Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes
to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.
False Teacher - Witness
Suing for Man’s Approval
The saints rejoice when
persecuted by the religious on account of their faith in Christ.
But not Witness Lee and his “Local Church.” They take
you to court just if critiqued. They will not be denied their place
at man’s table, so they deny the Lord and are refused a place
A man Victor spoke with at the farmer’s market sent him the following
information about his religious group founded by Witness Lee:
it's nice talking with you.
See the following links pls.
Hank HanneGranff, CRT
Victor wrote back:
What do you and Jacob have to say about this, from http://watch.pair.com/scp-duddy.html:
Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP), NEWSLETTER July-August 1983 Vol.
9, No. 3
The Changing Face of SCP: An Update
The Legal Case [Lee vs Duddy; Neil T. Duddy was an SCP researcher who
wrote The God-Men and was named with SCP (and the Swiss publisher) as
a defendant in the law suit.]
~ emphasis added
As most of you know, in December of 1980 we were sued by Witness Lee,
leader of a group known as the Local Church. The object of the lawsuit
is a book about Witness Lee published in the German language and distributed
in Switzerland. The Local Church first sued us in Switzerland, but lost
the case when the Swiss court ruled that the proper plaintiff (Witness
Lee) had not brought the action in the matter.
Witness Lee then filed suit against SCP in Alameda County Superior Court
in Oakland, California. After 21/2 years we are still in discovery phase
of the legal proceedings, where each side gathers information about the
other. Interrogatories (written questions) are being answered and depositions
(live interviews) are being taken of witnesses.
Litigation between Christians is the subject of
scriptural rebuke and warning (see Matthew 18:15-17 and I Corinthians
6:1-11). Despite these
biblical admonitions, Witness Lee has personally filed lawsuits against
authors and publishers who have dared to review his teachings and the
practices of the local Church in books made generally available to the
public. Because of Lee’s action, we have been given no choice but
to defend ourselves.
This lawsuit has great legal significance
for Christians in America and worldwide because it places tort law
protected religious speech. (“Tort” is defined in law as
any wrong, injury, or damage not involving breech of contract.) The suit
puts in issue the rights of an author to offer the opinion that a minister’s
teaching is heretical. SCP is taking the steadfast position that its
statements are within the Fair Comment Doctrine and thus are constitutionally
The lawsuit filed by Witness Lee against Jack Sparks and Nelson Publishers
regarding the book, The Mindbenders, was recently settled out of court.
Reports and best estimates indicate that total expenses for both sides
may have exceeded one million dollars! That would be big money for an
We need the prayers of all of you that God will provide the funds we
need and will give us prudent legal strategy so as to keep expenditures
and loss of valuable work time at the lowest possible level. Pray too
that Witness Lee will choose to settle his dispute with us out of court,
as the Scriptures teach, so that all can avoid unnecessary expenses and
waste of resources.
Matheson sent a statement from his church about their “clean bill
Pls see the following statement, and talk with any of them: Benson Phillips,
Dan Towle, Andrew Yu or Chris Wilde
Over the years the
local churches have welcomed dialogue with scholars who were willing
to conduct honest and thorough research in order to
understand our beliefs and practices. We have been privileged over the
past five years to have engaged in dialogue and Christian fellowship
with a number of such researchers and scholars. The content of this book
reflects some of the progress that has been made both in dispelling misconceptions
concerning the teachings and practices of the local churches and Living
Stream Ministry (LSM) and in raising an awareness of the riches of the
ministry we have inherited. LSM publishes the writings of Watchman Nee
and Witness Lee (see www.lsm.org and www.ministrybooks.org)
2003 Hank Hanegraaff, the President of CRI; Elliot Miller, the editor-in-chief
flagship publication Christian Research Journal; Bob and Gretchen Passantino,
the founders and Directors of Answers in Action
(AIA); and representatives of the local churches and LSM desired to meet
together. In the first meeting representatives of the local churches
and LSM testified of their belief in the essentials of the Christian
faith concerning the Bible, the Triune God, the person and work of Christ,
salvation, and the church. As a result of that meeting, CRI and AIA launched
a re-evaluation of the teachings and practices of the local churches.
Now that the local churches have been in the United States for many years,
there are many resources regarding our teachings and practices that were
not as available in the years when the initial evaluation was made. Although
others continue to rely on old criticisms, CRI and AIA have made use
of that complete information. Their evaluation has been far more extensive
than the initial review decades before, and this new study has arrived
at far different conclusions.
In late 2004 a separate
dialogue was initiated between Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena,
California, and representatives of the local churches
and LSM. A group of three distinguished members of the Seminary—President
Richard Mouw, Dean of Theology Howard Loewen, and Professor of Systematic
Theology Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen—performed an extensive
and careful review and evaluation of our teachings and practices. Of
their meetings with the representatives of the local churches and LSM
they said, “Our times together were characterized by sincere, open,
transparent, and unrestricted dialog.” As a result of their review,
they issued a statement (also reproduced in this book) in which they
concluded “that the teachings and practices of the local churches
and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian
faith in every essential aspect.” They also reported finding “a
great disparity between the perceptions that have been generated in some
circles concerning the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee and
the actual teachings found in their writings.”
We are grateful for
the dialogue we have had with members of CRI, AIA, and Fuller Theological
Seminary, dialogue which has been both frank and
full of sweet Christian fellowship. We are deeply moved by the faithfulness
of our brothers and our sister in Christ in adhering to the essentials
of the Christian faith and receiving all those who hold “the faith
once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) without regard to
Benson Phillips Dan Towle Andrew Yu Chris Wilde
Hi Matheson, Jacob, and company,
Will you answer these questions or will you continue to evade me?
As per the document I sent you, did Witness Lee file a lawsuit against
others, such as Duddy, SCP, the Swiss publishers, Jack Sparks, and Nelson
Publishers for speaking and publishing against him and the “Local
Church,” or did he not?
“The Local Church first sued us in Switzerland, but lost the case
when the Swiss court ruled that the proper plaintiff (Witness Lee) had
not brought the action in the matter.
Witness Lee then filed suit against SCP in Alameda
County Superior Court in Oakland, California.”
You speak of your Christian virtues and the praises of others concerning
“As a result of their review, they issued
a statement (also reproduced in this book) in which they concluded ‘that the teachings and
practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical,
biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.’”
Is it customary and right in God’s sight for His true church to
be suing anyone, whether the defendants were right or wrong?
Finally, are you, Jacob Blatz, Edith, Henry, and the gathering in Lethbridge
and Nobleford aware of this suit information? Do you know whether or
not the suit occurred? If it occurred, is this the fruit of the True
Congregation/Assembly/Church of God?
Are you, Matheson and Jacob, as well as Benson, Dan, Andrew, and Chris,
in agreement and approval of Lee’s lawsuit, if this information
is indeed true?
About a month later, we sent another email:
Matheson and Jacob,
You most certainly aren’t giving anyone a good impression of yourselves
and your faith by avoiding the simple questions I’ve asked you
about Witness Lee’s lawsuits against people for libel and slander.
What do you have to say for yourselves and your leadership in this matter?
Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen
Matheson replied this time, only to continue avoiding the subject:
You should read our statement carefully first. Secondary I really don't
have so much time with you if you are only a fighter and doesn't want
to grow up with your spirit life.
If you want to read recovery bible with us that is okay, but if you
only want to argue with people, please don't interrupt me anymore.
Thank you for your attention.
Our final letter:
We have carefully red the statement you’ve provided. It appears
you haven’t red Victor’s questions carefully, because the
statement doesn’t contain any answers to his questions.
Pointing this out to you isn’t arguing – your stubborn refusal
to acknowledge the lack of answers is arguing.
We ask, but you evade, argue, and now threaten to bow out if we ask
again, letting yourself off the hook.
You need to know your argument has no merit whatsoever. What you’re
saying by the statement you’ve sent is that because other “Christian” sects
approve of your sect, therefore everything you’re doing must be
right, including suing other professors of Christ if they don’t
agree with you. That doesn’t make sense by any rational or spiritual
thinking. Just because men agree with you doesn’t make you right.
The issue is whether you’re walking in the truth and God agrees
“But let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
And we know for a fact that those you appeal to, such as Hank Hanegraaff
and CRI, don’t agree with God. For example, have you red the following
about Hank and his organization?
False Teacher: Hanegraaff, Hank (Christian Research Institute – CRI):
Bible Worship Used by Men to Cover Evil
False Christianity Unmasked
The True Marks of a Cult
Here’s what the Lord Jesus Christ says about the kind of thinking
and self-justification you present in your statement:
“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before
men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among
men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).
So one last time: Will you answer the questions, or is what we’ve
just described here your final answer? No reply confirms the latter.
Paul and Victor
We heard nothing further from Matheson or his organization.