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Old 07-27-2011, 07:40 PM   #1
Indiana
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Default David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

REGARDING THE GROUND OF THE CHURCH
http://www.makingstraightthewayofthe...nd04-28-11.pdf

David Canfield has written recently regarding the ground of the church. The letter (in the link above) is his first writing in a series of three on this controversial subject. He has other articles posted on concernedbrothers.com that deal with church history and current problems in the churches, as he seeks guidance from the scriptures before the Lord for the saints and the churches. For his efforts, he has been quarantined in the LSM-associated churches.


BRIEF LESSONS FROM CHURCH HISTORY
http://concernedbrothers.com/History...006-08-021.pdf

CONCERNING THE PRESENT TURMOIL
http://concernedbrothers.com/Canfiel...shed-v-1-1.pdf

OPEN LETTER TO THE SAINTS IN CHICAGO
http://concernedbrothers.com/Canfiel...in_Chicago.pdf
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
REGARDING THE GROUND OF THE CHURCH
http://www.makingstraightthewayofthe...nd04-28-11.pdf

David Canfield has written recently regarding the ground of the church.
I see even David Canfield makes more of the ground of the church than the New Testament does. There's no doctrine of the ground, or one church one city, in the New Testament. It is used only as an expediency.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I see even David Canfield makes more of the ground of the church than the New Testament does. There's no doctrine of the ground, or one church one city, in the New Testament. It is used only as an expediency.
Maybe the better question is whether the NT supports the practice of two churches in one city? So even if you have many congregations of Christians as a practical necessity, all of the congregations would need to recognize certain basic truths. For example, if you were previously baptized.

Another truth they would have to recognize is that if a congregation does receive all genuine believers then their Lord's Table meeting is also genuine.

After all, if a church teaches that only they have the genuine Lord's Table meeting in a city that teaching of necessity means there are two churches in the city.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Maybe the better question is whether the NT supports the practice of two churches in one city?
The church is a spiritual entity. There's only one church, period.

Then, we speak about where it shows up. And what it is.

Were the judaizers, that disagreed with Paul, not the church in Jerusalem?

The early church was diverse, even within cities.

The church is the church wherever it is found.

And there is NO, I repeat NO, doctrine of one church one city in the New Testament. The New Testament doesn't make the same case for one church one city as Watchman Nee and Witness Lee developed. Nee and Lee made way more of it than the New Testament does. There is no such doctrine developed in the New Testament, anywhere.

The church is the church, and it's expedient to speak of it here and there, as in a city.

And as practiced by Witness Lee, one church one city is both divisive, and an expediency to centralized control.

It's like in Ft. Lauderdale. Before Witness Lee's one church one city came in Bob Mumford had declared the ground of the church in Ft. Lauderdale.

But that was dismissed. It had to be a Witness Lee one church one city to count. In other words, Lee had to be on top for one church one city to matter.

Yet there's really only one church in the whole world. And the head of that one church is Christ.

And you can find it everywhere, not just in particular cities. But back then, in the New Testament times, it was expedient to address that one world wide church as in places called cities. But never do we find it developed in the New Testament as a solid doctrine. It's just not there.

Nee and Lee embellished one church one city, similar to the development embellishment of the doctrine of transubstantiation. They made more of it than is found in scripture. And it turned into centralized control, with Lee the top CEO. And now a committee runs that corporation. To them, in reality, it's one corporation one city. And that brand, as with Bob Mumford, is divisive.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

The local church already seems be splitting like its Plymouth Brethren predecessor.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

With all respect to Canfield's thoughtful and even loving writing. I pretty much agree with Harold.

I simply do not see how the ground of oneness doctrine can be applied without it eventually becoming divisive. Because once established someone is going to be claiming to be IT and denying others that status, wrangling about "coming together," "our elders are the real ones," and so forth.

Why isn't simply oneness good enough? Why does it have to be oneness in the borders of the city? I agree that the church in the city is a pattern in the NT. But the NT also shows the church in the house (Rom 16:5, etc), and the church in a region (Acts 9:3).

Canfield is right that oneness comes from Christ and not from the ground of oneness doctrine. So what is the need for the doctrine? It's not put forth in the NT as a doctrine, it wasn't defended philosophically by the early fathers.

The RCC came into being directly from trying to enforce oneness outwardly. That's history. Bishops were empowered with extra-local authority in order to keep oneness. From there the hierarchy grew.

Canfield is right that oneness is organic. Leave it at that and it may have a chance to happen. Try to force it and you are just going to produce another sect. I'm not saying God is satisfied with the situation among the smorgasbord of church groups on display. I'm saying that we should just talk about oneness, not "ground of oneness."
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
The church is a spiritual entity. There's only one church, period.

Then, we speak about where it shows up. And what it is.

Were the judaizers, that disagreed with Paul, not the church in Jerusalem?

The early church was diverse, even within cities.

The church is the church wherever it is found.

And there is NO, I repeat NO, doctrine of one church one city in the New Testament. The New Testament doesn't make the same case for one church one city as Watchman Nee and Witness Lee developed. Nee and Lee
made way more of it than the New Testament does. There is no such doctrine developed in the New Testament, anywhere.

The church is the church, and it's expedient to speak of it here and there, as in a city.

And as practiced by Witness Lee, one church one city is both divisive, and an expediency to centralized control.

It's like in Ft. Lauderdale. Before Witness Lee's one church one city came in Bob Mumford had declared the ground of the church in Ft. Lauderdale.

But that was dismissed. It had to be a Witness Lee one church one city to count. In other words, Lee had to be on top for one church one city to matter.

Yet there's really only one church in the whole world. And the head of that one church is Christ.

And you can find it everywhere, not just in particular cities. But back then, in the New Testament times, it was expedient to address that one world wide church as in places called cities. But never do we find it developed in the New Testament as a solid doctrine. It's just not there.

Nee and Lee embellished one church one city, similar to the development embellishment of the doctrine of transubstantiation. They made more of it than is found in scripture. And it turned into centralized control, with Lee the top CEO. And now a committee runs that corporation. To them, in reality, it's one corporation one city. And that brand, as with Bob Mumford, is divisive.
What you said here is solid.
Perfect actually.

IMHO, anyone who isn't easily caught up in spiritual muddied waters should be able to recognize this fact.

But for those who can't ,

There it is.

Peace to all men from He who dwells on High.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
REGARDING THE GROUND OF THE CHURCH
http://www.makingstraightthewayofthe...nd04-28-11.pdf

David Canfield has written recently regarding the ground of the church. The letter (in the link above) is his first writing in a series of three on this controversial subject. He has other articles posted on concernedbrothers.com that deal with church history and current problems in the churches, as he seeks guidance from the scriptures before the Lord for the saints and the churches. For his efforts, he has been quarantined in the LSM-associated churches.


BRIEF LESSONS FROM CHURCH HISTORY
http://concernedbrothers.com/History...006-08-021.pdf

CONCERNING THE PRESENT TURMOIL
http://concernedbrothers.com/Canfiel...shed-v-1-1.pdf

OPEN LETTER TO THE SAINTS IN CHICAGO
http://concernedbrothers.com/Canfiel...in_Chicago.pdf
I agree with David's writing.

I think the doctrine of local ground (i.e. one city one church) is descriptive (NOT prescriptive though) enough to have drawn attention of Watchman Nee to the point of writing a book for that.

I think we should admit that there are a lot of examples of one city one church practice in the NT (not prescriptive, though. Trinity is the same in this context. We cannot find even the word -Trinity in NT, but we believe Trinity is a really vital and special teaching in the Bible.)

But I believe the doctrine of local ground should not be regarded as a special teaching in the Bible to the extent of criticizing others for not holding the teaching - which I think is the mistake of some saints in the so called Local Church.

I guess Apostle Paul would possibly have NOT taught one city one church doctrine at that time but naturally practiced it without conflicts because he began to set up churches in white space. But even in the local churches Paul set up was a lot of conflicts and divisions afterwards, meaning just taking local gound doesn't necessarily gurantee oneness. More important thing is the reality of oneness (as a cause) which is differ from one city one church teaching (as a effect).


The problem of today is that there is no white space, but modern cities are full of a lot of established "churches." And some saints in the so called LC suddenly out of blue claim only themselves is the genuine church in that city for reason that they follow one city one church teaching as described in the Bible. However they rarely have the spirit of oneness and begin to cause a lot of problems from the start.

So, even if we got rid of one city one church teaching, the divisive ones would still claim they are different and "elites."

At the end of the day, real issue is not teaching itself, but application of it.
You can even "killed" other Christians with the truth of Trinity - unfortunatley we have seen already.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Maybe the better question is whether the NT supports the practice of two churches in one city?
So the only option is that the NT prescribes only one assembly, or it only prescribes two (or more) assemblies. If the only option was these two, then I would say that only one is prescribed. But I find neither prescribed.

Instead I find nothing on the subject. Or at least nothing that could be considered to rise to the position of a prescription.

The question being asked is whether the NT supports any practice as the singular way. And the evidence is "no." There are the general references to the church. And to churches by location. But those are not the only references. There are also references to church in a home, presumably within the same city to which a letter to the church in that city has been written. This would suggest that "church" is being used in more than one way. In one to refer to the Christians in a place, region, etc., and to specific gatherings (assemblies).

So, I might reasonably argue that the NT does, in fact, support but not prescribe the existence of two or more churches in one city, assuming that we are using the term "church" to refer to actual assemblies, whether large or as small as fitting in a house.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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The question being asked is whether the NT supports any practice as the singular way. And the evidence is "no." There are the general references to the church. And to churches by location. But those are not the only references. There are also references to church in a home, presumably within the same city to which a letter to the church in that city has been written. This would suggest that "church" is being used in more than one way. In one to refer to the Christians in a place, region, etc., and to specific gatherings (assemblies).

So, I might reasonably argue that the NT does, in fact, support but not prescribe the existence of two or more churches in one city, assuming that we are using the term "church" to refer to actual assemblies, whether large or as small as fitting in a house.
That wasn't the question I asked, so it is surely strange you would quote part of my question in your post. The examples I gave had nothing to do with practice in a singular way. They had to do with receiving all believers based on our faith as exampled by baptism and the Lord's table.

My question, which some appeared to have understood without any problem, was simple. If you teach that all genuine Christians are part of the Body of Christ and are therefore part of the church in that city, then how do you use that understanding to create a teaching that refuses to receive the baptism or Lord's table of one of these meetings. Once you do that your teaching is creating two churches in that city, not by practice, but by nature.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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So the only option is that the NT prescribes only one assembly, or it only prescribes two (or more) assemblies. If the only option was these two, then I would say that only one is prescribed. But I find neither prescribed.

Instead I find nothing on the subject. Or at least nothing that could be considered to rise to the position of a prescription.

The question being asked is whether the NT supports any practice as the singular way. And the evidence is "no." There are the general references to the church. And to churches by location. But those are not the only references. There are also references to church in a home, presumably within the same city to which a letter to the church in that city has been written. This would suggest that "church" is being used in more than one way. In one to refer to the Christians in a place, region, etc., and to specific gatherings (assemblies).

So, I might reasonably argue that the NT does, in fact, support but not prescribe the existence of two or more churches in one city, assuming that we are using the term "church" to refer to actual assemblies, whether large or as small as fitting in a house.
So the bottom line is that, one church one city was overblown by Nee and Lee, and made more of than the scripture makes of it.

But we can't just blame them, many Christians have operated with a false premise. That premise being that if we can only make the church today like it was in the New Testament God will deliver "the cargo" in the form of Jesus coming back. That that is what the Lord is waiting for to come back.
(See - Cargo cults :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

It's a superstition. And it can't be done.

Well, not unless it happens like it happened in the New Testament, by the Holy Spirit. Reverse engineering will not accomplish what it takes the Holy Spirit to accomplish. That's cargo cult thinking, and trying to accomplish with the natural man what it takes the Holy Spirit to accomplish.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
That wasn't the question I asked, so it is surely strange you would quote part of my question in your post. The examples I gave had nothing to do with practice in a singular way. They had to do with receiving all believers based on our faith as exampled by baptism and the Lord's table.

My question, which some appeared to have understood without any problem, was simple. If you teach that all genuine Christians are part of the Body of Christ and are therefore part of the church in that city, then how do you use that understanding to create a teaching that refuses to receive the baptism or Lord's table of one of these meetings. Once you do that your teaching is creating two churches in that city, not by practice, but by nature.
I may have misread the emphasis of this particular point, and therefore the thrust of your post. But to spring from a post that is suggesting that scripture does not prescribe one church (presumably meaning one assembly) to the start off of "Maybe the better question is whether the NT supports the practice of two churches in one city?" appeared (to me) to be a semi-rhetorical question asking something like "well if it doesn't support/prescribe only one, then would you say it supports/prescribes two?". (Not sure how to end the punctuation of a statement that concludes with a question within quotes. Seems weird the way I did it but confusing without the last period. That is why I was only "OK in English back in school.)

So if you meant "support" and not "prescribe," my answer would be "yes, it does support two." But if your meaning was "prescribe," I would disagree. It does not prescribe anything.

While the whole of your post could be led in either direction, the blunt opening question as to whether it supports two gave it a combative tone (again, to me) suggesting that the rest should be understood as refuting the rejection of only one assembly in a city.

I get your questions about some groups that have some need to rebaptize believers in their water and in their way. And there surely are some of those. That is a different issue from whether they are legitimate assemblies of the church (universal and in the city). It does point to certain levels of divisiveness. But meeting with any particular group for whatever reason will always have some level of divisiveness in it.

And if someone returns with a statement like "well just meet with whoever is the closest group no matter what they are like" then you might have a chance at no divisiveness. Until you honestly believe that clearly destructive teachings are occurring and simply opening your mouth to disagree gets you excommunicated. Then there is division, even within that group, even if you keep your mouth shut and just suffer it.

Yes, the groups with "closed communion" have a theological problem unless they somehow are truly convinced that no one else is saved and in a good standing before God. But that is seldom the case. But that is not an argument for one church in a city. It actually is an argument for at least two. One that holds exclusivism, and one that is open and cannot in good conscience help propagate that exclusivist position as the image of God. Add one more truly problem issue that is held by another group and you have at least three.

No, it is not ideal. But if you move to a small community with two assemblies, one somewhat closed and the other more open, how do you choose? If they are both open, how to you chose? If both closed? The point is that even if you just stay home, you are choosing between them (or against them both) and it is "of your choice." You must choose. But in a way that is not simply divisive.

Pretty tall order.

It seems to me that the more important thing for any of us is not figuring out what way is the way, but becoming those who can meet with virtually anyone, even though we regularly meet with those who we generally identify as similar to ourselves. It is not about making the group right, but making us righteous in how we deal with any group.

In other words, it is less about the group and more about ourselves.

And I realize that this sort of argues against discussing the errors of any group, including the LRC. There are still contexts in which discussion of differences should occur, and especially where those differences are harmful to the spiritual and psychological well-being of their members.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I may have misread the emphasis of this particular point, and therefore the thrust of your post. But to spring from a post that is suggesting that scripture does not prescribe one church (presumably meaning one assembly) to the start off of "Maybe the better question is whether the NT supports the practice of two churches in one city?" appeared (to me) to be a semi-rhetorical question asking something like "well if it doesn't support/prescribe only one, then would you say it supports/prescribes two?". (Not sure how to end the punctuation of a statement that concludes with a question within quotes. Seems weird the way I did it but confusing without the last period. That is why I was only "OK in English back in school.)
No I agree my post was too brief and therefore confusing, but I think Awareness and Igzy made up for that so I didn't see the need to get the duct tape.

Quote:
So if you meant "support" and not "prescribe," my answer would be "yes, it does support two." But if your meaning was "prescribe," I would disagree. It does not prescribe anything.

While the whole of your post could be led in either direction, the blunt opening question as to whether it supports two gave it a combative tone (again, to me) suggesting that the rest should be understood as refuting the rejection of only one assembly in a city.
Sorry for the tone and confusion. I'll try to write better in the future.

Quote:
I get your questions about some groups that have some need to rebaptize believers in their water and in their way. And there surely are some of those. That is a different issue from whether they are legitimate assemblies of the church (universal and in the city). It does point to certain levels of divisiveness. But meeting with any particular group for whatever reason will always have some level of divisiveness in it.
Yes, that is my point.

Quote:
And if someone returns with a statement like "well just meet with whoever is the closest group no matter what they are like" then you might have a chance at no divisiveness. Until you honestly believe that clearly destructive teachings are occurring and simply opening your mouth to disagree gets you excommunicated. Then there is division, even within that group, even if you keep your mouth shut and just suffer it.
Which is why I limited this to two very important teachings. I was taught in the LRC that to take the Lord's table with any other Christians was a sin. I was also baptized again by the LRC "just to be safe". My point is that these two teachings are divisive and create "two" churches in one city which violates WN teaching that there is one church in one city

Quote:
Yes, the groups with "closed communion" have a theological problem unless they somehow are truly convinced that no one else is saved and in a good standing before God. But that is seldom the case. But that is not an argument for one church in a city. It actually is an argument for at least two. One that holds exclusivism, and one that is open and cannot in good conscience help propagate that exclusivist position as the image of God. Add one more truly problem issue that is held by another group and you have at least three.
Hence the hypocrisy. The LSM teaches that there is one church in one city, but their exclusivism necessitates that there are at least 2. They argue that these are genuine Christians that don't meet with them and they argue that all of these Christians are members of the body of Christ and part of the church in their city. So I find their practice to directly contradict their teaching.

Quote:
No, it is not ideal. But if you move to a small community with two assemblies, one somewhat closed and the other more open, how do you choose? If they are both open, how to you chose? If both closed? The point is that even if you just stay home, you are choosing between them (or against them both) and it is "of your choice." You must choose. But in a way that is not simply divisive.
Well you could pray and ask for the Lord's leading. Perhaps He'll lead you to the one closest to your home (to cut down on gas consumption?). Anyway, I agree that two assemblies or congregations in one city doesn't violate the concept of "one church one city" (the concept, not the teaching by the LSM). I have already mentioned that I meet with a church of several thousand. I have also freely attended other churches in NYC (Time's Square Church, Brooklyn Tabernacle, etc) as do many of the members i meet with. We consider ourselves one with these Christians and have coordinated with them on projects (The UN rally concerning Sudan in 2000, etc). Having 2 or more congregations, each with and administration doesn't mean that we are not one. If you have a church in a small town with 100 members that live in a total of 50 dwellings, does that mean they aren't one because the members have separate homes? But, if I refuse to admit that you are a true member, refuse to admit that your baptism was legitimate or that your Lord's table is legitimate that does make us two.

Pretty tall order.

It seems to me that the more important thing for any of us is not figuring out what way is the way, but becoming those who can meet with virtually anyone, even though we regularly meet with those who we generally identify as similar to ourselves. It is not about making the group right, but making us righteous in how we deal with any group.

In other words, it is less about the group and more about ourselves.

And I realize that this sort of argues against discussing the errors of any group, including the LRC. There are still contexts in which discussion of differences should occur, and especially where those differences are harmful to the spiritual and psychological well-being of their members.

That is the point. If you are truly one with everyone else (as much as is possible) then you wouldn't create teaching to exclude. However, the LRC teaching is designed to draw a line around approved churches where Baptism and the Lord's table can be received and exclude all others. So their teaching on "one church one city" is extremely exclusive. Which is very hypocritical since the spirit of the teaching is to be one with all genuine believers in a city, not to be exclusive.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

http://www.makingstraightthewayofthe...theground2.pdf

"Most recently, the history of the Plymouth Brethren provides a striking parallel to this history of
the children of Israel. After a glorious beginning in the first half of the 1800s they went through a
long period of gradual decline, interspersed with times of severe turmoil and division, until they
eventually lost almost everything the Lord had committed to them; today the branch of the
Exclusive Brethren that was never subject to being excommunicated is one of the most rigid
sects in the world. Now it appears that this sad history may be repeating itself once again, this
time among the churches affiliated with the Living Stream Ministry; certainly the process has
already begun."

http://www.makingstraightthewayofthe...theground2.pdf
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

David Canfield strikes as someone that can't kick the LC kool-aid...

He appears to want to recover the recovery.

I tried to do that in the C. in Ft. Lauderdale, and it got me nowhere....but pushed out. They don't want to change. So there's no sense in expecting it. Saving them is a futile activity. You aren't gonna change them any more than you could change the Roman Catholic Church, or the Mormons, or JWs.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

Yeah, I don't buy this. I think it is an interesting observation that WN made concerning one church in in one city as recorded in the NT. There is no direct teaching made by anyone concerning this unless you want to use that verse about appointing elders in each city. The idea that there is a secret formula to the oneness, is to my mind laughable. We are charged to keep the oneness, not a formula. If it were easy the Lord wouldn't have said it was a narrow way and that there were few that find it. Everyone is more than happy to jump at shortcuts, few are willing to take the hard road.

Also, I think the teaching of one church, one city is in fact a way to distinguish one group of Christians from another, and that by definition, is sectarian. You are not going to keep the oneness with a sectarian teaching.

In addition, this teaching lays the foundation for other teachings like "God's unique move on Earth" (an elitist and arrogant teaching sure to blind any that accept it), or "poor, poor Christianity" (an arrogant teaching sure to puff up and cut off from fellowship any that accept it) and of course the abusive and cultish teaching that if you leave the LRC you leave God's blessing.

So, it is true that the application of this teaching is off. The question should not be "how do we fix the application" but rather "why is it off?" If you ask the second question you will find, in my opinion, that the teaching itself is sectarian. Therefore the answer is not to fix the application, but to stop teaching the teaching.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:08 PM   #17
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We are charged to keep the oneness, not a formula. If it were easy the Lord wouldn't have said it was a narrow way and that there were few that find it. Everyone is more than happy to jump at shortcuts, few are willing to take the hard road.
What's so hard about keeping what is already provided?

The body of Christ is joined spiritually. It's doesn't depend upon geography. We don't have to stand shoulder to shoulder to keep that kind of oneness, nor sit next to each other on the same geography.

It also don't depend upon emotional, psychological, or social connections. The body of Christ is joined spiritually. We don't and can't do anything to create it, or sustain it. All we have to do to "keep it" is to realize the reality of it that's already done and accomplished. All else is just silly seeking of outward showing, and human organization.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:53 PM   #18
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Hence the hypocrisy. The LSM teaches that there is one church in one city, but their exclusivism necessitates that there are at least 2. They argue that these are genuine Christians that don't meet with them and they argue that all of these Christians are members of the body of Christ and part of the church in their city. So I find their practice to directly contradict their teaching.
That's because some LCers think that "one church one city" should be physical (acutally meaning there should be only one set of specific elders in that locality), but the truth is any local church is as spiritual as the universal church - as pointed out already by TA Sparks.

So, "one church vs. more than one church" dichotomy is divisive from the start if we don't consider local church's spritual aspect - all the Christians in a locality is just one from the start. So the only legitimate question could be how one we are in that locality (not one vs. more than one dichotomy.)

I personally believe WN's original intention when he developed his one church one city doctrine was for correcting divisive situations, not for creating another elite theory of exclusiveness , but sadly the spirit of oneness has long been lost now.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:04 AM   #19
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What's so hard about keeping what is already provided?

The body of Christ is joined spiritually. It's doesn't depend upon geography. We don't have to stand shoulder to shoulder to keep that kind of oneness, nor sit next to each other on the same geography.

It also don't depend upon emotional, psychological, or social connections. The body of Christ is joined spiritually. We don't and can't do anything to create it, or sustain it. All we have to do to "keep it" is to realize the reality of it that's already done and accomplished. All else is just silly seeking of outward showing, and human organization.
The church is the ekklesia or called out ones.. spoken of by Jesus in John chapter 10..
The sheep pens are holding tanks for those still drunk on the cares of this world..

The church in the pasture(Ps 23)... are those that "came out" of the sheep pens..
For Jesus calls them out of the sheep pen to graze in the pasture (metaphorically)..
Jesus never despised denominations or warned against them..

Jesus was a "genius".. setting up a self-selecting mechanizm for sorting out the drunks..
For churchs are drunk tanks.. with many kinds and degrees of intoxication..
All church members self-select themselves.. God does not "do it"...
All kinds of sheep pens from Baptists to Boy Scouts to Synagogues..
Even the Moose Hall may be a kind of "church"...

Eventually some sober up and come out of those darned old sheep pens..
It must be smelly and nasty in them places.. it certainly was for me..
So God opened my eyes -or- I sobered up.. drunks don't get along well with
the sober ones well... some are ejected.. Its genius I tell ya.. the churches..

The pasture is much more peaceful and the sheep feed themselves no need
of a pastor feeding them.. You know, like real sheep do.. i.e. feed themselves..
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

Who hijacked Hosepipe. I know he's been hijacked cuz there's no vitriol in his words.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:19 PM   #21
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What ever has become of Canfield and the rest of The Concerned Brothers? Is there nothing left to be concerned about?
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:48 PM   #22
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The church is the ekklesia or called out ones.. spoken of by Jesus in John chapter 10..
The sheep pens are holding tanks for those still drunk on the cares of this world..

The church in the pasture(Ps 23)... are those that "came out" of the sheep pens..
For Jesus calls them out of the sheep pen to graze in the pasture (metaphorically)..
Jesus never despised denominations or warned against them..

Jesus was a "genius".. setting up a self-selecting mechanizm for sorting out the drunks..
For churchs are drunk tanks.. with many kinds and degrees of intoxication..
All church members self-select themselves.. God does not "do it"...
All kinds of sheep pens from Baptists to Boy Scouts to Synagogues..
Even the Moose Hall may be a kind of "church"...

Eventually some sober up and come out of those darned old sheep pens..
It must be smelly and nasty in them places.. it certainly was for me..
So God opened my eyes -or- I sobered up.. drunks don't get along well with
the sober ones well... some are ejected.. Its genius I tell ya.. the churches..

The pasture is much more peaceful and the sheep feed themselves no need
of a pastor feeding them.. You know, like real sheep do.. i.e. feed themselves..
Help! I've fallen out of my chair and I can't get up!

Great to hear from you Pipe!

Jr.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:51 PM   #23
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What ever has become of Canfield and the rest of The Concerned Brothers? Is there nothing left to be concerned about?
Hopefully they've moved on, found peace, and aren't looking back.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #24
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Move on, don't look back... no wonder they don't come around here

Actually I don't see why one can't move on and still have the desire to help those within the system. Maybe it takes a real glutton for punishment like most of us.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #25
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Move on, don't look back... no wonder they don't come around here

Actually I don't see why one can't move on and still have the desire to help those within the system. Maybe it takes a real glutton for punishment like most of us.
Exactly.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #26
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The church is the ekklesia or called out ones.. spoken of by Jesus in John chapter 10..
The sheep pens are holding tanks for those still drunk on the cares of this world..

The church in the pasture(Ps 23)... are those that "came out" of the sheep pens..
For Jesus calls them out of the sheep pen to graze in the pasture (metaphorically)..
Jesus never despised denominations or warned against them..

Jesus was a "genius".. setting up a self-selecting mechanizm for sorting out the drunks..
For churchs are drunk tanks.. with many kinds and degrees of intoxication..
All church members self-select themselves.. God does not "do it"...
All kinds of sheep pens from Baptists to Boy Scouts to Synagogues..
Even the Moose Hall may be a kind of "church"...

Eventually some sober up and come out of those darned old sheep pens..
It must be smelly and nasty in them places.. it certainly was for me..
So God opened my eyes -or- I sobered up.. drunks don't get along well with
the sober ones well... some are ejected.. Its genius I tell ya.. the churches..

The pasture is much more peaceful and the sheep feed themselves no need
of a pastor feeding them.. You know, like real sheep do.. i.e. feed themselves..
Not sure the theology in this is sound.

Are churches the sheep pens? Was Jesus referring to churches?

I don't think so. That is one of Lee's constructs. Problem is that he was trying to put it onto other churches and exclude his own. Doesn't work.

But he was wrong anyway. I believe that the reference to the sheep pens was to the system(s) in which the people (the Jews) were kept in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. The adherence to the law. The system of sacrifices. Jesus freed us from the old ways.

But the church was/is the new way. It was/is the pasture.

And this comment about sheep feeding themselves is not very meaningful. Yes, sheep always eat with their own mouth. But they need to be shepherded to where there is food. And they need to be shepherded out of danger, etc. Sheep will stay in one place until they have grazed the grass to the roots. Much harder to get the grass to spring back. They need the shepherd to move them along at least a little bit before that so that the grass comes back stronger and sooner.

This "we can do it ourselves" mentality is mostly American social theology and not Bible. We are ignoring the record. We are helped to find food and water, but no one makes us eat or drink.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:34 PM   #27
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Not sure the theology in this is sound.

Are churches the sheep pens? Was Jesus referring to churches?

I don't think so. That is one of Lee's constructs. Problem is that he was trying to put it onto other churches and exclude his own. Doesn't work.

But he was wrong anyway. I believe that the reference to the sheep pens was to the system(s) in which the people (the Jews) were kept in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. The adherence to the law. The system of sacrifices. Jesus freed us from the old ways.

But the church was/is the new way. It was/is the pasture.

And this comment about sheep feeding themselves is not very meaningful. Yes, sheep always eat with their own mouth. But they need to be shepherded to where there is food. And they need to be shepherded out of danger, etc. Sheep will stay in one place until they have grazed the grass to the roots. Much harder to get the grass to spring back. They need the shepherd to move them along at least a little bit before that so that the grass comes back stronger and sooner.

This "we can do it ourselves" mentality is mostly American social theology and not Bible. We are ignoring the record. We are helped to find food and water, but no one makes us eat or drink.
The pasture is not mentioned in the metaphor but its "implied".. and certain operators within the metaphor are ignored by your post.. especially Jesus calling them out of the sheep pen.. The sheep pen is not "the World" as they are "sheep".. The hireling seems to be the pastor in the sheep pen.. Much in this metaphor seems, to me, to be overlooked by the orthodox view of it..

The local church by my experience is indeed a sheep pen.. and Witless by his example and actions may have not been a christian.. But Jesus did not forbid denomination expressly.. The Body of Christ metaphor unified "the spirit" spiritually but not locally.. These two metaphors feed on each other I think..

A conversation on all of this may be beneficial.. If the word church is scewed then other concepts can be morphed and twisted as well..


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Old 08-05-2011, 05:14 AM   #28
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The pasture is not mentioned in the metaphor but its "implied".. and certain operators within the metaphor are ignored by your post.. especially Jesus calling them out of the sheep pen.. The sheep pen is not "the World" as they are "sheep".. The hireling seems to be the pastor in the sheep pen.. Much in this metaphor seems, to me, to be overlooked by the orthodox view of it..

The local church by my experience is indeed a sheep pen.. and Witless by his example and actions may have not been a christian.. But Jesus did not forbid denomination expressly.. The Body of Christ metaphor unified "the spirit" spiritually but not locally.. These two metaphors feed on each other I think..

A conversation on all of this may be beneficial.. If the word church is scewed then other concepts can be morphed and twisted as well..
I like your thinking here.

I have given the hireling a few thoughts over recent years, and while I cannot say I know what it is about, it does not seem to simply be about being paid. If you think about it, any shepherd is paid. They aren't volunteers. If they were, since the job is non-stop, they would eventually starve.

Instead, I think the issue is the connection, or lack of connection, with the sheep. The point of "hireling" does not seem to be about the money as much as the lack of reference to actually being a shepherd. One is a shepherd and the other is a hireling. One cares for the sheep. The other does not, but does enough to get paid and go home.

So a "pastor" is not necessarily a hireling. Unless he is in it for the money and not for the people. We like the idea of them being more closely connected with the "flock" than being some outsider. But even if you take the metaphor to ridiculous extremes, shepherds are not sheep that rose up to become shepherds. They are men who chose a career, even if only for a while, of taking care of sheep. So nothing in the metaphor can make the shepherd "one" with the sheep. I'm not saying that in the point of the metaphor our spiritual shepherds cannot be one with us. It is just that the metaphor is unable to deal with that aspect. You either need to bring in another metaphor to cover that, or simply say it.

Besides the aberrant aspects of the LRC, they are no more a "sheep pen" than any other church. Jesus was looking at what was and declaring that he was there to bring the sheep out to pasture. It was not about something wrong with churches. It seems to be more about taking the Jews to the "next level" so-to-speak. And the hirelings were ones who attempted to be their leaders, but could not stand against adversity. Or more pointedly (by comparison to a shepherd) were not there for the purpose of caring for the sheep.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:21 AM   #29
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Why couldn't the politicians leading this country be viewed as hirelings?
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:00 AM   #30
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Why couldn't the politicians leading this country be viewed as hirelings?
Hirelings of the rich ... plutocrats ... a kleptocracy...
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:20 AM   #31
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

The sheep pen is plainly refers to "salvation" or "heaven" or something generally positive like that. Verse 1 establishes it. It's the legitimate place to be, but you can only get there legitimately by the gate, which is Jesus.

The hireling/stranger seems to refers to false Christs or false ways of salvation, not simply phony leaders. Jesus seems to be saying that they "don't have what it takes" to genuinely insure the sheep's safety, as he does.

Trying to find a definitive interpretation and meaning for passages like this is often futile. I think Jesus was giving general principles often, not carving out a single, specific meaning that we were supposed to somehow figure out. How would we know when we finally figured it out, anyway? For example, he says he is the gate, but also says he enters by the gate. What does that mean? He is simply saying he is legitimate, and the others who came before him (claiming to be Christ) are not, neither is anyone else.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:32 AM   #32
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I like your thinking here.

I have given the hireling a few thoughts over recent years, and while I cannot say I know what it is about, it does not seem to simply be about being paid. If you think about it, any shepherd is paid. They aren't volunteers. If they were, since the job is non-stop, they would eventually starve.

Instead, I think the issue is the connection, or lack of connection, with the sheep. The point of "hireling" does not seem to be about the money as much as the lack of reference to actually being a shepherd. One is a shepherd and the other is a hireling. One cares for the sheep. The other does not, but does enough to get paid and go home.

So a "pastor" is not necessarily a hireling. Unless he is in it for the money and not for the people. We like the idea of them being more closely connected with the "flock" than being some outsider. But even if you take the metaphor to ridiculous extremes, shepherds are not sheep that rose up to become shepherds. They are men who chose a career, even if only for a while, of taking care of sheep. So nothing in the metaphor can make the shepherd "one" with the sheep. I'm not saying that in the point of the metaphor our spiritual shepherds cannot be one with us. It is just that the metaphor is unable to deal with that aspect. You either need to bring in another metaphor to cover that, or simply say it.

Besides the aberrant aspects of the LRC, they are no more a "sheep pen" than any other church. Jesus was looking at what was and declaring that he was there to bring the sheep out to pasture. It was not about something wrong with churches. It seems to be more about taking the Jews to the "next level" so-to-speak. And the hirelings were ones who attempted to be their leaders, but could not stand against adversity. Or more pointedly (by comparison to a shepherd) were not there for the purpose of caring for the sheep.

According to the metaphor there is only one pastor/shepherd... "the gate" not many..

Which calls into question what did Jesus mean by; "feed my sheep" in a comment to Peter.. also "you must eat my flesh and drink my blood".. spoken the nite before he was crucified(passover).. all of them being metaphorical references..

References I think to the "lamb of God" and sacrifice generally.. i.e. pascal lamb... personal sacrifice being the food, passover being the model..

About teaching it is said, "the Holy Spirit will teach you all things"..
Most of Christianity(in my experience) seems to have cut the Holy Spirit right out of the loop..
Making him a doofus in the meetings.. (if possible).. He may not be there..
Meetings seem to be a show or Kabuki theater with masks, strange(different) sounds and posturing.. to an audience..

At any rate the metaphors in the new (and old testaments) may need revisiting with much prayer to the Holy Spirit for clarity maybe even revelation.. Cause I think maybe orthodox teachings may have missed "the point(s)"..

Salvation may not be only for the smart ones but for the dumb ones as well..
i.e.. Mormons, JW's, RCC, even Baptists..



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Old 08-05-2011, 08:04 AM   #33
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According to the metaphor there is only one pastor/shepherd... "the gate" not many..
I must confess that I was not looking at the passage as I spoke. Given Igzy's comments, it is even more evident that it is not about pastors, or even clergy, per se, but of those who would come to take the place of the Christ. In any case, our attempts to apply it to pastors, clergy, even a hierarchy are misguided because that does not appear to be what Jesus was talking about. He wasn't even talking about churches.

And, like Igzy said, so many of these parables, etc., used metaphors that were designed to make A point. Not a whole bunch of points. As was typical of Lee's teaching, he milked every metaphor for every remote inference he could glean from it — or read into it. Unimportant that it was not relevant to the immediate discussion. And while we may have seen through his errors, I still think that we (me included) so often are captured by his ways. I have begun to make myself question anything beyond what is clearly there and then let sound sources suggest anything more I should consider. And anything published by the LSM does not qualify (for me) as "sound sources."
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:40 AM   #34
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

What havoc has been wrought in the Church because so many of her
ministers have sought to bring the churches under their ministry, rather than by their ministry serve the churches. As soon as the churches are brought under any ministry, they cease to be local and become sectarian (The Normal Christian Church Life
, pp.138-139).

I think this is what happened under WL's ministry and apparently it is what is happening under the Living Stream ministry now.


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Old 08-05-2011, 08:48 AM   #35
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I must confess that I was not looking at the passage as I spoke. Given Igzy's comments, it is even more evident that it is not about pastors, or even clergy, per se, but of those who would come to take the place of the Christ. In any case, our attempts to apply it to pastors, clergy, even a hierarchy are misguided because that does not appear to be what Jesus was talking about. He wasn't even talking about churches.

And, like Igzy said, so many of these parables, etc., used metaphors that were designed to make A point. Not a whole bunch of points. As was typical of Lee's teaching, he milked every metaphor for every remote inference he could glean from it or read into it. Unimportant that it was not relevant to the immediate discussion. And while we may have seen through his errors, I still think that we (me included) so often are captured by his ways. I have begun to make myself question anything beyond what is clearly there and then let sound sources suggest anything more I should consider. And anything published by the LSM does not qualify (for me) as "sound sources."

A human say Paul might be trying to make one(a) point with a metaphor but
I would say God could easily and probably did make multiple points with his..
Passover being an example.. parables being others..

Jesus did not write books but transacted business in as brief a manner as possible..
We have very little of what Jesus did and said.. no doubt not all of it..
"If God", he would know that...... even THEN... Why not power packed transactions?

John chapter 10 is a good example.. about rolling metaphorical images into a screed.. Metaphors as cartoons do trump language and dialect.... even culture.. If so, then Jesus' metaphors were more important than his direct words.. I think.. even Psalms pile quatrain upon quatrain.. If Psalms were inspired God is willing and able to pack much into a few words..

Could be much is said and even implied by Jesus' metaphors..
Implied like.. maybe sheep pens implied that there are also pig, vulture, lion, goat, vampire, bat, mole, butterfly and worm pens out there.. I have surely been to a few of them.. any sheep were hiding..

We see what we see.. some see more some see less.. some are deluded..
I see what I see, you see what you see.. with self sacrifice we can tolerate each other..
With self sacrificial tolerance we may be able to "feed" each other.. metaphorically..


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Old 08-05-2011, 09:17 AM   #36
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That's because some LCers think that "one church one city" should be physical (acutally meaning there should be only one set of specific elders in that locality), but the truth is any local church is as spiritual as the universal church - as pointed out already by TA Sparks.

So, "one church vs. more than one church" dichotomy is divisive from the start if we don't consider local church's spritual aspect - all the Christians in a locality is just one from the start. So the only legitimate question could be how one we are in that locality (not one vs. more than one dichotomy.)
I've been wanting to respond to this post for several days. When anyone over-emphasizes one city/one church or as I have known the ground of locality. This teaching can become doctrinal and can become divisive as other doctrines have.
We as Christians can have the heart and the effort to be one with all Christians in our respective cities. What I have observed is a coming up short in love for one another, because Christians don't meet at the same location, endeavoring to be one with them in spirit is viewed as shaking hands over the fence.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #37
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

Long careful observation has shown me that typical LC's have no interest whatsoever in being a local church according to Nee's "Normal Christian Church Life" nor even according to Lee's "Practical Expression of the Church." This goes for both west coast and midwest strains of churches. What is currently promoted (and no doubt from a very early time) is a third thing composed of sectarian mindsets, culture, bias, and religious tradition. This is not to say that either book should be taken as foundational or necessarily correct in their logic. I just find it ironic that these works, which defined the "true north" of church practice for the group, find no honest application in LC ranks. It would be interesting to compare the main tenets of these works, chapter by chapter with habits and attitudes of local churches who profess to "stand on the ground of locality."

It seems that these two men identified what they saw as a New Testament pattern, and then their movement found itself highly inconvinienced by that pattern later on. Naturally this led to many colorful maneuvers to adjust the original doctrine to however current winds were blowing. --Sigh-- such is the group that elevates ecclesiology over theology.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:03 PM   #38
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

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I must confess that I was not looking at the passage as I spoke. Given Igzy's comments, it is even more evident that it is not about pastors, or even clergy, per se, but of those who would come to take the place of the Christ. In any case, our attempts to apply it to pastors, clergy, even a hierarchy are misguided because that does not appear to be what Jesus was talking about. He wasn't even talking about churches.
I'm still stuck on who the porter is. The metaphor is all over the place. Jesus is the gate yet enters the gate. I think it was a typical Pharisee metaphor of those days. Jesus was likely a Jewish Pharisee.

At any rate I think we can say Jesus was talking about something very glorious, as in life more abundantly. And that the gloriousness was larger than any groups we can form. Larger than evangelicalism, fundamentalism, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. et al.

And that is what we should touch. Cuz when we touch that we transcend all of man's groupings ... and break out of our human tribalism ... into something glorious and universal ... out of the sheep pens into the wild, with the shepherd ... to the green grass ... not hay and such in the sheep pens.

In John 10 Jesus painted a metaphorical image speaking of something much more glorious than came before, and more glorious than all of men's groupings. The shepherd calls the sheep out of the pens. The sheep hear his voice, leave the pen, and follow the shepherd. Where? They don't know where. That's why they follow the shepherd. In the pens, or out of the pens, the sheep belong to the shepherd, and they know it, and know his voice. Sheep are followers....

I think there's tons to mine from John 10. Even just the sheep factor alone. Sheep are funny critters. Send a herd over a fence, start 'em jumping it, and remove the fence, and all the rest will continue to jump the fence that's no longer there. Funny superstitious sheep. They jump a ghost ... something unseen but to them must be there, or the sheep in front of them wouldn't have jumped it.

How many Christians, or humans for that matter, do that?
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #39
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Default Re: David Canfield - regarding the ground 2 -JER. 24

Right. The spirit of jesus breaks the wineskins. jesus revolutionized history. His spirit could not be contained by any human institution.

As for superstitious sheep behavior of jumping a fence that is no longer there, have you ever been in a traffic slow down after an accident on the freeway and when you get up to where the accident took place, the cars are still sowing down even though the crashed vehicles have already been towed away? Funny human sheep.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #40
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Long careful observation has shown me that typical LC's have no interest whatsoever in being a local church according to Nee's "Normal Christian Church Life" nor even according to Lee's "Practical Expression of the Church." This goes for both west coast and midwest strains of churches. What is currently promoted (and no doubt from a very early time) is a third thing composed of sectarian mindsets, culture, bias, and religious tradition. This is not to say that either book should be taken as foundational or necessarily correct in their logic. I just find it ironic that these works, which defined the "true north" of church practice for the group, find no honest application in LC ranks. It would be interesting to compare the main tenets of these works, chapter by chapter with habits and attitudes of local churches who profess to "stand on the ground of locality."

It seems that these two men identified what they saw as a New Testament pattern, and then their movement found itself highly inconvinienced by that pattern later on. Naturally this led to many colorful maneuvers to adjust the original doctrine to however current winds were blowing. --Sigh-- such is the group that elevates ecclesiology over theology.
Absolutely, they weren't about to let their plans be dashed by their own teachings. Maybe you could say they were too smart to be held down by their own teachings.

I've been told in the LRC that there are things in The Normal Christian Church Life that "aren't so right", or kind of behind the times, or something to that general effect. At least they're honest.

It seems there's no problem at all with people being "caught for the church life" by the vision presented in books like TNCCL, and then discovering after you're already in that those very teachings, by now, are really passe.

They'll just smile and say, two sides to everything...
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:19 AM   #41
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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What is currently promoted is (and no doubt from a very early time) is a third thing composed of sectarian mindsets, culture, bias, and religious tradition.
This is why I left. They were not interested in being true to WN's vision. Instead I saw these four things you mention.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #42
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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It seems that these two men identified what they saw as a New Testament pattern, and then their movement found itself highly inconvenienced by that pattern later on. Naturally this led to many colorful maneuvers to adjust the original doctrine to however current winds were blowing. --Sigh-- such is the group that elevates ecclesiology over theology.
Boy does this sum the whole thing up in one paragraph or what?!

"
such is the group that elevates ecclesiology over theology" - very keen observation. Thanks for sharing that.

"Christ and the Church" became "Christ and the local church" which eventually became "Christ and the Local Church of Witness Lee". It didn't happen overnight and Lee did not accomplish this by himself - he had lots and lots of help from us. I think one of the important things to realize is that what we see before us today (The Local Church LSM sect-movement) did actually start with Christ and the Church. We may have to dig all the way back to Nee and the Little Flock in Mainland China to find it, wading our way back through a long path now overgrown with all sorts of manmade teachings and practices, but I think in the long run the effort will be worth it – both for many concerned ex-members and for those current members who would want to enter into a season of reconsideration, without throwing the entire baby out with the bathwater.


This is not to say that there were not some bad seeds from the very beginnings of the LC movement, or that Watchman Nee had everything right, or that Witness Lee had everything wrong for that matter. What I hope we can avoid (at least in this forum) is to resist the polarizing effect of making everything a black and white, all or nothing proposition. One poster may take a certain position and another poster may take what seems to be the polar opposite, but I’m hoping that we can let the facts of scripture (along with a good dose of common sense, sound reasoning and historical perspective) mediate between the two. I really, really hate when Christians end up “agreeing to disagree” on any of the essential, profound matters of the Faith, it just doesn’t seem right to me, but I suppose it’s better than the alternative – not talking to each other at all.

Now, getting back to the last paragraph posted by Mordecai, I think that Witness Lee had already begun the task of “many colorful maneuvers to adjust the original doctrine (of Watchman Nee) long before most of us ever entered the LC movement. The process was so gradual (albeit intentional), that we didn’t even realize it was taking place. Then, by the time the deviations were noticed by some of the most prominent members among us (Ingalls, Mallon, So et al) it was far, far too late. Instead of thoughtful reconsideration and repentance, all that we got was back stabbing, name calling and that trashy pulp fiction entitled “The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion”. It seems to me that Titus Chu and many in the MidWest/Great Lakes area have had to relive the whole thing all over again. Thankfully, just as was the case with many others, they have simply moved on – maybe not fully or completely – but moved on none the less.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:10 PM   #43
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

Started looking at John 10 a little last night. Interesting passage. Jesus starts out using the sheep pen and gate as a way to indicate that the one who comes correctly through the gate at the allowance of the gatekeeper is the true shepherd. All others scale the fence and are thieves and robbers. Of course, he is the true shepherd.

Then he makes reference to being the gate. He is the way (as well as the truth and the life/light).

Then he returns to being the good shepherd in opposition to the hired hand (or "hireling").

So he makes three distinct points relating to some kind of sheep/shepherd/pen/gate metaphor. Yet they are not simply one run-on metaphor. He may have been having one discussion. But it seems that when he is talking about who comes through the gate rather than over the wall, it is about himself v false ones. Then he speaks of being the gate not to say that he lets himself in, but to note that it is through him that the sheep come into the fold and also go out to pasture. Then he returns to the shepherd metaphor to make a comparison between himself and those that only care for themselves.

Three (at least) distinct statements using metaphors relating to sheep. Sort of like the place where he gave the series of parables including the mustard seed, the leaven hidden/mixed in some flour, and the great catch of fish. In both places, there is a relationship between the various parables/metaphors, but they are not just saying the same thing over and over, but saying different things.

And in John 10, of all the things that he says, I don't find anything that is simply a statement against clergy, or paying preachers. (These were among the most important things Lee seemed to find there.) Or anything against Christianity in general. Or against non-LRC assemblies.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:07 PM   #44
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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Boy does this sum the whole thing up in one paragraph or what?!
I just find it more than coincidental that two Chinamen, from mainland China, built a Christian movement that was basically communist in functionality, nature and practice.....

Make one's mind go hmmmmmm?
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:55 PM   #45
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Default Re: David Canfield - Regarding the Ground

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I just find it more than coincidental that two Chinamen, from mainland China, built a Christian movement that was basically communist in functionality, nature and practice.....

Make one's mind go hmmmmmm?
It is my belief that there is a tendency, among some, in the US LRC today, to consider that white folks are getting what was coming to them. In terms of having cultural elements other than their own mixed up with their "spirituality". With all the confusion and discontent that inevitably accompanies that.

What can you say? It's an open secret that Christian culture throughout the world too often tends to emmulate white American culture. Hard to be so critical when the same thing seems to be happening in reverse, as it were.

All I know is, this whole notion of "Building up the Body of Christ", if it is indeed something real, can it really be helped by revenge? Is there any place for spite there?

(And if so, isn't this just another human organization, kinda like any other?)
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