Originally posted by RJHinds
Witness Lee's teachings were mixed with truth and error and you may even agree with him on some points that departs from Orthodox Christianity.
This first charge you will have to prove. No Christian is infallible. And James said teachers all make mistakes (James 3:1,2)
But you are not going to get away with me just saying no one claimed infallibility with any Christian teacher. You are going to have to point out the mixed in error with the truth. And just your disagreement will not do.
The False Gospel of Witness Lee and the Living Stream Ministries
That is simply an allegation and not evidence of false teaching. Substance of your allegation must follow.
Orthodox Christianity teaches that the one God is three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Above you say Orthodox Christianity teaches three distinct persons, but below you do not use the word distinct but "separate".
First Witness Lee admitted that the Trinity was difficult for him or anyone to explain -
This one unique God is triune. I do not know how to explain this, although for many years I tried. During the past fifty years, I spent a great deal of time analyzing and trying to understand the Trinity. Since I could find no way to resolve it, I gave up long ago. I said to myself, “Little man, you are too small. You can never understand the Trinity adequately.”
From The Revelation of the Triune God According to the Pure Word of the Bible
by Witness Lee
The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not three separate persons or three Gods; they are one God, one reality, one person… God is triune; that is, He is three-one. In some theological writings, the preposition in is added between three and one to make three-in-one. However, it is more accurate to say that God is three-one.
The word Witness Lee used here was not "distinct"
. He said the three were not "separate".
The terms such as substance, essence, subsistence, and person were all invented for/or adapted to theological usage. Very few English-speaking people are familiar with these terms. These terms are used because, as Griffith Thomas says, we do not have language adequate to explain the mystery of the Trinity. However, the more terms you invent, the more trouble you will have. Not long ago, I read a mimeographed article written against us by some opposers. On one page, this article says that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three separate and distinct persons in the nature of one God. Toward the end of the article, it says that these three persons should not be made so separate that They become three Gods. I laughed when I read this. The writer of this article cannot reconcile his own words. On one page, he says that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three separate and distinct persons, but on another page, he says that we should not make Them “too separate.” How separate is “too separate”? To what extent are the three persons separate? As you separate the Three, you will have three Gods.
From Young People's Training
messages given in the late 70s.
In John 17:11 the Lord prayed, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” Notice that here again the Lord speaks of Himself and the Father as “We.” Why a plural pronoun if They are one? I do not know. It is a mystery, beyond the reach of human language or understanding.
Lee is being persecuted by RJHinds because he humbly admitted that according to human language the Triune God is difficult to explain. Sometimes He said "persons" even though he said like Griffith Thomas that we can only borrow the word "persons" and not stress it too far.
Below the words in bold black are those of Augustine or Griffith Thomas whom Witness Lee quoted.
Throughout the centuries, many great teachers have attempted to reconcile the two aspects of the Triune God. In doing so, they have invented certain terms. For example, they invented the term “person” and spoke of the three persons of the one God. Humanly speaking, as a convenience in explaining the Trinity, we may temporarily borrow this term. But we should not stress it. It is illogical to speak of the three persons of the one God. Let us see what Augustine has to say on this matter. Augustine was accused of being a modalist because he was unable to find human language to adequately express the mystery of the Triune God. Augustine said:
Our Greek friends have spoken of one essence, three substances, but the Latins have one essence or substance, three Persons... provided that what is said is understood only in mystery, such a way of speaking was sufficient...We say three Persons, then why do we not also say three Gods? Or else, on account of their ineffable union these three are together one God, why not also one Person; so that we could not say three Persons, although we call each a Person singly, just as we can not say three Gods, although we call each singly God, whether the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Is it because Scripture does not say three Gods? But neither do we find that Scripture anywhere mentions three Persons.
The term “three Persons” does not exist in the Scripture, but is added by men in their interpretation. Since they cannot say that the Three—Father, Son, and the Spirit—are three Gods, what else can they say? So the designation “three Persons” is used. Actually, to use the designation “three Persons” to explain the Father, Son, and Spirit is also not quite satisfactory, because “three Persons” really means three persons. Therefore, Griffith Thomas, famous for his exposition on the book of Romans and for being one of the founders of Dallas Theological Seminary, says in his book, The Principles of Theology:
The term “Person” is also sometimes objected to. Like all human language, it is liable to be accused of inadequacy and even positive error. It certainly must not be pressed too far, or it will lead to Tritheism...While we are compelled to use terms like “substance” and “Person,” we are not to think of them as identical with what we understand as human substance and personality...The truth and experience of the Trinity is not dependent upon the theological terminology.