Norman Grubb

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WEC Magazine article 1950’s by Norman Grubb



     I think the day has come for us in WEC to re-face some of the basic apostolic principles upon which God led C.T. Studd to found this Crusade.  The very name “Crusade” implies militancy, daring, sacrifice, indifferent to any man or circumstance which can frighten us off our God-given calling.


     There is no doubt that we have to face sudden or prolonged dangers on any mission field today, such as our Crusaders have already faced in Colombia.  For what reason should any missionary leave his post?  Certainly, it should not be for fear of the consequences of staying.  Fear can never be a sufficient reason for a soldier of Jesus to turn back from the battle.  What happens in an earthly war, if soldiers in the front line run backwards?  Do they receive bouquets or bullets?  Let us face it squarely.  There are dangers these days – dangers of rape, imprisonment or murder.  But what do Crusaders go out for?  Do not Crusaders vows explicitly include dangers unto death for Jesus?  As a militant Crusade for Christ and souls, I think we all have to reconsider and re-accept the down-to-earth implications of our Crusader vows and may be tighten the screws in our recruit-training standards.


     It is not men and women who go out to front lines in this Crusade and still less husbands and wives:  it is soldiers of Jesus, without consideration of sex or human relationships.  And soldiers take hardship, wounds, danger and death in their stride.  Paul set the pattern forever in 2 Cor. 11 23-33.  We have had martyrs in WEC, such as Ronald Davis shot by the Pathans and we sent congratulations all round when we heard of his honour of being shot for Jesus and his body left by the riverside to be eaten by jackals.  Rape is considered “worse than death” and there is no doubt that fear of it can be a major cause for women to leave their posts.  To say that it is worse than death is only sentiment.  God’s Word does not say so.  Death is either worst or best, depending on whether we are lost or saved.  Anything less than death has to be met by Crusaders with the twofold weapons of abandonment and faith; abandonment means that a Crusader called of God accepts with joy anything He sends and accepts it from the Lord’s and not the devil’s hands, just as Jesus accepted Calvary:   faith means that a Crusader is in perfect safety in the place of God’s appointment:  as he stands in faith, often, but not always, he experiences miraculous deliverances; but anyhow, he magnifies Christ in his or her body, whether by life or by death.


     How can we expect our national brethren in other lands to accept with joy and with love for their enemies the cruelties and mistreatments of the devil’s agents from which they cannot escape (as in Colombia), unless we ourselves have shewn that we are ready to stand fast and accept the same where called to do so?


     One of the grave dangers and potential weaknesses in Protestant missions is that married missionaries either forget (or the wives also forget) that wives also are fellow-ACrusaders and that the first duty of the Crusading husband is not to protect his wife, but to stay true to his calling.  Also, that where God gives children, He gives them to a Crusading couple and therefore means that they too take their share of the life to which the couple are called.  Generally speaking, what C.T. Studd said about the material and spiritual welfare of his children will be true for all:  “If I am busy looking after the needs of God’s children, He will look after mine”:  but when it does not work out like that, the Crusader parents praise God and keep believing.


     There is no doubt that the tragic softness of outlook in our homeland churches is also a grave cause of weakening the crusading spirit in the front-liners.  We know of a church indignant that we have not shewn more “care and responsibility” for our missionaries in danger areas.  Shame on the home churches!  Do Mission Societies or Mission Boards exist to provide safety and security for “their” missionaries?  God forbid!  Missions are meant to be merely a convenient agency for opening doors of gospel witness among the unevangelized peoples of the world.  If they imply to “their” missionaries that they are there to provide security, they are coolly usurping the prerogative of the Only One who sends out missionaries and who laid down His standards of supply in Matthew 6.24-34.  They are beginning to walk the way of death which creeps into all church organisations through history, where security, position and the smooth safe running that the world loves to see in its affairs, replace the daring, originality, risks and ruggedness of God’s fools, who are also God’s apostles according to that searing rebuke Paul gave the Corinthian church in 1 Cor. 4.8-14.  No, WEC is not responsible for our fellow-Crusaders and the Crusaders would be mightily indignant with us if we dared to say we are and stole from them the privilege of depending on God alone.  We well know that many Bible Schools (and I wish, instead of polishing themselves up nowadays into “colleges”, more of these schools were remaining just straight Missionary Training Centers) fight shy of WEC because we do not offer their lambs a soft enough sheepfold and others of our fellow evangelical societies equally hold off from us as unreliable.  But, according to the light we have and understanding of Bible standards of discipleship, as Luther said, we “can do no other”.  One Bible School Principal said rather hesitatingly to one of our leaders, “Mr. So & So, do members of your Crusade ever starve?”  His answer was to the point:  “Well, if they do, it is God that starves them!”  Bull’s eye!  It is a glorious life to have a single eye on Jesus and that is just the absolute standard to which Jesus called His disciples in Matt.6.19-24, before he gave them the promises of 6.24-36 already referred to.


     No, in this grave crisis which the world faces, we believe this is the moment to re-raise the standard of apostolic discipleship, regretting where we ourselves have slipped from it.  The church is not promised safety.  The object of the gospel is not to combat Communism or save the world from it.  Communism is a mere feather God will blow away in two seconds when He has finished with it.  He sits and we sit with Him, far above all such worldly demoniacal displays of force.  Communism is God’s agent, God’s whip, God’s rod, as surely as the Babylonians or Assyrians were of old—to judge and purge His church, to awaken the unsaved and get them saved and to prepare for the Lord’s return.  God’s calling to the church, whether at home or on distant mission fields, is to put on His armour—not the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind:  to be so disciplined of the Spirit in our daily lives, so God-absorbed, so much “stranger and pilgrims, abstaining from fleshly lusts”, so occupied in worldwide witness, that we will rejoice when were are partakers of Christ’s sufferings and be able to “stand in the evil day, and having done all stand.” 


     May God enable us in WEC to keep our armour polished and our weapons sharpened and to fulfill our calling in our generation as a Crusade founded on sacrifice, faith and holiness.