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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


Your post about "war imagery" taken out of hymns is one I had not thought of.

Yes, it’s the liberal brand of legalism: Though shalt not use military language, lest you arouse violent urges in your singers. Maybe that is why the song “We are marching in the light of God’ sometimes gets sung as: “We are walking in the light of God”. Marching suggests military.

I am familiar with your list of prohibitions, Pilgrim. Sometimes I function in that context. I’ll paste one of my subtle attempts at confronting the “paranoia” over military imagery: At first I was criticized for using it here, but I think it worked in the end. (see my footnote)

PLEASE read this through the eyes of one who THINKS “politically correct”:

A Mighty Trojan Horse

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay [or a mighty Trojan horse] to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." 2 Cor. 4:7

The Trojan horse may seem like odd imagery for God’s calling. I see it as helpful. Let me explain it. In Greek mythology, a hollow wooden horse filled with Greek soldiers was left at the gates of Troy. The Trojans assumed it was a gift and dragged it inside. During the night the soldiers climbed out and defeated Troy. We are like the Trojan horse in that we carry within the force of Christ’s nature and presence. We live and move among people who see us outwardly and have no idea what’s inside. When the door opens they see what’s there. They see an all-surpassing power that they know must surely come from God. It can’t come from the “horse”. The horse, after all, isn’t much. Indeed, it is powerless in itself.

This does not suggest a life of powerlessness and passivity, as in “fear of initiative, unquestioning lethargy, or compliance to a group ego”2. That kind of passivity merely empowers controllers, and is, in fact, the breeding ground of totalitarianism. That kind of passivity is a “denial of human destiny as appointed by God”3. It is really a failure to embrace our calling as Trojan horses in the midst of an evil world.

The Trojan horse is the very opposite of passivity. It is clever and effective strategy. The Armour of God passage in Ephesians 6:10-17 describes this clever strategy. The various armour parts listed there enclose the entire body, and together they form our defense. The suit consists of the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The imagery suggests armour parts for the body’s exterior, but it is obvious that they function internally. These are precisely the spiritual blessings endowed to us through Christ’s indwelling. They are embodied in Christ himself. In that sense, Christ is truly the “all-surpassing” power within.

An important observation is in order: The Armour of God passage warns us not to fight against “flesh and blood people”. People are not our real enemy or the powers opposing us. Our real adversary is comprised of spiritual forces at work within us and without us. Only the spiritual weapons in Christ can help us overcome them. It is our God-given duty to apply this armour in our character formation. 4

1. The use of military imagery occurs frequently in Scripture. Avoiding those references because of (justifiable) aversion to violence strips God’s people of key spiritual realities. It is better to show how to apply them as intended spiritually. We are, after all, in a monstrous battle of spiritual forces.

4. The idea here is to combat the effects of sin and evil by using the endowments given us through the Spirit.


 2012/1/27 9:30Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Thank you for that, roadsign.

Essentially, the armor of God is the Lord Jesus, isn't it?

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Helmet of Salvation - He is our salvation
Breastplate of Righteousness - He is our Righteousness
Sword of the Spirit - He is the Sword, the Word.
Shoes of Peace - He is our Peace
Loins gird with Truth - He is the Truth

etc, etc.


 2012/1/27 10:16Profile


HI guys, Im with Krispy, I thought this was gonna be a strange thread? Kinda started out defending myself:) Thought Krispy was having a go at me :) I have been critisised for the name of my website, but I never thought for a second on changing the name of it. Last March I posted this piece..........

With the High praises of God in our mouth !
Is it just me or do we not sing songs of victory any more? There is so much joy in declaring the victory of Jesus. I think it will be hard for you to read the hymns below and not touch some of the glory of God

Gird up your Armour

The Lord has given a land of good things
I will press in and make them mine
I'll know His power, I'll know His glory
And in His kingdom I will shine

With the high praises of God in our mouth
And a two-edged sword in our hand
We'll march right on to the victory side
Right into Canaan's land

Gird up your armour, ye sons of Zion
Gird up your armour, let's go to war
We'll win the battle with great rejoicing
And so we'll praise Him more and more

We'll bind their kings in chains and fetters
We'll bind their nobles tight in iron
To execute God's written judgement
March on to glory, sons of Zion!

Stand up, Stand up for Jesus

1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
his army shall he lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.

2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict,
in this his glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.

3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.

4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil
a crown of life shall be;
they with the King of Glory
shall reign eternally.

Onward Christian Soldiers !

1. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.

2. At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.

3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.

5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
this through countless ages men and angels sing.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:His day is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

And so brothers and sisters, whatever battle you face today, whatever trial has beset you, whatever valley you are passing through, remember that your God is with you and goes before you and you follow with the "high praises of God in our mouth And a two-edged sword in our hand"
Soldiers of the Cross arise!!!! Frank

 2012/1/27 10:22

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


I have always liked the name, Frank.

It rouses the troops!! Reminds us who we are.


 2012/1/27 10:36Profile


"It rouses the troops!! Reminds us who we are."

I like that Pilgrim :) ....God bless you Frank

 2012/1/27 15:23

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


Appolus, shame on you for posting those hymns! Don't you know that they should be censored - I mean, ARE censored!! I never dreamed I'd see the day when these innocent old favorites hymns (and many more) would become so polemic.

Even this Sunday School song raised a dispute when I used it once:

Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

Many mighty men are lost,
Daring not to stand,
Who for God had been a host
By joining Daniel’s band.

Many giants, great and tall,
Stalking through the land,
Headlong to the earth would fall,
If met by Daniel’s band.

Hold the Gospel banner high!
On to vict’ry grand!
Satan and his hosts defy,
And shout for Daniel’s band.



 2012/1/27 16:05Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


Essentially, the armor of God is the Lord Jesus, isn't it?

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Yes, Pilgrim, I discovered this through my personal study of Ephesians. It was an amazing “aha” moment. It was an entirely new way to read scripture.

Imagine those Christian readers who are disturbed by the use of military imagery. They have that hurdle to overcome before they can receive the rest of my reading. I admit, I perspired over that, and prayed my way through it – in view of the obstacles it would face.



 2012/1/27 16:42Profile


Hey sister Diane,

Strangely I feel no shame, perhaps I am shameless :) On a serious note, when I posted that last year it was because of the concern that I had that in the many churches that I had visited, that the victory songs seem to have disappeared. There is something very powerful about talking about, singing about, giving praise about, praying about victory in Jesus. Victory over hell and death, victory over sin and the grave. As you begin to shout this out in your spirit or in song or in discussion then the Spirit of God begins to rise in your own spirit. I imagine that our enemy hates all such talk. Lets remind him as often as possible that he is defeated, Christ is victorious and He reigns on High and that at some point soon, every knee is gonna bow, whether in heaven above or on earth below or on the powers below the earth and every tongue is gonna confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!!!!! .........bro Frank

 2012/1/27 17:33

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


Since we're posting battle hymns, have you heard this one:

Never heard it sung in church before.

"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Tim. 2:4).

Paul Frederick West

 2012/1/27 21:47Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


Yes, "Sound the Battle Cry", a favorite hymn in bygone days. I've posted the words here.

I've also posted "A Mighty Fortress" by Martin Luther. It does NOT have military imagery but you see clear reference to the devil and also the spiritual armor. I think this hymn is superior in its theological clarity and its focus on God as the shield and victor.

Sound the battle cry! See, the foe is nigh;
Raise the standard high for the Lord;
Gird your armor on, stand firm every one;
Rest your cause upon His holy Word.

Rouse, then, soldiers, rally round the banner,
Ready, steady, pass the word along;
Onward, forward, shout aloud Hosanna!
Christ is Captain of the mighty throng.

Strong to meet the foe, marching on we go,
While our cause we know, must prevail;
Shield and banner bright, gleaming in the light,
Battling for the right we ne’er can fail.

O! Thou God of all, hear us when we call,
Help us one and all by Thy grace;
When the battle’s done, and the vict’ry’s won,
May we wear the crown before Thy face.


A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.


 2012/1/27 22:01Profile

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