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Old 11-06-2009, 07:37 AM   #1
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Default Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

WITNESS LEE SANITIZED—

LSM’s Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined



Summary:
For over a decade LSM has promoted Witness Lee’s Life-study via radio broadcasts. W. Lee was an out-spoken critic of Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations and free groups were all severely condemned. However, his denunciations were systematically censored from LSM’s radio programs. Thus radio listeners hear only a sanitized version of W. Lee, not his comprehensive ministry. Basic Christian integrity requires the full disclosure of all aspects of his ministry—both the innocuous and the potentially offensive should be presented. Evidently LSM has adopted a “Bait and Switch” strategy—broadcasting a laundered version of W. Lee’s ministry to the wider Christian public in order to gain new recruits, while reserving the “real Witness Lee” for “insiders” within the Local Church movement.

Witness Lee’s Life-study of the Bible
The Life-study of the Bible is W. Lee’s magnum opus. It consists of 2,000 messages with 20,000 printed pages,1 bound into 35 green volumes. The magnitude is impressive. The publisher maintains2 “this monumental and classical work…builds upon and is a further development of all that the Lord has revealed to His church in the past centuries.” Moreover,3 “No other study or exposition…conveys the life nourishment or…the divine revelation of God's holy Word…as this one does.” It is comprehensive, embodying W. Lee’s systematic exposition the whole Bible. This is surely W. Lee’s definitive work, presenting his teachings on the Trinity, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Christian life and church-life.4

LSM’s Life-Study Radio Broadcast
In September, 1996 Living Stream Ministry [LSM] began broadcasting excerpts of W. Lee’s Life-study messages on the radio to acquaint the wider community with his ministry. LSM reports that5 “Radio broadcasts of Life-study of the Bible with Witness Lee…[are] now heard in three languages on more than 100 stations worldwide.” This radio project is a substantial undertaking;6 “many thousands of man hours were put into the preparation of the Life-study…radio broadcasts.” The expense is considerable;7 the on-going cost of LSM’s UK radio program alone amounts to $15,000 US per month ($180,000 US p.a.). Here we ask—do LSM’s radio programs adequately represent W. Lee’s overall ministry? Do they faithfully convey all aspects of his teaching? In particular, how does LSM-radio handle controversial topics, like W. Lee’s condemnation of Christianity?

W. Lee Condemns Christianity
The Life-studies address such topics as the Triune God and His eternal purpose, Christ and the Church,
the kingdom and the New Jerusalem. However, alongside such positive themes runs a line of condemnation. W. Lee was an out-spoken critic of Judeo-Christian religion in all its forms. He pulled no punches, denouncing8 “the three deformed religions—Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism.” “In the eyes of the Lord,” he asserted,9 “these three ‘isms’ are more evil than sin, than the world, and than our self.”

W. Lee’s condemnation of10 “degraded Christianity” and “satanic Judaism” spanned three decades. In the 1970s he asserted,11 “Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic, and Protestantism is without Christ.” In the 1980s he proclaimed,12 “The great Babylon is fallen. This is a declaration. Christianity is fallen, Christendom is fallen, Catholicism is fallen, and all the denominations are fallen. Hallelujah!”In the 1990s, his Recovery Version Bible’s notes declared,13 “The Lord is not building His church in Christendom…composed of the apostate Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations.”

W. Lee based his denunciations on the Apostle John’s Apocalypse. Revelation 2:9 refers to the “synagogue of Satan,” hence he called Judaism “satanic.” He identified the Roman Catholic Church as Jezebel, Thyatira (in Rev. 2) and as Babylon, the Great Harlot and “Mother of Harlots” in Revelation 17. Since the Protestant denominations sprang from Roman Catholicism, the “Mother of Harlots,” W. Lee denigrated them as “prostitutes,” the many “daughters of the Great Harlot.” Christian free groups—independent congregations and house churches—did not escape his ire; they too were “Babylonian.”14
W. Lee’s harsh denunciations offended Christian believers. This affront was recently manifested in an “Open Letter” by over 60 Christian leaders and scholars objecting to “Witness Lee’s denigrating characterizations of [Evangelical] churches and ministries.”15 Clearly many believers object to his harsh condemnation of Christianity.

Issues Posed by LSM Radio
We ask—how does LSM Radio handle W. Lee’s denunciations? Are his severe criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations and Christian free groups replicated in LSM’s radio programs? Or has LSM censored potentially offensive remarks, so radio-listeners hear only a sanitized version of Witness Lee? This is an issue of integrity; basic Christian integrity requires that all aspects of W. Lee’s ministry—both innocuous and potentially offensive—be presented. If objectionable statements are systematically expunged, this produces two versions of W. Lee’s ministry—one for “outsiders,” the other for “insiders.” It would mean that LSM-radio’s sanitized version is presented to “outsiders,” the wider Christian community, while the “uncensored version, the real Witness Lee,” is reserved for “insiders,” members of LSM’s Local Church network and those delving deeper into LSM’s publications.

Witness Lee Expurgated—LSM Radio Programs
LSM radio broadcasts are edited versions of W. Lee’s spoken Life-study messages. Particular sections were extracted. Repetition has been eliminated, mispronunciations corrected. Sentences have been omitted and individual words and phrases expunged. These tasks account for the16 “many thousands of man hours…put into the preparation of the Life-study…radio broadcasts.” Hence what radio listeners hear is not a verbatim record of W. Lee’s speaking at his Life-study trainings. It is a highly edited version of the original audio recording. Most of these editorial changes are innocuous; some are not.

Selecting certain portions for broadcast implies other Life-study sections are omitted. If selected portions are representative of W. Lee’s ministry, over time radio listeners are exposed to all aspects of his ministry. Then LSM’s radio broadcasts would be a faithful presentation of W. Lee’s comprehensive ministry. If, on the other hand, certain aspects—e.g. controversial statements about Christianity—have been systematically omitted, radio listeners receive a biased (non-representative) version of W. Lee’s teachings. In this case LSM’s radio programs would not be a faithful presentation of his entire ministry.

We address these issues by comparing LSM radio broadcasts with the corresponding printed Life-study messages.17 Investigation indicates that sometimes whole messages have been omitted. These are not random messages. Life-studies excluded from LSM’s Radio broadcasts contain themes highly offensive to Christian believers outside the Local Church. In other cases objectionable passages have been omitted, while more innocuous portions have been broadcast. Segments specifically targeting the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations or free groups are often eliminated, while nebulous references to “the apostate church” are included in radio broadcasts. We document examples of LSM’s selective editing of W. Lee’s Life-study messages. We show that LSM’s radio programs systematically exclude objectionable statements which appear in the printed Life-studies. Hence radio listeners only hear a sanitized version of W. Lee. Below we present four major examples, illustrative of this pattern.

Example One—Jezebel in the Church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:20)
The Revelation Life-study (Message 13) focuses on Jezebel (Rev. 2:20). W. Lee says18 “One of the crucial points in the epistle to the church in Thyatira [Rev. 2:18-29] concerns the woman Jezebel.” On the radio and in print, he equates Jezebel with the women in Matthew 1319 and Revelation 17, saying,20
The sound teachers of the Bible agree that the Jezebel in Revelation 2 is undoubtedly the woman prophesied by the Lord in Matthew 13:33. These two women actually are one. The great harlot in Revelation 17 is also the same woman. Thus, the woman in Matthew 13 is the Jezebel in Revelation 2, and Jezebel becomes the great harlot who is called the great Babylon in Revelation 17. [Life-study of Revelation, Message 13, printed version]
But, whom does this woman represent? On this pivotal point, LSM’s radio program quotes W. Lee saying,21 “Who is this present Jezebel? According to history, no doubt the apostate church is the Jezebel, the great harlot. She brought in the hidden, the pagan things to the worship of God by His people. This is the crucial and most central point.” So, Jezebel is identified as “the apostate church.”That is as specific as the radio program gets. Now compare this to the printed Life-study message:22
When the Lord spoke to the church in Thyatira, He said that there was a present-day Jezebel. According to history, this present-day Jezebel undoubtedly is the apostate church, the Roman Catholic Church. In using the name Jezebel, the Lord was reminding us of what Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, did: she came from a heathen background and brought pagan things into the worship of God by His people. This is the crucial and most central point in the epistle to Thyatira.

Note the striking difference. On LSM radio W. Lee says, “According to history, no doubt the apostate church is the Jezebel.” She is identified, generically as “the apostate church.” The printed Life-study is more definite. It says,23 “According to history, this present-day Jezebel undoubtedly is the apostate church, the Roman Catholic Church.” LSM’s radio messages never explicitly identify Thyatira or Jezebel as the Roman Catholic Church. Significantly the term “Roman Catholic Church” is never heard in this broadcast.24 Yet, a later printed message records W. Lee saying,25 “In message 13 of this life-study I gave a strong word concerning the Roman Catholic Church.” However listeners would never know this from LSM’s radio program. Broadcast excerpts merely refer to the nebulous entity, “the apostate church.” W. Lee’s statements about Roman Catholicism were omitted, censored from the radio program.

Consider also W. Lee’s statement contained in the printed message, saying that26
Jezebel teaches people to commit fornication and to eat idol sacrifices. Jezebel teaches her people to worship idols. In the Roman Catholic Church the worship of idols is taught. In Manila, I saw many people purchasing candles at the candle counter and placing them before the images and idols on the walls. Wherever there is idolatry, there is also fornication...It is not a matter of doctrinal debate—it is a matter of idolatry and fornication.
This speaking, condemning the Roman Catholic Church for idolatry and fornication has been excluded from LSM’s radio program.W. Lee’s condemnation of Christendom isn’t heard on the radio either. In print he concludes,27
In the epistle to the church in Thyatira [Rev. 2:18-29] we see…the real situation of today’s Christendom. Christendom has become an organ of Satan. Although it has the name Christ in it, actually within it there is Satan himself. We all must see this.”
W. Lee’s denunciation of Christendom as “an organ of Satan” appears in print, but it not heard in the Radio message; it has been expunged.

Example Two—Babylon, the Great Prostitute & Mother of Prostitutes (Rev. 17)
The Great Prostitute—the Roman Catholic Church
When he came to Revelation 17 W. Lee gave an emphatic interpretation of the great harlot, saying,28
The prostitute is the apostate Roman Catholic Church. History reveals that only one figure, one character, matches the description of the female in this chapter, and that figure is the Roman Catholic Church…According to the Scriptures, the great prostitute…is the Roman Catholic Church. If the female in Revelation 17 is not the Roman Catholic Church, then who is she? Surely, according to history, only the Roman Catholic Church fits the description of the woman given here.
This is in print. He also stated that,29 “the prostitute denotes the religious Babylon, signifying the Roman Church.” Here are categorical statements in print unequivocally identifying the great prostitute as the Roman Catholic Church. How does LSM radio treat these statements? We shall see below.

Protestant Denominations—“Prostitutes” & “the Great Prostitute’s Daughters”
In the printed Life-study W. Lee deduces that, since Babylon is called the “Mother of Prostitutes,”30
The prostitutes are the denominations and groups in Christianity with the evil doctrines, practices, and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Since the ‘Mother of the Prostitutes’ is the apostate church, the prostitutes, her daughters, must be all the different sects and groups in Christianity
who hold to some extent the teaching, practices, and traditions of the apostate Roman Church.
Later in the same message he says,31
The apostate Roman Church is a prostitute, and all her daughters are also prostitutes. A prostitute is a woman who commits fornication for profit. Many of today’s Christian groups have been formed for man’s gain, empire, position, or title. This is prostitution.
According to W. Lee, this includes Protestant denominations, like the Lutherans. He argued,32
One reason for saying that the denominations and most free groups are daughters of the prostitute is the presence of idols among them. Some may argue that the Lutheran Church has no idols. But the title of this denomination, Lutheran, is itself an idol. To whom do you belong—to Christ or to Luther? Is it not sufficient to call yourself a Christian? Why must you call yourself a Lutheran? These idolatrous names are abominations.
A little later he adds,33
They are not the church because they are a prostitute, a woman who has a relationship with many men instead of a proper relationship with one husband. Who is your husband? If Christ is your husband, then why do you call yourself a Lutheran?
W. Lee denounced the Roman Catholic Church as “Babylon, the Great Harlot and Mother of Prostitutes.” He then proceeded to condemnProtestant denominations (e.g. Lutherans) and “free groups” as “the Great Prostitute’s daughters” and also as “prostitutes.” What does LSM radio say?

LSM Radio Life-study of Revelation 17
How does LSM Radio’s Life-study handle these controversial statements? They are suppressed; W. Lee’s speaking is limited to a few sentences, lasting about 30 seconds. The sum total of his speaking on LSM’s Radio about “The Great Prostitute sitting on a Scarlet Beast” is the following34
We come to the beast. The picture is a rider and a beast. The rider is a religion and the beast is a politician. The rider is this apostate church and the beast is the Roman Empire. One is the rider and the other is the carrier. [W. Lee, LSM RadioLife-study on Revelation, message 52]
“A very short section there,” intones LSM’s moderator, Chris Wilde.35 It is indeed short, just 30 seconds; that is all we hear from Witness Lee. Listeners hear him identify the “rider [as] this apostate church.” They don’t hear the Roman Catholic Church named. The remainder of this radio broadcast consists of dialogue between Chris Wilde and LSM’s senior editor, Ron Kangas regarding incidental points. They dialogue about the apostle John being “carried away in spirit” (Rev. 17:3) and the woman being “gilded” with gold (17:4). In contrast to the radio program, W. Lee’s printed message did not expound on John’s being “in spirit.” Moreover, only 75 words (out of 5,200)less than 1.5%explained “gilded.” So 98.5% of W. Lee’s message on Revelation 17 was censored from the Radio broadcast. Perhaps this program ought to be called “Life-study of the Bible with Ron Kangas,” rather than “with Witness Lee.” After all, the latter only spoke for 30 seconds out of 25 minutes; that’s 2% of the time; 98% was others’ speaking, mostly Ron Kangas. This creates the definite impression that controversial statements have been suppressed by LSM.

Example Three—Protestant Denominations Deny the Lord’s Name
The Lord praises the Church in Philadelphia for not denying His name (Rev. 3:8). On LSM radio W. Lee expounds this point, saying,36
We have only one name—the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is a serious matter to take a name. Suppose you are Mrs. Smith. Don’t take the name of Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Hudson. The church should have only one husband, only one name, the name of Jesus Christ. We are saved in the Lord’s name. Besides His name, we should never take any other name.George Whitefield, a contemporary of John Wesley, once declared that besides the name of Jesus Christ he would have no other name. The church in Philadelphia does not deny the Lord’s name.
Radio listeners hear W. Lee declare “It is a serious matter to take a name. Suppose you are Mrs. Smith. Don’t take the name of Mrs. Jones.”Using this analogy he discretely warns against denominating the church; yet this warning is obtuse, couched in the general terms. Listeners never hear him name names; so how many would draw the intended inference by “connecting the dots”? However, in his Life-study W. Lee’s speaking was direct and pointed. Immediately prior to the portion selected for radio, he says,37
Because we have an all-sufficient name, the name above every name, we do not need the names Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or any other names. We have only one name—the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Here he names specific denominations—Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, etc. Moreover, in writing, W. Lee decries denominations for committing “spiritual fornication.” He says,38
The reformed church…has denied the Lord’s name by denominating herself with many other names, such as Lutheran, Wesleyan, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Baptist…To denominate the church with any name other than the Lord’s is spiritual fornication.
It is difficult to avoid the impression that W. Lee’s messages were edited to avoid offending Christians in the denominations. It is significant that, at one point in this radio broadcast, Dan Towle says,39 “This is a sensitive subject…of course we don’t want to offend people.” But this was not W. Lee’s attitude!

Example Four—Genesis Life-studies 34 and 54
Witness Lee’s Life-study of Genesis is a monumental work consisting of 120 messages. Each of the 120 Life-study messages was turned into one (or more) radio programs, with the notable exception of two messages.40 These two omitted messages are numbers 34 and 54. Why were these messages excluded? Was their subject matter potentially offensive? Let’s look at the content.

Denominations building Babylon, a Satanic System
The first message (#34) on Genesis 10, describes Noah’s descendents developing into nations, leading to the tower of Babel. W. Lee interprets the nations allegorically as denominations, saying,41
It is meaningful that in English the word denomination includes the word nation. In typology, it is a nation; in Christianity, it is a denomination. A denomination means that which is denominated. In typology there are the nations, such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Sheba, etc.; in Christianity there are the denominations, such as Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc. All of these are nations or denominations. All are divided.
The nations in Genesis 10 are interpreted as denominations because “in English the word denomination includes the word nation.” Yet Genesis was written in Hebrew. No respectable scholar would draw this inference42 based on the English words, nation and denomination! Nevertheless W. Lee says,43
This is a type of Christianity. Christianity is altogether typified by the nations…Babylon has been built by Christians who do not care for God's government but for their own kingdom…The denominational organizations have been utilized by Satan to set up his satanic system to destroy God's economy of the proper church life.
Thus Christianity and denominations are condemned, charged with building “Babylon,” a “satanic system.” In contrast, the “local church people” are portrayed in a positive light; W. Lee says,44
As the nations issued in Babel, the denominations eventually will issue in the great Babylon. These are not pleasant words to hear. But do not be troubled. When the nations became Babel, God intervened to call out Abraham…Who are today's Abraham? The church people…we are today's Abraham…Concerning denominational Christianity, we are today's Abraham who has been called out of Babel.
Since “these are not pleasant words to hear,” LSM evidently decided they would not be heard by radio listeners. Hence this entire Life-study message (#34) was excluded from the LSM Radio program.

Free Groups—“Drunk, Drugged & Befuddled, begetting Moabites and Ammonites”
The other Genesis Life-study (#54) omitted by LSM radio interprets Lot’s incest with his daughters in Genesis 19. W. Lee was in his element interpreting every aspect allegorically, undeterred by the fact that Scripture never makes these applications. According to him,45 “Abraham's family and Lot's family, being God's people, were one.” However when Lot separated from Abraham,46 “division came in, it produced a free group. That ancient free group was the seed and the miniature of today's free groups. The free groups among God's people today are actually a further development of this,” he declares. Once again Abraham’s family is said to represent the Local Church, on “the proper ground.” In contrast Lot’s dysfunctional family in Sodom typifies “Christian free groups”—independent congregations, house churches and Christian fellowships. W. Lee says,47 “God's presence was with Abraham's family because his family…had the proper standing of God's testimony. Although Lot was one of God's people, he was not on the proper ground…he was in Sodom, on the ground of division and free groups.” God did not visit Sodom, only the angels; God stayed with Abraham. Based on this, W. Lee asserts, in a sweeping generalization, that free groups do not have God’s presence, saying48 “What then about the free groups? As it was with the case of Lot's family, God does not meet with them. They are His people, and He cares for them and does not forget them, but His presence is not with them.

Lot’s drunkenness typifies Christian leaders. W. Lee alleges,49 “the leader of nearly every free group has been drugged and befuddled with some wine. Because of [this]…most of the members of their groups have been drugged.” “The leaders of many free groups today have also lost the sense of life. They are not aware of the violation of some of the governing principles ordained by God.”50 Moreover, Lot’s begetting Moab and Ammon via incest with his daughters allegedly represents51 “many so-called Christian groups. They…use worldly methods…they use incest to secure seed, they produce ‘Moabites’ and ‘Ammonites’.” “Look at today's situation,” W. Lee declares,52 “some groups use rock music, dancing, drama, movies, and games to satisfy their desire of securing the increase. In the eyes of God, this is spiritual incest…This is the way of ‘incest’ which brings forth ‘Moabites’ and ‘Ammonites’.”

“Free groups” plus their leaders and members are condemned. People brought to Christ via their gospel preaching are stigmatized as “Moabites and Ammonites,” begotten by “spiritual incest.”53 W. Lee often claimed to recognize genuine believers, while condemning their organizations.54 Yet in this case, by condemning them as “Moabites and Ammonites,” he denigrated 400 million55 genuine believers, Christians belonging to “free groups”--independent congregations, house churches and Christian fellowships. Many believers would surely find this highly offensive. LSM radio discretely avoided broadcasting this message (#54); it was “swept under the rug.” Given the subject matter is it surprising? Not if LSM radio’s purpose is to present a sanitized version of W. Lee, shorn of objectionable remarks.

Which is the Real Witness Lee?
W. Lee was an out-spoken critic of Judaism and Christianity; he condemned56 Judaism as satanic, Roman Catholicism as demonic, and “dead Protestantism” as “Christ-less.” The Church in Thyatira, Jezebel, and Babylon, the “Great Harlot” and “Mother of Prostitutes” all typified the “apostate Roman Catholic Church.” Protestant denominations also received scathing criticism; they were “prostitutes, daughters of the Great Harlot.” Christian free groups were castigated as represented by Lot’s dysfunctional family, begetting “Moabites and Ammonites via spiritual incest.” All these he denounced as “Babylonian.” W. Lee’s denigration was all-inclusive; only LSM’s Local Church movement was vindicated.57 Condemnation was a consistent theme in both W. Lee’s spoken and written ministry.

W. Lee was acutely aware that denouncing Christianity would trigger reactions, yet he testified of being compelled to minister by the “speaking Spirit.” He declared,58
We do not care for men’s arguments and opposition. The more they argue and oppose, the more our ministry is confirmed…What I say in the ministry is not my decision. It does not depend on me—it depends on the speaking Spirit.
LSM’s “blended brothers” assume they are the sole legitimate continuation of W. Lee’s ministry. Benson Phillips proclaimed59 “we declare strongly that his [Bro. Lee’s] ministry could never be over because his ministry is the New Testament ministry.”Eight years after W. Lee’s passing, another “blended brother” spoke as if W. Lee was still alive, saying60 “Today we are…cooperating with the minister of the age. We are co-workers of Witness Lee, carrying out the unique work of the one ministry.” So (allegedly) W. Lee’s ministry is not over, but is being continued by LSM’s “blended brothers.” Hence we would expect them to faithfully minister all aspects of W. Lee’s ministry (include his censure of Christianity) without any addition, modification or omission, via all forms of media. This ought to include LSM’s radio broadcasts. Yet the theme of censure has been filtered out of LSM’s radio broadcasts. On LSM radio W. Lee never names names; his sharp criticisms are blunted, his admonitions diplomatic. Listeners hear W. Lee speak in vague terms about the “apostate church” and the nebulous entity of “Christendom.”61 He never refers specifically to the Roman Catholic Church; he doesn’t rebuke “degraded Christianity,” or castigate Protestant denominations as “dead and Christ-less.” Christian free groups are not maligned. This is LSM Radio’s sanitized version of Witness Lee. It is a laundered version of the real W. Lee many saints heard in person and read in his published writings, including his Life-studies.
LSM’s efforts to make W. Lee’s ministry palatable to the wider Christian community have produced two versions of W. Lee—the sanitized version broadcast on LSM’s radio program, Life-study of the Bible with Witness Lee and the uncensored edition contained in W. Lee’s 35-volume set of Life-studies. The “laundered Witness Lee” is heard by “outsiders,” the wider Christian community on LSM radio. The unrestricted version is known by “insiders,” Local Church members who attended W. Lee’s “live trainings,” or local “Video trainings” 1974-86 and those studying his published writings. Given the stark difference between the two versions, objective observers ask—which of the two is the real Witness Lee?

LSM’s “Bait and Switch” Strategy
It appears that in order to market Witness Lee, LSM has adopted a “bait and switch” strategy. The sanitized version of W. Lee’s ministry, shorn of offensive remarks, is presented to the wider Christian community via LSM’s radio broadcasts. Interested listeners are then encouraged to attend follow-up meetings and Life-study seminars,62 where similar material is presented. This is “the bait.” Ultimately new recruits are invited to join the Local Church’s “prophesying meeting” and/or attend LSM’s “seven annual feasts.” They then hear (probably for the first time) the uncensored version of W. Lee’s ministry, replete with condemnation for all sectors of “degraded Christianity.”63 Some will be offended by this “other side” of W. Lee; they will feel duped. However, others will become members of LSM’s Local Church.64 They will have “switched” from the expurgated to the uncensored version of Witness Lee’s ministry. Such a “bait and switch” strategy is accepted in secular society; however, it is disingenuous and unbecoming among Christian believers. LSM’s radio’s presentation of Witness Lee falls far short of the transparency65 and full disclosure which ought to characterize every Christian work and ministry.

LSM Radio’s Censorship of W. Lee “at odds with academic integrity”
Recently 60 Christian leaders and scholars issued an “Open Letter” objecting to66 “Witness Lee’s denigrating characterizations of [Evangelical] churches and ministries.” They called on LSM “to disavow and cease to publish” such statements. In response LSM’s “blended brothers” asserted that since67 “Witness Lee…is no longer a living author…whose writings may be amended…[his] writings deserve the service of preservation and not amendment…” We ask—has LSM Radio’s Life-study broadcast met this standard of “preservation without amendment”? By systematically expurgating W. Lee’s critique of Christianity from their radio programs, hasn’t LSM de facto amended his ministry? Have they faithfully preserved and presented all aspects of W. Lee’s ministry on radio? Do the “blended brothers” really believe W. Lee’s testimony that68 “What I say in the ministry is not my decision…it depends on the speaking Spirit”? If they do, why were potentially offensive statements censored on the radio?Isn’t this “playing politics”?

LSM’s “blended brothers” reject the 60 scholars’ call to disavow W. Lee’s condemnation of Christianity, as unjustified “censorship.” They assert that69 “we find such a call for the…censorship of particular statements of Witness Lee…at odds with academic integrity.” Censorship, they say, violates integrity. Yet has not LSM practiced exactly this kind of censorship—eliminating offensive statements—on a grand scale when they transformed W. Lee’s Life-study messages into radio broadcasts? LSM’s “blended brothers” assert that censorship violates integrity. But aren’t these words of response contradicted by LSM’s actions? By censoring the Life-studies for radio broadcast doesn’t LSM stand self-condemned?

Nigel Tomes,
Toronto, CANADA
November, 2009

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NOTES
Thanks are extended to those who commented on earlier drafts of this piece. As usual the author accepts full responsibility for the contents. The views expressed here are solely the author’s and should not be attributed to any believers, elders, co-workers or churches with whom/which he is associated. This article refers to W. Lee’s controversial criticisms of Christianity. The central issue addressed here is whether LSM’s radio program has faithfully presented this aspect of W. Lee’s ministry to the wider Christian public. It is not the purpose of this article to critique W. Lee’s denunciations of Christianity. The author’s personal views on the latter issue are in agreement with the Great Lakes Area brothers’ response [February, 2007] to the “Open Letter” by 60 Christian leaders & scholars, which he endorsed. In part that GLA brothers’ response stated: “We confess that on occasion our past attitude toward other believers has been improper. We sincerely apologize to our brothers and sisters whom we have offended. Rather than condemning the Christian associations within which our fellow-believers serve the Lord, we wish to belatedly express our appreciation for their efforts to bring the gospel to the world… Rather than malign others, we desire to humbly examine ourselves before the Lord, asking: Are we guilty of unscriptural teachings and practices?”

1.The exact count is 2,226 messages with 21,219 pages.This count also includes W. Lee’s “Conclusion of the New Testament” messages.
2.Quote from LSM’s President, Benson Phillips, April 1986, www.livingstream.com/life-study.html. The complete quote reads: “This monumental and classical work by our brother builds upon and is a further development of all that the Lord has revealed to His church in the past centuries.”
3.Quotes from LSM’s President, Benson Phillips, April 1986, www.livingstream.com/life-study.html. The complete quote reads: “No other study or exposition of the New Testament conveys the life nourishment or ushers the reader into the divine revelation of God's holy Word according to His New Testament economy as this one does.”
4.LSM’s Recovery Version of the Bible (with footnotes by W. Lee) also encapsulates W. Lee’s teachings. Most of the Life-study New Testament footnotes are incorporated into the printed Life-study messages. In the case of the Recovery Version Old Testament, the footnotes were derived from the published Life-study volumes.
5.Quote from the LSM website www.lsmradio.com
6.Quote from “Fellowship Concerning the Radio Broadcast in the United Kingdom,”Oct. 15, 2009 posted on www.LastAdam.com
7.Fellowship Concerning the Radio Broadcast in the United Kingdom,” October 15, 2009 posted on www.LastAdam.com. This Letter concerning LSM’s UK Radio broadcast says (in part) “On September 21, 2009, Premier Radio began to broadcast their programs, including Life-study of the Bible, not just in London but throughout the United Kingdom. This means that Life-study of the Bible can now be heard at the convenient time of 8:00 pm, Mon. through Friday, in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland…We would like to bring the matter of the cost of the radio broadcast to the saints in the Lord's recovery for fellowship. The monthly cost to reach more than 60 million potential listeners is approximately 15,000 US dollars.”
8.W. Lee, The Satanic Chaos in the Old Creation and the Divine Economy for the New Creation, chp. 4 (Messages given by W. Lee in Irving, Texas, May 23-25, 1992)
9.W. Lee, The Satanic Chaos in the Old Creation and the Divine Economy for the New Creation, chp. 4 (Messages given by W. Lee in Irving, Texas, May 23-25, 1992)
10.W. Lee’s use of the term “degraded Christianity” is exemplified in the NT Recovery Version. In his note on Rev. 2:26 (RcV., note 3) W. Lee says, “those who do not answer His [the Lord’s] call to overcome degraded Christianity will not participate in the reign of the millennial kingdom.” (Also reproduced in the Life-study of Revelation, p. 166) He also refers to “apostate Catholicism and degraded Protestantism” (RcV. Rev. 3:7, note 1); “The deviation from the word to heresies and the exalting of many names other than that of Christ are the most striking signs of degraded Christianity.” (RcV. Rev. 3:8, note 3)
11.W. Lee, The Stream Magazine, vol. 14, no. 4 (November 1976) p. 12
12.W. Lee, The Seven Spirits for the Local Churches (Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989), p. 97
13.W. Lee in The New Testament Recovery Version, (Matthew 16:18, note 4) (Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 99. This note, in its entirety reads: “The Lord's building of His church began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, 41-42). Yet the Lord's prophecy here still has not been fulfilled, even up to the twentieth century. The Lord is not building His church in Christendom, which is composed of the apostate Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations. This prophecy is being fulfilled through the Lord's recovery, in which the building of the genuine church is being accomplished.” (emphasis added) W. Lee also declared in 1995 (two years before passing away) “Christianity today is stranded on the sands of superstition, superficiality, and lukewarm theology.” (W. Lee, The Triune God’s Revelation and His Move, pp. 97-99 messages given by W. Lee in Anaheim, California, August 23 through December 13, 1995.)
14.For example, W. Lee asserts that “To call yourself by a denominational name, such as Lutheran, Methodist, or Episcopalian—that is Babylonian. All denominational names are Babylonian factors of division and confusion [p. 588] …Anything divisive causes confusion, and confusion denotes Babylonianism. Today there are hundreds of free groups; they are everywhere. But what they are practicing is divisive and confusing; hence, it is Babylonian.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, Message 51, pp 588-9, emphasis added]
15.“An Open Letter” from over 60 Evangelical Christian Scholars, Jan. 9, 2007 [www.openletter.org.] The Letter “asks the ‘local churches’ and Living Stream [LSM] to renounce statements made by Lee that denigrate evangelical Christian denominations and organizations.” Christianity Today reported that W. “Lee was also very critical of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, raising concerns that the local churches regarded themselves as the only legitimate Christians. His statements prompted 60 evangelical leaders (including Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary and Paige Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) to publish an open letter in January 2007 asking the local churches and their publishing service, Living Stream Ministry (LSM), to disavow Lee's doctrinal statements and criticism of evangelicals.” Collin Hansen, “Cult Watchers Reconsider: Former detractors of Nee and Lee now endorse 'local churches’.” In Christianity Today, January (Web-only), 2009 posted 1/26/2009 09:58AM
16.Fellowship Concerning the Radio Broadcast in the United Kingdom,”October 15, 2009 posted on www.LastAdam.com. Observations in this paragraph are based upon conversations with participants in the editing process at LSM Radio.
17.The published Life-study messages are edited versions of Witness Lee’s spoken messages delivered at successive Life-study trainings. His spoken messages were edited into written form and augmented (at times) by incorporating footnotes from the Recovery Version. On occasion W. Lee’s Recovery Version footnotes were read during his sharing. As a required component of the Life-study trainings, trainees reviewed W. Lee’s spoken messages, along with the Recovery Version footnotes, to prepare for “testing”—a team review (by locality or area) of a previous message. Here we use W. Lee’s published Life-study messages as the “benchmark” against which to evaluate LSM’s Radio version of the same message. The published Life-study messages are more accessible than the audio or video tapes of the original Life-study trainings.
18.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 13, p. 156
19.Concerning the woman in Matthew 13, the relevant verse says—“The kingdom of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.” (Matt. 13:33) Expounding this, W. Lee is quoted saying, “The Catholic Church has fully leavened in a hidden way all the teachings concerning Christ. This is the actual situation in the Roman Catholic Church.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Matthew message 38, p. 467, emphasis added] In this context, he also condemns Christendom, in general and the Catholic charismatic movement, in particular, saying, “This is today’s Christendom. Without exception, everything in Christendom is a mixture. Consider the charismatic movement which has been brought into Catholicism and even mixed with the worship of Mary. Many Catholic charismatics think they are spiritual, yet they still worship Mary. The Roman Catholic Church also has what is called charismatic masses.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Matthew message 38, p. 468.] W. Lee also denounces Protestant denominations, saying, “Not only the Catholic Church has taken in leaven, but the Protestant denominations and groups have also.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Matthew message 38, p. 469.] Both the YMCA and mixing sports with preaching are condemned, because W Lee, “knew of some young men in a certain organization who mixed basketball with the preaching of the gospel. Using basketball for gospel preaching is also leaven. I doubt that very many were saved through this. The whole principle of the Y.M.C.A. is leaven, for the goal of the Y.M.C.A. is to bring the heavenly standard down to the earthly level, to bring the gospel to secular society in a worldly way.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Matthew message 38, p. 469.]
20.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 13, p. 157
21.LSM Radio Revelation Life-study, message 13 at 7 min.
22.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 13, p. 157, emphasis added
23.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 157, emphasis added
24.In contrast to the reluctance exhibited in their Radio program, LSM’s Recovery Version New Testament explicitly identifies Thyatira and Jezebel with the Roman Catholic Church, saying, “the church in Thyatira prefigures the Roman Catholic Church, which was fully formed as the apostate church by the establishing of the universal papal system…” (RcV., Rev. 2:18, note 1) “the apostate Roman Catholic Church, which is signified by the degraded church in Thyatira” (RcV, Rev. 3:1, note 1) and also “the Lord used Jezebel as a type, indicating that the apostate Roman Catholic Church is a self-appointed prophetess, one who presumes to be authorized by God to speak for God.” (RcV. Rev. 2:20, note 2)]
25. W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 584
26.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 13, p. 160, emphasis added
27.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 13, p. 163, emphasis added
28.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 584, emphasis added
29.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 598. The Recovery Version footnotes make the same identification. A note on Rev. 14:8 says, “Babylon here is the religious, mysterious Babylon, which is the Roman Catholic Church, as in [Rev.] 17:2-6…” (RcV., Rev. 14:8, note 1) A note on Rev. 17:1 says “Harlot here refers to the apostate Roman Catholic Church.” (RcV, Rev. 17:1, note 3)
30.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 590, emphasis added. Along the same lines, W. Lee also said “the daughters of the great prostitute are the Christian groups that hold the doctrines, practices, and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. If a group holds any one of these things, that group is a daughter of the Roman Church.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 591] He also states, “The prostitutes are the denominations and groups in Christianity with the evil doctrines, practices, and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.”] Hence, “To have a Christmas tree in your home is to practice something of the great prostitute.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 591]Applying this criterion, he says, “Probably you cannot find one Christian group that has not been influenced by the prostitute. Perhaps only in the local churchescan you find…nothing of the prostitute,” W. Lee concluded. [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 591]
31.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 594, emphasis added
32.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 592, emphasis added
33.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 594, emphasis added
34.LSM Radio Life-study on Revelation, message 52, beginning at 7 min. 15 sec.
35.LSM Radio’s publication, The Hearing of Faith, refers to Chris Wilde as “the host of Life-study of the Bible with Witness Lee.” Chris Wilde fulfills a public relations and media spokesman’s role at LSM. The Christianity Today article referenced above [January (Web-only), 2009 posted 1/26/2009 09:58AM] quotes “LSM spokesman Chris Wilde.”
36.LSM Radio Life-study of Revelation, message 15 at 13 min. 20 sec to 14 min. 35 sec. This corresponds to the printed Life-study of Revelation, message 15, pp. 188-9. The radio message differs from the printed Life-study (which has largely been reproduced in the text). Besides insignificant differences, the printed Life-study says “Suppose you are Mrs. Smith. If you take the name of Mrs. Jones, it indicates that you have committed fornication.” (W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 15, p. 188, emphasis indicates portion omitted from the radio broadcast) In a later message (#51) W. Lee again uses the illustration of “Mrs. Smith,” saying, “They are not the church because they are a prostitute, a woman who has a relationship with many men instead of a proper relationship with one husband. Who is your husband? If Christ is your husband, then why do you call yourself a Lutheran? If your name is truly Mrs. Smith, then why do you call yourself Mrs. Jones one day and Mrs. Harris another?” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 594, emphasis added] Concerning George Whitefield, the printed Life-study says, “George Whitefield, a contemporary of John Wesley, once declared that besides the name of Jesus Christ he would have no other name. Although Whitefield was an Englishman, he renounced the name of the Church of England, not belonging to that name anymore.” (W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 15, p. 189 emphasis indicates portion omitted from the radio broadcast) This raises the question—were these portions excluded from the radio program because they might offend some listeners?
37.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 15, p. 188
38.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 15, p. 187, also RcV. Rev. 3:8, note 3
39.LSM Radio Life-study of Revelation, message 15 at 17 min. 5 sec.
40.See: http://www.lsmradio.com/audio/genesis.html
41.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 34, p. 457
42.The English word “denominate” derives from the Latin dēnōmināre, dēnōmināt- : dē-, de- + nōmināre, to name (from nōmen, nōmin-, name). The English word “nation” derives from Latin nātiōn- (s. of nātiō) birth, tribe, equiv. to nāt(us) (ptp. of nāscī to be born) + -iōn. The former is [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/CS/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image002.gif[/IMG]related to the verb—“to name,” the latter to the verb—“to be born.” It is mere coincidence that the word, “denomination,” contains as its last six letters—“nation.”
43.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 34, p. 464
44.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 34, p. 465, emphasis added
45.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 716
46.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 716
47.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 717
48.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 717, emphasis added. W. Lee also declares, “Be honest and fair about the free groups. Is there the testimony of God among them? No, God is not expressed in the free groups. They do whatever they like, and there is no witness or testimony with them. Lot's family became such a free group…” [W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 718, emphasis added] Note that this is also a categorical statement which is applied by W. Lee to all “free groups.”
49.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 720. The quote in context reads: “If you examine today's situation, you will find that the leader of nearly every free group has been drugged and befuddled with some wine. A proper leader must be sober. Lot should have said to the daughter who came to him with wine, ‘What are you doing? Throw that away.’ But Lot was not a sober person; he drank, and he even drank without self-control. He became drunk to such an extent that his daughters laid with him and he had no awareness of it. Most of the leaders of the free groups, being drunk with some wine, say, do, and decide things in a befuddled way. Because of the befuddled condition of so many leaders, most of the members of their groups have been drugged. After Lot became drunk, he slumbered and slept. The same condition prevails among the free groups today. Concerning the testimony of God, the leaders are slumbering and sleeping.”
50.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 721
51.W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 721 The quote in context reads: “They turned to incest, using such a sinful thing to replace the lost function of life. This is also the situation among many so-called Christian groups. They have lost the function of the Body of Christ, the proper function of life, and use worldly methods to fill the gap. Like Lot's group, they cannot produce the proper "Isaac" for the fulfilling of God's purpose. Because they use incest to secure seed, they produce ‘Moabites’ and ‘Ammonites’.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 721] W. Lee also says, “We have seen that the leader was drugged and befuddled and that the function of life was lost. But the daughters, the members of this free group, still wanted to bear fruit and have the increase. Although they had neither the proper leadership nor the function of life, they had an evil way of acquiring the seed. The same is true among many free groups today.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 721] Moreover, he states that, “Some free groups today have also been drugged with the wicked current of the evil world and only care for success, not for the means. They need the de-drugging of God's sobering word.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 722]
52. W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 721 W. Lee also said, “Today's situation is absolutely the same. Many free groups only care for the continuation of their kin, that is, of their group. They do not care for God's will nor for the proper way, but bring forth seed by incestuous activities.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, pp. 723-4] Elsewhere W. Lee said, “Those who use rock music and other gimmicks in their gospel preaching may bring some people to the Lord by these means, but all such will be Moabites. [W. Lee, The World Situation and God's Move, p. 37, emphasis added] He also criticized the meetings of Charismatic believers, asserting, “In charismatic meetings, they sometimes use rock music, dramas, and all kinds of performances to attract people. These are all gimmicks. The use of these gimmicks shows that the power of the Spirit is lacking. [W. Lee, Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses, p. 12]
53.For example, W. Lee says, “Lot's family had lost its function in life, it had improper members—the daughters…Many Christian groups today also have such improper members. They, like Lot's daughters, desire to have the seed but do not care for the proper means. They may say, ‘Let us go to win souls,’ but they win souls through the way of spiritual incest.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Genesis, message 54, p. 714, emphasis added]
54.Consider for example his statement, “In every denomination, including the Roman Catholic Church, there are real, saved Christians. They are God’s people belonging to the Lord. But the organization of the denominations in which they are is not of God. The denominational organizations have been utilized by Satan to set up his satanic system to destroy God’s economy of the proper church life.”Witness Lee, Life-Study of Genesis, Message 34, Vol. 1, p. 464. (Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1987)
55.“According to David B. Barrett…about one-fifth of the world’s two billion believers [i.e. 400 million believers] are ‘independent,’ that is, not associated with the churches, denominations and traditions that have long been equated with the essence of Christianity itself.” [Prof. Mark A. Noll, The New Shape of World Christianity, p. 25] Barrett’s data are for the year 2000.
56.Take, for example, W. Lee’s statement that “Judaism is Satanic, Catholicism is demonic, and Protestantism is without Christ. They teach Christ’s name, but He is not there. Do you really believe that today the living Lord Jesus is in the Protestant churches? Whether you believe it or not, the Lord says that He is outside the door.” (W. Lee, The Stream Magazine, vol. 14, no. 4 (November 1976) p. 12, emphasis added) As another example, consider the following, “Religion always utilizes politics to damage the church. Religion has no power to cause physical damage to the Lord’s lovers, but it does use politics and the government to damage the church. Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as Judaism,all fall into this category, becomingan organization of Satan as his toolto damage God’s economy.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, Message 11, p. 133, RcV footnote Rev. 2:9, note 5, emphasis added] On the matter of Protestantism being “dead,” consider the following quotes: “Many have considered the reformed Protestant Church to be living, but the Lord says that she is dead.” [RcV., Rev. 3:1, note 3]; “Since the reformed Protestant churches are dead, they will be unaware of the Lord's coming as a thief.” [RcV., Rev. 3:3, note 1] and “To overcome here is to overcome the deadness of the Protestant churches, i.e., to overcome dead Protestantism.” [RcV., Rev. 3:5, note 1]
57.As examples of vindicating the LSM’s Local Church, consider the following quotes. W. Lee says, “the daughters of the great prostitute are the Christian groups that hold the doctrines, practices, and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. If a group holds any one of these things, that group is a daughter of the Roman Church.” (W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 591.) In this context he asserts that “Probably you cannot find one Christian group that has not been influenced by the prostitute. Perhaps only in the local churchescan you find…nothing of the prostitute.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, p. 591, emphasis added] As a further example, consider “The Lord is not building His church in Christendom, which is composed of the apostate Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations. This prophecy is being fulfilled through the Lord’s recovery, in which the building of the genuine church is being accomplished.” [W. Lee in The New Testament Recovery Version, Matthew 16:18, note 4, (Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 99]
58.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 588 The quote in context reads, “We are not dealing with an insignificant matter, but with a matter that is very crucial for the coming age. We do not care for men’s arguments and opposition. The more they argue and oppose, the more our ministry is confirmed. Many times, after saying something uncomplimentary about Christianity in a message, I wondered why I was so strong, and I resolved to be a little softer. Nevertheless, what I say in the ministry is not my decision. It does not depend on me—it depends on the speaking Spirit. If in my ministry I do not speak boldly regarding Christianity, I have no peace, and I lose the anointing. If I fail to do this, my ministry will be weakened. When I do speak out, the opposition is aroused. But I am confirmed even by the opposition. The deeds and reactions of the opposers fully expose them. I am burdened that we would be enlightened, see through all the veils, and enter into the inner chamber to perceive the reality of today’s situation in Christianity.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 588, emphasis added—indicating portion quoted in the main text.] This statement was made in the context of condemning Christianity. Immediately after, W. Lee says, “It is not a matter of the doctrine of the Trinity or of the teaching concerning the local church. It is absolutely a matter of Babylon. To call a pastor “reverend”—that is Babylonian. To set up a Christmas tree and to honor Santa Claus— that is Babylonian. To call yourself by a denominational name, such as Lutheran, Methodist, or Episcopalian—that is Babylonian. All denominational names are Babylonian factors of division and confusion.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 588]
59.Benson Phillips, Ministry Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 1, p. 275, Jan. 2006. This view is diametrically opposed to the biblical principle that “David served his own generation, and slept” (Acts 13:36) as expounded by W. Nee when he wrote, “David ‘served his own generation, and slept’ (Acts 13:36). He could not serve two! Where today we seek to perpetuate our work by setting up an organization or society or system, the OT saints served their own day and passed on. This is an important principle of life. Wheat is sown, grows, ears, is reaped, and then the whole plant, even to the root, is plowed out. That is the Church, never rooted permanently in the earth. God’s work is spiritual to the point of having no earthly roots, no smell of earth on it at all. Men pass on, but the Lord remains. The spiritual testimony of believers is to be heavenly, not earthly. Everything to do with the Church must be up-to-date and living, meeting the present—one might even say the passing—needs of the hour. Never must it become fixed, static. God Himself takes away His workers, but He gives others. Our work suffers, but His never does. Nothing touches Him. He is still God.” [W. Nee, What Shall This Man Do? Collected Works, vol. 40, pp. 84-5]
60.DT, Spoken April, 2005, The Ministry, Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2005, p. 142 Note that when brother “DT” (Dick Taylor or Dan Towle?) spoke this word, in 2005, W. Lee had been deceased for 8-years. Yet brother “DT” said “Today [i.e. in 2005] we are (present tense)…cooperating with the minister of the age. We are (present tense) co-workers of Witness Lee.” (Emphasis added). This raises the question, how can a worker today co-work with another brother (W. Lee, W. Nee or any other brother) who is already deceased? The quote in context reads: “Today we are under the ministry of the age, cooperating with the minister of the age. We are co-workers of Witness Lee, carrying out the unique work of the one ministry, building up the corporate Christ.” [DT, Spoken April, 2005, The Ministry, Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2005, p. 142]
61.The term “Christendom” is nebulous because it assumes a variety of meanings. [1] “In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christians, adherents of Christianity. This community numbers in the billions of people of the world population. This community is spread across many different nations and ethnic groups connected only by faith in Christ and observance of the Bible.” [2] “In a historical or geopolitical sense the term usually refers collectively to Christian majority countries or countries in which Christianity dominates or was a territorial phenomenon.” [Wikipedia] In the latter sense [2] “Christianity” is territorial, composed of “Christian [or post-Christian] countries or nations.” LSM Radio also quotes W. Lee condemning Christendom in reference to the Parable of the Great Tree in Matt. 13 which says, “The kingdom…is like a mustard seed, which a man…sowed in his field, And which is smaller than all the seeds; but when it has grown, it…becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches.” (13:31-32, RcV.) LSM Radio relates this to Christendom, saying “Today’s Christendom is huge and devilishly abnormal. It is not only a tree, but a great tree. By this we see that not only the nature of the constituent of the kingdom has been changed, but that the size of the kingdom has become abnormal (p. 464)…In today’s Christendom, there are many evil persons, evil things, and evil matters. Christendom has become a big tree producing no fruit, but having become a lodging place for so many evil things.” (p. 465) [LSM Radio Life-study of Matthew, message 39; We quote the corresponding statements in the printed Life-study of Matthew, message 38, pp. 464-5] Note that, in the radio message, W. Lee identifies “Christendom” with the “great tree” harboring “birds” (evil persons & things). But LSM’s radio broadcast is omits W. Lee’s reference to the Roman Catholic Vatican and denominations. In the printed Life-study W. Lee says, “In the Vatican we see the fulfillment of this parable.The Vatican is even an independent country…This is a further indication that the Christian religion has become a big tree. Today there are approximately 800 million Catholics…under the authority of the pope… under the papal system…If you visit the Vatican you will see that it is a huge tree, a lodging place filled with so many birds. The same thing is found in the Catholic churches in the United States and in the large denominations. In the Catholic Church and in the denominations it is difficult to find a grain of wheat or a mustard seed. Instead of food, there is lodging for the birds. This is today’s situation.”[W. Lee, Life-study of Matthew, message 38, pp. 465-6, emphasis added] W. Lee’s direct application of this parable, condemning both the Roman Catholic Vatican and “large denominations,” has been omitted from LSM’s radio broadcast.
62.LSM’s appeal for funds to finance its UK radio broadcast says, “In the past two years, as a result of the radio broadcast and the free mass distribution of the ministry publications, more than 10,000 seekers of the Lord have contacted us…We hope to have personal visits with the most promising respondents in most of the key cities before the end of the year and arrange follow-up meetings and seminars in the spring.” [Quote from “Fellowship Concerning the Radio Broadcast in the United Kingdom,”October 15, 2009 posted on www.LastAdam.com, emphasis added.]
63.LSM’s “blended brothers” continue to condemn “Christianity” at LSM’s “seven annual feasts” and in LSM’s publications and websites. Consider from example the following quotes: “we stand outside of and apart from the degraded system of Christianity, which is filled with unscriptural teachings and practices.” “An Appeal to the Young People in the Lord's Recovery,” AFaithfulWord.org (July 10, 2006). “There are Christians working throughout this whole earth. I would like to say boldly that they are not working the work of God because they are not laboring in the same stream that we are laboring in….We recognize that other Christians are working, but they are not working the work of God.” [LSM-presidentBP, The Ministry, Vol. 9, No. 2, Feb. 2005, p. 106] “Christianity today, the reality of Babylon…” [LSM-president, BP The Ministry, vol. 8, No. 2, Feb., 2004, p. 127] “The entire situation—not a part of it, not a majority of it, but the entire situation—of today’s Christianity is in degradation.” [BL (Bill Lawson) The Ministry, vol. 8, No. 2, Feb., 2004, p. 58] “Today’s Christianity has many ‘houses of Micah’; the Roman Catholic Church, the state churches, the denominations, and many independent groups are ‘houses of Micah,’ full of idols as replacements of Christ. This is apostasy. The main replacement of Christ may be the person of a Christian leader himself.” [RK, The Ministry, vol. 8, No. 6, June 2004, p. 15] “We should not bring anything of Christianity into the Lord’s recovery. We only take the faith. If some in Christianity are in the faith, then we accept them, but we accept nothing of Christianity.’ [LSM-president BP, The Ministry, Vol. 9, No. 3, March. 2005, p. 121]
64.LSM attributes the increased membership in the “Church in London (UK)” mainly to the success of its UK radio program. LSM’s appeal for funds to finance its UK radio broadcast says “In the year 2000 Premier Radio in London began to broadcast the Life-study of the Bible in the London area. At that time there were fewer than 100 saints in the church in London. Today, after almost ten years, the number of saints in London has grown to more than 500, and the number of districts has increased to 10…Most of the new saints were gained through the impact of the radio broadcast.” [Quote from “Fellowship Concerning the Radio Broadcast in the United Kingdom,”Oct. 15, 2009 posted on www.LastAdam.com, emphasis added.]
65.Transparency characterizes the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1) W. Lee’s note says, “The water of life is bright as crystal, having no dimness or opaqueness. When this water of life flows in us, it purifies us and makes us as transparent as crystal.” [W. Lee, RcV. Rev. 22:1, note 4]
66.“An Open Letter” from over 60 Evangelical Christian Scholars, Jan. 9, 2007 [www.openletter.org.]
67.“A Longer Response to ‘An Open Letter to the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches’,” December 7, 2008p. 41 www.lctestimony.org/LongerResponse.html#denomitations The quote in context reads: “Witness Lee went to be with the Lord on June 9, 1997, and now belongs to the ages. He is no longer a living author whose views can be changed and whose writings may be amended. From henceforth Witness Lee’s[his] writings deserve the service of preservation and not amendment so that the current and future generations may be able to assess them for what they really are.” (emphasis added—indicating the abbreviated quote used in the main text)
68.W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, message 51, p. 588. This statement was made in the context of condemning Christianity. Immediately after, W. Lee says, “It is not a matter of the doctrine of the Trinity or of the teaching concerning the local church. It is absolutely a matter of Babylon. To call a pastor “reverend”—that is Babylonian. To set up a Christmas tree and to honor Santa Claus— that is Babylonian. To call yourself by a denominational name, such as Lutheran, Methodist, or Episcopalian—that is Babylonian. All denominational names are Babylonian factors of division and confusion.” [W. Lee, Life-study of Revelation, # 51, p. 588]
69.“A Longer Response to ‘An Open Letter to the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches’,” December 7, 2008p. 41 www.lctestimony.org/LongerResponse.html#denomitationsThe quote in context reads: “No properly trained scholar today would advocate the disavowal and censorship of portions of the writings of Augustine or of Luther or even of the greatest heresiarchs. Hence, we find such a call for the disavowal and censorship of particular statements of Witness Lee quite peculiar and strangelyat odds with academic integrity.” (emphasis added—indicating the abbreviated quote used in the main text)
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:38 AM   #2
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i HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING TO MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND THAT INDEED WITNESS LEE SAW THE TRUE REVELATION IN GODs WORD WHICH IS THAT "GOD BECAME MAN TO MAKE MAN GOD IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GOD-HEAD". HE TRULY WAS A SEER OF THE DIVINE REVELATION LIKE WATCHMAN NEE BEFORE HIM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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i HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING TO MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND THAT INDEED WITNESS LEE SAW THE TRUE REVELATION IN GODs WORD WHICH IS THAT "GOD BECAME MAN TO MAKE MAN GOD IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GOD-HEAD". HE TRULY WAS A SEER OF THE DIVINE REVELATION LIKE WATCHMAN NEE BEFORE HIM.
How about the fact that Witness Lee himself wasn't transformed? Isn't that proof enough?
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

Right on Mr. Tomes!
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
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“No other study or exposition…conveys the life nourishment or…the divine revelation of God's holy Word…as this one does.”
There you have it. Witness Lee & Living Stream Ministry use "God's holy Word" as a basis in their deception ....

Fool me once ...
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:16 PM   #6
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i HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING TO MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND THAT INDEED WITNESS LEE SAW THE TRUE REVELATION IN GODs WORD WHICH IS THAT "GOD BECAME MAN TO MAKE MAN GOD IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GOD-HEAD". HE TRULY WAS A SEER OF THE DIVINE REVELATION LIKE WATCHMAN NEE BEFORE HIM.
Stop screaming at us!
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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i HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING TO MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND THAT INDEED WITNESS LEE SAW THE TRUE REVELATION IN GODs WORD WHICH IS THAT "GOD BECAME MAN TO MAKE MAN GOD IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GOD-HEAD". HE TRULY WAS A SEER OF THE DIVINE REVELATION LIKE WATCHMAN NEE BEFORE HIM.
God's word is the true revelation. There is not another revelation within it.

What Lee supposedly "saw" is otherwise known as sanctification or transformation except he used Eastern Orthodox terminology to describe it instead of the words in the Bible itself.

If you feel the need to proclaim it as some "unique' revelation so you can have your seer of the age and other nonsense so be it. Thankfully only a tiny group of people have been fooled by this empty propaganda.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

I always enjoy Nigel's expositions of Lee's work. It is very insightful into both the core of that body of teaching, and of what is being done with it today.

But as too often happens with me, I see something in it that is not on Nigel's radar and it makes me think. Inside of the very first example comes this quote in the introduction to the (alleged) parallel between Jezebel in Revelation and "the woman" in Mat 13.
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The sound teachers of the Bible agree that the Jezebel in Revelation 2 is undoubtedly the woman prophesied by the Lord in Matthew 13:33. These two women actually are one. The great harlot in Revelation 17 is also the same woman. Thus, the woman in Matthew 13 is the Jezebel in Revelation 2, and Jezebel becomes the great harlot who is called the great Babylon in Revelation 17.
Does anyone actually teach that this woman in Matthew 13:13 is a prophecy of Jezebel in Revelation 2? Besides Lee? And what do so many "teachers of the Bible" that we consider "sound" say about the woman in Matthew 13? Do they really see and teach a parallel?

Or did we simply accept it as true because it was said in the manner that it was? Has anyone actually looked into the claim?

I recently learned that there have been studies (incomplete at this time) indicating that when there is a large area of uncertainty or possibility, once someone suggests a point of possible solution, people tend to presume that there is weight to the suggestion and will frame their continued search to the solutions close to the suggested one. So if no one has ever even identified the woman in Matthew as somehow connected with Jezebel in Revelation, once it is out there, it tends to be the default position from which strong proof will be required to move away. But unless the original suggestion includes evidence of some weight, it should take no more evidence to look elsewhere than to prove that it is already solved.

And I have found that Lee's version of the parable in Matthew 13:33 to be quite faulty. He likens the kingdom to sixty pounds of flour. His reading would be "the kingdom of heaven is like sixty pounds of flour into which a woman mixed yeast until the whole of the dough had yeast in it." But my Bible says "the kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough."

So the woman added the kingdom to something else. In the context of the surrounding parables, it would appear to be the kingdom spreading throughout the world. A good thing. Therefore the woman is not some kind of evil. And not a parallel to Jezebel in Revelation 2.

So how much more of the actual teachings of Lee are so completely off the mark? Even if the LSM's sanitizing Lee for the radio is OK, are his teachings really OK?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: WITNESS LEE SANITIZED - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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i HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING TO MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND THAT INDEED WITNESS LEE SAW THE TRUE REVELATION IN GODs WORD WHICH IS THAT "GOD BECAME MAN TO MAKE MAN GOD IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GOD-HEAD". HE TRULY WAS A SEER OF THE DIVINE REVELATION LIKE WATCHMAN NEE BEFORE HIM.


Be careful about mantras...this is a word for word repeating of a statement from LSM.

Frequent repetition does not make a false statement true.

May the Lord be your vision and revelation!

I have listened to the radio broadcast...and if what is spoken on those broadcasts actually got practiced...we might all still be meeting together...
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:16 AM   #10
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I always enjoy Nigel's expositions of Lee's work. It is very insightful into both the core of that body of teaching, and of what is being done with it today...
Witness Lee saw links between Bible verses that were never meant originally. And he used these links to draw schematics. So if his linkage wasn't meant, neither was his schematics.

And the fact that Lee worked to hard to draw his schematics means that it's a human effort, not a God effort.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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Does anyone actually teach that this woman in Matthew 13:13 is a prophecy of Jezebel in Revelation 2? Besides Lee? And what do so many "teachers of the Bible" that we consider "sound" say about the woman in Matthew 13? Do they really see and teach a parallel?
Lee's teaching is not than different than Scofield's, except that he named names in the recovery version which are censored by the Living Stream as a tactic in their bait and switch method for consumption by the general public:

Here's an excerpt from Scofield for comparison:


Quote:
That interpretation of the parable of the Leaven (Mt 13:33) which makes (with variation as to details) the leaven to be the Gospel, introduced into the world ("three measures of meal") by the church, and working subtly until the world is converted ("till the whole was leavened") is open to fatal objection:

(1) it does violence to the unvarying symbolical meaning of leaven, and especially to the meaning fixed by our Lord Himself. Mt 16:6-12 Mk 8:15 See "Leaven," Gen 19:3. See Scofield Note: "Mt 13:33".

(2) The implication of a converted world in this age ("till the whole was leavened"), is explicitly contradicted by our Lord's interpretation of the parables of the Wheat and Tares, and of the Net. Our Lord presents a picture of a partly converted kingdom in an unconverted world; of good fish and bad in the very kingdom-net itself.

(3) The method of the extension of the kingdom is given in the first parable. It is by sowing seed, not by mingling leaven. The symbols have, in Scripture, a meaning fixed by inspired usage. Leaven is the principle of corruption working subtly; is invariably used in a bad sense (see "Leaven," See Scofield Note: "Gen 19:3"), and is defined by our Lord as evil doctrine. Mt 16:11,12 Mk 8:15. Meal, on the contrary, was used in one of the sweet-savour offerings Lev 2:1-3. and was food for the priests Lev 6:15-17. A woman, in the bad ethical sense, always symbolizes something out of place, religiously, See Scofield Note: "Zech 5:6". In Thyatira it was a woman teaching (cf). Rev 2:20 17:1-6. Interpreting the parable by these familiar symbols, it constitutes a warning that the true doctrine, given for nourishment of the children of the kingdom Mt 4:4 1Tim 4:6 1Pet 2:2 would be mingled with corrupt and corrupting false doctrine, and that officially, by the apostate church itself 1Tim 4:1-3 2Tim 2:17,18 4:3,4 2Pet 2:1-3.

[4] Leaven

Summary:

(1) Leaven, as a symbolic or typical substance, is always mentioned in the O.T. in an evil sense Gen 19:3, See Scofield Note: "Gen 19:3".

(2) The use of the word in the N.T. explains its symbolic meaning. It is "malice and wickedness," as contrasted with "sincerity and truth" 1Cor 5:6-8, it is evil doctrine Mt 16:12 in its three-fold form of Pharisasism, Sadduceeism, Herodianism Mt 16:6 Mk 8:15. The leaven of the Pharisees was externalism in religion. Mt 23:14,16,23-28, of the Sadducees, scepticism as to the supernatural and as to the Scriptures Mt 22:23,29, of the Herodians, worldliness--a Herod party amongst the Jews Mt 22:16-21 Mk 3:6.

(3) The use of the word in Mat 13.33 is congruous with its universal meaning.
Scofield, who's commentary became the fundamentalist standard, may have identified the apostate church with the Roman Catholic Church but he didn't put it in his Bible commentary like Lee did. Lee might well have approved of omitting anti-Catholic references on radio broadcasts. After all bait-and-switch tactics were common in the way we were taught to present the gospel at Love Feasts and gospel outreach efforts. It was OK to practice deception when you were robbing Pharaoh of his money or Jezebel or one of her harlot daughters of souls.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:40 AM   #12
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Lee's teaching is not than different than Scofield's, except that he named names in the recovery version which are censored by the Living Stream as a tactic in their bait and switch method for consumption by the general public.

Here's an excerpt from Scofield for comparison:

(omitted)

Scofield, who's commentary became the fundamentalist standard, may have identified the apostate church with the Roman Catholic Church but he didn't put it in his Bible commentary like Lee did.
While Lee surely had some original teachings on a lot of things, he also tended to like where the Brethren teachings went with a lot of it. The kinds of teachings here would be clearly within the kind Lee liked.

And while I acknowledge that Lee was not alone in his "woman = bad, leaven = bad" theology, when I read the snippet you provided from Schofield, it would appear that he is trying to fight off a significant interpretation already in existence.

But we have already been over the parables in Matt 13, and it would seem that there was no single parable for any particular thing, such as the spreading of the gospel, but rather several different points made through different means. And, ignoring this particular parable, there is at least one other place where leaven is given a positive part to play. I believe that it is in one of the sacrifices. There may be others. But then even if there are, there is a collection of teachers that have to make leaven simply bad no matter what. So they will require that the reading be twisted to support that position.

The meaning of the leaven in all of the passages combined is something that permeates something else and cannot be extricated. But each use has a specific meaning in addition to that. It does not simply mean evil.

And when set up against the idea of evil, it is difficult to understand leaven as meaning evil within the story of the Exodus. Of course, some have layered on meaning that is not recorded in the account. But it would appear that it was something about being focused and ready to go. Not needing to wait for the bread to rise.

And even when Jesus said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, he was pointing to the things that were being slipped into their teachings that were not of God. Yes, it is simple to jump to an "it's about evil" conclusion. But again, the point is not that being leaven is evil, but that what is being slipped in is evil.

And when you read a parable that likens the kingdom of heaven to leaven, then conclude that the leaven is evil (which requires that the actual structure of the parable be ignored) then I would suggest that you have started with the conclusion that leaven is evil and did everything in your power to align everything to reach that conclusion. Schofield is sold on "universal meaning" and insists that "first use" controls use forever. Where is that written?

I note that Schofield's exposition introduces a presumption that is not necessarily correct, but which would bolster his position. Since the leaven is worked throughout the flour, clearly changing the nature of the dough, it is presumed that it would have to mean that the entire world becomes Christian as the result of the "leaven" gospel, and since that cannot be true, then the leaven cannot be the gospel. But the parable does not mention the preaching of the gospel, but the spread of the kingdom. And who would assert that the spread of the church has not affected the entire world, even those parts that try to keep the church out? Here in America, we can see some evidence that when we live the kingdom and be and preach the gospel, the nation benefits, yet when we try to force the kingdom's positions on the country, it does not seem to have much real effect. Possibly even a backlash against it.

And how is it that the first parable in the chapter becomes, by definition, THE metaphor for the spread of the gospel? Has no one noted that Jesus could take a large picture, and look at small parts of it and find yet another analogy that, if you force them all together into one, you get a confusion of symbols and types? For example, the whole series on the sheep pen, the gate, the hireling, the shepherd, the gate, the pasture . . . . If you push all of those together into one unified you cannot arrive at the totality of what he taught. It is as if he starts with one smal portion, makes a point, then another small portion to make a point, etc., and you begin to see the totality of what he is trying to say. But the totality is not that he is the gateshepherdpasture conglomeration.

Here is the same. Each parable shows a nuance about the kingdom.

BTW. What does Schofield say about the mustard seed?
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:01 AM   #13
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Our thanks to brother Nigel Tomes for being faithful to expose the inconsistencies of the Living Stream Church. The current leadership is in fear and trembling, but not for the danger of not expressing Christ, as was Paul. Their fear and trembling is of daring to say anything that throws the cover back off of their organization.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: WITNESS LEE SANITIZED - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Frequent repetition does not make a false statement true.

May the Lord be your vision and revelation!

I have listened to the radio broadcast...and if what is spoken on those broadcasts actually got practiced...we might all still be meeting together...
Suanne, I agree with what you've spoken.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #15
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BTW. What does Schofield say about the mustard seed?
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The parable of the Mustard Seed prefigures the rapid but unsubstantial growth of the mystery form of the kingdom from an insignificant beginning Acts 1:15; 2:41; 1 Corinthians 1:26 to a great place in the earth. The figure of the fowls finding shelter in the branches is drawn from Daniel 4:20-22. How insecure was such a refuge the context in Daniel shows.
Again, he may be hinting at the problematic growth of Christendom which Lee explicated. But, the passage is too sketchy for certainty IMO.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:27 AM   #16
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Again, he may be hinting at the problematic growth of Christendom which Lee explicated. But, the passage is too sketchy for certainty IMO.
As I expected. Another bad position taken by a Brethren teacher used by Lee to demean Christianity. He clearly had an agenda that was looking for support.

But the problem for both Lee and Schofield is that they did not know what they were talking about. In that region, mustard plants actually grow just like Jesus described. (And we've been through this before fairly recently.) So there was nothing presumed to be unusual or problematic in it. They knew that the smallest seed actually grew to such a great height, with birds resting in its branches. It was Schofield's ignorance of horticulture, coupled with an expected outcome that drove him to make such negative comments.

And Lee loved it because it was another opportunity to paint everything outside the LRC meeting halls as errant and un-Christ-like.

"The kingdom is like the mustard seed . . ." does not direct me to conclude that Jesus is talking about a false kingdom. Or the negative aspects of the kingdom (if there can actually be such a thing).

I would suggest that Lee's penchant for character assassination of virtually anything Christian that was not in his group lead him to look for similar teachings. And from what quarter did it come? From a Brethren source — a source that cut itself off from even others of its own sect if they didn't toe every line drawn in the sand. And if they were anything like Lee, they drew line after line, forcing their followers to step deeper and deeper into their separatism while creating bigger and bigger gulfs between themselves and most other Christians.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:59 AM   #17
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As I expected. Another bad position taken by a Brethren teacher used by Lee to demean Christianity. He clearly had an agenda that was looking for support.

But the problem for both Lee and Schofield is that they did not know what they were talking about. In that region, mustard plants actually grow just like Jesus described. (And we've been through this before fairly recently.) So there was nothing presumed to be unusual or problematic in it. They knew that the smallest seed actually grew to such a great height, with birds resting in its branches. It was Schofield's ignorance of horticulture, coupled with an expected outcome that drove him to make such negative comments.

And Lee loved it because it was another opportunity to paint everything outside the LRC meeting halls as errant and un-Christ-like.

"The kingdom is like the mustard seed . . ." does not direct me to conclude that Jesus is talking about a false kingdom. Or the negative aspects of the kingdom (if there can actually be such a thing).

I would suggest that Lee's penchant for character assassination of virtually anything Christian that was not in his group lead him to look for similar teachings. And from what quarter did it come? From a Brethren source — a source that cut itself off from even others of its own sect if they didn't toe every line drawn in the sand. And if they were anything like Lee, they drew line after line, forcing their followers to step deeper and deeper into their separatism while creating bigger and bigger gulfs between themselves and most other Christians.
Scofield was apprarently right about the parable being an allusion to Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel chapter 4:

10 “These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
11 The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
12 Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it."

That was the positive side of Nebuchanezzar's dream, the negative being:

13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried aloud and said thus:


‘ Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.
16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven timespass over him.
17 ‘ This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’

Jesus only appropriates the positive part of the dream in his parable, so I agree with you reading evil into it as Scofield and Lee did seems unjustified. They were reading into the parable their own opinions of Christendom. Do we really have sufficient reason to suppose that Jesus saw the kingdom of God/kingdom of heaven as anything other than an unambiguous good?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Scofield was apprarently right about the parable being an allusion to Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel chapter 4:
How are we so certain than "birds resting in branches" means that this is a reference to this dream? It might be. But this "once a term is used its meaning is fixed for the entirety of scripture" has a questionable basis. Lee seemed to like it because all he had to do was find a first reference, preferably in an unclear place, and make it into whatever he wanted.

I have no quarrel with the idea that this particular passage could refer to Nebuchadnezzar's dream (the first part) because it describes a very positive thing. But I don't recall Lee actually mentioning that anyway. He seemed to focus on the [incorrect] assumption of an anomaly of size for a mustard plant coupled with an assertion that birds simply are evil (again one of those presumed positions that is not established as true). So the parable (in his theology) has to be a condemnation of something. But the kingdom??
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:05 AM   #19
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

Witness Lee Sanitized
Let me take the LSM side for the moment and put forth this argument: The LSM brothers were not being deceitful in their sanitation of the Life-study messages. They were only following the Lord's directive when he said that we should be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. After all, didn't the Lord seem a little deceitful in his dealing with the two disciples on the road to Emaus?

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Old 10-13-2011, 06:20 AM   #20
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Oh where, oh where is Bilbodog when you need him?
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:44 AM   #21
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Default Witness Lee Sanitized

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He's watching you can be assured.
Well ... then I would like to take a moment to welcome the ole' Bilbodog to join us. I for one, miss his input.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:14 PM   #22
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Nothing could get the old canine going like a new article from Nigel Tomes.

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Old 10-14-2011, 06:50 AM   #23
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So...no takers on the wise as serpents, harmless as doves argument. Or perhaps LSM got it right on that?
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #24
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Wow Nigel,

How many man hours did you spend writing that?

You used to have such a sweet spirit. Now you're so bitter. I hope it was worth it to you and to ruin so many lives of saints cast aside by these postings. Is your goal to hopefully turn people away from the Lords Recovery from your postings? Do you think this will cause people to see you are the minister or Titus is? Or is it just to cause as much damage as possible? Why is there division? Because of the soul life. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone gets their ego bruised. We want to bring the Lord back. Just forget all this stuff. We are delaying His coming by all of this. I've been hurt too. But it doesnt matter. The church isnt perfect. Its a big mess but it is His Bride. Satan has really had a win in our great rift. We probably delayed the Lord 20 yrs.

O Lord Jesus bring in your kingdom and clear up this confusion. The true ministry causes people to love the Lord Jesus more.

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WITNESS LEE SANITIZED—

LSM’s Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:35 AM   #25
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Wow Nigel,

How many man hours did you spend writing that?

You used to have such a sweet spirit. Now you're so bitter. I hope it was worth it to you and to ruin so many lives of saints cast aside by these postings. Is your goal to hopefully turn people away from the Lords Recovery from your postings? Do you think this will cause people to see you are the minister or Titus is? Or is it just to cause as much damage as possible? Why is there division? Because of the soul life. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone gets their ego bruised. We want to bring the Lord back. Just forget all this stuff. We are delaying His coming by all of this. I've been hurt too. But it doesnt matter. The church isnt perfect. Its a big mess but it is His Bride. Satan has really had a win in our great rift. We probably delayed the Lord 20 yrs.

O Lord Jesus bring in your kingdom and clear up this confusion. The true ministry causes people to love the Lord Jesus more.
It's too bad you don't stick around for some decent dialog, but I understand that would be "touching death" and not a good idea.

Let me introduce myself. I was in the Recovery for 30 years before I stepped away to seriously examine whether the actions of current leaders matched the original vision I gave my life to. Since then I have done much study comparing past and present leaders with the scriptures. The leadership has come up wanting.

Your comments about Nigel Tomes are misinformed. Can a minister not speak honestly for God and still maintain a "sweet spirit?" For you to claim that he has "ruined lives" is the height of ignorance. Perhaps you never heard of the actual facts of the case, how LSM operatives were sent to Toronto holding secret meetings, spying out their liberty in Christ, hoping to destroy the church of God through lies and lawsuits.

The same tactics were used in numerous other Ohio churches. The facts plainly show that LSM and her agents cared nothing for the saints of God, and only for church property and domination.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:19 PM   #26
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Hello friend,

You may have just passed through, and perhaps you won't be back, but I feel I should address what you wrote as you speak in despair and some desperation, I sense. You have invested your life in LSM, in Witness Lee's teaching, and you cannot see your way past it. I don't mean "you can't see your way past our Lord Jesus Christ" - whom we must look to always - but "not past" Lee's theology. Maybe this will help.

You said:
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....Do you think this will cause people to see you are the minister or Titus is?
No one here believes in the "Minister of the Age" doctrine anymore. Why not? Because it's not biblical. It's no more Biblically honest for someone at LSM to claim that Lee was "the minister" than for the (much larger) Mormon church to claim that Joseph Smith was; or the MUCH MUCH larger Roman Catholic Church to claim that the Pope (whomever he currently is) is. If you think we are wrong, then prove from the Word of God that a "Minister of the Age" exists - and ponder why we call those other's apostate. Nigel Tomes, though I oughtn't be so bold as to speak for him, isn't suggesting that he is "the minister". There is no "THE" minister.


You said:

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....Why is there division? Because of the soul life. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone gets their ego bruised. We want to bring the Lord back. Just forget all this stuff. We are delaying His coming by all of this.... Satan has really had a win in our great rift. We probably delayed the Lord 20 yrs.
Where in the Bible does it teach that God is restricted and limited by man? God is absolutely sovereign, or He isn't God at all. If you are hoping that you or the group you associate with can "just be good enough" that Jesus will smile down in appreciation, and say "About time!", and then come galloping in on His horse, then you are sadly mistaken. I don't mean that as a slight, I mean it's heart-breaking that you would believe it, because you have to be utterly without hope in the World.

Friend, you don't understand His Grace, and our need of it. You don't understand that we - all of us - myself included - are absolutely HOPELESS without Him. If God were waiting for us to "get it right", then we're all damned for all eternity; because we never will. Where in the Bible does it teach that Christ will come after a great revival? Where does it teach that people must "do church right" or "stand together in unity" in order for Him to return? It doesn't. That was a lie told to you to keep you in the program. Don't believe it? Prove through the Word of God that you can foil God's plans. Look and see what Christ said about the signs of His coming, and show me where it talks about "sweet spirits" and some kind of universal fellowship.

Friend, you have been lied to. Let Christ heal your wounds - you said you "too have been hurt". Trust in Him, and follow Him and His Word. Don't let anyone who calls themselves "the minister of the age" define what the Word says for you. Christ Himself said: "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ." Matthew 23:8-10.



Love in Christ,

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Old 01-21-2014, 01:32 PM   #27
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Where in the Bible does it teach that Christ will come after a great revival? Where does it teach that people must "do church right" or "stand together in unity" in order for Him to return? It doesn't.
Folks here usually don't like it when a verse is quoted without explanation. But I think this verse is self explanatory, cause the Messiah sure makes it sound like everyone doesn't have to have it together when he comes

Luke 18:8
I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:35 PM   #28
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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I've been hurt too. But it doesnt matter. The church isnt perfect.
It does matter. Apostle Paul wrote of this in 1 Corinthians 12. Every member does matter which is why we should endeavor to take care of relationships. Just because a brother or sister does not line up with the blending brothers, does not make them expendable. Yes, the church isn't perfect, but that does not excuse using the platforms of conferences or trainings to speak publicly against brothers who ceased meeting with the local churches.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:52 PM   #29
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Everyone gets hurt. Everyone gets their ego bruised. I've been hurt too. But it doesnt matter. The church isnt perfect.
Getting "hurt" may be part of following the Lord, as the song goes, "No wound, no scar, Haven't traveled very far."

If that was the "moral of the story," we would end there joyfully pursuing God in the LC's. But there is much more to the story.

People were not just hurt, they were stumbled. People were not just hurt, they were lied to and deceived. The pristine image of Witness Lee and the LSM was a smokescreen to cover up his unrighteousness. God sent many prophets to Lee and, instead of heeding their words, he attempted to destroy them. What we were told for decades about our history never was true. All the so-called storms and rebellions were never what Lee said they were.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:04 AM   #30
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It is so interesting to me that his critics here all use the same tactics to justify their arguments against Bro Lee. He is a brother, I knew him. The Bible speaks of revelation everywhere, and doesn't restrict it to anyone. We should all pray for and strive for light and revelation from God's word. Bro. Lee loved all Christians just as the Lord does. He hates what God hates and that is the organization created by mankind and usurps God's position and leading. The Bible only speaks negatively of man's efforts to do God's work. Our efforts are through the Spirit that we receive at rebirth. A Christian life is an Organic issue, not an organization. The body of Christ is an organism, living and growing with the growth of God. We all should love what God loves and hate what God hates. Whether Bro Lee was the minister of the age or not is up to how you chose to see it, but the principle in the Bible is and has always been, that there was just one oracle of God, one spokesperson if you will. But, that doesn't take away from and nullify the fact that we are all apostles (sent ones to speak), profits (those who speak for God), priests (those who bring God to people), kings (those who exercise God's authority and bring the people to God), Preachers and Teachers and Shepherds. These are just all virtues of the Christian life, which is the very life of Christ. The realm of revelation is a divine and spiritual realm. The mind will never understand it. Bro. Lee never spoke against anything, but he spoke for God. Read the Bible with an open spirit and you'll see where the Lord spoke against the religion of the day and all of the confusion (Babylon) that it creates. Confusion is the Enemy's top weapon. He confused Eve to get her to fall before they were able to partake of the Tree of Life. They ate of the Tree of (Knowledge of) Good AND Evil. That in itself is confusion and take true revelation to see what it means. Most of the post here act as if they possess some higher understanding and knowledge of the Bible and what is truly God's plan. But I only see destructive things said with nothing to back it up. They have done exactly what they accuse Bro. Lee of doing. So, where is the truth in that? I don't care whether you believe a word the man said. The Christ in me does and that causes me to have pity on you all. But, only in that day when we stand in front of the Lord in that bright light will we truly know if we were Right or Wrong, which is the same as Good and Evil, both from the same tree. We all have to be judged on how much Christ we have gained. That is the refiners' fire spoken of in the Word. And, that is why God created Outer Darkness for those Christians that didn't gain Christ in this age. If you are confident that you are on the right track, so be it. The truth will come out in the light, but I don't see how you can gain much Christ by trying to tear down another Christian. Speaking against one of God's sons is a big deal to Him. Don't be like the religionists of Christ's day, the Pharisees and Sadducees who couldn't see Christ (their Messiah) because of their Religion. Remember, "Religion" is of man's creation. God created Life and man's effort to worship Him w/o Christ's life is how we got Religion. Jesus is the way! Not religion. God hates religion, the Bible tells you so. I bet most of you think you'll go to Heaven when you die. Ever thought about where the Bible, God's very Word, actually says that? You should. The Bible takes revelation to see what God sees. It isn't new. It's always been there. There have been a number of individual men of God who have had particular revelations through out history. Paul of course, probably had the most, but John, Martin Luther, Zinzendorff, Darby and so forth. You can argue that Bro Lee wasn't in that line, but you cannot deny that line exists. I would suggest you people use your energy to gain the revelation in the Bible than tear down the messenger. That's what got the Jews in such a fix! Christ in you, the hope of glory. Thank you for your time.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:46 AM   #31
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Most of the post here act as if they possess some higher understanding and knowledge of the Bible and what is truly God's plan. But I only see destructive things said with nothing to back it up. They have done exactly what they accuse Bro. Lee of doing.
In some sense we are the true "sons of Lee" here, in that we are opinionated, quarrelsome and full of ourselves. And the Bible is only important so much as it can help us win arguments, otherwise it is ignored. So come join the party! We all are enjoying Christ here (at least I am).

Seriously, though, I apologize for some of the "negativity" on display, and hope to do better. We all can. You can, I can, and the Blended Curators of the Lee Museum can all display a little more love toward each other. So point taken, and thanks for taking the time to share.

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I would suggest you people use your energy to gain the revelation in the Bible than tear down the messenger. That's what got the Jews in such a fix! Christ in you, the hope of glory. Thank you for your time.
The only original sentence on display in the entire post was the last one - "Thank you for your time" - the rest was just regurgitated pap. Yes, it's occasionally ugly here, but at least there's a bit of originality. The Lee Cloning School is now in full swing, and its denizens aren't allowed to speak a sentence or two that doesn't somehow reference the "rich ministry". Your post was Exhibit A of the cloning mechanism at work.

It was occasionally ugly as well when Jesus cast out demons. The people cried, they shrieked, they rolled in the dust and foamed at the mouth. So you'll get some of that on display here, figuratively speaking. But that's what it takes to get out the "LC mojo", which is admittedly some pretty nasty stuff. So yes, it can look kind of rough, coming back to the land of the living, but it's been worth it. Every last ugly, miserable, unhappy post. Sorry you had to see some of it. God bless and have a nice day.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:49 AM   #32
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Thank you for your time.
Could you break your future rants off into paragraphs? You will help reduce the time for those of us willing to read it as well as make it more coherent. Some of us people have been where you are but in time we had a different experience than you. It is unfortunate that you can't appreciate that fact. It would be interesting to know just how long you have been in the LC and when you came into it.

On this forum there is a wide range of experiences from different periods of time in the LC. It is perfectly reasonable for you not to understand where we are coming from but at some time you might find some of the comments on this forum a refuge even though now they might not be relevant for you. In any case, hope everything works out for you. Take care.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:20 AM   #33
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Bro. Lee loved all Christians just as the Lord does. He hates what God hates and that is the organization created by mankind and usurps God's position and leading. The Bible only speaks negatively of man's efforts to do God's work.
John the aged apostle told us plainly, "My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth." I John 3.18

Concerning Witness Lee, all of us who knew him can say that he loved Christians "in word" only, and "with the tongue." Lee knew no peers, and could not work with anyone. He has a long list of lawsuits against any and all outsiders who dared to critique his ministry, while he himself spent his entire life condemning all others. Listening to him, as I did for a quarter century, I received the impression that he alone was the ultimate and flawless god-man, with all others past and present deserving condemnation. Oh the pride and arrogance!

Neither could Lee love those who invested their lives to support his ministry. Both Max Rapoport, John Ingalls, and so many others were thrown under the bus for exposing corruption, namely Lee's own profligate sons Phillip and Timothy, at the LSM offices. Post-humously two of Lee's most fruitful lieutenants, Titus Chu and Yu Lan Dong, were conveniently disposed of for violating the "One Publication Policy." Now where is that in the Bible?

Talking about "man's efforts," since you brought it up, this forum is filled with horror stories of members damaged and stumbled by LSM and its operatives, efforts which could only be labeled as the "work of the flesh." Lee's ministry is filled with failed programs which could be described as nothing more than "man's efforts." Amazingly, Lee could condemn the whole of Christianity for doing things more pleasing to God than his beloved "recovery."

Have you ever heard of Daystar, and how many saints were robbed of their virginity? Have you ever heard of how many Christians were sued by Lee? Have you ever heard of how many godly men were quarantined and had their reputations smeared for speaking their conscience, sent as prophets by God to expose failures at LSM?
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:23 AM   #34
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It is so interesting to me that his critics here all use the same tactics to justify their arguments against Bro Lee. He is a brother, I knew him.
Defenders of Lee also typically use their own set of "same tactics.” For example, dismissing arguments as “tactics” while never actually addressing any of them in a serious manner.

Quote:
The Bible speaks of revelation everywhere, and doesn't restrict it to anyone. We should all pray for and strive for light and revelation from God's word.
The LCM did not tolerate any light or revelation that was any different from Lee’s. So what you are really saying is we should all strive to see the Bible according to Lee’s light.

Quote:
Bro. Lee loved all Christians just as the Lord does. He hates what Good hates and that is the organization created by mankind and usurps God's position and leading. The Bible only speaks negatively of man's efforts to do God's work. Our efforts are through the Spirit that we receive at rebirth. A Christian life is an Organic issue, not an organization. The body of Christ is an organism, living and growing with the growth of God. We all should love what God loves and hate what God hates.
To Lee, every work other than his was “man’s work” and only his was “God’s work.” I hate to tell you this but that’s self-serving nonsense. Here’s the facts. Lee and his movement had and has just as much an “organization” as anyone else. In fact, he had more, because his word was final. There is nothing “organic” about an absolute dictator. God doesn’t hate human organization. He hates sin. And Lording it over the flock is sin.

Lee defined all kinds of “boogy men” which he placed himself and ministry in contrast to. Whether it was “religion,” or “human organization,” or “human wisdom,” or “opinion,” or “man’s work” or whatever, he acted like he was the only one getting it right and if you wanted to also you should follow him unquestioningly. And he accused every other work or ministry in the world as being inferior and full of those negative things and worse. But the fact is Lee and his church has just as much of human organization and man’s work and religion as just about any other group. And for him and you to pretend it's any other way is indicative not only of deception, but pride.

Quote:
Whether Bro Lee was the minister of the age or not is up to how you chose to see it, but the principle in the Bible is and has always been, that there was just one oracle of God, one spokesperson if you will.
If this were true, the New Testament would have been written by only one person. Again, the minister of the age doctrine is more self-serving nonsense. The idea of a minister of the age is not taught nor ever suggested in the Bible. The NT plainly had many workers who worked in parallel, not in coordination. None claimed superiority nor demanded submission from the others. Lee's "one publication" and "one work" view is contrary to the clear NT example. What's the point of the doctrine anyway, except to intimidate people into following your guy? Talk about "tactics!" This was a tactic to control people.

Quote:
But, that doesn't take away from and nullify the fact that we are all apostles (sent ones to speak), profits (those who speak for God), priests (those who bring God to people), kings (those who exercise God's authority and bring the people to God), Preachers and Teachers and Shepherds. These are just all virtues of the Christian life, which is the very life of Christ.
Prophets were those God raised up to speak to his people outside of the religious structure of the time. Prophets often rebuked the top leaders and priests of Israel. The LCM never tolerated nor encouraged the gift of prophecy. True prophets in the LCM were called rebels, and were treated with contempt and ex-communicated, just like the prophets were murdered in the OT.

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The truth will come out in the light, but I don't see how you can gain much Christ by trying to tear down another Christian.
If you knew Lee why didn’t you tell him this? Lee spent his life criticizing everything but himself and his work, while attempting to discredit every other work. So you saying you are bothered by criticism of Christians rings a little hollow.

I’m sorry, but I think if God ever did raise up a “minister of the age” he would NOT be the one going around claiming to be it while dismissing everyone and everything else. He would be the one who let his work speak for itself. The fact is Lee never had enough confidence in his work to do that. So he “helped out” by running every contemporary down and intimidating his followers into avoiding everyone but him. If that’s not “man’s work,” what is?
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:39 AM   #35
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Remember, "Religion" is of man's creation. God created Life and man's effort to worship Him w/o Christ's life is how we got Religion. Jesus is the way! Not religion. God hates religion, the Bible tells you so.
Step back and take a look at the awful religion you are in. Lee despised seminaries as "cemeteries," yet you have the FTT Witness Lee duplication centers all around the world. The Catholic church has its daily missalettes, while you have your daily HWFMR. Poor, poor Christianity has the dreaded "one man speaking," yet you have the same "speaking of one man" each Sunday in every local church. Lee hated denominations, yet you have become far worse than any denomination, with a dominating headquarters more controlling than any Baptist or Presbyterian church.

The Bible never says that God hates religion. What He does hate is hypocrisy, and LSM has as much or more of that than any other Christian organization on earth.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:43 PM   #36
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I would suggest you people use your energy to gain the revelation in the Bible than tear down the messenger.
The messenger wouldn't need to be torn down if he and his followers hadn't put him on a pedestal so high that some are afraid to criticize him or question him. Those people need to be set free, wouldn't you say? And others need to be warned not to repeat their error, wouldn't you say? The insights I have were from biblical revelations, including from 1 Cor 3. Didn't you say I could get revelation myself?

The reason Lee needs to be cut down to size is precisely because of the unhealthy status he intentionally created for himself and which his followers, living in dread fear of his shadow, maintain, in direct violation of 1 Cor 3.

Lee is just not another Christian we are criticizing. He is author of a demonic mindset which has hijacked the lives of thousands of Christians. He is the creator of a personality cult in his own honor, a status he encouraged and even linked to one's standing before God. He actually and consciously worked to wed the state of the consciences of his followers directly to their opinion of him and his teachings.

This is not a common sin. Its effects are so pernicious that the perpetrator cannot be afforded the common deference we give to the weaknesses of Christians. There is too much at stake and too many are influenced by it. People must be warned about it and those affected by it must repent from it and be cured. Further the Church as a whole must learn from this episode and ever be on watch for its recurrence.

It is disingenuous for you on the one hand to call Lee the MOTA, with all the honor and responsibility that highly questionable title demands, while on the other hand acting like Lee is just another kindly Christian we are being mean to. This is precisely the type of equivocation and hypocrisy that LCMers are infamous for and which drives to distraction those who try to communicate with them.

Lee should not be unfairly accused. But those who have been misled by him deserve to know the facts and arguments against his claims, as does the general public. And since his followers are not interested in providing either facts or compelling arguments in his defense in an engaging public manner--but rather are only interested in mouthing threadbare, cookie-cutter propaganda--that task is left to others. God help us.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:50 PM   #37
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Here's another way of looking at things.

If Lee was just another erroneous teacher, and there are plenty, he wouldn't be that big a deal. But Lee used his personality and influence to create a status for himself as some kind of special apostle. Once you have that status, then you are claiming and in some cases gaining special authority directly over the lives of others. You've gone from just someone with (ostensibly) good, helpful teachings, and become someone who can actually direct and control the practical lives of others.

Now, what should be our reaction to a person making such claims? Either he is who he says or he isn't. But if he isn't, doesn't that mean we are committing a grave error if we treat him as if he is? Whereas with a good teacher we could sift what he says, taking the good and leaving the rest, with the MOTA we must take it all. Questioning is not only out of the question, it's indicative of rebellion. If we consider someone such a MOTA, and he turns out not to be such a thing, we've wasted our lives.

The bottom line is the stakes are too high for anyone to have to make such decision, which is why the Bible never asks us to do so. Who is sufficient to make such a judgment as to decide whether someone is a modern day apostle, let alone MOTA? Let's be honest.

Ironically, in the end it's a completely unnecessary, unfruitful claim. All it did for Lee was scare a handful of people into following him and a whole lot more people away from having anything to do with him. Can you say "duh?" (Then again he may have had to threaten people to follow him because by all accounts he was difficult to work with. Maybe nobody would have followed him for long if he hadn't made threats.)

All the LCM has to do is drop the Lee reverence and open up to the fellowship of the whole Body and there will be healing. But until they do, the warnings from people like myself will have to continue.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:52 PM   #38
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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In some sense we are the true "sons of Lee" here, in that we are opinionated, quarrelsome and full of ourselves. And the Bible is only important so much as it can help us win arguments, otherwise it is ignored. So come join the party! We all are enjoying Christ here (at least I am).


UntoHim should make that the featured quote for about a month!

Yes, but are you experiencing Christ?
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:41 PM   #39
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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All the LCM has to do is drop the Lee reverence and open up to the fellowship of the whole Body and there will be healing. But until they do, the warnings from people like myself will have to continue.
When you or I say Lee reverence, that equates to a blended brother raising the question "What would Witness Lee do?"

Open up to fellowship of the whole Body. Let's take for example the city I live in. There's maybe 90,000 within the city, but for the Church in ____, there's may be 30-40 meeting. That's the Body meeting locally as the church? Privately brothers will say at prophesying meetings or home meetings "we're the expression of the Church", but publically let's say CRI for example, the brother's will say "we're just another church". There are two different messages being given and what does that tell you?
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:47 PM   #40
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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John the aged apostle told us plainly, "My Little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth." I John 3.18

Concerning Witness Lee, all of us who knew him can say that he loved Christians "in word" only, and "with the tongue." Lee knew no peers, and could not work with anyone. He has a long list of lawsuits against any and all outsiders who dared to critique his ministry, while he himself spent his entire life condemning all others. Listening to him, as I did for a quarter century, I received the impression that he alone was the ultimate and flawless god-man, with all others past and present deserving condemnation. Oh the pride and arrogance!

Neither could Lee love those who invested their lives to support his ministry. Both Max Rapoport, John Ingalls, and so many others were thrown under the bus for exposing corruption, namely Lee's own profligate sons Phillip and Timothy, at the LSM offices. Post-humously two of Lee's most fruitful lieutenants, Titus Chu and Yu Lan Dong, were conveniently disposed of for violating the "One Publication Policy." Now where is that in the Bible?
We have seen through Phillip Lin's book Sacrifice and Sail On, even though Witness Lee has been gone for nearly 20 years, the misrepresentations levied in Fermentation of the Present Rebellion is still being propagated as truth when in fact it is false.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!
Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine
And valiant men in mixing strong drink,
Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

Isaiah 5:20-23
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:50 PM   #41
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Unregistered, when I read your post, I immediately noticed some misconceptions about “us” and what we are doing here. You also say that you knew Brother Lee. If so, I am curious as to what your impression of him as a person was. Some people like me never met him and never saw him speak, so we may very well have a completely different impression of him. There is nothing wrong with that, because Lee was and still is highly regarded, so everyone in the LC has to have some impression of him whether good or bad. Obviously, those on this forum don’t have such a great impression of Lee, or at least serious concerns as to how he might have erred. The only way to keep people from having strong opinions about Lee would be to minimize his importance within the LC and that’s not going to happen.

It seems that those higher up in the LCM have this notion that those who are on the internet are there for the sole purpose of finding any way that they can criticize Lee. Ron coined the term “the lawless users of the internet” to describe those who discuss the LC on the internet. Such a mindset only serves to minimize the real issue, and I guess it helps the BB’s to not feel bothered about the real reasons that people are here on the internet. Do you really think that such a hasty generalization describes what people are doing here? Do you not see any possibility that people are here because they have been hurt by LC teachings and practices?

Here is a quick example of one of the many ways I’ve been severely affected by the LC. For over 20 years, while growing up, I was not able to attend a single Christmas celebration because my family took Lee’s anti-Christmas statements quite seriously. This highlights a big issue with Lee, and is also relevant to Nigel’s “Witness Lee Sanitized” paper. Lee made lots of absolute statements. Of course, everyone in the LC has great respect for his ministry so they will be inclined to do whatever he said. Many people in the LC will argue that Lee’s statements shouldn’t be taken too literally or “out of context”, but then that brings up the question of how to clarify what Lee said. Lee never clarified many of his statements, so that is his fault.

Here is an example of one of Lee’s “absolute” statements:
Quote:
“Christmas is a blasphemy to Christ, and no Christian with a pure conscience should have anything to do with it.” Life-Study of Revelation Message 51.
If Lee really knew what he was taking about, he wouldn’t make an absolute statement and then talk about the conscience in the same sentence. That defeats the whole purpose of the conscience. Maybe Lee’s position on Christmas had some truth to it, but that doesn’t give him the right to impose his personal convictions on individual LC members. Why not let them follow their consciences, rather than make absolute statements like a dictator would? Nigel has documented many more of these statements that Lee made. Such statements that Lee made are absolutely deserving of criticism and critique. Do you not realize how dangerous it is to follow Lee without question? I’m sorry, but I can’t see how Lee is in any way “safe” to follow blindly. LC members need to hear the other side of the story, and those who have come in contact with the LC also need the ability to make informed decisions as to what the LC is really about.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:11 AM   #42
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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We have seen through Phillip Lin's book Sacrifice and Sail On, even though Witness Lee has been gone for nearly 20 years, the misrepresentations levied in Fermentation of the Present Rebellion is still being propagated as truth when in fact it is false.
And the Apostle John wrote in his third letter:
I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes (or, Witness Lee, or the Blended Brothers), who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

(3 John 9–11)
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:21 PM   #43
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And the Apostle John wrote in his third letter:
I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes (or, Witness Lee, or the Blended Brothers), who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

(3 John 9–11)
Scripture does support limited deputy authority, but as we see in these verses from 3 John 9-11, Diotrephes has become a pattern how to utilize deputy authority over a church.
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:36 AM   #44
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

WITNESS LEE SANITIZED—

LSM’s Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

—————————————————

In another thread, I was pointed to this one by Ohio who used it as so called evidence that there was a difference between what Brother Lee actually spoke and in the Life studies what was printed as Life-studies. There is no substantive difference between the two. Furthermore, this example has nothing to do with that. This is about something different. Nevertheless, I am delighted that Ohio has afforded me an opportunity to examine and comment on Tomes’ article, somehow I had missed it.

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Old 05-24-2018, 08:54 AM   #45
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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WITNESS LEE SANITIZED—

LSM’s Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

—————————————————

In another thread, I was pointed to this one by Ohio who used it as so called evidence that there was a difference between what Brother Lee actually spoke and in the Life studies what was printed as Life-studies. There is no substantive difference between the two. Furthermore, this example has nothing to do with that. This is about something different. Nevertheless, I am delighted that Ohio has afforded me an opportunity to examine and comment on Tomes’ article, somehow I had missed it.

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Old 05-24-2018, 11:12 AM   #46
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Thank you for calling my attention to that Tomes article. How did I miss it? Glad to weigh in on it over there.
Why sanitize the radio? Cuz the LSM denomination does want poor poor Christianity to know that Lee called them poor poor, and worse, and then realize how poor poor poor, and worse, the LSM denomination really is. Oh ... and to continue their lying.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:56 AM   #47
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

Hey, Drake, why don't you start here ...

Read these paragraphs by Lee. Does this sound like the kind of ministry any decent, sober-minded child of God should pay any attention to?

Free Groups—“Drunk, Drugged & Befuddled, begetting Moabites and Ammonites”

The other Genesis Life-study (#54) omitted by LSM radio interprets Lot’s incest with his daughters in Genesis 19. W. Lee was in his element interpreting every aspect allegorically, undeterred by the fact that Scripture never makes these applications. According to him, “Abraham's family and Lot's family, being God's people, were one.” However when Lot separated from Abraham, “division came in, it produced a free group. That ancient free group was the seed and the miniature of today's free groups.

The free groups among God's people today are actually a further development of this,” he declares. Once again Abraham’s family is said to represent the Local Church, on “the proper ground.” In contrast Lot’s dysfunctional family in Sodom typifies “Christian free groups”—independent congregations, house churches and Christian fellowships. W. Lee says, “God's presence was with Abraham's family because his family…had the proper standing of God's testimony. Although Lot was one of God's people, he was not on the proper ground…he was in Sodom, on the ground of division and free groups.” God did not visit Sodom, only the angels; God stayed with Abraham. Based on this, W. Lee asserts, in a sweeping generalization, that free groups do not have God’s presence, saying “What then about the free groups? As it was with the case of Lot's family, God does not meet with them. They are His people, and He cares for them and does not forget them, but His presence is not with them."

Lot’s drunkenness typifies Christian leaders.
W. Lee alleges, "the leader of nearly every free group has been drugged and befuddled with some wine. Because of [this]…most of the members of their groups have been drugged.” “The leaders of many free groups today have also lost the sense of life. They are not aware of the violation of some of the governing principles ordained by God.” Moreover, Lot’s begetting Moab and Ammon via incest with his daughters allegedly represents “many so-called Christian groups. They…use worldly methods…they use incest to secure seed, they produce ‘Moabites’ and ‘Ammonites’.” “Look at today's situation,” W. Lee declares, “some groups use rock music, dancing, drama, movies, and games to satisfy their desire of securing the increase. In the eyes of God, this is spiritual incest…This is the way of ‘incest’ which brings forth ‘Moabites’ and ‘Ammonites’.”

“Free groups” plus their leaders and members are condemned. People brought to Christ via their gospel preaching are stigmatized as “Moabites and Ammonites,” begotten by “spiritual incest.” W. Lee often claimed to recognize genuine believers, while condemning their organizations. Yet in this case, by condemning them as “Moabites and Ammonites,” he denigrated 400 million genuine believers, Christians belonging to “free groups”--independent congregations, house churches and Christian fellowships. Many believers would surely find this highly offensive. LSM radio discretely avoided broadcasting this message (#54); it was “swept under the rug.” Given the subject matter is it surprising? Not if LSM radio’s purpose is to present a sanitized version of W. Lee, shorn of objectionable remarks.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:27 PM   #48
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

In evaluating this article we will start with the basic premise of Tomes' argument which he repeats throughout:

-----------------------------------------
Tomes>"Basic Christian integrity requires the full disclosure of all aspects of his ministry—both the innocuous and the potentially offensive should be presented.

Tomes>"
It would mean that LSM-radio’s sanitized version is presented to “outsiders,” the wider Christian community, while the “uncensored version, the real Witness Lee,” is reserved for “insiders,” members of LSM’s Local Church network and those delving deeper into LSM’s publications. "

Tomes>"
LSM’s radio’s presentation of Witness Lee falls far short of the transparency65 and full disclosure which ought to characterize every Christian work and ministry."
---------------------------------

First, Tomes fails to establish a basis for his assertion that "basic Christian integrity requires full disclosure" and again, in the claim that "full disclosure ought to characterize every Christian work". And at first blush this sounds right if you think of it synonymous with telling the truth but Tomes isn't arguing for the telling the truth he is arguing for telling everything to everybody all the time. That is were his argument is flawed.

This is merely Tomes own idea and I suspect he only applies as a method to find some point of attack on Brother Lee or the serving ones associated with his ministry. I doubt that even Tomes discloses to those outside his own household everything he discloses to his wife, his children, or his family. That would be foolish and unwise and most of the time not even necessary.

Furthermore, I doubt that he discloses in his article everything he discussed with those who helped him create it. I have no proof yet I think he had help but not the best he could have received for the following reason.

A quick examination of scripture will help us see if his doctrine stands.

Starting with the Lord Himself, no doubt the author of Christian integrity. Did our Lord fully disclose everything with everybody? No, He did not. For we see many instances which the Lord spoke one way to the disciples and another to the crowds (Matthew 13:10-14; Mark 4:10-12; Luke 8:9-10). Those examples alone refute Tomes' argument. So by Tomes' standard the Lord Jesus was not meeting the standard of "christian integrity". Hmm, wonder how that is gonna go down.

But wait, there's more.....

Paul told the Corinthians that he gave them milk to drink, not solid food (1 Corinthians 3:2). Whoa Doc! Paul was holding back something....not living up to your standard for "basic christian integrity" "which ought to characterize every Christian work and ministry" as you put it.

Yet another....

The writer of Hebrews says that some cannot take solid food but need milk (Hebrews 5: 11-14).

So much for Tomes' "full disclosure" doctrine to put everything out there.

Fact is, whether in family life, work life, social life, or church life we each measure our words according to the audience and their ability to receive it. These few verses alone establish that principle from the scripture. Tomes is making up this standard of Christian integrity just to attack brothers in the name of God no less.



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Old 05-24-2018, 04:37 PM   #49
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Why sanitize the radio? Cuz the LSM denomination does want poor poor Christianity to know that Lee called them poor poor, and worse, and then realize how poor poor poor, and worse, the LSM denomination really is. Oh ... and to continue their lying.
He never called them poor. He called it poor. Even the author of that hit piece acknowledges they will hear everything in the second or third round. Yet, the reason is not as you surmise.

Tomes missed it completely. That happens when he frames his opinionated conclusion first and then works his way backward to create his own facts.

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Old 05-24-2018, 04:43 PM   #50
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Why sanitize the radio? Cuz the LSM denomination does want poor poor Christianity to know that Lee called them poor poor, and worse, and then realize how poor poor poor, and worse, the LSM denomination really is. Oh ... and to continue their lying.
Thats nonsense because Lee or the local churches have never been shy about telling Christianity its poor. Why would anyone sanitize radio broadcasts when its plainly written in the RCV footnotes. And why sanitize the radio and not the online publications?
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:54 PM   #51
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Originally Posted by Drake;75557[B
]He never called them poor. He called it poor.[/B] Even the author of that hit piece acknowledges they will hear everything in the second or third round. Yet, the reason is not as you surmise.

Tomes missed it completely.
Nigel Tomes got it right.

Lee called *them* real children of God "Moabites and Ammonites."
“Free groups” plus their leaders and members are condemned. People brought to Christ via their gospel preaching are stigmatized as “Moabites and Ammonites,” begotten by “spiritual incest.”
Read it again Drake. You are being dishonest here. Lee was not referring to "it," or some system, but to real people.

And this was the Life Study which you said that you wholly stood behind. Pretty pathetic.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:57 PM   #52
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Thats nonsense because Lee or the local churches have never been shy about telling Christianity its poor. Why would anyone sanitize radio broadcasts when its plainly written in the RCV footnotes. And why sanitize the radio and not the online publications?

Perhaps Evangelical is having an epiphany!?
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:03 PM   #53
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Lee was not referring to "it," or some system, but to real people.
Not the same people. Follow the conversation.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:50 PM   #54
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Bro. Lee loved all Christians just as the Lord does. He hates what God hates

Whether Bro Lee was the minister of the age or not is up to how you chose to see it, but the principle in the Bible is and has always been, that there was just one oracle of God

Bro. Lee never spoke against anything, but he spoke for God.
Brother Lee sounds like quite a guy. The one Oracle of God who loves just like God and discerns the things that should be hated as God does - and was used to speak for God.

What if brother Lee isn't who you claim him to be or who he himself claimed to be? And if that were true, what are the implication for the "ministry" that he started, which claims authority over the one true church (which would be specific churches that fall under the authority of the LSM and adhere to a specific naming scheme). Finally, after considering what this would mean for the man and the organization - what does that mean for your life?

You've regurgitated all the LSM approved messaging that everyone on this forum already knows. The Zinzendorff reference brought me back! Unregistered - I'll keep you in my prayers bro.

With love,

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Old 05-24-2018, 06:02 PM   #55
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Default Re: Witness Lee Sanitized - LSM's Life-Study Radio Broadcast Examined

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Not the same people. Follow the conversation.
At the beginning, Abraham's family and Lot's family, being God's people, were one. At a certain time, however, division came in and they were divided. When they were one, they were not a group; they were the people of God, God's one people. When division came in, it produced a free group. That ancient free group was the seed and the miniature of today's free groups. The free groups among God's people today are actually a further development of this seed. The division which was sown by Lot was developed after the time of Solomon when the children of Israel were divided and a free group was produced. That free group, the nation of Israel, was never recognized by God. God only recognized Judah because Judah was on the proper ground. The principle is the same in the church age. The whole church should be God's one people. In the early days, the church was uniquely one. But division after division came in, producing many free groups. We praise the Lord that this division will not continue into the new heaven and new earth. It will be terminated by the Lord's coming back. (Chapter 54, section 2, Life Study of Genesis)

The way I understand this he is saying that there is a small fraction of God's people typified by Judah who represent Him and the rest of God's people don't. It is as though there are two trees, one the seed of Abraham, and one the seed of Lot. When he applies this typology to the current age he puts the vast majority of Christians in that tree that grew up from Lot's incest.
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