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Old 02-16-2018, 12:24 AM   #1
aron
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Default Three questions for Local Church Christians

Long-time poster here. Appreciate that local church members have come on to defend teachings and practices. Three things have bothered me, wanted to raise them and give defenders a chance to clarify.

1. Minister/ministry of the age. The apostle John clearly wasn't indicating Paul as MOTA. Either John was the new MOTA, post-Paul, or Paul never had been. But John was not building on Paul, but on Jesus Christ. John clearly never was a disciple of Paul.

John took pains to show at the beginning of the fourth gospel that he was there with Jesus before anyone else. And he's there at the end, on Patmos, not as a continuation of Paul, but as a continuation of the original revelation: "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel". And Paul likewise said that he received his revelation "not from those who apostles were before me". Yet neither ever discredited the other. They were peers. There was mutuality in the NT.

So where was precedent established for supreme mastership aka MOTA in the NT? Rather, in the gospels when they argued for primacy Jesus rebuked them.

Related, Wesley never discipled himself to Jonathan Edwards or vice versa. Yet they both had inspired ministries. Or was one an illegitimate deviation? A rebellion against God's established authority on earth? Why didn't the Methodists go after the Congregationalists or vice versa?

Related, Watchman Nee read some 3,000 spiritual classics, so-called. Clearly these were from disparate sources, not all from MOTAs. Why can't we also read disparate sources and create our own synthesis? If there is a ministry of the age for every generation, why did WN draw on other, non-MOTA sources? If he did, why can't we? Clearly WN violated the "One Publication" policy in his spiritual path of development. Why can't we?

Related, why did "the age turn" when WL passed? Suddenly no more revelation, just curating the oracle's revelations?

Related, why didn't WL's admittedly "unspiritual" son Philip disqualify WL from local church eldership, much less being sole apostle of the age? Paul's advice to Titus (1:6) is straightforward. Why did WL seemingly get a separate set of rules? Why the "respecting of persons" with the case of WL & family? Another son, Timothy, was apparently as bad or even worse, but had a less prominent or public role in the ministry/church/family business. Either one of them should have disqualified WL from church leadership and/or responsibility.

2. Watchman Nee received prominent help from women. WL's biography makes this explicit and detailed. Why did women have prominent roles in the early recovery but cannot today? Either women had an illegitimate role in the early 20th century or they are illegitimately suppressed today. How can you have it both ways?

3. Why was David wrong to wish his enemies harm in Psalm 3, and yet in Psalm 68 wishing enemies harm was a type of Christ's victory over his enemies? The RecV footnotes are not consistent.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:54 AM   #2
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1. Minister/ministry of the age............So where was precedent established for supreme mastership aka MOTA in the NT?
aron, your confusion stems from the erroneous concept of a minister of the age as bolded above. Yours is not a scriptural definition nor one taught by the Lord's Recovery.

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Old 02-16-2018, 06:15 AM   #3
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aron, your confusion stems from the erroneous concept of a minister of the age as bolded above. Yours is not a scriptural definition nor one taught by the Lord's Recovery.

Drake
Drake, this statement betrays your recognition that you are a sectarian group with its own set of teachings and its own name (with capital letters).
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:23 AM   #4
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aron, your confusion stems from the erroneous concept of a minister of the age as bolded above. Yours is not a scriptural definition nor one taught by the Lord's Recovery.

Drake
But the facts of history support aron's questions. You appear to be in denial.

Or perhaps you never were a part of the LC's then, since you continually deny the basics which all members hold dear.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:46 AM   #5
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aron, your confusion stems from the erroneous concept of a minister of the age as bolded above. Yours is not a scriptural definition nor one taught by the Lord's Recovery.

Drake

When I use "supreme mastership" as analogous to the leadership style of Witness Lee in the local church system, aka the Lord's recovery, I do so in reference to the scholarly press. It's how observers characterize his style, and Nee's system.

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I came across a book with some interesting claims about Watchman Nee, Witness Lee, and the local churches in mainland China and Taiwan. The book is "Religion and Democracy in Taiwan" by Cheng-Tian Kuo, SUNY Press, May 8, 2008. Mr. Kuo is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Graduate Institute of Religious Studies at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Here is a paraphrase of some of the information presented on pages 50-52 of the book on The Local Church. The bracketed question mark in the paragraph below is by me indicating that the author must mean 70 million Christians in China (not 7 million) or he is way off on his facts.

Watchman Nee founded the Local Church in China in the 1920s. He was influenced by western evangelists, but "developed an indigenized theology critical of the principal churches but accessible to ordinary Chinese". Witness Lee was his "right-hand man". "The Local Churches constitute the majority of the seven million Christians in China [?] and include a membership of 91,000 Taiwanese associated with more than 170 churches in Taiwan. The Local Church is the second largest Christian denomination in Taiwan".

"The ecclesiology of the Local Church was a mixture of supreme mastership, equality of all believers, and a centralized decision core with strong local autonomy. Ni was the supreme master of all church members, including Ni's successor, Li Chang-shou, who served Ni as his own son. Ni's writings were the main, if not the only, instructional materials in Bible study sessions. His leadership and biblical interpretation was beyond challenge by his members; those who dared to question were driven out of the church. He appointed all elders in local churches. After Ni's death, Li succeeded him to supreme mastership. In addition to inheriting all the supreme powers Ni had, Li's writings, especially the Recovered Version of the Bible he edited, have replaced those by Ni in the church's Bible Study sessions."

The author later talks about the local churches in Taiwan:

"The Local Church headquarters makes important decisions about church activities and personnel. Local churches cannot but obey; otherwise, they would be excommunicated from the church, as occurred in the 1960s. Among the various charges against these saboteurs, Li mentioned that they challenged his leadership in general, including refusing to sing the eighty-five new hymns composed by Li for all member churches. These saboteurs were first suspended of their elder positions and left the Local Church one year later to establish independent churches. The Living Stone Church in Taipei is one of the remnants of this split".

If what this author states is true, then it appears that Witness Lee carried on Watchman Nee's original idea of spiritual authority. If that is the case, then the idea of following one set of teachings/ministry was all part of the original practice. I think the unhealthy level of control that followed had to be used to keep everyone following the same script (i.e. one teaching or ministry).

Has anyone else ever come across this author/book? The author does use references for many of his statements so it's probably worthwhile to follow the reference trail to see where it leads.
Sorry Drake no confusion there. Just the objective views of witnesses, what really happened on the ground in the local churches.

Why I think Lee taught an erroneous concept of the minister of the age.

Such a notion wasn't formally put out by Paul. It was 'recovered' by Nee. No small conflict of interest, there.

The notion had no basis in the NT and had to be sussed out of the OT: Moses with Miriam and Aaron, etc. Well guess what - Jesus is the new Moses. Not Paul, or Martin Luther, or John Nelson Darby or Watchman Nee. If you want to be great, be the least. If you want to be MOTA, you prove that you are the least of all in the kingdom. Jesus made all this too plain.

Drake,

I assume you read the other two questions as well?
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:20 AM   #6
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...you are a sectarian group...
One person can be a "...group..."?
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:30 AM   #7
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Appreciate that local church members have come on to defend teachings and practices.
I meet with the local church... But I'm not here to "...defend teachings and practices..." . . . According to scripture, I can't even be sure I know myself and therefore could defend myself, much less "...teachings and practices...".

But according to scripture... I contain the Lord (and He contains me), and can express the Lord... Which is what I'm here for... To express the Lord... And also to receive the Lord that is being expressed by others here who both contain the Lord and express Him. . . . The reality of which is the fellowship of the members of the Lord's one body.

Perhaps if we look at our participation here on this website as being fellowship in Christ (which I try to do), and not attacks on and "...defending of teachings and practices..." we all could find more profit — growth in Christ — in the precious time God has given us on this earth.

Ephesians 5:16... "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

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Three things have bothered me, wanted to raise them and give defenders a chance to clarify.
Not being a "...defender..." I certainly can't "...clarify..." anything as a "...defender...", but I can give my own take on the matters you bring up in your questions...

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1. Minister/ministry of the age. The apostle John clearly wasn't indicating Paul as MOTA. Either John was the new MOTA, post-Paul, or Paul never had been. But John was not building on Paul, but on Jesus Christ. John clearly never was a disciple of Paul.
The term "Minister/ministry of the age" is foolish and divisive and therefore absolutely not scriptural... And this is why... They are both human contrived terms that can be, and unfortunately have been, turned into human contrived titles... And as with anything human contrived... Can only be divisiveness.

Now throughout Paul's epistles we can certainly see him speaking in a manner that declares who he believed himself to be in and by God... "...Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, a called apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,...", "...Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),...", "...Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God..."... You get the drift... Paul had no problem declaring who he thought he was according to what he believed God had called him to be... But that's Paul, a person who scripture tells us authored most of teh new testament scripture.

And Paul isn't the only new testament author of scripture to do this... There's also "...James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,...", "...Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,...", "...The elder..." (John), and "...Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James..."... So we can know that there certainly is a scriptural precedent for declaring yourself according to who you believe yourself to be in and by God.

And if you take a look at some of the usernames people have taken for themselves on the very website... "...UntoHim...", "...leastofthese...", "...Koinonia..."... To reference a few... All, I believe, have done so in a type of declaration of who they see themselves as in and by God.

But it seems that, to me, in the case of Witness Lee, this way was taken a bit to far. There are certainly "...ages..." in time, and God certainly gives us "...ministers..." during these "...ages...", but from where I stand, the term "...minister of the age..." is presented more like a marketing tool rather than a simple declaration of who WL though he was in and by God's hand.

Additionally... Scripture tells us that "...signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all endurance by signs and wonders and works of power....", and although I never saw WL in person, I can't say I've ever heard anyone who did, testify to "...signs and wonders and works of power...." regarding him/his ministry.

Now does this disqualify his speaking? Not in my understanding of what scripture tells us... I think his ministry certainly opens up the scriptures for us, and I certainly appreciate him for persevering in this endeavor, which I fully believe was in and through the Lord... And that the Lord uses it to build members of His one body into Him as the one house of God.

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John took pains to show at the beginning of the fourth gospel that he was there with Jesus before anyone else. And he's there at the end, on Patmos, not as a continuation of Paul, but as a continuation of the original revelation: "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel". And Paul likewise said that he received his revelation "not from those who apostles were before me". Yet neither ever discredited the other. They were peers. There was mutuality in the NT.
Come on now... You name two people and say "...There was mutuality in the NT..." in some sort of veiled attempt to suggest that speaking in a manner that "...discredits..." other believers in Christ is not scriptural... Seemingly ignoring the new testament scripture that speaks to the matter of the need to speak against erroneous doctrines and the people who propagate them... Read Titus 1:6-16 as a reference to the matter.

All scripture is what we should reference, aron... Not just cherry-picked verses.

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So where was precedent established for supreme mastership aka MOTA in the NT? Rather, in the gospels when they argued for primacy Jesus rebuked them.
As I spoke to earlier in this comment, although there are instances of declaring who you are in and through the Lord, there is no direct speaking to such a precedent.

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Related, Wesley never discipled himself to Jonathan Edwards or vice versa. Yet they both had inspired ministries. Or was one an illegitimate deviation? A rebellion against God's established authority on earth?
There is always a rebellion against God's established authority on earth... In all of us... To one degree or another... And will be until we are fully perfected... Or so scripture tells us.

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Why didn't the Methodists go after the Congregationalists or vice versa?
By virtue of the titles they took for themselves... They absolutely did "...go after..." each other... It's an aspect of the folly that reigion is.

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Related, Watchman Nee read some 3,000 spiritual classics, so-called. Clearly these were from disparate sources, not all from MOTAs. Why can't we also read disparate sources and create our own synthesis? If there is a ministry of the age for every generation, why did WN draw on other, non-MOTA sources? If he did, why can't we? Clearly WN violated the "One Publication" policy in his spiritual path of development. Why can't we?
We need to serve the Lord only... Not our preferences and opinions... And therefore need to strengthen ourselves in and through whatever the Lord provides in and by His grace for us to do so. That's all that really matters.

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Related, why did "the age turn" when WL passed? Suddenly no more revelation, just curating the oracle's revelations?
Scripture tells us that every day brings fresh mercies from God... And revelation of God is the reality of God's fresh mercies... So every day we can enjoy fresh (new) revelation of God.

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Related, why didn't WL's admittedly "unspiritual" son Philip disqualify WL from local church eldership, much less being sole apostle of the age? Paul's advice to Titus (1:6) is straightforward. Why did WL seemingly get a separate set of rules? Why the "respecting of persons" with the case of WL & family? Another son, Timothy, was apparently as bad or even worse, but had a less prominent or public role in the ministry/church/family business. Either one of them should have disqualified WL from church leadership and/or responsibility.
I would suggest you ask the Lord the above questions when you see Him... And in the mean time, perhaps humble yourself and understand that it is only the Lord's mercy and grace towards you that keeps you from falling into exactly what you are suggesting of others in your above quote.

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2. Watchman Nee received prominent help from women. WL's biography makes this explicit and detailed. Why did women have prominent roles in the early recovery but cannot today? Either women had an illegitimate role in the early 20th century or they are illegitimately suppressed today. How can you have it both ways?
Again... I would suggest you ask the Lord the above questions when you see Him... And in the mean time, perhaps humble yourself and understand that it is only the Lord's mercy and grace towards you that keeps you from falling into exactly what you are suggesting of others in your above quote.

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3. Why was David wrong to wish his enemies harm in Psalm 3, and yet in Psalm 68 wishing enemies harm was a type of Christ's victory over his enemies? The RecV footnotes are not consistent.
Perhaps in one instance David was speaking according to his fallen flesh, and in another instance he was speaking according to the way of God.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:04 AM   #8
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When I use "supreme mastership" as analogous to the leadership style of Witness Lee in the local church system, aka the Lord's recovery, I do so in reference to the scholarly press. It's how observers characterize his style, and Nee's system.

Sorry Drake no confusion there. Just the objective views of witnesses, what really happened on the ground in the local churches.

Why I think Lee taught an erroneous concept of the minister of the age.

Such a notion wasn't formally put out by Paul. It was 'recovered' by Nee. No small conflict of interest, there.

The notion had no basis in the NT and had to be sussed out of the OT: Moses with Miriam and Aaron, etc. Well guess what - Jesus is the new Moses. Not Paul, or Martin Luther, or John Nelson Darby or Watchman Nee. If you want to be great, be the least. If you want to be MOTA, you prove that you are the least of all in the kingdom. Jesus made all this too plain.

Drake,

I assume you read the other two questions as well?
Well okay, then your erroneous concept stems from Mr. Kuo's erroneous concept.

Same result, aron. You are confused because you hold this erroneous concept.

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Old 02-16-2018, 11:07 AM   #9
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Perhaps in one instance David was speaking according to his fallen flesh, and in another instance he was speaking according to the way of God.
Yes, perhaps. And perhaps Witness Lee looked at scripture, and said, "Hmm . . . fallen . . revelatory. . . hmm?" and flipped a coin. It certainly seems arbitrary. Disjointed.

Perhaps when Witness Lee said that David was writing according to fallen human concepts, it was rather the expositor Lee and not the psalmist, who entertained them. Yes, I know, we're all fallen. Yes, sometimes I write according to my concepts (often?). But I'm not publishing my fallen human concepts as "spiritual truths" and selling them as the Recovery Version Bible with footnotes &c.

Talk about 'humble yourself'! Witness Lee should have humbled himself. Yet we got these confident "this equals that" statements, even when they clearly didn't line up with each other. How brain-dead did the flock have to be to sit through these meetings?
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:59 AM   #10
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One person can be a "...group..."?
"The Lord's Recovery" is a group.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:00 PM   #11
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I'd suggest you ask the Lord the above questions when you see Him... And in the mean time, perhaps humble yourself and understand . .
I did ask the Lord & was told that Lee was seduced like Nee was before him, and chose a false path to power. But it's always good to get confirmation from the body of faith fellowship. A kind of external 'amen', as it were, to the inner voice. I appreciate you & Drake taking time & effort to respond. Thank you.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:59 AM   #12
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Perhaps in one instance David was speaking according to his fallen flesh, and in another instance he was speaking according to the way of God.
I appreciate the willingness of Steel to offer what are often unpopular viewpoints on this forum. Without temporarily allowing differing views, and the prospect of mutual learning, it's hard to have a discussion (one strength of the NT group model is that it allows "much discussion", a la Acts 15:7, an experience singularly lacking in the local church, where only Witness Lee's opinion counted).

To re-phrase my thoughts, referencing the quote above: in Matthew 22:43 Jesus didn't say, "Perhaps David was in Spirit, writing of Messiah". No 'perhaps' about it. . . likewise, Paul didn't say that 'perhaps' the Psalms are the Word of Christ, and perhaps not; i.e. some are revelatory, some fallen human concepts. (Col 3:16).

Nowhere that I see in NT reception of Psalms are we invited to equivocate like this.

Witness Lee occasionally follows the clear NT pattern: the psalmist's invective against "my foes" and the ill-will shown is said to be indicative of Christ's struggle, and triumph, over forces of darkness (see Psalm 68 footnote). This has established gospel precedent: "Ah - what do we have to do with You, Jesus!?! Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us before our time?!?" (Mark 1:24; Matt 8:29). This is also consistent with the epistles: "We struggle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces" (Eph 6:12). In other words, there is indeed a fight going on, just not in the physical realm.

Then Lee capriciously abandons this pattern and pans the psalmist's struggle and suffering on its face: "No, that's just 'natural' David, being David." No reason given to the sudden and complete change of reception.

And it isn't just one or two isolated incidents. I went through the first 1/3 of the Psalms in a RecV and estimated well over half, maybe as high as three quarters of the text was summarily dismissed, the only occasional comments being that it's just "mixed sentiments" &c.

Second, and more important: the NT reception invites us to "see Jesus" in the OT text. For example, the extensive citations in Hebrews 1 and 2are followed by this open-door phrase in Hebrews 2:9. So when Lee pans David's Psalm 3, for example, he's not just making a snap judgment on some nearly-irrelevant text. Psalm 3 introduces Messiah's resurrection from the dead: "I laid me down and slept/I awaked, for the LORD sustained me" presages Jesus' "I have the power to lay My life down, and the power to take it up again" in the gospels.

Yet Lee shut the door and didn't allow his listeners to enter, either. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice" and in Psalm 3, as elsewhere in scripture, we're given the opportunity to hear the voice of the Shepherd. "Those who hear My voice will live" (John 5:25,28; cf 10:27). There's life in the Word, but in Lee's "Life-Study" he said there was no life there in the text, merely fallen human concepts. That's why I believe that Lee was the one entertaining erroneous human concepts, not the psalmist.

And we all err, of course. But usually we don't codify and institutionalize error the way Witness Lee did.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:22 AM   #13
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I did ask the Lord & was told that Lee was seduced like Nee was before him, and chose a false path to power. But it's always good to get confirmation from the body of faith fellowship. A kind of external 'amen', as it were, to the inner voice. I appreciate you & Drake taking time & effort to respond. Thank you.
Then you should have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, where this particular matter is concerned. And that's a wonderful thing to have... As possessing this peace "...will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."

And more... It will bring us to know "...what things are true, what things are dignified, what things are righteous, what things are pure, what things are lovely, what things are well spoken of,..." so that... "...if there is any virtue and if any praise,..." we can "...take account of these things... The things which you have also learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace will be with you."

As you said in another thread, aron... Seeing (which in your above quoted speaking would be your hearing teh Lord's answer to your question) is not the only thing necessary... But also being obedient to practice what Paul has referenced above... Again... These being... "...what things are true, what things are dignified, what things are righteous, what things are pure, what things are lovely, what things are well spoken of,..."
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:28 AM   #14
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"The Lord's Recovery" is a group.
Sure... A "group" being made up of more than one person... Which was my point... And one person cannot be held responsible for another person's actions... We can be held responsible for our influence (in regards to our own actions) related to another person's actions... But not their own actions.

The Lord's recovery is a particular aspect of God's economy related to the working out of God's need in building the church... The Lord's Recovery is a human work... And each believer in Christ, by His mercy and grace, has a responsibility to see in Him, each for what it is, and respond in the Lord accordingly.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:32 AM   #15
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Yes, I know, we're all fallen. Yes, sometimes I write according to my concepts (often?). But I'm not publishing my fallen human concepts as "spiritual truths" and selling them as the Recovery Version Bible with footnotes &c.
By the Lord's mercy and grace... Nothing less.

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Talk about 'humble yourself'! Witness Lee should have humbled himself. Yet we got these confident "this equals that" statements, even when they clearly didn't line up with each other. How brain-dead did the flock have to be to sit through these meetings?
As brain-dead as the Lord allowed, I'm thinking... As scripture tells us that He upholds all things, and that all things are unto Him.

I wonder what the fly on the wall would hear when you one day stand before the Lord and He asks regarding His church, what you meant when you said... "How brian-dead did the flock have to be to sit through these meetings."
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:04 PM   #16
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Sure... A "group" being made up of more than one person... Which was my point...
A defined group is something smaller and more specific than the church. Therefore, it is a sect.

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And one person cannot be held responsible for another person's actions... We can be held responsible for our influence (in regards to our own actions) related to another person's actions... But not their own actions.
We can also be held responsible for our complicity in another person's actions, and for our hypocrisy.

Quote:
The Lord's recovery is a particular aspect of God's economy related to the working out of God's need in building the church... The Lord's Recovery is a human work... And each believer in Christ, by His mercy and grace, has a responsibility to see in Him, each for what it is, and respond in the Lord accordingly.
So, what is the difference between "the Lord's recovery" as a "particular aspect of God's economy" and "the Lord's Recovery" as a "human work"?
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:08 PM   #17
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I wonder what the fly on the wall would hear when you one day stand before the Lord and He asks regarding His church, what you meant when you said... "How brian-dead did the flock have to be to sit through these meetings."
Hi Steel,

My moniker is Igzy and I used to post here. Nice to meet you.

I'd like to be there when the Lord asks Witness Lee why he called people outside his movement "mooing cows." Or why he called those who were saved (saved!) by "worldly means" "Moabites."

But I'd also like to be there when God asks Paul why he called circumcision-happy Jews "dogs." And I like to be there when God asks David why he prayed that his enemy's children (children!) be "wandering beggars" and that no one take pity on them (Psalm 109).

aron's statement, by comparison, seems mild.

Please dispense with the opportunistic indignation. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:42 AM   #18
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I wonder what the fly on the wall would hear when you one day stand before the Lord and He asks regarding His church, what you meant when you said... "How brain-dead did the flock have to be to sit through these meetings."
I wonder what a fly on the wall would hear to the Lord speaking to those who sat quietly while a Bible expositor made hash of scripture. Am I really the first to notice the glaring discrepancy, here?

In Psalm 68, the psalmist wishing the destruction of his foes is held to be a type of the victorious Christ; elsewhere, such sentiments are "fallen" and "natural". . .? And the best a promoter of such ministry can say is, "Perhaps this is so". . .?

Yes, perhaps it is so. And given the extensive NT reception, perhaps not. Yet the the footnotes have no such qualfiers.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:04 AM   #19
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Hi Steel,

My moniker is Igzy and I used to post here. Nice to meet you.

I'd like to be there when the Lord asks Witness Lee why he called people outside his movement "mooing cows." Or why he called those who were saved (saved!) by "worldly means" "Moabites."

But I'd also like to be there when God asks Paul why he called circumcision-happy Jews "dogs." And I like to be there when God asks David why he prayed that his enemy's children (children!) be "wandering beggars" and that no one take pity on them (Psalm 109).

aron's statement, by comparison, seems mild.

Please dispense with the opportunistic indignation. Thanks.
Probably some in Galatia were indignant when Paul said they were bewitched. And some elders in the Asian churches (today's Turkey) were upset at John's characterizations in Revs 2 & 3.

But my indignation doesn't mean your word is false, just that I don't like it.

To his credit, Steel says the MOTA concept was perhaps taken a bit too far in the LSM-affiliated local churches. Yet this is not incidental to an otherwise useful Christian work. Rather, it forces the recipients into passivity. Exegetical clunkers pass by without comment because, hey, it's God's Oracle.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:12 AM   #20
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To his credit, Steel says the MOTA concept was perhaps taken a bit too far in the LSM-affiliated local churches. Yet this is not incidental to an otherwise useful Christian work. Rather, it forces the recipients into passivity. Exegetical clunkers pass by without comment because, hey, it's God's Oracle.
What's a few "exegetical clunkers" between friends?

Church history regarding those crowned MOTAs, Vicars, or Deputies has never been good. Since they have all ascended beyond human accountability, the obliteration of rivals and critics was never questioned, especially by those minions with similar aspirations.

.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:47 PM   #21
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I wonder what a fly on the wall would hear to the Lord speaking to those who sat quietly while a Bible expositor made hash of scripture. Am I really the first to notice the glaring discrepancy, here?
Referring to members of the Lord's body as "...brain-dead..." is not necessary for correction regarding what you think is ministry that is making a "...hash of scripture." . . . But I understand why that point went over your head.

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In Psalm 68, the psalmist wishing the destruction of his foes is held to be a type of the victorious Christ; elsewhere, such sentiments are "fallen" and "natural". . .? And the best a promoter of such ministry can say is, "Perhaps this is so". . .?
Has God supplied you with the measure of grace to speak more eloquently regarding this scripture... If so... Then perhaps you should be placing all your effort into speaking the correcting word God has given you... And no effort in trying to mock those who don't belong to you... But then... I also understand why this has gone over your head.

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Yes, perhaps it is so. And given the extensive NT reception, perhaps not. Yet the the footnotes have no such qualfiers.
Please... If the Lord leads... Continue to fellowship more on your thoughts regarding what God is revealing in Psalm 68.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:53 PM   #22
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What's a few "exegetical clunkers" between friends?
Just more opportunity for God to gain glory as He alone works it all out according to His eternal desire in Christ Jesus... Or so scripture tells us.

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Church history regarding those crowned MOTAs, Vicars, or Deputies has never been good. Since they have all ascended beyond human accountability, the obliteration of rivals and critics was never questioned, especially by those minions with similar aspirations.
LOL... Funny how you point to the few... But not the many... Surely scripture tells us there is a special judgement for those who think to teach... But just as surely scripture tells us there is judgement for all who simply think to speak... And even just to think.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:36 PM   #23
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Referring to members of the Lord's body as "...brain-dead..." is not necessary for correction regarding what you think is ministry that is making a "...hash of scripture." . . . But I understand .
How to put it, then? "Temporarily bereft of critical mental faculties..."? With some it's apparently gone on for decades, so the 'temporarily' part may be overly generous.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:28 AM   #24
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LOL... Funny how you point to the few... But not the many... Surely scripture tells us there is a special judgement for those who think to teach... But just as surely scripture tells us there is judgement for all who simply think to speak... And even just to think.
The few who deign to speak and think for the many have the greater judgment. See Luke 12:47,48; James 3:1. But yes, we all shall stand before the judgment seat, true.

I've been trying to point out the peril of simply not thinking, in a misguided but well-intentioned effort to "be one". The danger is that the safety offered by the "many counselors" is gone. ~Prov. 11:14; 15:22. Only the Guru can think - the rest must, ahem, "be one with the Lord's current speaking".

As an example, I pointed out the markedly different roles of women in the Little Flock v/v LSM. Women played a disproportionately large role in the rise of Watchman Nee: the LSM biography has a chapter with 4 individual biographies of women associated with his ministry. Ruth Lee, for example, admittedly had a considerable editorial function.

Yet 90 years later this is unthinkable (pun intended). Because if you do think about it, it seems that strong, functioning women were initially expedient to the acquisition of temporal earthly power, and that later the wholesale suppression of women's function became expedient to its maintenance. By denying women any place at the table, 50% of all potential rivals for power were summarily removed.

And no one else has noticed this glaring contradiction in women's roles, 1925-40 versus the present time? And when some have the temerity to point it out they're told there's a judgment waiting for those who try to exercise their God-given right (nay, responsibility) to think? As you say, LOL.
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:05 AM   #25
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How to put it, then? "Temporarily bereft of critical mental faculties..."?
See... That's just you mocking again... Which is something to be mourned by those witnessing it.

aron... To one degree or another, I function perfectly well throughout the day in the practical things I have to do/am responsible for... And as far as I know, all the believers I meet with do the same... Some even run multi-million dollar companies that employ many people and therefore need to manage their day — as related to company work — also... There are home owner responsibilities, and family responsibilities that we all care for... Shoot, on most Fridays I meet for a late lunch with a brother whose wife has MS and son has special needs, and he provides most of the care for both of them, which includes having to deal with related local government agencies — itself almost a full-time job. And he takes the odd painting job when possible... And you have the audacity to think to call these people "brain-dead" and now "Temporarily bereft of critical mental faculties...".

Lord have mercy on aron... Bring him out of the hateful ignorance that he presently holds to and speaks out of.

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With some it's apparently gone on for decades, so the 'temporarily' part may be overly generous.
Your own words expose you as a mocker of members of the one church of God... Be careful of how you work out your own salvation, aron.

Luke 6:45... "The good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is good, and the evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is evil; for bout of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks."
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:31 AM   #26
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Your own words expose you as a mocker of members of the one church of God... Be careful of how you work out your own salvation, aron.
Are you for real? No offense, Steel. But you lay on the patronization pretty thick.

I've watched aron post for a long time, and I would say there is no one more fair or who treats others with more respect and like adults (which is something your might consider doing) than him.

Again, the mock indignation is just a way to avoid the point he made.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:51 PM   #27
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Three questions for those presuming to write shepherding words:

1. (a) If women can't teach, why sell Mary McDonough's book "God's Plan" right next to those by Nee and Lee? In LSM's online catalogue of titles under "G", there it is, available for the public. Why the inconsistency in application?

1. (b) How do you think Dora Yu or Ruth Lee would have fared under Witness Lee, or under today's blended co-workers? Or, how would Jessie Penn-Lewis fare today? Or Peace Wang? Or Margaret Barber? How would they all find any place today, in the recovery they supposedly helped to found?

2. Why do some psalms of imprecations have footnotes panning them for being "natural" and "fallen" in wishing others ill, while others have near-identical sentiments being hailed as Christ's victory over Satan? Why the inconsistency in application?

3. The apostle wrote to avoid every appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22). Don't you think that a church leader pressuring church members to invest in his immediate family's money-making schemes looks bad? No matter that it collapsed and the money disappeared - the very fact that it was set up looks bad. How was this not a blight on the church? Daystar showed Witness Lee's true colors - how can anyone say that this was a "flow from God's throne", or a "manifestation of God's deputy authority"?
I wanted to bring this thread forward, as the replies I got here from two stalwart promoters of the Cause amounted to, "Perhaps this is so" and, "Why don't you ask the Lord" and, "You have a bad attitude."

These are the kinds of questions that ministry acolytes won't address; instead, they deflect. So we bring them up again, until they give us answers. Yes, I'll be held accountable for every text, every Facebook 'like', every post, every word, every 'tweet'. But so will the ministry that published thousands pages of messages and sold them to the Christian public. Ministry stalwarts may feign indignation when hard-to-answer questions are placed in front of them. But we'll continue to put them forward until they're answered.

Witness Lee was a professional minister -- a full-time, monetarily compensated Bible teacher. And now his Blended followers want continue the gambit. So they, or their designees the DCP or anonymous posters should address the contents of their teachings, and behaviours of church leaders. Until they answer, we bring the questions forward. If they deflect, we remind.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:45 AM   #28
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Perhaps in one instance David was speaking according to his fallen flesh, and in another instance he was speaking according to the way of God.
When I asked about the discontinuity in RecV footnotes to the imprecatory Psalms, this was a response from an otherwise articulate writer - "Perhaps this is how it was." Well, perhaps it was how it was. But perhaps it wasn't. Perhaps the Bible is consistent and the interpreter is the one who's speaking one way at one time, and another way at a later time.

And to this observation I added a question: How could a Bible interpreter speak in front of thousands and clearly contradict himself, and nobody who lined up at the mike afterward said, ''Um, perhaps this isn't how it was"? And so I felt it must be a kind of group mind-control trick. This idea was insulting to poster Steel, and considered demeaning and disrespectful, and the conversation got side-tracked. But the question never really got answered. So it seems that indignation was a kind of convenient deflection - don't address objective content, but subjective attitude.

But the question remained. So I bring it forward again - How could a teacher, respected by so many, interpret the text one way, then later interpret it another way, without any obvious reason? Why the disparities in interpretation? And I'm really the first who noticed this, or did others also notice, and then lower their eyes and purse their lips?
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:59 PM   #29
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1. Because they make stuff up as they go for their convenience.
2. Because they make stuff up as they go for their convenience.
3. Because they make stuff up as they go for their convenience.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:01 PM   #30
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1. Because they make stuff up as they go for their convenience.
2. Because they make stuff up as they go for their convenience.
3. Because they make stuff up as they go for their convenience.
Until the LSM or its designees answer these questions, many will come to that conclusion: they make stuff up as they go along. No matter if today's message contradicts yesterday's, or doesn't line up with the NT, or just doesn't make much sense. Based on observations outlined here by myself, and elsewhere by others, it appears to be a ministry of expediency, of convenience. Whatever seems to meet today's perceived need is rolled out as some kind of eternal truth. And any question will either get some bland variation of "that's just the way it is" or the questioner is an "accuser" or a "rebel" or so forth.

This goes all the way back to Nee's ministry of expedience. Initially, localism was his means to get free from the Western denominations. Once they had critical mass of local assemblies on a national scale, suddenly Nee did an about-face and "recovered" centralization aka the "Jerusalem Principle". Suddenly autonomy was no longer God's move, now it was "lining up" and "handing over". Funny how that works.

Same with status of women - at one point they were useful, even instrumental, in the acquisition of power, but once critical mass was attained, they were a potential threat and were told their place was in children's meeting.

Like I said, whatever is convenient for today is trotted out as an immutable truth for all times. "It's in the Bible". Hey, look at that - a Bible verse! At least, that's what it looks like to most critical observers. And this may be why they stress untrammeled subjectivism -- "Get out of your mind, brother" is the way to avoid noticing the discrepancies.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:17 AM   #31
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I have a question but didn't want to create a new thread:

When I went to my friends' church, they know how to social, their sermons teach about honoring parents. There are many aspect of relationship - family relationship, husband and wife relationship, friendship etc.. but in the Lc they don't teach this kind of stuff that much. I've heard arrange marriage, where 2 people get married with zero natural affection. They teach human relationship is too natural, the world is bad, rock music is babylon. I found it's super weird being a Christian under their doctrines.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:43 AM   #32
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I have a question but didn't want to create a new thread:

When I went to my friends' church, they know how to social, their sermons teach about honoring parents. There are many aspect of relationship - family relationship, husband and wife relationship, friendship etc.. but in the Lc they don't teach this kind of stuff that much. I've heard arrange marriage, where 2 people get married with zero natural affection. They teach human relationship is too natural, the world is bad, rock music is babylon. I found it's super weird being a Christian under their doctrines.
Apostle Paul warned us that in the last days some Christians would be "without natural affection." (II Timothy 3.1,3)

In the Recovery they teach that it is only safe to trust and love their ministry. All other loves are risky.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:23 AM   #33
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Apostle Paul warned us that in the last days some Christians would be "without natural affection." (II Timothy 3.1,3)

In the Recovery they teach that it is only safe to trust and love their ministry. All other loves are risky.
I was considering something I read in the last couple days, about brother Lee saying at the end that he regretted that love was not emphasized much in TLR. I have to say that this summarizes much of what I learned in the LC - God's eternal purpose. Praise God that I saw something of His eternal purpose in Christ and the church. But just knowing that is like a cake unturned - love for us is why God does it all! And without love, Paul says that it's like a bunch of noise . . .
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:40 AM   #34
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I was considering something I read in the last couple days, about brother Lee saying at the end that he regretted that love was not emphasized much in TLR.
I am always amazed when Lee gripes about the Recovery, as if he were not responsible for its failures and decline.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:57 AM   #35
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I am always amazed when Lee gripes about the Recovery, as if he were not responsible for its failures and decline.
I'm reading in Bill Mallon's notes (linked to on the "Bill Mallon's Passing" thread) and just read where WL said (in 77) he determined in 1963 that he had to take the full burden for the ministry here. That might have been fine for a short time, but others perhaps should have come to the forefront to teach, etc. Of course, WL probably didn't allow that. If it had happened, all of the pride of everything being so centered in one man might not have arisen so strongly, resulting in what the LC is today (Laodicea).

And, as WL said near the end, the emphasis of the ministry was skewed so as not to include love. God's eternal purpose is wonderful, but men telling it without love becomes something of a dead law which just promotes fear and control.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:07 AM   #36
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I'm reading in Bill Mallon's notes (linked to on the "Bill Mallon's Passing" thread) and just read where WL said (in 77) he determined in 1963 that he had to take the full burden for the ministry here. That might have been fine for a short time, but others perhaps should have come to the forefront. Of course, WL probably didn't allow that. If it had happened, all of the pride of everything being so centered in one man might not have arisen so strongly, resulting in what the LC is today (Laodicea). And, as WL said near the end, the emphasis of the ministry was skewed so as not to include love.
Lee did the same leaving China -- attempted to squash the ministry of all the other ministers he was with.

During his quarantine in Whistler, Titus Chu was repeatedly condemned in absentia for not working well with others. The clincher came from Benjamin Chen of NYC. For decades TC had claimed to have the archetypal spiritual companionship with BC spanning 50+ years. Then given the chance, BC threw him under the bus.

Obviously TC picked up this bad habit from WL.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:39 AM   #37
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Lee did the same leaving China -- attempted to squash the ministry of all the other ministers he was with.

During his quarantine in Whistler, Titus Chu was repeatedly condemned in absentia for not working well with others. The clincher came from Benjamin Chen of NYC. For decades TC had claimed to have the archetypal spiritual companionship with BC spanning 50+ years. Then given the chance, BC threw him under the bus.

Obviously TC picked up this bad habit from WL.
Pride is such a strong thing in all of us! It's not to say that one person can't carry the ministry burden, but I think they must be exercised to make sure their self/pride stays on the cross where it belongs.

I've seen something in what happened to the ministry here over the years. It started out with Bill Freeman, who was, of course, quite gifted. After the "blow-up" here and Bill left, primarily one brother picked up the ministry burden, and he was very good with it. But after a few years he got totally burned-out and left. In his place, eventually about 6-8 brothers, who had some depth in the word, stepped up to do the Sunday messages. It has been continuing like that for over a dozen years, and I must say that it has been so good! (and another awesome thing is these bros don't always agree on everything in the word 100%, and that is fine!)
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