NEITHER IMPOSING NOR OPPOSING
When some hear that we should think the one thing, they may ask about things such as foot-washing or speaking in tongues. If you want to practice foot-washing or tongues-speaking, you should be free to do so. But do not impose these practices on others. Regarding matters like this, we should not either impose or oppose, because either imposing or opposing will cause difficulty.
In 1963 some from a Pentecostal group and some from a group with a Brethren background proposed that we come together in Los Angeles to practice the church life in oneness. I told them that it is wonderful for Christians from different groups to come together to practice the church life, but that in order to have the church life we all had to drop our differences. I pointed out that if we want to have the Body spoken of in Romans 12, we must learn the lessons in Romans 14. Without Romans 14 it is impossible to have Romans 12. Furthermore, I told them that Christians have been divided and still are divided over various practices. Thus, if we want to have the oneness in the proper church life, we must drop all the differences. Those from each group said they were happy with this and promised to drop the differences. However, in just a few weeks problems developed over the matters of speaking in tongues and playing a tambourine in the meetings. Those from the group with the Brethren background simply could not tolerate these things. Neither those who favored speaking in tongues and playing the tambourine nor those who opposed these practices would listen to any word about not insisting on their way. Eventually that meeting had to be disbanded.
We should not oppose anything unless it involves idolatry or fornication. Some have asked me about the so-called holy rolling. I said, "If someone is so repentant over his sins that he wants to roll on the floor, that is all right. We should not oppose it. But if someone insists upon this or imposes it upon others, he is divisive. We bear with anything or go along with any practice as long as it is not sinful or a cause of division."
In 1966 we began to practice pray-reading, and in 1968, the calling on the name of the Lord. I can testify that I never insisted upon these practices. However, in a certain place messages were repeatedly given opposing pray-reading and calling on the name of the Lord. As Christians, we need to see that we are not here for a particular practice or for a certain way. Rather, we are for one thing—to pursue after Christ. We all need to think this one thing and to walk by this same rule. If someone is so happy in a meeting that he jumps up and down, I would not oppose him. However, if someone seeks to impose this practice on others, insisting that all the saints or all the churches engage in it, I would not agree with it, because we are not for jumping, but for pursuing after Christ. We do not impose anything nor do we oppose anything. Instead, we are simply pursuing the all-inclusive Christ. We are not here for any way or practice; we are here only to pursue the Lord and to be conformed to His death.
Whatever we do must be done by being conformed to the death of Christ. If we do everything in this way, there will be no problems, and we shall surely think the one thing. Christ must be our experience, goal, and prize. Christ is everything. In the Lord’s recovery there is nothing but Christ. This is the only way for us to take in the Lord’s recovery.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)