The Church and Missions
An address delivered at the opening exercises of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, 1957.
Bruce F. Hunt
My subject today is "The Church and Missions." I wish to develop this subject under three propositions: 1. The work of the church is missions. 2. Missions is the work of the church. 3. The work of missions is the church.
1. The work of the church is missions
The first proposition that I would have you consider is that the work of the church is missions. That is, the work of the church is not primarily self-preservation, the perfection of organization and equipment, the improvement of the membership, or several other firsts that people might propose.
What has been called "the Great Commission," the task of evangelizing the world, was given to the church and thus became its great work. [We do not believe that Mr. Hunt, in emphasizing the importance of missions in the work of the church, was intending somehow to set missions in opposition to worship. Indeed, as his own life's work on the mission field demonstrated, missions ever has in view, in the gathering and perfecting of the saints, the extension of the worship of the living and true God.Ed.] When the risen Lord, having been given all authority in heaven and on earth, spoke the words of Matthew 28:19 and 20 to the eleven disciples, he did not address them as some separate little group, but as a part of the church he was establishing. And therefore the work given to them is a work committed to the whole Christian church, considered both as a unit and as the individual members which compose it.
No member of the true church, or congregation of Christians, can rightly say, "I don't want to make disciples," "I don't want to be a witness," "I have no ability along that line," or "I have a personal dislike for that kind of thing and so I won't do it." Missions is the great reason for the church's existence, its great work.
We are perhaps indulging in speculation about "the secret counsel of God" when we say the reason the early church in Jerusalem was persecuted was because, having received the Holy Spirit, it had not gone to make disciples of all nations, and God had to drive it to the task by persecution. But we leave the realm of speculation for the clear statement of God's Word when we say "there arose on that day a great persecution against the church and they were all scattered abroad"and "they that were scattered abroad [i.e., the individuals who are also called the persecuted church] went about preaching the word" (Acts 8:2, 4). Collectively and individually, the church was finally obeying the Great Commission.
Our Lord said, "Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32). Jesus ordained every one of us collectively and individually to bear fruit, to make confession, to be witnesses. Confession is an essential part of the experience of salvation"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10). Paul declared, "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel!" (1 Cor. 9:16). When our Lord was asked to rebuke the children who were shouting hosannas and proclaiming him to be the Son of David, the One coming in the name of the Lord, he said, "If these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out" (Luke 19:40).
The work of missions which has been committed to the church means carrying out Matthew 28:19 and 20: "Go ye therefore and make disciples of 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 things whatsoever I have commanded you," or Acts 1:8: "Ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." We have heard these words so often that it hardly seems worthwhile repeating them, especially before a group of men who have dedicated themselves to the task of preparing for preaching the gospel, the evangel. But it is because I am constantly running across people among regular church members and even ministers and elders who do not believe in missions in its broadest sense that I am saying today that the work of the church is missions.
There are churches which do not reach out to their own community. They are a closed corporation, a social club with a limited membership. They not only do not go out, but dislike and are afraid to go out. They have an actual distaste for missions, home or foreign, and not only begrudge time given to the consideration of missions, but actually ask that the subject not be brought up, and that missionary speakers be forbidden. This may be a rather extreme position, but it is by no means as rare as one might suppose.
Then there are those who, though they would not say they are against missions, conceive of the work of the church as merely shepherding the elect; looking up and calling on those who are already church members; studying, defending, preserving the gospel pure; and teaching it to the elect and their covenant children. If they have put their money into Christian schools and into building up their local church, they feel they have done all that is required of them.
As theological students and later as pastors and even as missionaries on the field, you may find yourselves studyingnot because you need to, for the sake of making the truth clear and plainbut as an escape, an excuse from going out and witnessing.
I trust that at this seminary you will get a fuller grasp and a greater zeal for the Reformed faith. I am a Calvinist by conviction and experience. I believe that the Calvinistic theology gives one the truest motive for missions. I believe the Reformed faith is needed today as never before. But it quite disturbed me a few years ago when a minister who has since left our communion said to me in effect, "Calvinism is for the intelligentsia, so we should concentrate our efforts as a church on the intelligentsia." If our Calvinism cannot be made plain to the smallest child or the most ignorant [bushman]if we cannot carry it to the masses on the street cornerthere is something wrong with it. I would say it is not true Calvinism. I pray that the Reformed faith which you learn here may be for you and for those to whom you go in the future, a reforming faith.
We may have the light which we study, defend, and preserve, but our Lord said, "Neither do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand" (Matt. 5:15). And how sharp was his criticism of the steward who came saying, "Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter and I was afraid, and went away and hid the talent in the earth; lo thou has thine own" (Matt. 25:24-25).
When it was told our Lord, "All are seeking thee," he said to his disciples, "Let us go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also, for to this end came I forth" (Mark 1:37-38). In John 17:18, our Lord says to the Father, "As thou has sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."
When the disciples met the risen Lord and were full of questions about the time of the kingdom, the Lord told them it was not for them to know the times or the seasons, but they were to be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth.
When the disciples stood seemingly dazed and bewildered at the sight of the ascending Christ, the angel asked them, "Why stand ye here?"
It might be said that the Orthodox Presbyterian Church owes its very existence to the belief that the work of the church is missions. For when Christians within the old church found they were hindered and frustrated in seeking to proclaim the gospel of salvation to the ends of the earthwhen they discovered that they were being made to support missions which were indeed no true missionsthey found that relationship incompatible with their Christian faith and were compelled to break away.
The great work of the church is missions. In other words, the work of the church collectively and of its members severally is to "Go and make disciples of 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 things whatsoever I commanded you." It is for Christians to be "witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8). And it is through missions, through fruit bearing, that the church glorifies God. "Herein is my Father glorified: that ye bear much fruit." It is God's intent that his manifold wisdom should be made known through the church (Eph. 3:10).
2. Missions is the work of the church
The second proposition which I wish to present for your consideration is that missions is the work of the churchthe church as a whole and of the several members as part of the whole. Missions is not an individual or private matter.
Several passages of Scripture will show this. When the number of the apostles had been reduced to eleven by Judas's betrayal and suicide, Peter called the attention of the brethren to the need and scriptural grounds for filling his office, and it was the brethren who put forth and cast lots for one who from among them should be a witness with the apostles of the Lord's resurrection.
When the individual Christians, comprising the persecuted church, were scattered following Stephen's martyrdom, one individual, Philip, was signally successful in his ministry among the people of Samaria. But his work was not considered or left as an individual matter, for the Word declares, "When the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:14-15).
When certain men from Judea caused questioning and dissension among the younger churches, the brethren appointed Paul and Barnabas to bring the matter before the apostles in Jerusalem. The Word tells us that this delegation from the younger churches was "brought on their way by the church" (Acts 15:3), "and when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church" (Acts 15:4).
Again in Acts 13:1-3 we read, "Now there were at Antioch in the church prophets and teachers.... And as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Separate for me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.' Then, when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."
In these several cases, we see that it was the church which (a) chose and put forth the witnesses, (b) heard reports on new work, kept in contact with it, and strengthened it, (c) separated, in accordance with the command of the Spirit, two of their number for a special work, and (d) sent them forth.
On the mission field, the proposition that missions is the work of the church is not one of mere academic interest, neither should it be for you who are considering missionary work at home or abroad. And it should be more than an academic question to every minister who has the responsibility of advising and directing individuals as to their missionary activities or who, before the congregation, in church courts, and on church committees, has the responsibility of forming and directing missionary policy.
The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, at its very first Assembly in 1936, accented the proposition that missions is the work of the church when it appointed a Committee on Foreign Missions. At that time, the churches and individuals which formed the Orthodox Presbyterian Church had already been doing missionary work through the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, and some contended that, as the Board was doing a good work, there was no reason to multiply organizations with the formation of a foreign missions committee of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Others held, however, that while an independent board mayunder certain circumstanceshave a legitimate right to exist, as far as the church is concerned, it has its own responsibility in regard to missions. The church itself has a responsibility in missions which it dare not shirk by saying that an independent board or some private group is doing it, so we need take no action.
There are many individuals and nondenominational or interdenominational organizations today which are enthusiastically pushing foreign missions. Young people among their ranks are taught to believe that they are doing a fine thing when they can say, "We are unaffiliated, we have no regular backing, we are going out in faith with no regular support, we are nondenominational or interdenominational." We have seen them come into Korea and Japan and Formosa (Taiwan) in recent years in great numbers. I have heard it stated that over one thousand evangelical missionaries have gone into Japan alone in the last ten years. Their ranks are full of some of the choicest and most enthusiastic of our young American Christians. Many of them are those who, during their years of overseas duty in the armed forces of the nation, saw the great need of the fields white unto harvest, and who, like Paul on the road to Damascus, personally heard and sought to answer the Lord's call. But they have not been sent by the church! Not only have they had to rustle up their own support, but because they had no church sending themas Paul was subsequently sent by the Antioch church, and Philip's work was integrated into the work of the whole church by the apostles at Jerusalemthey have been compelled rather to fend for themselves, each missionary or missionary society of that nature doing that which is right in its own eyes.
Take, for example, one interdenominational society with the missionaries of which we have had especially happy relations. They have entered a new field within the last five years and already have close to thirty missionaries on that field. In their ranks are people who were or are still connected with churches of the "mainline" Presbyterian, Baptist, and Plymouth Brethren persuasions. They are, of course, drawn together in the common purpose of making Christ known to the people of the land to which they have gone. They are doing many types of work: radio evangelism, orphanage work, tent evangelism, and literary work. But because they were not sent by a church or denomination, they were reluctant to tie up with any existing church on the field lest their supporters in many denominationsincluding the Orthodox Presbyterian Churchmight think they were becoming a certain specific kind of denomination. One can quite understand their dilemma, but it is just this kind of dilemma that I personally feel it is our duty to avoid if possible. Such a policy poses many difficultiesto me greater than the ones they seek to avoidthrough nondenominationalism or interdenominationalism.
For instance, recently the question of how to baptize converts came up among them. The missionaries on the field decided that they would leave the mode of baptism up to the preference of the individual convert. If a convert preferred sprinkling, the Presbyterian missionaries in their ranks could do it. If they preferred immersion, the Baptists could do it. However confusing this might be to their work as a mission, it at least had the virtue of being consistent in its interdenominationalism or nondenominationalism. But the home board, in the interest of uniformity, ordered that the missionaries should practice only immersion.
Again, the problem arose as to what they were to do with those who were led to the Lord through such mutually independent projects as radio programs, literary work, and tent evangelism. Because, as I see it, they had not squarely faced the church question, and were trying to be nondenominational in their activity, they were led to leave this largely up to the new converts. Of the first three groups started through their tent evangelism, one group chose to go with the Methodists and be shepherded and fed by them in the future. Another group went to what we call the middle-of-the-road Presbyterians. This was a disappointment to those in that mission who had started the work, and they were happy that one group stayed with them. But what of this one group? Is it now a new denomination? Is it Presbyterian, Baptist, or Plymouth Brethren? Or can it really become that which is a contradiction in terms, a nondenominational denomination?
Years ago we saw a group start in Korea on such a nondenominational basis. They were organized in the States as a nondenominational organization for the sole purpose of conducting missions. They solicited support from all denominations, including in recent years even Orthodox Presbyterian church members. Its work has grown to be one of the larger works in Korea. Its converts have become a definite denomination in Korea of the Holiness Methodist type. And it is one of the most active in the Ecumenical Movement.
This policy particularly creates a problem in the matter of Christian fellowship. When an individual's or a group's stand is known, it is possible to know how far to enter into fellowship or relationship with them. But when their theological, doctrinal, or ecclesiastical stand is so vaguely defined and so purposefully nondenominational, one wonders how far he should recommend them or extend the hand of fellowship, lest it turn out in the end that he has recommended or entered into a fellowship that he is later caused to regret.
As I said before, this is not merely an academic question. It is a very real one. I mention these practices of other missions not in any spirit of censoriousness. It is with some of the members of these kinds of missions that we have our closest fellowship. Yet it is the fact that they are not sent by a church, but by individuals or individual churches, which creates the greatest problems of fellowship for us. And, as I have talked with them, I find it is this which creates some of the greatest problems among themselves in launching a new work. Theological students should be aware of these problems.
Yes, missions is the work of the church, not of unassociated individuals. The Lord spent forty days after his resurrection making sure that the church had one message, the fact of the resurrection and the kingdom. He commanded them to wait until they had been baptized and were endued with the Holy Spirit. In those days of waiting, the disciples were brought to be of one accord and to a steadfastness in prayer. During those days, the vacancy in the organization, left by the death of Judas, was filled. It was the church that launched out on the task of evangelizing the world. And, as I have already tried to demonstrate from God's Word, it was as the church that they carried on this task. It is God's intent that the manifold wisdom of God should be made known through the church (Eph. 3:10).
3. The work of missions is the church
In the third place, the work of missions is the churchor, to put it a little more clearly, the work of missions is primarily the establishment of the church.
A little over a year ago, a well-known American evangelist and educator, on a visit to Korea, invited me to a conference in his hotel room. In the course of the conversation, he expressed it as his opinion that there was very little real Christianity in Korea, that it was mostly "churchianity." The same expression was used by a fellow passenger on the plane last summer as we were returning to the States. This passenger is a missionary who has in recent years traveled more widely than most missionaries have the opportunity of doing in many countries of the Orient. Recognizing that his travels put him in a better position than the usual run of us to make comparisons and judge objectively, I asked him for his opinion of the Korean church. He said in effect that its large audiences, full prayer meetings, sacrificial giving, and zeal for the Word of God and witnessing were unparalleled in any of the mission fields he had been visiting, that the church in Korea was in a class by itself, but that it had too much "churchianity" (the same word used by the evangelist educator).
I think I know what these men mean by "churchianity," and I would be the last to deny and the first to deplore the existence of that kind of ecclesiasticism in Korea to which I think they are referring. I too have tasted the enmity of church leaders in Korea and have been reprimanded by their courts, even having church courts warn their people against me.
But when both of these men point to the "churchianity" of the Korean church, are they not perhaps unwittingly putting their fingers on one of the secrets of mission work in Korea which many have admired and whose fruits they have sought to emulate? Namely, that not only was that work begun by churches, but the object of the work was the establishment of the church. Korean Christians are church conscious and they are a church which believes in expanding the church.
It is a lack of church consciousness which I believe underlies much of the trouble connected with the well-meaning sacrifice and zeal of modern evangelical mission activity and causes it to have so little real impact on people. We cannot but covet the choice lives and the large sums of money that are being poured into the work of missions. And, at the same time, our hearts bleed when we see so little fruit for such feverish activity and when we see these young missionaries frustrated and in many cases broken because of what seems to be their misdirected efforts.
Where some say that there is too much "churchianity" in Korea, I would like to remind them that, in spite of all the evils that would be liable to fasten themselves to the outward form of the church, it was still our Lord's purpose to "build his church." That great missionary Paul, sent by the church at Antioch, made disciples. He taught them. He baptized them, sometimes in groups. He appointed elders to whom he committed the care of the flockthe blood-bought churchand he tells us that it was God's intent that through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known (Eph. 3:10).
There are plenty of flaws in the Korean church, butpraise God! a church has been established there, a church that has its own congregations, and deacons and elders, evangelists, pastors, and even foreign missionariesa church whose members have been so possessed of God's Holy Spirit that they are concerned over the lost, and not only witness to them, but send out people to witness to them in more remote places. They have started orphanages, leper colonies, an old folks' home, a home for cripples, and charity hospitals. They work among the blind and deaf and care for the poor. They carry the gospel to those who are in prison. They have started Christian schoolsseveral grade schools, an academy with five hundred students, and a college where their young people may be nourished in the Lord and grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God as well as man. They have Bible institutes and a seminary where the things received may be committed to faithful men. It is a church that decides matters of doctrine and practice in church council, seeking to be guided by the Word of God, a church that has opposed error, and one that tries the spirits to see whether they be of God.
Yes, in Korea the evils of ecclesiasticism have often attached themselves to the church, but, as one U.S. Army chaplain put it, "We found the church there."
I feel that what modern evangelical missions needs is a dose of good "churchianity," to counteract the debilitating disease of "projectitis."
In missionary talks, the prowess of individual missionaries and the phenomenal success of their work is too often stressed. There is too much of hero worship in missionary propaganda. And young people often go to the field with the ambition of making their mark in the missionary world. One will go to do radio work, another literature work, school work, children's work, student work, relief work, medical work, tract work, country evangelism, agricultural work, or orphanage work. Do not misunderstand me, people certainly have different talents, and people with only one or two talents must employ those talents where they can be utilized. The world needs more than the general practitioner. Specialists, too, are necessary. But to what end is this specialization being used?
The Bible tells us of specialists, saying, "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues" (1 Cor. 12:28). In Ephesians 4:11, Paul starts out with a similar list, saying, "He gave some to be apostles, and some evangelists," etc., and then in the twelfth verse, he gives us the purpose of these diversified gifts. It is "for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ." Yes, the work of missions is primarily that of building the church.
Last week I received a letter for which I was very thankful, though it rather shook me up. It came from one of the pastors of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It seems that a friend of ours from one of the interdenominational missions doing work in Korea had recently been invited to speak in their church and had made a very fine impression. Let me quote part of his letter"After the meeting, it was obvious that interest was created for the orphanage. In fact, that interest was shown before I even arrived here.... Now I am pleased by the fact that people show interest in missions, but I feel this interest should be channeled into our own work in Korea.... The reason I am writing to you is that there seems to be some lack here of information about our own work in Korea." Then he tells of someone speaking to him about our work in Korea and saying something like this: "Bruce Hunt spends his time teaching in a seminary and speaking here and there, but shouldn't he settle down and establish a church?"
Now I was thankful for that letter because the pastor wrote me for information about our work and was distressed at the lack of understanding about our work among his people. I was also thankful that the one mentioned does not want the missionary who represents him to be beating the air, that he wants him to organize or work to establish a church. Both of these men from their vantage point are concerned about the work of missions and I am thankful. That is as it should be.
I am not disturbed because the people of that church are interested in an orphanage which does not happen to be in our work in Korea. Nor am I specially zealous that money from our churches should be channeled only into our work. In fact, we ourselves have on occasion also tried to help that particular orphanage work in which his people are showing such a lively interest.
What shook me in the letter was the possibly excusable, yet evident lack of information and understanding about our work which it indicated. Because I have heard that particular kind of criticism before, perhaps I was a little more sensitive and read more between the lines than I should have. Perhaps the one quoted did not mean to compare the work we are doing with that of the missionary doing orphanage work. Perhaps he did not mean to say that we are spreading ourselves too thin in our work, and would it not be better to settle ourselves down and work to establish one or two local churches rather than "speaking here and there."
As I say, maybe I was reading more between the lines than I should have. But it did bring up in my mind the comparison between the two works. Comparisons are odious, and the particular orphanage in question is doing one of the finest works among orphans that I have seen in Korea. I have often thought it illustrates those words, "Who gives himself with his gift feeds three." So many are giving money to help orphans, and their gifts without the givers indeed seem bare of fruit. But at this orphanage there are seven Americans, who have left home and their country to work for around one hundred children. Of course, the work is just beginning and they hope to expand and help more. They use American money to pay a full, to our standards, staff of workers. The missionaries themselves, who are consecrated Bible institute and seminary graduates, are also carpenters and builders and have themselves done much of the building of the orphanage dormitories and missionary residences. Yes, the orphanage looks "Stateside," as we say out there, and is run very much like a Stateside institution, with Stateside money and seven Stateside people taking care of one hundred or more orphans. I do not begrudge the orphans. Would that more could be done for them. The missionaries are having a fine Christian influence on those children and giving them excellent practical training. No, I do not begrudge the orphans, nor do I criticize the missionaries for the way they are conducting the orphanage. I think they are doing an excellent job.
But what bothers me is the implication that perhaps we should stop what we are doing and go and do likewise. Is it the understanding of any in our church that what we are doing is not as important as that orphanage work? Is our conception of our church's missionary task that it is fulfilled when we complete and perfect one or two projects, such as an orphanage or a local church?
To begin with, it might be pointed out that it is only within the last six months that the number of our workers in Korea has reached six, not the seven working in that orphanage. Would it be the best economy of manpower and money to use our six in perfecting one project or church? Just what are we seeking to do with our six? We are seeking to establish a church.
The seminary in which I spend a few hours a week teaching grew out of the Korean church's crying need for workers. It is only one of the means we are using to prepare the leaders for the close to six hundred congregations of that church, besides the congregations still unborn. In addition to teaching in the seminary, some of our staff of six are teaching in two Bible institutes, a high school, and a Christian college, all started and largely supported by the Korean church itself to train its workers. This same staff of six is being asked to teach in nine other Bible institutes, part of the work of that same church in its program of expansion. These six are trying to render at least a little aid to twenty orphanages and twenty leper colonies operated by the members of the Korean church. It is not a case of seven missionaries giving full time to one project (an orphanage with one hundred children), but six missionaries helping to build a church with its many-sided program: twenty orphanages ministering to over two thousand children, twenty leper colonies with nearly four thousand inmates, a seminary, eleven Bible institutes, two hospitals, a Christian college and high school, and several Christian grade schools, a church with its Sunday schools and young people's work, with its evangelistic campaigns and mission programs.
The Rev. Theodore Hard, one of the graduates of Westminster Seminary, has been on the field a little over three years. But in addition to teaching in the church's college and seminary and Bible institute, he is helping the pastors and students of that church to get good books. He is helping the members of that church witness to and minister to the pitiful veterans in the Korean Army Hospital. He and Mr. Spooner took part in a young people's conference this summer. He has visited a number of the orphanages during the summer and brought help to them. He has participated in the relief program of that church during the terrible floods of the past summer. Just yesterday I received a letter from him reporting the actions of one of the presbytery meetings which he attended and whose problems have become his problems and ours. Because Mr. Hard and Mr. Spooner are identified with the church, already the leaders of that church come to them to talk over important matters. Mr. Hard spoke twenty-two times in Korean during June, July, and August, twelve of these times in a presbytery area other than the one where we are livinghis "work assignment for particular emphasis outside Pusan," as he puts it. There are six presbyteries of that Korean church asking that missionaries work with them in their many-sided program.
Even while they are in training, the students of the Bible institutes and seminary of the Korean church are ministering to the many groups without pastors (for there are a little over one hundred ministers for the close to six hundred congregations) and starting new works. The speaking here and there in addition to teaching took the speaker away from home more than ninety days last year, visiting over fifty different churches, some more than once, in an effort to follow the apostle's example of "confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith" (Acts 14:22), for along with Paul and Ted Hard and Boyce Spooner, "besides those things that are without [orphans, hospitals, relief, schools, etc.] there is that which presseth upon us daily, anxiety for all the churches" (2 Cor. 11:28).
No, we do not believe that the work of missions is some personal project upon which we can make a personal report. The work of missions is the establishment of the church.
Should we settle down, in the words of the questioner, to organize or work to establish one local churchone mere project, one orphanage? It is a fair question and one that as people interested in missions we should all ask. I believe the answer is no. However successful one congregation or one project may appear, the question should be asked by every minister and Christian teacher of his own work or any work to which he or his people give their support: Does this contribute to the building of the body of Christ, the church catholic?
It is the church against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. Orphanages, hospitals, leper colonies, and relief projects which are not conducted and staffed by true Christians, members of the body of Christ, cannot claim for themselves protection against the gates of hell nor be expected to show forth the "manifold wisdom of God" (Eph. 3:10).
The son of missionary parents, the Rev. Bruce F. Hunt spent his life chiefly in foreign missions (especially in Korea) beginning in 1928. He was a founding member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1936, and retired from active missionary service in 1976, after more than forty years on the mission field. At the onset of World War II he was for a time imprisoned in Manchuria for his open opposition to the government's attempt to force emperor worship on the Korean-speaking Christians among whom he labored. See his gripping autobiographical volume For a Testimony, available from the Committee for the Historian. This article appeared in New Horizons in three parts beginning March 2002.