Question: Can a Christian join any social organizations? (Wang)
Answer: The Bible only recognizes one organization as legitimate for Christians to join and which Christians ought to join; it is the church. Other than the church, the Bible does not consider that believers should join any other organizations. Social organizations are not found in the Bible, and even "evangelistic societies," "prayer societies," and "missions" are not found in the Bible. If this is not reason enough for believers not to join any social organizations, we can look at the question from another angle. The Bible commands that we do not become "dissimilarly yoked with unbelievers" (2 Cor. 6:14). According to the teaching of the Bible, believers should not participate in any organization or group that has unbelievers in it. Believers should not be in an organization that has unbelievers in it, and they should not strive for prosperity together within such a group. Separation is the most important teaching.
BAPTISM AND THE SUPPER
Question: Is it reasonable for enlightened preachers to partake of the holy communion together with church members who have been baptized but who do not understand the real meaning of the Savior’s baptism, with the hope of gradually uplifting the latter’s standard? If the former do not do this, they will have to separate themselves, and there may be some inconvenience for them. Please instruct me. (Wang)
Answer: The question is whether or not they are all saved. If they are all saved, they can partake of the supper together, whether or not some understand the real meaning of baptism. But if some are not saved, it is unscriptural to partake of the Lord’s supper together, no matter how much knowledge these unsaved ones have. The Bible never allows sinners to participate in the Lord’s table.
POLITICS AND RELIGION
Question: Should one join the anti-Christian movement? Is it right that politics and religion should be separate?
Answer: Of course, one cannot join such a movement. How can we who believe in Christ join the anti-Christian movement? We should oppose imperialism and any such lawless things. But we should not participate in the anti-Christian movement.
Separation of politics and religion is a fine teaching in the Bible. "You know that those who are esteemed as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it is not so among you [the Christians]" (Mark 10:42-43). The Lord Jesus declared that His kingdom is not of this world. Hence, the church, which is subject to the Lord, does not need to go to war. But the question now is much deeper than that of separation between politics and religion.
Many believers think that it is good for politics and religion to be separated one from the other, that the church should not bother itself with politics, and that politics should not interfere with the church. But they think that the church should declare its stand and express its view concerning current issues and that believers can join political movements and serve as government officials. What they say seems to be reasonable, because they say that since believers are also citizens of a country, they have their works as citizens. We should look at the teaching in the Bible. The Lord Jesus left us "a model so that you may follow in His steps" (1 Pet. 2:21). The Lord is our example in everything. We will not go wrong if we follow Him in respect to our relationship to politics. Was the Lord Jesus a politician? Did He pay attention to the politics of His country? Did He ever represent the voice of the people to criticize the officers of Palestine? Did He ever rebuke the political oppressors on behalf of the politically oppressed? Did He ever rally any political power around Him? Please read Luke 12:14; 13:1-3; Matthew 17:24; 22:21.
Christians are merely strangers and sojourners on earth (Heb. 11:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:11). Who can interfere or participate in the politics of a country? Only those who are the citizens of that country can do this. Those Chinese who reside in Japan have no right to interfere with the politics of Japan. The fact that we are strangers and sojourners shows that we have nothing to do with the politics of this world.
Some have said, "Who can be more qualified to be government officers? Are they not more just and morally qualified than others?" The answer in the Bible is that Christians are the most unqualified to be government officers. A government officer is one who executes the law. The laws in the world are based on justice, and all transgressors have to be punished. However, the principle of conduct of Christians today is mercy (Matt. 5:38-48). Can world politics act according to the teaching on the Mount? The words "do not judge, that you be not judged" (Matt. 7:1) have forever disqualified believers from interfering with politics or being executors of law.
The Lord Jesus forever separated politics from the church of God in Matthew 22:21. Since believers do not belong to Caesar (who represents politics), they should never do the work of Caesar. Let those who belong to Caesar do the work of Caesar. We who belong to God should be separated solely unto God.
The Bible only commands believers to be obedient citizens of a country and obey the officers; it has not commanded the believers to be officers themselves and be obeyed. Please read Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1, 5-7. If we are pressured to act contrary to God’s commands, we have to act according to Acts 5:29. Matthew 10:23 is also a good solution. We can choose to disobey, but we must never become non-submissive or rebel.
If God’s children try to be officers at the gate of Sodom, they will find that before Lot had a chance to convert Sodom, Sodom had converted Lot!
Question: Can a Christian salute pictures of men? (Wang)
Answer: Each individual can only receive the answer to this question from the Lord Himself. In the Ten Commandments, the first one forbids having other gods. This has to do with God. The next commandment has to do with images. Here we see that not only must we "not make unto thee any graven image," but we must not make "any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Man received the commandment to "not bow down [better translated as `not saluting’] thyself to them," whatever one’s motive may be, "nor serve them" as though they are God (Exo. 20:4-5).
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 21, by Watchman Nee)