親愛的台灣人讀者：本文是針對在美國的教會。這是暗示，因為該網站的域名地址: ***.us 所以，當然，它說，很多事情只有美國人會理解。有時候，了解需要了解的美語的陳詞濫調。其他知識需要10年居住。請享受的文章，但一定要加倍小心，閱讀其他人的通信。它總是最好向別人學習，但專注於自己的地方的召會。這在基督的身體，避免爭吵。它會導致統一。基督教團結就是使徒領導的證據。
Todd Akin made some controversial remarks, which don’t need to be repeated here. But they made many people upset. Limbaugh had a good interpretation: Akin probably spends most of his time talking with people who agree with him.
Limbaugh is probably right.
Ask an expert from any profession… Industries develop their own jargon, even in different branches of the military. As an old joke answered the question, what does it mean to “secure” a building? The Army would post guards and chain-lock all the doors. The Air Force would shut off the lights and lock the doors. The Navy would take out a long-term lease and use the building for some kind of warehouse or manufacturing. The Marines would send a ground assault, supported by sea, and, once everyone inside was either dead or captured, call for an air strike. That describes communication problems in the military quite well.
If you ask a teenager what it means to be secure, he’ll probably say something about how we behave around other people. But his parents would probably say something about finances. A carpenter would talk about putting nails and boards in the right places. A roofer would talk about placing a ladder properly, so it doesn’t fall over.
Different words mean different things in different industries. This is because, when we spend a lot of time talking with people who do the same things we do, and who think much the same as we do, our words seem to create a new meaning, all on their own. That’s what happened with Todd Akin. But he’s not the only one.
Why do you think Western Christians argue so much?
For better or worse, Christians tend to form factions. I’ll address why they probably do this in a moment. For now, consider that Western Denominationalism causes Christians to use the same words, but attach entirely different meanings to them. American Christians tend to only talk to people who agree with them. When we finally do talk to each other, it unloads the drama as nearly smothered Todd Akin, another American Christian.
A Baptist and a Pentecostal will give entirely different definitions of “prophecy”. But there are many other words and phrases that they use that are the same, which cause more subtle misunderstanding. And it doesn’t help that standard Denominationalism practice portrays opponents as “straw men”, misrepresenting other denominations when talking with people who agree with them. All this misunderstanding makes it difficult to get along. We misunderstand each other because of our special definitions for the words we use. We have those differences because we don’t talk to each other very often.
What causes the Denominationalism in the first place? The Local Church movement will tell you that Denominationalism comes from the clerical system. Think about it… Though we don’t want to admit it, if Christians had fellowship with each other, local congregations would merge and half of the pastors would lose their jobs. Nobody likes it. Leaders don’t want to admit it. But turning pastors into a paid profession keeps God’s people divided. Pastors don’t want it that way. It’s just the system.
The Local Church movement, started by a Chinese Christian named Watchman Nee, does not have clergy, and it’s amazing what less top-heavy leadership does to free the people to run in the path of the Lord. But the LC movement had it’s own fight with American Denominationalism.
After Nee was imprisoned by the Communists, Witness Lee took over. He was Chinese, but preached in America. English was his second language. He used many strange phrases, not found in the Bible, like, “Man shall become God,” and he used, “Have Divine nature,” from 2 Peter 1:4, which easily confused our jargon from the Chalcedonian Definition of the Hypostatic Union. These phrases, and LC literature, has been reviewed by the Christian Research Institute, with a focus on looking past the cultural barriers between American and East Asian thinking. The ideas are Biblical, but their English nomenclature sets off false alarms. The movement was branded as a cult, but in 2009, the Christian Research Journal corrected that misunderstanding when they published Vol. 32 No. 6, “We Were Wrong: A Reassessment of the ‘Local Church’ Movement of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee”.
Still, I don’t like the phrase “Man shall become God.” It was condemned as apostasy in Genesis 3, it’s not supported by any Scripture, and it needs heavy explanation with no value to the Church. Why did Witness Lee talk with phrases like this? Probably because he didn’t have regular fellowship with “the denominations”, as LC often calls clerically-run Christianity.
When we don’t have regular fellowship with people who think differently than we do, we create our own special meanings for words… and it quickly becomes impossible for others to understand what we mean. This is the source of many fights, including Denominationalism. If we want to understand each other in fellowship, we must first have fellowship.
Lee didn’t stop with strange, extra-biblical (yet Biblically defined) phrases, however. He despised Denominationalism—and who can blame him? But his harsh criticism of American Denominationalism, along with these strange manners of speech, were not good. Probably, he was immature, though aged, and his intentions were pure, but he did not have good fruit in his ministry. He criticized those with whom he did not hold regular fellowship. What gave him the right?
What gives any of us the right to criticize Christians we don’t meet with on a weekly basis?
Would a parent tolerate a complete stranger scolding his children? How do you suppose God feels about half of the theological literature of His Children in Denominational America?
It’s hard to find Christian unity, but we should incline ourselves to leaders who are inclined toward truth that causes unity, not division. We need leaders who, at least, progress in that direction. The Local Church movement had a good founder. Watchman Nee had it right:
There is ONE Church, with ONE Shepherd, and the Church needs to know it.
Being critical of each other causes factions. Factions make us both critical and ignorant of each other. The solution is regular fellowship with people who think differently than we do. Only love can drive us over the mountain range to make such fellowship actually happen.
How much do you love the Church?