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Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

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Old 01-13-2019, 07:59 AM   #1
UntoHim
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Default Testimony of Lost Sheep

I am a church kid - both my parents were brought into the church life in the local churches. However, I am confused. I don't like how all the ministry is based on Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Honestly, I don't know anything else other than this church. I have read some of the threads and comments on the website and I while I disagree with some of them as they aren't as exaggerated as stated, others I agree with. I have done a little bit of research online and I seem to find conflicting information and perspectives. One topic that always seems to come up is regarding the trinity. Apparently what the LC teaches is both modalism and tritheism. I can't say I'm well-versed in the Bible so I don't understand what trinity actually means. The LC said this in regards to modalism;

"Modalism is heretical, a misguided and unscriptural attempt by the finite human mind to understand and systematize the mysterious divine Trinity. Modalism teaches that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are merely three temporary modes or forms of activity through which God manifests Himself in time. The most common form of modalism claims that the Father’s existence ended with the Son’s coming and that the Son ceased to exist when the Spirit came. Thus, according to modalistic thought, the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist simultaneously and eternally. This view, of course, is contrary to the
pure biblical revelation of the Triune God."

and that

"We reiterate, clearly and emphatically, that the local churches, unlike modalists, believe in the eternal coexistence and coinherence of the three of the Godhead; that is, we believe that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all coexist from eternity past to eternity future, and all mutually coinhere, or indwell one another. Even in God’s move to carry out man’s salvation and fulfill His eternal purpose, the Three of the Godhead are distinct in function yet never separate in Their being. This means that in every step of God’s work of creation, salvation, and consummation of His purpose, the Three of the Godhead—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are fully involved."

My parents practice what the LC teaches to a T and I find myself not wanting to be like them. Don't get me wrong; they are great people. I just don't think I can blindly read the Bible footnotes from mainly one person, be highly encouraged to borderline forced to read their ministries to be accepted, or commit my mornings to read the Morning Revival. I dislike the idea of being force fed someone else's "opinion" of the Bible. Is there truly this need to work hard to fulfil the "Lord's economy" and "recover" the church? Or is it enough to just believe and call on His name as Romans 10:13 says?

The only times I think I have "experienced" the Lord is when I am in times of need. However, is that truly an experience of Him or just the mind's attempt of creating moral support? When God answers prayers, how do I know it's not just a coincidence? When I ask my parents, I find their answers unsatisfactory. I am taught to keep praying and when something happens, perhaps through my own efforts, somehow it is all the Lord's doing and when if the prayer doesn't come true it is for me to experience hardship and grow in life? I find this hard to stomach.

I am always "highly encouraged" to become a "serving one" and serve the highschoolers or to preach the gospel and bear fruit. I personally feel the Lord has not given me such a burden. I am spiritually weak and am not capable of shepherding someone right now and yet I am always being pushed to do so... I also feel the same way about prophesying, After YP meetings and on Lord's Day, everyone is always encouraged to prophesy. In my own personal experience, while there is no verbal condemnation if you do not prophesy, I feel like I am a disappointment when I do not have a feeling to share. Sometimes, people prophesy not because they enjoyed something of the Lord, but rather, as a result of peer pressure. Of course, this is not done on purpose, but speaking from personal experience, I feel this to be quite detrimental.

I would like to say more but it's quite late here. I look forward to bring forward my questions on the forum.

Kind regards,
Lost Sheep
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:34 AM   #2
awareness
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

Brother Lost Sheep it's hell being in the closet ... when externally you're in the LC, but internally you're not ... when you're not really a lost sheep, but considered a black sheep.

Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes. Continue to free your mind. That way is freedom.

Maybe it don't look like it right now, but you're on the right track.

Best wishes ... hope to hear more ...

Harold
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:24 PM   #3
aron
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

LS, Welcome to the forum. I’d like to unpack your comments. It’s often easier to solve problems by reducing them to manageable size.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
One topic that always seems to come up is regarding the trinity. Apparently, what the LC teaches is both modalism and tritheism. I can't say I'm well-versed in the Bible so I don't understand what trinity actually means.
Regarding the trinity, my impression (and other observers as well) is that the LSM teaches modalism, in that the Father became the Son, became the Life-Giving Spirit. They protest that they don’t teach this, but that’s what I remember. Clearly.

But the trinity as a subject is a swamp. You can table it without worrying. Return to it in 10 or 15 years, and you might make some headway. Really. True religion is to behave well, and visit widows and orphans in their affliction; James said this, and it’s true. To love one’s neighbour is to give to those who won't repay you in this age, to treat well those who don’t treat you well, and to do unto others as you’d have them do to you, even if they don’t!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
I don't think I can blindly read the Bible footnotes from mainly one person, be highly encouraged to borderline forced to read their ministries to be accepted…I dislike the idea of being force fed someone else's "opinion" of the Bible. Is there truly this need to work hard to fulfil the "Lord's economy" and "recover" the church? Or is it enough to just believe and call on His name as Romans 10:13 says?
I say there’s one question which we all should face: do you believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day? If you do, you’re a Christian. If you don’t, then you’re not a Christian. It’s really that simple.

Of course, that is my opinion. This forum is full of them, and they don’t often align; but you get to pick through them and create your own journey. My own reading is formed by the speech that the Galilean fisherman Peter gave in Acts 2. God raised Jesus from the dead. That was the message. This is repeated by the Pharisee Paul, almost verbatim, in Acts 13
Quote:
26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.
27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.
28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.
30 But God raised him from the dead,
31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
32 We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors
33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
‘You are my son;
today I have become your father.’
34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’
35 So it is also stated elsewhere:
‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’
36 Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.
37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
38 Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.
39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
The Good News is the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. That God loved us and sent His Son, that we might believe, and not perish, is what distinguishes the Christian from the Atheist who doesn’t believe in God, and the Islamist and Buddhist who don’t believe that Jesus is the Resurrected Lord. We do believe.

Beyond that, try to find the love of God in your heart. Find someone who’s bereft of love, and find a way to transmit that love. It might simply be a smile and a greeting.

The first Church Schism* occurred several centuries after Christ, when the now fully-gentile churches began to argue over the meaning of the Greek word we'd translate “nature”; the Syrians, Egyptians, Iranians (Persians), Ethiopians and some others walked out and never came back. Even today, when asked what it was about they smile and say, “It’s complicated”.

So don’t fuss about the meaning of words like “trinity”. Just believe into Jesus Christ and find love. The capacity to love is already in you, but you have to be calm and still to find it. And "Love" in the Christian ethos is not an emotion, but an action, carried out continually - give to those who don't give back, bless those who curse, pray for those who persecute and despise.

"If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth that God has raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved". It's really that simple. Then, try to love. God will meet you there.

*Chalcedon
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:41 AM   #4
aron
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

A word on the trinity - when I was in the LC, I avoided the subject because it seemed so hard to "get right" and the payoff was so small. We sang, "It's not for doctrine, it's for dispensing", but regardless, the dispensing occurred whether you "got it" or not. By analogy, the infant needs to drink, not examine the concepts of calcium in milk.

But in the past couple of years the subject has somewhat settled, and conceptually coalesced. So what follows is my opinion, as of today.

The key is the principle of agency. God is like a very rich and powerful actor who can send others to act on his behalf; when you see the sent agent you see the sender. The King sends his Ambassador to Spain; the Ambassador says, "When you see me, you see the King"; even though the Ambassador is not ontologically the King he is operationally the King's extension, his "right arm".

I learned this from the Centurion, who said, "I also have servants under me"; when the Centurion spoke, the servants heard Caesar. The Centurion, like Jesus, was "a man under authority", who could by his obedience function as the extension of Caesar's will. (But the Centurion was not ontologically Caesar). (Matt 8:5-13 & Luke 7:1-10)

Likewise, Jesus could pray to the Father who was (still) in heaven, while saying, "When you see me, you see the Father". Nobody has ever seen God (the Father); yet the Son has declared him - if the Son was the Father, then the first half of that statement would be untrue. ~John 1:18
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
The only times I think I have "experienced" the Lord is when I am in times of need. However, is that truly an experience of Him or just the mind's attempt of creating moral support? When God answers prayers, how do I know it's not just a coincidence?
Kind regards,
Lost Sheep
Dear Lost Sheep,

The LSM has become a legalistic and doctrinal ministry that talks endlessly about the "experience of God" yet often seems void of what they teach. They have become quite similar to the Jewish religion we read about in the Bible. Like you, many of the Jewish people wondered if Jesus was who some said He was. The same cloudy environment which surrounded the Gospels still exists today.

But ask one of those hurting folks that was healed by Jesus, and there was no doubt in their minds. Like you, they were in need, and that need enabled their faith to break thru traditions, confusion, and doubts. Jesus visited them in their time of need, and it was no coincidence.

Jesus tends to respond to us out of our need or our love. Endless talk about Him usually just wastes our time. When I was in the LC's, I was bored with all the talk, endless teachings which did me no good. But when I needed Him, He was always faithful, and when I needed Him, I did not go to LSM's books, but to His word.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The key is the principle of agency. God is like a very rich and powerful actor who can send others to act on his behalf; when you see the sent agent you see the sender. The King sends his Ambassador to Spain; the Ambassador says, "When you see me, you see the King"; even though the Ambassador is not ontologically the King he is operationally the King's extension, his "right arm".

Likewise, Jesus could pray to the Father who was (still) in heaven, while saying, "When you see me, you see the Father". Nobody has ever seen God (the Father); yet the Son has declared him - if the Son was the Father, then the first half of that statement would be untrue. ~John 1:18
aron, thanks for this, very helpful.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
The only times I think I have "experienced" the Lord is when I am in times of need. However, is that truly an experience of Him or just the mind's attempt of creating moral support? When God answers prayers, how do I know it's not just a coincidence?
Kind regards,
Lost Sheep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio
Dear Lost Sheep,

The LSM has become a legalistic and doctrinal ministry that talks endlessly about the "experience of God" yet often seems void of what they teach. They have become quite similar to the Jewish religion we read about in the Bible. Like you, many of the Jewish people wondered if Jesus was who some said He was. The same cloudy environment which surrounded the Gospels still exists today.

But ask one of those hurting folks that was healed by Jesus, and there was no doubt in their minds. Like you, they were in need, and that need enabled their faith to break thru traditions, confusion, and doubts. Jesus visited them in their time of need, and it was no coincidence.

Jesus tends to respond to us out of our need or our love. Endless talk about Him usually just wastes our time. When I was in the LC's, I was bored with all the talk, endless teachings which did me no good. But when I needed Him, He was always faithful, and when I needed Him, I did not go to LSM's books, but to His word.
I appreciate this attempt to direct Lost Sheep to the healing Jesus, and to His word. I hope it answers his need.

Hopefully he'll come out here and clarify, but I didn't get that sense when he said the only time he experienced God was in time of need. That struck me more like, 'There are no atheists in fox holes."

What say ye Lost Sheep?
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:48 AM   #8
aron
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Default Re: Testimony of Lost Sheep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
I dislike the idea of being force fed someone else's "opinion" of the Bible.
This point's worth pursuing. Pro: receiving someone else's opinion as true brings about harmony, and a sense of constancy, while arguing over opinions leads to dis-harmony and dissolution.

Receiving someone else's opinion at face value allows one to relax and not worry about things. Just do what the Maximum Brother says and everything will be fine.

Con: What if the Max Bro is wrong? What then? What happens to one's conscience when being forced to agree with something that doesn't seem right? It's one thing, when you're a child of eight, and the adults want something stupid, or seemingly so. The child has to go along. But the assumption is that the child will grow, and learn, and evolve sophistication over time. The child will then be able to execute problems that stymied their parents.

The danger of blindly accepting someone else's opinion is that one's kept in a stage of perpetual infancy, unable to solve any problems that Max Bro hasn't provided the solution for.

Secondly, accepting one person's opinion as the basis of unity is a false unity. Suppose this website only allowed my opinion of the trinity, or of the rapture/millennial kingdom/judgment? Maybe for a while, I'd be happy. Maybe I could convince a few to stick around and say, Amen, everytime I posted something. Then I could write, "Here, we are one!" But it wouldn't be much of a conversation, would it? It would be a monologue. Is that really the society that I want to live in?
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