Rom. 16:17 - Now I exhort you, brothers, to mark those who make divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and turn away from them.

2 Tim. 2:25 - In meekness correcting those who oppose, if perhaps God may give them repentance unto the full knowledge of the truth.

Note 101 - Criticism of the Full-Time Trainings

The need for training young people in the truth, life, and service has been recognized in the Lord's recovery by both Brother Nee and Brother Lee, as the following excerpts indicate:

If the return of the Lord should be delayed, it will be necessary to raise up a number of young people to continue the testimony and the work for the following generations. Many co-workers have already prayed concerning this matter with the hope of providing a suitable place for the purpose of training young people. My thought is not to establish a seminary or a Bible institute, but to have young people staying together to live the Body life and practice the spiritual life. In such a place they would receive training for the purpose of edification, by learning to read the Scripture, to pray, and to build up a good character. On the negative side, there would be training for the purpose of learning how to deal with sin, the world, the flesh, and the natural life. At a suitable time, the young people would return to their respective churches in various places to be tempered together with other saints to serve the Lord in the church. ( The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 26: Collection of Newsletters & Watchman Nee's Testimony , p. 479)

Another thing I want to make clear is our burden to have trainings to train the saints. Brother Nee conducted regular trainings for the saints in mainland China. I came out of mainland China to Taiwan in 1949. We started a formal training there for four months in 1953. From that year on, I set aside a few months nearly every year for the training of the saints. ( Elders' Training, Book 9: The Eldership and the God-ordained Way (1) , p.55)

To the present moment, I have not yet discharged my burden in the matter of training. We need to be trained for the practice of the church life. This means that the training should enrich and uplift our practice of the church life. Although the help given to the saints thus far is far from adequate, we cannot deny the fact that since coming into the Lord's recovery many saints have undergone some training. This is evident as we listen to them testify or pray in the meetings. However, the need remains for more thorough and complete training. My burden is that after a period of time, perhaps after three or four years, virtually all the saints in the Lord's recovery in this country will have been adequately trained. ( Life-study of Ephesians , p. 353)

Although you must still pursue and make progress in the four matters of truth, life, the gospel, and service, you must be more serious in the training of your character so that you may be fully equipped. I hope that you would all exercise your will and determine to cooperate with the Lord to deal with your character so that you may become useful vessels in the Lord's hand. ( Vessels Useful to the Lord , p. 115)

Brother Lee initiated the full-time trainings for college graduates beginning in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1985. Brother Lee often spoke of his burden for the full-time trainings. For example, in the spring of 1986 he said:

It is really a great blessing to all the full-time trainees who have just finished their college education and are about to start a new stage in their life to set apart some time to be trained to know the Lord and serve Him....

I believe that after this kind of equipping, even if the trainees go back to their regular jobs, they will not be the same as ordinary people or even as they were before. Instead, they will be the Lord's living witnesses, full of life and truth. No matter what they do in the future, whether taking care of a family, living, working, or operating a business, they will spontaneously be the Lord's living witnesses. This will be a great success. It will be a great thing if we can produce one to two thousand of this kind of people as the foundation and basis for the island of Taiwan. Not only will they accomplish the great task of the gospelization of Taiwan, but they will also become the backbone of the church life in the Lord's recovery. Consequently, they, along with their families and enterprises, will become a living testimony of the Lord. From this perspective, it is really worthwhile to spend this best time of your life in the full-time training. ( The Economy of God and the Mystery of the Transmission of the Divine Trinity , pp. 136-137)

In 1988 Brother Lee gave the following appraisal of the Full-time Training in Taipei:

First, I think many of you already know that the "full-time" service which has been among us the last few years is mainly for the saints who have a heart to pursue further. It is especially for the young college graduates. It gives them the opportunity to devote their lives to pursue God, to dive deeply into the truth, and to grow in life. If I remember rightly, I had already felt this way ten years ago when I was having some fellowship with a group of co-workers in the Bay Area in the United States. I hoped that the brothers and sisters in college or graduate school would take some time after their graduation and before their careers to seek after the Lord for at least a year, and preferably two years. During this time of seeking, some training would be given to them to produce some real perfection in truth and life as well as in the gospel and the church service.

The full-time training we have here was originally for this purpose. I know that you all have really gained something in the two years you have passed through, especially those among you who have been trained for four terms. You have not spent your time in vain. You have, to a greater or lesser degree, been affected by the Lord's truths and cultivated by life. You have also learned a few things about preaching the gospel and serving the Lord. Furthermore, you have had a taste of human life. These attainments have laid the foundation and made the preparation for your work ahead.

Not only so, these two years have given you the chance to decide for yourselves whether you should get a job or be full-time for the rest of your lives. It was very difficult in the past to determine whether or not a certain one should be full-time; eventually, we could not find a proper way. If we did not let a brother go full-time, we feared that we might waste good material; if we let him do it, we were not sure whether he would be suited to the full-time work. Now, we have finally found a workable way. Coincidentally, it ties in with the new way practiced three years ago when I first came back. By handling the training this way, we have produced full-time serving ones; at the same time it has provided the personnel needed for the Taiwan evangelization work. These two goals joined together complement and supplement one another very well. In the past two years, what we have done here has exactly met these two needs. Thank the Lord. I feel that we have, to a large degree, reached these two goals. ( Words of Life from the 1988 Full-Time Training , pp. 81-82)

The full-time training started in the United States in 1988, moving to Anaheim in the fall of 1989. In the spring of 1990 Brother Lee said the following concerning his burden for the full-time training:

First, the full-time training helps us to grow in life. Second, it enables us to grow in the knowledge of the truth concerning God and His eternal economy. This is to grow in life and in truth. In addition, the trainees will grow in their capacity and ability. This includes the skill, the gifts, and the function to do things for God. Although the training did not help us to obtain our capacity, it is helping us to grow in our capacity. To grow indicates that we have something already. But what we have has to be developed. We need the growth. Although we do already have an amount of spiritual, divine capacity, we have grown to some extent in our spiritual capacity since the training began less than a year ago. We must believe that we have made some growth in life, in truth, and in capacity. The fourth thing that the training affords us is to be transformed in our being, our character. We must be transformed in our character. We must grow in three things—life, truth, and capacity. We must be transformed in one item—character. ( Instruction and Exhortation to the Trainees , pp. 17-18)

There are now fourteen full-time training centers throughout the earth. These training centers have been a great benefit to the young saints as well as to the churches and the Lord's move in His recovery.

Brother Dong and his co-workers, on the other hand, have criticized the full-time trainings in very bitter terms. In a fellowship in Newton, Massachusetts, on October 28, 2006, Brother Dong said:

Now, Living Stream already has their training; but their criterion for admission is so high that one must graduate from college. They despise the unlearned, the Galilean fishermen. So, though we know that this is a wasps' nest, we should not poke it.

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Dong Yu Lan, Conference in London, Canada, October 12, 2007, Message 1:

In those three and a half years the Lord did not teach them in a traditional way as in a school, for instance; nor did He teach them in a training way as among the military, in an army. This is the way people train or educate others in the world. His way of leading the apostles was completely different from the traditional way. He was perfecting them so that they could carry out their ministry in the kingdom of the heavens. In the terms we use today, the Lord Jesus was very organic in perfecting His apostles. He did not use a fixed set of regulations for them to keep. He didn't open a school and then teach them as in classes so that they would graduate from one class to another, nor did He train them as in an army.

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Ezra Ma, e-mail to "manager brothers" reporting points given by Helcio Almeida concerning the direction that will lead to Laodicea, June 15, 2007:

Concerning the perfecting of the saints—Selective and elitist: The focus for the perfecting in the recovery, led by LSM, became selective and elitist: FTT, university students.

Dong Yu Lan, International Conference at Estância Árvore da Vida, February 23, 2009, Message 5:

Paul said, "I did not receive it from men," because at that time certain ones claimed that everything had to be initatied by the church in Jerusalem. Do you want to preach the gospel? You must attend the training. You must attend the training before you can preach the gospel. Paul said, "It is not out of men that I preach the gospel. I have something; I have life within me, so I want to minister this life. In this life it pleases God to reveal His Son in me."

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Dong Yu Lan, National Conference in Concepción, Chile, October 18, 2008, Message 2:

Do you want to be an apostle? Or a prophet? Or an evangelist? Then you need to be perfected. Would you be perfected at school, or in college or at the training center? Where? Hallelujah! In the CEPPEV. The CEPPEV is for the perfecting and the producing of the colporteurs.

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Dong Yu Lan, Daily Food: He Who Believes, Out of His Innermost Being Shall Flow Rivers of Living Water, Week 1, Thursday:

Paul had a burden of passing on his vision. He even rented Tyrannus' school, speaking for two years....If we had not seen John's ministry, this conference center would be a great school. These dorms would be schools to put the students to spend two years here to learn all of Paul's writings. And after that everyone would abandon the way of the Lord. Everything would be organized: how to preach, how to walk, what to say, how to speak, and we would put the Spirit in the last row inside a closed room.

Interview with Eduardo Kalaidjian, Sr., October 7, 2007:

The CEAPEs [the trainings carried out by Brother Dong's co-workers] were promoted as being better than the FTTA because they say that in FTTA they have only the letter, but in CEAPE they have experience.

In a Service Meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia in August 2004 Brother Dong accused the training for middle-aged saints in Anaheim of being the source of problems in South America:

Listen, I know that the source of the opposition to Brother Dong as well as the orientation for South America is in the four-month training in the United States. The Spanish-speaking brothers would surely be influenced by this kind of speaking.

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