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The Local Church in the 21st Century Observations and Discussions regarding the Local Church Movement in the Here and Now

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Old 11-06-2019, 08:46 PM   #1
UntoHim
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Default Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

Excerpt from the latest addition to Shepherding Words:
The Proper Way to Deal with Problems in the Church

Those who demand that the co-workers in the Lord’s recovery be beholden to them in addressing problems in the church disregard God’s governmental arrangement for administering the church as His household. The New Testament shows that in His household God has ordained two offices to represent Him governmentally—apostles and elders. The apostles labor among and minister to the churches as a whole and appoint elders in the local churches . Elders administrate a local church and shepherd the saints in its locality. The elders have the responsibility to deal with problems among saints in their locality. Problems that are extra-local, that involve elders, or that a local eldership is unable to resolve may be dealt with by the apostles
(emphasis mine)

We know who the elders are by name. Many (most) are listed in the the North American publication of Local Churches. (The last one of these I have possession of is a number of years old.) Not sure if one has been distributed lately. Does the newest version of this directory/publication include the names of the apostles?

Why can't we know who these apostles are BY NAME. The apostle Paul named himself as an apostle. The apostle Peter named himself as an apostle. Many apostles were named in Acts. How can these men, their history and their qualifications to assume the office of an apostle be examined and approved when they hide behind the mysterious, self-imposed title of "The co-workers in the Lord’s recovery in North America"? Witness Lee NEVER DECLARED HIMSELF AS AN APOSTLE. In fact, I was in quite a number of meetings over a period of 20+ years where he specifically and strongly demanded that he not be called or thought of as an apostle. In one of the lawsuit depositions (The God-Men deposition I believe) WITNESS LEE SWORE UNDER OATH AND PENALTY OF PERJURY THAT HE DID NOT CONSIDER HIMSELF AN APOSTLE, AND TAUGHT HIS FOLLOWERS NOT TO CALL HIM AN APOSTLE. Now these "Co Workers in the Lord's Recovery" have declared themselves to be apostles. Words mean nothing brothers! I challenge you to demonstrate "the signs of a true apostle" as was done by the apostle Paul. (2 Corinthians 12:12) I challenge you to prove and demonstrate to the rest of the body of Christ your qualifications for assuming to the office of an apostle.


I will see that any retort or answer you brothers have for the members and readers of this forum be placed
in an unedited and unabridged form prominently displayed on the front page of this forum.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:45 PM   #2
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Default Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

I thought WL said the "age of spiritual giants," which my New Testament would consider to be Apostles, "is over?"

Please explain how book editors, called by WL as "Blended" brothers, can suddenly anoint themselves as Apostles?

Would it not be more appropriate to call these book editors "scribes," like they are referred to in the Gospels?

Perhaps then we should call those "blended" brothers at DCP "lawyers," like the ones who questioned Jesus, since their function is filing lawsuits against other book publishers they disagree with, and file lawsuits against other local churches they disapprove of.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
We know who the elders are by name. Many (most) are listed in the the North American publication of Local Churches. (The last one of these I have possession of is a number of years old.) Not sure if one has been distributed lately. Does the newest version of this directory/publication include the names of the apostles?

No, the "apostles" of TLR are not listed in any recent version of the book that has the U.S. local churches contact info in it. It is still a book of church contact info with some brothers specific info under each. Although if I remember correctly from previous years there may be some clarification that the brothers listed for each locality are not necessarily the elders, I'm not sure. But go to any locality and the saints there can sure tell you who the elders of that locality are.....there's no mystery there.


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Why can't we know who these apostles are BY NAME.
It's pretty dumb they go to such lengths to pretend there is no defined set of such brothers by using school kid type responses like "the blended brothers are just the brothers which are blended" when asked who the blended brothers are . Since the co-workers, oh, sorry, I mean apostles, have annual meetings together there obviously exists somewhere some specific list of them to be used when all of them need to be contacted about something.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Excerpt from the latest addition to Shepherding Words:
The Proper Way to Deal with Problems in the Church
The “proper” way to deal with problems in the Church is Matthew 18:15-17.
15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Are we told in v. 16 who to “take” (elders...deacons...apostles)? No. Take witnesses. Possibly, this means witnesses to the problem, regardless of where they may live.

V. 17 “Tell it to the church” means tell it to the church. It doesn’t mean “tell it to the Elders” or “tell it to the apostles”. Tell it to the church.

The members are charged to solve their own problems. If necessary, witnesses are brought in to establish the problem or matter. But final “authority” is given to the church...the members. Elders and deacons have abdicated their role as servants and, with a heavy-handed rod, usurped the authority of the church by assuming her role in solving problems.

If members do not practice Matt.18:15, rather, if members are not admonished to practice Matt. 18:15-17, the door is open for ambitious elders to come in and “rule”.

Why didn’t Matthew 18 say “tell it to the elders”? Because the church that Jesus was building was given the authority to make such decisions...as part of the “building” process...maybe?

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Old 11-07-2019, 03:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

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Are we told in v. 16 who to “take” (elders...deacons...apostles)? No. Take witnesses. Possibly, this means witnesses to the problem, regardless of where they may live.

V. 17 “Tell it to the church” means tell it to the church. It doesn’t mean “tell it to the Elders” or “tell it to the apostles”. Tell it to the church.

The members are charged to solve their own problems. If necessary, witnesses are brought in to establish the problem or matter. But final “authority” is given to the church...the members. Elders and deacons have abdicated their role as servants and with, a heavy-handed rod, usurped the authority of the church by assuming her role in solving problems.

If members do not practice Matt.18:15, rather, if members are not admonished to practice Matt. 18:15-17, the door is open for ambitious elders to come in and “rule”.

Why didn’t Matthew 18 say “tell it to the elders”? Because the church that Jesus was building was given the authority to make such decisions...as part of the “building” process...maybe?

Nell
Good point.
When a complaint is against an elder or elders, and one has to tell it to the 'elders' , one will be silenced, punished, instead of Matthew 18 being practiced.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

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Good point.
When a complaint is against an elder or elders, and one has to tell it to the 'elders' , one will be silenced, punished, instead of Matthew 18 being practiced.
Yes, Nell's point is spot on. The proper way to deal with offenses is given by Jesus in the gospels. Additionally, it still applies when the elders have a complaint against the non-local person. If Watchman Nee, not taking the local Lord's table, is told by the Shanghai elders that he is not to return among them for reasons of maintaining the church testimony, then the elders are presenting the will of the church. (Instead, Witness Lee overturned this).

And if the Anaheim elders told Witness Lee that his son Philip was meddling in the affairs of other localities, and the elders in those regions were reporting the sufferings caused by this, then as Matthew 18 witnesses they should be heard. Where does the NT say that an office manager of a publisher should dictate practices in various local assemblies? If ever there was a klaxon horn warning the believers - imagine a cartoonish "ooogah, ooogah!! - it was with Witness Lee's sons. (And yet we saw what happened).

And then the LSM office manager gets caught sexually abusing the help, Matthew 18 should apply. Witnesses come forward, and if there is not repentance and restoration then the offender is removed from the assembly.

None of this happened according to Matthew 18. So here we are, today. The proper way to deal with problems was not followed and the issues of that failure reverberates today..
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

Btw, Lee tried to side-step this issue by creating "the ministry". Technically, all believers have a ministerial function: to aid, to comfort, to help, to support. The Samaritan and the broken traveller are given prominently as exemplars.

But with Lee, ministry became the promulgation of a doctrine - his. His doctrine was termed "the vision of the age". Subjecting oneself to this "vision" became paramount. And since Lee controlled the vision, he controlled everything. He could contradict himself, he could reverse field. Whatever.

So he could term himself "Bible expositor" to the judge, but to the insider's he was Today's Paul and Today's Moses and Deputy God. Apostle was thus neatly sidestepped, as a fixed point of reference. Today you have "co-workers" and other terms. They can mean whatever one wants.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

W. Nee established a para-church organizational structure called "the WORK" which became a Vatican-style ruling class to regulate and subjugate all the LC's and their members.

W. Lee built on this false ecclesiastical structure by establishing a nameless order of "BLENDED" elites to rule after his death.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

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V. 17 “Tell it to the church” means tell it to the church. It doesn’t mean “tell it to the Elders” or “tell it to the apostles”. Tell it to the church.
This corresponds with Paul's instruction to Timothy regarding sins, (I Tm 5.19-21) to demand confirmation by multiple witnesses and then to "discipline before all that others may also be in fear." This is very much like the legal system.

Let me say something about SHAMING. Public shaming is a very effective method to change people's behavior. It should be used judiciously for those who sin. Disciplining the sinner before all is the Biblical way to administer divine justice in the house of God. It can produce incredibly positive fruit, not just in the sinner's life, but can benefit the entire assembly. The repentance of the sinning brother in Corinth is proof. (II Cor 2.6-8)

Public shaming in Lee's Recovery system is all distorted. Supposedly, based on this "recovered" practice by a sister named Margaret Barber, Nee and Lee used shaming to "perfect" the brothers. This horrible practice has no scriptural basis, and merely becomes the vehicle by which the hierarchy is established and maintained. This defines the way of the Gentiles, seen often in the military and many businesses. (Matt 20.25-26; Luke 22.24-26)

One defining characteristic of Lee's shaming paradigm is that it only "goes downhill." Those above in the hierarchical order must never be critiqued, and one is only given license to critique those beneath. Hence Philip Lee, as second in command, could shame all, but none could shame him for his many sins, except his father, who never did as he should have. This was just another example of how "recovered" traditions superseded the plain instructions of scripture.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:36 AM   #10
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Those who demand that the co-workers in the Lord’s recovery be beholden to them in addressing problems in the church disregard God’s governmental arrangement for administering the church as His household. The New Testament shows that in His household God has ordained two offices to represent Him governmentally—apostles and elders. The apostles labor among and minister to the churches as a whole and appoint elders in the local churches . Elders administrate a local church and shepherd the saints in its locality. The elders have the responsibility to deal with problems among saints in their locality. Problems that are extra-local, that involve elders, or that a local eldership is unable to resolve may be dealt with by the apostles
The statements that they make expose their hypocrisy. In their article on hierarchy and organization, they argue that LSM is not a headquarters and that there is no organization among the local churches. That stands in direct contrast to this new claim that the so-called coworkers are apostles. Specifically, because the larger Christian community does not recognize them as such.

What is the common denominator between the coworkers and the local churches? It's LSM and the adherence to the ministry of WL. Within the local churches under LSM, the coworkers might very well indeed be viewed as apostles. That doesn't mean that they are. That just means that the collection of local churches following LSM and WL's ministry are indeed an organization that exists as a hierarchy with men at the top claiming to be apostles.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:18 PM   #11
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Witness Lee NEVER DECLARED HIMSELF AS AN APOSTLE.

Pshhh who needs to be called a lowly apostle when you have already claimed for your self the position of being THE ONLY PERSON ON EARTH THROUGH WHOM GOD IS SPEAKING WHAT ACTUALLY MATTERS AND IF OTHERS DON'T LINE UP WITH YOU THEY ARE REJECTING GOD. (see "The Vision of the Age" book)

I mean.....think about what kind of whacked out mentality a person has to have to make that claim. Geez, no wonder so many church kids are loopy having grown up hearing what a person like that says constantly throughout their formative years. And no wonder the co-workers are claiming apostleship for themselves.....look at the example of the guy they are following!
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

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Pshhh who needs to be called a lowly apostle when you have already claimed for your self the position of being THE ONLY PERSON ON EARTH THROUGH WHOM GOD IS SPEAKING WHAT ACTUALLY MATTERS AND IF OTHERS DON'T LINE UP WITH YOU THEY ARE REJECTING GOD. (see "The Vision of the Age" book)

I mean.....think about what kind of whacked out mentality a person has to have to make that claim. Geez, no wonder so many church kids are loopy having grown up hearing what a person like that says constantly throughout their formative years. And no wonder the co-workers are claiming apostleship for themselves.....look at the example of the guy they are following!
I think that aside from what is or isn't spoken, people in the LC already perceive things a certain way. What I mean is that before WL ever declared himself as God's oracle, he was already perceived that way. Before the blendeds ever declared themselves to be apostles, they were already held in that regard. Likewise, before there was ever any controversy over whether or not LSM was a headquarters, it was already recognized as such.

When these articles get put out, they really aren't fooling anyone, including those in the LC. It is simply propaganda telling people what to believe. Whether it is out of fear or it is out of stupidity, LCers choose to believe what they are told.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Co-workers In The Lord’s Recovery Declare Themselves as APOSTLES!

Good points Freedom.

Actually, there is more than enough evidence that Lee considered himself God's oracle on earth way back to the early days in Taiwan. He was hiring and firing elders and even co-workers at his personal whim back in the 50s and 60s. It was only the language, cultural and religious barriers (some of which were probably set up by Lee himself) that kept us gullible Americans from knowing the real Witness Lee right from the beginning. In today's information age, he would have never gotten away with it.

As for the matter of headquarters, well the simple fact was that wherever Witness Lee was, that was the headquarters of the Local Church. When he was in LA, the headquarters was Elden Hall. When he moved to Anaheim, that became the headquarters.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:53 PM   #14
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Good points Freedom.

Actually, there is more than enough evidence that Lee considered himself God's oracle on earth way back to the early days in Taiwan. He was hiring and firing elders and even co-workers at his personal whim back in the 50s and 60s. It was only the language, cultural and religious barriers (some of which were probably set up by Lee himself) that kept us gullible Americans from knowing the real Witness Lee right from the beginning. In today's information age, he would have never gotten away with it.

As for the matter of headquarters, well the simple fact was that wherever Witness Lee was, that was the headquarters of the Local Church. When he was in LA, the headquarters was Elden Hall. When he moved to Anaheim, that became the headquarters.
-
LC history indicates that at some point WN assumed a position of authority. WL likewise. After WL died, the blendeds claimed to be his 'continuation'. It seems that no one ever really thought to question these assertions of authority, they just accepted it. By the time WL was hiring and firing elders, people had already gotten to the point where they accepted WL's decisions as final.

Even among all those who left the LC, the real questioning came after the fact, sometimes after years of having accepting the status quo. When the blendeds now present themselves as apostles, I think our immediate response is "says who?" They don't like that questioning because within the LC, no one dares to question them. But it's a valid question and one that should be asked right off the bat.

I mentioned already that the larger Christian community doesn't recognize any of them as apostles. Why is that? Maybe because they aren't? After all, their whole claim to fame is their association with WL and being the current torch-bearers of LSM. Well, if that it, then they still haven't even so much as established any kind of credibility as true apostles.
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