The Salvation War of 2020
by Captain Thom
–– I write to you today from a sort of exile; a place of
watching and waiting. For many of us previously on the front
lines, these past 10 years we have seen a season of subverting
retreat, but I write to you in hope and expectation of revival
and much grace; that the Lord’s Kingdom will come – His will
be done in this new year.
As I look in retrospect to the Salvation War of 2020,
we took casualties, probably more than at any time in our
history. And while these weaknesses became more evident in
2020 due to heightened circumstance of that year, I fear we
were moving in that direction for almost a decade before. Now,
a decade later, with 2020 vision, we realize the toll it has
taken – or at least some of us do.
One could argue the economic and cultural circumstance gave
permission to leaders who further separated the preaching of
the gospel from meeting human need. Reconnecting the two may
prove the most difficult task ahead.
There was special attention given to any one of us who spoke
out against the false teachings of economic salvation and the
impulse to balance power, yet I maintain whereas
equality of opportunity is Biblical, equality of outcome is a
Many in our ranks looked to the world’s ideas and ideologies
as a new standard instead of Christ,
bending to the world’s judgement
hopes of being accepted. We were taught by example to stop
exposing flaws in other worldviews – some were shamed into
recording taped confessions to that end. We abandoned
objective truth for poetic truth, and before long it destroyed
We got into the habit of reacting
with an overtly legal social desirability bias; responding to
culture with consideration of how our position would be
interpreted rather than replying truthfully.
“subjugation of the world to the sway of the Lord” was all but
abandoned; replaced by
idea that Christians need to borrow from secular ideologies to
be better Christians. This became the new normal.
I trust you know this… that your conviction is true.
If 2030 will see revival,
we must get back to the “covenant” concept as the key to
understanding the Bible and history and the basis of Christian
living. We must rediscover the purpose of our movement and
one of our most distinctive features; the spirit of attack –
desperate unflinching assault on the strongholds of evil.
the word “aggressive” to our vocabulary, and be willing to
stand alone, grasping the standard even in death.
Whatever treaties may have been signed, I urge you dear
friend, keep advancing.
There’s still plenty of fighting to be done. Go! Win the world
thought, borrowed from Catherine Bramwell-Booth’s
“Trumpets of the Lord” reads in quotation: “Never must
we lose sight of the fact that the spirit of attack is
one of the distinctive features of The Salvation Army.
Was it not, in fact, this that brought the Army into
existence? There were already churches and chapels and
mission halls. There was probably more religious
observance than now, an abundance of preaching, any
amount of routine business of what is called Christian
service. That which
was lacking – that which gave birth to the Army – was
desperate unflinching assaults on the strongholds of
Frederick Booth-Tucker’s idea comes from “Life of
Catherine Booth, Vol. 2” and reads: “Those who are led
in the fight must be prepared to see their comrades
fall, and run as well as the enemy, and must be
willing to stand alone, if need be, grasping the
standard even in death.”
The original quote from George Scott Railton is from
“Heathen England”: “Whatever treaties may be signed or
broken, we shall keep advancing.”