local church movement

Shortcomings of an Open Letter (2)

Continuing the Apologetics line, I’d like to post more videos from Christian Research Institute.

In this video, Elliot Miller (Editor in Chief at the Christian Research Institute) speaks about the local churches’ teaching on the Trinity. He said,

Western Christianity tends to oversimplify the Trinity while the teaching of Witness Lee and the local churches actually are bringing a correction to a problem within Western evangelicalism.



Elliot Miller says:

People who say, I’ve seen the complaint up here, and that’s an understandable complaint, ‘well you at CRI tell us that you’ve researched it and it’s orthodox, but are we supposed to simply take your word for it when we’ve got these quotes staring us in the face that Witness Lee and the Local Church members have made?’ And that’s a good point, but now it’s no longer the case. Because the basis for our conclusions are all laid out, fully documented in this article and you can look at it for yourself. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that, in regards to the Trinity, they (the Local Churches) are bringing a corrective to a problem within Western Evangelicalism. And that is, that we have sometimes rather simplistic approaches to how we deal with the mystery of the Trinity. As if, we can codify the entire doctrine in four simple statements. And then it’s no longer a mystery, even though for two millenia the best minds in the Christian church have struggled with this doctrine. Now all of a sudden the counter-cult community in America has simply nailed it and, you know, it fits our little brief statement ‘One God and three Persons’ or ‘Three Persons in one nature’ and if you deviate from that, now you’re in the realm of heresy. Well, no it’s not that simple.

Hank Hanegraaff says:

Really, you’re addressing the Open Letter’s concerns on the nature of God. I’ll tell you one thing: reading that article alone, grappling with it would do every single person listening to my voice right now, a great deal of good. I benefitted immensely from it. In fact, I learned from it and so will you.

A Reassessment of the Local Church movement of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

In the Christian Research Journal entitled We Were Wrong, this question was posed: Are the Local Churches, Founded by Watchman Nee and His Protégé Witness Lee, a Pseudo-Christian Cult? In a series of YouTube videos on The Local Churches, the Christian Research Institute answers this question. In their reassessment of the Local Church movement of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, they have done a thorough, in-depth study of the Local Churches and their practices. They give an outsider’s point of view that is both balanced and Biblical.

In this video, Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, says:

One of the distinctives of the move of the Holy Spirit that you’re involved in, it’s not for the pastor alone to study the Word of God. It is not alone for the pastor to prophesy in the sense of encouragement, edification, exhortation, and equipping, but it is for every believer to be involved in the proclamation of the Word in praise and in worship. In every sense, we worship God through prayer, praise, and the proclamation of the Word. And that is for every believer.

Regarding the functioning of all the believers, Witness Lee is quoted at the end of this video:

God desires that each of the believers prophesy, that is, speak for and speak forth Him.


We Were Wrong 

Witness Lee, Functioning in Life as Gifts Given to the Body of Christ (Anaheim, Living Stream Ministry, 2002), p. 16