An Open Letter of Clarification
Concerning an Inaccurate Account of Events Concerning Me
in Titus Chu's Public Response
in a Letter to the Blending Co-workers
January 30, 2007
Dear Titus Chu:
I am Li Guangqiang, from Hong Kong; my legal name is Kwong Keung Lai. I am the brother in the Lord who was arrested and incarcerated for a period of time for trying to transport copies of the Recovery Version of the New Testament published by Living Stream Ministry into mainland China. I was mentioned by name in your public letter of July 22, 2006.
Brother Titus, I have never met you in person and have never conversed with you. However, I do know that you have been a serving one in the Lord's recovery for many years. You are a brother many saints have respected. I believe that you should have received much perfecting from Brother Witness Lee's ministry concerning the vision of the Lord's recovery, including such things as the oneness and building up of the Body of Christ, the uniqueness of the flow and ministry of the Spirit, the authority of Christ the Head, and the coordination in the Body to mutually supply and feed one another. Nevertheless, after reading the statements you published concerning this incident in response to the letter of the co-workers, my heart is very grieved and pained! Because of the public nature of your letter I feel compelled to make a similarly public declaration of the true facts concerning this incident. How desperately we need to ask the Lord for His mercy!
You have used this incident to blame Living Stream Ministry, the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, the church in Hong Kong, and the brothers who represent them. Brother Chu, you were not involved, nor to my knowledge have you tried to find out the facts of the case, nor have you sought fellowship or communicated with those such as myself who were directly involved in this matter. Brother Chu, why are you using the matter of my transporting the Recovery Version to attack the co-workers in the Lord's recovery, the local churches, Living Stream Ministry and the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom so rashly? What you have done is the same as persecuting the Lord! What are your intention and your goal in so doing? Have you considered the consequences of what you have done? By reputation you should be a person of vision, experience and spiritual weight. Yet what you have done will damage the Lord's recovery, undermine the coordination and the testimony of the Body, and destroy the building up of the Lord's Body. Your criticism will stumble so many brothers and sisters who read your letter! The Lord said: "And whoever stumbles one of these little ones who believe in Me, it is more profitable for him that a great millstone be hung around his neck and he be drowned in the open sea ... woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes" (Matt. 18:6-7). When you blame, criticize, and shame the co-workers in the Lord in such a way, you are despising the members of the Body of Christ. Have you no fear of being judged in front of the judgment seat of Christ at the Lord's return? Hebrews 10:30 says, "The Lord will judge His people."
So that the saints in the Lord who do not know the facts about this incident, yet have read your letter, will not be further misled or stumbled, and to avoid the Lord's recovery, the local churches, the Living Stream Ministry, the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, and other Christian groups being unfairly blamed or attacked in the days to come, I, Kwong Keung Lai, would like to clarify and state the details related to my endeavor to bring New Testaments into China:
First, the local churches in China are a group of orthodox Christians and are not connected with the Shouters. The "Shouters" have been condemned by the Chinese government as a cultic sect. In your letter you refer to the local churches in China as the Shouters. Brother Titus, certainly you know better than this. Do you mean to imply that the local churches in China, including myself, are a cult? How can you explain this? You have been in the Lord's recovery for such a long time; are you not able to differentiate the local churches as revealed in the Bible from a cult, namely the Shouters sect, that has been organized by man? Living Stream Ministry published a booklet in the Contending for the Faith Series in 2003, entitled "We Are Local Churches, Not 'The Shouters'" [published only in Chinese]. However, your inaccurate statement could cause great suffering to the saints in China. As one who surely knows the situation of the churches in the Chinese-speaking world, your lack of care for the saints in mainland China is shocking.
Second, the Living Stream Ministry, the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, the church in Hong Kong were never involved in planning, arranging, directing, or authorizing me to be a representative in this matter. Living Stream Ministry is a publisher; it supplied the Recovery Version of the New Testament to me and my company. The only relationship I had with them was as a buyer; I never talked to them or their representatives regarding my plans.
Third, the transporting of the Recovery Version of the New Testament to sell to the Christians inside China (including officially registered Christians and non-registered Christians) was carried out by a few brothers and myself out of our seeking, praying, and fellowshipping with the Lord. At that time the government of mainland China was not very open in terms of religious freedom. We had to take care of the safety of the Christians inside of China (our brothers and sisters in the Lord). I made a private agreement in the Lord with the brothers praying with me that if there were any problem, my company and I would bear the responsibility. Concerning this point I sought the Lord with prayer, and the Lord responded to me that He wanted me to bear this burden myself. I just said, Amen!
Although this matter was fully carried out by a few brothers and myself, it was misunderstood by some in the media that Living Stream Ministry, the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, or the church in Hong Kong were involved in this matter. Although they were not involved, throughout this entire incident the first consideration of the brothers in Living Stream Ministry, the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, and the church in Hong Kong were the safety, protection and care of both us and the saints in mainland China. Now you have seen fit to give them a bad name through your wrongful accusations. Through prayer before the Lord, we did it without involving others, not caring for a bad name or a good name. That is not so important! The important thing is to follow the Lord's commission and gain the Lord's delight. "Proclaim the word; be ready in season and out of season ..." (2 Tim. 4:2). "For am I now trying to win the assent of men or of God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a slave of Christ" (Gal. 1:10).
Why did we transport the Recovery Version of the New Testament to mainland China? There are many people in mainland China who have never heard the gospel, and many saved Christians who are lacking the knowledge concerning the will of God, the purpose of God, and the gospel of the kingdom. The Lord said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matt. 24:14). Therefore we must go and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that the Lord has commanded us. And behold, the Lord is with us all the days until the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:19-20). The Recovery Version is the best translation available in the Chinese language that can explain the word of God. My goal in transporting such an open Bible to mainland China was to supply those who were in need.
After I was arrested, a number of world leaders, including President Bush, expressed their concerns about me to the Chinese government. Their concerns were reported in various media. Those leaders and the reports in the media did not blame the Living Stream Ministry, the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, or the church in Hong Kong for denying any connection with me. Yet now, Brother Chu, more than five years after my transporting the Recovery Version of the New Testament into mainland China, you have used this incident to do so. You did not show your concern then. In all of the time both during and after my imprisonment, your only expression of concern that I am aware of was in the context of responding to the letter of the blending co-workers, and then it seems your only concern was to use this incident to blame the brothers, to criticize them, and to shame them. Is this the way you show your concern for me? It hardly seems your intention is pure! Really only the Lord knows! Why didn't you seek to know the facts by communicating and fellowshipping with the brothers who were involved? Have you gone before the Lord seeking to understand? I believe if you seek fellowship and pray to the Lord, the Lord will give you a suitable answer! It is excusable when people in the world do not understand; but you are a brother who has been serving among the churches in the Lord's recovery for many years. Oh, may the Lord have more mercy, to enlighten us and keep us living in the fellowship of the Body of Christ, so that He may obtain His building and expression among us.
As a little brother in the Lord, I decided to carry out this matter, having determined to sacrifice for the Lord. In order to awaken the Chinese government toward the Christian faith so that they would be willing to open the door and let many more Chinese citizens hear the gospel of the kingdom, believe in and receive the Lord Jesus as Son of God, and understand the will of God, the desire of His heart, and practice it, so as to become members of the Body of Christ and live in the reality of the Body of Christ, to be a glorious testimony of the Lord in the local church life-if for this the Lord required of me my own life, that would be indeed wonderful. Just as in 1 Pet 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light". In days to come, if anyone uses the matter of my transporting of the Recovery Version to blame, criticize, or attack the saints or to carry out any unrighteous deeds, may the Lord discipline, punish and judge.
We are the local churches in the Lord's recovery; we are the saints who have seen in the Bible the vision of Christ and the church. We are the members of the Body of Christ, citizens of God's kingdom, and members of the household of God; we have fellowship in the Body of Christ, and we coordinate in the Body of Christ; furthermore, we are built in the Body of Christ. If any who read this letter still have concerns, they should fellowship with the co-workers and the elders in the Lord. In this way the Holy Spirit will operate in us, to work, renew, and transform us so that we can be in the Body of Christ, being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace (Eph. 4:3), and so that we can be the glorious testimony of the Lord in many local churches, expressing the Body of Christ, so that God will get the glory from us, the saints. I can testify that during the period when I was imprisoned in China, the Lord was so dear, so near, so real, and so living to me, more so than He had ever been before.
Brother Chu, if there is any error in my letter, please forgive me, a little brother in the Lord. Further, please cherish me as a little member, just as the Lord had given us a new commandment that we would love one another, even as the Lord has loved us, that we also love one another (John 13:34). That is all! May the Lord's mercy and grace be with you.
Brother Kwong Keung Lai