A LETTER ABOUT
THIS PUBLICATION AND THE CO-WORKERS
Dear Brother Witness:
(Parts omitted.) Concerning the articles for Collection of Newsletters, I personally hope that in the future there will be more news about how the brothers and sisters have consecrated to the Lord, about how they have obeyed the Lord and have taken the Lord as Head over all things, about how they have overcome their dryness and entered into the more abundant life, and about how they were delivered from a sinful life and have overcome sin. These spiritual aspects are much more important than outwardly leaving the denominations.
What is our center? Is our work to preach Christ as Lord or to preach leaving the denominations? I am really fearful that in every locality there are brothers who, being limited in understanding and spiritual experiences before God, only have a little knowledge about outward matters such as baptism, head covering, and denominations, and exhaust their effort to publicize these matters. By doing so, they cause outsiders to misunderstand us, thinking that we only emphasize these outward things and that we do not exalt Jesus Christ as Lord.
We know that if anyone follows the Lord, he will certainly take care of these outward matters. But it does not mean that anyone who practices these outward things is necessarily following the Lord completely. We must emphasize again and again for the sake of the ignorant brothers among us, that although we believe in these outward matters, yet our testimony, that which makes us different from others, is not in these outward things.
Another matter which is continually on my heart is the matter of the co-workers. We thank God that many who had rank and position in the denominations have seen the truth of the church. But this is also a problem! Many have seen only the error of sectarianism among the denominations, but have not perceived the wrongness of the system in the denominations. Therefore, while they may have left the denominations, they have not rejected the system. Consequently, they think that since they were workers in the denominations, they can continue in the same way after they have come out of the denominations. They simply do not care whether or not they are gifted or whether or not they have been called by God. Although they have left their particular denominations, they have never left the work which these denominations afforded them. This will cause us to be filled with many unsuitable workers.
I believe God’s will is this: Unless one is clear that he has been called and is definitely gifted, after he leaves the denominations, he should seek a proper occupation and witness for the Lord there. He should never have the thought that since he has been a worker before, he can therefore go ahead and begin a work in any locality. This is the most dangerous thing in our midst. We would prefer a locality be without any worker or work than to be doing something in a loose way. Oh, the flesh must be dealt with!
I am grateful to God that many have obeyed in these outward matters, yet their obedience is not merely restricted to these matters. These matters are but a part of their obedience to God’s will. Unless it emanates from within, anything outward is worthless. (Parts omitted.) Peace be unto you.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2) Vol. 25: Collection of Newsletters (1), Chapter 10, by Watchman Nee)