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Old 05-06-2015, 11:17 PM   #1
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Default Witness Lee and AW Tozer

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In 1963, Brother Lee visited Toronto again. Besides visiting Oswald Smith, he also took time to visit A. W. Tozer, a famous minister in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Brother Lee asked A. W. Tozer if he was aware of any Christians in Toronto who were practicing the church life according to the New Testament. Tozer responded by saying that he had looked into this very much, but had no knowledge of any such Christians or groups who knew the way of practicing the church life based on the New Testament revelation. Brother Lee asked further if Tozer himself knew the New Testament way of practicing the church life. Tozer replied that he understood. Brother Lee asked again - since Brother Tozer had seen this light, then why did he remain in the Christian and Missionary Alliance? In the same year, Brother Tozer passed away in Toronto.

http://lordsmoveincanada.org/witness-lee-visits.html
When I first saw this a few months back I was surprised to learn that WL interacted with Tozer in person (I just knew he mentioned Tozer here and there). I have listened to a few recordings of Tozer's sermons on youtube and as might be expected, his ministry and Lee's bore some similarities. There seem to be a lot of common themes.

Given their commonality, Tozer (and his group) were those that Lee hypothetically could have worked with. It's interesting though, according to this website Lee didn't feel Tozer was practicing the New Testament church life and made a point about it to Tozer. This is the same thing that Lee did with T. Austin Sparks. Frankly speaking, I think Lee missed out of great opportunities to work with like-minded individuals, by making such and issue out of his view of the church. He obviously thought his view was worth dividing over.

Something that's interesting to consider is that as Lee was ministering in this country, others were also ministering with ministries that were very similar to his. If you take "the ground of the church" out of the equation, there were other ministries covering the same themes as Lee was during that time. There may have even been commonalities on ideas related to the New Testament church minus "the ground". The conclusion that leads to is that Lee's ministry wasn't so "unique" after all.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

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When I first saw this a few months back I was surprised to learn that WL interacted with Tozer in person (I just knew he mentioned Tozer here and there). I have listened to a few recordings of Tozer's sermons on youtube and as might be expected, his ministry and Lee's bore some similarities. There seem to be a lot of common themes.

Given their commonality, Tozer (and his group) were those that Lee hypothetically could have worked with. It's interesting though, according to this website Lee didn't feel Tozer was practicing the New Testament church life and made a point about it to Tozer. This is the same thing that Lee did with T. Austin Sparks. Frankly speaking, I think Lee missed out of great opportunities to work with like-minded individuals, by making such and issue out of his view of the church. He obviously thought his view was worth dividing over.

Something that's interesting to consider is that as Lee was ministering in this country, others were also ministering with ministries that were very similar to his. If you take "the ground of the church" out of the equation, there were other ministries covering the same themes as Lee was during that time. There may have even been commonalities on ideas related to the New Testament church minus "the ground". The conclusion that leads to is that Lee's ministry wasn't so "unique" after all.
By visiting other notable ministers, and then providing his audience with a "bad" report, Lee "proved" to his adherents that his ministry alone was absolutely unique in this age. All other ministries were thus deficient by his standards, whether or not his standards were Biblical or not (e.g. the ground of locality.)
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:40 AM   #3
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By visiting other notable ministers, and then providing his audience with a "bad" report, Lee "proved" to his adherents that his ministry alone was absolutely unique in this age. All other ministries were thus deficient by his standards, whether or not his standards were Biblical or not (e.g. the ground of locality.)
I'm sure Lee may have had some amount of interest in meeting those like Tozer. Actually, that seems to be unique to his earlier days. He was actually willing to go meet other ministers instead of blast them from the pulpit. At the same time, it wouldn't surprise me if he also intended to "prove" that only he saw what he thought he saw.

I noticed the site is called "Lord's move in Canada". Imagine how convenient it was for Lee and now the BB's to label anything they do as "the Lord's move in X". That's not to mention the fact that there were ministers doing works in places long before Lee showed up in town. I guess that's not considered as part of the "Lord's move".
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

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I'm sure Lee may have had some amount of interest in meeting those like Tozer. Actually, that seems to be unique to his earlier days. He was actually willing to go meet other ministers instead of blast them from the pulpit. At the same time, it wouldn't surprise me if he also intended to "prove" that only he saw what he thought he saw.

I noticed the site is called "Lord's move in Canada". Imagine how convenient it was for Lee and now the BB's to label anything they do as "the Lord's move in X". That's not to mention the fact that there were ministers doing works in places long before Lee showed up in town. I guess that's not considered as part of the "Lord's move".
I can still picture a disturbed Witness Lee proclaiming wildly to the elders, "my ministry is not another piece of Christian work ... this is the Lord's recovery ... this is God's move on earth to bring the Lord back."

How dare any of them think there was anything "common" about Lee, his work, or his ministry!
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

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I noticed the site is called "Lord's move in Canada". Imagine how convenient it was for Lee and now the BB's to label anything they do as "the Lord's move in X". That's not to mention the fact that there were ministers doing works in places long before Lee showed up in town. I guess that's not considered as part of the "Lord's move".
It's not.

There isn't even a lampstand in a city unless the LCM is meeting there.

It's worse than their use of "saints" only with respect to LCM members.

A few years ago, back when I was looking at facebook more than once every month or so, someone posted how the first Lord's table in Rome had just occurred. Really? Doesn't matter what you think about the RCC. It and many other churches throughout that city have had the Lord's table monthly, weekly, and even daily.

But without having a LCM present with their specially-prepared, bleached flour chalupa (minus the beans and lettuce, etc.) and goblet of wine, sitting in their circle, singing a collection of songs that always follows a specific pattern (only noteworthy because of their disdain for tradition), they believe that the church is not present.

And if the church is not present, then the Lord can't be moving there.

Funny how in their view the Lord seems to only work in a very few who essentially interact with no one but themselves. While numbers are not evidence of the Lord's work, if the Lord was really working only through them, I would expect something that resembled meaningful increase.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:13 AM   #6
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But without having a LCM present with their specially-prepared, bleached flour chalupa (minus the beans and lettuce, etc.) and goblet of wine, sitting in their circle, singing a collection of songs that always follows a specific pattern (only noteworthy because of their disdain for tradition), they believe that the church is not present.
For a group which prides itself in "true" church, I found the insistence on "bleached" flour a little disconcerting, since it was not "invented" until the late 19th century. Imagine that, almost 2 millennia of believers breaking bread to remember the Lord, and then Nee comes along in China to tell us that we never did it right until we stopped using whole wheat flour. Thank God for the Recovery, now we can remember the Lord properly.

For me, this all got exposed just prior to our departure. The sisters had an awful time making a bread that wouldn't crack prior to the official "cracking" by the brothers. One young sister, assigned to make the bread that week, mistakenly used whole wheat flour. For shame, for shame! Oh how we loved our traditions, making void the word of God. The leading sister saw it and broke it up so that it could not be used in the meeting, and then demanded that a "proper" bread be made.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:32 AM   #7
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A few years ago, back when I was looking at facebook more than once every month or so, someone posted how the first Lord's table in Rome had just occurred. Really? Doesn't matter what you think about the RCC. It and many other churches throughout that city have had the Lord's table monthly, weekly, and even daily.
That's the big problem. The LC is so exclusive that they can't accept anything that does not originate from them as being anything significant. That is partly why I started this thread. The fact is that there are plenty of ministries that were somewhat "similar" to Nee and Lee. Do they mention these ministries? Sometimes. Do they consider them to be especially significant? Nope. These ministries are not considered as being part of "the Recovery". Even the ones that are considered as part of the "Recovery lineage" are superseded by Nee and Lee and have been rendered irrelevant to LCers.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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For a group which prides itself in "true" church, I found the insistence on "bleached" flour a little disconcerting, since it was not "invented" until the late 19th century. Imagine that, almost 2 millennia of believers breaking bread to remember the Lord, and then Nee comes along in China to tell us that we never did it right until we stopped using whole wheat flour. Thank God for the Recovery, now we can remember the Lord properly.

For me, this all got exposed just prior to our departure. The sisters had an awful time making a bread that wouldn't crack prior to the official "cracking" by the brothers. One young sister, assigned to make the bread that week, mistakenly used whole wheat flour. For shame, for shame! Oh how we loved our traditions, making void the word of God. The leading sister saw it and broke it up so that it could not be used in the meeting, and then demanded that a "proper" bread be made.
It's interesting that you mention this. I have noticed that the LC has a lot of peculiarities in regards to what they think is the "proper" way to do certain things. In reality, so many LC practices are just religious traditions they've developed over the years, the same thing that they criticized other groups of.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:42 AM   #9
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It's interesting that you mention this. I have noticed that the LC has a lot of peculiarities in regards to what they think is the "proper" way to do certain things. In reality, so many LC practices are just religious traditions they've developed over the years, the same thing that they criticized other groups of.
That ... my friend ... defines religious hypocrisy ... condemning others for doing what you also do.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:26 PM   #10
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That's the big problem. The LC is so exclusive that they can't accept anything that does not originate from them as being anything significant. That is partly why I started this thread. The fact is that there are plenty of ministries that were somewhat "similar" to Nee and Lee. Do they mention these ministries? Sometimes. Do they consider them to be especially significant? Nope. These ministries are not considered as being part of "the Recovery". Even the ones that are considered as part of the "Recovery lineage" are superseded by Nee and Lee and have been rendered irrelevant to LCers.
Example Stephen Kaung. Who was a co-worker with Nee. But not accepted as part of the recovery. Our brother Steve Isitt meets with a Kaung group today.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

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In reality, so many LC practices are just religious traditions they've developed over the years, the same thing that they criticized other groups of.
I tend to see it as baggage from their previous fellowship.
For Nee, Lee, etc it was their time with the Exclusive Brethren.
For a dear family friend, it was the Mennonites.
For others Baptists
For another brother, Jehovah Witness and so on.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:22 PM   #12
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Example Stephen Kaung. Who was a co-worker with Nee. But not accepted as part of the recovery. Our brother Steve Isitt meets with a Kaung group today.
Does he still? My understanding is that many of the Kaung assemblies (which probably do not call themselves anything like that) sort of faded into obscurity when Kaung retired from active ministry recently. I know that the group a somewhat close relative in Clearwater, FL was involved with essentially disbanded.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:51 PM   #13
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Does he still? My understanding is that many of the Kaung assemblies (which probably do not call themselves anything like that) sort of faded into obscurity when Kaung retired from active ministry recently. I know that the group a somewhat close relative in Clearwater, FL was involved with essentially disbanded.
A few weeks ago Steve posted about the group that he is currently with (Seattle Christian Assembly). It sounds like there is an association with Kaung. Apparently Stephen Kaung is now 100 years old . Here is a link to the post: http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=285
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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Does he still? My understanding is that many of the Kaung assemblies (which probably do not call themselves anything like that) sort of faded into obscurity when Kaung retired from active ministry recently. I know that the group a somewhat close relative in Clearwater, FL was involved with essentially disbanded.
If the Lord permits Stephen will be a speaker at the Christian Family Conference.
http://www.christianfamilyconference.org/index.php

He resides in Richmond and is part of the Christian Testimony Ministry
http://www.christiantestimonyministry.com
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:33 AM   #15
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Tozer was fond of saying, "I refuse to allow any man to put his glasses on me and force me to see everything in his light." He literally burned the midnight oil in his quest for truth. Giving himself to the study of the great classics in religion, philosophy, literature, poetry, the church fathers and Christian mystics. His special love for poetry and the hymns of the church gave wings to his preaching and writing. A voracious reader, he would read a bit, then think and meditated on what he had read. He often said, "You should think ten times more than you read." He never read a book merely to say he had read it. Always a book was to lead him on in his quest for God. In an editorial on the subject Tozer said that the best book was the one that starts the reader on a train of thought and then bows out, its work finished.

from

http://www.awtozerclassics.com/page/page/4891821.htm

So Tozer refused to put Lee glasses on, and be forced to see everything in Lee's light. I say, good for him.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:05 AM   #16
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If the Lord permits Stephen will be a speaker at the Christian Family Conference.

He resides in Richmond and is part of the Christian Testimony Ministry
Not sure this addresses my post.

I didn't say he completely ceased all ministry. But from the standpoint of the group in Clearwater, we was essentially out of the picture. Not because they rejected him, but because he was no longer the focal point of the ministry. And their understanding was that this was somewhat common occurrence for other similar groups.

So he may be a speaker at a conference. And he may have an association with a ministry. But he is not longer truly active in a regular way. Let's admit it, he's too old to do it constantly.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:26 AM   #17
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Not sure this addresses my post.

I didn't say he completely ceased all ministry. But from the standpoint of the group in Clearwater, we was essentially out of the picture. Not because they rejected him, but because he was no longer the focal point of the ministry. And their understanding was that this was somewhat common occurrence for other similar groups.

So he may be a speaker at a conference. And he may have an association with a ministry. But he is not longer truly active in a regular way. Let's admit it, he's too old to do it constantly.
I was at a funeral just 8 months ago and spoke quite a bit with a 90 year old who met with Kaung for many years. On their desist, he started meeting with some Plymouth Bretheren and now in San Antonio, TX meeting with the bretheren. I guess that would make sense.
What I really wanted to say, does anybody know Stephen Kaung well enough to ask him about 1950 Lee? He has to know a lot and he has to know Lee was leading group of people astray. It would be hard for LSM to gainsay a brother who worked for years with Lee. I suppose if the Lord wanted a prophet Nathan in our day, He could have had one and if He didn't, we just have to say Amen. looks like the Lord didn't do much about King Solomon during his life. Our God is sovereign.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:32 AM   #18
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Tozer was fond of saying, "I refuse to allow any man to put his glasses on me and force me to see everything in his light." He literally burned the midnight oil in his quest for truth. Giving himself to the study of the great classics in religion, philosophy, literature, poetry, the church fathers and Christian mystics. His special love for poetry and the hymns of the church gave wings to his preaching and writing. A voracious reader, he would read a bit, then think and meditated on what he had read. He often said, "You should think ten times more than you read." He never read a book merely to say he had read it. Always a book was to lead him on in his quest for God. In an editorial on the subject Tozer said that the best book was the one that starts the reader on a train of thought and then bows out, its work finished.

from

http://www.awtozerclassics.com/page/page/4891821.htm

So Tozer refused to put Lee glasses on, and be forced to see everything in Lee's light. I say, good for him.
There is probably more truth to this than we even realize. The actual specifics of the Lee and Tozer encounter can only be speculated upon, but I can't escape the idea the Lee's purpose in meeting him was simply to determine his views on the local church model.

Interestingly, the narrative about the encounter does not include Tozer's response to Lee's question. The way it's worded, it almost sounds like Lee asked a rhetorical question. I'm 99.9% certain that Tozer gave Lee a response. Why isn't that response included? Probably because they had a discussion about the reasons that Lee's local church model wasn't so feasible.

Let me put it this way. There have been situations over the years where I've had to explain to outsiders why I meet with a church called "the church in X". Almost invariably, the response is that of taking up the issue of having a church with no name, rather than saying that it sound like such a great idea, or that they can't believe they never saw that in the Bible before. In other words, the doctrine that Lee though was so great was likely something that was met with much skepticism.

I believe that in the encounters that Lee had with those like Tozer and TAS, they called him out, or challenged his teaching. I think I saw something posted that Lee and TAS had such a discussion at one point. In the LC, they will say that those like TAS were "against the ground of the church". What I think would be more fair to say is that they were against Lee pushing his teaching and even making it into a divisive issue.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:45 AM   #19
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My first encounter with the “Lord’s recovery” occurred in May 1967 as a member of The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada. Oswald J. Smith, the Senior Pastor, had invited his friend Witness Lee to address the annual World Missions Conference. I remember wondering what this short, quiet man who spoke English with a Chinese accent was going to say! His message inspired me to read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee, and I soon realized that for those in North America it was perhaps describing “the abnormal Christian life.” Witness Lee’s wisdom had already begun to impact me.
As a teenager in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (C&MA), Avenue Road, Toronto, where A. W. Tozer ministered for a few years, I developed the deep conviction that Christ must be Lord of all, or He is not really Lord at all. I also developed at this time a deep love and gratitude for the great hymns of the Church, many of which providentially found their way into the hymnbook used in the local churches—indeed, thirty-nine of C&MA cofounder A. B. Simpson’s hymns (more than in the C&MA’s own book, Hymns of the Christian Life). Combined with Oswald J. Smith (who has two hymns that he penned in Hymns (LSM)) and his teaching that “no one should hear the Gospel twice until everyone has heard it once,” and that “One in twenty of our members should be engaged in full-time service,” I was a prime candidate for the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee! Like many believers who have encountered the local churches, however, I also encountered severe critics of the move of the Spirit through these devout gentlemen and was influenced to avoid further affiliations with them or their fellow followers of Christ.

http://an-open-letter.org/testimonies/#14
The above quote is the testimony of Paul Young of the CRI (and now the local churches of Witness Lee). He was associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance church as a youth. It's interesting how much of a background he actually had with Lee, having seen him back in the 60's. It does make me wonder, just how could he have engaged in objective research with the CRI on the local church?
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:19 AM   #20
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What I really wanted to say, does anybody know Stephen Kaung well enough to ask him about 1950 Lee? He has to know a lot and he has to know Lee was leading group of people astray. It would be hard for LSM to gainsay a brother who worked for years with Lee. I suppose if the Lord wanted a prophet Nathan in our day, He could have had one and if He didn't, we just have to say Amen. looks like the Lord didn't do much about King Solomon during his life. Our God is sovereign.
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I'm thinking that Lee and Kaung worked under Nee much in the same way that Benson Phillips and Titus Chu worked under Lee in different regions. With the lack of travel and communication back in the 30's and 40's in China, perhaps Lee and Kaung had little time together other than sitting in Nee's many training meetings.

When Benson, Ron, and Company quarantined Titus Chu and the GLA, many asked how could these brothers work together for 30-40 years, and then become bitter rivals? For me, the answer is simple. That exclusive program breeds rivalries, conflicts, suspicions, back-bitings, man-pleasings, politics, etc., especially among the leaders. That program also transforms beloved brothers into belligerent bullies.

For years and years under Lee's leadership, suspicions were regularly sown concerning gifted leading brothers. It was merely part and parcel of life for LC leadership. It was the absolutely by-product of MOTA methodology -- as soon as one man rises to the top, other ambitious men will want to be next. How else could the Papal lineage become so corrupt?

The mere thought of MOTAs, Popes, and Deputy Authorities in the church age of grace is absolutely contrary to the Lord's teachings in the gospels. For every ounce of good they have done, kilotons of damage have been inflicted upon the church.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:23 AM   #21
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Not sure this addresses my post.

I didn't say he completely ceased all ministry. But from the standpoint of the group in Clearwater, we was essentially out of the picture. Not because they rejected him, but because he was no longer the focal point of the ministry. And their understanding was that this was somewhat common occurrence for other similar groups.

So he may be a speaker at a conference. And he may have an association with a ministry. But he is not longer truly active in a regular way. Let's admit it, he's too old to do it constantly.
The Christian Testimony Ministry does not appear to be a focal point for anyone. There are a number of speakers in that assembly, although being quite gifted and long-living Stephen will have more ministry on the website. While they have great respect and love for our brother, I have heard a number of times by various speakers that they do not lift any man up including Stephen. Now if he was a focal point at one time I do not know. I do know that he worked with others that did not always see things ( other than the common faith) the same way.

As for his relationship with brother Lee ( to answer an inquiry in this thread ) he has spoken briefly of it in the tapes concerning "our past", specifically New York. They are available on the site
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:57 AM   #22
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The mere thought of MOTAs, Popes, and Deputy Authorities in the church age of grace is absolutely contrary to the Lord's teachings in the gospels.
Remember that this strain of exclusivism and deputy authority came to us filtered through Chinese culture. So Kaung, while unable to work with WL, wouldn't speak ill of him publicly (contrast this to the situation with TAS, an Englishman).

To give some secular context, in China today you still can lose your job if you make a public joke about Mao, even though he's been gone 40 years. Reverence for authority is deeply ingrained into the social fabric. In this cultural context, giving your all to God became giving your all to support the church, which was run by the Maximum Brother, the Deputy God. We were fooled in the west to think this was highly spiritual; in WN's terms "the normal christian church", but really it was just religious formalism. Human culture filtered through a veneer of spirituality equals religion.

And in that religious and cultural context Kaung has had nothing to gain and everything to lose by telling the truth about WL. So he's kept his quiet, as have many others. Some may see this as a kind of advanced spiritual level, and it may somewhat reflect that, but it also has a strong cultural component.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:20 PM   #23
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I decided to do a little digging to get a better understanding of what happened when Lee came to the U.S. along with his interaction with Stephen Kaung. I found an interesting article titled "The Ecclesiology of Witness Lee" written by a Norweigian scholar, Geir Lie. It is in a Norwegian journal, but the article itself is in English. It gives some of interesting insight regarding the TAS and Nee groups which were in the U.S. before the church in Lost Angeles formed. Here is the link:
http://ifphc.org/DigitalPublications...C/2007_6-1.pdf

The article indicates that Stephen Kaung arrived in the U.S. in 1952 and joined a group in New York City who were associated with the ministry of TAS. Obviously, he would have brought some “Nee influence” with him. There is also mention of a similar group on the west coast, the Westmoreland Chapel in Los Angeles. This group was associated with the ministry of TAS. Apparently, they even had a man come from Honor Oak to help lead the group. Stephen Kaung is said to have recommended the group to Chinese immigrants who arrived on the west coast.

Of course, John Ingalls and Samuel Chang were also at the Westmoreland Chapel. Samuel Chang would have been a connection to Nee (I think he arrived around 1958?). The article mentions a third group in San Francisco that had been initiated specifically by Lee, and was supposedly already meeting as the church in San Francisco as early as 1958.

What I find interesting is that in the beginnings of the local church movement in the U.S. can be traced back to Kaung, not Lee. Lee came into the picture a bit later. The article gives an interesting description of what Lee came in and did at the Westmoreland Chapel:
Quote:
During the mid 50s, when Austin-Sparks visited them, he was asked whether he had somebody in the Honor Oak fellowship who could lead them on ‘in the Lord’. He then sent them Charles John Bacon Harrison (1901-67), a former Anglican vicar. The latter left London in 1957 and found his place among Westmoreland Chapel’s leading ‘brothers’. Several Chinese families attended the assembly from 1957 to 1962 but “they never fully merged into the identity of Westmorland Chapel.” Lee left Taiwan permanently and moved to the city of Los Angeles in 1962. He also introduced himself to the church, but as he insisted that Harrison should proclaim the assembly to be ‘The Church in Los Angeles’ thereby signifying that he could not recognize the legitimacy of other Christian assemblies within the city, a schism was inevitable. Shortly thereafter several of the church members - not only the Chinese – left Westmoreland Chapel and established ‘The Church in Los Angeles’.
This description of what happened indicates that Lee came in and caused a church split by convincing those most sympathetic to Nee’s local church views that they needed to meet “on the ground”. How sad is that?

The article also indicates that the group Kaung was with was left alone by Lee until the 70’s. Here is what the article describes what happened in New York City:
Quote:
Lee and Kaung had collaborated in the Far East. Their relationship was severed around 1970, though. Although Kaung speaks approvingly of Nee’s ecclesiology (as it is expressed in the latter’s book The Normal Christian Church Life) he now considers Lee to having become too extreme and exclusive.

In contradistinction to Lee, Kaung had maintained good relations with various church fellowships, and around 1970 he moved from New York City to Washington D.C where he ministered among his fellow-believers until 1976. The tension between him and Lee was just about to surface, and in 1973 Lee had sent 16 people (led by Bill Mallon) to New York City to live there. The former ‘Austin-Sparks fellowship’ was now formally connected to Witness Lee’s network. Some of Lee’s followers relocated to Washington D.C., but the attempt to take over the church there also did not succeed. Therefore, there are now two groups there, one with connections to Kaung and another with connections to Lee. In 1976 Kaung himself moved to Richmond, Virginia. He leads Christian Fellowship Publishers which translates and publishes Watchman Nee’s books in English.
The impression I get after reading the article is that wherever Lee went or sent his workers, he caused a split or some problem. Those who were in the U.S. who followed the ministries of TAS or Nee must have been targets for him to try to promote his “ground of the church” teaching. I’m assume these groups were perfectly content before he came along. As LC history shows, Lee himself didn’t stay true to Nee’s ecclesiology. As such, those who were attempting to follow Nee’s teachings probably didn’t even see it coming. They assumed because he was a respected coworker of Nee that his teaching and example could be trusted.

I find Lee’s legacy to be tragic. When you really think about it, he thought he was “recovering” something, yet as he was out doing his thing, he was really causing problems and tension between members of various groups all for the sake of “the ground”.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:11 AM   #24
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Along those lines some additional details can be heard at
http://s3.amazonaws.com/CTM/audio/tape3133.mp3
About 35 minutes into the tape
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:12 AM   #25
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I find Lee’s legacy to be tragic. When you really think about it, he thought he was “recovering” something, yet as he was out doing his thing, he was really causing problems and tension between members of various groups all for the sake of “the ground”.
In broader context, the church can be seen as an assembly or gathering or collection of people who have pledged allegiance, or discipled themselves, to Jesus Christ. In this case, however, what is seen is a group of people who have pledged themselves to the church. With this shift in allegiance and devotion the door is now open for manipulation and abuse.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:26 PM   #26
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

This thread details what many have known already; Witness Lee had peers (Sparks, Tozer, Kaung, etc) , but he choose not to accept them as peers since they did not embrace his over-emphasis on locality.
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:17 PM   #27
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Along those lines some additional details can be heard at
http://s3.amazonaws.com/CTM/audio/tape3133.mp3
About 35 minutes into the tape
Thanks for posting the link to this recording. It really says a lot about the Lee/Kaung interaction doesn't it? It appears that Kaung was quite willing to work with Lee, even after he knew that Lee had ulterior motives.

I found the part starting about 40:15 to be particular interesting, so I took the liberty to provide a rough transcription of what he says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Kaung
While we were there meeting together [in New York], we invited Brother Lee to come visit us once a year, because we had been working together for many years. I knew him in 1933 when he first came and joined Watchman Nee. I was in college then, and he helped me a lot. After I joined with Brother Nee in 1935, we worked together in China. Afterwards, I was in the Philippines, he was in Taiwan. After I came to this country, he came. As a matter of fact, it was New York that helped to get him his permanent residency. We had been working for so many years.

Unfortunately there was some misunderstanding. There were rumors around, but the main point was, we began to have different ideas about the church.

When he [Lee] came to New York, he told me, “You have to call yourselves the church in New York”. I said “No. We cannot do that, because we are only about 200 people, and there are so many of God's people in New York. How can we claim that we are the church in New York? We have to testify for the local church, but we cannot claim ourselves as being the local church.” He said “If you don’t claim you are the church, then there is no church.”

So he tried to take over. I knew what he was doing, but we still invited him to come. I remember the last time we invited him.

I told the brothers who were with me: “If we send a letter to invite him to come, we cannot limit him as to what he can talk about. We want to respect him as a servant of the Lord.”

Even though I knew what he would be speaking, if we invited him we would invite him with an open heart. We sent a letter to him. What I know is that Brother Lee had a meeting with the brothers and sisters in Los Angeles. I was told that he showed the letter to them and asked whether or not he should come. They told him if he was invited, he should go.

He came, and he not only came himself, but he brought a number of people with him. I know he intended to take over that meeting. Thank God that at that time, the brothers were really one with me. When he came with a group of people, they started a meeting before every meeting. We allowed them to do that until the time we were scheduled to meet. Then we started our meeting. No matter what he spoke, the brothers were still in agreement with me. So that was the situation at that time.

By the way, I had a long talk with Brother Lee. I told him that there are rumors around. I told him "If you think I have something against you, tell me. If you have something against me, tell me too. We shouldn't let anything come in between us."

Well, he told me two things. I won't tell you the details. It was really a misunderstanding, so I explained to him. He finally said "Alright, there is nothing between you and me, but on the point of the church, we cannot agree." So that is the way that we departed.

In 1972, I moved to Washington D.C. During that period, he tried to work upon the brothers in New York, so he finally took over. That was the meeting in Jamaica [Queens, NY]. When this happened, I was in Washington DC. A few brothers and sisters felt uneasy about it, so they left, and we began to come together for prayer.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:16 PM   #28
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S Kaung: "In 1972, I moved to Washington D.C. And during that period, he tried to work upon the brothers in New York, through family relationships, so he finally took over New York. So that's the meeting in Jamaica. But when this happened, I was in Washington DC. A few brothers and sisters they felt uneasy about it. So they left. And they began to come together for prayer...eh... in... here. I did owe them a lot, because I didn't visit them in the beginning. I want to avoid any conflict. Because to me I feel, a building, earthly things, are nothing. .... important? ... is the presence of the Lord. So I tried to avoid any conflict with brother Lee. I wouldn't try to go to anywhere where he was. As a matter of fact he took over several places where i began. But that's alright because there's plenty of place to serve. But anyway, after several long while, I began to visit several brothers and sisters in Queens. And by the grace of God, you'll find finally it is situated right here. So this is your past history. It is not something recently happened. It has a long history."

Me: Remember the hymnal -"From the beachhead in Los Angeles, To the New York City bay, ..."

S Kaung: Why talk about history? I Corinthians chapter10, Paul talked about the history of Israel. verse11: Now all these things happened unto them as types, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.

Admonition for 2 things. for encouragement and for warning. that we may not fall into the same fall.

Kaung: I hope that we do not look at history as :'let begone be begone'. Let us learn from our past history. To follow the Lord is not an easy matter. There are lots involved. Our Lord Jesus says, unless you deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy to be my disciples. Our Lord Jesus for His love towards us, it cost him everything. It cost him his eternal glory and honor as the Son of God. He emptied himself.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:17 AM   #29
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I find Lee’s legacy to be tragic.
No one has been able to measure or keep up with the carnage that has followed in Witness Lee's wake. The numbers, if were ever managed to finally be counted, would surely surpass the numbers in his movement. Lees' bad far outweighs the sum total of any of his good.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:39 AM   #30
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Seems that at some level Lee and Kaung really did agree because Kaung didn't see how he could operate in the same city — even one that is such a size as NYC that there are high=level portions of government that are separated by borough. So at some level, Kaung did believe in the same kind of ground and oneness requirement. Just not the name.

And interesting that Lee insisted on the name.

And it would appear that they parted company over it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:46 AM   #31
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S Kaung: "In 1972, I moved to Washington D.C. And during that period, he tried to work upon the brothers in New York, through family relationships, so he finally took over New York. So that's the meeting in Jamaica. But when this happened, I was in Washington DC. A few brothers and sisters they felt uneasy about it. So they left....I wouldn't try to go to anywhere where he was. As a matter of fact he took over several places where i began. But that's alright because there's plenty of place to serve. But anyway, after several long while, I began to visit several brothers and sisters in Queens. And by the grace of God, you'll find finally it is situated right here. So this is your past history. It is not something recently happened. It has a long history."
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Remember that this strain of exclusivism and deputy authority came to us filtered through Chinese culture. So Kaung, while unable to work with WL, wouldn't speak ill of him publicly (contrast this to the situation with TAS, an Englishman).....

And in that religious and cultural context Kaung has had nothing to gain and everything to lose by telling the truth about WL. So he's kept his quiet, as have many others. Some may see this as a kind of advanced spiritual level, and it may somewhat reflect that, but it also has a strong cultural component.
I rescind my earlier comments about Kaung. I hadn't heard him say anything about his experiences, and assumed he hadn't said much if at all. It certainly seems that I was wrong, there.

But thank God there's a church in New York City, right? I mean, if there's nobody calling themselves the church in New York City then there's no building up. Absolutely nothing.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:12 AM   #32
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I rescind my earlier comments about Kaung. I hadn't heard him say anything about his experiences, and assumed he hadn't said much if at all. It certainly seems that I was wrong, there.
Maybe there but I think you are more than onto something about Chinese culture.

Brother Don Hardy speaking of a private conversation with Samuel Cheng (co-worker with Nee and Lee) provides an example (emphasis mind):
"Anyway during that time we worked HARD; and we would take "tea breaks": Soooo, Samuel Cheng took me for a walk. He loved me (...we ended up working 17 years together, “leg tied to leg,” and God very richly blessed us with at least 3 churches coming into being) Anyway S. C. was VERY burdened, and started groaning deep within, praying. Then he said: "Don, I want to share something with you for prayer, and you must keep it to yourself. Brother Lee LOVES the Lord, and is ALL-out for God and His recovery. BUT Don, he has a weakness, a big hole in his side, which we have to keep covered much in prayer: you see, his CHILDREN (7 of them) suffered very much in CHINA, and they are "always after him"; and he has a burden to HELP them as much as he can. But W. L. is very POOR right now. So he has tried to help Timothy in business, BUT .....""" Then SC did a "strange" thing: he slapped his mouth with his hand, and told me: "Oh, I SHOULD KEEP QUIET!! Forgive me Brother Don!" Just pray. Let's go back to the hymnal.""


Contact me privately for citation and reference.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:42 PM   #33
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Seems that at some level Lee and Kaung really did agree because Kaung didn't see how he could operate in the same city — even one that is such a size as NYC that there are high=level portions of government that are separated by borough. So at some level, Kaung did believe in the same kind of ground and oneness requirement. Just not the name.

And interesting that Lee insisted on the name.

And it would appear that they parted company over it.
Can also be noted Witness Lee wanted LSM as the sole publisher of Watchman Nee books and not have CFP be a publisher of Watchman Nee books.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:45 PM   #34
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Maybe there but I think you are more than onto something about Chinese culture.
Here is a quote from Steve Isitt about a former leading brother's testimony of Chinese culture pervading the hierarchical control structure. In order to survive in the LC you have to sign on to the leadership culture. The leadership culture is one of silence - don't speak other than what leadership wants to be spoken. That's why they call them "trainings". You are being conformed to the leadership's speaking.

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In 2002, Don Bowen, a former elder from 4 local churches spoke of the leadership mentality and its expectations of the conformation of other members.

Steve,

Regarding Bill's letter to W.Lee. A tragic story. What kept going through my mind was W. Lee's word of fellowship (I was there), "You brothers have never learned how to fellowship (with me)." To understand this whole mess, you have to try and understand the Chinese mentality, their cultural background, ie, the way they think. And don't tell me that we are in Christ, the new man, and culture has nothing to do with it. Well I'm afraid in reality, it has everything to do with most of the frustration you are dealing with.

I remember many times listening to Bro. Lee say never touch the Chinese mentality. I never quite understood what he meant. In secular language, the word inscrutable is used to describe the Chinese. To me this means, you can never pin them down or get them to admit error. You can never figure them out, and they seem sooo humble.

If you have following the negotiations with the US and China over the downed plane, you will get a clue about them; wanting the US to apologize for their errors. Against all truth, facts, reasonableness, logic, whatever... they want us to kowtow, bend our knee, save their face, their honor, etc. etc. It is crazy!! And yet to get our men and women back we had to say some kind of political ....We're very sorry.... to make a deal.

Now transfer all this and more to the way they dealt with Bill and others and then you will know why you will go crazy trying to bring them to some kind of accountability.

When we attended the memorial service for W. L., we were amazed at the pomp, the exaltation. It was like attending a funeral for a head of state, or an emporor, or a king, Not a humble servant of the Lord!! Did Jesus have such a regal ending? Did any of the Apostles? No, all died just like their master and Lord. When we brought this up with our children, they said it was cultural and his family's wishes.

When I was reading Bill's accusations of the way the office and Phillip handled things in the S.E., I was shocked at his frankness. I said to myself, you never, never talk to Bro. Lee like that, in that tone. I surmised that Bill was thinking that surely B. Lee was not aware of all these under handed dealings and if he only knew he would take steps to clear everything up and possibly restore his standing in the S.E. NOT SO. It doesn't work that way in the Chinese culture. The one at the top is Lord. You do not question, or criticize, never, ever!! or you are through, finished. All those elders mentioned by W.L. became a threat to his controlling and they had to be subdued or removed. I think you had a little taste of this recently with the brothers in Bellevue.

The Texas brothers learned this early on and became the inner circle around Bro. Lee to defend him and explain how things work to the rest of the elders. You mentioned Ray Graver. Have you had any dealings with Ray? Do you know him? I would consider him the hardest of all the Texas brothers to touch. He has been loyal to the death from day one. He has been loyal without question to Bro. Lee and LSM for thirty-five years. What makes you think he is going to change now? Maybe you know something I don't.

Their concept of the kingdom is.....Me King,,,,you dumb!....And this attitude is passed down the rank and file. The smallest elder acts the same way. Those who had a mind of their own have left. Those who stayed have given up their own integrity and surrendered their person to Bro. Lee and the system. This system has permeated the LC leadership...
Don Bowen wrote, "Their concept of the kingdom is ... Me King.... you dumb!" Note the idea of being dumb, here: not stupid, but silent. The culture that pervades this organization is clear, that saying anything other than what leadership is saying is independent at best, and rebellious at worst.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:00 AM   #35
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Seems that at some level Lee and Kaung really did agree because Kaung didn't see how he could operate in the same city — even one that is such a size as NYC that there are high=level portions of government that are separated by borough. So at some level, Kaung did believe in the same kind of ground and oneness requirement. Just not the name.

And interesting that Lee insisted on the name.

And it would appear that they parted company over it.
I took the liberty of going back over the NT, regarding the name. Paul doesn't seem to follow any pattern.

Romans 1:7 "To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

Where's "the church in Rome"? I don't see the name. Why make it a legal requirement, which Lee did?

1 Corinthians 1:2,3 "To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Why is it "the church of God in Corinth"? Didn't Paul get the message?

And so forth. I won't belabor the point. But it seems that the "church in 'X'" was not followed by the apostle in any formal way. Yet as OBW notes, it seems that Lee insisted on it, and was willing to part company with other laboring Christians over it.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:19 AM   #36
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Seems that at some level Lee and Kaung really did agree because Kaung didn't see how he could operate in the same city — even one that is such a size as NYC that there are high=level portions of government that are separated by borough. So at some level, Kaung did believe in the same kind of ground and oneness requirement. Just not the name.

And interesting that Lee insisted on the name.

And it would appear that they parted company over it.
I've been thinking about this. The subject of the "ground of locality" is discussed a lot here, but I haven't seen Kaung's view discussed as much. I think it's really interesting to consider the differences between Lee and Kaung. Since they are both the most prominent figures who followed in the footsteps of Nee, you get to see two alternative outcomes of Nee's teachings.

The first thing I was thinking about is what exactly would be the difference between the Lee's view of local churches and Kaung's view of local churches? They supposedly both tried to practice what Nee taught. The main difference between them was obviously the issue of the needing to "take the ground". I went and skimmed through The Normal Christian Church Life and I can see that Nee talked about one church, one city. There is also mention of the ground. Because I was born and raised in the LC, it's hard for me to look at Nee's teaching objectively and see what are the alternative interpretations to what he taught. Yet divergent interpretations is exactly what is seen with Lee and Kaung. There are two different ideas on how the idea of "local churches" should be practiced.

This is just me hypothesizing now, but I think there is a very subtle distinction between the two groups. First of all, it seems like both groups would agree that there should be one church per city. It also seems that both groups would also say that they hold to the idea of rejecting denominations and "not taking a name". Where I think the distinction lies is that those in the LC believe they have to declare themselves as being the "church in X" in order to be the "church in X". It seems Kaung was more inclined to the idea that the "church in X" already exists and there is no need for anyone to declare themselves as such.

The churches influenced by Kaung call themselves things like "Christian Assembly" or "Church Assembly". To me, those kind of names imply that they want their "name" to be held as a designation in the same way that the LCM tries to use "the church in X" as a designation. Those influenced by Kaung might say that there designation is that they are an "assembly of the church in X". That is how I tend view the difference, and I have no idea whether or not this is an accurate assessment, but that seems to me that's the primary distinction between the two groups.

One other thing I would add is that I have seen Nee's church called both the "Shanghai Assembly" and "the church in Shanghai". Obviously LSM calls it the latter, but it begs the question of which "name" did Nee actually use? I would love to know whether or not in practice Nee insisted groups declare themselves as being "the church in X".
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:19 PM   #37
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I've seen Nee's church called both the "Shanghai Assembly" and "the church in Shanghai". Obviously LSM calls it the latter, but it begs the question of which "name" did Nee actually use? I would love to know whether or not in practice Nee insisted groups declare themselves as being "the church in X".
Interesting question, indeed. Was the supposedly recovered local church of Nee up to the later, required legalistic name standard as held forth by Lee?
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:44 PM   #38
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I've been thinking about this. The subject of the "ground of locality" is discussed a lot here, but I haven't seen Kaung's view discussed as much. I think it's really interesting to consider the differences between Lee and Kaung. Since they are both the most prominent figures who followed in the footsteps of Nee, you get to see two alternative outcomes of Nee's teachings.
I tend to think Kaung and Sparks had the same vision regarding the ground Lee emphasized....the fruit results in division.

Kaung rationale, how could an assembly of 200 call themselves the Church in New York City at the exclusion of all Christians in New York City not meeting with them.
Same in the city where a live, how could an assembly of 30-40 call themselves the Church in _____ at the exclusion of all Christians in ______ who have been meeting prior to the "ground being taken in 2010"?
Unless the response is "it's just a name" coming from believers who say "we don't take a name"?
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:44 PM   #39
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I tend to think Kaung and Sparks had the same vision regarding the ground Lee emphasized....the fruit results in division.

Kaung rationale, how could an assembly of 200 call themselves the Church in New York City at the exclusion of all Christians in New York City not meeting with them.

Same in the city where a live, how could an assembly of 30-40 call themselves the Church in _____ at the exclusion of all Christians in ______ who have been meeting prior to the "ground being taken in 2010"?
Unless the response is "it's just a name" coming from believers who say "we don't take a name"?
When looking at the above statements and the ideas they represent, I had to ask, "Where, in all of this, is Jesus Christ?" I see the potential for a fixation on "getting church right" to the exclusion of the reason the church is supposed to exist. As if proper nomenclatures and allocating deputy authorities would bring the kingdom nigh?

Where is Jesus, here? He's reduced to a generic "Christ" who's "for the Body" and "for the church" and "for the work" and so forth. Even though we proclaim on Sunday morning that Christ is the all in all, a danger here is having organizational models and efforts that essentially reduce Him to a one-dimensional bit player on the scene, useful only as a referent point to validate ideas of "church" or "work" or "ministry".
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:30 PM   #40
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When looking at the above statements and the ideas they represent, I had to ask, "Where, in all of this, is Jesus Christ?" I see the potential for a fixation on "getting church right" to the exclusion of the reason the church is supposed to exist. As if proper nomenclatures and allocating deputy authorities would bring the kingdom nigh?

Where is Jesus, here? He's reduced to a generic "Christ" who's "for the Body" and "for the church" and "for the work" and so forth. Even though we proclaim on Sunday morning that Christ is the all in all, a danger here is having organizational models and efforts that essentially reduce Him to a one-dimensional bit player on the scene, useful only as a referent point to validate ideas of "church" or "work" or "ministry".
I believed all their spiritual talk about "getting church right," i.e. the recovered church, the ground of oneness, the testimony of Jesus, the one body of Christ expressed in localities, yada, yada, yada, until they started using that same talk on me and the GLA LC's. That got me thinking about what we are actually hearing from Lee and his hand-picked successors.

"Where, in all of this, is Jesus Christ?" He was gone. He's been long gone for quite some time. I could tell by the lack of joy, the lack of love, the lack of answered prayers. I could tell by all the suspicious talk, the whispered backbiting, the obvious innuendo from the pulpit, the sleeper cells in our midst which would activate upon hearing certain code words from the ministry. I could tell because we had become everything we condemned Christianity for being.

We had become "them," and now they were better off than we were. What goes around, comes around, as they say, and all those curses which we had heaped on them, were now coming home to plague us instead. We were more divided than they. We were more Christ-less than they. We had more dead objective doctrines than they. Our meetings were more predictable than theirs -- so much for the liberty of the Spirit, which we always boasted in. We had quenched the Spirit long ago, perhaps in some distant "storm," as we were made to believe.

We always were told about the work of the "enemy," coming in to damage us. The enemy would disguise himself in "ambitious" men, men who wanted to overthrow the ministry and God's New Testament Economy. Actually we created our own "enemy," fabricated like a bogey man to divert probing eyes from the truth, to create a diversionary smokescreen until a story could be made up to keep us in blinders.
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Old 05-11-2015, 04:31 PM   #41
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Kaung rationale, how could an assembly of 200 call themselves the Church in New York City at the exclusion of all Christians in New York City not meeting with them.
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This is just me hypothesizing now, but I think there is a very subtle distinction between the two groups. First of all, it seems like both groups would agree that there should be one church per city. It also seems that both groups would also say that they hold to the idea of rejecting denominations and "not taking a name". Where I think the distinction lies is that those in the LC believe they have to declare themselves as being the "church in X" in order to be the "church in X". It seems Kaung was more inclined to the idea that the "church in X" already exists and there is no need for anyone to declare themselves as such.
I think that there is something preferable in Kaung's apporach, yet there is something in there that still suggests the kind of exclusive view of the church.


Why?

Because both groups appear to conclude that they are unable to meet separately within the same city. Kaung, who saw no freedom to claim to be the church in a city with a very robust presence of Christian assemblies, could coexist with them all, but evidently not with Lee's group. It is not entirely clear whether that was strictly Lee's fault of being openly beligerent and forcefully subsuming the other group, or a position that they had such a similar understanding of the church that neither could separately meet in the same city with the other.

Of course it seems that Lee and the LCM got over that problem. They just added the following of the ministry of the age and defined the other away, even those who had been of their own group before they excommuncated them.

I do note that in the earlier days, the LCM would go to a city where a Kaung group was already meeting and begin by meeting with them. Then slowly they would insist on one thing after another until they either took over the original group, or found "ground" to ignore them and meet separately (pun intended).
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:04 PM   #42
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I think that there is something preferable in Kaung's apporach, yet there is something in there that still suggests the kind of exclusive view of the church.

Why?

Because both groups appear to conclude that they are unable to meet separately within the same city. Kaung, who saw no freedom to claim to be the church in a city with a very robust presence of Christian assemblies, could coexist with them all, but evidently not with Lee's group. It is not entirely clear whether that was strictly Lee's fault of being openly beligerent and forcefully subsuming the other group, or a position that they had such a similar understanding of the church that neither could separately meet in the same city with the other.

Of course it seems that Lee and the LCM got over that problem. They just added the following of the ministry of the age and defined the other away, even those who had been of their own group before they excommunicated them.

I do note that in the earlier days, the LCM would go to a city where a Kaung group was already meeting and begin by meeting with them. Then slowly they would insist on one thing after another until they either took over the original group, or found "ground" to ignore them and meet separately (pun intended).
What I find preferable to Kaung's approach is that he didn't go around telling people that they had to "take the ground". With Lee's approach, the "ground of oneness" immediately became grounds to divide.

Lee and Kaung were both trying to implement a church model according to their understanding of what Nee taught. I've said before that I don't think Nee was even aware of what would be the result of his local church model, and he never was around to see it. The whole idea of one church, one city was bound to create conflict sooner or later.

Kaung doesn't strike me as someone who see's himself as a "MOTA". That is probably the big difference between him and Lee. The both could be considered as "successors" to Nee, but I'm sure that Lee viewed himself as the heir apparent over Kaung. Was there any rivalry? I don't know.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:05 PM   #43
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Lee and Kaung were both trying to implement a church model according to their understanding of what Lee taught.
Did you mean "Nee?"
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:07 PM   #44
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Did you mean "Nee?"
Yes I did.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:15 PM   #45
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According to brother Kaung's statements, he was trying to avoid further conflict with brother Lee. Obviously there was personal disagreement and some type of "misunderstanding" between the two. Now a person may speculate as to what this misunderstanding might have been but this appears to be something personal. I seriously doubt that it had anything to do with there being two assemblies or churches in the same city. I believe that brother Kaung would have said so. After listening to brother Kaungs tapes and videos for several years I have never heard him speak concerning the doctrine of locality. Brother Kaung's burden is about presenting ourselves a living sacrifice to God; The eternal purpose of God which is centered in Christ Jesus; The heading up of all things in Christ; the manifestation of the sons of God, and especially to encourage us to be a people who love His appearing and love Him with incorruptible love.

This thread was taken on a "it would seem" ride and everyone else followed along not even being aware that there was no evidence presented for some of the unreasonable and far reaching assumptions that were presented here
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:49 AM   #46
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According to brother Kaung's statements, he was trying to avoid further conflict with brother Lee. Obviously there was personal disagreement and some type of "misunderstanding" between the two. Now a person may speculate as to what this misunderstanding might have been but this appears to be something personal. I seriously doubt that it had anything to do with there being two assemblies or churches in the same city. I believe that brother Kaung would have said so. After listening to brother Kaungs tapes and videos for several years I have never heard him speak concerning the doctrine of locality. Brother Kaung's burden is about presenting ourselves a living sacrifice to God; The eternal purpose of God which is centered in Christ Jesus; The heading up of all things in Christ; the manifestation of the sons of God, and especially to encourage us to be a people who love His appearing and love Him with incorruptible love.
Then Neither Lee nor Kaung were strict followers of Nee. (Not saying that being more true to Nee is a good thing.)Nee was clearly of the mind that their assembly was unique within a city. He made a really big deal about one church per city. Lee added a ritual of taking the ground, while Kaung seems to have at least softened on the position. Maybe even to the extent that he saw the reality of the church in the many assemblies in a city.

But being a follower of Nee is still problematic, just not in as extreme a way as being a follower of Lee. I'll leave it at that for now.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:15 AM   #47
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Then Neither Lee nor Kaung were strict followers of Nee. (Not saying that being more true to Nee is a good thing.)Nee was clearly of the mind that their assembly was unique within a city. He made a really big deal about one church per city. Lee added a ritual of taking the ground, while Kaung seems to have at least softened on the position. Maybe even to the extent that he saw the reality of the church in the many assemblies in a city.

But being a follower of Nee is still problematic, just not in as extreme a way as being a follower of Lee. I'll leave it at that for now.
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of [Nee]; and another, I am of [Lee]; are ye not carnal?
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:59 PM   #48
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1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of [Nee]; and another, I am of [Lee]; are ye not carnal?
Kaung is obviously a follower of Nee. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. I would say the same goes for Lee, following Nee was not necessarily a problem in and of itself. It became a problem for Lee, however, because he elevated Nee to a whole new level. Lee called Nee a “Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age”. I also suspect that Lee elevated Nee in order to gain legitimacy for his own ministry. Nee was thus established as the initial MOTA who was to be succeeded by none other than Lee.

I’m not aware of any attempt that Kaung has made to elevate Nee to that same level. Kaung’s publishing house is the main publisher of Nee books besides LSM, so it can be said that Kaung holds Nee in high esteem. Perhaps what he is most guilty of is following Nee too closely. I’m sure Nee’s ministry has been helpful to many, but there are also a number of issues in his ministry worthy of critique.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:44 PM   #49
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Kaung is obviously a follower of Nee. Is that a problem? Not necessarily.
It depends on what is meant by "follower." If you like some of the teachings of a particular teacher then that makes you a follower of him or her in a way. If that's all that is meant by it then that's fine--and that is the way most people in America at least would mean it.

But in Nee/Lee legacy land, being a "follower" means that the teacher is your major, if not only, influence. This is problematic because in this day and age there are so many good teachers and so much information available at our fingertips that majoring in any one teacher is really relic of the day when information was not so available.

These days, majoring in one ministry is a sure sign of intellectual laziness. It's a kind of wishful thinking, wanting to believe that one person has somehow cornered the market on God's revelation, which implies we no longer have to work, because Super Brother has figured most of it out for us. There might have been a day when finding alternatives to Super Brother was so difficult that resting in the assurance that he had most of it figured out was a reasonable comfort. But that day has passed.

I "follow" many teachers. I could name them but it doesn't matter who they are. Rest assured there are a lot of them. If Kaung is still, after all these years, majoring in what he learned from Nee then I'm disappointed in him. It shows he hasn't been growing much after all.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:08 PM   #50
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If Kaung is still, after all these years, majoring in what he learned from Nee then I'm disappointed in him. It shows he hasn't been growing much after all.
I have not heard the admission, but Kaung's action seems to indicate he was influenced both by Nee and by Sparks. Just his aversion from the one city one church teaching indicates not following Nee exclusively. Perhaps Kaung saw as Sparks saw the fruit of ground of locality is division.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:13 PM   #51
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It depends on what is meant by "follower." If you like some of the teachings of a particular teacher then that makes you a follower of him or her in a way. If that's all that is meant by it then that's fine--and that is the way most people in America at least would mean it.
It's one thing to receive multiple ministers/ministries and another to follow one exclusively.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:52 AM   #52
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It's one thing to receive multiple ministers/ministries and another to follow one exclusively.
Your post helped me to realize that i was somewhat preserved in the LC by having multiple ministers --Nee, Lee, Chu, and, for a while, Comfort. Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:04 AM   #53
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Your post helped me to realize that i was somewhat preserved in the LC by having multiple ministers Nee, Lee, Chu, and, for a while, Comfort. Thanks!
Well, at least you can find Comfort in the fact that they were not all in perfect lock-step with each other.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:23 PM   #54
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It depends on what is meant by "follower." If you like some of the teachings of a particular teacher then that makes you a follower of him or her in a way. If that's all that is meant by it then that's fine--and that is the way most people in America at least would mean it.

But in Nee/Lee legacy land, being a "follower" means that the teacher is your major, if not only, influence. This is problematic because in this day and age there are so many good teachers and so much information available at our fingertips that majoring in any one teacher is really relic of the day when information was not so available.

These days, majoring in one ministry is a sure sign of intellectual laziness. It's a kind of wishful thinking, wanting to believe that one person has somehow cornered the market on God's revelation, which implies we no longer have to work, because Super Brother has figured most of it out for us. There might have been a day when finding alternatives to Super Brother was so difficult that resting in the assurance that he had most of it figured out was a reasonable comfort. But that day has passed.

I "follow" many teachers. I could name them but it doesn't matter who they are. Rest assured there are a lot of them. If Kaung is still, after all these years, majoring in what he learned from Nee then I'm disappointed in him. It shows he hasn't been growing much after all.
I will go out on a limb here and say that I think the notion that Christians will reference a wide variety of ministries is a bit idealistic. It seems that most non-LC Christians I know are inclined to reference specific ministries that address certain needs, such as family or marital needs. Sometimes it might be to address topics like prayer or finances. In other words, I'm not all that convinced that there are really many people out there who are referencing many ministries for the sake of being "well-rounded".

As I understand it, in the early LC days, saints were allowed to reference other ministries, but it still seems like it was limited to a particular set of ministries that would be considered as part of the Nee/Lee lineage. Because of my background in the LC, I see referencing even a particular set of ministries as being a better alternative to just a single ministry. Some might say that's not going far enough. Maybe not, but I ask: are people out there really following a vast array of ministries for the sake of "proving" that they're not too narrow in following ministries?

I think it's fair to say that most Christian leaders are primarily concerned with whether or not their congregants are reading the Bible on a regular basis. Just doing that alone can be a struggle for many people, so I would consider referencing different ministries as being "extra-curricular". Obviously there is no pressing need to reference or follow any ministries at all, but my point is that with those who do make a point to consult different ministries, it is probably less broad that what would be considered as ideal.

To summarize, I'm more inclined to take the position that following relatively few ministries isn't a big problem if it results in something positive. It's a big problem when it results in a cult of personality. With those who have come out of the LC, the issue of following ministries probably something more of concern than your average Christian. To Christians who have never been obligated to follow a single ministry, I don't think the whole issue of follow ministries is given a second thought. People will follow what ministries they find helpful.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:34 PM   #55
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I think it's fair to say that most Christian leaders are primarily concerned with whether or not their congregants are reading the Bible on a regular basis.
In a prior fellowship, a question an elder or responsible brother may ask, what are you reading in the ministry?
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:58 PM   #56
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Your post helped me to realize that i was somewhat preserved in the LC by having multiple ministers Nee, Lee, Chu, and, for a while, Comfort. Thanks!
And I admit that I cheated. I was always trying to keep up with reading all the other authors mentioned by Nee and Lee. I figured if they were remarkable enough to be mentioned by the illustrious Nee and Lee they had to be important.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why I managed to spot that what I was in was a Christian version of a cult. All those other theologians managed to perchance shape some independent individual thinking in my mind. So I got out of my mind and into my spirit -- as advised, and chided, a million times if once -- but because I was entertaining other Christian thinkers -- than Nee and Lee -- individual thinking stuck to my ribs, so to speak.

And Individual thinking just won't work in any cult.

That's one reason I think those like Tozer are so badly needed, if for no other reason than to instill individual independent thinking in the believer/reader.

Turns out that, "Brother, get out of your mind and into your spirit" is, cult speak. It turns the followers into zombies, looking for a leader to point their arms out to, and to call out to, with dazed blank eye sockets.

Think and be free ... "you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." Some great remarkable thinker said that, possibly, I like to think. But true nonetheless, either way. Whoever said it must have hit the taproot of truth.
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:33 PM   #57
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Well, at least you can find Comfort in the fact that they were not all in perfect lock-step with each other.
You are so right! Comfort was never in perfect lock-step with Lee or Chu.

That's why brother Phil was effectively dumped.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:56 PM   #58
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And I admit that I cheated. I was always trying to keep up with reading all the other authors mentioned by Nee and Lee. I figured if they were remarkable enough to be mentioned by the illustrious Nee and Lee they had to be important.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why I managed to spot that what I was in was a Christian version of a cult. All those other theologians managed to perchance shape some independent individual thinking in my mind. So I got out of my mind and into my spirit -- as advised, and chided, a million times if once -- but because I was entertaining other Christian thinkers -- than Nee and Lee -- individual thinking stuck to my ribs, so to speak.

And Individual thinking just won't work in any cult.

That's one reason I think those like Tozer are so badly needed, if for no other reason than to instill individual independent thinking in the believer/reader.

Turns out that, "Brother, get out of your mind and into your spirit" is, cult speak. It turns the followers into zombies, looking for a leader to point their arms out to, and to call out to, with dazed blank eye sockets.

Think and be free ... "you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." Some great remarkable thinker said that, possibly, I like to think. But true nonetheless, either way. Whoever said it must have hit the taproot of truth.
You cheated huh? Does Ron know about this?

Actually, when I was growing up, all the older brothers in the LC that I looked up to had collections of non-LSM titles. Thus, it never occurred to me that the LC was exclusive in regards to what ministries were accepted.

Over time, I realized that the present LCM was not the LCM of the past. The attitude had become that WL "unlocked" the whole Bible and thus there was no need to waste time with the various ministries that even he himself referenced.

I think your post brings up a good point, ministries should lead people to think independently as individuals. Groupthink ministries like Lee's ministry are the complete opposite of that. Everyone was happy to soak in what he said without thinking twice, without ever objecting.

Really the point of any ministry should not be to produce followers. The purposes of a ministry as I see it is 1) To help people understand the Bible better, also bringing to light Biblical issues that need consideration, and 2) to help people in their Christian walk. If a ministry helps someone in that way, it is worth following. A ministry is just a means to an end, not an end in itself.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:59 PM   #59
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You cheated huh? Does Ron know about this?
I think RK and maybe EM "cheat" quite often and probably have read many authors that they would not recommend to the rank and file members. Our sovereign God decided to speak to humanity through His Son and the bible. The speaking of any other man or woman must be evaluated using the Son's speaking and the bible's speaking. The blendeds say the bible needs an opener...they are right, it's the Spirit not WL that is needed. The Spirit is the opener not the writings of WL.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:46 AM   #60
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I think RK and maybe EM "cheat" quite often and probably have read many authors that they would not recommend to the rank and file members. Our sovereign God decided to speak to humanity through His Son and the bible. The speaking of any other man or woman must be evaluated using the Son's speaking and the bible's speaking. The blendeds say the bible needs an opener...they are right, it's the Spirit not WL that is needed. The Spirit is the opener not the writings of WL.
They "cheat" all the time. I'm sure their purpose is mainly to legitimatize Lee's ministry through the use of external writings. Even then, I highly doubt that they are ignorant to what other ministries are out there.

The problem is that the standard by which they operate is different from the standard that the rank and file members are held to. I can guarantee had I at any point mentioned a non-LSM book or ministry, it would have been met with skepticism and probably made for an uncomfortable conversation.

The fact of the matter is, only the BB's are seen as having the "discernment" to read non-LSM titles. You can't have just anyone reading non-LSM books. They might get "confused" or dare I mention "poisoned". Of course, the real issue is that non-LSM ministries have the ability to lead people to independent thinking or critical thinking. That to them is a dangerous prospect.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:38 AM   #61
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You cheated huh? Does Ron know about this?

Actually, when I was growing up, all the older brothers in the LC that I looked up to had collections of non-LSM titles. Thus, it never occurred to me that the LC was exclusive in regards to what ministries were accepted.

Over time, I realized that the present LCM was not the LCM of the past. The attitude had become that WL "unlocked" the whole Bible and thus there was no need to waste time with the various ministries that even he himself referenced.

I think your post brings up a good point, ministries should lead people to think independently as individuals. Groupthink ministries like Lee's ministry are the complete opposite of that. Everyone was happy to soak in what he said without thinking twice, without ever objecting.

Really the point of any ministry should not be to produce followers. The purposes of a ministry as I see it is 1) To help people understand the Bible better, also bringing to light Biblical issues that need consideration, and 2) to help people in their Christian walk. If a ministry helps someone in that way, it is worth following. A ministry is just a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Well put bro Freedom (really like your moniker).

Now you know why I don't trust mega-church leaders, and those gurus coming from India. They look to me to be highly motivated to make dependent followers.

When ... real teachers of God are always working themselves out of work ; by teaching followers to become followers of God ... not themselves.

You speak of the early days of the LCM (LSM ; LC-S-M, or maybe LCSM, better yet LSCM), in the early days -- my days -- it was Stream Publishers -- don't think for a moment that gives me a leg up on ya ... just more years ... and they're both just Lee publishing houses).

One of my best friends, known on these LC forums as the iconoclastic Hosepipe, was in the early days of the infamous Elden Hall (with our dear member Elden1971). I say infamous because Witness Lee didn't like it.

According to Hosepipe Lee killed Elden because it was being moved by the Spirit to the point that it wasn't any longer under Lees' control. (Elden1971 is not sure about that ... says Lee wasn't much around at Elden).

I said individual thinking doesn't work in any cult. That also goes for being a true follower of the Spirit. Lee wasn't going to stand for either. Except for maybe Nee, Lee has a long history of disdain for the independent types ... of either type ; individual thinkers, or, independent followers of the Spirit.

And Tozer was just one of 'em ; he had a mind AND the Spirit ... it so appears. Either way Lee wasn't going to stand for it. Tozer wouldn't become his follower. God was with Lee, not Tozer. God couldn't work thru two at the same time. That would be chaos. If ya want to go with God, ya gotta go with Lee. Or that's the way it turned out in the LSCM.
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:42 PM   #62
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Now you know why I don't trust mega-church leaders, and those gurus coming from India. They look to me to be highly motivated to make dependent followers.

When ... real teachers of God are always working themselves out of work ; by teaching followers to become followers of God ... not themselves.
Really any teacher or leader is in danger of producing followers, and they don't have to even try. People are bound to follow those who they find to be helpful.

Like I mentioned before, I don't think that the following of a leader immediately creates a problem, it just increases the likelihood of there being a problem down the road.

I agree regarding some mega-churches. There are plenty of groups out there who are "leader-centric". It's not a problem limited to the LC, but for everyone who has come out of the LC, following a leader is probably a much bigger concern than to the average person.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:56 PM   #63
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Really any teacher or leader is in danger of producing followers, and they don't have to even try. People are bound to follow those who they find to be helpful.
That is so true. And some helpers are enablers for the codependent types.

I discovered this at a local Church of Christ (Campbellites), in Sunday School class. When I pointed out Peter was naked a sister freaked out and said that couldn't be true. And when the preacher who was leading the class confirmed what I said she freaked out even more and said, "Why would they put that in the Bible?" Then she continued to work the matter up into a lather with other sisters, after the class. A sort jibber-jabbering, like a bee hive, was traveling at the speed of memes, passed to other sisters, before the worship service. Like naked Peter was just discover, in the Bible, no less.

So I got a call after church services by the pastor telling me that I was trying to feed meat to milk drinkers (I'm thinking, 'naked Peter is meat' but didn't say anything). These milk drinkers have grown children, and gray hair. How long are they going to remain milk drinkers?

Sadly, even in this little local church, dependency is being enabled. And both the dependents and the enablers are to be blamed. There's a comfort zone found in the two-sides-of-the-same-coin dynamic.

But I have no room to speak, and shouldn't judge. If honest I have to admit that, I once was a co-dependent on Witness Lee. Shame shame on me ... that I found a comfort in that. If I can depend on Lee then I'm off the hook.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:39 AM   #64
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Really any teacher or leader is in danger of producing followers, and they don't have to even try. People are bound to follow those who they find to be helpful.

Like I mentioned before, I don't think that the following of a leader immediately creates a problem, it just increases the likelihood of there being a problem down the road.
The Head has given to the body both leaders and supporters (followers.) When all are connected to the Head, it is wonderfully fruitful and beneficial, giving glory to the Father. Many congregations begin this way, but unfortunately the leaders begin to build monuments to themselves and the supporters stick around way too long, bribing their conscience that they are being "fed" by their pastor. I think every church needs a plaque prominently displayed, that leaders shall not "rule like the Gentiles."
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:04 AM   #65
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Sadly, even in this little local church, dependency is being enabled. And both the dependents and the enablers are to be blamed. There's a comfort zone found in the two-sides-of-the-same-coin dynamic.

But I have no room to speak, and shouldn't judge. If honest I have to admit that, I once was a co-dependent on Witness Lee. Shame shame on me ... that I found a comfort in that. If I can depend on Lee then I'm off the hook.
Dependency is an interesting issue. People want leaders. Just look at how uncomfortable people get in situations where there is no one to take charge.

Actually there was an article I saw about a week ago containing something that none other than Stephen Kaung spoke to a group of people who had come out of a cult. What he says is interesting and it ties into the dependency issue. Also notice how quickly parallels can be drawn from what is said to the legacy of Lee that Kaung would have been well aware of. I will just post part of it, the rest is at the link:

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So, when one person became the authority; and I think it begins, it began about 20 years ago, is that it? Roughly, that was the time that a lot of these began, it is a kind of reaction. In the beginning it was a time when all these young people wanted to be free and then out of that comes the young people who wanted to go in the opposite direction and wanted to find authority. It is around that time. First of all you find this Jesus movement and things like that, and subculture began to develop and people just wanted to be free with no authority, no organization, nothing, throw away everything, but then a reaction came in and as a result, out of that you find the different groups, for instance, like The Children of God, is one of them.

And it began as a person who took authority and young people just reversed their feeling because they are looking for an authority and somebody came and became that authority. The result is the people who are in that group begin to loose their individuality.They cannot make any decisions because they are not supposed to and they don’t want to, because if someone can make the decision for you, it takes all the responsibility away from you and that is easy. And the result is, you find that it began to aggravate.
http://www.freefromthegrip.com/s%20kaung.html
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:45 PM   #66
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Dependency is an interesting issue. People want leaders. Just look at how uncomfortable people get in situations where there is no one to take charge.

Actually there was an article I saw about a week ago containing something that none other than Stephen Kaung spoke to a group of people who had come out of a cult. What he says is interesting and it ties into the dependency issue. Also notice how quickly parallels can be drawn from what is said to the legacy of Lee that Kaung would have been well aware of. I will just post part of it, the rest is at the link:
Stephen Kaung:
"And I think the deliverance begins with first not trying to be spiritual, but try to be human."
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:12 PM   #67
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Now, somebody took authority and then the others began to submit to the authority and really desired for that authority and that authority became more authoritative, until finally you find that if any person, no matter how spiritual he is, if he should take the place of Christ, sooner or later wrong teaching will come out. You know, it can’t be avoided.

He will teach something that is extra-spiritual or scriptural and the result you find is: instead of real spiritual, it is a kind of pseudo-spiritual. He tried to maintain a form of spirituality: ‘Now, if you do certain things then you are spiritual.’ You strive for spirituality and yet it is a kind of pseudo-spirituality in two ways: one is, you become more and more legalistic; it is bound to be that way. You become more and more legalistic, you do certain things and you are “alright”.

The other is, you become less and less human, you cannot be a normal person any more. They take the abnormal, abnormal as spiritual, so if any one tries to be normal, you will be considered as “not spiritual”. That kind of feeling will be created. It is inevitable. Every cult or semi-cult are all that way and furthermore you will find that the teaching invariably will be: “This is the Lord’s best, the only place, if you leave it you’re finished” and that kind of thing is brainwashing.

After you have been brainwashed for a few years, whenever you leave that group, you are spiritually wrecked. I have met people completely wrecked. That guilty feeling is always there, because they fell, they have left God’s will, and now they are finished. I’ve met people like that, who began to see some things wrong and they come out of it and yet the effect upon them is so strong, they’ve never been able to shake it off and they are a misfit everywhere. They cannot fit in anywhere else, they just become a misfit. It’s very sad, it’s very, very sad. Some people came out and saw what is wrong and yet when you talk to them you can see that they are still bound. It’s very difficult.


You have to realize Stephen Kaung is speaking to Church of Bible Understanding. If you thought he was speaking about the local churches, if the shoe fits....
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:45 PM   #68
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Stephen Kaung:
"And I think the deliverance begins with first not trying to be spiritual, but try to be human."
Those are wise words. Hopefully those under Kaung live by those words. Given that Nee thought he was some spiritual guru, I think the whole idea of spirituality is dangerous for anyone following in Nee's footsteps. Just skim The Latent Power of the Soul. Nee certainly had some bizarre ideas.

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You have to realize Stephen Kaung is speaking to Church of Bible Understanding. If you thought he was speaking about the local churches, if the shoe fits....
The shoe fits, at least I think so. Lee surrounded himself with those who were generally much younger than he. So everyone naturally looked up to him, as their leader.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:32 AM   #69
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Those are wise words. Hopefully those under Kaung live by those words. Given that Nee thought he was some spiritual guru, I think the whole idea of spirituality is dangerous for anyone following in Nee's footsteps. Just skim The Latent Power of the Soul. Nee certainly had some bizarre ideas.
Kaung knew both sides of Nee, the spiritual side, or ministry side, and the randy side of Nee (Dr. Lily Hsu).

Nee knew the latent power of the soul because he used it.

Lee knew it too ... obviously.

And because spirituality operates in the unknown realm it is very dangerous. It can reek havoc on your life. I've seen it.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:52 PM   #70
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Kaung knew both sides of Nee, the spiritual side, or ministry side, and the randy side of Nee (Dr. Lily Hsu).

Nee knew the latent power of the soul because he used it.

Lee knew it too ... obviously.

And because spirituality operates in the unknown realm it is very dangerous. It can reek havoc on your life. I've seen it.
You've got that right. I've seen it happen too. More than once, I've seen LCers get into this mindset of trying to act to "spiritual" only to suffer some kind of breakdown, or realize that they don't know what they're getting into. When someone thinks they are especially "spiritual", they will inevitably start thinking they are invincible the unknown. And even the Bible warns against the dangers of pretension.

Acts 19:13-16
13 When some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:43 PM   #71
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You've got that right. I've seen it happen too. More than once, I've seen LCers get into this mindset of trying to act to "spiritual" only to suffer some kind of breakdown, or realize that they don't know what they're getting into. When someone thinks they are especially "spiritual", they will inevitably start thinking they are invincible the unknown. And even the Bible warns against the dangers of pretension.
Pretension, that's acting spiritually. Really acting spiritual is just creating a mask for their soul.
In the local churches, so much emphasis on "being an overcomer" that brothers and sisters feel inadequate, at least I have for having an inability to remain in your spirit 24/7.
Having lived in a brothers house I have seen the "gnashing of teeth" from my brothers when they or others have just dedicated several hours of our evening watching a Mariners game.
In the meetings, the facade of being spiritual, is proclaiming a phrase in a loud voice. The fallen concept is if you're not being heard, you're not in spirit.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:04 PM   #72
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The shoe fits, at least I think so. Lee surrounded himself with those who were generally much younger than he. So everyone naturally looked up to him, as their leader.
Interesting.

No one ever considered Nee, Lee, or Chu as a brother, a friend, or a companion. They must be your "spiritual father," or nothing. Then, when it comes to their failures and unrighteousness, one can always say, "the problems of my spiritual father are none of my business."

So convenient.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:07 PM   #73
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Having lived in a brothers house I have seen the "gnashing of teeth" from my brothers when they or others have just dedicated several hours of our evening watching a Mariners game.
Watching baseball on TV will do that to you.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #74
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Watching baseball on TV will do that to you.
Especially a Mariner's game.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:56 PM   #75
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:09 PM   #76
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I see nothing inherently wrong with spirituality or spiritual people. The problem as it relates to the LC is that they attempt to define what it means to be spiritual or the way in which someone should be spiritual.

When people become too spiritual, they say that the age of "spiritual giants" is over, and conversely when people are deemed to not be spiritual enough, they have to put on an act of pretense.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:06 PM   #77
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The following is an excerpt from Herald Hsu's testimony and it includes a poem that Watchman Nee is said to have written:

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He especially got the “local church” (one locality, one church) teaching or method from the Exclusive Brethren in London, while he was with them in 1933. After that time, he practiced or carried on this method in China. Witness Lee was the strongest exponent of this teaching in the Far East, and later in the USA and elsewhere! Unfortunately, this teaching leads the people of God into legalism and exclusiveness. Legalism and exclusiveness are deadly to life in Christ! “As of things that are made” - Heb 12:27 refers to this kind of man-made legalism and exclusiveness. Please read TAS’s book "According to Christ". Based on what he wrote, I think that Watchman Nee changed his position on this Locality teaching after 1951-1952. For example in a poem he wrote:
"He (not Locality) is most dear to me, The loveliest of all;
One whom my soul does seek, One whom I ever call.
He (not Locality) is my aid, in need, My help, in helpless hours;
Most precious at all times, Most faithful at all hours.
He (not Locality) is my endless joy, Changeless as years go by;
He (not Locality) is most dear to me, No greater love have I."
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:14 AM   #78
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I see nothing inherently wrong with spirituality or spiritual people. The problem as it relates to the LC is that they attempt to define what it means to be spiritual or the way in which someone should be spiritual.

When people become too spiritual, they say that the age of "spiritual giants" is over, and conversely when people are deemed to not be spiritual enough, they have to put on an act of pretense.
Lee used this phrase at the end of his life firstly to imply that he was the last, great "spiritual giant," the so-called consummation of the lineage of MOTA's beginning with Martin Luther, and secondly because his hand-picked blended scrubs couldn't lead a minor league team to a winning season, and he dared not let someone like Titus Chu come in and "clean house."
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:27 AM   #79
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The following is an excerpt from Herald Hsu's testimony and it includes a poem that Watchman Nee is said to have written:
Can someone give me a reference to the exclusive brethern's writing or speaking on the ground of locality? If it's on the board already I apologize for not spending more time to find it.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:10 AM   #80
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Can someone give me a reference to the exclusive brethern's writing or speaking on the ground of locality? If it's on the board already I apologize for not spending more time to find it.
Not sure if I have ever found that. Stem Publishing is a major source for exclusive Brethren writings.

One of Darby's earliest writings with a pamphlet called "Separation From Evil: God's Principle of Unity." In that title you can see exclusivism and judgmentalism in its earliest stages. Darby did not consider the positive things of the Spirit (Eph 4) as our uniting bonds, but the common agreement of judging evil. Eventually it was Darby alone and his successors who defined what evil was for all the assemblies. Think about how powerful that is!
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #81
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Not sure if I have ever found that. Stem Publishing is a major source for exclusive Brethren writings.

One of Darby's earliest writings with a pamphlet called "Separation From Evil: God's Principle of Unity." In that title you can see exclusivism and judgmentalism in its earliest stages. Darby did not consider the positive things of the Spirit (Eph 4) as our uniting bonds, but the common agreement of judging evil. Eventually it was Darby alone and his successors who defined what evil was for all the assemblies. Think about how powerful that is!
The following is a short excerpt from Watchman Nee's book Love One Another. He certainly took after the views of the exclusive brethren:
Quote:
Let us therefore see that oneness is not condoning sin but, rather, condemning sin. We are told by people today that in order to be one we have to bear with sin, for if we all learn to bear, then we will be one. Indeed, in the national churches a great number of things are not of God. If a person’s conscience is touched by the Holy Spirit and he begins to be aware and reject certain sins, then he will be labeled by those who do not reject such sin as divisive. As a matter of fact, the real problem is not with him—for he sees—but with those who do not see.

If God’s children were all to judge sin, they would be united as one. The oneness of God’s children is not something carnal, but spiritual; it is a oneness with the Lord. If we do not judge sin, we may become one, but we are not one with the Lord.
pgs 103-104
http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/LoveOneAnother.pdf
It becomes quickly apparent that Nee taught something exclusive. Romans 14 and 15 talk about about receiving and not judging. It made me consider these verses in light of what Nee said:
Rom 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
Rom 15:7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

Obviously some of Nee's views were extensions of the teachings of the exclusive brethren. To what extent I don't know, as I am no expert. I would speculate that after his excommunication from the exclusive brethren, he sought to create a similar group. It wouldn't surprise me if there were many parallels.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:45 PM   #82
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Obviously some of Nee's views were extensions of the teachings of the exclusive brethren. To what extent I don't know, as I am no expert. I would speculate that after his excommunication from the exclusive brethren, he sought to create a similar group. It wouldn't surprise me if there were many parallels.
Also consider before meeting Nee, Lee also met with the exclusive brethren (aka Plymouth Brethren).
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:51 PM   #83
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The following is a short excerpt from Watchman Nee's book Love One Another. He certainly took after the views of the exclusive brethren:

It becomes quickly apparent that Nee taught something exclusive. Romans 14 and 15 talk about about receiving and not judging. It made me consider these verses in light of what Nee said:
Rom 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
Rom 15:7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

Obviously some of Nee's views were extensions of the teachings of the exclusive brethren. To what extent I don't know, as I am no expert. I would speculate that after his excommunication from the exclusive brethren, he sought to create a similar group. It wouldn't surprise me if there were many parallels.
It is so funny that the kind of judgement of sin that Darby and Nee were talking about is so contrary to the whole idea of loving the brothers and loving neighbor as self. Yes, there is a level of judgement of sin that must go on within the church, but it is not at the kind of granular level that these guys want it to be. Seems that reasons for disassociation were few enough that we only really hear about one case in all of the NT. But I'm sure that Darby's legacy, along with Nee, Lee, and now the BBs would go hard against most of the Christians in the world. They are not in lock-step, blowing the trumpet of their current leader so must be rejected.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:59 PM   #84
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The following is an excerpt from Herald Hsu's testimony and it includes a poem that Watchman Nee is said to have written:
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It is so funny that the kind of judgement of sin that Darby and Nee were talking about is so contrary to the whole idea of loving the brothers and loving neighbor as self. Yes, there is a level of judgement of sin that must go on within the church, but it is not at the kind of granular level that these guys want it to be. Seems that reasons for disassociation were few enough that we only really hear about one case in all of the NT. But I'm sure that Darby's legacy, along with Nee, Lee, and now the BBs would go hard against most of the Christians in the world. They are not in lock-step, blowing the trumpet of their current leader so must be rejected.
Thanks everyone. Does anyone know if Nigel has written on the doctrine of the ground of locality?
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:42 PM   #85
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Thanks everyone. Does anyone know if Nigel has written on the doctrine of the ground of locality?
LSM's Sacrament - the "Ground of the Local Church"
Nigel Tomes
April 2013


http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=4066

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Old 06-01-2015, 03:19 PM   #86
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It is so funny that the kind of judgement of sin that Darby and Nee were talking about is so contrary to the whole idea of loving the brothers and loving neighbor as self. Yes, there is a level of judgement of sin that must go on within the church, but it is not at the kind of granular level that these guys want it to be. Seems that reasons for disassociation were few enough that we only really hear about one case in all of the NT. But I'm sure that Darby's legacy, along with Nee, Lee, and now the BBs would go hard against most of the Christians in the world. They are not in lock-step, blowing the trumpet of their current leader so must be rejected.
Very well put. It is interesting how some of Nee's teachings can be traced back to the Exclusive Brethren, not that I didn't already know that, but it helps to bring some understanding to why the LCM holds onto certain practices. I was reading the wiki page on the Exclusive Brethren, and one of their practices is for all associated churches to adhere to the excommunication of a brother from a particular church. Sound familiar? Some of the parallels are quite striking.

I agree, this whole business of judging sin in order to achieve oneness is something where they have gone way out of bounds. If there is sin that needs judging (such as what's mentioned in 1 Cor 5), then, yes there is basis to judge. Like you said, they tend to judge things at a granular level, and not just sin, but also anything that they perceive to be worthy of judging (which they might also label as sin). Things like "division", denominations, failing to adhere to their locality doctrine, publishing books, having your own ministry, "rebelliousness", etc, etc, etc. I could make a big list of the kinds of things they judge. To go with the theme of this thread, Lee used the judging of the perceived division in different groups to justify division to form his own group. It was all hypocrisy.

LCM history indicates how adherence to the ground of locality was often a means by which Lee judged others (Nee too?). It leads to the mindset of "that group doesn't adhere to our doctrine, so they are in division and should not be tolerated." Employing the locality doctrine was a form of judging of others, and it did not result in oneness. Nee's poem "He (not locality)", seems to indicate that maybe Nee had begun to see the err of his ways, or at least that it didn't produce the intended result. It's hard to say for sure.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #87
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It is so funny that the kind of judgement of sin that Darby and Nee were talking about is so contrary to the whole idea of loving the brothers and loving neighbor as self. Yes, there is a level of judgement of sin that must go on within the church, but it is not at the kind of granular level that these guys want it to be. Seems that reasons for disassociation were few enough that we only really hear about one case in all of the NT. But I'm sure that Darby's legacy, along with Nee, Lee, and now the BBs would go hard against most of the Christians in the world. They are not in lock-step, blowing the trumpet of their current leader so must be rejected.
Back in 2003-2006, prior to the impending GLA quarantines, I read all that I could find concerning the first Brethren division, when Darby axed Newton and then Muller.

In a nutshell, I could find no justification whatsoever, and was forced to arrive at the simple conclusion that Darby basically lynched what he thought was his two biggest rivals in the movement. He seemed to follow no spiritual principles nor governing scriptures.

Exactly the same thing then occurred with the GLA and Brazil.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:12 PM   #88
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LSM's Sacrament - the "Ground of the Local Church"
Nigel Tomes
April 2013


http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=4066

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Thanks UntoHim.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:07 AM   #89
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Back in 2003-2006, prior to the impending GLA quarantines, I read all that I could find concerning the first Brethren division, when Darby axed Newton and then Muller.

In a nutshell, I could find no justification whatsoever, and was forced to arrive at the simple conclusion that Darby basically lynched what he thought was his two biggest rivals in the movement. He seemed to follow no spiritual principles nor governing scriptures.

Exactly the same thing then occurred with the GLA and Brazil.
Best scripture that applies to Exclusive Brethren and LCM is found in 3 John verses 9-10:

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:15 PM   #90
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Best scripture that applies to Exclusive Brethren and LCM is found in 3 John verses 9-10:

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
I said this a few days ago, and I will say it again, there are some striking parallels between the Exclusive Brethren and the LC. Earlier this week, I read something written by Nigel Tomes titled "Watchman Nee Rejected the Exclusive Way". http://www.concernedbrothers.com/His...clusivism2.pdf
It discusses some interesting facts related to how Nee was excommunicated from the Exclusive Brethren, and while I do not agree with Nigel's notion of "the Recovery", it is interesting to consider how Nee saw the problems with exclusivity, yet 70 or so later, exclusive is exactly what the LCM has become.

I thought a lot about the whole subject this week. I have to say that the most reasonable conclusion that I can come to is that Nee actually didn't see the fundamental problem with being exclusive. Sure he saw that the Exclusive Brethren were too exclusive, but I have to wonder, did he see a problem with their exclusivity other than the fact that it resulted in his excommunication? In other words, would he have remained primarily associated with them had he not been kicked out?

The whole notion of "the Recovery" is based on the idea that certain persons or groups "recovered" certain things. While it is true that certain people and groups have made valuable contributions to Christianity, the Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons. What I think this means for the LC is that their notion of God needing particular people or groups to "recover" something is fundamentally flawed.

With Nee and even Lee, I think they placed too much faith in what the Brethren had supposedly "recovered". Nee saw the Brethren as the prerequisite step or group to his ministry. He was building on what they "saw". When you take a step back and realize that Nee held onto some of the negative teachings of the Exclusive Brethren, all the sudden some serious issues arise. The quote about judging of sin is an example of that. Yes, certain sin should be judged within the Church, but that shouldn't translate into the practice of judging supposed sin as the LC so frequently does.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:15 PM   #91
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With Nee and even Lee, I think they placed too much faith in what the Brethren had supposedly "recovered". Nee saw the Brethren as the prerequisite step or group to his ministry. He was building on what they "saw". When you take a step back and realize that Nee held onto some of the negative teachings of the Exclusive Brethren, all the sudden some serious issues arise. The quote about judging of sin is an example of that. Yes, certain sin should be judged within the Church, but that shouldn't translate into the practice of judging supposed sin as the LC so frequently does.
Seems to me primarily with Lee, there was more of an emphasis on Darby (an exclusive brethren) than any of the open brethren brothers from the 19th century.
As I have said before many who come into the recovery bring their baggage from previous fellowships. For Nee and Lee, that baggage was the exclusive (aka Plymouth) Brethren.
Judging supposed sin indicates judging without having the facts. A brother may be removed from fellowship for his preference to read from the Bible and not the ministry publications. Brothers like Mario Sandoval and Steve Isitt are put out not because they're trying to stir up division, but because of offending elders in Ontario and Seattle unwilling to repent and reconcile with them. It's confronting "the brothers" that's considered worthy of "judging sin" in the context of Titus 3:10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,

Question, who is being factious?
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:46 PM   #92
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Seems to me primarily with Lee, there was more of an emphasis on Darby (an exclusive brethren) than any of the open brethren brothers from the 19th century.
As I have said before many who come into the recovery bring their baggage from previous fellowships. For Nee and Lee, that baggage was the exclusive (aka Plymouth) Brethren.
Judging supposed sin indicates judging without having the facts. A brother may be removed from fellowship for his preference to read from the Bible and not the ministry publications. Brothers like Mario Sandoval and Steve Isitt are put out not because they're trying to stir up division, but because of offending elders in Ontario and Seattle unwilling to repent and reconcile with them. It's confronting "the brothers" that's considered worthy of "judging sin" in the context of Titus 3:10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,

Question, who is being factious?
What I would say is that particularly with the Exclusive Brethren, there was the idea that they had seen a lot of truth, so that put them in a superior position, a position by which they could judge others. The attitude of judging results in creating factious leaders.

With Nee and Lee, it wasn't necessarily that they set out to judge anyone. It was more of an issue where they could look at others and claim that since other groups didn't "see" what they supposedly saw, there was reason to not associate with so many other groups. The issue of the ground of locality was Lee's main justification for separating from others.

I'm afraid that LC leaders are in a position where they see themselves as being more important than they really are, after all they are leaders of "the Lord's Recovery". So with that kind of attitude, they are in the prime position to judge others. When someone speaks up, speaks their mind or protests something, now that person is "rebelling" against churches that represent God's move on earth. The attitude of superiority becomes justification for anything and everything.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:11 PM   #93
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The issue of the ground of locality was Lee's main justification for separating from others.
If your vision causes you to separate from others, in order to maintain your supposed purity, or causes you to cut off "lesser" parts of scripture in order to maintain the coherence of your message ("God's economy" comes to mind), then maybe you should re-evaluate the contents of your vision.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:03 PM   #94
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If your vision causes you to separate from others, in order to maintain your supposed purity, or causes you to cut off "lesser" parts of scripture in order to maintain the coherence of your message ("God's economy" comes to mind), then maybe you should re-evaluate the contents of your vision.
To those in the LC, the "vision" is something that is so compelling that the end justifies the means. Everything is so high and lofty that the attitude becomes that of not caring about the small things or the basic things. They don't care about what other Christians are doing, they don't care about books in the Bible like Psalms or James, they don't care about anything that doesn't support their vision.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:28 PM   #95
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To those in the LC, the "vision" is something that is so compelling that the end justifies the means... They don't care about what other Christians are doing, they don't care about books in the Bible like Psalms or James, they don't care about anything that doesn't support their vision.
The Holy Trinity of the LC is this: First, Witness Lee was God's specially-chosen Man of the Age. He was the final spiritual giant. The last of God's oracles. Deputy God. The Big Kabunga. He was the One of Peerless Worth, with the Rich Ministry. We small potatoes weren't worthy to untie his shoes. But he spoke to us!

Second is the Ministry. The Promulgators of God's Plan for Modern Man. The Living Stream Ministry. The Publishing House in Anaheim, CA. The Fresh Bread from Heaven Factory. Why, the Maximum Brothers used to have Lee on speed dial, so who's to question them? They used to eat lunch with the Man!

Third is the ground. If you're on the ground you're okay. If not on the ground, you're sick and impure. Only on the ground do you have a real hope to "make it". Only on the ground is the life-flow, the blessing. Those not on the ground are wasting their time, and doing "absolutely nothing" for God's kingdom.

Beyond that, you can ignore the Bible, ignore the testimony of Jesus Christ, and ignore your neighbor, and safely dismiss your conscience and your God-given common sense. Just spout spiritual gibberish to each other like, "We're going on to glory, brother!" and "I'm a baby God" and "the divine will imprinted into tripartite man" (I made the last one up but it's easy - just randomly pick 3 spiritual-sounding terms and jam them together. Syntax is optional).
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:05 PM   #96
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To those in the LC, the "vision" is something that is so compelling that the end justifies the means. Everything is so high and lofty that the attitude becomes that of not caring about the small things or the basic things. They don't care about what other Christians are doing, they don't care about books in the Bible like Psalms or James, they don't care about anything that doesn't support their vision.

Umm, life study of the Psalms and James? Your claim that "they don't care about books in the Bible like Psalms or James" is probably an overstatement.

They don't care about what other Christians are doing because many other Christians are building great cathedrals, selling music Cd's, holding rock concerts and providing "godly" entertainment to the masses.

They may not care about what other locality based churches are doing because they don't know there are any.
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:51 PM   #97
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Umm, life study of the Psalms and James? Your claim that "they don't care about books in the Bible like Psalms or James" is probably an overstatement.

They don't care about what other Christians are doing because many other Christians are building great cathedrals, selling music Cd's, holding rock concerts and providing "godly" entertainment to the masses.

They may not care about what other locality based churches are doing because they don't know there are any.
You are right. There is a life study for both books. But both include many statements concerning the Lee-presumed errors and shortcomings of those books relative his self-proclaimed understanding of "God's NT economy." When your study is dismissive of much of its content, then it is correct to say that "they don't care bout books in the Bible like Psalms or James."

Either all scripture is God-breathed, or it is not. This nonsense about really being statements in error allowed to remain as an example of error is to dismiss those portions as not being from the breath of God.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:13 PM   #98
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Umm, life study of the Psalms and James? Your claim that "they don't care about books in the Bible like Psalms or James" is probably an overstatement.
It's not an overstatement. Here are some excerpts in case you haven't read what he said in the Life-Studies of either books:
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II. THE PSALMS WERE WRITTEN ACCORDING TO TWO KINDS OF CONCEPTS
The Psalms were written according to two kinds of concepts. We also have to pick up this point. Otherwise, we cannot properly understand the Psalms.

A. The Human Concept of the Holy Writers
The first concept, according to which the Psalms were written, is the human concept of the holy writers…

B. The Divine Concept of God
The Psalms were also written according to the divine concept of God as the divine revelation…
We need to apply these two kinds of concepts to Psalm 1 and Psalm 2…

According to what concept was Psalm 1 written? Is Psalm 1 good or not? Surely it is a good psalm, yet it was written according to the human concept….
This shows us that Psalm 1 is good, but it was written with a wrong concept... Thus, we should not highly appraise Psalm 1. It was written wrongly with a wrong concept, a human concept.

Life-Study of Psalms, Message 1
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However, to call these believers in Christ the twelve tribes, as God's chosen people in His Old Testament economy, may also indicate the lack of a clear view concerning the distinction between Christians and Jews, between God's New Testament economy and the Old Testament dispensation, that God in the New Testament has delivered and separated the Jewish believers in Christ from the Jewish nation, which was then considered by God as a "perverse generation" (Acts 2:40).

Life-Study of James, Message 1
In both cases, WL clearly had the intention to instill some amount of mistrust towards both of these books. He plainly states that Psalms 1 is written according to the “wrong concept.” His metric of Psalms written according to the human concept vs divine concept is subsequently used to pick and choose what he likes.

With James, he questions whether or not James had a “clear view” of what he calls “God’s New Testament economy.” He is basically challenging James’ credibility. This is not the way that we read the Bible, and I reject such nonsense.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:20 PM   #99
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With James, he questions whether or not James had a “clear view” of what he calls “God’s New Testament economy.” He is basically challenging James’ credibility. This is not the way that we read the Bible, and I reject such nonsense.
Many words recorded in the Scriptures are the words of Satan, evil men, God's opposers, and even the nonsensical talk of godly men. Furthermore, all the words of the Scriptures were breathed out by God and recorded for a particular purpose. In Genesis 3 the purpose is to expose the subtlety of the enemy. In Acts 21 and in the book of James the purpose is to show us the possibility that a godly person may lack the clear, heavenly view of God's New Testament economy. (Witness Lee, Lesson book, Level 6: The Bible -- The Word of God, Chapter 20, Sect 1)

Yes, according to Witness Lee the purpose for the book of James in the Bible is to show us the possibility that a godly man may lack a clear, heavenly view of God's New Testament economy. This is how a deceitful person can reconcile his claim that "all scripture is God breathed".

Witness Lee's attitude toward the book of James is what first alerted me to the fact that this book, more than any other, exposes his deceit.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:24 PM   #100
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Many words recorded in the Scriptures are the words of Satan, evil men, God's opposers, and even the nonsensical talk of godly men. Furthermore, all the words of the Scriptures were breathed out by God and recorded for a particular purpose. In Genesis 3 the purpose is to expose the subtlety of the enemy. In Acts 21 and in the book of James the purpose is to show us the possibility that a godly person may lack the clear, heavenly view of God's New Testament economy. (Witness Lee, Lesson book, Level 6: The Bible -- The Word of God, Chapter 20, Sect 1)

Yes, according to Witness Lee the purpose for the book of James in the Bible is to show us the possibility that a godly man may lack a clear, heavenly view of God's New Testament economy. This is how a deceitful person can reconcile his claim that "all scripture is God breathed".

Witness Lee's attitude toward the book of James is what first alerted me to the fact that this book, more than any other, exposes his deceit.
For me, it's books like James that act as a reality check. I don't read James with the intention to look at anyone but myself, but it becomes readily apparent how easy it is to loose one's bearing when immersed in a hyper-spiritual environment which claims to only care for 'life'.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:37 AM   #101
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For me, it's books like James that act as a reality check. I don't read James with the intention to look at anyone but myself, but it becomes readily apparent how easy it is to loose one's bearing when immersed in a hyper-spiritual environment which claims to only care for 'life'.
Yes, I found it really brought me back to the Lord's word to love your neighbor as yourself and to love God with your whole heart.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:18 AM   #102
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You are right. There is a life study for both books. But both include many statements concerning the Lee-presumed errors and shortcomings of those books relative his self-proclaimed understanding of "God's NT economy." When your study is dismissive of much of its content, then it is correct to say that "they don't care bout books in the Bible like Psalms or James."

Either all scripture is God-breathed, or it is not. This nonsense about really being statements in error allowed to remain as an example of error is to dismiss those portions as not being from the breath of God.
It is all God-breathed but we must understand which applies to us today according to the New Testament and which does not.

Different dispensations for Psalms, and James leans towards Judaism. Lee was not the first to doubt the authenticity of James because of its more works-based slant than "faith alone". There is a reason why faith-alone Protestants prefer to quote Ephesians 2:8 "grace alone" than James 2:24 which says we are righteous not by faith alone but also by works. They would never write James 2:24 in a gospel tract, because it is not fitting with their views, or they will try and explain it away.

Other examples is that the Psalms appeals to ones own righteousness on occasion, and also calls for God to kill their enemies.

Both of these violate the NT truth of salvation by grace through faith alone, and loving our enemies as Jesus taught. So these Psalms would be "in error" according to the New Testament revelation and how we should apply them today. Of course they are not in error where it concerns the truthfulness of God's Word and their application to the Old Testament period.

So it is possible for a person to "follow the Bible" and yet not follow the truth, if they are following the parts of the bible that don't apply to them today, or apply them in the wrong context. The Bible being God's 100% inspired and perfect Word, does not prevent a person from incorrectly using it.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:25 AM   #103
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Different dispensations for Psalms, and James leans towards Judaism. Lee was not the first to doubt the authenticity of James because of its more works-based slant than "faith alone". There is a reason why faith-alone Protestants prefer to quote Ephesians 2:8 "grace alone" than James 2:24 which says we are righteous not by faith alone but also by works. They would never write James 2:24 in a gospel tract, because it is not fitting with their views, or they will try and explain it away.
Could you identify the verses in James that "lean toward Judaism".
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:05 AM   #104
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It is all God-breathed but we must understand which applies to us today according to the New Testament and which does not.

Different dispensations for Psalms, and James leans towards Judaism. Lee was not the first to doubt the authenticity of James because of its more works-based slant than "faith alone". There is a reason why faith-alone Protestants prefer to quote Ephesians 2:8 "grace alone" than James 2:24 which says we are righteous not by faith alone but also by works. They would never write James 2:24 in a gospel tract, because it is not fitting with their views, or they will try and explain it away.

Other examples is that the Psalms appeals to ones own righteousness on occasion, and also calls for God to kill their enemies.

Both of these violate the NT truth of salvation by grace through faith alone, and loving our enemies as Jesus taught. So these Psalms would be "in error" according to the New Testament revelation and how we should apply them today. Of course they are not in error where it concerns the truthfulness of God's Word and their application to the Old Testament period.

So it is possible for a person to "follow the Bible" and yet not follow the truth, if they are following the parts of the bible that don't apply to them today, or apply them in the wrong context. The Bible being God's 100% inspired and perfect Word, does not prevent a person from incorrectly using it.
My impression is that you deem James 2:24 as contradicting Ephesians 2 on grace.

They do not contradict. Do take a look at Eph 2v 10

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

We are not saved by our good works but we are saved to do good works.

Good works are not the cause of our salvation, but the fruit of our salvation.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:34 AM   #105
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My impression is that you deem James 2:24 as contradicting Ephesians 2 on grace.

They do not contradict. Do take a look at Eph 2v 10

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

We are not saved by our good works but we are saved to do good works.

Good works are not the cause of our salvation, but the fruit of our salvation.
Well said!

And I am one more brother who has learned to treasure James since leaving the LC. And let me say further, that those who elevate the writings of Paul above the rest of the N.T. are some of the least healthy Christians.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:59 PM   #106
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My impression is that you deem James 2:24 as contradicting Ephesians 2 on grace.

They do not contradict. Do take a look at Eph 2v 10

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

We are not saved by our good works but we are saved to do good works.

Good works are not the cause of our salvation, but the fruit of our salvation.
All of these supposed 'contradictions' that were pointed out by Lee were things that didn't fit his "God's economy" paradigm. Such things should have prompted him to revise his teachings, but instead he choose to dismiss the things that didn't support his views. The result of this is a group of Christians who are on a perpetual wild goose chase for esoteric things, but can't engage in good works or the other basics of being a Christian.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:15 PM   #107
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It is all God-breathed but we must understand which applies to us today according to the New Testament and which does not.
James uses the term "the twelve tribes", an Old Testament term, but his use does not indicate that he himself is still in the OT mindset. Instead, it indicates he has a burden to "turn back those who have wandered from the truth" which is what he says in chapter 5. This isn't an inference or assumption, James makes it very clear that he does not consider himself to of "the twelve tribes" rather he considers himself to be a bondservant of God and of Jesus Christ.

James also uses the term "synagogue". This is a word that refers to a building where a Jewish congregation meets for religious worship. All this indicates is that the Lord has given him the gospel for the circumcision, just as He gave Paul the gospel to the uncircumcision. The New Testament opens the gospel to the gentiles, that does not mean that it closes the gospel on the Jews.

Finally, James talks about keeping the royal law. This law refers to the two commandments Jesus gave us: To love God with our whole heart and to love our neighbor as ourself. If you read the Life Studies of Witness Lee on this book you will see that this is the portion where he is strongest to condemn James as not having a clear vision of the New Testament Economy.

I go over this portion in careful detail in the book "Carry Up My Bones From Here". It is evident that in that portion James refers to 4 things: the two commandments from Jesus and the two ordinances given to us by Jesus (Baptism and the Lord's Table). This portion, more than any other examination of Witness Lee's ministry, proves that it is Witness Lee that does not have a clear vision of God's New Testament Economy.

In addition, nothing exposes Witness Lee's lack of faith more than James' word about the proof of Abraham's faith.

Finally, what we are doing here on this forum can be compared to the proof of Rahab's faith.

No book deals with the catastrophe that is a false prophet better than the book of James.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:50 PM   #108
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James also uses the term "synagogue". This is a word that refers to a building where a Jewish congregation meets for religious worship. All this indicates is that the Lord has given him the gospel for the circumcision, just as He gave Paul the gospel to the uncircumcision. The New Testament opens the gospel to the gentiles, that does not mean that it closes the gospel on the Jews.
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Originally Posted by Witness Lee
I have consulted some good books on the Epistle of James. But in the comments on James, none of these books refers to Acts 21. Therefore, I wish to emphasize the fact that if we would have a balanced view of James, we need to consider his Epistle against the background of Acts 21. When we read this chapter, we can understand why James addressed his Epistle to the twelve tribes and also why in chapter two he uses the term "synagogue." The fact that James speaks of the twelve tribes and the synagogue indicates that he had mixed the things of Judaism with the matters of the Christian life according to God's New Testament economy. James' own word points to such a mixture.

Witness Lee, Life-Study of James, Message 5
Witness Lee urges his audience to consider James against a background of Acts 21. I would like to urge LC members to consider WL’s above statement against a background of Acts 19, particularly verse 8:
And he [Paul] went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.

In WL’s mind, for James to mention the word synagogue is indicative of ‘mixture’, but the fact that Paul remained in a synagogue for three months does not indicate any ‘mixture’ whatsoever in the mind of WL. The fact is, WL was intent on discrediting James, and it seems to be for the reasons that ZNPaaneah has mentioned.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:02 PM   #109
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Both of these violate the NT truth of salvation by grace through faith alone, and loving our enemies as Jesus taught. So these Psalms would be "in error" according to the New Testament revelation and how we should apply them today. Of course they are not in error where it concerns the truthfulness of God's Word and their application to the Old Testament period.
This is a commonly-held misconception as to what "salvation by grace through faith alone" means.

It does not mean that you do nothing. It means that the thing that provided the salvation had nothing to do with your own actions. It was the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ. But that only refers to His actions in providing it. It still requires that you have faith. And it requires much of you once you have received that salvation through his grace.

And James, as well as the Psalms, are not talking about the base of salvation, but the living-out of the life God calls us to. Even in the OT, in Psalms, we see much of the truth of the life we are called to. To dismiss it as error is, in itself, error.

As for the calls for God to exact vengeance, the very promises of God to Abraham and then to the Children of Israel in general included protection from evil. I am probably more of a proponent of loving others as anyone here. But I recognize that there are situations in which people and situations are severe upon God's people. I would say that you have the requirement to love your neighbor as yourself. But that is not the same as saying that they can run you over with impunity.

I don't love myself that poorly. Do you?
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:10 PM   #110
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Many times Jesus said "but now I tell you": Matt 5:44-46 ,to love your enemies.

Not because loving enemies was not in the old testament, it was. There is no teaching about hating your enemy in the old testament, rather:

Pro 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
Pro 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
Pro 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

The problem was people, like David, were not always following it.

David, wanted God to destroy his enemies, he prayed for that.

Psalm 143:12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

So if we blindly pray this psalm to God, we will not be following God's will, even though this verse is 100% God inspired, doesn't mean we should blindly follow it.

Similarly if we blindly pray and follow the verses about the temple and sacrifices, we will be in error as well.

In fact the disciples, knowing God's Word, the old testament, tried to call down fire from heaven on their enemies Luke 9:54.
But Christ rebuked them.
Further proof that blindly following Scripture by the letter, and not the Spirit, will lead to error.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:14 AM   #111
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James uses the term "the twelve tribes", an Old Testament term, but his use does not indicate that he himself is still in the OT mindset. Instead, it indicates he has a burden to "turn back those who have wandered from the truth" which is what he says in chapter 5. This isn't an inference or assumption, James makes it very clear that he does not consider himself to of "the twelve tribes" rather he considers himself to be a bondservant of God and of Jesus Christ...
Many of you are slanderous towards Witness Lee with much bias and discrimination without much knowledge.

It is a historical fact that the great theologian and reformer Martin Luther was one of the first to despise James, not Witness Lee.

Martin Luther wrote of James:

In a word St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that is necessary and salvation for you to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it. (LW 35:362)

Luther made an attempt to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the canon (notably, he perceived them to go against certain Protestant doctrines such as sola gratia and sola fide), but this was not generally accepted among his followers. However, these books are ordered last in the German-language Luther Bible to this day.[5]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther%27s_canon

Luther inserted the word "alone" in Romans 3:28 to his German translation to support his doctrine of "faith alone".

For this reason Luther may be subject to this warning:
Revelation 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.

We are just as much at mercy to the whims of men's doctrines and deceits outside of the Recovery as in it. Every Bible version we read has been tainted by men. To leave Lee's doctrines is merely to replace him with someone else's, even unconsciously as we read the Word of God biased by the doctrines of men.

Now consider that Lee, unlike Luther and the Lutherans, respected James and tried to understand it much more than any of them.

In fact Lee's life study of James is quite good and gives it far more attention that most Protestant denominations care to give it.

So I think you are all very unfair and biased to try and pin a claim of "rejection of James" onto Witness Lee. This is not the case at all, or no worse than that done by Protestants in general.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:20 AM   #112
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This is a commonly-held misconception as to what "salvation by grace through faith alone" means...
The Bible teaches salvation by faith through works if we do not interpret it rightly. The doctrine by faith alone as a clear statement is not found in the scriptures. The only place where the words faith and alone appear together is in James where it pointedly states faith is not alone:

James 2:24 "You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone."

But instead of outright rejecting the whole book of James and calling it an epistle of straw or trying to remove it from the canon like Luther did, Lee has tried to reconcile this difference, more than most.

The book of James has been a "thorn in the side" of Protestantism for a long time. We would do well to admit that.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:22 AM   #113
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

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Many of you are slanderous towards Witness Lee with much bias and discrimination without much knowledge.

It is a historical fact that the great theologian and reformer Martin Luther was one of the first to despise James, not Witness Lee.
SLANDER: the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.

Where are the false statements? Just because you are ignorant of the facts and the truth surrounding Witness Lee and LSM does not give you the ground to accuse others of being slanderous.

Your defense of Lee here is simply to prove that he was better than Luther. Only someone who thought Luther was the first MOTA and originator of the Recovery would attempt that. Neither can you ascribe Luther's errors to every so-called Protestant living today.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:53 AM   #114
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Many of you are slanderous towards Witness Lee with much bias and discrimination without much knowledge.
Slander is to make a false claim about someone. If you accuse someone of slander you need to demonstrate the false claim they made, otherwise, ironically, you are the one who is guilty of slander.

I would characterize my comments as "stricter judgement". It is true that I am much more strict concerning things that Witness Lee said than if it had been said by someone else, but that is because he was a teacher who taught these things to others and led others astray. I would also characterize the discussions on this forum as "taking heed to things that you have been taught".

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It is a historical fact that the great theologian and reformer Martin Luther was one of the first to despise James, not Witness Lee.
Martin Luther wrote of James:
In a word St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that is necessary and salvation for you to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it. (LW 35:362)
Luther made an attempt to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the canon (notably, he perceived them to go against certain Protestant doctrines such as sola gratia and sola fide), but this was not generally accepted among his followers. However, these books are ordered last in the German-language Luther Bible to this day.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther%27s_canon
Luther inserted the word "alone" in Romans 3:28 to his German translation to support his doctrine of "faith alone".
Yes, you are correct. One take on this is that other respected Bible expositors agree with Witness Lee. I think that is far too generous to Witness Lee. Instead, my opinion is that he merely copied what others wrote and was unable to read the book for himself. That however, is an opinion which I cannot substantiate, so keep it to myself. What isn't an opinion, and which I have shared with you already on this issue, is that we are told specifically "not to have the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons". Witness Lee and Watchman Nee both trumpeted this when they had unique doctrines completely outside of the accepted norms, but then when they want to adopt hypocritical and blasphemous stances (Witness Lee taught that the "deification" doctrine was blasphemy in the Galatians training but later adopted it, he claimed repeatedly that every word of the Bible is God breathed and the sum total of his doctrine was merely the Bible, the Bible is our creed, we are not following men, but God, but then when he wants to say that James didn't have a clear vision he used these same men he repudiated earlier to support his stance, very hypocritical) he supports it with the same men he repudiates at other times. He was a hypocrite and he held the faith of our Lord Jesus with respect of persons.

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For this reason Luther may be subject to this warning:Revelation 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.
Your logic is fantastic. Let me see if I follow. It is OK for Witness Lee to teach that James didn't have the vision because Luther did to. Luther even said he wished James wasn't in the Bible. Therefore the warning in Revelation could be assigned to Luther. What about Witness Lee, shouldn't that warning be assigned to him as well? If the warning applies to Luther how do you use Luther to support Witness Lee's teaching?

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We are just as much at mercy to the whims of men's doctrines and deceits outside of the Recovery as in it. Every Bible version we read has been tainted by men. To leave Lee's doctrines is merely to replace him with someone else's, even unconsciously as we read the Word of God biased by the doctrines of men.
Now consider that Lee, unlike Luther and the Lutherans, respected James and tried to understand it much more than any of them.
In fact Lee's life study of James is quite good and gives it far more attention that most Protestant denominations care to give it.
So I think you are all very unfair and biased to try and pin a claim of "rejection of James" onto Witness Lee. This is not the case at all, or no worse than that done by Protestants in general.
Is that your defense? Yes your honor my client is a murderer, but compared to the Green River Killer, or BTK, or Bundy he really is not that bad.

As for 'we are just as much at the mercy of false teachers outside the recovery as in it'. I am much less at the mercy of these false teachers today than I was 40 years ago. That is why we fellowship, we study, we take heed to the doctrine given to us by the apostles.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:03 AM   #115
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Many times Jesus said "but now I tell you": Matt 5:44-46 ,to love your enemies.
Not because loving enemies was not in the old testament, it was. There is no teaching about hating your enemy in the old testament, rather:
Pro 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
Pro 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
Pro 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.
The problem was people, like David, were not always following it.
David, wanted God to destroy his enemies, he prayed for that.
Psalm 143:12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
So if we blindly pray this psalm to God, we will not be following God's will, even though this verse is 100% God inspired, doesn't mean we should blindly follow it.
Similarly if we blindly pray and follow the verses about the temple and sacrifices, we will be in error as well.
In fact the disciples, knowing God's Word, the old testament, tried to call down fire from heaven on their enemies Luke 9:54.
But Christ rebuked them.
Further proof that blindly following Scripture by the letter, and not the Spirit, will lead to error.
I agree that scripture can at times be misunderstood and misapplied.

For example, John 14 v 14 says "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." It is possible for someone to not consider this verse's context and pray that God will make him a millionaire.

Regarding Psalm 143:12, perhaps there is no need to view David as being a self-serving man. Perhaps David was at that point doing God's work and these people were opposing God's work. It might be that the level of evil was so great that destruction might have been an appropriate end for these people. Destruction of nations was common in the Old Testament.

As to why this is so, I am still trying to understand. There are some websites that try to explain this

http://www.gotquestions.org/Old-Testament-violence.html
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/...ent-so-violent

One commentary (which I googled) on this verse says, "But the enemies who are relentlessly persecuting Jehovah’s servant to the death are the enemies of Jehovah; they are traitors to His kingdom who have forfeited their right to live; they give no quarter and deserve none themselves; if they triumph, Jehovah’s faithfulness to His promises would seem to have failed and his lovingkindness to have been exhausted or defeated (Psalm 77:8-9). For such hardened and impenitent offenders nothing remains but extermination."
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:26 PM   #116
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The James 2:24 "You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone."

But instead of outright rejecting the whole book of James . . . .
This is such a ridiculous interpretation of the thrust of the writing of James.

James was not discussing eternal salvation. He was discussing the outward testimony of those who claimed to be Christians. Some like to think that the outward testimony is not important. Only the inward "reality." But if our initial creation was, among other things, to bear the image of God, then the outward testimony is quite important. If we claim that Jesus changes lives, then it would behoove us to demonstrate lives that are not just like everyone else.

And being more "spiritual" does not do it. You have to actually live in the manner that God would desire. And that means to be righteous.

So when you are being observed, your faith is of no consequence if your living is like someone who does not believe. Who feels free to be unrighteous.

Belief is more than thought. The thoughts are irrelevant if there are no actions. Jesus said that those who obey are the ones who believe. Not those who think the right thoughts.

And reading the scripture doesn't teach you the truth that sets you free. Truly following (obeying) does.

There is no flaw in the book of James.

As for the parts of the Psalms that you choose to despise, You should note that Lee despised many more parts. Not just those where David wanted his enemies destroyed.

BTW. Are you aware that in those times hyperbole of speech was the norm. Victors always destroyed the losers. But destruction implies annihilation. Yet that never actually happened.

There is one time that it appears it was actually supposed to happen and it still didn't. Do you think that God is a monster because he intended that the Canaanites were supposed to be destroyed?

And if God promised that he would defend Israel against their foes, and promised David that he would be king, then why would a prayer to God to take the steps necessary to ensure that both happened be wrong? I do not simply wish evil on my enemy. But neither do I just let them run over me or refuse to defend myself against attack.

Once again, the statement concerning love of neighbor was not simply absolute. It was not "love them without condition." It was "love them as you love yourself." Difficult to deal with that kind of statement. I don't think we love ourselves in a way that we would allow ourselves to be run over by evil. But we also don't (or shouldn't) love ourselves at cost to others. So even defense has limits.

To be honest, I understand the ancient idea that if someone is simply unwilling to abide by societal rules, then they forfeit their right to live in that society. And in the larger context of nations, you could say the same thing about whole groups, like ISIS. But I do not believe that the logical result of that kind of thinking — simply fire-bomb everything from one border to the other of what they control and destroy them all — is acceptable within the context of "love as I love myself."

But that does not mean that war is simply not to be fought even if pushed upon you. (Or at least that is the way I understand it.) You have to declare that you are an absolute pacifist to rightfully declare that David praying concerning God's intervention to stop the persecution of His people by its enemies is anything but just. We are commanded to love. But there is a demand for righteousness by the One (God) who has the full right to punish the unrighteous, or refrain from such punishment.

It is hard to see Lee's declarations concerning James as much more than a need to not be held to that standard. As long as you are only held to a theoretical or positional standard of deemed righteous, then actual righteousness is unimportant. And there is evidence that Lee learned from one who was almost openly unrighteous. And then Lee himself had to deal with his unrighteous business ventures and his openly sinful sons being put in charge of the LSM and therefore in charge of much of the affairs of the local assemblies of the LCM.

I know you will make some hollow claim about slander. But these are far from slanderous. They are far from statements of untruth. They have been established as absolutely true over and over. Only the ignorant could say such things. Ignorant because the truth has been blocked from them. Or ignorant because they have forced their hands over their ears as they close their eyes tightly and shout "blah blah blah blah" over and over to drown out the words of truth that they refuse to hear.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:17 PM   #117
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I have a question concerning the following:
Quote:
Rev 22:11-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
Does this apply to what is written in Revelation, or to what is written in what we now call the Bible?

(I know that I read some kind of reference to this today, but didn't want

I am not questioning whether there is open-season on changing words, or adding to or taking away from the canon of scripture. I am fully on-board with the Bible being the Bible and it is not our job to alter it (like certain teachers have a bent to do to get things to work out their way).

I am simply questioning whether this particular statement was intended to extend beyond the writing in which it was originally placed?

For starters, when this was written, was there anything like a set idea of what would eventually come to be called the NT? Maybe a decent list that was sort of close. But not complete. So while I know that whatever God wanted to be in there would eventually be there. But are we sure that it only took the few centuries that it did? Or that it wasn't complete some time prior. Either way, God can get to the "right" canon at some point. But what makes this one "it."

Again, not questioning the canon of scripture. I like it. but evidently Luther did not. Probably Lee didn't either. Just too careful to say it out loud. Doesn't make them evil or reprobate.

But is it right to throw these two verses around at every misunderstanding of scripture that we run across? Someone misinterprets a verse and therefore they are in violation of this passage.

Is this maybe just a cry of "cult" in different clothing? And maybe even using terms like "biblical." We use them to mean that it means what we think it means. If you think differently, then your thinking is "unbiblical." Proving the interpretation wrong by claiming the Bible simply says otherwise.

Isn't it better to just have the discussion about what is the right way to understand things? Rather than decrying Evangelical as being "unbiblical," show what we believe to be the errors in his understanding.

(And since I don't think anyone has said that yet, I am hoping to not be stepping on anyone's toes here. In any case, it is not my intention. And if "your" toes feel stepped on, then take on the idea, not me. I'm just thinking out loud about this. Let's discuss it.)
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:06 PM   #118
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It is all God-breathed but we must understand which applies to us today according to the New Testament and which does not. .
You miss Jesus. Jesus said, "These things were written concerning Me." Not concerning Witness Lee and his group.

Now, it does apply to us, as followers of Christ. But to put us first, conceptually, is to completely miss the point of scriptures. Yet this is what I repeatedly see. A complete mis-orientation, by a supposed NT exegete.

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Other examples is that the Psalms appeals to ones own righteousness on occasion, and also calls for God to kill their enemies. .
Again you miss Jesus. Jesus is the Righteous One. The prophets were in spirit, writing about Him. Jesus even said this. "David was in spirit, writing concerning Me." The psalmist wrote, "He rescued Me because He delighted in Me". The gospel echoes this: "Behold My Son, in Whom I delight. Hear Him." Why would one ever want to read the Psalms and not hear the Beloved Son in whom the Father delights? I just can't believe how off, Witness Lee was here. Defining doctrine for the church by teaching that the scripture is "vain concepts". Invitation after invitation to see Christ was offered by the text, and its NT reception. But no.

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Both of these violate the NT truth of salvation by grace through faith alone, and loving our enemies as Jesus taught..
God saved David from Goliath. That involved throwing a stone. Was David wrong, according to the NT truth of salvation by grace through faith alone? Should David have loved Goliath instead of throwing a stone? Should David have turned his other cheek, and yielded to Goliath's threats? Lee with his generic condemnation intimates this. But that's absurd, patently absurd. Nobody has ever expected this kind of behavior from the OT principals.

Should Samuel not have killed Agag? How uncharitable Samuel was! No grace!

Complete rubbish and everyone knows it. How could anyone sit quietly through these training sessions? Were they that befuddled, and out of their wits?

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So it is possible for a person to "follow the Bible" and yet not follow the truth, if they are following the parts of the bible that don't apply to them today, or apply them in the wrong context. The Bible being God's 100% inspired and perfect Word, does not prevent a person from incorrectly using it.
The one who followed the Bible, the scripture, and who obeyed every word that proceeded out of the mouth of the living God, was Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Don't forget that our Shepherd was also the Obedient Lamb. We the disobedient ones, see this One and live. The same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead now gives us life, to see Him, and hear His voice, and follow. "Follow Me." How can you follow unless you first see? What can you obey unless you first hear?

And He was a fighter. He destroyed the devil, sin and even death. Demons cried out with fear when He approached them. "Have You come to destroy us before our time!?!"

Paul said, "We fight". We fight not against blood and flesh, but against spiritual forces. Paul used military terminology: strongholds, tearing down, arrows and shields and darts. The One who led the charge, and still leads, is Christ. Why do we read the Psalms and forget Christ? But Lee did just that. He read the text and saw the church, and he saw the NT believer enjoying grace, and he saw the vanity of the psalmist, in his "natural concepts". But he missed Jesus Christ. So he missed everything.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:58 PM   #119
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This is such a ridiculous interpretation of the thrust of the writing of James.

James was not discussing eternal salvation. He was discussing the outward testimony of those who claimed to be Christians. Some like to think that the outward testimony is not important. Only the inward "reality." But if our initial creation was, among other things, to bear the image of God, then the outward testimony is quite important. If we claim that Jesus changes lives, then it would behoove us to demonstrate lives that are not just like everyone else...
The fact remains if we try to follow parts of the Bible that were not meant for us, we will fall into error. Whether that is building the temple, offering sacrifices, calling for judgement on our enemies or appealing to our own righteousness. This is all that Lee was pointing out. I find it nothing more than that. He did not call James an "epistle of straw", rather he indicated that was wrong by stating that the brethren did accept James. Neither did he try to remove it from the Canon.

That to me is a fair and balanced assessment of Lee's view towards James and the Psalms, to go beyond that is unfounded slander in my opinion.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:07 PM   #120
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You miss Jesus. Jesus said, "These things were written concerning Me." Not concerning Witness Lee and his group...
Lee was right that the Psalms were written according to the natural concept. It was David's natural concept that if he obeyed the law, everything would turn out alright. As was Job's concept. But the opposite happened. Psalms does not contain the spirit of the New Testament, it mostly points to human attempts at righteousness and failures, and points to Christ as the solution to that.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:39 PM   #121
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Slander is to make a false claim about someone. If you accuse someone of slander you need to demonstrate the false claim they made, otherwise, ironically, you are the one who is guilty of slander.
Why don't we consider your logic for a moment.

"One take on this is that other respected Bible expositors agree with Witness Lee." - so why don't you accept that?

"I think that is far too generous to Witness Lee." - your unexpert personal opinion of the experts. It is illogical to rely upon your personal opinions over the facts.

"unique doctrines completely outside of the accepted norms" - the 6 year CRI study by experts disagrees with you, they found it was orthodox. It is illogical for you to disagree with that.

"Your logic is fantastic. Let me see if I follow. It is OK for Witness Lee to teach that James didn't have the vision because Luther did to. Luther even said he wished James wasn't in the Bible. Therefore the warning in Revelation could be assigned to Luther. What about Witness Lee, shouldn't that warning be assigned to him as well? If the warning applies to Luther how do you use Luther to support Witness Lee's teaching?"

Lee respected James. Lee did not want to change the Bible, that is the difference. Consider what Lee writes in life study of James, "Luther said that the Epistle of James was an epistle of straw. In saying this, Luther was both unfair and wrong.".


"Witness Lee taught that the "deification" doctrine was blasphemy in the Galatians training but later adopted it"

- has this already been discussed? Where is your proof? Have you taken his words in the right context?
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:53 AM   #122
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"Your logic is fantastic. Let me see if I follow. It is OK for Witness Lee to teach that James didn't have the vision because Luther did to. Luther even said he wished James wasn't in the Bible. Therefore the warning in Revelation could be assigned to Luther. What about Witness Lee, shouldn't that warning be assigned to him as well? If the warning applies to Luther how do you use Luther to support Witness Lee's teaching?"

Lee respected James. Lee did not want to change the Bible, that is the difference. Consider what Lee writes in life study of James, "Luther said that the Epistle of James was an epistle of straw. In saying this, Luther was both unfair and wrong.".
You missed the point. If you claim that the quote you gave from Revelation can be applied to Luther, and you also add Witness Lee's own point that "Luther was wrong" you can't then use Luther as a way to support Witness Lee's doctrine. Witness Lee and the Bible cannot condemn Luther on his interpretation of the book of James, and then out of the other side of his mouth say "hey, Luther agrees with me". That was my point.

Sure, there are groups like the Mormons who agree with the doctrine of deification, but you can't condemn this group for being a cult on one hand but then use them to support your doctrine by saying "see, these other Bible teachers agree with me". (And Witness Lee did do this when he brought in the New Way). Witness Lee condemned many of the church fathers and orthodox catholics repeatedly, but now we are supposed to use these same ones as evidence that his doctrine is fundamental. I am rejecting the hypocrisy of this. I am also rejecting "having the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons". This does not mean that I don't read what they say. Very often another Bible teacher will say something that is inspired, makes something very clear, etc. But just because "so and so" taught this doesn't make it so.

You claim that it is a "fact" that Witness Lee agrees with other Bible expositors. There is a lot of debate about that, see Nigel Tomes discussion on this, but that "fact" is essentially irrelevant. The "fact" that is relevant is if Witness Lee agrees with the Apostles? You appear to want to base your faith on the "expert opinions" of these so called "experts" like Witness Lee and Watchman Nee. BTW, what made them experts?

According to you a 6 year study by CRI has said that the doctrines of "Ground of the Church", "Minister of the Age" and "Deification" are all within the accepted norms. If this is in fact what they determined then they are wrong. I can prove that and I have already done that.

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"Witness Lee taught that the "deification" doctrine was blasphemy in the Galatians training but later adopted it"

- has this already been discussed? Where is your proof? Have you taken his words in the right context?
Yes we have talked about this and yes I have provided you with the quote. Life Study of Galatians, chapter 20, section 2.

Certain early church fathers went so far as to speak of the “deification” of the believers in Christ. We need to be careful in using such a term. To say that the believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But it is correct to say that the believers are deified in the sense of possessing the divine life and the divine nature. We may use the word deification in a limited sense to convey the fact that we have been born of God to become sons of God. Praise the Lord that God is our Father and that we are the same as He with respect to the divine life and nature! However, we emphatically state that we shall never be the same as God in the sense of deserving to be worshipped. It is blasphemy to claim that, as sons of God, we should be worshipped along with God. But it is not too much to say that because we are sons of God, we have the very life and nature of our Father. Far from being blasphemy, it is a glory to the Father to declare this fact.

Witness Lee makes it very clear that if you teach that "believers become objects of worship" that "is blasphemy". That is the definition of deification, that is the only definition of deification.

Witness Lee claims that he uses the term "deification" in the "limited sense". There is no "limited sense". There is no obscure definition or limited definition. Either Witness Lee is a complete idiot or he is deceitful, take your pick. I asked you to provide me with this "limited sense" definition from a credible dictionary and you told me "you don't care". So even a staunch supporter of this doctrine does not care that it is blasphemy. What should I do? You told me to stone you. Jesus talks about tying a millstone around your neck.

My point, which I have made repeatedly is that "making a person an object of worship" is the only definition of deification. There is no other definition in any credible dictionary. Therefore, regardless of how Witness Lee wants to redefine the word it is very reasonable that some person listening to his teaching on deification would understand that he is referring to deification. You may not care but Jesus does:

6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

When you teach the Bible you must consider if your teaching might stumble a little one. Even the staunchest defender of gun rights would condemn a person who left a loaded pistol around for a 2 year old to play with.

This is why I complain that Witness Lee's teaching "goes beyond" what the apostles taught. He knows that teaching that a person becomes an object of worship is blasphemy, yet he uses a word where that is the only definition. He thinks that because he is "redefining" the word he can weasel his way out, but it is undeniable that he has gone beyond the apostles, and that he has gone into a realm where he might stumble new believers. This is his MO, he uses extremely provocative statements, because that will cause debate and make him appear relevant.

As for the context I quoted the entire paragraph.

"Sons of Gehenna"

I find it amazing that those who hold the controversial Witness Lee doctrines will resort to "I don't care, stone me" when asked very simple, logical questions like "can you give me a definition from a dictionary"? But what choice do they have?

To follow Witness Lee requires that you not care about the possible damage to new believers. You have to slander those who raise issues about Watchman Nee's mistress, or Phillip Lee's lasciviousness, or Witness Lee's mocking sin. You have to say that those who are "taking heed to the doctrines they have received" are rebellious, or that their questions look like little snakes. Subservient is labelled "loyal". You have to be hypocritical. On the one hand you are taught to condemn christian teachers, and Christianity as the "Great Babylon the mother of whores". On the other hand you reference these very same ones to support your doctrines, and claim that hey "we are orthodox" in our beliefs. You have to condemn seminary because Witness Lee never went to one, so they are unimportant. On the other hand if someone asks a simple question like "can you show me the dictionary with that definition" you are ridiculed as "not being an expert". Which is exactly the point, show me the dictionary because that is a credible source for what this word means. So you have no choice, if you are a disciple of a false prophet you will, of necessity, have to become two times the son of Gehenna. On the one hand you must defend his lawsuits, on the other hand you must condemn all others as being corrupt. You must ignore the sins and falsehood, yet at the same time claim that all other Christians are "blind" and "poor" and "miserable".
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:35 AM   #123
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Certain early church fathers went so far as to speak of the “deification” of the believers in Christ. We need to be careful in using such a term. To say that the believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But it is correct to say that the believers are deified in the sense of possessing the divine life and the divine nature. We may use the word deification in a limited sense to convey the fact that we have been born of God to become sons of God. Praise the Lord that God is our Father and that we are the same as He with respect to the divine life and nature! However, we emphatically state that we shall never be the same as God in the sense of deserving to be worshipped. It is blasphemy to claim that, as sons of God, we should be worshipped along with God. But it is not too much to say that because we are sons of God, we have the very life and nature of our Father. Far from being blasphemy, it is a glory to the Father to declare this fact.

Witness Lee makes it very clear that if you teach that "believers become objects of worship" that "is blasphemy". That is the definition of deification, that is the only definition of deification.

Witness Lee claims that he uses the term "deification" in the "limited sense". There is no "limited sense". There is no obscure definition or limited definition. Either Witness Lee is a complete idiot or he is deceitful, take your pick. I asked you to provide me with this "limited sense" definition from a credible dictionary and you told me "you don't care". So even a staunch supporter of this doctrine does not care that it is blasphemy. What should I do? You told me to stone you. Jesus talks about tying a millstone around your neck.
Deification in the sense that Lee uses it is consistent with the Eastern Orthodox use of the term (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosi...hodox_theology) ).

Regardless of the word he used, Witness Lee clearly stated he does not believe in being worshiped. He clearly stated it means to be a son of God. He clearly stated that it is blasphemy to say we should be worshiped. Clearly, he is not teaching "believers become objects of worship". So what's your problem? Given Lee clarified himself, you cannot claim he taught that we should be worshipped.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:16 AM   #124
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Lee was right that the Psalms were written according to the natural concept. It was David's natural concept that if he obeyed the law, everything would turn out alright. As was Job's concept. But the opposite happened. Psalms does not contain the spirit of the New Testament, it mostly points to human attempts at righteousness and failures, and points to Christ as the solution to that.
I completely understand your natural concept, and Lee's, and agree with both. But we're talking about a book of revelation, here. Not a book of natural concepts.

Peter, a fisherman, and unlettered, had a revelation. David wasn't speaking concerning himself! David, being a prophet, knew that God had promised him a Seed. David was uttering "in spirit" (see Jesus' words on this effect, as well) concerning the One who was to come. God had promised, and when God speaks, it will be done.

Paul the ex-Pharisee used the same argument 11 chapters later, in Acts 13. The promise made to David was fulfilled in Jesus. Yet when Lee studies the Bible, and sees the promise to David, he overturns clear NT convention and sees nothing but natural concepts. So who has the natural concept, here? Whose fallen human soul has transposed the divine promise? Who can't see Jesus, here?
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:34 AM   #125
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You have a good point, we can see Christ in many old testament verses.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:28 PM   #126
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Regardless of the word he used, Witness Lee clearly stated he does not believe in being worshiped. He clearly stated it means to be a son of God. He clearly stated that it is blasphemy to say we should be worshiped. Clearly, he is not teaching "believers become objects of worship". So what's your problem? Given Lee clarified himself, you cannot claim he taught that we should be worshipped.
Actually, WL has been reported as stating that he liked being 'exalted'. Read and weep:
The brothers in the Los Angeles area invited him to have a conference and arranged the place in Pasadena. He said that when he heard that it would be in Pasadena he was happy. These people, he said, "exalt" me: I am happy to be exalted.

-John Ingalls, Speaking the Truth in Love


Consider the title of a book that WL published - Watchman Nee - A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age. Is this not the uplifting of a man? Lee obviously viewed Nee as some sort of larger than life figure, and there are hints that he viewed himself as such also. To exalt someone is only a step away from worship, and in certain cases it may already be synonymous.

So what I'm getting at is this: WL spoke against the worship of man, but in LC practice, there is something that strikingly resembles this. The question here is not even whether or not the worshiping of man actually happens. It's a question as to whether or not WL was really against it. He of course spoke against it, but can we take is word for it? When we consider the evidence that contradicts his LSM published statements, these kinds of difficult questions arise.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:24 PM   #127
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So what I'm getting at is this: WL spoke against the worship of man, but in LC practice, there is something that strikingly resembles this. The question here is not even whether or not the worshiping of man actually happens. It's a question as to whether or not WL was really against it. He of course spoke against it, but can we take is word for it? When we consider the evidence that contradicts his LSM published statements, these kinds of difficult questions arise.
Freedom, I always appreciate your thoughtful posts.

In my humble opinion, I do not think Lee really wanted worship for himself.

But I think he approved of, let us say, the veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed. So convinced he was that unity was the answer to God's plan getting accomplished that he became willing to use questionable means to achieve that unity.


Some people think Lee was all about power and its rewards. I don't believe that. I believe he really wanted to accomplish God's purpose. But he looked at history and saw the ongoing disunity and "herding of cats" that was the Church and, given his organizational and controlling temperament, decided that the end justified the means. He resorted to, or at least went along with, things that would unify the movement, hoping that this unity would eventually grow into a greater unity of Christians in general. And one of the things that united the movement was unity around him and his teachings. And so he accepted veneration, not because he was on an ego trip, but because he thought this could evolve into something greater. It was a massive miscalculation, much like the similar ones Nee made before him.

This worked for awhile, just like other bad but well-intentioned practices sometimes work in the short term. Chinese communism moved China from an agrarian society to an industrial society in record time. But the end did not justify the means. China is still reeling from Maoism. The LCM and those it affected are still reeling from Leeism.

Lee was right about one thing. Unity is the key to the Church's ultimate effectiveness. He was just wrong about the way he tried to achieve unity. Twenty years after his passing, people and the Church are still suffering because of it.

It's time to admit, learn from and recover from the mistake.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:25 PM   #128
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Freedom, I always appreciate your thoughtful posts.

In my humble opinion, I do not think Lee really wanted worship for himself.

But I think he approved of, let us say, the veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed. So convinced he was that unity was the answer to God's plan getting accomplished that he became willing to use questionable means to achieve that unity.
Yes I would agree with this but think about that. "Veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed". Worst case you can call that idolatry. Giving him the absolute most benefit of the doubt you would say that he was using methods condemned by the New Testament that flirted with idolatry.

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Some people think Lee was all about power and its rewards. I don't believe that. I believe he really wanted to accomplish God's purpose. But he looked at history and saw the ongoing disunity and "herding of cats" that was the Church and, given his organizational and controlling temperament, decided that the end justified the means. He resorted to, or at least went along with, things that would unify the movement, hoping that this unity would eventually grow into a greater unity of Christians in general. And one of the things that united the movement was unity around him and his teachings. And so he accepted veneration, not because he was on an ego trip, but because he thought this could evolve into something greater. It was a massive miscalculation, much like the similar ones Nee made before him.

This worked for awhile, just like other bad but well-intentioned practices sometimes work in the short term. Chinese communism moved China from an agrarian society to an industrial society in record time. But the end did not justify the means. China is still reeling from Maoism. The LCM and those it affected are still reeling from Leeism.

Lee was right about one thing. Unity is the key to the Church's ultimate effectiveness. He was just wrong about the way he tried to achieve unity. Twenty years after his passing, people and the Church are still suffering because of it.

It's time to admit, learn from and recover from the mistake.
This is a plausible explanation and an explanation that I would view as the best possible case a defense attorney could make for Witness Lee. The problem is that even this explanation presumes an extraordinary arrogance on his part to disregard so many things that he taught. He himself taught that the end does not justify the means, he taught this in the Corinthian training. If his real intention was to unify Christians as a whole he sure had a very strange way to accomplish this. It shows he was willing to disregard much of the apostle's teaching because he thought he had a better way.

I personally don't agree with this view. It doesn't explain his fabricated story about Watchman Nee's mistress. It doesn't explain his actions in the Sister's Rebellion. Both of those actions demonstrated that he was more for power and rewards than for God's purpose. In my opinion he was double minded, trying to serve both God and Money. It isn't possible. As a result he was unstable in his ways, further evidence that he was double minded. He was hypocritical, further evidence that he was double minded. There is far too much evidence that rewards and power were motivating factors for Witness Lee. So then, being motivated by God's purpose and plan only demonstrates that he was double minded, trying to serve both Mammon and God.
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:09 PM   #129
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Actually, WL has been reported as stating that he liked being 'exalted'. Read and weep:
The brothers in the Los Angeles area invited him to have a conference and arranged the place in Pasadena. He said that when he heard that it would be in Pasadena he was happy. These people, he said, "exalt" me: I am happy to be exalted.

-John Ingalls, Speaking the Truth in Love
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In my humble opinion, I do not think Lee really wanted worship for himself.

But I think he approved of, let us say, the veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed. So convinced he was that unity was the answer to God's plan getting accomplished that he became willing to use questionable means to achieve that unity.
After much consideration, I find it difficult to accept that Lee allowed the "veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed." We have to put that quote in context. Lee's reputation was on the verge of collapse. Well-respected men of God from all around the globe were disassociating themselves with Lee due to his profligate son Philip, and more importantly, Lee's scheme to cover it up.

Remember Watergate? Nixon had just won a landslide election, with his popularity soaring. What took him down was not the actions of low-level operatives, but his own lies and coverups caught on tape, due to his own paranoia.

In context then, the saints probably could understand WL having a reprobate son. What godly men would never accept was WL's action to coverup for his bad kid, keep him in charge of LSM, and then destroy the reputation of anyone who spoke up about it.

At this point, Lee used the bully pulpit to exalt himself, draw the line in the sand, and basically threaten the whistle-blowers with retaliation. I guess you could call that a "uniting factor."
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:22 PM   #130
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Actually, WL has been reported as stating that he liked being 'exalted'. Read and weep:
The brothers in the Los Angeles area invited him to have a conference and arranged the place in Pasadena. He said that when he heard that it would be in Pasadena he was happy. These people, he said, "exalt" me: I am happy to be exalted.
-John Ingalls, Speaking the Truth in Love
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In my humble opinion, I do not think Lee really wanted worship for himself.
But I think he approved of, let us say, the veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed. So convinced he was that unity was the answer to God's plan getting accomplished that he became willing to use questionable means to achieve that unity.
After much consideration, I find it difficult to accept that Lee allowed the "veneration of himself as a uniting factor in the movement he formed." We have to put that quote in context. Lee's reputation was on the verge of collapse. Well-respected men of God from all around the globe were disassociating themselves with Lee due to his profligate son Philip, and more importantly, Lee's scheme to cover it up.

Remember Watergate? Nixon had just won a landslide election, with his popularity soaring. What took him down was not the actions of low-level operatives, but his own lies and coverups.

In context then, the saints probably could understand WL having a reprobate son. What godly would never accept was WL's action to coverup for his bad kid, keep him in charge of LSM, and then destroy the reputation of anyone who spoke up about it.

At this point, Lee used the bully pulpit to exalt himself, draw the line in the sand, and basically threaten the whistleblowers with retaliation.

Lee taught that trials bring out our true character, who we are for others to see. Perhaps Lee's attitude was all wrong at that Pasadena Conference due to the stress and pressures caving in on him. I'll grant him that, even though he did set himself up as the exemplary pattern of the god-man living. But ... where was the repentance afterwards? Where was his change of heart?

Never happened. Then at the end of Fermentation of the Present Rebellion his concluding remarks were that all his "facts" were accurate, and the case was officially closed.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:42 PM   #131
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Regardless of the word he used, Witness Lee clearly stated he does not believe in being worshiped. He clearly stated it means to be a son of God. He clearly stated that it is blasphemy to say we should be worshiped. Clearly, he is not teaching "believers become objects of worship". So what's your problem? Given Lee clarified himself, you cannot claim he taught that we should be worshipped.
I want to thank you because you have made this so clear.

The doctrine of deification is not contrary to anything that Witness Lee or other Christian teachers teach -- partakers of the divine nature -- we all teach that. Sons of God, again a very standard doctrine. Every time he uses the term he makes it clear he is not teaching about believers becoming an object of worship. In fact, when you look at it the only thing different about the teaching is the word deification.

In 1979 he taught that the term "deification" was equivalent to pantheism.

Regarding the mingling, some have gone so far as to accuse us of teaching pantheism or the deification of man. (Life Study of Exodus, Chapter 106, Section 2).

In 1980 he taught to be careful about the term because it is blasphemy.

Certain early church fathers went so far as to speak of the “deification” of the believers in Christ. We need to be careful in using such a term. To say that the believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. (Life Study of Galatians, Chapter 20, Section 2)

When we teach this, some accuse us of teaching the deification of man. We definitely do not believe or teach that as sons of God we shall become God Himself. Nevertheless, it is a fact that we have the divine life and nature. (Life Study of Galatians, Chapter 44, Section 2)

Now in 1984 he waffles on the use of the term. Does he teach it? Yes, No, or does he sit on the fence?

Because we are children of God born of Him, we possess God’s life and also His nature for our enjoyment. Because I have proclaimed this truth according to the Bible, some have condemned me and falsely accused me of teaching deification. (Conclusion of the New Testament, Chapter 7, Section 2)

"falsely accused me of teaching deification" sounds pretty clear that he denies teaching this.

Some of the church fathers have used the term “deification” to describe the fact that we have been mingled with God and that we are partakers of God's life and nature. When you use the word deified, though, if you mean that you have been made God in His Godhead to be an object of worship, this is heresy. On the other hand, if your denotation is that through regeneration you have received God's life and nature and that now you are a son of God, this is altogether safe and scriptural. (God’s New Testament Economy, Chapter 42, Section 1)

On the other hand, maybe he does teach this.

But in June 1992 he teaches that we need to be "deified".

The early church fathers used the term deification to describe the believers' participation in the divine life and nature of God, but not in the Godhead. We human beings need to be deified, to be made like God in life and in nature, but it is a great heresy to say that we are made like God in His Godhead. We are God not in His Godhead, but in His life, nature, element, essence, and image. (The Christian Life, Chapter 12, Section 5)


And then in June 1993 he refers to "the truth concerning deification"

The church fathers taught the truth concerning deification in the first four centuries. They pointed out clearly that deification means that the believers in Christ have been made God in His life and in His nature but not in His Godhead. He is the unique God for people to worship in His Godhead, but we are God only in life and in nature, not in the Godhead. We all have to be clear that today we are God-men. (The Move of God in Man, Chapter 2, Section 6)

What changed? Absolutely nothing except for the term deification. No new bible verses, no new doctrine, nothing except now he uses a term that he is well aware of can cause problems, it can be understood as blasphemous, it can be understood as heretical, but instead of warning others concerning this term which he used to do, now he is referring to the "truth concerning deification".

This is his Modus Operandi, bring in something really controversial because of the blasphemous implications, explain it away, start a big firestorm to get everyone distracted and not talking about something else. He uses a term that is a form of pantheism, a term that refers to people becoming an object of worship, and then he explains it away with some astounding gymnastics.

"We don't believe that man will become God himself", but on the other hand "God became man so that man may become God". What exactly does that mean? What is the difference between becoming God and becoming God himself? Who knows? He certainly never explains what changed. It doesn't matter as long as no one pays attention to the sins of his house. If it can distract you then it worked. To say that believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But then he does say that believers need to be deified, and the definition of deified is to become an object of worship.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:30 AM   #132
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ZNPaaneah,

I know what he means, I will take you through it. To Lee, deification is the end result. We will not understand what he means by the end result if we don't understand the process he believes in.

This may come as a surprise to you but I believe he is wrong in this matter and I will show you where he is clearly and indisputably wrong.

Before I do so, I will say that his use of the English language is terrible, imprecise, bound to be misinterpreted. This is summed up in this paragraph:

"The Local Church leadership was unaware of the impact the use of certain “hot button” words would have on cult-wary evangelicals in America, while Western Christians were unaware of the tremendous impact that labeling a group a cult had on the Chinese. "
http://www.gotquestions.org/Witness-...al-church.html

This gives him the benefit of the doubt. But regarding the process there is no doubt that what he believes is wrong.

To try and answer your question about what he means to be deified or "become God", we cannot understand Lee's view about "deification" unless we understand mingling. Mingling is the process and deification is the end result.

This view is best explained here:

http://www.theopedia.com/the-local-church

Mingling
Witness Lee taught that his adherents could be changed from man to God through a process he called mingling. As the process took place, the two natures of man and God would mix together, producing a God-man hybrid like Jesus, according to Lee. This teaching is usually justified by a saying of Athanasius of Alexandria, an early church father, that "God became man that man could become God."

So what he means by "become God" is a "God-man hybrid like Jesus". In other words, a clone of Jesus. This is more than what many teach, that we merely "look like" Jesus, more like a copy than a clone. Believing we become a clone of Jesus is not really heretical, it is in essence what it means to be conformed to Christ's image.

What is really wrong is his belief about the mixing or mingling. This is heretical. The website further says:

"In point of fact however, Athanasius specifically ruled out the possibility of mingling the natures of God and man in Jesus Christ. For example, regarding Jesus Christ the Athanasian Creed reads, Unus omnino, non confusione substantiae, sed unitate personae, meaning "One altogether, not by mingling of the natures, but by the unity of Person." Confusione (< Latin confundere) literally means "pouring together, mixing, mingling; joining together,"^ [1]^ which is exactly the way that Witness Lee defines his doctrine of "mingling".^ [2]^^[3]^ Thus ironically, Athanasius refuted the doctrine of mingling as dangerously heretical as early as the 4th century."

So you see, he is right in his view of deification, but he is wrong in his view about mingling. It is because of his view about mingling that he is wrong about what deification will look like.

So how does he come to the conclusion that we are mingled or mixed together with Christ?

The answer is found here:
http://www.contendingforthefaith.org...an/mingle.html

Also, in 1 Corinthians 6:17 the fact of a believer’s spirit being mingled with the Holy Spirit is clearly stated: “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” How could man’s spirit be one spirit with the Holy Spirit without being mingled? Let the speaker answer and describe the nature of this oneness of spirit with the Lord.

It is correct for them to say that God and man are joined together as one. This is true. But it is incorrect for them to claim that mingling is the only way that man and God could be joined together.

They then use this verse to support the claim:

Leviticus 2:4: “And when thou offerest an oblation of a meal-offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil”

It makes sense, oil represents the Spirit, and flour represents humanity. But the mixing or mingling part is wrong. Lee's use of the metaphor of tea mixing with water is clear enough evidence in what he believes about this.

The problem with this view is that when tea and water is mixed together, we cannot separate them again, and we cannot tell them apart, which is which.

So, he cannot explain away his meaning of "mingling" or claim it is due to cultural or language barriers. He really believes that man and God are mixed together, to form a sort of hybrid God-man clone of Jesus. This was declared to be heretical by the early church fathers.

So what is the alternative to mingling? It is joining or union. It is the joining of God and man together, but God and man is never confused with each other - the human part and the God part are clearly distinguishable. There is an aspect of the union in which God and man are indistinguishable - but this is what Lee does not understand, we do not have to be mixed together like flour and oil to be indistinguishable. The metaphor that was used in the early church to describe this, is iron which is forged in fire. The iron (humanity) glows red hot in the fire (God). When the iron is hot, God and man are indistinguishable, but the iron is never mixed or confused with the fire. The best example in the Bible to describe this is the burning bush which Moses saw.

For Lee to miss this is remarkable given that Lee teaches that the burning bush is a figure of God and Moses being joined together, he says in his commentary "The thornbush represents Moses", "the fire burning signifies God burning within and upon Moses". Why he prefers to focus on some abstract mixing of flour and oil I don't know. To me the burning bush example is much clearer and in line with the early church fathers.
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:07 AM   #133
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My concern about Witness Lee is not just the specific errors of this particular doctrine, which you do a nice job on identifying.

My concern is the errors in his process as a Bible teacher that led to all this.

1. "His use of the English language is terrible, imprecise and bound to be misinterpreted." It is reasonable to give him a pass here since English is not his first language, but you would be completely wrong. I was involved behind the scenes with the editing process involved in his written ministry. I never quote his spoken ministry, I only quote his written ministry which has gone through an extensive multi phase editorial process. His messages go through numerous edits by several editors, people who have been vetted based on their precise use of the English language. The reason his language use is terrible, imprecise and bound to misinterpreted is because he has made a conscience choice to do so. Much like Trump appreciates his controversial statements because he gets free press, likewise Witness Lee decided he was smarter than everyone else because his controversial statements are the only reason he was even relevant. His error is his arrogance in not allowing anyone to counsel him.

2. The Local Church leadership was unaware of the impact of certain hot button words would have on cult wary evangelicals. Again, that was definitely not true from the time I was involved in 1978. If you notice I did not quote anything prior to this time. There were a number of people who were well read and did come from leadership positions in Christianity. I knew one brother in Houston who also came to Irving with us. My back still hurts from helping him move all of his books. He had a remarkable personal library and yet Witness Lee would mock him and others with their knowledge. In my opinion when James says that those who teach are subject to "stricter judgement". He should have been aware of the potential issues and if he wasn't he should bear the full responsibility for this. He mocked those that tried to advise him. His folly in mocking Christians and those who had studied makes it a fitting judgement on him. Imagine the hubris to portray yourself as a "minister of the age", an expert on the Bible, someone who despises those who study, and you ignore and mock all those who try to support you.

3. "This is heretical". This is one reason why you don't "go beyond the apostle's teaching". What has Witness Lee or Athanasius added to the concept of "child of God", "sons of God", and "partaker of the divine nature"? For all of their blather I don't see any insight that has been added. However, by using these terms not used by the NT apostles they created heresies (schools of thought) among Christians. It is arrogance to think that you, as a Christian teacher, can go beyond the apostles. Why would you even be tempted to do this except to help "distinguish" your ministry from others. Think of the time wasted by so many believers (best case scenario) not to help them in their growth but merely to help these teachers appear to be unique. The apostles make it very clear "we do not know what we will be" yet Witness Lee's teaching always hinted that somehow he did. Now in hindsight, when you examine it closely, it is clear he had no idea. But at the time it always seemed like this was something that was about to be revealed. That is just deceitful and a direct contradiction to the apostles. After all why do you even teach this is a "high peak revelation" if in fact there is no revelation?
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:38 AM   #134
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I found a good explanation of the orthodox definition of "mingling" or divinization in post #63 in http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...8571#post48571

There are actually two possible heresies here. One is about the confusion, and the other is about the confused things becoming a third thing.

Lee tries to justify himself by saying:
"Nevertheless, the oil and the flour are mingled together to produce one entity. But this entity is not a third nature, something that is neither oil nor flour".

"the oil and the flour are mingled together" - this is the first heresy, which Lee does not attempt to justify. Possibly he is unaware that this is a heresy.
"But this entity is not a third nature, something that is neither oil nor flour" - he doesn't believe in this second heresy. He is probably aware of this and tries to make clear he does not believe this.

The Athanasian Creed states "One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.".
Lee believes in confusion of substance, and that is the problem. He believes in unity of person by confusion of substance. Even though he does not believe that a third entity is produced, his view of the relationship as a confusion is a problem.

Lee's idea of oneness is God and man being confused together into one thing. The correct idea is God and man being joined together.

What is the problem with saying God and man are confused together? The problem is that it means God and man cannot be separated, and that God and man cannot easily be distinguished. This precludes his belief in eternal security.

I personally believe Lee held to this example of flour and oil mixing together, in order to justify or support his belief in eternal security.

With language, one example of bad language choice would be to equate deification with sonization. Sometimes he replaces the word deification with sonization, which isn't even a word.

The high peak revelation is more about all these things put together as "God's economy". God's economy involves salvation, mingling, "sonization"/deification, and then finally the corporate aspect of that, the New Jerusalem.

Possibly, he is the first to tie all of these things together under one umbrella term "God's economy" or "God's plan". But, he is not the first to see each of these matters individually.

All of these matters can easily be explained using normal terms that most Christians are familiar with:
mingling = prayer and bible reading
sonization = renewing of the mind/sanctification/transformation, the flesh/old man being crucified etc.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:05 AM   #135
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Possibly, he is the first to tie all of these things together under one umbrella term "God's economy" or "God's plan". But, he is not the first to see each of these matters individually.

All of these matters can easily be explained using normal terms that most Christians are familiar with:
mingling = prayer and bible reading
sonization = renewing of the mind/sanctification/transformation, the flesh/old man being crucified etc.
We heard him rail against Christian teachers, how no one was on his level, etc. But behind the scenes there is a back story. Brothers were aware of the heresy and bringing it to his attention. The problem is that 95% of his ministry was just repackaged from others, which is why he had to condemn all the other Christian teachers so that the saints wouldn't read these books. Those that did, knew. A very dangerous knowledge to have if you wanted to meet with the LRC.

But the other 5%, the "mingling", "ground of the church", and "MOTA". These were his, if you told him they were heretical and violated the apostle's teaching it wasn't a small fix, adjust 2-3%, it was to condemn his entire ministry. So he had no choice but to attack those that raised these issues. Although he didn't call them out by name in the meeting, those in the know knew. His other option was to twist and contort the teachings -- deification becomes "limited deification" which is deification without deify. Mingling is supported by some obscure verse in Leviticus that doesn't confuse the two entities. This is the problem with being a fraud. This is why I have determined he was a false prophet.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:25 AM   #136
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One of the LCM's early WOW! moments was the a conference in the 60s or 70s where Lee began the teach on Revelation 1:4, where it mentions "the seven Spirits." Lee began to talk about the "sevenfold intensified Spirit for the completions of the age." He sold this as one of his most unique revelations, and evidence of his special ministry.

Then one day I was looking at the Amplified Bible, and right there in Revelation 1:4 was the following:

John to the seven assemblies (churches) that are in Asia: May grace (God's unmerited favor) be granted to you and spiritual peace (the peace of Christ's kingdom) from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits [the sevenfold Holy Spirit] before His throne,
So Lee probably pulled "the sevenfold Spirit" right out of the Amplified Version. A footnote in the AV attributed the idea to a "Richard of St. Victor," who lived in the 12th century.

So the Amplified Bible knew about the sevenfold Spirit long before Lee did. But we believed this was an on-the-spot direct revelation of God in that conference. Lee never gave credit to either the AV nor Richard of St. Victor.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:24 AM   #137
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The high peak revelation is more about all these things put together as "God's economy". God's economy involves salvation, mingling, "sonization"/deification, and then finally the corporate aspect of that, the New Jerusalem.

Possibly, he is the first to tie all of these things together under one umbrella term "God's economy" or "God's plan". But, he is not the first to see each of these matters individually.

All of these matters can easily be explained using normal terms that most Christians are familiar with:
mingling = prayer and bible reading
sonization = renewing of the mind/sanctification/transformation, the flesh/old man being crucified etc.
One possible problem I see with all this emphasis in "God's economy" is we have all this talk about this presumably transformative process, and we get all caught up in the high-peak, high-sounding nature of it, and that thrills us....

...But what I've seen is there is very little talk or concern about what a transformed person actually looks and acts like. The LCM focuses on the process and assumes if they have the process then whatever results happen from that are transformation. So if the "transformation" you get is being more for Lee's doctrines, more staunch for the LCM, more opposed to the rest of Christianity, it is never questioned whether that's really what it means to be more like Christ.

But the Bible clearly tells us what the fruit of the Spirit looks like. It looks like 1 Cor 13. It looks like Galatians 5:22-23. It looks like the way Jesus went out among the most undesirable people and loved and served them. It looks like humility, care and genuine selflessness. It looks like love.

The problem I have with the LCM is so much of their behavior does not look like this. Their behavior looks a lot more like pride, aloofness and rejection of those they think are undesirable. They often come across more like Pharisees than Christians.

I'm not saying they are all bad, but their testimony makes me less impressed with all this being caught up in "God's economy," seeing so little evidence of transformation among them.

Ironically, in all the LCM brothers I know, I don't see that "God's economy" has resulted in much transformation. The transformation I see in each of them seems to have come about "the old-fashioned way," by going through trials, praying desperately to God and learning something unexpected about trust in God and humility in the experience.

Sorry, I'm not much impressed with the results of the so-called "economy of God." Not in myself or anyone else.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:31 AM   #138
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The fact remains if we try to follow parts of the Bible that were not meant for us, we will fall into error. Whether that is building the temple, offering sacrifices, calling for judgement on our enemies or appealing to our own righteousness. This is all that Lee was pointing out. I find it nothing more than that. He did not call James an "epistle of straw", rather he indicated that was wrong by stating that the brethren did accept James. Neither did he try to remove it from the Canon.

That to me is a fair and balanced assessment of Lee's view towards James and the Psalms, to go beyond that is unfounded slander in my opinion.
I used to think that James came right after the ministry of Paul as a kind of exam, to test us to see if we really got "God's New Testament Economy". I got that idea based on WL's ministry, but now I see it differently.

However, a verse in the New Testament really helped me which is "No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy]". (1Cor 10:13 Amplified version)

It occurred to me that things like Witness Lee, LRC, LSM, etc, these are not some new and strange temptation. I felt that if this is so, then surely the apostles should have given us a word to help us deal with this. Every book in the Bible has a purpose, just like every part in a car has a purpose. Which part of a car is "2nd degree" and which part is "1st"? You might think that the jack in the trunk is not as important as the engine, until of course, you need the jack.

Now I see that James did in fact fall prey to this judaizer doctrine, they were like a case of the flu that the church suffered. After repenting James had a burden to help (heal) all those affected (sick). What happened to the early church is not much different from what happens with any cult or with any false prophet. So the vision that James has is very similar to the vision anyone would need to "lay hands on the sick" or to "turn back those who wander from the truth". To me it is the "perfect gift of God" just as much as penicillin.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:49 AM   #139
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With language, one example of bad language choice would be to equate deification with sonization. Sometimes he replaces the word deification with sonization, which isn't even a word.

The high peak revelation is more about all these things put together as "God's economy". God's economy involves salvation, mingling, "sonization"/deification, and then finally the corporate aspect of that, the New Jerusalem.

Possibly, he is the first to tie all of these things together under one umbrella term "God's economy" or "God's plan". But, he is not the first to see each of these matters individually.

All of these matters can easily be explained using normal terms that most Christians are familiar with:
mingling = prayer and bible reading
sonization = renewing of the mind/sanctification/transformation, the flesh/old man being crucified etc.
WL's word choice opened the door for a lot of criticism towards him. Perhaps some of the criticism could have been unwarranted, but all the same, in the cases where he was over-complicating things, I must ask the question as to why he felt that was necessary to do.

Because of the unfamiliar language that WL chose to use, the items that he defined as his "high peak" deserve precise definitions. As an example, one thing that WL taught is that believers need to become "divine and mystical persons". What does this mean? I remember being in a meeting where we were told that to be divine and mystical is to be a normal Christian. If so, then why in the world use such a peculiar phrase? Is it for shock value? If nothing else, it seems indicative that certain words and phrases used by Lee might have double meanings. This is the problem that I have with his "high peak".
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:50 AM   #140
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One possible problem I see with all this emphasis in "God's economy" is we have all this talk about this presumably transformative process, and we get all caught up in the high-peak, high-sounding nature of it, and that thrills us....
God's economy is meant to produce God's character, those fruit of the Spirit that you mentioned. Yes we are taught it is through experience, trials and praying to God. I've had wide variety of experiences between meeting super loving people who are showing signs of the Spirit that you described, and people that are aloof, pushy and cannot manage a smile and many somewhere in between.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:52 AM   #141
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WL's word choice opened the door for a lot of criticism towards him. Perhaps some of the criticism could have been unwarranted, but all the same, in the cases where he was over-complicating things, I must ask the question as to why he felt that was necessary to do.

Because of the unfamiliar language that WL chose to use, the items that he defined as his "high peak" deserve precise definitions. As an example, one thing that WL taught is that believers need to become "divine and mystical persons". What does this mean? I remember being in a meeting where we were told that to be divine and mystical is to be a normal Christian. If so, then why in the world use such a peculiar phrase? Is it for shock value? If nothing else, it seems indicative that certain words and phrases used by Lee might have double meanings. This is the problem that I have with his "high peak".
When you think about it the only thing a Christian can really do that is spiritual is to pray. The term divine, mystical or normal Christian means someone who prays a lot. So anytime I hear these terminologies I just think "ok I have to pray more".
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:55 AM   #142
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"mingling" is another classic case of Lee using one word that often means something heretical but explains that his use of the term is not in the heretical sense:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_...rsies#Mingling

Witness Lee’s view of God’s organic salvation is related to his understanding of Christology, specifically, the relationship between the divine and human natures in Christ. Witness Lee cited the example of the meal offering in Leviticus which is composed of oil mingled with fine flour (Lev. 2:5), a type that other Bible teachers, including the Plymouth Brethren, also understood to refer to the dual nature of Christ, that is, His divinity and His humanity.[125][126][127] Lee explained his use of the word mingling as follows:
But in Him both the divine essence and the human essence remain and are distinguishable. These essences are mingled in Him as one person without the producing of a third nature. As the God-man He possesses two natures, and in Him each nature is distinguishable.[128]

Critics claimed that mingling of necessity involved the producing of a third nature, which is known in history as the Eutychian heresy.[129] However, Witness Lee stated that his use of the term mingle was consistent with dictionary definitions (e.g., “to bring or combine together or with something else so that the components remain distinguishable in the combination”[130]). He also pointed out that the Eutychian heresy was rejected at the Council of Chalcedon.[131][132] More recent articles in A&C have addressed this controversy


Lee's appeal to the dictionary definition is insufficient, as the dictionary definition of mingle is to "mix or blend" in many dictionary versions.

The Eutychian heresy is about God and man being confused or mixed together to produce a third substance. This is addressed in Athanasian creed by:
"Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person."

Does Lee believe in the Eutychian heresy? Well no, he is careful to say that a third substance is not produced, anytime he explains mingling:
"We need to be very clear, however, that the mingling of tea and water does not produce a third substance" - Life Study of 2 Corinthians.

However his use of the flour-oil or the tea-water analogy cannot lead to a anything else but a third substance. Mixture of flour and oil produces a third substance called dough, mixture of tea and water produces a third substance called tea.

The way we can know whether some process results in a third substance or not, is if the two substances can be separated again. It is impossible to separate dough back to flour and oil, and it is impossible to do the same with a cup of tea.

So clearly, Lee's analogies and use of the word mingle are heretical, but his belief that a third substance is not produced, is not heretical.

Why does Lee appeal to obscure analogies supposedly borrowed from the Plymouth Brethren? Who knows, but there is no need for it as the Bible already adequately explains the union between God and man, as have the early church fathers.

The biblical analogy for God's union with man is marriage (1 Cor 6:16-17).
To marry something means to join it together with something else.
Rather than use the biblical analogy of marriage to describe how God and man are joined together as one, Lee prefers to use the flour-oil analogy which is heretical if applied to how God and man are joined together.

The biblical analogy of marriage can describe the objective aspects of the union but does not quite describe the subjective aspects. To try and explain the subjective aspects, another appropriate analogy is iron and fire which was used by some early church fathers:

The Example of the Union of Iron and Fire:
St., Cyril the Great used this analogy and so did St. Dioscorus. In the case of ignited iron, we do not say that there are two natures: iron and fire, but we say iron united with fire. Similarly, we speak about the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, and we do not say "God and man".
In the union of iron with fire, the iron is not changed into fire nor fire into iron. Both are united without mingling, confusion or alteration. Although this situation is not permanent in the case of iron, and here is the point of disagreement, but we only want to say that once iron is ignited with fire, it continues to retain all the properties of iron and all the properties of fire.
THE NATURE OF CHRIST By: H.H. Pope Shenouda III, 1999.


The analogy of iron and fire is ideal for describing God's subjective union with man, because it describes the union of two substances without those substances being changed into a third substance, and importantly the fire (God) imparting some change into the iron (to be heated until the iron is glowing with light), but the iron cannot affect the fire. That is, when God joins man, God imparts something which changes man, but man cannot change God and nothing from man is imparted into God.

In this sense, when man is joined with God, he is permeated with God's life and nature, as iron is permeated with heat in the flame, yet the fire does not change the iron into something else. If the fire is taken away, the iron becomes cold, and remains the same as it was before. That is, the iron and the fire can be separated again into two distinct and unchanged substances.

Because it is impossible to change dough into flour and oil again, or tea back into tea leaves and water, both of these analogies are inadequate and in fact heretical to describe man's union with God.

So what is a better understanding of the significance of the flour mixed with oil grain offering in Leviticus 2:5?
As an offering it is symbolic of Christ's sacrifice on the cross being acceptable to God. The fine flour is symbolic of Christ's humanity who as the "wheat" (wheat signifies Christ or His believers, Matt 3:12) was "pounded" to dust by the cross, and the oil signifies the Holy Spirit. The flour and oil mingled together creates unleavened bread which presents a pleasant aroma to God. Christ often refers to himself as unleavened break (John 6:35) and of course it is the chief symbol in communion representing Christ's body.

In other words, Leviticus 2:5 is meant to signify Christ as a "grain offering" to God which satisfies Him. The two items of significance are the flour/wheat and the oil. There is nothing particularly symbolic about the mingling aspect other than it being a necessary process to produce bread. It is not meant to explain how God and man are joined together, for that we have the symbol of marriage.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:02 AM   #143
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"mingling" is another classic case of Lee using one word that often means something heretical but explains that his use of the term is not in the heretical sense:
I think his use of mingling is an excellent example of his error. Based on my observation of his ministry he got this word from Leviticus or at the very least he justified the use of this word based on one of the offerings described in Leviticus.

I think it is a mistake to create a "black and white" doctrinal truth that is based on a typology. Instead, if the teaching was based on the New Testament word that "he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" he could then explain what does it mean to be "one spirit" and use Leviticus as a type. The teaching would be about being "one spirit" which is not heretical and at the worst he would misapply a type.

Why not take this approach? Because it doesn't separate him from the pack, it doesn't make a clear distinction between him and all other Bible teachers. First and foremost he was a salesman selling his ministry as the "unique" ministry. His use of "mingling" distinguished him and was used by him to promote his ministry.

He makes this same mistake with the "Ground of the church" doctrine. The teaching should have begun, at its core, with a New Testament, black and white teaching, like the 7 ones in Ephesians 4. What does it mean that all Christians have one Lord? It means that our gathering is built upon one ground, just like the temple in the OT. This is why, in any given city we only see one church, because all the believers in that city only have one Lord. That is what makes us one.

He makes the same mistake with the "Minister of the Age" doctrine. The kernel of this teaching is Moses word that there will be a minister like him. This is then further supported by a thorough review of the OT (still more typology). There is no black and white New Testament teaching to support this, only the assertion (which in my mind is very flimsy) that at one point Peter was the leading apostle (I am unable to see this, James clearly was, but I never see that Peter was) and then later Paul was (why, because Paul rebukes Peter? That is absurd, Peter was rebuked for being subservient to James, so the teaching is that Peter was supposed to be subservient to Paul instead?). Once again, Witness Lee has built a teaching with a typology at its kernel, a teaching that is not taught in the New Testament. Why? Because Jesus is the minister that is like Moses, not Watchman Nee. Witness Lee's teaching is akin to teaching another Jesus.

But what does this show us? A false teacher will use the OT typology to misapply types that should apply to Jesus to themselves. This is the most deceptive approach that will work on many, many groups who are relatively ignorant of the Bible. So the false prophet will have an "Old Testament flavor" and the result will be that the Christians who wander after them will become "tribes in the dispersion". Mingling -- straight from Leviticus, MOTA -- straight from Deuteronomy, Ground of the Church -- straight from the books of Moses.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:48 AM   #144
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When you think about it the only thing a Christian can really do that is spiritual is to pray. The term divine, mystical or normal Christian means someone who prays a lot. So anytime I hear these terminologies I just think "ok I have to pray more".
My question remains unanswered. If these terminologies can be equated with simpler or clearer ways to express the same concept, then why use them in the first place? What is the benefit to using elusive words?
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:11 PM   #145
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It's not.

There isn't even a lampstand in a city unless the LCM is meeting there.
Let's take where I live Renton, Washington as an example. A city that was first incorporated 1901. You mean to suggest from 1901 to the time the LCM took the ground as the Church in Renton (2008/2009), there was no lampstand?
I think that's a clear indication the LCM are not about local churches, but about ministry churches.
Even the high school the ground taking meeting was held in, has been in existence since 1911.
What can be held as true, when a church calls itself the church in Renton, it's just a name....even for those who claim, "we don't take a name".
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:30 PM   #146
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Witness Lee makes the same mistake with the "Minister of the Age" doctrine. .. There is no black and white New Testament teaching to support this, only the assertion (which in my mind is very flimsy) that at one point Peter was the leading apostle (I am unable to see this, James clearly was, but I never see that Peter was) and then later Paul was (why, because Paul rebukes Peter? That is absurd, Peter was rebuked for being subservient to James, so the teaching is that Peter was supposed to be subservient to Paul instead?). .
1. Paul never said Peter (or anyone else) should be subject to him. Paul merely said he wouldn't be subject to the "super-apostles" who vied for primacy. Lee flipped that on its head and said that Paul was the uber-apostle. Absurd and unfounded claim. I daresay Paul would recoil from such nonsense. "We also are men, of like nature with you" (Acts 14:15)

2. And what of John the beloved disciple? Was he subservient to Paul, later to rise to primacy when Paul passed on? I daresay John would never subject to Paul, or any other, and find no basis for this kind of thought.

3. Any cursory reading of Christian history will show fatal flaws in the MOTA template. Was Wesley subject to Edwards, or both of them to Whitefield? No, the right hand of fellowship was sufficient. Nee had an oriental bias, and a clear disposition to be first - notice that he maneuvered the SCA away from his previously senior fellows like Leland Wang, after leaving Margaret Barber's tutelage. With this kind of disposition (i.e. Lee's "natural concepts") Nee read too hopefully into OT types, which had little if any bearing in the NT age; and in fact were arguably contravened by the clear NT word: "be subject to one another" and "whom would be great, be least of all" etc etc.

4. By definition, Jesus alone has the Ministry of the Age, and revelation of and faith in Jesus Christ forms the sole basis or ground of the 'ekklesia', in any form, and it is Jesus alone who is the One who walks before the throne, ministering among the seven golden lampstands. There is simply no other name for us. There is no other faith, no other Spirit, no other gospel. None.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:27 PM   #147
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1. Paul never said Peter (or anyone else) should be subject to him. Paul merely said he wouldn't be subject to the "super-apostles" who vied for primacy. Lee flipped that on its head and said that Paul was the uber-apostle. Absurd and unfounded claim. I daresay Paul would recoil from such nonsense. "We also are men, of like nature with you" (Acts 14:15)

2. And what of John the beloved disciple? Was he subservient to Paul, later to rise to primacy when Paul passed on? I daresay John would never subject to Paul, or any other, and find no basis for this kind of thought.

3. Any cursory reading of Christian history will show fatal flaws in the MOTA template. Was Wesley subject to Edwards, or both of them to Whitefield? No, the right hand of fellowship was sufficient. Nee had an oriental bias, and a clear disposition to be first - notice that he maneuvered the SCA away from his previously senior fellows like Leland Wang, after leaving Margaret Barber's tutelage. With this kind of disposition (i.e. Lee's "natural concepts") Nee read too hopefully into OT types, which had little if any bearing in the NT age; and in fact were arguably contravened by the clear NT word: "be subject to one another" and "whom would be great, be least of all" etc etc.

4. By definition, Jesus alone has the Ministry of the Age, and revelation of and faith in Jesus Christ forms the sole basis or ground of the 'ekklesia', in any form, and it is Jesus alone who is the One who walks before the throne, ministering among the seven golden lampstands. There is simply no other name for us. There is no other faith, no other Spirit, no other gospel. None.
As much as LC folks love to hear it, MOTA "subservience" only "blossomed" in mid-19th century England under Darby. It took a steely Prussian like Muller, living by faith, strongly connected to scripture, and associated with the scholar and fellow-elder Craik, to withstand the continual onslaught from Darby and his band of cadres. What Muller endured "almost" rivaled that which Paul suffered at the hand of the Judaizers, save for those brutal persecutions.

M.E. Barber apparently resurrected "perfection by abuse" and, after a period of trial in the 1940's, Nee learned to follow Darby in the way of subjecting all others to himself. Obviously Lee watched carefully and continued the terrible pattern.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:33 PM   #148
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I want to thank you because you have made this so clear.

The doctrine of deification is not contrary to anything that Witness Lee or other Christian teachers teach -- partakers of the divine nature -- we all teach that. Sons of God, again a very standard doctrine. Every time he uses the term he makes it clear he is not teaching about believers becoming an object of worship. In fact, when you look at it the only thing different about the teaching is the word deification....

"We don't believe that man will become God himself", but on the other hand "God became man so that man may become God". What exactly does that mean? What is the difference between becoming God and becoming God himself? Who knows? He certainly never explains what changed. It doesn't matter as long as no one pays attention to the sins of his house. If it can distract you then it worked. To say that believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But then he does say that believers need to be deified, and the definition of deified is to become an object of worship.
ZNPaaneah,

would you please clarify why at the beginning of your post you conceded that Lee "Every time he uses the term he makes it clear he is not teaching about believers becoming an object of worship", but at the end you seems to disagree with what you said earlier, "To say that believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But then he does say that believers need to be deified, and the definition of deified is to become an object of worship."

Thanks
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:42 PM   #149
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My question remains unanswered. If these terminologies can be equated with simpler or clearer ways to express the same concept, then why use them in the first place? What is the benefit to using elusive words?
I cannot answer for the man himself. Some have suggested it is sinister manipulation technique, it could be his own delusion that he is a theologian because he uses big fancy words. I personally think it is to do with him looking at it from the point of view of subjectivity and giving it another name or a more lofty explanation. For example when Witness Lee says 'pray', he doesn't mean recite the Lord's prayer, or pray the words in a prayer book, like so many Christians do today. He means to have spiritual fellowship, to exercise ones spirit, not their mind or emotions. He wants to get at the core of what prayer is all about. To do so he must use different language such as "enjoying the Lord", "mingling", "exercising the spirit". I don't think it is a deliberate intent to deceive, but an attempt to explain. The English language does not have enough words in it to explain the different kinds of love or the different kinds of prayer.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:15 AM   #150
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ZNPaaneah,

would you please clarify why at the beginning of your post you conceded that Lee "Every time he uses the term he makes it clear he is not teaching about believers becoming an object of worship", but at the end you seems to disagree with what you said earlier, "To say that believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But then he does say that believers need to be deified, and the definition of deified is to become an object of worship."

Thanks
You can search Lee's use of the word "deification" and there is always a caveat in there that to make a person an object of worship is blasphemy and heresy.

Yet the definition of the word "deification" means the process of deifying an object or person.

So he is teaching that we are going through the process of "deification" yet it doesn't mean deification.

The argument put forth by Evangelical and Kerry Robicheaux and Witness Lee to defend this is that he is using a "limited definition" of the term deification. Yet when you look at credible dictionaries there is no such "limited definition". So then, why does he use a word that means "to make a person an object of worship" and which does not have another definition, and then say this isn't his intended definition? This is just deceitful. He could easily use the term "sanctification" which is the process by which we are made holy. Holiness refers to God's divine nature. Therefore, if your "limited" definition of deification is that we have God's nature but not his position, the correct term is sanctification. This is also the term used by the NT apostles and is within the "fellowship of the apostles". All Christian ministers should limit themselves by the fellowship of the apostles.

The response that I have read from Evangelical, Kerry and Witness Lee is essentially that "this is how we have defined the term, if you don't like it, tough luck". This attitude is a very cavalier attitude towards the potential for stumbling new believers, something that is severely rebuked by the Lord Jesus in Matt 18, and coincidentally an abusive attitude that is typical of false prophets.

So then, what is the harm? It is very clear in the Lord's Recovery practice that they view a "degree of sanctification" or a "degree of perfecting" or in this case a "degree of deification". We see this in Evangelical's use of the term "2nd class apostle" for James. It is the basis for "having the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons" which James tells us not to do, and it results in "partiality", a heinous evil which taken to its logical extreme was seen in Nazi Germany or the Jim Crow south.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:35 PM   #151
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You can search Lee's use of the word "deification" and there is always a caveat in there that to make a person an object of worship is blasphemy and heresy.
I agree with you that certain terms are in themselves cause of trouble, misunderstanding, blasphemy and so on.

Think for example about the word flesh and all its negative connotations. Nevertheless, John and Paul do not shy away in using it. Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us...Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
But Paul was careful to specify what kind of flesh was that.

The word lion is used to “describe” Satan and the Lord Jesus.

The word thief comes to my mind. Rev 16:15 (Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.)

The Lord didn't say He was a thief, but that He will come as a thief.

Words can be extremely negative in their connotation and yet with some caveat (as you said) they can be used.

I did my little search on the word deification. This is what Lee said in the printed LS message,

“Certain early church fathers went so far as to speak of the “deification” of the believers in Christ. I would advise against the use of such a term. To say that the believers are deified to become objects of worship is blasphemy. But it is correct to say that the believers are deified in the sense of possessing the divine life and the divine nature. If at all possible, we should replace the word deification with a more suitable term to convey the fact that we have been born of God to become sons of God.” [emphasis added]
Witness Lee, Life-Study of Galatian, page 175, first edition May 1984 Living Stream Ministry

This part is different from the electronic text on the LSM website (why the difference? I don't know). From what I read, it is clear that he didn't like the term, either. Did he look for an alternative? Maybe. Did he find a more suitable term? No.

Would you say that all who believe deification are false prophets?
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:30 AM   #152
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You can search Lee's use of the word "deification" and there is always a caveat in there that to make a person an object of worship is blasphemy and heresy.
Dictionaries also state a definition is to "obtain God-like qualities" or "one that embodies the qualities of a god". The NT shows that people considered Paul to be a god to be worshiped (see Acts 14:14) because Paul had God-like qualities.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:17 AM   #153
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Clearly Witness Lee's teaching changed from 1984 to 1994. By 1994 he had embraced the word "deification" as a "high peak truth". So I would imagine they went back and made changes to the electronic version, eliminating the "we should replace the word deification with a more suitable term". I agree with this and have said that "Sanctification" is the more suitable term.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:21 AM   #154
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Dictionaries also state a definition is to "obtain God-like qualities" or "one that embodies the qualities of a god". The NT shows that people considered Paul to be a god to be worshiped (see Acts 14:14) because Paul had God-like qualities.
Wow, you make these incendiary comments, and you do it so briefly. It is like tossing a lit Molatov cocktail into a meeting hall with a nonchalant attitude.

Acts 14:11 And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Jupiter whose temple was before the city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the multitudes. 14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they rent their garments, and sprang forth among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good tidings, that ye should turn from these vain things unto a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is:

The record in Acts and of the Apostles makes it very clear that this action by the pagan worshippers was horrifying to Paul and Barnabas and they did everything in their power to put a stop to it. You are correct in referencing this as an example of the doctrine of "deification" in the NT. But is your reference in support of the fact that this is blasphemy? That was not clear.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:47 AM   #155
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It's an example of a person being deified as in god-like but not to be worshiped as god.
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:00 AM   #156
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It's an example of a person being deified as in god-like but not to be worshiped as god.
OK, so it is an example of the "Limited definition" of deification and shows very clearly that Paul completely rejected this. I am good with this reference. Does this change your position on the doctrine?
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:39 AM   #157
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Like Paul Witness Lee never taught that we should be worshiped.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:03 AM   #158
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BLESSED BE THE CREATOR FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN


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It's an example of a person being deified as in god-like but not to be worshiped as god.
I think it is just an example of how corrupted the mind of men can be when God gives them up.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:
Rom 1:21 because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man,
and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:
Rom 1:25 for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.


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Old 09-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #159
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OK, so it is an example of the "Limited definition" of deification and shows very clearly that Paul completely rejected this. I am good with this reference. Does this change your position on the doctrine?
Do you get the feeling that only a few Lycaonian pagans are willing to accept this teaching?

Or perhaps Witness Lee was supposed to prove his modern day apostleship by telling some lame man "to stand on his feet."
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:20 PM   #160
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Like Paul Witness Lee never taught that we should be worshiped.
But unlike Paul he used a word that means he should be worshipped.
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:21 PM   #161
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Do you get the feeling that only a few Lycaonian pagans are willing to accept this teaching?

Or perhaps Witness Lee was supposed to prove his modern day apostleship by telling some lame man "to stand on his feet."
I don't understand?
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:39 PM   #162
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But unlike Paul he used a word that means he should be worshipped.
But like Paul, he said we should not be worshiped, so it's OK . In order to slander and discredit Lee and his ministry, you are clutching at straws to prove he taught deification just because he used that word, when he explicitly taught many times we are not to be worshiped.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:29 PM   #163
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I don't understand?
Read the story referenced in Acts 14.6-21.

Paul fled to the cities of the Lycaonians, where he miraculously healed a lame man. Seeing the miracle of a real apostle, the pagan Lycaonians thought that the gods had visited, and the city priest of Zeus wanted to sacrifice animals to them. Hearing what they were doing, Paul rushed on the scene proclaiming, "we are just men like all'ya'all."

Evangelical said this was "an example of a person being deified as in god-like but not to be worshiped as god."

To which I thought, "Huh?" And then wrote "then only a few Lycaonian pagans are willing to accept this teaching?"

To which you replied that the event is "an example of the "Limited definition" of deification."

To which I concluded that for Evangelical to use this event as an example of "Deification Lite," then probably Lee should also have the experience of signs and wonders in causing the lame man to walk.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:34 PM   #164
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But like Paul, he said we should not be worshiped, so it's OK . In order to slander and discredit Lee and his ministry, you are clutching at straws to prove he taught deification just because he used that word, when he explicitly taught many times we are not to be worshiped.
He explicitly taught many times you (the we) are not to be worshipped. Only worship HIM (WL).
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:19 PM   #165
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He explicitly taught many times you (the we) are not to be worshipped. Only worship HIM (WL).
And your proof is?
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:52 PM   #166
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And your proof is?
He explicitly taught many times we are not to be worshipped. (Angelical's word)

Only worship HIM (WL). (My word from my observation).

Sorry for mixing the two sentences, to read as if WL said 'only worship him'.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:04 PM   #167
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Read the story referenced in Acts 14.6-21.

Paul fled to the cities of the Lycaonians, where he miraculously healed a lame man. Seeing the miracle of a real apostle, the pagan Lycaonians thought that the gods had visited, and the city priest of Zeus wanted to sacrifice animals to them. Hearing what they were doing, Paul rushed on the scene proclaiming, "we are just men like all'ya'all."

Evangelical said this was "an example of a person being deified as in god-like but not to be worshiped as god."

To which I thought, "Huh?" And then wrote "then only a few Lycaonian pagans are willing to accept this teaching?"

To which you replied that the event is "an example of the "Limited definition" of deification."

To which I concluded that for Evangelical to use this event as an example of "Deification Lite," then probably Lee should also have the experience of signs and wonders in causing the lame man to walk.
Trying to understand Evangelical, and his use of Paul's complete rejection of anything similar to "deification" as a support for WL's use is like trying to stand on shifting sand.

It is mind boggling.

I can see that you also are trying to connect his dots, but what a gordian knot this is!
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:10 PM   #168
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But like Paul, he said we should not be worshiped, so it's OK . In order to slander and discredit Lee and his ministry, you are clutching at straws to prove he taught deification just because he used that word, when he explicitly taught many times we are not to be worshiped.
He did teach deification. That is not up for debate. Ask Kerry R.

The only thing that you can debate is what the word means. But you don't use a dictionary, you use WL's own special definition.

I am not slandering him. I have quoted him completely, thoroughly and with context. I have made it clear that he always has his caveat there.

My point is simple.

1. Using this word is forbidden by the Bible. (A point that WL made in 1984).

2. Using this word is to "go beyond what the apostle's taught" and manifests that WL is not of the apostle's fellowship.

3. Trying to use a highly provocative word by creating your own special ("limited") definition is deceitful, subject to strict judgement, and typical of a false prophet.

These points are not "straws". They completely discredit his ministry from the point he began to teach this and they expose his modus operandi.

What you probably don't understand is that I am not interested in debating if a particular ministry is scriptural or not. To me that is not profitable. My only concern is if Witness Lee is a false prophet or not, that is important.

1. The key indicator of a false prophet is that the ministry will be built on a fabricated story designed to make merchandise of the saints (according to Peter).

When I realized that Witness Lee had fabricated the story about Watchman Nee's discipline in Shanghai I became alarmed. I realized his motivation was his own ministry as the "closest coworker of Watchman Nee" wouldn't mean anything if Watchman Nee's legacy was adultery.

You have trivialized very key issues of Witness Lee making merchandise of the saints.

2. According to the Gospels you know a tree by its fruit. This is obviously the most important criteria for Igzy as he refers to the fruit of Witness Lee's ministry frequently. The fruit is abhorrent.

3. You trivialize 419 elders being forced to sign a "loyalty pledge" as not being sin. Christians were willing to die in the Colosseum rather than sign a similar pledge to the "deified" Cesar. The term "666" is known by all as being the sign of the AntiChrist but indicates a kind of "loyalty pledge" to him. Hitler used this tactic on the German Army. This is clearly offensive, it is an insult to Jesus authority, and in my opinion is what Paul means when he talks of "another Jesus".

4. Any reasonable and objective reading of the Bible would realize that "the ground of the church" doctrine is nothing but a sham attempt to create a monopoly for Witness Lee's ministry. It is the establishment of a "damnable heresy" for the express purpose of making merchandise of the saints. Any objective reading of Witness Lee would realize he never had any legitimate concern for the oneness of any believers that did not accept him as "the apostle". His doctrine is nothing but a deceitful way to say that only churches that he establishes and submits to his authority are legitimate, condemning the other 99.9% of Christians as wrong. The Pride and arrogance are truly astounding.

5. The MOTA doctrine is certainly the most utterly offensive. To use Moses word about there being another minister, like unto him and then to build this doctrine with OT types of Jesus is despicable. He takes types of Jesus Christ, and applies them to Watchman Nee. This is outrageously offensive. This is precisely what Paul meant when he talked of "preaching another Jesus".

My interest in understanding Witness Lee is because he gives me tremendous insight into Balaam and Jezebel. The Sister's rebellion, and numerous other rebellions, excommunications, etc have helped me understand Jezebel's use of slander to steal vineyards. Being in NYC has given me a very close view of this as this is what he did with the congregation here.

Also, my close association with Kerry R., Ed M., Ray G., and Benson P. has helped me understand the whole compassing the entire world to find a disciple and make them twofold a son of Gehenna.

When I look back on the entire experience I realize that the one thing that would have been a huge safeguard, the one thing that would have prevented any false prophet from deceiving me or a congregation, would have been to embrace James word that pure religion is to visit orphans and widows in their trouble. Not as some kind of "good works" program, but as someone who through faith is obedient to the Lord's word to "love your neighbor as yourself". When a church embraces this there is no way for a false prophet to "make merchandise of them".

Instead of Witness Lee's legal defense team, and anti charitable works campaign, you would have a group of Christians, receiving the Spirit by faith, expressing Jesus in their life, and being doers of the word. As someone who served in Living Stream Ministry from 1980 to 1995 in various capacities I saw first hand that the goal of the ministry was to make the saints hearers of the word only. The New Way was designed to create a new market for the ministry. Any pocket of success was leveraged for book sales, which in turn salted the field and wiped out the fruit.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:15 PM   #169
UntoHim
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

Hey least,

Please make sure you are signed in under your UserName so that all your posts appear with your UserName at the top right. Don't you want to get credit for all those great posts?

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Old 09-14-2016, 07:01 PM   #170
least
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Default Re: Witness Lee and AW Tozer

Quote:
Originally Posted by testallthings View Post
BLESSED BE THE CREATOR FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN

I think it is just an example of how corrupted the mind of men can be when God gives them up.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder th