Notes from Norman

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His Holy Commission

by Norman P. Grubb

But—I say this in passing, brothers and sisters—that’s why I am always so dead terrified of this professionalism. I am so dead terrified of us missions. I’m terrified of the W.E.C. I’m terrified of the T.E.A.M. I’m terrified of the whole lot because we go dead in no time at all with organization. You overload yourselves with professionalism, and you become people who are appointed by a mission, paid so much by them, told to do so many years of duty, and retire at such and such an age, and then go to heaven as quick as you can. And the thing becomes professionalism instead of a holy calling. Somehow or other, we who are in missions have to keep elbow-free and put our elbows in the committee members. Shove your elbows into your Board members and clear them out of the way. Try that! Get your secretaries and directors out of the way so that you can be free to follow. You’re not a profession. I wonder if anybody of us will ever get truly free until they die on that.

Now some of you here don’t truly follow God through because you are afraid of your denomination. That’s a fact. There are some of you here who don’t truly follow all the truth you know because your denomination would kick you out. There are some of you who are afraid to move because you might lose your status, or your salary, or something. You’re bound! I wonder whether any of us will ever get free until something happens in our lives in which, in spirit, we are free to follow Jesus whether every mission in the world is against us. That doesn’t make us disloyal. It makes you truly loyal in the end. But loyal with limitations, not unlimitedly loyal. You’re only unlimitedly loyal to One. You’re limitedly loyal to other people.

A deadly professionalism comes into the church of Christ, and I assure you that that’s what kills every denomination one by one, one by one—a deadly professionalism. It becomes a paid business—under its laws and rules. I say, burn every book of rules we have. We’re just bringing out a new “Principles and Practices.” I’ve told the mission already the best thing to do is to chuck it into the wastepaper basket as soon as you get it, and forget all about it. This Word of God is the only principles and practices worth having. And the only One to order it is the One inside.

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “Saviourhood”