Friday, March 14, 2008

One of the blessings of blogging is that it provides us with an opportunity to make ourselves accountable. We say things in our blogs and our words go around the world! People create an impression of the writer based upon what they read and expect them to behave in a certain way.

In June 2006 I published what I called a ‘holiness manifesto’ – a series of resolutions concerning how I would live my life. The manifesto was a genuine response to spiritual conviction.

Sadly, I have fallen well short of my self imposed standards, however, as recently stated here, the conviction that created those resolutions has not gone away but intensified.

I have carefully and prayerfully reviewed my manifesto and publish the revised version here. I ask those who know me to make me accountable by challenging me if I appear to live outside of these parameters.

I believe that contemporary western Salvationists are generally guilty of Achan’s sin (Joshua 7) in that we have “taken some of the devoted things; we have stolen, we have lied, we have put them with our own possessions.” As a consequence of this we “cannot stand against our enemies; we turn our backs and run because we have been made liable to destruction.” As we seek and pray for revival I believe that God’s response is very clear to those who are willing to hear – “I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.”

Historically, holiness was the source of our phenomenal success and in the future it will be so.

Thanks to those challenges and words of encouragement that followed my last posting - thank you for your prayers and your love. Let us constantly pray for each other that God might give us the ability to see and hear him, the discernment and knowledge to decipher what he is saying and the courage to obey – Amen!

My Personal Holiness Manifesto

  • Starting each day with God, I will confess my sins, thank him, intercede for others, seek his will and absorb his grace.
  • I will adopt a simple diet and drink only water.
  • I will not waste my words or abuse my freedom in Christ.
  • I will not neglect my family.
  • I will remember that rest is a command and obey it.
  • I will use the minimum of natural resources.
  • I will fight for social justice.
  • I will shop ethically.
  • I will hate sin but adamantly refuse to hate the sinner.
  • I will review each day in prayer and record my thoughts in a journal.

These resolutions are not a legalistic attempt to win God’s favour or earn salvation but reflect a heartfelt compulsion to ensure that my lifestyle reflects my faith.

Love and prayers


Monday, March 03, 2008

Seriously under conviction!

I feel under conviction – I don’t think I can remember feeling under as much conviction since my conversion. I feel compelled to repeatedly turn to those parts of the bible that seem to have become unfashionable (or perhaps unpalatable). I mean the sections that deal with things like worldliness, judgement, hell, lifestyle, social justice, true fasting, hypocrisy, practical compassion and self sacrifice. At the same time I am becoming more and more familiar with the lifestyles and practical self sacrifice of the Army’s founders (those who joined the battle prior to 1880)

A copy of O&R’s for Field Officers (1908) recently came into my possession and I was wondering if it would be possible to live my life as I would have done if I had been an Officer serving then. I also recently read the life story of Captain Ted Irons (converted at the age of 20 in 1876 and died in a drowning accident in 1878) it is almost impossible to comprehend just how much God did in this man’s life in just two years! I’m also re-reading Watson’s ‘Soldier Saint’ which (after the bible) is the most challenging read that I can find.

There is an irresistible pull towards actually trying to make the sacrifice that the early SA Pioneers made and an irrepressible conviction that their absolute single vision and un-distracted passion was the primary reason for their miraculous success.

All of this, repeatedly, leads me to the inescapable conclusion that these old and almost forgotten ways (I’m talking about spirit not necessarily methodology) are the conditions we must meet if we are to experience revival.

I remain under conviction, back firmly against the wall and in a corner that seems to become tighter by the day – God is pushing for an answer and as yet I am still slightly confused. I have prayed and prayed and asked for someone that I could talk to but the answer I get is “all you need is your knowledge of the past, the evidence of your conversion, scriptural truth and one wild and totally ludicrous leap of faith!’

I think I’m close to capitulation if for no other reason than I can’t see any other way out of this dilemma.

Love and prayers