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Apologetic discussions Apologetic Discussions Regarding the Teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

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Old 06-15-2016, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

In the grouping “Apologetic Discussions” is a thread titled “God's economy vs Deputy authority.” The opening post provides the text of something titled “GOD’S NEW TESTAMENT ECONOMY VS. DEPUTY AUTHORITY,” signed at the bottom by an “A.F.” While it might be that I should know who AF is, it is not coming to me I and don’t see anything about them in the next few posts, so I will ignore the person.

The article sets out to defend “God’s Economy” as being opposed to “Deputy Authority” (so it is clear that this person was either set straight at some point, was run off, or was already out of the LCM).

But in the section titled “The Element of God's New Testament Economy” it says the following:

Quote:
The primary elements of what Christ died to purchase for us as our New Testament inheritance are listed in Hebrews 8:10-12. They are:

(1) That God would impart His laws directly into the mind and heart of every believer (rather than necessitating them to either read them off a tablet of stone somewhere or hear them from an external spokesman).

(2) That the believers would no longer teach their fellow servants to know the Lord because all shall know Him (no longer necessitating a spiritual mentor because He now indwells us all).

(3) That God would be our God and we would be His people.

(4) The forgiveness of sins.
While I generally agree with the basic points, do you agree with the parenthetical assumptions as to what these mean?

Given what we know about humans who have become Christians, do you conclude that we really don’t need to be told what is right? Is it really so ingrained in us that we know righteousness without any external yardstick? I might buy it at some level. But I see too much that Christians just accept and even argue as proper — even declaring their God-ordained right or calling to be the way they are in [matter x, y, and/or z]. (I don’t want to discuss the contents of right and wrong, but the way we come to know it.

And similarly, do you think that we don’t need mentors? That we are simply led by what is within us?

I would submit that the place that these positions would tend to go is exactly where the original sin — the fall — went. Man decided he did not need to consult with God on matters of right and wrong. On good and evil. We took that over for ourselves.

Does claiming that because I have Christ in me mean that my positions on issues of morality, spirituality, etc., are from God? Or does claiming that I do not need to even consider the lists provided in tablets of stone, in the writings of the Pentateuch or the words of Jesus, or listen to anyone else teach us in these things really mean that I am continuing to declare my independence in matters of good, morality, righteousness, spirituality?

If it is the truth, and it is righteous, then why would someone declare that there is no need to compare your righteousness to what is commanded in the Bible? Do we presume that our shortcoming relative to what is clearly God’s righteousness is simply OK because we (erroneously, in my opinion) think that Hebrews has negated those sources?


I started looking at this thinking I was going to comment on the whole mystique of Lee’s version of “God’s Economy” or “God’s New Testament Ministry.” Seems that anything that Lee liked he declared to be important in God’s New Testament Economy. Everything that he didn’t like, he redefined (retranslated, declared it couldn’t mean that, etc.) because of “God’s New Testament Economy.”

But if we ignore the rhetoric of the term, the real question is whether its “primary elements” really mean what we were taught to think it meant.

And I am beginning to think that the version that is pointed to in this article was proof that the whole concept was grounded in furtherance of the fall rather than any true return to God and repair of the fall. I mean, if “God’s Economy” is the reason that a passage of scripture does not mean what it clearly says but instead means something else, hasn’t that pretty much continued the whole “I am the arbiter of right and wrong; good and bad”?
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

Both of those parenthetical statements are problematic for me.

"(rather than necessitating them to either read them off a tablet of stone somewhere or hear them from an external spokesman)"

I think that I do need to read the written commandments especially from Jesus. I also think that one of the needed functions of the elders (church leaders) is to speak about these commandments. I think the Holy Spirit (I'm using this term because folks in the recovery get mixed up if you say spirit or just Spirit, if man's un-regenerated spirit can be written as "spirit" sometimes I think the recover saints think the regenerated spirit is "Spirit") needs something to "work with" like the written word including the commandments.

"(no longer necessitating a spiritual mentor because He now indwells us all)"

I think I do need spiritual mentors of the kind like Paul, John, Timothy, my pastors and elders at church, also men and women outside of my church denomination, dead or alive! If I say I don't need spiritual mentors, then I could end up like Nee after some weird interactions with Ms. Barber, or like Lee who only took Nee as his mentor. For these two men no one on earth could mentor, perfect, or even help them; which is why they drove the car of their denomination into a deep ditch where the blendeds have learned to enjoy living in the mud of false accusations, character assassination, hiding truth, blowing the trumpet of deceit, and generally misleading the saints.

There really is a hierarchy in the recovery and it's who can be mentored by whom. The elders will tell you that when you are in a room with other believers look around to identify who is ahead of you and who is below you. What about everyone looking to Jesus and consider themselves servants of one another willing to receive help from anyone?
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

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Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Given what we know about humans who have become Christians, do you conclude that we really don’t need to be told what is right? Is it really so ingrained in us that we know righteousness without any external yardstick?
If that were so, then why did Paul counsel, "Those of you who stole, steal no more" and "do not be drunk with wine" in Ephesians?

Why did the Acts 15 council urge Gentile believers to avoid fornication?

Why did the Roman Governor Pliny write to Caesar, circa 114 AD, that the Christian converts pledged to avoid lies and theft and immorality?

Why? Because behaviour matters, is why. It's patently obvious, unless you're bewitched by your own theology. If your theology tells you to ignore right and wrong, and just masticate the Processed and Consummated Triune God, at some point you'll probably be masticating lies and vanity.

And yes, you are what you eat. Your food is to do the will of the Father, not just to pay lip service to it.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

Yesterday I was IM'd concerning the name behind the "A.F." and while I truly thanked them, I think that the person who wrote the article is essentially irrelevant. Then I continued by saying:

Quote:
But I was impressed by how strong they were to stand against Deputy Authority, yet how equally strong the writing was in organizing the truth in the scripture according to Nee/Lee teachings and using the standard LSM/LCM lexicon.

I honestly believe that it is a very slow process to dig yourself out of the LCM if your "biblical" worldview is essentially that of the LCM.
When we view Christian experience in the terms provided by our time in the LCM, doesn't it cause you to color everything that doesn't speak that language as somehow deficient? I know I did for a fairly long time.

And even where we don't think others are deficient, are we quite possibly relegating ourselves to a deficient position and experience because we can't get past the things that we were taught were so "high" and important.


Not on topic, except to the extent that it takes us to where we realize that we are deciding that our version of good v evil is superior to the one that we can find in our modern-day tablets (the bible). Especially where it stands in contrast to those tablets.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

Something I have commented privately to Indiana and Freedom is the doctrine of deputy authority is as an "inoperable cancer" to the local churches. Doesn't really matter if an LC is oriented to Anaheim or Cleveland as it's hub. The culture has been set. Some of these unhealthy teachings is ingrained on LC culture, it's too difficult to drop them and turn away.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

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Something I have commented privately to Indiana and Freedom is the doctrine of deputy authority is as an "inoperable cancer" to the local churches.
Great point!

Look at the results:

Proud leader becomes like megalomaniac, accountable to no one.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Great point!

Look at the results:

Proud leader becomes like megalomaniac, accountable to no one.
Brothers in the local churches can ridicule and denigrate churches that function using pastors (one man speaking). At least pastors I've encountered feel accountable to the church and are humble enough to receive and respond to criticisms.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

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Brothers in the local churches can ridicule and denigrate churches that function using pastors (one man speaking). At least pastors I've encountered feel accountable to the church and are humble enough to receive and respond to criticisms.
One of John Darby's first tracts was titled, "Separation From Evil -- God's Principle of Unity." Besides being all wrong, claiming our unity is man-made, and not of the Spirit of God, it is easy to see how this thought has permeated Nee and Lee.

Once all the members have been prepped into believe this teaching, the MOTA then can define "evil" to his liking. During the heyday of the new way, Lee and company defined this "evil" as "not being absolute to follow LSM closely." Prior to that, of course, evil was merely defined as all the "denominations."

Thus ... molesting the female interns, fleecing the faithful, cussing out men of God when challenged, or drinking with the young boys in the back room, are all of no concern, because after all "Philip was Brother Lee's most faithful co-worker."
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:12 PM   #9
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During the heyday of the new way, Lee and company defined this "evil" as "not being absolute to follow LSM closely." Prior to that, of course, evil was merely defined as all the "denominations."

Thus ... molesting the female interns, fleecing the faithful, cussing out men of God when challenged, or drinking with the young boys in the back room, are all of no concern, because after all "Philip was Brother Lee's most faithful co-worker."
Now, not being absolute for LSM is considered to be lukewarm or backslidden.

As for Phillip Lee, no matter how much substance to claims Ohio laid out, in LSM circles such claims are "rumors" and false accusations. Unless a blended brother concedes such claims are true, by "hear no evil", "see no evil", or "speak no evil".
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

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Brothers in the local churches can ridicule and denigrate churches that function using pastors (one man speaking). At least pastors I've encountered feel accountable to the church and are humble enough to receive and respond to criticisms.
While we are wandering a long way from the topic, this point suddenly had new meaning for me.

In the LCM, all the material comes from the LSM which means from Lee (and some from Nee). Others may repackage it or restate it, but it is always from the same place.

So given the number of assemblies in the LCM, they actually have fewer truly speaking than the same number of denominational churches. There may be many voices, but they are restricted to the repetition of the words of a single (dead) man. Even all those popcorn testimonies (if they are truly as "popcorn" as they used to be) are just more of the same. The only revelation is to see what has been dictated to be seen. No revelation outside of what Lee declared. The Bible is virtually a magic wand to wave around and recite words from to give a faux impression of relying on it. The only thing being relied on is Lee.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: Lee's "Economy" and the Fall

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As for Phillip Lee, no matter how much substance to claims Ohio laid out, in LSM circles such claims are "rumors" and false accusations. Unless a blended brother concedes such claims are true, by "hear no evil", "see no evil", or "speak no evil".
Our crooked politicians dismiss every legitimate claim the same way -- a vast right wing conspiracy.
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