Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Witness Lee and the local churches:
A Personal Testimony Refuted

9. No Illusion of Superiority

Witness Lee and the local churches: no cult-like manipulation, no illusion of superiority

In a typical meeting the majority of the participants are doing the same sort of things (speaking, praying, singing, standing or sitting). The writer calls this the subtle psychological manipulation (along with the practices mentioned above) of the local church cult. Since everyone is doing generally the same thing, the writer concludes that there is some underlying design to break down the weaker ones by group pressure and force him or her to conform. However, there is actually less pressure to “conform” than in the ritualistic format of many traditional “services”. The real psychological manipulation that is taking place is what has been written in his false testimony. The general meetings in the churches look much more like what Paul advocated 1 Corinthians 14:26 and Ephesians 5:18-19 than “traditional” worship services. To follow the Bible teaching is not to be local church cult.

The heart of the writer’s complaint is a so-called illusion of superiority. He thinks Witness Lee and the local churches have or create an illusion that they are superior to other Christians. This wrong perception caused a deep and growing offense in the writer, which opened him to receive false accusations and ultimately not only to turn away but to actively oppose Witness Lee and the local churches and call them a local church cult.

The real fact among Christian believers is their equality before the Lord as members of Christ’s Body. The basic fallen and sinful human condition of all men requires the same mercy and love forgiveness of the Father to redeem and forgive them through the death of His Son and to regenerate them by the life-giving Spirit. The basic status of every believer is that of a sinner, forgiven and regenerated, to be a child of God, a member of the Body of Christ, a brother. This understanding is clear in the ministry and the practices and teachings of Witness Lee and the local churches.

God is not a respecter of persons. All of the members are necessary. However, the condition and revelation of the truth differ. This is shown in the Lord’s word to the churches in Revelation 2-4. In nearly every case there was something positive as well as something negative. Should the Lord be considered cultic because he pointed out the problems in the churches? Should his members be considered cultic if they agree with the Lord’s judgment on the works of the Nicolaitans? It is not a matter of a superior attitude but faithfulness to the truth. While the status of the believers in being recipients of God’s salvation is the same, there is a difference in the negative condition of the churches. On the positive side, the Lord sees all of the proper churches as golden shining lampstands. But on the negative side, some practices are praised and others are condemned. In Hebrews, Paul condemns the Jewish believers who would not progress in their revelation and practice from the old covenant things to the new covenant things. Paul was not cultic. He stood with what the Lord had revealed in His word. Paul’s revelation was superior and his criticism was a call to the Jewish believers not to hesitate but to come forward in their knowledge of Christ and their spiritual growth. It is the same with Witness Lee and the local churches. There is no local church cult.

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