Was the Hong Kong Book Room a Separate Publisher? —
What Did Watchman Nee
A brother who opposes the co-workers' fellowship regarding being restricted in one publication work in the Lord's recovery quotes part of a sentence from an historical account by Brother Lee in Words of Training. There Brother Lee recounted the arrangements Brother Nee made to continue the publication work in the face of the pending Communist takeover of China. However, if you read the entire passage, it is clear that based on Brother Nee's direction, the three book rooms were not carrying out separate publication works as the dissenting brother implies; rather, Brother Nee explicitly stated just the opposite. In the following paragraph, the portion in italics are the words quoted by the dissenter to give the impression that Brother Nee set up three separate bookrooms, and the words in bold were intentionally omitted by the dissenter:
In 1950, Brother Nee arrived in Hong Kong and wanted me to come from Taiwan to see him. When he fellowshipped about the matter of issuing publications, he took the opportunity to make some arrangements. It was decided that the Gospel Book Room would remain one , yet due to the political situations, it had to conduct business separately in three places: Shanghai, Taipei, and Hong Kong. Brother Nee was responsible for the bookroom in Shanghai. I was responsible for the one in Taipei, and Brother Weigh was responsible for the one in Hong Kong. However, Brother Nee wanted me also to take care of the responsibility for the publications of the Hong Kong bookroom. (Words of Training for the New Way, Vol. 1, pp. 34-35) [emphasis added; the portion in italics is the portion quoted by the dissenter]
If you read the entire paragraph, it is more than apparent that the dissenting brother has extracted half of one sentence in order to build an argument that is diametrically opposed to Brother Nee's intention. He then uses his twisting of Brother Nee's word to accuse the co-workers of lying about the historic practice of being restricted in one publication work in the Lord's recovery! This type of dishonesty in the handling of the words of the ones ministering among us is reprehensible.
The dissenting author does acknowledge, "Of course, one could argue that all three book rooms were 'one.'" This is further deception. The question is: How can he argue that they were not one, since that was Brother Nee's explicitly expressed intention? By quoting Brother Nee's word selectively and then putting "one" in quotations, he attempts to negate Brother Nee's leading in the matter of publication work so that he can repudiate its continued practice in the Lord's recovery.
Elsewhere Brother Lee elaborated further:
Then he made arrangements, saying, "Now the three political regions-the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan-all differ from one another. So we will have the Gospel Book Room divided into three: one in Shanghai, one in Taiwan, and one in Hong Kong. They are not three Book Rooms; rather, they are one. Due to the political situation, the three places will be on their own financially." He was responsible for the one in Shanghai; he entrusted to me the responsibility for the one in Taiwan; and he asked Brother K. H. Weigh to take charge of the one in Hong Kong. He further charged me, saying, "Brother Weigh also needs your help in bearing the responsibility for the articles." Therefore, in the initial period, the Taiwan Gospel Book Room published books mainly in coordination with the Book Room in Hong Kong. The two published books together, not separately. (The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, pp. 24-25) [emphasis added]
In 1973, Brother Lee made it clear that the purpose of all three book rooms was to reprint Brother Nee's books for the needs of the churches:
He also made an arrangement for the publication work. The publications were always under his oversight. When he and I were in Hong Kong, he made the decision that there should be a bookroom in Taipei and a bookroom in Hong Kong to publish all of his books . He himself would oversee the bookroom in Shanghai. He charged me to take care of the bookroom in Taipei, and he arranged for Brother K.H. Weigh to take care of the bookroom in Hong Kong. He said that all the books could be reprinted and that all three bookrooms would have a common copyright. Thus, we began to reprint all his books for the need in all the places outside of mainland China. (The History of the Church and the Local Churches, p. 140) [emphasis added]
The salient facts are simply these:
- Brother Nee's fellowship was that all three bookrooms were to be one.
- All three bookrooms existed to publish the writings of Brother Nee.
- The establishment of three bookrooms was merely an administrative arrangement to facilitate the publishing and distribution of the unique ministry in the Lord's recovery.
There is no ground in Brother Lee's recounting of Brother Nee's arrangement of the publication work to justify separate publication works propagating different teachings. It is shameful that anyone would try to perpetrate such deception on the brothers and sisters in the Lord's recovery.