NOT UNIFYING THE SAINTS OR THE CHURCHES
This is true not only among the saints, but also among the churches. Because all the churches are in different stages, we should not expect them to be the same. In a certain church there may be many young ones playing with toys. Instead of troubling them, we need to say amen to their toys. Today is not a day of unification. We simply cannot unify the saints. If we attempt to unify them today, new ones will come tomorrow. The same is true with the churches. We may have the ability to unify the churches today, but after a period of time some new churches will be raised up that are childish and even babyish. If we attempt to unify them, we shall kill them. Instead of unifying the saints or the churches, we should minister life to them and help them to eat well and grow normally. We need to help them to continue on in the unique oneness no matter what is their stage of growth. If we do this, we shall keep the oneness of the Spirit. We maintain this oneness by allowing the differences to exist.
If we practice this, the problems among the churches will disappear. The problems are all caused by our attempts to unify the churches. We want every age to be the same. But this is impossible. We are a very large family, and we are all on the way toward arriving at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God.
As we continue on in this process, we should be thankful for all the differences. For example, if in a certain locality you find something childish and babyish, do not be disappointed. Instead, you should praise the Lord for the new ones in that place. Sometimes we may visit a church that is full of experience, filled with grandfathers and grandmothers who are all very qualified. After visiting such a church, we may be convinced that it is the best because everything is excellent and there are no problems. However, a church without problems is a poor church. But a church with many problems is a rich church, perhaps even the best church.
Suppose my wife and I, two elderly people, have no problems. When you visit our home, you find everything quiet, neat, and in good order. After staying with us a few days, you may think that this is the best home. There are no arguments, but mutual love, sympathy, and serving of one another. But is such a family really the best family? The best family is one in which there are many children of various ages. However, you may find it difficult to tolerate such a family and prefer a family composed of two elderly people where everything is quiet and neat. After visiting the home of such an orderly family, you may be influenced to say that your home is poor because it is so noisy. Attempting to make your home like the home of the elderly ones, you kill it. Sometimes, however, the situation is the opposite. Certain ones may think that my home is too quiet and encourage us to adopt some young ones. The point of this illustration is that we need to make allowances for all. Do not go to a place either to change it or to be influenced to change your locality. Let every church be the way it is. Wherever you go, simply minister life to the saints. Do not change them, correct them, or attempt to improve them. This shows our faith in life; we trust in life. Because we believe in life, we can leave the saints and the churches to life, praying for them and ministering the life supply to them. Leave their condition entirely to life. If we do this, we shall keep the oneness of the Spirit and we shall grow.
THE TEST OF OUR GROWTH IN LIFE
The extent to which we keep the oneness of the Spirit in this way tests how much growth in life we have. The more we grow in life, the more we shall be able to bear various kinds of differences. However, if you cannot go along with differences, you are still very young. But if you can go along with all kinds of differences, this indicates that you are quite mature. The more we grow in life, the more differences we shall be able to take. We shall not want to reduce the differences, change things, or correct the saints. Rather, we shall minister life to the saints and let them grow. If they give us some difficulty, we shall bear them in love. This is a sign of our health, of our growth, and of our maturity. But if we like to unify, to change, to correct, and to adjust, this is a sign that we are still immature. For the keeping of the genuine oneness, we all need to grow.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)