Christian Internationalism, Or The New Aspect Of Christian Missions. -- By: Leonard V. Buschman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 085:339 (Jul 1928)
Article: Christian Internationalism, Or The New Aspect Of Christian Missions.
Author: Leonard V. Buschman


Christian Internationalism, Or The New Aspect Of Christian Missions.1

Leonard V. Buschman

Within the last few years our whole foreign mission work has taken on a new aspect. In many quarters earnest Christian people who hitherto have been warm supporters of the mission work of our churches have asked in all seriousness whether the work ought to be continued. Japan, China and Turkey have laid rather serious limitations upon the work of educational missions so that even some of the missionaries on the field are advocating the abandonment of the work. Political leaders in several of our mission fields such as China and Mexico are insisting that the majority of the members on the various school boards be nationals of their own countries and that the chief administrator be a national. In other words there has been a distinct suspicion that the mission work has not always been carried on for the fullest advantage of the peoples of those various countries. Nationals in these various countries have felt that while we profess world brotherhood and a religion of the Golden Rule we are in reality avowed converts to the Rule of Gold.

There are possibly five reasons why this changed attitude towards the overseas work of the church has arisen.

The first is that the conception of the white man’s superiority is now an exploded theory. Imagine, if you can, the impressions that were first made on a black man living in the heart of Africa when the white missionary came to his village. He had never seen a white man before. In addition to his different appearance he created consternation because he could do so many wonderful things. He had so many wonderful possessions. For instance, he had a small article that ticked as though it were alive. The missionary called it a “watch” and

he told you that it kept “time.” Perhaps he had a radio and by manipulating a few knobs on a shiny instrument board he soon brought music and men’s voices out of a small horn. He asked the native to take his word for it that the people whose voices he heard were in Cape Town over 1,000 miles away. This strange white man also could point an iron rod at a deer a half mile away and then by making a loud noise with the iron rod could bring the deer down dead in his tracks. He had a motorcycle and he could travel as fast over the game trails as the swift antelope. Imagine his consternation when he saw the first airplane come swooping out of the sky with a great roar and land near the mission compound. The white men in the airplane spoke the same language as the missionary- Well, what is the natural impression as the native witnessed all these marvelous things? Simply...

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