THE SPIRIT AND THE BURDEN OF THE NEW WAY
We have to see clearly the goal of the new way. The failure of Christianity is due to the forsaking of the homes and relying on big meetings. This is the biggest reason for the failure in Christianity. We must take the way of recovery by leaving the big meetings and coming back to the homes. The results of the new way will be gospel preaching in the homes, leading people to grow in life in the homes, leading people to know the truth in the homes, and having the church life in the homes. The home, not the individual, is the unit.
Let me use the Chinese people as an illustration. About a hundred years ago, China was technologically underdeveloped and remained in a very conservative condition, so Japan went ahead of us. Then, being ambitious to conquer China, Japan used all its efforts to invade China. Although the Chinese have a bad character in being indecisive and sloppy, they responded all over the country to resist the Japanese, and the whole nation entered into the conflict. I saw with my own eyes that when the Chinese government sent out a call, all the people rose up by families and the whole nation went into resistance. They came from everywhere, from the east, the west, the south, and the north, and they included everyone, the young, the old, the males, and the females. Consequently, Japan had no way. By sending two to three million strong soldiers to China, they thought that in a year or two they could conquer China, but in the end they surrendered in defeat. From 1895 to 1945, after fifty years of war, the Chinese eventually won the war. The reason for the victory was the Chinese family. The Chinese culture and the foundation of China as a country are built upon the family. Neither the Mongols nor the Manchus were successful in conquering China; in the end they were all assimilated and blended with the Han people. The reason still lies with the family. For thousands of years the Chinese family has been the base upon which the country was built. Regardless of the change of governments, no one can defeat the family.
I give you this illustration so that you may see that the failure of Christianity is due to their having only big meetings and thus not having a foundation. Moreover, what they do is one-sided. The triumph of the Chinese culture lies with the family. Therefore, you all have to see clearly that the Lord’s way among us today is to build up all the spiritual things, including the truth, life, and the church, in the homes. When the homes rise up to function, the result will be tremendous.
When I was young, transportation in China was not convenient; there was quite a distance from the north to the south. When I began to work for the Lord, I was sent out to many places from the north to the south. I observed that although in China the dialects were different in various places, the culture was the same. The ethical and moral culture of China was passed down from generation to generation and was established in the homes. This resulted in the preservation of the Chinese culture, which is the foundation of China. Therefore, today we also want to adopt this way, that is, the building up of all the spiritual things in the homes. Only this will be powerful, universal, and far-reaching. Consider this: If we can raise up ten thousand homes in Taipei, that would be a tremendous matter; if we can raise up thirty thousand homes in Taiwan, then Taiwan will really be evangelized. Therefore, this is worthy of our research and practice.
Having meetings is like going to classes; if you do not go to school, you do not learn anything. But if you attend a poor school, then the English you learn there will have the wrong pronunciation and the wrong grammar. As a result, it may be helpful temporarily, but eventually it is harmful for you. The big meeting is not a “good school.” The things taught there may help people temporarily, but ultimately they will hurt them. However, because we are in the stage of changing the system, we cannot “quarantine” the big meetings immediately; rather, we will still use them temporarily as a substitute in consideration of the situation. However, I would rather that you use all your effort toward working on the homes, bringing all the people and all the matters into the homes. I hope that you all may strive and seize the time to practice and to study well, thereby paving the new way that the Lord’s recovery may proceed on a great highway!
(The Revelation and Vision of God, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)