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Discussion Forum : General Topics : my experience with local church movement so far (Philippines)

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joliboy11
Member



Joined: 2011/9/16
Posts: 182
Philippines

 my experience with local church movement so far (Philippines)

brothers,

greetings from the Philippines!

I never thought that there is kind of this church nearby my town. Where their meetings has no "pastor" but all can share/prophesy. But I just find it weird their intonation when they pray and many "amens" now and then and spontaneous speaking, with no precider? (at least on what I attended) and some phrases uncommon to me..

My observation is they are meek and they don't dispute with other groups.

they also follow a booklet (at least on what I attended): "The Holy Word for Morning Revival" compiled by Witness Lee from different writers.

Has any of you attended the same group?
any thoughts?
you can check their teachings here:
Living stream ministry: http://www.lsm.org/

 2017/1/8 23:55Profile
sermonindex
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re: my experience with local church movement so far

Brother,

Hank Hannegraf of Bible Answer Man who is known for diagnosis cults and spurious teachings called the local church movement a cult. But after careful study of them and reporting this they found out that they were not a cult but still evangelical. I personally find them interesting but also have alot of warnings in my spirit about certain beliefs. I would not feel comfortable at this point to add Witness Lee's teachings to this website.

I have read that they are known to take believers to court to remove slander on the internet of them so if that is true that does not speak well of them either. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Church_controversies

also:

It is the conclusion of Fuller Theological Seminary that the teachings and practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.
The Fuller panel further wrote that “the teachings of Witness Lee have been grossly misrepresented and therefore most frequently misunderstood in the general Christian community, especially among those who classify themselves as evangelicals.”[83] Christianity Today endorsed the Fuller panel’s findings in an editorial in its March 2006 issue.




Whether we agree with them or not, what Witness Lee says here in the current featured word on their website is true:

"The time is short. By studying the prophecies in the Bible and checking with the world situation today, we know that the day of the Lord’s coming is very near and that the last week is approaching. The crucial question today is this: Do we want to bury ourselves in the world or put ourselves in the Lord’s hand? We should know that once we bury ourselves in the world and become rooted in it, it will not be easy to be uprooted. In the few remaining days, we should get ourselves ready. Let us be those who love and serve the Lord, who are revived and are overcoming every day, and who let the world go and are waiting with all our heart for the Lord’s coming."


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2017/1/9 3:00Profile
SherlockA
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Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 15


 Re: my experience with local church movement so far

Have you asked other information re the absence of a pastor? On leave, schooling probably, furlough, etc? Any idea of any leaders, deacons, or elders in substitute perhaps? Not necessarily a pastor should be there for the meeting or gathering, albeit the work and ministry is still going-on and it sounds encouraging despite w/o any pastor/s.

Our local church can still carry any Bible study, prayer meetings, Sunday service even w/o our senior and delegated pastors, let's say they are invited to another church. Our fellow deacons or elders are glad to be appointed to share the Word in their behalf. And it is a good indicator of a maturing Church.

What phrases did you hear? Is it just because they pray aloud, raise their hands, raise their voices, and the likes? How about the wordings perhaps, context? Individual local churches have their own uniqueness, no two churches are the same. You cannot discount the history, experiences, and other things that went through a local church and how they have evolved in their community. Others preferred to be charismatic, lively, or traditional, etc...

I knew there are LS Churches here in Philippines, but I don't have a clear idea about their statement of faith. Nonetheless, you can ask if they also belong or affiliated to other local ministerial groups, parachurch, or other ministerial groups, who have the same faith and understanding. Ministerial groups, sometimes do their check and balance in this way as part of local unity and community, which somehow very different from western churches. I guess you are just scouting any churches nearby and quite observing? If you belong to a local church, probably you can also ask your pastor or leader and accompany you there. Let your intention be known to the church you intend to visit. So they can give you direct answers, also as a courtesy to them.

Thanks


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Sherlock

 2017/1/9 3:24Profile
SherlockA
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Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 15


 Re:

" It is the conclusion of Fuller Theological Seminary that the teachings and practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.
The Fuller panel further wrote that “the teachings of Witness Lee have been grossly misrepresented and therefore most frequently misunderstood in the general Christian community, especially among those who classify themselves as evangelicals.”[83] Christianity Today endorsed the Fuller panel’s findings in an editorial in its March 2006 issue. "

Thanks on this information bro Greg.

Joliboy, probably you can contact the Phil Evangelical Churches, PCEC, and ask if they are part of evangelical community. A simple background investigation, will help a lot.

Thanks


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Sherlock

 2017/1/9 3:31Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1279


 Re:

The 2 marks of a cult are,
1. They consider themselves to be the only church.
2. They consider a book written by their leader as parallel to or even higher than Bible.

I have not personally contacted Witness Lee's group but I have heard the above 2 points are applicable to them. I have even heard that recent publications of Watchman Nee's books are altered according to Witness Lee's teachings. So all the recent editions are unreliable. If this is true then I have no doubt that they are cult.


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Sreeram

 2017/1/9 11:19Profile
forrests
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Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 298


 Re:

I have a bit I can share on this topic but I am at work now. I will try to come back on later from home and share a bit.


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~ Forrest

 2017/1/9 15:34Profile
joliboy11
Member



Joined: 2011/9/16
Posts: 182
Philippines

 Re:

I also have some reservations being with them: (just on my locality) I fear that

1. most of them are not really born again
2. can they go on without Watchman Nee or Witness Lee?

I talked to one leader on the phone, when I ask about salvation this is his answer (paraphrase):
quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:23
..we have spirit, body and soul, when we believe in Jesus our spirit is saved, eternally secure. Now we our soul needed to be save (by Christ) quoting "working out our salvation with fear and trembling". and in the future our boy will be resurrected again.

I then ask about the evidence of new birth because not all are truly saved even they call Jesus, Lord. He then say, that it is not for us to judge quoting from the parable of wheat and tares. Our task is to preach the gospel and pray for them. and if you have experience you will know who the true ones are.

I also said to the brother that I found their praying (monotonous intonation) and singing weird because it is spontaneous, he then said that him also at first. And he said because they want spirit led meetings and not just formality.

As I thought of it, it could be that in not wanting "formality" we can became "formality ourselves (can you get my point?).

I heard phrases as:
"Lord we empty ourselves", "eat Jesus" I fear that they just become empty works and phrases through familiarity.. but good thing it made me reflect on myself about my prayers and speaking about God to mean what I say..

I think they have a very different approach to Christianity but they are not extremist or heretics.. maybe have a more diverge emphasis.

I am not yet sure if they have healthy fellowship with other Christians/churches different from them.

But they believe that they are not the only one saved/true church. And for them there are major and minor doctrines(of which other Christians may differ)

I only speak from my experience on my locality not on the whole group..

But anyone who knows a church in Philippines(Pampanga), I would to glad to go..

 2017/1/9 23:59Profile
StirItUp
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Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 583
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re:

Brother, from all you said it sounds like they are desiring to follow the New Testament pattern.

One can never judge a work just by what others say. Why not attend a few of their services and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and discern in your spirit by what spirit they minister, and of course by the scriptures as taught by Paul and the other apostles.

If they make more of an earthly leader than of Jesus Christ and His Words, of course this would be a major warning sign.

Blessings,


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William

 2017/1/10 1:05Profile
markuskiwi
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Joined: 2009/7/25
Posts: 287
New Zealand

 Re:

I attended one of those meetings in my home town.
I never went back again, most of the reasons are already mentioned in this thread.
You need discernment and you should also visit a few other congregations and pray that the HS will lead you to the one which is for you.

 2017/1/10 1:43Profile
forrests
Member



Joined: 2016/3/11
Posts: 298


 Re:

Quote:
by markuskiwi on 2017/1/9 22:43:37

I attended one of those meetings in my home town.
I never went back again, most of the reasons are already mentioned in this thread.

You need discernment and you should also visit a few other congregations and pray that the HS will lead you to the one which is for you.



Amen. Well put. Enough said.


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~ Forrest

 2017/1/10 7:23Profile





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