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召会:正统或异端?(陈鸽)2018-8-8

打着倪柝声(Watchman Nee)招牌,由李常受(Witness Lee)创始的“召会”,海外又名“地方召会”(Local Church)或“水流执事站”,曾在1980年代被中国官方定为“呼喊派”,即异端邪教(Cult),如今却峰回路转,东山再起,逐渐抬头,成为国际宗教舞台上的正统信仰。

 分水岭

 转折点是2009年,美国异端研究机构“基督教研究所”(The Christian Research Institute,简称 CRI 受到“地方召会”法律的控诉,濒临破产的危机(注1),在威胁恐吓、万般无奈下,其杂志主编 Elliot Miller写了一篇文章,公开向召会道歉,承认“WE WERE WRONG” (我们从前错了);在此同时,香港名牧苏颖智在《时代论坛》发表“我对地方教会之信仰的改观”一文,肯定了“李常受召会”神学的正统性,最后苏牧师说:

 總括來說,有鑑於他們(李常受召会)對聖經之無誤及權威,對三一真神之看法,對主基督完全之神人二性,主基督的再來,對人,對罪,對救恩之看法等最重要真理上,與我們所信並沒有大差別。雖在某些細節上之解釋我們有不同見解,但並不影響我對他們之接納。他們並非異端或極端教派,乃是我們的弟兄姊妹。我個人希望他們能融入與其他教會之和諧團契關係中,也希望眾教會能接納他們,一同見證主基督,建立門徒,榮耀三一真神。(注 1

 接着,台湾名牧刘志雄、康来昌、等人亦纷纷起来为召会正名、平反。再加上近年来,台湾召会又派代表去大陆“三自会”参加两岸教会交流活动;2018年初,召会更在台湾举行了三万人盛会,有62国家参加,一同“擘饼”,领受主餐,声势浩大,场景壮观。从这种种迹象看来,召会已渐渐摆脱了过去的耻辱,步步迈向了国际的主流。

 如今,异端已改头换面,粉墨登场,成了教会的“正统”了。

 历史重演

 这不足为怪,教父亚他那修和“亚流派”也曾在教会历史上,为“基督论”长年的争辩,反反复复,打了好几个回合的拉锯战。因此,我们不在乎暂时的成败,只在乎最关键的问题,就是到底“李常受召会”是正统或异端?不是根据官方的标准(official edict)或法庭的判决(court decision)或政治的正确性(political correctness)或神学家的意见(theologian’s opinion )甚至不是根据古教父的看法(church fathers’ views),乃是到底神是怎么说的?即根据圣经,究竟”地方召会”是主里的弟兄或“偷着引进来的假弟兄”呢?

 寸步不让

  2:4 因为有偷著引进来的假弟兄,私下窥探我们在基督耶稣里的自由,要叫我们作奴仆。我们就是一刻的工夫也没有容让顺服他们,为要叫福音的真理仍存在你们中间。 

 约二 1:7 因为世上有许多迷惑人的出来,他们不认耶稣基督是成了肉身来的;这就是那迷惑人、敌基督的。8 你们要小心,不要失去你们所做的工,乃要得著满足的赏赐。凡越过基督的教训、不常守著的,就没有神;常守这教训的,就有父又有子。10 若有人到你们那里,不是传这教训,不要接他到家里,也不要问他的安;11 因为问他安的,就在他的恶行上有分。

 圣经对【正统或异端】的分辨是非黑即白、水火不容、毫不含糊的。使徒们绝不容让豺狼混进羊圈,以假乱真,迷惑信徒,我们也当以此忌邪的心为心,持守真道,寸步不让(民 25:1012)。

 ————————–

 公开信 

 以下,我要转载一封公开信,一封70多位福音派人士(来自 7个国家)史无前例地联名,写给“李常受地方召会和水流职事站”领导人的公开信,其中引用了其创始者李常受标新立异的言论为证,第一,呼吁“地方召会”与“水流职事站”,弃绝并收回李常受的有关神性本质与人性本质所引发争议的教导。第二,要求“地方召会”与“水流职事站”宣布拒绝李常受对福音派各宗派与组织的基督徒的诋毁性言论。第三,公开信更呼吁“地方召会”与“水流职事站”放弃以“诉讼”或“恐吓诉讼”的方式来解决与其他基督徒之间的争议。完整内容翻译如下(注 2):

 “水流职事站”与“地方召会”领导人

“水流职事站”与“地方召会”也叫作“主的恢复”,由已故的李常受创建,几十年来一直与知名的基督教机构与基督教领导人发生法律诉讼与神学争议。鉴于以上不断发生诉讼与争端的历史,我们集体署名公开呼吁。

由于李常受下列的公开教导显然已经违背或偏离了基督教信仰的基本教义,我们带着敬意呼吁“地方召会”与“水流职事站”的领导人,撤回并停止出版李常受的这些教训与其他类似教导。

 关于神的本性

“圣子既然被称为父;圣子必然就是父神,我们必须认识这一事实。有些人说,圣子虽然被称为父,但祂并不真的是父神。然而祂怎么能被称作父却又不是父神呢?……那本来住在人所不能靠近之处的上帝就是父神(提前6:16),当祂降生为人时,祂就是圣子。所以,有一子赐给我们,祂名叫‘永在的父’。这赐给我们的子就是父神。”(李常受《基督包罗万有的灵》)

                                                                       Witness Lee, The All-Inclusive Spirit of Christ
                                 (Los Angeles: The Stream Publishers, 1969), pp. 4-5

“……这完整的神,三一神,成为肉身。”(李常受《神新约的经纶》)

Witness Lee, God’s New Testament Economy
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1986), p. 230

 “传统上对三位一体的解释是极其不恰当而且处于三神论的边缘。当神的灵进入我们,(父)神并没有被丢在一旁,基督也没有留在宝座上。这是(传统)基督教带给我们的印象。他们认为圣父是一个位格,所差遣的圣子是另一个位格,完成了救赎工作之后,圣子差遣圣灵,又是一个位格。根据传统的看法,当圣灵降临于信徒时,圣父与圣子仍在宝座上。当信徒祷告时,他们被教导要奉圣子的名俯伏在天父面前祈祷。将上帝的神性分裂为三个位格并不是圣经的启示……”(李常受《生命的信息》)

Witness Lee, Life Messages
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979), p. 164

 “子就是父,子也是圣灵/那灵……主耶稣既是子也是永远的父。我们的主既是圣子,也是圣父。哈利路亚!”(李常受《关于三一神》)

Witness Lee, Concerning the Triune God
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1973), pp. 18-19

 “所以很清楚:主耶稣就是父神,也是圣子,也是圣灵/那灵,祂就是神。祂也是主。祂是父,是子,是圣灵/那灵,是全能的神,是主。”(李常受《圣经的明确启示》)

Witness Lee, The Clear Scriptural Revelation
Concerning the Triune God

www.contendingforthefaith.org/responses/booklets/triune.html

 “圣父、圣子和圣灵/那灵不是三个位格或三位上帝;祂们是一位上帝,一个实际,只有一个位格。”(李常受《三一神到三元人的生命》)

Witness Lee, The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1970), p. 48

关于人的本性

 “基督有二性,人性和神性,我们也一样:我们有人性,但被神性覆盖。祂是神-人,我们也是神-人。祂是黄金包裹的木造约柜,我们是黄金包裹的木板。在数量上我们不同,但在本质上我们(与基督)完全相同。”(李常受《包罗万有的基督》)

Witness Lee, The All-Inclusive Christ
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 5th ed. 1989), p. 103

“神既然能对信祂的人说:‘我是神也是人’,信徒也能这样回应,‘赞美你,主,你是神也是人,我们也既是神又是人。’”(李常受《三一神到三元人的生命》)

Witness Lee, The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1990), pp. 51-52

“我的负担就是清楚地告诉你们,神的经纶和计划就是,神成为人,就是要使我们——祂的受造物——成为神,所以祂是‘人化’,我们是‘神化’。最后,祂和我们,我们和祂,都成为神-人。(李常受《对神圣分赐的深入研读》)

Witness Lee, A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1990), p. 54

“我们这些信徒是从神受生的。从人生的就是人,从神生的就是神。我们是从神生的,在这个意义上,我们就是神。”(同上)

Ibid., p. 53

“既然圣父、圣子和圣灵/那灵与基督的身体合一,我们就可以说三一神现在是‘四位一体’的神/四一神。四一神是指父、子、那灵和身体。神圣‘三一’的三不能混乱或分开,‘四一’也不能分开或混乱。(同上)

Ibid., pp. 203-204

关于福音派教会各宗派的合法性

我们谴责“水流职事站”和“地方召会”的自相矛盾的、无理的做法,一方面试图加入福音派教会与机构的事工联合会,一方面继续高扬李常受对福音派教会与机构的诋毁作风如下:

“由背道的罗马天主教和更正教各宗派所组成的基督教国,不是主所建造的召会。这预言是借着主的恢复得以应验的,真正召会的建造是在主的恢复里才得以完成。”(《新约圣经恢复本》马太福音16:18注释4)

Witness Lee in The New Testament Recovery Version,
note 184 (Matthew 16:18)
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 99

http://online.recoveryversion.org/FootNotes.asp?FNtsID=639

“背道的召会(即教会)已经偏离了主的话语并成为异端。经历宗教改革的教会虽然多少有点恢复到主的话语,但他们否认了主的名,以许多别的名称呼自己,如路德会、卫斯理会、圣公会、长老会、浸信会等。偏离主的话语就是背道,以主的名之外的名来称呼召会,就是属灵的淫乱。”(《新约圣经恢复本》启示录3:18注释3)

Witness Lee in The New Testament Recovery Version,
note 83 (Revelation 3:8)
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 1256

 “我恐怕我们当中的相当一部分人仍然处在基督教界的负面影响之中。今天我们所有人必须认识到主要完全地恢复我们,并把我们完全带出基督教界。”(李常受《召会历史和地方召会》)

Witness Lee, The History of the Church and the Local Churches
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 132

 “在各个宗派里,包括罗马天主教里,都有真正得救的基督徒。他们是神的百姓,属乎主。但这些宗派的组织并不属于神。这些宗派组织已经被撒旦利用,用以建立其魔鬼体制,摧毁神对纯正教会生活的经纶(经营)。”(李常受《创世纪生命读经》信息第三十四)

Witness Lee, “Message Thirty-Four” in The Life-Study of Genesis
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 464

 “我们不要管基督教,我们不要管基督教世界,我们不要管罗马天主教,我们不要管各个宗派,因为圣经说大巴比伦已经堕落了。这是一个宣告。基督教堕落了,基督教世界堕落了,罗马天主教堕落了,所有的教会宗派都堕落了。哈利路亚!”(李常受《地方召会的七灵》)

Witness Lee, The Seven Spirits for the Local Churches
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989), p. 97

 “认识神是不够的。认识基督也是不够的。甚至认识教会也是不够的。我们必须要认识教会/召会是地方的。如果我们及时地跟从主,就能认识到今日乃是地方召会的时代。”(同上)

Ibid., p. 23

我们带着敬意呼吁“水流职事站”和“地方召会”的领导人弃绝并且停止出版这些言论或发布类似宣称。

有关与福音派基督徒的诉讼

如果“水流职事站”和“地方召会”的领导人把福音派基督徒看作是信仰伙伴,我们请求他们发表公开声明放弃以“诉讼”或“恐吓诉讼”的方式来回应福音派基督徒的批评或解决争端。新约圣经非常不支持以诉讼方式解决基督徒之间的争议纠纷。(参:哥林多前书6:1-8)

如果“水流职事站”和“地方召会”的领导人不认为福音派教会、组织、机构是合法的基督教实体,那么,我们请求他们公开退出一切福音派教会与事工联合会。

不论在何种情形下,我们都带着敬意要求“水流职事站”和“地方召会”的领导人停止以“诉讼”或“恐吓诉讼”的方式来回应基督教组织或基督徒个体的批评、解决相关的纠纷。

 最后附:英文原文和70多位教会领袖的简介和签名(注 5

 ———————————

 事发有因

 为什么这70多位,来自7个国家、德高望重的教会领袖要联名写这一封语重心长的公开信给“地方召会”呢?

 神学家 Norm Geisler and Ron Rhodes 在另一封公开信中说明了原因(注 3):

 “地方召会”的好斗与好战是尽人皆知的,只要有人敢称他们为“异端”,他们不但威胁要诉诸于法,更采取实际行动,并且已经成功地迫使许多教会机构撤销了对他们“异端”的称谓,正如近期《基督教研究杂志》(45页)所承认的。著名异端研究者 Eric Pement 例举了许多被召会威胁诉诸于法律的基督教机构……。事实证明,“地方召会”来势汹汹,他们曾将“属灵冒牌工程”(Spiritual Counterfeit Project)逼到山穷水尽,宣告破产了。另外,受其威胁的机构还包括“基督教文艺出版社”(Christian Literature Crusade),“基督教佳音书室”(Christian Herald Books),“穆迪神学院”(Moody Bible Institute),Salem Kirban“永恒杂志”(Eternity Magazine),“校园出版社”(InterVarsity Press),“丁道尔出版社”(Tyndale House Publishers),“金莫然真理之光事工”(Jim Moran and Light of Truth Ministries),“庇哩亚护教研究事工”(Berean Apologetics Research Ministry),and Daniel Azuma (45)

 导火线

 最近,他们又控诉“基督教研究所”(CRIJohn Ankerberg  John Weldon写的《新奇异端百科全书》并控诉为其印行的“丰收出版社”一亿三千六百万美元。如果起诉成立,这两个机构都要同时破产。Pement 说的不错:“我想‘摩门教’和‘耶和华见证人’两者对福音派基督徒的控诉与威胁加起来,还不如召会多呢!”(45页)

 鉴于此,许多的福音派的领袖、护教者、神学家联名写了一封公开信,指正“地方召会”偏颇的教义,劝勉他们撤销非正统的教训,因“这些似是而非的教导违背妥协了基督教的基要信仰”。公开信也要求召会“弃绝并停止继续出版这一类的言论”,更请求召会“制止对其它宗派的控诉活动;这些宗派相信召会的教义和行径偏离了正统的信仰……”。

 一波三折

 然而,“地方召会”却没有表达任何歉意,也没有收回任何非正统的言论,反而一意孤行,继续进行法律的控诉。

 结果,德州最高法庭开庭,否决了召会对“基督教研究所”和 “丰收出版社”(Harvest House)的控诉。当然,召会不服,就上告美国最高法庭,又被驳回。

 这本是反异端运动的一大胜利,也是对持守正统福音信仰者的一大激励。

 大倒戈

 没想到,在此关键时刻,“基督教研究所”竟然投降了,他们公开向召会认错 —- WE WERE WRONG.

 对此,神学家 Norm Geisler 大失所望,他写到(注 3):

 1) 尽管最高法院的判决,否定了召会(的正统性);

2) 尽管反异端运动者的意见,大多都反对召会;

3) 尽管召会没有正面的回应70多位教会领袖联名写的公开信;

4) 尽管我个人 (Norman Geisler) 在我家客厅里,私下请求 Hank Hanegraaff”基督教研究所”代表,不要这样做(即不要向召会让步);

5) 尽管“基督教研究所”多年来都承认召会的“偏差”,称其为“异端”,甚至“邪教”;

6) 尽管“基督教研究所”承认一直拥有他们现在用来肯定“地方召会”的基本材料。

尽管如此,“基督教研究所”如今却改变了他们一贯的立场,反而开始全面维护“地方召会”,甚至称之为 “全然正统”,并赞赏召会在多方面是“众教会的好榜样”。

 遮羞布

 “基督教研究所”的倒戈,在西方教会中造成了激烈的神学争辩(注 4),而华人阵营中,苏颖智、刘志雄、康来昌等名牧也都纷纷倒向召会。他们更挑起了“基督人性受造”的争论,其真正目的是为“李常受召会”辩护、正名、平反。虽然他们旁征博引、长篇大论,发表错综复杂的神学论文,但都不足掩饰“李常受召会”异端的本质;神学的辩论不过是他们妥协真道的遮羞布罢了。

 然而,值得庆幸的是:苏颖智牧师写的《认识主基督》2016修订版,表明了他神学上的反思,显然违背了他2008年对召会的接纳(注1)。尽管如此,至今苏牧师仍不肯承认召会是异端。的确,老虎屁股摸不得!谁想惹火烧身呢?

 退堂鼓

 箴言 25:26 义人在恶人面前退缩,好像浑之泉,弄浊之井。

 我们不禁要问:为什么这些教会领袖要妥协、让步、倒戈、搅浑水、和稀泥、左摇右晃、立场恍惚呢?

 显然,李常受的奇谈怪论偏离了圣经的真道。这70多位教会领袖写的公开信,义正词严,清楚地指出召会的偏差,并且证据确凿,白纸黑字,无可推诿。(其实李常受中文著作当中,离经叛道的言论更层出不穷、不胜枚举,单英文翻译的就足够了。)然而,召会非但不听从众仆人的劝诫,也不弃绝李常受的谬论,反倒硬着颈项,摆出一副教义正统的形象,宣称自己的信仰与使徒们一脉相承,并继续诉诸于世俗的法庭,坚决不撤回李常受亵渎的言论。

 对这样的人,使徒保罗早就说过:

  3:10 分门结党的人,警戒过一两次,就要弃绝他。11  因为知道这等人已经背道,犯了罪,自己明知不是,还是去做。

 既然如此,为什么“基督教研究所”还要反过来向召会道歉呢?为什么华人名牧还要替召会站台、撑腰、辩护呢?

 这岂不是颠倒是非、混淆黑白,替豺狼披上羊皮,为异端穿上正统,把假教会(召会)当成真弟兄吗?这岂不要迷惑成千上万的“善男信女”,导致他们偏离正道,误入歧途,甚至沉沦灭亡吗?请问,以假乱真,该当何罪?

 假疫苗

 我不禁联想起最近发生的“疫苗事件”,一篇蹭假疫苗热度的煽情文,大赚30+万赏金,而我(陈鸽)揭发假教会、假牧师、假先知的文章反而中了30+万支冷箭,成了众矢之的。

 这有何妨呢?我们不是讨人的喜欢,也不是与属血气的争战(弗 6:12;加 1:10)。

  1:10 我现在是要得人的心呢?还是要得神的心呢?我岂是讨人的喜欢吗?若仍旧讨人的喜欢,我就不是基督的仆人了。 

  6:10 我还有末了的话:你们要靠著主,倚赖他的大能大力作刚强的人。11 要穿戴神所赐的全副军装,就能抵挡魔鬼的诡计。12 因我们并不是与属血气的争战(原文作摔跤)乃是与那些执政的、掌权的、管辖这幽暗世界的,以及天空属灵气的恶魔争战。

 没错,教会对社会上的不义,不能视若无睹;那么,我们对教会中的不义,就更当倍加关切啦!可叹!今天许多信徒对“假疫苗”愤慨万千,但对假教会却漠不关心,甚至不屑一顾,管它召会不召会的!

 弟兄姊妹,可知属灵的造假,比假疫苗更加可怕千万倍!固然,注射假疫苗会坏你的身子,但容让假教会(召会)会召你的魂,叫你永远下地狱(彼后 2:1)。生死攸关啊!开不得玩笑!

 睡大觉

 我们理当同仇敌忾,齐心打假;然而,今天沉睡的教会却说:“我们应当合而为一、彼此相爱,不要批评论断、不要制造纷争。把那搅乱天下的人赶出去,世界就太平了。” 这是何等可怕寂静的黑夜啊!

  13:11 再者,你们晓得现今就是该趁早睡醒的时候;因为我们得救,现今比初信的时候更近12 黑夜已深,白昼将近;我们就当脱去暗昧的行为,带上光明的兵器。

 豁上命

 亚他那修与“亚流派”争战的过程中,曾多次众叛亲离。有人对他说:“亚他那修啊!全世界都反对你啦!” 他回答说,“那么,我就反对全世界!”

 马丁路德在1529,改教的争战中,根据(诗篇 46:1-3)谱写了“上主是我坚固保障”,这首歌成了改教运动的“马赛曲”,其中有段可歌可泣的歌词:“亲戚货财可舍,渺小浮生可丧,人或残杀我身,主道依然兴旺,上主国度永久长。

 阿们!传道人若没有这样破釜沉舟的心志,那么遇到反对时,就会见风转舵、弃守真道,逃之夭夭。

 弟兄姊妹,服事主有学术、有知识、有头衔、被按立,固然好,但不够,我们更需要有战士卫道的勇气,感谢主,兴起了亚他那修、马丁路德、钟马田、王明道、等等忠勇的见证人。试想,他们若胆怯退后,明哲保身,我们今天就很可能还生活在“亚流派”的谎言下或中世纪的黑暗中,不见天日,没有真光。但感谢主,他们靠主站住了,我们在基督里也可以得胜有余。

  12:1 我们既有这许多的见证人,如同云彩围著我们,就当放下各样的重担,脱去容易缠累我们的罪,存心忍耐,奔那摆在我们前头的路程,2 仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。他因那摆在前面的喜乐,就轻看羞辱,忍受了十字架的苦难,便坐在神宝座的右边。3 那忍受罪人这样顶撞的,你们要思想,免得疲倦灰心。你们与罪恶相争,还没有抵挡到流血的地步。 

 约一 2:17 这世界和其上的情欲都要过去,惟独遵行神旨意的,是永远常存。

 彼前 1:24 因为凡有血气的,尽都如草;他的美荣都像草上的花。草必枯乾,花必凋谢;25 惟有主的道是永存的。所传给你们的福音就是这道。

 ——————————-

 1:我对地方教会之信仰的改观(苏颖智)

https://christiantimes.org.hk/Common/Reader/News/ShowNews.jsp?Nid=50234&Pid=2&Version=1108&Cid=641&Charset=big5_hkscs  

 2:七十多位教会领袖给召会的公开信。中文翻译来源:Zebrazebra  http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6151b1790100jkjj.html

  3A Response to the Christian Research Journal’s  Recent Defense of the “Local Church” Movement

 Norm Geisler and Ron Rhodes”基督教研究所”近来对”召会运动”之维护的回应

http://www.open-letter.org/pdf/Geisler_Rhodes_Response_to_CRI.pdf

  4:岂不知对基督的认识,单有教义的精准还不够,更需要父神藉着圣灵的启示!(太 16:1617;弗 1:1718)。“罗马天主教”可以认同使徒信经、尼西亚信经、甚至亚他那修信经,但仍可能没有基督的生命;“改革宗”可以背诵威斯敏信条、大小要理问答、海德堡信经,但仍可能是恩典的门外汉;法利赛人尼哥底母,犹太人的拉比、以色列人的先生、对旧约滚瓜烂熟,但仍然没有重生得救(约 3:3,5,7)。因为那字句是叫人死,精意(或作:圣灵)是叫人活。”(林后 3:6 

  16:16 西门彼得回答说:「你是基督,是永生神的儿子。」17 耶稣对他说:「西门巴约拿,你是有福的!因为这不是属血肉的指示你的,乃是我在天上的父指示的。 

  1:17 求我们主耶稣基督的神,荣耀的父,将那赐人智慧和启示的灵赏给你们,使你们真知道他,18 并且照明你们心中的眼睛,使你们知道他的恩召有何等指望,他在圣徒中得的基业有何等丰盛的荣耀……。

  5公开信(附签名)英文原文如下:http://www.open-letter.org/

 More than 70 evangelical Christian scholars and ministry leaders from seven nations have signed an unprecedented open letter to the leadership of the “local churches” and Living Stream Ministry.

 This letter is a public appeal to disavow and withdraw controversial statements made by their founder, Witness Lee, on the doctrine of God and the doctrine of man. The letter also asks the “local churches” and Living Stream to renounce statements made by Lee that denigrate evangelical Christian denominations and organizations. Finally, the letter appeals to the leadership of the “local churches” and Living Stream to discontinue their use of lawsuits and threatened litigation against Christian individuals and organizations to answer criticisms or resolve disputes.

 An Open Letter

To the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the “Local Churches”

Living Stream Ministry and the “local churches” (also known as The Lord’s Recovery), both founded by the late Witness Lee, have been involved for decades in legal and theological controversies with noted Christian institutions and leaders. In light of this history of litigation and conflict, we the undersigned make this public appeal.

Because the following statements by Witness Lee appear to contradict or compromise essential doctrines of the Christian faith, we respectfully call on the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the “local churches” to disavow and cease to publish these and similar declarations:

On the Nature of God 

“The Son is called the Father; so the Son must be the Father. We must realize this fact. There are some who say that He is called the Father, but He is not really the Father. But how could He be called the Father and yet not be the Father?… In the place where no man can approach Him (I Tim. 6:16), God is the Father. When He comes forth to manifest Himself, He is the Son. So, a Son is given, yet His name is called ‘The everlasting Father.’ This very Son who has been given to us is the very Father.”

Witness Lee, The All-Inclusive Spirit of Christ
(Los Angeles: The Stream Publishers, 1969), pp. 4-5

“…the entire Godhead, the Triune God, became flesh.”

Witness Lee, God’s New Testament Economy
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1986), p. 230

“The traditional explanation of the Trinity is grossly inadequate and borders on tritheism. When the Spirit of God is joined with us, God is not left behind, nor does Christ remain on the throne. This is the impression Christianity gives. They think of the Father as one Person, sending the Son, another Person, to accomplish redemption, after which the Son sends the Spirit, yet another Person. The Spirit, in traditional thinking, comes into the believers, while the Father and Son are left on the throne. When believers pray, they are taught to bow before the Father and pray in the name of the Son. To split the Godhead into these separate Persons is not the revelation of the Bible….”

Witness Lee, Life Messages
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979), p. 164

“THE SON IS THE FATHER, AND THE SON IS ALSO THE SPIRIT…. and the Lord Jesus who is the Son is also the Eternal Father. Our Lord is the Son, and He is also the Father. Hallelujah!”

Witness Lee, Concerning the Triune God
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1973), pp. 18-19

“Therefore, it is clear: The Lord Jesus is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and He is the very God. He is also the Lord. He is the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the Mighty God, and the Lord.”

Witness Lee, The Clear Scriptural Revelation
Concerning the Triune God
www.contendingforthefaith.org/responses/booklets/triune.html

“The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not three separate persons or three Gods; they are one God, one reality, one person.”

Witness Lee, The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1970), p. 48

On the Nature of Humanity

“Christ is of two natures, the human and the divine, and we are the same: we are of the human nature, but covered with the divine. He is the God-man, and we are the God-men. He is the ark made of wood covered with gold, and we are the boards made of wood covered with gold. In number we are different, but in nature we are exactly the same.”

Witness Lee, The All-Inclusive Christ
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 5th ed. 1989), p. 103

“God can say to His believers, ‘I am divine and human,’ and His believers can reply, ‘Praise You, Lord. You are divine and human, and we are human and divine.'”

Witness Lee, The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1990), pp. 51-52

“My burden is to show you clearly that God’s economy and plan is to make Himself man and to make us, His created beings, ‘God,’ so that He is ‘man-ized’ and we are ‘God-ized.’ In the end, He and we, we and He, all become God-men.’

Witness Lee, A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1990), p. 54

“We the believers are begotten of God. What is begotten of man is man, and what is begotten of God must be God. We are born of God; hence, in this sense, we are God.”

Ibid., p. 53

“Because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all one with the Body of Christ, we may say that the Triune God is now the ‘four-in-one’ God.’ These four are the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body. The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or confused.”

Ibid., pp. 203-204

On the Legitimacy of Evangelical Churches and Denominations

We decry as inconsistent and unjustifiable the attempts by Living Stream and the “local churches” to gain membership in associations of evangelical churches and ministries while continuing to promote Witness Lee’s denigrating characterizations of such churches and ministries as follows:

“The Lord is not building His church in Christendom, which is composed of the apostate Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations. This prophecy is being fulfilled through the Lord’s recovery, in which the building of the genuine church is being accomplished.”

Witness Lee in The New Testament Recovery Version,
note 184 (Matthew 16:18)
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 99
http://online.recoveryversion.org/FootNotes.asp?FNtsID=639

“The apostate church has deviated from the Lord’s word and become heretical. The reformed church, though recovered to the Lord’s word to some extent, has denied the Lord’s name by denominating herself, taking many other names, such as Lutherans, Wesleyan, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc. … To deviate from the Lord’s word is apostasy, and to denominate the church by taking any name other than the Lord’s is spiritual fornication.”

Witness Lee in The New Testament Recovery Version,
note 83 (Revelation 3:8)
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 1256
http://online.recoveryversion.org/FootNotes.asp?FNtsID=8759

“I am afraid that a number of us are still under the negative influence of Christendom. We all have to realize that today the Lord is going on and on to fully recover us and bring us fully out of Christendom.”

Witness Lee, The History of the Church and the Local Churches
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1991), p. 132

“In every denomination, including the Roman Catholic Church, there are real, saved Christians. They are God’s people belonging to the Lord. But the organization of the denominations in which they are is not of God. The denominational organizations have been utilized by Satan to set up his satanic system to destroy God’s economy of the proper church life.”

Witness Lee, “Message Thirty-Four” in The Life-Study of Genesis
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 464

“We do not care for Christianity, we do not care for Christendom, we do not care for the Roman Catholic church, and we do not care for all the denominations, because in the Bible it says that the great Babylon is fallen. This is a declaration. Christianity is fallen, Christendom is fallen, Catholicism is fallen, and all the denominations are fallen. Hallelujah!”

Witness Lee, The Seven Spirits for the Local Churches
(Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989), p. 97

“To know God is not adequate. To know Christ is also not adequate. Even to know the church is not adequate. We must go on to know the churches which are local. If we are up-to-date in following the Lord, we will realize that today is the day of the local churches.”

Ibid., p. 23

We respectfully call on the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the “local churches” to disavow and cease to publish these and similar declarations.

On Lawsuits with Evangelical Christians

If the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the “local churches” regard evangelical Christians as fellow believers, we request that they publicly renounce the use of lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits against evangelical Christians to answer criticisms or resolve conflicts. The New Testament strongly discourages the use of lawsuits to settle disputes among Christians (see 1 Corinthians 6:1-8).

If the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the “local churches” do not regard evangelical Christian churches, organizations, and ministries as legitimate Christian entities, we ask that they publicly resign their membership in all associations of evangelical churches and ministries.

In either case, we respectfully request that the leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the “local churches” discontinue their practice of using litigation and threatened litigation to answer criticisms or settle disputes with Christian organizations and individuals.

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Akin, Ph.D.
President and Professor of Preaching and Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC)David L. Allen, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Theology; Professor of Preaching; George W. Truett Chair of Pastoral Ministry; Director, Center of Expository Preaching, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Ronald B. Allen, Th.D.
Senior Professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas, TX)

William M. Alnor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, California State University, East Bay (Hayward, California)

John Babler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pastoral Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Mark L. Bailey, Ph.D.
President and Professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas, TX)

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Social Ethics, Knox Seminary (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Deron J. Biles, Ph.D.
Dean of Extension Education Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

D. Jeffrey Bingham, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas, TX)

James Bjornstad, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy, Cedarville University (Cedarville, OH)

Darrell L. Bock, Ph.D.
Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas, TX)

James A. Borror, Th.D.
Executive Director, Golden Minutes Ministries, Preaching Pastor, El Dorado Park Community Church (Long Beach, CA)

Alan Branch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO)

Chad Brand, Ph.D.
Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Associate Dean for Biblical and Theological Studies, Boyce College (Louisville, KY)

Jerry L. Buckner, D.Min.
Adjunct Professor, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; President, Contending for the Faith (Mill Valley, CA)

Theodore J. Cabal, Ph.D.
Professor of Christian Philosophy and Applied Apologetics, The Southern Baptist Seminary (Louisville, KY)

Ergun Caner, Ph.D.
President, Liberty Theological Seminary (Lynchburg, VA)

Paul Carden
Executive Director, The Centers for Apologetics Research (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

Miguel A. Endara, Ph.D.
Professor, Seminario Sudamericano (Quito, Ecuador)

Ronald M. Enroth, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology, Westmont College (Santa Barbara, CA)

Jorge Erdely, Ph.D.
Professor of Historical Theology, Centro de Estudios Teológicos y Sociológicos (Mexico City, Mexico)

James A. Freerksen, Th.D.
Professor of Biblical Studies, Liberty Theological Seminary (Lynchburg, VA)

George Joseph Gatis, Esq., J.D., Th.D., Ph.D.
Director, Graduate School of Church & State, Whitefield Theological Seminary (Lakeland, FL); Chaplain of the Citadel (Charleston, SC)

Norman L. Geisler, Ph.D.
Dean, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Matthews, NC)

Gretchen W. Goldsmith
President/CEO, Rose Publishing, Inc. (Torrance, CA)

Alan W. Gomes, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Theology, Talbot School of Theology (La Mirada, CA)

George Grant, Ph.D.
Director, King’s Meadow Study Center (Franklin, TN)

M. Fred Haltom, Ph.D.
Chair, Biblical Education Division, Professor of Biblical Languages, Central Bible College (Springfield, MO)

Craig S. Hawkins, M.A.
Adjunct Professor, Trinity Graduate School (Calif. Campus); President of Apologetics Information Ministry (Santa Ana, CA)

Don Hawkins, D.Min.
President, Southeastern Bible College (Birmingham, AL)

William Honsberger, M.A., AbD.
Director, Haven Ministries, (Aurora, CO)

H. Wayne House, Th.D., J.D.
Distinguished Research Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Faith Evangelical Seminary (Tacoma, WA)

Thomas A. Howe, Ph.D.
Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages, Director of the D.Min. Program, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Matthews, NC)

Jerry Johnson, M.A.C.S., M. Phil.
Executive Director, The Apologetics Group (Nashville, TN)

Jerry Johnson, Ph.D.
President, Criswell College (Dallas, TX)

Ken Keathley, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC)

Kevin D. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Gordon R. Lewis, Ph.D.
Senior Professor Emeritus of Christian Philosophy and Theology, Denver Seminary (Littleton, CO)

Kevin Alan Lewis, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology and Law, Talbot School of Theology (La Mirada, CA)

Paul R. Martin, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center (Albany, OH)

Tim Martin, M.A.
Adjunct Professor, Moody Bible Institute; Illinois Director, Watchman Fellowship, Inc. (Chicago, IL)

Rev. George A. Mather, M.Div.
Pastor, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (St. George, UT)

Donald G. Matzat, D.D.
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church (Bridgeville, PA)

Bruce B. Miller, Th.M.
Senior Pastor, McKinney Bible Church (McKinney, TX) and Chairman of the Board, Center for Church-Based Training (Richardson, TX)

Craig Vincent Mitchell, PhD.
Assistant professor of Christian Ethics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

John Warwick Montgomery, Ph.D., Th.D., LL.D.
Barrister-at-Law, England and Wales; Member of the California, District of Columbia, Virginia, Washington State and U.S. Supreme Court Bars; Inscrit au Barreau de Paris, France; Professor Emeritus of Law and Humanities, University of Bedfordshire, England

Ishwaran B. Mudliar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

David P. Nelson, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Academic Administration, Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC)

Vladyslav Olkhovksy, Ph.D.
Professor, Institute for Nuclear Research, National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine (Kiev, Ukraine)

Steven M. Ortiz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Studies, Director of the Charles C. Tandy Archaeology Museum, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Paige Patterson, Ph.D.
President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Edward H. Pauley, Ph.D.
Vice Provost and Professor of Philosophy, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Eric Pement, M.Div.
founder, Cornerstone Apologetics Research Team

Russell L. Penney, Th.D.
President; Professor of Systematic Theology; Hebron Theological Seminary (Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

Bryce A. Pettit, D.Min.
Retired/Associate Editor, Walter Martin’s Cults Reference Bible (Colorado Springs, CO)

Markus Printz, Th.D.
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Theological Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Earl D. Radmacher, Th.D.
President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus, Western Seminary (Portland, OR)

Mark Rathel, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology, Baptist College of Florida

Ron Rhodes, Th.D.
President, Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries (Frisco, TX)

R. Philip Roberts, Ph.D.
President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO)

Paulo Romeiro, Ph.D.
Professor, Post-graduate Program in Sciences of Religion, Mackenzie Presbyterian University (São Paulo, Brazil)

Alvin J. Schmidt, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Illinois College (Jacksonville, IL); former Professor and Dean of Graduate Studies, Concordia Theological Seminary (Ft. Wayne, IN)

Alan Kent Scholes, Ph.D.
Associate Director, International School Project, Campus Crusade for Christ (Littleton, CO)

Tim M. Sigler, Ph.D. (cand.)
Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Biblical Studies, Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, IL)

Robert B. Stewart, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Theology occupying the Greer-Heard Chair of Faith and Culture, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (New Orleans, LA)

R. Alan Streett, Ph.D.
Professor of Evangelism and Pastoral Ministry, Criswell College (Dallas, TX)

Helen Terry Sullivan, Ph.D.
Academic Dean, Arlington Baptist College (Arlington, TX)

Kenneth G. Talbot, Ph.D.
President, Whitefield Theological Seminary (Lakeland, FL)

L.L. (Don) Veinot, Jr.
President, Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR); President, Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. (Wonder Lake, IL)

James K. Walker, M.A.
Adjunct Professor, Criswell College; President, Watchman Fellowship, Inc. (Arlington, TX)

James R. White, Th.D.
Adjunct Professor, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; President, Alpha and Omega Ministries (Phoenix, AZ)

Jim Wicker, Ph.D.
Director, Web Based Education and Associate Professor, New Testament, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Rev. Luke P. Wilson, M.T.S.
Executive Director, Institute for Religious Research (Grand Rapids, MI)

B. Paul Wolfe, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Biblical Studies and Associate Professor of New Testament, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

Malcolm B. Yarnell, III, D.Phil.
Director, Center for Theological Research, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ft. Worth, TX)

 Please Note:
• The signers of this document are representing their own personal position. The views expressed are not necessarily those of their institutions, organizations, or employers.
Most of the works cited can be viewed online (in their complete context) at www.ministrybooks.org/alphabetical.cfm
The quotations in each category are just a few of many problematic theological statements by Lee on these and other subjects.

 

关于作者: 陈鸽

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