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Old 07-31-2017, 08:27 PM   #1
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Default Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

Does Witness Lee believe in the 5 points of Calvinism?
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:05 PM   #2
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Does Witness Lee believe in the 5 points of Calvinism?
Hello.

Lee believed in somewhere between Calvinism and Arminianism, in what he called the "dispensational punishment of the kingdom". It is not an attempt to merge both views together, but to take a middle line, where both views are valid. It is based on treating all the bible verses that Calvinists and Arminians use as equally valid. It is not an either/or situation.

When Protestantism rejected the idea of purgatory, and mostly because of its relationship to Catholic indulgences and greed, with it, they also took away the idea of temporal punishment for the Christian.
This has been the cause of much debate and disagreement regarding the security of salvation between Calvinism and Arminiamism. "dispensation punishment", is a way to reconcile both Calvinist and Arminian views. In other words, Lee believed that a believer is saved forever, yet unlike an Ultra-Calvinist, would not believe that a Christian can live however they like without any consequences which is a common objection to Calvinism.

Lee also believed in God's sovereignty and in man's free will at the same time. So we cannot say that he was a strict "5 point Calvinist". He seemed to accept both sides of the argument but tended towards the Calvinist side if one wanted to "pick a side". But I agree with Lee that the truth is not one to the exclusion of the other .

I believe the people associated with these views that Lee picked up on are GH Lang, R. Govett, D.M. Panton.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:47 PM   #3
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Does Witness Lee believe in the 5 points of Calvinism?
He died 20 years ago.

I'm don't think he agreed with the "Irresistable Grace" point the way Calvinist Corner presents it on-line. I don't recall him trying to explain the mechanics of how some respond to God's call of salvation and others don't.

I think he agreed with the other four points.

Evangelical is right that Lee spoken often about rewards for "overcomers" and punishment for non-overcomers during "the millienium"' but not loss of eternal salvation.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

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Hello.

Lee believed in somewhere between Calvinism and Arminianism, in what he called the "dispensational punishment of the kingdom". It is not an attempt to merge both views together, but to take a middle line, where both views are valid. It is based on treating all the bible verses that Calvinists and Arminians use as equally valid. It is not an either/or situation.

When Protestantism rejected the idea of purgatory, and mostly because of its relationship to Catholic indulgences and greed, with it, they also took away the idea of temporal punishment for the Christian.
This has been the cause of much debate and disagreement regarding the security of salvation between Calvinism and Arminiamism. "dispensation punishment", is a way to reconcile both Calvinist and Arminian views. In other words, Lee believed that a believer is saved forever, yet unlike an Ultra-Calvinist, would not believe that a Christian can live however they like without any consequences which is a common objection to Calvinism.

Lee also believed in God's sovereignty and in man's free will at the same time. So we cannot say that he was a strict "5 point Calvinist". He seemed to accept both sides of the argument but tended towards the Calvinist side if one wanted to "pick a side". But I agree with Lee that the truth is not one to the exclusion of the other .

I believe the people associated with these views that Lee picked up on are GH Lang, R. Govett, D.M. Panton.
I think that is pretty well put! Thanks for pointing out that when the church rebelled against papal Rome and all those messed-up ideas, they seemed to pretty much throw out any idea of accountability. So these days we still have 95% of Christians going too far to the other extreme, i.e., all grace and no accountability. (Which is interesting since so much of Christendom practices the New Covenant much like we were still in the old, which all its legalism.) There are a few in Christendom that point out accountability and the Bema, but not many.

I appreciate WL not cutting certain verses out that don't line up well (like Calvinist & Armenians tend to do with the other's view). But I wonder if perhaps he stressed the accountability side too much, trying to counter the popular view in Christianity? What I got out of WL's teaching on this was, "God is a steamroller and if you get in the way of His purpose He will crush you flat in an instant!" Now it may have been immaturity on my part - that I took it that way - but it produced a HUGE fear in me that I am still recovering from. That is, I long held a fear-based idea of God ("I knew that you were a hard man . . ."), which was not very conducive to my walk with Him, and tended to put me in a performance realm where I couldn't measure up.

In our business we teach people that there are two sides to the benefits of achieving any goal. One is what is gained by reaching the goal; the other is the loss to be avoided. We teach that both are good to keep in mind. However, focusing on the downside all the time is certainly not the way to go. For instance, a good coach doesn't harangue his players constantly about stepping out of bounds, but rather the main focus is encouraging them in reaching the goal. (yes they must know what the possible infractions are, but . . .)

Again, it may have been my relative immaturity back then that caused me to pick up a fear/performance based view of God from WL's teachings, but I've talked with many who were in this same boat as me.
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:36 PM   #5
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I think that is pretty well put! Thanks for pointing out that when the church rebelled against papal Rome and all those messed-up ideas, they seemed to pretty much throw out any idea of accountability. So these days we still have 95% of Christians going too far to the other extreme, i.e., all grace and no accountability. (Which is interesting since so much of Christendom practices the New Covenant much like we were still in the old, which all its legalism.) There are a few in Christendom that point out accountability and the Bema, but not many.

I appreciate WL not cutting certain verses out that don't line up well (like Calvinist & Armenians tend to do with the other's view). But I wonder if perhaps he stressed the accountability side too much, trying to counter the popular view in Christianity? What I got out of WL's teaching on this was, "God is a steamroller and if you get in the way of His purpose He will crush you flat in an instant!" Now it may have been immaturity on my part - that I took it that way - but it produced a HUGE fear in me that I am still recovering from. That is, I long held a fear-based idea of God ("I knew that you were a hard man . . ."), which was not very conducive to my walk with Him, and tended to put me in a performance realm where I couldn't measure up.

In our business we teach people that there are two sides to the benefits of achieving any goal. One is what is gained by reaching the goal; the other is the loss to be avoided. We teach that both are good to keep in mind. However, focusing on the downside all the time is certainly not the way to go. For instance, a good coach doesn't harangue his players constantly about stepping out of bounds, but rather the main focus is encouraging them in reaching the goal. (yes they must know what the possible infractions are, but . . .)

Again, it may have been my relative immaturity back then that caused me to pick up a fear/performance based view of God from WL's teachings, but I've talked with many who were in this same boat as me.
I held both Calvinism and Arminianism views in my christian life at various points. I was conflicted understanding relevancy to both sides but not able to reconcile them. The pulpit tended to polarize the viewpoints making it difficult to settle in on the balanced view.

That is one of the things I appreciated when I came into the Lord's recovery. I had the "ah ha" moment, the eternal salvation yet the temporal punishment, the chosen before the foundation of the world yet the work out your own salvation, etc. .... it all suddenly fit.

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Old 06-27-2018, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

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I held both Calvinism and Arminianism views in my christian life at various points. I was conflicted understanding relevancy to both sides but not able to reconcile them. The pulpit tended to polarize the viewpoints making it difficult to settle in on the balanced view.

That is one of the things I appreciated when I came into the Lord's recovery. I had the "ah ha" moment, the eternal salvation yet the temporal punishment, the chosen before the foundation of the world yet the work out your own salvation, etc. .... it all suddenly fit.

Drake
Sorry man, but that's just a different strain of Arminianism. We call it dispensational Arminianism/free grace theology.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:09 PM   #7
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Sorry man, but that's just a different trend of Arminianism. We call it dispensational Arminianism.
Its okay. Call it what you like, Kevin.

It is nevertheless,, the reward of the kingdom and something to aspire to.

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Old 06-27-2018, 04:22 PM   #8
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The Calvinist view on rewards is that good works are necessary for final salvation, but according to A Puritan Theology (Mark Jones and Joel Beeke), "These works do not merit salvation, but they certainly will mark the difference between those in the church who loved Christ in sincerity (Eph. 6:24) and those who were only hypocrites. Those who performed good works in obedience to Christ can expect, according to God’s gracious covenant promise, to receive rewards based on their good works. In bestowing such rewards, God’s grace is magnified, for not only does He freely justify sinners by imputing to them the righteousness of Christ, but enables them by grace to do good works, and to reward them for the works they perform after having been justified." [Page 801]
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:38 PM   #9
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Good works are necessary for salvation?

The dictum “goodworks are necessary for salvation” is seen by the Puritans as a theologically valid statement if properly defined. It all depends on how the words “good works”, “necessary”, and “salvation” are understood.

In the Reformed tradition, “good works” here is understood as the holiness of life that is grounded in our union with Christ—thus, it presupposes grace and the reality of our divine adoption. Our good works are no more filthy rags because even our works done in faith are justified from its impurity (says Calvin and Owen).

“Necessary”, consequently, is hereby understood as simply a “necessity of order” not “of merit.” (Again, we also confess that faith is “necessary to salvation”, but we don't certainly mean by that that faith “merits salvation”).

Lastly, “salvation” in that statement above is understood as pertaining to “final glory” or Glorification, not Justification. Goodworks don't precede justification, but they do precede glorification as an ordained pathway or “means” to an end. The important thing to note here is that justification is not all there is to “salvation.” The term salvation or eternal life is equivocated in the Bible itself as pertaining to different stages in the ordo salutis depending on the context.

And we must not also miss the fact that Sanctification and Glorification are not strictly two distinct things, but are in fact one in substance, differing only in their respective degrees. Sanctification is but Glorification initiated, and Glorification is but Sanctification consummated. They relate as seed to a tree. They are one. The seed doesn't merit the tree, but the seed is an indispensable stage in the making of a tree. That is why Galatians 6:7-9 must not be read the way Roman Catholics read merits into it. Paul's illustration of “sowing” (perseverance in Spirit-wrought holiness) and “reaping” (eternal life in glory) in that passage actually implies the fact that the thing sown and the thing reaped are one in substance. The relationship, therefore, is not of merit to a wage, but simply means to an end in the context of “growth.” In that way, the Puritans are able to affirm that holiness of life is both an “evidence” and “means” of salvation. Goodworks evince that glory has already begun, and they at the same time serve as the pathway/means towards its own consummation in final glory.

This is what sets Reformed Theology apart from both Roman Catholicism and its Lutheran counterparts.
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Old 06-27-2018, 07:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

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I held both Calvinism and Arminianism views in my christian life at various points. I was conflicted understanding relevancy to both sides but not able to reconcile them. The pulpit tended to polarize the viewpoints making it difficult to settle in on the balanced view.

That is one of the things I appreciated when I came into the Lord's recovery. I had the "ah ha" moment, the eternal salvation yet the temporal punishment, the chosen before the foundation of the world yet the work out your own salvation, etc. .... it all suddenly fit.

Drake
That's great! Not many see that. The emphasis for me is on the goal . . . not so much the stepping out of bounds or potential loss (I already have a fairly good idea what that is). The Lord is faithful to show us what He needs to at the right time.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:30 PM   #11
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Good works are necessary for salvation?

The dictum “goodworks are necessary for salvation” is seen by the Puritans as a theologically valid statement if properly defined. It all depends on how the words “good works”, “necessary”, and “salvation” are understood.

In the Reformed tradition, “good works” here is understood as the holiness of life that is grounded in our union with Christ—thus, it presupposes grace and the reality of our divine adoption. Our good works are no more filthy rags because even our works done in faith are justified from its impurity (says Calvin and Owen).

“Necessary”, consequently, is hereby understood as simply a “necessity of order” not “of merit.” (Again, we also confess that faith is “necessary to salvation”, but we don't certainly mean by that that faith “merits salvation”).

Lastly, “salvation” in that statement above is understood as pertaining to “final glory” or Glorification, not Justification. Goodworks don't precede justification, but they do precede glorification as an ordained pathway or “means” to an end. The important thing to note here is that justification is not all there is to “salvation.” The term salvation or eternal life is equivocated in the Bible itself as pertaining to different stages in the ordo salutis depending on the context.

And we must not also miss the fact that Sanctification and Glorification are not strictly two distinct things, but are in fact one in substance, differing only in their respective degrees. Sanctification is but Glorification initiated, and Glorification is but Sanctification consummated. They relate as seed to a tree. They are one. The seed doesn't merit the tree, but the seed is an indispensable stage in the making of a tree. That is why Galatians 6:7-9 must not be read the way Roman Catholics read merits into it. Paul's illustration of “sowing” (perseverance in Spirit-wrought holiness) and “reaping” (eternal life in glory) in that passage actually implies the fact that the thing sown and the thing reaped are one in substance. The relationship, therefore, is not of merit to a wage, but simply means to an end in the context of “growth.” In that way, the Puritans are able to affirm that holiness of life is both an “evidence” and “means” of salvation. Goodworks evince that glory has already begun, and they at the same time serve as the pathway/means towards its own consummation in final glory.

This is what sets Reformed Theology apart from both Roman Catholicism and its Lutheran counterparts.
I think the Reformed Theology/Puritans spent too much time thinking and arguing about the details. These things were not matters of concern in the early church. Early church communities were known by the love they had for Christ and for each other, not their understanding of the process of salvation.
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:32 PM   #12
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These things were not matters of concern in the early church. Early church communities were known by the love they had for Christ and for each other, not their understanding of the process of salvation.
A “church” that isn’t known for its love - could it really be a church? Or just a place people gather to talk about their leader or all the stuff they “know”?
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:25 PM   #13
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A “church” that isn’t known for its love - could it really be a church? Or just a place people gather to talk about their leader or all the stuff they “know”?
People love Christ and they love each other and you must be talking about prophesying which is what the bible says we should do, and no denominations do that. The act of prophesying is an encouragement/edification and that is a loving thing to do. Denominations where people listen for a 1 hour service then go home with nothing to say are not loving anyone except themselves because they go there to receive some spiritual benefit or service for themselves from the minister but don't give or contribute much themselves. That is why many denominational pastors cater to that, giving sermons about self improvement (in the area of health, finances, or family etc).
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:58 PM   #14
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Mr. E,

Please tell us about prophesying in the Local Church. What EXACTLY does that involve in a practical manner in a LC meeting. Oh, and I want specifics. Please don't talk in generalities. What EXACTLY do the "prophesies" consist of?

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Old 06-28-2018, 09:03 PM   #15
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Mr. E,

Please tell us about prophesying in the Local Church. What EXACTLY does that involve in a practical manner in a LC meeting. Oh, and I want specifics. Please don't talk in generalities. What EXACTLY do the "prophesys" consist of?

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Well someone might share about what they enjoyed from the morning revival for that week.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:13 AM   #16
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I think the Reformed Theology/Puritans spent too much time thinking and arguing about the details. These things were not matters of concern in the early church. Early church communities were known by the love they had for Christ and for each other, not their understanding of the process of salvation.
You are merely applying a double standard to yourself that even Witness Lee too had much the talking in explaining the process of salvation. He elevated dispensational theology much than Puritanism.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:19 AM   #17
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People love Christ and they love each other and you must be talking about prophesying which is what the bible says we should do, and no denominations do that. The act of prophesying is an encouragement/edification and that is a loving thing to do. Denominations where people listen for a 1 hour service then go home with nothing to say are not loving anyone except themselves because they go there to receive some spiritual benefit or service for themselves from the minister but don't give or contribute much themselves. That is why many denominational pastors cater to that, giving sermons about self improvement (in the area of health, finances, or family etc).
Oh the fallacy is at stake! You gotta make distinctions between liberalism and authentic Christianity.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:54 AM   #18
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Well someone might share about what they enjoyed from the morning revival for that week.
And many could hardly spend their Bibles' reading over a fallible devotional book. Never have I heard anyone saying, "Have you enjoyed reading your Bible this morning?"
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:54 AM   #19
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And many could hardly spend their Bibles' reading over a fallible devotional book. Never have I heard anyone saying, "Have you enjoyed reading your Bible this morning?"
Probably people don't say that because our enjoyment is in the Lord and not any particular practice. A person might say "I enjoyed the Lord by.. (eating and drinking the Lord.. reading the Bible or reading the morning revival)".

Does your church whichever one you attend now do prophesying as the bible says to? Many don't and what they might call prophesying actually isn't (is more like fortune telling). Please explain how your church does prophesying better than in the recovery and then and only then do you have a right to criticise the local churches for using morning revivals.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:26 AM   #20
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Probably people don't say that because our enjoyment is in the Lord and not any particular practice. A person might say "I enjoyed the Lord by.. (eating and drinking the Lord.. reading the Bible or reading the morning revival)".
You bet I'm kinda influence with Piperian flavor.

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Please explain how your church does prophesying better than in the recovery and then and only then do you have a right to criticise the local churches for using morning revivals
The two churches I've attended do practice what the Bible says that each one has according to 1 Corinthians 14 as an instruction for the church, but not in general set up like the LC. Everyone does participate in cell groups with the opportunity to publicly proclaim the Word of God. The primary responsibility of Christians to each other is to build each other up. Edification is a major responsibility of church leaders (Eph. 4:11-12), but it is also the responsibility of all other Christians. Every believer is called to be an edifier.

Just recently my mentor taught me that prophesying is in a sense of proclaiming the Word of God.

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Please explain how your church does prophesying better than in the recovery and then and only then do you have a right to criticise the local churches for using morning revivals.
I didn't make such a claim, but members of the LC are mandated to use exclusively the HWMR and little are encouraged to read the scriptures.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:26 AM   #21
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Well someone might share about what they enjoyed from the morning revival for that week.
MIGHT share? Surely you jest. I think a more honest/accurate term would be MUST share. The Local Church that is a LSM Local Church that allows "prophesying" from any other ministry will be the first one I ever heard of. (and if they're not careful it will be the last)
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:41 AM   #22
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Does your church whichever one you attend now do prophesying as the bible says to? Many don't and what they might call prophesying actually isn't (is more like fortune telling). Please explain how your church does prophesying better than in the recovery and then and only then do you have a right to criticise the local churches for using morning revivals.
Come to Scottsdale and see . . .
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:36 AM   #23
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I do have to take slight issue with the thought that it is "HWMR or the highway" and that no one is ever encouraged to share their enjoyment from the Bible or other things, say, experience of sharing the gospel, for example.

Yes, the content of the prophesying meetings is always far and away majority HWMR, yes, absolutely that is true, and it is expected to be that way, yes. However, I know plenty of localities where the whole church is going through a Bible reading schedule (not even footnotes, just Bible verses only) and any saint who shares what they got from the Bible reading that week receives just as hearty an Amen as if they had shared from the HWMR. If there is a lull in the meeting, I have definitely heard elders ask if anyone had any enjoyment from their Bible reading that week. Plenty of saints share their experience preaching the gospel in a way that does not tie back to "that week's ministry" and their sharing is fully received, appreciated, and an encouragement to everyone.

Now, whether someone could stand up and share from a ministry other than WN/WL is another story..... I haven't ever seen it happen but I think once or twice they could "get away with it", but after that........ In this case I, of course, have to take issue with the LC's and their "different flavor" paranoia. Even Nee (or Lee?) said "the Lord has not shown us everything and if others have some light we should receive it." (paraphrasing.....couldn't find the source). To think Christ cannot be enjoyed in many different flavors is asinine and robs the saints of the whole palette of His riches. If someone shares their enjoyment of the Lord from a different ministry, that "different flavor" does not mean it is not Christ, it just means it is not Lee. LSM has equated the two and it is simply not true.

Last edited by Trapped; 06-29-2018 at 10:38 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:21 PM   #24
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You bet I'm kinda influence with Piperian flavor.


The two churches I've attended do practice what the Bible says that each one has according to 1 Corinthians 14 as an instruction for the church, but not in general set up like the LC. Everyone does participate in cell groups with the opportunity to publicly proclaim the Word of God. The primary responsibility of Christians to each other is to build each other up. Edification is a major responsibility of church leaders (Eph. 4:11-12), but it is also the responsibility of all other Christians. Every believer is called to be an edifier.

Just recently my mentor taught me that prophesying is in a sense of proclaiming the Word of God.


I didn't make such a claim, but members of the LC are mandated to use exclusively the HWMR and little are encouraged to read the scriptures.

Of course we are encourage to read scripture.
The HWMR contains and is based on the Scripture.

Churches that don't use some sort of guide seem to be only be shouting random bible verses at each other from different translations without much deep understanding or common context. If merely reading bible verses to each other is edification then anyone can read the bible for themself at home and be edified.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:27 PM   #25
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MIGHT share? Surely you jest. I think a more honest/accurate term would be MUST share. The Local Church that is a LSM Local Church that allows "prophesying" from any other ministry will be the first one I ever heard of. (and if they're not careful it will be the last)
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See Trapped's post. They have explained what is shared in a meeting is not always or must be the morning revival. Either you are misinformed or dishonestly spreading lies.
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:28 PM   #26
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Of course we are encourage to read scripture.
The HWMR contains and is based on the Scripture.

Churches that don't use some sort of guide seem to be only be shouting random bible verses at each other from different translations without much deep understanding or common context. If merely reading bible verses to each other is edification then anyone can read the bible for themself at home and be edified.

Your perspective seems to be putting the importance of the guide above the Bible. While "interpreted scripture" (or whatever you want to call Lee's ministry) can help, the Bible is sufficient for full edification. There is no "merely" reading Bible verses; the Bible, the word of God, is the full thing.

Edification does not come from a guide, from Lee's ministry, or from Bible + Lee. It comes from the "to each other" part. As gotquestions.org says (a site that seems to be generally reputable on this forum), "Edification may be individual or corporate.....Generally, however, the concept of edification in the New Testament is applied to the corporate body (mutual edification).....The corporate nature of edification cannot be overemphasized..." So yes, anyone CAN read the Bible for themselves at home and be edified. Of course!! But the Bible itself places an emphasis on corporate, "to each other", edification, and we cannot neglect that emphasis. But the Bible alone is more than sufficient for edification in the church.

However, if a congregation needs to use a guide, fine, we all need help. But to have a saturated, heavy-handed, bombarded from all directions, church atmosphere that the only guides worth reading are from one person and one person alone, and which concept ends up, in practice, being the majority basis of fellowship, then that is a big, big problem.

Yes, we all (hopefully) have seen the acceptance of a new one or walk-in who stands up and shares their enjoyment of the Lord from "another ministry", but it is accepted and tolerated because it is in the overwhelming 1% minority. If you started having a large number, 30%, 40%, 50%, etc in the meetings who shared from "another ministry", even if it is all genuine enjoyment, and all genuinely Christ, you'd better believe a storm would be a-brewin'. If the elders decided to use "another ministry" for the church to get into that week, you'd also better believe a storm would be coming.


(edit to add: by "storm" I do not mean trouble initiated by those sharing from other ministries. By "storm" I mean discontent from staunch Lee-ers within that locality taking steps to stop enjoyment from "other guides" being spoken, or accusations/finger-pointing/action taken by LSM headquarters catching wind of prophesying from "other guides" and taking steps to squelch/cut it off, etc)
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:29 AM   #27
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Default Re: Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

In the story of Philip and the Ethiopian, found in Acts 8:30-35.. which was more important and resulted in the Ethiopian's edification, the fact that the Ethiopian had a Bible and was reading it or the fact that he had Philip to guide and explain it to him?

The importance of Philip as a guide, is even more emphasized by the fact that the Holy Spirit arranged for Philip to act as the guide.

I think what most Christians get wrong is that they think there is something special about learning the Bible but in reality it is not too different to learning english or math or science. It requires time, hard work and diligence. They probably send their children to school, to learn by having a teacher explain things to them, English, Math etc. They don't expect them to learn math for example by reading a textbook on their own. Same with the bible. So in most churches even the ones that use the bible exclusively, they quote scripture to each other without much understanding of what the scripture means, unless they themselves have studied it at home for themself using some sort of study guide. And that is why edification is not merely using the bible alone word for word, but explaining and applying it to the particular situation at hand.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:33 PM   #28
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Regarding Acts 8:30-35 as an example of using guides for edification:

1. Edification concerns believers. The Ethiopian was not yet a believer.

2. What resulted in those verses was not the Ethiopian's edification, it was his salvation. Once he got saved, then edification can begin. The guide here is for salvation.

3. The Ethiopian's words were "How could I unless SOMEONE guides me?" Here we have the "to each other" that I mentioned previously. This was a one-on-one human guide. Probably most believers have been brought to salvation through another person. There is no "study guide" in these verses.

4. Yes! As you said, the Holy Spirit arranged for Philip to act as the guide. Not a publishing house who's material you must get into whether or not it meets the particular, aching needs of the dear saints in your church currently. The Holy Spirit!

Regarding the rest of your post, you said, "And that is why edification is not merely using the bible alone word for word, but explaining and applying it to the particular situation at hand." This can be done by and among the people gathered. It does not require Witness Lee's presence in printed form to be the only one providing an explanation.

I'm not saying using a guide is a problem or is wrong. I think we all have received help from study guides, both LC-ministry books and non-LC-ministry books. All I am saying is:

1) the Bible alone is sufficient for edification (a % of which can be individual with a larger % being corporate), and
2) study guides are more than fine as long as ANY helpful study guide is welcomed, and the use of only one man's study guide is not made the basis for fellowship or acceptance in the ways I've mentioned previously.
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:28 PM   #29
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Default Re: Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

Adding to the points -

5. The Lord God wanted the man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, to be saved and be baptised. The Spirit sent Philip to him. The Ethiopian said he needed guide to understand the particular portion of the scripture. The portion about Jesus being the Lamb of God for man's salvation. Philip preached Jesus to him (recovery version: announced Jesus as the gospel to him).

The Ethiopian said: here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. Philip baptised the Ethiopian eunuch.

And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Philip preached Jesus as the gospel and Philip baptised him who have believed.

note:
The Spirit did not require Philip further talked about how God is neatly boxed in 'The Economy of ...' ....

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Old 07-02-2018, 11:02 PM   #30
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Default Re: Was Witness Lee a Calvinist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Regarding Acts 8:30-35 as an example of using guides for edification:

1. Edification concerns believers. The Ethiopian was not yet a believer..
Whether the edification is unto salvation or for further spiritual improvement does not matter - the function of the Spirit is the same. The need for human guides is the same (teachers, pastors, etc).

Edification means improvement (to our spiritual situation). The Ethiopian experienced an improvement to his spiritual condition so it can be considered an edification.

This is also supported by personal experiences - any person who becomes saved needs further instruction and "discipleship" (as they call it) to grow properly. A person is no more knowledgeable about the Bible after salvation than before salvation.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Whether the edification is unto salvation or for further spiritual improvement does not matter - the function of the Spirit is the same. The need for human guides is the same (teachers, pastors, etc).

Edification means improvement (to our spiritual situation). The Ethiopian experienced an improvement to his spiritual condition so it can be considered an edification.

This is also supported by personal experiences - any person who becomes saved needs further instruction and "discipleship" (as they call it) to grow properly. A person is no more knowledgeable about the Bible after salvation than before salvation.

In my last post I included a portion that mentioned considering salvation as the first step in the process of edification, but deleted it as the fact remains they are two separate things, even if one is "unto" another. The dictionary definition of edification is improvement, yes, but on the spiritual side edification is to make us suitable for coordination and enable us to be built together with others. It is improvement for the purpose of building.

You mention human guides, but the original discussion at hand was study guides in a corporate meeting. I also would not read Acts 8:30-35 and come away with the thought that it supports the importance of study guides over the Bible. The important thing (or one....there are many in that passage) is Philip's following the Spirit's prompting!

As I have said several times, I am not against the use of a guide. I don't think we are necessarily disagreeing on that.
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