The Practical Expression of the Church, by Witness Lee


I believe we can see all the different grounds of divisions. This is why we must give up all of these things. When we go to a place, as long as the church there is on the proper ground, we must be one with her. She may be weak, and she may need much improvement, yet she is still the church on the proper ground. If we go there, we must meet with her. We have no right and no standing to establish another thing. Whether she sprinkles or not, whether she practices speaking in tongues or not, whether she has head covering or not, we still must go along with her, because she is the church on the proper ground.

We must not hold to any doctrine, but simply cleave to the abundance of Christ’s life. Regardless of what the church in a certain place practices, we must simply minister Christ to her. We must not care for the doctrines, but only for the rich supply of Christ to be ministered to her.

Perhaps the saints there would not even take pray-reading. Still we must minister Christ to them. Since they do not like pray-reading, we had better not speak with them about it, but be so strong in our spirit. Whenever we open our mouth in the meetings, the whole church will be subdued. We will pray, we will testify, and we will contact the saints in a living way. There is no need to fight for anything. As long as there is a church on the proper ground, we must be built up with her. She may not be so spiritual, but we do not care for that. We must only be on fire and burning in the spirit. Then we will burn others.

We must be so full of life—that is all. We must not bring anything to any place, and we must not stand for anything but Christ and the church on the proper ground. If we are full of Christ and so strong in the spirit, nothing can stop us from burning others. Eventually, the whole church in that place will be burnt by us.

We must learn to keep the ground and not to stand for anything else. As long as there is nothing sinful in the church where we are, we must go along with her. Then we should simply minister Christ to the people. We must never cause division, but always minister Christ.

We really need to be delivered from all our doctrines. We must be for nothing but Christ and the church. As long as the church is on the proper ground, regardless of how poor and weak she is, we must be one with her. Then we will never be divisive.

Some may say that the principle of one church in one city is right, but it is not applicable today. Today it is impossible, they may say, for all the saints in one locality to come together as one church. But regardless of the confusion, we must still keep and apply the principle. The majority of Christians will not take the proper ground, but the Lord will still raise up a remnant to stand on the ground of oneness. Whatever the Lord has ordained can never be abandoned. Regardless of all the failure in the past and in the present, the Lord will still accomplish it. It may be on a smaller scale, but the principle is still the same.

We do believe that in these last days the Lord will work out the local church on a smaller scale. Some seeking ones will be brought together to take the ground of oneness and testify thereon to the whole universe that they are one in Christ, regardless of their varying backgrounds. This will be a real glory to the Lord and shame to the enemy.

(The Practical Expression of the Church, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)