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Old 09-17-2016, 02:36 AM   #1
Evangelical
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Default The Fallacy of Ecumenism

There are two main ways in which Christian unity may be achieved. One way is to leave all the divisions and meet on some common ground. This is like throwing away a square peg and making a new round peg so it fits in the round hole.

The other way is Ecumenism which is basically to try and merge the divisions by squishing them closer together. This is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Ecumenism is "the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world's Christian Churches." It is a quest for Christian unity. In this post I will show what is the problem with it and why it cannot work, and that the kind of unity it will produce is opposed to God's plan.

The ecumenical symbol is the church portrayed as a boat afloat on the sea of the world with the mast in the form of a cross. Some of you who read my posts may recall my analogy of boats floating in the ocean. I used that analogy for good reason, because it is related to the ecumenical symbol. The symbol of the ecumenical movement is one boat in the ocean. Their goal is one boat. However currently there are many boats in the ocean. Bringing boats closer together and building bridges between boats does not change the fact that people are still "in the boats". Can building bridges between denominations bring a kind of unity? Yes! Is the kind of unity ecumenism can bring, genuine unity mentioned in the Bible? No!

Let us consider some valid reasons against ecumenism from some Protestant and Orthodox:

The pressure to compromise

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenism
There are some members of the United Methodist Church who oppose ecumenical efforts which are "not grounded in the doctrines of the Church" due to concerns over theological compromise.[49] For example, an article published in Catalyst Online: Contemporary Evangelical Perspectives for United Methodist Seminarians stated that false ecumenism might result in the "blurring of theological and confessional differences in the interests of unity."[50]

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) bars its clergy from worshiping with other faiths, contending "that church fellowship or merger between church bodies in doctrinal disagreement with one another is not in keeping with what the Bible teaches about church fellowship."[51] In keeping with this position, a Connecticut LCMS pastor was asked to apologize by the president of the denomination, and did so, for participating in an interfaith prayer vigil for the 26 children and adults killed at a Newtown elementary school; and a LCMS pastor in New York was suspended for praying at an interfaith vigil in 2001, twelve days after the September 11 attacks.[52] In 2015, LCMS Presiding Pastor Matthew Harrison excommunicated one Lutheran minister for a number of stated reasons, including ecumenism with Roman Catholics. Another conservative Lutheran body, the American Association of Lutheran Churches, is strongly opposed to ecumenical (more accurately, interfaith) dialogue with non-Christian religions and with denominations it identifies as cults.

However, many Orthodox Christians are vehemently opposed to ecumenism with other Christian denominations. They view ecumenism, as well as interfaith dialog, as being potentially pernicious to Orthodox Church Tradition; a "weakening" of Orthodoxy itself.[55] In the Eastern Orthodox world, the monastic community of Mount Athos, arguably the most important center of Orthodox spirituality, has voiced its concerns regarding the ecumenist movement and opposition to the participation of the Orthodox Church.[56] They regard modern ecumenism as compromising essential doctrinal stands in order to accommodate other Christians, and object to the emphasis on dialogue leading to intercommunion rather than conversion on the part of participants in ecumenical initiatives. Greek Old Calendarists also claim that the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils forbid changing the church calendar through abandonment of the Julian calendar.[citation needed] The Inter-Orthodox Theological Conference entitled "Ecumenism: Origins, Expectations, Disenchantment",[57] organized in September 2004 by the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki has drawn negative conclusions on ecumenism.

As some have rightly pointed out, a step towards ecumenism is compromise. Now compromise can be a good thing if the matters compromised about are within the realm of Christian freedoms. However as we will see, the compromises to be made are in the matter of light and darkness, not merely right or wrong over minor doctrinal disputes.

For this we need to look at the The World Council of Churches
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Council_of_Churches

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide inter-church organization.

What are the leanings of the WCC?

Anti Israel:

The World Council of Churches has been described as taking an adversarial position toward the state of Israel.[63] It has also been claimed the council has focused particularly on activities and publications criticizing Israel in comparison with other human rights issues.[64][65] It is similarly claimed that it downplayed appeals from Egyptian Copts about human rights abuses under Sadat and Mubarak, in order to focus on its neighbour.[63] In 2009, the Council called for an international boycott on goods produced in Israeli settlements, which it described as 'illegal, unjust' and 'incompatible with peace'.[66] In 2013, the General Secretary was reported to claim in Cairo, "We support the Palestinians. The WCC supports the Palestinians, because they are in the right."[67] The WCC's Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) has been criticised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews for promoting "an inflammatory and partisan programme at the expense of its interfaith relations".[68] The WCC secretariat was involved in preparing and helped disseminate the Kairos Palestine Document, which declares “the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights”,


Pro-gay marriage:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_wcc.htm
The World Council of Churches (WCC) represents 332 Orthodox, Anglican and other Protestant denominations, with a total membership of about 400 million Christians. There are serious internal tensions within the group. Christian Orthodox churches are distressed at some of the increasingly liberal positions of the WCC. Chief among these are the eligibility of women for ordination, acceptance of gays and lesbians for ordination, and acceptance of committed homosexual relationships as equivalent to heterosexual.


Let us consider the affiliations of the current WCC leadership:

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/about-us...ure/leadership

WCC presidents
Rev. Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies van Huffel, Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa
Rev. Prof. Dr Sang Chang, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea
Archbishop Anders Wejryd, Church of Sweden
Rev. Gloria Nohemy Ulloa Alvarado, Presbyterian Church in Colombia
Bishop Mark MacDonald, Anglican Church of Canada
Rev. Dr Mele’ana Puloka, Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
H.B. John X, Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East
H.H. Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians

Now let us consider which of these affiliations are clearly pro gay marriage:

Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa - YES
http://www.christianpost.com/news/du...cision-147554/

Church of Sweden - YES
http://www.thelocal.se/20091022/22810

Anglican Church of Canada - YES:
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ca...from-unanimous

So a key reason why ecumenism will never work in a genuine way is because of the necessary compromises to be made on gay marriage and Israel.

Another reason is that the largest denomination is not a member although they are involved:

It is notable that "The largest Christian body, the Catholic Church, is not a member of the WCC, but has worked closely with the Council for more than three decades and sends observers to all major WCC conferences as well as to its Central Committee meetings and the Assemblies"



The Future of Ecumenism

What are the main reasons it does not work? Because it involves compromise on key issues such as Israel and homosexual marriage. It is inevitable that denominations that currently do not compromise will either compromise or leave the ecumenical movement as it continues to head towards liberalism. The ecumenical movement cannot result in genuine Christian unity because it is:
1. A compromise on key issues such as homosexual marriage and Israel
2. A waste of time, given
-the largest denomination, Roman Catholic, is not a member.
- Any efforts towards unity are countered by the fractures and splits within denominations over contentious issues - denominations are already fracturing over the gay marriage issue:
http://religionnews.com/2015/09/23/b...-gay-marriage/
3. In future, likely to result in some united liberal-focused Christian entity which is supportive of gay marriage and other aberrations. In other words, greater unity may be achieved but it will not be based on traditional Christian values and biblical principles.

2 Corinthians 6:14 says "for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Fallacy of Ecumenism

Just curious, but this forum is "Local Church Discussions". What does this topic have to do with the purpose of this forum?

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Old 09-17-2016, 03:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Fallacy of Ecumenism

Evangelical,

The ecumenicism you are excoriating is a relic from the past. Once again you are taking your riff from something Witness Lee taught long ago. Have you no inspiration other than things a man dead for twenty years taught?

You are succumbing to the fallacy of the excluded middle, aka false dilemma. You say either everyone will spontaneously "leave all the divisions" (which we both know is code for joining the LCM) or they will succumb to a murky, marshy "unity" where everyone must have the blood of the lowest common denominating sin on their heads.

You missed the middle you excluded in your fallacious reasoning.

What is actually happening today is that God is working out unity in the community churches and some denominations. Is it according to the theoretical idealism of the LCM? No, but that ideal is not going to happen anyway, so who cares. Fact is, it's just a unobtainable fantasy by which the LCM discredits everything but what they want to believe they are. (Which they aren't, but that's another story.)

But neither is it according to your cynical excluded middle alternative of man-made ecumenicism. Oneness is being seen these days. Not just shaking hands over the fence, but commitment, cooperation and a genuine desire to see God break out to a level never before really seen. It is happening.

So I don't buy your cynicism. And I see it for what it really is--another attempt to discredit everything but the LCM. Continue to throw stones from your ivory tower. Continue to be part of the problem rather than the solution. Continue to be a Pharisee, if that's what floats your boat. Meanwhile God is working...
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Fallacy of Ecumenism

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Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Just curious, but this forum is "Local Church Discussions". What does this topic have to do with the purpose of this forum?

Nell
Hi Nell,

Given the apparent failure of the local churches in trying to achieve Christian unity, some have proposed ecumenism as the way forward. Some have proposed that the local churches should join the ecumenical way.

However I do not think they have a clear view of the nature the ecumenical movements worldwide, neither do they consider that the alternative of ecumenism is far worse than the kind of unity proposed by the local church.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:13 PM   #5
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Evangelical,
The ecumenicism you are excoriating is a relic from the past. Once again you are taking your riff from something Witness Lee taught long ago. Have you no inspiration other than things a man dead for twenty years taught?
Hi Igzy,

God is also working people out of denominations: Non-denominationalism is on the rise
http://www.christianitytoday.com/eds...ost-recen.html
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:47 PM   #6
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Hi Nell,

Given the apparent failure of the local churches in trying to achieve Christian unity, some have proposed ecumenism as the way forward. Some have proposed that the local churches should join the ecumenical way.

However I do not think they have a clear view of the nature the ecumenical movements worldwide, neither do they consider that the alternative of ecumenism is far worse than the kind of unity proposed by the local church.
Evangelical,

OK. In that case, I have questions for you: When Jesus said "I will build my church", what did he mean? Do you think he is so spiritually inept that he needs man-made organizations, movements and, for that matter, the Local Church/Witness Lee to "achieve Christian unity?" "Christian unity" is in the eye of the beholder, organizationally speaking, giving rise to endless arguments about who is "right." Whatever is achieved by the continuing failed efforts of man will not be the church for whom Christ died.

The church will be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. What you're trying to do is manage the spots and wrinkles.

Spots and wrinkles equate to sin. Today's church is powerless because of sin. There will be no "Christian unity" as long as there is sin in the camp. As Matt. 1:21 says "He came to save His people from their sins." Above all else, God is Holy. God is clean.

Just because a bunch of different men come up with their own pet doctrines and organize around their preferences and claim to be "the church" doesn't mean squat. Jesus will return to claim a bride that looks like him; a bride that loves him; a bride that is spotless...like he is.

This hymn says it best and this is what I want:

1 The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

2 Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth;
her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

3 Though with a scornful wonder the world see her oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping; their cry goes up: “How long?”
and soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.

4 Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation of peace forevermore,
till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

5 Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly, may live eternally.

By Samuel J. Stone

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Old 09-17-2016, 10:27 PM   #7
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Hi Nell,

God principally works through human beings, not that he needs to do so (He is God), but he has chosen to do so. The ecumenical movement is an attempt to bring man-made organizations together, which is a false unity.

The church is not an organization but the Body of Christ. The church is just Christ. The gates of hell can prevail against man -made organizations but not the true church. The true church is that which is made of living stones by God and not human hands, and is none other than Christ himself who is the only one who can prevail against the gates of hell. If we have a vision of the church we will see that Christians are already united spiritually in the one church, the body of Christ. To make any sort of distinctions between Christians is to exercise a sectarian and divisive spirit. The principle of Matt 23:8 is "all ye are brethren". There is no hierarchy in the sense of organizations and denominations and ruling over others. There is hierarchy in the sense of function - just like in our bodies the shoulder is higher than the arm and the arm cannot move unless the shoulder "tells" it to, but this does not mean the shoulder is more important than the arm.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:37 PM   #8
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Hi Nell,

The church is not an organization but the Body of Christ. The church is just Christ. The gates of hell can prevail against man -made organizations but not the true church. The true church is that which is made of living stones by God and not human hands, and is none other than Christ himself who is the only one who can prevail against the gates of hell. If we have a vision of the church we will see that Christians are already united spiritually in the one church, the body of Christ. To make any sort of distinctions between Christians is to exercise a sectarian and divisive spirit.
E,

I believe I just said most of that. Except for the part about distinctions between/among Christians being sectarian and divisive...a hallmark of Witness Lee.


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Old 09-17-2016, 11:00 PM   #9
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Given the apparent failure of the local churches in trying to achieve Christian unity, some have proposed ecumenism as the way forward. Some have proposed that the local churches should join the ecumenical way.
The 'some' (have proposed ...) , pls may I ask 'who' are these 'some'?
I don't mean to know the names of persons (the some). I am asking whether these 'some' are the 'local church' members and/or LSM members, or people outside of LSM and LSM local churches?
Angelical, I am asking questions because I know many LSM local churches members in different countries and I am concerned for them.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:08 PM   #10
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The 'some' (have proposed ...) , pls may I ask 'who' are these 'some'?
I don't mean to know the names of persons (the some). I am asking whether these 'some' are the 'local church' members and/or LSM members, or people outside of LSM and LSM local churches?
Angelical, I am asking questions because I know many LSM local churches members in different countries and I am concerned for them.
Some on this forum, who see LSM like any other denomination, and think it should be in fellowship with other denominations.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:09 PM   #11
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E,

I believe I just said most of that.

N
Yes, so we agree in the theory, but maybe not the practice, if you don't think Lee/Nee were truly led by God and were simply in it to make a name for themselves.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:14 AM   #12
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Yes, so we agree in the theory, but maybe not the practice, if you don't think Lee/Nee were truly led by God and were simply in it to make a name for themselves.
Lee was a gifted Bible teacher who lost his way. I wouldn't presume to say why he did what he did because I don't know his heart. I can see the fruit he produced along the way. Some of it was good, some was very bad.

My point was that you seem to use "church" and "denominations" interchangeably. This is not right and apparently you agree.

Neither is the point to say that "some" believe the LC should be "in fellowship" with other denominations (ecumenism). This was never part of the discussion.

The Christians in the LC should, rather, be in fellowship with other Christians, and stop its slander of those Christians who, with biblical evidence, disagree with the Local Church denomination teachings and practices.

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Old 09-18-2016, 02:05 PM   #13
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Hi Igzy,

God is also working people out of denominations: Non-denominationalism is on the rise
http://www.christianitytoday.com/eds...ost-recen.html
I believe God is moving his people to major on the majors and minor on the minors. People want Jesus, and they know proprietary doctrines and practices which do not speak directly to God's basic truths of salvation and relationship with Him are superfluous. They are not interested in those. This is resulting in people seeking out churches which are less interested in being distinct. God can be fresher in community churches, and this is attractive.

So, yes, I believe that this is all part of God plan. But it doesn't mean God hates denominations. It means that denominations need to become more general. And they will, to survive, because people will vote with their feet. The name of a denomination is a superficial issue. A denomination is simply an attempt to present a certain flavor of Christianity. Every group at some level thinks they are doing it right and, at the very least, how God wants people to do it. The LCM is no different. There is nothing really unique about it. It's a flavor of Christianity.

But the flavors tend to become set in their ways and ossify. The more a group becomes entrenched in tradition and routine the less God is free to use the group. That is why simplicity and generality and sticking to the essentials is so important. It helps us (1) stay light and (2) more able to receive and cooperate with others. This works more toward unity.

The LCM is a weird duck. It is very particular, very quirky, very proprietary. Yet it wants to think of itself as general. But no group so devoted to one teacher can hope to be general. Despite Lee's early foray into generality, he soon realized he could not keep control of the movement without making himself essential. So a double-mindedness was put in place. On the one hand he preached generality, but when push came to shove he was anything but general. This double-mindedness and hypocrisy eventually became the prevailing mindset, which remains to this day. And it is what makes many LCMers so difficult to reason with.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:12 PM   #14
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The LCM is a weird duck. It is very particular, very quirky, very proprietary. Yet it wants to think of itself as general. But no group so devoted to one teacher can hope to be general. Despite Lee's early foray into generality, he soon realized he could not keep control of the movement without making himself essential. So a double-mindedness was put in place. On the one hand he preached generality, but when push came to shove he was anything but general. This double-mindedness and hypocrisy eventually became the prevailing mindset, which remains to this day. And it is what makes many LCMers so difficult to reason with.
I agree completely. To speak from my own experience, in the LC I saw many come and go - those who were disillusioned with denominations and the like. At the end of the day, those who came to the LC thinking that it had something more to offer weren't those who remained, it instead was those who knew nothing else. That distinction is telling.

Allow me to rephrase for emphasis. Those who stumbled across the LC in search of unity aren't the current LC constituent. People hear the narrative that comes from the LC and it does captivate some people. Eventually, people either realize that the LC is a proprietary system like Igzy says, or they buy into the narrative without knowing what lies ahead.

Those who feel that the LC is the best of two options will never be free from the oppression of the LC.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:40 PM   #15
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I agree completely. To speak from my own experience, in the LC I saw many come and go - those who were disillusioned with denominations and the like. At the end of the day, those who came to the LC thinking that it had something more to offer weren't those who remained, it instead was those who knew nothing else. That distinction is telling.

Allow me to rephrase for emphasis. Those who stumbled across the LC in search of unity aren't the current LC constituent. People hear the narrative that comes from the LC and it does captivate some people. Eventually, people either realize that the LC is a proprietary system like Igzy says, or they buy into the narrative without knowing what lies ahead.

Those who feel that the LC is the best of two options will never be free from the oppression of the LC.
One day you realize, "if I am really for the oneness of the Body I need to put the talk about 'proper ground' aside and just meet with others in the name of Jesus".
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:38 PM   #16
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Those who feel that the LC is the best of two options will never be free from the oppression of the LC.
When I left the LC, many friends and relatives told me, essentially, "Yes, I know there are problems, but what else is there?/this is the best there is."
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:26 PM   #17
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When I left the LC, many friends and relatives told me, essentially, "Yes, I know there are problems, but what else is there?/this is the best there is."
It seems that this is a common view among LC members, and from what I've seen, LC meetings act as a weekly 'psychotherapy' session to reinforce that view. The mindset is "This is the best there is, don't go looking for anything else." Members are taught to suppress any negative feedback. What this leads to is the us vs. them mentality, aka the false dichotomy that has been discussed already.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:31 PM   #18
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One day you realize, "if I am really for the oneness of the Body I need to put the talk about 'proper ground' aside and just meet with others in the name of Jesus".
Exactly. An obsession with ground, among other things is an over-complication of a simple matter.

In the LC, they like to sing a well-known hymn. A line reads as follows: On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

It's too bad the LC can't take this too heart.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:44 AM   #19
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There are two main ways in which Christian unity may be achieved. One way is to leave all the divisions and meet on some common ground. This is like throwing away a square peg and making a new round peg so it fits in the round hole.
I'm sure those who are pro-LSM may think the common ground is in the local churches. It is if one considers common ground to be LSM publications.
Another alternative for example is found in community churches, non-denominational assemblies, and house churches. Their common ground is the Bible.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:35 PM   #20
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I'm sure those who are pro-LSM may think the common ground is in the local churches. It is if one considers common ground to be LSM publications.
Another alternative for example is found in community churches, non-denominational assemblies, and house churches. Their common ground is the Bible.
Why isn't common ground the Lord's name (and all that that implies)?

The name of Jesus includes the Father and the Spirit. It includes the one faith. It includes one Lord.

As long as you meet in the name of the Lord Jesus with other believers then you will also have the presence of the Lord.

Now in that light I agree that meeting for the purpose of uniting various denominations in a common umbrella would not be aligned with the simpler "meeting into the name of Jesus".

I also think it is possible for some members in the LRC who have not known the deeper things that take place there to think that "the ground of the church" is in the spirit of meeting in the name of Jesus, and for them it is. But for those who know that the purpose is to mark out a specific sect as a ministry church, then for them it isn't.
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:17 PM   #21
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I'm sure those who are pro-LSM may think the common ground is in the local churches. It is if one considers common ground to be LSM publications.
Another alternative for example is found in community churches, non-denominational assemblies, and house churches. Their common ground is the Bible.
I think that Nee/Lee saw Christians dividing over basic things like doctrine and what have you, so they presumed that unity couldn't be found in the basic things. Their approach was to develop something 'unique', a supposed uniting factor that bypassed working to find common ground with others. Instead of working to find unity, their approach was to simply declare that they alone (their movement) was the only group on this earth that possessed unity, and if you weren't a part of it, you were neither in true 'oneness' or part of the church at all:

Anyone who is not in the local oneness is not actually in the oneness at all. Those who are not in a local church are not truly in the church. In order to be in the church we must be in a local church.

Witness Lee, The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 10
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:07 AM   #22
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Anyone who is not in the local oneness is not actually in the oneness at all. Those who are not in a local church are not truly in the church. In order to be in the church we must be in a local church.

Witness Lee, The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 10
At times, Christian unity can be a perplexing issue, because there are so many different things that are capable of dividing. It's not surprising that some would try to solve the problem of division or to create unity. Attempts to manufacture unity, however, are not what the Bible tells us to do.

Eph 4:1-6 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul urges us to walk worthy of our calling. Part of this involves working to maintain of a unity that exists by default. That is what the word 'keep' implies. Of course Christians have failed at doing their part, but the failure doesn't warrant these side attempts to create a magic formula to ensure unity.

Unity doesn't come by leaving one group for another. Unity is not a done deal. It takes effort on our part. In the early days of the LC, there are various testimonies of members "coming out of the denominations." It seems unity was equated with a move from one group to another, and in some cases, bad-mouthing past affiliations. In the LC, unity is a presumption. It is believed to exist solely because of what group and ministry members have affiliated themselves with. Thus, there is little to no effort to work to keep the unity of the Spirit.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:18 AM   #23
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Anyone who is not in the local oneness is not actually in the oneness at all. Those who are not in a local church are not truly in the church. In order to be in the church we must be in a local church.

Witness Lee, The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 10


This is baloney. Was Antipas not in the oneness because he wasn't in the Local oneness?

Think of the OT story of Elijah, living out in the woods when Jezebel was hunting him. Was he not in the "oneness" because he wan't in the "local oneness"?

Since when does Jezebel get decide who is and is not in the oneness? Since when does Balaam get to decide who is and is not in the oneness?

In the letter to the church in Philadelphia the Lord promises the overcomers that they will be pillars in His temple and will not go out anymore. So then, being driven out of a Jezebel run church does not mean you aren't an overcomer nor does it mean you are not in the oneness. On the contrary that can be the experience that makes you a pillar at holding up the oneness.

In the letter to the church in Laodicea the Lord tells them He is outside knocking and if they go out to Him He will eat with them. Laodicea does not control the oneness, staying in that fellowship is not the oneness, the oneness is being one with the Lord who is outside.
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:10 PM   #24
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Evangelical,

So you think that whether or not denominations are the best way to do things, or even wrong, and since there is a serious question as to whether the LCM is nothing less than another denomination, would you agree that refusing to at least try to be one with all these others would be your problem (or my problem to the extent that I am the one looking for bases to cut off fellowship) rather than simply theirs?

I honestly believe that the group I am with gets more of the doctrines and teachings of any importance right than any other, yet I find no reason to blacklist the others or declare them off-limits to my participation with them in the mission of the church. But if your group claims to be the best in the "unity" department, why is it that you are unwilling to participate with the others? Seems more like you are only in unity with yourselves. No real stomach to be one with others.

So throw out the issues. Like . . . .

They teach things that shouldn't be taught — so you refuse Smyrna

They tolerate a "prophet" that teaches sexual immorality — so you refuse Thyatira

They appear dead and are unfinished in their deeds — so you refuse Sardis

They seem to know-it-all but also seem luke-warm — so you refuse Laodicea.

Oddly, the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the one holding the seven spirits of God, the one with eyes of fire and feet of bronze, and the one with the sharp, two-edged sword did not refuse them. He called them to correct their ways. But he asked none to leave and go elsewhere. He did not declare them not in the church (or not church).

Gripe all you want about ecumenism. At least they are trying. You are not. You have taken white-out and blotted them out of the book of the church. Something that the Bible itself did not do.

They are not the ones with no unity. It is you and the LCM. They may not outwardly have as much as you or even I would like. But at least they are trying.

You are not.
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:27 PM   #25
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The Christians in the LC should, rather, be in fellowship with other Christians, and stop its slander of those Christians who, with biblical evidence, disagree with the Local Church denomination teachings and practices.
The quote above is from Nell. It is a good one.

Even from the viewpoint of denominations and not just individual Christians.

What is completely ignored by the LCM view is that they expect all fellowship to be one-directional. It must be through the participation of individuals in their (LCM) activities and meetings. There is no stomach for going out to be one with anyone. Their opinion of their positions is just too extreme to tolerate appearing to be one with anything that is organized by persons from any group other than theirs.

Maybe some one-on-one fellowship is tolerable. But how much of even that is void of attempts to move people toward your way of thinking.

When is the last time there was a public prayer concerning the church as a whole (not just the LCM in its various assemblies) that was not about how they might repent of not being like the LCM and just joining them? Instead, just a prayer that the church would grow and expand throughout the world. And would represent Christ in all ways, both secular and spiritual. And that the two would become one and the same as far as the Christians are concerned.

If the church just did this, the world wouldn't think about the doctrinal differences that those Christians have. It is clear that they reflect something attractive and are worthy of our consideration.

But instead the church fights about the doctrines (though that is not seen too much outside the family). But some take it further and shut the others out. Call them names. All while openly refusing the very activities of righteousness that Jesus commanded and would reflect the nature of God.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:22 PM   #26
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At times, Christian unity can be a perplexing issue, because there are so many different things that are capable of dividing. It's not surprising that some would try to solve the problem of division or to create unity. Attempts to manufacture unity, however, are not what the Bible tells us to do.

Eph 4:1-6 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul urges us to walk worthy of our calling. Part of this involves working to maintain of a unity that exists by default. That is what the word 'keep' implies. Of course Christians have failed at doing their part, but the failure doesn't warrant these side attempts to create a magic formula to ensure unity.

Unity doesn't come by leaving one group for another. Unity is not a done deal. It takes effort on our part. In the early days of the LC, there are various testimonies of members "coming out of the denominations." It seems unity was equated with a move from one group to another, and in some cases, bad-mouthing past affiliations. In the LC, unity is a presumption. It is believed to exist solely because of what group and ministry members have affiliated themselves with. Thus, there is little to no effort to work to keep the unity of the Spirit.
Freedom,

I'd like to take your thoughts one step further.

13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Good questions, huh? Here's another one: how do you keep the unity of the Spirit? If it's THAT important, how do you do it? There's got to be a way.

I can think of a few ways that start with the ten commandments. Love God with your whole being, don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, honor your parents, love one another more than you love yourseld (whoa! That's a big one!).

There's more, but here's another BIG one. If you find out that your brother is offended with you, don't even pray until you go to him and clear it up. If your brother offends you, go to him...to be reconciled.

If this seems simplistic, why don't Christians practice it? If Christians practiced Matt. 5 and Matt. 18, in addition to the ten commandments, would Christians be divided? Would denominations exist? Would we be in this mess we're in? Maybe. But if Christians don't practice and rely on these basic elements of what it is to be a Christian as our foundation, can we complain about denominations and the lack of unity of the Spirit? No. Not in good faith.

Unity of the Spirit starts here, otherwise we hardly have a leg to stand on. What would happen in the church if Christians first practiced the most fudamental commands in the Bible by confessing our sins and offenses among those with whom we are related? I believe that the unity of the Spirit will be the fruit of this.

What have we got to lose? Ya' gotta' start somewhere. How bad could it be?

Nell

(Thanks O--)
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:40 AM   #27
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So you think that whether or not denominations are the best way to do things, or even wrong, and since there is a serious question as to whether the LCM is nothing less than another denomination, would you agree that refusing to at least try to be one with all these others would be your problem (or my problem to the extent that I am the one looking for bases to cut off fellowship) rather than simply theirs?
You are confusing fellowship with joining in the idolatrous practices. Fellowship happens in the homes, on the streets, on the buses, in the parks. The LC seeks fellowship with others and often does fellowship with those outside, but this does not mean we will attend a Catholic church service.
Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis, are still real churches, they are not denominations. We do not refuse the real churches, in any condition, we just refuse the fake ones, in whatever condition.. Jesus did not even acknowledge any sects or divisions that may have been within those city churches. Jesus does not recognize any denominations today. He does not give a message to the Catholics and another to the Lutherans, he just speaks to the one church per city.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:54 AM   #28
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I'm sure those who are pro-LSM may think the common ground is in the local churches. It is if one considers common ground to be LSM publications.
Another alternative for example is found in community churches, non-denominational assemblies, and house churches. Their common ground is the Bible.
We believe the common ground is Christ and locality, not even the Bible is our common ground. Much bloodshed was split over the past centuries over different Bible versions. And not every Christian has a bible. So having a bible or reading a bible is not what gives us unity.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:20 AM   #29
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What gives us common ground is Christ. You point at the differences when most of the others with differences know that the common ground is Christ.

But you assert that it is Christ plus something else. That creates a division.

Calling it not a division does not change the facts. You have a basis for dividing that is other than Christ. You refuse fellowship that is not either independent of any other church, or in your church, based on something that is not Christ. I am free to meet with others because we have Christ in common. There is no "plus" in our rules for fellowship.

You are blind to the fact that the thing that you give as cause for not meeting with others at their time of worship is more divisive than the name that is outside their meeting place. They advise you what to expect, but do not exclude you. And they do not warn their people of meeting with others.

But you do. You have a "plus" that excludes all worship not in your place and/or under your formula.

You exclude fellowship with me unless I come to you. I make no such distinction concerning fellowship. Who is therefore exclusive and who is inclusive?

But this is useless. You will come back with yet another hollow statement that you are free to refuse others simply for not coming through your doors. And the blatant demand for conformity to your rules is your basis for not being in unity with all those others.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:44 AM   #30
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OBW,

unity is not just a matter of being inclusive or exclusive. Unity is "in Christ" and if you truly knew what that meant you would know that it does not mean we can simply join any other Christian group for fellowship, if they are not fellowshipping "in Christ". Remember that unity is about the unity of the Body of Christ, not the Body of someone else. So we cannot fellowship with the "body of something else", only Christ will do.

It does not make sense for you to ask that we leave life (Christ) and join death (not Christ) for the sake of unity. The Lord does not just desire unity but also holiness. The Babylonian worldly mixture as expressed by ecumenism is a kind of unity. You would ask that we join with that, and we cannot. The Lord would not ask us to compromise worship in Spirit and truth for the sake of unity. In other words, we are not going to approach Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, and Mormons for example and join with them just for the sake of unity. If this were a matter of worshiping Christ in any way we liked, then you would have a point. But it isn't. The Bible teaches us that we should worship according to God's way - in Spirit and in truth. Denominations conducting services not focused on Christ - a worship service, a program, an activity, something other than Christ, we cannot join that in the name of so-called "fellowship". In many places, you would be hard pressed to find a denominational church in which any member can share, pray, contribute freely, like they can in the Lord's Recovery. The alternative is house churches which are too small to be a church. Simply attending church services is not genuine fellowship or worship in Spirit and truth. It must be fellowship "in Christ", and cannot be part of the dead religions, and especially those which are degraded by acceptance of gay marriage etc.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:34 AM   #31
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Freedom, I'd like to take your thoughts one step further...
Nell, you have missed the obvious. You cannot keep the unity of the Spirit by following the Law.

To keep the unity of the Spirit is by the Spirit! Trying to follow the commandments is going to result in a division. There will be disunity between those who keep 8 of the commandments and those who keep all 10, or 12, or 400 of them. We have to know what it means to live by the Spirit in order to experience genuine unity. Most Christians think unity is about agreement and commonality, but it is actually about living in the one Spirit. Living in the Spirit is the only way that a Sabbath keeper (for example) could be in unity with a Sunday worshiper. If it's based upon commandments or any other thing it won't work. If we are in the Spirit we are actually in unity with every other believer no matter where we are. The practical expression of that is what.. you go to your favorite church and I go to my favorite? No, it means we meet on the common ground of locality (if we live in the same locality, that is). Many might agree with the concept of spiritual unity by being in the Spirit. But they think they can then go or do whatever they like. What they don't see is the practical unity that should result from that and this is on the basis of locality. In other words, in the new testament they had spiritual unity and also practical unity. A person who is truly in the Spirit will seek and arrive at both spiritual and practical unity. This is because the Spirit is seeking to accomplish Jesus's prayer for oneness in John 17 in a practical way. So I would say follow the Spirit for both spiritual and practical unity, not spiritual unity by the Spirit and practical unity by the Law.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:21 PM   #32
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Nell, you have missed the obvious. You cannot keep the unity of the Spirit by following the Law.
Evangelical, you have missed the obvious. Jesus said in Matt. 5:17-20:

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

So obviously your teaching about the law is in conflict with the words of Jesus. We keep the law as given in the New Testament.

Obviously, I was not promoting a return to the Old Testament law, since I named the following: Love God with your whole being, don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, honor your parents, love one another more than you love yourself....If you find out that your brother is offended with you, don't even pray until you go to him and clear it up. If your brother offends you, go to him...to be reconciled.

Perhaps that was not obvious either, so I've referenced below more of the enhanced New Testament law from Matthew 5 and Eph. 4 as it relates to the requirements of the Old Testament law.

Note that the requirements of the New Testament Law in Matt. 5 are much greater than those of the Old Testament.


Quote:
To keep the unity of the Spirit is by the Spirit! Trying to follow the commandments is going to result in a division. There will be disunity between those who keep 8 of the commandments and those who keep all 10, or 12, or 400 of them.
Where does the Bible say "unity of the Spirit is by the Spirit"?

The verse where the phrase "unity of the Spirit" is found is Eph.4:3 and it doesn't say "keep the unity of the Spirit by the Spirit". It says "in the bond of peace". Neither does Eph. 4:3 say "keep the unity of the spirit by meeting on the ground of locality". So. Where do you get this? Do you have another verse?

Quote:
We have to know what it means to live by the Spirit in order to experience genuine unity. Most Christians think unity is about agreement and commonality, but it is actually about living in the one Spirit. Living in the Spirit is the only way that a Sabbath keeper (for example) could be in unity with a Sunday worshiper. If it's based upon commandments or any other thing it won't work.
Please provide verses to support this statement. Please support your statement that you actually know what "most Christians think about unity" or is this speculation?

Quote:
If we are in the Spirit we are actually in unity with every other believer no matter where we are.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. So. We if we are believers, we are in spirit. No "if's" about it. Can a believer NOT be "in the Spirit"? Not according to Paul. So obviously we believers ARE in Spirit and therefore the qualifications for unity have been met...no "locality" requirement and no "practical expression" requirement.

Quote:
The practical expression of that is what.. you go to your favorite church and I go to my favorite? No, it means we meet on the common ground of locality (if we live in the same locality, that is). Many might agree with the concept of spiritual unity by being in the Spirit. But they think they can then go or do whatever they like. What they don't see is the practical unity that should result from that and this is on the basis of locality.
Unsupported speculation.

Quote:
In other words, in the new testament they had spiritual unity and also practical unity. A person who is truly in the Spirit will seek and arrive at both spiritual and practical unity. This is because the Spirit is seeking to accomplish Jesus's prayer for oneness in John 17 in a practical way. So I would say follow the Spirit for both spiritual and practical unity, not spiritual unity by the Spirit and practical unity by the Law.
Where does the Bible say anything about "practical unity"?

In fact, Ephesians, chapter 4, is much "bigger" than verse 3 only. It would seem that the phrase "unity of the Spirit" is not, as you seem to believe, a stand-alone teaching to isolate and build a denomination around. In the context where it occurs, it is part of a bigger picture which you have perhaps missed.

NEW TESTAMENT COMMANDMENTS/LAW IN EPHESIANS 4
Do Not Grieve the Spirit
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”[e] for we are members of one another.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


NEW TESTAMENT LAW IN MATTHEW 5
Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Adultery in the Heart
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,[c] ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[d] 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality[e] causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Jesus Forbids Oaths
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Go the Second Mile
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’[f] 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[g] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[i] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[j] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

I have addressed "unity of the Spirit" in Eph. 4:3 as it relates to following the law. Is there another verse?

Nell
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:53 PM   #33
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Hi Nell,

you believe that "we keep the law". This is incorrect. We are no longer under law but under grace (Romans 6:14). Christ has accomplished everything for us on the cross. We cannot add or take away from that by keeping the law. If you believe that we must keep the law then you put yourself under a curse (Galatians 3:10) and Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21). You are right that Christ taught a higher law in the New Testament. No longer just laws against murder and adultery but hatred and lust as the inward corrupting influences. However a view that we should keep these higher laws ourselves is incorrect. The higher laws are to show us that we cannot keep the laws ourselves, we must depend on grace. It doesn't matter if it is an Old Testament or a New Testament law, we depend on grace.

Regarding,

Where does the Bible say "unity of the Spirit is by the Spirit"?

I can show you.

Firstly, the fruit which is necessary to keep unity is the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of ourselves:Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

You rightly mentioned that unity is by peace. Well this peace comes from the Spirit as it is a fruit of the Spirit.

Secondly, the Bible says division is caused by walking in the flesh:

1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

I like the Aramaic version because it explicitly uses the phrase "walking in the flesh":

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still in the flesh, and wherever there is among you contention and division, behold, are you not carnal? You are walking in the flesh.

Now Paul said the solution to walking in the flesh is to walk by the Spirit:

Galatians 5:16 says "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."

Therefore the solution to practical disunity is to walk by the Spirit.

This is why I said "unity of the Spirit is by the Spirit".

We can also think about this from a common sense and logical viewpoint.

Unity of the Spirit must have something to do with the Spirit, because it is about "the Spirit".

I don't want to stress the obvious too much, but suppose I joined some sport club, then we would have unity because of sport. If I joined a knitting club, we would have unity because of unity. Hence, Christians have unity of the Spirit because of the Spirit.

Previously I said:

If we are in the Spirit we are actually in unity with every other believer no matter where we are.

And you said:

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. So. We if we are believers, we are in spirit. No "if's" about it. Can a believer NOT be "in the Spirit"? Not according to Paul. So obviously we believers ARE in Spirit and therefore the qualifications for unity have been met...no "locality" requirement and no "practical expression" requirement.

I agree entirely. It is actually for this reason you stated (that all believers are in the same one Spirit) that I believe there should be no disunity in the church. But I am speaking of the practical experience of living in the Spirit.

I use the term "in the Spirit" in the context of Galatians 5:25:

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (KJV).

Admittedly I could have used a different Bible version which probably more correctly says "live by the Spirit" and "walk by the Spirit", and this may have avoided your confusion.

What this means is that we cannot have practical unity unless we walk practically by (or in) the Spirit (this is something we must do and does not come automatically because we are believers).
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:05 PM   #34
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Hello Evangelical,
In your post (forgive me for not quoting here bc I'm on my phone and that is cumbersome)
You mention "spiritual unity and practical unity"
That bothered me bc practical means everyday necessary things - how we apply spiritual principles in our daily life. I don't see any practical unity between LSM and anyone who doesn't follow that leadership & teaching - even with brother/sisters that have met together for decades prior to some split. And such divisiveness! Split after split, storm after storm! Each one leaving so many believers stranded...
When Paul spoke of those takin the name of Appollos etc. they were still very much part of the church - the body.
But now anyone who has a name on the door is in Babylon. That ain't right.
From where I stand it looks like just one more doctrine to divide.
It is an excuse. A teaching of man elevated above the commandments of God
(Love your neighbor and maintain the oneness)
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:52 PM   #35
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Hi Exodus16,

Practical unity, for a start, is about people leaving their denominations and meeting on the basis of locality. Suppose I meet with Baptists one week and then Lutherans the next then Catholics the next.. doesn't change anything. Just as Jesus did not encourage his disciples to join the religion of his day, but met outside of it, we do the same.

You are right that those that took names were still in the one church. But the existence of denominations can and has been the result of that. Those that followed Apollos could have started the Apolloeran church, or those that followed Paul start Paulerian church. What has happened in history? Luther started the reformation but they created a thing called the Lutheran church. So the Lutheran church is the real church and Catholic isn't? So on and so forth.

So a solution to this is to simply not take names at all, everyone just consider themselves Christian. But everyone considering themselves just Christians is not a solution either, if people stay in their denominations. So we need to leave the denominations and meet on the basis of locality. Then we have the proper ground for true unity.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:40 AM   #36
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"Practical unity, for a start, is about people leaving their denominations and meeting on the basis of locality."
Nope. Practical and unity are both basic English words that have meaning.
By putting a requirement on believers (leaving their denominations) this concept becomes a "get out of jail free card" there is no need for those who are on the proper ground to reach out to other believers in any real/practical way.
in this thread there are many high sounding words that don't match what we have observed now and in the past regarding the LCs being one with the believers all around them.
Here are some practical examples of unity of saints that began ecumenically
- at the end of the block where I lived in high school one meeting hall was shared by Seven Day Adventist and another Sunday meeting group. This arrangement seemed comical but they made it work as both sides could see "he who is not against us is for us"
- in a Methodist joint in the country the pastor was dying of cancer, nearby denominations joined them in prayer, sent food and flowers and even picked up the burdens (the pastor had been arranging donations for delivery - the members of other denominations filled the need.)
- two moms met at their kids baseball games prayed for one another and each other's families (was the ground of their unity was Christ or the baseball diamond?)
These are practical examples. I can see them and point to it. Even if the saints involved don't have the teaching or the words, they look around them and act as one with other saints around them. Contrast this with the LSM who have all these high sounding teachings but have no real care for those around them who do not follow Christ in their prescribed method. This is observable.

Last edited by Exodus16; 10-11-2016 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Added "and"
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:09 AM   #37
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Practical unity, for a start, is about people leaving their denominations and meeting on the basis of locality. Suppose I meet with Baptists one week and then Lutherans the next then Catholics the next.. doesn't change anything. Just as Jesus did not encourage his disciples to join the religion of his day, but met outside of it, we do the same.
Your definition of "practical unity" places demands on believers that have nothing to do with "unity."

Meeting on the basis of "locality" is basically a farce, since upwards of 90% of LC members do not live in the city associated with the "name" of their church.

The blatant hypocrisy of the demands of your teaching was exposed for all to see during the recent Ohio quarantines, divisions, and lawsuits. Christians living in the same city, meeting in the same LC, loving each other warmly for many years were forced to decide whether they sided with LSM or not! Where is the oneness there?

LSM then sent their operatives from affiliate DCP (Defense and Confirmation of the gospel Project, what a joke) to assist local dissidents to disrupt meetings and file lawsuits.

The moral of the story: Oneness and locality are merely a ruse, loyalty to LSM is everything.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:54 PM   #38
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I'm not here to defend LSM or promoting such LSM practices, I am defending the teachings of Nee as per normal church life against, what is it, emergent church views, liberal church views, the view of a "spiritual church", Catholicism, denominationalism and whatever other aberrations to what is normal.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:29 PM   #39
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What good are Nee's teachings, never once been practiced in the church age?
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:59 AM   #40
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unity is not just a matter of being inclusive or exclusive. Unity is "in Christ" and if you truly knew what that meant you would know that it does not mean we can simply join any other Christian group for fellowship, if they are not fellowshipping "in Christ". Remember that unity is about the unity of the Body of Christ, not the Body of someone else. So we cannot fellowship with the "body of something else", only Christ will do.

It does not make sense for you to ask that we leave life (Christ) and join death (not Christ) for the sake of unity. The Lord does not just desire unity but also holiness. The Babylonian worldly mixture as expressed by ecumenism is a kind of unity. You would ask that we join with that, and we cannot. The Lord would not ask us to compromise worship in Spirit and truth for the sake of unity. In other words, we are not going to approach Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, and Mormons for example and join with them just for the sake of unity. If this were a matter of worshiping Christ in any way we liked, then you would have a point. But it isn't. The Bible teaches us that we should worship according to God's way - in Spirit and in truth. Denominations conducting services not focused on Christ - a worship service, a program, an activity, something other than Christ, we cannot join that in the name of so-called "fellowship". In many places, you would be hard pressed to find a denominational church in which any member can share, pray, contribute freely, like they can in the Lord's Recovery. The alternative is house churches which are too small to be a church. Simply attending church services is not genuine fellowship or worship in Spirit and truth. It must be fellowship "in Christ", and cannot be part of the dead religions, and especially those which are degraded by acceptance of gay marriage etc.
And so you make it clear that you have so redefined "in Christ" that those who are truly Christian (believers in Christ, not just attenders of some church) are not necessarily "in Christ."

But they are "in Christ." It is a fallacy — a theological and spiritual error — to say otherwise. It is a fantasy created by people who want to be the only ones who count.

Not worth saying anything more. You have made these statements that it is the way it works, but have provided no basis for it being true. In the grand scheme of things, thinking to the contrary of what you are speaking has been with us since the beginning. It is the novel teachings of Nee and Lee that put forward this demeaning position on everything. To have any reason to take it seriously, you have to have more than their word for it. It needs to have the support of the only solid evidence we have — the Bible. And nothing I have seen to date will get you there.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:54 PM   #41
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There is an objective positional "in Christ", all believers have that, there is a subjective and experiential "in Christ". We are talking about the latter "in Christ" not the former. Support for that in the Bible is given by Christ's words about abiding in Him, and Paul's words about living and walking by or in the Spirit.

In the local churches everything we say, pray to, and uphold, is Christ. Our minds are "in Christ".

In a denominational service it is possible to not hear the name of Christ mentioned once. Their minds are not in Christ but other things such as how to be successful, how to be blessed etc. They are in Christ positionally but not subjectively and experientially. There are individuals in denominations who are in Christ subjectively, but the environment they are in does not encourage that or get them into that.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:28 PM   #42
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I can say that I have been in many an LC meeting where many attendees had their minds everywhere but Christ. Christ was on their lips, but their hearts were far away. (Matthew 15.7-9)

But who are you, Evangelical, who can know all their hearts? Who are you, Evangelical, to know when the name of Christ is proclaimed in every Christian gathering over the face of the whole earth? Who are you, Evangelical, to know where all God's children are at "experientially?"

To know all this, you must be God, or god, or God-man. Which is it?
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:56 PM   #43
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Ohio, perhaps you did not read my post fully, where I said:

"There are individuals in denominations who are in Christ subjectively..."
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:34 PM   #44
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I never said those things.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:57 PM   #45
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I never said those things.
You are probably right, but others on here have generalized in such a way. I edited my post accordingly.
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:27 PM   #46
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In a denominational service it is possible to not hear the name of Christ mentioned once. Their minds are not in Christ but other things such as how to be successful, how to be blessed etc. They are in Christ positionally but not subjectively and experientially. There are individuals in denominations who are in Christ subjectively, but the environment they are in does not encourage that or get them into that.
I turned your post around to dispose of the nonsense first.

When you use these kinds of examples as your evidence concerning Christianity in general or a "denominational services" you are taking exceptions and declaring them to be characteristic of the whole. While the "local" attendance and TV following of some like Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and Benny Hinn have varying misconceptions of what is important to a Christian, they are not representative of Christianity as a whole, or even denominations as a whole.

This is, unfortunately, one of the common errors of attribution that Lee so often used and has been perpetuated over the years.

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There is an objective positional "in Christ", all believers have that, there is a subjective and experiential "in Christ". We are talking about the latter "in Christ" not the former. Support for that in the Bible is given by Christ's words about abiding in Him, and Paul's words about living and walking by or in the Spirit.
While there is a context in which what you said here is sort of true, I do not see that it is true in the way that you think it is. The rhetoric of the "local churches" is to imply that there is a lot of spiritual activity that must take place to be walking "in the Spirit" or having your mind set on the Spirit. But the evidence does not support it. Romans says set your mind. It says walk according to. It does not say to do a lot of things so that your mind will be set so that you can walk.

So if the scripture says to live and behave in a certain manner, on what basis do you refrain from doing what it says? On what basis is taking steps to live according to the scripture, which is the clear word of God, not according to the Spirit?

And I know the shtick about abiding. Notice that the metaphor for abiding is not taking a nap in a lightly-filtered sunlit forest, breathing the clean, unpolluted air. It is that of a branch that is connected to the trunk of the vine. Other than during a completely dormant period in which there is nothing going on between trunk and branch, a branch is taking what comes up through the system, mostly through the sap, and acting upon it. It adds to its diameter, to its length, it sprouts and grows leaves, buds, flowers, and eventually grapes. The grapes grow until they are either beyond ripe upon which they fall, or until someone comes along an plucks them off for eating or producing drink.

There is never a time during which a branch is accumulating sap so that it can one day burst forth with an extra foot of growth, and fully grown and ripe grapes. No. It takes everything, moment-by-moment, and uses it now. Sort of like Manna (although that might be stretching metaphors). And as it grows, it has to deal with bugs that gnaw on its bark. Or the wounding of a part of the branch due to an animal or other natural event. It could slow or hinder certain parts of otherwise normal growth as the wound is healed.

But unless something causes the branch to die, it is never just waiting for anything. Like Peter sort of said, it has everything needed for growth and grapes.

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In the local churches everything we say, pray to, and uphold, is Christ. Our minds are "in Christ".
You may note that earlier I put "local churches" in quotes, just as I did here. The reason is that any church is, by definition, local. It has a location. The fact that it does or does not join with a group of similar theological leaning (as does the group you belong to) does not deny any particular assembly its status as local.

To use the term like an exclusive moniker is similar to the KKK claiming that "human" belongs to the domain of only whites. And not even all whites. Excluding any who are not Anglo Saxon and Protestant. So no Catholics. I'm sure I've left some out (or more correctly left too many in).

That is the reason that you will see different references for it such as TLR, TR, CoR (all having to do with the notion of recovery) or LCM (Local Church Movement). I have tended toward the latter, thought even that allows it the moniker in part, though it is clarified as being a movement that calls itself by that name.

And if you think you don't call yourself that, look at the statement of plaintiff and defendant on many of the lawsuits that a certain Christian group filed against other Christians for saying bad things about them. Funny they didn't sue the LCM for calling them mooing cows, the whore of Babylon, or her harlot daughters.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:38 PM   #47
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You exclude fellowship with me unless I come to you. I make no such distinction concerning fellowship. Who is therefore exclusive and who is inclusive?

But this is useless. You will come back with yet another hollow statement that you are free to refuse others simply for not coming through your doors. And the blatant demand for conformity to your rules is your basis for not being in unity with all those others.
This has been my feeling. In the Local Churches, they will except most believers, but not all. If you come, you will be received. However it doesn't go both ways. Fellowship with non-LC assemblies is considered as "shaking hands over the fence." There could be an all city together in prayer. Could be a place like Austin, TX. Many churches will come together in unity except one. There's one that believes only they are on the proper ground.
Same applies when it comes to home meetings. If you meet in the local churches, you will want to invite friends. However if your friends invite you, there may be a polite decline. As in the local churches "if the fellowship isn't through LSM publications, there can be no fellowship."
I'm not making this up. I read it in a HWFMR edition back in 2014 last time I visited a local church in Southern Cal.
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