The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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Furthermore, in the church life we all need to learn not to teach differently (1 Tim. 6:3-5). Anything that causes dissension or division or creates differing opinions must be avoided. We need to go on according to healthy teaching and not be sick about "questions and strifes of words" (1 Tim. 6:4, Gk.). Because we are all for the recovery, we should not teach differently. We are not for doctrines that may stir up opinions about things such as the rapture or the kingdom. Although I teach regarding these things, I do not encourage you to argue with others about them. If anyone wants to argue, you should simply say, "Brother, you just believe according to your way. That is not a problem to me. However, I have a different belief about the rapture." There is no need to argue with anyone. Be at peace with others and do not create an atmosphere that leads to debate or controversy regarding doctrine.

As we have pointed out, we should not insist on pray-reading or calling on the name of the Lord. Some may come who love the church and have seen something concerning the church, but who may not feel positively about pray-reading or calling on the Lord’s name. Therefore, you should not force them to do this. Wait until they feel the need for it. For example, I may have a gold watch and someone else, a toy watch. My grandchildren may prefer a toy watch to a gold watch. If I take their toy watch away from them, they will be very unhappy and cry. I have learned to wait until they grow. Eventually, when they have grown, they will appreciate my gold watch. Do not argue with others. Instead, wait, keep quiet, and let them grow. Let them play with their toy watch until they are ready for a different kind of watch.


There is no need for unification in the churches. Perhaps one church may practice pray-reading and another church may not. Do not endeavor to make the churches the same. The church life is not like an army or school; it is like a family. Some churches may be like the children in the family. But there is no need to argue with a childish church. Rather, we should treasure such a church, for it is so new and so fresh, yet so childish. Do not try to make other churches the same as yours. To do that is to pluck up a tender sprout and cause it to die. Leave the sprout in the earth and let it grow. Perhaps the church in your locality has been growing for a number of years and has reached a high standard. However, another church may not have come to that standard. Other churches may be rather sickly. However, whatever the case, do not uproot it. Instead, you should nourish it. Any attempt to unify the churches is wrong.

Furthermore, in any particular church we should not try to unify the saints. If you do this, you will get into difficulty. The fleshly mentality wants everyone and everything the same. It does not like to see the naughty young ones jumping and making noise. But a healthy family is a noisy family. In a normal family the children are playing and making noise. Some of the children may be crying and some of the naughty boys may even be fighting with each other. This is a normal, healthy situation. A number of times in the churches certain ones came to me and accused each other in my presence. However, I justified everyone and said, "I justify you because you are at the age for fighting. If you do not fight, then you must be sick." I have learned this lesson from my grandchildren. If they are not naughty, it must be that they are ill. Whenever they are too quiet, I wonder what is wrong with them. The elders need to learn not to take sides. Instead, they should justify all those who are fighting and leave them alone. The more they fight, the more they will eat; the more they eat, the more they will grow; and the more they grow, the more they will fight. This is a cycle. The fighting helps the eating, the eating helps the growing, and the growing in turn helps the fighting. All the young ones grow in this way. This may frighten some of the older ones, but this is the way the young people grow.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 21, by Witness Lee)