WRECKED FOR THE LOCAL CHURCH
Now this matter of the oneness of the church is very clear to us. First of all, we should not insist on anything but the faith, and we should not impose anything other than the faith on others. Second, we should not be influenced by any kind of wind of teaching. We must “stick” to the local church. Regardless of what others teach, we should not be distracted. If we pay attention to any kind of doctrine, it will be exceedingly easy for us to be carried away by the wind of doctrine from the oneness of the Body. We must be for the local church—nothing else.
We must be just like the wood that is used to build a wooden stand. All the pieces of wood are good for nothing but the stand; they have been ruined for everything else. In the same way, we all need to be ruined for everything but the local church.
Some friends with good intentions have come to me and said, “Brother Lee, we love you, but you have taken the wrong way. If you would not take this way of the local church, but do as we do, you would be much in demand. We are so sorry for you.” They are sorry for me, but I am so happy for myself. I like to be wrecked for the local church. I like to be ruined for the church life. I am good for nothing but the church life. I do not care about a certain kind of doctrine or a certain kind of spiritual teaching; I only care for the local church.
Praise the Lord! The goal is so clear to us, and the way is so certain to us. We have no other choice but the oneness. We must not care for anything but the oneness. There is one Body, one Spirit, and one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God and Father of all. Therefore, we are all one. This is why we are so broad and so all-inclusive. We do not care for anything but the faith.
ARRIVING AT THE ONENESS OF THE FAITH
May we have the Lord’s grace that we may keep the oneness by the growth in life. We must grow and grow in life until we drop all the toys of different doctrines or teachings and “all arrive at the oneness of the faith” (Eph. 4:13).
At the time we were saved, we all had the oneness of the faith. But afterward, due to our childhood, we gradually picked up many different doctrines by which we were intentionally or unintentionally divided. If we grow in life, we will spontaneously and gradually drop the doctrines of dissent. The more we grow in the Lord, the more we will relinquish the doctrinal toys. The more mature we become, the less we will take pleasure in doctrines. One day, by the growth and maturity of life, we will “arrive at the oneness of the faith,” and all the toys of doctrines which immature ones keep will disappear.
Oh, how we need to return to the oneness of the faith from so many doctrines or teachings of dissent! So many of us have been carried away by the “wind of doctrine” for too long a time. Now is the time for us to be brought back. This requires a real turn to the Lord and growth in life. For the church life we need to be brought back to the oneness of the faith. For the local church we need to be brought back from all the divisive doctrines of dissent. For the Lord’s recovery of the genuine Body life, we need the genuine oneness, which is both the oneness of the Spirit and the oneness of the faith. All the divisive doctrines must go; only the Spirit and the faith should remain. May the Lord have mercy upon us and all His children.
(The Practical Expression of the Church, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)