Forward to the Fight!
May 16 2021
Here is a brief explanation for why I close all my correspondence with the line “Forward to the Fight.”
One of the early leaders in the Salvation Army, George Scott Railton, wrote a hymn called Soldiers, Rouse Thee! I love its focus, particularly the chorus:
Through the world resounding,
Let the gospel sounding,
Summon all, at Jesus’ call,
His glorious cross surrounding.
Sons of God, earth’s trifles leaving,
Be not faithless but believing;
To your conquering captain cleaving,
Forward to the fight. (SASB #693)
As a Salvationist I want every email I send, sermon I preach, letter I send, tweet and facebook message I post, meeting I lead, advisory organization I facilitate, and moment I spend to be focused on “the fight.
Don’t get me wrong, this “fight” is not violent brawl. Though the “fight,” here is more than a metaphor. We really are fighting against something, but fighting against what? Sin. Sin and its impact in our world is what I’m fighting. I want people to be freed from the guilt of sin by experiencing salvation through Jesus Christ. I want people to be freed from sin’s power by the regenerating and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. I want to fight daily against the various ways that sin corrupts our world. I fight with a holistic focus that connects Jesus’ work to The Salvation Army’s task of serving those who are hungry, homeless, and hopeless. Most of the time dire social situations arise because of sin in our world, so let’s fight sin in Jesus’ name.
The fight I believe is a part of my task as a husband and father. Rejecting passivity and moving forward to the task of being the man God has called me to be for my wife and my children is a key part of my fight. I am moving “forward to the fight” when I throw baseballs to my boys, have tea parties with my daughter, or I take my wife on a date.
I also recognize that there is a "good time coming" when the fighting will be over. “When the old order of things have passed away” and our conquering captain says, “Behold I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5). Then, in the new creation, I will sign my emails, “Through the Fight.” By God’s grace I will continue marching forward until the fight is over. And I am assured that victory is coming. As another great hymn says:
We shall not lose the fight of faith,
For Jesus is our Lord,
We lay all carnal weapons down
To take his shining sword. (SASB #701)
If you are not a follower of Jesus and you want to know more about what that means send me an email. It’s time to join the fight.
Forward to the Fight,
Andy Miller III, Captain
In January 2015, my book Holistic Hospitality: A Bridge a Future Army was released by The Salvation Army. You can get a copy of the book here.
I wrote a horn solo for my brother, Nathan, using Railton’s song. While arranging this piece I discovered this powerful line, “Forward to the Fight” and have sense claimed it as a focus for my life (click here for a recording of this piece). Also I wrote an article that explores the ecclesiological dimensions of the fight for the Wesleyan Theological Journal you can find a link to it here.)