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Old 05-08-2014, 09:35 PM   #1
Terry
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Default Christianity Baggage

The following is from a former LC brother identified as "singnewsong".

"Witness Lee spoke about the Lord's Recovery carrying Christianity baggage. We interpret "Christianity baggage" as being traditions of men carried over from previous generations. Thus the present Lord's Recovery still possesses some traditions. We have never heard anyone speak about any specific items as being Christianity baggage. Yet we wish to identify three traditions as "the Christianity Baggage Trinity" They are: (1) selling the things of God, (2) churches owning property, and (3) non-profit corporations.

Doves, pigeons, and lambs were sold in the temple during Jesus' time. Did he approve of that? Not at all. (Luke 19:45-46) Today, look at all the business transactions regarding publications and certain kinds of meetings. Did Paul charge those who came to him? (Acts 28:30-31, 1 Corinthians 9:18)

The Bible does not record any early church owning property. The practice of building cathedrals and meeting halls did not spring up overnight. It must have begun during the Pergamos era when human government and the church "married". It was likely promoted by the two teachings mentioned in the letter to Pergamos: (1) Nicolaitans, and (2) Baalam. (Revelations 2:14-15)

Is not a non-profit corporation an unholy marriage between human government and God's people? This is a case of, "Whom should we obey, men or God?" Is not money the motivating factor? We also ask, "Where does the Bible give human government the authority to define a church?"

Our assessment is that unless these practices are purged, maturity in divine life will continue to be inhibited. Two choices exist for us: (1) repentance from these traditions of men, or (2) expect another mustard seed to come forth as the beginning of another cycle."
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:27 AM   #2
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The Bible does not record any early church owning property.
Does the Bible record selling burial plots next to the tomb of Jesus? Does it record selling plots next to the graves of the disciples, or where Paul the apostle was buried?

Worship of relics didn't come until much later, when corruption set in. And that corruption continues today, at the burial site of Witness Lee.

"Grace Terrace Memorial Association is a registered nonprofit organization"
http://www.graceterrace.com/en/Introduction/purpose
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Christianity Baggage

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The following is from a former LC brother identified as "singnewsong".
Please inform singnewsong that he/she is welcome to post as a guest, or even better register as a member so he/she could at the vey least communicate with others through the Private Message system.


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(1) selling the things of God, (2) churches owning property, and (3) non-profit corporations.
Does selling the things of God refer to the selling of ministry materials? If so, I agree this could be mishandled. The real problem with the LSM's selling of ministry material comes in the fact that most of it is the 30-50 year old stuff of a guy that's been dead for 17 years.

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The Bible does not record any early church owning property.
No, but neither does the Bible record any church using electric lights, audio equipment or the Internet to notify members of meeting times, special events, prayer requests, etc. A "New Testament Church" should mean it is authentic in it's proclaiming of the Gospel, preaching of the Word, preforming good works to their neighbors, etc and NOT that they meet in dark catacombs and travel around by donkeys or on foot.

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Is not a non-profit corporation an unholy marriage between human government and God's people? This is a case of, "Whom should we obey, men or God?" Is not money the motivating factor? We also ask, "Where does the Bible give human government the authority to define a church?"
Not sure what country you are in, but in most of the civilized world much of the governmental regulations are for the protection of their citizens. This includes the protection from immoral and unscrupulous religious leaders who would use the donations of the members for their own personal gain. In many countries this protection is provided by way of the initiation and monitoring of a non-profit entity. The Bible does not give human government the authority to define a church, but it has been given authority by God Himself to punish said immoral and unscrupulous religious leaders who would commit financial malfeasance (or other civil or criminal crimes)

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Our assessment is that unless these practices are purged, maturity in divine life will continue to be inhibited. Two choices exist for us: (1) repentance from these traditions of men, or (2) expect another mustard seed to come forth as the beginning of another cycle."
Not sure who "Our" is referring to, but since Terry has identified you as "a former LC brother" I will assume you are referring to a number of former and/or current members who would like to see some major changes in the LC Movement. Well I can tell you right now that you are preaching to the choir around these parts my brother!

May I be frank with you? If you do some searching around this forum you will find plenty of evidence that God has been trying to effect change in the Local Church movement for decades. The calls for change have come both from without and from within. The calls for change from without came mainly before the death of Witness Lee, and the calls for change from within have come mainly after the death of Witness Lee.

The call for change from without has been largely silenced by two methods - One by legal actions and threats of legal actions and two by gross deception and a campaign of blatant misinformation regarding what is actually taught and practiced. (The later being exemplified by the seduction of CRI, Hank Hanegraaff, Gretchen Passantino-Coburn et al.)

The call for change from within has been largely silenced by way of smear campaigns against any and all who would call for open and honest dialogue and reconsideration of certain teachings and practices. Of course these law-breakers (mostly breakers of the unwritten laws) were silenced by all sorts of methods, from a simple "talking to by the brothers", to being called "ambitious, seeking something for themselves", to being labeled as "rebellious again God's anointed" to "destroyers of the divine building" and even subjected to 5 hour, public excommunication meetings.

You see my friend God has been calling for change for probably longer than you might have ever imagined. But that does not mean that you can't do some more calling of your own, and you are more than welcome to use this forum as a venue for your calling.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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"Doves, pigeons, and lambs were sold in the temple during Jesus' time. Did he approve of that? Not at all. (Luke 19:45-46) Today, look at all the business transactions regarding publications and certain kinds of meetings. Did Paul charge those who came to him? (Acts 28:30-31, 1 Corinthians 9:18)"
As I percieve the brother whose writing had been passed on to me, the specific issue is with charging for publications aned charging for trainings.
Whether myth or truth, it had been suggested the "standing book order" is a genius of Phillip Lee. A way of creating a base supply of book sells. As fpr the trainings, it's been said training "donations" was initially implemented to reimburse those who lost money in the Daystar venture.
Talk about business transactions, I had been in many meetings where the congregation was solicited to give to DCP, real estate purchase, buildings, and to sign up for the standing order.

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:13-16
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:26 PM   #5
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So this fellow left the Local Church/LSM over the charging for publications and trainings? These are the only problems he has with the LC? Does he or anybody else really think that if they stopped charging for publications and trainings that everything with be hunky-dory with the Local Church?
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Christianity Baggage

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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
The following is from a former LC brother identified as "singnewsong".

"Witness Lee spoke about the Lord's Recovery carrying Christianity baggage. We interpret "Christianity baggage" as being traditions of men carried over from previous generations. Thus the present Lord's Recovery still possesses some traditions. We have never heard anyone speak about any specific items as being Christianity baggage. Yet we wish to identify three traditions as "the Christianity Baggage Trinity" They are: (1) selling the things of God, (2) churches owning property, and (3) non-profit corporations.

Doves, pigeons, and lambs were sold in the temple during Jesus' time. Did he approve of that? Not at all. (Luke 19:45-46) Today, look at all the business transactions regarding publications and certain kinds of meetings. Did Paul charge those who came to him? (Acts 28:30-31, 1 Corinthians 9:18)
An old LC friend of mine, whom I was with last weekend, recently did a study in the N.T. on MONEY.

This was the conclusion of his exhaustive study -- Every single time MONEY is mentioned, the instruction is to "give to the poor." Let me repeat for those hard of reading: Give to the poor!

And for anyone out there who thinks that the Recovery still has "Christianity Baggage" from past generations, let me politely inform you that the Recovery, and specifically the LSM, has as much or even more "Christianity Baggage" than the rest of Christianity.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Christianity Baggage

The most annoying thing about the reference to "Christianity baggage" is the implication that just because it comes from a past time that it is discardable (or should be discarded) as if soiled underwear. Nothing could be farther from the truth for a lot of what they snidely call "baggage" or tradition (or, to use their term, "dead tradition").

The problem is that tradition is not the problem. It is the "dead" part. And dead applies to things that are brand new and often does not apply to things that are very old (and are seen as tradition).

Funny that they would point at old things as so bad when the very premise of their existence is that they are bringing the 1st century church back. Talk about old traditions. Good or bad, those are really old. That is the ultimate in old-time religion. (I'm not taking their position . . . just noting that if they were consistent in their message, they would only be doing things in a way that has never been done before. They would never go back to a really old way.)
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:38 AM   #8
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Does he or anybody else really think that if they stopped charging for publications and trainings that everything with be hunky-dory with the Local Church?
I hope you follow my iceberg analogy. If LSM/LC stopped treating "donations" as "fees", on the surface issues appear to be gone, but below the surface there are more issues that are not so subtle.
In my honest opinion for everything to be hunky-dory, the starting point is with specific public repentance.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:52 AM   #9
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Is not a non-profit corporation an unholy marriage between human government and God's people? This is a case of, "Whom should we obey, men or God?" Is not money the motivating factor? We also ask, "Where does the Bible give human government the authority to define a church?"
The author did not go in this direction, but I am going to go there. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians addressed division. The practice of promoting division through quarantines/excommunication that exist in the LSM/LC has been a baggage Lee brought from his Brethren experiences.
Brothers have been besmirched as being rebels. Whom should they obey, men or God?
I suggest brothers were branded as being ambitious, rebellious, etc because they choose to obey God rather than a man.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Is not a non-profit corporation an unholy marriage between human government and God's people? This is a case of, "Whom should we obey, men or God?" Is not money the motivating factor? We also ask, "Where does the Bible give human government the authority to define a church?"
Not sure that this particular item is such a problem as has been suggested.

For starters, government does not define a church. It only defines the nature of the organizations that it will allow to operate somewhat outside of the regular tax system while allowing contributions to its operation to be tax-privileged to the contributor. That puts little in the way of limitation on the spiritual significance of a church while allowing it to operate in a manner that is less costly. This might more likely fall into a modern equivalent of the plundering of Egypt at the start of the exodus. If the government is willing to remove the tax cost from the operation of a church, then to the extent that the church can do as it needs within the somewhat limited restrictions put on it by the government, that is a plus. To the extent that there is a church that wants or needs to operate in such a way that it falls outside of the tax-favored rules, then it is free to continue, but without the benefits of "fitting in."

So I'm not sure I see the government defining what is or is not a church.

As to the money aspects in general, I think that the form of the organization (legally) is not the problem. Neither is the tax status afforded by the government. The problem is the greed of man to work every angle for personal benefit. Funny thing is that most of the famous money problems with preachers resulted in them getting fined or sent to prison. And in the few cases that they did not, they lost the respect and following of most of those who had been fleeced.

Unfortunately, Lee and company managed to get by without anyone seeing LSM's fees being used to pay off investors in private businesses that they managed to make a healthy profit from themselves. Seems the funds of a non-profit organization were diverted to the benefit of the organizers by paying-off those who could get them in deep trouble for their financial crimes (having nothing to do with the purpose of the non-profit — LSM).
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:36 AM   #11
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Funny that they would point at old things as so bad when the very premise of their existence is that they are bringing the 1st century church back. Talk about old traditions. Good or bad, those are really old...
In the insular world of the fringe sect, reality is defined by Maximum Leader (ML) and none else. If ML does something, it's called "closely following the teaching and fellowship of the apostles", and if someone else does it then it's called "dead tradition".

And the way to avoid the obvious disconnect is to take in the ministry of ML 24/7. Then you don't feel weird because there is no external point of reference, and therefore little if any perceptual discord. Then everything will make sense to you. I was there, once. Everything ML said was "the oracle of God", and therefore it all made perfect sense, even when it didn't.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
The following is from a former LC brother identified as "singnewsong".

"Witness Lee spoke about the Lord's Recovery carrying Christianity baggage. We interpret "Christianity baggage" as being traditions of men carried over from previous generations. Thus the present Lord's Recovery still possesses some traditions. We have never heard anyone speak about any specific items as being Christianity baggage. Yet we wish to identify three traditions as "the Christianity Baggage Trinity" They are: (1) selling the things of God, (2) churches owning property, and (3) non-profit corporations.

Doves, pigeons, and lambs were sold in the temple during Jesus' time. Did he approve of that? Not at all. (Luke 19:45-46) Today, look at all the business transactions regarding publications and certain kinds of meetings. Did Paul charge those who came to him? (Acts 28:30-31, 1 Corinthians 9:18)

The Bible does not record any early church owning property. The practice of building cathedrals and meeting halls did not spring up overnight. It must have begun during the Pergamos era when human government and the church "married". It was likely promoted by the two teachings mentioned in the letter to Pergamos: (1) Nicolaitans, and (2) Baalam. (Revelations 2:14-15)

Is not a non-profit corporation an unholy marriage between human government and God's people? This is a case of, "Whom should we obey, men or God?" Is not money the motivating factor? We also ask, "Where does the Bible give human government the authority to define a church?"
After I left the LC's, as both Cleveland and Anaheim were grabbing their spoils of war, I connected with a local community church. At first I felt that the senior pastor had the gift of faith, and his faith really helped me back in those days.

Then, over the years since then, a few times of testing arose mostly concerning money. I initially thought that faith in God was the primary motivating factor of this independent congregation, but several diverse trials seemed to have proven differently. It now takes more faith than I have to keep believing that faith is their motivating factor.

These folks can't even sit down for dinner without passing the plate, as the Pastor says in every meeting, "Can we all now get excited about giving our offerings to God?"

An old and wise brother, whom I have known for decades, recently said to me, "money is the mother's milk of religion!"
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:06 AM   #13
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mother's milk"
That's a double entendre ....
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:54 AM   #14
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The reason I say double entendre is because we're talking "Christianity Baggage." As I've seen it thru the years two things bring a Christian leader down : Money and Sex.

Back when 5 localities migrated to Ft. Lauderdale (for the Spring Breakers) there was a problem with the ground. Bod Mumford and Derek Prince had declared the ground in Ft. Lauderdale. That meant that we had to join them. Ha Ha, fat chance. Mumford and Prince weren't following Witness Lee. So we waxed hypocritical to our teaching of the ground.

But to my point. God did not bless the local church in Ft. Lauderdale. LSM doesn't even list a LC in Ft. Lauderdale.

But God blessed, instead, a little nobody back then, that was hanging with Mumford and Co.

Since then this nobody, Pastor Bob Coy, built a megachurch into the largest church in America ; 20 thousand members and counting.

But last month it came out, and Coy confessed, that he's been having affairs and has a long term addiction to pornography. There's also a scuttlebutt concerning dishonest management of money.

Coy's church governance was based on the Moses model. In other words, God speak's to Moses (Bob Coy) and Moses runs the whole show. So authority wasn't to be questioned. Coy had 600 working under him. All of them were question forbidden authorities.

So it wasn't just Coy that was victimizing sisters, those below him were doing the same, even with boys (there were lots of gays in his Calvary Chapel church).

Does the Moses model ring a bell?

Money and sex brought Pastor Bob Coy down, and there's more fallout to come.

So "Mother's Milk" has a double meaning. Thus a double entendre.

Moral of the story : whenever you encounter the Moses model of church governance, run like the devil is chasing you. Cuz he is.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:42 PM   #15
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That's a double entendre ....
Completely unintentional.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:31 PM   #16
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Completely unintentional.
Just your natural brilliance shining thru ... as usual.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:36 PM   #17
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In the insular world of the fringe sect, reality is defined by Maximum Leader (ML) and none else. Everything ML said was "the oracle of God", and therefore it all made perfect sense, even when it didn't.
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Does the Moses model ring a bell?
Whether it's the oracle of the Maximum Leader, the Moses Model, Delegated Authority, or Deputy Authority -- it's all the same -- fallen human beings lording it over other fallen human beings. Our Lord repeatedly discipled the Twelve concerning this very matter. Listen to what Jesus said in Mark chapter 10,

And when the other ten disciples heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called all the disciples to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their distinguished officials exercise authority over them. But it shall not be this way among you. Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This short instruction by the Lord Jesus speaks volumes. The church's greatest tragedy has been not heeding what He has said here. Once these principles are violated, everyone is damaged. This forum is filled with the sad stories of those little ones hurt by leaders who longed to be "THE Authority." These church "rulers" do get earthly power, fame, and pleasure, but at what cost? Look at how many of God's children get ruined by their greed. Think about how many unbelievers never get to know His saving grace because of these scandals of corruption. Consider how much shame is brought upon the precious name of Jesus.

The apostles called it "filthy lucre," referring to the host of lucrative gains accumulated by those who profess to be serving God. Whether sinful lusts and pleasures, fame, power, control, financial wealth -- it's all the same. Why is it that these evils always seem to accompany those who long to be Numero Uno?
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #18
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If we want to talk about "Christianity Baggage," then we must admit that the Recovery has got lots of their own. They are filled with rules and regulations -- i.e. traditions -- which are not in the scripture. This forum is filled with posts which expose all the "Christianity Baggage" in the Recovery, which the Blendeds convince themselves are in the Bible.

Jesus said "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees." A modern day 21st century translation would say, "Beware of the leaven of the Blendeds."
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:08 PM   #19
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The Bible does not record any early church owning property. The practice of building cathedrals and meeting halls did not spring up overnight. It must have begun during the Pergamos era when human government and the church "married". It was likely promoted by the two teachings mentioned in the letter to Pergamos: (1) Nicolaitans, and (2) Baalam. (Revelations 2:14-15)
Maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem when a church is able to expand it's structure, parking capacity, or even purchase or rent a building to meet in based on the tithing of it's congregation.
However I do have a problem when the tithing is used to support a lawsuit, future lawsuits, or to give a non-profit Christian publisher additional resources for it's own real estate expnasion.
I don't mind church owning property especially when it's residential property helps members of it's congregation less fortunate.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:14 PM   #20
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However I do have a problem when the tithing is used to support a lawsuit, future lawsuits, or to give a non-profit Christian publisher additional resources for it's own real estate expnasion.
How about spending the money on brothels? Like is claimed in Dr. Lily Hsu & Dana Robert's tome about Nee in the early founding days of the local church.

I got quotes from the book, that I could present. But fear they'd take the thread off topic.

And I'm trying to be a good boy.
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