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Old 03-11-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Default Is it the Message, or the Men?

Those of us who have left the Local Church Movement have looked back in wonder at our experiences and what they meant. Trying to sort out what the lesson is, we observe the ongoing Local Church movement, and two basic characteristics, existing in tension, come into focus:

  1. The movement thinks its positive legacy is of paramount importance.
  2. The movement thinks that the defense of its founders, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, is essential to this legacy.

In other words, the movement thinks beyond any doubt that many of the spiritual principles they uphold, which they see as neglected in other Christian groups, are absolutely crucial to God achieving what he desires to achieve. Thus they see themselves as stewards of these things. (Some examples are: locality, God's economy, various "high peak" teachings, the principle of Recovery and unity with the move of Recovery). It is not important to this discussion that you agree with those principles. It is important to understand that the mission of the Church always includes spreading principles. And so, the LC is not wrong for doing that. Whether those principles are valid or not is something that gets worked out in the arena of ideas.

The problem is, the LC for some reason also feels that the defense of Nee and Lee is essential to carrying out their mission. Probably if pressed they would not want to admit that protecting Nee's and Lee's reputations is part of their mission. Yet, clearly from their behavior they feel they cannot carry out their mission of preserving the principles unique to their movement without also preserving as pristine the reputations of their founders.

The question I have is, Why do they feel this way?
If Nee and Lee were onto some things, and I still believe in certain cases they were, then those ostensive truths should stand on their own. They should not be dependent on the reputation of the men who communicated them. Clearly, our failure as servants can blunt the reception of even the most legitimate messages God gives us. Yet, our failures never invalidate those messages. So preserving a myth about a movement founder, even and especially for the sake of protecting the message he declared, is in the end counter to the mission of preserving any legitimate message. Dealing in lies to preserve the truth is a house divided against itself.

The fact is, God did not spare the reputations of his greatest servants. We see clearly the warts of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Paul and Peter, to name some. God did not think he needed to present these men as pristine in order to preserve the incredibly important messages and missions he wished to convey and accomplish through them. Interestingly, the LC cites Noah as an example of the consequences of exposing the sin of a leader, as Noah's son Ham was cursed for doing. Yet apparently this principle was lost on Moses, who when he wrote Genesis included the account, thus exposing Noah! Personally, I think God lets every servant of his fail, to underscore that the important thing is the message, not the men.

There is nothing wrong with trying to preserve and pass along spiritual principles you think are important. We all should do this. And the Local Church is not wrong for doing it either. But that leads to the question, with LCers, is it really about the message, about passing on real spiritual truths from God to the rest of the Church; or is it about preserving the reputations of men, of Nee and Lee? And if the latter, why? As God himself has shown us, he is more than willing to let the facts be the facts, and allow the historic failure of his servants be known. His truth is not dependent on our reputations. It stands on its own. And dealing in lies and myths to preserve reputations is in fact just one more delay to his truth prevailing.

The truth stands. Men come and go. The Bible understands this. It's time the LC did, too--ironically, for the sake of their own message.
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is it the Message, or the Men?

I beleive that the premise that they were "onto something" is much less significant than most of us want to admit. Even those of us that have separated ourselves from it and point at the mess and error that persists.

Why? I'm not entirely sure.

I think that maybe it is that we have a tendency toward correlation with respect to things that are long ago enough that we don't have a complete ability to assess everything about it. I think this is where that "early LRC v late LRC" or "early Lee v late Lee" come into play. We had something enjoyable. Something that uplifted us. I almost said "uplifted our spirits," but while I don't necessarily discount that, I don't think it is as simple to declare that as true as we would like.

As people, we tend toward extremes. When things are rocking along smoothly, we generally ignore it. When they get bad, we take note. And when they are suddenly better, we also take note. And in those "better" times, it is our natural tendency to be "up." Up in whatever way is reasonable or somewhat appropriate. The truth may not be much different from "rocking along smoothly," but because of the juxtaposition to some bad times, we elevate what might actually be simply normal — at least for a while.

And sometimes we are rocking along smoothly and someone comes along and sows seeds of discontent and suddenly things are bad even though nothing has happened. We just have some kind of thought that it could be better, so now must be bad.

Without any reference to Nee or Lee, this was a common thing in Christianity in the 60s and early 70s. There was a bunch of so-called "inner life" writers and speakers stirring up people. There was a charismatic wave such that there were charismatic meetings at Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, and other denominational groups here in the DFW area. Guys like Kenneth Hagan (inner life) had a sort of cult following (that actually included my parents). There were others but I don't remember names right now. People in all sorts of places were reading all kinds of things. And those things were talking about Christianity in a way that was not fitting in with the status quo in their assembly of choice. At least not well.

So enter the free groups, including the LRC. People who got involved with some others of similar mind that started meeting together regularly rather than just sometimes began a more robust free group movement. In the middle of that came Lee and the LRC. Those who joined-up in those early days were given a fair bit of freedom to be experimental, in a way. They were no longer sitting in pews, singing three songs, 1st, 2nd, and last verse (every sing all of "Let Us Contemplate the Grapevine"?), to the sound of a piano and Hammond organ (or even pipe organ in some of the older traditions). Your voice was now heard regularly. (Notice that, at some level, the freedom for using your voice has now been diminished in the LRC. They have us now.)

It was different. But were the teachings really something worth taking note of? Ground, clergy (or lack thereof (really?)), etc., followed by God's economy, and then flowery term after flowery term with the intent that saying it better meant it was better (and they must actually teach that now).

What did they teach that needs Nee and Lee that is really worthy of keeping?

I can't find anything. They were smart enough to leave most of the base alone. That means it was not theirs. Everything that they played around with was at least pushing the envelope to have differences with the rest of Christianity. Some of it was questionably heretical. And I think that some of it even did not have any question about it.

Now don't go ballistic on me. Some level of heresy is not the end of the world (as we know it).

I am convinced that the LRC needs to keep Nee and Lee intact because they are the source of everything that causes there to be a need to remain separated (and sectarian) relative to everyone else. If Nee was simply a brilliant reader who could distill and repackage other's writings into something he wanted, and was doing it with little true spiritual training at age 21, what was he? From there he went on to become someone of renown, even starting a church at a pretty young age (not necessarily a bad thing). But the accusations of sexual improprieties began at a young age. By the time of the 1942 excommunication (or whatever you want to call it) this was at least the second time the issue had been raised. He may be commended for realizing the error of his ways and taking the discipline.

But it was fairly clear within less than 12 months after being allowed back in (in 48?) that he would not have it happen again. He gave a series of messages in which there was a hierarchy of authority that was understood based on who was the one to direct your spiritual questions to. Since no chain of who was above or below who had him anywhere but at the top, he was the pinnacle. Never had to say it. The whole group simply believed it to be true. But the teaching did not stop there. While you could avoid doing something that this spiritual authority demanded if it was illegal or immoral, you could not question their position or speak against their person on the basis of sin. That was made clear when he said that only God could deal with Nadab and Abihu because they rebelled against God. He declared that only God could deal with the sins of someone who was a deputy authority.

Then came Lee to America. He was just this humble preacher, going from place to place bringing the good news of the church life.

Or so he said.

He was the encourager of the people of the 60s. He was not revered as the MOTA, but some began to suggest "apostle" by the early 70s. I heard it in early 73. The rest is history. Daystar. Max. Run Max off. Lawsuits. Like being exalted. Run off Ingalls, Mallons, and others. Insist that your sexual predator son be the head of your ministry and direct how churches run their affairs.

But enough about the reasons to dislike Nee and Lee. The real question is what they brought that is worthy of keeping such that if they are found to be false teachers just trying to have a better job than being an accountant, or whatever would be seen as suspect to the rest of the Christian world.

I suggest the answer is "nothing."

We went through a little of this several years ago when Steve I started a thread in the other form titled something like "Teachings of Witness Lee that I Think True." (OK, not exactly the title, but the essence of it.) I don't recall there being even one example given that was soundly worth keeping. That was really a teaching discoverable in scripture. Most were bad positions and rewrites of scripture based on an overlay . . . almost always "because of God's economy."

Funny that the way that God orders his kingdom would be the reason that the words he gave to us to understand his kingdom cannot be trusted to mean what they say. It almost creates a circular problem. God speaks his kingdom. But his kingdom requires that the words be redefined, which results in a different kingdom than the one that was spoken of in the first place.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is it the Message, or the Men?

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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
In other words, the movement thinks beyond any doubt that many of the spiritual principles they uphold, which they see as neglected in other Christian groups, are absolutely crucial to God achieving what he desires to achieve. Thus they see themselves as stewards of these things.

The problem is, the LC for some reason also feels that the defense of Nee and Lee is essential to carrying out their mission. Probably if pressed they would not want to admit that protecting Nee's and Lee's reputations is part of their mission. Yet, clearly from their behavior they feel they cannot carry out their mission of preserving the principles unique to their movement without also preserving as pristine the reputations of their founders.

The question I have is, Why do they feel this way?
The failures of all these great men of God in the Bible also points us to the fact that God the Father is jealous over His Son. He alone is perfect, holy, and righteous. He will not allow His Son to have any rivals in His household. That glory will not be shared with fallen man. For eternity it will be known that His Son is the Redeeming Lamb, and we all are the redeemed sinners.

The apostles understood this all too clearly after the resurrection of the Christ. When men attempted to uplift them, they quickly said, "we too are men." (Peter in Acts 10.26; Paul in Acts 14.15) The church in Corinth, though not revering the apostles as "gods," still uplifted them beyond what was pleasing to God, saying "I am of such-and-such man." Paul hammered home the point that we boast in no man but the Lord, (I Cor. 1.30, 3.21-23) and that the apostles are as nothing compared to Him. (I Cor. 1.13; 3.6-7)

Nee and Lee taught these same things, yet did not practice what they preached. Within their little circle of Christians, they were absolutely preeminent. Their handlers presented them alone as flawless spokesmen for God on earth. Within their local churches, their ministries rose above the word of God. All other ministers were flawed, substandard, and degraded -- and worthy of censure. Theirs alone must be revered as God's speaking in the present day.

Thus they must be perfect, and without failure. It is inconceivable that the morals of these men could be on the same level as their contemporaries. Without being elevated beyond all Christian coevals, lavished with such titles as the MOTA, the acting God, deputy authority, today's Paul, etc., everything they have ministered would be held up to examination, and much of it would collapse like a house of cards.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:04 AM   #4
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I beleive that the premise that they were "onto something" is much less significant than most of us want to admit. Even those of us that have separated ourselves from it and point at the mess and error that persists.

Why? I'm not entirely sure.
Well, for some reason you decided to comment on a side issue, rather than my main point. But, since you insist, I disagree with your basic thrust that they had nothing to offer. I think there were some things about the movement and what Nee and Lee emphasized that God wanted us to run with. I flatly do not believe we would still be talking about this movement 30 years later if there wasn't something about it that was compelling--and that goes back to more than just the fervor of the group, it goes back to some things Nee and Lee taught.

Some of the things Nee and Lee, IMHO, were onto include:
A greater emphasis on the unity of the Church and on the Church as the place where God dwells and puts his name. The tendency in churches is still to look at each individual church as more or less the work of a pastor or set of pastors, rather than a real and direct work of God. There is also a tendency to look at them more as "ours" than "God's." The sense of the church, the people, as the holy dwelling place of God is still not as strong as it I think it should be.

A greater emphasis on what God is after than what we are after. God is still sold as the answer to man's problems. This is indeed true. But the idea that God has a definite goal in mind which is being worked out in time is still not that popular an idea.

A greater emphasis of the Trinity as a central mystery crucial for our experience. The Trinity is, unfortunately, really de-emphasized in churches today. It's almost a subject they try to avoid, I guess because it's confusing. That's a shame, because in my experience, appreciating the Trinity enhances my relationship with God. Although I disagreed with Lee's flatly stating again and again ad nauseum that the Father is the Son and the Son is the Spirit, at the same time in the best possible way I know what he was getting at. If you make the Son and the Spirit too distinct, it hinders your experience. I don't claim to completely understand it, because no one does. But I do think he was onto something.

Emphasis on God trying to build the Church on the earth as testimony and a Bride prepared before he returns. I rarely hear this taught anywhere else.

Emphasis on the indwelling Christ and union with Christ, being crucified with Christ. These ideas are very rudimentary in Christian teaching today.

I think many of the teachings on the human spirit are still very helpful. Many Christians I meet though they know Jesus lives in them are vague about it. But again, Nee and Lee went a little overboard with it, trying to turn it into a science. That doesn't negate the importance.
Now you might argue that all these things were out there somewhere already and still can be found. I won't argue with that, but I don't think it matters. My point is that I heard them from Nee and Lee, not others. I think God was trying to emphasize certain things through Nee and Lee, but they got off track with their own vision of their movement and how things should come about and the enemy basically torpedoed the thing.

The fact is, OBW, if I didn't feel that in some ways the LC movement imparted some quite amazing things to me, I would not have had a problem leaving it. In fact, it was the mixed feelings about it that confused me--that I knew some very heavenly things had been imparted to me, while at the same time knowing that I could not exist there, was the confusing matter.

Now I know better. I know that just because someone has some good things doesn't mean everything is good, or that I need to pledge my life to him. I also know that just because someone has some bad things, some really bad things, doesn't mean I feel the need to find fault with everything he taught. When I watch you, I seem to see this compulsion. It just doesn't work for me, because I know that many good things were imparted to me. To say otherwise would simply be lying, at least the way I see things now.

The bottom line is, all things our ours. If Nee and Lee had good things, they couldn't do anything to make them bad, in essence. And if they had bad things, we should leave those behind.

The point of this thread is that the reputation of the men and the validity of their teaching are two separate issues. The LC tries to make them the same thing.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:12 AM   #5
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Nee and Lee taught these same things, yet did not practice what they preached. Within their little circle of Christians, they were absolutely preeminent. Their handlers presented them alone as flawless spokesmen for God on earth. Within their local churches, their ministries rose above the word of God. All other ministers were flawed, substandard, and degraded -- and worthy of censure. Theirs alone must be revered as God's speaking in the present day.

Thus they must be perfect, and without failure. It is inconceivable that the morals of these men could be on the same level as their contemporaries. Without being elevated beyond all Christian coevals, lavished with such titles as the MOTA, the acting God, deputy authority, today's Paul, etc., everything they have ministered would be held up to examination, and much of it would collapse like a house of cards.
Well summarized, Ohio. The LC feels the reputations of Nee and Lee must be kept pristine because they alone are the spokesmen for God for this "age."

So the LC mission is not just to uphold the message, because it should stand on its own. Their mission is to diminish every other messenger than Nee and Lee. They must have no rivals, period.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Great post Igzy.

Concerning the message:

Now that I'm out of the local church am I still a living stone in The Building that's God's eternal purpose?
------------------------------------------
Deliberately leaving:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Well, for some reason you decided to comment on a side issue, rather than my main point. But, since you insist, I disagree with your basic thrust that they had nothing to offer. I think there were some things about the movement and what Nee and Lee emphasized that God wanted us to run with. I flatly do not believe we would still be talking about this movement 30 years later if there wasn't something about it that was compelling--and that goes back to more than just the fervor of the group, it goes back to some things Nee and Lee taught.

Some of the things Nee and Lee, IMHO, were onto include:
A greater emphasis on the unity of the Church and on the Church as the place where God dwells and puts his name. The tendency in churches is still to look at each individual church as more or less the work of a pastor or set of pastors, rather than a real and direct work of God. There is also a tendency to look at them more as "ours" than "God's." The sense of the church, the people, as the holy dwelling place of God is still not as strong as it I think it should be.

A greater emphasis on what God is after than what we are after. God is still sold as the answer to man's problems. This is indeed true. But the idea that God has a definite goal in mind which is being worked out in time is still not that popular an idea.

A greater emphasis of the Trinity as a central mystery crucial for our experience. The Trinity is, unfortunately, really de-emphasized in churches today. It's almost a subject they try to avoid, I guess because it's confusing. That's a shame, because in my experience, appreciating the Trinity enhances my relationship with God. Although I disagreed with Lee's flatly stating again and again ad nauseum that the Father is the Son and the Son is the Spirit, at the same time in the best possible way I know what he was getting at. If you make the Son and the Spirit too distinct, it hinders your experience. I don't claim to completely understand it, because no one does. But I do think he was onto something.

Emphasis on God trying to build the Church on the earth as testimony and a Bride prepared before he returns. I rarely hear this taught anywhere else.

Emphasis on the indwelling Christ and union with Christ, being crucified with Christ. These ideas are very rudimentary in Christian teaching today.

I think many of the teachings on the human spirit are still very helpful. Many Christians I meet though they know Jesus lives in them are vague about it. But again, Nee and Lee went a little overboard with it, trying to turn it into a science. That doesn't negate the importance.
Now you might argue that all these things were out there somewhere already and still can be found. I won't argue with that, but I don't think it matters. My point is that I heard them from Nee and Lee, not others. I think God was trying to emphasize certain things through Nee and Lee, but they got off track with their own vision of their movement and how things should come about and the enemy basically torpedoed the thing.

The fact is, OBW, if I didn't feel that in some ways the LC movement imparted some quite amazing things to me, I would not have had a problem leaving it. In fact, it was the mixed feelings about it that confused me--that I knew some very heavenly things had been imparted to me, while at the same time knowing that I could not exist there, was the confusing matter.

Now I know better. I know that just because someone has some good things doesn't mean everything is good, or that I need to pledge my life to him. I also know that just because someone has some bad things, some really bad things, doesn't mean I feel the need to find fault with everything he taught. When I watch you, I seem to see this compulsion. It just doesn't work for me, because I know that many good things were imparted to me. To say otherwise would simply be lying, at least the way I see things now.

The bottom line is, all things our ours. If Nee and Lee had good things, they couldn't do anything to make them bad, in essence. And if they had bad things, we should leave those behind.

The point of this thread is that the reputation of the men and the validity of their teaching are two separate issues. The LC tries to make them the same thing.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:08 AM   #7
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The point of this thread is that the reputation of the men and the validity of their teaching are two separate issues. The LC tries to make them the same thing.
Watchman Nee taught (not sure where) that a man's ministry ought to end with his death, based on a verse about King David (not sure which one.)

After Lee's death, Titus Chu used this teaching against the Blendeds. His point, of course, was two-fold. First, since Lee has passed, the ministry work (e.g. elders' trainings) he carried on should also end. Secondly, since none of the Blendeds had their own ministry, they should also cease to exist. The Blendeds, of course, would not let that happen, so they quarantined him.

Many brothers agreed with this. How could book editors, like Kangas and Marks, who had never even started or shepherded a church, give trainings to "perfect" the elders. But since Philip Lee had already paved the way for unsaved and immoral men to "perfect" all the elders during the new way, anything in the Recovery was now possible.

This, of course, diverges somewhat from your topic at hand, Igzy, but it emphasizes the LC mentality, that if Nee and Lee were perfect, then all their teachings were perfect, and even a caveman could use these teachings to raise up elders in the LC's.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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So, to my point, the question is, what is the Local Church movement trying to achieve?

If indeed they want to spread their message, it would seem that the way to do so would be to package it for consumption for the audience they wish to reach. To get the message out in reader-friendly and viewer-friendly form, in a way that is as attractive and non-threatening as possible and then let it assimilate into the mainstream as it may. If their message is as good at they seem to think, then it will, eventually, have a definite impact on the Church at large. This cannot, assuming the message is good, be a bad thing.

(Honestly, this ship probably already sailed. The LC's reputation is so suspect, that any attempt to package for the masses would be met with extreme suspicion, especially if they included some of their more suspect and self-serving teachings. Even so, if they really wished to help the Church at large, and they should, this is what they would be focusing on, rather than lawsuits and chest-thumping and singing their own praises.)

But, unfortunately, it seems the LC is really not that interested in influencing the Church at large. Or in being happy with having some influence. Rather, they seem bent on maintaining the status quo and protecting the reputations of Nee and Lee as the unique spokesmen of God, to the goal of maintaining the distinction between themselves and everyone else. That is, their goal is to maintain their little kingdom.

Again, I think God had some things to tell the Church through Nee, and even Lee. But they became power-hungry and self-serving. Now their whole movement is that way. The LC feels the need to be top dog, and everything is about them.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:20 AM   #9
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Now that I'm out of the local church am I still a living stone in The Building that's God's eternal purpose?
Absolutely you are! The LC has no monopoly on anything that matters, period. Although their control of their members largely rests on making them believe they do.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:39 AM   #10
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This, of course, diverges somewhat from your topic at hand, Igzy, but it emphasizes the LC mentality, that if Nee and Lee were perfect, then all their teachings were perfect, and even a caveman could use these teachings to raise up elders in the LC's.
But if they weren't perfect, then they were just ministers whose teaching may or may not be beneficial, just like all the other ministers.

That is why it is okay, and in fact needed, to know and even discuss the imperfections, some gross, of even those Christians we might consider "great servants." Otherwise, given human nature, we would be tempted to succumb to damaging reverence for flawed men, and feel compelled to swallow the camels of bad teachings.

The flip side is this: Any party which tries to sell some person as the greatest minister of the age, or the sole authority, or the one we all need to defer to above all others, has an agenda other than God's. They might not think they do, but they do. For all their claims about being for the eternal purpose of God, the LC is really about something else. They just need to wake up to that fact.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #11
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So, to my point, the question is, what is the Local Church movement trying to achieve?

If indeed they want to spread their message, it would seem that the way to do so would be to package it for consumption for the audience they wish to reach. To get the message out in reader-friendly and viewer-friendly form, in a way that is as attractive and non-threatening as possible and then let it assimilate into the mainstream as it may. If their message is as good at they seem to think, then it will, eventually, have a definite impact on the Church at large. This cannot, assuming the message is good, be a bad thing.
Here, I think the ministry of W. Nee had been "packaged for consumption," by CLC, CFP, and LSM. Many have been helped by Nee's ministry, and in certain circles, he is still widely respected.

Lee also has been heavily edited and "packaged for consumption," via the radio broadcasts, as just another gifted minister. Apparently the Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking world has been more receptive than us "moo-cow" Americans.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #12
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Here, I think the ministry of W. Nee had been "packaged for consumption," by CLC, CFP, and LSM. Many have been helped by Nee's ministry, and in certain circles, he is still widely respected.

Lee also has been heavily edited and "packaged for consumption," via the radio broadcasts, as just another gifted minister. Apparently the Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking world has been more receptive than us "moo-cow" Americans.
It may have been packaged for those over the age of 50, or who still speak and think in the cadences of the 1950s. But the fact is, the writings of Nee and Lee read strange to most modern Christians. They expect things to be written in the common vernacular using familiar terms, and with references to modern life. They expect to be able to relate to teachers as people.

Nee and Lee's stuff reads like it was written in a vacuum. It's too "holy." There is no point of reference, no sense they are real people, no sense of humor. Even Paul and Jesus occasionally expressed senses of humor. In short, it's stuffy. The Bible was actually written in a more common language than we think. Which is why the tone of "The Message" might be more accurate than the tone of the NASB. So in that sense the good stuff of their ministries has not really been processed for mainstream consumption.

Of course, LSM is clueless in this regard, because it's all about preserving things that are really not important. Like wearing grey suits with grey ties. Does anyone really think doing that accomplishes anything for God? But Lee did it so to them it must be correct to dress like an 80-year-old Chinese man did 30 years ago.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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The flip side is this: Any party which tries to sell some person as the greatest minister of the age, or the sole authority, or the one we all need to defer to above all others, has an agenda other than God's. They might not think they do, but they do. For all their claims about being for the eternal purpose of God, the LC is really about something else. They just need to wake up to that fact.
The LC's saints are among some of the most devoted, and know how to present all the good things of God in their possession to their new guests. Problems surface when new visitors get wind of what really is stressed at LSM, like this MOTA nonsense. Guests hear about "autonomous" local churches, and then quickly learn how much influence Anaheim has over the church.

Contradictions such as these, and there are many more like them, smell like hypocrisy and dishonesty, and they are. This is why Lee's influence can never go far. As much as Lee and company has tried to keep their dirty laundry from sight, it's too late. If you wanted to rightly maintain such an honorable and upright image for all to see and thus receive your ministry, then like my mom told me, "you should have thought about it before you did all those bad things."
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:55 AM   #14
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He was the encourager of the people of the 60s. He was not revered as the MOTA, but some began to suggest "apostle" by the early 70s. I heard it in early 73. The rest is history. Daystar. Max. Run Max off. Lawsuits. Like being exalted. Run off Ingalls, Mallons, and others. Insist that your sexual predator son be the head of your ministry and direct how churches run their affairs.
In the initial post Igzy said, "Yet, clearly from their behavior they feel they cannot carry out their mission of preserving the principles unique to their movement without also preserving as pristine the reputations of their founders. "

Part of the preservation is minimizing of "brothers who were ran off". In recent messages I have heard them disingenously referred to as "heroes".

Character of former elders were bismirched in order to preserve reputations of the founders.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:02 PM   #15
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Part of the preservation is minimizing of "brothers who were ran off". In recent messages I have heard them disingenuously referred to as "heroes".

Character of former elders were besmirched in order to preserve reputations of the founders.
Can you say more when these "recent messages" were spoken, and who referred to who as heroes.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:12 PM   #16
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Can you say more when these "recent messages" were spoken, and who referred to who as heroes.
The messages I am referring to were given in 2013 by Ron Kangas at regional blending conferences. Did not say explicitly who the "heroes" are. An implication towards brothers who rose up in the past.
With the exception of Steve Isitt, brother Ron doesn't mention names. He refers to brothers in form of innuendo (Bill Mallon, Bill Freeman,etc). It's up to the listener to connect the dots.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:31 PM   #17
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Igzy,

First, if it is all about who you or I first heard it from, then I'm not sure that there is a way to extricate them. But I'm seeing that the things that were true and possibly new to us were not new to others outside of there movement.

First, at least part of your "likes" comes from the inner-life movement. neither Nee or Lee started that movement. In fact, Nee was somewhat steeped in some of the earliest inner-life writers. I think that Jesse Penn Lewis fits in that and he "borrowed" heavily from her. In fact, at some level, the local churches are a kind of inner-life movement group. And it is the near extreme of inner-life emphasis over everything else that underpins much of what we learned. But we didn't need Lee to learn it. And the LRC does not need Nee or Lee to keep those parts of it they want.

You mention several general areas of teaching that you learned from them. I will not deny that it is where we learned it. But is it specially theirs? At any point in time?

Let's look at them:
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A greater emphasis on the unity of the Church and on the Church as the place where God dwells and puts his name. The tendency in churches is still to look at each individual church as more or less the work of a pastor or set of pastors, rather than a real and direct work of God. There is also a tendency to look at them more as "ours" than "God's." The sense of the church, the people, as the holy dwelling place of God is still not as strong as it I think it should be.
While there are places that don't have a lot to say about other assemblies, of their group or otherwise, I think that the level of disunity in the church was greatly misrepresented by Lee and the LRC. There is no doubt that we tend to meet with like minds, but with some exceptions, we are not antagonistically at odds, building vast fences to shake hands over. We were taught to look at the fact that there are different groups on the same corner as evidence of a problem. Of course, it was not a problem that right down the street the LRC open yet another franchise. So the rhetoric of disunity in the church was all hat, no boots. They painted a picture of disunity that was cast in terms that only they could cure with something that could duplicate every alleged point of disunity that they pointed at, but was washed away by something else.

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A greater emphasis on what God is after than what we are after. God is still sold as the answer to man's problems. This is indeed true. But the idea that God has a definite goal in mind which is being worked out in time is still not that popular an idea.
At least that is the story we are told. But are we sure that the important things that they say God is after are that clearly different from what the rest of Christianity is teaching? It seems to me that the origins are very much about the image of God being exercised on earth by mankind. And most of what comes after that is the steps God has taken to provide a cure for the U-turn that we took as a species at a time long past. So becoming the people we were meant to be seems more important that so much of what we focused on in the LRC. Most of it seems to point to how we act toward God (sacrifice and worship — none of which are bad) and little about how we live as proof that God changes lives (and not how we live in the meetings, but in daily life).

As for not being a popular idea, there is some truth in that. But I'm not sure that the emphasis on what that should be is still a problem. I believe that the missing ingredient for most is that we do not become those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. That are peacemakers. That are truly meek. That tolerate persecution. (We double our fists and demand that our God-given rights as US citizens deny anyone the ability to persecute us.)

In short, sanctification. There is too little emphasis on what comes after deciding that you will check the box to be a believer in Jesus. We don't really see that following is not mostly about evangelism, but about change in our lives.

You can argue that Lee and the LRC made you think there was something God was after. But I'm not sure that they were talking about what God is after. Does that sort of make their teaching on the subject pointless? It seems so to me.

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A greater emphasis of the Trinity as a central mystery crucial for our experience. The Trinity is, unfortunately, really de-emphasized in churches today. It's almost a subject they try to avoid, I guess because it's confusing. That's a shame, because in my experience, appreciating the Trinity enhances my relationship with God. Although I disagreed with Lee's flatly stating again and again ad nauseum that the Father is the Son and the Son is the Spirit, at the same time in the best possible way I know what he was getting at. If you make the Son and the Spirit too distinct, it hinders your experience. I don't claim to completely understand it, because no one does. But I do think he was onto something.
I think that the claim that there is a danger of too much distinction between the Son and the Spirit is way over blown. Only if you start treating them as so separate that you pray to one to get aligned with the other so that you get what you want or something ridiculous like that. Start treating them as not truly One.

And I do not see that happening anywhere that I am aware of.

The Trinity is far from avoided in what I hear and read. And oddly, the older the "tradition" is, the more that they really appreciate the Trinity. They are more informed on what it was that scripture says about the Father v the Son v the Sprit rather than throwing them into a blender and getting a Trinity slushie. If there is anything unique about the things I learned concerning the Trinity from Lee and the LRC, it was that their Oneness overrides anything separate about them. And of all the things to unlearn, that should be at the top of our list.

Jesus taught us to pray in a way that was to the Father. It was not to the Son or the Spirit. In fact, is there anything in the NT that suggests that we should pray to the Son or the Spirit? Prayer seems to be designated in a particular way. Now I'm not suggesting that our less formal praying that we start with something like "Oh, Lord . . ." are simply wrong. I still do it. But I am beginning to understand that there really is something to the fact that prayer is to God the Father. And if you "ask in my name" it seems quite wrong to ask Jesus in his name. It is ask the Father in my name.

There is reason that we are given specific statements about the Father, about the Son, and about the Spirit. It was not to devise a doctrine of their relationship. Each was/is specific and pointed. Teaching that it is all just One is to ignore what scripture takes many words to put in place.

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Emphasis on God trying to build the Church on the earth as testimony and a Bride prepared before he returns. I rarely hear this taught anywhere else.
The number of references to the subject (not that many) and the relative quantity of words on the subject makes me think that getting so wrapped-up in the topic, even to the point of creating the kind of thing that is the LRC, seems way out of sync. And the references to "Bride" are metaphorical. Not demeaning the importance of that. If we were once truly the image of God, but lost that position, then we are not of similar "species." Once we collectively regain the true position as God's image bearers, then we have become of a similar species. Don't go overboard with the "same species" part of the metaphor because that will lead you to becoming God in everything but the Godhead. The point is that in the new creation, we are destined to be "like him," therefore (at least metaphorically) matching Christ and therefore ready to join Him in the New J.

I am not saying that that is "the way" to understand it. But I would suggest that the emphasis of bride in the LRC is way out of balance to its emphasis in scripture. There's a verse here, and a verse there, then the short bit in the end of Revelation. It is not something so profound that it should become preeminent.

But I have heard this outside the LRC. And it seemed consistent with what the scripture actually says. And in keeping with the balance of things taught in scripture.


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Emphasis on the indwelling Christ and union with Christ, being crucified with Christ. These ideas are very rudimentary in Christian teaching today.
Yes, they are imprtant. And they are true whether you dwell on them or not.

And they are part of that inner-life thing that Nee brought into his teaching. You may have heard it first from Nee/Lee, but it did not start with them. No need to keep them protected to make that one work.

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I think many of the teachings on the human spirit are still very helpful. Many Christians I meet though they know Jesus lives in them are vague about it. But again, Nee and Lee went a little overboard with it, trying to turn it into a science. That doesn't negate the importance.
I'll ignore the tripartite man stuff (which you are also doing).

I would agree that there is a difference in how the LRC views Christ being in us compared to how many others view it. But I'm not convinced that the difference is important. Or that either view is superior. There is a significant sense of God speaking within us in many ways. Some even more than we might actually think is happening. But what I seem to be finding is that the more people tend toward seeking God within v seeking him without (in the scripture, writings, sermons, etc.) the more they tend toward fanciful thoughts and even error. The old joke about the effects of a bad taco on the spiritual life of someone that is too inward-looking is, well, too real. The more we are driven from something inside that does not have a grounding in what is solid and verifiable, the more we are at risk of being driven into error. Or at least distracted from what is important.

And I'm talking about people outside the LRC that aren't even in charismatic groups. Good ol' evangelicals who are happy to nearly go it alone in their search for truth. Just me, my Bible, and God. And if we are not careful, we will become like Nee and Lee who somewhat dismissed the Bible when it did not go along with what they were "feeling" or "seeing" inside (that they claimed was a word from God).

----

And last, earlier I said "No need to keep them protected to make that one work." Since your question was about why we need Nee and Lee (or the LRC does even if we don't), I believe that the things I have said, both in the first post and in this one, are strong points about why there is not reason to protect their image. We — specific people who were once in the LRC — may have heard certain things that were "true" that we had never heard before. But we don't need Nee or Lee for them because they were simply messengers of things already out there that we just had not heard.

I think that your perspective of including things that you suspect were not unique with them is stabbing your own question in the heart. If I have to respect my own first source, then Nee was right in Spritual Authority and we are all in rebellion because we ditched Nee and Lee.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #18
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OBW, I never said these things were new or unique to Nee and Lee, or that we had to respect Nee and Lee as the first source or best source of anything.

I said some of them were things I believe God was and still is trying to emphasize. Not all, but some. And many churches and ministries still have not picked up on them, at least as much as I think they should. I said one of the reasons the LC was so compelling (and why we are still talking about it 30 years later) was because there were some essential things that were seen in the LC that were largely neglected at the time, and in many cases still are.

Here's a real simple, basic example. The whole idea of "going to heaven" is I still think, a mis-aiming. It's not a big deal. But it subtly changes your focus from exercising God's authority on earth to looking forward to getting out of here. More ministers in the last 30 year have seen this matter, Randy Alcorn being one. I think this is a good thing. Now my point is not that we need to acknowledge Nee as the founder of this idea, but we should at least say he was ahead of the mainstream with it, and so with some other things he taught.

The fact that I believe Nee and Lee had a few compelling things to say should not bother you, however. Because that was not even my main point, and my point doesn't depend on it. My point was that, even giving them the benefit of the doubt, IT'S STILL NOT ABOUT THEM. It is always about the message. And the message should be strong enough to endure the failures and shortcomings of the messengers. So why bother to, tooth and nail, defend the reputations of Nee and Lee? I'm speaking to those in the LC movement, not to you.

My point is that focusing on the message allows us to examine it objectively. Focusing on men, especially those we feel we need to cowtow to, pushes us to become subjective and accommodating about the message. This reaches it's extreme with Lee. His message is not questioned among LCers because of his reputation, not because the message itself is airtight.

Do you have anything to say about that? Because that's what the thread is really about.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:02 PM   #19
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My point is that focusing on the message allows us to examine it objectively. Focusing on men, especially those we feel we need to cowtow to, pushes us to become subjective and accommodating about the message. This reaches it's extreme with Lee. His message is not questioned among LCers because of his reputation, not because the message itself is airtight.
Great points, Igzy.

If we want to impact current members, we must be objective, and we must address the facts. Bitterness always turns off the loyalists. It was the facts of eyewitness accounts that first caught my attention.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:21 PM   #20
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My point is that focusing on the message allows us to examine it objectively. Focusing on men, especially those we feel we need to cowtow to, pushes us to become subjective and accommodating about the message. This reaches it's extreme with Lee. His message is not questioned among LCers because of his reputation, not because the message itself is airtight.

Do you have anything to say about that? Because that's what the thread is really about.
The problem is, it's not a church. You might as well go through the messages and manuals of Amway or Nuskin or Philip Morris and point out how unbiblical they are. By arguing their half-baked theology we are simply accepting the premise that they are Christians, that they are a church. But really, the only evidence they are a church is that they say they are.

The whole LSM/local church thing is a scam to support Lee book sales. People pay HK$100 per head to watch a crappy DVD of a conference. They line up to buy the weekly books. Each member must recruit two more members every year and they do it with pride, spiritual pride. LSM's onto a good thing. It even gets tax breaks by calling its sales promotions "missionary work". But don't confuse it with a church, however, just because it calls itself a church and bases its "product" around the bible. Would you bother trying to discredit Peter Popoff's miracle spring water using biblical arguments?
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:34 AM   #21
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The problem is, it's not a church...

The whole LSM/local church thing is a scam to support Lee book sales. People pay HK$100 per head to watch a crappy DVD of a conference. They line up to buy the weekly books. Each member must recruit two more members every year and they do it with pride, spiritual pride. LSM's onto a good thing. It even gets tax breaks by calling its sales promotions "missionary work". But don't confuse it with a church, however, just because it calls itself a church and bases its "product" around the bible.
Well said, james73.

A false teacher has neither power nor authority to establish a genuine Christian church. The only thing he can do is to organize a false church. That’s what Witness Lee did. His organization looks like a church and walks like a church but it’s a delusion. We all know their fruit. As an imitation, the Local Church is rooted and grounded in Witness Lee’s half-baked theology; while a genuine Christian Church is rooted and grounded in the love of Christ.

Ephesians 3:17-19
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Isaiah 29:13
And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.

1 Corinthians 13:2
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

PS On the other hand, I still believe that their half-baked doctrines can and must be tested by the Word of God. Probably, it will prove nothing to brainwashed Leeists. However, it may help other people to see the truth. When Leeists call themselves the only genuine Christian church, they must have some ground for their claims first. And as we know, they don't. So if we call them a cult or a sect, we'd better have bible grounds for this. It’s not for us and it’s not for WL’s devotees, but for other people who can be deceived by the half-baked theology.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:31 AM   #22
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Well, guys. I generally try to approach people with respect, giving them the benefit of the doubt. To me, launching the torpedoes of "You are not Christians nor a church" at the LC would be a losing proposition--sort of like the last insults a couple hurls at each other before the divorce. It doesn't really help, and the fact is you are standing on uncertain ground when you say it.

I prefer to take what someone claims to believe, and show them why their behavior is inconsistent with their belief. In this case, the LC likes to think they are carrying the message the world needs to hear. My point is, whether they are or not, seeking to uphold the reputations of Nee and Lee at all costs only hinders that mission. Being seen as those who would bury the facts about the history of their movement can only make others suspicious of them and their message.

The linchpin that holds the whole LC error together is the idea that leadership, especially Nee and Lee, must never be questioned. Take that out, make them realize that there is an appropriate way to do so, and that being clear about the failures of historical figures is not only helpful, but often necessary, and you have a chance for reform.

I do not believe the rank and file LCers really prefer being unquestioning sheep. They have just been convinced that is God's way. They are wrong. And that's what this thread is trying to help show.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:42 AM   #23
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I admit that I am biased against the LC and LCers. I have no respect for this organization. I don't like what they have done with my wife, her family, and every saint I know. The cult brainwashed them to such an extent that they lost ability to look at their organization and their believes critically. They turned themselves into sponges that soak up any hogwash the LSM feeds them. They idolize WL, blindly believe every LR doctrine, and get up in arms over any critical remark. I know they are just victims. But it's painful to see them recruiting, deceiving, and brainwashing other people. They do not share the love of Christ with new believers. They just clone each other, turning new believers into slaves of the doctrine. "The blind leading the blind."

It's hard to help LCers see the truth. If they prefer to keep their eyes closed, then no man is capable to show them anything. Especially, when this man is like me, who doesn't have much love in his heart.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:45 AM   #24
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I do not believe the rank and file LCers really prefer being unquestioning sheep. They have just been convinced that is God's way. They are wrong. And that's what this thread is trying to help show.
I think it's impossible to generalize about the individuals in the local church of LSM.

For example, I know of two gays that have been members of the LSM LC for decades. You wouldn't know it from the inside. They are deep in the closet.

One of them that I talked to recently doesn't care about Nee or Lee, or what they said or did.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:37 AM   #25
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Yet, clearly from their behavior they feel they cannot carry out their mission of preserving the principles unique to their movement without also preserving as pristine the reputations of their founders.

The question I have is, Why do they feel this way?
These two sentences are what I understand as the question you have asked. For all that I wrote about, then responded to you concerning, I believe that I have been answering this question.

But I will try a different approach, but the same thought behind it.

The reason they need to protect and defend Nee and Lee is that the things they think are truly important in their beliefs are not simply common things that do not required Nee or Lee. It is something that is unique in each thing that is important. It requires that they remain important so that their novel reading of scripture is supportable. If Nee and Lee are not accepted as viable interpreters of the Bible, then their strange misreadings don't just fall under the label of "controversial." They become panned because their credentials as Bible commentators would be revoked.

And even if the rest of Christianity has problems with Nee and Lee, the LRC must keep seeing things their way. If they allow Nee and Lee to go, then the Son did not become the Holy Spirit. The principle of covering the errors of your leaders ceases to be a principle (and all the skeletons come out of the closet).

There is surely something more important than "going to heaven." But was the LRC version really it either? You were right in a more recent post to mention it is how we live here and now more than what is to come. It is evident from reading Paul's words on the future that he saw it as a reason to be more fervent to do what is required today. So the LRC sort of got that one right.

Or did they? Were they really about how we live today? Seems that today was unimportant as long as I was in my spirit. It is as if they picked on a fault of evangelical Christianity then simply moved to a different fault. And a lot of people in the lead among evangelicals are arguing that this is a missed area. That today is ultimately important because without it there is no tomorrow. (Not talking about salvation.)

So I return to the idea that the LRC desperately needs to keep Nee and Lee intact, at least as far as the insiders are concerned. They are too dependent on beliefs and practices that could not be supported if you removed the reason for saying James was just a Judaizer (among other things). That keep the entire upper structure of their hierarchy in place despite gross sin being covered up and even allowed to continue. (Remember, they were fighting against John Ingalls before PL was excommunicated. They did not want him removed.)
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:52 AM   #26
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I admit that I am biased against the LC and LCers. I have no respect for this organization. I don't like what they have done with my wife, her family, and every saint I know. The cult brainwashed them to such an extent that they lost ability to look at their organization and their believes critically. They turned themselves into sponges that soak up any hogwash the LSM feeds them. They idolize WL, blindly believe every LR doctrine, and get up in arms over any critical remark. I know they are just victims. But it's painful to see them recruiting, deceiving, and brainwashing other people. They do not share the love of Christ with new believers. They just clone each other, turning new believers into slaves of the doctrine. "The blind leading the blind."

It's hard to help LCers see the truth. If they prefer to keep their eyes closed, then no man is capable to show them anything. Especially, when this man is like me, who doesn't have much love in his heart.
I cannot color code brothers and sisters in the local churches. While meeting there it's very easy to say objectively so and so is cold or so and so is hot, all the while not having a personal relationship to know what brothers and sisters are going through. Which is why is it's very easy to claim the high peaks ministry all the while being oblivious what is happening at ground level.
While there may be brothers and sisters whose behavior fits InChristAlone's post (showing partiality towards the blending brother's speaking), but that is not indicative of brothers and sisters meeting in the local churches as a whole.
What if I told you a family I've known for nearly 40 years have no problem inviting former leading ones and their spouses into their home.
Another I've known for 20+ echoes the concerns John Ingalls brought forth in Speaking the Truth In Love. Sure you can send your children through FTTA, but that doesn't mean you're 100% one with LSM. I think for many in the local churches, there is not a better alternative for meeting as the church in their respective localities. The problem is not the message, but men who have yet to be humbled.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:08 PM   #27
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Another way to put it is that it is the message, but without the men, the message is suspect or fails. So it also must be the men.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:11 PM   #28
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Th
So I return to the idea that the LRC desperately needs to keep Nee and Lee intact, at least as far as the insiders are concerned. They are too dependent on beliefs and practices that could not be supported if you removed the reason for saying James was just a Judaizer (among other things). That keep the entire upper structure of their hierarchy in place despite gross sin being covered up and even allowed to continue. (Remember, they were fighting against John Ingalls before PL was excommunicated. They did not want him removed.)
Something to keep in mind is there's two sides to a coin. When John ultimately ceased meeting with the Church in Anaheim, I'm sure many would think why. Not many would ask why until years later. At the time the LC concept was God's move on the earth was through the local churches. Why would one of the principal leaders step aside. To give grace to John would leave question unanswered so Witness Lee and LSM had to create their own spin for consumption among the local churches.
Lee's ministry had to be kept intact. To expose he did not want to hear about his son running the LSM office. Same with LSM co-workers who were intimately aware of Phillip Lee's immoral behavior. Better to keep the system intact and throw brothers under the bus who had left the recovery movement by making his son a non-issue and making the brothers who left the issue.

Speaking about the Book of James, this book (along with Psalms and Proverbs) needs to be diminished in order to support the "upper structure of their hierarchy".

‘Now if a person sins after he hears a public adjuration to testify when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt. Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty. Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty. Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these.
Leviticus 5:1-4

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:47 PM   #29
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The reason they need to protect and defend Nee and Lee is that the things they think are truly important in their beliefs are not simply common things that do not required Nee or Lee. It is something that is unique in each thing that is important. It requires that they remain important so that their novel reading of scripture is supportable. If Nee and Lee are not accepted as viable interpreters of the Bible, then their strange misreadings don't just fall under the label of "controversial." They become panned because their credentials as Bible commentators would be revoked.

And even if the rest of Christianity has problems with Nee and Lee, the LRC must keep seeing things their way.
Well, this works as a cold-eyed analysis from outside. But it doesn't work as an explanation of how they really think. I mean, do you really believe the LCers, even the leadership, sit around and say, "Well, we know our doctrines are crap, see? So let's keep the focus on Nee and Lee as ministers of the age so the members don't analyze our crappy doctrines too closely."

Really?

You may be explaining how things work, but you still are not explaining fundamental motivations.

The question is, why do LCers think Lee was the MOTA? Rather than try to figure it out, just think back to why you believed it at one time. You believed it, I would think, because:
  • Lee was outwardly impressive.
  • The teachings were innovative and seemingly powerful.
  • Your experience in the LC seemed to confirm that the group was a cut above the rest.
  • You were made to fear believing otherwise.
Now the question is, is there a star chamber somewhere where LC leaders cynically try to keep the focus on Lee to maintain their myths? I doubt it. I think they believe that reverence for the MOTA is not only appropriate, it's necessary to be faithful to God. However, and this goes back to my original point, THIS IS NOT THE WAY THE BIBLE PRESENTS ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE CONSIDERED A MOTA. The Bible exposes them warts and all. The Bible does not support reverence for leaders and founders as practiced by the LC. Not even close.

I'm writing this in the hope some LCer somewhere might say, "Hey, he's right."

The next step is what you said, once the MOTA myth crashes, and the message becomes the most important thing, the message can be scrutinized and the crap can be thrown out with the cat litter. Praise the Lord!

So you are absolutely right about what's going on. Except the part that the LCers are actually thinking it.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:52 PM   #30
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The question is, why do LCers think Lee was the MOTA? Rather than try to figure it out, just think back to why you believed it at one time. You believed it, I would think, because:
  • Lee was outwardly impressive.
  • The teachings were innovative and seemingly powerful.
  • Your experience in the LC seemed to confirm that the group was a cut above the rest.
  • You were made to fear believing otherwise.
Now the question is, is there a star chamber somewhere where LC leaders cynically try to keep the focus on Lee to maintain their myths? I doubt it.
Add to the list, the teachings themselves were seeped in promoting "the recovery" as God's exclusive move on earth.

Well, first, the leaders don't need to sit in a star chamber and try to keep the focus on Lee, it has a life of its own now. Those list items do the work. So long as nothing changes, it will continue to work and multiply, just like a good pyramid always will (until it runs out of people to scam). That's why boat rockers are swiftly removed. You say there is no star chamber, I say to some extent there HAS to be some coordination and manipulation to ensure the troublemakers don't start opening the eyes of the others. Lee set it up like this, the star chamber merely has to ensure nothing changes. They don't need to be evil conspirators to do that, just maintain the status quo. And not ask too many questions.

You can't reform a Ponzi, the best you can do is shut it down. Almost everyone will lose their money but at least nobody new will be added to the list of victims.

By the way, I never suggested insulting anyone or firing torpedos when I said LC wasn't a church. It's just my opinion. I keep it to this forum (which is supposed to be a safe place etc) - I don't go around telling LC people they are wrong. So hold off on the sanctimonious "for me, I prefer to respect people" blah, thanks!
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:47 PM   #31
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The reason they need to protect and defend Nee and Lee is that the things they think are truly important in their beliefs are not simply common things that do not required Nee or Lee. It is something that is unique in each thing that is important. It requires that they remain important so that their novel reading of scripture is supportable. If Nee and Lee are not accepted as viable interpreters of the Bible, then their strange misreadings don't just fall under the label of "controversial." They become panned because their credentials as Bible commentators would be revoked.
In other words, if their idols and “high-peak truth” heralds, Nee and Lee, made mistakes, then their “high-peak truth” doesn’t look like “high-peak truth.” To keep the organization working, the LRC’s Sun must not have spots, i.e. Nee’s and Lee’s reputation must be indisputable.

It’s a very common thing with sects and certain teachings. Take communism, in the USSR, Lenin was always right. If people knew his mistakes, then the same people would start questioning Lenin’s teaching.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:51 PM   #32
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By the way, I never suggested insulting anyone or firing torpedos when I said LC wasn't a church. It's just my opinion. I keep it to this forum (which is supposed to be a safe place etc) - I don't go around telling LC people they are wrong.
LCers read this forum.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:06 PM   #33
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By the way, how many of you guys participating in this thread have supported the board financially? Please consider doing so if you haven't yet. Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:12 PM   #34
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It’s a very common thing with sects and certain teachings. Take communism, in the USSR, Lenin was always right. If people knew his mistakes, then the same people would start questioning Lenin’s teaching.
Right. The difference is that the communists probably cynically knew this and still exploited it.

Do you seriously think the LC leadership cynically manipulates their members? Or you think they really think that Lee was the MOTA and that reverence to him is part of their duty?

I still think it's the latter. I could be wrong, but when I was there people really, really believed this stuff.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:32 PM   #35
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I cannot color code brothers and sisters in the local churches. While meeting there it's very easy to say objectively so and so is cold or so and so is hot, all the while not having a personal relationship to know what brothers and sisters are going through. Which is why is it's very easy to claim the high peaks ministry all the while being oblivious what is happening at ground level.
While there may be brothers and sisters whose behavior fits InChristAlone's post (showing partiality towards the blending brother's speaking), but that is not indicative of brothers and sisters meeting in the local churches as a whole.
What if I told you a family I've known for nearly 40 years have no problem inviting former leading ones and their spouses into their home.
Another I've known for 20+ echoes the concerns John Ingalls brought forth in Speaking the Truth In Love. Sure you can send your children through FTTA, but that doesn't mean you're 100% one with LSM. I think for many in the local churches, there is not a better alternative for meeting as the church in their respective localities. The problem is not the message, but men who have yet to be humbled.
Brother Terry, of course, not all LCers are the same. But I am talking about majority that I see in my locality, especially when young Asian brothers and sisters stand up and prophesy at conferences or on the Lord’s Day. In everyday life, they are different people with different characters. But when they talk about God, discuss Morning Revival, or share what things touched their hearts, most of them do it the same way, with the same words, affection, and intonation, as if someone installed a malware in their brains. They are spiritual clones of each other.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:01 PM   #36
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Right. The difference is that the communists probably cynically knew this and still exploited it.

Do you seriously think the LC leadership cynically manipulates their members? Or you think they really think that Lee was the MOTA and that reverence to him is part of their duty?

I still think it's the latter. I could be wrong, but when I was there people really, really believed this stuff.
As for communists and their leaders, there were two types of them: those who were sincerely mistaken. And those who used the teaching to gain personal power.

I can't say for the LC leadership since I do not know their hearts. But I believe that most of them became leaders not because they were real spiritual shepherds but because they could listen to the Big Boss, speak in one accord, and OBEY. (That really reminds me of communist leaders). When these people get there, on the top, and become leaders, they do not belong to themselves anymore. They don't serve common people, or brothers and sisters. They serve the idea, the organization, and the teaching. If they realize mistakes in the ideology, they have three ways:

1) keep quiet to keep their position;

2) speak up and become a black sheep;

3) persuade themselves that there are no mistakes because the big boss (Nee, Lee, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, etc) is always right.

Everyone chooses his own way, according to his spiritual growth, character, consciousness, and motivation.

PS I don't know about the elite in Anaheim (bro RK & Co), but as for responsible brothers in my locality, they seem to believe the stuff they preach. On the other hand, they do not look like people who ever question their teachings. And maybe that's why they are responsible brothers.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:53 PM   #37
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By the way, how many of you guys participating in this thread have supported the board financially? Please consider doing so if you haven't yet. Thanks.
The forum has always been helpful to me. And I am sorry; I haven't supported the board yet. I'm not in the US, so it's a bit difficult for me. Anyway, I'd not like to describe and explain my circumstances or give an empty promise. I just want to say sorry if I am not able to help financially.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:02 AM   #38
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In other words, if their idols and “high-peak truth” heralds, Nee and Lee, made mistakes, then their “high-peak truth” doesn’t look like “high-peak truth.” To keep the organization working, the LRC’s Sun must not have spots, i.e. Nee’s and Lee’s reputation must be indisputable.

It’s a very common thing with sects and certain teachings. Take communism, in the USSR, Lenin was always right. If people knew his mistakes, then the same people would start questioning Lenin’s teaching.
There are similarities between exclusive systems and totalitarian regimes. Both held their people in intense fear, to the point where they would dare not express an opinion. Both elevated their founders to the status of demigods, while negating the contributions of others. Both boasted in the unity or oneness of their system.

Commies would regularly disparage the results of democratic elections, boasting that theirs were always unanimous decisions.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:05 AM   #39
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Brother Terry, of course, not all LCers are the same. But I am talking about majority that I see in my locality, especially when young Asian brothers and sisters stand up and prophesy at conferences or on the Lord’s Day. In everyday life, they are different people with different characters. But when they talk about God, discuss Morning Revival, or share what things touched their hearts, most of them do it the same way, with the same words, affection, and intonation, as if someone installed a malware in their brains. They are spiritual clones of each other.
They would call this "the one accord."
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:47 AM   #40
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They would call this "the one accord."
That's right. But in North Korea, one accord is more impressive.

In North Korea, they have been building a communist utopia. In the LRC, they have been building WL's utopia. Both are striving for unreachable.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:26 AM   #41
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Well, this works as a cold-eyed analysis from outside. But it doesn't work as an explanation of how they really think. I mean, do you really believe the LCers, even the leadership, sit around and say, "Well, we know our doctrines are crap, see? So let's keep the focus on Nee and Lee as ministers of the age so the members don't analyze our crappy doctrines too closely."

Really?

You may be explaining how things work, but you still are not explaining fundamental motivations.
You may not think they consider this. But if you are among the theological leaders of the group and you can't start from zero — no magic overlay to use to redefine what it all means, etc. — and you want to get to some of those teachings, you need to have an authority that you can point to that makes it real. The whole Spiritual Authority teaching is circular. You need someone to walk cavalierly through the Bible and devise a hierarchy that is far beyond anything intended by the passages being used (abused?) so that you can have a teaching that allows someone to walk cavalierly through the Bible devising teachings (including the hierarchy) that no one else can come up with.

If it is just about "God's purpose is more than Heaven," you don't need Nee or Lee. That is a rather commonly-held teaching that is right there in plain sight.

If it is just about "Christ lives in me," you don't need Nee or Lee.

If you need Babylon to become Christianity so that the LRC can return to "Jerusalem" and be the remnant, then you need someone to stroll cavalierly through the Bible disregarding many things actually written, along with the obvious metaphorical error of aligning Babylon with being God's people. Of course, Nee and Lee aren't the first ones to use that erroneous metaphor. There are a handful of small, marginal sects (now and back through the years) that have created "remnant" theologies. And they all need to misread the Bible.

I don't think the current brass has the guts to stand up and simply declare that whatever they are saying is true on its own.

But that does not mean that I think they are just frauds that don't believe what they are saying. I've seen the look in BP's eyes as he speaks (many years ago). He is a believer. He buys it. You can talk about RK's theological training. But I think he buys it. But they both realize that if there is not truth in a hierarchy of man under God in which someone rises to the level of speaking new things for God that don't completely square-up with the existing scripture, then they are thin ice. They do not see the way for them to simply say that these things are so.

They need Nee to have been that pinnacle person years ago. (And since Nee has been heavily respected by much of Christianity, his word might carry at least a little weight with some.) They need someone with a history that puts them in line to speak new things that have not been heard before. If Nee makes the cut, then Lee might just be the rational next-in-line. That keeps "God's economy" on track, along with several other newer things. (I can't remember, but is the "Jesus became the Spirit" thing originally Lee's . . . or Nee's . . . or someone else's?).

But if you do not like that reason. Then the motivation can only be that they really do think that he is/was the MOTA, God's deputy authority, the Oracle of God, the one who writes new scripture (effectively, though never spoken out loud as such).

They really are the personality cult that awareness has been so fond of pointing out . . . . And it might be true.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:16 AM   #42
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They really are the personality cult that awareness has been so fond of pointing out . . . . And it might be true.
That would be "personalities cult," as in two : Nee and Lee.

I read other authors while in the local church, that were mentioned by Lee.

But many times I got the cross made out of fingers by some brothers, dispelling the devil in them (tree of knowledge).

But I never got the finger cross while reading Nee and Lee.

So the local church is a personalities cult : of Nee, & mini-Nee ; and now the personalities of the Blended Bros ; that are possessed by the personalities of both Nee & Lee.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:18 AM   #43
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That's right. But in North Korea, one accord is more impressive.

In North Korea, they have been building a communist utopia. In the LRC, they have been building WL's utopia. Both are striving for unreachable.
Years ago, back when we were litigating the Mindbenders book, we would explain away some of our extreme behaviors by claiming that "some cults had church-like tendencies."
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:11 AM   #44
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Years ago, back when we were litigating the Mindbenders book, we would explain away some of our extreme behaviors by claiming that "some cults had church-like tendencies."
That could cut both ways.

And maybe we inadvertently were admitting that we were a cult that had just enough "church-like" tendencies to avoid looking as "way out there" as some of the others
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:56 AM   #45
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Re In Christ alone no 36

I was speaking with a significant leader in my area within the last two years. He told me of a suggestion of a young brother to speak at some meeting. BP asked him if he thought he would speak what he was told to and my friend replied in the affirmative. I told the event to a friend and he was agreeable. They wouldn't want anything spoken especially to the young people that wasn't
along party lines. There is no hope for the LRC.

With no repentance in fifty years, there can be no repentance. It appears that Darby never repented. It could be WN did. He had that long prison term unknown to us. Apparrently WL didn't. The BBs won't. The die is cast. We had better make sure we don't follow in their footsteps.

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Old 03-14-2014, 10:08 AM   #46
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Re In Christ alone no 36

I was speaking with a significant leader in my area within the last two years. He told me of a suggestion of a young brother to speak at some meeting. BP asked him if he thought he would speak what he was told to and my friend replied in the affirmative. I told the event to a friend and he was agreeable. They wouldn't want anything spoken especially to the young people that wasn't
along party lines. There is no hope for the LRC.

With no repentance in fifty years, there can be no repentance. It appears that Darby never repented. It could be WN did. He had that long prison term unknown to us. Apparrently WL didn't. The BBs won't. The die is cast. We had better make sure we don't follow in their footsteps.

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Old 03-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #47
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Brother Terry, of course, not all LCers are the same. But I am talking about majority that I see in my locality, especially when young Asian brothers and sisters stand up and prophesy at conferences or on the Lord’s Day. In everyday life, they are different people with different characters. But when they talk about God, discuss Morning Revival, or share what things touched their hearts, most of them do it the same way, with the same words, affection, and intonation, as if someone installed a malware in their brains. They are spiritual clones of each other.
God knows their hearts. Of course with me not knpwing their hearts I don't know how much is for appearance and how much they really believe the ministry is putting into print.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #48
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Another way to put it is that it is the message, but without the men, the message is suspect or fails. So it also must be the men.
The example I'd like to bring forth is when brother Ron spoke on Mark 11:25 in November 2012.

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions."

By itself, the verse is a positive verse. yet in the context of the person speaking it I have had this thought, "does that mean Ron had forgiven John Ingalls for John's perceived wrongdoings by which Ron co-wrote A Response to Recent Accusations or had Ron forgiven Steve Isitt for his perceived wrongdoings through which Ron called Steve "a man of death" and the most evil speaker on the internet?"
If there is forgiveness, you would think there would be some form of communication to those brothers indicating forgiveness. Ron could easily visit John at his home in Anaheim. In his visits to the NW, Ron could easily check with the brothers how to get right with Steve. I don't forsee either happening which is why just like Barrack Obama, all I hear is lip service from the man giving the message. For the record, I would dearly love to be proven wrong and for reconciliation between Ron and John and between Ron and Steve.

By comparison when the Living Waters publication existed in which Bill Mallon, Stephen Kaung, John Ingalls, Max Rapoport, Vern DeFromke, and Paul Kerr were contributors. In which of what happened in Anaheim 1977/78, for Max to work with these brothers, I deduced there must have been forgiveness on Max's behalf.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:40 PM   #49
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The example I'd like to bring forth is when brother Ron spoke on Mark 11:25 in November 2012.

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions."

By itself, the verse is a positive verse. yet in the context of the person speaking it I have had this thought, "does that mean Ron had forgiven John Ingalls for John's perceived wrongdoings by which Ron co-wrote A Response to Recent Accusations or had Ron forgiven Steve Isitt for his perceived wrongdoings through which Ron called Steve "a man of death" and the most evil speaker on the internet?"
If there is forgiveness, you would think there would be some form of communication to those brothers indicating forgiveness. Ron could easily visit John at his home in Anaheim. In his visits to the NW, Ron could easily check with the brothers how to get right with Steve. I don't forsee either happening which is why just like Barrack Obama, all I hear is lip service from the man giving the message. For the record, I would dearly love to be proven wrong and for reconciliation between Ron and John and between Ron and Steve.

By comparison when the Living Waters publication existed in which Bill Mallon, Stephen Kaung, John Ingalls, Max Rapoport, Vern DeFromke, and Paul Kerr were contributors. In which of what happened in Anaheim 1977/78, for Max to work with these brothers, I deduced there must have been forgiveness on Max's behalf.
Forgiveness is a funny thing. Its primary purpose seems to be freeing the forgiver from the bondage of ill-will, angst, bitterness, etc. But in this life, our forgiveness does note necessarily remove the consequences of the actions of the person forgiven. There is a different requirement upon them. That requirement is much like what the 12-step programs call "making amends." The one who is forgiven can e relived of his debt if he makes amends. And in some cases, making amends can be costly. Some have gone to jail because of it.

I know that, like in the Lord's prayer, we are to forgive the debts or transgressions of others, so it is easy to ask "what is there to have to do on the part of the one who has wronged the other?" The answer is that in my forgiveness, I release the debt. But before God, and sometimes before man (government, etc.) there is still a debt that is not so easily removed.

And in some cases, you must forgive someone, but that does not mean that you are required to allow them the opportunity to transgress on you again. You forgive that weird uncle that molested you. But you don't ever be alone with him again. (not a personal experience, just an example)

I go through all of that to say that it is impossible to absolutely say that someone like Ron or Benson have not forgiven others who are no longer "in fellowship" with them.

But maybe the real question is what is it that Benson or Ron have to forgive? Is it that someone was sitting in the way and they got run over by BP or RK? That is a serious offense to be in the way of a delegated authority. You need to repent for having your foot there for me to step on.

So, in a backhanded kind of way, I grant that they may have actually forgiven people like John and Steve. But that is almost irrelevant. Was there ever anything that John or Steve had to repent of other than not simply saying "Yess massah!!" when told what to do? I'm not demeaning those who were the slaves in early America. I'm insulting the people who would be worse than those who were the slave owners.

The LRC's idea of wrongs is warped. And it comes from their leaders. When it is considered a wrong to pick up some papers from the floor without being specifically told to but not considered a wrong to think that way, then there is a serious problem.

And people who think this way are just warped enough to be incapable of discerning good from evil. From hearing God. Because if they could actually hear God, they would change their ways. But they did not, so their claim of getting a word from God is seriously suspect.

And, as someone has coined the phrase, birds of a feather flock together.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:03 PM   #50
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But if you do not like that reason. Then the motivation can only be that they really do think that he is/was the MOTA, God's deputy authority, the Oracle of God, the one who writes new scripture (effectively, though never spoken out loud as such).

They really are the personality cult that awareness has been so fond of pointing out . . . . And it might be true.
I think it's a combination of the two. And the two support the weakness of each other. When Lee's theology seems compelling and unique, they think, "See? He is clearly special." When the theology seems weak, they think, "Doesn't matter, because he's the MOTA."

It's circular. Why is he the MOTA? Because of his esoteric theology. Why is his theology so special, even to the point you swallow things that make no sense? Because he's the MOTA.

But, as I said, no decent theology requires the imprimatur of a special minister. The theology should stand on its own. Lee's really doesn't. So when it sags they say, "How can you question the MOTA?" I don't think they necessarily do this cynically. It's just the self-perpetuating mindset of these types of groups.

But, to my main point again, if LCers were really honest they would admit that all the MOTA claptrap is a crutch. If they want their ideas to prevail in the arena of ideas, they should force themselves to see if they can stand on their own. Normal people aren't going to buy this MOTA crap, only the Kool-Aid drinkers. Well, swaying the Kool-Aid drinkers is easy, it's the other 98% that are a problem.

That's basically what LSM offers. A theology for Kool-Aid drinkers.
I think Lee was onto some things. I said that. But all Lee, all the time, as a main course? No, thank you very much.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:41 PM   #51
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I think it's a combination of the two. And the two support the weakness of each other. When Lee's theology seems compelling and unique, they think, "See? He is clearly special." When the theology seems weak, they think, "Doesn't matter, because he's the MOTA."

It's circular. Why is he the MOTA? Because of his esoteric theology. Why is his theology so special, even to the point you swallow things that make no sense? Because he's the MOTA.

But, as I said, no decent theology requires the imprimatur of a special minister. The theology should stand on its own. Lee's really doesn't. So when it sags they say, "How can you question the MOTA?" I don't think they necessarily do this cynically. It's just the self-perpetuating mindset of these types of groups.
In a vacuum, Lee's reputation as the Recovery MOTA was certainly adequate for him to introduce all sorts of esoteric theology.

When the rebellion of the late 80's exploded on the scene, not even Lee's special MOTA status in the Recovery was adequate for survival. He needed numerous well-respected leaders to prop him up, close their eyes to criminal unrighteousness, and be willing to fabricate lies for him.

It was basically the Texas contingency who came to his rescue. Had more fair-minded leaders been willing to examine the statements made by Ingalls, Mallon, and others, the Recovery would have come crashing down under the weight of unrighteousness.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:31 AM   #52
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Normal people aren't going to buy this MOTA crap, only the Kool-Aid drinkers.
This is tangential but I thought I'd remark. Y'all know that I'm not shy about using the word cult or the term Kool-Aid, even tho I've gotten blow-back for doing so, cuz of the risk of turning people off and away.

While I was looking into Sarah Palin's new web TV channel called Rogue TV I saw an interview with former CNN president Jon Klein and former NBC entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin, who are starting this new form of TV. They mentioned that they were looking for contributors like Palin who had Super Fans.

So maybe to make it more palatable to the LCers, that might visit us, we should use the term Super Fans, for Leeites. Since they are Kool-Aid drinkers they'll prolly take it as a compliment.

Now I need to work on a palatable word for the word cult. So far I'm stumped. Thanks to Mel Porter I saw "cult," and I can't unsee it.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:26 AM   #53
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Probably, the LRC’s hymns are worth a special thread. But I came across this hymn a few days ago and, if brothers don’t mind, I’ll share it here.

I have been to different churches, and some of them thought that their teachings were superior to others. However, only in the LRC I saw how pride, condemnation, and delusion can be turned into a hymn. The irony of it is that their statement (hymn) has nothing to do with reality.

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HYMN 828

The “churches” here below, so narrow bound,
Reach not the hungry throngs which us surround;
They run partway with truth, but miss the goal.
Earth-vision blurred and dim, their eyes doth hold—
But broken gleams have they of radiance gold;
Too dazzling is the splendor of the whole.

Brothers with brothers have not all one heart,
In wrath they turn away and walk apart,
Who from one stream of life had common birth.
What fight for forms! O’er doctrines what vain strife!
Instead together sharing God’s one life,
Who worshipped is by heaven and by earth.

“Where is the truth?” I asked; for this I longed:
None answered right ’mid all the answering throng;
For ever side by side lay light and shade.
“Where is,” I cried, “the one communion pure?
Where is the Church in which, clear-traced and sure,
The Spirit’s very likeness is portrayed?”

So sought I long, and hopeless was my quest;
These eyes grew dim and blind and found no rest,
Till God’s touch opened them, and I was freed.
I found the Spirit’s Church in souls made one
In this, that they in troth to Christ had come—
His Bride, to follow where the cross may lead.

Thus when I see this small world’s narrow thought,
Behold the brother not with brother brought,
Yet serving Christ—as each one deemeth right—
Ah, then a voice from realms of glory calls,
Where the last veil is rent and earthward falls,
And where God’s love, eternal, burneth bright.

No more we put that query without end,
To which self-chosen church our feet did trend—
What doctrines we believed, what sacred rites.
In Christ we were in bonds that nought could break;
Who, by His cross and death, do all forsake,
Such as were far asunder He unites.

No longer does one heed mere formal phrase,
Or seek for others’ creeds through winding maze,
For in Himself was truth made manifest.
And out of every tongue and every land
He formed one Church to meet His own demand—
His Body, where His fulness is expressed.


Lyrics: Sister Eva of Friedenshort, adapted
Music: T. Willey

http://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/828
The author of the lyrics is Eva von Winkler (Sister Eva of Friedenshort). I googled her name and found these links:

http://www.jesusloversincleveland.or...0/hymnsEva.htm
http://www.pawcreek.org/testimonies/eva-von-winkler (Most informative article)
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_von_Tiele-Winckler (in German)

They say that this sister would not let sectarian attitudes or doctrinal differences hinder her fellowship with other saints. Maybe but I find her lyrics sectarian. I don’t know where WN and WL picked up that hymn. Probably, from sisters (deaconesses) that "Mother Eve" sent to China to serve with the China Inland Mission.

Anyway, I just want to say that I was surprised to find this hymn in the LRC’s hymnal. The lyrics didn’t sound true to me, since they don’t stand the test of time. A song like hymn 828 is a typical manipulation for cults.

Speaking about the MOTA, WL was partially right. Of course, he was not a minister of the age and he had nothing to do with Luther. But his cult’s roots are in Europe, in sects and heresies that came to China from the Old World. WN and WL just adopted and developed heresies to an extreme. So it’s not “Minister/s” but “Heretic/s.” Then the HOTA would be a better acronym. Well, not the best since there is a bunch of other harmful sects and cults.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:39 AM   #54
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Ultimately, people have to make up their own minds about the LC and why they choose to remain in it. I'm sure there are many who feel that a good work is being done there. At some point, however, thoughtful Christians have to ask themselves if the priorities of the group are not in conflict with its stated mission, which is to spread their vision. It is my contention that seeking to preserve false reputations of Nee and Lee, erasing and doctoring history, is counter to that mission in its purest form.

The LC has shown it can spread to a certain degree, but only to the extent they lift up Nee and Lee and cause people to revere and fear to contradict them. This has been quite effective with a tiny minority, but it will never be effective with a significant number. Once you move outside the fringe, you encounter people who expect a message that can stand up to a challenge. Telling these people not to dare contradict the Minister of the Age will be met with dumbfoundedness, if not laughter and derision.

The LC, in the end, will never be more than a blip because it never set out on a path to be anything but that. When push came to shove, ironically they chose the easy path. Instead of stepping up into the messy real world where the arena of ideas is a level playing field and nothing is guaranteed including respect for pet doctrines, they chose the path of continual preaching to whatever choir would not ask questions.

LCers will tell themselves that they are the remnant, the chosen few willing to pay the price. But in fact, they didn't pay the price. Paying the price would have meant being willing to be completely honest about everything and live with the consequences.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:31 AM   #55
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Ultimately, people have to make up their own minds about the LC and why they choose to remain in it. I'm sure there are many who feel that a good work is being done there. At some point, however, thoughtful Christians have to ask themselves if the priorities of the group are not in conflict wit the stated mission, which is to spread their vision. It is my contention that seeking to preserve false reputations of Nee and Lee, erasing and doctoring history, is counter to that mission in its purest form.

LCers will tell themselves that they are the remnant, the chosen few willing to pay the price. But in fact, they didn't pay the price. Paying the price would have meant being willing to be completely honest about everything and live with the consequences.
Recently I have been in touch with a few old friends who expressed an interest in attending Ron Kangas' pending conference in Cleveland. They would say that they paid a hefty price to pursue the Lord in the LC's. But, since they were not remotely involved with the activities in Anaheim, they would disagree that they have any responsibility to dig into those details or make them known. They also would say that it is all about "the message" and not the man, since Lee is dead.

Ironically, it now seems to be LSM which stresses Christ, the word, and the LC's, while life under the direction of TC in Cleveland has become all about "The Work." Quite a reversal from the rhetoric of the past.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:07 PM   #56
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They would say that they paid a hefty price to pursue the Lord in the LC's.
Well, everyone pays some price for whatever they do. The price I was talking about is the one you pay to do the right thing.

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But, sice they were not remotely involved with the activities in Anaheim, they would disagree that they have any responsibility to dig into those details or make them known.
I'm not talking about digging anything up, I'm talking about acknowledging what is undeniable, and being open to acknowledge what is likely. In other words, being honest and responsible.

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They also would say that it is all about "the message" and not the man, since Lee is dead.
The first admission of any LCer should be that the MOTA teaching was designed to control and manipulate people, and to cover up weaknesses in the message. If they can't admit that, there is no point in discussing the message with them in the first place, because to the degree they believe MOTA to that degree (at least) they will be irrational.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:56 AM   #57
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BTW, I wanted to add a thought for OBW. I think a major difference between Nee and Lee and other Christian teachers who may have emphasized many of the "deeper" things they did (as opposed, for example, to the typical fare of evangelical churches), is that Nee and Lee raised up many churches which they directed to teach and think like they did. Other teachers, Penn-Lewis, Andrew Murray, etc, were prolific, but did not start a movement of churches. Tozer and Sparks each led one church, but only Nee and Lee dispensed their teachings into many churches which in turn reflected their worldview. This is a rather unique situation with unique consequences. The other teachers did not really discriminate about who they ministered to, Nee and Lee did. Their interest was always in raising up a movement which remained pure to their vision, rather than simply casting their bread upon the water.

Because of this, their teaching had a much more focused impact. Though "inner life" teachings have to a degree meandered their way into mainstream Christianity, their concentration and impact is not as severe as Nee and Lee were on their dedicated audience. This adds to the overstated impression that Nee and Lee had something "unique" to say. But, actually, most things truly "unique" to the Recovery are associated with error.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:33 PM   #58
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BTW, I wanted to add a thought for OBW. I think a major difference between Nee and Lee and other Christian teachers who may have emphasized many of the "deeper" things they did (as opposed, for example, to the typical fare of evangelical churches), is that Nee and Lee raised up many churches which they directed to teach and think like they did. Other teachers, Penn-Lewis, Andrew Murray, etc, were prolific, but did not start a movement of churches. Tozer and Sparks each led one church, but only Nee and Lee dispensed their teachings into many churches which in turn reflected their worldview. This is a rather unique situation with unique consequences. The other teachers did not really discriminate about who they ministered to, Nee and Lee did. Their interest was always in raising up a movement which remained pure to their vision, rather than simply casting their bread upon the water.

Because of this, their teaching had a much more focused impact. Though "inner life" teachings have to a degree meandered their way into mainstream Christianity, their concentration and impact is not as severe as Nee and Lee were on their dedicated audience. This adds to the overstated impression that Nee and Lee had something "unique" to say. But, actually, most things truly "unique" to the Recovery are associated with error.
I would say that this is a relatively sound way to put it. And my thoughts about the writers that I prefer to read (although I must admit that my appetite for reading is often diminished between too much eye strain looking at tax laws and returns on a computer all day and allergies) are of the kind that are often preachers at a single church and write. Swindol, Alcorn, Driscoll, Bell (Rob, not Michael), McKnight, Spencer, McLaren, Tickle, Fitch, and others. Some of the readers here probably have no idea who some of those are. I will admit at least two of those are very controversial, and I am very careful as I read them not to get sucked-in to something that could be error — in some ways as bad or worse than Lee. We'll leave it at that.

But while these people influence their readers, those readers generally remain within some group that provides a base and framework within which to assess what they read. It is only when, as you say, the readers become a collection of direct followers that there begin to be real problems (at least potentially) especially when other sources of spiritual diet are removed.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:20 AM   #59
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... while life under the direction of TC in Cleveland has become all about "The Work." Quite a reversal from the rhetoric of the past.
Ohio, what does this mean?
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:46 AM   #60
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I would say that this is a relatively sound way to put it. And my thoughts about the writers that I prefer to read (although I must admit that my appetite for reading is often diminished between too much eye strain looking at tax laws and returns on a computer all day and allergies) are of the kind that are often preachers at a single church and write. Swindol, Alcorn, Driscoll, Bell (Rob, not Michael), McKnight, Spencer, McLaren, Tickle, Fitch, and others. Some of the readers here probably have no idea who some of those are. I will admit at least two of those are very controversial, and I am very careful as I read them not to get sucked-in to something that could be error — in some ways as bad or worse than Lee. We'll leave it at that.

But while these people influence their readers, those readers generally remain within some group that provides a base and framework within which to assess what they read. It is only when, as you say, the readers become a collection of direct followers that there begin to be real problems (at least potentially) especially when other sources of spiritual diet are removed.

Can you provide the first names of these teachers, too, so I can look them up. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:42 PM   #61
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Can you provide the first names of these teachers, too, so I can look them up. Thanks!
The list was off the top of my head and was far from all. But these were either more notable, or more recent.

Charles (Chuck) Swindol ((might be 2 Ls) Frisco Bible Church, current or former Dallas Theo Chancellor or something like that)
Randy Alcorn (Can't remember much of his creditials. But he has several well-known books out there.)
Mark Driscoll (not a lot from this one and is recently somewhat controversial)
Rob Bell (of Velvet Elvis, and more recently Love Wins fame - or infamy)
Scot McKnight (Preacher, writer, college professor)
Michael Spencer (preacher and orignal "Internet Monk" (he is not Catholic); only wrote one book - Mere Churchianity; died in 2011)
Brian McLaren (highly controversial. Read to discover the appeal and to decide where "Emergent" theology was going)
Phyllis Tickle (Magazine and book editor, and writer on Christian trends)
David Fitch (Seminary professor. Writes on postmodernism, post-Christendom (meaning the forms, not the essence of being Christian))

Of the ones I listed, I take Swindol as a serious, regular guy among us.
McKnight is trying to re-engage people with Christ and the mission of the church.
Fitch is critiquing what seems (to him) to be misaiming in the forms and practices of the church.
The others are mostly to challenge me to think. Even the highly questionable McLaren raises issues that are seriously worthy of thinking about. The problem with him is that he so often does not say anything about what he thinks on the issues. Then when he finally does . . . run for the hills!!

I would have listed others but the names would not come to me. That seems to be a regular thing with me. I remember by use and names I don't use are forgotten. Often can't remember the names of famous secular writers of books I have read.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:03 PM   #62
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The list was off the top of my head and was far from all. But these were either more notable, or more recent.

Charles (Chuck) Swindol ((might be 2 Ls) Frisco Bible Church, current or former
Dallas Theo Chancellor or something like that)
Yes. Well known, very traditional.

Quote:
Randy Alcorn (Can't remember much of his creditials. But he has several well-known books out there.)
He's one that picked up on our heavenly home actually being the new earth.

Quote:
Mark Driscoll (not a lot from this one and is recently somewhat controversial)
I read his "Doctrine." An approachable mainstream evangelical theology study. Very well written.

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Rob Bell (of Velvet Elvis, and more recently Love Wins fame - or infamy)
Yes, I read "Velvet Elvis," and browsed "Love Wins."

Quote:
Scot McKnight (Preacher, writer, college professor)
Brian McLaren (highly controversial. Read to discover the appeal and to decide where "Emergent" theology was going)
The emergent church doesn't interest me much. But I think it is worth observing.

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Michael Spencer (preacher and orignal "Internet Monk" (he is not Catholic); only wrote one book - Mere Churchianity; died in 2011)
Sad. He had a very popular blog. I disagreed with him once on it, and went after him (as you know I am wont to do) and he banned me from his site. lol.

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Phyllis Tickle (Magazine and book editor, and writer on Christian trends)
David Fitch (Seminary professor. Writes on postmodernism, post-Christendom (meaning the forms, not the essence of being Christian))
Don't know these. I'll check them out. Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:19 AM   #63
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He's one that picked up on our heavenly home actually being the new earth.
Yes, he did. But there was so much of his book, Heaven, that seemed to cater to a whole lot more of "what kind of body will we have" speculation and less on what it should instruct us on today. And what it did say in that line was lost on the "everything is grace" crowd (mostly the people older than us).

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The emergent church doesn't interest me much. But I think it is worth observing.
"Emergent," along with "emerging" was such an important study just three years ago. But since Love Wins and McLaren has finally said what he believes in a couple of books, emergent has lost much support, and as a result, you don't hear much about emerging even though it is still trucking along.

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Sad. He had a very popular blog. I disagreed with him once on it, and went after him (as you know I am wont to do) and he banned me from his site. lol.
I still follow the blog. It is probably better understood as emerging, although some other blogs with references to "Emergent Friends" classify it as emergent. I can't say I always agree with everything. But it is more soundly complete in its coverage of spirituality, worship, etc.

Actually, the closest to following any blogs are those of the Internet Monk (Spencer's legacy) and Jesus Creed (Scot McKnight). When I read these, I am challenged concerning the things that my natural comfort zones (Bible churches, possibly Baptist to Presbyterian/reformed) too often leave out. Or have at least left out for many years.

Protestantism has a history of tossing so much of what came before it aside to focus very exclusively on their "new thing" (which was, of course, mostly something simply out of focus, or ignored in recent history). And the Evangelical/fundamental branches did a lot of tossing aside in the past 100 or so years that, thanks to the noise created by the Emergents, and shepherded along by the many more sound "emergings," have begun to find their way back into our practice. Oh, there have always been some groups, like the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship, but most of the Evangelical/fundamental branches have thought like the LRC and declared that Biblical justice should be left to the government or the "liberal" churches. There is much to say about some of the theology of the liberal churches, but they did not abandon the needy like the rest of us did during the last 100 years.

I read McLaren because as he was veering off course, he was speaking the things that were driving him that way. Too much of the things that he saw as problems in the evangelical church were really problems. His earlier works had some validity in that they looked beyond the dogmas to the core issues of the faith. His problem is that he would appear to have sort of "chucked it all" and called it a new kind of Christianity.

In the mean time, McKnight is consistently speaking to the real truth of the Bible. As the Emergents started falling off of cliffs, he separated himself from that (not that he was ever in that deep). While I have admitted that my reading has been more limited in he past few years, I still consider his work among the more important today because it is not just better knowledge repackaged to tickle the ears of a new generation, but is engaging for the practice of the Christian life (which is far more important than how good your doctrines are).

And returning to the topic of this thread, excluding those who would lead the faithful astray (McLaren? Bell?), the important thing about these writers an teachers is that they do not do it to create a following. They will be the first to tell you that writing books is not a money-making proposition. They write because they feel they have something important to say.

But in the LRC, the writing is about money. And Nee and Lee are the primary cash cows — at least as long as they can keep the people declaring "Brother Lee said . . . ." They will cut up the existing books into segments, throw them into a popcorn popper, grab a few as they pop up, and create a new book out of it. The result for them? More money. The result for the faithful? More nonsense.

I doubt that they ever print a single page of something that they do not think will sell sufficiently to make it a profitable book. Despite the stranglehold on "standing orders," they must know that if it wanders too far from either classic Lee or the Bible (as Nee and Lee have modified it) there will be some pushback.

But as long as Lee said it, there is a man-made lake (as opposed to a sea) of people ready to buy their wares. To put yet one more volume of Lee, or at least repackaged Lee, onto their dwindling shelf space.

And as long as the target is a an-made lake, they must keep the man who made it securely at the top of their hierarchy.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:38 AM   #64
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Default Re: Is it the Message, or the Men?

My reading has been wide and wild, according to my cradle religion, and the local church. (Links embedded)

Right now I'm enjoying "Original Blessing" by Matthew Fox.

Zeek and I are reading it, and talking on cell phones about it. We both find original blessing (as opposed to original sin) a breath of fresh air - and a great way of seeing things. God started with original blessing, not original sin. And there's still plenty of His original blessing to go around.

Eusebius Church History - He's really something else. But it provides a window into how they thought in the 4th c.

The Story of B by Danial Quinn

I also like:

Professor Bart Erhman : on the Greek manuscripts and early Christianity.

And Bishop John Shelby Spong - a non-theist Christian ... and of the ->Jesus Seminar<-. And I've been known to get Funky, as in Robert Funk, who founded the Jesus Seminar.

But I don't fully agree with any of them.

After the local church can we really hook up to any man?
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:54 AM   #65
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Default Re: Is it the Message, or the Men?

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After the local church can we really hook up to any man?
I think there's capacity to receive ministers and ministries in the plural sense, but there's a spiritual consciousness that will not sell out for any minister or any ministry.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:20 AM   #66
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Default Re: Is it the Message, or the Men?

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BTW, I wanted to add a thought for OBW. I think a major difference between Nee and Lee and other Christian teachers who may have emphasized many of the "deeper" things they did (as opposed, for example, to the typical fare of evangelical churches), is that Nee and Lee raised up many churches which they directed to teach and think like they did. Other teachers, Penn-Lewis, Andrew Murray, etc, were prolific, but did not start a movement of churches. Tozer and Sparks each led one church, but only Nee and Lee dispensed their teachings into many churches which in turn reflected their worldview. This is a rather unique situation with unique consequences. The other teachers did not really discriminate about who they ministered to, Nee and Lee did. Their interest was always in raising up a movement which remained pure to their vision, rather than simply casting their bread upon the water.

Because of this, their teaching had a much more focused impact. Though "inner life" teachings have to a degree meandered their way into mainstream Christianity, their concentration and impact is not as severe as Nee and Lee were on their dedicated audience. This adds to the overstated impression that Nee and Lee had something "unique" to say. But, actually, most things truly "unique" to the Recovery are associated with error.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #67
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Is it the Message, or the Men?

While checking out the list of LSM churches I caught a blurb on the left of the site.

I clicked and went to this link:
http://www.watchman-nee.net/

On this site "it's the man" Watchman Nee. This is obviously a Living Stream/Lee/Blended bros. story.

In this story of Watchman Nee he has to be "consecrated to the Lord even before birth," I guess this is the LSM version of a virgin birth.

And he has to be:
"keenly intelligent" and, "an exceptional student, always ranking first in his class as well as in the entire school from grade school through college."

And:
"he acquired an exceptional knowledge concerning God's purpose, Christ, the Spirit, and the church through his study of the Bible as well as the writings of spiritual men and women. During his early ministry, he spent one-third of his income on books by Christian authors such as D.M. Panton, Robert Govett, G.H. Pember, Jessie Penn-Lewis, T. Austin-Sparks, John Nelson Darby, William Kelly, and C.H. Mackintosh. He was brilliantly gifted in his ability to select, comprehend, discern, and memorize appropriate material. Watchman Nee gleaned all the good, scriptural points from his collection of over 3,000 of the best Christian books, including nearly all the classical Christian writings from the first century on. In addition to the spiritual knowledge he gained, he received much spiritual edification and perfection early in his Christian life from Margaret E. Barber ..."

In other words Nee had to have a "gifted mental apprehension of God's truth" ... the very claim M.E. Barber made of him and Faithful Luke in her private letter in 1926.

So this is all about "the man." Lee's Recovery movement depends on "the man," Nee, being exceptionally gifted mentally.

This means that to them it's important that Nee was guided by his intellectual abilities first and foremost. Just as Barber stated of him.
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