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Old 01-30-2019, 07:17 PM   #1
Igzy
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Default Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

Hi everyone. I haven't posted in a while. The Lord has been doing a great work in my life. Though I'm free from Lee and the LC. I still own him/it some credit, and some discredit. Here goes:


Witness Lee and the LC have always been a little like Babe Ruth. They've had some home runs, for which they should get credit. But they've also had a lot more strikeouts, for which they should be accountable. Here is a summary of the things of theirs I’ve retained and rejected.

Home Runs (Good)

Enjoy the Lord/Experience God – Probably the single best thing to take from Lee overall. Many Christians know that we should experience God and be in relationship with God. But the best way to summarize this relationship is that it is by nature to be enjoyed. A Christian should never have an experience of God that is not, on some level, enjoyable. Our relationship with God should be pleasant, upbeat, positive and joyful. In a word, we should enjoy it. In general, Lee’s emphasis on the Christian life as a matter of experiencing God in reality was on target.

The Human Spirit – The truth of the human spirit is important because it makes real some very crucial ideas, (1) that God is not vaguely “in us” but in us in a specific way; so (2) there is a part of our being to which we can “go” where we find God; (3) there is a part of our inner being that corresponds perfectly with God, as opposed the other part (our soul) which does not. This gives us greater clarity in understanding our sometimes complex and conflicting inner feelings; (4) it is our spirit that makes us unique in God’s creation. “Enjoy Christ in your spirit” is still the most central truth I keep from the LC.

Calling on the Lord/Turning to the Lord – This teaching can be abused. But the idea that you only need invoke the Lord’s name to make contact with Him is a huge help, as is the idea you can turn to him at any time.


Base Hits/Fouls Balls (some good, some bad)

Triune God – Lee’s view was helpful in several ways, starting with it pushed against the idea that God is three-headed. The Trinity is not three guys. It is one perfect Being seen from the aspect of his perfect relationship with his perfect self. Lee saw the unity of the Godhead, but he did not see the roots of that unity, and so erred in saying that God is Triune for dispensing. But actually God is Triune because he is conscious of himself and has a relationship with himself. The Spirit is not for dispensing then, but rather is God’s experience of himself, and so is crucial to our experience of him as well.

Still, Lee declared a more flowing, dynamic Trinity than the awkward three-headed-but-we-have-no-idea-why model of tradition. And his identification of the economical roles of the Trinity, especially the Spirit as the realization of God, were very helpful. But Lee over-emphasized that the Father is the Son and the Son is the Spirit. Of course, this must be true in some sense because all three are God and God is one. But to continually repeat such a mantra without any explanation of why God is three is unbalanced. However, it’s hard to argue that Lee’s model was not more helpful to a living experience of God than the traditional model.

Local Church/Unity – The model of a simple, generalized unified community of believers is a good one. But the LC abused and twisted this idea into a grotesque excuse for self-promotion and exclusivity. The idea that a group must only call itself “the church in…” to actually be the church in a city is silly. Nothing in scripture declares or even implies such a thing. All Christians in a city make up the church in that city. But that church can be manifested in many smaller churches, as the examples of house churches in the New Testament suggest. But certainly there is no ground for any subset of a church in a city saying it has a more valid status than other groups. Yet, the basic idea of unity among believers is good. It’s just the LC has no right to define for everyone else what that unity should look like. Instead of telling everyone to practice unity according to them, they should have practiced being unified with the whole church in the city with greater sincerity.

God is Accomplishing Something in Time -- One problem I have with Christian doctrine in general is that it does not clearly state that Jesus' return depends on God finishing a work in the Church age. Some seem to think God is just going to say, "Okay, I've seen enough. Let's move on." or "Okay, you guys couldn't get the job done, let me just fix things." and send Jesus back. But it's important to realize that God's work in time is not going to end in failure. God is going to get the victory and accomplish what he is after. And he intends on accomplishing something not directly, but through people.

Lee saw that God is attempting to produce something in time. His mistake was to limit it to a very small subset of the Church, that is, his movement. From the Bible we know that the Lord is trying to produce his Bride and the sons of God. Just how this is worked out specifically we don’t know for sure. But we can know that it will end in a victory for the Lord, not a defeat. This brings into question our fundamental view of how the Kingdom comes, even to reconsider pre- and post-Tribulation issues. The LC’s view is that the world and non-LC Christianity get worse and worse, while their tiny subset of the Church gets better and better, until God raptures them, the Overcomers, and everyone else is left to trudge through the Tribulation. But doesn’t this view imply a failure? What happened to the shining city on the hill? What happened to evangelizing the world? What happened to the salt of the earth? Did it only really strongly effect 144,000? Would God be happy with that? Billions strike out and only a relative handful get runs? How is that a victory?

I believe that the Church is actually meant to have a profound effect on the world, and that the Kingdom will come in a strong way and there will be much positive influence on culture. God will get the majority of the victory, but “the third part” will be unrepentant, just like a third of the angels fell. He will rapture most of humanity, but the third will be left. God will win the ballgame 2 to 1.

In general, however, the idea that God is trying to produce something is good because it gives us hope and incentive to spread his word, and not hide in fear and isolation. We are ambassadors for his Kingdom, and his kingdom is going to win.


Strikeouts (Bad)

The Lord’s Recovery – This idea really has no useful purpose other than to allow a subset of the Church to claim special status. Yes God is “recovering.” He’s been doing that since the fall. It’s called “salvation.” The idea that there was a wonderful purity and clarity in the early days of the Church which got corrupted and lost and now is being recovered is far from accurate. Early saints were unclear on many things most present Christians take for granted, and there was mixture from the beginning, starting with it being a mixture of Christianity and Judaism. There has been purity in pockets all down through history. The Church has gotten much clearer on the core truths of the Bible lately, but this has been happening all over and is largely a result of modern information technology. The idea that God is only working to build/recover his Church in the LC movement is beyond absurd.

Trainings/FTT – Nothing wrong with educating Christians. But Lee’s “training” model is typical of the LC’s over-the-top, self-glorifying approach to anything associated with it. Kids, pressured to demonstrate they are “for the Lord,” are compelled to separate from their lives and families for weeks on end. The model is only necessary if the purpose is to bamboozle people into thinking submitting oneself to an isolating indoctrination center is crucial to God’s plan for their lives, which it isn’t. It’s only crucial to furthering the LC culture and mindset by inundating impressionable young people before they are capable of defending themselves against it.

Isolationism/Exclusivity – Christians should be holy. But they should also be able to relate to other people and their culture. The LC is more concerned with their own spiritual state than being an observable testimony of anything, and so it is ironically invisible. The mindset “hide and don’t let the world corrupt us” is not Christian. Jesus lived and ministered among the people. He was out in public rubbing elbows with everyone he met. He wasn’t afraid of being corrupted by the world. Holiness is a heart matter. Truly holy people can talk to just about anybody. Only religionists turn their noses up at other people. The LC became so snobby that it turned its nose up at most of God’s own people.

Impersonal Transformation – God transforms us by our getting to know him and becoming obedient to him. He doesn’t transform us by metaphysical magic. The whole “God being worked into our being” mantra is not supportable biblically or experientially. If God is being “worked” into our being, just where is that happening? If God has been worked into a believer’s soul, what happens to that “God” when the believer indulges in sinful thoughts, feelings and decisions? Where does that “God” go when he backslides? It just makes no sense. Transformation is a result of God changing our attitudes. The more we become like God the more we are easily filled. But we don’t have “more God” in our “being.” He just more easily shines through us because our soul is more aligned with his.

Lee’s view of God as a “dispensed” commodity served this impersonal model, to the point that LCers tended to identify God more as a stuff than as a conscious Person who wanted to have relationships with us. Yes, God is our Light, Life, Breath, Food and Drink. But all those things are ways to describe how we experience him as a Person. Until we learn to obey him as our Lord, little transformation, little true change actually takes place in us. There is no side-stepping becoming broken and obedient, though enjoying grace does make that lesson easier.

Mingling/God’s nature becoming ours/Element of God being added/God painting himself into us and all the other metaphors that Lee used for this impersonal magical process are included here. Growth in eternal life is getting to know God the Person. You can’t get it without getting to know him. That means a real, conscious relationship of two individuals. There is no other way and you wouldn’t really want there to be anyway.

The fact is some long-time LCers show precious little signs of real life change. This may be because they spend too much time “eating, drinking and breathing,” and not enough time listening and obeying.

Satan in our Flesh – This doctrine only exists because Lee, being overly fond of symmetry, couldn’t resist it. God gets in our spirit, so Satan must be in our body, and man is caught in-between as a soul. How perfect! Unfortunately, it’s not Biblical. Man’s fallen nature is man’s alone. Actually, Satan in our flesh corrupting our nature was just an echo of Lee’s impersonal transformation model.

Man Becoming God — This is the worst of the worst. Lee not only struck out with this one, he threw the bat into the stands and killed a hot dog vendor. It’s based on rickety logic (“we have God’s life, so we must be God! Right?” Nope.), and again on Lee’s infatuation with symmetry (“God became man, so man must become God! Right?” Nope. ). Statements like “God in life and nature but not the Godhead” are absurd because if it’s not the Godhead it’s not God, period. This doctrine is downright heretical, and no good can come from telling imperfect fallen people they are “becoming God.”

The LC should have dumped this blatantly bogus bit of Lee-babble a long time ago, but are saddled with it because of their unwillingness to say Lee was wrong about anything—which ironically identifies them as a fringe and suspect group in more ways than one.


Conclusion

The LC has always been a perplexing blend of the very good, the so-so and the very bad. Unfortunately, there is more bad than good. The good attracts people to the group and keeps them hanging around believing it is something special. The bad meanwhile damages them and their ability to love and fellowship with other Christians, and thus prevents them from fulfilling their true destiny. People need to be aware of these facts.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

Thank you, Igzy!
This helped me understand my conflicting feelings about the LC.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

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Originally Posted by Weighingin View Post
Thank you, Igzy!
This helped me understand my conflicting feelings about the LC.
You're welcome!

P.S. I added one more thing to the Base Hits/Foul Balls section, God is Accomplishing Something in Time
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The LC has always been a perplexing blend of the very good, the so-so and the very bad. Unfortunately, there is more bad than good. The good attracts people to the group and keeps them hanging around believing it is something special. The bad meanwhile damages them and their ability to love and fellowship with other Christians, and thus prevents them from fulfilling their true destiny. People need to be aware of these facts.
Welcome back Igzy! Don't make yourself so scarce!

Thank you for this very succinct and concise wrap up of the dynamic in the Local Church of Witness Lee. Unfortunately, the people who are best equipped to give such a comprehensive description, and sound such an important warning, are people like us who experienced it all from the inside, and have subsequently been delivered from this very "perplexing blend of the very good, the so-so and the very bad". I say "unfortunately" because we are just broken, incomplete vessels of mercy - just like Witness Lee, just like his followers, both current and former, and just like anyone who has never heard of Witness Lee or the Local Church. But the simple fact is that we are all that the Potter has to work with

I think it's super important that you bring up this point of the Local Church being a mixed bag of sorts. I would like to personalize it by bringing forth the reason that the Local Church is a mixed bag is that Witness Lee, like all sinners saved by grace, was a mixed bag himself. This should be a surprise to no one. Yet, one of the biggest problems...maybe the biggest...is that Lee built himself up as the one apostle, the one minister for the age - a pure and complete godman who was called and authorized to bring "The Lord's Recovery" to the Body of Christ. Of course while we were around, it was not put in these exact words, but now the Blended Brothers have no such inhibitions or qualms about declaring Witness Lee as such a man and his personal ministry as such a ministry. And this brings us to the reason that LocalChurchDiscussions exists - "Open discussion of the Local Church Movement and the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee". (and by the way Igzy, our banner on top is getting old and warn out...could you please design a new one for us?)

Thanks again for your post and welcome back. Stick around my brother.

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Old 01-31-2019, 09:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

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Conclusion

The LC has always been a perplexing blend of the very good, the so-so and the very bad. Unfortunately, there is more bad than good. The good attracts people to the group and keeps them hanging around believing it is something special. The bad meanwhile damages them and their ability to love and fellowship with other Christians, and thus prevents them from fulfilling their true destiny. People need to be aware of these facts.
Igzy, thanks much for this! Great fellowship here for all LC members, former and current! Once again Igzy has provided us much needed perspective on our common LC experiences.

I would only add that it is extremely unhealthy for us not to recognize the good which we found in the LC's. It is a lifelong lesson for us to learn to thank the Lord for all the good and all the bad. We have a good, good Father, who loves us to the uttermost!
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

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Igzy, thanks much for this! Great fellowship here for all LC members, former and current! Once again Igzy has provided us much needed perspective on our common LC experiences.

I would only add that it is extremely unhealthy for us not to recognize the good which we found in the LC's. It is a lifelong lesson for us to learn to thank the Lord for all the good and all the bad. We have a good, good Father, who loves us to the uttermost!
Hey, good to "see" you guys again, Ohio! Yes, our Father above all is good. He never sacrifices people for institutions, whether they be someone's ministry or someone's version of church. People always come first to him. That's who he died for.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

On the Triune God . . .

I have come to realize that the confusing analysis provided in the Athanasian creed is almost more meaningful than the standard evangelical doctrine of the trinity. And much more on the mark than Lee's "they're just one."

I got more on board with the idea that there is a separation in their unity when I read the following in John 17:11
Quote:
Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
If this is what we know about the "oneness" of the Father and the Son, then if they are simply the same "person," then how are we one like that? There is something in this statement that makes our ability to be one (in this world in this age) like the oneness of the Father and the Son. We know this says something about our oneness. But does it also say something (not everything) about the oneness of God?

I realize that this is just one statement of several from which we learn about the nature of God. And each is given in a context and is not revealing everything about what we call the Trinity (and therefore cannot be construed as simply the rest of the story). But this claim of a well-defined doctrine of the Trinity is more like a committee effort. Lee's was worse than the regular definition. But Athanasius got it better than either. It is Three, and it is One. Don't conflate the one or compress the three. Accept it as it is . . . something beyond our understanding. Triune is not "simply one." Nor is it simply three. It is Three and it is One — in a way that we cannot fully comprehend.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

BTW.

I really like your analysis of "impersonal transformation." We must each be transformed though our active participation, spoken of in Romans 8 as "walking." Not just basking in a trickle of "dispensing."
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:38 AM   #9
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BTW.

I really like your analysis of "impersonal transformation." We must each be transformed though our active participation, spoken of in Romans 8 as "walking." Not just basking in a trickle of "dispensing."
Thanks Mike! Good to hear from you again, too!
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:55 AM   #10
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Default Many thanks to our resident Sheep Dog!

Many thanks to our resident Sheep Dog for preforming a much needed, long overdue forum face lift. Also a big thanks to Igzy and the other big dog, OBW for checking back in and assisting all of us in "Making sense of the Lord's Recovery Movement".
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:24 AM   #11
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Many thanks to our resident Sheep Dog for preforming a much needed, long overdue forum face lift. Also a big thanks to Igzy and the other big dog, OBW for checking back in and assisting all of us in "Making sense of the Lord's Recovery Movement".
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You are welcome! Glad to help.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:27 AM   #12
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I realize that this is just one statement of several from which we learn about the nature of God. And each is given in a context and is not revealing everything about what we call the Trinity (and therefore cannot be construed as simply the rest of the story). But this claim of a well-defined doctrine of the Trinity is more like a committee effort. Lee's was worse than the regular definition. But Athanasius got it better than either. It is Three, and it is One. Don't conflate the one or compress the three. Accept it as it is . . . something beyond our understanding. Triune is not "simply one." Nor is it simply three. It is Three and it is One — in a way that we cannot fully comprehend.

I get that. The question I ask is, if we are in the image of God, how are we triune? God is the whole God, not just one of the three. So if we are truly in his image, we must be triune, too. Lame explanations like body, soul, spirit as our three don't cut it.

Years ago, I was reading an article in Time or Newsweek about Christianity. Someone was quoted in it saying, "The Trinity shows us that reality at its most fundamental level is relational." That jumped out at me, and was the seed of my realizing that the way to "understand" the Trinity is to see it, not from the aspect of substances or hypostases, but from seeing at as the result of a singular, perfect, all-knowing Being who is self-conscious.

This Being would have had, before anything else existed, a Relationship with himself. He would have a perfect relationship with and know and love everything about his perfect self. He would have a self-image, so to speak, which in him somehow (this is the part I don't understand) became Another, the Son.

The Son is what God sees when he thinks about himself, so he is the perfect "image" of God. Where did that image first exist? In God's own thought about himself. This is why the Son is the expression of God, the God we see, because he is the God that God sees.

What about the Spirit? The Spirit is the relationship between the Father and the Son. That is, the Spirit is God's experience of himself. That is why he is our experience of God, too. The Bible says the Father loves the Son. It never says the Father loves the Spirit. Why? Because the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. The Spirit is the essence of God because a being's essence is summed up in how he feels about himself.

We can pick up a faint notion of this, because we have a self-image and we have a relationship with our self-image. But because we are imperfect and our knowledge of ourselves is incomplete, this experience is shadowy for us. Yet, we still can have a notion of our triune-ness. I am me. My self-image is me. And my relationship with my self-image is me.

Anyway, in the beginning there was a Relationship. Somehow, within the being of the Perfect Singular Being, the principle of Relationship with Another was born. THAT is the mystery of mysteries. And from it, God's whole purpose of creating and loving others, and his intent for us to love others, were born.

This theory may be accurate, it may not. But it is a better explanation that any I've heard. If it's not true then, as C.S. Lewis said, something better is.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

Another way to consider it is this.

It's one thing to love yourself. That's what God does, in the most healthy way, and we should, too.

But things reach a whole 'nother level when your self starts loving you back. That's what happened when the Son was begotten.

This may sound a little narcissistic to our natural ears, but we cannot deny that God loves himself completely, unreservedly, yet in the most holy way. But he is so pure that his love for himself is expressed as love for Another. And from that, his love for all of us was born. That's how great our God is! We would not even be here if he was not like that!

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Or, said another way, "Love yourself as your neighbor." So when we love our neighbors purely, in the manner God does, we are in a very real sense loving ourselves, too. Self-love which conflicts with loving others is not real love. It is fallen self-obsession.

Eventually we are to have relationships with ourselves like the Father has with the Son. I think this may be, ultimately, what "finding your soul" means. Throw in billions of others experiencing the same thing and loving each other as well, and you have God's purpose, and his glory.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

I wanted to add another Home Run and another Strikeout for Lee.

Home Run

Grace is Christ as our enjoyment and supply for our daily life -- This is very helpful fellowship. Grace is not just the general, abstract favor of God. Grace is something living and active that we can enjoy in an ongoing way and which can sufficiently supply us to take on whatever God is requiring of us in the present. "My grace is sufficient for you," the Lord said. This means that no matter what God has placed before us, we can go through it "gracefully" and to his standard by the supply of grace. There is never a reason to make provision for the flesh as long as grace is available. This was definitely a home run by Lee.


Strikeout

One Ministry -- The logic goes like this: Christ had one ministry. Paul's ministry was the "continuation" of that one ministry. This ministry is for the building of the church and God's eternal purpose. Lee talks more than anyone about the building of the Church and God's eternal purpose. Therefore, Lee's ministry is the one true continuation of Christ's and Paul's ministry and any "other ministry" which does not submit to and echo Lee's ministry is not the one ministry and so is invalid.

Well now, that's quite a claim. Unfortunately for Lee, the Bible directly contradicts it. First Cor 12:5 plainly says there are different ministries, but the same Lord.

Lee was famous for such superficially convincing, but ultimately wacky, excursions into freestyle logic. They spoil his teachings like weevils in cornmeal. It's really amazing how someone who could be so insightful could be so equally clueless. Had he submitted his teachings in humility to vetting by the Church-at-large, he likely would have spared himself much retrospective embarrassment.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

Lee was a Gnostic. He was telling secret gnosis. He called it The Recovery. He was actually recovering Gnosticism. He was following a higher God. It made him God's authority on the earth.

But his church thing was a recovery of early 2nd century orthodoxy, and the development of a hierarchy of authority, with him on top.

I objected. Out the door I was pushed, like heretics of old, rebelling against Gods' man on earth, thereby rebelling against God Himself. So it was framed, just like at the turn of the 1st century ... nothing new under the sun.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

For me personally, one of Lee's home runs was teaching us to call on the name of the Lord. Many, many children of God already call on Him, but Lee brought out the riches from the scripture. His footnote on Acts 2.21 is a classic. Were it not for his many strikeouts, this teaching and practice could have benefited many believers outside the LC's.

Unfortunately the biblical caveats surrounding this verse have gone unheeded in the LC's. II Timothy 2.16, 22 come to mind. Matthew 7.21-22 are also pertinent.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Lee and LC: Home Runs and Strikeouts

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For me personally, one of Lee's home runs was teaching us to call on the name of the Lord. Many, many children of God already call on Him, but Lee brought out the riches from the scripture. His footnote on Acts 2.21 is a classic. Were it not for his many strikeouts, this teaching and practice could have benefited many believers outside the LC's.

Unfortunately the biblical caveats surrounding this verse have gone unheeded in the LC's. II Timothy 2.16, 22 come to mind. Matthew 7.21-22 are also pertinent.
Don't forget Exodus 20:7 where many of the LC abuses this practice as a mere expression like laughter, ridiculing, etc. in God's name.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:26 AM   #18
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I get that. The question I ask is, if we are in the image of God, how are we triune?
I cannot say what is and what is not taking the "image of God" too far. But I would ask why we have a compelling to come to an understanding of a similarity with God in every possible way as rating something important to consider, and possibly teach and argue about.

Is reflecting God on earth about being comparable to God in every aspect? Or is it about being like and with God in our life in every meaningful way?

I am not saying that there is nothing about us that is similar to God in the way that he is Triune. Instead I question whether spending time wondering about it, trying to make scripture spell it out for us, and then treating it as an important thing to come to grasp is really a "thing" to spend our energies on.

In a broader sense, is having more and better theology important, or is obedience to the clear calling and command of Christ? Too much of the sermons, Bible studies, etc., seem to be aimed at getting a more vast (and agreed) knowledge of things about God, but too little encouragement with respect to the living that was called for from the very beginning of the biblical record all the way to its end.

And figuring out whether man is triune no longer seems important. better to understand love for the widow, orphan, poor, alien, etc., in our midst. That was commanded but appears to be ignored. Yet from the mouths of those who should live that life, we have the rhetoric of the "border wall." Not that I think that we should have no immigration policy and just let everyone in, but the angst and fire in the rhetoric from the "Christian Right" about it makes a lie out of any claim for any such love.

So I would almost bluntly say that I really don't care whether man is, like God, triune. If it is true, then it is true. If it is false, then it is false. But which ever way it is, it is what it is, and knowing about it really does not change much, if anything. Not worrying about it seems like the better choice.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:04 AM   #19
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So I would almost bluntly say that I really don't care whether man is, like God, triune. If it is true, then it is true. If it is false, then it is false. But which ever way it is, it is what it is, and knowing about it really does not change much, if anything. Not worrying about it seems like the better choice.
Well, for me it answers several things. It shows how God can be one and three. And it explains why he is three, and not two or four. It fits with Lee's claim how the Son is the Father, yet distinct from him. God's self image, since it is complete and perfect, is him. Yet, it is at the same time something distinct. Somehow, God's concept of himself is, within himself, also Another. It answers why the Bible says the Father loves the Son, but never says he or the Son love the Spirit. The Spirit is the love. And it answers why relationships are so important to God, because, in the end, he is a relationship. And in the end, so are each of us. We are each a relationship with ourselves.

So to me it's very useful and helpful.

But I get your point, too. I just have the kind of mind I have. I am an INTJ. I try to figure out how everything works and then make it better. If it helps someone, that's good. If it's too much for them, I've learned not to push it. But God gave me the kind of mind I have for a reason.

When I theorize and write about stuff that seems insightful to me, I sometimes think about how Lee must have felt. I'm pretty sure he was an INTJ, too. He was probably excited about his stuff--and felt he was onto something great and had it right, because that's what INTJs do. We feel we have to do the thinking for everyone else.

So I have some idea how someone could get so excited about his theories that he feels the world can benefit and then take the next stupid level of trying to start a movement of followers around his theories because his "revelation" is unique.

Best to just put one's stuff out there in the public arena, and let people decide for themselves if they like it, and resist campaigning for it. In the end, it is the Lord's ministry that matters, not ours; and his ministry is for the Church, and the Church knows it when it sees it.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:16 PM   #20
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Hi, Igzy! Everything you said in here is reasonable and I am with you. But one thing I want to discuss with you is Satan in flesh. I've just discovered creepy and horrible things about this fact. Do you know Yoga and seven chakras according to ancient veda? I have just discovered that through Yoga, we, all human being, have something called Kudalini goddess in us(goddess of snake). We have some kind of so called "divine energy flow" in our body or flesh from our tailbone (maybe root chakra or something) to our forehead (something so called third eye I am not sure because I am not specialist in Yoga or Hindi Veda). But one thing we can see through this stuff is that we have some kind of snake energy flowing in our flesh. This scares me so much and I start to be convinced we maybe have Satan flowing energy like snake within our flesh. What is your opinion, Igzy?
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:29 PM   #21
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Hi, Igzy! Everything you said in here is reasonable and I am with you. But one thing I want to discuss with you is Satan in flesh. I've just discovered creepy and horrible things about this fact. Do you know Yoga and seven chakras according to ancient veda? I have just discovered that through Yoga, we, all human being, have something called Kudalini goddess in us(goddess of snake). We have some kind of so called "divine energy flow" in our body or flesh from our tailbone (maybe root chakra or something) to our forehead (something so called third eye I am not sure because I am not specialist in Yoga or Hindi Veda). But one thing we can see through this stuff is that we have some kind of snake energy flowing in our flesh. This scares me so much and I start to be convinced we maybe have Satan flowing energy like snake within our flesh. What is your opinion, Igzy?

Hi Truthseeker! Sounds like you are seeking!

I certainly am no expert on those subjects either. But I can say that our human being is an amazing creation and has many aspects and sensations. We are wonderfully made by God and we are intended to use all the faculties he gave us to seek and honor him. We can have all kinds of subjective experiences in our body and soul. But unless they are tied back to the truth of the Bible and the Holy Spirit then all bets are off about what they mean or what their source is. Best to avoid them and stick to the Holy Spirit like glue.

We are fallen. Our nature has been broken at the DNA level. That is why many human dysfunctions: Down's Syndrome, alcoholism, some say even homosexuality, to name a few--can be traced to DNA. But that doesn't mean those things are "natural," just that we are broken.

But Satan in our flesh? That idea again was Lee playing fast and loose with his freestyle logic.

Here is what I remember about what he said about it:

Paul in Galatians 2:20 says "It is not I, but Christ who lives in me". Then in Romans 7:17 Paul talking about his failures says, "It is not I, but sin that is living in me."

So Lee said that because Paul used the "Not I, but..." construct in both places, and because Romans says sin is "living" in me, that someone is "living" in our body like Christ lives in our spirit.

Well... this is really just extremely thin gruel. Very questionable exposition. So... I don't think there is anything then even approaching a proof text of an idea that should require a proof text.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:46 AM   #22
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INTP

Not that different.

And I think that we are talking about different things here. My main complaints relate to

1. Lee's kind of Trinity/Triune — that majors on the oneness to the near removal of the Threeness, and

2. The distinct separation of the "human spirit" from the soul.

On the second, when we were responding to questions about Nee's three-part man verses some years ago, I think we discovered that several of the verses that he claimed to prove the human spirit as having characteristics that are not soul or body, we found that actually most of them (maybe all) really were the same as aspects of the soul. More like an enhanced feature of the soul than some separate thing (organ?). It makes the claim that only the living and operative word can separate soul from spirit more meaningful. According to Nee, the letter of the word can do it through mere logic. Nothing "living" required.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:01 AM   #23
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INTP

Not that different.

And I think that we are talking about different things here. My main complaints relate to

1. Lee's kind of Trinity/Triune — that majors on the oneness to the near removal of the Threeness, and

2. The distinct separation of the "human spirit" from the soul.

On the second, when we were responding to questions about Nee's three-part man verses some years ago, I think we discovered that several of the verses that he claimed to prove the human spirit as having characteristics that are not soul or body, we found that actually most of them (maybe all) really were the same as aspects of the soul. More like an enhanced feature of the soul than some separate thing (organ?). It makes the claim that only the living and operative word can separate soul from spirit more meaningful. According to Nee, the letter of the word can do it through mere logic. Nothing "living" required.
Yeah, the deep thinkers....

I think Lee was correct to point out the oneness of the Trinity. He was just wrong not to push the threeness enough. This was because, I think, he did not have insight into why God was three. Well, he did have some. He said God is Triune for dispensing, which is true in a way, if by dispensing you mean having an intimate relationship. God's triune-ness came, I think, from his relationship with himself. To say God wants to dispense is to say, or should be to say, he wants to be in relationship. This started with his relationship with his Son, which is another way of saying it started with his relationship with himself.

So when Lee said the Son is the Father, he was correct, because both are God and there is only one God. But it is just as valid to say the Son is not the Father, because in some way they are distinct. That sounds absurd until you realize that each statement is talking about different things. But the distinctness is more than just titles or hats or modes. It's the fundamental, natural result of what must happen inside any self-conscious, intelligent being. Such a being cannot help but have this duality within himself, this relationship with himself, which results in this threeness. (1) the source, (2) the image, and (3) the interaction between the first two. Not two, not four or five, but three. It's built in and must happen.

Lee did not see this, so though he saw the oneness of the Trinity, he did not see the threeness as something that existed in God for a reason other than his purpose to dispense into us. He didn't see that God dispensed into himself first.

Because God wanted to share his experience, he created us and invited us to join in his fellowship with himself... which is the fellowship of the Father and the Son... which is the Spirit. Because he completely knows himself, and delights in knowing himself, he wants us to know him completely, too. Not only so, he wants us to know each other, and he even wants us to know ourselves.

In other words, the principle of knowing another is the essence of God, even if the "other" is yourself. That's why God is love.


As to the spirit being more unified with the soul than Lee taught, I don't have a problem with that. As you said, the only thing that can really tell them apart is light from God from his word. Trying to discern by ourselves results in confusion. You can only really reliably know your spirit by keeping your eyes on Jesus and his word.

Our spirit is our connection with God, but it is also our connection with ourselves. 1 Cor 2:11
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:05 AM   #24
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Since I'm kind of a baseball nut, I'll continue on with the baseball metaphor, although with a different take.

Firstly, I would only consider the Scriptures themselves as a "home run". And, at the risk of being called out trying to stretch a single into a double, I would even say that only the direct words spoken by God - in the Old Testament Yahwey (Jehovah) I Am Who I Am, Elohim, Adonai (Lord), Father - in the New Testament the teachings, sayings, admonitions, warnings, declarations and prophesies of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, should all be considered as a 750ft, game winning, walk-off Grand Slam. Maybe the balance of the Scriptures, including the Gospel narration, the Acts of the apostles and the epistles of the apostles could be considered as good ole fashioned, over-the-wall home runs. (for the risk of using a metaphor to describe a metaphor, I'll just leave Revelation out of this game for now)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the teachings and commentaries of post-canonical men and women are "not even in the same ballpark" as the Holy Scriptures. And I include the writings of the earliest "Church fathers" in this category. (and you can throw in any of the post-canonical creeds, confessions and any other ecclesiastical declarations as well)

So, maybe if one wants to keep up with the baseball metaphor we can simply agree that we are talking about the same game, but a completely different league Furthermore, any hit in this league is subject to review and being overturned by the Head Umpire up in the Booth.

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Old 02-08-2019, 11:21 AM   #25
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So are you saying that Lee was a trinity ... a trinity of strikeouts?
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:15 PM   #26
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But I get your point, too. I just have the kind of mind I have. I am an INTJ. I try to figure out how everything works and then make it better. If it helps someone, that's good. If it's too much for them, I've learned not to push it. But God gave me the kind of mind I have for a reason.
Out of curiosity I took your personality test. Looks like I am a "failing" "Architect," since none of my scores exceeded 60%. Perhaps that's why I became an Engineer.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:34 PM   #27
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Out of curiosity I took your personality test. Looks like I am a "failing" "Architect," since none of my scores exceeded 60%. Perhaps that's why I became an Engineer.
Well, each score is on a spectrum, so 100% is not better, it's just more extreme on that scale. For example, 100% introverted or extroverted would be extremes.

So, you were INTJ also? Seeing a pattern here...
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:35 PM   #28
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So are you saying that Lee was a trinity ... a trinity of strikeouts?
Oh, he probably batted about .330, which is great for baseball, but lousy for theology.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:43 PM   #29
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So, maybe if one wants to keep up with the baseball metaphor we can simply agree that we are talking about the same game, but a completely different league Furthermore, any hit in this league is subject to review and being overturned by the Head Umpire up in the Booth.

-
I would say that's an All-Star summary.
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