Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
"Christ’s redemption is for the whole of creation!"

Newsletters 
Spring 2004 Issue

Militancy Discarded For Shallower Worship

Well, our task is not to sit back with the knowledge that we've all contributed towards a finished work well done! Rather let such a recent victory as that at Cambridge gladden our hearts and give us extra impetus to 'fight the good fight'. Indeed, let us put in to daily practice the challenge of S. Baring-Gould's immortal hymn - which church folk love to sing; but only within the safety of a church; 'Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before'.

Incidentally, the most recent Anglican hymn book has chosen to alter those latter words so as not to appear militant, even though we are admonished in the prayer book to 'pray for the church militant here on earth", Believe it or not, but the compiler of this new hymnal has had the audacity to alter the words to: 'Onward Christian pilgrims. Christ will be our light. See the heavenly vision breaks upon our sight' The pretext is that modern Christians are opposed to war. Well, I wonder what our friends in the Salvation Army think of that one!

The New Testament scriptures make it abundantly clear that whereas our warfare is not carnal, nor of this world, yet the battle against the forces of evil is one that each Christian is involved in. There are several analogies concerning what a Christian is, and they complement each other, keeping a proper balance. For example, we are not only as sheep (whose tendency is to go astray) - I often think a better analogy would be hares! - but we're equally called to be soldiers trained for spiritual battle against Satan and his legions. Sadly, a modern breed of Christian prefers to bury the head in the sand while the body sways to: 'Shine Jesus, shine' and a hand goes up, reminiscent of: "Please teacher, may I leave the room?"

Well, for myself, I want a far deeper expression of worship than that which talks to Jesus as one might talk to the neighbour next door. I sense I'm old fashioned but give me a service with Charles Wesley’s hymns, a Catholic service of Benediction or, indeed, the simple beauty of Anglican plain-chant any day to a mushy, self orientated, 'clap happy' 'come together!'. You have, of course, every reason to disagree with me; but on, at least, one thing we are united one hundred percent: modern innovations of worship and praise, which do not embrace animal need as well as human, are dishonouring to the Good Shepherd who holds the whole world in His pierced hands. Yes, the gentle Lamb of God as well as the bold Lion of the tribe of Judah!

Go on to Not A Single Bishop Prepared To Be A Vegetarian For Lent!
Return to Spring 2004 Issue

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