Backward Christian Soldiers?

OK, I found these words online, a parody by George Verwer on the song Onward Christian Soldiers. Part of me wants to snicker, but another part of me is sad. Maybe the shock of the words is enough to make Christ-followers think about the ‘church’, about how others see us. You may be tempted to react negatively, but ask yourself, “how much of this is true”.

Please leave your thoughts/comments!

Backward Christian Soldiers

1. Backward Christian soldiers,

Fleeing from the fight,

With the cross of Jesus,

Nearly out of sight.

Christ our rightful master

Stands against the foe

Onward into battle, we

seem afraid to go.


Chorus: Backward Christian soldiers,

Fleeing from the fight,

With the cross of Jesus,

Nearly out of sight.


2. Like a mighty tortoise

Moves the church of God.

Brothers we are treading,

Where we’ve often trod.

We are much divided,

Many bodies we,

Having different doctrines, but

Not much charity.


3. Crowns and thrones may perish,

Kingdoms rise and wane,

But the cross of Jesus

Hidden does remain.

Gates of hell should never

‘gainst the Church prevail,

We have Christ’s own promise, but

we think it might fail.


4. Sit here then ye people,

Join our sleeping throng.

Blend with ours, your voices

in a feeble song.

Blessings, ease and comfort

Ask from Christ the King,

But with our modern thinking,

We won’t do a thing.

(reposted from July 7, 2007)


  1. This is not a new thing; here is an old hymn by Isaac Watts that points to the problem of ‘being comfortable’ for the disciple:

    Am I a soldier of the cross,
    A follow’r of the Lamb?
    And shall I fear to own His cause,
    Or blush to speak His name?

    Must I be carried to the skies
    On flow’ry beds of ease,
    While others fought to win the prize,
    And sailed through bloody seas?

    Are there no foes for me to face?
    Must I not stem the flood?
    Is this vile world a friend to grace,
    To help me on to God?

    Sure I must fight if I would reign;
    Increase my courage, Lord;
    I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
    Supported by Thy Word.

  2. Not to be too critical of the church, I think this happens in any and every human group. What starts off with a good mission and purpose eventually loses its original focus and fervor, or it locks in on how it is doing things while the world around it changes. It seems to me that the church (and other groups) continually need to reinvent themselves for a new day. When and how often is not fixed, but the longer it doesn’t happen, the more ‘institutional creep’ sets in. Having comfort is a good thing while we engage in the mission, but being comfortable in the mission is not.
    I like your suggestions with their focus on personal opportunities. To change the church, disciples need to make changes. Not all the way right away, but taking good steps in the right direction. Helping and building relationships with one another with the help of the Spirit IS the church, and how the world knows we are disciples. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I think there is a lot of truth to these words. Maybe we need to do away with the traditional church building and be “church” in the neighbourhoods where God has placed us. Sitting the the pew, Sunday after Sunday, I think we become too comfortable. Maybe we could make more of an impact helping an elderly neighbour who needs help with regular daily things or just keeping contact with them. Or a single mother who is struggling to get by. It starts by building relationships with one another and with the help of the HS, maybe they would see that we are different and ask us why. Lord, I pray that the people with whom I come into contact with, may see that Christ lives in me. That is my prayer today and every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *