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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Who is my neighbor? by Watchman Nee

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 Re:

Good point White-Stone, there is a reason for everything. Its interesting though that we had this kind of discussion on another thread about the difference between revelation and illumination. Tozer made the point that God's Word was revelation and that was objective Truth, yet to understand the Scriptures it take's illumination by the Holy Spirit. Love you guys...........brother Frank

 2009/8/19 22:11
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

I think BOTH 'Nee's' and the 'traditional'interpretation are valid. At first I thought Nee was distorting the plain meaning of the parable, but on reflection I realise that although the plain meaning is that we should be the good Samaritan and love our neighbour, we do so by following the perfect example of our Lord Jesus who loved us who where broken and in great need. 'We love, because He first loved us'. When you think about it all scripture points to the fact that we should be like our Lord Jesus Christ. 'As Christ is, so are we in this world'; ' Be immitators of God', etc.

So we can see in this parable the truth of the redemption story as described by earlier poster and ALSO be challanged 'to do likewise' and be the representation of Jesus Christ to a needy world. This is the great challange of the Christian walk, not only did Jesus preach the Good News, He also was (and is) the provision of that Good News.

Every Blessing...


_________________
Dave

 2009/8/20 5:45Profile
TrueWitness
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Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 522


 Re:

ginnyrose wrote:

Quote:
I also think the logic of Nee's reasoning is seriously flawed: Quote: "Someone is wounded. Someone is dying. If I care for him and love him, I will be a good Samaritan, and I will have eternal life."



But look at the sentence he wrote immediately before the ones you quoted:
Quote:
The problem today is that man continually thinks of works. When he reads Luke 10, he says to himself: "Someone is wounded. Someone is dying. If I care for him and love him, I will be a good Samaritan, and I will have eternal life." We think that when we help others, we will inherit eternal life.



You see that Nee is pointing out that people who think like that are wrong in their thinking. Instead of Nee advocating the position you claim he is in your quote, he is actually opposed to that type of thinking.

The more I think about Nee's interpretation of this parable, the more I discount it being the main intent of the teaching. Who if they were beaten and left for dead in the road needs to be told to love someone who comes by and helps them? Wouldn't that be a natural reaction? But then we come to verses 36 and 37:


Quote:
"Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."



So here we see that in this parable the neighbor is the good Samaritan. So does the command "go and do likewise" mean love the neighbor (those who show us mercy) or does it mean be a neighbor (show kindness to those in need)? I lean toward the be a neighbor more than the other.

 2009/8/20 9:21Profile









 Re:

...."Many today apply this passage incorrectly. They think that the Lord Jesus wants us to love our neighbor as ourself. Whether it is the Bible schools, the Sunday schools, or the Sunday pulpits, they all tell people that one has to be a good Samaritan. You have to love your neighbors, to show mercy to them, and to help them. To them, who is the neighbor? It is the one who was wounded by the robbers. And who are we? We are the good Samaritan. But this is exactly the opposite of what the Lord Jesus was saying. What the Lord meant was that we are the ones wounded by the robbers. Who then is our neighbor? Our neighbor is the good Samaritan."... Nee

I don't think anyone is being overly hard on Nee here given that Nee is the one who said that this passage is being interpreted incorrectly throughout history as if his is the only one that is valid. He goes to great length to say 'many' are 'incorrect' in their original interpretation as it looks on the surface. He doesn't seem to leave room for any other interpretation but his own. When someone implies this, I immediately give pause.


Luke 10: "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."


I believe that the Samaritan was 'being a neighbor' to the man who fell into the hands of robbers, but the original question posed was WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?? I don't think Jesus was saying our neighbor is the Samaritan so 'go and do likewise' to people like just like him. Did the Samaritan need help?? The Samaritan was being a neighbor to his neighbor. Jesus, as He consistently demonstated throughout Scripture, was preaching mercy and love to those in need. Our neighbors are those in need and we must be a neighbor (like the Samaritan) to those who are in need. Christians do not pass by. Teachers of the law may pass by, scholars may pass by, men of outward virtue may pass by... but not those who follow Christ. To me (that is in my opinion), this is not some mystical passage like the meaning of 'foreknew' and 'predestined', it is a simple passage about the love of God and how this must be represented by those who claim to know Him.

..."The Lord Jesus said, "Go, and you do likewise." This word confuses many people. They think that the Lord is telling us to help others. But what this word means is that your neighbor is the good Samaritan. Therefore you should accept Him as your Savior. Since your neighbor is the good Samaritan, you must be the one wounded by the robbers. They think that the Lord is telling us to help others. But what this word means is that your neighbor is the good Samaritan.".... Nee

This just doesn't make sense to me. We are supposed to be the wounded man but Jesus says to go and do likewise. "Go" as in an action verb is the term Jesus uses. So we have two options: Go and help those in need and be a neighbor to your neighbor OR go and accept Jesus as our neighbor when life beats us up. The latter doesn't jive to me in the context of 'go an do'. How can we go and do likewise as a command from Jesus to be a victim so our neighbor can help? To say that Jesus is saying that we 'should accept Him as the Savior and neigbor when times are tough' doesn't seem consistent with 'go and do likewise' as an action command moving forward. Also, Nee implies that the neighbor and Jesus are one and the same. But Scripture in Matthew, Mark, and Luke does not see it this way.

Again in the context of the Bible we see in Matthew 19:19, Matt 22:37-42 along with Mark and Luke suggesting that God and neighbor are used as mutually exclusive as 'God with all your heart, mind and strength' AND 'love your neighbor as yourself' are two separate people.

Matt 22

37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Since the only other passage I can find that uses similar language like 'love your neighbor' is in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke then I rely on this for some context. Jesus does not describe Himself as the neighbor here, and since He and the Father are one, then the neighbor is someone other than them. I can't neglect this context of 'neighbor' in light of Nee's interpretation. Love God, love your neighbor are said to be the two greatest commandments. The bible is peppered with the saints helping others to glorify God. Jesus, Paul, Peter, John all discuss doing good, loving others, doing the work of an evangalist, and glorifying God by the fruit bearing of the Spirit.... and this is the hallmark of ministering the love of God to a lost and dying world. So why couldn't the Samaritan be us?? Why couldn't his deed by the fruit of the Spirit in helping someone in need glorify God???
Some may say 'well it could be seen that way and many people have'. If you would say this then you would stop short of saying that this is an incorrect interpretation and those who view it this way are 'confused'. Nee doesn't do that here. He says the obvious interpretation is wrong. To me that's a problem no matter who is giving their opinion in interpretation.

I agree with Nee that many may take this as 'works related' unto salvation but this wouldn't be the only passage that people have done this.

 2009/8/20 10:19









 Re:

I think Dave says it very well. Ginnyrose , I believe, knows it was tongue in cheek , when I said she was being too hard on Nee, hence the smiley face :) Interpretations should be challenged. Its good berean work. And I think we should always start from a position of love and trying to understand what another brother is saying, especially if he has dedicated his whole life to Jesus. I remember asking a good older brother to read "The Cost of Discipleship," by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was very against him, b ut I persuaded him to read the book. He was greatly blessed by it. There is a tendency nowadays, not on sermonidex of course :) , to take a statement or a disagreement and then throw the baby out with the bathwater. Lets imagine that Nee is completly wrong on his interpretation of this parrable, which is very possible. Would that make him a Liberal who was trying to twist the Scriptures, or would it simply make him a Christian who did not have a perfect theology and understanding of the Scriptures? I think it is is important to take the totality of a man's life and walk to sum him up.............Frank

 2009/8/20 11:36









 Re:

"I think Dave says it very well. Ginnyrose , I believe, knows it was tongue in cheek , when I said she was being too hard on Nee, hence the smiley face :)"appolous

Hi appolous. Okay that makes more sense. I must have missed that whole thing. Sorry about that sir.

cc-

 2009/8/20 11:50









 Re:

"Lets imagine that Nee is completly wrong on his interpretation of this parrable, which is very possible. Would that make him a Liberal who was trying to twist the Scriptures, or would it simply make him a Christian who did not have a perfect theology and understanding of the Scriptures? I think it is is important to take the totality of a man's life and walk to sum him up" appolous

I agree with you, I was trying to challenge the interpretation more than the man himself. When I said that I give pause to those who claim an interpretation is incorrect and there's is correct, I didn't mean to dismiss Nee altogether. I believe Nee to be a great man of God. I just didn't agree with the presumption that another interpretaion was incorrect in this particular passage. I can see this being said in something more obscure in it's dialogue like 'predestination' as there are several views. But I just think it was a stretch for him to call the other view unequivicolly incorrect.

 2009/8/20 12:05









 Re:

Hi CC, I agree with you brother, its always very bold to make that kind of statement, and its not something I would do myself. And I think that you did a good job challenging the position that Nee took. I think I still tend to come down on Dave's position, while acknowledging the "all others are incorrect," is a very emphatic statement and certainly one that was always going to be challenged.........Frank

 2009/8/20 14:15





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