THE NEED TO SEE THE ONE CHURCH,
THE ONE BODY OF CHRIST
Why has there been turmoil among us? I had a twenty-five-year relationship with Brother Nee. For eighteen years I was with him shoulder to shoulder. I saw what happened to him. Nearly every seven years there was a turmoil. Why? Because those involved in the turmoil did not see what the church is. All the problems of the church today are due to the ignorance concerning the Body of Christ.
Some might like to talk about the practice of foot-washing. Every time they set up the Lord’s table, they insist on the practice of foot washing. When I was young in the Lord, I insisted on baptism by immersion. That was my favorite topic for debate, but I have no heart for things like this anymore. There are so many debates concerning baptism. Should we use fresh water or salt water? Should it be in a lake, a river, or a baptistery? Some think that you cannot follow Jesus to the uttermost unless you go to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. But no one knows the very spot where Jesus was baptized. Should we baptize in warm water or cold water? Do we immerse once, twice, or three times? There is no end to these kinds of arguments.
We need to forget about all of these minor things and see what the church is. The church is the organism of the Triune God. The church is the organic Body of Christ, which is God’s family, God’s household, God’s folks becoming His home, His dwelling place. There is no need to argue about any doctrinal matters or practices. We just need to see and know that the church is God’s total reproduction, God’s continuation, God’s full growth, God’s increase, God’s rich surplus, and this surplus today is the organism of the Triune God, the organic Body of Christ, which is the family, the folks of God becoming His dwelling place on this earth. Today God not only is with us, with the church, but also has made us His dwelling place.
Some like to talk about the distinction between the universal church and the local churches. Even such a thing is not worthwhile of arguing about. God’s house, the Body of Christ, is just one. Some say that the church is local and the work is regional. We need to forget about all these things. We need to see that we are one church. Some may say that the saints in Taipei cannot meet with the saints in Anaheim, so apparently in practice there are two churches—one in Anaheim and one in Taipei. Actually, today in the Lord’s recovery there are over twelve hundred churches, but all of these churches are parts of the one church, the one Body of Christ. On this earth there is the element of space and the element of time. But with God there is no space element and no time element. In His eyes in the whole universe there is one church.
The final point of my burden in this chapter is that we should not consider just our church in our city. We have to consider God’s church in the universe. We may wonder how to practice this, but we should not worry about this. Now we are in a city, and we simply need to come together to meet. We can say we are a local church, but we are not separated from the church of God. We are just a part of the church of God.
(The Issue of the Dispensing of the Processed Trinity and the Transmitting of the Transcending Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)