Ok, I admit it…

Well, believe it or not, Primitive Salvationism got some good press in the Salvationist magazine this week. I gave myself a little smile when I read this definition of Neo-Salvationism (aka Primitive or Radical Salvationist) and felt like I was reading my biography :o)

I quote Lt-Col Graham Durston, DC in an Australian Division, writer of the article:

“Ne0-Salvationist (aka radical or primitive Salvationism) voices are saying:

  • Get back to William Booth’s vision of the Army: ‘Go for souls, and go for the worst.’
  • Make a strong call for mission and sacrifice
  • Emphasise the social aspects of the gospel by reaching out to the poor and the marginalised, but with strong evangelical intention
  • wear uniform, but not the ‘tin soldiers’ kind. Do not wear it on Sunday to worship but through the week when engaged in mission
  • wear a ‘work’ uniform, not a ‘corporate’ type
  • making ‘fighting’ soldiers is important, but only if they have something relevant and challenging to do
  • engage in incarnational ministries. Living in the housing estates or flats with the poor
  • emphasise holiness teaching
  • teach that bias to the poor is a sign of true holiness
  • engage in some contemporary forms of worship but include mission songs (ie battle songs)
  • change the world by converting the individual, but also address structural evil
  • get involved in social justice issues
  • take on the prophetic mantle. Speak to the Army and the world.
  • encourage the exercising of Gifts, such as words of prophecy and special revelations”

Well, I think Colonel Durston has summed me up well. Glory be…I feel complete having now been pigeon-holed! :o)

The Colonel also describes the traditional, pentecostal, seeker sensitive, and radical change groups too quite helpfully and fairly accurately…its worth reading if you can get a copy. I like the way that the Colonel emphasises the important contributions to salvationism that these voices make and we need to learn from each other in the positives.

The thing is, if you have a combination of all the groups in the corps and your corps is led by a primitive salvationist, life isn’t always easy. Afterall, I’m a primitive salvationist by conviction because I believe its what the Army was called to in its original conception. But then…..I think a lot to do with my ‘persuasion’ is my prophetic gifting.

So here is a question…if the vast majority of the people who take up the prophetic mantle are primitive salvationists, might God be saying something ‘prophetically’ to The Salvation Army? Are we only prophetic in our own sub-culture of Salvationism, or do we really have a wider voice and are you excused for listening because you’re not primitive salvationist?

Well, thats an interesting question. Quite profound for me at this time of the night anyway.

yours for the advance of primitive Salvationism worldwide,

Andrew Clark


4 thoughts on “Ok, I admit it…

  1. Firstly, may I say that I’m looking forward to reading the article, could make for some interesting material ;). Speaking as someone who is not really a primitive salvationist, in fact probably doesn’t neatly fall into any pigeon hole I would say there must be a balance between all of those types because, just like Christ’s body in the larger scale, each corps/church is Christ’s body in a small scale. So I believe that there should be people differing in opinions but learning that its ok to be different and believe differently (as in Romans 14-15v7). As for leadership I think that’s where it come down to leading in love and using the gifts given to us to help promote unity and furthermost of the kingdom (which I know you already do).Hope that makes sense (and doesn’t come across wrong), I’m just quickly writing this before dashing away from work to my mission field (my not-yet-Christian friends).In His Service <

  2. Interesting that you make the same conclusion as the author, Lurch, as he goes much the same way. Balancing between the varying agendas can be very difficult, especially so when you have your own agenda to bear to mind! Having said that, I find myself somewhere between primitive salv and the post-modern radical change…hmmm…

  3. the over-riding thing for me is that the status quo will not do. I’d love to see a strong variety of seeker senitive corps, passionate but effective traditional corps, fiery pentecostal corps, tonnes on neos that beat with a heart for the lost and a desire to see them in the kingdom, and primitive corps that do the nutty prophetic Army thing and all that it entails. What we don’t need is blundering ecclesiastical nightmares covering the earth and putting people off the gospel. I think it all keeps the Founder and William Booths vision alive (!!!)…I say tht because I think the real inspiration for this Army thing was Jesus. I hope that every salvationist, whatever flavour, will fight to keep their corps on track with the lost at its heart….if we lose that, we lose our soul.

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