us the same as He is. Now we are branches of the tree of life – and wherever we are, the tree of life is reaching out to others to minister life to them!"

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

Here we go again. Just as Lee, his followers make outrageous, unbiblical statements and then try to mitigate them with lame, weak provisos. I would ask the author here: So just like you have two Godheads (one that we become and one that we don’t become) now you have given us two trees of life?! What can justify such an absurd statement….oh yeah there is that “mingle Himself with us and make us the same as He is” part. Bad theology begets bad theology.
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http://www.agodman.com/blog/tag/join...gled-with-god/

"we are going through a metamorphic change to become the Body of Christ, God’s glorious expression
In this organic structure, God the Father is the person – He is over all(managing and caring for all), and through all(penetrating and joining all), and He is even in all(dwelling and living in us all). Also, God the Son is the element and the factor of life in the Body of Christ – through baptism we were cut off from the old element of the Adamic life, and through our believing into the Lord we were joined to the element of Christ’s new life. God the Spirit is the essence of the life of the Body of Christ – He is the Spirit of the life of Christ, and He is saturating us with the splendor of this essence so that the Body of Christ may enter into the glory of the life of Christ"

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

So our “becoming the Body of Christ” is something “we are going through”? Really? So we’re not yet the Body of Christ? We have to go “through a metamorphic change”? That’s funny cause my Bible tells me that we, the Church, are ALREADY the Body of Christ. When we are born again we are born into this Body, and we don’t need to go through some metamorphic change. This is not only unbiblical, it is anti-bilbical

Then, even worse things come from this author. The trinity is split up as follows – The Father is “the person”, the son is “the element” and the Spirit is “the essence”. There is so much wrong here that I don’t know where to begin. I did notice the author neglects to use one single verse to back up any of this (not that he could find any if he tried). This person has apparently soaked up enough Bad Lee’s Bad Theology that they think they don’t even need a verse or two to back any of it up!
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:45 PM   #126
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You're discounting the biblical definition of the divine-human co-inherence by considering only the picture of a house while ignoring the many other pictures in the Bible to explain the mysterious and complex relationship between God and man. Using only the picture of a physical structure one would have to conclude as you do, but, that would be shorting the revelation in the Bible.For instance, John 17 shows the nature of the oneness between the Father, Son, and the believers. It is a co-inherence just as that between the Father and Son in eternity. It cannot be said that the Father and Son have only an indwelling equivalent to that of a house with each other but nothing more. By using the illustration of house and going no further you leave out relevant facts that would aid in understanding this great mystery. Furthermore, applying your logic and definition to the Trinity would place you outside the pale of orthodoxy (well into into tritheism). Besides, how does one understand or explain how two dwelling places inhabit each other if not by some other biblical examples?
I made no claim that my house illustration was an attempt at a full exposition on the topic of our oneness with God, so your argument that I failed to go further than I did sounds a bit silly to me. The topic in hand is not about explaining our oneness with God, but about I Cor. 6:17 and Lee’s misuse and misinterpretation of it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:45 PM   #127
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You said: "...you cannot say that two things that become one by being glued or cleaving together are now mingled with each other. This is simply not possible."

Of course it is possible! These are two apects of one thing.

The first aspect is the joining and the second is condition of having been joined.
Note that Lee said plainly that “join” in this verse referred to the organic union with the Lord through believing in Him, and he referenced verses about new birth (John 3:15-16). He ignored the fact that the word “joined” meant “glued” and chose rather to give it his own meaning. I repeat, this is sloppy handling of the Word of God. Most of us who heard his exposition of I Cor 6:17 took it to mean something had happened at new birth that could not be undone. In other words, we were joined to the Lord and we were one spirit. This is a wrong understanding of I Cor 6:17.

Equating “join” in I Cor. 6:17 to new birth as Lee did carries with it the idea that such joining cannot be broken. However, the proper meaning of the word "joined" in I Cor. 6:17 is cleaving or being glued. This shows that believers are responsible to cleave to the Lord and remain glued to Lord in order to be one spirit. This means the glued connection can be broken by us. This is a very significant distinction which I will say more about. It is a distinction that Lee bypasses in his interpretation.

The bottom line is that you are bent on arguing for Lee’s mingling teaching. I suspect that you are unable to objectively examine I Cor 6:17 because your mingling belief forbids it and because you most likely have a vested interest in defending this belief. I am under no illusion that I can persuade you differently. The reason I am responding to you is for the benefit of others who might be reading.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:45 PM   #128
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The Bible provides us such an illustration of a wild olive branch grafted into a cultivated olive tree. When the wild olive branch is "joined" or grafted into the cultivated olive tree it begins to absorb the life sap supply from the cultivated tree. The life essence of the cultivated olive tree becomes the life of the grafted branch. In the same way the believer is initially grafted or joined to Christ and in that position is now able to draw through its own fibers the life essence from the cultivated olive tree. The fruit is a result of the sap of the cultivated olive tree saturating the grafted branch, becoming its very life, and expressing that life in olives. This also is an illustration of the divine-human mingling confirming that the joining and the mingling are perfectly congruent in 1 Cor 6:17. Being joined and glued to Christ starts the process as without that no mingling can begin. Once joined, absorbing the essence of the divine life is the mingling.
Just so you’ll know that I heard you, you used the illustration of the vine in John 15 to say that joining or gluing makes way for the mingling. You also claimed that the same illustration illustrates the “divine-human mingling” which shows that joining and mingling fit well together in I Cor 6:17. You said this was because “once joined, absorbing the essence of the divine life is the mingling.” Just so we’re clear, your explanation is Lee’s interpretation of the vine and branches. It only presents a partial view of John 15, the part that Lee believes supports his mingling theology.

I'm going to proceed by nailing down our fundamental difference:

You are contending for what Lee teaches about mingling, using Lee’s interpretations and explanations. He teaches that it is mingling, or dispensing of a life essence, that produces everything that a believer needs in His walk. The import of the mingling teaching is that God does it all by dispensing His life essence. Once joined to Him by new birth, it’s downhill from there… just keep the life juice flowing into the branch by calling on the Lord and pray-reading and God will take care of the rest. Nothing else is needed. The divine dispensing will saturate the branches and do it all.

I am contending for what I see the Bible teaches, using the Bible: When we cleave to the Lord, stay glued to Him, and let nothing come between, we are one spirit (I Cor 6:17). We have access to Him by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18) and are able to engage in a cognitive, conscious, conversational relationship with Him (I Jn 1:3). We can come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16). He supplies us as we come to Him and empowers us to live as He does (Php 4:13). He does not take over and start living in us independently of our interactive relationship with Him. It is critical, in order to have fellowship with Him, that we take care of staying glued to Him, that we cleave to Him. We are to keep His commandments. If we sin, we break the glue seal, and we lose our fellowship, our relationship. We have to repent and be cleansed to have our fellowship with Him restored (I Jn). (Note that in John 15 the Lord says that if a branch, a man, does not abide in him, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered. This points to a conditional relationship like the one in I Cor 6:17. Also, the Lord mentions that the branches are clean through the word which He speaks to them, which shows that He has a conversational relationship with the branches that convicts them of sin so they can be clean by repentance.)

Lee’s teaching about mingling is unhealthy. He misleads people to believe in an autopilot-like relationship with God produced by having the vision of one spirit and experiencing the one spirit (as he claims in the rest of his I Cor. message on this topic). His teaching stresses mingling that will do whatever is needed, including produce holiness. He actually equates dispensing and sanctification (being made holy), teaching that dispensing is what produces sanctification (holiness). It appears that Lee believed this because, as I posted elsewhere, he didn’t bother to take responsibility to repent for blatant sin, but just kept on ministering and teaching about dispensing doing it all. In other words, the sanctification-by-mingling teaching produces believers who can walk in sin while believing that God is the one who will make them holy by being dispensed into them. Lee’s mingling theology supersedes healthy teaching about the believers responsibility to be holy by walking in the light of the Word and repenting for sins that break fellowship with the Lord.

The Bible literally commands "Be ye holy" (I Pet. 1:15-16). It does not say be ye mingled. It does not teach that we become holy (sanctified) by something called mingling or divine dispensing. It teaches that we become holy by confessing our sins and being cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

We do not have guaranteed access to God by virtue of our new birth alone. We must be clean. We are responsible to see that we remain clean and stay glued to the Lord. Any teaching that overlooks or overrides the importance of, or emphasis on, this fundamental truth is an unhealthy teaching. The mingling teaching does exactly this. It is false and is detrimental to the spiritual life of those who embrace it.

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Old 12-05-2011, 05:49 AM   #129
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The Bible literally commands "Be ye holy" (I Pet. 1:15-16). It does not say be ye mingled. It does not teach that we become holy (sanctified) by something called mingling or divine dispensing. It teaches that we become holy by confessing our sins and being cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.
Overall, excellent comments. But I would add one thing to the above.

Confessing and being cleansed are only first steps in being holy. But I fear that we too often segregate holiness to only a state of being. If we only confess our existing sins and get cleansing by the blood of the lamb, what comes next. If life continues in the old way after that, we may have been very temporarily "set apart" yet almost immediately return to our unholy ways. We can argue in a somewhat Calvinist way that we have passed from death to life so we are deemed holy no matter what.

The passage you mention in 1 Peter says it well. It says to be holy in all that you do. Holiness is not just a state of being. It is a condition that is observable, not in still-life, but in action. In video. It is very linked to righteousness. If you are not righteous, you are not holy.

So the spiritual activities of confession and begin washed of the past are important. Those lay the groundwork for the next step to be done in holiness. But the next step is not a meeting. It is not PSRPing. It is not learning another "high peak" truth.

No. The next step is to live consistently with the holiness that you have attained in confession and washing. It is linked to righteous living. To obedience. Why? because those who claim holiness cannot retain that position while being disobedient and unrighteous.

And if you are being disobedient, unrighteous, and therefore unholy, you cannot claim to be taking in the supply of God because it produces good fruit — holiness, righteousness, obedience, joy, and peace. So those who are simply absorbing "dispensing" and waiting for righteousness to just happen must not be absorbing the supply of the vine because it actually produces certain fruit. It does not just keep accumulating in the branch with no discernible change in holiness, righteousness, and obedience.

In fact, based on the analogy of the vine and the branches given by Jesus, the branches do not simply absorb "life supply." If that were the case, then there would be no way to fail. If the metaphor is to be milked for every nuance, then branches would have no choice about receiving the life supply and producing fruit. In real life, branches that fail in their mission do not happen because they decided to fail. It is essentially external to them. There is a cause that is not able to be overcome by the normal flow of the tree's or vine's life. But in the analogy spoken by Jesus, the branch has some control. It must decide to abide in the vine and take in the flow. It must decide that it will take that supply and produce fruit.

Surely we human "branches" are incapable of producing the fruit Jesus was talking about without the supply of the vine. But we are not just along for the ride, whether a natural branch or one grafted in. We do not just take in supply and fruit just pops out. We must act according to the decrees of the vine.

Oops. Starting to move out of the vine metaphor. In fact, just like so many of the metaphors and analogies used in scripture, each one only says a little.

Or if they are all to be milked, then how does anyone deal with the parable of the embezzling steward who was going to get sacked. Seems he lowered the bills on several of his master's debtors and got praised for it. Surely Jesus is not supporting embezzling and stiffing your employer! In fact, the take away from this parable is so tangential to the story used that it mocks the whole idea of milking metaphors.

Just one more reason that Lee should not be trusted as a teacher. Under any circumstances. He created faux spirituality out of the filler — the 99% non-nutritive portion of the 1-calorie diet drink — and turned the attention from what is there to what is not.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:14 AM   #130
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There are a lot of good points here about the misaimings Lee made and I appreciate all of them, but I hope this thread does not lose sight of its central questions which was essentially:

Given the errors in Lee's theology, can something of it be salvaged which can be of benefit of the Church without the errors posing so much danger that attempting to salvage it would be counter-productive?

Cassidy would likely have people believe that Lee's stuff contained no appreciable errors. However, he then needs to produce a plausible reason why Lee has been so ignored and rejected by the vast majority of Christian teachers. The answer that they have hard hearts and Lee was over their heads is just not good enough.

OBW, TJ and others take the other side of that argument. They (we) need to explain why some believe in Lee so much.

But although I realize that what's good and what's bad is part of the discussion, my overall question is broader.

What is future of Lee's ministry?

Honestly, there are a few things Lee taught that I still cling to. One is calling on the Lord's name. I appreciate the simple idea of walking in the Spirit. I appreciate the idea of the generality of the Church.

Oddly, Lee seems best when his basic early ideas are taken in a general way. Being intimate with Lord, loving his word, walking in the Spirit, loving the brothers, honoring unity, building each other up, being an individual witness and a corporate testimony, being absolute, and so forth.

Sadly, all this began to take a back seat to Lee's desire to be different and special (because you know MOTA's need to be inovative) and all the convoluted fun house mirror inner-life teachings that came from that: mingling, becoming God, The Recovery, the MOTA, blending, dispensing, etc.

Cassidy can defend these fun house mirror teachings all he wants and he does a good job. But like I said he's very much like someone insisting a joke is funny and having to explain why it's funny. He might seem to win his case, but it's done in such a way that nobody ends up laughing anyway. So what's the point?
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:24 AM   #131
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Overall, excellent comments. But I would add one thing to the above.

Confessing and being cleansed are only first steps in being holy. But I fear that we too often segregate holiness to only a state of being. If we only confess our existing sins and get cleansing by the blood of the lamb, what comes next. If life continues in the old way after that, we may have been very temporarily "set apart" yet almost immediately return to our unholy ways. We can argue in a somewhat Calvinist way that we have passed from death to life so we are deemed holy no matter what.

The passage you mention in 1 Peter says it well. It says to be holy in all that you do. Holiness is not just a state of being. It is a condition that is observable, not in still-life, but in action. In video. It is very linked to righteousness. If you are not righteous, you are not holy.

So the spiritual activities of confession and begin washed of the past are important. Those lay the groundwork for the next step to be done in holiness. But the next step is not a meeting. It is not PSRPing. It is not learning another "high peak" truth.

No. The next step is to live consistently with the holiness that you have attained in confession and washing. It is linked to righteous living. To obedience. Why? because those who claim holiness cannot retain that position while being disobedient and unrighteous.
I totally agree. Thanks for sharing this.

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Old 12-05-2011, 07:35 AM   #132
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Just so you’ll know that I heard you, you used the illustration of the vine in John 15 to say that joining or gluing makes way for the mingling. You also claimed that the same illustration illustrates the “divine-human mingling” which shows that joining and mingling fit well together in I Cor 6:17. You said this was because “once joined, absorbing the essence of the divine life is the mingling.” Just so we’re clear, your explanation is Lee’s interpretation of the vine and branches. It only presents a partial view of John 15, the part that Lee believes supports his mingling theology...
First, a call to holiness, a holy living, to be holy as the Father is holy, to go on from the fundamentals of the initial christian birth, contending for what the Bible teaches, having a cognitive and conversational relationship with the Lord, etc. are things I 100% agree with.

Witness Lee taught those same things. The difference is that he taught there is a process to achieve those things, what he termed mingling. But let's see if there really is a fundamental difference in our beliefs: Setting aside the term mingling for a moment (several similar terms will do in my opinion), would you say we are able to be holy apart from the life of Christ? Would you suggest that once we believe into the Lord and are joined/glued to Him that we can become unglued to the point of losing our salvation? Would you even suggest that a holy living as defined by the scriptures is possible without a dependency on the divine provision given to us by God Himself. Would you further suggest that the divine provision are "things" and not something of God Himself? Do you also believe that any exertion of the self will please God whether it be for living or service?

Let me propose and answer for both you and me: All holiness, all expressions of Christ, all display of the virtues of Christ, our attachment to Christ and our abiding in Him, all fruit of the Spirit, is not accomplished by self-effort, is not a result of naturally-born human virtue nor self-determination, is not found in good works of the flesh. Rather, only Christ can express Christ, only the life of Christ lived through the redeemed man can issue in the fruit of the Spirit, express the virtues of Christ, and issue in a holy living that is pleasing to God. It is the righteous who have life (zoe) and live by faith. We are righteous because of Him for without Him there is none righteous, no not one! If you agree with this then there is little to no disagreement between us on the fundamentals of the Bible teaching on this matter. Do you agree? I think you do.

Assuming you do, then the term "mingling" is a minor point. Witness Lee, does not say mingling is all there is, he said mingling is the way. He has hundreds of books on many topics related to the christian life and the church, they are not just about mingling as if that were the only topic. Does Witness Lee return to the topic of mingling? Yes, he does, because in his view the experience of the life of Christ and all related matters result in all the expressions of the christian life. You call it whatever you like. I prefer co-inhere but mingling will do too.

Don't discard the fact though you disagree with the term.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:44 AM   #133
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Let me propose and answer for both you and me: All holiness, all expressions of Christ, all display of the virtues of Christ, our attachment to Christ and our abiding in Him, all fruit of the Spirit, is not accomplished by self-effort, is not a result of naturally-born human virtue nor self-determination, is not found in good works of the flesh. Rather, only Christ can express Christ, only the life of Christ lived through the redeemed man can issue in the fruit of the Spirit, express the virtues of Christ, and issue in a holy living that is pleasing to God. It is the righteous who have life (zoe) and live by faith. We are righteous because of Him for without Him there is none righteous, no not one! If you agree with this then there is little to no disagreement between us on the fundamentals of the Bible teaching on this matter. Do you agree? I think you do.
Then there are all the verses which seem to say our self-effort is good for something. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." etc.

It's not either/or, it's both/and. God works, but he expects our working as well.

The idea that we "just eat" or "just get in the dispensing" and make no effort to do good works is not biblical. It's that kind of thinking that produced the elder who wouldn't help his sick wife with the dishes because he wasn't sure doing so would be "in life."

I believe this is OBW's and TJ's point.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:03 AM   #134
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Then there are all the verses which seem to say our self-effort is good for something. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." etc...
Working out our salvation is cooperating with the divine life.

So yes.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:08 AM   #135
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This is why Lee didn't like the book of James. It threw a monkey wretch in his view of how God worked. Lee taught "just get in the divine dispensing." But James taught just the opposite it seemed, at least in that letter. James said, essentially, "just make a effort to do good works."

James was attempting to address passivity when it came to practical Christian behavior.

We have the power of the Holy Spirit, but it takes an act of will to get to that power. There is no way around that. Obviously, being enamored of the Lord and enjoying him is a starting point, but it takes self-effort to even get there. I don't usually wake up in the morning full of the Lord's presence. I have to make an effort to get there. I have to make an effort to be kind to my wife and kids. Yes, the Spirit makes it a lot easier, but I still have to make a decision to do it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #136
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This is why Lee didn't like the book of James. It threw a monkey wretch in his view of how God worked. Lee taught "just get in the divine dispensing." But James taught just the opposite it seemed, at least in that letter. James said, essentially, "just make a effort to do good works."...
Right, we need to set our will to cooperate with the Lord's life within.

Just doing good works without the Lord's life is pointless. I see it collaboratively as you stated in the last paragraph.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #137
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Igzy,

In response to your general question, I would suggest that the ongoing legacy of Lee's ministry is to be obscure and unknown.

In other contexts, I have noted that Nee is considered by many to generally be among the "Inner Life" teachers that began to arise in the 20th century. He may have come and gone before many of the other more notable members of that genre, but, ignoring the problems I see in his ministry, he fits in fairly well with that group — at least as far as the portions of his writings that have been made available in the US are concerned.

And I have noted that the Inner Life movement was, to some extent, part of the move to bring spirituality, even a kind of appreciation of the "mystical" side of the faith, back into the heavily intellectual base of the Evangelicals and fundamentalists.

But as little of Nee as is actually out there in general, I would say that his impact is fairly small. And Lee will never be because he tied his teaching to a "we are it and you are not" theology. It is too tainted for more than a few studying the effects of extreme Christians sects to even take note.

And the continued discovery of the errors, even though many may be somewhat small, will put even more people on alert. In fact, it may be the proliferation of small errors that is the most egregious because it is in the constant mixture of error with truth that the truth becomes unrecognizable. I can feel more comfortable reading Rob Bell's Heaven Wins and know where I take exception to him than I can reading Lee and always having to look to see if he has altered the tint of virtually everything so as to seem correct but actually be pointing us ever so slightly over Russian airspace. (Not dissing Russians, but noting that it was a faulty entry of coordinates that sent that passenger (Korean Air?) jet over Russian airspace back when the cold war was still in vogue.)
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:17 AM   #138
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Working out our salvation is cooperating with the divine life. So yes.
Why not call it cooperating with the Lord? Why de-personalize it by calling it "the divine life?" God is personal. God is life. The Person is life. You can't separate the life from the Person. Implying you could was another of Lee's errors.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:23 AM   #139
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Why not call it cooperating with the Lord? Why de-personalize it by calling it "the divine life?" God is personal. God is life. The Person is life. You can't separate the life from the Person. Implying you could was another of Lee's errors.
The divine life (zoe) is a Person and there is only one Person who is the way, the truth, and the life (zoe)

But okay, I'll update as follows:

Working out our salvation is cooperating with the Lord.

So yes.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:27 AM   #140
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The divine life (zoe) is a Person . . . .
This is just one example of a small error with big extensions.

"Zoe" is not merely "divine life." It is more generally the completeness of life. It is not merely the physical life, nor the psychological life, nor the enjoyment of life (the "high life"), but is the combination of them all. It is the whole enchilada. It is the combination of physical, psychological life, coupled with the enjoyment of life.

Most dictionaries do include a reference to "God's life" down the list somewhere. This is because it is presumed theologically that God's life must be complete. But the other definitions do not require that God be included for the term to be meaningful.

We can correctly argue that you do not have the best that life can offer without God's life. But all those guys eating pizza and drinking beer as they watch a football game together are experiencing zoe. It may not rise to the level of satisfaction that the life we can live with God does, but it is still zoe.

My argument is not to say that we do not need God's life. But everywhere that the word "zoe" is found in the NT does not simply mean "God's life." It always means the fullness of life. And for those who are mired in a miserable life on earth, adding God's life does bring zoe to them, although not in the way that the world would expect it.

So, if whenever you find "zoe" you simply replace it with "God's life," you are not being faithful to the text. Zoe is not simply a person. Neither are grace, love, or mercy. These are all attributes, features, etc., of life, interactions, etc., that are observable outside of the spiritual context by very decidedly unspiritual people. And for the spiritual, grace is meaningless if it is not observed and experienced. The same goes for life (zoe), love, and mercy. And when I say "experienced," I do not mean that some kind of "experience of Christ" stands in for these because he simply is all of these. If you do not actually experience grace, then simply referring to Christ and saying he is grace is meaningless. Same for love, mercy, and life (zoe).
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:35 AM   #141
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Good point, Mike. Another example would be the word "Ecclesia." There were ecclesias long before the Church was founded. Yet, when we sit and listen to the almighty theology experts, or Greek experts, we presume that the Lord brought those words into existence precisely at the time of the founding of the Church. I guess another translation for Zoe would be "The good life."

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Old 12-05-2011, 09:55 AM   #142
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I've believe when the Bible mentions zoe it is talking about an experience of living that can only be found in relationship with God.

Although in one sense you can say that happy people having fun could be experiencing zoe, I don't think the Bible takes that broad a view of the word. The Bible clearly says if you don't have the Son you don't have zoe, whether you have pizza, beer and football or not. (Though all three are pretty good. Though not good enough when the Cowboys lose. )

In one sense, however, you can call zoe God, or Jesus if you prefer.

On the other hand it includes the effect God has our existence in general. When I experience God, my human life takes on the characteristic of zoe. It becomes "the good life."

I do not think zoe means primarily "the life force that exists in God." This is the way Lee came to mean it. Again that was a move which de-personalized God into a force or power that had effect on us spontaneously. He may not have meant it that way, but that's the way it worked out.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:35 AM   #143
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I've believe when the Bible mentions zoe it is talking about an experience of living that can only be found in relationship with God.

Although in one sense you can say that happy people having fun could be experiencing zoe, I don't think the Bible takes that broad a view of the word. The Bible clearly says if you don't have the Son you don't have zoe, whether you have pizza, beer and football or not. (Though all three are pretty good. Though not good enough when the Cowboys lose. )

In one sense, however, you can call zoe God, or Jesus if you prefer.

On the other hand it includes the effect God has our existence in general. When I experience God, my human life takes on the characteristic of zoe. It becomes "the good life."

I do not think zoe means primarily "the life force that exists in God." This is the way Lee came to mean it. Again that was a move which de-personalized God into a force or power that had effect on us spontaneously. He may not have meant it that way, but that's the way it worked out.
The intent of my brief [sic] discussion was to indicate that I agree that the real fullness of life is only found in concert with the life of God. But it is not simply the life of God. It is our life as enhanced by God's life.

I would agree that scripture uses the term in conjunction with the life of God, but I disagree that it uses as a synonym for it. It instead uses it to describe a difference between the unregenerate life and the life with Christ. Yes, the world may have its zoe, but without Christ, it is still short of the kind of zoe of which scripture is speaking. It does require Christ. But it is not simply Christ. That is an error. We do not simply blunder along in our mundane existence and declare that because we "have Christ" we have grace, love, mercy, or even a fulfilled life. We have those things because we experience them. Not just something separate from them called Christ.

To say that zoe is simply the life of Christ (or grace is simply Christ, or love is simply Christ, or mercy is simply Christ) is to remove the actual experience of any of these from our realm and make it something theoretical that we can only speak about in general terms. "I experience Christ, so I must be getting grace. I must be living the full life. I must be experiencing love." But if you cannot see any love, any grace, and you have no sense of actual fulfillment of life, then it is all theory.

I do not serve a God that calls something one thing, like grace, but provides something else that is not recognizable as grace. The scripture my God provided does not say that I should not seek or ask for benefits from him because He will be upset that I do not recognize that He is everything I need. I need the realization of forgiveness despite the wrong I have committed. I don't need to be told to just live with it and "enjoy Christ." He desires this for us. It is not something "low" to pray for your circumstances, your needs, and your foibles rather than just praying for "high things" like "God's eternal purpose." Only a small portion of what Jesus gave as the template for prayer could be called "high things" in LRC terminology. The bulk is about our daily needs, our need for forgiveness, our need to forgive others, and our need for help against the trials of life.

Interesting that praying to be delivered from the temptations and the evil of life doesn't sound like waiting for enough dispensing. It sounds like a plea to help us as we step into life to walk it. And with the intent that it be "by the Spirit."

By the way. Someone made mention of walking by or according to the spirit in an earlier post and I cannot find it now. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I believe that it was stated as by the "spirit" with a small "s." I am of the opinion that this is an error in itself. It is not that we walk according to, or by, our spirit, but The Spirit. We get nowhere walking by ourselves. It is only by The Spirit.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:31 AM   #144
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First, a call to holiness, a holy living, to be holy as the Father is holy, to go on from the fundamentals of the initial christian birth, contending for what the Bible teaches, having a cognitive and conversational relationship with the Lord, etc. are things I 100% agree with.
I am glad to hear this.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:36 AM   #145
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Witness Lee taught those same things. The difference is that he taught there is a process to achieve those things, what he termed mingling. But let's see if there really is a fundamental difference in our beliefs: Setting aside the term mingling for a moment (several similar terms will do in my opinion), would you say we are able to be holy apart from the life of Christ?
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Would you suggest that once we believe into the Lord and are joined/glued to Him that we can become unglued to the point of losing our salvation? Would you even suggest that a holy living as defined by the scriptures is possible without a dependency on the divine provision given to us by God Himself. Would you further suggest that the divine provision are "things" and not something of God Himself? Do you also believe that any exertion of the self will please God whether it be for living or service?

Let me propose and answer for both you and me: All holiness, all expressions of Christ, all display of the virtues of Christ, our attachment to Christ and our abiding in Him, all fruit of the Spirit, is not accomplished by self-effort, is not a result of naturally-born human virtue nor self-determination, is not found in good works of the flesh. Rather, only Christ can express Christ, only the life of Christ lived through the redeemed man can issue in the fruit of the Spirit, express the virtues of Christ, and issue in a holy living that is pleasing to God. It is the righteous who have life (zoe) and live by faith. We are righteous because of Him for without Him there is none righteous, no not one! If you agree with this then there is little to no disagreement between us on the fundamentals of the Bible teaching on this matter. Do you agree? I think you do.

Assuming you do, then the term "mingling" is a minor point. Witness Lee, does not say mingling is all there is, he said mingling is the way. He has hundreds of books on many topics related to the christian life and the church, they are not just about mingling as if that were the only topic. Does Witness Lee return to the topic of mingling? Yes, he does, because in his view the experience of the life of Christ and all related matters result in all the expressions of the christian life. You call it whatever you like. I prefer co-inhere but mingling will do too.

Don't discard the fact though you disagree with the term
I don't think I can answer the questions as you’ve posed them without a lot of explanation. In other words, many of the phrases and terms you use need to be defined and qualified as to what you mean by them and what I would mean by them. I face a similar delimma with your statement of what we believe that you think is in common. Since I find responding to all this to be a complicated endeavor, I think I’ll just go at it by summarizing the main points I hear you making in your questions and your statement and then respond to them. If I have missed, misunderstood, or misstated something in the following summarization, please let me know:

1. I hear you saying that the final result, whatever that looks like (holiness, virtues, abiding, fruit of the Spirit, righteousness), is all Christ Himself expressed, nothing of us, and that if we agree on that, we are basically in agreement.

2. I also hear you saying that terms do not matter that much. What matters is that we end up believing the same thing.

3. I hear you saying that Witness Lee does not say mingling is all there is, but rather he says that mingling is the way.

I’ll respond to each of these in the next few posts.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:39 AM   #146
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The easiest one first:

3. I hear you saying that Witness Lee does not say mingling is all there is, but rather he says that mingling is the way.

I agree that Lee taught other things and did not say mingling was all there is, but that mingling was the way. I also agree that he always returned to this point.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:52 AM   #147
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To include in your response I will provide these points of clarification.

1. I hear you saying that the final result, whatever that looks like (holiness, virtues, abiding, fruit of the Spirit, righteousness), is all Christ Himself expressed, nothing of us, and that if we agree on that, we are basically in agreement.

Almost. I do not say nothing of us. The divine attributes of God are expressed through human virtues. The wild olive branch does not become the cultivated tree for example. It shares the life of the cultivated tree and the two are one constitution..

2. I also hear you saying that terms do not matter that much. What matters is that we end up believing the same thing.

Terms matter. In this instance, it does not if the facts are agreed on. Mingling, co-inherence, mutual indwelling, etc. are similar enough to convey most of the facts.

3. I hear you saying that Witness Lee does not say mingling is all there is, but rather he says that mingling is the way.

Right. If mingling were all there was then there is no need to talk about so many aspects of the christian life or the church which Witness Lee did extensively. Witness Lee returned to the touch point of mingling often because it was the way that we believers experience the life of Christ that will result in all the aspects we talked about. To him if we missed the experience of the life of Christ then we pretty much missed the whole point of the christian life.

I’ll respond to each of these in the next few posts.

Look forward to it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:07 PM   #148
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2. I also hear you saying that terms do not matter that much. What matters is that we end up believing the same thing.

I believe that terms matter a great deal. Words have meaning.

The meaning of the word "mingling" and the assertion that mingling is the way, create an understanding that impacts behavior. Because of the behavioral impact of this teaching, I believe the word mingling should be discarded. It is not biblical. It is not the way.

Christ is the way. We experience him as our way by interacting with Him directly, using words that have meaning and hearing words from Him that have meaning and applicability to us specifically. I no longer practice coming to Him to get his life dispensed into me, as I did while I was under the mingling teaching. I now, under the teaching of the Bible, come to Him to hear Him (This is my beloved Son, Hear ye him) and obey Him (If any man loves me, he will keep my commandments). In my experience the latter works, the first did not.


To me the important thing about any teaching using a term is not only what it causes us to believe, but what behavior it produces in the final analysis. In other words, the end result of a teaching is a behavior, not simply a theology or belief system. Lee taught that we needed to be saturated with Christ as the life-giving Spirit and thus we would express Christ’s life, but did this teaching produce this result in Lee? If he was practicing what he was preaching and receiving dispensing, why did he lead others to disobey the word and cover up an elder’s gross sin? Did he disobey the Word of God in this case because he didn’t have enough dispensing? Why did he never repent for this to the Lord and to those hurt by his disobedience?

I say that there was no need for any dispensing in that case for Lee to be able to simply read the Bible, agree with its command, bow his knee to his Lord, and decide that he would yield to God and obey His command. When he decided to obey, God would have supplied him with what he needed to do so (Rom 6:12-13, 16-19). I think that Romans 6:19 and 22 shows that this kind of practice leads to holiness in our living, not vice versa.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:11 PM   #149
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1. I hear you saying that the final result, whatever that looks like (holiness, virtues, abiding, fruit of the Spirit, righteousness), is all Christ Himself expressed, nothing of us, and that if we agree on that, we are basically in agreement.

Lastly, I do not think it is only Christ, as you describe. It is Christ in us. I am not parsing at words. Let me explain. I am important to God. I am in the picture. Lee’s definition of “self” was wrong and resulted in the idea that God did not want anything of us. This is false. The Bible says that Jesus loves me. He made me uniquely and he values my uniqueness. Lee taught otherwise. He called our uniquenesses “peculiarities.”

His teaching regarding the self was misleading and in many cases used by him to manipulate people. He taught us that all God wanted was Christ. Verse please? I see that Christ fills all in all, that He is exalted and glorified, that God wants us to love, serve, and hear Him only, and many other things, but God only wants Christ? I don’t see that in Scripture. If God only wanted Christ, well He had Him already, why did He make anything else, including you and me. The truth is God wanted us, you and me. He wanted us so much that He sent Christ to die for us. The gospel is that God loves me and wants me. Lee’s teaching distorts this truth and produces bad fruit in people who try to deny every fiber of what they are, in order to let there be only Christ. Frankly, this teaching produces mental disturbances and even illnesses.

Another potential mental illness producer is the idea that virtues, good works, etc. are nothing if they are not Christ. Here's why. Who can tell if my patience is me or Christ? Can you? Can I? Who can tell if my kindness, or giving, or longsuffering is Christ? Can you? Can I? How can I be sure if when I love it is Christ and not me? If I believe that it is critical that it be only Christ, then I can find myself monitoring my every behavior wondering if it is me or Him. One day I may end up sitting in a mental institution wondering who it is that is sitting there, me or Him. I know an ex Local Churcher who found a good measure of relief from mental suffering by learning it was okay for them to be kind, do good things, etc. without having to determine who it was that was being “expressed.”

I’m not done, but out of time, for the present. If I I get time, I’d like to say more about what OBW and Igzy have brought out about terminology and Lee’s dismissal of verses that sound like “I” am required to do something.

Thus far, I think you will see from what I’ve written that we’re most likely not in agreement.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:15 PM   #150
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Lastly, I do not think it is only Christ, as you describe. It is Christ in us. I am not parsing at words. Let me explain. I am important to God. I am in the picture. Lee’s definition of “self” was wrong and resulted in the idea that God did not want anything of us. This is false. The Bible says that Jesus loves me. He made me uniquely and he values my uniqueness. Lee taught otherwise. He called our uniquenesses “peculiarities.”

His teaching regarding the self was misleading and in many cases used by him to manipulate people. He taught us that all God wanted was Christ. Verse please? I see that Christ fills all in all, that He is exalted and glorified, that God wants us to love, serve, and hear Him only, and many other things, but God only wants Christ? I don’t see that in Scripture. If God only wanted Christ, well He had Him already, why did He make anything else, including you and me. The truth is God wanted us, you and me. He wanted us so much that He sent Christ to die for us. The gospel is that God loves me and wants me. Lee’s teaching distorts this truth and produces bad fruit in people who try to deny every fiber of what they are, in order to only let there be only Christ. Frankly, this teaching produces mental disturbances and even illnesses.

Another potential mental illness producer is the idea that virtues, good works, etc. are nothing if they are not Christ. Here's why. Who can tell if my patience is me or Christ? Can you? Can I? Who can tell if my kindness, or giving, or longsuffering is Christ? Can you? Can I? How can I be sure if when I love it is Christ and not me? If I believe that it is critical that it be only Christ, then I can find myself monitoring my every behavior wondering if it is me or Him. One day I may end up sitting in a mental institution wondering who it is that is sitting there, me or Him. I know an ex Local Churcher who found a good measure of relief from mental suffering by learning it was okay for them to be kind, do good things, etc. without having to determine who it was that was being “expressed.”

Boy, you said it, Jane. Preach it sister! Amen, Amen, Amen.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:26 PM   #151
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1. I hear you saying that the final result, whatever that looks like (holiness, virtues, abiding, fruit of the Spirit, righteousness), is all Christ Himself expressed, nothing of us, and that if we agree on that, we are basically in agreement.

Lastly, I do not think it is only Christ, as you describe. It is Christ in us. I am not parsing at words. Let me explain. I am important to God. I am in the picture. Lee’s definition of “self” was wrong and resulted in the idea that God did not want anything of us. This is false. The Bible says that Jesus loves me. He made me uniquely and he values my uniqueness. Lee taught otherwise. He called our uniquenesses “peculiarities.”

His teaching regarding the self was misleading and in many cases used by him to manipulate people. He taught us that all God wanted was Christ. Verse please? I see that Christ fills all in all, that He is exalted and glorified, that God wants us to love, serve, and hear Him only, and many other things, but God only wants Christ? I don’t see that in Scripture. If God only wanted Christ, well He had Him already, why did He make anything else, including you and me. The truth is God wanted us, you and me. He wanted us so much that He sent Christ to die for us. The gospel is that God loves me and wants me. Lee’s teaching distorts this truth and produces bad fruit in people who try to deny every fiber of what they are, in order to let there be only Christ. Frankly, this teaching produces mental disturbances and even illnesses.

Another potential mental illness producer is the idea that virtues, good works, etc. are nothing if they are not Christ. Here's why. Who can tell if my patience is me or Christ? Can you? Can I? Who can tell if my kindness, or giving, or longsuffering is Christ? Can you? Can I? How can I be sure if when I love it is Christ and not me? If I believe that it is critical that it be only Christ, then I can find myself monitoring my every behavior wondering if it is me or Him. One day I may end up sitting in a mental institution wondering who it is that is sitting there, me or Him. I know an ex Local Churcher who found a good measure of relief from mental suffering by learning it was okay for them to be kind, do good things, etc. without having to determine who it was that was being “expressed.”

I’m not done, but out of time, for the present. If I I get time, I’d like to say more about what OBW and Igzy have brought out about terminology and Lee’s dismissal of verses that sound like “I” am required to do something.

Thus far, I think you will see from what I’ve written that we’re most likely not in agreement.

Thankful Jane

Thankful Jane,

You make some thought-provoking points and I will address those after some consideration.

However, please see my clarification meanwhile. I too agree that terms matter and I also agree that we bring something to the relationship.

Thanks,
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:52 PM   #152
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There is a biblical basis for rejecting the entirety of Witness Lee's Ministry. In a word - leaven.
I am going to be a fly in the ointment on this issue. Not because what is behind it is untrue, but because I believe that the point made by saying "leaven" is not simply something bad.

Jesus used leaven in different ways. In one case, the kingdom of God is like leaven (not, at Lee would suggest, like the dough). The point about leaven is not that it is good or bad, but that, metaphorically, it spreads and affects things in a way that is virtually impossible to reverse. And in saying "virtually impossible to reverse," I would suggest that this particular aspect of the metaphor is not generally intended.

The important thing about leaven is that it disappears within what becomes leavened, changing it in the process. If the leaven is the kingdom of God, then the change is positive. If it is the leaven of the Pharisees, then there is clearly a problem.

And in one very recent case, someone mentioned leavening the whole lump an it appeared to be presumed to be negative in connotation.

It actually is the leaven of Lee that makes me consider to reject him. But not just because it is leaven, but because it is the kind that is like the leaven of the Pharisees. I would argue that if we start with the idea that the gospels contain the direct spoken and observed teaching of God/Christ, then in a way, Paul, Peter, John, James, and any other writer of epistles "leavened" the message. They gave it analysis. They gave it immediately relevant character that might not have otherwise been obvious to those they wrote to. Their mark on how we understand the truths of the NT is inextricably part of the record. It cannot be separated from it. But they were faithful to the intent of the gospel they were sent to preach, so their "mark" was positive and useful.

You may think that it is a bit much to consider Paul's writings as leaven relative to the gospel. But forget all you ever learned from Paul, Peter, John, James, etc., and just read the gospels. Are you sure that you would have come to the same conclusions that you do including their writings? Of course not. If we all would, then their writings would be superfluous and pointless. The changes that occurred as the result of those writings was important and obviously necessary because there were churches having problems that understanding the totality of the gospel should have dealt with. So some instruction was necessary. And since it is inspired by God, it is not as if I am calling the "leaven" of these writers separate from that influence. But some of it was a matter of the way they said things. And Paul surely spoke differently than Peter did. And John. And James. And Jude.

When we listen to anyone teaching us anything about the word they are putting a little bit of themselves into it. And it is always like leaven. But sometimes it really helps us understand and apply what is there while other times is may confuse us, or lead us in a different direction.

And in Lee's case, I think that the direction was mostly wrong. So Lee's leaven is worthy of serious caveat.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:16 PM   #153
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

The way I meant it was pretty simple, really. In the case of Lee's ministry it is the leaven of the Pharisees - puffed up with pride. A whole lot of gas bubbles inside that there dough.

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Old 12-06-2011, 04:32 AM   #154
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The way I meant it was pretty simple, really. In the case of Lee's ministry it is the leaven of the Pharisees - puffed up with pride. A whole lot of gas bubbles inside that there dough.

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Some might suggest a different kind of gas.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:00 AM   #155
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

"God wants nothing but Christ" is one of those unfortunate Christian maxims that easily get misapplied by people who tend to take things to extremes, Lee being one of those.

In the first place, the Bible never says God wants nothing but Christ. It says that Christ should have preeminence and have a name above all other names. You can't have preeminence unless there are things to have preeminence over. You can't have a name above other names unless there are other names.

So, in an absolute sense, "God wants nothing but Christ" is flat-out false. At best it is actually, or should be, simply a way of emphasizing that Christ is center of God's work and that he should get the glory for it. Lee pushed it to mean that God wants nothing but Christ as the inner soul/spirit content of the Christian life and the church. But it is uncertain what this really meant. Where do our souls go if we become Christ? I don't think Nee or Lee really knew what it meant. But it sounded good. It had that no compromise, take no prisoners attitude that they though reflected absoluteness for God.

Really it's just inaccurate and extreme.

This is one reason Lee had to declare we are Christ and we become God, because he already established that God wants nothing but Christ, and since it's pretty obvious we are not going to just disappear the only way to be consistent was to say we become God. Viola! Problem solved.

Unfortunately he won the battle but lost the war, ushering in all the strange psychological problems that come with trying to determine if something about me is "Christ" or me. Lee even himself at the end of his life lamented how difficult "living Christ" was, (Jane wrote about this in her book, I believe), most likely because what he imagined it to be was nothing God had in mind in the first place.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:36 AM   #156
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Any ministry that would lead its followers to believe that the one who brought the ministry is the, "Acting God," "One Man," "Oracle," "Apostle for the Age," the vicar of Christ or any other such nonsense if chock full of the leaven of the Pharisees, rotten, stinky pride. Any ministry that would lead it's followers to look at themselves with swollen pride and call themselves "The" whatever, should be rejected wholesale.
Here is my view of Witness Lee: if I am studying a passage of Scripture I will read it in many translations including interlinear GK and Hebrew. While doing so I will pray for the Holy Spirit to give me insights and instruction from the words He authored. Then I will read several commentaries from different traditions, look at word studies e.g. Vincent, Vine, Wuest, etc. One of the commentaries I may read sometimes is the one done by Witness Lee. That's the beginning and end of it.

That the LC has built up an entire church system around this guy based on a crazy "one oracle" concept is politely put: sheer lunacy.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:17 AM   #157
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Any particular topic or verse in the Bible may be literal, may be metaphorical, or may be both. It must be determined in its context.

For instance, the bread that Jesus broke and gave to his disciples was not His physical body. The bread was a symbol as was the cup. Yet, the symbol speaks to the literal body and blood being broken and the ongoing remembering through these symbols by the partaking of the life and ever-efficacious blood by His believers. That is the organic reality behind the symbols of the bread and blood.

In Cor 12 there are both metaphor and literal explanations about the Body of Christ. The metaphor is the human body Paul talks about and the literal is when he says:

...so also [is] the Christ, "

Though Christ is the Head, He is also, according to this plain statement, the Body.

Some will claim that such a teaching suggests that the members of the Body of Christ are actually Christ. And they would be right. That is not "bad Lee" that is just good sound bible teaching.

If we only have two choices then that would be "good Lee".
“If we only have two choices”

That really is the key phrase here. The problem with WL’s teaching is that you were not given other choices. Instead, if WL was merely considered one of many gifted Bible expositors that the saints and elders could read and study I would be inclined to recommend his teachings. At one point I had 25 different NT translations on my bookshelf. Yet the reality was I read from one or two Bibles unless I was studying a particular verse. In the same way, if you had 25 different bible expositions on your shelf I see nothing wrong with one of them being WL. But, if you believe that only one is the “oracle” that to me is the fundamental error of WL. Bad Lee is not that he taught that the Body of Christ is Christ. Bad Lee is that he taught that all other Christian teachers were devoid of any value. We had a bookstore in our hall. We were actively coerced into buying WL’s writings while at the same time being berated if we showed an interest in other teachers. That to me is “Bad Lee”.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:32 AM   #158
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“If we only have two choices”

That really is the key phrase here. The problem with WL’s teaching is that you were not given other choices. Instead, if WL was merely considered one of many gifted Bible expositors that the saints and elders could read and study I would be inclined to recommend his teachings. At one point I had 25 different NT translations on my bookshelf. Yet the reality was I read from one or two Bibles unless I was studying a particular verse. In the same way, if you had 25 different bible expositions on your shelf I see nothing wrong with one of them being WL. But, if you believe that only one is the “oracle” that to me is the fundamental error of WL. Bad Lee is not that he taught that the Body of Christ is Christ. Bad Lee is that he taught that all other Christian teachers were devoid of any value. We had a bookstore in our hall. We were actively coerced into buying WL’s writings while at the same time being berated if we showed an interest in other teachers. That to me is “Bad Lee”.
Amen! You have hit on the core issue because regardless of what is taught if you believe God's one oracle is speaking you have to accept it and that is the central fundamental flaw in the LC structure.

I would only change one little thing: "...I would be inclined to recommend his teachings" to "I would be inclined to recommend SOME of his teachings"
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:11 AM   #159
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“If we only have two choices”

That really is the key phrase here. The problem with WL’s teaching is that you were not given other choices.

But, if you believe that only one is the “oracle” that to me is the fundamental error of WL. Bad Lee is not that he taught that the Body of Christ is Christ. Bad Lee is that he taught that all other Christian teachers were devoid of any value. We had a bookstore in our hall. We were actively coerced into buying WL’s writings while at the same time being berated if we showed an interest in other teachers. That to me is “Bad Lee”.
Exactly ... great points!
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:40 AM   #160
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In the same way, if you had 25 different bible expositions on your shelf I see nothing wrong with one of them being WL. But, if you believe that only one is the “oracle” that to me is the fundamental error of WL. Bad Lee is not that he taught that the Body of Christ is Christ. Bad Lee is that he taught that all other Christian teachers were devoid of any value. We had a bookstore in our hall. We were actively coerced into buying WL’s writings while at the same time being berated if we showed an interest in other teachers. That to me is “Bad Lee”.
This comment reminded me of a discussion I had with Philip Comfort years ago in Columbus in 1980. He was known as a "pure wordist" among those in greater Ohio. At the time, he loved the ministry of WL, yet viewed it as only one of many ministries and commentaries which can render help to us believers. At one point, he named several books in the Bible, and then identified which commentator he felt was best, e.g. "if you really want to know Galatians, you have to study Martin Luther." He was well read, yet Phil Comfort always stressed the Bible first. In another conversation, he said that he had probably spent over one hundred hours prayerfully considering the opening words of First John, "That which was from the beginning ..."

In the early days, someone like Dr. Philip Comfort could fit and thrive in the Recovery. He was definitely well loved by the saints. He had a ministry freshness which was unique. Eventually, however, his Bible-only, Jesus-only purity was publicly challenged by TC in Cleveland as being "without reality, impractical, and unbalanced." All the "Bad Lee" training in TC eventually had to "deal" with this young idealist ... and so he did. TC had a way of turning all the other leaders against his "victims."
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:16 PM   #161
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At the time, he loved the ministry of WL, yet viewed it as only one of many ministries and commentaries which can render help to us believers. At one point, he named several books in the Bible, and then identified which commentator he felt was best, e.g. "if you really want to know Galatians, you have to study Martin Luther." He was well read, yet Phil Comfort always stressed the Bible first.
"Viewed it as only one of many ministries and commentaries which can render help to us believers." A view based on common sense and factual evidence yet so controversial in the LC!
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:56 AM   #162
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

Point of curiosity: Currently, does Dr. Comfort ever mention (much less recommend) anything taught by Witness Lee?
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:05 AM   #163
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Point of curiosity: Currently, does Dr. Comfort ever mention (much less recommend) anything taught by Witness Lee?
Here is a link to an Affirmation & Critique book review on one of Phil Comfort's books on the Gospel of John ...

http://www.affcrit.com/pdfs/1996/02/96_02_br.pdf

The review was mostly "favorable," but Ron Kangas did his best to point out where Comfort's views matched LSM's teachings. In the second last paragraph, Kangas attempted to discredit Comfort's writing as unoriginal, and subtly attempted to remind Comfort and others who was the real source of the riches.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:15 AM   #164
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As I suspected, Dr. Comfort did not quote or credit Witness Lee - If he had so much as mentioned Lee in passing, Kangas would fallen all over himself to mention it, and probably made it the the main point of his review. As it was, the review was somewhat shallow and even patronizing at times. Kangas mentions how Comfort wrote"Human beings possess a human spirit, the nature of which corresponds to God's nature, which is Spirit." Kangas reacts to this statement as if Witness Lee invented the entire concept, and that nobody ever mentions it. This is another LC myth. I have heard and read many Christian teachers who have addressed this matter.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #165
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Default Re: Good Lee/Bad Lee: Can they be separated?

I was going to post to Cassidy earlier, but I was waiting for him to reply to Jane about 1st Cor. 6:17 (since he stated that he would reply after some consideration). Since it has been over a week and a half since his post to her, it seems that he may not return. And, since some have referenced the posts of his that I was going to address, I thought that I should put this out to try and get to the truth.


Cassidy,

I wrote in post #108 that the text of 1 Cor. 12:12 does not plainly state that “Christ is the Body.” This may not have registered with you, since you have not responded.


What you wrote

Here’s what you wrote in #87:

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OBW,

...

As pertains to the body of Christ, even if you were to relegate the meaning of I Cor 12 to simply a functioning of member, coordination, or cooperation like the 82nd Ariborne you deny the plain statement of the text for it does not say only that Christ is the Head, it says that Christ is the Body.

For, even as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] the Christ, 1Cor 12:12
I find it interesting that you quote from the Bible and even bring in some Greek in other posts but seem not to really understand the plain English of 1 Cor. 12:12 to which you refer.


A degree of English

Notice that the text of 1 Cor. 12:12 is written as a comparison with two sides, if you will, like an equation. I will use different words (hopefully, disentangling it from the “Body” theology of Witness Lee), to express the basic meaning of the two sides of the linguistic equation that Paul gave us in this verse:
  • A physical, human form is one whole made up of many parts.
  • Christ’s form is the same (that is, one whole made up of many parts).

This is the most elementary description of the meaning of 12:12 read in isolation from the rest of the chapter. I am not maintaining that this is the only meaning that one can glean from this text. Keep in mind that I’m writing about the meaning of an English sentence and not about theology.

Regardless how you read the plain, basic English of 1 Cor. 12:12 and consider its structure, the text does not state plainly that “Christ is the Body,” as you emphatically stated, using red and underlined fonts. Not only that, the text doesn’t even state that “Christ is the Head,” which you also stated that it does.

Additionally, although I’ve limited my discussion to 1 Cor. 12:12, which was your text, I don’t believe you can find support for your “Christ is the Body” statement anywhere in chapter 12. In fact, chapter 12 says that the body is made up of many members (14) and it indicates that the head is just another one of the members (21).
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:16 PM   #166
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Default Turning the body on its head

Paul used the head and body imagery in several of his epistles; however, one would expect that Paul would use his imagery uniformly within any given letter. With this in mind, consider that he does not state that Christ is the body or even that Christ is the head of the body in Corinthians. In Corinthians, he uses the body as a way to describe how we members should fit together and work together for the body as a whole.

That being said, I am not suggesting that his usage of the body metaphor in Corinthians is the same in the rest of his epistles. Colossians 1:18 does state that Christ is the head of the body, the church; and, also, Ephesians 4:15–16 indicate that Christ is the head of the body.

Paul does not, however, according to what I’ve found, state in any of his writings that Christ is the body. That is a concept that Mr. Lee arrived at by using human reason, an activity that he warned us against, by the way. Witness Lee seems to have gone farther than Paul to come up with the idea that Christ is the Body; and, that idea can lead to a distortion of what it means to live a Christian life.

For example, if one thinks that Christ is the Body; then, a reasonable corollary might be that the Body is Christ. This kind of thinking can have a huge negative impact on an individual. Consider just one slogan that I recall from the earlier days of the Living Stream Ministry: “The voice of the Body is the mind of the Lord.” If this is the case, then all I have to do to know the mind of the Lord is to ask the Body (since Body=Christ), which usually translates in the Local Church system to following the instructions of Mr. Lee and the elders.

Doing this, not only is a person manipulated into following men slavishly to likely detriment, this “theology” robs a person of experiences of Jesus Christ, the only One Who should be our Lord and Master.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #167
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Default Don’t persecute me

Another passage that Lee used to support his notion that Christ is the Body (and Cassidy mentioned) is from Acts. In the passage, an interchange between Jesus and Saul went like this, beginning with Saul speaking:
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. (Acts 22:7–8)
Mr. Lee reasoned that Paul had not been persecuting Jesus but only those of the way. Further, since Jesus said that Saul was persecuting Him, Lee reasoned that Christ is the Body (or, maybe, the Body is Christ).

Again, this may sound reasonable in the land of Lee, but using these verses does not prove his point; because, it is an interpretation based on an arcane understanding of English. What would be another way to understand that kind of a statement? I could say, for example, that someone who persecutes my son is persecuting me. Native speakers of English would understand that I would consider a person coming against my son as coming against me. I doubt that any sane native speaker of English would think that my son is me.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:25 AM   #168
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I do not understand. Are you saying that Lee's interpretation was merely one possible interpretation?

Most teachings in the Bible are interpretations. Virtually all of our teachings on the end times and the Lord's second coming are interpretations.

The teachings that have been "proved" are those that are the tenants of the faith.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #169
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I do not understand. Are you saying that Lee's interpretation was merely one possible interpretation?

Most teachings in the Bible are interpretations. Virtually all of our teachings on the end times and the Lord's second coming are interpretations.

The teachings that have been "proved" are those that are the tenants of the faith.
Here's my response, based on the assumption that you are referring to my post #167:

Yes.

Lee, however, did not allow that any other interpretations were possible. He stated that the Acts passage proved that Christ is the Body. I’m stating that Lee's is not only just one interpretation, it’s also the most unusual one when considering how English is commonly understood.
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