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Old 09-14-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
Freedom
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Default Double Standards

This thread is to discuss just what the title says - double standards that exist within the LC. Maybe this is old news to those here, but how about for a change, some current LC members come join in the discussion? Is that really too much to ask? Current members and DCP: I know you are out there and are reading these forums. I have listed things that I perceive to be double standards that exist in the LC. They represent concerns of mine related to the LC that have developed over time. If there had been the environment to address these concerns within the LC, then maybe I would have never come to these forums. This shouldn't be taken as any kind of "attack". If I'm wrong, then please come tell me why I'm wrong.

Since we know current members are reading these forums, and there almost a complete silence on that front, the silence can only be taken as an agreement with what is written and posted.

Some double standards I've noticed:
1) It's okay to direct criticism at other Christians, but the minute criticism is directed at the LC, it is perceived as an "attack".

2) I have heard it said quite often in the LC that they don't pay a pastor or pay to have anyone preach like other Christians do. The reality is that the LC has FTT trainees or "full-timers" who receive support (are paid) to engage in various activities including evangelizing and speaking at conferences.

3) There is a longstanding practice where an accusation or a narrative is received as fact, with no questions asked, as long as it comes from the mouths of leaders. If a "small potato" member were to make an accusation or bring up a problem, as sure as the sun, they would be expected to have substantiation proof (witnesses), or more than likely, be downright ignored.

4) The claim that meetings in the LC are always "mutual". Meetings usually adhere to an "each one has" format until the the big leaders are involved, then they get granted a soap box to say what they want.

5) The characterization of past history being forgotten and old news. If so, then there would be no need for current members to worry about contacting those who have been "quarantined" or ousted.

6) Official responses to criticism - In certain situations LC leaders are ready for a fight in order to dispel any criticism. In other situations, the silence is deafening. What gives?

7) The simultaneous expectations that no one would express any form of "ambition", yet they want members to be actively serving, and taking initiative (not being "lukewarm").

8) The presentation of a more "inclusive" version of the LC to the younger ones, only to eventually hold them to different standards which are stricter and represent a high level of control (such as what is evident from the FTTA rules).

9) Similar to the previous point, the withholding the more questionable teachings from newcomers until they are "ready", yet expecting existing members to have no reservations about such teachings.

10) Officially claiming that LSM doesn't control any churches, but requiring churches to utilize LSM materials to be recognized as local churches.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Double Standards

Based on personal experiences, I would add why are home meetings closed to Christians not in fellowship via Living Stream publications, but open to those who are?
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:27 AM   #3
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Why did Witness Lee get to be the final apostle? Why not someone else? Where did the idea of the "final apostle" come from? Is it based on Asian culture, filtered through religious sentiment and practice?

Lee said that China was "virgin soil" for the church. Why wasn't North America, circa 1635, the virgin soil? Why was China different than previous "soil"? I suspect that China was in fact corrupted, Satanic soil, just as Europe and North America also had been. Watchman Nee was trying to extricate himself and the flock from Western corruption, but they instead transposed Eastern corruption, or leaven, into the pure flour.

Why did Lee get God's final revelation, the revelation of the age? Why not someone else? Why can't Freedom get the revelation of the age? Or someone else? Why does God's revelation have to stop with one brother? Why can't it reach me, and go on?

Why could the Blendeds stand up on the podium and single out brothers and sisters in the audience and talk about their personal lives, but the rank-and-file couldn't do the same to the Blendeds? Is that how the church is supposed to be organized? Or is this Eastern culture superimposed upon the church organization model, with a hierarchy of "serving ones, responsible ones, and co-workers" leading up to the Maximum Brother, untouchable by all? Is this according to God, or according to "man's fallen concepts", as Lee put it?

On that note, why is it called "man's fallen concepts" if the OT writer pledges fealty to God, with Lee saying that no man could please God and meet His demands; but then in the HWFMR Lee says that "we must do this" and "we need to do that"? Isn't that also fallen, vain striving? Or, if it is rather the Spirit of life which now operates in us, then why wasn't the OT writer being a prefigure, shadow or type of the coming NT reality in the Holy Spirit of Christ? Why is Scripture called vain, while Lee's words are called the ministry of the Spirit? It seems that Lee judged Scripture on a different standard than his own words.

I guess that's because Lee was Acting God, and could essentially tell us which words were soulish and which were spiritual. He was the Seer of the Divine Revelation, after all. So we ended up with the strange world where Lee's words were received as the "lively oracles" of God, while Scripture itself was by-passed as vain and irrelevant, and void of revelation. Lee had the de facto revelation; the Bible was supplementary material, used to show that Lee was the Oracle, with the vision of the age.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Double Standards

Why could Watchman Nee read all the Christian classics, balancing one against the other, and presenting a most orthodox reading of the faith, while we were supposed to just read Nee and Lee? Why can't we read Lee against others, comparing and removing parts which are unbalanced and impure?

Why did Nee have this special gift of sorting the wheat from the proverbial chaff, but nobody else did? Why can't we sort through the ministries of Lee and Nee just like any other Christian author? Why can't I go through the Christian corpus, just like Nee did, and find wisdom here and there, and put together a vision of my own? Where is the sound of "many waters" in the LC? It is gone.

How come Nee and then Lee was the One Trumpet? How come only they got to speak what was on God's heart in the Holy Scripture? The rest have to be Lee's "tape recorders"... what kind of a function is that? We're supposed to be Lee parrots for the rest of our lives? Where's the revelation, the anointing?
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Double Standards

Why are LC members called "saints" while others are not?
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:09 AM   #6
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Why are LC members called "saints" while others are not?
I grew up with "saints" all around me, most of them made of plastic or stone.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
Why could Watchman Nee read all the Christian classics, balancing one against the other, and presenting a most orthodox reading of the faith, while we were supposed to just read Nee and Lee? Why can't we read Lee against others, comparing and removing parts which are unbalanced and impure?

Why did Nee have this special gift of sorting the wheat from the proverbial chaff, but nobody else did? Why can't we sort through the ministries of Lee and Nee just like any other Christian author? Why can't I go through the Christian corpus, just like Nee did, and find wisdom here and there, and put together a vision of my own? Where is the sound of "many waters" in the LC? It is gone.
Good points. These things also became of greater concern to me over time. I guess that when I was younger, I never thought to question the whole narrative that only Nee and Lee had the ability to "put everything together". Because I had been told that reading anything else was a "waste of time", I presumed it actually would be a waste of time. It was an easy sell for leaders.

It is a double standard that should just scream out at people. Why did only Nee and Lee have the "discernment to read other authors? To me that idea contains the implication that rank and file members are just dumb dumb sheep with no real purpose.

It is quite ironic that Nee and Lee both thought they knew how to sort the wheat and the chaff, but why couldn't rank and file members can't do the same with Nee and Lee's ministries? And it's not just that, but knowing that those who have sought to significantly reduce the utilization of Nee/Lee have suffered all kinds of consequences including excommunication. A double standard of double standards.
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:29 AM   #8
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I guess that when I was younger, I never thought to question the whole narrative that only Nee and Lee had the ability to "put everything together". Because I had been told that reading anything else was a "waste of time", I presumed it actually would be a waste of time. It was an easy sell for leaders.

It is quite ironic that Nee and Lee both thought they knew how to sort the wheat and the chaff, but why couldn't rank and file members can't do the same with Nee and Lee's ministries?
I was once told that, "we all can't go back and reinvent the wheel, we'll never get anywhere."

But what we got stuck with was a early 20th century Chinese wagon wheel.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:03 AM   #9
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Why did Lee tell us that the Methodists and Baptists failed by starting churches and hospitals, to heal and educate? He told us, "That's not the mission of the church". Does anyone remember him saying this? (He was teaching us about the Glorious Church, untainted by the world).

Then we find out he started a company, run by his son, making Motor Homes for sale, funded with investment money from the LC "saints", and started, according to DR's testimony, with a young church brother who inherited a large sum of money and laid it at his feet. Dollar signs came into Lee's eyes and a "bleed the Egyptians" scheme was born - luxury motor homes.

How come Baptists and Methodists got critiqued for starting organizations, but Lee could run businesses on the side? Daystar was not the only one - there were chairs, coats, tennis rackets... finally Lee hit on standing orders, and a real money-making scheme stirred into life. My LC had boxes and boxes of the "rainbow booklets", which were ministry messages repackaged in booklet form.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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Why did Lee tell us that the Methodists and Baptists failed by starting churches and hospitals, to heal and educate? He told us, "That's not the mission of the church". Does anyone remember him saying this? (He was teaching us about the Glorious Church, untainted by the world).

Then we find out he started a company, run by his son, making Motor Homes for sale, funded with investment money from the LC "saints", and started, according to DR's testimony, with a young church brother who inherited a large sum of money and laid it at his feet. Dollar signs came into Lee's eyes and a "bleed the Egyptians" scheme was born - luxury motor homes.

How come Baptists and Methodists got critiqued for starting organizations, but Lee could run businesses on the side? Daystar was not the only one - there were chairs, coats, tennis rackets... finally Lee hit on standing orders, and a real money-making scheme stirred into life. My LC had boxes and boxes of the "rainbow booklets", which were ministry messages repackaged in booklet form.
Within the context of the LC, more than once I heard the phrase, "never mix church and business", and this was before I really knew about all of Lee's failed businesses. Just imagine the irony when I found out about Lee's multiple business failings. Under normal circumstances, maybe I would be willing to give Lee the benefit of the doubt. Given that: 1) He had multiple failures (he didn't learn the first time), 2) He criticized the "extra-curricular" activities of other groups, and 3) I don't know of any repentance in print in regards to his business failures, I cannot just overlook what Lee did.

Mistakes are one thing, double standards are another. There is a video on youtube where W Lee corrects his translator for saying "God's economy" instead of "the economy of God". How could Lee be so nit-picky about others perceived mistakes and so non-nonchalant about his own? Even in bro Lee's so-called "repentance" at the end of his life, was he really sorry or did he just speak hollow words? Sure it's better than nothing, but he wasn't even specific about what he was repentant for, and that is a problem.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:44 AM   #11
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I was once told that, "we all can't go back and reinvent the wheel, we'll never get anywhere."

But what we got stuck with was a early 20th century Chinese wagon wheel.
The effects of Nee/Lee creating such a standard are devastating. Nee presumably had read most of the Christian books of his era, so it's understandable that no one thought to question his ability to summarize everything. It's not like everyone was that ambitious to read anything and everything, or to fill their room with books so that the couldn't walk anywhere. How are you supposed to challenge someone who claims to have read everything? Lee went on to say something to the effect of "since 1949 there hasn't been a weighty spiritual book published." So LCers are pretty much stuck in a time warp of at least 65 years ago.

When will they learn? Does it take the better half of a century for them to realize that both Nee and Lee are old news? Given the amount of time that has passed, there's been plenty of time to reinvent the wheel within the LC. They are stubborn. Too stubborn to admit that this isn't the early or mid 1900's.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:20 PM   #12
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Here are a few more double standards that come to mind:
Why could Lee get away with claiming that he was "perfected", and nobody else was? Obviously no one is perfect, yet he could get away with employing tactics like when he said the following: "None of you is perfected. Who can say that he is perfected? So you are not qualified to criticize what I am doing."

Why is there such a strong stigma among LC members against discussing and debating doctrinal issues or points of disagreement (even labeling such discussion as being "in the mind" or "fleshly")? By contrast DCP writings are highly contentious and have a strong argumentative tone.

Why does the LC simultaneously encourage members to avoid contact with "negative ones", yet criticize them not making the effort to contact "backslidden ones"? How would members know if the so-called "backsliders" aren't also "negative"?
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:05 AM   #13
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Interesting observations brother Freedom. My thinking is these double standards are built on the foundational narrative of there being a "Lord's Recovery": that Witness Lee was the MOTA, the LCs represent the vanguard of what the Lord is doing on the earth, and the rest of Christianity is fallen.

If the LCs are ever struggling it represents a huge problem because it's up to the LC movement to save the rest of the world from fallen Christianity and bring everyone to see the light in Witness Lee's high truths and astounding teachings. Can you really call it the Lord's recovery if the movement is shrinking and after an exodus of Caucasians, is left with no one but Chinese? The result is tremendous pressure on everyone to make the Lord's Recovery happen even when it clearly isn't happening.

And who then is to blame? Never mind DayStar or Linko or all the purges of brothers who stood up to Philip Lee's abuse, It cannot be Witness Lee's fault because he's the mouthpiece of God from which all these profound teachings about God's economy and God man living come forth. The only people left to blame is everyone else. So people in the LC movement accept and are blind to double standards because it fits into their worldview of "the Lord's Recovery" with Witness Lee as their de facto proxy saviour.

Witness Lee put this blame into words in many of his later writings such as the ones related to fellowship concerning vital groups. I remember having to read sections where he assigned blame on everyone but himself for the lack of growth in the LCs escpecially among Caucasians. The tone seemed to be such that it was always someone else's fault but never inherently his own.

This mindset carries over even to the BBs which I recall and is also recounted in Meyer's "A future and a hope". During a semi annual training, Ed Marks expressed how ashamed he would feel if he were to meet Witness Lee in the after life for failing some expectations with leading the Lord's recovery-- as if he were to answer to Lee and not Jesus after death!
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:50 AM   #14
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Why could Witness Lee hold forth upon the shoulders of giants, but nobody is supposed to hold forth on his shoulders? Where's the next Andrew Murray in the Lord's Recovery? He's forbidden - because WL was the last apostle and seer of the divine vision of the present age. Nobody is supposed to get new light after he passed; the age of spiritual giants is over.

But why can't I pick through WL and WN, take the good parts (if any), mix them with other witnesses of Christ both new and old, and create my own version of God's present speaking, to present to the flock?

Again, where's the next Andrew Murray? What kind of ministry banishes gifted brothers (and sisters) as ambitious and divisive? If you have any gift, or talent, or leading from God, it must be "blended away" so that you become part of the featureless Hive. We all must be absolutely identical, per Our Brother.

The phrase "Witness Lee was the last spiritual giant; the age of spiritual giants is over" is quite telling because there's no Biblical support for such a notion that I'm aware of. Instead it seems to be a product of human culture. This point should be made repeatedly, because it's been so well hidden in their history: the LC is an Asian church. And it's in statements like that above, where the veneer of Biblical covering has been abandoned, that the roots of this movement are clearly seen. There's a brief opening, and suddenly we can see what's inside: human culture, with all of its fallen earthly values, expectations, and behaviors.

And this collective value is intrinsic to Asian culture - don't question the leader. Show respect for Chairman Mao/Brother Lee/Whomever. To criticize the leader is to rebel against the divinely arranged social order, and to separate yourself from society. So the leader gets a free pass to criticize everyone else, to make mistakes, and to call out everyone from the podium and expose them. Yet no one would dare to do likewise to Maximum Brother! Submission to this system and its leaders, both implicit and explicit, is what makes the machine well-oiled. In LC-speak it might called "practical oneness".

In fact, the leader(s) have an open invitation to abuse the system, and those under them, to show that the system works. Therefore, I could watch TC essentially grovel publicly before WL, even using the phrase "I am ashamed", and it didn't mean that WL was an evil overlord or TC was an incompetent bumpkin, but rather that the system was in good working order. WL and TC publicly demonstrated for all present that they had a close working partnership within the collective. This idea of "face" is an essential component to understanding Asian social enterprises. Any textbook examining human culture would probably say this.

I respect Chinese people, history, and culture. But this arrangement is not "normal" at all, contrary to what WN taught, but rather is of the gentiles. And Asian gentiles are no different from Western gentiles - both are fallen and in need of divine remediation. In this the LC was no better than Western churches it despised as "whores" and "daughters of the harlot" and "Babylon". It may even have been worse, because its foundation stone was judgment and separation, not forgiveness and "receiving all those whom God has received in Christ Jesus."

But we were taught about double standards: there was the story of a man praying, who was thanking God that he wasn't like the sinner praying nearby. But he was! In God's eyes, they both were sinners. Yet one's prayer judged the other and one's prayer repented of sin. Which went away justified? And a very clear story was about the guy asking forgiveness of his debts, but who wouldn't forgive those who owed him. He wanted two sets of rules: one for himself (mercy) and one for the other (condemnation). Doesn't work that way.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:13 AM   #15
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If the LCs are ever struggling it represents a huge problem because it's up to the LC movement to save the rest of the world from fallen Christianity and bring everyone to see the light in Witness Lee's high truths and astounding teachings. Can you really call it the Lord's recovery if the movement is shrinking and after an exodus of Caucasians, is left with no one but Chinese? The result is tremendous pressure on everyone to make the Lord's Recovery happen even when it clearly isn't happening.

And who then is to blame? Never mind DayStar or Linko or all the purges of brothers who stood up to Philip Lee's abuse, It cannot be Witness Lee's fault because he's the mouthpiece of God from which all these profound teachings about God's economy and God man living come forth. The only people left to blame is everyone else. So people in the LC movement accept and are blind to double standards because it fits into their worldview of "the Lord's Recovery" with Witness Lee as their de facto proxy saviour.

Witness Lee put this blame into words in many of his later writings such as the ones related to fellowship concerning vital groups. I remember having to read sections where he assigned blame on everyone but himself for the lack of growth in the LCs escpecially among Caucasians. The tone seemed to be such that it was always someone else's fault but never inherently his own.

This mindset carries over even to the BBs which I recall and is also recounted in Meyer's "A future and a hope". During a semi annual training, Ed Marks expressed how ashamed he would feel if he were to meet Witness Lee in the after life for failing some expectations with leading the Lord's recovery-- as if he were to answer to Lee and not Jesus after death!
In the LC, one of the biggest points of frustration for me was the whole blame game that goes on. Because everyone is programmed to believe that "the Recovery" is the pinnacle of life, what happens when issues arise or the LC fails to meet expectations? No one can blame the system itself or any of the leaders, so the blame falls upon everyone else. Come to think of it, Lee's entire "new way" ministry was all a big blame game. Let's blame the failures of the LC on not having enough "vital groups", or blame it on members not being smart enough to learn from the JW's and practice door-knocking .

I remember being in a meeting one time where an elder was frustrated that there wasn't much increase with the college work. He told us "if you all aren't going to bring in new ones, why should we bother to open our homes for you?" I was a bit taken aback to hear that, but it helped to wake me up to see what was really going on. I realized that there was the need for leaders to "prove" themselves in terms of having some amount of success. Us small potatoes were just pawns and a means to an end. Ultimately, because of what members perceive the LC to be, it requires all kinds of nonsense to happen to promote the image of the LC.

There were other situations where I remember us small potatoes being blamed for whatever went wrong. We were always the ones who got blamed, but we were just doing what we were told - yet another double standard. That is why I previously mentioned how they criticize anyone taking initiative as being ambitious, yet they also criticize those who are"inactive" or "lukewarm". Which do they want? They can't have it both ways. It's a lose-lose situation for members. The reality is LCers are basically powerless to engage in any kind of activities that would provide benefit and maybe initiate a change for the better.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:31 AM   #16
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The phrase "Witness Lee was the last spiritual giant; the age of spiritual giants is over" is quite telling because there's no Biblical support ... in statements like that, where the veneer of Biblical covering has been abandoned, the roots of this movement are clearly seen. There's a brief opening, and suddenly we can see what's inside: human culture, with all of its fallen earthly values, expectations, and behaviors.
Another story was from the FTTT Taipei during the New Way, where the organizational scheme was presented, and one of the (American) brothers asked, "But, isn't that a hierarchy?", to which the (Chinese) brother replied, "If others do it, then it's a hierarchy, but if we do it, it's not a hierarchy."

This "When we do it it's good but when others do it it's bad" subjectivism of the LC isn't from the Bible, but is consistent with a human culture in which the collective is paramount. If we (the collective) are God's move on the earth, then our leader is God's apostle of the age, the Deputy God, and we do whatever he says even if it's contradictory, illogical, or unsupported by scripture. "Whatever Max Brother says is the law of the land" IS the law of the land. And because MaxBro is apparently so focused on building up the collective, everything he does and says is divinely sanctioned. Even when he's illogical he's logical, when he contradicts himself he's not, and when he's wrong he's right. Even if he skims the till for his family, and sacks his right-hand man for protesting, it's okay, because he's here for the Body.

When you look at it from the outside it looks nutty, but from the inside it's completely consistent because everything is "for the building of the Body." Double standards are okay because they're within one standard: to build up the collective. What did Lee say, "Sail on! Sail on!"
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:40 AM   #17
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Another story was from the FTTT Taipei during the New Way, where the organizational scheme was presented, and one of the (American) brothers asked, "But, isn't that a hierarchy?", to which the (Chinese) brother replied, "If others do it, then it's a hierarchy, but if we do it, it's not a hierarchy."

This "When we do it, it's good but when others do it, it's bad" rampant subjectivism of the LC isn't from the Bible, but is entirely consistent with a human culture in which the collective is paramount. If we (the collective) are God's move on the earth, then our leader is God's apostle of the age, the Deputy God, and whatever he says, goes, even if it's contradictory, illogical, or not supported by Scripture. "Whatever Max Brother says is the law of the land" IS the law of the land. And because MaxBro is apparently so focused on building up the collective, everything he does and says is divinely sanctioned. Even when he's illogical he's logical, and when he's wrong he's right. If he skims the till for his family, and sacks his right-hand man for protesting, it's okay, because he's here for the Body. The building needs MaxBro.

When you look at it from the outside it looks nutty, but from the inside it's completely consistent because everything is "for the building of the Body." Double standards are okay because they're within one standard: to build up the collective. What did Lee say, "Sail on! Sail on!"
Bro aron, google hoodoo. Check out wiki on it.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:58 AM   #18
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Another story was from the FTTT Taipei during the New Way, where the organizational scheme was presented, and one of the (American) brothers asked, "But, isn't that a hierarchy?", to which the (Chinese) brother replied, "If others do it, then it's a hierarchy, but if we do it, it's not a hierarchy."
Actually Aron, the brother's right. When others do it, it is hierarchy. Within the recovery, it's fellowship.

Here's another one, take the LSM fellowship of ministry and churches. It's been termed "an organism". When other do it (SBC), it's "an organization".
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:59 PM   #19
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A few more:
Why is it that Ron and Kerry could write a book in which they purported to "discern" a situation, yet when their analysis was put under the microscope, Ron hid behind the analogy of the two trees? Ron gets to "discern" what he perceives to be good and bad, but if anyone else does, it is characterized as being of the "wrong tree" and he might even call someone a "man of death".

Why is it that BFA, a non-profit corporation, needs to buy advertising on Facebook to distribute free literature? If a ministry is really that good, wouldn't people be happy to receive free literature without prompting? Wouldn't people also be willing to buy the books if it's that good?
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:46 AM   #20
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Why is it that BFA, a non-profit corporation...
And why does a group that blasts everyone else for taking names other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ continually sprout new names, like Bibles for America, Christians on Campus, Defense and Confirmation, Lord's Move to Europe, and so forth?

Is their only defense, "When we do it, it's okay, but when others do it, it's not okay"? Talk about double standards.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:24 AM   #21
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Another double standard....we've heard over the years about elders and coworkers leaving the LC/LSM fellowship being attributed to offenses, unfulfilled ambitions, etc. I really don't believe it's the case, but in considering the reasoning I suppose that means the elders, coworkers, etc who didn't leave the LC/LSM fellowship have fulfilled their ambitions.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:24 AM   #22
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This is an excellent thread.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:26 AM   #23
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And why does a group that blasts everyone else for taking names other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ continually sprout new names, like Bibles for America, Christians on Campus, Defense and Confirmation, Lord's Move to Europe, and so forth?

Is their only defense, "When we do it, it's okay, but when others do it, it's not okay"? Talk about double standards.
They would probably say that these organizations are not part of the church, so it's okay to give them names. If that were their response, I would then ask them why have those who have shown indifference or opposition to such organizations been excommunicated from the local churches, if the said organizations have nothing to do with the church?
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:08 AM   #24
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This is an excellent thread.
I find the double standards to be quite striking, but really, I'm just trying to evaluate the LC according to a reasonable set of standards. I extended an invitation in the initial post of this thread to current members so that they can come and respond to what I perceive to be double standards. Should we take the silence as an agreement to what has been posted?

This highlights the real problem with the LC. As we all know, those in the LC don't like certain material on the internet. If they don't like that, why don't they come respond to or refute various writings and posts on the internet? Ron even coined the term "lawless users of the internet" to describe those who post on the internet. Why is it that they can speak so combatively against us, yet not even respond to numerous open invitations to engage in dialogue?

The answer is, of course, that they have a lot to lose by doing so. I have no interest in proving anyone wrong, but rather, I just want to have the opportunity to address issues of concern to me. The LC isn't going away any time soon, and members have every right to remain if they feel that it is an atmosphere that they like. That being said, I would like to see certain admissions made by leadership: 1) The LC isn't for everyone, neither does it contains "truths" that can't be found anywhere else, 2) Those who leave are not "backsliders", neither are those who express concerns "negative", 3) Many concerns about the LC that have been expressed are 100% valid concerns.

Is it really too much to ask? Do they think that in the information age, they can engage in practicing various double standards and still get away with it? LC history is punctuated with double standards left and right and that information is freely available to all. The lid had been off for a long time now, how are they going to respond? The sooner they do, the better it will be for them.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:59 PM   #25
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Let's examine the matter of opinions. An elder or co-worker can have a certain opinion about a certain brother yet it is treated as fact regardless if there is any merit to his opinion.
A small potato may have a certain a opinion and it's just that, an opinion. If it's an opinion contrary to the LSM groupthink; specifically how brothers were misrepresented (quarantines, disfellowships, etc), those opinions will be minimized as "perceived wrongdoings", "imagined offenses", etc.
If it wasn't so grievous, it would be so funny the varying degrees two sets of rules that exists.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:11 AM   #26
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Default The same care

1 Corinthians 12:25: "that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another."

Why do the college students get one level of attention and care, but the aged and infirm another, and the "working saints" and "community saints" another? Doesn't this make divisions, according to Paul's word?

Don't get me wrong, I love college students and am burdened for the young, but wouldn't you rather bring a college student into a church that cared for everybody, not just "good building material"? It's very unbalanced.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:29 AM   #27
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1 Corinthians 12:25: "that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another."
It's more hypocrisy than double standard when in the local churches there is so much "against division", but in the next sentence putting down Christians meeting with other churches. (We have the full gospel and they have the low gospel). Such talk encourages divisive speaking when there is the absence of rebuke..
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:34 AM   #28
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1 Corinthians 12:25: "that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another."

Why do the college students get one level of attention and care, but the aged and infirm another, and the "working saints" and "community saints" another? Doesn't this make divisions, according to Paul's word?

Don't get me wrong, I love college students and am burdened for the young, but wouldn't you rather bring a college student into a church that cared for everybody, not just "good building material"? It's very unbalanced.
Same can be said about brothers who get divorced. Say one is an elder and another is a non-elder, the elder will get significantly abundant care while the non-elder is left alone. James 2:2-3 comes to mind:

For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:50 AM   #29
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Yet another double standard; "don't make an issue of persons, matter, or things".
back around 2009 prior to meeting with LC in Renton, I was told "don't make an issue of _____ (our poster known as Indiana).
To make such a statement indicates they were making an issue of person.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:58 PM   #30
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1 Corinthians 12:25: "that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another."

Why do the college students get one level of attention and care, but the aged and infirm another, and the "working saints" and "community saints" another? Doesn't this make divisions, according to Paul's word?

Don't get me wrong, I love college students and am burdened for the young, but wouldn't you rather bring a college student into a church that cared for everybody, not just "good building material"? It's very unbalanced.
It is a terrible double standard. How dare they imply that God's free gift of salvation is only for "good material". How dare they imply that only part of the flock needs shepherding. It really disgusts me when I think about it.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:03 PM   #31
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Yet another double standard; "don't make an issue of persons, matter, or things".
back around 2009 prior to meeting with LC in Renton, I was told "don't make an issue of _____ (our poster known as Indiana).
To make such a statement indicates they were making an issue of person.
It's funny how they can say not to make an issue of a person but the very act of them saying that is making an issue of that person. Come to think of it, why do they assume that by just not mentioning someone's name that it makes whatever problem there is go away?

For example, I have known multiple LC members who have expressed concerns about various issues publicly. It has generally been frowned upon. Maybe they elders did something to shut them up, maybe not, but just because the said concerns weren't brought up again doesn't mean the concerns are gone. Do they really think that by sweeping something under the rug will solve the problem? It just makes things worse.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:35 PM   #32
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Its all done based on the leading of the spirit. Therefore, right and wrong are out of question since thats obviously divisive and of the wrong tree (ha)...as is questioning.
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:43 AM   #33
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Double Standard: LSM loved to compare the worst of Christianity to the best of the Recovery. They would compare the moral failures of some minister in the news with exciting testimony of a promising young person.

I say let's compare Philip Lee's morality with the average Christian family in some anytown denomination.

Another Double Standard: Endless winds and waves of movements (uhh ... God's up-to-date move) coming out of Witness Lee supposedly good for all of our families, but never did any good for his own family.
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:06 AM   #34
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Its all done based on the leading of the spirit. Therefore, right and wrong are out of question since thats obviously divisive and of the wrong tree (ha)...as is questioning.
They love to use the "leading of the spirit" line when a convenient excuse is needed, same with the saying something is the "wrong tree". LC Leaders get to criticize all they want, but the mine someone criticizes some aspect of the LC, they get all up in arms about it.

WL once said that "Christendom has become an organ of Satan". Imagine if I said "the local churches have become an organ of Satan" You can bet those in the LC would consider that as an "attack", even though it would only be speaking by the same standard as Lee did. When those in the LC discuss the perceived failings of Christianity, they get to say whatever they want. If we try to discuss what we consider to be failures of the LC, that automatically becomes the "wrong tree" to them.
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:20 PM   #35
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How come Lee loved Martin Luther but hated the Lutherans, Baptists, etc? If you read the definition of a 'sect' (sorry but no citation), they're an offshoot of an original group, who despise what the original became, and say they're persecuted for righteousness' sake, but - get this - they say that they're the 'real' and 'true' original group! They, the sect, supposedly fulfill the mandate of the 'original' original group! The one that was pure and good Everyone else became hopelessly corrupted. Thus the need for the sect to separate and isolate in judgment from everyone else.

So Lee et al were the 'true' followers of Luther, not the Lutherans. Lee was the 'true' follower of Zinzendorf, Wesley and so forth. So he could trumpet his 'goodly heritage' in the Baptists, where he was saved, while simultaneously despising them all as harlots, corrupt, Babylon, etc. The best of both worlds!

Lee could wave the 'orthodoxy' credentials of evangelical Protestantism, while denying the legitimacy of any evangelical Protestants except his sect. Because his sect was the true, real heirs of the original church. Why, if Luther were alive today he'd be in a LC locality, not with the corrupt Lutherans! Wesley would abandon the Methodists in a heartbeat to come to the LC, who recovered not only the ground of oneness, but the method of masticating the processed Triune God and becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead, consummating the New Jerusalem. So LC members could sing Wesley's hymns (both Charles and John), while having nothing to do with any of their spiritual progeny. Because Lee was the true heir of the Wesleys. Don't you know.
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:49 PM   #36
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Lee could trumpet his 'goodly heritage' in the Baptists, where he was saved, while simultaneously despising them all as harlots, corrupt, Babylon, etc. The best of both worlds!

Lee could wave the 'orthodoxy' credentials of evangelical Protestantism, while denying the legitimacy of any evangelical Protestants except his sect. Because his sect was the true, real heirs of the original church..
In the LC they could sing, "O the love that sought me, O the blood that bought me, O the grace that brought me to the flock" (Hymns # 1086), written by Spencer Walton, a missionary in the South Africa General Mission, while despising Walton's South Africa Mission and every other mission as well! Because the LC is the true mission and the true flock, restored to God's original purpose, and they alone can sing it and know the 'true' wondrous grace, because they are the 'true' flock. Get it? The LC both claims the reality of Walton's hymn, and denies it to every other believer, including Walton himself.

The LC reply is, "Oh, we don't say that we're the only church, but that we are only the church". Yes, and you also say that everyone else isn't 'only the church', but are instead fallen, degraded, dark, impure, leavened, etc. Only we the LC "normal church life" saints know the true grace which brought us to the flock, because we're the true and original flock. Everyone else is, at best, partial, circumscribed, and a weak imitation. We alone possess the reality of God's hearts desire.

"You say that you are rich, but you have nothing: you are poor, wretched, blind, naked."
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:02 PM   #37
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"You say that you are rich, but you have nothing: you are poor, wretched, blind, naked."
That is the sad condition that the LC is in. You don't have to look very hard at the LC to realize that it's not all it's made out to be.

Any group claiming to have something such as a "vision of the age" is in grave danger of being blind to their true condition. While most Christians are content with being imperfect people living in an imperfect world, it seems some feel the need to view themselves as if they are a step above the rest.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:37 AM   #38
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it seems some feel the need to view themselves as if they are a step above the rest.
Just as I've heard prophesied enough times to quote, "we have everything and Christianity has nothing".
Easy to make a blanket statement without supporting facts when there's a closed heart from fellowshipping with fellow believers.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:47 AM   #39
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Based on personal experiences, I would add why are home meetings closed to Christians not in fellowship via Living Stream publications, but open to those who are?
Based on this experience, I consider I could be wrong.
It could be due to my receiving of a brother RK referred to as "the man of death", they did not want to receive anyone I may be associated with.
It could be as I indicated not wanting to be inclusive to believers not already receiving the ministry LSM publishes.
It could be merely coincidental...in once instance not open to non-LC Christians and in the next instance open to LC Christians
This was not always so....
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:03 PM   #40
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A few more double standards that I was thinking about:
Why is it that those in the LC go to such great lengths to differentiate between excommunication and quarantine? We know that for all intents and purposes, a LC quarantine is an excommunication.

Why are rank and file members told not to trust their feelings, yet leaders get to say things like "us brothers feel that everyone should..."?

Why could Lee simultaneous tell members to not "be in their minds", and also encourage everyone to go get the best college degrees possible? Was it that he didn't want members challenging his teachings, just their degrees so they could earn $$$ which would be donated to the LC?
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:04 PM   #41
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I recall as a yp they mentioned one of the young brothers lee had written the genesis lifestudies to eventually turned atheist-the point being that everyone must really strive to have a genuine relationship with god. Everyone in the crowd balked in horror...as did I but without first wondering why they still use the life study if it was not particularly effective.

I also remember a deranged dude running into the conference and up onto stage...held at Alliance Redwoods in sonoma county. Whatever he was saying was delivered in such a vehement manner that the whole congregation began calling on the Lord until some leading brothers wrestled the man off the podium and pushed him out...whatever he was babbling about was apparently not ok. The fact that a whole hall of believers was duped into calling is in hindsight very telling.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:44 PM   #42
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I recall as a yp they mentioned one of the young brothers lee had written the genesis lifestudies to eventually turned atheist-the point being that everyone must really strive to have a genuine relationship with god. Everyone in the crowd balked in horror...as did I but without first wondering why they still use the life study if it was not particularly effective.
I've been told by multiple FTTA graduates that when they get into trouble in the training, they get "assigned Life-Study messages", whatever that is supposed to mean. At any rate, I was told that everyone dreads it. Now if Lee's Life-Studies are so special, why would those running the training use it as a form of punishment? Just consider the irony in that.

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I also remember a deranged dude running into the conference and up onto stage...held at Alliance Redwoods in sonoma county. Whatever he was saying was delivered in such a vehement manner that the whole congregation began calling on the Lord until some leading brothers wrestled the man off the podium and pushed him out...whatever he was babbling about was apparently not ok. The fact that a whole hall of believers was duped into calling is in hindsight very telling.
It is very telling, indeed. I've seen similar situations. Someone becomes argumentative in a meeting, or someone starts talking about random stuff, then all the sudden everyone starts calling on the Lord. Is that really the right way to deal with the situation? Me thinks not. It's just groupthink at work.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:59 AM   #43
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A few more double standards that I was thinking about:
Why is it that those in the LC go to such great lengths to differentiate between excommunication and quarantine? We know that for all intents and purposes, a LC quarantine is an excommunication.
I think the differentiation is for legal protection. To say excommunication where there was nothing scriptural warranting excommunication, there's the fear of lawsuit.
Ironically LSM published a book worthy of a lawsuit and those brothers affected never sued LSM. Just because a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit is in the LSM backpocket doesn't mean any normal Christian will consider lawsuits as an option.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:21 PM   #44
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Default Leave Like Gentlemen

Another double-standard is the LC principle when brothers come to leave, to leave like gentlemen. Yet, when brothers do leave like gentlemen, the same is not reciprocated. Rather comes the generic reasoning why brother so and so left:
  • unforgiven offenses
  • unfulfilled ambitions
  • negative
  • opposing
  • rebellious
  • become cold to the ministry
  • lost the vision
  • attracted by the world
One of the symptoms is taking it personally when a brother or sister leaves. They're still a brother and sister. Just meeting with a different assembly.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:01 PM   #45
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Another double-standard is the LC principle when brothers come to leave, to leave like gentlemen. Yet, when brothers do leave like gentlemen, the same is not reciprocated. Rather comes the generic reasoning why brother so and so left:
  • unforgiven offenses
  • unfulfilled ambitions
  • negative
  • opposing
  • rebellious
  • become cold to the ministry
  • lost the vision
  • attracted by the world
One of the symptoms is taking it personally when a brother or sister leaves. They're still a brother and sister. Just meeting with a different assembly.
Over the years, I heard plenty of conversations regarding someone who left, or LC members would wistfully say that we should call up brother so-and-so and invite him back to a meeting. Of course, the assumption was always that those who left had somehow "drifted away" from the meetings. I believed this for a long time, but eventually I started realized that those who left had left for a reason. A few times, I actually asked fellow LCers, had they ever considered that maybe this person or family had left for a reason? I could always tell that asking LCers this question made them very uncomfortable, because they couldn't admit that there was anything wrong with the LC. The blame had to always be put on those who left, thus the labels that they have developed ("negative", "backsliders", etc).

What was a big point of frustration for me is that leaders always tried to get us stirred up to contact those who hadn't been meeting. Sometimes we actually did this. Sometimes a phone call did the trick, and they started coming to meetings again. But whenever these people were "revived", it was always short-lived, and then it was back to square one. Looking back, it was quite naive to think that a simply phone call was going to fix everything, but then again, no one every thought for a moment that the problem wasn't with those who had left, but with the system itself have some element that was deterring people. Why can't leaders admit this? Why do they lead everyone on thinking that no one leaves the LC for a good reason?
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:40 PM   #46
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I recall recently a push for fruit bearing and shepherding. Icant remember details on how this was to occur...but the idea of being someones fruit is a tad strange
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:06 AM   #47
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Default Re: Double Standards

Has anyone ever considered that branches don't bear branches, they bear fruit? And I note that the accounts of fruit in the scripture do not include converts.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:29 AM   #48
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What was a big point of frustration for me is that leaders always tried to get us stirred up to contact those who hadn't been meeting. Sometimes we actually did this. Sometimes a phone call did the trick, and they started coming to meetings again. But whenever these people were "revived", it was always short-lived, and then it was back to square one.
There are at least two sides to this problem. One being an insufficient concept that getting people through the doors, the meetings will take care of the rest. For the so-called responsible brothers, shepherding appears to be to difficult a job they don't want to invest their time in. Maybe consider spending x amount of time on person a waste of time?
The other side to the problem is not knowing what brother or sister so and so left. If it is something attributed to practices such as elitist speaking, well they're not going to crack down on elitist speaking during prophesying meetings for the benefit of appeasing one person to return to meetings.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:30 AM   #49
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I recall recently a push for fruit bearing and shepherding. Icant remember details on how this was to occur...but the idea of being someones fruit is a tad strange
I've been in meetings where someone will introduce a newcomer as their "fruit", a bit odd thing to do IMO. If nothing else, did they ever think for a second that it would make the new person feel uncomfortable? Really the heart of the issue is that there is so much pressure for members to recruit new members, that whenever they actually bring someone to the LC (a somewhat rare occurrence), the goal becomes finding a way to get everyone to notice what they've done.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:39 AM   #50
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There are at least two sides to this problem. One being an insufficient concept that getting people through the doors, the meetings will take care of the rest. For the so-called responsible brothers, shepherding appears to be to difficult a job they don't want to invest their time in. Maybe consider spending x amount of time on person a waste of time?
The other side to the problem is not knowing what brother or sister so and so left. If it is something attributed to practices such as elitist speaking, well they're not going to crack down on elitist speaking during prophesying meetings for the benefit of appeasing one person to return to meetings.
Right, there is an unwillingness for LCers to develop an understanding as to why people leave, and on the flip side, there is also the unwillingness to implement changes when problems are identified. The result? Members are constantly under pressure to "succeed" in situations where success is out of the question. No one understands why the grandiose projections of an increase always amount to nothing. The LC drifts further and further away from reality.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:16 AM   #51
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I've been in meetings where someone will introduce a newcomer as their "fruit", a bit odd thing to do IMO. If nothing else, did they ever think for a second that it would make the new person feel uncomfortable? Really the heart of the issue is that there is so much pressure for members to recruit new members, that whenever they actually bring someone to the LC (a somewhat rare occurrence), the goal becomes finding a way to get everyone to notice what they've done.
The post-quanrantine lawsuits in the GLA came down to this simple question: whose fruit are you???

In other words, each and every brother and sister, from Iowa east to Pennsylvania, from Ontario south to Kentucky, had to choose whether he or she belonged to Titus Chu or Witness Lee and his Blendeds.

Personally I decided not to belong to either, and used the opportunity to leave.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:50 AM   #52
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The post-quanrantine lawsuits in the GLA came down to this simple question: whose fruit are you???

In other words, each and every brother and sister, from Iowa east to Pennsylvania, from Ontario south to Kentucky, had to choose whether he or she belonged to Titus Chu or Witness Lee and his Blendeds.

Personally I decided not to belong to either, and used the opportunity to leave.
Unfortunately that's what the system of the LC produces. Everyone must "belong" to someone. Even beside the issue of whose "fruit" belongs to who , why must everyone must express a debt of gratitude to Lee and his ministry? I've heard that sometimes the FTTA trainees will make a pilgrimage to his grave site . Whatever happened to belonging to Jesus?
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:37 PM   #53
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The post-quanrantine lawsuits in the GLA came down to this simple question: whose fruit are you???

In other words, each and every brother and sister, from Iowa east to Pennsylvania, from Ontario south to Kentucky, had to choose whether he or she belonged to Titus Chu or Witness Lee and his Blendeds.

Personally I decided not to belong to either, and used the opportunity to leave.
I don't think those from local churches on the west coast and other places realize if you're not for LSM and it's publications, by default you're against them. It doesn't matter if you consider Titus Chu a non-issue like the church in Detroit did. As I'm concerned in my time in California and Washington state, when did Titus minister in those localities? He hasn't. No issue.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:43 PM   #54
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Default Innoculate the Body/Tree of Knowledge

As a follow-up to Ohio's post another double standard is the DCP/Blended spin of "inoculating the Body". How is it different when addressing current LSM leaders as going to the Tree of Knowledge?
No difference. For them it's okay to say "inoculating the body" by feeding saints from the Tree of Knowledge. It's manipulating brothers and sisters in local churches to be negative towards another brother.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:32 PM   #55
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I've been in meetings where someone will introduce a newcomer as their "fruit", a bit odd thing to do IMO. If nothing else, did they ever think for a second that it would make the new person feel uncomfortable? Really the heart of the issue is that there is so much pressure for members to recruit new members, that whenever they actually bring someone to the LC (a somewhat rare occurrence), the goal becomes finding a way to get everyone to notice what they've done.
Bahaha the college students joked about this so for it to actually have happened is just all the more fascinating. I don't know if I have the heart to dig up all the delightful foot'in mouths old LC pastors of the young flock said to young people with no understanding of current cultural events.

Their is a general willingness to ignore things in newcomers that would not be tolerated among the young people. A guy joins the club, and he brings his girlfriend-great! Two young people are interested in each other-not at all ok to acknowledge. Oh yes, also young person dating someone outside the church life-not ok. Ok...maybe a bit of forgiveness if she ends up coming into the church life.

They also claim not to worship any person. But to an outsider I wonder what this would look like. How long on average do they talk before mentioning Lee or Nee? How long before they mention Jesus or anyone else? I hazard to say the ratio may be revealing.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:45 PM   #56
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Bahaha the college students joked about this so for it to actually have happened is just all the more fascinating. I don't know if I have the heart to dig up all the delightful foot'in mouths old LC pastors of the young flock said to young people with no understanding of current cultural events.
I've heard some of the Chinese saints use the term "gospel candidate", I'm not exactly sure what it means, but I presume it to mean someone they think who is worth spending time on. Obviously the term itself its a bit peculiar, and it would probably generate funny looks with most people. I can't remember if I have heard it used to refer to a newcomer, but these kinds of terms are thrown around loosely within the LC.

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Their is a general willingness to ignore things in newcomers that would not be tolerated among the young people. A guy joins the club, and he brings his girlfriend-great! Two young people are interested in each other-not at all ok to acknowledge. Oh yes, also young person dating someone outside the church life-not ok. Ok...maybe a bit of forgiveness if she ends up coming into the church life.
They have to make the LC seem "appealing" to newcomers when they know darn well that most of the rules that everyone else is expected to follow would scare most people away.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:55 PM   #57
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Has anyone ever considered that branches don't bear branches, they bear fruit? And I note that the accounts of fruit in the scripture do not include converts.
Thanks for pointing this out. I never thought to question that it meant anything other than what Lee said it did.

I've heard the term "fruit-bearing" used so many times in reference to getting converts. There actually was a big emphasis on this, and there was lots of pressure too. They would put people under condemnation for not "bearing fruit".

When I really think about it, I have to wonder, where is the fruit of the Spirit in the LC? It seems they care about proselytizing and having an increase, but what about all the "turmoils", purges, ill treatment of fellow brothers and sisters? Maybe they should work on getting along with each other first.
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Old 09-24-2015, 03:45 AM   #58
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When I really think about it, I have to wonder, where is the fruit of the Spirit in the LC? It seems they care about proselytizing and having an increase, but what about all the "turmoils", purges, ill treatment of fellow brothers and sisters? Maybe they should work on getting along with each other first.
Titus Chu had thousands of stories about the failures of other brothers. Having been in the Recovery since the early 50's, he had enough "material" to talk days on end.

Apart from Darby Exclusives, what other collection off believers in church history has that much "dirt" on one another? And their chief boast is the "oneness" of the believers? And their chief condemnation of other Christians is their divisions? And what outsiders know about them is not good works or good news, but lawsuits and quarantines?
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:05 AM   #59
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Titus Chu had thousands of stories about the failures of other brothers. Having been in the Recovery since the early 50's, he had enough "material" to talk days on end.

Apart from Darby Exclusives, what other collection off believers in church history has that much "dirt" on one another? And their chief boast is the "oneness" of the believers? And their chief condemnation of other Christians is their divisions? And what outsiders know about them is not good works or good news, but lawsuits and quarantines?
Witness Lee constantly solicited festering rivalries among his underlings. He operated by what I call, "the law of first complaint." In other words, Lee would believe whoever brought him the "dirt" first, not wasting any time checking out the facts. Philip, his reprobate son, brought him lots of "dirt" on Titus Chu (even secretly recording their phone conversation) and other regional leaders, especially during the heyday of the "new way." Witness Lee believed it all because it was useful to him, yet Titus still respected him as his "spiritual father," all the while placing the blame on Philip and the other Blindeds who daily surrounded Lee.

In this way Witness Lee promoted a man-pleasing system. His minions were constantly pitted against each other, each striving to be the most "loved" by Lee himself, claiming to be the most absolute for his ministry. Obviously Benson Phillips won that war, and became next in line. Benson proved his unwavering loyalty to Lee by turning a blind eye to all the corruptions at LSM, including several female volunteers (think about those white house interns) who were molested by "junior," the "Office Manager." Since none were willing to contest Benson's role as heir, except for Titus, it was just a matter of time before he would need to be terminated.

For years I heard Witness Lee preach from the platform against man-pleasing, hiring family members, mishandling monies, selfish rivalries, unrighteousness, and other associated works of the flesh. Since he publicly opposed any and all fleshly works in the leadership so vigorously from the bully pulpit, all the regular rank and file followers believed that he lived by those same standards, never thinking that he was himself more guilty than any of the ones he constantly criticized.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:29 AM   #60
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For years I heard Witness Lee preach from the platform against man-pleasing, hiring family members, mishandling monies, selfish rivalries, unrighteousness, and other associated works of the flesh. Since he publicly opposed any and all fleshly works in the leadership so vigorously from the bully pulpit, all the regular rank and file followers believed that he lived by those same standards, never thinking that he was himself more guilty than any of the ones he constantly criticized.
Maybe this was all WL's own psychological projection, projecting his own feelings or traits onto others. At any rate, what he spoke against is suspiciously similar to who he really was. Perhaps that is why members failed to see who Lee really was, and what the LC really was. He spoke so strongly against things that members would have never guessed that he, or the LC was exactly what was being spoken against.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:00 PM   #61
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Apart from Darby Exclusives, what other collection off believers in church history has that much "dirt" on one another? And their chief boast is the "oneness" of the believers? And their chief condemnation of other Christians is their divisions? And what outsiders know about them is not good works or good news, but lawsuits and quarantines?
With the pastor of our community church being raised in the Plymouth Brethren (aka Exclusive Brethren), it was ironic having similarities with the Local Churches in practices yet different terminology.
There really is something to the phrase, to understand the present, you've got to study the past.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:51 PM   #62
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Default Re: Double Standards

How come Watchman Nee got saved by Dora Yu, trained by Margaret Barber, greatly helped by Ruth Lee and Peace Wang, and influenced by Jessie Penn-Lewis and Mary McDonough, but no woman can function in the current Local Church, in any form, except maybe to watch over children in the back rooms?

Why are women being held up as pillars in the LC movement's formative years, yet forbidden to even give a Sunday morning message, today?

If they don't permit a woman to teach, a la Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12, why then did Watchman Nee get all of his formative training from women? How can both positions be correct?
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:54 PM   #63
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Why are women being held up as pillars in the LC movement's formative years, yet forbidden to even give a Sunday morning message, today?
That's the difference between Nee and Lee. It seems Nee had a strong affinity for working with women, which eventually led to his undoing. Lee was smarter... except when it came to his sons.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:12 PM   #64
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Growing up in the LC I always wondered if Lee had any children...

It is an interesting cultural thing-and I wonder if LC families copy this to some respect. My cousins parents got divorced-they simply disappeared from our lives after being frequent playmates when we were younger. I pieced together what happened years later but it was a long time before my Father acknowledged what happened. Still rarely see them-except for my efforts to reach out.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:16 PM   #65
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Growing up in the LC I always wondered if Lee had any children...

It is an interesting cultural thing-and I wonder if LC families copy this to some respect. My cousins parents got divorced-they simply disappeared from our lives after being frequent playmates when we were younger. I pieced together what happened years later but it was a long time before my Father acknowledged what happened. Still rarely see them-except for my efforts to reach out.
I was in a locality with Lee's grandson. His wife divorced him, one of his children turned gay, and the other two are not meeting with the LSM LC denomination.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:38 PM   #66
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Growing up in the LC I always wondered if Lee had any children...
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I was in a locality with Lee's grandson. His wife divorced him, one of his children turned gay, and the other two are not meeting with the LSM LC denomination.
It's interesting how Lee's family amounted to nothing in terms of appreciation of his ministry. We are told Lee was the minister of the age, yet his family members couldn't sit through his messages?!? Surprise, surprise.

It is understandable then why his family is shrouded in mystery. It's not something they want members to know too much about.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:55 PM   #67
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As far as I can recall, from the time I knew Brother Nee until his arrest, I never saw him attend the Lord’s Table. That was certainly true in 1948, when I stayed in the Guling Training program for several months. All the sermons were given by Brother Nee, yet I never saw him attending the Lord’s Table. The Lord’s Table at Guling was led by Brother Yan Jiale. It strongly suggested a distance and a hindrance of communication between Brother Nee and the Lord for years. (I believe this was due to his secret sin and guilt.)

My Unforgettable Memories:Watchman Nee and Shanghai Local Church
Why is it that W Nee was exempt from one of the basic LC requirements - attendance of the Lord's table meeting? As far as I know, he was still given the opportunity to minister, despite his alleged absence from Lord's table meetings.

Wouldn't any other LCer who did that be viewed as a "backslider", someone at the bottom of the ladder it terms of having respect of fellow members?
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:09 PM   #68
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It's interesting how Lee's family amounted to nothing in terms of appreciation of his ministry. We are told Lee was the minister of the age, yet his family members couldn't sit through his messages?!? Surprise, surprise.

It is understandable then why his family is shrouded in mystery. It's not something they want members to know too much about.
Up until I came onto this board, I didn't even know Witness Lee had a family. Then again, I never thought to ask...
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:35 AM   #69
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Up until I came onto this board, I didn't even know Witness Lee had a family. Then again, I never thought to ask...
Witness Lees youngest daughter, Mrs Lim, wife of Albert Lim, was solidly in the church in 1985. She went to the first FTT and I hardly heard of her later. She was in the church in Irving with all the appearances of a sound Christian woman. One of BP's girls was named after her. I think there might have been one other daughter in Elden Hall but not certain of this. I have a friend who was in Elden giving this info. Sure enough Phillip never was in meetings and there was real question about his salvation experience. Above I should have mentioned I met with Lee's daughter and Albert Lim for several years in Irving, TX. Since the Chineese met separately, I didn't see her that much. Albert was a very good translator. I thought he became a near BB. just an observation
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:06 PM   #70
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Witness Lees youngest daughter, Mrs Lim, wife of Albert Lim, was solidly in the church in 1985. She went to the first FTT and I hardly heard of her later. She was in the church in Irving with all the appearances of a sound Christian woman. One of BP's girls was named after her. I think there might have been one other daughter in Elden Hall but not certain of this. I have a friend who was in Elden giving this info. Sure enough Phillip never was in meetings and there was real question about his salvation experience. Above I should have mentioned I met with Lee's daughter and Albert Lim for several years in Irving, TX. Since the Chineese met separately, I didn't see her that much. Albert was a very good translator. I thought he became a near BB. just an observation
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It would seem Witness Lee was exempt from 1 Tim 3:4-5. His family was a huge shortcoming. I do realize that he had no way of controlling his adult children, but he really should have kept them far away from his ministry, not give them jobs and allow so many LCers to experience things like the temper of Philip.
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:32 AM   #71
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It would seem Witness Lee was exempt from 1 Tim 3:4-5. His family was a huge shortcoming. I do realize that he had no way of controlling his adult children, but he really should have kept them far away from his ministry, not give them jobs and allow so many LCers to experience things like the temper of Philip.
Anyone can have "challenging" kids, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and even Witness Lee's purported O.T. example of the "acting god" -- Samuel. In fact, if you read his story, the reason Israel cried out for a King was due in part because of his bad kids. Parenting is never easy, and we should pray for one another's families.

God, however, judged old Eli because he allowed his kids to damage God's people and God's house. Lee did the same. The parallels are uncanny. Read the story surrounding Hannah while remembering all of Lee and Sons' failed businesses fleecing the church.

Where Witness Lee took things a step further was his treatment of internal whistleblowers. All of those LC leaders who dared to speak their conscience on behalf of God's people were libeled and slandered. For a ministry which had spent a lifetime litigating outsiders, they surely knew what they were doing. They based their actions on the fact that all other Christians would obey I Corinthians chapter 6, but them.
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:40 AM   #72
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It would seem Witness Lee was exempt from 1 Tim 3:4-5. His family was a huge shortcoming...
WL was exempt because it was in the interests of furthering the cause to ignore that verse. One thing I realized, over time, is that LC doctrine has strong focus on verses that advance the LC cause, and ignores, downplays, or even rejects verses that are not useful. Whole sections of the Bible which don't match LC dogma are called "natural", "fallen", "soulish", or "men's concepts".

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That's the difference between Nee and Lee. It seems Nee had a strong affinity for working with women...
WN was trained by women, and had female co-workers, and counted them as spiritual forebears (e.g. Penn-Lewis, Guyon, McDonough). But once WL got the reins, suddenly 1 Tim 3:12 was "recovered"... How well do you think a McDonough or Penn-Lewis would do in the LC today? They wouldn't survive a month. I remember RK saying sarcastically that he didn't know which was worse, a rebellious brother or a spiritual sister. What would he do if a Madam Jean Guyon suddenly popped up in one of his beloved localities? He'd have a coronary event.

In each case, The Cause triumphs: it doesn't matter that there is inconsistency between WN and WL, or even "early Lee" vs. "later Lee". It doesn't matter that the Bible is gripped with trembling hands and proclaimed hoarsely one minute, and summarily dismissed the next. What matters is The Cause. Sail on!

....

WL recounted that Japanese occupiers in China during WWII would kill a person just like killing a chicken. But something similar could be said about the Chinese, today: people are killed there for their body parts - they're worth more as kidney and liver donors than as living humans. It's a culture that can't evaluate individual worth outside the contribution to the Party/State/People. The Collective rules both the individual consciousnesses and the shared value system.

This isn't inferior to the Western thought-world, in which the Whole is built out of individual, atomistic Parts. Both have advantages, and weaknesses. But it's worth noting here that the oriental 'holistic' view may involve dismissal of Parts which don't fit the purported Whole, which in the LC not only means suppressing individuals, classes (women), and passages of scripture that aren't useful to the Cause at present. When you see the source of these thoughts, teachings, and behaviors, there's really no contradiction at all. There's no double standard, rather there's only one standard: the cause. Call it whatever you want: The ministry of the age, or the vision of the age, or the building up of the body, or the church of Christ's deep longing, or the central lane of the divine economy. Whatever label you want. Even the turmoils and storms, in this light, are seen as purifying fires. Too bad that so many got wiped out, but that's an unfortunate aspect of advancing the cause. As RK put it, sometimes you have to cut off the LCs to save the Body.... sail on!
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:46 AM   #73
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Witness Lees youngest daughter, Mrs Lim, wife of Albert Lim, was solidly in the church in 1985. She went to the first FTT and I hardly heard of her later. She was in the church in Irving with all the appearances of a sound Christian woman. One of BP's girls was named after her. I think there might have been one other daughter in Elden Hall but not certain of this. I have a friend who was in Elden giving this info. Sure enough Phillip never was in meetings and there was real question about his salvation experience. Above I should have mentioned I met with Lee's daughter and Albert Lim for several years in Irving, TX. Since the Chineese met separately, I didn't see her that much. Albert was a very good translator. I thought he became a near BB. just an observation
Lisbon
Albert Lim is a blended to my understanding. At least being a co-speaker with Ed Marks on speaking tours.
Lisbon has opened a consideration. That being blendeds who are married into the Lee family is one more reason why the blendeds cannot reconsider and say "we were wrong" (concerning the late 80's turmoil) just as CRI had reconsidered their previous stance with the local churches.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:57 AM   #74
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WN was trained by women, and had female co-workers, and counted them as spiritual forebears (e.g. Penn-Lewis, Guyon, McDonough). But once WL got the reins, suddenly 1 Tim 3:12 was "recovered"... How well do you think a McDonough or Penn-Lewis would do in the LC today? They wouldn't survive a month. I remember RK saying sarcastically that he didn't know which was worse, a rebellious brother or a spiritual sister. What would he do if a Madam Jean Guyon suddenly popped up in one of his beloved localities? He'd have a coronary event.
What I think it all boils down to is that for Nee, women helped promote The Cause. For Lee, they didn't and were thus subsequently excluded from major roles. Nee liked the writings of J. Penn-Lewis, and what better claim to fame that to be the one to piece together the subjective and esoteric "inner-life" puzzle? Additionally, Nee had bragging rights because of his ability to submit to a woman (M.E. Barber) and to handle her rebuking. In early 1900's Chinese culture, submission to a woman was probably quite intriguing. As for Nee's female coworkers, I won't even go there. Of course, when Lee came along, he simply claimed to be standing on Nee's shoulders, so women were of no use to him.

From my own LC experience, I can say that the older sisters who I have respected have always been the counterweights to the leaders who are so quick to go along with the latest program. I know some sisters who can see through all this, and I suppose what stops them from speaking up is wanting to submit to their husbands. Obviously, those who are not oblivious to the games at play are a danger to The Cause. WL was aware of this, so it was only a matter of finding a way to suppress the possibility of any threat to his position.
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:33 PM   #75
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WL recounted that Japanese occupiers in China during WWII would kill a person just like killing a chicken. But something similar could be said about the Chinese, today: people are killed there for their body parts - they're worth more as kidney and liver donors than as living humans. It's a culture that can't evaluate individual worth outside the contribution to the Party/State/People. The Collective rules both the individual consciousnesses and the shared value system.

This isn't inferior to the Western thought-world, in which the Whole is built out of individual, atomistic Parts. Both have advantages, and weaknesses. But it's worth noting here that the oriental 'holistic' view may involve dismissal of Parts which don't fit the purported Whole, which in the LC not only means suppressing individuals, classes (women), and passages of scripture that aren't useful to the Cause at present. When you see the source of these thoughts, teachings, and behaviors, there's really no contradiction at all. There's no double standard, rather there's only one standard: the cause. Call it whatever you want: The ministry of the age, or the vision of the age, or the building up of the body, or the church of Christ's deep longing, or the central lane of the divine economy. Whatever label you want. Even the turmoils and storms, in this light, are seen as purifying fires. Too bad that so many got wiped out, but that's an unfortunate aspect of advancing the cause. As RK put it, sometimes you have to cut off the LCs to save the Body.... sail on!
In the LC, everything said and done must serve and promote The Cause. Members are only useful inasmuch as they can support The Cause. That's why individuality is so highly frowned upon. That's why all those who have the ability to think for themselves have long since left.

What I have come to realize is that much of what is taught in the LC represents a dangerous mindset. I know that's old news, but it really can't be emphasized enough, and I will repeat that here on this forum until the day LCers begin to snap out of it.

At a certain point in time, I began to notice that much of the LC ministry material, especially the HWMR booklets serve to promote a particular style of thinking. It's hard to explain but revolves around certain themes such as: "we are nothing", "our opinions don't count", "we shouldn't act independently", "our natural abilities mean nothing", etc, etc. The underlying message is twofold, #1 is don't dare be independent and #2 don't dare assert yourself. The main problem with this is it leaves the door wide open for leaders to come in and start controlling. They have free reign to do whatever they want. I don't think that leaders necessarily always abuse their authority, but without a doubt, that has and continues to happen within the LC. Just as importantly, the mindset closes the door to reasonably address any concerns when they arise.

The mindset that serves to support The Cause is a self-reinforcing type of thinking. Even the negative serves to reinforce their belief system. If a member is contacted regarding concerns of the LC it might be considered to be "poisonous darts of the enemy", and a "test" for them. On a larger scale, as aron points out, "turmoils" are considered to be a "purification" of the LC. It's a mindset that is nearly impossible to tear apart. The smallest concerns regarding the LC are immediately dismissed. There can be no consideration of things that paint the LC in a bad light. Any concerns that do might be dismissed as "reasoning" or "opinions".

I really hope there comes the point in time when members begin to snap out of it. It's like a hypnotic state that serves only to support The Cause. Most members don't even realize what it is that they are serving or working towards. They refer to generic terms like "God's economy" and claim that as their goal, but what does that mean? The reality of it all is that in their lives, they assume that doing things like "rejecting fallen concepts" or "getting out of their minds" is going to result in something monumental. When it doesn't, they just assume they did something wrong, and proceed to try again. Never is there a full consideration of their end goal. If they had done that they would have long since jumped ship.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:17 PM   #76
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How about the cloudy history of silencing dissent? Who was the guy who posted a bunch of "bad things" on the internet and then passed away...whereupon the LC somehow got control of the website and was able to take it down? It must have been in the late 90's to early 2000's...I remember even as a kid that kind of raised concerns.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:26 PM   #77
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How about the cloudy history of silencing dissent? Who was the guy who posted a bunch of "bad things" on the internet and then passed away...whereupon the LC somehow got control of the website and was able to take it down? It must have been in the late 90's to early 2000's...I remember even as a kid that kind of raised concerns.
Moran. I remember it. Had some original stuff on there. Somebody must have made screen shots or cached a copy of the website. Anybody know where to find that stuff?
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:49 PM   #78
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Moran. I remember it. Had some original stuff on there. Somebody must have made screen shots or cached a copy of the website. Anybody know where to find that stuff?
I found this using web.archive.com

http://web.archive.org/web/200212011....org/info.html

Is this what you were looking for?
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:07 PM   #79
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Moran. I remember it. Had some original stuff on there. Somebody must have made screen shots or cached a copy of the website. Anybody know where to find that stuff?
I have it scanned into digital format. It's a mess but it's pretty much all there.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:29 AM   #80
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... much of what is taught in the LC represents a dangerous mindset... much of the LC ministry material, especially the HWMR booklets serve to promote a particular style of thinking. ... certain themes such as: "we are nothing", "our opinions don't count", "we shouldn't act independently", "our natural abilities mean nothing", etc, etc. The underlying message is twofold, #1 is don't dare be independent and #2 don't dare assert yourself. The main problem with this is it leaves the door wide open for leaders to come in and start controlling. ...Just as importantly, the mindset closes the door to reasonably address any concerns when they arise..
The idea of innately rejecting all opinions as fallen doesn't stand up to the NT testimony. The Acts 15 conference in Jerusalem had all those present able to air their thoughts, feelings, and understandings without fear of intimidation. Look at v. 7: "after much discussion" Peter stood up and addressed the group (NIV). Where in the LC's vaunted "church life" do you see the opportunity for "much discussion"? Nowhere is where. The Deputy God has issued a pronouncement from the podium, and that's it. Get out of your mind, don't think, just be one with the latest speaking. No discussion, no consideration, no thought -- be "one" with Anaheim.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:22 AM   #81
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The idea of innately rejecting all opinions as fallen doesn't stand up to the NT testimony. The Acts 15 conference in Jerusalem had all those present able to air their thoughts, feelings, and understandings without fear of intimidation. Look at v. 7: "after much discussion" Peter stood up and addressed the group (NIV). Where in the LC's vaunted "church life" do you see the opportunity for "much discussion"? Nowhere is where. The Deputy God has issued a pronouncement from the podium, and that's it. Get out of your mind, don't think, just be one with the latest speaking. No discussion, no consideration, no thought -- be "one" with Anaheim.
It is amazing how the LC is able to twist scripture in order to create a belief system by which members have no ability to discuss, debate, or express opinions. Their reasons for doing this are clear, however, what does it say about LC doctrines when they can only exist in an environment where there is not room for critique? To me, it is a strong indicator that their doctrines are not so solid, else why the fear of critique? They get around this by constantly being on the offensive, it puts the focus on others instead of themselves. The blendeds think they have the right to affirm and critique others, but the minute someone critiques them, they get up in arms and even go so far as to take them to court.

I really hope that some members will get to the point where they can see for themselves what the underlying message is in the "get out of your mind" or "drop your concepts" type of thinking. It's dangerous, and it is a tool leaders use to silence people.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:07 PM   #82
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The blendeds think they have the right to affirm and critique others, but the minute someone critiques them, they get up in arms.
This is textbook double standard. "When we do it, it's okay, because we're correcting, rebuking, and perfecting. When others do it, it's not okay, because they're being critical, attacking and accusing." The loaded terminology reveals the subjective nature of the person speaking. It simply has no objective basis in realilty. It is pure impressionism: "I feel this way, therefore this is real."
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:34 PM   #83
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This is textbook double standard. "When we do it, it's okay, because we're correcting, rebuking, and perfecting. When others do it, it's not okay, because they're being critical, attacking and accusing." The loaded terminology reveals the subjective nature of the person speaking.
When the 'cult' label has been applied to the LC, that is a form of outside critique. It's basically others saying that hey we don't think your teachings line up with orthodox teachings or that certain practices are concerning. Sure it's a strong word, but ultimately when there is a group teaching things like "don't get into your mind", what do they really expect, that no one is going to take issue with such teachings? Plenty of members buy into it, but on the outside, it sets off all kinds of alarms.

Back when I attended some of the semi-annual training in the mid-2000's, I remember Ron telling us that Lee was the "acting God". That's quite a concerning statement. So as a member what was I supposed to do, not "get into my mind" about it? Problem is, that is exactly what they wanted us to do, to swallow it without a second thought. Those like Nigel who publicly challenged such teachings were viciously attacked.

They cannot simultaneously claim to not be a cult, yet deny members the basic right to challenge and discuss teachings. Why must every member who speaks out be slandered and attacked? There is something very dark beneath the surface. Members are trapped in their own mindset, so much so that they can't even come here and have a frank and honest discussion. That was my invitation in the first post of this thread, for current members or lurkers to come join this discussion. The silence is deafening.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:46 PM   #84
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I found this using web.archive.com

http://web.archive.org/web/200212011....org/info.html

Is this what you were looking for?
Thanks Unsure, that was it. But, remember something like some notes scribbled by WL for a talk that showed WL asking why he was being treated badly, does that ring a bell with anyone?
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:58 PM   #85
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Another double standard: why is it that Lee could teach that Satan indwells the body of the believer yet also teach that man becomes God in life and nature? How is it that man can become God in life and nature, yet also have Satan indwelling the body simultaneously? Is that not blasphemy? Don't forget that the phrase "god-man" is applied to LCers in the present tense.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:46 AM   #86
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Another double standard: why is it that Lee could teach that Satan indwells the body of the believer yet also teach that man becomes God in life and nature? How is it that man can become God in life and nature, yet also have Satan indwelling the body simultaneously? Is that not blasphemy? Don't forget that the phrase "god-man" is applied to LCers in the present tense.
Ridiculous? Yes!

Blasphemy? Not really. It doesn't impugn the character of God, but makes ridiculous claims about man. Both parts — Satan indwelling man and man becoming god.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:05 PM   #87
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Why is it that those in the LC still call themselves "the Lord's recovery"? In saying that they've reached the high peak of the divine revelation, that implies there's nothing more to "recover", so the name is meaningless (not to say it had meaning to begin with).
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:11 PM   #88
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Why is it that those in the LC still call themselves "the Lord's recovery"? In saying that they've reached the high peak of the divine revelation, that implies there's nothing more to "recover", so the name is meaningless (not to say it had meaning to begin with).
Yes the Lord's Recovery is a meaningless statement.

A brother recently explained it to me that it was a group of people "solely for God's purpose". He further clarified that certainly not all members of the Local Church are "in the Recovery". He conceded that perhaps some outsiders are in it. He claimed that only the Recovery really cares for God's purpose.

The context clues were unfortunately damning...slipping up in referring to those gathered at a conference as the Lord's Recovery-therein solidifying the elitism of the local church.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:19 PM   #89
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A brother recently explained it to me that it was a group of people "solely for God's purpose". He further clarified that certainly not all members of the Local Church are "in the Recovery". He conceded that perhaps some outsiders are in it. He claimed that only the Recovery really cares for God's purpose.

I've heard some elitist comments before, but this does trump all I've heard before. It's along the same line as everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.
Years ago I had communication with a brother I knew in the Inland Empire area of Southern California, he too thought all Christian "soley for God's purpose" was meeting in the local churches. It wasn't until after the New Way led him out of the recovery did this brother realize that concept was just a fallacy. There are many Christians outside of LC/LSM fellowship that are solely for God's purpose.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:20 PM   #90
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Why is it that those in the LC still call themselves "the Lord's recovery"? In saying that they've reached the high peak of the divine revelation, that implies there's nothing more to "recover", so the name is meaningless (not to say it had meaning to begin with).
The so-called "Recovery" was the foundation for Lee's understanding of church history. Beginning with Luther, starting at ground zero, supposedly the truth was progressively recovered until the peak, or consummation, was reached. I have rejected Lee's version of church history in its entirety. It was entirely self-serving.

Lee's so-called "high peak" (God became man to make man god.) was never in the Bible in the first place, so how could it get recovered? Lee skirted that problem by citing a quotation from Athanasius. Thus what he proposed was a "recovery" of the church fathers, not of the scripture.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:31 PM   #91
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Yes the Lord's Recovery is a meaningless statement.

A brother recently explained it to me that it was a group of people "solely for God's purpose". He further clarified that certainly not all members of the Local Church are "in the Recovery". He conceded that perhaps some outsiders are in it. He claimed that only the Recovery really cares for God's purpose.

The context clues were unfortunately damning...slipping up in referring to those gathered at a conference as the Lord's Recovery-therein solidifying the elitism of the local church.
When they call themselves the Lord's recovery, it pure elitism IMO. Sure they will grudgingly admit that others outside their sect can be considered as being part of "the Recovery", but it all goes back to their notion that only in the LC do people really care for God's purpose.

Publicly, they pretend to adhere to one standard, but within the group there is a different standard. Everyone knows that outside Christians are regularly belittled in the LC, but then they turn around and pretend to be willing to accept all Christians, say that the LC isn't exclusive, and they claim to not consider themselves better than anyone else. If all that were so, why would they call themselves "the Recovery" to begin with? It is an elitist phrase, and at a very basic level, it implies that everyone else isn't "recovered".
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:37 PM   #92
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Lee's so-called "high peak" (God became man to make man god.) was never in the Bible in the first place, so how could it get recovered? Lee skirted that problem by citing a quotation from Athanasius. Thus what he proposed was a "recovery" of the church fathers, not of the scripture.
If Lee wanted to be fair, maybe he should have instead said that Athanasius reached the "high peak". Ah, but no, that was something Lee had to attribute himself.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:54 PM   #93
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Lee's so-called "high peak" (God became man to make man god.) was never in the Bible in the first place, so how could it get recovered? Lee skirted that problem by citing a quotation from Athanasius. Thus what he proposed was a "recovery" of the church fathers, not of the scripture.
Readers will be familiar with my occasionally waxing poetic over the Church Fathers, an area of textual reference vastly overlooked and underutilized in the Protestant tradition. The 'sola scriptora' folk will say, "But it's not in the Bible" if one leans too heavily upon, or gives too much credence to the teachings and interpretations of the ancients.

Lee was fully in this Calvinistic vein: if one waved ideas "not from the Bible" before him, they were summarily dismissed as the imaginations of men. Paradoxically, Lee then pinned his so-called high peak theology on one of these Fathers, not on scripture. Talk about a double-standard!

I do appreciate the Fathers much more today than previously, and hold them to a standard of great admiration, respect, and reference them as those having access to oral traditions and private teachings that were lost over time. Thus they open a window into the past, otherwise inaccessible. But I could present many, many teachings and sayings of the Fathers which the LC people wouldn't have even the slightest interest in, because, "it's not in the Bible"...
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:41 AM   #94
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Readers will be familiar with my occasionally waxing poetic over the Church Fathers, an area of textual reference vastly overlooked and underutilized in the Protestant tradition. The 'sola scriptora' folk will say, "But it's not in the Bible" if one leans too heavily upon, or gives too much credence to the teachings and interpretations of the ancients.

Lee was fully in this Calvinistic vein: if one waved ideas "not from the Bible" before him, they were summarily dismissed as the imaginations of men. Paradoxically, Lee then pinned his so-called high peak theology on one of these Fathers, not on scripture. Talk about a double-standard!

I do appreciate the Fathers much more today than previously, and hold them to a standard of great admiration, respect, and reference them as those having access to oral traditions and private teachings that were lost over time. Thus they open a window into the past, otherwise inaccessible. But I could present many, many teachings and sayings of the Fathers which the LC people wouldn't have even the slightest interest in, because, "it's not in the Bible"...
Lee was also very selective with whose writings were considered acceptable in general. It seems Lee referenced very few post-19th century works. He even said "From 1945 to 1984, I found out that in both the English-speaking world and the Chinese-speaking world, there was not a weighty spiritual book published."

So why did Lee get to determine which writings were and weren't useful? Also, why could he get away with referencing such a small set of writings in general?
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #95
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The same way as people may reluctantly include outsiders into the so called "Lord's Recovery". It is beyond annoying how Lee cherry picked which aspects of church history were surely "in the Lords Move" naturally culminating with Nee and Lee and the local churches.

I remember one of the blendeds drawing this out on a map of the world as he recited the LC version of church history. He went on and was about to concluded and suddenly clamoring was heard from the crowd.

"You forgot Australia!"

"What?"

"What about the saints in Australia?"

Turns to map
-draws quick line from China to Australia

"Ah yes, and the Lord spread to Australia and New Zealand too"

The end
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:45 PM   #96
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https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010...am-ministries/

I don't have the patience nor discernment to look into the word this way anymore. Do read the comments and note how easy it is to pick out lc members
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:20 AM   #97
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The same way as people may reluctantly include outsiders into the so called "Lord's Recovery". It is beyond annoying how Lee cherry picked which aspects of church history were surely "in the Lords Move" naturally culminating with Nee and Lee and the local churches.

I remember one of the blendeds drawing this out on a map of the world as he recited the LC version of church history. He went on and was about to concluded and suddenly clamoring was heard from the crowd.

"You forgot Australia!"

"What?"

"What about the saints in Australia?"

Turns to map
-draws quick line from China to Australia

"Ah yes, and the Lord spread to Australia and New Zealand too"

The end
It's ironic how everything the LC considers to be the "Lord's move" in the 20th century centered around what WN and WL were doing. For example, they might say that the Lord moved to Taiwan in 1949, and then moved to the US in the early 60's. The funny thing is that 1949 is when Lee moved to Taiwan and the early 60's when he moved to the U.S. So the "Lord's move" is equated with whatever Lee was doing. So if someone mentions Australia, or any other place Lee wasn't involved with, well there might be blank stares. Never would they admit that anything else going on outside the LC sect could be part of the "Lord's move" as well.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:38 AM   #98
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https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010...am-ministries/

I don't have the patience nor discernment to look into the word this way anymore. Do read the comments and note how easy it is to pick out lc members
I read some of the comments. It seems fair to characterize the LCer comments as not being willing to address the issues being discussed. The way they operate is to label everything as an "attack", or to accuse people of purposely misrepresenting the LC.

The non-LC comments are quite reasonable. Here is one that caught my eye:
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Witness Lee was a megalomaniac. Think about it, the name Lee gave to himself was “witness,” which in Greek means martyr. Martyr Lee? I think not.
Lee's own name was a double standard of double standards. Martyr Lee, the same man who once said "That Lee! Lee has to be famous! Lee! Lee! Lee must have the credit!" Did Lee ever think about anyone except himself? I don't think he even had the ability to concede to others at all. Did he think he could fool people? Outsiders certainly weren't fooled by him.
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:04 PM   #99
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Then they bury the opposition under pages of lees writing. Surely they will see the light of this amazing revealation!
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:06 PM   #100
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I wonder if the resemblance of witness to a well known cult is why he is usually calked bro. Lee

Not bro. Witness
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:21 PM   #101
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I wonder if the resemblance of witness to a well known cult is why he is usually calked bro. Lee

Not bro. Witness
The LC does make an argument for the use of the name Jehovah in the Old Testament Recovery Version. There is a paragraph or so in the introduction devoted to that. If they want to appear to be "orthodox" they certainly don't do a good job at it.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:56 PM   #102
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The following quote was brought to my attention:
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There may be much sin in our lives or in our environment, but we may not be conscious of it. However, as soon as we become conscious of it, we must deal with it. We must forsake the sin of which we are conscious. We should not tolerate any manifestation of sin.
...
If we tolerate sin once it has been exposed, our fellowship will be cut off. This indicates that as Christians we should live a sinless life, not tolerating any sin that has been exposed.

Witness Lee, Life-Study of Exodus, Message 25
This is something WL spoke on not tolerating sin, both in the cotenxt of personal sins and in the context of 1 Cor 5. This is something WN spoke about as well. When the opportunity came for this to be put into practice (with WL's sinning son), those who felt PL's actions should not be tolerated became the very ones who weren't tolerated within the LC. Talk about a double standard.

It seems that WL had the habit of speaking what everyone wanted to hear, then when it came to put things into practice, everything changed.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:12 AM   #103
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It seems that WL had the habit of speaking what everyone wanted to hear, then when it came to put things into practice, everything changed.
This is why there is such a strong comparison from Matthew 23 towards the LSM leadership. Everything they do is done for people to see.
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:03 AM   #104
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This is why there is such a strong comparison from Matthew 23 towards the LSM leadership. Everything they do is done for people to see.
It's really sad that Lee and LSM leaders have lead everyone to believe that the LC is a more open, inclusive and transparent group than it actually is. Ultimately, it's everyone's responsibility to figure out for themselves that LC leaders are dishonest, but at the same time, LCers everywhere take this kind of stuff seriously.

In the late 80's, when Lee had deviated from much of what he spoke in earlier years, many members found out that he didn't like to be held accountable according to his previous ministry. Up to that point, there were probably quite a lot of people who were naive enough to think that Lee would really take fellowship about his deviating from what he previously spoke. As it turned out, much of what he spoke was just empty words. The attitude became clear, if you weren't for his present promotions, then get out.
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:36 AM   #105
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The following quote was brought to my attention:
This is something WL spoke on not tolerating sin, both in the context of personal sins and in the context of 1 Cor 5. This is something WN spoke about as well. When the opportunity came for this to be put into practice (with WL's sinning son), those who felt PL's actions should not be tolerated became the very ones who weren't tolerated within the LC. Talk about a double standard.

It seems that WL had the habit of speaking what everyone wanted to hear, then when it came to put things into practice, everything changed.
I have heard WL preach strongly against every conceivable sin know to the church and ministry giving us the strong impression that he and his ministry had successfully dealt with all of these matters. So it's no wonder that his lackeys would elevate him to consummate MOTA status.

Imagine my shock when I finally learned about his kids reading Ingalls' STTIL.
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:11 PM   #106
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Imagine my shock when I finally learned about his kids reading Ingalls' STTIL.
Really? It is a shock.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:33 PM   #107
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Really? It is a shock.
Let me clarify that hastily written last sentence in my previous post ...

"Imagine my shock when I first learned about Philip Lee as the profligate 'Office Manager' at LSM while I was reading John Ingalls' book STTIL for the first time.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:11 PM   #108
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Let me clarify that hastily written last sentence in my previous post ...

"Imagine my shock when I first learned about Philip Lee as the profligate 'Office Manager' at LSM while I was reading John Ingalls' book STTIL for the first time.
I'm willing to bet that such information would be a shock to most LC members. Maybe even hard to believe. It wouldn't surprise me if that is why such things get labeled as "rumors".

Harder than accepting what PL did is accepting that WL didn't properly address it, and that there was a cover-up involved. Just that alone is enough to shatter the commonly held view of WL. And perhaps that's a hard pill for most people to swallow.

Going back to what I posted yesterday, Lee really had everyone fooled. He spoke strongly about stuff and people obviously believed that he spoke according to his convictions. Who would have though that when sin was exposed in his ministry office, that instead of promptly dealing with it, WL would initiate a massive cover-up, the affected parties would be sent away to different localities, and those who were involved in any part of the exposing would be excommunicated.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:40 AM   #109
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I'm willing to bet that such information would be a shock to most LC members. Maybe even hard to believe. It wouldn't surprise me if that is why such things get labeled as "rumors".
Even more labeling as rumors if you say or insinuate current coworkers knew about it and did nothing.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:36 PM   #110
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Even more labeling as rumors if you say or insinuate current coworkers knew about it and did nothing.
Your post reminded me of what Ron spoke in Ecuador:
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The temptation is to ask, who is right and who is wrong. Or you may try to find out for yourself what is right and what is wrong. “Oh, this man of death, Steve Isitt, he wrote something. And someone else is sending it everywhere. I need to figure this out; oh, I never heard these things. Could this be true? Did the brothers behave like that?” As soon as you think this way, you yourself are finished. Okay? Because you are on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You apply that tree to the situation.

So some may decide that this person is right. Others will say that person is wrong. That will lead to argument, dissension, division, and confusion. Who has all the information? There is a statement made about Brother Lee; you can’t ask Brother Lee about it.
I think it's fair to say that Ron knows very well what took place in the late 80's. If nothing else, he presumes to know since he wrote a book about it. But look at what he spoke in Ecuador. It's full of rhetorical questions. Nothing solid is stated, even though he played a role in providing the official narrative during that time period. The underlying implication with what he spoke in Ecuador is that all the talk about past events is just rumors because WL isn't here to verify it. It's interesting that he didn't presume to dispel what he believes to be "rumors".

It goes without saying that there are many brothers, still alive, that know what took place in the late 80's, and have chosen to keep their mouths shut. So there are no rumors in regards to the major events that took place. There are obviously little details that can't be verified, but the more important things can be verified by multiple witnesses. It is also significant that no one has ever refuted that certain things happened.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:43 AM   #111
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I think it's fair to say that Ron knows very well what took place in the late 80's. If nothing else, he presumes to know since he wrote a book about it. But look at what he spoke in Ecuador. It's full of rhetorical questions. Nothing solid is stated, even though he played a role in providing the official narrative during that time period. The underlying implication with what he spoke in Ecuador is that all the talk about past events is just rumors because WL isn't here to verify it. It's interesting that he didn't presume to dispel what he believes to be "rumors".

It goes without saying that there are many brothers, still alive, that know what took place in the late 80's, and have chosen to keep their mouths shut. So there are no rumors in regards to the major events that took place. There are obviously little details that can't be verified, but the more important things can be verified by multiple witnesses. It is also significant that no one has ever refuted that certain things happened.
It's as if Witness Lee was the only one who could possibly corroborate what's been brought forth on this forum, thebereans.net, among other forums. All the while Ron and many current coworkers are quite capable of speaking for themselves. Question is, will they speak transparently or defer to the "Tree of knowledge" excuse mechanism?
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:52 AM   #112
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Another double standard is in regard to criticism of brothers that results in quarantines. Those of us who have met with the local churches are quote familiar what happened in 1990 and 2005/2006.
For example the geographic area that I was raised in Southern California, brothers are so quick to sign quarantine letters they know very little (if at all) about.
Yet if you were to question them about unrighteous matters than happened in Ontario, Ca they would likely say "I don't know. I don't know anything about what happened in that locality."
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:20 PM   #113
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Another double standard is in regard to criticism of brothers that results in quarantines. Those of us who have met with the local churches are quote familiar what happened in 1990 and 2005/2006.
For example the geographic area that I was raised in Southern California, brothers are so quick to sign quarantine letters they know very little (if at all) about.
Yet if you were to question them about unrighteous matters than happened in Ontario, Ca they would likely say "I don't know. I don't know anything about what happened in that locality."
I think it's safe to say that letters are signed and decisions are made as a result of external pressure and not out of necessity. Take the quarantine letter from 1990 for instance. How many of the signators of that letter even knew much about what happened besides what WL told them? It's a serious matter, signing something without knowing or understanding what is being signed.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:01 PM   #114
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Is that a fair assumption to make? I would only hope someone signing a letter would carefully read everything and discuss with everyone involved...
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:30 PM   #115
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Is that a fair assumption to make? I would only hope someone signing a letter would carefully read everything and discuss with everyone involved...
You would think....More likely what happened; ignore your conscience, treat the signature as a check endorsement, and just be one with the brothers and go on positively.
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:00 PM   #116
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You would think....More likely what happened; ignore your conscience, treat the signature as a check endorsement, and just be one with the brothers and go on positively.
They would never actually say "ignore your conscience."

Rather they would say, "Brothers, this is a test for all of us. Don't get involved with right and wrong. Those brothers are eating from the wrong tree, and look what happened to them -- now they are rebelling against the Lord. Pay attention to life brothers, trust the Lord, and let Bruther Lee take care of this. This letter just reaffirms our oneness with God's NT ministry in His divine economy that we all would go on in one accord in these final days for the building up of all the local churches, yada, yada, choke, gag."
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:34 AM   #117
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Lee's so-called "high peak" (God became man to make man god.) was never in the Bible in the first place, so how could it get recovered?
I accept that the phrase "God became man to make man god" does not occur in the Bible, Ohio, but what would yourself make of man and his destiny in the universe? Does it really seem entirely implausible to you that at some level (and there is Scripture to support this view) God desires men to receive His 'own' actual, divine, and eternal life, that they might assume His nature (as legitimate sons ought to), and share His glory?

Otherwise, what, in your humble opinion, would you call the grand purpose of man? What was in God's heart and mind in His creation of human beings? Did He create them just to be, for example, good, moral people...to keep the ten commandments...to feed the hungry...to clothe the naked...to give to charity...to uphold human rights?

It seems to me that there is an important and underlying point of tension here that serves as a significant point of departure between the bedrock of LSM belief and whatever winds of teaching its detractors now embrace. While I wouldn't label it 'double standards' I would, however, note that there seems to be 'two distinct standards' (as evidenced on this forum) in the approach to this question of 'Who and What is Man?'.

I would very much be interested to hear your lucid and carefully considered 'opinion' on this topic. What do you believe, Ohio? (or IntotheWind, or Awareness, or OBW, or HERn, or Freedom, or Aron, or Terry, etc, etc)...Perhaps if there is a resolution to this question, it might give insight into the roots of the problems of other concerns raised on here. (Much like if the Arabs and the Jews could agree on which of Abraham's sons was actually directed to be sacrificed on Mt. Moriah: Ishmael or Isaac? then 'possibly' it might lead to more amiable and fruitful discussions and negotiations between them).

...Please feel free to 'be in your minds'...
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:51 PM   #118
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I accept that the phrase "God became man to make man god" does not occur in the Bible, Ohio, but what would yourself make of man and his destiny in the universe? Does it really seem entirely implausible to you that at some level (and there is Scripture to support this view) God desires men to receive His 'own' actual, divine, and eternal life, that they might assume His nature (as legitimate sons ought to), and share His glory?

Otherwise, what, in your humble opinion, would you call the grand purpose of man? What was in God's heart and mind in His creation of human beings? Did He create them just to be, for example, good, moral people...to keep the ten commandments...to feed the hungry...to clothe the naked...to give to charity...to uphold human rights?

It seems to me that there is an important and underlying point of tension here that serves as a significant point of departure between the bedrock of LSM belief and whatever winds of teaching its detractors now embrace. While I wouldn't label it 'double standards' I would, however, note that there seems to be 'two distinct standards' (as evidenced on this forum) in the approach to this question of 'Who and What is Man?'.

I would very much be interested to hear your lucid and carefully considered 'opinion' on this topic. What do you believe, Ohio? (or IntotheWind, or Awareness, or OBW, or HERn, or Freedom, or Aron, or Terry, etc, etc)...Perhaps if there is a resolution to this question, it might give insight into the roots of the problems of other concerns raised on here. (Much like if the Arabs and the Jews could agree on which of Abraham's sons was actually directed to be sacrificed on Mt. Moriah: Ishmael or Isaac? then 'possibly' it might lead to more amiable and fruitful discussions and negotiations between them).

...Please feel free to 'be in your minds'...
I would use the N.T. to describe man's destiny, specifically the destiny of God's children. For example, I John 3.2 says, "It has not yet been manifested what we will be ... we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is." We also know that we shall become glorified sons of God, conformed to the image of His Firstborn Son. (Romans 8.29-30)

As far as being "made god," I reject it for several reasons. Firstly, because the Bible does not specifically say it, and it had ample opportunity to do so, either thru Paul, Peter, or John. We do become real sons of God partaking of His divine nature, but do not "become god in life and nature." Isn't that enough anyway? Aren't the plain words of scripture enough to satisfy you?"

Secondly, the rest of the body of Christ has not embraced this either. An obscure translated phrase from Athanasius in the early part of the 4th century is not adequate, to the greater body of Christ, to rise to the level of the canon.

Thirdly, this so-called "high peak" expression was introduced to the Recovery by Witness Lee following a pathetic coverup of unrighteous activities at LSM. It is highly unlikely to me (and to many others) that God would "recover" such a long-lost "truth" at a time when Witness Lee and his son Phillip should have been repenting to the churches for all the damage they had wrought throughout the era of the "new way."

Fourthly, the saying has never produced good fruit, rather many of its adherents have exhibited a boastful arrogance, contrary to God's nature, and has brought shame to the Lord's name. Instead of benefiting the children of God, Laodicea has resulted. A generation of young people have been taught to judge their brethren outside the Recovery for not knowing this great "truth."

Fifthly, this phrase connects its supporters to other aberrant cults and damages the simple message of the good news of the cross of Christ. Instead of dropping this extra-biblical expression, which only serves to divide His body, LSM has been forced to litigate other ministries in a failed attempt to save face.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:51 AM   #119
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I accept that the phrase "God became man to make man god" does not occur in the Bible, Ohio, but what would yourself make of man and his destiny in the universe? Does it really seem entirely implausible to you that at some level (and there is Scripture to support this view) God desires men to receive His 'own' actual, divine, and eternal life, that they might assume His nature (as legitimate sons ought to), and share His glory?
The question I have is whether this is truly some desire of God clearly revealed, or it is an over-reading of one or two references that are contextually limited in application.

Does the creation of man to bear his image and live on the earth in the way that was depicted in the limited description in Genesis actually get swept aside as "not it" by one or two references about being glorified and receiving the life of Christ when those references are not given an overall/universal application? Or are those references more about become what we were made to be before the fall? Not something entirely different.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:51 AM   #120
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Hi Unregistered

This is in response to the question you posed above:- What would one “call the grand purpose of man? What was in God's heart and mind in His creation of human beings?”

My response would be, to quote the theologian John Piper, “For the glory of God”. As he puts it,

“When the first chapter of the Bible says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27), what is the point? The point of an image is to image. Images are erected to display the original. Point to the original. Glorify the original. God made humans in his image so that the world would be filled with reflectors of God. Images of God.”


Everything that took place from Genesis, in one way or another, displays the glory of God. Even (or should I say "Especially") when we see man’s fall into sin, we learn that God is merciful and longsuffering. Ultimately, we see God's love in dying for us on the Cross.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:56 AM   #121
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Hi Unregistered

This is in response to the question you posed above:- What would one “call the grand purpose of man? What was in God's heart and mind in His creation of human beings?”

My response would be, to quote the theologian John Piper, “For the glory of God”. As he puts it,

“When the first chapter of the Bible says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27), what is the point? The point of an image is to image. Images are erected to display the original. Point to the original. Glorify the original. God made humans in his image so that the world would be filled with reflectors of God. Images of God.”


Everything that took place from Genesis, in one way or another, displays the glory of God. Even (or should I say "Especially") when we see man’s fall into sin, we learn that God is merciful and longsuffering. Ultimately, we see God's love in dying for us on the Cross.
Mr. Piper is a bit more provocative in his rewriting of part of an old creed:

"The chief end of man is to glorify God

By

Enjoying Him forever."

Page 18, Desiring God (2003 edition) John Piper.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:14 PM   #122
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Mr. Piper is a bit more provocative in his rewriting of part of an old creed:

"The chief end of man is to glorify God

By

Enjoying Him forever."

Page 18, Desiring God (2003 edition) John Piper.
I realize that this is not exactly what the old catechism/confession says (maybe the Westminster??) but it sort of is what it says.

And I have asked on more than one occasion whether there is anything substantial that makes "by enjoying Him forever" more than a really nice sounding statement. Is there more than inference from a verse or two, or is this something that can be founded in a substantial manner? I will be honest to say that I do not have the inclination to say that it is right or wrong, or to do the research to establish it one way or the other. Instead, I think that anyone who wants to say that it is simply true needs to establish that it really is true through more than declaring it to be so.

I have no problem with the idea of enjoyment — even experience. But when it is declared without qualifier or explanation that "the chief purpose of man is . . ." I really want more than "it's there in the Westminster Confession," or "Augustine [or whoever] said it." Neither of those are the source of truth, just repeaters of it when they are understanding truth rightly.

And the reason that I ask this question is because I wonder whether we (all of us in the majority of Evangelical Christianity, if not others as well) have focused too much of our attention on activities in this life that are not really the primary focus just because we have bought "the chief purpose of man . . ." or some other human oversimplification. Have we missed the real purpose because of it?

Surely the Children of Israel enjoyed the benefits of God's actions. But they also were left to live out the commands without a lot of intervention. And I don't think it was just for the purpose of proving that we couldn't do it. I think God expected obedience. And at some level they began to obey more once they got really battered by the period of captivity. But it was true that the kind of obedience that was truly called for generally requires more than a strong will. It also requires that something of the pre-fall existence be restored. Therefore salvation. But the purpose of that is not "to enjoy Him" but to reflect Him. I find that one in the Bible. Not sure about the other.
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:49 PM   #123
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I realize that this is not exactly what the old catechism/confession says (maybe the Westminster??) but it sort of is what it says.

And I have asked on more than one occasion whether there is anything substantial that makes "by enjoying Him forever" more than a really nice sounding statement. Is there more than inference from a verse or two, or is this something that can be founded in a substantial manner? I will be honest to say that I do not have the inclination to say that it is right or wrong, or to do the research to establish it one way or the other. Instead, I think that anyone who wants to say that it is simply true needs to establish that it really is true through more than declaring it to be so.

I have no problem with the idea of enjoyment — even experience. But when it is declared without qualifier or explanation that "the chief purpose of man is . . ." I really want more than "it's there in the Westminster Confession," or "Augustine [or whoever] said it." Neither of those are the source of truth, just repeaters of it when they are understanding truth rightly.

And the reason that I ask this question is because I wonder whether we (all of us in the majority of Evangelical Christianity, if not others as well) have focused too much of our attention on activities in this life that are not really the primary focus just because we have bought "the chief purpose of man . . ." or some other human oversimplification. Have we missed the real purpose because of it?

Surely the Children of Israel enjoyed the benefits of God's actions. But they also were left to live out the commands without a lot of intervention. And I don't think it was just for the purpose of proving that we couldn't do it. I think God expected obedience. And at some level they began to obey more once they got really battered by the period of captivity. But it was true that the kind of obedience that was truly called for generally requires more than a strong will. It also requires that something of the pre-fall existence be restored. Therefore salvation. But the purpose of that is not "to enjoy Him" but to reflect Him. I find that one in the Bible. Not sure about the other.
We've been reading Piper's book in SS and about half the class has dropped out. He's pretty ballsy messing around with one of the confessions. Several of the first chapters are a difficult read, not to mention his push for Christian hedonism! Some of what he preaches seems to map onto what Lee taught (made me wonder if Piper has been reading "THE MINISTRY"!). I don't think I want to spend time advancing Piper's Christian hedonism thesis here because I'm a bit skeptical. But, it's an interesting read and I have received some benefit. So far no one in class is calling him the MOTA, oracle, or the last Apostle!
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:47 PM   #124
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We've been reading Piper's book in SS and about half the class has dropped out. He's pretty ballsy messing around with one of the confessions. Several of the first chapters are a difficult read, not to mention his push for Christian hedonism! Some of what he preaches seems to map onto what Lee taught (made me wonder if Piper has been reading "THE MINISTRY"!). I don't think I want to spend time advancing Piper's Christian hedonism thesis here because I'm a bit skeptical. But, it's an interesting read and I have received some benefit. So far no one in class is calling him the MOTA, oracle, or the last Apostle!
Hey! I just realized something! If half of Lee's congregation stopped attending every training where he spouted off nonsense, maybe it would have taken a bit of wind out his sails and trimmed his wings. It would not surprise me that if during their darkest moments some of the blendeds slipped a secrete prayer to WL.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:26 PM   #125
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I accept that the phrase "God became man to make man god" does not occur in the Bible, Ohio, but what would yourself make of man and his destiny in the universe? what, in your humble opinion, would you call the grand purpose of man? What was in God's heart and mind in His creation of human beings?

It seems to me that there is an important and underlying point of tension here that serves as a significant point of departure between the bedrock of LSM belief and whatever winds of teaching its detractors now embrace.

...Please feel free to 'be in your minds'...
It's clear to me that you've long since forgotten what life tastes like. I'm assuming you once knew. Why ask such a question? Will some schematicized 'grand purpose' really satisfy your heart's desire? Will it make you wise?

I came here to believe into, obey, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. It's entirely possible I've done a bad job of it, but at least I know what I should be doing. And I believe that we're not here to fall prey to Satan's schemes, for as Paul wrote, we're no longer ignorant of them as once we were. One of those schemes is to raise up merchandizers and pamphleteers, purveyors of curious admixtures of outdated philosophy, semi-baseless theological speculation and, in the case of Witness Lee, oriental social engineering. No thanks; the fish aren't biting today.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:37 PM   #126
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I would agree with what others have posted already. I will state that I view the purpose of man as being ultimately to glorify God. Consider Jesus’ words in Matt 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV)

Here is a simple verse that helps Christians to realize their purpose on earth. For WL, I’m afraid that because he was so consumed with his idea of “God’s economy”, that he missed the simple things like this. So a verse like this doesn’t receive any emphasis in WL’s ministry, it even mentions “good works”. Well, here Jesus said that good works can bring glory to the Father. If I were to point this out in the LC, I might be accused of trying to “distract” people from God’s economy.

In regards to deification, I think a lot of our views have been made known already on various threads. I can’t speak for anyone else, but to follow up with what others have already said, I don’t see sufficient Biblical basis for WL’s doctrine, and it’s really as simple as that. The lack of acceptance of this kind of teaching among Christians is an indicator that it should be approached with caution.

Much of the support WL provided for his teaching seems to be iffy at best. Take for example John 10 - the chapter which those in the LC use in order to “prove” WL’s teaching. In that chapter, Jesus was speaking of himself, answering various accusations that had been made. At no time did he ever apply his argument to anyone but himself.

A passage I’ve referenced before, which I believe casts a shadow of doubt on WL’s doctrine of deification is Acts 14:11-16
11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.
(NKJV)

Notice how Paul and Barnabas were very quick to clear up the misconception that they were anything but human beings, they emphasized that were “men with the same nature as you”. How does this compare with what WL taught, that we could become God in life and nature? Needless to say, I believe that it is presumptuous for those in the LC to do things like go around declaring that they are “god-men”. Paul and Barnabas would have nothing to do with that. Neither should those in the LC. I think that ultimately, WL found support for his teachings and quickly disregarded anything in the scripture that detracted from his teachings.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:07 AM   #127
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Default Re: Double Standards

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I'd agree with what others have posted already... I view the purpose of man as being ultimately to glorify God. Consider Jesus’ words in Matt 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Here is a simple verse that helps Christians to realize their purpose on earth..
The psalmist wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God". Even the clouds and trees declare God's glory. All things work for God's glory. But to distill our existence down to one pat phrase, e.g. to glorify God, might be to sell the story somewhat short, no? Can we really reduce the Bible down to one or two all-encompassing phrases, beyond John's "God so loved the world so much that He sent His Son..." etc? Can we do better than the Bible has already done, with our schematic reconfigurations?

LSM's hermeneutical programme - "God's plan for man is 'X'" - preyed upon the simple and ignorant and weak, ultimately to make merchandise of them. The fruits of this can be amply seen in 2 things: that these schema required the dismissal of large portions of Biblical text, both NT and OT, variously termed "fallen" and "natural" and "human concepts"; also in the unrelieved human turmoil, all the so-called "storms" and "rebellions". How many thousands of dispirited and confused drop-outs did his work produce? Instead of the 99 and the 1, perhaps his plan for humanity created 99 frustrated Christians for every one who somehow maintained continual abject servility to his ministry, in spite of its obvious flaws. That was Lee's plan all along, rhetoric aside: the purpose of man, for Lee, was to "closely follow" him as God's oracle and unique deputy on earth. He'd give it a new set of clothes every so often, but that was always underneath. That single reality arguably never changed.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:25 AM   #128
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... perhaps Lee's plan for humanity created 99 frustrated Christians for every one that somehow managed to maintain continual abject servility to "the ministry", in spite of its obvious flaws. That was Lee's plan all along, rhetoric aside.
Today's "blendeds" are a good example of the issue of Lee's ministry. They've maintained, as quoted, a state of continual abject servility to Lee and his plan for them. And what's the issue of this, and where's the "God-man" transformation after 40 or 50 years of closely following him as the sole oracle of God's will, and unwavering cooperation and coordination with the notion of Witness Lee as seer of the divine revelation for man today?

One tells us that, "I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand", and another puts his hands on his eyes and ears and says, "I'm a monkey". Is that the transformation we'd expect? Is that, really, the purpose of man? That's the best we can do? That's why we came here?
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:30 AM   #129
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One tells us that, "I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand", and another puts his hands on his eyes and ears and says, "I'm a monkey". Is that the transformation we'd expect? Is that, really, the purpose of man? That's the best we can do? That's why we came here?
Some Christians believe in evolution. The LCMers must believe in devolution.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:32 AM   #130
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Unregistered,
A passage I’ve referenced before, which I believe casts a shadow of doubt on WL’s doctrine of deification is Acts 14:11-16
11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.
(NKJV)

Notice how Paul and Barnabas were very quick to clear up the misconception that they were anything but human beings, they emphasized that were “men with the same nature as you”. How does this compare with what WL taught, that we could become God in life and nature? Needless to say, I believe that it is presumptuous for those in the LC to do things like go around declaring that they are “god-men”. Paul and Barnabas would have nothing to do with that. Neither should those in the LC. I think that ultimately, WL found support for his teachings and quickly disregarded anything in the scripture that detracted from his teachings.
Dear Freedom, oh dear me...

Thank you for your insightful quotation from the Bible proving that Witness Lee was egregiously wrong about God intending man to share his life and nature. Very scholarly.

However, I have a humble quotation of my own, nothing much, just a few words from a poor, old, ignorant fisherman. In fact, that you may not lay a charge before our brother, I won't even quote that fisherman with that version you loathe so much (RcV); no, let me dust off an old and humble edition of the NIV and take the words directly out of there; I guess that should steady the needle on your cult-o-meter...

So, anyway, what do you make of the following words? How would you reconcile them with the astute observation you have made above?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may [partake of] the divine nature..." (2 Peter 1: 3-4) NIV

(n.b. words in parenthesis are from KJV)
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:46 AM   #131
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Some Christians believe in evolution. The LCMers must believe in devolution.
MOTA = Monkey of the Age

The Witness Lee Tape Recorder Duplication Center is aptly named "Monkey see, Monkey do."
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:53 AM   #132
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I would use the N.T. to describe man's destiny, specifically the destiny of God's children. For example, I John 3.2 says, "It has not yet been manifested what we will be ... we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is." We also know that we shall become glorified sons of God, conformed to the image of His Firstborn Son. (Romans 8.29-30)

As far as being "made god," I reject it for several reasons. Firstly, because the Bible does not specifically say it, and it had ample opportunity to do so, either thru Paul, Peter, or John. We do become real sons of God partaking of His divine nature, but do not "become god in life and nature." Isn't that enough anyway? Aren't the plain words of scripture enough to satisfy you?"

Secondly, the rest of the body of Christ has not embraced this either. An obscure translated phrase from Athanasius in the early part of the 4th century is not adequate, to the greater body of Christ, to rise to the level of the canon.

Thirdly, this so-called "high peak" expression was introduced to the Recovery by Witness Lee following a pathetic coverup of unrighteous activities at LSM. It is highly unlikely to me (and to many others) that God would "recover" such a long-lost "truth" at a time when Witness Lee and his son Phillip should have been repenting to the churches for all the damage they had wrought throughout the era of the "new way."

Fourthly, the saying has never produced good fruit, rather many of its adherents have exhibited a boastful arrogance, contrary to God's nature, and has brought shame to the Lord's name. Instead of benefiting the children of God, Laodicea has resulted. A generation of young people have been taught to judge their brethren outside the Recovery for not knowing this great "truth."

Fifthly, this phrase connects its supporters to other aberrant cults and damages the simple message of the good news of the cross of Christ. Instead of dropping this extra-biblical expression, which only serves to divide His body, LSM has been forced to litigate other ministries in a failed attempt to save face.

Very well written and presented. I agree. You saved me some writing.

Stated simply, saying "man becomes God" is THE mouthful for the ages. Given that the Bible keeps its mouth shut about it, it's wise we do also.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:01 AM   #133
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Why is it not a grand enough purpose to be in God's family, be loved and chosen by him, promised eternity of relation with him, have thousands and even millions of brothers and sisters and friends in Christ, be co-workers with him in his work to bring others to himself, and share in his glory?

Why do we also need to "become God" for it to be grand enough?

The Bible never says anything close to plainly that we will "become God." Given that, as I said, we ought to hold back such a whopper of an assertion.

It seems that such overreaching was the sin of both Satan and the first people.
Both were tempted to be "like God" in ways God forbade. Seems to me this "become God" thing is the same type of temptation. "I will be like the Almighty," said Satan. "You will be like God," he told Adam and Eve. It springs from ingratitude, the thought that there is something that God is keeping or hiding from us, some secret prize that he's withholding.

God has been gracious enough to reveal some of the mysteries he planned for us. Let's be careful of speculating about ones he hasn't made clear, especially when they are in the being "like God" category. Tap dancing with blasphemy is not the choice of sober minds.

Also, whatever "partakers of the divine nature" means, it certainly does not have to mean we "become God." As a matter of fact, extrapolating such an idea from that verse seems reckless interpretation.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:18 AM   #134
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Dear Freedom, oh dear me...

Thank you for your insightful quotation from the Bible proving that Witness Lee was egregiously wrong about God intending man to share his life and nature. Very scholarly.....
Dear Unregistered Guest.
I have asked you several times now to come and register as a Forum member. It should be obvious to you now what the advantages are for you, and also for the Forum members trying to follow you throughout the various threads. It is also a problem for me, as I get a lot of guest posts and most of them are from spammers trying to gain access to the Forum to either sell something or post off topic or pornographic material. This takes a lot of time because I have to carefully sort through each guest post for the protection of all the Forum members. I'm not perfect and occasionally I'm sure I am missing some legitimate posts by you or other guest posters.

You obviously have significant experience in the Local Church and the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and you bring some valuable insights and opinions. You come with a point of view that is sorely missing (and needed) on our Forum. It seems to be that you are not easily offended, and can give a punch as well as you take one. I can assure you that so long as they are "above the belt", the punches you give as well as receive are welcomed here!

Please take a few minutes and send an email to "LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com", including your desired UserName and I will quickly send back a temporary password which you can change to something secure that only you will know. As you have noticed, most of the members post under an anonymous pseudonym, and you only have to reveal as much personal information as you feel comfortable releasing. You also will gain access to the Private Message area in which you can correspond with Forum members in a confidential manner.

Thanks for your consideration.

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Old 11-03-2015, 09:08 AM   #135
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So, anyway, what do you make of the following words? How would you reconcile them with the astute observation you have made above?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may [partake of] the divine nature..." (2 Peter 1: 3-4) NIV
Having spent my best 30 years in the Recovery, I actually heard very little exhortation and ministry to lay hold of all the great and precious promises of God.

Our birthright as sons of God enables us to be sanctified by His Spirit, partaking of His own holy and divine nature. This is true. The Bible, however, in any translation we may have, does not say that "we become god in nature." This was Lee's so-called "high peak" assertion, and I don't accept it any more, for all the reasons I listed.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:53 AM   #136
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Dear Unregistered Guest.
I have asked you several times now to come and register as a Forum member. It should be obvious to you now what the advantages are for you, and also for the Forum members trying to follow you throughout the various threads.
How can anyone have an intelligent conversation with others who reject the anonymity of even a username. I wish I could do online banking this way. Would that be safer for me?

Is there any way we can assign sequential or alphabetical usernames (kind of like they now name all the storms -- hurricane "Patricia" passed thru last week -- so that other posters like me can identify which posts connect together with these repeat offenders, I mean unregistered guests?
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:53 AM   #137
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However, I have a humble quotation of my own, nothing much, just a few words from a poor, old, ignorant fisherman. In fact, that you may not lay a charge before our brother, I won't even quote that fisherman with that version you loathe so much (RcV); no, let me dust off an old and humble edition of the NIV and take the words directly out of there; I guess that should steady the needle on your cult-o-meter...

So, anyway, what do you make of the following words? How would you reconcile them with the astute observation you have made above?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may [partake of] the divine nature..." (2 Peter 1: 3-4) NIV
Interesting quote. A dear brother who lives with my family referenced the same verse when speaking of "God made man to make man god in life and nature, but not in the Godhead" teaching. I do agree with the verse, but it doesn't translate into deification. When we're born and when we die, we still have sin in our flesh.
Random thoughts:
On the teaching, how come in two thousand years or so no other of God's servants has spoken on it?
On the C-word as in cult-o-meter....could and has caused contention in the past on this forum. Speaking from observation, not everyone agrees on all subject matter. Sometimes it's best to say "agree to disagree". My own opinion of cult related to the local churches, one cannot generalize. Many brothers and sisters I know meeting in the local churches, it's a place of Christian fellowship just like any other church. However there are those (usually in leadership) whose actions or inactions in teaching and/or practices drive the perception for one to invoke the c-word.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:00 PM   #138
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However, I have a humble quotation of my own, nothing much, just a few words from a poor, old, ignorant fisherman. In fact, that you may not lay a charge before our brother, I won't even quote that fisherman with that version you loathe so much (RcV); no, let me dust off an old and humble edition of the NIV and take the words directly out of there; I guess that should steady the needle on your cult-o-meter...
No one here loathes the Recovery Version as you suppose. I use it every day. I like it much better than the NIV. I just don't mention the name anymore out in public, since I tired of others thinking I was formerly an addict.

Many of the footnotes are suspect, however. But you already knew that.
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:39 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
No one here loathes the Recovery Version as you suppose. I use it every day.
I don't loathe it. I do loathe people treating Witness Lee as if he were God incarnate, when he was a sinner like you and I. Yes, a sinner redeemed and reborn, but nonetheless still in the flesh of sin and subject to error. As was his translation, footnotes, and messages. To treat the LSM output as some kind of divine fiat, beyond question and examination, is to me abhorrent.

For example, Lee's idea of 'aggelos' in the Greek text of Revelation 2:1 meaning 'messengers' (of the human kind), and not 'messengers' of the spirit ("He makes His angels spirits/His ministers a flaming fire" e.g. Psalm 104:4/Heb 1:7); and then transposing himself into the narrative as the actual messenger of God, held by Christ's right hand. Interesting to see how far we can carry that notion, if at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witness Lee
..."In the epistle to the church in Ephesus we see the all-inclusive Christ as the One who holds the seven 'stars' in His right hand (Rev.2:1). The brothers who are taking the lead in the churches as the messengers (Gk. angels - Rev 1:20) are held in this One's hand. This One is the holder of all church leaders. However, some of the so-called church leaders may not be held by Him. He 'only holds those He recognizes'. To be held by Him, 'you must be recognized by Him' first. We must realize that the leading ones in the churches in the Lord's recovery are held in His hand.....This One who holds the leaders in His hand and who walks in the midst of the churches is the all-inclusive, excellent, marvellous, mysterious, and wonderful One.....When we come to the book of Revelation, however, we 'primarily' need to 'care' for [this wonderful One who is holding all] the 'church leaders' in His right hand and who is walking in the midst of all the churches. A number of times some of the saints came to me and told me that it seemed to them that I never became disappointed or discouraged. They wanted to know why this was the case. The reason for this is that by His mercy, I have seen this marvelous One and I have seen that I AM IN HIS HANDS. To see this strengthens me to the uttermost....This is why the opening word in Revelation 2 says, ' "These things says He who holds the SEVEN STARS IN HIS RIGHT HAND, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands" '..."

(The seven spirits (3), chp 22, pp238-240, God's New Testament Economy, 1986, Living Stream Ministry)..

Revelation 1:1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending Witness Lee to his servant John,

Revelation 21:10 And he (Witness Lee) carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.


I tell you, it doesn't have the same ring to it. Something seems off, here. I just can't put my finger on it, is all.

Somebody throw me a bone, here; help me out. How can we make this thing work? 'Aggelos' in Greek really means a human messenger named 'Witness Lee'...?
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:08 PM   #140
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Default Re: Double Standards

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Dear Freedom, oh dear me...
...
So, anyway, what do you make of the following words? How would you reconcile them with the astute observation you have made above?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may [partake of] the divine nature..." (2 Peter 1: 3-4) NIV

(n.b. words in parenthesis are from KJV)
Unregistered,

Since you brought up 2 Peter 1:4, lets discuss that verse and the context surrounding it. First off, as I'm sure you're aware, the word partake is not synonymous with the word become. Equating the two is a stretch at best.

In regards to partaking, I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase, "you are what you eat". That of course, is never meant to be taken literally, but I'm afraid that's the kind of presumption being made by those who support the teaching of deification (and I'm fairly certain I've heard this exact "eat Jesus" analogy used before). If you have reason to believe "partake" and "become" are synonymous, please provide us with some evidence to support that.

The more important issue at hand is the nature of God. As we all know, WL claimed that we can become God "in life and nature". So please consider just exactly what this means, and what the implications of such a statement are. One element of God's nature (His essence) is that He is light (1 John 1:5). We are not light. Hopefully we express light as Christians, but light is not a characteristic of our nature. Another element of God's nature is that He is spirit (John 4:24). Again, our nature is material, not immaterial. I could make a long list of some of the attributes of God's nature. He is immortal, invisible, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and many more things. How could humans ever take on any of these elements of God's nature? Do you see the problem that WL created?

Here is some commentary found in Gill's Exposition of the Bible related to 2 Pet 1:4
Quote:
that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature; not essentially, or of the essence of God, so as to be deified, this is impossible, for the nature, perfections, and glory of God, are incommunicable to creatures; nor, hypostatically and personally, so as the human nature of Christ, in union with the Son of God, is a partaker of the divine nature in him; but by way of resemblance and likeness, the new man or principle of grace, being formed in the heart in regeneration, after the image of God, and bearing a likeness to the image of his Son, and this is styled, Christ formed in the heart, into which image and likeness the saints are more and more changed, from glory to glory, through the application of the Gospel, and the promises of it, by which they have such sights of Christ as do transform them, and assimilate them to him; and which resemblance will be perfected hereafter, when they shall be entirely like him, and see him as he is...

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/2_peter/1.htm
You may not agree with this commentary, but I think it makes a valid point. Partaking of the divine nature can result in God-likeness or resemblance to God. Just look at the context of 2 Peter 1. It speaks of godliness and godly virtues. You don't need to be God to express godliness.

To address our nature as humans, 2 Cor 5:17 makes it quite clear what our human nature is both before and after salvation:
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASV)

Notice here the translation is new creature instead of new creation as it is translated in the RcV. Either way is a fair way to render this verse. We were old creatures (humans) before we were saved and we are new creatures (humans) now. The fact that we are creatures, the product of a God the creator remains unchanged. I wanted to point this out because in the RcV, the footnotes for this verse emphasize "new creation" as meaning to become God in life and nature. WL might define this "new creation" as being a god-man, but that is a big jump, and it seems he took "new creation" to mean something much different than "new creature". Even then, it still doesn't solve the problem of how a creation/creature could gain the same nature as the creator.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:55 AM   #141
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Default Re: Double Standards

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Originally Posted by Freedom
Partaking of the divine nature can result in God-likeness or resemblance to God. Just look at the context of 2 Peter 1. It speaks of godliness and godly virtues. You don't need to be God to express godliness.tor.
Essential to my understanding has been the notion of agency. God is ruler of the universe, who works through medistorial agents. We express God and convey His will. To enable this, God has given us His life and nature.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:48 AM   #142
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Default Re: Double Standards

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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
The more important issue at hand is the nature of God. As we all know, WL claimed that we can become God "in life and nature". So please consider just exactly what this means, and what the implications of such a statement are. One element of God's nature (His essence) is that He is light (1 John 1:5). We are not light... Do you see the problem that WL created?
The main teaching elder/pastor of my church has made the following statement, which I think applies here. It goes something like this: "If you are the only one teaching something, and most other teachers are teaching something very different, much less opposite, then you may want to wonder how it could be that you are right and everybody else is wrong." I think this applies big time to many, if not most, of Witness Lee's teachings. Of course Lee claimed that he was "recovering" lost teachings. The problem is, as so many have pointed out, is that Lee never was able to show where this teaching was lost from. It certainly was not from the New Testament. And it does not appear to be lost from the early church either.

(Note: Witness Lee and now the Blended brothers, have cherry-picked some infamous lines from Irenaeus and Athanasius, but neither the immediate context, much, much less the larger context, of these writings support Lee's extreme views. This is to say nothing of the obvious problem of having to go back 1700-1800 years ago for support of one's newfangled, home-brewed, make-it-up-as-you-go-along, theology.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nelson Darby in his Synopsis of 2 Peter
Now, in connection with these two things-namely, with glory and with the energy of life-very great and precious promises are given us; for all the promises in Christ are developed either in the glory or in the life which leads to it. By means of these promises we are made partakers of the divine nature; for this divine power, which is realised in life and godliness, is connected with these great and precious promises that relate either to the glory, or to virtue in the life that leads to it-that is to say, it is divine power which develops itself, in realising the glory and heavenly walk which characterises it in its own nature. We are thus made morally partakers of the divine nature, by divine power acting in us and fixing the soul on what is divinely revealed. Precious truth! Privilege so exalted! and which renders us capable of enjoying God Himself, as well as all good.
Lee claimed to have receive much help from John Nelson Darby. I only wish he would have received help on this matter of "deification" from Darby. The main part of this quote that is applicable, I believe, is as follows: "We are thus made morally partakers of the divine nature, by divine power acting in us and fixing the soul on what is divinely revealed." - "by divine power acting in us" puts the finest point on the matter.
-
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:15 AM   #143
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Default Re: Double Standards

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I accept that the phrase "God became man to make man god" does not occur in the Bible, Ohio, but what would yourself make of man and his destiny in the universe?

Otherwise, what, in your humble opinion, would you call the grand purpose of man? What was in God's heart and mind in His creation of human beings?

It seems to me that there is an important and underlying point of tension here that serves as a significant point of departure between the bedrock of LSM belief and whatever winds of teaching its detractors now embrace.
This "significant point of departure" brought up by our Unregistered Guest would be Witness Lee's presumption to know "what was in God's heart" concerning "man and his destiny." Our guest has agreed that this phrase "does not occur in the Bible," but he/she still clings to it for dear life.

Now I have sketched out a number of thoughts about the subject as I was asked, but Unregistered has yet to respond. Hopefully he is now registering on the forum. That would be nice because this is a topic which has occupied and concerned me for many years. I struggled with this subject initially, then studied much LSM literature to arrive at some acceptance, (even reading the biography of Athanasius and his battles with Arius for the truth) only to re-investigate this topic upon leaving the Recovery during the controversies centered around the "one publication edict" by LSM.

I would like to know why our Unregistered Guest would accept such a teaching foreign to scripture. Was not Lee presumptuous to say that we "become god in life," when the Bible only says we are regenerated and born of God to be His sons? Was not Lee also presumptuous to say that we "become god in nature," when the Bible only says we are sanctified by His Spirit and partakers of the divine nature?

If we really desire to know "what was in God's heart" concerning "man and his destiny," then should we not limit ourselves to what He has told us in His word? This to me is the crux of the matter. It was Witness Lee's singular trait to look beyond the words of scripture. Their plain meaning was never adequate for him, even when the writers were speaking plainly. In his attempts to continually exalt his own ministry above all others in the greater body of Christ, Lee had to "see things" no one else could see. Forget about "coming back to the pure word of God," Lee had to keep on going, and go to places "where no man had gone before."
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:43 AM   #144
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Default The history of the decepticons

God is good and wonderful, and emanates His goodness and wonder throughout all of His creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God..." How much more, we who were made in His image.

But of course you know the drill - we disobeyed, and our species (human) was, although in the likeness of God, darkened and thrust away from His kingdom. Yet God did not give up on these failed and cut off creatures, and repeatedly sent messengers, emissaries, to turn them back to the light.

God's adversary Satan got wind of this practice, and alternately rebuffed and entangled the messengers, and sent his own emissaries, some of whom cleverly disguised themselves as agents of light, in order to trick the unwary. So you found seekers of truth and goodness and beauty and even reality itself, holed up in a bunker in Waco Texas, blasting away at ATF agents. Or in a jungle in French Guyana, being handed cups of poisoned kool-aid. Or committing mass suicide so that they could teleport to Jesus, who was coming to them on a spaceship riding behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

I once thought the passages in Jude and 2 Peter warning of "wandering stars" among us to be semi-raving paranoia. My experience over the years has made me rethink my position.

The great act of God was to send His Son, as the True Emissary of Light. We the failed believed into Him and were saved, and partook of His victory. We were transferred into light, and began to modify our behaviors accordingly. But here's the rub - the True Light is Jesus Christ. Any emissary who begins to presume for him/herself pride of place becomes separated from the light. And when the light turns to darkness, how great is the darkness!

Thus, the safety in the well-worn paths of old, and the peril in striking out anew. Anyone offering new and better teachings should be suspect. Especially when these new doctrines are essentially held as a contravention of our behavior. As if works were dead, and "eating Jesus" or somesuch were sufficient. I see this as teaching something novel and without scriptural basis, that being hearers (or eaters) of the word were enough. As if saying, "I am becoming God" or saying anything (reciting, declaring, chanting, pray-reading etc), would make it reality itself. No, it is the living that is the true testimony. Our faith is indeed in the teachings of Jesus, but not because they were cleverly presented, but because His living was pleasing to the Father, who furnished proof to all by raising Him from the dead.

Jesus taught, "Do not be hearers of the word only, but be doers of the word". If your theology merely tickles the fancy without the transformative power of the divine command - e.g. "Love your neighbor" - then what is it but distracting speculation? No value.

I think that the Father has rescued and restored us so that we might now obey, where once we failed: we obey by seeing the Obedient Son before us, now beckoning us onward. Theology should guide us in our quest, not distract us. Our theology should hone our steps.

The original message of this thread, "Double Standards", gives warning enough, what happens when the original message of repentance and return to the light gets distorted and contravened. Our thinking gets warped, and we begin to simultaneously spout sweet and bitter water, blessings and curses, light and darkness. And we contradict ourselves at nearly every turn, but think that because we do it, we won't be judged. Even though God judges everyone and everything, He will overlook our hypocrisy because, well... because. Because we want Him to.

I don't think "we become God" is a false teaching per se; it can be argued as false, and argued as true. But the arguing doesn't bring the reality. It is only the living that brings the reality. LSM now (I presume) trumpets the "God-man living" as the universal elixir for all mankind. But what has this phraseology added, and what has it side-stepped (love your neighbor, etc)?

And I don't think Lee was a decepticon, any more than I am, or anyone writing or reading this forum. Jesus alone is the witness to the Light. The rest are, at best, but pale imitators. "Imitate me, as I imitate Christ", said the apostle. Jesus alone is the way back to the Father. Nobody's theology, not yours or mine or Lee's, will fully capture, or match Him. My daily and hourly failures show me that I am nothing and have nothing. But today, at least, I am not so ignorant, that some smooth-talking profiteer and merchandizer will easily and quickly ensnare me with his/her speculative elixirs, his/her confidence games. Thank God for hard experience. It is worth something, after all. Thanks be to God for that.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:54 AM   #145
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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Thus, the safety in the well-worn paths of old, and the peril in striking out anew. Anyone offering new and better teachings should be suspect. Especially when these new doctrines are essentially held as a contravention of our behavior. As if works were dead, and "eating Jesus" or somesuch were sufficient. I see this as teaching something novel and without scriptural basis, that being hearers (or eaters) of the word were enough. As if saying, "I am becoming God" or saying anything (reciting, declaring, chanting, pray-reading etc), would make it reality itself. No, it is the living that is the true testimony. Our faith is indeed in the teachings of Jesus, but not because they were cleverly presented, but because His living was pleasing to the Father, who furnished proof to all by raising Him from the dead.

Jesus taught, "Do not be hearers of the word only, but be doers of the word". If your theology merely tickles the fancy without the transformative power of the divine command - e.g. "Love your neighbor" - then what is it but distracting speculation? No value..
Lee taught that just being in his "recovered church" would transform the vessels of mercy into glory. He said that you could sleep in the back of the meeting, and leave with "more God" than when you arrived. You could get "sonized" simply by hanging out in the local church; a sort of divine osmosis would take place. This, looking back, was a confidence game. We took his confidence as our own, and became hearers of the word (Lee's word, to be specific) and not doers of the word.

And then we all wondered why we were getting old, and why there was no fruit. Then we'd burst into local church activity, as some new move from Anaheim was prescribed to fix our lukewarmness and deadness.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:11 AM   #146
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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God is good and wonderful, and emanates His goodness and wonder throughout all of His creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God..." How much more, we who were made in His image...
I believe it is the cogent truth-filled comments on this forum that prevents any of the LSM senior blendeds from participating in a continued meaningful discussion here. It's one thing to parrot back WL's teaching to other blendeds, or perfect the young trainees whose minds are not mature enough to mount up a defense, or pummel straw men in the A&C journal, but when they face the mature minds of intelligent and assertive lovers of Jesus it seems they quickly withdraw back into their LSM cave to prepare for the next training.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:33 AM   #147
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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I believe it is the cogent truth-filled comments on this forum that prevents any of the LSM senior blendeds from participating in a continued meaningful discussion here. It's one thing to parrot back WL's teaching to other blendeds, or perfect the young trainees whose minds are not mature enough to mount up a defense, or pummel straw men in the A&C journal, but when they face the mature minds of intelligent and assertive lovers of Jesus it seems they quickly withdraw back into their LSM cave to prepare for the next training.
This is what Unregistered initially posted on this thread:
I would very much be interested to hear your lucid and carefully considered 'opinion' on this topic. What do you believe, Ohio? (or IntotheWind, or Awareness, or OBW, or HERn, or Freedom, or Aron, or Terry, etc, etc)...

Many of those he/she named in this post have provided responses and their 'opinions'. I've only seen one response from Unregistered and whoever this person is still hasn't registered for the forum. I afforded this person a response to a post addressed directly to me. Now I expect the same courtesy in return. This person said we could feel free to "be in our minds" so clearly the issue here has nothing to do with the LC stigma against engaging in debate.

I don't like to make assumptions, but it's hard not to assume that this person can't support WL's teachings, and that is the reason why he/she hasn't returned.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:21 PM   #148
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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Originally Posted by HERn View Post
I believe it is the cogent truth-filled comments on this forum that prevents any of the LSM senior blendeds from participating in a continued meaningful discussion here. It's one thing to parrot back WL's teaching to other blendeds, or perfect the young trainees whose minds are not mature enough to mount up a defense, or pummel straw men in the A&C journal, but when they face the mature minds of intelligent and assertive lovers of Jesus it seems they quickly withdraw back into their LSM cave to prepare for the next training.


I've said this more than a few times. Even if it's an elder or an occasional conference speaker in regard to former leading ones it has been uttered, "they should have a response". Once the materials of "their response" has been provided, the elder/co-worker would say to effect; "I feel to honor the feeling of the body".

My interpretation even if the material providing response of former leading ones has merit, those elders/co-workers will defer to the senior blendeds as if they possess "feeling of the Body". So whatever the brother's opinion might be, and especially if it's contrary to groupthink, that opinion will stay between his ears.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:08 PM   #149
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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My interpretation even if the material providing response of former leading ones has merit, those elders/co-workers will defer to the senior blendeds as if they possess "feeling of the Body". So whatever the brother's opinion might be, and especially if it's contrary to groupthink, that opinion will stay between his ears.
The "feeling of the Body" touted by LSM leadership for years, really has nothing to do with either the Head nor the actual body of Christ. It is simply a self-serving agenda pushed on the saints by their pseudo-leaders and hirelings.

I have witnessed literally dozens of occasions when the real feeling of the actual members of Christ was in direct opposition to the latest directive from headquarters. LC leaders spend so little actual time with her members that they have not a clue what the members feel.

I have said this in other posts -- for decades the LC leaders "seeded" their members with suspicions about other leaders with whom they rival. For years I heard these suspicions sown into me by both Anaheim and Cleveland, along with all their local surrogates. I'd like to have a dollar for every hour I was forced to sit and listen to both sides pitch their complaints. And then they call it "fellowship."
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:39 PM   #150
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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Any emissary who begins to presume for him/herself pride of place becomes separated from the light. And when the light turns to darkness, how great is the darkness!

Thus, the safety in the well-worn paths of old, and the peril in striking out anew. Anyone offering new and better teachings should be suspect. Especially when these new doctrines are essentially held as a contravention of our behavior. As if works were dead, and "eating Jesus" or somesuch were sufficient. I see this as teaching something novel and without scriptural basis, that being hearers (or eaters) of the word were enough. As if saying, "I am becoming God" or saying anything (reciting, declaring, chanting, pray-reading etc), would make it reality itself...
The "God's economy" metric promoted by Witness Lee was also new, and sufficiently novel to merit critical reception. Paul did mention paying attention to God's economy, in 1 Timothy 1:4. Jesus, however, had also promoted the stewardship or economy idea, and it wasn't in context of metabolically assimilating the word in order to be organically transformed and "sonized" into God's reproduction. The gospel context, and message, was instead about responsibility, faithfulness, and obedience; to do well with what one had been given. "To whom much is given, much is required" etc.

In this line, it might be profitable to consider the angel Gabriel, speaking to Mary in Luke 1:28-36. God had commanded Gabriel, as one who stands before the throne. And God's spoken word is indeed spirit; in sending forth Gabriel the ministering spirit who then faithfully repeated this word (of spirit and life) to Mary. But does anyone then say that Gabriel assimilated the word, and became transfused with the divine element, to be metabolically transformed and made the same as God in life and nature but not in the Godhead? No? Why not? God's spoken word is spirit and life, and the angels are also similarly created in God's image and likeness. They do similarly receive the implanted word, no? Instruction, command, and revelation of the divine will? Or do the angels "run on a different Spirit" than the one Holy Spirit? I seriously doubt that. They are enlivened by God's word, same as we are.

Gabriel's subsequent actions after receiving God's word, actions bespeaking faithfulness, responsibility and obedience, parallel Jesus' parables about stewardship (oikonomia), e.g. Luke 16:1-13, and many other of His gospel stories. But nothing about becoming God is suggested. Why not? Why use one (objective and outward) set of interpretive rules with one set of stewards, and another (subjective and inward) with the other stewards?

The novelty of the "New Testament Economy of God", similar to "man becoming God", is therefore suspect. It was probably mostly given forth as an opportunity to speak messages, sell books and pamphlets, and keep the faithful in the seats for a little bit longer. But as far as an unparalleled window into the "grand master plan" of God, probably not so much.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:44 AM   #151
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Default Re: Double Standards

I could add an 11th item to Freedom's list of 10 examples of "Double-Standards"

11) When a non-LSM church pastor gives a "sermon", it is frowned upon because "the congregation becomes non-functioning". Yet when a Blended Brother gives a one and a half hour "Message" in a conference, no one frowns upon the fact that the congregation is also passive/non-functioning during the one and a half hour.
Apart from the labels, a sermon and a message are the same thing. What may differ is simply the contents of the message/sermon.

Last edited by micah6v8; 11-08-2015 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Formatting was off when I first posted it
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:00 PM   #152
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Default Re: The history of the decepticons

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The "feeling of the Body" touted by LSM leadership for years, really has nothing to do with either the Head nor the actual body of Christ. It is simply a self-serving agenda pushed on the saints by their pseudo-leaders and hirelings.

I have witnessed literally dozens of occasions when the real feeling of the actual members of Christ was in direct opposition to the latest directive from headquarters. LC leaders spend so little actual time with her members that they have not a clue what the members feel.

Absolutely right Ohio. Leaders; local or extra-local generally spend more time with one another than with "small potatoes" that they have no clue what members feel.
Even if they did and saw the "feeling" was not coinciding with fellowship coming from Anaheim or Cleveland, leaders would dismiss the feeling of brothers and sisters as critical, negative, etc.
I could say "we" in the home meetings should spend more time praying for one another and less time taking turns reading from ministry publications. That would be construed as being critical and negative.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:38 PM   #153
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I could add an 11th item to Freedom's list of 10 examples of "Double-Standards"

11) When a non-LSM church pastor gives a "sermon", it is frowned upon because "the congregation becomes non-functioning". Yet when a Blended Brother gives a one and a half hour "Message" in a conference, no one frowns upon the fact that the congregation is also passive/non-functioning during the one and a half hour.
Apart from the labels, a sermon and a message are the same thing. What may differ is simply the contents of the message/sermon.
This represents a huge double standard within the LC. If the BB’s make everyone sit through 1.5-2 hour training messages, it might be characterized as the “up-to-date speaking”. When Christians outside the LC have a single speaker, it’s considered “nullifying” the function of each member.

Come to think of it, some of the BB’s mostly travel around to whatever LC offers them a soapbox. Would these BB’s ever succumb themselves to the LC “prophesying” meetings that everyone else must participate in? Me thinks not.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:47 PM   #154
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I remember one of the BB's (he's very tall, thin, glasses, stern) who was so inspired by some point(I remember not) during a YP meeting during a conference in San Jose that he help all of us squirmy HS students for another 30mins-1 hr after we were supposed to be dismissed. Most of us were disappointed we didn't get to use the pool or whatever. That is an excellent double standard you just brought to light.
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:29 PM   #155
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I remember one of the BB's (he's very tall, thin, glasses, stern) who was so inspired by some point(I remember not) during a YP meeting during a conference in San Jose that he help all of us squirmy HS students for another 30mins-1 hr after we were supposed to be dismissed. Most of us were disappointed we didn't get to use the pool or whatever. That is an excellent double standard you just brought to light.
For some of these BB's, sermonizing is what they thrive by doing. If that opportunity was taken away from them, who knows if they would even stay in the LC. I think RK has been quoted as saying that he "won't step aside for anyone", in reference to his place at the podium.

What I always found a bit humorous was that in meetings where everyone was allocated a certain amount of time to speak, everyone would start moaning and groaning as soon as someone went over time. When a BB or elder goes 30 minutes too long, no one would give it a second thought. It just goes to show the kind of regard the BB's get as opposed to the average Joe.
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:55 PM   #156
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For some of these BB's, sermonizing is what they thrive by doing. If that opportunity was taken away from them, who knows if they would even stay in the LC. I think RK has been quoted as saying that he "won't step aside for anyone", in reference to his place at the podium.

What I always found a bit humorous was that in meetings where everyone was allocated a certain amount of time to speak, everyone would start moaning and groaning as soon as someone went over time. When a BB or elder goes 30 minutes too long, no one would give it a second thought. It just goes to show the kind of regard the BB's get as opposed to the average Joe.
In Christianity, you have pastors, reverends and preachers who give sermons at church service. In the LC, you have blendeds, serving ones, and co-workers who give messages at meetings. Now, which one is so superior, and normal, and which one is defective, distorted, and nullifying the function of the body members? Terminology aside, what's the difference?

I think one example of hypocrisy is, to say "If you do it, it's bad; but when I do it, it's okay." That is arguably textbook double standard, and subjectivism run amok. Welcome to the LC fantasy factory.
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:34 PM   #157
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In Christianity, you have pastors, reverends and preachers who give sermons at church service. In the LC, you have blendeds, serving ones, and co-workers who give messages at meetings. Now, which one is so superior, and normal, and which one is defective, distorted, and nullifying the function of the body members? Terminology aside, what's the difference?

I think one example of hypocrisy is, to say "If you do it, it's bad; but when I do it, it's okay." That is arguably textbook double standard, and subjectivism run amok. Welcome to the LC fantasy factory.
As one of the FTTT trainers put it: If the local brothers would practice in this way to carry out their burden, it would be a hierarchy and control. But if this is practiced to carry out the ministry’s burden, it is not hierarchy or control.

The underlying message of that statement is that locally, brothers must adhere to what WL taught. For those involved with LSM, anything goes. Imagine if any local church dropped the practice of prophesying and went back to having a single speaker in meetings. The BB's would be up in arms about that. But for many of the meetings BB's go to, it's meetings where they are the speaker. Sorry to say, they are a bunch of hypocrites.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:28 PM   #158
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As one of the FTTT trainers put it: If the local brothers would practice in this way to carry out their burden, it would be a hierarchy and control. But if this is practiced to carry out the ministry’s burden, it is not hierarchy or control.

The underlying message of that statement is that locally, brothers must adhere to what WL taught. For those involved with LSM, anything goes. Imagine if any local church dropped the practice of prophesying and went back to having a single speaker in meetings. The BB's would be up in arms about that. But for many of the meetings BB's go to, it's meetings where they are the speaker. Sorry to say, they are a bunch of hypocrites.
I don't thonk anyone really knows how much these blendeads are todays Pharisees.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:04 PM   #159
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I don't think anyone really knows how much these blendeds are todays Pharisees.
The parallels are stunning. The seven woes in Matthew 23 could be applied to the blendeds. In particular, I think verse 13 represents the tragedy of the blendeds: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

Think about how many LC members have been stumbled by the actions of the blendeds (their promoting WL, one publication, etc). So many members are as devout as can be, only to find that the blendeds are leading them to a dead end. It's all very sad. The blended should be ashamed of themselves.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:47 AM   #160
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I could add an 11th item to Freedom's list of 10 examples of "Double-Standards"

11) When a non-LSM church pastor gives a "sermon", it is frowned upon because "the congregation becomes non-functioning". Yet when a Blended Brother gives a one and a half hour "Message" in a conference, no one frowns upon the fact that the congregation is also passive/non-functioning during the one and a half hour.
Apart from the labels, a sermon and a message are the same thing. What may differ is simply the contents of the message/sermon.
And this brings up a myth perpetrated by the double standards. That myth is that having the average/small potatoes "functioning in the meeting" is both scripturally prescribed, and spiritually superior to sitting and listening for the period of such a sermon.

In fact, other than the three-ring circus that Paul went to significant lengths to dismantle in Corinth, there is nothing else I recall seeing concerning anything material about the participation of the small potatoes in meetings.

And in the first mention of meetings after Pentecost, there is specific mention of gathering in the Temple to hear the teaching of the apostles. Sounds like a sermon to me.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:47 PM   #161
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If we look at the education sector, one would also note that lectures, tutorials and seminars have different roles to play. To deride lectures for being a passive experience is to misunderstand its intended role as giving an introduction of a topic to be discussed later on in tutorials.

We could have a church model where on Sundays, a sermon is given to explain a portion of scripture (for example a chapter of Galatians). Subsequently on a weekday, in the small group meetings, the believers can discuss/muse more on the said chapter of Galatians, with a focus on application to their daily lives. In the weekdays, the believers could also read a Bible Study guide on the said chapter. If you missed out on the sermon, you could catch up by hearing an audio recording on the church’s website.


In turn, the LSM’s model focuses on active participation by all members during both the weekly Sunday meetings and the weekday Small Group meetings (To a point where they would encourage you to stand up and just read out a portion of the Weekly Reading). And to supplement these they have these intensive periods of “Messages” (equivalent to sermons) which are conducted over 3-5 days in conferences. Each “Message” in turn supplements one Sunday’s worth of prophesying meeting. If you were not able to attend the conference or watch a recording of the conference, you could pick up a copy of the “Ministry of the Word” book which is a written version of the conference messages.

It reminds me of my university days where a rival university distinguished itself from my university and other universities by stating that its students would not attend lectures or seminars. Rather, their students would attend small group seminars with a focus on active participation by the students. The difference between LSM and this rival university, was that that this rival university had implemented this model to encourage its students to express their own opinions more.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:57 PM   #162
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In response to both micah6v8 and OBW, I completely agree. Meetings have different purposes, and there is value in both small group meetings, and large "single speaker" meetings. Unfortunately, WL thought he could make all meetings conform to his cookie-cutter model.

At the heart of the issue, WL assigned a function (gift) of prophesying to every member. That was a big problem, because the Bible explicitly states that each member has a different function. So this caused two problems 1) If forced people to function outside of their individual gifts and 2) It devalued the gifts for those who really were prophets of God.

WL's misinterpretation of "all can prophecy" led to free-for-all meetings that offered little to no value. I've stated before on other threads, I've heard plenty of people speak in the LC who should have best kept quiet. Things like dumping personal problems on everyone are not acceptable in a large group setting, and this is exactly why virtually all churches have an assigned speaker for such gatherings. If LC elders ever wonder why their meetings constantly go over time, well it's because they try to give the floor to more people that it's logistically possible for the set amount of time.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:46 AM   #163
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Default Double Standards regarding function

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We all know that Christianity gathers a group of people for a church service. They hire a speaker who has theological knowledge, who is very eloquent and capable, and who is able to run an organization and bring people together. Such persons are rare in Taiwan but quite common in the United States. They are all well-known persons in Christianity, but the work of these well-known persons has "killed" every one of their church members. On the one hand, these church members have been brought to the Lord through them, but on the other hand, their speaking has "killed" these church members. Some may say that kill is too strong an expression, but at least we can say that the members have become accustomed to listening to messages; they have become drugged and become numb. They only know that a Christian should be a proper and good person and that he should attend the church service every Lord's Day; that is good enough. However, from the perspective of the spiritual supply of life, such a way completely annuls the members' function.
So according to Lee, the "service" in "Christianity" completely annuls the function of the members of the Body of Christ. I would argue the contrary: at least one person, the reverend or pastor or minister, gets to seek the Lord for His current speaking to the flock. Has any co-worker of Lee been able to seek the Lord for guidance for the "message" given in the LC "meeting"? No. They're expected to repeat the content this week's HWFMR. The footnotes in RecV (see e.g. Rev 2,3) make it explicit: each group, and meeting, is to be "absolutely identical".

Anyone working apart from the material delivered by the publishing house in Anaheim quickly got their chain yanked. My LC elder once tried to give a conference on a Witness Lee book that he appreciated. The blendeds got wind of this, and gave him "fellowship", and said, "No, we must re-speak the latest training messages." And they sent out a Blended Co-Worker to see that the speaking conformed.

Nobody can function in such an environment, because it would be a threat to "the ministry". The One Trumpet edict made that clear - only Lee could function. Everyone else had to parrot him, as God's oracle. "Be a tape recorder", we were told. Don't deviate from the pattern of Lee.

I stress the last line from the quote above, "Such a way completely annuls the members' function." The only individual leading, here, is how loudly to shout the words given to you by Lee's deputies, and how many shouted repetitions: 3, 4, or 5?

It's a clear double standard: LC dogma holds that the "service" of "Christianity" kills the church members, but the "meeting" of the "local church" restores their function. How? By repeating a couple lines from HWFMR, with a timer running so that if you go over 1 minute the piano bangs a note? That is our restored function?
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:43 AM   #164
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When you have light, you have the seeing power, the view, and the vision. When you have light, you have knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This gives you utterance, and you cannot be dumb. None of the tourists who visit Disneyland in Anaheim are dumb. When they see all the sights that are there, they are bubbling. Once you get into Disneyland, how could you be dumb? Even the little children, who cannot speak well, will have utterance because they see so many things.

Why do the pew members in the Christian denominations sit dumbly in their pews during the Sunday eleven o'clock service? Because they are short of light and see nothing. When you are in darkness, it is very difficult to speak. Try to speak when you are in darkness. You will be dumb because you see nothing. You will have nothing to say. If I am blind and you ask me to speak, I will have nothing to say. How different it is when we are in the light! When light comes, you have a great deal to say because you see so much. You see so many people, places, and things. You see so much that you speak spontaneously.

Light produces seeing, and seeing produces utterance. Why are all the church members so bubbling when they come to the meetings? Because they all have seen something and have something to say as a result. What we see spontaneously comes out in our utterance. There is no need to think of something to say. We talk about what we see. Light produces sight. Light comes from the Word. When you have the Word, you have light.

LS Hewbrews, Msg. 2

In the above quote, WL states that other Christians remain silent because they are dumb and have no light. Obviously, it's a big generalization to make, and isn't anything more than a criticism directed at having a single speaker.

Of course, WL would never apply the same criticism to himself. He gave thousands of messages. In trainings, audience members were forced to sit in their assigned seats for 2 or more hours at a time. If there was any truth the WL's criticism of Christians, then how much more could the same be said about the LC.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:36 AM   #165
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Of course, WL would never apply the same criticism to himself. He gave thousands of messages. In trainings, audience members were forced to sit in their assigned seats for 2 or more hours at a time. If there was any truth the WL's criticism of Christians, then how much more could the same be said about the LC.
I googled "Witness Lee annul function body members" and found nearly identical quotes from "The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ", and from "The Lord's New Way and His Ministry Today", and from "The Mystery of the Universe and the Meaning of Human Life", and from "The Basic Principles for the Practice of the God-ordained Way", and from "The World Situation and the Direction of the Lord's Move", all books from circa 1989-91. There were several more, like HWFMR and "Conclusion of the New Testament", but probably those were recycled.

What's so striking is that you get the same phraseology, repeated ad nauseum, and you wonder how many people had to sit through meeting after meeting, hearing the essentially the same word from the same minister, over and over again. Everytime pretending that it's fresh bread from heaven.

It's too ironic that this particular speaking is about how "Christianity annuls the function of the members of the Body", when you have such a blatant display of that very annulment happening right in front of you.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:30 AM   #166
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What's so striking is that you get the same phraseology, repeated ad nauseum, and you wonder how many people had to sit through meeting after meeting, hearing the essentially the same word from the same minister, over and over again. Every time pretending that it's fresh bread from heaven.
I'm so thankful I did not live in SoCal, within driving distance, since it was demanded of elders that they close their doors every time Lee spoke.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:04 PM   #167
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WL's misinterpretation of "all can prophecy" led to free-for-all meetings that offered little to no value. I've stated before on other threads, I've heard plenty of people speak in the LC who should have best kept quiet. Things like dumping personal problems on everyone are not acceptable in a large group setting, and this is exactly why virtually all churches have an assigned speaker for such gatherings. If LC elders ever wonder why their meetings constantly go over time, well it's because they try to give the floor to more people that it's logistically possible for the set amount of time.
In practice "All can prophesy" is restricted to SLM publications. Generally HWFMR or bringing a fresh word from a recent conference.

If elders ever wonder why there's a lack of increase, the model of which they employ "all can prophesy" could be part of the problem.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:20 PM   #168
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I googled "Witness Lee annul function body members" and found nearly identical quotes from "The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ", and from "The Lord's New Way and His Ministry Today", and from "The Mystery of the Universe and the Meaning of Human Life", and from "The Basic Principles for the Practice of the God-ordained Way", and from "The World Situation and the Direction of the Lord's Move", all books from circa 1989-91. There were several more, like HWFMR and "Conclusion of the New Testament", but probably those were recycled.

What's so striking is that you get the same phraseology, repeated ad nauseum, and you wonder how many people had to sit through meeting after meeting, hearing the essentially the same word from the same minister, over and over again. Everytime pretending that it's fresh bread from heaven.

It's too ironic that this particular speaking is about how "Christianity annuls the function of the members of the Body", when you have such a blatant display of that very annulment happening right in front of you.
In the LS message that I quoted, WL went on to say that he often spoke messages not knowing what he would say. Of course, this perks everyone's curiosity as to how he could do that, and he then says that it's because he has light, so he can speak. It almost seems like his implication was is that he felt that he had the most light, because he did the most speaking.

According to the logic of WL, if everyone in the LC had "light", then they would be constantly speaking, probably just as much as he was. But WL didn't want that. His audience was his prized possession. So this presented somewhat of a quandary for WL. He accused other Christian groups of doing exactly what he was best at, but if he embraced the alternative, who knows what LC members would have had the potential to eclipse him, or become his "competition".

What I think WL did was to create an environment in which everyone would feel that they were "functioning" or that they had a voice, however, in reality, it was all just to uplift WL's ministry. In reality, everyone in an LC "prophesying" meeting is limited to a short minute or two and the meeting is by design to keep everyone on the level of a "small potato". Whether they realize it or not, their beloved "paper-pope" is the one who does all the speaking. The LC members might be speaking, but they are really just repeating the words of someone else.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:31 PM   #169
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In response to both micah6v8 and OBW, I completely agree. Meetings have different purposes, and there is value in both small group meetings, and large "single speaker" meetings. Unfortunately, WL thought he could make all meetings conform to his cookie-cutter model.

At the heart of the issue, WL assigned a function (gift) of prophesying to every member. That was a big problem, because the Bible explicitly states that each member has a different function. So this caused two problems 1) If forced people to function outside of their individual gifts and 2) It devalued the gifts for those who really were prophets of God.

WL's misinterpretation of "all can prophecy" led to free-for-all meetings that offered little to no value. I've stated before on other threads, I've heard plenty of people speak in the LC who should have best kept quiet. Things like dumping personal problems on everyone are not acceptable in a large group setting, and this is exactly why virtually all churches have an assigned speaker for such gatherings. If LC elders ever wonder why their meetings constantly go over time, well it's because they try to give the floor to more people that it's logistically possible for the set amount of time.
WL’s application of the “all can prophesy” principle was wrong, and this was compounded by his erroneous narrow definition of “serving God” as “serving in the church.” Consider this excerpt from the book “The Practice of the Church Life according to the God-ordained Way"

"First Corinthians 12:22-25 tells us that every believer, every member of the Body, is needed. We have been greatly influenced by Christianity to think that among all the saints, only a few are useful and have some capacity to serve the Lord. I believe that this kind of psychology still remains among us. At times we might have considered the saints and concluded that most were not useful or capable. This is the reason that the majority in Christianity have accepted the concept that not all Christians can serve God. Thus, most Christian groups select only a small group of believers and send them to a seminary to become educated according to their theology. Then they build these up as a system, the so-called clerical system, which has become a hierarchy in Christianity. This kind of psychology, this kind of thought, is the very source of hierarchy."

In reality, many non- LSM Christians do not hold WL’s view that “not all Christians can serve God” Rather they hold a broader definition of serving God in which working in secular jobs (be it as an accountant or baker or zookeeper) would be serving God if the work was done out of love for God and men.

Now many Christians (whether in a LSM-church or non-LSM church) correctly understand the Parable of the Talents to teach that, “As God’s chosen ones, we are accountable to God for serving Him with what He has given us.” The application of this parable differs depending on whether you hold the narrow or broad definition of “serving God”. For those who hold the broad definition, they would have less qualms letting a full-time Christian pastor speak on Sunday mornings, seeing that it is the full-time Christian pastor’s gift and opportunity to serve God by explaining the bible to His people. For those who hold the narrow definition, it would be inevitable that they prophesy (in WL’s manner) in meetings as they would not want to incur God’s wrath for being slothful.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Christians who hold the broad-interpretation of “serving God” can and should still contribute to Church Meetings (as 1 Cor 14:26 makes clear), instead of completely not doing anything during the Church Meetings. Outside of church meetings, there are also areas they can contribute to complement the full-time church ministers’ work. Take for example the matter of shepherding:- While I believe that the Shepherds are mainly responsible for shepherding God’s flock (eg the shepherd fights the wolf; it is difficult for the sheep themselves to fight the wolf), a sheep can, to some extent, take care of its fellow sheep by warning its neighbouring sheep “Hey I see a wolf coming”.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:35 PM   #170
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Consider this excerpt from the book “The Practice of the Church Life according to the God-ordained Way"

"We have been greatly influenced by Christianity to think that among all the saints, only a few are useful ...and most were not useful or capable. This is the reason that the majority in Christianity have accepted the concept that not all Christians can serve God. Thus, most Christian groups select only a small group of believers and send them to a seminary to become educated according to their theology. Then they build these up as a system, the so-called clerical system, which has become a hierarchy in Christianity.."
I know it isn't central to your point, but I noted some interesting parallels in the blue part, above, and italicized here. "only a few are useful" - in the LC, these are the serving ones. The rest are called Community Saints. "Not all Christians can serve God" - not all LC'ers are good building material. "Thus, Christian groups select only a small group of believers and send them to a seminary to be educated according to their theology." - This is the Full-Time Training, no? "Then they build these up as a system... a hierarchy in Christianity" - yes, the LC system of FTTA'ers becoming full-timers, serving ones, responsible ones, elders and so forth. The Local Church has its own clerical system, and hierarchy. What they condemn others for, they also do. They just change the terminology, and pretend that it is different. But it isn't.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:58 AM   #171
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You know, I don't begrudge Witness Lee the God-given right to function as a Christian. If he wanted to speak, and give messages, fine. If he felt some "light" on a certain passage, or wanted to expound themes in scripture, like "God's New Testament Economy", fine. Publish away. But why deny everyone else the same basic Christian right, to think and speak and write and function as a member of the Body of Christ?

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Anyone else who tried to function in his LC kingdom was seen as an ambitious usurper, "drawing others after themselves", etc. Everyone else had to sublimate their gifts ..."Each one has" of 1 Cor 14 became, in his hands, each one standing after the lecture of Lee-ism and speaking 3 sentences of how wonderful and enjoyable and enlightening it was. Lee nullified the function of the members of the Body more thoroughly than any clergy-laity system of Christianity ever did.
Here's a testimony from the Ohio region of the USA, showing what happened whenever any gifted LC member tried to function according to the measure given them by Christ Jesus. Was that particular gifted member perfect, complete, and entire? Probably not. But it can't be overstressed that ANY function apart from lifting up Witness Lee (and in this case his local deputy Titus Chu) was simply impermissible. This is why I say the Lee system nullified the function of the members of the Body of Christ.
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I was part of the team of saints which migrated in 1977 to begin the churchlife in Columbus. That thriving, joyful, fruitful church was nearly decimated in the early 80's by the harsh abuse and damages inflicted upon Phil Comfort by Titus Chu. Years ago most of us just did not understand how abusive and manipulative Titus Chu could be towards other workers, elders, and churches. There is absolutely no justification in the scriptures for the "management style" which he exhibits over the GLA. Where is one verse which promotes his public shaming? Where is one verse which permits the mistreatment other brothers are forced to endure?

The church in Columbus was thriving for years under the leadership of John Myer. The blessings they enjoyed were envied and copied around the GLA. For example, John Myer read The Purpose Driven Church by Rich Warren, and soon the whole GLA was reading the book. After what has transpired in recent years, one can easily see that the exact same spirit of intolerance and manipulation exhibited by Anaheim can be seen in Cleveland. As John has written, "I will be questioned and found guilty," and in the end it is the church that suffers. Just a repeat of history in the church in Columbus.

Let me speak plainly for those who still wonder what happened. Neither Phil Comfort nor John Myer have ever been accused of anything even remotely bordering on inappropriate behavior. Nothing at all, nothing whatsoever. Ironically they both lived in the same meager ranch house on church property. Though separated in time by some 20+ years, both were well-loved and appreciated by the saints in Columbus. Both had a jovial, personal disposition which well-respected the brothers around them. Both were dedicated workers which gave out much more than they took in. Both were passionate in their ministry and had a positive impact upon the saints.

Thus they both had the same problem. They posed a serious risk to the prevailing power structure in Cleveland headquarters, and hence they needed to "know their place," which can only be accomplished by being beat down in front of others. Titus Chu would never share his glory with anyone, at least not within the limits of his reach. Saints can suffer loss, churches can be devastated, and workers can be disposed of, just as long as every brother pays the necessary homage to "the brother who raised us up."
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:18 AM   #172
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Since we were just discussing about the Clergy-Laity, I append below the hyperlink on an article reporting on regarding the Pope's recent speech on the laity's role . The main head-liner is his express proclamation that the laity are not second-class.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news...rch-says-pope/

I understand the speech was given on the 50th anniversary of the "Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity". A copy of the Decree dated 18 November 2015 is appended below.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_c...itatem_en.html

From my cursory reading of the 50 year-old Decree, it is a document that explains why and how the laity can contribute to God's work on earth. Suffice to say, there is nothing passive about the laity.

If anyone is familiar with it, do share so that we are better informed on such issues.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:13 AM   #173
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Another double standard that comes to mind is regarding the all-to-common declarations in the LC that they don't care for doctrine or theology. If this were really true, then why in the world would they get bent out of shape when WL's teachings began to raise flags with cult-watchers?

This is one of those things that they can't have both ways. If they want to claim that they don't care for the standards needed to be considered orthodox, then there should be no concern if a cult label is applied or they are labeled as an aberrant group. Actually the very notion that "doctrines kill" should be alarming.

The frosting on the cake is that this group claiming to not care for doctrine and theology has both a litigious reputation, and they have established entities such as DCP and A&C to defend the teachings of WL. How ironic is that?
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:46 PM   #174
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In other words, "We don't care for doctrine or theology, but if you diss ours we will sue your pants off."
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:35 PM   #175
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Every time I open this thread I re - realize how blinded I/ we were.

Has anyone here visited the lsm run bookstores? I recall they carry a variety of authors liberally sprinkled among lsm stuff.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:41 PM   #176
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Every time I open this thread I re - realize how blinded I/ we were.
I have found it beneficial to discuss all these double standards. It seems that many of what were believed to be positive attributes of the LC are rooted in double standards, or even worse, straw man fallacies that they have constructed.

One of the double standard examples that I gave early on is how LCers claim to not pay a pastor or staff, and they will even attack other Christian groups who do so (I have witnessed this kind of talk). So how do their full-timer "staff" get some kind of exemption from this? The problem is, they're so immersed in their criticism of others that they fail to see that they are no different. That's not to say that some of the criticism they direct towards others is valid in the first place. But it's liberating when you finally come to realize that so much of what seems "special" about the LC really isn't.

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Has anyone here visited the lsm run bookstores? I recall they carry a variety of authors liberally sprinkled among lsm stuff.
I've only visited the one in Anaheim. Nothing but LSM books when I went there.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:47 PM   #177
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In other words, "We don't care for doctrine or theology, but if you diss ours we will sue your pants off."
Because I grew up in the LC, I really took to heart many of these various admonitions, thinking that doing things like disregarding doctrine really meant something special. As I later came to discover, leaders only wanted members to that, they were very much interested in defending WL's teachings.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:13 AM   #178
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I have found it beneficial to discuss all these double standards. It seems that many of what were believed to be positive attributes of the LC are rooted in double standards, or even worse, straw man fallacies that they have constructed.
According to probably accurate reports, WL began his ministry in the US after a time of repentance. He definitely was a gifted, learned, and productive minister. By all accounts, he was himself morally sound, unlike his sons, and who can fault a man for that since many others like Eli the priest and the prophet Samuel suffered similar failures with their sons.

Had Lee simply trusted in the Lord's provision for his ministry as he often claimed, and not padded it with exclusive teachings, outrageous claims, rotten business deals, etc. and kept his reprobate sons completely out of the picture, adding a dose of humility in his service, perhaps this forum and the sordid LC history would never have existed.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:50 PM   #179
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Every time I open this thread I re - realize how blinded I/ we were.
I see it more of acceptance. Brothers in the local churches willingly accept double-standards in spite of what double-standards present.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:59 PM   #180
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According to probably accurate reports, WL began his ministry in the US after a time of repentance. He definitely was a gifted, learned, and productive minister. By all accounts, he was himself morally sound, unlike his sons, and who can fault a man for that since many others like Eli the priest and the prophet Samuel suffered similar failures with their sons.

Had Lee simply trusted in the Lord's provision for his ministry as he often claimed, and not padded it with exclusive teachings, outrageous claims, rotten business deals, etc. and kept his reprobate sons completely out of the picture, adding a dose of humility in his service, perhaps this forum and the sordid LC history would never have existed.
In a way, WL set his own trap. He felt that he could head a movement that would be so much better than anything before. By the time he discovered that he was just