A Brief Affirmation of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

Here’s another video from the Christian Research Institute’s YouTube channel. During a Bible Answer Man broadcast, Hank Hanegraaff went to the phone lines for open questions. The first is from Scott and concerns the local churches related to the Watchman Nee and Witness Lee movement and their teachings.

Scott says,

Hello. I was wondering if you could tell me what you think about the local churches that are related to the Watchman Nee and Witness Lee movement, including whether or not they just blindly, foolishly follow Watchman Nee and Witness Lee’s teachings.

My favorite quote from Hank Hanegraaff is regarding discernment ministry:

…we live in an age of information overload and therefore it’s important to learn discernment skills so that we can discern between wheat and chaff, heat and light, know that which is true and that which is false because unfortunately today internet lies travel halfway around the world before truth has had the chance to put its boots on.

 

 

downloadHank responds,

Well, they do follow Watchman Nee and Witness Lee’s teachings. But their teachings turn out to be thoroughly orthodox. Certainly I have distinctions or disagreements with the local churches on secondary issues, but when it comes to the essentials of the historic Christian faith we stand shoulder to shoulder. In fact, after a six-year primary research project, which was conducted all over the world, I’ve discovered that these are often the most exemplary Christians that I have encountered in my own Christian walk. So not only do I think that they are thoroughly orthodox when it comes to essential Christian doctrine, I think there’s a lot we can learn from members of the local church in terms of their practice. Practices like pray-reading for example, which becomes a method by which they internalize the Word of God; not only get into the Word of God, but get the Word of God into them. We actually did a six-year, as I just alluded to, research project that ended up in a journal with three words splashed across its cover. Those three words are: We Were Wrong. In the early 90’s and even before, we as an organization, contributed to a fountainhead of misinformation on this group that continues to percolate to this day. And that’s why we thought it very important for us to unequivocally, not only conduct a research project that’s primary research, but also to make this well known so that people would recognize that this is a group of exemplary Christians who are seeking to experience God both in truth and in life, very much like the apostle Paul taught Timothy “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, for if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” In fact, a member within this community of faith, named Elijah has done a lot to sharpen my own thinking when it comes to life and doctrine. It is true that doctrine matters, or truth matters, but life matters as well. Again, these are two tracks that the apostle Paul trained young Timothy to run well on; or to ride well on, to extend the metaphor. We need not only right doctrine, but we also need a life and love corresponding to right doctrine.

Scott responds,

Very good. And is that research available on your website?

To which Hank says,

Yeah, you can get it on the world-wide web at equip.org and there are two articles. One is a complete journal that is devoted to this subject based on our primary research. Another is an article that I did in a subsequent journal and it’s based on an acronym D.I.S.C.E.R.N. and I think this is an important article as well. The reason being is that we live in an age of information overload and therefore it’s important to learn discernment skills so that we can discern between wheat and chaff, heat and light, know that which is true and that which is false because unfortunately today internet lies travel halfway around the world before truth has had the chance to put its boots on.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Has CRI, or it’s representatives, ever publicly and personally apologized and asked forgiveness for their error in assessing Watcman Née and LSM ministries? Does anyone know? I sure hope so. I’ve always held Hannegraf and CRI in high regard. Admitting wrong is only half of what would be necessary in Christian “life matters.”

    1. Hi Gil,

      They certainly have. It’s significant because CRI is the source of the “fountain of misinformation” as Hank says, that originally spread rumors about the Local Churches being a cult. CRI published a journal called “We Were Wrong” where they recanted what they previously said about Watchman Nee, Witness Lee, and Living Stream Ministry. These are the conclusions they came to about the Lord’s Recovery and the Local Churches after a 6-year in-depth research project. In fact, Gretchen Passantino learned of a Christian Chinese man who suffered immense persecution as a result of her misinformed writings on the Local Churches being a cult in the 1970’s.

      Here are a few links for your persual:
      http://www.equip.org/christian-research-journal/we-were-wrong-2/

      In the following podcast, Hank Hanegraaff even admits that at the time they called the Local Churches a cult, actually he himself along with Gretchen Passantino and Walter Martin, really didn’t know much about the Local Churches or the Lord’s Recovery. He mentions they had an inaccurate impression at best:

      Here are a number of YouTube videos where Hank affirms the orthodoxy of Watchman Nee, Witness Lee, and Living Stream Ministry, as well as their practices, and how he has personally been blessed by their emphasis on Christian Living:

      Here’s a great excerpt from the website, Contending for the Faith:
      In 2003, Living Stream Ministry and the local churches embarked on a new dialogue with representatives of CRI, two of whom had been key participants in the earlier research. To their credit, the CRI staff quickly recognized the need to reassess their previous research. With their broader and deeper understanding of truths such as the economic and essential Trinity, the coinherence of the Three of the divine Trinity, and the extent of God’s complete salvation, they drew entirely new conclusions. They concluded that the local churches represent “an authentic expression of New Testament Christianity.”
      https://contendingforthefaith.org/en/a-brief-history-of-the-relationship-with-hank-hanegraaff-and-cri/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s