THE ONENESS OF THE NEW MAN
The new man is not a new organization or a new “United Nations.” This new man is just Christ—Christ spreading and Christ enlarged. Colossians 3:11 says, “Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all and in all.” All persons have no place in the new man; it is not another kind of United Nations. You have no place in the new man, and neither do I. We all have no place in the new man, but Christ is all and in all.
If you are not in Christ, you are through with this new man. If you are not in Christ you have no share, no part, in this new man. Even if you are in Christ, yet you do not live by Christ, you have a problem related to this new man. We may be American, Chinese, or Japanese, but we are not here living Americans, Chinese, or Japanese. We are here living Christ. Even if you are a typical Chinese, what is in you now is not Chinese; rather Christ is in you. Christ is our life, Christ is our nature, and Christ is our person.
Since we have such a Christ as our content, we do not merely need unity. The word unity is not so scriptural. Ephesians 4:3 refers to the oneness, not the unity, of the Spirit. Because Christ is one, He does not need to be united. Anything that is one does not need unity. Unity implies that before being united the various components were separated and divided. We do not have unity in this sense; rather we have oneness. Christ is not divided; Christ is only one.
The ecumenical movement in Christianity strives for unity. Any ecumenical movement is not according to the truth. Colossians 3:11 says that no one has any place in this new man, but in the unity of ecumenism everything and everyone is there. The monk has a place, the priest has a place, and everyone has a place there. Therefore, that is not the oneness, but the unity of the ecumenical movement. To be ecumenical is to include everything, to be universal, catholic. All manner of things and persons are united together. It is broad-minded, yet it is too broad. It includes too many things. The great harlot of Revelation 17, “The Mother of the Prostitutes” (v. 5), is the apostate Roman church, and the prostitutes, her daughters, should be all the different sects and groups in Christianity who hold to some extent the teaching, practices, and traditions of the apostate Roman church. The ecumenical movement is a situation where these “daughters” are going back to “the mother.” The pure church life has no evil transmitted from the apostate church.
The new man is not ecumenical. The new man is uniquely one, one with Christ and one in Christ. No one has any place in the new man, neither Jew, Greek, circumcision, uncircumcision, Scythian, barbarian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all. We are not an ecumenical movement; we are in the new man. We are one not by our niceness, gentleness, or humility, but by and through Christ, because Christ is in you and Christ is in me. Christ is in all the brothers from China and all the brothers from Japan. We all have Christ, and Christ is our oneness. What we have is not a unity or an ecumenical movement. What we have is simply Christ. This does not mean that you tolerate me and I tolerate you, but that you have Christ and I have Christ. I love Him and you love Him; you live by Him and I live by Him. We all have Christ, so we are one in the unique Christ. If we do not have Christ and live Christ, we are through with the new man. The Lord’s recovery is not a movement. It is altogether the life of Christ, Christ as our life and our person. We all have to see this in a crystal clear way.
(The One New Man, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)