A Critique from a Local Church Participant

Greetings in Christ,
        I came across your website and have read your article regarding Witness Lee's Local Church Denomination. I too am one that has been fellowshipping with the "local church" while in disagreement on a lot of their teachings and doctrines. I live in Anaheim and so I fellowship with many of the leading ones within the church. I fellowship in both, the vital groups and the Lord's Day meetings. I prophesy on a regular basis, and like you, I am polite and try to not only to behave in a Christ like manner, but (as they would say) I try to dispense Christ as our truth and reality. So far I have gained a certain amount of respect, even among some elders, to which I have had some rather "spirited" discussions.

        I would like to share briefly three of my objections with the local church. First let me say that you are absolutely correct when you say, "As with most Christian churches, there are those in the church who dogmatically follow the teachings of those considered "leaders", and there are those who follow their own ideas, and there are those who follow the bible." I can go to three different vital groups within the local church, all discussing the same week in the "Morning Revival" and get three different doctrines. Nothing is more frustrating within the church though, as when you SHOW in scripture, errors in doctrine, only for them to respond with, "to preserve the oneness, I stand with Brother Lee, or it is a matter of Life and not what is written." When pointing out that we have TWO governing forces; the Spirit as Life, AND the Word of God as Truth, and that the two do NOT disagree, they will always, respond similarly to your comments on page 8 of your article in which they will trust their "feelings and doctrines" over the solid Truth of the Bible. This is my number one complaint. I would ask all the members of the local church: do you believe the Bible? Do you believe ALL scripture is God breathed (2 Tim 3:16)? Then why don't you believe the book of James? Footnote 11 (Recovery version) says: "...However, for the writer to call these believers in Christ "the twelve tribes," as God's chosen people were called in His Old Testament economy, indicates he (James) lacked a clear view....." In Other words, what they are saying is the Book of James is "confused" and therefore a different source than that of 2 Tim. 3:16. It is with this attitude they can arbitrarily take verses out of context to mean one thing in one verse and another elsewhere. A good example is the one you use in their defining overcomers in Rev. chapters 2 and 3 verses Rev.21: 7 which is clearly in two different ways. Another way scripture is used out of context is; as in Matt. 5:19 verses Romans 10:4. In Matt 5:191 (footnote Recovery version) Christ did not terminate (annul) the law, and in Romans 10:41 (footnote) Christ terminates the law. It is very difficult to reason with anyone, in any church that will stand on vague footnotes, rather than the pure word of God.

        The second issue I have with "the recovery" is, as you put it: "(they) advocate dogma which tends to express a rather contemptuous attitude towards other churches and denominations...." They absolutely believe they are the one true church in any locality. This kind of prideful supremacy over all the members of the Body is sickening. The doctrine for the local church can be found in "the Normal Christian Church Life" where it says:" Through out the word of God we can find no name attached to a church save the name of a place, for example, the church in Jerusalem, the church in Lystra, the church in Derbe, The church in Colosse, the church in Troas, the church in Thessalonica, the church in Antioch. This fact cannot be overemphasized, that in scripture no other name of a locality is ever connected with a church, and a division of the church into churches is solely on the difference of locality. The word of God recognizes the church in Rome, the church in Ephesus, and the church in Thessalonica, but does not recognize the Jewish church, or the Chinese church, or the Anglican church." Normally, I would have to agree with this (for there is only one church per locality and one church universally) but this doctrine is wrong in two (amin) ways. 1.) There IS a mention of churches in Scripture not only without a locality but are identified as "Gentile" churches, and that is in Romans 16:4. That alone should end this doctrine. The second point however, should clarify that this doctrine, stating that there is only one physical church per locality shows that, this doctrine is not only wrong but is divisive and does great harm to the Body. In the Watchman Nees book "the Orthodoxy of the Church", Nee identifies the church in Thyatira (Rev 2) as the Catholic Church and Sardis (Rev 3) as the denominations. So to you in the recovery, why are you separating from those in Thyatira? The word says to those in Catholicism, verse Rev 2:24, "But I say to you- the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this teaching. Who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they say-I put no other burden upon you; Nevertheless hold fast until I come." Is this saying "come out of her" and go to the local church? The Spirit even goes so far as to say STAY PUT! How about the denominations? There is a group in Sardis (v. 3:4) that says," But you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white because they are worthy." I ask you, (those in the recovery) If the Word of God says they are worthy, why do you say they aren't? May the Lord have mercy on us.

    The third (main) issue I have with the local church is the worldly way corporately they attack those that are critical of them. By taking those that oppose their doctrines in a worldly court, they are taking the way of the world and not of Christ. Again this behavior is not only distasteful and not of God, but it is harmful, both to themselves and to those they attack. What can be said? Quote scripture? Tell them to "exercise their spirit"? Perhaps using the local church "star" witness J Gordon Melton would suffice, when we ask to which spirit is he? The spirit of God or the spirit of Dracula?


I will remain anonymous, as I will remain fellowshipping with the recovery as long as the Lord wills and the recovery allows. There are many in the local church as well as in Catholicism and all the denominations, that are regenerated, constituted, transformed, and conformed members of the Body of Christ. May we all be one in Him.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015