Thursday, April 27, 2006

Revised Resolutions

Last night I shared my embryonic resolutions with a couple of good friends and the result was that maybe I need to expand these into a kind of personal manifesto. The suggestion was that they are maybe too extreme (and maybe a little sentimental) and therefore of little practical use. Targets have to be achievable.

However - there is a part of me that disagrees, I want to be the extremist's extremist!

Why? To identify with the lost? To prove my love for Christ? To rise above reproach from those who criticise? Possibly all of these things but most of all because I want everyone to know that heart and soul I am a slave of God in The Salvation Army forever and completely.

When I come back from Roots I will post this manifesto and invite those so minded to sign up!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bill & his resolutions

Found myself walking from Kennington Oval to the Elephant & Castle on Monday and went past 176 Kennington Park Road - this is the building where William Booth served as a pawnbroker when he moved to London in 1849. As I looked up at the attic window where he had his lodgings I thought of the resolutions that he wrote in that attic room on 6th December 1849. (See below)


I do promise - my God helping -

1st That I will rise every morning sufficiently early (say 20 minutes before seven o'clock) to wash, dress, and have a few minutes, not less than 5, in private prayer.

2ndly That I will as much as possible avoid all that babbling and idle talking in which I have lately so sinfully indulged.

3rd That I will endeavour in my conduct and deportment before the world and my fellow servants especially to conduct myself as a humble, meek, and zealous follower of the bleeding Lamb, and by serious conversion and warning endeavour to lead them to think of their immortal souls.

4thly That I will not read less than 4 chapters in God's word every day.

5thly That I will strive to live closer to God, and to seek after holiness of heart, and leave providential events with God.

6thly That I will read this over every day or at least twice a week. God help me, enable me to cultivate a spirit of self denial and to yield myself a prisoner of love to the Redeemer of the world.


I feel my own weakness and without God's help I shall not keep these resolutions a day. The Lord have mercy upon my guilty soul.

I claim the Blood
Yes, oh Yes,
Jesus died for me.

On Friday I am off to Roots - haven't been to Roots for 6 years but I'm going this year to hear Steve Court and Danielle - it's cheaper than going to Canada!

I have been working (in prayer) on my own resolutions over the last couple of weeks and will share them here once I am certain that they are off God. I will seek confirmation during Roots.

This is not legalism, this is not an attempt at trying to get God to bless me - this is a response to the blessing that he has already given me! This is setting parameters for his holiness in my life, the establishment of what the Private Sector calls key performance indicators - a means by which I can judge me effectiveness and development.

Love and prayers


Saturday, April 22, 2006

What's my theological outlook?

Thanks to Andrew Clark at Army Renewal for the following test

Try it out and see where you stand:

I scored as an "Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan." (But then I knew that!)

"You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists."

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 100%
Reformed Evangelical 82%
Fundamentalist 82%
Neo orthodox 71%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 57%
Emergent/Postmodern 50%
Classical Liberal 43%
Modern Liberal 29%
Roman Catholic 14%

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Genuine Holiness and 'Heathen England'

For the definite article when it comes to Holiness check out the 1922 Doctrine Book Chapter 10 “Entire Sanctification” you can download a PDF file from my web site Blood and Fire .

Without a doubt we lost the thread in the fifties and sixties if you want to find the real deal you must go back before the war.

You can also find the first five chapters of ‘Heathen England’ here, George Scott Railton’s classic and extremely rare eye witness account of The Army’s birth. Chapters 6-15 to follow (as soon as I can transcribe them into electronic format).

Download the Holiness PDF and experience holiness, preach holiness, restore holiness to our movement.

The rediscovery of holiness will be the salvation of The Salvation Army!

Download the 'Heathen England' PDF and see primitive salvationism in all its raw and untreated militancy.

Yours irrepressibly under Christ and over the devil


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Open Air Season

From 'Heathen England' (GSR 1877)

"Look at the crowds who fill the bar of every public-house, with the cold draught from the great swinging doors continually let in by some new-comer! Look at the surging multitude pushing about the pavement, and jamming the entrance of the music hall and the theatre! Count the men and women sitting in the covered yards of brewery taps, perfectly open to the street, before the low tables that are just wide enough for "refreshments" which destroy body and soul! Observe, just as you pass by, the crowds gathered to laugh at the ribald songs and obscene jokes of the street comic or Christy Minstrel! As you pass along, the butcher and cheesemonger of the poor, bustling up and down in front of their shops, will fill your ears with their cheery shouts, as line after line of women gather round them to "Buy, buy, buy," as they are continually exhorted to do. The lusty voice of the costermonger, male or female, who has been at it since the early morning and is not yet hoarse, will greet you in every side street, and the comfortable " All-hot! " of the chestnut and potato men, surrounded by a waiting group, will make an impression on your memory. ... God help The Salvation Army still to preach, and always to preach while the millions are streaming into hell! "

Yours irrepressibly under Christ and over the devil!


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Risen indeed?

He is risen!

Is he?

Is he risen indeed?

If you have an annual income of £25,000 you are in the top 2% richest people in the world. There are 6 Billion people poorer than you. If you have an annual income of £10,000 you are in the top 10% richest people in the world. There are 5.3 Billion people poorer than you. If you have an annual income of £4,000 you are in the top 14% richest people in the world. There are 5 billion people poorer than you.

Britons gambled £50 billion last year - more than the state spent on defence and transport combined. That represents more than £800 for every man, woman and child and is a seven-fold increase on the total gambled in 2001. That’s £3,200 for a family of 4 – If you had an annual income of £3,200 you would be in the top 14% of people in the world. There would be 5 billion people poorer than you.

Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than 75 pence a day

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined.

20% of the population in the developed nations, consume 86% of the world’s goods

A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and none of these 12 percent do not live in the developing World.

Of the 1.9 billion children on the planet 400 million do not have access to safe water and 640 million are homeless.

Last year Europeans spent £5 billion on ice cream and £45 billion on alcoholic drinks.

12 Million children a year die before reaching 5, mostly from preventable diseases and starvation (4 times the number of Tsunami victims per month).

In the UK, children begin to worry about being too fat by the age of 8.

1,000,000 Children work in the Asian sex trade.

1,000,000 children worldwide have been born HIV-positive.

By age 15, between 20-25 per cent of British children have tried solvents or other drugs.

Unless Christ lives in me, unless I embrace poverty to feed the hungry, unless I surrender all to save the lost, unless I live a life of unrestrained and extreme service to those who have nothing, unless I stand in the firing line for those who are abused and victimised and rescue them - then Christ remains in the tomb and as for me…

I see my children battle with their misery,
I see the poor with nothing left to spend,
I see their torment and their painful tragedy
I see them all and wonder who to send?

I see the blind and feel their disability,
I see the lonely looking for a friend,
I see the bound and feel their loss of liberty,
I see them all and wonder who to send?

I see the starving looking for a crumb to eat.
I see the homeless trying to defend
His cardboard house against the rain and sleet,
I see them all and wonder who to send?

I see the nations fighting when there could be peace
Pushed on by greed that seems to have no end.
I see their envy and their lust for land increase
I see it all and wonder who to send?

I see poor countries held by needless poverty
I see rich lands on whom they should depend
Press on regardless of their neighbour's misery
I see it all and wonder who to send?

I see the weak held low by harmful frailty
Beneath their heavy loads I watch them bend
I see the strong ignore their fearful insecurity
I see it all and wonder who to send?

I see my children trapped by immorality
Into the dark I watch their hopes descend
I see their thrill and their impending misery
I see it all and wonder who to send?

I see the unloved child with nowhere else to go
Get in the car he hopes is driven by a friend
He risks abuse or death to get out of the snow
I see it all and wonder who to send?

I see my word unheard or even worse passed by
The little left I see turned on its end.
I see the truth dressed up and dancing like a lie
I see it all and wonder who to send?

I see eternal life without the light of me,
I see the hearts my people failed to mend,
I see their wealth and shameless apathy
Then I see hell and wonder who to send?

Yours irrepressibly under Christ and over the devil


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Along with many others I receive a twice monthly prayer newsletter put together by Paul du Plessis in his role as Commissioner for World Evangelisation

‘Operation Desert Rose’ focuses on the Middle East and North Africa.

One quick story shared by Paul with our congregation at St Mary Cray on Good Friday.

An African from Mali visiting Sierra Leone was saved (Hallelujah!) and was encouraged to return to Mali and establish a congregation in his home country. This he did – in fact he established two congregations! Then he had a dream where his Mother visited him and told her that she had seen her son marching with a group of uniformed people playing tambourines, brass instruments and drums and carrying flags. Never having heard of TSA the man entered the words ‘tambourine’, ‘flag’ , ‘uniform’ and ‘brass band’ in Google and was taken to the War College website in Vancouver! As a result the man from Mali has made contact with TSA - Hallelujah!

“To the beat of Army drums, make known
That the Saviour-King has sin o'erthrown;
Tell the rich and poor, the sad and lone,
Till his power to everyone is shown.
Tell it to the people you may meet,
Tell it in the hall and in the street;
Let this banner be unfurled:
Christ for the whole wide world.”
Yours irrepressibly under Christ and over the devil!


Sunday, April 09, 2006

What a 48 hours!

First of all a superb day on Friday at the Training College – watch this space!

Then a posting on my blog from my ‘atheist’ son Ben saying that he’d rather have an insane Father who ‘walks the walk’ than a hypocrite.

Then Saturday night…

Those who couldn’t be there you have just got to check out the welcome to, and dedication of, General Shaw Clifton at

If you haven’t got time to see the whole meeting (which would be a shame) then make sure you get part 3 and jump to 34 minutes in – if you’re really pushed for time then go to 42 minutes and pick up on the General’s vision. This is heavy, powerful, militant – absolutely DELIGHTFUL stuff! Be warned this is an Ezra moment!

Then jump to part 4 and catch the congregation singing all 7 verses of Boundless Salvation! Watch the General grab the flag and wave it over the congegation, this is Churchillian stuff - some people will hate it but who cares? - what it says to me is "Comrades I love the Army and this is God's moment for us"

However the best thing to do would be to see the whole thing parts 1 through 4 and then you’ll catch the Chief and Commissioner Helen too who were also quite exceptional.

With apologies to Shakespeare "Cry God for Shaw, The Salvation Army and St George * and let slip the dogs of war!"

Comrades I think we are in for a good few years – Hallelujah!

The revival is coming, the revival is coming!!! More corporate repentance, more fasting, more pragmatic holiness, more brokeness, more humility, more aggressive uncompromising Christianity and we'll be there! Send the fire!

Energetic love and urgent prayers


*George Scott Railton - The patron Saint of Salvationism!

Friday, April 07, 2006

This is the day!

Today is the day that seals my fate!

I am at the William Booth College in London for my reacceptance assessment conference.

I slept well last night, woke early and feel a wonderful sense of peace surrounding me.

I feel relaxed (maybe even excited) about today.

I got the results of my psychometric test yesterday - very encouraging!

Whatever happens, whatever the outcome I know with absolute certainty that...

"my all is in the Master's hand for him to bless and break
beyond the brook his winepress stands and thence my way I take
resolved the whole of love's demands to give for his dear sake!"

Abiding in his hands...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Original Primitive Salvationism!

I think I have found the first ever use of the term ‘primitive Salvationism’ and it is used (not surprisingly) in reference to GSR!

Taken from Chapter 14, page 137 of ‘Commissioner Railton’ written by Eileen Douglas and Mildred Duff and published in 1920 by The Salvation Army (well worth reading if you can get a copy). The quote says:

“To-day we understand the wonderful provision made by God for thus bringing the very essentials of primitive Salvationism to labourers in far-off corners of the earth. He sent them one who, but, for the disability of his health, would never have been free to stay long weeks in their midst, unhampered by any set programme, and living out The Salvation Army before their eyes. This explains the marvellous hold Railton had on the hearts of thousands of Officers and Salvationists in all parts of the world. He came to them alone, unfettered by previously prepared lists of' engagements. He brought to them his wealth of experience, his boundless energy, his sympathy, his humility, and the reverent love he always showed for those struggling with difficulties. 'He saw their side only, and he left behind him a fleeting but wonderful vision of what a consecrated life can mean on earth. Truly, he was an apostle, 'a man sent from God, whose name was Railton.'

During this period in Railton’s life he was out of favour with the powers that be and given free rein to travel the world as he saw fit. What took me by the throat when I read this paragraph was the superb definition of PS that comes later in the quote:

“Living out The Salvation Army before their eyes” and later still “a wonderful vision of what a consecrated life can mean on earth.”

Friends - what a nugget this is! Take these two lines together and you have a definitive description of primitive Salvationism in its original uncluttered state – what it is it?

“To live out The Salvation Army before there eyes, to show them what a consecrated life can mean on earth!”

This discovery hit me with all the force of a twenty ton truck, flattened me, challenged me, encouraged me, delighted me and pumped me up beyond measure.

What better wind could I have in my sails as I make my way tomorrow to Denmark Hill and the future!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What is all the fuss about? - The world for Christ or bust!

There are several debates ongoing in blogland at the moment all of which seem (to me) to be strands of an overall theme.

Gordon Cotterill at discusses the merits of mission/evangelism and the use of phrases such as ‘aggressive Christianity”. Carol Young at warns against the rising fashion in salvation by process rather than by crisis. Primitive Salvationism at discusses the possibility of schism in The Salvation Army. Matt Clifton at has started to be more strident in exposing the folly of blaming all decline on a lack of cultural relevance and longs for another Pentecost Andrew Clark at (in spite of the arrival of a new daughter) recounts the 1960’s and 1970’s renewal movement so brutally crushed at the time and Steve Court deals with 8 myths of PS at

I think that it is time to tie all of these threads together into one central debate. I make no apology for sounding arrogant as what I am about to say does not flow from personal opinion but from the facts.

All Salvationists voluntarily signed their articles of war and publicly declared that they ‘believed’ in the SA doctrines. The only thing you can accuse a Primitive Salvationist of doing is actually attempting to live their lives as if their Articles of War were meaningful and the Doctrines real.

I do not consider myself an extremist I consider myself a Salvationist. When I say the things I say, do the things I do, live the life I live - all I am doing is trying to be a proper Salvationist. The problem we face in today’s western SA is that a genuine Salvationist appears fanatical because his/her life is shown up against a background of inactive, apathetic, materialistic, wealthy. Over-fed, card carrying Salvation Army club members.

The truth is that a Salvationist by definition is a fanatical, militant, aggressive, poverty-embracing, holy-living soldier of Christ who has swapped a life of ‘ease and worldly scheming’ for a life which is totally given over to preaching the gospel, loving the unlovable, fighting for social justice, protecting the vulnerable and doing all of these things in a Salvation Army context. They see themselves as ‘chosen to be” soldiers, living, sleeping, eating and breathing The Salvation Army and its ongoing mission. They have no time of their own, no money of their own and no interests outside of the Salvation War. They are single minded, determined, fearless, reckless, persecuted, misunderstood and always fruitful.

There should be no debate.

Salvationists should simply be called to account, either they live up to the covenant requirements of their Articles of War and act as though Doctrines 10 and 11 were true or they go and join a church.

We are not a church, nor are we a club, nor are we a humanitarian social care organisation – we are an Army and we are at war and we will fight until the war is won or until we fall at our posts.

My sentiments, and surely those of all Salvationists, match those of Booth-Tucker simply and wonderfully stated in Song No. 780.

They bid me choose an easier path, and seek a lighter cross;
Thy bid me mingle with Heaven's gold a little of earth's dross;
They bid me, but in vain, once more the world's illusions try;
I cannot leave the dear old flag, 'twere better far to die.

They say the fighting is too hard, my strength of small avail,
When foes beset and friends are fled, my faith must surely fail.
But, O how can I quit my post while millions sin-bound lie?
I cannot leave the dear old flag, 'twere better far to die.

They say I can a Christian be, and serve God quite as well,
And reach Heaven just as surely by the music of church bell;
But, O the drum and clarion call of band make my pulse fly!
I cannot leave the dear old flag, ‘twere better far to die.

I answer, life is fleeting fast, I cannot, cannot wait;
For me my comrades beckoning stand beyond the pearly gate;
I hear their hallelujahs grand, I hear their battle cry:
O do not leave the dear old flag, ‘twere better far to die!
Love and prayers Andrew