Christ and "The Church" and the "Ecclesia"
Chef Jemichel's search-for-truth into, through and out of "The Local Church".
Date: 7/12/2013 4:47:02 AM ( 8 y ) ... viewed 1382 times
January 6, 2019 - It Is Not Possible For "The Church" To Be Incorporated - Incorporation Creates A Different Entity! -
Greetings Nigel and All!
Virtually all the discussions regarding "organization" here appear to be missing a vital distinction between the general nature of organizing and/or of an organization vs the nature of incorporating and/or an incorporated entity.
A search on this page produced thirty-five mentions of "corporation" with all but one of these in the original presentation by Nigel. However the commentaries that followed refer to instead to organization and in a number of instances there is a blanket dismissal of the idea that an "organization" is a core issue. Would the same opinions be expressed in regards to the distinctive nature of an incorporated entity? I suspect not if we realized the two completely different natures.
Consider that we can find scriptural references to the early Churches being organized yet there is no reference for any incorporation.
What's been presented (observationally and perspectively) so far by this writer may be sufficient to inspire one or more others to research this further on their own. There are volumes on this subject matter and this writer believes the independent research is necessary to be able to form a more enlightened opinion on the subject matter of LSM.
Warm Regards All!
November 18, 2019 -
"Prayer is not limited to saying words. Why is it that very often when people pray they spontaneously join their hands together? ..."
When this current blog-writer (and former local church brother) first read the second sentence in the above quote he imagined "join their hands together" as a shared experience with others and with that picture in mind he recalled an
experience in a church meeting where he had some kind of a psycho-spirtual emergency that brought the attention of a couple other brothers who (essentially) brought this brother into a separate small circle with them. This brother reached out to the two brother on either side of him to join hands with them however they resisted this and withdrew their hands. Today is the very first time that the instinctual nature of that attempt is now revealed to this blog-writer. The silent prayer impulse was apparently not recognizable by ones who only practiced a form of prayer that was not only totally vocal but quite loud!
July 7, 2019 - "Overcomers"? -
“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”
“The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.”
“The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.”
July 12, 2013 - This is the first time that I am introducing this subject at any of my blogs.
In 1971 I was invited by a man to attend a meeting. It was a meeting of Christians who met in a storefront in Chicago. (Interestingly to me I had walked by that meeting place a couple of times the previous late Summer and sensed a lot of energy coming from the meeting!) Although I had been raised in a household where we attended the Episcopal Church and where I became an acolyte (as well as a thurifer swinging the incense on the occasions called for) I did not identify myself as a "born-again" Christian and I also did not personally know the reality of Christ!
Over the past several months prior to that first meeting I had been searching for something. I wanted to know what the truth was. The truth of life, the truth of existence, the truth of self and others. The Episcopal Church did not have what I was needing to know. I had searched in several different "ways" and did not connect with any of them, except that one day I walked into the "I Am" temple in downtown Chicago and was attracted to what I sensed there however I don't remember being invited into a gathering or whether they had gatherings.
I went to the "meeting" that the brother invited me to and I could see that people were essentially "married" to what they were doing there and I felt some reservation and silently told myself that I would not lose myself in this. However, before too long I was invited to move into a brothers' apartment in a six-unit building that was fully rented by these people as well as a few units in an identical building next door that was just being completed.
Now I was fully in "The Church". I was baptized into "Christ and the Church". I soon received a complete outer-imposed conditioning by the brothers that effectively homogenized my individuality into a "creamy-white" consistency like that of the other members. At the time it seemed like such a good thing. My burning of all my art work, my abandonment of all my interests in the arts, theater, music were all required to blend in. Their concept of "oneness" was most highly ranked as a most fundamental characteristic of the true Church. Behavior had to be modified to reflect this concept. The appearance was all-important. I never heard these teachings before and therefore had no basis to question it let alone counter it or even think otherwise. I accepted the teachings just as they were presented to me. The brothers were never to be questioned.
I followed along in this way for about five years and then encountered a crisis within me that essentially killed me. I am truly grateful I came through the process that put me into a living hell of a psychiatric incarceration for 30 days that was decided for me by the Brothers. The great thing about that is upon my release I promised myself I would never ever let anyone "Lord it over me" again! I came into the Church seeking "the Truth". After five years I realized I had to stop seeking it without and both find and live it from within me.
The word "church" comes from the Greek: Ecclesia which I recognize as a gathering that is "called out". I am most certainly "called out" and have known this fairly simultaneously to my entrance into the church. However, that has only become more and more pronounced after leaving the Church!
July 29, 2015 -
Just discovered: "Which Church to Go To?" and read: "By 'the Local Church' I assume you're referring to the church associated with Witness Lee and Watchman Nee. I attended such a church for about a year as I elaborated upon ...
Though they have some deviant doctrines and practices, I found from my experience that there were also positive aspects there which were superior to many other churches."
Toward the bottom of the "topics" page I found: "Testimonies from Ex-Local Church Participants including: that of a "Former Local Church Leader on "Localism".
The truth of this testimony is liberating to my soul and spirit! This "Locality Law" was a most decisive factor that characterized the thinking of the "Local Church" -
See: "1957 - Special talks on the Locality Law between TAS and Witness Lee."
December 16th, 2015 -
Just discovered this (in my search regarding teaching the "trivium" in home schools).
Nymphas, and the gathering which meets at his house.
Comment: Nymphas apparently lived near Colossae.
... to Philemon ... and to the gathering which meets at your [Philemon’s] house
Comment: Philemon apparently lived near Colossae.
Comment: If Nymphas (Colossians 4:15) and Philemon (Philemon 1:2) both lived near Colossae at the same time, and if Christians gathered at each person’s house, and if each gathering is called an ἐκκλησία, these facts would then seem to undermine the theory that the singular ἐκκλησία is properly applied only to the collective city-wide gathering, not to the separate house-cells in or near a city.
[See also Hebrews 2:12 under 6.1.
February 9th, 2016 -
Discovered a page on the history of the Church in Chicago and afterword I wrote to the Church asking that my deep heart-felt gratitude be communicated to the author (and former elder of the Church in Chicago) of that page. This history gave me a greater sense of appreciation for the presence of all the brothers and sisters who had moved from Los Angles to Chicago (in late Summer 1970) and thereby made it possible for me to come into the Church life as of early 1971. I'm as clear as I can be that it was these Brothers and Sisters who had prayed “Open ye the gates,” followed by additional prayers and deeds that opened the way for me to "enter"!
And indeed I entered! I completely lived (and died) the Church Life and that became my everything continuously for those several years!
November 13, 2018 - The Prayers of "The Church"! -
"When you meditate and pray intensely, you send out harmonious waves, and these waves go out to the world to reach men and women who open themselves to this idea of brotherhood for which we work. Yes, by the powerful and harmonious waves you emit, you send messages that are picked up by beings who are receptive and prepared for this. And without even knowing where this impetus comes from, they often make the resolution to work for peace and brotherhood in the world, for spreading the light, and working for the glory of God. Wherever they may be and whoever they may be, even if we do not know them, all these beings are linked to us and receive messages. It is the design of heaven that all children of God be united for the coming of his kingdom on earth."
~ Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
I accept the spiritual insight, the spiritual knowledge and wisdom regarding prayer as it is presented in the above quote by Omraam as being harmonious with scripture. Therefor it is all the more "heart-felt" for me to realize that the prayers of "The Church in Chicago" in late Summer 1970 sent out certain "waves" (just as The Church had intended then) and that these waves reached me where I was living on the northwest side of Chicago just walking distance from where The Church later acquired their first meeting hall. Also that these "waves" harmonized with my father who escorted me out of our home and to the local YMCA (possibly on or about January 1, 1970) where a brother from The Church had a room a couple doors down the hall form my room! The "idea of brotherhood" manifested in my life within a matter of a day or so after I had essentially prayed for the end of my world!!!
March 7th, 2016 -
"It is amazing the number of people who think they have been entrusted with a grandiose mission." - Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
I wonder what Omraam would have to say about Witness Lee and his local church mission.
March 22nd, 2016 -
Rudolf Steiner had the eyes to see man in his (and her) original wholeness well beyond the ultra simplified reduction presented by "the Church". It is through these eyes that we can recover our right "image" (as we are created in the image and likeness of God Himself)! In addition to the need for this Divine Recovery of Man in God's Image there is also the need for recovery of the Individuality of each soul. Then the recovery of the living "Body of Christ" as "The Church" (or rather as the Gathering of Called-Out Ones/Ecclesia) can proceed in truth and reality. Otherwise who and what is gathering?
Rudolf Steiner lectured on Christ and on Christianity. Given my background - having grown up in religious Christianity and having transitioned beyond the denominationally-based Christianity into an ultra non-denominational form I have been well primed (by these plus other factors) to deeply appreciate spiritual science as Steiner presents it. (There is tremendous elaboration that I could possibly present for underscoring how extensive I recognized the Anthroposophical impulse as being in harmony with my purpose for incarnating in this lifetime.)
I found the following (quote) of a lecture by Steiner with these search terms:
"The Church of Rome has a tradition of continuity that is reflected in its Church history. This history describes the founding of Christianity, the early Church Fathers, the post-Nicene Fathers and the later Christian philosophers, and the formulation of the particular dogmas by Councils and infallible Popes and so on. History is seen as an unbroken chain, a uniform pattern of unchanging character. It is true that the early Church Fathers have been much criticized from certain angles. But on the whole people are afraid to reject them completely, for in that case the continuity would be broken. History proper begins with the Council of Constantinople in 869 of which I have already spoken. As I have said, history is represented as an unbroken chain, a continuous process. But if a radical gap is anywhere to be found in an apparently continuous process, then it is here. One can hardly imagine a greater contrast than the contrast between the spirit of the early Church Fathers and that of the post-Nicene Fathers and Conciliar decrees. There is a radical difference which is equally radically concealed because it is in the interest of the Church to conceal it. For this reason it has been possible to keep the faithful (today) in ignorance of what took place in the first centuries of the Christian era. Today, for example, there is no clear and reliable evidence, even from leading scholars, of how the Gnosis came to be suppressed. We are equally in the dark about the aims and intentions of such men as Clement of Alexandria, his pupil Origen and others, including Tertullian, because such fragmentary information as we possess is of doubtful provenance and is derived for the most part from writings of their opponents. For this reason, and because the most fantastic theories have been built on this fragmentary information, it is impossible to arrive at a reliable picture of the early Church Fathers."
January 14, 2019 - More From Rudolf Steiner -
...Henry II was a good and faithful advocate of Christianity and was looked upon as a kind of saint. He reigned as Emperor from 1002–24. In history, too, he is known as Henry “the Saint” and he still figures among the saints named in the breviary of Catholic priests. Henry II was one who wished to point to the ancient wisdom, to preserve for Christianity the conception that in Christ Jesus there had lived the Sun Spirit. He wanted to establish an Ecclesia catholica non Romana, that is to say, a Catholic Church that is not Roman. This attempt was made at the beginning of the eleventh century. Lutherism came considerably later. If Henry II's attempt to establish a “Catholic Church that is not Roman” had succeeded at that time, the whole cosmic setting of Christianity would have come to the knowledge of Europe and through the religious life men would have been led to a truly spiritual science. But Rome conquered — that is to say, semi-religious, semi-imperial Rome. No Ecclesia catholica non Romana came into being and the Ecclesia catholica Romana lived on. The aim of Emperor Henry II had been to separate the Catholic Church entirely from the sphere of worldly dominion.
It would have been a momentous deed, for if it had succeeded, the subsequent, very widespread persecution of heretics and heresies would never have taken place. Such persecutions are simply the outcome of authority exercised over men's thoughts. But in reality, nobody can have permanent authority over thoughts. Authority over thoughts can only be exercised when a human being is subject to the sway of worldly power, when he is obliged to attend particular schools where certain doctrines are inculcated into him, when he is put into a certain class which influences his point of view, and the like. Thoughts, in reality, cannot be made to submit to authority. No Church could ever have worked harmfully without the help of the worldly dominion to which man is subject as a physical being. For the Church can only teach; the response must come from human beings themselves. That is the principle which Henry II tried to establish. But as I said, the victory was won by Rome — by the ancient, imperial power working in the person of the Pope. The power of worldly dominion was very great in the days of Henry II. And if the attempt to establish a “Catholic Church that is not Roman” had succeeded at that time, the teachings of the Church would have remained apart from the sphere of worldly dominion.
Comment: "an Ecclesia catholica non Romana" doesn't appear to be the same as: "each gathering is called an ἐκκλησία" as mentioned above on December 16th, 2015. However - reviewing the post from over three years ago warmed my heart!
August 4, 2016 -
More Re: the American "Revolution" mentioned above:
"... at one point in the Revolutionary War, casualties and desertions reduced George Washington’s 19,000-man army to just 2,000 men. Think of it. Against overwhelming odds, just 2,000 men stayed to fight. If those men had also deserted (and who would’ve blamed them if they had), Americans would still be singing 'God Save The Queen!'.
Think of it. Just 2,000 men determined the fate of this nation and much of the world for the next two centuries. It’s a story to rival that of Gideon overcoming the Midianites with just 300 men and God’s blessing. It’s a lesson in how few men it can take to change the world–and it can’t help but make you believe God’s hand was in that Revolution."
November 8, 2017 -
Serendipitous to reconnect here now after reading what I will call the pre-"Church history" of the Essenes as follows:
... the original Jews who were following the spiritual teachings and were called the chosen or Rightous ones, were known as the Essenes. Essen means "chosen" in greek. There are books on the Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, and these were the ones who were associated with Jesus, Mary as it was stated by one of the Catholic priests that Jesus had Passover at the home of an Essene. The Essene had a rightous teacher who was persecuted according to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The story matches the story of Jesus. The Essenes lived in communities away from the other Jews known as Sadduccees and Pharisees. They lived in spiritual communities in Qumran and Mt Carmel. They prayed morning and night, and shunned the material world. They all shared what they had and everyone contributed to the whole community. They did not eat meat as they found it to be blood sacrifice. They followed the laws of Moses, but those original teachings were not the same teachings as today. As the Essenes believed in the force of energy, and that we are all energy, and knew their thoughts were energy, and was very important. They were also into meditation and yoga and were associated with the Indian llamas, the wise men in the bible. They started Christianity which today is not the original teachings. Therefore, people are not living in alignment with what the original rightous Hebrews had setup as spiritual teachings to evolve the planet. As today, the texts and beliefs are more fear based, and not the teachings that the Essenes created which included knowledge of energy, yoga and vegetarian life style. Today's human race is fallen, and they are bringing the evil to themselves. Also, the essenes believed in reincarnation, ...
January 5, 2020 -
"The Local Church movement is led by the elderly Chinese gentleman Witness Lee (Li Chang-Shou). ...
Witness Lee was born in the Chefoo region of China in 1905."
 "All religions and systems of spirituality are attempts to release the human soul from the cage of its conditioning. Ironically, most religious systems simply overlay another set of conditioning over our true nature. The basic difficulty with any system, whether religious, spiritual or mental is that they tend to generalise (sic). However ... human beings are not replicas of each other. We are each unique. What is needed then, is a master system – a single system that directly mirrors our uniqueness back to us – and this is what Human Design is – it is a system that allows our soul room to breathe – that directly tackles our negative traits and transforms them into positive attributes, that changes our entire life attitude from being a victim into a feeling of being powerful, loving and liberated.":
See page 8 in "An A to D of You - The Human Design System" at:
IMO the term "cage of conditioning" is well-stated. Consider (just for a moment) that "religion" (by whatever name, including that of "The Church") is an attempt to release or "save souls" from "cages" in the world by way of homogenizing individuals through a kind of mental "screening" process that generalizes all of them. Consequently the truth of Individuality is simultaneously repressed within the individual and rejected from the group as a whole. (Milk manufactures homogenize cream so that consumers can no longer compare which milk has more cream as the cream no longer floats to the top. The process of homogenization destroys the fat molecule and consequently transforms the goodness of the cream into a toxin that creates inflammation in the body.)
True Individuality is not acknowledged in the religious system paradigm known as Christianity. This makes it virtually impossible to identify when the Church is confronted with any claims that relate to rejection of Individuality among its members. It's as if the Individual is assumed to have abandoned their Individual Rights once they cross the threshold of the church.
Prior to 1781 that "abandonment" was not a crisis as Individuality had not fully emerged in human evolution. Human evolution ~ (within twenty years before and after) of 1781 ~ gave as a major transformation from seven to nine-centeredness. 1781 was essentially the beginning of a new creation with corresponding expression in major political events such as the American Revolution, the French Revolution plus major cultural revolution in music and literature; all of these events indicating that something “seismic” had occurred.[i] All indicating the increase of individuality.
Now in the context of the whole of human evolution we have a new “vehicle” given to us as a transition in consciousness with a potential for increased awareness from that of our seven-centered ancestors (along with that vehicle's programming) to the soon-to-be-here near future mutation of 2027.[ii]
What may be most significant about this present transition (in which we all are living in and through) is the function of our mind and especially in regards how we make our important decisions. The core revelation of the Human Design System reveals each of our uniquely configured nine-centered Individuality as the basis for our correct decision-making. Your authentic Individuality is a unique way of making important decisions that is all according to your individualized Human Design yet no Design ever points to the mind for that function.
Despite all of our present-day conditioning - the mind and all its condition/programming is no longer the way to make decisions. That doesn't mean we no longer use our minds. The mind is what we use for all our research and in support of virtually all of our communications (although that doesn't necessarily mean each of us are designed to always “speak our mind”). Depending (once again) on how we are designed we can also speak directly from our centers of emotions, heart, self, intuition.
In my design my Throat Center is connected to my Solar Plexus/Emotional Center. And because I have Emotional Definition my decision-making process requires that I wait for emotional clarity before I make important decisions.
I couldn't have been available to be introduced to the mechanics of my unique Human Design had I stayed in the Church "cage". Individualized decision-making doesn't blend well in a homogenized culture!
[i] Randy Richmond:
[ii] John Martin:
 See the second comment at:
 “During the week of August 9, 1970”:
church, truth, christian, episcopal, God, Local Church, Witness Lee, Watchman Nee, Localism, Locality Law, ecclesia, christ, prayer, overcomes, ecclesia
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