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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Normal Christian Life by Watchmen Nee

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Joined: 2011/4/24
Posts: 210
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Normal Christian Life by Watchmen Nee

Michael Liao

 2012/1/30 0:57Profile

Joined: 2006/3/31
Posts: 115

 Re: Watchman Nee Controversy

I haven't read much from Watchmen Nee, but have his daily devotionals. For me it is a genuine blessing for my soul.

And what I think about him being a false teacher, people call everybody that is disagreeing with them a false teacher.

Some say John Wesley is a false teacher, others say it about Charles Finney. Some say it about Jonathan Edwards, soms say it about Ravenhill, some say it about Paul Washer. Some say that Tim Conway is a false teacher (I heard some people in my friend-group who are saying this) Probably all are wrong on one point or the other, but that doesn't make you a false teacher I think.

False teacher is somebody who's hard is false and out of his false heart, comes false teachings and a false life. A false teaching brings you away from Christ. A false teaching make you spiritual sick.

I don't believe wachtman nee is that on those 2 points you shared. But I haven't read enough of him to give a good 'judgement' upon that. So maybe you should just pray about it en read scripture a lot more that you read other books. And if you are then reading a book, the Spirit will convict you if that man (of somebody else) is false and then you put it away.

Wijnand de Ridder

 2012/1/30 2:51Profile

 Re: Watchman Nee Controversy


I was greatly blessed by reading The Normal Christian Life because Lee showed me the way to abide in Christ instead of what I had known following the teaching of the `other camp` the ones who say Nee was a false teacher. I had known great yearnings for holiness and having a pure heart, but the Reformed teachers could not tell me how to achieve it apart from saying that I already have these things. In my heart however I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I was failing too be what God required of me but the problem was my heart. I had started off well but after the honeymoon, things went downhill.

Nee explained to me that this was the usual way when one was not getting the right teaching on what Christ achieved on the cross. His teaching is what is known as Keswick doctrine after a town in England where camp meetings were held and a modified form of holiness teachings became popular. Andrew Murray was one of the instigators. Do some googling.

Holiness teaching differs in claiming that a believer can have the sin nature destroyed but Keswick only goes so far as to say it is subdued and they do not emphasise the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Along with many of his time Nee was premill. and I disagree with him on that and a few other points but his main thrust in saying that there are two levels of Christianity is what gave me freedom and brought me close to Christ. His book is hotly opposed by Satan for this reason.

 2012/1/30 4:01

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


hi,every teacher is a false teacher...len ravenhill told me not to just take what he said as truth but to be studious and check him out with the word.he said he and all the other preachers make mistakes and i have found out after 48 years of ministry ,i have even said some stupid things that i thought were the fish and spit out the bones and dont worry about whos this or that...worry about yourself... the only one i have not seen in error is primadogma...jimp

 2012/1/30 4:27Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2013
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Watchman Nee Controversy

Michael: I have been greatly blessed by Watchman Nee. The man had an understanding of some things that was phenomenal. I have read the Norman Christian Life, The Norman Christian Church Life, and am partway through the Spiritual Man. I am not sure what these gentlemen have against him. I will say that while I have never read anything by Nee that comes up as a red flag I know he did not have it all right. But given my experience with him I will eat the good meat and if I run across a bone I will leave it alone. I never heard Nee promote carnality in the life of a believer. In fact, I clearly hear him saying the opposite.


 2012/1/30 8:08Profile

Joined: 2010/3/27
Posts: 49


"dont worry about whos this or that...worry about yourself..."

True, we will answer only for ourselves on Judgment Day, but fundamentalists will be rewarded according to how zealously they bludgeoned heretics, compromisers, emergents, contemplative pray-ers, sodomites, papists and liberals. I expect to receive a heresy-hunter's crown ten miles high with 1,000,000,000 jewels in it.

Nee was a false teacher because he did not bow before my Credal Authority. The fact that I was 4 when he died is no excuse.

The Chinese Christians are all members of the One True Church. The reason they fight so much is that China has about 100 One True Churches.

 2012/1/30 8:14Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


There are False Teachers and then there are deceived ones. There is a difference. There are many deceived teachers among the most devoted men, today. Good men can be deceived.

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." I Thess 5:21

 2012/1/30 8:42Profile

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1577
Scotland, UK


Watchman Nee was arrested by the Chinese Communists in March 1952 for his professed faith in Christ as well as his leadership among the local churches. He was judged, condemned, and sentenced in 1956 to fifteen years' imprisonment. During this entire time, only his wife was allowed to visit him.

In his final letter, written on the day of his death, he alluded to his joy "in the Lord":

"In my sickness, I still remain joyful at heart." He died in confinement in his cell on May 30, 1972. After Watchman Nee's death, when his niece came to collect his few possessions, she was given a scrap of paper that a guard had found by his bed.

What was written on that scrap may serve as Watchman Nee's testament.

"Christ is the Son of God Who died for the redemption of sinners and was resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ. Watchman Nee."

Colin Murray

 2012/1/30 9:56Profile

Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 558


Watchman Nee did have one unique doctrinal stance. He proposed that all the Christians in a geographical region all belong to the same local church. In other words, in a region there is only ONE church. He bases this on the fact that Paul addresses his epistles to THE CHURCH at Corinth, Phillipi, Colassae, etc. I would note however that Paul did not start the book of Romans with that greeting, probably because Rome was a huge city around that time (50 A.D.). Watchman Nee was not a fan of denominationalism nor am I. But to insist that all believers in a geographical area MUST assemble as the one and only true (local) church is an invitation to abuse and CULTISHNESS. Watchman's friend Witness Lee did just that with this teaching. Witness started a church in the Los Angeles area and are known as the "little flock." They were written about in one chapter of a book covering cults entitled "The Mind Benders." Witness Lee and his church are indeed a cult and Witness likes to name-drop his association with Watchman all the time so beware. Don't think Watchman was a heretic because one of his followers later became one.
Here is an online Watchman Nee resource that has capsule summaries of all his books and other helpful info:

 2012/1/30 10:03Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777


Now, Nee's co-worker Witness Lee I have some problems with, that's for sure

I read his book because someone wanted my view of it. She wasn't sure about it. It's a tedious read! I agree that it is problematic. Check the internet from some reviews, if you’d like. There is one I know of which seems reasonable. What we have here, I think is a common occurrence, where someone’s disciples take his theology far off course by exaggerating an overly-narrow focus with questionable arguments. Lee even has his own bible translation, which in itself is a concern. It’s a one-man-show.

Can anyone here list out all the controversies that surrounds Watchman Nee in order that I may have greater insight in this matter and also have scriptural discernment about his writings.

Watchmen Nee has blessed me in the past too. The Normal Christian is a wonderful book. Regarding Nee's flaws - why contaminate the beautiful blessing by digging through the trenches. It may be best to simply move on in your faith journey. Read other writers, and keep on studying your Scripture with diligence.


 2012/1/30 10:13Profile

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