"From Such Turn Away"
A Brief Account of the History Leading to the Co-workers' Letter of Warning
Concerning Titus Chu and Certain of His Co-workers
Since the Lord raised up the ministry of Watchman Nee and the practice of the local churches in China in the 1920s, His light has poured forth to open up the divine revelation in the Bible to an unparalleled degree. This unveiling reached an apex in the last stage of Witness Lee's ministry in the messages he released on the high peak truths. To say that the ministry has attained to the high peak of the divine revelation is not to fall into the self-satisfied complacency of Laodicea (Rev. 3:17), for in saying it we fully acknowledge our need to enter into the reality of all the Lord has unveiled concerning His divine economy. Brother Lee called for all the saints to enter into a new and unprecedented revival consisting of the high peak truth, the God-man living, and mutual shepherding according to God. Such a revival will produce a group of overcomers who live in the reality of the Body of Christ and become the bride of Christ as a preparation for the Lord's second coming and the consummation of the New Jerusalem.
Because these matters are so crucial to the Lord's move at the end of this age, we should not be surprised that His enemy would rise up to frustrate the churches from entering into them. Throughout our history in the Lord's recovery and, indeed, in the record of both the Old and New Testaments and the well-documented course of church history, God's move to carry out His economy has always been accompanied by Satan's counterplots to frustrate His move. Even in the apostles' time there were numerous frustrating factors that sought to encroach upon the church and bring it into degradation. Many of Paul's epistles address problems caused by such factors as Judaism, Gnosticism, human culture, rivalry, vainglory, evil workers, teaching differently, and the like. By the end of the first century, the church had already entered into serious degradation, as evidenced by the fact that all those in Asia turned away from Paul (2 Tim. 1:15) and by the Lord's warnings to the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 2—3).
In our own history there have been turmoils instigated by Satan to frustrate the Lord's move in His recovery. If we know the history recorded in the Bible and if we know church history, we should expect this. We should also have the assurance that in spite of what we may see around us, the Lord on the throne is in full control of the situation. Turmoils are allowed by the Lord to test and purify His church. It is in turmoils that those who are approved are manifested (1 Cor. 11:19). When turmoils occur, we need to answer the Lord's call to overcome in the midst of the satanic chaos by being faithful to God according to His divine economy (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).
Today there are churches which are still passing through turmoil because of the influence of Titus Chu and certain divisive workers under his leadership. These workers have deviated from the central lane of God's economy in their teaching and actions. They have propagated unprincipled attacks on the co-workers in the Lord's recovery and Living Stream Ministry via Web sites and anonymous spam e-mails disseminated worldwide. Their speaking is unhealthy, full of revilings and destructive words, leading those who follow these dissenting ones into division and worldliness.
Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus were written during a time of turmoil in the churches. As such, they can provide us with much understanding and guidance in the present situation. One major theme of Paul's writing in these epistles is healthy teaching (1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1). God's economy is conveyed in the teaching of the apostles (Acts 2:42; Titus 1:9). This teaching is the healthy teaching. First Timothy 1:10 and Brother Lee's accompanying footnote state:
1 Tim. 1:10b - ... whatever other thing that is opposed to the 1healthy teaching.
fn. 1:101 - Healthy implies the matter of life. The sound teaching of the apostles, which is according to the gospel of the glory of God, ministers the healthy teaching as the supply of life to people, either nourishing them or healing them; in contrast, the different teachings of the dissenting ones (v. 3) sow the seeds of death and poison into others. Any teaching that distracts people from the center and goal of God's New Testament economy is not healthy.
The healthy teaching has two functions. On the one hand, it nourishes the believers; on the other hand, it ministers healing. Both the nourishing and the healing are accomplished by the supply of life. In times of turmoil we need the healthy teaching. Only such teaching will supply us with life to nourish us, heal us, and protect us from the spiritual contagion around us. We should only take in the healthy teaching, and we should only speak out the healthy words (1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 2:8). The crucial point of the healthy teaching of the apostles concerns the Triune God, processed to dispense Himself as the all-inclusive Spirit into His chosen ones so that they may be brought into an organic union with Christ to receive the divine transfusion and thereby become the sons of God and members of Christ to be the Body of Christ.
A second item that Paul emphasized in his epistles to Timothy and Titus is the truth. In 1 Timothy 1:3-4 Paul reminded Timothy that he (Paul) had exhorted him to remain in Ephesus to charge some not to teach things different than God's economy. The unique truth taught in the New Testament ministry is God's eternal economy. In 2:3-4 Paul says that our Savior God desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of this truth. In 3:15 he tells Timothy that he is writing that Timothy might know how to conduct himself "in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth." In 4:6 he says that if Timothy is faithful to present the healthy teachings to the saints, he "will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, being nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which you have closely followed." In 6:3 he returns to the matter of different teachings, contrasting these teachings with the healthy words, saying, "If anyone teaches different things and does not consent to healthy words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the teaching which is according to godliness." In verse 5 he speaks of those who do not consent to healthy words as being "corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth."
Paul's emphasis on the truth continues in 2 Timothy. In 2:15 Paul charges Timothy to "be diligent to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman, cutting straight the word of the truth." In 2:18 he speaks of some who have misaimed concerning the truth, and in 2:25 he charges Timothy to correct in meekness those who oppose, "if perhaps God may give them repentance unto the full knowledge of the truth." In 3:7-8 he speaks of some who "are always learning yet never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth" and who, as a result, "oppose the truth." In 4:4 he speaks of believers who "will turn away their ear from the truth and will be turned aside to myths."
Paul opens his epistle to Titus by referring to himself as "a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the faith of God's chosen ones and the full knowledge of the truth, which is according to godliness" (1:1). In 1:14 he refers to "men who turn away from the truth." Because some had deviated from the apostles' teaching, the truth was needed.
Healthy teaching and the truth are closely related.
The truth is the contents, the reality, of the faith according to God's economy. Healthy teachings, healthy words, and healthy speech are the ministry of the truth, ministering to people the reality of the divine truths.1
The healthy teaching is always according to the truth (1:14) of the faith (1:13). It is the content of the apostles' teaching, the content of God's New Testament economy. It not only ministers the life supply to the believers and heals the spiritual diseases, but in so doing also brings the church into a sound condition with a good order. Hence, it is very much stressed in these three books, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, books dealing with the disorder and decline of the church.2
Since Brother Lee went to be with the Lord, there are two exceedingly precious things that have taken place among the brothers serving together in the ministry in the Lord's recovery. First, they have continued the speaking in the ministry in the same line as Brother Nee and Brother Lee, following closely in their footsteps in the constricted way of life. Second, they have endeavored to maintain the oneness by living and serving in, for, and through the Body. Both of these practices are fully in accord with the healthy teaching, with the truth, and with Paul's exhortations to Timothy.
Paul faced a situation in which some with an impure motive had deviated from the central lane of God's economy to different teachings. In his last meeting with the Ephesian elders, he warned them of ones who would come as wolves from the outside to devour the flock and of perverted ones who would rise up from among them to draw away the believers after themselves.
Acts 20:28-30 -  Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He obtained through His own blood.  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  And from among you yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them.
Paul's subsequent charge to Timothy to remain in Ephesus to charge some not to teach differently is a clear sign that what he prophesied in Acts 20 is exactly what happened. Rising up to teach differently is a sign of pride and ambition. It is motivated by a desire for prominence in the Lord's work and to have a following. If some did this in Paul's time, we should expect that some would do this in our time as well.
In fact, this is exactly what has happened in churches affected by the influence of Titus Chu. There is a withdrawal from the common fellowship of the churches and a deviation into worldliness and unhealthy speaking. This unhealthy speaking is characterized by four things, all of which were identified by Paul in his epistles to Timothy and Titus.
- Myths (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14)—In the footnote to 1 Timothy 1:4, Brother Lee defines myths as "words, speeches, and conversations concerning such things as rumors, reports, true or false stories, and fictions." The attacks by Titus Chu and his fellow dissenters against the co-workers and Living Stream Ministry contain many rumors, false reports, and fictitious stories. These evil reports are, in principle, myths.
- Different teachings (1 Tim. 1:3; 6:3)—The teaching of Titus Chu and the other dissenters deviates from the general ministry in the Lord's recovery on such crucial items as the ministry, oneness, authority, the Body of Christ, the conduct of the work, and the practice of the church life.3
- Questionings (1 Tim. 1:4; 6:4; 2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9)—In 1 Timothy 6:4 Paul speaks of men who are "diseased with questionings and contentions of words." The writings of Titus Chu and the other dissenters raise many vain questions, unfounded accusations, and speculations. The intent of these is not to bring the saints into the knowledge of the truth but to cast aspersions on the co-workers and Living Stream Ministry. The sowing of such doubts, insinuations, and questionings into the saints' hearts follows the same principle used by Satan to deceive Eve (Gen. 3:1-6; 2 Cor. 11:3).
- Misaimings concerning the truth (1 Tim. 1:6; 6:21; 2 Tim. 2:18)—To misaim is to miss the mark, to swerve, or to deviate from the goal of God's economy—to produce the Body of Christ. The stress of the teaching of Titus Chu and the other dissenting ones is consistently something other than the building up of the Body of Christ. Much attention is given to the development of personal ministry, the independence of the ministering ones, the autonomy of their local churches, and the ruling authority of the elders. To stress these things is to misaim, that is, to aim at something other than God's economy. Such misaiming always leads to deviation from the constricted way of life (Matt. 7:14). For example, an undue stress on gaining increase among young people by any means has led these dissenters to promote the use of the same worldly entertainments and other gimmicks that are prevalent in today's Christianity.
Brother Lee's practice in dealing with divisive workers was always to first try to rescue them from their divisiveness and to wait until the fruit of their labor was manifested (Matt. 7:16-18; 12:33; Luke 6:43-44). The attempts to rescue Titus Chu from ambition and a dissenting spirit spanned over twenty years. In the years since Brother Lee's passing, however, it has been increasingly evident that Titus Chu has rejected all attempts to help him and has been bent on pursuing a divisive course. Only when the fruit of a worker's deviation was fully manifested and efforts to recover that worker were exhausted would Brother Lee make matters known publicly. This is exactly how the co-workers behaved in their handling of matters related to Titus Chu.
Titus 1:9 - Holding to the faithful word, which is according to the teaching of the apostles that he may be able both to exhort by the healthy teaching and to 5convict those who oppose.
fn. 1:95 - To disclose the true character of anything so as to convict and, hence, reprove someone by exposing his fault. It is translated reprove in Eph. 5:11, 13.
Titus 1:11 - Whose mouths must be 1stopped, who overthrow whole households, teaching things for the sake of base gain, which they ought not to do.
fn. 1:111 - Stopped by severe reproof (v. 13) with the faithful word, which is according to the apostles' teaching (v. 9).
Titus 1:13 - This testimony is true; for which cause reprove them severely that they may be healthy in the faith.
In Titus 1:9, Paul charged Titus to do the positive work of exhorting by the healthy teaching, but he also told Titus that when negative situations arose that needed to be addressed, he must convict those who oppose. As footnote 5 indicates, to convict is "to disclose the true character of anything so as to convict and, hence, reprove someone by exposing his fault." Toward the dissenting ones, the co-workers' fellowship in Whistler, Canada, was a public reproof of their deviation.
Rom. 16:17 - Now I exhort you, brothers, to mark those who make divisions and causes of 1stumbling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and 2turn away from them.
fn. 16:171 - Referring to being stumbled and leaving the church life. This must be the result of different opinions and teachings.
fn. 16:172 - In ch. 14 Paul was liberal and gracious regarding the receiving of those who differ in doctrine or practice. Here, however, he is unyielding and resolute in saying that we must turn away from those who are dissenting, who make divisions, and who make causes of stumbling. The purpose in both cases is the preserving of the oneness of the Body of Christ that we may have the normal church life.
Titus 3:10 - A 1factious man, after a first and second admonition, refuse.
fn. 3:101 - A heretical, sectarian man who causes divisions by forming parties in the church according to his own opinions (see note 13 in 2 Pet. 2)...
The co-workers' fellowship at Whistler was a warning to preserve the saints from the infectious disease of rebellion propagated by Titus Chu and those joined to him. Titus 3:10 and Romans 16:17 tell us that in order to preserve the Body in a healthy condition, we must refuse a factious man after a first and second admonition and mark and turn away from those who make divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the teaching which we have learned.
There are direct parallels between the current turmoil in the Lord's recovery and that caused by some ambitious brothers in the 1980s. Brother Lee's fellowship concerning that turmoil is more than relevant to the current situation.4 At that time Brother Lee described the turmoil as being instigated by the evil one (Matt. 13:19) and carried out by the perverted ones (Acts 20:30) with the winds of teaching (Eph. 4:14) as a test to the faithful ones and a purification to the recovery.5
The same can be said of the current rebellion in the Lord's recovery. This book reviews the history of Titus Chu's divisive work, identifies some of the places in which it has caused problems, and documents the efforts by Brother Lee and his co-workers to rescue Titus Chu from his divisive ways.
Titus Chu was baptized in Taipei, Taiwan, in January 1953 at the age of 17. As a young believer, he was under the ministry of Brother Witness Lee, who lived and labored in Taiwan from 1949 until his eventual immigration to the United States for the spread of the Lord's recovery in 1962.
Because of a turmoil in the churches in Taiwan, many young people were lost. This turmoil was caused by a visit from T. Austin-Sparks to Taiwan in 1957 in which he attacked the ground of the church.
T. Austin-Sparks had one of the top ministries during his time... Although I respected him to such an extent, when he came to visit us in Taiwan the second time, I stood up to him just like Paul stood up to Peter (Gal. 2:11-14). He was undermining the church ground and trying his best to take away our practice of the church life. I rose up to stand against this because it was not according to the truth.6
Many young brothers in Taipei were affected by Austin-Sparks' emphasis on ministry and spirituality and his opposition to the truth of the ground of the church and the practicality of the church life. These young brothers became dissenters. The turmoil that they caused affected an entire generation and lasted until 1965. After the rebellion was cleared up, there was a great need to raise up a new generation of young people in the church life.
Titus Chu came to the United States in the fall of 1963, going first to Fort Worth to attend a seminary. After becoming disillusioned with the seminary, he went to Cleveland to study library science at Case Western Reserve University. After he graduated, he took a job as a librarian. A few years later he quit his job and started to serve full-time.
In 1973 Brother Lee asked Titus to return to Taiwan to conduct a training for the young people. Titus Chu's first labor in Taiwan outwardly had a positive result. However, even at that early stage, Titus had difficulty coordinating with the senior co-workers in Taiwan, largely due to apparent pride resulting from the success of his work. He returned to the U.S. after completing the training, leaving an unfavorable impression with the leading brothers in Taiwan.7
In the summer of 1980, Brother Lee again sent Titus Chu to Taiwan, this time to conduct a one-year training to perfect the saints who had been called by the Lord to serve Him full time. In this training Titus led the trainees to study the Bible primarily by using Greek, Hebrew, and English reference books and concordances. Life-study messages and other ministry materials were used only to confirm what had been independently gained through the use of the reference tools. This was a departure from Brother Lee's way to train the saints, which was firstly to constitute them with the divine revelation in the Bible as opened up in the ministry materials and then to use the reference tools—and only with discernment—to support the divine revelation.8 Titus Chu's way of training produced a different result than the way taken by Brother Lee, and Brother Lee immediately recognized and rejected the difference.9
In 1982 Titus Chu and Joseph Fung from Hong Kong conspired to divide the churches in Taiwan. They were stopped by Brother Kung-Huan Huang, a senior co-worker sent by Brother Lee to labor in Japan. Recently Brother Huang wrote the following statement in an open letter:
Titus Chu and Joseph Fung from Hong Kong collaborated in 1982 in planning to hold an international conference in Kaohsiung to divide the Lord's testimony in Taiwan. My opposition made their attempt unsuccessful.10
A few years later Joseph Fung became a leader of a rebellion and was quarantined for his divisive activities. Titus did not join in Joseph Fung's rebellion at that time and remained in the Lord's recovery, but there is no sign that he had a fundamental turn.
Even though many senior co-workers in Taiwan had reservations about Titus because of the problems they previously experienced in trying to coordinate with him, due to Brother Xun-Min Qu's strong recommendation of Titus Chu to Brother Lee, in 1983 Brother Lee sent Titus to Taiwan again to carry out a one-year full-time training. Honoring Brother Lee's fellowship, a decision was made that Titus Chu would take care of the young people, Brother Suey Liu and Brother Wu-Chen Chang would take care of the older saints, and Brother Xun-Min Qu would care for the working ones.11
Immediately upon his return to Taiwan, Titus began to cause problems once again, this time of a more serious nature. In weekly classes with the trainees, he talked openly about the faults he perceived in the senior elders and co-workers and promoted himself to the young ones. In one class he realized that he had gone too far in his criticisms and exhorted the trainees to go back home and erase their audio recordings of the class. Brother Horng Lin, a co-worker in Taipei who was in the class at that time, stated that Titus told them, " I look at you as my own people. Don't betray me; don't sell me out."12 Titus regularly used class times to disparage the elders and senior co-workers, such as brothers Suey Liu, Wu-Chen Chang, and Xun-Min Qu, and to declare his superiority to them. Upon being informed of the problems caused by Titus in Taipei, Brother Lee immediately called him back to the U.S. within one month of Titus' arrival and never again sent him to labor in Taiwan.13
In 1984 Brother Lee himself returned to Taiwan. Later he told a group of co-workers:
In 1983, there was a serious problem in Taiwan. This is part of the reason I went back in 1984. Titus Chu became a big problem. But the concern was how to heal the situation.14
Although Brother Lee never again sent Titus Chu to Taiwan for the work, Titus did visit there on his own frequently. Each time he returned, he would gather together for private fellowship groups of serving ones who had been young people under his earlier training. The effect of these private fellowships was to form a party among some of the co-workers. That party adversely affected the Lord's work in Taiwan for many years. In these private meetings, Titus often commented to these brothers that the whole world "will be ours" after Brother Lee passed away. Brother Lee was aware of these meetings and the repeated sentiments concerning his eventual death and its anticipated consequences. In a conversation with Brother Paul Wu during those years, Brother Lee observed, " Many brothers seem to want me to go quickly to be with the Lord. But, by the Lord's mercy, I'm still here. This exposes all of them."15
During this same period of time Titus told Joseph Wu, a co-worker who is now serving in the full-time training in Taipei:
Brother Joseph Fung in Hong Kong was in too much of a hurry. He should have waited a couple of more years. Then the whole earth could have been ours.16
Titus made similar comments to brothers in the Cleveland area.
In light of Titus Chu's recent attempts to carve out a following for himself among the churches in the Lord's recovery, Brother Kung-Huan Huang, who had prevented Titus' scheme with Joseph Fung to divide the churches in Taiwan in 1982, stated:
For the past 20 years, he has not once given up on this aim—how ambitious, how terrible.17
The record of Titus Chu's activities over the past twenty-five years bear out Brother Huang's evaluation. Since Brother Lee's passing, it has become evident that this motive has lurked unabated in Titus Chu's heart and has emerged with increasing audacity.
Over the next several years, Brother Lee tried to do two things: to help Titus Chu and to inoculate the co-workers concerning Titus Chu's ministry and activities.
Although Brother Lee was aware of the private meetings Titus was having with co-workers in Taiwan, he labored to try to rescue him:
I believe Brother Lee wanted desperately to rescue him, to preserve his function. This was Brother Lee's heart. But that didn't mean that everything was right. Brother Lee was very clear about the danger, about the situation, so he had much private fellowship with Titus Chu to try to help him.18
1989 - Five Hidden Divisive Factors That Still Existed in the Lord's Recovery
In the late 1980s, two main things occupied Brother Lee's service in the Lord's recovery. First, Brother Lee was laboring in Taiwan to bring the churches into the God-ordained way to meet, to serve, and to bear fruit. Second, he was shepherding the saints during a time of turmoil caused by a group of ambitious workers. In 1989, speaking concerning the turmoil caused by these brothers, Brother Lee identified five hidden divisive factors that had surfaced in that rebellion:
- The intention to do an extra work in the unique work of the Lord's recovery.
- The tendency to keep separate territories.
- The way of not having one's work mingled with others' work.
- The hidden expectation of being a prominent figure in the Lord's work.
- The negligence regarding the keeping of the one accord in the Lord's recovery.19
He stressed these matters because these factors still existed in the Lord's recovery. In particular, it was evident that the "region" of Titus Chu's work was isolated from the churches and the co-workers in general.
April 23, 1991 - Ten Points of Concern Regarding Titus Chu's Work
On April 23, 1991, Brother Lee had an extended conversation with Titus Chu.20 In it he identified ten points that expressed his feeling and concern about the work being done by Titus Chu:
- All work should be done on behalf of the Lord's recovery, not for any personal benefit.
- In the work, Christ should be the content.
- The co-workers must live a life of dying together with Christ.
- Our work should be full of the fellowship of the Body of Christ.
- In the work there should not be a spirit, attitude, or way of doing things in a dominating way that is controlled by one person.
- There is a difference of degree or depth in the seeing of God's eternal economy between Titus and Brother Lee.
- Titus' vision of the work does not match Brother Lee's.
- Titus should not tell people that Brother Lee had sent him or that he was doing the same work as Brother Lee.
- Titus should not uplift or use any particular brother in his planned visit to South Korea, but just encourage all of them.
- Titus was short in entering into and leading the saints into the God-ordained way to preach the gospel as a minister of the New Testament, to nourish the new believers to cause them to grow, to perfect the saints through group meetings, and to develop the saints' capacity to prophesy for the building up of the church.
Brother Lee reminded Titus that he had been telling Titus for at least five years not to claim that he was representing or had been sent by Brother Lee. Near the end of his talk Brother Lee told Titus:
I fellowship this to you, hoping that you take these point by point to be before the Lord with grace to bring them before the Lord to view them. OK? Otherwise, you will be a problem in the future in the Lord's recovery. Then the result of your work will become a regional work.21
Brother Lee also reminded Titus of his desire for Titus to spend some time in Anaheim.
Two years ago, I wished that you [would] come to Anaheim to stay for a time. Not just several times a week—that won't work. Neither is it two or three weeks but at least to stay here for half a year.22
Brother Lee renewed his invitation to Titus to come to California to be blended with Brother Lee's co-workers so that he might see his lack.
Now I feel you may lay the work along with the region of Cleveland fully aside to let the Lord Himself lead. As for you, you should spend at least half a year to come here to be in close contact to blend every day with over ten co-workers. Then, you may be able to see the shortage you have. Just to tell you what you are lacking is not adequate.23
Brother Lee also reminded Titus of his commitment not to contact ones in Taiwan in the way he had in the past, referring to his practice of gathering them for private fellowship. He strongly corrected Titus, telling him, " This is as absolute as steel that it is not to be done."24
Titus rejected Brother Lee's corrections,25 feeling he had been misunderstood. He expressed his feeling that Brother Lee was unfairly against him to a number of other co-workers at various times. He wrongly blamed Brother Lee's co-workers, saying they had influenced Brother Lee to be against him. Brother Livingstone Lee said that whenever Titus mentioned Brother Lee's ten points, he always said he felt someone else must be pushing Brother Lee to say those things.26
October 1993 - Charging Titus Not to Form Parties
In 1993 Brother Lee again told Titus not to continue the things he had been doing in Taipei. He told him never to form parties and never to take the brothers to the coffee shops. Brother Simpson Chen said that for six or seven years, when Titus met with these younger brothers, he often criticized many of the co-workers, including Brother Lee.27
February 14, 1995 - Not to Receive Different Ministries or to Build Up Personal Strongholds
On February 14, 1995, Brother Lee spoke again with Titus Chu by telephone. In his fellowship, Witness Lee corrected Titus Chu's differing view concerning the ministry:
The Bible shows us that God is one, and God's economy is one. The goal of God's expression, the goal of God's economy is also one, which is Christ and the church—the Body of Christ. Whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament, the Old Testament had only one ministry and the New Testament also has only one ministry. But this is not to say that under this ministry, or in this ministry, there is not the ministry of many individual persons. There really are. Nevertheless, these many individual ministries are under the leading of that one ministry.28
He then talked about the practice of a co-worker who left the Lord's recovery and has taken the way of receiving different ministries:
After Brother Nee passed away, the first one who spoke of receiving ministries was Brother Stephen Kaung; he was the leader in receiving ministries. Well, so Stephen Kaung has received ministries until today. More than thirty years have passed and have become history. What is the result? Now, may I ask, what is Stephen Kaung's ministry? I do not believe that even he is able to tell us what his ministry is.29
Brother Lee then spoke of his concern for the outcome of an upcoming conference in which a group of brothers were going to share the burden for the speaking. He said that based on past experience and observation:
The first thing [in the way taken in the past] is to hold a conference. The result of holding the conference will be to manifest who among the eight of you is able to speak and able to work. No doubt, what follows will be that they will often invite those who are able to speak and able to work, and the result of that work will be that [place] will become a region, a mountain stronghold, of those who are able to speak and to work. This is to repeat the same mistake! This should be a lesson drawn from previous failures! It will not work!30
Later in the conversation Brother Lee said:
The same mistakes absolutely cannot be repeated. It cannot again be that whoever can speak is welcomed by whoever can hear to go to that locality to hold a conference, so that it becomes the region for their work, unconsciously becoming their mountain stronghold.31
Brother Lee repeated this same fellowship with an international group of co-workers and elders gathered in Anaheim the following month. At that time he said:
Anyone who has a vision today can be clear at a glance that neither Brother Nee nor I carried out our own personal work; our work is the work of the Lord's recovery for the building of the Body of Christ. I say this with the hope that you will be influenced by me. I was greatly influenced by Brother Nee, and I hope that you will also be influenced by him....
This is the reason that I have called several urgent meetings for the elders and co-workers since 1984. I called the urgent meetings because I observed that among us there was an inclination toward division. I released a series of truths that were later printed in several volumes (see Elders' Training, Books 1—11). You all should read these books. I said that the age of feudalism is over and that we should no longer do the work of feudal princes. The co-workers should go out, but they should never do the work of building fortresses, the work of the feudal princes; they should only do the work of the Lord's recovery. If we all do the work of the Lord's recovery, there will be the one Body. If only three or five people who are of the same mind go out to work in a small region, the outcome is not oneness or one accord; rather, that outcome creates division. This is the very reason for the turmoil in recent years.32
November 13, 1995 - Expressing Concern About Titus' "Secluded Work"
In 1995, at Brother Lee's request, a group of four brothers from the Great Lakes area came to Southern California to blend with Brother Lee's co-workers there. This was a continuation of Brother Lee's attempts to help the situation in the Great Lakes area by bringing the responsible brothers there into the same work that he and his co-workers in Southern California were doing. Brother Lee made this invitation out of a loving concern not only for Titus Chu and those laboring with him but, more broadly, for the preservation of the oneness among the churches in the Body of Christ. The four visiting co-workers stayed for more than one year, living and meeting with the churches in Anaheim, Fullerton, and Irvine.
On November 13, 1995, in a meeting of the Southern California co-workers (including the four brothers from the Great Lakes area), Brother Lee said:
We all, including you four brothers from that area, have to admit that the work in the so-called Great Lakes area is a secluded work. [The brothers from the Great Lakes agreed that this was the case.] ...After nearly twenty-five years, not many co-workers were invited to visit the Cleveland area. And it is very, very seldom that you brothers come out of your area to other areas in the blending way. That is why I proposed to Titus that we would invite some of his co-workers to come.33
Titus did come to Southern California, but only for a few weeks. He did not lay aside his leadership of the work in the Great Lakes area as Brother Lee requested. While he was in California, he continued his practice of having private fellowship with certain brothers. As Brother Lee later said to the co-workers from Taiwan, Titus Chu " was not able to fit himself in."34 Brother Minoru Chen recounted the events of that time:
At that point he [Brother Lee] asked and pleaded with Titus Chu to come to Southern California for a good amount of his time to join with the co-workers here who were laboring in the full-time training in Anaheim and to blend with the co-workers every day. Brother Lee's heart was that Titus would spend at least half of his time here. He even asked Titus to leave the Midwest, saying that it was doing well and that it wouldn't die. He told him to come and blend with the brothers. Do you know what happened? He just came for a couple or three weeks. He came to a few classes with no heart to blend while secretly he was having his own private meetings with people who are sympathetic to and influenced by him.35
Brother Lee emphatically instructed Dan Towle that he did not want Titus Chu to be a trainer in the full-time training in Anaheim or to speak from the podium, but just to be a brother among the brothers to be blended with them.
I had some time personally with Titus and tried to help Brother Lee take care of the situation. Titus was after me about what he should do. So I went to Brother Lee, and I said, "Brother Lee, what should Brother Titus do? Should we have him help in the full-time training or do something else?" And he said, "No. Whatever you do, don't have him speak in the training. I do not want him to speak. I don't want him to do anything. I only want him to be blended with the other brothers." So I returned to Titus and told him that. Then eventually, through different circumstances, he didn't stay very long.36
In spite of Brother Lee's efforts, Titus and his work were never blended into the one work in the Lord's recovery. At the end, Titus' person and his work were untouched and untouchable.
At the same time Brother Lee was laboring to rescue Titus Chu to preserve his usefulness in the Lord's ministry, he was also inoculating co-workers concerning Titus. In October 1984, the Lord led Brother Lee to return to Taiwan to study and work out the God-ordained way to meet and to serve for the proper increase and building up of the churches. At that time, some saints in Taiwan were wondering where Titus Chu was and were asking when he would return to the island. What they did not know was that Brother Lee's return to labor in Taiwan was in part to undo the damage done by Titus Chu's work there.
Brother Lee had a major concern for the co-workers in Taiwan because of this gray situation [involving Titus Chu]. So many of the co-workers were inwardly following, appreciating, Titus Chu. He had a serious influence over many of the co-workers in Taiwan, even to the point of forming a party, what you would call a private set of co-workers.37
What concerned Brother Lee as much as Titus' divisive work was that many co-workers were inwardly following Titus and not following the ministry.
May 1986 - Warning That Titus Chu's Work Is Not the Work of the Lord's Recovery
Brother Lee never responded to requests to bring Titus back to Taiwan. He remained silent on the issue until May 1986, just before he departed Taiwan for the U.S. to speak in the Memorial Day conference. At that time he invited five of the elders in Taipei to his study for fellowship. Brother Horng Lin recalls:
We did not go to seek fellowship with him. Rather, he called us to his room for fellowship. I still have a very deep, clear impression. I was quite surprised at how Brother Lee started this fellowship. He said, " The work of Brother Titus Chu is not at all the Lord's recovery." He realized that we didn't understand. Then he continued to explain. " The work of the Lord's recovery is to produce the Body, but Titus' work is to put people into his own pocket."38
From this time on Brother Lee gave repeated inoculations to various co-workers regarding the divisive work of Titus Chu.
October 1988 - Concerned About the Brothers' Concept of a "Successor"
In October 1988, as Brother Lee neared the end of his study of the God-ordained way in Taiwan, over ten serving brothers from throughout the island and some of the elders from the church in Taipei went to see him to try to persuade him to bring Titus Chu back to Taiwan. Brother Lee was very unhappy with this proposal and told them that in their concept they wanted a successor, but that there was no such thing.39
The next morning Brother Lee called Brother Paul Wu to report the brothers' visit from the previous evening. He asked Brother Paul if he knew about their visit and suggestion regarding Titus. Brother Paul said that the brothers had not told him and that they probably suspected that he would not have joined them in their request. Brother Lee was concerned, saying that although he had been laboring in Taiwan for almost five years, these brothers did not understand his burden. He was troubled that, even after such a long period of labor, some of the leading brothers were trying to bring Titus Chu back. Consistent with his practice, Brother Lee did not speak anything publicly regarding Titus and the problems he had created but continued to minister life from the podium, believing that the ministry of life and truth was the prevailing way to bring the saints into clarity and rescue them from error. Nonetheless, Brother Lee was uneasy that the brothers in Taiwan were still very much under Titus Chu's influence.40
October 1990 - Calling Titus' Forming of Parties Something "of the Flesh"
In a meeting with ten co-workers in Taipei, Brother Lee said he had told Titus Chu that every time Titus worked, he formed a party. He told these ten brothers that they were wrong to follow Titus Chu.41
In another meeting the same month he told the same brothers that the thing he tried the most to avoid was making any kind of party. He told them the labor in Taiwan was frustrated because of such parties and charged them not to do this kind of work. He also told them:
Even though I was very close to Watchman Nee, there was never any kind of talk between us concerning who would be his successor, nor did we go to a restaurant together. The Lord's recovery is not a personal work, nor is there favoritism or succession. How could you do that? What you did mars the Lord's recovery and damages the temple of God. Going to the coffee shop is of the flesh.42
Meeting again with the same ten brothers in the same month, Brother Lee told them that their practice of going after meetings to coffee shops with Titus Chu was just the flesh and natural affection. He told them, " You co-workers attached yourselves to Brother Chu all the time. This causes problems among all the co-workers, because there is a special group within the co-workers as a whole."43
July 1992 - Warning the Co-workers Against Following Titus Blindly
In July 1992 Brother Lee gathered the co-workers again. This time he told them:
The reason you followed Titus at that time is because you were not clear about the truth. In those days, there was a crisis within the church in Taipei. On the one hand, the leading co-workers were not in one accord. On the other hand, Titus was raising up another group on his own. This problem of the co-workers' following him without discernment has existed since 1983.44
March 10, 1993 - Telling the Co-workers That Titus' Work Is for Himself, Not the Body
In 1983 Brother Wu-Chen Chang and other brothers called Brother Lee to tell him they did not want Titus to come back to Taipei. Brother Suey Liu also called Brother Lee and told him the same thing. Brother Lee told the co-workers in Taipei:
The shortcoming Titus suffers is that he will not let anyone touch his work. His work is not for the Lord's recovery but for himself. Titus Chu's way of doing things is to form inner circles. He does not care for the Body. Eventually his way will result in spiritual suicide. Therefore I warn you seriously about this.45
August 15, 1995 - Decrying Regionalism and Telling the Co-workers That Titus Neglects the Body
In a meeting of co-workers in his study in Southern California on August 15, 1995, Brother Lee said:
Regionalism has been dividing the United States for twenty years. We must change our way of working. We should not have our own region or empire. There is rarely fellowship from one region to another. The regional taste should be over. Paul and Peter worked in different regions but had a good relationship. The barrier was with James. Jerusalem was not blended in the Body of Christ because of James... We need the blending of the regions. This has been dividing us for twenty years. I called an urgent elders' meeting in 1982 to expose this matter. I have been clear for years, but I did not want to touch it too sharply. Max [Rappaport] and John Ingalls and others like that are not the real problem today. But the real problem is regionalism. Our blending began two years ago at the Memorial Day Conference.
In 1983, there was a serious problem in Taiwan. This is part of the reason why I went back in 1984. Titus Chu became a big problem. But the concern was how to heal the situation.
...Titus Chu takes the wrong way by neglecting the Body. Titus knows the Lord's recovery is with me. He would not leave the Lord's recovery. So he does things in my name to keep the peace. Titus realizes that I may trust in a certain brother, so he will try to be accepted by him.
From the beginning I realized never to do anything different from Watchman Nee. This is to keep the one Body, the one flow, the one ministry, etc. I never did anything different, nor overstepped Watchman Nee. What the Lord lacks is to have one ministry, to say the same thing, to keep the same flow.46
July 11, 1996 - Warning Against Titus' Individualistic Work and Telling the Co-workers They Are Blind to Follow Him
On July 11, 1996, following the summer training, Brother Lee met in his home with a group of co-workers from Taiwan. In that time he spoke to them earnestly out of his realization that some of them were still following Titus Chu and the dangers of doing so. He said:
What kind of work does Titus Chu do? In the work in the United States, he gives people a bad impression. The work he does is an individualistic work without fellowship. I do love him. In 1989, after I came back, I kept asking him to come here. He did come, but he was not able to fit himself in. I do not know where to place him. He sent four here. One of them did well, but none remained. He should not bring his way of work to Anaheim. That is not workable. The work in Toronto has the same problem. I realize that it is a work which damages people.47
He again reminded them of his fellowship with them in Taiwan about Titus Chu's practice of inviting certain co-workers to coffee shops for private fellowship.
Furthermore, Titus Chu took you to coffee shops. Have we not forsaken the world? If someone takes me to a tea house, I would not follow him anymore. This person even talked about certain places becoming yours. How could you follow him? Please forgive me. I went to Taiwan for the purpose of dealing with this matter. I went and rescued Taiwan.48
Then he earnestly pled with them:
Concerning Brother Titus Chu, you are still young and do not know the truth adequately. You do not even understand worldly things thoroughly. Let me tell you, if I were you, I would definitely not follow Titus Chu. You simply cannot follow him! For so many years, I tried to help you many times; yet you are still following him. Only the blind would follow him!49
By the Lord's mercy, today all these brothers except Frank Lin are clear and are going on strongly in one accord in the Lord's recovery.
After Brother Lee went to be with the Lord in June 1997, the co-workers were faced with important decisions regarding how to take the Lord's recovery on according to the teaching and pattern established by Brother Nee and Brother Lee. Before his death, Brother Lee related that the Lord had shown him that He would continue the ministry in the Lord's recovery through a group of brothers who would serve and function together with him to speak the same thing in a blended way through much and thorough prayer and fellowship with one another.50 In A Letter of Fellowship with Thanks dated March 24, 1997, and addressed to all his fellow participants in the Lord's recovery, Brother Lee wrote:
The Lord has shown me that He has prepared many brothers who will serve as fellow slaves with me in a blended way. I feel that this is the Lord's sovereign provision for His Body and the up-to-date way to fulfill His ministry.51
In 1995 Brother Lee commented that after his return from Taiwan, from the time the full-time training in Anaheim began, there was " a group of co-workers here who are truly in harmony."52 He also stated, " Now the churches around the globe all have the desire to be blended together. There is definitely such a trend of blending in the Lord's recovery."53
In endeavoring to take the way established by Brother Lee, the co-workers had much fellowship following his departure. This fellowship included a broad consideration of who the "blending brothers" might be to whom Brother Lee referred but whom he did not explicitly identify. Brother Dan Towle remembers:
We'd seen Brother Lee and what he did for years, and so we came together to fellowship and pray. He had talked about the blended brothers, and then the question was, "Who are the blended brothers?" And we didn't know who the blended brothers were. At that time Andrew [Yu] said, "Well, the blended brothers are the brothers who are blended." And so we opened the fellowship of the so-called blended brothers. We opened it very widely to whomever felt they should come, and Titus and a good number of the brothers from the Great Lakes area felt that they should come, and they began to come to attend those meetings.54
Many of the co-workers realized that there was still a problem with Titus Chu's ministry. A decision was made to follow Brother Lee's pattern of trying to blend out regional differences and to blend the various regional works into the one work of the ministry. Brother Dan Towle continues:
After our fellowship and our prayer, we decided, based on Brother Lee's pattern and based on his burden to try and blend those brothers in, that we would do our best to follow Brother Lee in his way to try and blend these brothers in because it represents a fair part of the Lord's recovery in America....It was a big matter to us, not a light matter.... Based on that we began to attempt to blend.55
Soon after the brothers began to meet for fellowship following Brother Lee's departure, the question arose as to who would speak in the ministry meetings and the seven annual feasts. Titus Chu made it clear personally and through the brothers from the Great Lakes area that he wanted to speak, but the co-workers knew that Brother Lee did not want Titus to represent his ministry by speaking from the podium. Earnestly desiring to bring Titus and the brothers laboring with him into the blending, the co-workers invited Titus to participate in the speaking in the annual feasts for the first two years after Brother Lee's passing. All the while, Titus Chu was continuing to do his own work with his own publications and using his association with the blending brothers and his participation in the speaking in the seven annual feasts as an endorsement to open doors for his ministry in other places.56 In a letter to Titus Chu dated June 4, 2005, twenty-one blending co-workers wrote:
After Brother Lee's passing away, all the co-workers made a strong reaffirmation of their desire to follow Brother Lee's ministry closely and to take the way of blending and the keeping of the seven feasts that Brother Lee bequeathed to the Lord's recovery in his death. Thus, concerning the teaching in the Lord's recovery, we decided to re-speak Brother Nee and Brother Lee's ministry as much as possible. Concerning the practice of the leadership in the Lord's recovery, the group of blended brothers was opened widely to include brothers from all parts of the world. Since you and others related to your service expressed a desire to participate, you too were welcomed. The brothers who had been under Brother Lee's perfecting of course knew of the troubles that existed when Brother Lee was alive. Nevertheless, a number of those co-workers made a deliberate decision to try to blend those situations into the Body, with the hope that the brothers and their situations would be healed and preserved for the Lord's recovery. The effort to blend included not only the seven annual feasts but also a number of times in smaller groups of co-workers in London, Cleveland, California, and Phoenix, among many other times of fellowship. A number of your co-workers, Titus, were even invited to share in the burden for the ministry overseas. The churches as a whole celebrated some of the annual feasts and conferences in Chicago and Cleveland. You yourself were also included as one of the blending speakers in some of the seven feasts. After listening to your speaking and considering Brother Lee's strong words in the past and the example set by him, many of the co-workers were not peaceful to have you speak representing Brother Lee's ministry. In addition, you went further and, among other things, you referred to the blending co-workers as "Rome" and compared going to Anaheim with the Muslim ritual of going to "Mecca."57
The co-workers gathered for prayer and fellowship over twenty-four times, sometimes for several days, in an effort to blend Titus Chu and his co-workers into the Body, but their efforts proved ultimately futile. The co-workers saw that the situation only got worse after each attempt. The participation of the brothers from the Great Lakes area declined until only Titus and a few of his closest co-workers attended. After many such times of fellowship it became clear that Titus would not accept any form of adjustment and that he had no intention of joining his work to the one work in the Lord's recovery. The co-workers were forced to discontinue efforts at face-to-face fellowship to resolve the existing problems when it became evident that Titus was using his attendance at the co-workers' blending times as an endorsement of his own independent work and that he was being disingenuous with the co-workers.58
After Brother Lee's passing, an increasing number of reports concerning problems caused by Titus Chu's ministry began to be brought to the co-workers.
The Great Lakes Area and Eastern Canada
As Brother Lee observed, Titus Chu did a work of seclusion in the Great Lakes area. He separated both his co-workers and the churches from the common fellowship of the co-workers and the churches in the Lord's recovery. As the years advanced, fewer and fewer co-workers from outside were invited to minister there, and fewer and fewer workers and saints in the churches had fellowship outside the closed circle of churches in the area. In fact, many of the churches in the Great Lakes area had very little fellowship among themselves. Churches in the immediate vicinity, such as Elyria and Fairborn, Ohio, which were not under Titus Chu's work, were excluded from participating in the meetings of the leading brothers in the area and in the fellowship of the other churches in Ohio.59
Titus Chu began to more openly criticize the co-workers and the churches outside his area. He told his workers that going to Anaheim for international trainings and conferences was like going to Mecca or Rome.60 The brothers in some of the churches in the area first began to censor and then to completely discontinue the video trainings and to discourage participation in the seven international gatherings each year. Titus scheduled his own conferences and trainings to coincide with or overlap the regional and international gatherings.61
Titus Chu carried on a work separate from, different than, and in opposition to that of the blended co-workers. He had his own trainings, conferences, and publications. He insisted that the brothers in the churches under his ministry prepare their own materials for morning revival instead of using The Holy Word for Morning Revival published by Living Stream Ministry, and claimed that the co-workers and LSM were trying to control the churches through this publication. Rejecting The Holy Word for Morning Revival allowed his workers to select limited portions of the ministry that seemed to support their view and work. He put out Fellowship Journal, which presented his own slanted and self-serving interpretations of such important matters as the ministry, the function of the members, and the oneness of the Body of Christ. Titus Chu's recent emphasis on independent ministries and "regions of the work" are merely continued attempts to justify the way he has been taking for years to separate his work from the Lord's recovery. In areas under his work, he steadily replaced Brother Lee's writings and teachings with his own.62
Titus Chu has put forth a system of erroneous teaching (Eph. 4:14) negating key elements of the teaching and leading of Brother Lee's ministry.63 He has endorsed the writings of Nigel Tomes, a brother from Toronto who has disseminated dissenting writings worldwide attacking the co-workers and Living Stream Ministry and misrepresenting many matters of the truth and of the practice of the ministry in the Lord's recovery.64 Both Titus and Nigel have overtly attacked the co-workers and Living Stream Ministry with numerous false reports.65 They have also negated the uniqueness of the ministry in the Lord's recovery.66
Titus Chu has also encouraged his young co-workers to be aggressive and ambitious to gain increase, even by worldly means. Under this influence, they have brought in worldly entertainments to attract young people.67 They have justified their course of action by appealing to imaginative interpretations of the Bible and of Brother Lee's ministry. For example, in Brother Lee's final public speaking to the Lord's recovery in February 1997, he said:
We have much to learn concerning receiving people according to God and according to His Son. Because of our negligence in this matter in the past, we have offended the Body of Christ and many brothers and sisters in the Lord. For this reason, I had a deep repentance before the Lord.68
This quote has been misused by Titus Chu and his co-workers to claim that Brother Lee's "will" communicated to the Lord's recovery before he passed away was that the saints would reconcile with Christianity and begin to humbly learn from Christianity.69 This fanciful misapplication of Brother Lee's word has been used to justify adopting many ways of worldly Christianity which Witness Lee specifically spoke against, e.g., using rock music, dramas, and other practices of the "mega-churches" to gain an increase of young people. As a result, a generation of young people and their serving ones in the Great Lakes area is being led back into the ways of the nations, which changes the nature of the Lord's recovery from one of purity to one of mixture. In some places, the young people have even been encouraged to meet with other Christian groups to try to learn from them, to practice a kind of false oneness with them, and to thereby gain people for the church. Such compromise is truly alarming, and it damages the Lord's testimony by causing the saints to participate in the divisions and deviations of Christianity. In the same paragraph in which Brother Lee spoke of his deep sorrow for mistakes made in receiving other believers, he also strongly warned against such participation in the sectarianism of the denominations:
Of course, sectarianism in the denominations is wrong; it is something very much condemned by God. Nevertheless, those who are genuinely saved in the denominations are children of God and have been received by God. Hence, we also should receive them, but we would never participate in the division in which they are.70
Selectively receiving and quoting Brother Lee's ministry to make a defense for their practices is characteristic of Titus Chu and some of his co-workers. To receive, twist, and add their own understanding to only the portions of Brother Lee's ministry with which they agree or which they can bend to their purposes causes confusion to the saints and distorts Brother Lee's ministry by representing a biased view of it. Saints under this dissenting influence are being defrauded by brothers who do not purely receive the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee in its entirety and acknowledge it as the ministry of the age.71
As documented above, Brother Lee's exclusion of Titus Chu from the work in Taiwan because of problems he had caused did not prevent Titus from trying to cultivate a personal following there. Titus' activities resulted in damage to the one accord among the co-workers and churches in Taiwan for many years.
In 2004 Titus Chu sent a brother to Taiwan to set up a printing operation there. This brother then sent out correspondence to the churches in Taiwan asking them to set up standing orders for Titus' publications.72 When one of these was brought to Brother Paul Wu, he recognized that what Titus was doing was not according to Brother Lee's fellowship concerning being restricted in one publication. He realized that to allow Titus Chu's publications into the churches would bring in a different trumpeting seeking to establish a different leadership. Through fellowship with the co-workers and with the elders a strong decision was made to uphold the principle of being restricted in one publication as laid out in Brother Lee's fellowship. From that time forward the fellowship between Titus and the churches in Taiwan was basically severed.73
In the early 1980s Brother Lee told all of the brothers involved in the work in the Chinese-speaking world that they should not try to work in mainland China. He said that the work going on among the churches there was the work of the Holy Spirit and should be left to the Holy Spirit and that outside interference could cause problems to the churches on the mainland.
Casting aside Brother Lee's fellowship, Titus Chu sought to cultivate a following in mainland China. He began to circulate his own publications there in the 1980s. Neither Brother Lee nor any of the co-workers were aware of Titus Chu's work in China. In a letter dated July 22, 2006, in which he rebukes twenty-one blending co-workers, Titus wrote:
Early in the 1980's many saints in China received four volumes of my writings, entitled "Sweet Savor." They copied and distributed these among themselves. This material was circulated to numerous localities and saints and was instrumental in sustaining the mainland believers through a difficult era. Through this literature, they became aware of me and many appreciated my help.74
This letter, written more than twenty years after the inception of Titus' work in China, was the first time that the co-workers, who were laboring with Witness Lee for decades to bring Titus Chu into one coordination, heard that he had done this. This independent work carried out apart from the fellowship of the Body was not limited to publications. He continues,
Because of this, I had the opportunity to fellowship with leaders from various parts of China on two occasions. They appreciated my fellowship and asked for help. In response we sent some Chinese-speaking co-workers from the Great Lakes area. Their portion was also greatly appreciated.75
By fellowshipping with "leaders" from China in response to the alleged success of his writings, sending his own co-workers to China, and promoting his own literature, Titus Chu carried on a different work separate from and in rivalry with Brother Lee and the brothers laboring in one accord with him. As for the effects of Titus Chu's literature in China, whatever personal help was received through his ministry was certainly not on the scale that he boasts of, and the personal benefit that may have been received by some has been more than offset by the confusion, turmoil, and division that continue to compromise the oneness of the Lord's testimony in China to the present day.
Titus conducted trainings in China in 1996 and 1998, again totally apart from the fellowship of Brother Lee or his co-workers, who continued to honor Brother Lee's earlier fellowship not to carry out a work in China. He did not inform Brother Lee of his intent to hold a training in 1996. In his 1998 training Titus set up four brothers loyal to him to oversee four regional works in China.76 This, too, was done without fellowship.
In the summer of 2000 a group of co-workers involved in the Chinese-speaking work met in Anaheim to fellowship concerning China. These brothers agreed, based on Brother Lee's earlier fellowship, that:
- All the brothers who visit China should not go there to do a work, based on Brother Lee's fellowship in the 1980s.
- Through personal contact and fellowship, the brothers should help the saints in China to enter into life and truth.
- The brothers should do the best to supply the saints in China with the word of the ministry.77
Through ongoing fellowship, it was also agreed that the brothers outside China would not say anything about whether the churches inside China should register with the government.78 These principles were affirmed in a 2004 gathering in Kansas City of the brothers leading the Chinese-speaking work.79
In his work in China, Titus violated all of these principles. Furthermore, he never told the other brothers involved in the Chinese-speaking work of his own work in China, the circulation of his own publications, his own alignment with groups that had registered with the government, or the trainings he had conducted there.
In a 2005 letter to Titus Chu, twenty-one co-workers wrote:
Titus, you initiated and have carried out a work in mainland China completely apart from the fellowship and principles given to us by Brother Lee and from any fellowship of the blending brothers who are taking the lead in the rest of the Lord's recovery around the world. You have a rival ministry in China and have caused confusion and parties in the land where Brother Nee and Brother Lee labored for many years and in which Brother Nee died as a martyr. How can you do this? Yet this has been carried out for years at the same time you repeatedly came to sit with the blending brothers, giving others the appearance that we knew and approved of your work. We never did.80
Since that time Titus Chu has continued his efforts to entrench his ministry and work in China. Titus Chu has also made a shameless attempt to poison the churches and the believers in China against the co-workers and Living Stream Ministry. Rather than responding appropriately to a private letter sent to him by the same twenty-one co-workers in 2006, he posted a public response on the Internet, railing against the co-workers, vindicating himself, and boasting of his own work in China. He accused the co-workers of lying concerning an incident in which a brother from Hong Kong was arrested for trying to transport Recovery Versions of the New Testament into China. His charges were completely false, as the testimony of the brother who was incarcerated in the incident proved.81
In 2004 Titus Chu circulated a letter in China that he had supposedly sent privately to Brother Paul Wu in Taiwan. In 2007 this letter and an English translation of it were posted with Titus Chu's permission on a dissenting Web site. In response, Paul Wu wrote the following:
Titus Chu's letter attributes words to me that I did not say. For example, I did not say that "some leading brothers from Southern California" said that I am or Brother Andrew Yu is doing a different work. Those claims are a false witness against the co-workers. In addition, I did not "indicate" that there was any division between the languages in the Lord's work. There is no such thing. These are evil and false reports spread by Titus Chu using my name. They should be rejected by the brothers and sisters.
Titus Chu's letter omits the real content of my conversation with him. In our conversation I urged Titus not to continue to work in Taiwan but to return to the United States to have more fellowship and learn to be one with the brothers there. Instead of heeding me (and many other brothers), Titus has caused division among a number of the churches in North America and the Far East. This is why Titus Chu has been quarantined by both the co-workers and the churches.
Shortly after I received Titus Chu's letter in 2004, a brother brought me a copy of it saying it was being circulated in China. This could have only been initiated by or at least done with the complicity of Titus himself. It shows that his real intention was to undermine the oneness among the leading ones and the churches in China and to bring in confusion so that Titus could have room for his private work in China. These lawless uses of a letter to claim that I said things that I did not say should make plain what kind of letter it is.
Clearly Titus' purpose in writing was not for my comfort and encouragement. That was a pretense by which he could make a false show to others and accuse the co-workers in my name. I will not have my name associated with Titus Chu's attempts to sow discord among the brothers.82
After Brother Witness Lee went to be with the Lord on June 9, 1997, the co-workers carried out the summer training in July on the topic of The Crucial Contents of God's New Testament Ministry. The main burden in the training was the fact that there is only one ministry according to the apostles' teaching in the New Testament economy. In October 1997 Titus Chu traveled to South Korea at the invitation of two brothers in one of the localities there. His visit caused discord, turmoil, and even divisions in and among the churches in South Korea.
On November 26, 1997, twenty-nine brothers representing eighteen churches in South Korea wrote a letter to the co-workers in the United States and Taiwan informing them of the problems caused by Titus Chu's speaking in South Korea.83 They testified that before Titus Chu's visit the churches in South Korea had been endeavoring to stand firmly in one accord, to closely follow the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, to practice blending, and to build up the vital groups. They also stated that they had been continuously dealing with problems that had resulted from Titus Chu's 1991 visit to South Korea.
Titus Chu spoke in eighteen meetings in Korea between October 8 and 20, 1997. Most of his speaking was in five major cities. As he traveled he only had fellowship with the few brothers who were traveling with him. He ignored the feeling and fellowship of the leading ones in the churches he visited.
After his visit, the brothers in South Korea observed the turmoils and divisions that resulted from his speaking. This caused them to investigate and to review the contents of his speaking while he was there. They found four troubling things which they called to the attention of co-workers in the United States and Taiwan:84
- Titus Chu's messages had a different taste and emphasis from Brother Lee's ministry. He
emphasized personal ministry rather than the one unique New Testament ministry. In one meeting he directed young brothers
and sisters to stand up one by one to declare, "I have a ministry!" In this way he undermined the
co-workers' speaking about the uniqueness of the New Testament ministry in the summer training. Absent from his
messages was the sense that personal ministry must be part of the one New Testament ministry.
In another meeting Titus took over one hour to answer a young sister's question about her Christian life without knowing her personally. In his answer he told her that she had too much premature knowledge of the high peak truths that Brother Lee stressed in the latter part of his ministry.
- Titus Chu criticized the leading ones in Korea and gave the impression that the churches in Korea
were short of increase because they had not invited him to come in the prior six years. He also uplifted some brothers
over others, calling those following him his "spiritual sons."
- Titus Chu appointed elders and touched the administration in the churches without fellowship with
other co-workers and without care for the atmosphere and situations of the churches, even though he had not been in South
Korea in six years. He presumed independently to name as apostles a few brothers who welcomed him, thus elevating them
above other leading brothers in Korea. This action was in direct contradiction of Brother Lee's fellowship with him
in 1991 not to elevate any of the co-working brothers above another. The result was a period of strife among the
brothers, and one of the brothers he designated as an apostle subsequently left the church.
Speaking in a locality in the central part of South Korea, Titus publicly rebuked one of the leading brothers who had initially not been in favor of his visit. He used his participation in the speaking in the recent summer training in Irvine as leverage to insist that he was a blending co-worker and that he should be welcomed.
In the same message Titus insisted that he had a very close relationship with Brother Lee. He described how Brother Lee called Titus' name before Brother Lee passed away, giving people the impression that Brother Lee had transferred his ministry to him. This again contradicted Brother Lee's fellowship that the way of the Lord's recovery is the way of blending and that there would be no individual successor to follow him in the ministry, only a group of blended brothers. This also contradicted Brother Lee's charge to Titus that he stop giving the saints in Korea the impression that he had been sent by Brother Lee to minister there and that he stop using Brother Lee's name to gain welcoming responses in the places that he visited.
- Titus Chu told the elders that the full-time training in Seoul was established by Brother Lee to educate the young saints, but that the co-workers and elders needed to be trained separately by him.
Immediately after Titus Chu's visit to South Korea, the leading brothers gathered for an urgent meeting. They were not peaceful and agreed that Titus had created much trouble in his visit. They made a strong decision that, for the sake of the oneness of the Body, they would not invite Titus Chu to Korea again. They informed the co-workers in Taiwan and the United States of their decision in their letter of November 26.
Titus Chu also caused a problem in Singapore in 1999. Although he had spoken there on prior occasions, in 1999 his speaking caused the church there to make a decision not to invite him to come anymore:
The last time we invited Brother Titus Chu to give a conference in Singapore was in 1999. We had just gotten our new meeting hall, and we were preparing very much for the conference. We were all excited that Brother Titus was coming. I was not present at that conference, but the brothers who were in Singapore at that time reported that when Brother Titus came he was not happy with the number in attendance. He expected five hundred to be in attendance. But the number fell short, and he expressed his unhappiness over this matter. During the speaking some things were said that were not quite appropriate. As a result of that time, the brothers in Singapore made a decision to no longer invite Titus to Singapore.85
Despite the leading brothers' decision not to invite Titus Chu to Singapore again, some brothers sympathized with Titus Chu based on their past relationship with him and continued to invite saints in Singapore to attend his conferences after 1999. This was done without fellowship with the leading brothers in Singapore. Thus, a problem was created in the church in Singapore which continues to this day.
In the late 1980s, there was a need to strengthen the churches in Ghana, partly due to a conflict between two of the leading workers there. Titus Chu traveled to Ghana, supposedly to help the church and to encourage the workers to resolve the problem between them. Instead of helping them to resolve the problem, however, he publicly uplifted one brother, drawing that one to himself, and created an even greater rift between the two brothers. This caused division in Ghana with the result that the leading brothers there decided never to invite Titus again.86
In 1995, Brother Lee asked Brothers James Lee and Dick Taylor to travel to Africa, including Ghana, to visit and minister to the churches. During this same period of time, Brother Lee invited approximately nine brothers to his home for fellowship and opened up his serious concern for Titus Chu. Brother Dick Taylor was present for that important gathering:
We knew he [Brother Lee] loved Brother Titus very much, but he said, "Brothers, the real problem among us is not those who have left the recovery; the real problem is with those who stay within the recovery and do their own work." He told us very frankly that Brother Titus Chu does not know the Body or see the Body or care for the Body.87
In 2001 Brother Dick and other co-workers met with Titus Chu. In that time Dick read his notes from the meeting with Brother Lee in 1995. Brother Dick continues:
He did not take this. Sorry to say, he did not take this.... So even after we fellowshipped with him face to face, he decided to carry out his own work in Kampala, Uganda, without any fellowship with the Body.88
In 1991 the Lord opened up the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe to His recovery, and the co-workers from around the globe coordinated to raise up churches in the Lord's recovery in one accord. When the co-workers learned that a particular group of churches had been praying for the Soviet Union for a number of years, they encouraged other churches to pick up similar burdens to pray for the spread of the Lord's move to other countries. At that time brothers from Cleveland said they would pick up the burden to pray for Uganda. In 2003, without any further fellowship with the co-workers, Titus Chu sent Tim Knoppe and Steve Lietzau to labor in Uganda. Despite the fact that this work was initiated independently, these two brothers were told that the work in Uganda was being carried out under the blending fellowship of the co-workers. They labored faithfully for two years, raising up a church of 100 saints through the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. The church in Kampala included a core group of approximately 25 saints who were particularly clear concerning the truths in the Lord's recovery as opened up in the writings of Brothers Nee and Lee. Many of these dear ones paid a very high price to take the way of the Lord's recovery according to the light they had seen and the Christ they had increasingly experienced.
Brother Tim Knoppe later learned that he had been sent to Kampala under false pretenses. In an open letter dated December 29, 2006, he writes:
Before moving to Uganda, in a meeting with Titus Chu and others working with him I asked if the brothers in southern California knew about our going to Kampala, and I was told, yes, this burden for Uganda came out of a time of fellowship with them. Through the first letter written to Titus Chu in June of 2005 by twenty-one blending brothers, I discovered that the work in Kampala was not initiated in coordination or fellowship with brothers who are in the one work for the Lord's move.
During a visit to the U.S. in June 2005, I asked Titus Chu directly, "Brother, did you have fellowship with the blending brothers about our going to Uganda?" His response was, "I don't have to fellowship with those brothers." My response to him was, "But you told me that you fellowshipped with those brothers; that is how I had a clear conscience to go there."
The next month Titus Chu asked me to move to Detroit. Upon arriving in Detroit, I was informed that the work in Kampala was going to take another direction under Titus' instruction. A leading brother told me, "Brother, this is going to be a big test to you before the Lord. You will have to let the work you did in Kampala die. The brothers [working with Titus Chu] have made a decision and they are going to take the work in Kampala in another direction." The "work" which Steve and I had been laboring to build up was the church in Kampala. Saying that "work" would have to "die" meant that Titus' workers would be pursuing some other goal as the focus of their work. "Taking the work in another direction" proved to be a damaging and divisive factor to the church in Kampala.90
In September 2005, Titus Chu sent two brothers to Kampala to begin the task of dismantling what had been built up through the labor of Brothers Steve and Tim. The saints were first told that there were no longer funds available to continue renting the facility that the church had been using as a meeting hall. This was used as the basis to then divide the church into three groups. Brother Tim continues in the open letter:
The poorer saints would meet in their part of town in a soon-to-be constructed sheet iron facility. Steve Lietzau and George Kiiza were instructed to care for this group and allow them to return to their traditional [Pentecostal] way of meeting and practice in order to gain the people in that neighborhood.
A brother who had just been sent by Titus would take the six or so students and begin a new work on the university campus. The rest of the saints were told to fend for themselves and meet in the best way that they could. This group of saints was made up of the educated core saints who were the most clear concerning the church life....The letters I received from these saints after I was deceitfully maneuvered out of Uganda were a real suffering. They were confused, hurt, and bewildered. I could not explain anything to them at that time but trusted that the Lord would preserve them.91
In December 2005, Brother Tim was called to a meeting in Titus Chu's home and was accused of defaming the brothers now laboring in Kampala " because a good number of the saints in Kampala were refusing to follow their direction."92 Tim told them that the accusation was untrue. The brothers then urged Tim to travel to Kampala with two of Titus' workers to tell the saints there to follow the new direction. At that point Brother Tim made it clear to the brothers that he could no longer participate in the work directed by Titus Chu. He returned to Kampala in April 2006 and remained there with the saints for two months. When he arrived, he relayed to Steve Lietzau the discovery that the work in Kampala was not initiated through a coordinated fellowship with the co-workers. Steve withdrew from the work after he confirmed with another brother that in fact the work of Titus Chu had also been the source of divisions in other places.
Two of the leading brothers in the church in Kampala, Godwin Kihuguru and Sam Mpuga, told Tim Knoppe that the work on the campus being carried out by a worker sent by Titus Chu was drifting further away from the fellowship of the church. On March 27, 2006, this worker and another worker sent by Titus Chu sent a letter addressed to Tim Knoppe, Steve Lietzau, Godwin Kihuguru, and Sam Mpuga to officially sever the campus work from the church in Kampala. They wrote:
Because our views are different and the direction we are taking is not according to the way you are taking we would also ask you not to contact those who we are laboring with as we do not want to bring them into any disputes or confusion.93
Brothers Godwin and Sam remembered the advice given to them by one of Titus' visiting co-workers that if the leading brothers in the church did not favor the continuation of the work, they should ask the workers to leave, adding that " the work is for the church and not the church for the work."94 Upon receiving the letter from the brothers involved in the campus work, Godwin and Sam immediately wrote to Titus Chu to ask him to remove his co-workers from Kampala " to avoid further damage to the saints under our care."95 Titus Chu never responded to this letter but instead sent more workers to continue the work there without any fellowship with the leading brothers or the saints in the church in Kampala.
Sadly, the divisive work carried out under the direction of Titus Chu continues in Kampala. By the Lord's mercy, however, the church in Kampala is continuing well under the Lord's blessing and is taking the way of blending in the Body. After a perfecting training in Ghana in September 2006, Brother Godwin wrote a letter proclaiming his joy at seeing the universal vine tree as the organism of the Triune God. He writes:
Blending with the Body is truly a healing for us saints here! We have been denied this access to the eternal mystical Vine with all of the branches.
It is so clear to me now why brother Titus Chu wanted to keep us subtly blinded from seeing the Vine, and pretends to have such a burden for the local churches. It is like saying you treasure the branches on their own and their attachment to the Vine, but have no regard for the rest of the branches! This is the enemy's blinding! I must testify that I have been so spurred on by seeing the Vine, by being blended with the rest of the branches, by seeing that we all need to be in one accord, like the Lord prayed in John 17. It was such an enjoyment for me and Sam to meet with the saints in Addis Ababa. They were so sweet, and their Christ was even sweeter! It was like we were being reunited with long lost siblings. The Body is so real, and the Lord really glorifies Himself through the Body!96
Over the course of the co-workers' efforts to resolve the issues caused by Titus Chu's ministry, it became more and more apparent that Titus was using their relationship to promote himself and his work and had no real intention of changing his course in any way.
In the spring of 1998, during the international elders' training in Taipei, Brothers Benson Phillips and Andrew Yu tried to fellowship with Titus Chu. Although Titus could not agree with Benson and Andrew on certain crucial truths, it was agreed that they should continue to fellowship until they reached agreement. With this goal in view, they all felt that Brother Benjamin Chen, who had been a close acquaintance of Titus Chu since they were baptized together in Taiwan in 1953, should be involved in the fellowship. Brother Benjamin invited the three of them to New York for two days of fellowship. The result seemed to be very positive. Titus apologized to the brothers for failing to fellowship about many things in the past, acknowledging that the absence of fellowship had caused problems. He promised the brothers that he would fellowship with the co-workers regarding any conference or training involving more than one state, but that he would not need to fellowship with the brothers if it was a local conference or training. The brothers agreed that this was good and were very happy to have a conclusion to the difficulties of the previous years.
The summer training in Anaheim started three weeks later. Titus told Benson that he would not be able to attend the training due to the need to care for his aged father. The brothers were at peace with Titus' absence in consideration of his personal need. However, one week following the summer training, Titus Chu conducted his own separate one-week training in Cleveland and invited brothers from Malaysia to attend his training, thus quickly and deliberately breaking his promise that he would have fellowship with the brothers regarding any work that would affect more than just the local saints. Twenty-seven leading ones from Malaysia went to Titus' training. Two of those brothers attended the summer training in Anaheim first before proceeding to Cleveland. During their stay in Anaheim, these brothers were shocked to find out that none of the co-workers knew about Titus' training in Cleveland. It was only through these two brothers that any of the blending brothers were made aware that the training in Cleveland was going to take place.97
In a time of fellowship with the co-workers in London in 1998, Titus agreed to stop his ten-month training in Cleveland, which many brothers felt was in competition with the full-time training in Anaheim (FTTA). However, his ten-month training continued.98 Repeatedly, Titus and some of his co-workers have discouraged young saints from attending the FTTA and have tried to recruit young, promising brothers to come instead to Titus' training in Cleveland.
In February 2003, several co-workers came together in Phoenix, Arizona, for a time of fellowship that lasted for several days. At this time the brothers were unaware that Titus Chu was publishing his own books, in which he redefined terms critical to Brother Lee's ministry, terms such as oneness, ministry, and flow. Still burdened to recover Titus Chu and those under his influence and to rescue them from serious error and potential division, the blending co-workers present in Phoenix labored with Titus to find as many items as possible upon which they could all agree. A document was drawn up enumerating these items, and the brothers signed it with Titus in an effort to find common ground from which they could build in further times of fellowship. One crucial point in this agreement said, "We acknowledge Watchman Nee and Witness Lee as our spiritual fathers in the Lord whose ministries constitute the basis for the teaching and leading in the recovery today." Titus Chu and his co-workers have repeatedly disregarded this statement by teaching differently on such crucial matters as the one work, blending, authority, the ministry, the Body of Christ, and being restricted in one publication. This document was, as many co-workers had feared, used by Titus to demonstrate a so-called oneness with the blending brothers in an effort to open doors to his ministry in other places. It was not evidence of one accord but an attempt to take steps toward closing a wide gulf between Titus' work and that of the co-workers.
Perhaps the most egregious case of dissembling was Titus Chu's false representation of his work in China. In a letter to Titus Chu dated June 27, 2006, twenty-one blending co-workers pointed to the history of his work in China as an example of why they felt it was no longer profitable to continue face-to-face fellowship with him:
We are very sorry to say it, but we have discovered that often your words to us in some of these times of face-to-face fellowship were false. We give as one example a time of fellowship among a dozen or so brothers in the summer of 2000 concerning the work in China. At that time you told us that although you had been to China many times, your trips were just for sightseeing and that you had never held any training or conferences there. You said that at most you had had only some informal fellowship with groups of no more than a dozen brothers. But afterwards we learned that in the spring of 1998 you conducted a nationwide training in Zhuhai of approximately sixty brothers, including many leading ones from all over China. This example and others like it have made us feel that you are not honest with us and that you will easily change the truth or hide facts from us.99
As previously mentioned, this training in 1998 was actually the second training conducted by Titus Chu in mainland China.
Faced with a rising tide of publications advancing teachings that undermined basic understandings of the truth that had preserved the churches in the Lord's recovery in oneness for over eighty years, some of the co-workers went back to Brother Lee's writings to see how he had faced a similar situation in the 1980s. There they found Brother Lee's charge to the co-workers and elders to be restricted in one publication work in the Lord's recovery.100 In the second half of 2004, the co-workers initiated fellowship that lasted into June 2005. They first issued a booklet entitled Remaining in the Unique New Testament Ministry of God's Economy under the Proper Leadership in His Move. After receiving increasing reports concerning the damage being caused in the churches by the publications of Titus Chu, approximately fifty co-workers from throughout the earth gathered in April 2005 to fellowship concerning the work in the Lord's recovery. A number of brothers gave alarming testimonies of the ongoing damage and confusion being caused on six continents by Titus Chu, by his independent ministry spread through his publications, and by some of his co-workers. The brothers made a twofold decision:
- To write a letter to Titus Chu appealing to him to have a change of course; and
- To make a public statement affirming Brother Lee's fellowship concerning being restricted in one publication.
The co-workers in the United States were strengthened in this latter decision by the action already taken by the co-workers and elders in Taiwan to prevent the spread of Titus Chu's publications in the churches in Taiwan.
In June 2005 twenty-one blending co-workers from around the globe sent a private letter to Titus imploring him to stop his publications in all languages. They reviewed the history of attempts to include Titus in the fellowship of the co-workers and some of his deviations from Brother Lee's teaching and called on him to bring his work into the one work of the Lord's recovery.101
After months of fellowship and many drafts, the blended co-workers issued a public statement in the booklet Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery in the summer training of 2005. This booklet included an open letter from the co-workers dated June 30, 2005, and several excerpts from the ministry of Brother Lee. In that booklet the brothers echoed Brother Lee's fellowship concerning the need for the Lord's recovery to be restricted in one publication to prevent any uncertain sounding of the trumpet that would cause confusion among the saints. At the same time, again following Brother Lee, they clearly stated that the matter of one publication is not an item of the common faith, nor does a church's stand regarding one publication determine whether or not that church is a genuine local church. Further, the brothers wrote:
The one publication is not only a testimony of our oneness in the Body but also a safeguard for the unique ministry in the Lord's recovery. Without one publication, there is no way to preserve the integrity of the Lord's ministry among us, which is crucial to the practical oneness among the churches....While we all have a basic right to publish, in the Lord's recovery we are governed by the higher vision of serving under the cross in a blended way in the Body, especially when it affects the churches and the dear saints everywhere. Since Brother Nee's day we in the Lord's recovery have been "restricted in one publication" (Elders' Training, Book 8, p. 161), and this restriction has resulted in one testimony among us. For decades we all have been nurtured and richly supplied by the one publication. The benefits of being restricted in one publication can hardly be denied.102
The corporate statement embodied in this booklet clearly reaffirmed the blending co-workers' intention to follow Brother Lee's fellowship and practice in carrying out the work of publication in the Lord's recovery. Central to that work are the roles of Living Stream Ministry and Taiwan Gospel Book Room according to Brother Lee's arrangement to publish and disseminate Brother Nee and Brother Lee's ministry, as well as the present ministry of the co-workers as the continuation of the two brothers' ministry.
Titus did not respond to the co-workers' letter to him directly. Instead, he shared its contents with over one hundred brothers working with him in the Great Lakes area. A letter was drafted which ignored the facts and rejected outright the concerns expressed in the co-workers' letter. Portions of the letter were then excerpted and offered with contentious commentary on the Internet by a co-worker of Titus Chu.
After Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery was released at the summer training, a few brothers associated with Titus Chu's work rose up to publicly oppose its fellowship. The most vocal among these was Nigel Tomes, who had recently been appointed an elder in Toronto by Titus Chu. A few dissenting ones launched an anonymously operated Web site and published numerous articles by Nigel and others attacking the principle of one publication, Living Stream Ministry, and the blended co-workers. Many of the articles posted on that site manufacture or twist events and/or statements made by the co-workers. They are filled with revilings of the co-workers and Living Stream Ministry and oppose much of the ministry in the Lord's recovery since the early 1980s and even before.
Such a strong manifestation of divisiveness left the co-workers with no option but to quarantine Titus Chu and his most overtly divisive co-workers in order to preserve the churches in the Lord's recovery from further damage. The co-workers' warning statement did provide much needed clarification for many churches.
In a meeting of the fall 2006 International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones in Whistler, Canada, before the warning statement announcing the quarantine was read, brothers from Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore reported that the churches there had already closed the door to Titus Chu's ministry even before the quarantine. With doors closed to him throughout Southeast Asia, Titus Chu has intensified efforts to disseminate his publications in mainland China. Brother Paul Wu recently expressed his concern for the situation:
Of course, in China the churches are meeting underground. Most don't have an official registration, but they do have the reality of the church life there. Because of the differences [brought in by Titus' publications] there is division in some of the churches. Even some of the leading brothers in the churches reacted to me. Some have directly confronted Titus. They said, "The earth is so big. There are so many churches. Why do you have to come here to the churches in China? China is such a big place. Why do you have to come to us, a little church? Please, don't come here to our place. If you don't come here, we will have peace. When you come here, you bring division." This has brought in a lot of disquiet to the brothers.
The brothers who went with Titus had fellowship with these brothers. They told the saints in China, "Recently, Living Stream Ministry discussed one publication. That has caused much trouble among the churches. It has even caused division." Then one brother confronted Titus. He said, "Well, if one publication causes division among the churches, then how many publications can cause the churches not to be divided?" That really stirred up Titus. When he got stirred up, all the brothers got clear. They all realized that they could not invite Titus any more. This situation has brought many problems into the churches.103
What began as a covert work in the early 1980s has become a serious and persistent problem among the churches in the Lord's recovery in China to this day.
After that first letter to Titus Chu, the attacks on the principle of being restricted in one publication, on the blending co-workers, and on Living Stream Ministry escalated in frequency and intensity. Nonetheless, two more letters, dated August 25, 2005, and June 27, 2006,104 were written to Titus with the hope that they could help to rescue him and his dissenting co-workers from causing division and becoming negative examples of workers who have gone astray and who have come to naught. Titus offered his final response to the brothers on July 22, 2006, in a letter full of self-vindication, self-exaltation, and false accusations against the co-workers. In it he defended his present independent course while rebuking the blending co-workers with many false accusations.105
On October 7, 2006, the blending co-workers publicly issued a document titled "A Warning to All the Saints and All the Churches in the Lord's Recovery Concerning Titus Chu and Those Who Promote and Disseminate His Divisive Teachings, Publications, Practices, and Views."106 In that document the brothers solemnly exhort the saints and churches in the Lord's recovery to " mark Brother Titus Chu and those who disseminate his divisive views and his dissenting speaking, and turn away from them" (Rom 16:17).107 Further, they admonish us " not to read the materials published and spread by these brothers in printed form and on the Internet," reminding us that to refuse a factious man " does not mean that we cut him off. Rather, it means that we take action to quarantine him in order to save both the contagious one and the rest of the Body" (Titus 3:10).108
The blending co-workers were forced to take this drastic and consequential step only after considerable damage had been sustained by individual saints and entire churches in various regions and countries and only after Titus Chu proved that he would not be honest in fellowship, would not be brought into the one work of the Lord's recovery, and would not cease disseminating his independent and divisive teachings, publications, practices, and views. Sadly, a small number of churches that support Titus Chu have rejected this appeal for quarantine. Nevertheless, the vast majority of churches on the earth have heeded the brothers' warning and are going on positively in one accord.
The current confusion and division in certain areas of the Lord's recovery today is the fruit of Titus Chu's independent ministry and work. Far from repenting, Titus Chu and certain of his co-workers have become increasingly combative, as the following examples illustrate:
- In the church in Columbus, Ohio, elders loyal to Titus excommunicated twenty-three saints for listening to audio recordings of the messages of the 2006 summer training.
- In the church in Mansfield, Ohio, a substantial majority of the saints were excluded and locked out of the meeting hall by elders appointed by Titus Chu just six weeks before.
- In the church in Toronto, Canada, a group of elders established a secular system of authoritarian control over the church, forcing over two hundred saints to disassociate themselves from the elders' factious party.
- The reviling of the dissenting ones against the co-workers, Living Stream Ministry, and the other churches in the Lord's recovery has intensified. Anonymous Web sites and e-mail continue to be the main forum for their vitriol. Much of this seems to be aimed at gaining greater influence in mainland China.
The co-workers' action to quarantine Titus Chu was the culmination of a long effort first by Brother Lee and then by his co-workers to rescue Titus Chu on the one hand and to limit the damage caused by his independent work on the other. Because of his unwillingness to care for the oneness of the Body and his insistence on carrying out a divisive work without regard for the Body, the co-workers were compelled to publicly address this situation in order to rescue many saints and churches from the contagion of the leprosy of rebellion and division. The quarantine of Titus Chu and those who disseminate his divisive teachings and publications was initiated for the sake of preserving the oneness of the Lord's testimony in His recovery unto the building up of His Body to consummate the New Jerusalem. May the Lord use this brief history toward that end as well.
1 Life-study of 1 Timothy, p. 4.
2 Life-study of Titus, pp. 21-22.
3For examples, see " Causes of Stumbling Contrary to the Teaching" in this series (or " The Different Teachings and Dissenting View of Titus Chu and Certain of His Co-workers" on this site).
4See the book list on page 8 of Holding a Pattern of the Healthy Words or at http://www.afaithfulword.org/statements/excerpts intro.html.
6 Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move, pp. 68-69.
7From the Testimony of Paul Wu in Cerritos, California, on October 29, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
8See Elders' Training, Book 4: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, which records Brother Lee's speaking in a series of urgent elders' meetings in February 1984.
9In the summer of 1981, sixty trainees from Taiwan made the trip to Anaheim, California, to attend Brother Lee's life-study training on the book of 1 Corinthians. These saints, who had been trained by Brother Titus for one year, were eager to be tested by Brother Lee in order to show him and the other saints in attendance that they had been trained and could perform outstandingly. During the second evening of the training, they were called forward to be tested by Brother Lee. As trainee after trainee tried to speak in the testing, Brother Lee quickly interrupted them one by one and did not allow them to continue speaking, until he asked the entire group to return to their seats without finishing the test. Brother Paul Wu, who was in the group being tested, later testified that, although he was disappointed that the test was a public failure, he realized that there must have been a problem with the trainees' speaking for Brother Lee to respond so unfavorably. In a time of fellowship with the church in Cerritos, Brother Paul said:
I realized there must be some problem, but I didn't realize that it was probably due to the training that we had received for one year from Brother Titus. Brother Lee was not so happy with that. We had the flavor of that training, but we didn't know it yet ourselves. Brother Lee was a spiritual man. He could taste that flavor. [Translated from Chinese.]
10Kung-Huan Huang, "Declaration and Exhortation," April 7, 2007. Translated from Chinese.
11From the testimony of Brother Paul Wu in Cerritos, California, on October 29, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
12From the testimony of Brother Horng Lin given in Cerritos, California, on October 29, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
13From the testimony of Brother Paul Wu in Cerritos, California, on October 29, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
14Dick Taylor, notes of Brother Lee's fellowship with a few co-workers in his study, August 15, 1995.
15From the testimony of Brother Paul Wu at the International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones (ITERO) in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
16Ibid. Confirmed by Joseph Wu at the spring 2007 ITERO in Anaheim, California, on April 1, 2007.
17Kung-Huan Huang, "Declaration and Exhortation," April 7, 2007. Translated from Chinese.
18From the testimony of Brother Minoru Chen given in Anaheim, California, on November 11, 2006.
20Transcript of telephone conversation between Witness Lee and Titus Chu, April 23, 1991.
25On June 4, 2005, a group of twenty-one blended co-workers wrote to Titus. They reminded him of Brother Lee's fellowship concerning the problems caused by regional work and renewing the proposal that he join his work to that of Brother Lee's co-workers:
After one of the past turmoils among us, a question was asked to Brother Lee about how the gifted brothers involved in the turmoil could have been preserved along with the work they had done. Brother Lee answered that the only way was for the gifted brothers to join Brother Lee in his work with no special region or task, and for them to simply work for the ministry in any way assigned to them, as he had done with Watchman Nee. In our present case, it would mean that you would join yourself and those co-workers loyal to you to the blending co-workers, with the continuation of your previous work left to the fellowship of their coordinated oversight. Instead of doing this, you have continued to build up your own work with your own co-workers. (Letter from 21 blended co-workers to Titus Chu, June 4, 2005)
Titus strongly rejected that fellowship also.
26From an interview with Livingstone Lee, February 17, 2007.
27From an interview with Simpson Chen, March 28, 2007.28
From a transcript of a telephone conversation between Witness Lee and Titus Chu, February 14, 1995.
32 The Governing and Controlling Vision in the Bible, p. 32. From Brother Lee's fellowship later in the book it is evident that his co-workers, unlike Titus, received his fellowship.
...However, after I came back from Taiwan to the United States in 1989, from the time we began to have the training here in Anaheim to this day, I can testify that we have had a group of co-workers here who are truly in harmony. This harmony depends on our knowing the cross and the Spirit. The co-workers visited different places through the invitations of the churches and have thereby blended the churches as one. This is a good phenomenon. Now the churches around the globe all have the desire to be blended together. There is definitely such a trend of blending in the Lord's recovery. (The Governing and Controlling Vision in the Bible, p. 75)
33Brother Lee's fellowship with co-workers, November 13, 1995.
34From the testimony of Brother Horng Lin at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
35From the testimony of Brother Minoru Chen given in Anaheim, California, on November 11, 2006.
36From the testimony of Brother Dan Towle at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
37From the testimony of Brother Minoru Chen given in Anaheim, California, on November 11, 2006.
38From the testimony of Brother Horng Lin at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
39Interview with Simpson Chen, March 28, 2007, based on his notes from Brother Lee's fellowship.
40From the testimony of Brother Paul Wu given in Cerritos, California, on October 29, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
41Simpson Chen, notes from Brother Lee's fellowship, October 1990.
42Simpson Chen, notes from Brother Lee's fellowship, October 17, 1990.
43Simpson Chen, notes from Brother Lee's fellowship, October 1990.
44Simpson Chen, notes from Brother Lee's fellowship, July 13, 1992.
45Simpson Chen, notes from Brother Lee's fellowship, March 10, 1993.
46Dick Taylor, notes of Brother Lee's fellowship with the Southern California co-workers on August 15, 1995.
47Horng Lin's notes of Brother Lee's fellowship with the co-workers from Taiwan in his home in Anaheim on July 11, 1996.
50For a discussion of the significance of blending, see The Direction and Leadership of the Lord's Recovery or " The Way of Blending and the Leadership in the Ministry in the Lord's Recovery" on this site.
51"A Letter of Fellowship with Thanks," March 24, 1997.
54From the testimony of Brother Dan Towle at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
57From a letter to Titus Chu from twenty-one blending co-workers, June 4, 2005.
58From this point on the co-workers tried to address the problems caused by Titus and his ministry through written correspondence. See the section entitled " The Co-workers' Efforts to Rescue Titus Chu and Limit the Damage from His Work."
59From interviews with Robert Robinson and David Robinson of the church in Fairborn, Ohio, on March 31, 2007, and with Homer Chambers and Doug Little of the church in Elyria, Ohio, on April 1, 2007.
60From the testimony of Brother Dan Towle at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
61From a letter to Titus Chu from twenty-one blending co-workers, June 27, 2006.
62Based in part on an interview with Homer Chambers and Doug Little of the church in Elyria, Ohio, on April 1, 2007.
63See " Causes of Stumbling Contrary to the Teaching", among many other titles put out in this set of A Faithful Word books. The contents of this book are also available in " The Different Teachings and Dissenting View of Titus Chu and Certain of His Co-workers" on this site.
64See the books in the two series entitled "Who Concerning the Truth Have Misaimed" and "In the Sleight of Men". These articles are also available on this site under " The Dissenters' Misaimings" and " A Pattern of Twisting, respectively.
65See the books Concerning Attacks on Living Stream Ministry and Concerning the Present Turmoil in the Lord's Recovery. The first of these books contains a chapter on Kwong Keung Lai's open letter, a chapter on Paul Wu's open letter, and a chapter entitled " False Accusations Against LSM and What Is Behind Them".
66See the books in the series "A Chosen Vessel to Me". These articles are on this site as " The Vision of the Age, the Ministry of the Age, and the Minister of the Age" and " On the Minister of the Age and the Wise Master Builder".
67From the testimony of Brother Dan Towle at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006. (See also the letter from five brothers in Toronto expressing concern over the use of gimmicks in seeking to gain young people published in the book entitled Using Worldly Means to Gain Increase. The articles in this book are on this site as " An Appeal to the Young People in the Lord's Recovery—Do Not Be Cheated From Your Inheritance!" and " The God-ordained Way to Gain the Increase for the Church vs. the Worldly Ways of Degraded Christianity".)
68Witness Lee, The Experience of God's Organic Salvation Equaling Reigning in Christ's Life, p. 69.
69From the testimony of Brother Benjamin Chen at ITERO in Whistler, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
70Witness Lee, The Experience of God's Organic Salvation Equaling Reigning in Christ's Life, p. 69.
71For a definition of the term the ministry of the age, see the book The Vision of the Age, the Ministry of the Age, and the Minister of the Age or under the same title on this Web site.
72From an interview with Horng Lin and Paul Wu, February 15, 2007.
73From the testimony of Brother Paul Wu at ITERO in Whistler, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
74Letter to twenty-one blending co-workers, July 22, 2006, p. 2.
76From an interview with Jiann S. Sun, February 8, 2007.
77E-mail from Benjamin Chen, May 8, 2007.
79From an interview with Jiann S. Sun, February 8, 2007.
80Letter to Titus Chu from twenty-one blending co-workers, June 4, 2005.
81See " An Open Letter of Clarification," by Kwong Keung Lai in Concerning Attacks on Living Stream Ministry.
82An open letter from Paul Wu, April 5, 2007.
83Letter to the co-workers in the United States and Taiwan from twenty-nine leading brothers in South Korea, November 26, 1997.
84Throughout this section the main points come from the letter from the twenty-nine leading brothers in South Korea, November 26, 1997, and the details from the testimony of Brother Horng Lin at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, October 7, 2006.
85From the testimony of Brother Eric Ou at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, October 7, 2006.
86From the testimony of Brother James Lee at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, October 7, 2006.
87From the testimony of Brother Dick Taylor at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006.
89 The letter to Titus Chu from twenty-one blending co-workers is posted in its entirety on www.afaithfulword.org and is printed in the book " After a First and Second Admonition, Refuse".
92From Tim Knoppe's open letter.
93The letter from brothers Keith Miller and George Kiiza is available in its entirety in the body of Tim Knoppe's open letter at www.afaithfulword.org and in the book Concerning Titus Chu's Divisive Work in Uganda.
94As recounted in Tim Knoppe's open letter.
95From a letter to Titus Chu from Sam Mpuga and Godwin Kihuguru dated March 28, 2006. The letter is available in its entirety in the body of Tim Knoppe's open letter at www.afaithfulword.org and in the book Concerning Titus Chu's Divisive Work in Uganda.
96E-mail message from Godwin Kihuguru to Dick Taylor, September 19, 1996.
97From the testimony of Brother Benjamin Chen at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, October 7, 2006.
100 Elders' Training, Book 8: The Life-pulse of the Lord's Present Move, pp. 161-164.
102 Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery, pp. 3, 7.
103From the testimony of Brother Paul Wu at ITERO in Whistler, BC, Canada, on October 7, 2006. Translated from Chinese.
104 All three of the letters to Titus Chu from twenty-one blending co-workers are available in their entirety on www.afaithfulword.org and in the book " After a First and Second Admonition, Refuse".
105Letter from Titus Chu to twenty-one blending co-workers, July 22, 2006.
106See " Mark Those Who Make Divisions" and note 107.
107From " A Warning to All the Saints and All the Churches in the Lord's Recovery Concerning Titus Chu and Those Who Promote and Disseminate His Divisive Teachings, Publications, Practices, and Views," p. 4. This document is available in its entirety on www.afaithfulword.org and in the book " Mark Those Who Make Divisions".