A Clarifying Word Concerning Brother Lee's Last Public Speaking
Brother Lee's last public speaking in the February 1997 Chinese-speaking conference has been misused by Brother Dong to attack the co-workers in the Lord's recovery and to justify embracing deviations in standing and practice. The following excerpt from A Pattern of Twisting (2) presents a faithful rendition of what Brother Lee actually said:
At the end of a message in the 2006 Thanksgiving Conference, Brother Benjamin Chen spoke a clarifying word concerning this short section of Brother Lee's sharing in the last meeting of the 1997 International Chinese-speaking Conference. Benjamin said that some had misused Brother Lee's word of regret that in the past his attitude toward some in the denominations was not right as an excuse to justify bringing the things of Christianity into the Lord's recovery. Beginning in the summer of 1996, Brother Lee asked a number of brothers to share the message with him to confirm its burden. He called them "blending speakers". As one of the "blending speakers" in the last meeting of that 1997 conference, Brother Benjamin paid very close attention to what Brother Lee spoke.
Benjamin confirmed that Brother Lee did not change his teaching at all in that message, because through all the years both Brother Nee and Brother Lee had made it clear that we have to separate our attitude toward the believers in Christianity from our attitude toward the system of Christianity.1 On the one hand, regardless of where they are, whether in Catholicism or the denominations or the free groups, we need to be open to, receive, fellowship with, and love the believers. On the other hand, we want to have nothing to do with the system of Christianity because that system divides the Body of Christ.
Benjamin said that when Brother Lee expressed regret for his attitude toward some Christians in the denominations, it was because in his maturity in life he was very sensitive in his spirit that he did not always have the right kind of loving attitude. But immediately after Brother Lee spoke of his regret, he said that the denominations themselves are wrong and that all the sectarianism that divides God's people should be condemned. Brother Lee then balanced this word by saying that God's people themselves should not be condemned. This was and always has been our standing.
Based on this understanding of Brother Lee's fellowship, Brother Benjamin spoke as a "blending speaker." Brother Lee indicated that although he had intended to say something further after the "blending speakers" to strengthen the burden in his message, there was no need because the "blending speakers" had said what he wanted to say. This demonstrates that Benjamin's understanding of Brother Lee's speaking and burden were accurate, as opposed to the wildly speculative interpretations put on Brother Lee's speaking by those wanting to justify polluting the Lord's recovery with worldliness.
Brother Benjamin concluded by saying that to use Brother Lee's short speaking to justify going back to the worldly practices of Christianity is a serious error. Brother Lee never said this. We have been called out of the degraded system of Christianity to afford the Lord a way to carry out His recovery in a pure way. We seek to cooperate with God for the carrying out of His economy to recover the all-inclusive Christ as our life and everything, the function of all the members according to the God-ordained way, and the proper oneness of the Body of Christ. In order to accomplish this, we must stand apart from the degraded system of Christianity, but at the same time we must be open to, receive, fellowship with, and love all of our fellow believers in Christ, regardless of whether they meet in the local churches or not.
1 For a further explanation of the standing of the local churches concerning organized Christianity, see page 4 of "A Brief Response to An Open Letter to the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the 'Local Churches'" on www.lctestimony.org.