Note from webmaster David Cox
First of all, know the history of Watchman Nee. He was a house church pastor that started that movement in China. During his life he spent many years in prison. That is nothing to gloss over as insignificant. It is my understanding that none of his works have survived. I say that in the point that everything we now have “as being a work by Watchman Nee” is actually notes taken from his followers, and almost all are Witness Lee. So there is doubt as to whether anything original in his handwriting survived. Nothing was printed before he died. Whatever the relationship was between Watchman Nee and Witness Lee is not something the world will ever know completely. Maybe Witness Lee got it all right, or maybe to continue with the majority of his teachings, Watchman Nee winked at Witness Lee’s errors. So we are talking about “proximity teaching”, that of what a disciple heard from his master.
So I don’t know how you can talk definitively about Nee. What really is his teaching?
Secondly, and this is major for me, is the issue of authority. In Nee’s book on Spiritual Ascendency, he advocates for submission of the members under the pastor. From what I understand this is in relation to work and a mate. I do not hold to that position. Each Christian should find God’s will for their own life, and good counsel is very important. But in the end, the yes or no decision is in the individual’s hands not that of his pastor. I have crossed cultists that reference this work as almost “Bible”. It opens the door to mind control by the cultist.
From what I have read from his books, Watchman Nee is exactly in the same group as Jesse Penn-Lewis, E.M. Bounds, etc of the Holiness movement before tongues. It is highly devotional reading. The problem is to always compare everything you hear and read to Scripture.