Pray with us for a baptism of holiness, a real life encounter with the holying Spirit of God, for hearts forever marked by the likeness of Christ -- as a result of these two weeks together. We want the reality of holy lives not just the theology and history.
Those who will be offering teaching at "Time To Be Holy 458" are: Danielle Strickland, Stephen Court, Young Kim, Janet Munn, Richard Munn, Mel Jones and Karen Shakespeare.
Twenty six dedicated young adult Salvationists will be privileged to participate in a two week incarnational experience in London, England, in a venue that has previously been available only for officers in mid-life -- the International College for Officers. From 21 June through 5 July, 2010, these twenty six delegates from all around the world will discover the reality behind the event title -- "Time To Be Holy 458". With outstanding teaching on Biblical foundations of holiness, the influences on our Salvationist understanding of holiness through John Wesley, Catherine Booth, William Booth, Samuel Logan Brengle and more. Delegates to 458 will also take a serious look at holiness in covenant and in community and will participate in daily small group Bible studies, corporate worship and times of personal meditation and reflection. There will also be opportunity for tours of the sites of London. No doubt some great networking will take place and relationships established between Salvationists of contrasting contexts.
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 1
You may know the old song 'Take Time to be Holy'. We dropped the 'TAKE' from the front end of the title. Why? Urgency. This is not a matter of choice, like you might 'take' a break, or 'take' a load off. It's TIME TO BE HOLY. Today is the day of full salvation. Now is the accepted time.
And with this sense of urgency Salvationist delegates from 20 countries descended on the International Centre for Spiritual Life Development at the Cedars in London, England. These young adults testify to widely varied experiences but common covenant and common urgency to press in to holiness.
After a fortnight of prayer, instruction, worship and reflection, this group will engage in a week-long evangelistic campaign in Denmark before arriving in Sweden for the World Youth Convention.
Under the leadership of Lieut-Colonel Janet Munn, supported by the faculty of the International College for Officers and international guests, this historic gathering promises to ignite what could become a global revival, as contagious delegates affect the hundreds of WYC delegates and, via live-streaming, many thousands of Salvationists scattered around the world.
This is a time for prayer. You can participate in God's moving this season. Tune in for daily updates on the advance. Lieut-Colonel Munn's text for the plenary address is applicable to us all (Ephesians 5:11-16 The Message):
'Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
'Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!
'So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!'
It's TIME TO BE HOLY!
The title 'Time To Be Holy 458' is taken from song 458 in The Song Book of The Salvation Army (UK and US editions):
Take time to be holy
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in him always, and feed on his word;
Make friends of God's children; help those who are weak;
Forgetting in nothing his blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let him be thy guide,
And run not before him whatever betide;
In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in his word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul;
Each thought and each motive beneath his control;
Thus led by his Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
- William Dunn Longstaff' (1822-94)
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 2
'Can you see it?' Delegates from around the world kicked off the first full day - day 2 - at the fabled Salvation Army setting, the Cedars, in London England, faced with this question. On the first day they were confronted with the challenge: 'What time is it?' Minds are being challenged.
But TIME TO BE HOLY is also challenging the heart.
Day two was full. Captain Danielle Strickland led a passionate worship set. Lieut-Colonels Janet Munn and Karen Shakespeare led teaching sessions on 458 Vision and Mission and Holiness in the Bible and the Church. And Lieut-Colonel Munn taught the spiritual discipline 'Pray the Bible' before delegates engaged in an intense, extended session of praying the Bible. Personal reflection preceded the first daily 'Tell Your Story' meeting.
Salvationist Phil Laeger, Australia Southern Territory, wrote the theme song for the fortnight. The song 'Take Time to be Holy' (The Song Book of The Salvation Army, No 458) has received a sensitive treatment by composer Laeger, and the new version of the song includes a new chorus and some adapted words:
Take time to be holy, speak often with God;
Abide in him always, and feed on his Word;
Befriend all God's children; help those who are weak;
And don't forget his promise to be found by those who seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend time in the secret
with Jesus alone; Your eyes fixed on Jesus, like him you will be;
Conformed into his image, so that Jesus may be seen.
Chorus: And the time I spend with you, so sweet, so sweet to be loved and
known by you; and to worship at your feet in your love I am made new,
in your presence I'm complete. So won't you take this life of mine
And I will take the time to be holy
Take time to be holy, be calm in your soul; Each thought and each
motive beneath his control; Then, led by his Spirit to fountains
above, your feet will be made ready in the service of his love.
Words (verses) by William Dunn Longstaff (adapted),
chorus by Phil Laeger, music by Phil Laeger
© 2010 WEATHERED MUSIC
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 3
Delegates from 20 countries pressed in on day 3 of the first-ever international youth holiness institute - TIME TO BE HOLY. Captain Danielle Strickland led an intimate worship session featuring old and brand new songs as Salvationists celebrated the power of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to save and heal and deliver and clean.
ICO Principal Lieut-Colonel Richard Munn fired up for two teaching sessions on holiness. He drilled into delegates the Doctrine 10 standard - Everyone HOLY, every part HOLY, everyday HOLY. And he broke down 1 Peter 1:10-16 with the Salvationists, building faith in each of us for God's purposes and power for Salvationist mission.
Day three saw the start of small groups which are studying Philippians, beginning today in chapter one. Presentations from Zambia, Canada, Denmark, and India delegates rounded out the day's formal schedule.
Delegates are interceding for the World Youth Convention and it looks like God is going to amazing things in Sweden.
Interested Salvationists can participate. On your local front you can gather some mates and pray and break down the word, and believe and repent and consecrate each day during TIME TO BE HOLY. And raisedup.org will live stream the World Youth Convention so that you can run veritable youth councils in your own division. One division is booked with 3000 delegates already!
Get involved - intercede, cheer on, believe, hope, and fight. Remember, Salvationists love to fight, and fight with love.
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 4
Sweet, sweet times with the Holy Spirit marked the worship time. The focus was love, and there was a humble corporate response to Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle's prophetic exhortation, ‘If love leaks out'.* These sessions are stretching endurance for some as 45 minutes are allotted each day for corporate worship.
UKI Divisional Commander Major Melvyn Jones taught on ‘William Booth: Prioritising Holiness', a detailed historical and theological treatment of the subject that informed and increased confidence in this God-kissed movement. Delegates were introduced to Booth the Theologian, Booth the Leader, and Booth the Revivalist. It is typical in the Army that Booth is under-rated, but this session helped correct this mistake.
Major Stephen Court taught on revolutionary holiness, from a Brengle perspective, demonstrating the truths of The Salvation Army position on holiness and the expectation and availability of experiencing full salvation now. Have you been entirely sanctified? If not, today is the best occasion to repent, believe, and consecrate everything to God so that He can neutralise your natural inclination to act selfishly, and saturate you with perfect love.
Small group Bible study dug into Philippians chapter 2 and the example of the Lord Jesus Christ for us in our local corps. International delegates wrestled with concepts of power v. spiritual authority, and the role of humility in holiness.
Rhythms of prayer exercise focussed on listening prayer, a prophetic prayer practice that activates sword drill (the Sword of the Spirit - the only offensive weapon in Ephesians armour of God - being the spoken word of God) for delegates. This is a long-honoured Salvation Army practice modelled amongst primitive salvos and celebrated in songs by Gowans and Larsson. Its teaching at ICO and in other Salvation Army centres has ignited aggressive evangelistic endeavours around the world, most recently this month's Body/Mind/Spirit exhibition in Australia at which ICO-inspired Salvationists operated a prophetic prayer stall in which 253 people were prayed with and 23 were saved. Hallelujah! Anticipate these rhythms undulating through the World Youth Convention and then around the globe.
Delegates from Kenya, Australia, and Denmark gave extensive testimonies of God's intensive work in their lives. How would your testimony sound? Why not share it with some unbelievers today and give them opportunity to join you in the Kingdom of God through repentance and faith?
*‘The Army is so thoroughly organized and disciplined, so wrought into the life of nations, so fortified with valuable properties, and on such a sound financial basis, that it is not likely to perish as an organization, but it will become a spiritually dead thing if love leaks out. Love is the life of The Army. 'If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.' But if love leaks out we shall lose our crown, we shall have a name to live and yet be dead. We may still house the homeless, dole out food to the hungry, punctiliously perform our routine work, but the mighty ministry of the Spirit will no longer be our glory. Our musicians will play meticulously, our Songsters will revel in the artistry of song that tickles the ear, but leaves the heart cold and hard. Our Officers will make broad their phylacteries and hob-nob with mayors and councilmen and be greeted in the market-place, but God will not be among us. We shall still recruit our ranks and supply our Training Garrisons with Cadets from among our own Young People, but we shall cease to be saviours of the lost sheep that have no shepherd.' - Samuel Logan Brengle
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 5
The day started early with personal rations and breakfast (as each day). And corporately it kicked off with some intense worship warfare, supporting the salvo axiom, ‘if you're not sweating, it's not worship.' It culminated with a raucous version of ‘Joy, Joy, Joy' - prophetically calling The Salvation Army into its calling of joy.
Major Mel Jones taught on how the Christian Mission promoted holiness. It turns out that the Christian Mission went so hard on holiness that some people left, concluding that the CM had gone overboard, having weekly meetings called ‘Holiness Meetings', featuring a Holiness Table as the focus in the hall, declaring that, ‘to live a holy life without winning souls is ... impossible,' and asserting, ‘holiness to the Lord is to us a fundamental truth; it stands in the front rank of our doctrines. We inscribe it on our banners.'
If you want to teach doctrine, do it through song. Major Jones broke down the holiness section of the SASB in each of the six editions (noting that the 7th is coming next year). Charles Wesley, Herbert Booth, Albert Orsborn, and William Pearson have the most entries in the current edition. It is worth a read, particularly for devotional purposes (I know good salvos who carry their Salvation Army Song Book with their Bible everywhere they go).
Jones introduced delegates to Salvationist teachers through our history, starting with the pre-salvo teacher Phoebe Palmer, who instructed us as follows: a. bring everything to the altar; b. lay on the altar, which is holy; c. Jesus is the altar. She is very important to appreciate The Salvation Army's understanding of holiness. He took us through Bramwell Booth, Samuel Logan Brengle, Allister Smith, Frederick Coutts, John Larsson, and Shaw Clifton and their teachings.
The evening featured a zonal night in which delegates from three zones - Africa, Europe, and SPEA (South Pacific East Asia) - made presentations about the salvation conflict and culture in their theatres of war. Each was interceded for by the rest of the delegates. This spiritual intercourse inspires, challenges, and edifies.
The climax of the evening was the powerful teaching on Philippians 4:13 by Colonel Birgitte Brekke, the leader of the World Youth Convention, and the appeal that saw most everyone in the room on their faces calling out to God with some massive prayers of faith for God to move in unprecedented fashion in Sweden at the World Youth Convention, and from there, through the world! He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine through His mighty power working in US - the delegates of TIME TO BE HOLY, the delegates of the World Youth Convention, the speakers and leaders of WYC, and, indeed, each and every surrendered soul (do you count yourself among them?). To Him be glory in Christ Jesus and in The Salvation Army throughout all generations, now and forevermore. Amen.
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known;
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter's snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless;
And since he bids me seek his face,
Believe his word, and trust his grace,
I'll cast on him my every care
And wait for thee. sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
May I thy consolation share,
Till from Mount Pisgah's lofty height
I view my home, and at the sight
Put off this robe of flesh, and rise
To gain the everlasting prize,
And realize forever there
The fruits of the sweet hour of prayer.
- W.W. Walford
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 6
For a change of pace, Day 6 featured visits to the birthplace of Methodism - Aldersgate - and the headquarters of primitive Methodism - Wesley's Chapel. Aldersgate is the spiritual birthplace, of course, where John Wesley's heart was strangely warmed during the reading of Luther's preface to the Letter to the Romans. And Wesley's Chapel includes a museum, the church, his house, and his burial site. Delegates stood in Wesley's pulpit from The Foundry, learned of his zeal and genius, and marveled at his legacy. They also prayed in his prayer room, the ‘power house of Methodism'. Wesley was the forerunner of The Salvation Army, a great-heart apostle who was used by God to change the course of history. He is known more for his quadrilateral than his trilateral - Make all you can; Save all you can; Give all you have (it was meant to be 'give all you can' but when he preached it the unction forced him to this radical conclusion that he modelled with his own life). Let's listen to his exhortation: You have nothing to do but to save souls.
Other opportunities for evangelism, prayer, and reconnaissance were exploited throughout the day.
There is a resurgence of holiness teaching in the west of The Salvation Army in these days. Preachers like Major Alan Harley and Commissioner Linda Bond and Captain Grant Sandercock-Brown - all in the Australia Eastern Territory - are renewing Salvationist holiness teaching. Books like AUTHENTIC HOLINESS, THE UPRISING, HOLINESS INCORPORATED, BOSTON COMMON, and others - all in the Australia Southern Territory - are spreading Salvationist holiness belief. The introduction of Youth Brengle Institutes and Children's Brengle Institutes and Soldiers Brengle Institutes and this historic international youth holiness conference, TIME TO BE HOLY (sponsored by international centre for spiritual life development) all point to a new focus on holiness.
With all of this momentum, TIME TO BE HOLY can be the Holiness Tipping Point for The Salvation Army, after which everything is measured differently.
In the post-TBTH world, we will increasingly teach and testify on holiness. These exercises should be disseminated through book and podcast, twitter and facebook, blog and live-stream, open air and holiness meeting. They should appear in our periodicals and our junior soldier and corps cadets lessons. They should be celebrated at congresses and councils. They should be recorded in statistics as in heaven. We will increasingly experience holiness unto the Lord, by which our evangelizing will magnify breadth and depth of supernatural impact, our warfare will amplify signs and wonders and miracles and healing and the prophetic and deliverance, our worship will increasingly signify intimacy with our great God and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Magnify, amplify, signify. Are you up for it? The post-TBTH world is one saturated by the wonder-working, world-winning posture of salvos who love to fight and fight with love.
I bring thee my cares and my sorrows,
I bring thee my doubts and my fears,
I bring thee the sins which have burdened my soul
And shadowed my pathway for years.
O save me, dear Lord! O save me, dear Lord!
I plead by thy mercy. O save me, dear Lord!
O thou who doth know human frailties,
Prepare me for gain or for loss;
Though born of the dust, Lord, Our Father art thou,
The builder of sun and the cross.
Forgive all my blindness and folly,
My prodigal wanderings and shame.
O heed now the outcrying pains of my heart!
I come as the prodigal came.
We thank thee we find in life's wilderness
Established thy gardens of grace,
In temptation's desert a cool shading rock,
In darkness the light of thy face.
- Evangeline Booth (1865-1950)
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 7
Sunday featured a corporate holiness meeting, encompassing the main characteristics taught during the week - charismatic and effective - and applying the lessons learned to date.
A Salvation Army-flavoured worship set celebrated God's purposes, His ‘greater things' promises, and blood propitiation.
Captain Young Kim (USE) gave a faith-filled testimony of God's work and calling in his life, inspiring and edifying each who listened. His testimony was followed by others to God's transforming work this week. Hallelujah.
Lieut-Colonel Janet Munn preached with customary anointing and authority, rejoicing in God's victory on the cross against the powers arrayed against Him and increasing faith in the congregation to boast in His great exploits.
The appeal was to death. Holiness grows out of death to sin, to self, and to the world. And delegates were invited to that death, enacted by symbolic funeral exercises that ended in celebration of life in Christ and prophetic scriptural exclamations over them by other delegates and leaders.
Later in the day, The Cedars became literally what is has been proclaimed prophetically to be - a house of prayer for all nations - as the whole old building was transformed into a house or prayer. Salvationist delegates prayed in many rooms throughout the house, each rooms representing different aspects of the person devotional life and salvation war (corps, bathroom, bedroom, entrance and exit, college, work, living room, and more - each with prayer prompts and resources). Cadets Naomi Shakespeare and Manuela Castaldo and Lieut-Colonel Karen Shakespeare creatively and sensitively prepared this elaborate spiritual feast for the delegates.
Some skeptics are willing to admit that we will be holy upon entrance to heaven - that is a must - but seem to ascribe the sanctifying power to ‘death' itself rather than to the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is ABLE to sanctify you DURING your life (you don't have to wait until you die and then have ‘death' somehow mysteriously accomplish what you are not prepared to allow Holy Spirit do now). And here are some verses that demonstrate this beautiful truth:
1 Thessalonians 2:10
You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
1 Thessalonians 4:4?
that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
1 Thessalonians 4:7?
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
2 Thessalonians 1:10?
on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; ?for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
2 Peter 3:11
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.
1 Corinthians 1:8?
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.
so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
1 Thessalonians 2:10
You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
1 Thessalonians 3:13?
May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless - not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
2 Peter 3:14?
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
TIME TO BE HOLY - Day 8
Week two! The honeymoon is over and the richness is here to be plumbed. Major Danielle Strickland led an exuberant and intense Harp and Bowl session with TTBH delegates.*
Captain Young Kim (USE Training College) taught on "Raising the Next Generation of Wesleyan Salvationists." John Wesley, this great holy revolutionist**, became the subject for study as the Captain extracted principles and lessons to apply in our salvation warfare in anticipated areas such as holiness, spiritual disciplines, means of grace, social action, as well as other dynamics such as parenting and the role of women.
Kim taught students how and what to read, as well:
How? Three marks - fingerprints, pencil marks, and tears;
-Jeremy Taylor - Rules and Exercises for Holy Living and Dying - purity of intention - having God alone as our object, free from all self-interest;
-William Law - Christian Perfection, and A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life - calling to total consecration; God calls us to a real Christianity;
There is no such thing as half a Christian;
-Thomas a Kempis - The Christian Pattern or a Treatise on the Imitation of Christ - the pursuit of holiness - emphasizing the nature and extent of inward religion - the religion of the heart.
Lieut-Colonel Janet Munn, the international secretary for spiritual life development and leader of Time To Be Holy, taught a session on Continued Obedient Faith as Holy Witness Through Participation in Small Groups (Wesley's Class Meetings). Colonel Damon Rader OF says, "We can't do God's part; He won't do ours." Our part - Doctrine 9 - We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ (see also Philippians 2:12-13). She intentionally links doctrine 9 - our part - with doctrine 10 - God's part in sanctifying grace. Munn contrasted continued obedient faith and ‘disorderly walking'. The colonel introduced the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience). She traced small group dynamics through history from the Bible to Roman Catacombs, monastic communities, Moravians, the Holy Club, Class Meetings, and to The Salvation Army Ward System. She made a convincing case that every Salvationist should be in active small groups (leaving space for varieties). Intentionality is key.
Where are visitors to The Salvation Army finding community? Intentional spiritual development?
During a lively discussion, she challenged all Salvationists to take the challenge.
Small groups discussed Philippians 2 from the holiness perspective based on questions by Lieut-Colonel Karen Shakespeare.
During the evening delegates from New Zealand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Australia gave stirring testimonies to further inspire delegates in the holy life. Don't forget to share your spiritual story with people - who knows how God will use it to stir you and others up?
* Harp and Bowl. The brief season during which the tabernacle was in David's backyard represents the most intimate, extraordinary communion with God in history. David assigned worshippers and intercessors to pray in shifts around the clock. Unlike the temple, in which the Holy of Holies was very rarely accessible, in David's tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant - the very presence of God - was accessible all the time. People prayed and worshipped in His very presence. Amos 9:11 prophesies a rebuilding of David's fallen tent. And Acts 15:16,17 connects the 9:11 prophecy with the world-winning mission.
Here is a recap:
The Tabernacle of David (overview)
- David found favour before God and asked to find a dwelling for GodActs 7:46
- King David built a small tent to house the Ark of the Covenant - I Chronicles 15:
- David put musicians and singers before the Ark - I Chronicles 6:31-33; I Chronicles 15:16-22
- 4,000 musicians and 288 singers to minister to God in shifts - I Chronicles 25:7; 23:4-6
- 24 hours a day & lasted 35-40 years - I Chronicles 23:1, 5, 25-27,32
- David financed them to worship and pray as their full-time occupation - I Chronicles 9:33
- God will restore the Tabernacle of David - Amos 9:11; Acts 15:14-18
- It is essential for releasing the fullness of revival to the nations - Acts 15:14-18
This structured spontaneity, or what Strickland calls ‘Worship Jazz', joins worship (harp) and intercession (bowl) as intercessors sing prayers based right in Scripture individually and corporately alongside declaration of Scripture. Today's session focused on Ephesians 2:4-7.
** Some figure that Wesley's holy revolution spared England from experiencing the French Revolution. He remains a revolutionist model for Salvationists. As Commissioner George Scott Railton asserts,
"We are revolutionists. We know that we have passed from death unto life, and we insist on the necessity of the same sweeping change in every human being. With cries of 'Death unto sin' and 'Life unto righteousness,' we go on, determined to turn the world upside down. We are not philosophers or the theorists of revolution; but its agents. Merely to recommend revolution is contemptible. We must make it. Glad indeed would we be if any word of ours could go forth to slumbering Christians and slumbering churches, and awake them to the fight; but it is only what is done by direct personal effort that can be called sure work, in a revolution."
(G.S.R., compiled by John D. Waldron.
Originally appeared in the Christian Mission Magazine, January 1873)
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 9
Corporate worship camped out on the truths of Romans 12 and featured salvo songwriters Nathan Rowe and Phil Laeger.
Captain Young Kim taught a session on the theological influence of Catherine Booth. He outlined the influences on Catherine Booth as follows:
Bible - She read the Bible eight times by the time she was 12.
Experience - she was shaped, as we are all, by her Christian upbringing, by the unique relational challenges, by the teaching under which she sat in formative years.
Methodism - She was a devoted Methodist before she met William Booth.
American Revivalism - Charles Finney, James Caughey, and Phoebe Palmer, ‘the mother of the holiness movement', were the most important revivalist influences on Catherine.
Feminism - a way of discovering true (unbiased) womanhood. Charles Finney was a big influence for Biblical Egalitarianism on Catherine Booth that has become The Salvation Army's great witness.
Among other things, Captain Kim introduced to us the Five Bs:
Bible - Wesley's holy longing, "Let me be homo unius libri" (a man of one Book); Brengle, in The Soul-Winner's Secret, testifies, "Personally, for years I have given the best hour of the day to the Bible, and now I want it more than I want my food"; Catherine was a woman of one book. Are you a person of one book?
Book - (study/learning) - "A Leader is a Reader." Kim recommends How to Read a Book (Mortimer Adler), The Joy of Reading (James Sire); How to Read a Christian Book (David McKenna); Catherine was a great reader. How about slamming back a few classic holiness texts from an earlier daily update, or some great Catherine Booth texts?
Bench - (prayerful life/ Spirituality/prayer bench/ Mercy Seat): "I carry a Penitent-form around in my heart and whenever I feel the need I kneel there" (Brengle); Evagrius of Pontus (346-99) said, "If you are a theologian, pray truly; and If you pray truly, you are a theologian." Catherine modeled this. How about slapping on your (spiritual) back a mercy seat to use at a moment's notice (speaking of moment's notice, remember that every soldier should be ready to preach, pray, or die at a moment's notice!?)?
Boots (social service/preaching ministry); "Heart to God, Hand to man" (dual mission/holistic ministry. Social Holiness as well as Personal Holiness. Catherine pioneered this. In what social action are you currently invested? Let's try hard not to take credit for the great work of The Salvation Army on the social front (and try HOLINESS INCORPORATED on corporate holiness).
Booths - (Salvationism - the theology of The Salvation Army is grounded on the theology of holiness): Wesleyan heritage, women's ministry, internationalism, social gospel, holiness theology, non-sacramentalism. Catherine invented this. Are you true to that? Are you a settled Wesleyan Arminian? Are you a staunch Biblical egalitarian? Are you committed to Salvo praxis? Are you committed to the wonder-working, world-winning mission of global conquest for Jesus?
Salvationists tend to under-rate Catherine Booth. As we correct this oversight and study her teachings and life and align our mission to hers we are assured to see God's mighty work in and through us for His greater glory. Have you read Aggressive Christianity, or Female Ministry, or Papers on Godliness? There is a lot of juicy stuff in these and other books...
Next, Major Danielle Strickland taught on holiness in community. She offered this definition: "Justice is holiness in community." This session involved large group discussion that advanced through some of the following markers:
- "Purely personal piety is over-rated." "Yes, it can become disconnected from social concern" (from Wesley Theological Journal).
- Strickland argued that the dominant western Christian worldview consists of God-Me.
- Triune God, from the beginning, was intent on creating community. It was ‘not good' that man was along. And from the solitariness of the first human in the Garden, He was about bringing community into creation...
- How do we move from personal/private faith to communal and shared faith?
- Strickland quoted Olivia Munn (from THE UPRISING), "Without (our) holiness, (they) won't see the Lord." Holiness spreads. It works its way out into the neighbourhood... (it reminds me of Wesley Campbell's comment, ‘where God lands, God expands').
- She introduced the Micah 6:8 Triangle of Faith, Justice, and Mercy (Matthew 23:23; Isaiah 58; Psalm 97), from her book JUST IMAGE, about which we will hear more in her next lecture. Meanwhile, you can catch her in one of her four books...
In today's Rhythms of Prayer, Major Rosemarie Brown (ICO, but by next week, DC Caribbean Territory) taught on Scripture Meditation and then led delegates through an exercise of it in John 8:1-11. For many this was new and revelatory. For all it was a blessing to wait in the Word of God. You can try this at home. It might go like this:
- select a Bible passage (maybe try today's John 8:1-11);
- read through that passage;
- imagine yourself in the passage;
- what are the different activities taking place?
- Notice the different smells that are prominent. Can you identify each? (smell)
- Feel the texture of the various items (touch);
- What are the expressions on each of the faces of the people? (sight)
- What are the sounds you are hearing? (listening)
- What are you wearing?
- Now spend a few moments as each of the main characters (if there are more than one)
- describe what you are doing;
- how do you feel?
- What is Jesus saying specifically to you?
The evening's Tell Your Story session included 15-minute testimonies by delegates from England, South Africa, Argentina, and India. Why not gather a bunch of friends and neighbours over tonight at your place, share a bit of food and then a lot of testimony of God's work in your life? Some might get saved! Others will be encouraged. God will be pleased (we think).
Meanwhile, keep praying for TIME TO BE HOLY, the world's first international salvo young adult holiness convention, sponsored by the international centre for spiritual life development and hosted by the international college for officers at the historic salvationist site, The Cedars. And see www.armybarmy.com/blog.html for extended coverage.
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 10
Double digits! Day 10. Delegates are pressing in. During another powerful worship session Major Danielle Strickland took Lieutenant Nathan Rowe's popular song LET JUSTICE ROLL and built a prophetic intercession exercise around it. Individuals would take turns declaring an injustice and praying into it, joined afterward by the congregation in the chorus, "Let Justice Roll". We likely prayed that song alone for more than 20 minutes! (for those interested, the song is recorded a few times, including by SOTERIA in Australia and TRANSMISSION in USA)
In the first teaching session, Major Strickland dug back into the Micah 6:8 Triangle, composed of the following verses... Matthew 23:23 (the Woe Chapter) - where your headed? That's what love does NOT look like - that's ‘religion'.
Isaiah 58 (Charter of The Salvation Army) Psalm 97 (mighty warfare and justice chapter) (the triangle) Faith joins God and individuals Mercy joins Individuals and human community Justice joins God and human community.
"When I feed the poor, they called me a saint, but when I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist."
Dom Helder Camara.
We need to keep asking ‘why'!
She explains the synonymous nature of ‘righteousness' and ‘justice' (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology).
Often justice and holiness are separated - there are the justice types and the holy types. "Yet it is precisely within the context of holiness that God ... locates justice."
People argue that poverty affects character and condition. William Booth wanted to affect both.*
Lieut-Colonel Karen Shakespeare taught on holiness from The Call To Holiness from the International Spiritual Life Commission. The ISLC challenges us to use idioms of our day. So Lieut-Colonel Shakespeare challenged us to describe the experience in our own vocabulary. ISLC also exhorts us to celebrate diversity of experience.
Lieut-Colonel Ian Barr talks about our testimony, our teaching, and our practice all coming together in holiness.
Learning is about ‘knowing' and interpreting but also about the difference it makes to our ‘doing' while it changes who we are inside (‘being'), who we are in Christ. So, in Barr's triangle, Teaching results in knowing, Testimony affects being, and practice connotes doing.
And if you distort one part (teaching, testifying, practicing), you affect the whole (holiness).
She challenged delegates to gather by zones as the ISLC, to express holiness in the idiom of the day.
Delegates were challenged during the day by the video MAKE WAR - Make War! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4lwYRUwDRM and by the movie AMAZING GRACE.
Small group Bible study continued addressing Philippians from a corporate holiness perspective as delegates discussed practical application of the lessons from Paul.
In the evening delegates from Jamaica, Germany, Finland, and England told their story of what God is doing in their lives. Again, testimony is a mighty weapon for all Salvationists. Why not wield it today in your interactions with schoolmates and friends and family members and co-travelers on the tram and...?
Catching up on Captain Kim's lesson yesterday, Quakerism was influential on Catherine Booth on sacramentalism.
*In the preface to IN DARKEST ENGLAND, General William Booth clarified, "I have no intention to depart in the smallest degree from the main principles on which I have acted in the past. My only hope for the permanent deliverance of mankind from misery, either in this world or the next, is the regeneration or remaking of the individual by the power of the Holy Ghost through Jesus Christ. But in providing for the relief of temporal misery I reckon that I am only making it easy where it is now difficult, and possible where it is now all but impossible, for men and women to find their way to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
**Lieut-Colonel Janet Munn's teaching on small groups / class meetings / cells included resources to help with accountability. The classic text, from the Orders and Regulations for Soldiers (CHOSEN TO BE A SOLDIER) is provided here for your daily personal use (in which case, ask God the questions) and small group accountability (in which case ask your comrades the questions):
TEST FOR SELF-EXAMINATION
The following are questions taken from The Salvation Army ORDERS AND REGULATIONS FOR SOLDIERS.
- Am I habitually guilty of any known sin? Do I practise or allow myself in any thought, word, or deed which I know to be wrong?
- Am I so the master of my bodily appetites as to have no condemnation? Do I allow myself in any indulgence that is injurious to my holiness, growth in knowledge, obedience, and usefulness?
- Are my thoughts and feelings such that I should not be ashamed to hear them published before God?
- Does the influence of the world cause me to act, feel, or say things that are unlike Christ?
- Do my tempers cause me to act, or feel or say things that I see afterward are contrary to that love which I ought to bear always to those about me?
- Am I doing all in my power for the salvation of sinners? Do I feel concern about their danger and pray and work for their salvation as if they were my children?
- Am I fulfilling the vows I have made to God in my acts of consecration or at the Penitent Form?
- Is my example in harmony with my profession?
- Am I conscious of any pride or haughtiness in my manner or bearing?
- Do I conform to the fashions and customs of this world or do I show that I despise them?
- Am I in danger of being carried away with worldly desires to be rich or admired?
SASB609 (now a great new tune)
Lord, give me more soul-saving love,
Send a revival from above,
Thy mighty Spirit pour.
The Army of salvation bless
With righteousness and holiness,
Pressed down and running o'er.
Spread Calvary's great salvation fame,
Make every tongue a living flame,
Soul-saving truth inspire.
With zeal inflame thy fighting host,
Baptize us with the Holy Ghost,
And set us all on fire.
Give power to speak thy conquering word,
To wield the Spirit's two-edged sword,
And all Hell's legions rout.
O touch us with the living coal,
And kindle fire in every soul
That never will die out!
Dom Helder Camara.William James Pearson (1832-92)
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 11
Corporate worship struck a celebratory tone from the outset with exuberant exclamations of LIFE, LIFE, and MORE LIFE from worshippers.
This was a long-awaited day for delegates as, finally, day 11 marked the anticipated arrival of the immediately-loved salvo uniform hoodies from Fulton Hawk (minister of propaganda for the revolution) and the USW Territory (hat tip Commissioner Knaggs).
How about a breather, a step back, to gain a little perspective on this event and the sequel, the World Youth Convention?
We have here delegates from 20 countries for two weeks with the sole focus, holiness. To our knowledge, this is unprecedented. An international young adult ‘Brengle Institute' emphasizes the importance of holiness in The Salvation Army.
Then the delegates invade Denmark for a week of evangelizing. This emphasizes the critical nature of evangelism in The Salvation Army. After all, we are a SALVATION Army, being all about getting everybody saved from sin and hell through repentance and faith.
Following that, the delegates join nearly a thousand other young adult salvos from around the world in Sweden for the World Youth Convention (WYC). How strategic is this? We have a globally representative gathering positioned for prophetic acts and authoritative declarations, and even identificational repentance (shades of the 2000 international congress?).
It is not too late for readers to plan to join the World Youth Convention on your local front. The main events will be live-streamed online so that you can participate in meetings. The schedule is online already at raisedup.org so that you can participate along with official delegates from your local front. Divisions scattered across the world are organizing youth councils around the WYC. One division is planning for 4000 delegates! Hallelujah.
The great desire for TIME TO BE HOLY (TTBH) is not that it is a merely a great event - and it has been that already (three days to go!). But is it too much to dream that a holiness incubator might give birth to something new that overflows in the streets of Copenhagen and then is disseminated to WYC delegates? Is it too much to imagine that this new thing will go home with each delegate to a thousand local fronts around the globe? Is it too much to hope that the whole Army might be transformed? Is it too much to expect that God might revolutionise His Army to ignite a revolution that will change hearts and minds in every nation, every language, and every tribe towards winning the world for Jesus?
Will you join in praying toward that end?
Tong Sung Kido.
The inimitable Captain Young Kim (USE Training College) taught Korean-style praying. These zealous delegates, having thrown themselves into some intense worship, praying the Bible, and harp and bowl earlier in the event, were game for it. You'll likely know of the Koreans' famous praying. Tong Sung Kido means ‘Praying out loud altogether'. And so we all prayed out loud, fervently, together (at the same time).
And it is normal for Korean corps in the cities to hold daily 5am knee drill (prayer meetings) and weekly all nights of prayer overnight on Friday (in the country, the daily meetings are often at 4am). You will not be surprised to learn that The Salvation Army in Korea experiences significant advance in the salvation war. Extraordinary prayer plays a key part.
Tonight was Zonal Night and delegates from the Americas zone and the South Asia zone made refreshing presentations of their theatres of war. This kind of exercise strengthens the sense of unity of this global enterprise. Be encouraged that, regardless of what is happening on your local front, there are victories being won by Salvationists comrades as people are being saved and sanctified, discipled and covenanted, trained and deployed, anointed and appointed, and used supernaturally by God for His greater glory. And every victory of any Salvationist is a victory that you and I - as Salvationists - share. It is our victory. Hallelujah.
For extended coverage, check out the armybarmy blog at www.armybarmy.com/bog.html or follow on twitter (twitter.com/StephenCourt) or facebook.
More questions from Lieut-Colonel Munn's teaching session:
- How is your relationship with God right now?
- What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
- What has God said to you in this reading?
- Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
- What specific things are you praying for in regard to others?
- What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself?
- What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
- What habits intimidate you?
- What have you read in the secular press this week?
- What general reading are you doing?
- What have you done to play?
- How are you doing with your spouse? Kids?
- If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of energy level, what would the response be?
- Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
- If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might He do it?
- What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies? Entertainment?
- Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great debt?)
- Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
- When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
- What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this past month?
- What challenge do you think you're going to face in the coming week? Month?
- What would you say are your fears at this present time?
- Are you sleeping well?
- What three things are you most thankful for?
- Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
- What are your present confusions about your relationship with God?
These questions are to be asked of one another in a weekly meeting of accountability (Proverbs 27:17). They are to stimulate conversations of character and confession of sin in a safe environment which values honesty, vulnerability, confidentiality and grace.
- Have you been a testimony this week to the greatness of Jesus Christ with both your words and actions?
- Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate sexual thoughts about another this week?
- Have you lacked integrity in your financial dealings or coveted something that does not belong to you?
- Have you been honoring, understanding and generous in your important relationships this week?
- Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back of face-to-face?
- Have you given in to an addictive behavior this past week? Explain.
- Have you continued to remain angry towards another?
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 12
A little Harp and Bowl based on Revelation 7 stirred up faith and intercession as we called prophetically called to every nation and every tribe to follow Jesus.
Then we dug into Salvationist covenant and the truths of the original SAVED TO SAVE war cry of The Salvation Army. We learned that we are fully saved to fully save. Together, covenant and holiness represent THE keys of Salvationism. Why not dust off your covenant (junior soldier, senior soldier, marriage, officer...) and embrace it so that God is comfortable unleashing His Kingdom fullness through you. As Rob Dolby says, "You can't earn God's love, but you can earn His trust." Embracing covenant is a powerful means of freeing God up to release kingdom authority and blessings through you. General William Booth, writing in 'The Salvationist' in 1879, summed up our purpose in the following simple but striking way:
"We are a salvation people - this is our speciality - getting saved and keeping saved, and then getting somebody else saved, and then getting saved ourselves more and more until full salvation on earth makes the heaven within."
Delegates were challenged to extract the three most important lessons or benefits or blessings of TIME TO BE HOLY. It turns out that there is faith for more of these kinds of gatherings around the world. While there may be future international events, there is also high probability that territorial and divisional youth holiness institutes will crop up on a front near you in coming months. Why not pray into that, contact your DYS and TYS and apply to participate?
Captain Matt Clifton joined the crew in the afternoon to finalise plans for the morning sessions of the WORLD YOUTH CONVENTION. It sounds like it will be a powerful set of meetings of revelation and corporate worship.
Delegates enjoyed an optional excursion into the city of London.
Jesus is strong to deliver. (now a great new tune)
Why are you doubting and fearing?
Why are you still under sin?
Have you not found that his grace doth abound?
He's mighty to save; let him in.
Jesus is strong to deliver,?Mighty to save!
Mighty to save!
Jesus is strong to deliver,
Jesus is mighty to save.
Say, are you weak, are you helpless,
Trying again and again?
This may be true, but it's not what you do,
'Tis he who is mighty to save.
When in my sorrow he found me,
Found me and bade me be whole;
Turned all my night into heavenly light,
And from me my burden did roll.
When in the tempest he hides me,
When in the storm he is near;
O'er the long way the Lord is my stay,
And now I have nothing to fear.
Herbert Howard Booth (1862-1926) alt
When shall I come unto the healing waters?
Lifting my heart, I cry to thee my prayer.
Spirit of peace, my Comforter and healer,
In whom my springs are found, let my soul meet thee there.
From a hill I know,
Healing waters, flow:
O rise, Immanuel's tide,
And my soul overflow!
Wash from my hands the dust of earthly striving;
Take from my mind the stress of secret fear;
Cleanse thou the wounds from all but thee far hidden.
And when the waters flow let my healing appear.
Light, life and love are in that healing fountain,
All I require to cleanse me and restore;
Flow through my soul, redeem its desert places,
And make a garden there for the Lord I adore.
Albert Orsborn (1886-1967)
TIME TO BE HOLY: Day 13
On a light scheduled day, delegates explored Windsor Castle and Sunbury Court, site of the High Council. Though there was prayer walking and evangelism, there were no visible results. We can believe that God's word does not return void, though, and thus thank Him for the opportunities.
Tomorrow is Day 14 - the final day of this historic conference.
This conference is all about holiness, and interested readers will want to dig deeper in to this essential Salvationist doctrine. Here is the Salvo holiness reading list to help inform your exploration:
AGNEW, Milton S. Transformed Christians. Missouri : Beacon hill, 1974. Call No 234.8 AGN
- The Colonel is under-rated in many parts of the world, self-taught Greek scholar (published outside the Army, including Wesley Bible notes...)
BOOTH, William. Purity of heart. London : Salvation Army, 1902. Call No 234.8 BOO
- Teaching from the Founder
BRENGLE, Samuel Logan. Helps to holiness. London : Salvation Army, 1948. Call No 234.8 BRE
- The classic Brengle text.
BRENGLE, Samuel Logan. The way of holiness. USA : Salvation Army, 1902. Call No 234.8 BRE
- More great, simple Brengle