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Old 11-28-2012, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

"Lee himself believes that he stands in the line of apostolic succession, his authority commensurate with that of the twelve apostles."

Apostolic succession is a heresy.

What proof does Duddy offer that Lee believed this? Furthermore, we are now 3 chapters into this book so Duddy has had enough time to substantiate these claims. He gets his material from "some LC people" who "privately confessed"?

If this is all Duddy offered then it is laughable. Seriously.

NFnL, are you extracting tidbits from this book? Perhaps the problem here is that you are leaving out the parts of Duddy's work that provides some validation to these claims. What does Duddy offer as a quote from Witness Lee about "apostolic succession"?

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Our Reading Continues

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Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
"Lee himself believes that he stands in the line of apostolic succession, his authority commensurate with that of the twelve apostles."

Apostolic succession is a heresy.

What proof does Duddy offer that Lee believed this? Furthermore, we are now 3 chapters into this book so Duddy has had enough time to substantiate these claims. He gets his material from "some LC people" who "privately confessed"?
Correct me if I'm wrong, Cassidy, but doesn't stating or implying that one is the "Minister of the Age" also state or imply that one is an apostle? Witness Lee definitely implied he was the MotA many times. When he said something to the effect that no one has had the oracle of God but him since 1948, wasn't he saying he was an apostle for all practical purposes? And when Witness Lee led on that he was an apostle, did he ever lead on that he was an apostle of different rank than Paul?

Two things are beyond doubt to anyone who ever followed the man while he was alive: Lee thought he was an apostle and never said there was any other kind of apostle other than the kind Paul was. So plainly he thought and wanted others to think he was on the same rank as Paul.

The word "succession" is a red herring here. The point is Lee thought he was an apostle.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Our Reading Continues

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"Lee himself believes that he stands in the line of apostolic succession, his authority commensurate with that of the twelve apostles."

Apostolic succession is a heresy.

Wait a minute here.

What is so different with Lee's succession of MOTA's, starting with Luther? Is this not apostolic succession in a different form?

Lee judged James as deficient of New Testament revelation, and thus elevated himself past James. Lee portrayed himself as today's Paul. Did he not assume the authority that Paul had too?
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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Wait a minute here.

What is so different with Lee's succession of MOTA's, starting with Luther? Is this not apostolic succession in a different form?

Lee judged James as deficient of New Testament revelation, and thus elevated himself past James. Lee portrayed himself as today's Paul. Did he not assume the authority that Paul had too?
Sorry Ohio. That is off topic, unless you are referring to something Duddy said in his book. If so, please quote it.

However, I will be glad to take up this discussion with you in another thread providing the host approves of the topic. It is a worthy discussion but not here.

Thanks
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:48 AM   #5
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Two things are beyond doubt to anyone who ever followed the man while he was alive: Lee thought he was an apostle and never said there was any other kind of apostle other than the kind Paul was. So plainly he thought and wanted others to think he was on the same rank as Paul.
Have to agree with you on this.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

This is indeed worthy of it's own thread.

Cassidy has claimed that apostolic succession is a heresy and that LSM teaches that it is.

But we also know that Witness Lee considered himself the "Minister of the Age," which must mean he thought he was an apostle. LSM believes this as well. The Blended Brothers, who are arm-in-arm with and comprise some of the same people as LSM, are on record considering themselves "Brother Lee's continuation."

What is the difference between believing in apostolic succession and considering someone the continuation of the Minister of the Age? I would say that essentially there is no difference.

Since Cassidy considers apostolic succession heresy, I would say he has just called the Blended Brothers heretical.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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"Lee himself believes that he stands in the line of apostolic succession, his authority commensurate with that of the twelve apostles."

Apostolic succession is a heresy.

Why is this a heresy?

Blood lineage was the name of the game for the whole Bible up to and including Matt chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. Mary had hers and Joseph had his.

Adam had his, Aaron had his for the priests, and David had his for the kings.

The apostles used Jesus' own genealogy to prove He was somebody special.

Close to half of the Christian world believes in Apostolic succession in the form of the Vatican Popes.

WN called the Brethren the fulfillment of Philadelphia in Rev 2, and they have their succession from Darby down to Hale.

The Recovery has their MOTA lineage from Luther to Lee, succeeded by today's Brother Blended.

How can you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy?"
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

"How can you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy?"

Are you making the case that apostolic succession is not a heresy?

That seems to be your stand.

Is that your view?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

"What is the difference between believing in apostolic succession and considering someone the continuation of the Minister of the Age? I would say that essentially there is no difference."

Working definition for this dialogue:"For the adherents of this understanding of apostolic succession grace is transmitted during episcopal consecrations (the ordination of bishops) by the laying on of hands of bishops previously consecrated within the apostolic succession. This lineage of ordination is traceable, according to "apostolic" churches, to the original Twelve Apostles, thus making the Church the continuation of the early Apostolic Christian community. It is "one of four elements which define the true Church of Jesus Christ"[20] and legitimizes the ministry of its clergy, as only a bishop within the succession can perform legitimate or "valid" ordinations. Furthermore, only bishops and presbyters (priests) ordained by bishops in the apostolic succession can validly celebrate or "confect" several of the other sacraments, including the Eucharist, reconciliation of penitents, confirmation and anointing of the sick.
This position was stated by John Henry Newman in the following words:
We [priests of the Church of England] have been born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. The Lord Jesus Christ gave His Spirit to His Apostles; they in turn laid their hands on those who should succeed them; and these again on others; and so the sacred gift has been handed down to our present bishops, who have appointed us as their assistants, and in some sense representatives. .... we must necessarily consider none to be 'really ordained who have not thus been ordained.[21]
Basis

Those who hold for the importance of episcopal apostolic succession appeal to the New Testament, which, they say, implies a personal apostolic succession (from Paul to Timothy and Titus, for example). They appeal as well to other documents of the early Church, especially the Epistle of St. Clement (see above).[22] In this context, Clement explicitly states that the apostles appointed bishops as successors and directed that these bishops should in turn appoint their own successors; given this, such leaders of the Church were not to be removed without cause and not in this way. Further, proponents of the necessity of the personal apostolic succession of bishops within the Church point to the universal practice of the undivided early Church (up to AD 431), before being divided into the Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
The teaching of the Second Vatican Council on apostolic succession[23] has been summed up as follows:

Bishops have succeeded the apostles, not only because they come after them, but also because they have inherited apostolic power. ... "To fulfil this apostolic mission, Christ ... promised the Holy Spirit to the apostles...". [These were] "enriched by Christ the Lord with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit ... This spiritual gift has been transmitted down to us by episcopal consecration".[24] Most Protestants deny the need for this type of continuity[1][25] and the historical claims involved have been severely questioned; Eric Jay comments that the account given of the emergence of the episcopate in chapter III of Lumen Gentium "is very sketchy, and many ambiguities in the early history of the Christian ministry are passed over" [26] Their reasons are given in detail below."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_succession
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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"How can you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy?"

Are you making the case that apostolic succession is not a heresy?

That seems to be your stand.

Is that your view?
That is a novel way to recast Ohio's question. Or are you really that dense?

Ohio has not stated that there is or is not apostolic succession. He has carefully noted that the teachings of Lee clearly set out a kind of apostolic succession that end with himself. They may have avoided the term "apostle" in the process, but the intent is identical.

So, whether your call it "apostle" or "minister of the age," it is a teaching of your group. Therefore to suggest that it is heresy is to declare your supreme leader to be heretical and to claim a heretical title.

If your only purpose is to hide the truth by insisting on your lexicon, then you should understand the title of this thread to alternately read "Does LSM Hold to Minister of the Age Succession?"

Your incredulity is a form of equivocation. Your group supports a position of authority that is in every way identical to that of an apostle, and even more special than any seen in the NT. Your "apostle" is the only one. Paul was never the only one. And despite Paul's account of putting Peter down on one occasion, he remained somewhat in submission to the others as seen in his return to Jerusalem.

So you say po-ta-to, I say po-tah-to. You say MOTA, I say apostle. It is equivocation to declare apostolic succession heretical when the MOTA is simply a renamed apostle and there is a special succession.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

OBW's response is right on and leaves less for me to have to say.

The Blended Brothers have repeatedly claimed that Witness Lee personally passed on the care and continuation of his ministry to them. They have repeatedly claimed that they know better than any of Lee's wishes and desires concerning things as detailed as whether his lawyers should be invited to his funeral. They have used these claims of intimacy with Lee as evidence that they and they alone can speak for what he meant and what he wanted going forward. In other words, for all intents they have claimed Lee laid hands on them, passing his ministry to them. They have made not only practical, but spiritual claims on this legacy, e.g. Brother Lee becomes "Brother We," suggesting they have a unique spiritual authority before God passed onto them from Lee based on Lee's wishes.

That for all intents is a claim to spiritual apostolic succession, with an accompanying expectation that LRCers respect and submit to it.

Cassidy's definition of apostolic succession supplies a distinction without a difference. Potato and Potahto both label the same old spud.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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They have made not only practical, but spiritual claims on this legacy, e.g. Brother Lee becomes "Brother We," suggesting they have a unique spiritual authority before God passed onto them from Lee based on Lee's wishes.

That for all intents is a claim to spiritual apostolic succession, with an accompanying expectation that LRCers respect and submit to it.
Watchman Nee taught that coworkers were apostles with authority to direct the work, appoint elders, etc.

Witness Lee taught that there is always a MOTA and that out of all the apostles Watchman Nee was the MOTA and that he was his successor.

BBs teach that somehow this suddenly changed when Witness Lee died and now there is not an MOTA as in previous generation but rather a collective MOTA thus the description: Nee, Lee and Brothers We!
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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Why is this a heresy?

Blood lineage was the name of the game for the whole Bible up to and including Matt chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. Mary had hers and Joseph had his.

Adam had his, Aaron had his for the priests, and David had his for the kings.

The apostles used Jesus' own genealogy to prove He was somebody special.

Close to half of the Christian world believes in Apostolic succession in the form of the Vatican Popes.

WN called the Brethren the fulfillment of Philadelphia in Rev 2, and they have their succession from Darby down to Hale.

The Recovery has their MOTA lineage from Luther to Lee, succeeded by today's Brother Blended.

How can you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy?"
Cassidy, I was playing on your hypocrisy. If you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy," then how do you justify Lee and Nee? You are just like close to half the known Christians who believe the same thing. If you believe Lee's teaching that he is the culmination of a succession of MOTA's, then how do you say apostolic succession is heresy?

Aren't you talking out of both sides of your mouth?
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #14
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Cassidy, I was playing on your hypocrisy. If you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy," then how do you justify Lee and Nee? You are just like close to half the known Christians who believe the same thing. If you believe Lee's teaching that he is the culmination of a succession of MOTA's, then how do you say apostolic succession is heresy?

Aren't you talking out of both sides of your mouth?
"However, we know that the "apostolic succession" is a heresy." Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Set 1, Vol 4, chapter 1, section 18.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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"However, we know that the "apostolic succession" is a heresy." Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Set 1, Vol 4, chapter 1, section 18.
Careful ZNP, someone might accuse you of using the ministry to attack the ministry.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #16
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Careful ZNP, someone might accuse you of using the ministry to attack the ministry.
I find it interesting that quotes from WN are black and white on this and quotes from WL are non existent.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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"However, we know that the "apostolic succession" is a heresy." Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Set 1, Vol 4, chapter 1, section 18.
What page?

My Volume 4 starts with chapter two, page 181

.................................................. ..........

Page 229-230 (top) reads ...

Quote:
God has rejected the church organization. We can see this from the words on God's gifts: "God has placed some in the church: first apostles..." and "He Himself gave some as apostles..." (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11). The most important gift and ministry in the church are the apostles, but where are the apostles now? The Roman Catholic Church considers the pope as the successor of the apostles. However, we know that the "apostolic succession" is a heresy. We have to admit that there are no more apostles now. Why is God not giving apostles to the church anymore? To this I must answer: because God has rejected the church and her organization.
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Last edited by Ohio; 11-30-2012 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Added quote
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
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Cassidy, I was playing on your hypocrisy. If you say "Apostolic succession is a heresy," then how do you justify Lee and Nee? You are just like close to half the known Christians who believe the same thing. If you believe Lee's teaching that he is the culmination of a succession of MOTA's, then how do you say apostolic succession is heresy?

Aren't you talking out of both sides of your mouth?
Ohio,

Apostolic succession is entirely different from God raising up ministers in various ages. Please read the definition above more carefully. Apostolic succession is a man-made construct and the raising up of ministers to accomplish something He wants to do is His right and place. Apostolic succession replaces the authority of the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not support apostolic succession but we see clearly in the Bible that God raises up whom He will and chooses some for a specific purpose.

That is why "Apostolic Succession" is a heresy and a minster of the age is not.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:55 AM   #19
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I find it interesting that quotes from WN are black and white on this and quotes from WL are non existent.
Where and how did you find that out?
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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What page?

My Volume 4 starts with chapter two, page 181
I did an online search on "apostolic succession"
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:08 AM   #21
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Where and how did you find that out?
I did an online search of the phrase "apostolic succession" Watchman Nee has about 5 very clear quotes on the subject, Witness Lee has none. So then I tried a few other searches on the succession of the Popes from Peter. I found some murky quotes from Witness lee, but nothing clear cut. From my experience I think it is clear that WL and the LRC consider the claim that the Popes were a direct succession to Peter to be false. Still, he never seems to have addressed this topic directly, at least not that I could find.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:12 AM   #22
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I did an online search of the phrase "apostolic succession" Watchman Nee has about 5 very clear quotes on the subject, Witness Lee has none. So then I tried a few other searches on the succession of the Popes from Peter. I found some murky quotes from Witness lee, but nothing clear cut. From my experience I think it is clear that WL and the LRC consider the claim that the Popes were a direct succession to Peter to be false. Still, he never seems to have addressed this topic directly, at least not that I could find.
At what site did you do the search?
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:29 AM   #23
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At what site did you do the search?
http://www.ministrybooks.org/
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #24
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Ohio,

Apostolic succession is entirely different from God raising up ministers in various ages. Please read the definition above more carefully. Apostolic succession is a man-made construct and the raising up of ministers to accomplish something He wants to do is His right and place. Apostolic succession replaces the authority of the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not support apostolic succession but we see clearly in the Bible that God raises up whom He will and chooses some for a specific purpose.

That is why "Apostolic Succession" is a heresy and a minster of the age is not.
Wow! This is one of those times when I ask, "What he say?" Read this post again. "Did he really say that?"

Show me one acceptable Christian scholar who will agree that sister Jean Guyon in France was the 17th century "Minister of the Age?" That's what LSM's Vision of the Age would like us to believe.

While we are on the subject, show me one acceptable Christian scholar who will agree that John Darby was the 19th century "Minister of the Age?" How about one that says Luther was the 16th century MOTA? Or one that will even consider Nee was the 20th century MOTA?

Listen Cassidy, I am hard pressed to find even one Christian scholar who even respects Lee, let alone nominate him as the mother of all MOTA's. The Ministry of the Age tag is a blinded heresy, a man-made construct, designed only to deceive God's children. The MOTA label is designed to elevate one man above the Lord, replacing the authority of the Spirit and the Bible. Haven't we been trying to tell you this for years? This is what happened to the Recovery.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the Lord's work to raise up ministers to care for God's people in the 1st century up to the 21st century, in America, China, or even Timbuktu.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #25
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That is why "Apostolic Succession" is a heresy and a minster of the age is not.
Is MOTA succession heresy if the MOTAs are apostles?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #26
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Wow! This is one of those times when I ask, "What he say?" Read this post again. "Did he really say that?"

Show me one acceptable Christian scholar who will agree that sister Jean Guyon in France was the 17th century "Minister of the Age?" That's what LSM's Vision of the Age would like us to believe.

While we are on the subject, show me one acceptable Christian scholar who will agree that John Darby was the 19th century "Minister of the Age?" How about one that says Luther was the 16th century MOTA? Or one that will even consider Nee was the 20th century MOTA?

Listen Cassidy, I am hard pressed to find even one Christian scholar who even respects Lee, let alone nominate him as the mother of all MOTA's. The Ministry of the Age tag is a blinded heresy, a man-made construct, designed only to deceive God's children. The MOTA label is designed to elevate one man above the Lord, replacing the authority of the Spirit and the Bible. Haven't we been trying to tell you this for years? This is what happened to the Recovery.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the Lord's work to raise up ministers to care for God's people in the 1st century up to the 21st century, in America, China, or even Timbuktu.

Since when did Christian scholars become the authority of the Holy Spirit?
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:39 PM   #27
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Since when did Christian scholars become the authority of the Holy Spirit?
If God truly has raised up MOTA's in the church age, don't you think that somebody else might realize this besides the saints fooled by him?
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #28
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If God truly has raised up MOTA's in the church age, don't you think that somebody else might realize this besides the saints fooled by him?
Not necessarily. It that how it worked in the Bible?

You need to stick to the Bible here and stop chasing after what "Christian scholars" think. Such scholars are like economists, stack all of them end to end and they will never come to agreement.

God's servants are usually misunderstood and discounted by the establishment. Moses was rejected by the children of Israel. The OT prophets were almost always on the out and out. Jesus was rejected by own countrymen. Paul told some that though others did not consider him an apostle he was an apostle to them. Because all in Asia "turned away" from Paul was Paul any less of an apostle?

God raises up whom He will for a special commission. That is the authority of the Holy Spirit. Whom He wills. It does not matter if you like the people God raises up. It does not even matter whether you recognize them as someone that God has indeed raised up. It does not even matter whether you agree with the commission of those whom God has raised up. And it certainly is of no account what "christian scholars" think about the topic.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:37 PM   #29
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Since when did Christian scholars become the authority of the Holy Spirit?
1. Didn't you ever hear the phrase "We stand on the shoulders of giants?" Whose shoulders do you think this refers to?

2. When the Ethiopian eunuch said, "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?", don't you think he was looking for an expositor to help him?

3. Remember where Proverbs says (3x) "In a multitude of counselors there is safety."

4. Where do you think the "interpreted word" comes from? Christian scholars, no? Or is only one 'oracle' capable of doing so?

5. Psalm 45: "My tongue is like the pen of ready writer". We all can be Christian scholars; all of us. We can all be ready to expound on scriptures, and make a defense of the faith, should any enquire. The voice of the flock is the voice of the flock, not just one person speaking "ex cathedra".

6. Remember the "sound of many waters"?
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #30
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Aron writes> 1. Didn't you ever hear the phrase "We stand on the shoulders of giants?" Whose shoulders do you think this refers to?

Sure, the servants that God raised up such as the Brethren, Zinzendorf, Martin Luther.

2. When the Ethiopian eunuch said, "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?", don't you think he was looking for an expositor to help him?

Sure. like Philip. Philip was not "Christian scholar".

3. Remember where Proverbs says (3x) "In a multitude of counselors there is safety."

Right. It does not say in the multitude of scholars.

4. Where do you think the "interpreted word" comes from? Christian scholars, no? Or is only one 'oracle' capable of doing so?

From a variety of believers and servants of God, not just scholars.

5. Psalm 45: "My tongue is like the pen of ready writer". We all can be Christian scholars; all of us. We can all be ready to expound on scriptures, and make a defense of the faith, should any enquire. The voice of the flock is the voice of the flock, not just one person speaking "ex cathedra".

I don't think it is accurate to say we can all be Christian scholars. What you mean is that we can all expound the scriptures and each can provide a revelation as the Holy Spirit inspires us. I Corinthians 14 says "each one has..". If this is what you mean then I agree with you.

6. Remember the "sound of many waters"?

The sound of Muddy Waters? Just checking.

Seriously, if you mean by many waters all the believers sharing what the Lord has shown them and what they experienced of Christ then I agree with you in principle. But then, you are using a different working definition of christian scholars than Ohio used. He meant a class of intellectual Christians, what we call scholars in the traditional sense of the word, who validate minister's credentials. I disagree with him on that because it suggests academia is the qualification for the validation and it also usurps the authority of the Holy Spirit Who alone is responsible for the special commissions in the church.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:13 PM   #31
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Seriously, if you mean by many waters all the believers sharing what the Lord has shown them and what they experienced of Christ then I agree with you in principle. But then, you are using a different working definition of christian scholars than Ohio used. He meant a class of intellectual Christians, what we call scholars in the traditional sense of the word, who validate minister's credentials. I disagree with him on that because it suggests academia is the qualification for the validation and it also usurps the authority of the Holy Spirit Who alone is responsible for the special commissions in the church.
How do you know what I meant? Did you even ask? I was actually referring to the collective learned and mature ones in the body of Christ. I don't care what credentials they have. Some are in academia, some are in pulpits, some are writers, some are teachers. The Bible says, "and He gave some teachers and shepherds." Are not these ones considered the respected scholars of the body of Christ? Could not we also call them "counselors" as aron has done?

Obviously you have rejected all of these brothers because your MOTA has condemned them all as "poor, poor, Christianity." What a shame to you! You take the word of just one man and condemn all others. Lee said that since 1948 there has not been one valuable book written in the whole of Christianity outside of his own books. Why do you swallow such arrogance, Cassidy? Why do you reject the whole of the body of Christ and cling to a man who cannot be trusted?
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:35 PM   #32
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How do you know what I meant? Did you even ask? I was actually referring to the collective learned and mature ones in the body of Christ.

Ohio,

Don't be silly.

You know what you meant and I know what you meant. You said:

"Show me one acceptable Christian scholar who will agree that sister Jean Guyon in France was the 17th century "Minister of the Age?"

While we are on the subject,
show me one acceptable Christian scholar who will agree that John Darby was the 19th century "Minister of the Age?"

How about one that says Luther was the 16th century MOTA?

Or one that will even consider Nee was the 20th century MOTA?

Listen
Cassidy, I am hard pressed to find even one Christian scholar who even respects Lee, let alone nominate him as the mother of all MOTA's.


Maybe you don't like the sound of it played back or maybe you just lack the conviction of your beliefs so you want to change your definition in the middle of the argument. Alright. If you go with the more general definition of "christian scholar" or for that matter we can just agree on aron's definition of christian scholar, that is, most any believer (christian scholar if you prefer) can exercise this discernment about a minister with a commission, so then there are thousands, wait, tens of thousands of Christians that have confirmed the special commission and apostleship/ministry of both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

And that my friend is how it is done.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:48 PM   #33
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Careful ZNP, someone might accuse you of using the ministry to attack the ministry.
Not possible. A house divided cannot stand. You are overlooking the obvious explanation.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:54 PM   #34
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Correct ZNP. The one that publishes the teachings of both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Therein you will find the teaching that "apostolic succession is a heresy".
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:11 PM   #35
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Default Jeremiah 23:33-38

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When he said something to the effect that no one has had the oracle of God but him since 1948
This was spoken at the Pasadena Conference (87/88). It is a bold statement to say you are God's Oracle.

“Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What [h]oracle?’ The Lord declares, ‘I will abandon you.’ Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ I will bring punishment upon that man and his household. Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:02 AM   #36
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you are using a different working definition of christian scholars than Ohio used. He meant a class of intellectual Christians, what we call scholars in the traditional sense of the word...
I notice that when Living Streamers find some "traditional Christian scholars" like Moody Bible Institute or Christian Research Institute to aid them, they do so with alacrity. But in the many instances where the Streamers deviate, they say, "Who needs Christian scholars?"
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #37
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I was actually referring to the collective learned and mature ones in the body of Christ.
I remember, for instance, when Lee would cite Kittel.

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

I would think how impressive, how careful and all-inclusive Lee's scholarship was. But in hindsight he was just occasionally using Christian scholarship as a prop, and for a patina of legitimacy. Look at how quickly he would denigrate anything and anyone as "poor" and "deformed" which he couldn't use. Which happens to be about 99.5% of Christian scholarship.

And that is just the learned ones. The mature ones he could use even less.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:43 AM   #38
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This was spoken at the Pasadena Conference (87/88). It is a bold statement to say you are God's Oracle.

“Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What [h]oracle?’ The Lord declares, ‘I will abandon you.’ Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ I will bring punishment upon that man and his household. Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’
Jeremiah 23:33-38

"It is a bold statement to say you are God's Oracle. "

Not capital "O".It is erroneous to say "God's Oracle" in reference to Witness Lee's speaking in Pasadena. Furthermore, He never said "I AM God's Oracle" Finally, the capitalization of Oracle in your sentence suggests the unique Oracle of God which we all acknowledge to be the Son.

"God having spoken of old in many portions and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets, has at the last of these days spoken to us in the Son..." Heb 1:1-2a

A more accurate statement would have been to say that Witness Lee stated he has the oracle (little "o") of God or that what he spoke is God's oracle. God is speaking through the Son today by the Spirit into our spirit to carry out His ministry. All believers can hear God's oracle directly through the Bible and should daily. God also has placed gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherd and teachers) for the work of ministry
for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph 4:11-12) . What the gifts speak from God is His oracle, the ministry that enlightens and enlivens all members to function for the building work, the work of the one ministry. When a gift or any member of the Body of Christ speaks we should listen to the oracle of God and not to the man or woman who is speaking. The oracle of God is potentially there in the speaking of every member of the Body. We should never listen to a man and should repent if that is what you did with Witness Lee. However, we must listen to God in His oracle, the oracle that is spoken through men and to men.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:01 AM   #39
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A more accurate statement would have been to say that Witness Lee stated he has the oracle (little "o") of God or that what he spoke is God's oracle. ...However, we must listen to God in His oracle, the oracle that is spoken through men.
[/SIZE]
You said that "that oracle is spoken through men." I wonder if WL would agree with you. It seems that his claim that he had the oracle was an exclusive one at the time.

So then, if the oracle is spoken through men, according to you, WL's claim that he had the oracle was nothing special; he had it, you could have it (apart from his speaking, his ministry), I could have it, etc? It wasn't/isn't limited to one person, one oracle, at a time?
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:17 AM   #40
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You said that "that oracle is spoken through men." I wonder if WL would agree with you. It seems that his claim that he had the oracle was an exclusive one at the time.

So then, if the oracle is spoken through men, according to you, WL's claim that he had the oracle was nothing special; he had it, you could have it (apart from his speaking, his ministry), I could have it, etc? It wasn't/isn't limited to one person, one oracle, at a time?
ABF,

Of course, God speaks through men. The gifts he gives the Body of the perfecting of all the members for the work of ministry are men. It is a unique and special commission for all who are willing to join in.

Knowing we have the oracle of God the question becomes how do we find it and what is it.

"If we have a sincere, seeking spirit and if we open to the Lord from the depths of our being as we read the Bible, it will be easy for us to hear God’s speaking and receive God’s word. God’s word will reach us."

"This ministry, which is the ministry of the Spirit and the ministry of righteousness, is the New Testament ministry, the unique ministry of God’s New Testament economy. This word is the oracle of God. "

Further Light Concerning the Building Up of the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee

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Old 12-01-2012, 07:48 AM   #41
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The Bible does not support apostolic succession but we see clearly in the Bible that God raises up whom He will and chooses some for a specific purpose.

That is why "Apostolic Succession" is a heresy and a minster of the age is not.
Folks, this is what is know as a Non Sequitur (Latin for "it does not follow").

Note how Cassidy casually segues from the valid fact of God raising up workers (who else would raise them up?) and co-opts that to imply validity of the idea of a "minister of the age." But, the fact that God raises up workers in no way validates the idea of a minister of the age! Cassidy all too often employs this kind of invalid argumentation.

Minister of the age is just not biblical. It is as much a man-made construct as apostolic succession.

The proof that the BBs and LSM hold to apostolic succession is how they got from "Brother Lee" to "Brother We" (the BBs). Do any of them have the credentials of an apostle? Hardly. Their leading credential is that they worked with and were approved by Lee. THAT is the essense of succession.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:02 AM   #42
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A more accurate statement would have been to say that Witness Lee stated he has the oracle (little "o") of God or that what he spoke is God's oracle.
"A more accurate statement"? If all you know about Witness Lee and what he is what you read in books then you better leave such things to those of us who know what we're talking about. I won't use the rest of your quote because...well because it makes you sound foolish. You sound like a 3rd grader who is using advanced mathematical and physics terms to convince a group of graduate students that he really knows what Stephen Hawking meant to say. Cassidy, you sound like a kid who is pretty bright and has read all the books but never went to lab class. You know the atomic number of the elements but you're clueless as to how they actually function and interact with each other.

During Lee's earlier ministry, and through the 70s, he rarely touched upon this matter of "apostles", much less that there is one leading apostle in any given age. During one of the depositions in one of those books (Godmen or Mindbenders) one of the attorneys flat out asked Lee if he considered himself an apostle. He gave some typically Lee, mealy mouthed, shuck and jive non-answer to a straight forward question. His answer (really non answer) was something like "we don't use this term apostle". At the time I remember reading this and being confused why Witness Lee didn't boldly proclaim something that we all knew...He was the ONE apostle on earth. I think many of us figured his attorney told him not to admit this to the other side. But he was right, we didn't use this term apostle (much less the one apostle), in fact Lee discouraged the use of this term.

It was only when Ingalls et al back in the late 80s, when Lee really began to do a lot of pushing and shoving, and proclaiming his apostolic authority, that he spilled the beans and proclaimed that he was the only person on earth speaking for God since 1945. We can pull out the quote if you need us to.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #43
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ABF,

Of course, God speaks through men.
Of course. So, again, my question(s). Was WL's claim to have the oracle of God anything special? Did he have it more so than others; did he have it exclusively for a time? Were/ are the men through whom God speaks associated solely with the ministry of WL?
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #44
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"proclaimed that he was the only person on earth speaking for God since 1945. We can pull out the quote if you need us to."

I've seen the quote before posted around here. I don't believe it adds any weight to the discussion but you if think it does then toss it in here and we'll have a look.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:30 AM   #45
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Of course. So, again, my question(s). Was WL's claim to have the oracle of God anything special? Did he have it more so than others; did he have it exclusively for a time? Were/ are the men through whom God speaks associated solely with the ministry of WL?
Special? I will have to say Yes to that as pertains to the biblical definition of a special ministry. However, I do not say special in the sense that God would not raise up another or others for that special ministry. It is obviously special to many for various reasons:

1) Those who give themselves to that ministry think it is special
2) Those that oppose it so vigorously think it is special enough to discredit
3) Watchman Nee referred to it as a special ministry.

"There are many ministries connected with the service of God, but He has chosen a number of men for a special ministry—the ministry of the Word for the building up of the Body of Christ. Since that ministry is different from others, we refer to it as “the ministry.” This ministry is entrusted to a group of people of whom the apostles are chief. It is neither a one-man ministry, nor an “all-men” ministry, but a ministry based upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit and an experimental knowledge of the Lord."

The Normal Christian Church Life - Watchman Nee
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #46
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When a gift or any member of the Body of Christ speaks we should listen to the oracle of God and not to the man or woman who is speaking. The oracle of God is potentially there in the speaking of every member of the Body. We should never listen to a man and should repent if that is what you did with Witness Lee. However, we must listen to God in His oracle, the oracle that is spoken through men and to men.
[/SIZE]
But isn't this what we are saying? Aren't we saying that we must listen to John Ingalls. We must listen to John So. We must listen to this sister from Shanghai that just wrote a book on Watchman Nee. We must listen to the sisters accused of being in the "Sister's rebellion"?

Aren't we the ones that are saying "we should never listen to a man"? After all to listen to Witness Lee's account of what happened to Watchman Nee forces you to listen to a "man", Witness Lee, and ignore many other saints.

Now none of those saints have to claim to be the "o" oracle in order for us to listen to them. How does saying that he is the "oracle" of God mean anything? If he is saying that others are not the "oracle" of God then isn't that a contradiction to what you just said? And if he is saying that all the gifts and all the members of the God speak as the "oracle" of God then why do you need to say that you are the "oracle" of God?
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:13 AM   #47
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Folks, this is what is know as a Non Sequitur (Latin for "it does not follow").

Note how Cassidy casually segues from the valid fact of God raising up workers (who else would raise them up?) and co-opts that to imply validity of the idea of a "minister of the age." But, the fact that God raises up workers in no way validates the idea of a minister of the age! Cassidy all too often employs this kind of invalid argumentation.

Minister of the age is just not biblical. It is as much a man-made construct as apostolic succession.

The proof that the BBs and LSM hold to apostolic succession is how they got from "Brother Lee" to "Brother We" (the BBs). Do any of them have the credentials of an apostle? Hardly. Their leading credential is that they worked with and were approved by Lee. THAT is the essense of succession.
Also it violates several Biblical principles.

1. Every member of the Body is important. If this is true how could you have a single man out of hundreds of millions, even billiions of Christians who is "the" minister of the age.

2. The body has many ministries. Again, how could one be considered "the" ministry. Perhaps if the heart stops working you die, well that is also true of the Liver. Maybe you can lose one lung and still live, so you could argue that lungs and kidney's are less critical, but that seems contrary to the truth, perhaps we have two because they are more critical. And doesn't it depend, if you lost a hand that would be critical to a piano player, but not deadly.

3. The Lord said if you want to be "great" in the kingdom you needed to be "servant to all". It is hard for me to buy that a leader of a small exclusive sect could argue that he was "servant of all".

4. When asked by some to sit on his right hand he asked can you "drink the cup that I am going to drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am going to be baptized with?" Yet when I suggested that Witness Lee be judged with the same judgement as Paul I was told "that is silly" by those who claim he is the MOTA. That tells me even the most strident supporters know it is silly to think he was the MOTA.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:16 AM   #48
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Now none of those saints have to claim to be the "o" oracle in order for us to listen to them. How does saying that he is the "oracle" of God mean anything? If he is saying that others are not the "oracle" of God then isn't that a contradiction to what you just said? And if he is saying that all the gifts and all the members of the God speak as the "oracle" of God then why do you need to say that you are the "oracle" of God?
All this talk about Big-O oracles reminded me of my youth. I had a couple friends who loved to tag one another with catchy nicknames. For a time mine was "Big-O" which was taken from this popular ditty ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7r6A6YQdtI

The caption says, "Here's a blast from the past: "The Ballad of the Big-O", Lawsons' legendary TV commercial from the 1970's. If you were a kid growing up anywhere in central and northern Ohio, this commercial left an indelible mark on your memory!

This is my 2nd nomination for a forum theme song.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:18 AM   #49
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Special? I will have to say Yes to that as pertains to the biblical definition of a special ministry. However, I do not say special in the sense that God would not raise up another or others for that special ministry. It is obviously special to many for various reasons:

1) Those who give themselves to that ministry think it is special
2) Those that oppose it so vigorously think it is special enough to discredit
3) Watchman Nee referred to it as a special ministry.

"There are many ministries connected with the service of God, but He has chosen a number of men for a special ministry—the ministry of the Word for the building up of the Body of Christ. Since that ministry is different from others, we refer to it as “the ministry.” This ministry is entrusted to a group of people of whom the apostles are chief. It is neither a one-man ministry, nor an “all-men” ministry, but a ministry based upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit and an experimental knowledge of the Lord."

The Normal Christian Church Life - Watchman Nee
Every ministry is a "speaking" ministry that involves the word of God. You cannot have the gift of evangelism without speaking the word of God. This gift builds up the body as well. Likewise with shepherding, teaching, and prophesy. This idea that the ministry of the word is "special" and different from other ministries because it builds up the body is ridiculous.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #50
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2. The body has many ministries. Again, how could one be considered "the" ministry. Perhaps if the heart stops working you die, well that is also true of the Liver. Maybe you can lose one lung and still live, so you could argue that lungs and kidney's are less critical, but that seems contrary to the truth, perhaps we have two because they are more critical. And doesn't it depend, if you lost a hand that would be critical to a piano player, but not deadly.
For all his talk about "the body," this verse might be an apt epitaph for Lee and his attitude towards other Christians ...

"The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" -- I Corinthians 12.21
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #51
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But isn't this what we are saying? Aren't we saying that we must listen to John Ingalls. We must listen to John So. We must listen to this sister from Shanghai that just wrote a book on Watchman Nee. We must listen to the sisters accused of being in the "Sister's rebellion"?

Aren't we the ones that are saying "we should never listen to a man"? After all to listen to Witness Lee's account of what happened to Watchman Nee forces you to listen to a "man", Witness Lee, and ignore many other saints.

Now none of those saints have to claim to be the "o" oracle in order for us to listen to them. How does saying that he is the "oracle" of God mean anything? If he is saying that others are not the "oracle" of God then isn't that a contradiction to what you just said? And if he is saying that all the gifts and all the members of the God speak as the "oracle" of God then why do you need to say that you are the "oracle" of God?
ZNP,

You have brought up some excellent and crucial points.

I will give you my view on them shortly.

Thanks,
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #52
ZNPaaneah
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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All this talk about Big-O oracles reminded me of my youth. I had a couple friends who loved to tag one another with catchy nicknames. For a time mine was "Big-O" which was taken from this popular ditty ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7r6A6YQdtI

The caption says, "Here's a blast from the past: "The Ballad of the Big-O", Lawsons' legendary TV commercial from the 1970's. If you were a kid growing up anywhere in central and northern Ohio, this commercial left an indelible mark on your memory!

This is my 2nd nomination for a forum theme song.
"Then they pick and they squeeze just as quick as you please".
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #53
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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Jeremiah 23:33-38

"It is a bold statement to say you are God's Oracle. "

Not capital "O".It is erroneous to say "God's Oracle" in reference to Witness Lee's speaking in Pasadena. Furthermore, He never said "I AM God's Oracle" Finally, the capitalization of Oracle in your sentence suggests the unique Oracle of God which we all acknowledge to be the Son.

A more accurate statement would have been to say that Witness Lee stated he has the oracle (little "o") of God or that what he spoke is God's oracle. God is speaking through the Son today by the Spirit into our spirit to carry out His ministry. All believers can hear God's oracle directly through the Bible and should daily. God also has placed gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherd and teachers) for the work of ministry
for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph 4:11-12) . What the gifts speak from God is His oracle, the ministry that enlightens and enlivens all members to function for the building work, the work of the one ministry. When a gift or any member of the Body of Christ speaks we should listen to the oracle of God and not to the man or woman who is speaking. The oracle of God is potentially there in the speaking of every member of the Body. We should never listen to a man and should repent if that is what you did with Witness Lee. However, we must listen to God in His oracle, the oracle that is spoken through men and to men.
Though the conference tapes are said to be sealed and restricted, here is one account of what was said from Speaking the Truth in Love,

CONFERENCE AND ELDERS’ MEETING
IN PASADENA
November 1988


On the Thanksgiving Day weekend of November 1988 Brother Lee, just returned from Taiwan, held a conference of five meetings in the auditorium of the Pasadena City College in California. The conference was followed by an elders’ meeting November 27th in the meeting place of the church in San Gabriel. In that meeting Brother Lee proclaimed that though he had a hall in Anaheim, he was not happy to use it (no doubt because of certain people who were in Anaheim). The brothers in the Los Angeles area invited him to have a conference and arranged the place in Pasadena. He said that when he heard that it would be in Pasadena he was happy. These people, he said, "exalt" me: I am happy to be exalted.
Before the conference began a report came to us that a flyer had been printed and would be placed on the windshields of all the cars of those attending the conference in Pasadena. On the flyer, we were told, some sinful disorders were mentioned. We fully disapproved of such action. Not knowing who authorized or printed them or who intended to distribute them, but knowing a couple of brothers who we thought might be aware of it, we called them and urged them to do whatever they could to stop the distribution. It seems that our word was heeded, at least to some extent, for no flyers were distributed at the conference. We discovered later, however, that they were put on some cars in the Anaheim meeting hall parking lot. Such acts we believe to be of the flesh and not the way to protest wrongdoing. Some time later, after the conference, we obtained a copy of the flyer. It was entitled Significant Dates in the History of the Church in Anaheim.
In the first meeting of the conference, November 25th, Brother Lee was in a fighting spirit, fighting against "autonomy" and "federation." He referred to some books authored by George Henry Lang, a servant of the Lord in England during the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. In one of his books, entitled The Churches of God, Lang emphasized the need for local administration in the churches. This was the book that troubled Brother Lee. (I had read this book, and being deeply impressed with its strong scriptural basis and timely application to our present need, I had recommended it to others.) Brother Lee called Lang’s book heretical and told the saints if they had them to burn them. I consider this kind of talk reckless and lawless. Brother Lee in years past had commended Lang for his insight and writing on the truth of the kingdom. His books have been recently reprinted and are available today.
In the conference meetings he strongly vindicated himself and his work. He gave a message in which he recounted a number of revelations brought forth by him which he said no one else besides the Bible authors had ever seen. Regarding the enjoying of Christ he said, "I invented this term, enjoying Christ." He continued, "I invented this term, experiencing Christ, exhibiting Christ." I believe a number of saints could testify that they heard of enjoying Christ or enjoying the Lord long before Brother Lee ever came to the United States. I for one did. My step-mother, seeking to help me, spoke to me of this in 1949. No doubt she heard this from other Christian teachers. The term, experiencing Christ, has also been spoken by other Christian teachers for years. Brother Lee did not invent that term. He mentioned many other items, claiming that they had all been revealed to him in the past twenty or so years; no one else had ever seen or spoken of them.
He referred to the title he has used for the Holy Spirit – "the all-inclusive Spirit of Christ as the consummation of the processed Triune God" – and asked who made such a title. Webster? he asked. Then he answered his own question, "That Lee! Lee has to be famous! Lee! Lee! Lee must have the credit! And if you listen to me, you do not listen to Lee, you listen to the very God in His oracle spoken by me." A little later in his message he said, "Going with God’s oracle, surely there is the deputy authority of God in this oracle. Whoever speaks for God, he surely has certain divine authority. I’m claiming this for Lee!"
Now I would ask, are these the words of a sober man, the words of a spiritual man, a man of God? To me it is shocking to hear him speak this way, for he has indeed been used of God in the past to speak His Word. But to vindicate oneself so blatantly and boastfully indicates to me a fall. May the Lord have mercy on us all.
Following his message he asked for testimonies to be given by brothers from five countries: Brazil, the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. All these told of the success of the new way in their place, especially giving statistics regarding the number of churches and new ones baptized. The Lord along knows the real situation. If there is any real blessing from Him we rejoice and give thanks.
In the elders’ meeting following the conference Brother Lee read from a list of items, mentioning what he said were the top ten revelations received by him, seen previously by no one else. Some of them were as follows:

1. "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45)
2. "He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17).
3. Prayreading.
4. Calling on the name of the Lord.
5. The seven Spirits.
6. The dispensing of the processed Triune God into the tripartite man.
7. The New Jerusalem as a corporate man.
8. The lampstand as the embodiment of the Triune God.

Now we thank God for these revelations from His holy Word, but to claim that he was the first one to see these is going altogether too far. Moreover, concerning at least a number of these items, Brother Lee was in fact not the first to see them. Regarding the last Adam becoming a life-giving Spirit and our being one spirit with the Lord, there were a number of other Christian teachers who saw and wrote of these things. We have evidence of this. Concerning prayreading, many have seen this and practiced this, as recorded in the book authored by Ray Graver and published by the LSM entitled, Lord…Thou Saidst. Calling on the name of the Lord was not a recent discovery by Brother Lee or by us. The New Jerusalem as a corporate person was also seen by others—T. Austin-Sparks for one. If we have time or if there is the need, we may document all these instances.
The revelations mentioned are indeed great and precious. Fairly speaking, some of these matters may have been fresh revelations to Brother Lee. The Lord alone knows. And some of them he may have enunciated more clearly than his predecessors. But for anyone to claim that no one had ever seen these things before, but him, is totally insupportable, since we are not omniscient. Moreover, such self-vindication is very unbecoming and repugnant.
Brother Lee went on to say, "You cannot deny the fact that the Lord’s oracle has been with me. I claim this at the face of Jesus Christ. The deputy authority of God is in His oracle; so whoever speaks for God has His deputy authority. But I never used it."
In the elders’ meeting, Brother Lee referred to some anonymous papers being circulated and blamed the elders in Anaheim for not stopping the distribution. He then referred to the flyer which had been printed and was to be put on the windshields of the cars at the conference. I then rose from my seat and said that we wanted Brother Lee and all the brothers to know that we fully disapproved of that action and had done whatever we could to stop it. Brother Lee took the opportunity then, while I was on my feet, to question me publicly about a few things. He asked me about an anonymous writing entitled Reconsidering Our Vision. (which had troubled him greatly) and if we had done anything to stop its circulation. I said that we had not.
Regarding some brothers, probably including me (or, especially me), Brother Lee said, Whether you are for me or not, I know; I know everything. I know what restaurant you were eating in, what day, and with whom. I have a lot of colleagues who write me long records of ten to twenty pages about you. He said further, Which church is under my hand? You have a church; I have none. I know which church welcomes me, and which has a cold heart toward me.
Near the end of his word he proclaimed, I don’t care for the loss of any church. Even if the entire U. S. A. is closed to me I don’t care. I only care for ten to twenty faithful ones meeting together to practice the truth.
When he sat down and asked for fellowship, a brother from Anaheim, Paul Kerr, rose toward the end of the time and asked two questions. The first consisted of two queries: Why have other brothers besides you not been raised up? And, Why do you have no contemporaries to challenge you and fellowship with you? Brother Lee’s answer was simply, "I don’t know." And then he said that since 1945 he has been watching to see if anyone else could speak God’s word as God’s oracle. He could find none. Paul Kerr’s next question concerned John So and John Ingalls. He asked, "How is it that in the past you referred to these two brothers as pillars and today’s Timothy, and today you have nothing good to say about them? Brother Lee’s reply was that brothers can change. Demas loved the Lord, but then he changed and loved the world. I can change, he said; we all can change. So we all need the Lord’s mercy.
Brother Lee was beside himself in this meeting. I had never personally observed him in such a state as I witnessed him there. He was obviously exceedingly agitated. That was the last elders’ meeting with Brother Lee that I ever attended.

Pages 54-57
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:20 PM   #54
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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Now none of those saints have to claim to be the "o" oracle in order for us to listen to them. How does saying that he is the "oracle" of God mean anything? If he is saying that others are not the "oracle" of God then isn't that a contradiction to what you just said? And if he is saying that all the gifts and all the members of the God speak as the "oracle" of God then why do you need to say that you are the "oracle" of God?
Thank you ZNP, this was my question exaclty.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #55
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

The Bible commands all speakers to speak as the oracles of God. (1 Pet 4:11). It means, essentially, if you intend to speak for God make sure you are really speaking God's word.

So every preacher, teacher, etc., in the world should speak as the oracles of God. So, Lee, by saying he had not heard the oracle of God in anyone since 1945 was saying that he had heard no one speaking God's word during that time but him. What a ridiculous claim that was!

This is what you are dealing with in Lee. A gifted man of great insight in some areas, who was completely clueless in others. This is why, I believe, he's been largely ignored by the Church at large. He's too inconsistent. There is so much variance in the reliability of his teaching that finally you just say he's not worth the risk. It's a shame, but he brought it on himself.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #56
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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So, Lee, by saying he had not heard the oracle of God in anyone since 1945 was saying that he had heard no one speaking God's word during that time but him. What a ridiculous claim that was!
"Even though Christianity has not published any spiritual books of weight for the past thirty-nine years, the Lord has released many riches among us." (Crucial words of leading for the Lord’s recovery, Book 3: the future of the Lord’s Recovery and the building up of the organic service, chapter 7, Witness Lee)

and also

"However, for the past thirty or more years there has been no real progress in Christianity." (Crucial words of leading for the Lord’s recovery, Book 3: the future of the Lord’s Recovery and the building up of the organic service, chapter 7, Witness Lee)

Compare
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

with

8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #57
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But isn't this what we are saying? Aren't we saying that we must listen to John Ingalls. We must listen to John So. We must listen to this sister from Shanghai that just wrote a book on Watchman Nee. We must listen to the sisters accused of being in the "Sister's rebellion"?

Aren't we the ones that are saying "we should never listen to a man"? After all to listen to Witness Lee's account of what happened to Watchman Nee forces you to listen to a "man", Witness Lee, and ignore many other saints.

Now none of those saints have to claim to be the "o" oracle in order for us to listen to them. How does saying that he is the "oracle" of God mean anything? If he is saying that others are not the "oracle" of God then isn't that a contradiction to what you just said? And if he is saying that all the gifts and all the members of the God speak as the "oracle" of God then why do you need to say that you are the "oracle" of God?
ZNP,

As mentioned, I think you have brought some excellent points and thanks in advance for the opportunity to address them.

There are many ministries in service to God active today. Excluding the acknowledged heretical groups of all ilks and focusing on what we would consider the orthodox christian groups the question becomes which one(s) do I listen to, to which one(s) do I give my time and resources, which one(s) do I make a commitment to. If a christian does not yield to some christian ministry or participate in some service to God then he is in an abnormal situation. God does not force anyone to do anything but the divine life within each believer, the DNA of the zoe life, is one of service to God and man, ministry of life, community and building of His Body, and devotion and worship to God.

There is no lack of opportunity to participate in service in a christian ministry. Many of the choices available are incompatible with each other by doctrine, mission, practice, or some other distinctiveness. So a choice will need to be made. Therefore, in answer to your first question about listening to others the answer is "no", we are not obligated to accept everyone's ministry or viewpoint and by such rejection we are not violating any Biblical principle. The question is simply are we following God in the ministry we are following.

To your second point, since God speaks through man we must audibly hear from a man but we must listen for the oracle of God spoken therein. If in listening to or reading messages by any minister, Witness Lee or Watchman Nee included, or any believer and we are not hearing the oracle of God then our listening or reading is pointless. For that matter, if we read the Bible without hearing the oracle in the reading it has little profit.

The last point you asked is why is it necessary for any minister to say they have the oracle of God or what they are speaking is the oracle of God. It is necessary at times for a minister to explain or even vindicate their ministry (more about this below). Paul did this on more than one occasion. Yet, here we come to a crucial point in the line of your questioning.

It is God who appoints His servants to a work of ministry. With that work of ministry comes authority. God does not assign a work of ministry without the authority to carry it out. Those who receive the work of servants, must also receive the authority that God has given to him or them. However, if a believer denies "the authority of God in one of God's servants then they should also utterly reject that person's work". (1) For instance, I do not accept the authority of Benny Hinn's ministry, therefore, I utterly reject his work. Many in this forum reject the authority God gave to Witness Lee and Watchman Nee therefore, it is consistent for them to utterly reject their work. If a believer rejects the authority given to the servant of God then they must also reject the work commissioned to that servant. If you do not acknowledge a servant's authority then the work of that servant is not for you.

A ministry and work is acknowledged by the saints who recognize the God-given authority of the ministers who are carrying out that work. A servant's commission is between him and God. Acceptance of the authority given to a servant of God is between the believer and God. If not this ministry already presented to you then which one is the question each believer must ask God. When a believer finds the ministry then they should consecrate themselves to it for in so doing they confirm the authority of God given to that minister.

With this understanding as a basis I will summarize the answers to your questions. No one is demanding every christian accept this ministry, this commission, or this calling. Only those who acknowledge the authority given to these two servants will participate in the special calling. No one else is obligated. If you believe the authority has been given to a certain minister then give yourself to that ministry. God's oracle is through the servant. Listen for it and when you hear it embrace it for it is God's mercy toward you. Those who have heard the oracle of God do not ask for a minister to vindicate their ministry for God has confirmed it already. Those who do not hear the oracle in the speaking of God's servant will not be convinced until they hear it for themselves and therefore it is useless for a minister to vindicate their work of ministry. I close with this opening comment from Watchman Nee in the booklet entitled "What Are We?"

"We are not a new denomination. Neither are we a new sect, a new movement, or a new organization. We are not here to join a certain sect or form our own sect. Other than having a special calling and commission from God, there would be no need for us to exist independently. The reason we are here is that God has given us a special calling."


(Note 1) from Three Aspects of the Church: Book 3, The Organization of the Church by Witness Lee
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #58
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

Basically, when referring to "special" calling, Nee was saying the following:

"We are right and everyone else is wrong, and we can separate ourselves from them because of that."

That's simply sectarianism. Cassidy has tried to defend it and call it something else. But that's all it is. It's sectarianism dolled up as a "special calling." This is proven by the following statement by Cassidy:

"Many of the choices available are incompatible with each other by doctrine, mission, practice, or some other distinctiveness. So a choice will need to be made."

Personal preference of ministry (even if you call it God's leading) doesn't excuse uplifting one ministry over another or separating yourself from other Christians over it. I prefer my pastor and follow him. But that doesn't make him better than others. If use my preference for my pastor as an excuse to tune out other teachers, I'm the one who suffers. Also, the Body suffers, because instead of getting a member who can appreciate the gifts of all, they get a member who can only take it one way.

I don't buy the special calling argument at all.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #59
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Personal preference of ministry (even if you call it God's leading) doesn't excuse uplifting one ministry over another or separating yourself from other Christians over it. ...
I don't buy the special calling argument at all.
Exactly. Special calling, perhaps. Paul had one to the Gentiles, although I doubt he thumbed his nose at a Jew or a Christian who hadn't been brought to the Lord by Paul, if he met one on the road. Paul was stronger in his faith (Galatians) than Peter (at least at that moment), who had walked with the Lord, yet in his opposing him to his face he didn't then turn and tell the believers that his (Paul's) ministry was superior to Peter's or the other disciples'. Nor did he say they no longer had the oracle. Yes, Cassidy, Paul, vindicated his ministry, but is was never at the expense of other true believers, it was because of those who sought to undermine the truth. He was never dismissive of other Christians.

The oracle of God may be with one man for a moment, that's no reason to follow THE MAN. The man is simply the conduit, the mouthpiece. In Paul's letters, in Peter's, in the Acts, I can't recall anyone disparaging Christianity at large the way the LC does. I think this is a direct result of WL claiming to the THE MOTA, to being THE ONE with the oracle.

"We are not a new denomination. Neither are we a new sect, a new movement, or a new organization. We are not here to join a certain sect or form our own sect. Other than having a special calling and commission from God, there would be no need for us to exist independently. The reason we are here is that God has given us a special calling."

Cassidy, your quote, I heard that again again today at the meeting. "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." Are "we" outside Christianity? In your opinion? What are "we?"
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #60
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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The Bible commands all speakers to speak as the oracles of God. (1 Pet 4:11). It means, essentially, if you intend to speak for God make sure you are really speaking God's word.

So every preacher, teacher, etc., in the world should speak as the oracles of God. So, Lee, by saying he had not heard the oracle of God in anyone since 1945 was saying that he had heard no one speaking God's word during that time but him. What a ridiculous claim that was!
Based on Igzy's quote, all brothers in attendance at that conference were oracles of God. Further you can go to www.sermonindex.net or www.christiantapeministry.com and find messages of many of God's oracles. Some of whom Witness Lee did know and many of whom we have heard if not have listened to at one time or another.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:00 PM   #61
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"We are not a new denomination. Neither are we a new sect, a new movement, or a new organization. We are not here to join a certain sect or form our own sect. Other than having a special calling and commission from God, there would be no need for us to exist independently. The reason we are here is that God has given us a special calling."

Cassidy, your quote, I heard that again again today at the meeting. "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." Are "we" outside Christianity? In your opinion? What are "we?"
This mentality started by Nee and continued to this day by the LRC is simply a way to claim unique purity and validity above all others. They envision an ideal--not a sect, movement or organization, but simply God's pure "move"--then claim to be the ideal.

Well, it's a nice thought. But wishing it were so don't make it so. I could start a movement tomorrow, put out a shingle and say "'we are not a sect, movement, or organization, blah, blah..." Big deal. It doesn't mean anything. It's really just a way the LRC movement convinced itself they were above all the other "pretenders."

It's just wrong-headed thinking. Sure, on the one hand there is just God's pure move. But that doesn't mean God doesn't use movements and organizations in his move. But the LRC tried to convince everyone that they could be a move and not be a movement. Or be a move and not be an organization. Even if it were possible how would you know? Because they sure look like a movement and organization to me. And, anyway, it's a claim based on the idea that God doesn't like movements or organizations. And I see no evidence that is true. So it's a empty claim on several levels.

Again, it's just a way they tried to claim higher status for themselves and dismiss everyone else.

Again, I understand the instinct to want to be pure. Where the LRC messed up is to believe they were purer than anyone else. Ironically, that claim is evidence they are anything but pure.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #62
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Exactly. Special calling, perhaps.
A ministry can have a certain focus. And in that sense you can call it special. I have no problem with that.

But that's not what Nee meant by "special." What he meant was that everyone else was doing it wrong and he was called to do it right. To him everyone else was a sect, movement or organization (which to him was short of the ideal and wrong), and he was not going to be those things.

The problem is he never figured out how not to be a movement or organization. All he did was claim not to be one and continued to want to be special and different. And, with excruciating irony, in the end he made a sect. Because when you claim to be special and you really mean "better," that's what you become.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #63
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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Cassidy, your quote, I heard that again (and) again today at the meeting. "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." Are "we" outside Christianity? In your opinion? What are "we?"
"The Lord’s recovery is not a part of Christianity"
—Ron Kangas, Senior Editor and Director of Living Stream Ministry (LSM)


"There is an unbridgeable gap between the Lord’s recovery and Christianity" —Ron Kangas, (The Ministry, June, 2004, p. 10)

"We need to maintain the gap between us and Christianity; the wider the gap is the better…"—Ron Kangas

"There is a great gulf fixed…between the Lord’s recovery and Christianity."—Ron Kangas

"If there are any bridges…between a local church and Christianity, I hope that we would go back, burn the bridges and broaden the gap."—Ron Kangas

"There is an irreconcilable difference between the church life in the Lord’s recovery and today’s Christianity in any of its forms."—Ron Kangas

"It is impossible for there to be any reconciliation between the recovery and Christianity."—Ron Kangas

"There is a separation between us and all the denominations, between us and all forms of organized Christianity"—Ron Kangas

"We should not try through diplomacy or negotiation to be reconciled."—Ron Kangas

(NOTE: All quotes from The Ministry, Feb., 2004, pp. 8-25 unless otherwise indicated)

"Christianity today, the reality of Babylon."—Benson Phillips, LSM President

"We should not bring anything of Christianity into the Lord’s recovery…we accept nothing of Christianity."—Benson Phillips (The Ministry, March 2005, p. 121)

"The entire situation—not a part of it, not a majority of it, but the entire situation—of today’s Christianity is in degradation."—Bill Lawson

***********************

I remember when this message was given in Winnipeg - and I remember the confusion as the attendees left the meeting... "What are we supposed to call ourselves now? What should we say we are?" What indeed.

(quotes of Ron Kangas, Benson Phillips, and Bill Lawson provided by www.whataspin.com)

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Old 12-02-2012, 07:17 PM   #64
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For instance, I do not accept the authority of Benny Hinn's ministry, therefore, I utterly reject his work. Many in this forum reject the authority God gave to Witness Lee and Watchman Nee therefore, it is consistent for them to utterly reject their work. If a believer rejects the authority given to the servant of God then they must also reject the work commissioned to that servant. If you do not acknowledge a servant's authority then the work of that servant is not for you.
Cassidy, it is not that absolute. I can only speak for myself, but while meeting in the local churches as an adult, it is impossible to remain meeting in the local churches without accepting and appreciating God's work through two of his many servants in Witness Lee and to a lesser extent Watchman Nee. As ministers, they could minister Christ to many brothers and sisters. That does not mean they were perfected beyond their sinful nature.
Until 1990 there was not a ministry book that you could honestly say was not edifying. Two of my personal favorites is The Practical Expression of the Church and Christ versus Religion.
Let us go into the Old Testament account in 1 Samuel chapters 1-4. Eli was a priest used by God, but he had two sons who committed great sins. Though Eli's sons committed great sins, Eli was still a levitical priest.

If a different thread is needed for this next subject, so be it. You'll a central issue on this forum is the Philip Lee non-issue versus an on-going issue of former co-workers. Of which some even as recently last month were reputed to have left because they were interested in their own following rather than for the building up the Body of Christ. I take issue when local elders and LSM co-workers don't want to talk about, but when conferences are given they will talk about it. (Usually giving a one word suits all description why certain brothers are no longer part of the fellowship.)
My point is this like Eli in 1 Samuel, Witness Lee was chosen for a priestly service. No matter how grievously Eli's sons (Hophni and Phineas) and Witness Lee son's (Timothy and Philip) conduct was, these two in Eli and Witness still had a priestly service to exercise.
The issue is not Witness Lee's ministry as it exists in print, in audio, or in video, but the handling of his sons which adversely many brothers and sisters.
The issue of local church practices not matching the ministry is an overflow of how certain elders and co-workers became persona non grata in lieu of Witness Lee's sons; in particular Philip.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:49 AM   #65
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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You need to stick to the Bible here and stop chasing after what "Christian scholars" think..
Whose Bible? The one interpreted by Nee & Lee, or the one interpreted over centuries by hundreds if not thousands of scholars, and held by millions of christians?

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Such scholars are like economists, stack all of them end to end and they will never come to agreement...
Number one: I disagree with this statement. There is a lot of agreement. There are of course a lot of unknowns, and much discussion, and some back and forth. But the common areas of agreement among Christian scholars greatly outweigh any differences. If there wasn't agreement, there wouldn't be discussion. Remember that we are talking about being within the common faith here, the faith held by all...
Number two: if you want to talk about never coming to agreement, try reconciling "Early Lee" with "Later Lee", or doing the same with Nee.


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God's servants are usually misunderstood and discounted by the establishment....
But when Lee et al could use "the establishment" suddenly they sang a different tune. See Moody Bible Institute and Christian Research Institute, for example. Suddenly "the establishment" is held up as a bastion of Christian orthodoxy.

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it certainly is of no account what "christian scholars" think about the topic.
Unless of course they agree with you. Then you find yourself playing golf with Hank Hanegraaf, and asking about his wife and kids.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #66
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I don't buy the special calling argument at all.
I noticed Cassidy using terms like "ministry", "work", "calling", "commission", and "authority", to reinforce the idea of a christian holding some special apostolic position, with assemblies "affiliated with the ministry" (a phrase I saw atop Lee's 'local church' webpages) vicariously sharing in that special apostolic mission.

I agree with Igzy; I don't buy it at all. I don't buy it for two reasons. First, every Christian has a special calling. We are the "called-out ones", and it is arguably quite special to hear the voice of the Savior, and to respond. Each one who is born again is special in the Father's eyes. Each one who is struggling to fully emerge from the darkness and into the glorious light of the children of God. Do you think anyone is not special in Jesus' eyes? The Shepherd loves His sheep, and will leave 99 who are safe, to rescue any lost one.

Second, to say that "we" have a special calling implies that there is a "they" who do not. The only "we" who have a special calling are the believers. The only "they" who don't have a special calling, work, ground, or ministry, are the unbelievers. To make any further demarcations is sectarianism, no matter how assiduously crafted. Our ground, our calling, is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Any and all other ground is sinking sand. Anyone who tries to be "special", apart from that, is probably just cutting themselves off. The "common faith" is not common: it is special. It is as special as our God is special, and likewise our Savior.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:18 AM   #67
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Of which some even as recently last month were reputed to have left because they were interested in their own following rather than for the building up the Body of Christ. I take issue when local elders and LSM co-workers don't want to talk about, but when conferences are given they will talk about it. (Usually giving a one word suits all description why certain brothers are no longer part of the fellowship.)
It's called hypocrisy. It's denial. It's a double standard. It's a serious lack of integrity and Christian uprightness, accompanied with a double portion of pride and arrogance.

It's no wonder their leaders can boast of an "unbridgeable gap between them and Christianity, growing wider by the moment."

Too bad Cassidy still goes along with it when he knows better.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:32 AM   #68
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It's called hypocrisy. It's denial. It's a double standard. It's a serious lack of integrity and Christian uprightness, accompanied with a double portion of pride and arrogance.

It's no wonder their leaders can boast of an "unbridgeable gap between them and Christianity, growing wider by the moment."

Too bad Cassidy still goes along with it when he knows better.
Are you saying that the quarantine of TC was because the LSM brothers wanted their own following?

Are you saying that those in the LRC are in denial, refusing to see that they themselves are guilty of the very things they accuse others of?

Are you saying that the BBs have a double standard when they condemn TC for running his own trainings and conferences?

Are you saying that covering up for adultery and slandering those that stand up to you is a "lack of integrity and Christian uprightness"?

Are you saying that doing all these things while saying you have the riches and all others are destitute is a double portion of pride and arrogance?
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:41 AM   #69
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Are you saying that the quarantine of TC was because the LSM brothers wanted their own following?

Are you saying that those in the LRC are in denial, refusing to see that they themselves are guilty of the very things they accuse others of?

Are you saying that the BBs have a double standard when they condemn TC for running his own trainings and conferences?

Are you saying that covering up for adultery and slandering those that stand up to you is a "lack of integrity and Christian uprightness"?

Are you saying that doing all these things while saying you have the riches and all others are destitute is a double portion of pride and arrogance?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes, that's exactly what I have been saying.

LSM is on the fast track to obsolescence and obscurity.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:45 AM   #70
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If you believe the authority has been given to a certain minister then give yourself to that ministry. God's oracle is through the servant.
Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are dead. Are their writings authoritative like the Bible? Is that the authority you are referring to Cassidy?
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:27 AM   #71
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Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are dead. Are their writings authoritative like the Bible? Is that the authority you are referring to Cassidy?
Thanks for the question.

The authority given by God to a minister for the carrying out of commission can never supersede the authority of the Bible.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:28 AM   #72
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If you believe the authority has been given to a certain minister then give yourself to that ministry.
Where does the Bible issue this principle? Sorry, I don't see it. Nowhere does the Bible expect us to give ourselves to a particular ministry. I'm not "giving myself" to anything but God. If a minister's words witness with my spirit and my understanding of the truth, I take them. But that doesn't mean all his teachings will. What he says today might be great, but he might fall off a cliff tomorrow. Sorry, I'm not going over the cliff with him because of some misplaced idea that I have to "give myself" to some ministry.

Cassidy's priniciple here implies you take everything the minister says without question. Again, where does the Bible teach this? Nowhere.

Cassidy, if this is what LCers believe then it explains they mindless way they swallow things that make absolutely no sense. You think God wants you to "give yourself" to some ministry. The question is, where did you get a cockamamie idea like that? Oh, I know. The minister in question told you. Now you've come full circle. He has complete control over you because you think he has authority and has told you that if you think he has authority you have to give yourself to him.

Yeah, I get it. Explains a lot. Sort of.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:37 AM   #73
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Time to bring these quotes out of the mothballs:

"That Lee! Lee has to be famous! Lee! Lee! Lee must have the credit! And if you listen to me, you do not listen to Lee, you listen to the very God in His oracle spoken by me"...."Going with God's oracle, surely there is the deputy authority of God in this oracle. Whoever speaks for God, he surely has certain divine authority, I'm claiming this for Lee!"
Elders Meeting, Pasadena California November 1988

John Ingalls adds this commentary:
"Now I would ask, are these the words of a sober man, the words of a spiritual man, a man of God. To me it is shocking to hear him speak this way, for he has indeed been used of God in the past to speak His Word. But to vindicate oneself so blatantly and boastfully indicates to me a fall. May the Lord have mercy on us all"

Speaking the Truth in Love, Page 98 - John Ingalls
Copyright @1990 The Word & the Testimony
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:55 AM   #74
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"Cassidy, your quote, I heard that again again today at the meeting. "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." Are "we" outside Christianity? In your opinion? What are "we?"

What mean "we" paleface?

Seriously, elaborate on "we", ABF.

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #75
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Time to bring these quotes out of the mothballs:

"That Lee! Lee has to be famous! Lee! Lee! Lee must have the credit! And if you listen to me, you do not listen to Lee, you listen to the very God in His oracle spoken by me"...."Going with God's oracle, surely there is the deputy authority of God in this oracle. Whoever speaks for God, he surely has certain divine authority, I'm claiming this for Lee!"
Elders Meeting, Pasadena California November 1988

John Ingalls adds this commentary:
"Now I would ask, are these the words of a sober man, the words of a spiritual man, a man of God. To me it is shocking to hear him speak this way, for he has indeed been used of God in the past to speak His Word. But to vindicate oneself so blatantly and boastfully indicates to me a fall. May the Lord have mercy on us all"

Speaking the Truth in Love, Page 98 - John Ingalls
Copyright @1990 The Word & the Testimony
Not to pick on Cassidy, but he is a classic example of someone who is "locked in" on Lee. He is a victim of a very pernicious error. (I know because I used to be under it myself.) For once you become convinced that a minister has the kind of authority LCers think Lee has, that belief becomes viciously self-enforcing. There is little that can happen to shake it because, for one, you've been trained to believe questioning Lee is the beginning of degradation. So you instinctively flee from any questioning and congratulate yourself for having done so.

So, considering the potential for error and the difficulty in correcting that error, it seems very unlikely that God would put in place a principle that makes it so difficult to objectively reconsider a Christian figure. Especially since such a principle is not supported by the Bible!

Why do LCers extend so much authority to Lee? Why are they so afraid to question him. Other teachers have been consider by them to be MOTAs. But do they fear questioning, Luther, or Murray or Darby? Lee is just another and is now departed. So why do his words still hold such power over them?

The answer is really simple. They are afraid to question him because they've been trained to think that way. Like I said, this is a self-enforcing pernicious principle which, upon reflection, should be considered extremely unlikely to have been put in place by God.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:52 AM   #76
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

Having family still meeting within the same system Igzy, the issue arises from time to time.
Now it is no longer Lee, but the blended coworkers. There is an aura of not wanting to be different as they have discernment of the feeling of the Body. Which is why I ask are you man-honoring or God-honoring?
Are you man-fearing or God-fearing?
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:21 AM   #77
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Having family still meeting within the same system Igzy, the issue arises from time to time.
Now it is no longer Lee, but the blended coworkers. There is an aura of not wanting to be different as they have discernment of the feeling of the Body. Which is why I ask are you man-honoring or God-honoring?
Are you man-fearing or God-fearing?
Terry, "Feeling of the Body" is not biblical, either. It's just peer pressure dolled up as something spiritual.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #78
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Thanks for the question.

The authority given by God to a minister for the carrying out of commission can never supersede the authority of the Bible.
OK. So Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are dead. Where is their authority now?
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:48 AM   #79
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Why do LCers extend so much authority to Lee? Why are they so afraid to question him. Other teachers have been consider by them to be MOTAs. But do they fear questioning, Luther, or Murray or Darby? Lee is just another and is now departed. So why do his words still hold such power over them?

The answer is really simple. They are afraid to question him because they've been trained to think that way. Like I said, this is a self-enforcing pernicious principle which, upon reflection, should be considered extremely unlikely to have been put in place by God.
I don't think the answer IS that simple, brother.

The LC trains it's adherents to believe that they are more than Christians, they are a kind of super-Christian (I heard some in my locality refer to themselves in such a way). "Overcomers", the ones in the Flow, God's Recovered Bride, etc. etc.... Whatever we were, we were special. And we didn't just show up on Sundays, no - we devoted our lives to this movement. Some even married spouses based on the elders council - were sent out to new cities or even countries based on what the ministry told them to do. Everything they had was given to LSM, because you absolutely believed it was God's will.

What if it wasn't?

That's a terrifying concept.

If you invested everything you had of yourself into a LIE, then you who thought you were rich and had everything were really poor and wretched and miserable and blind and naked. This isn't just someone's taste in a minister we're talking about, and it's not just like unplugging from one church to invest your time at another one down the street. We're talking about an entire life given over to something corrupt.

When you first start to question Lee (and we've both been through this), then you realize what he has built is really a house of cards. Pull one out, and others start to topple. Lee was wrong about this, but then this wrong idea sprang from that, and that for another, etc. etc. Before you know it, very little is left - and you are left facing the inevitable: You were deceived. That is a bitter pill to swallow.

This doesn't excuse willfully accepting the deceipt for sake of comfort. Far from it, we are all responsible for the choices we made. If we were swindled into believing a lie (and I was too, not throwing stones), then it's our fault. Were we better grounded in the Word, had we (I) not quenched the Spirit, we (I) would have more readily escaped... and less scathed.

I can only imagine what someone with 30 years or more invested must feel, knowing that questions maybe ought to be asked - but being terrified of the answers I'd uncover...
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #80
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"Cassidy, your quote, I heard that again again today at the meeting. "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." Are "we" outside Christianity? In your opinion? What are "we?"

What mean "we" paleface?

Seriously, elaborate on "we", ABF.

Thanks
It was your quote, Cassidy, post #57. Are you serious or just playing ignorant as to what "we" means? I suspect you know very well that it means the Local Church Movement that claims it's not a movement.

_______________________________ . __________________________

Part of the genius of the LC speak it that they can always claim that when they disparage Christianity they're talking about all that's wrong with it, not the believers, the system, and not those within it. Anyone who's heard the LC talk about Christianity knows that's not the case. When they speak negatively about Christianity them mean the system and those within it.

Aron's post is spot on, "But when Lee et al could use "the establishment" suddenly they sang a different tune. See Moody Bible Institute and Christian Research Institute, for example. Suddenly "the establishment" is held up as a bastion of Christian orthodoxy."

We were encouraged to buy copies of the CRI journal with the we were wrong article, now we were proven to be right, not aberrant, not cultish. We were told how much one of Hank's family members enjoyed the meetings in Charlotte, NC ( I wonder if he still meets with them on a regular basis). One moment it was belittling Christianity and on the other praising them for having legitimized the LC.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:37 PM   #81
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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When you first start to question Lee (and we've both been through this), then you realize what he has built is really a house of cards. Pull one out, and others start to topple. Lee was wrong about this, but then this wrong idea sprang from that, and that for another, etc. etc. Before you know it, very little is left - and you are left facing the inevitable: You were deceived. That is a bitter pill to swallow.
Besides that nagging feeling within that used to haunt me, the first card to be pulled out was the truth that John Ingalls was not a leprous rebel, but a whistleblower, crying out for righteousness.


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I can only imagine what someone with 30 years or more invested must feel, knowing that questions maybe ought to be asked - but being terrified of the answers I'd uncover...
Thanks for even trying to understand my plight.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:45 PM   #82
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Part of the genius of the LC speak it that they can always claim that when they disparage Christianity they're talking about all that's wrong with it, not the believers, the system, and not those within it. Anyone who's heard the LC talk about Christianity knows that's not the case. When they speak negatively about Christianity them mean the system and those within it.
Brother in Faith, one day I was thinking about the old saying of Lee, "love the brother, but hate the system." I realized it is practically impossible to fulfill. It's kind of like telling my dear wife, "Honey I love you, but I hate the way you talk, I hate all those things you do, I hate the way you cook, I hate your family, I hate the words you use, I hate ..."

That's exactly what we tried to do with Christians. We said we loved them, but then hated how they spoke, hated how they served, hated how they worshiped, hated their doctrines, hated their assemblies, hated their ..." Actually we loved them only as long as they potentially would take our way.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:52 PM   #83
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When they speak negatively about Christianity them mean the system and those within it.
Exactly ABF! Some on the forum may know this already. My wife misses the LC Lord's Day meetings. (PriestlyScribe you know) What my wife misses is the table meeting. When the prophesying was going on, she was in the back with the children. As I communicated to her, what she missed out on was an ocassional negative prophesy directed at Christianity and those within it. I brought it up to an elder. The elder didn't share the conviction I had, so that was it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #84
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"It was your quote, Cassidy, post #57. Are you serious or just playing ignorant as to what "we" means? I suspect you know very well that it means the Local Church Movement that claims it's not a movement."

ABF,

First, I did not say anything about being "outside of Christianity" in post 57. Rather by your own admission you heard this in a meeting you attended this week in a local church you were sitting in.

Secondly, I was serious in my question. I have no idea what you mean by "we". Maybe you meant the local church you attend, or the Local Churches at large in 2012, or the churches at the time Watchman Nee spoke that word , or maybe you meant to include me with you when you say "we" (although I have no idea why you would do that). Any number of possibilities. Since you meant the Local Church you should have just said that.

However, since you attend the meetings of the local church why are you asking me? Why haven't you put these questions to the elders in your locality? Someone mentions in a meeting you are sitting in "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." and you come ask me for clarification? Step up! Are you playing games with me or with the brothers and sisters in your locality? If you seriously want an answer to something you heard in your meeting then why are you NOT bringing it up there? Now that begs the question, why you bring it up with me here instead? By asking me were you really seeking clarification, a sincere inquiry, or were you merely teeing up your swing? Serious? Then answer that and oh by the way, why are still you there as part of the local "we"?
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #85
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[I][COLOR=Blue]

However, since you attend the meetings of the local church why are you asking me? Why haven't you put these questions to the elders in your locality? Someone mentions in a meeting you are sitting in "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." and you come ask me for clarification?
The question could have been asked of anyone. Taken you've been regenerated and baptized, you're a member of the Body. What do you say? Not knowing ABF, he's probably well acquianted with his elders and knows what their answers will be. That is another topic in itself.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:37 PM   #86
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The question could have been asked of anyone. Taken you've been regenerated and baptized, you're a member of the Body. What do you say? Not knowing ABF, he's probably well acquianted with his elders and knows what their answers will be. That is another topic in itself.
Terry,

Originally, I thought ABF was sincere but the tone of his last response and his comments have me convinced he was simply teeing up. He can make his points without that unnecessary step.

Also, I realized that he has serious issues with the brothers and sisters where he meets and I believe it would be better for him to resolve those definitively one way or the other instead of trying to fix that here.

If he wants sincere fellowship on any matter I will be happy to discuss in private exchange. If not, that is okay too.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:59 PM   #87
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It's called hypocrisy. It's denial. It's a double standard. It's a serious lack of integrity and Christian uprightness, accompanied with a double portion of pride and arrogance.
As to the issues you have raised related to the events of the distant past, the brothers here just do not have the heart to reopen old wounds and delve into matters that we believe were resolved many years ago.
Chris Wilde 2003

I would just add this; In 1988 certain co-workers severely criticized Brother Lee, and then they separated themselves, they went their own way. One of these brothers, in particular, his whole situation is tragic.
I would like to ask him, after you wrote that letter to Brother Lee, and after you began to speak a certain way, what is your spiritual situation? How would you compare it with your situation when you were in Elden Hall?
Aren’t you more experienced now than then? Would you say you are more living now?

Ron Kangas 2007

I will not be specific. Only the Lord knows how deepened the wound. In this part of the earth, inflicted by the enemy to a gifted person who had a kind of ministry, but not for building up of the Body.
Ron Kangas 2012

An analogy that fits is the D.A. who unjustly convicts a person. Being too prideful, they could have been wrong the D.A is adamant they convicted the right person.
Same applies here. On one hand the brothers don't want to go through a careful examnation whether a brother was a "leper" or a "whistleblower". It would be too humbling an experience. Rather it is convenent to use these brothers as "examples" whenever the need arises.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #88
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Also, I realized that he has serious issues with the brothers and sisters where he meets and I believe it would be better for him to resolve those definitively one way or the other instead of using trying to fix that here.
If his experience is what I experienced, majority of the brothers and sisters, there's no issue. Even when I habored my concerns of the past Recovery history (which I address on this forum), I never made it an issue for meeting in fellowship.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:15 AM   #89
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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ZNP,

As mentioned, I think you have brought some excellent points and thanks in advance for the opportunity to address them.

There are many ministries in service to God active today...
Fair enough. The NT says that in the Body there are many members and they don't all have the same function. Since there are so many different ministries how can you discern the genuine from the fake? According to Paul the Ministers of the NT ministry have "renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully". This word means both in word and action.

Peter elaborates on this saying that this includes

1. Pernicious ways
2. through covetousness with fabricated words they shall make merchandise of you.

These are the things that disqualify a ministry. You can be in error, as Apollos was and still have a ministry, you just need correction. But, these things are what sink a ministry and cause it to be shipwrecked.

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To your second point, since God speaks through man we must audibly hear from a man but we must listen for the oracle of God spoken therein. If in listening to or reading messages by any minister, Witness Lee or Watchman Nee included, or any believer and we are not hearing the oracle of God then our listening or reading is pointless. For that matter, if we read the Bible without hearing the oracle in the reading it has little profit.
Now this is where we disagree. This approach for "discernment" is seriously lacking. I don't care what you or I hear, if the person is not "commending themselves to every man's conscience" as Paul said, then they are not a minister of the NT.

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The last point you asked is why is it necessary for any minister to say they have the oracle of God or what they are speaking is the oracle of God. It is necessary at times for a minister to explain or even vindicate their ministry (more about this below). Paul did this on more than one occasion.
True. But for what reason? If it is because of fraud, or adultery, or fabricated stories, fables, making merchandise of the saints, etc. then this person is not a minister of the NT, regardless of how they "explain or even vindicate".

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It is God who appoints His servants to a work of ministry. With that work of ministry comes authority. God does not assign a work of ministry without the authority to carry it out.
Fair enough, and with a ministry comes responsibility, ask Moses, Miriam, David, Eli, etc.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:49 AM   #90
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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"It was your quote, Cassidy, post #57. Are you serious or just playing ignorant as to what "we" means? I suspect you know very well that it means the Local Church Movement that claims it's not a movement."

ABF,

First, I did not say anything about being "outside of Christianity" in post 57. Rather by your own admission you heard this in a meeting you attended this week in a local church you were sitting in.

Secondly, I was serious in my question. I have no idea what you mean by "we". Maybe you meant the local church you attend, or the Local Churches at large in 2012, or the churches at the time Watchman Nee spoke that word , or maybe you meant to include me with you when you say "we" (although I have no idea why you would do that). Any number of possibilities. Since you meant the Local Church you should have just said that.

However, since you attend the meetings of the local church why are you asking me? Why haven't you put these questions to the elders in your locality? Someone mentions in a meeting you are sitting in "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." and you come ask me for clarification? Step up! Are you playing games with me or with the brothers and sisters in your locality? If you seriously want an answer to something you heard in your meeting then why are you NOT bringing it up there? Now that begs the question, why you bring it up with me here instead? By asking me were you really seeking clarification, a sincere inquiry, or were you merely teeing up your swing? Serious? Then answer that and oh by the way, why are still you there as part of the local "we"?
"We are not a new denomination. Neither are we a new sect, a new movement, or a new organization. We are not here to join a certain sect or form our own sect. Other than having a special calling and commission from God, there would be no need for us to exist independently. The reason we are here is that God has given us a special calling."

The above is how you ended post #57. I think I explained that I had heard the same thing in a meeting I was in.

As to your being serious...You feigned being an American Indian ("What mean "we" paleface? ") then turned into a late night tv comic, " But seriously...." I honestly thought you were kidding.

As Terry stated, I know where the elders stand, I know where many of the saints in my locality stand. I was asking you where you stand. I am not addressing them. You assumed that I haven't already done those things. My question to you, here on the forum, was clear. The "we" in your quote is the same "we" I heard this past Sunday. I want to know what YOU think the LC is if it's not a movement. Who else can I ask for clarification about YOUR opinion on the matter?!

I am not "playing games" with you Cassidy. You're the one using sports metaphors.

My question was genuine, and questioning my genuineness is a nice way to evade answering. I have been nothing but genuine here. Show me where I've been otherwise. What tone did you hear in my post that wasn't appropriate to the paleface comment of yours? Instead of questioning people's sincerity give them the benefit of the doubt until they've shown themselves to be unworthy of it...
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:53 AM   #91
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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Brother in Faith, one day I was thinking about the old saying of Lee, "love the brother, but hate the system." I realized it is practically impossible to fulfill. It's kind of like telling my dear wife, "Honey I love you, but I hate the way you talk, I hate all those things you do, I hate the way you cook, I hate your family, I hate the words you use, I hate ..."

That's exactly what we tried to do with Christians. We said we loved them, but then hated how they spoke, hated how they served, hated how they worshiped, hated their doctrines, hated their assemblies, hated their ..." Actually we loved them only as long as they potentially would take our way.
Right. And we "received" Luther, yet refused and rejected his spiritual progeny (Lutherans). Etc, etc. Like Jesus said about people who were building tombs to the prophets their fathers killed. All the encomiums to our spiritual heritage, and to those who'd gone before, were so much lip service if we were simultaneously dismissing the fellow heirs of that very spriritual heritage.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:38 AM   #92
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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Terry,

Originally, I thought ABF was sincere but the tone of his last response and his comments have me convinced he was simply teeing up. He can make his points without that unnecessary step.

Also, I realized that he has serious issues with the brothers and sisters where he meets and I believe it would be better for him to resolve those definitively one way or the other instead of trying to fix that here.

If he wants sincere fellowship on any matter I will be happy to discuss in private exchange. If not, that is okay too.
ABIF not sincere? Simply teeing up? Serious issues with others?

Really Cassidy, I thought he was posting in good faith, attempting sincere dialog -- and now you launch these complaints at him, just for seeking clarification.

Children ... today's word is "obfuscate," and Cassidy will now show us the proper use if this word.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:45 AM   #93
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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"It was your quote, Cassidy, post #57. Are you serious or just playing ignorant as to what "we" means? I suspect you know very well that it means the Local Church Movement that claims it's not a movement."

ABF,

First, I did not say anything about being "outside of Christianity" in post 57. Rather by your own admission you heard this in a meeting you attended this week in a local church you were sitting in.

Secondly, I was serious in my question. I have no idea what you mean by "we". Maybe you meant the local church you attend, or the Local Churches at large in 2012, or the churches at the time Watchman Nee spoke that word , or maybe you meant to include me with you when you say "we" (although I have no idea why you would do that). Any number of possibilities. Since you meant the Local Church you should have just said that.

However, since you attend the meetings of the local church why are you asking me? Why haven't you put these questions to the elders in your locality? Someone mentions in a meeting you are sitting in "We are not a movement. We are not a movement within Christianity." and you come ask me for clarification? Step up! Are you playing games with me or with the brothers and sisters in your locality? If you seriously want an answer to something you heard in your meeting then why are you NOT bringing it up there? Now that begs the question, why you bring it up with me here instead? By asking me were you really seeking clarification, a sincere inquiry, or were you merely teeing up your swing? Serious? Then answer that and oh by the way, why are still you there as part of the local "we"?
***MODERATOR WARNING***

Cassidy
,

The above post is classic tap-dancing, and this forum will not tolerate it. You should have been clear from ABF's question that "we" was the people of the Lord's Recovery, because, for one, no one talks like that but them and you know it.

First you asked him who "we" was, when you should have known. Second when he made it clear, you acted like he should not have been asking you.

This is obfuscation and forum abuse. You owe ABF an apology.

If you don't have an opinion about what the LR is, then say that. But don't try to pawn off this garbage that you didn't know what he was talking about, or that once you knew he was out of line asking for your opinion.

You have said you prefer dialogue. But when push comes to shove you start tap dancing and dodging questions and tossing out red herrings and non sequiturs. Please answer the question or don't answer it with some kind of reasonable explanation why. But do not insult this forum and the people in it by playing these kinds of games.

You are under warning. Don't do it again.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:45 AM   #94
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

Cassidy,

I will put ABF's question to you.

Since you are sympathetic with the so-called Lord's Recovery movement, when they say things in reference to themselves like "we are not a sect, movement, organization or denomination," do you agree? And if you do agree, what would you say they are if they are not these other things? Please give your opinion on this matter.

Please answer or explain why you choose not to.

Aside from and until I hear an direct answer,or a reasonable clarification of why you won't answer, AND an apology to ABF, I don't want to hear anything else from you on this particular subject. Though you can participate in this thread PROVIDED you cease from obfuscating posts.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:39 AM   #95
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

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ABIF not sincere? Simply teeing up? Serious issues with others?

Really Cassidy, I thought he was posting in good faith, attempting sincere dialog -- and now you launch these complaints at him, just for seeking clarification.

Children ... today's word is "obfuscate," and Cassidy will now show us the proper use if this word.
So far in an attempt to engage in sincere dialog and seeking clarification I have asked Cassidy 2 very specific on-topic questions. One in this thread and one in another thread. No answers yet!

1. OK. So Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are dead. Where is their authority now?

2. Since Witness Lee's writings are fallible which items do you consider wrong?
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #96
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

Given the turn of this topic this will be my last post in this thread and I will close out my participation as follows:

First, ABF, whatever offense I gave you I assure you there was no malice of forethought. Please accept my apologies.

This thread was originally spun out from the Duddy thread where he alleged Witness Lee believed "...he stood in the line of apostolic succession". As pointed out, the doctrine of apostolic succession is a heresy. It is a man-made construct and replaces the authority of the Holy Spirit in the carrying out God's work and the assignment of ministers to execute that commission.

Witness Lee taught, as did Watchman Nee before him, that it is the Holy Spirit who determines the commission, selects the minister/apostle, and gives that minister the authority to carry out that commission, not apostolic succession. In post 57, there are two quotes, one from Witness Lee, and another from Watchman Nee. These also underscore their view that any believer who does not accept the authority given to them is under no obligation to accept their work.

This the contrast between the heretical doctrine of apostolic succession and the scriptural practice of following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Duddy was wrong and the shoddiness his research on this point becomes apparent.

Thanks for the dialogue.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:28 PM   #97
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

Cassidy,

Leave it to you to bow out just when the going gets rough.

You still have not explained why "Brother Lee" being replaced by "Brother We" is not apostolic succession. As far as I'm concerned, it is.

Further, you have not answered ABF's reasonable question.

Given your tendency to begin dodging questions when they threaten your argument, I'd have to say that once again, as far as I'm concerned, your argument rings as hollow as an empty oil drum. You do yourself in every time by dodging questions and then accusing others of being insincere for asking them.

If you would simply follow a discussion to its conclusion you might actually either (1) make a good argument, or (2) change your mind. But you do neither. You just make bad arguments and then when the going gets rough you find an excuse to bow our while pretending you won.

As the man said, when you are being chased out of town, run out in front of your pursuers and pretend it's a parade in your honor.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:16 AM   #98
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Default Re: Jeremiah 23:33-38

I also never got an answer from Cassidy on where the Bible says that if you see authority in a ministry you have to "give yourself to it." It's just not in the Bible, Cassidy. Sorry. Too many unanswered questions in your argument for it to carry much weight.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:34 AM   #99
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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...there are thousands, wait, tens of thousands of Christians that have confirmed the special commission and apostleship/ministry of both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee...
Our recent discussion of Nee and his place in the church, and where Nee implied his place was in the church (without saying it directly), reminded me of the above quote. According to some, Nee and Lee have "special commission", which according to their teachings was from the Holy Spirit.

But what if there are hundreds of thousands, wait, millions of Christians who have NOT confirmed the special commission and apostleship/ministry of both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee? Do we have a vote? Do we divide along "yea" and "nay" lines, with those churches who say that they have been "helped" by the ministries of Nee & Lee separated from those who have not? And for that matter, how about those assemblies that are "absolute for the ministry of Nee and Lee" versus those that are merely "positive"?

Does the fact that Watchman Nee has been read into the Congressional Record help us? Or the fact that Billy Graham has a Hollywood Walk of Fame star? Of course I am being facetious, but really the fact that Nee sold a lot of books doesn't do it for me. We might then say that Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyers or Rick Warren might have that "special commission", too. Perhaps Lee should have gotten in line behind Warren or Osteen.

And if this choosing, this setting aside is of the Holy Spirit, then how are the saints supposed to discern? We are back at square one, with a popularity contest. And so we yet again remember the scene in Mark chapter 9, "And they all were arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest." The devil isn't stupid. If he can get a successful ruse going he will keep it going. Why invent new tricks when you can still use the originals?

I keep thinking of recent poster amrkelly's remarks that he had 'sight', or 'discernment', to understand Nee's gift to the Body. Don't we all? I mean, we all agree there is the Holy Bible, that reveals to us God's Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. He is truly the savior of the world. We all see this, and hold it to be true. When the apostle Paul wrote that "there are apostles, prophets, and teachers" in the assembly of the faithful, how are we supposed to discern? Should we simply agree with ones who are adamant that their favorite writer/teacher/speaker is God's anointed, special vessel?

Again, it plays back into Mark 9 for me. I'd rather that we dispense with jawing over titles and positions. Just minister. There are lots of poor out there, lots of scoffers, unbelievers, sick, confused, and those who are addled by winds of teaching. Just minister. Whatever you are is what you are. At the 'Bema' God will pronounce judgment, and place you exactly where you belong; no higher or lower. What I find ironic is that we here in the flesh today are also placed exactly where we belong. If we spend our time & effort focused on church hierarchy and whatnot we simply confirm of what spirit we serve. We are convinced that we have to suss all this out for "good order in the church", even while ignoring the long trail of wreckage associated with such fixations.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:35 PM   #100
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I keep thinking of recent poster amrkelly's remarks that he had 'sight', or 'discernment', to understand Nee's gift to the Body.
Andrew stormed out here making audacious claims that he was going to do an extensive study of Dr. Lilly's book, to prove that it's fallacious.

But he never got to it. Before leaving, what he reduced to was calling the book, and me, names ... like evil and wicked.

Maybe Andrew is just a big talker, like his hero Watchman Nee.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:57 PM   #101
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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I keep thinking of recent poster amrkelly's remarks that he had 'sight', or 'discernment', to understand Nee's gift to the Body. Don't we all? I mean, we all agree there is the Holy Bible, that reveals to us God's Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. He is truly the savior of the world. We all see this, and hold it to be true. When the apostle Paul wrote that "there are apostles, prophets, and teachers" in the assembly of the faithful, how are we supposed to discern? Should we simply agree with ones who are adamant that their favorite writer/teacher/speaker is God's anointed, special vessel?
The program was designed to neutralize any discernment within the saints. I often heard the phrase, "Titus Chu (or WL) sees things, we don't." That was a neutralizer, if I ever heard one. Since he could, "see things, we don't," then we all just checked our ability to discern at the door of the church. Think of the license we had just granted our leaders. Church elders just laid down their discernment at his feet.

Every storm in the Recovery could be distilled down to this statement, "he sees things, we don't." Instead of Jesus Christ being the "Knower of hearts," we gave that honor to our leader, hence even the Lord Himself was neutralized, and unable to speak through the members of His body, which He desperately tried on a number of occasions. Hence, Recovery leaders became the defacto "vicar of Christ," speaking for Him in every instance. Thus Lee could supposedly "see" John Ingalls' heart -- ambitious, destructive, conspiratorial, rebellious, leprous (pile it on Blendeds, because now you can "see" too.)

The Catholic church became what it is primarily because every member had abrogated their discernment to the Bishop of Rome, the "Holy See." That course of action is dangerous for sure, as history shows us the slippery slope down which the church slid under the reign of Rome. Even the so-called Recovery Move of God followed that well worn slide of Rome, with Darby, Nee, and Lee all leading us down. Throw discernment to the wind, we're following The Man who leads us to God. Unfortunately that man is not Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:05 AM   #102
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I often heard the phrase, "Titus Chu (or WL) sees things, we don't."
Was Witness Lee really a visionary?

Did his vision work out to be true? Was God really doing what he claimed?

In the end wasn't his vision really about making him an acting god?
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:45 AM   #103
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Andrew stormed out here making audacious claims that he was going to do an extensive study of Dr. Lilly's book, to prove that it's fallacious.

But he never got to it. Before leaving, what he reduced to was calling the book, and me, names ... like evil and wicked...
An interesting parallel with Andrew and some Lee-ites I interacted with a few years ago: when I responded to their posts in a regional church forum in England, and I demonstrated a less-than-reverent attitude to Witness Lee's work, and called them on their incessant use of voluminous quotes from Lee versus writing one simple sentence of their own, they began to get pretty nasty. They said I was an evil person with a dark heart, etc. They told me I had been ambitious in the Local Churches but had been thwarted and now I was out spewing venom, and seeking to stumble others and draw them after myself and so forth.

I was kind of shocked. I mean, I had no idea I was such an evil creature! Simply because I had disagreed with Lee's theses, and treated his ideas critically like any other author, suddenly I was, to them, the most vile of men, and a despiser of God's authority.

My point is that perhaps both Andrew and these Lee acolytes held that their particular author held some special position, above our ability to critically appraise it. So to Andrew, as to them, it was "plain" that everything put out by this person was self-evidently true, and all which critiqued it was patently absurd, and anyone who persisted in "not getting it" was therefore willfully obtuse, and immoral, to some degree.

In other words, if the author was perceived by them to be God's special anointed oracle, then by treating that author's ideas like that of any redeemed and fallible sinner (think of Peter's repeated and well-documented failures, even AFTER the day of Pentecost) we were actually rebelling against the throne of God Himself.

Or so I suppose. Anyway, I was struck by the parallel experience of how an attempt at mature and civil discussion of the theology of the author in question, on its own merits, quickly degenerated into name-calling, in both cases.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:23 AM   #104
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The program was designed to neutralize any discernment within the saints. I often heard the phrase, "Titus Chu (or WL) sees things, we don't." That was a neutralizer, if I ever heard one. Since he could, "see things, we don't," then we all just checked our ability to discern at the door of the church. Think of the license we had just granted our leaders. Church elders just laid down their discernment at his feet...
Nee was a bright guy, and he read books that his peers had not, and put out things they hadn't considered. How much of it was original, how much of it was distillations of folk wisdom, and how much was 'reformed Christian theology' of the past centuries is irrelevant; the point is that Nee saw things his peers didn't.

And Lee brought this to the U.S. Suddenly we were talking about Pember, Mackintosh, Darby, Kittel, Alford. None of these I'd heard about in my Congregational church, so arguably Lee "saw things we didn't".

BUT, we also saw things Lee didn't. And that's where the Nee/Lee system brought in corruption. Sight was held to be a one-way stream: the only thing we were supposed to 'see' was that Lee was the one with nearly unfettered access to God's light. So our only revelation was supposed to come when we stood up in the meeting, after some sharing by the Maximum Brother, and exclaim, Suddenly it was all clear to us! Praise God for this speaking! The Lord is meeting all my needs through this timely word from our brother! Etc, etc.

Our job was to shout slogans which had come from the dais. That was it. Shout it until you get it. Our ability to think independently was frowned upon as the dangerous seeds of ambition and division.

I believe today that every believer has sight. Yes, Lee had it, and so did Nee. But so do you and I. And our buying into the program of Nee and Lee "nullified the function of the members of the Body", as Lee put it so succinctly.

The author of Hebrews urged us to "see Jesus" in the text. I think we could spend all our lifetimes doing just that. There is an uncertainty in that invitation, which could be dangerous to some, because what you see and what I see might differ somewhat, and we just have to learn to live with that, and each other. I have learned that what I see can separate me from others. Do I insist on my view being the 'feeling of the Body', or the new interpretive truth? Or is what I see simply what I see?

An interesting thing about both Nee and Lee's ministries, is that as time went on both of them saw things that led to organizational centralization, and the accumulation of temporal power. Nee went from promoting local churches free from external (read: foreign) control, to "the Jerusalem principle" and the need for coordination & control; "God's deputy authority" and all that. Lee also went from "local churches on local ground" to "the vision of the Body" and so forth. In both cases we departed from looking away unto Jesus, and moved toward looking away unto headquarters. And in both cases our 'sight' got reduced to "Big Brother is right". That was the extent of our vision. Beyond that, as one of the Blendeds proudly declared, we were going to be like ostriches, with our heads firmly planted in the sand.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:36 AM   #105
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Aron, some years back trying to see if the local church had changed I joined a local church forum on yahoo groups.

For a couple of months I was just a lurker. Then I started posting innocent teaser posts, to see what would happen.

But all I got was cut and paste answers quoting from Life-Studies.

So I got things stirred up when I asked if the forum was a computer generated algorithm. Then we had some real discussions.

Things went well until I revealed I was an ex-local churcher. Then I got banned from the forum.

I went round and round with the forum moderators, one of them putting me back on the forum, and the other kicking me off.

I even reached out to Ron Kangas thru email, who said he tried to help me but had no power over the forum.

The good moderator told me that local churchers were told to stay away from ex-local churchers ... and that's why I got banned.

So I joined to find out if the local church had changed, and found out that it hadn't.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:01 AM   #106
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Default Re: Does LSM Hold to Apostolic Succession?

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But all I got was cut and paste answers quoting from Life-Studies..
Now I remember why I wanted to write the earlier post! Let's think about Peter, our template for the fallible believer. I love Peter's story because there I see something of us all. As I've said, Peter didn't fail more than the rest, but his failures were simply well-documented.

Let me give four representative samples: "Lord, this will never happen to you!" after Jesus foretold His death and resurrection.

Then, seeing Jesus walking on the waves and asking for His command to come, and looking down once he'd gotten out of the boat, and becoming frightened.

On the mountain of transfiguration: "Lord, it is good that we are here. Let's build three booths, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!"

Later on, going fishing with the brothers, and ignoring the Lord's hungry and lost sheep.

In each case Peter had seen something, then took his eye off the ball, and whiffed. I was thinking that maybe there's a pattern here. First, let's say we get a revelation from God. In Matthew 16, for example, Peter realized that Jesus was the promised Christ of God. In my case, like the prodigal in Luke, I was on my hands and knees fighting with pigs, when suddenly I got a revelation of my Father's house. I heard the name of Jesus, and recognized the call of the Shepherd, and got up and began to return home.

Good, right? But then what happened? Then, inevitably, at some point, I took my eye off the ball, and whiffed. I stumbled, and failed, again and again. The light became darkness, and how great was the darkness! Suddenly I heard, "Get away from Me, Satan!"

I think that to some extent this is a good picture of our spiritual journey. Arguably only the Lord Jesus Himself had a journey of pure, untrammeled light. The rest of us as redeemed and reborn sinners have struggled with residual darkness, at least in part. We had to see what we were apart from God -- helpless and hopeless failures -- before we could know and appreciate the phenomenal depth of God's mercy and grace toward us who believe.

And this is where the fellowship of the saints really comes in. In the assembly we get exposed and we repent to each other; we can be 'right-sized', and can be restored to the narrow path of life. But Nee & Lee built a system immune from correction. The system's revelation was supposedly not from the word, but rather to God's so-called 'oracle'; for example, Lee called Nee "The seer of the divine revelation in the present age". Their program was built on a necessary infallibility of this seer; whose vision was accountable only to God -- "even when he's wrong he's right", was the slogan I heard. So correction became impossible, and even when we sensed that the emperor had no clothes on, we just shouted all the louder, How fine they are! Such garments! Fit for the King's wedding! Etc.

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I joined to find out if the local church had changed, and found out that it hadn't.
What I've begun to understand, years out of the Nee & Lee system, is that the word of God is a blinding light, greater than we can bear. The Spirit, given without measure, is more than our feeble vessels can contain, and easily overwhelms our faculties. Paul wrote, "We can only see dimly, and in part", and if Paul acknowledged this, how much we all! We're redeemed sinners, reborn from the death's darkness, and in our emergence to the light we may occasionally lack in perception. At some point we're like Peter: our eye strays from the luminous path and back to more familiar terrain. In effect, once we've gone to the light, we may stumble, somewhat, back to darkness.

And so the Bible becomes a book of knowledge; telling us merely something of God's attributes, or His move in history. Instead of the blinding light of life we have dull shadows of knowledge. We still think we're okay, and are contented, until God corrects us, like when Jesus rebuked Peter. But, suppose we build a system which necessitates our immunity from correction? What then? Then we won't change. We might get some light, and then retreat to the shadows, and simply stay there. I think that Nee & Lee had surely some light; they were believers. But they subsequently built systems predicated upon not being corrected. And if no correction, then no change. And the "local churches of the Lord's recovery" system was likewise unable to change.

When Nee said he wanted to evangelize China, and presented to his listeners an organizational plan for its accomplishment, he was taking his eye off the ball. When Lee said that if we just did such-and-such we'd each gain two new ones in a year, and within 19 years of taking this "new way" we'd recover the whole earth, he was taking his eye off the ball. In both cases they looked to what men might do for God, instead of looking at what God had already done. Instead of seeing the kingdom of God shining in His Holy Word, they instead tried to build a facsimile. Like the young man in Luke 15 who remembered his father's house, suddenly they interposed their idea upon God's revelation: "I know what I'll do: I'll go and become a servant. I am not any more worthy of being a son." The church became a place where we tried to do something for God, instead of a celebration of what God had already done for us in Jesus Christ. And mere knowledge replaced the ineffable glory of the coming Spirit.

Again, we all do this. We all occasionally superimpose our familiar concepts upon God's blinding light. We all end up in the shadows, sometimes. The problem with the Nee & Lee system is that it was dedicated to avoiding this inevitable fact. Supposedly they had a special commission straight from God's throne and were exempt from human adjustment. And thus their inevitable errors, immune from correction, became great.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:42 AM   #107
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I often heard the phrase, "Titus Chu (or WL) sees things, we don't." That was a neutralizer, if I ever heard one. Since he could, "see things, we don't," then we all just checked our ability to discern at the door of the church. Think of the license we had just granted our leaders. Church elders just laid down their discernment at his feet.
Two or three years ago, when I was reading some of Nee in response to discussion about things he had written, I came across his preface (or one of them — I think there were two or three of them) to The Spiritual Man in which he somewhat "back-doored" the same about himself. Seems that he was sure that no one else could have arrived at the revelation that he provided in that book.

And he was only in his 20s, I believe.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:22 AM   #108
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Two or three years ago, when I was reading some of Nee in response to discussion about things he had written, I came across his preface (or one of them — I think there were two or three of them) to The Spiritual Man in which he somewhat "back-doored" the same about himself. Seems that he was sure that no one else could have arrived at the revelation that he provided in that book.

And he was only in his 20s, I believe.
I remember reading that Nee drew Spiritual Man from Jesse Penn-Lewis. Which means that when Nee wrote that book he was just being an exceptional student. And wasn't getting revelation (of the supernatural sort) but was instead, as a kid, just getting the big head about himself.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:16 PM   #109
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I remember reading that Nee drew Spiritual Man from Jesse Penn-Lewis.
Not sure that Penn-Lewis is someone you'd want to emulate too closely. A lot of Christians don't like her very much.

1. She is credited with derailing Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival.
2. Her holiness teachings are held to be quite subjective, imaginative, and unbalanced. As one commentator remarked, "The worst form of self can be the delusion that there is no self".

http://www.pfo.org/pennlews.htm
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #110
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Not sure that Penn-Lewis is someone you'd want to emulate too closely. A lot of Christians don't like her very much.

1. She is credited with derailing Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival.
2. Her holiness teachings are held to be quite subjective, imaginative, and unbalanced. As one commentator remarked, "The worst form of self can be the delusion that there is no self".

http://www.pfo.org/pennlews.htm
Yes, Jesse Penn-Lewis the Jezebel. She also taught and believed that demons could enter into and possess born again Christians. In fact, she said that had happened to those of the Welsh revival.

I was warned against reading The Spiritual Man. I was told that some brothers had become possessed by demons from reading the book. And that's very Penn-Lewis.

Nee was only a kid when he was poisoned by Penn-Lewis.

I know much has been said of Nee's Plymouth Brethren roots. I think Penn-Lewis threw him out of whack the most.

Also, Jesse claimed her writings were inspired just like scripture. Maybe that's where Nee came by his god-complex.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:21 AM   #111
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I know much has been said of Nee's Plymouth Brethren roots. I think Penn-Lewis threw him out of whack the most.

Also, Jesse claimed her writings were inspired just like scripture. Maybe that's where Nee came by his god-complex.
Nee was a bright young man. He read widely. Lee made a big deal about that and there probably was a kernel of truth there. So Nee was able to synthesize his readings and produce something new.

Actually, a bright young man, reading widely, accumulating a "treasure store of things old and new" is not unknown. That is what PhD programs are, for instance. The PhD dissertation should produce something that "is a revelation that no one else could have produced", as OBW phrased it.

So why did that get so distorted, that we all just checked our discernment at the door? I bet I could go to a Local Church meeting today, and if I got up and prefaced my comments with, "Jesse Penn Lewis wrote..." then all the old-timers would stiffen up and the younger folk would look around with curiosity. Who?

Everyone there knows Penn Lewis influenced Nee, and of course Nee was "THE seer of THE divine revelation in the present age", so instantly my words would have credibility. Even if I said, "Mrs. Jesse Penn Lewis said..." and then said something patently absurd, people would still pause and consider. Maybe Penn Lewis was in the throes of some "holy madness" when she wrote that...

People become respecters of persons, contrary to the explicit and repeated injunctions in the Bible. We pretend it isn't so but it is. And it is perniciously rooted there in the Local Churches. They are, arguably, a textbook case of personality cult. Brother awareness saw it laid bare, in all its fierce, unchristian reality. Ohio saw it. Most of the rest of us saw it from a distance: I watched a video of WL and TC at a training once, with all the requisite bowing and scraping. There was no doubt who was Top Dog and who was Little Dog in that relationship.

At the time, several safe stages removed from this mode of discipling, I thought they were just maintaining good order in the church. They were, actually, but they were also maintaining a lot more than that. They were maintaining a system in which independent thought was forbidden. Nee had been the seer of the revelation, Lee was his closest disciple, and we were supposed to shut up, unless we were quoting Nee or Lee, or (judiciously) Penn Lewis or Darby or some other supporting work. It's a pretty effective system, actually, in that it has survived and spread.

Anyway, maybe all we need to mention is that Nee's thought process was strongly influenced by both Darby and Penn Lewis and simply leave it at that. That may be saying enough, right there.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:20 AM   #112
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They were maintaining a system in which independent thought was forbidden. Nee had been the seer of the revelation, Lee was his closest disciple, and we were supposed to shut up, unless we were quoting Nee or Lee, or (judiciously) Penn Lewis or Darby or some other supporting work. It's a pretty effective system, actually, in that it has survived and spread.

Anyway, maybe all we need to mention is that Nee's thought process was strongly influenced by both Darby and Penn Lewis and simply leave it at that. That may be saying enough, right there.
I am wondering if Nee got caught by a kind of spiritual "meme" which spread to us, through Lee.

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

So what is similar from the Plymouth Brethren and Guyon/Penn-Lewis' inner life teachings? In the PBs we see an exclusivism which led to numerous splits. Who is in, and who is out? One word: control.

In the inner life/holiness group, we see a stress on subjective experience. Emotional response is guaged carefully, the objective word of truth is relative to our experience. What we "enjoy" becomes our reality, versus what God said.

"…I made an end of Madam Guyon’s ‘Short Method of Prayer’ and ‘Les Torrentes Spirituelles.’ Ah, my brethren! I can answer your riddle, now I have ploughed with your heifer. The very words I have so often heard some of you use, are not your own, no more than they are God’s. They are only retailed from this poor Quietist; and that with the utmost faithfulness. Oh, that ye knew how much wiser is God than man! Then would you drop Quietists and Mystics together, and at all hazards keep to the plain, practical, written word of God.” The Journal of the Reverend John Wesley, 1742

“…I have industriously guarded them from meddling with the Mystic writers, as they are usually called; because these are the most artful refiners of it that ever appeared in the Christian world, and the most bewitching. There is something like enchantment in them. When you get into them, you know not how to get out. Some of the chief of these, though in different ways, are Jacob Behmen and Madame Guyon. My dear friend, come not into their secret; keep in the plain, open Bible way. Aim at nothing higher, nothing deeper, than the religion described at large in our Lord’s Sermon upon the Mount, and briefly summed up by St. Paul in the 13th chapter [of the First Epistle] to the Corinthians….All the high-sounding or mysterious expressions used by that class of writers either mean no more than this or they mean wrong. O beware of them! Leave them off before they are meddled with.” Letter from John Wesley, 1772

"The grand source of all her mistakes was this, the not being guided by the written word. She did not take the Scripture for the rule of her actions; at most it was but the secondary rule. Inward impressions, which she called inspirations, were her primary rule. The written word was not a lantern to her feet, a light in all her paths. No; she followed another light, the outward light of her confessors, and the inward light of her own spirit." Wesley's introduction to a biography of Madame Guyon.

So we end up with a system in which we can have the Lord telling us what to wear today, or how much milk to put on our cereal, according to our 'inner light', with everything under the 'light' of the Maximum Leader. In other words, do what you want, as long as you let the Big Brother do what he wants. You have absolute freedom to follow your spirit, as long as you are absolutely subject to the leading of the supposed apostle in his 'recovered church life'.

But in neither case, yours or your apostle, is the word of God the guide. Rather, the guide is subjective, fallible, human feeling. I have just posted on the thread "The Psalms are the word of Christ" to show where this leading can take you.
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