Saturday, 16 November 2013

Onward Christian Soldiers

From my childhood hymn book *

I used to go every month and hear Colin Urquart speak in the "Victory In Jesus" meetings held in churches in Surrey and Sussex and open to all . They would be in Baptist Chapels, Anglican churches and Roman Catholic churches. I loved them best in Worth Abbey, as the modern chapel there was in the round, the acoustics good , and everyone could see. 
One never forgets preaching that is really good. My husband tells of being taken, as a teenager  to hear Martin Lloyd Jones. and Marilyn our Envoy editor remarked at home group that she used to go and hear David Watson in York. I remember John Wimber in the The Brighton Conference Centre, and Hudson Pope in the Church Institute Hull (c 1958). 

Colin Urquart used to annoy me when he said Are you all awake. We all were, and there  seemed like thousands of us. Talking of hymns and Christian songs Colin Urquart once said 
that many of the old hymns had not lost their anointing.  

according to my Saturday Times today 
 Shine Jesus Shine  , 
almost certainly the most well-known and widely used of the evangelical worship songs which are replacing traditional hymns is 25 years old. Loved and loathed in equal measure, the strong reactions which it continues to prevoke go to the heart of the "worship wars " which rage in congregations and across denominations throughout the land and point to why what is sung in churches  arouses much more passion that what is prayed or preached.

If that is the perception of the learned Principal of St Marys College , University of St Andrews, I suggest that the time has certainly come when we start raging some spiritual warfare  , beginning with the non u Onward Christian Soldiers.  

We are getting our Battle Orders in Filey, and after hearing Rev Jeff Hattan and Rev Liz Kitching  talking about persecution against Christians in Syria, Laos, Thailand and the Phillippines(yes ) I dont personally care what we sing ,as long as we are worshipping, and worshipping our triune God . 

 Shine Jesus Shine will do for me, (I was at its first outing in 1988 at Minehead Spring Harvest. )
I don't care if we Come Holy Ghost our hearts inspire , either , remembered from my confirmation in 1959 at the now demolished St Saviours Hull, I didnt even understand the words until I was inspired around 1975 when my head knowledge moved to my heart.

(I am very disappointed that Cliff has removed the Christ from Christmas and put himself there. Just a comment after seeing his advert for his new album of songs)

*The Little Picture Hymn Book, illustrations by Cecily Mary Barker first pub 1933

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