E-mail from Bob Danker, 06/25/2005
[This e-mail was sent to Nigel Tomes and to the list of co-workers to whom Nigel had addressed his questions.]
Dear Brother Nigel,
According to my realization, the proposed statement regarding the publication work in the Lord's recovery is a reaffirmation of the desire and intention of the coworkers in the Lord's recovery to be restricted in one publication work, according to the principle practiced by Brother Nee and Brother Lee among us for approximately seventy years. This has been the principle of the publication work in the Lord's recovery since the days of Brother Nee, and we, the blending coworkers, would like to affirm to the saints our intention to carry out this aspect of the recovery in precisely the way that it was carried out by our two brothers. In other words, we would like to affirm our intention to be the continuation of our brothers in this matter also, as in every other matter related to practice of the Lord's recovery. The practice of being restricted in one publication work has been a positive factor in preserving the recovery in the genuine oneness under the one New Testament ministry of God's economy until today. We expect that our continuing this practice will have the same effect. To have any other practice among us would be a serious deviation from the proper way handed down to us by our two brothers. It will open the door to different ministries with different teachings and opinions and different directions in the Lord's recovery. As our Brother Lee faithfully warned us, the result will be division, even division upon division, making the recovery the same as Christianity.
In July 1997, after Brother Lee had departed to be with the Lord, the coworkers in the Lord's recovery issued a statement of reaffirmation containing seven points regarding the direction of the recovery as established by Brother Witness Lee. At that time such a statement was considered necessary in order to assure the saints that after our brother's departure the coworkers would labor together in a blended way to carry on the recovery in the same steps as our brother. Such a reaffirmation at that time was surely a great comfort and encouragement to all the saints. Today there are different publications among us that are sounding different trumpets in the Lord's recovery. This is causing much confusion and disturbance to the saints all over the earth. I feel that the proposed statement on the publication work in the Lord's recovery will be a strong confirmation to the saints that the coworkers who are taking the lead in fulfilling the Lord's ministry among us today are walking in the steps of our two brothers to preserve the integrity of the ministry and thereby preserve the recovery in one teaching and fellowship. Such a statement will also enlighten the saints and instruct them in the proper way to carry out one publication work in the Lord's recovery in today's situation and will prevent them from acting in a lawless way.
Since it has been our practice to be restricted in one publication from the days of Brother Nee, how could a statement to all the leading ones and all the saints concerning our intention to continue this practice cause a problem to the churches? The responsibility for any problem should rest on those brothers who are dissenting from the way of the recovery and want to take a different way and lead the saints and the churches to follow their way. It has never been our way to have more than one publication work in the Lord's recovery. How can we now even consider taking a different way? This would be a violation of the principle of the Body. We are one Body and one new man with one Head and one mouth speaking one thing. How could we be otherwise? If we become otherwise, we will cease to be the Lord's recovery.
This statement by Brother Lee concerning his relationship with Brother Nee has impressed me very much: "At least I can testify for myself and for my senior brother, Brother Watchman Nee. We always behaved, acted, and took action in the recovery as one Body. This is why the Lord's recovery could exist on this earth over these past approximately seventy years. We do not have any organization to keep anything, but the recovery is still here. The recovery is still existing and has been kept by the principle of the Body. While I was ministering the word, I often considered Brother Nee. I considered what he spoke; I did not like to speak anything which was contradicting with his ministry. If I had spoken in a contradicting way, where would the recovery be today? We must know the Body." (The Issue of the Dispensing of the Processed Trinity and the Transmitting of the Transcending Christ, p. 91)
It is my firm conviction that we, the coworkers in the recovery today, must take the same way that our senior brother, Brother Witness Lee, took with Brother Nee. Because Brother Lee received the grace from the Lord to be restricted in what he spoke according to Brother Nee's speaking, the recovery continues to exist today. If he had contradicted Brother Nee in his speaking or dissented from Brother Nee in his way of practicing the recovery, the recovery among us would have ceased to exist. If we speak and practice in a way that contradicts the speaking and practice of our two brothers, where will the recovery be among us? The answer is that it will not be. It may seem to some that we are only following men, but in reality, by following our two senior brothers, we follow the Lord Himself.
Brother Nigel, we must know the Body. We (including myself) must see the Body, care for the Body, honor the Body, and keep every principle of the Body. We must give up our individualistic way and be blended in the Body. This will solve the problems among us. May the Lord grace us all to take this way.
This is my feeling before the Lord.
Your brother in Him,