Onward Christian soldiers

1
Onward Christian soldiers!
  Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
  Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
  Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
  See, His banners go!
  Onward, Christian soldiers!
  Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus,
    Going on before.
2
At the name of Jesus
  Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers,
  On to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver
  At the shout of praise:
Brothers, lift your voices,
  Loud your anthems raise!
3
Like a mighty army
  Moves the Church of God:
Brothers, we are treading
  Where the saints have trod;
We are not divided,
  All one Body we—
One in faith and Spirit,
  One eternally.
4
Crowns and thrones may perish,
  Kingdoms rise and wane;
But the Church of Jesus
  Constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never
  ’Gainst the Church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise,
  Which can never fail.
5
Onward, then, ye people!
  Join our happy throng;
Blend with ours your voices
  In the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor
  Unto Christ, the King;
This through countless ages
  Men and angels sing.
78
Eileen Truszkowski

Matteson, Illinois, United States

I grew up a Congregationalist in Chicago in the 50s. This was one of my favorite hyms back then. Last evening my Grand neice from Florida started singing songs she learned in her Christian kindergarten. And pretty soon she hit on this one. I started to sign (ASL) it as we sang it together. We did three verses together ' what a treat. I couldn't image a 6 year old remembering all of the first three verses and chorus. We belted it out in a restaurant in Highland and had a marvelous time. I still am amazed that this too was her favorite hymn at age 6. What a joy. Her Gramma is doing a great job raising this smart and sassy young lady in church and with God and Jesus Christ in their lives. I am so proud of my sister.


Pamela Frances Brady

Dover Air Force Base, United States

Oh, how I loved this song as a young child. I was so proud to stand and sing this song on a regular basis always at school in assembly Also, at Sunday School and Church. Wow, this take me back many years.


Lentikile Ishmael Mashoko

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

This song is relevant in this time we find ourselves. The year 2020 till now in 2021 the war is going strong, but our God is El Shaddai, God Almighty. Jesus our Defender and Commander.


Slave of Jesus

This site has changed the words of this hymn in verse 3. It should read "One in hope and doctrine, One in charity" NOT "One in faith an Spirit, One eternally". This is not the original version.


Richard Schoneman

Clovis, CA, United States

This song does indeed contain sound doctrine as my african brothers pointed out below. Christians need to unite behind the Holy Scriptures not their particular denominations. A cursory reading of lyrics shows that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of evil in high places. It should be sung more often. Of all times in history, now is when these truths are needed.


Elizabeth A. Grzandziel-Galluze

Pittsburgh, PA, United States

I turn 55 this year. As the 7th of 9 children in a Roman Catholic family who attended Catechism classes and Mass weekly, my friends could not understand why my Mother sent us to Methodist Sunday school, it’s summer Bible school for two weeks at the Lutheran Church. I loved Sunday school with the songs that I still sing today. Mrs. Dixon our S. S. teacher taught us this song as we marched to put our coins in collection plate. I taught and sang these songs to my nieces and nephews and grand-nephew. I did not know it was so controversial until I started reading these comments. How sad. I am still a practicing Catholic and embrace all faiths and cultures. Thank you Mummy (1928-2002), for having an open mind and heart and passing that along to us.


Robert C. Bakewell

San Francisco, CA, United States

I grew up High Anglican in Canada during the 1950’s. Our church elders, including many women, were truly of the Victorian and Edwardian era.

Onward Christian Soldiers may have been the most popular hymn, belted out with gusto by our small rural Congregation ..

Stella or Louie, both organists in their mid 70’s thru themselves into it.

I had goose bumps and my Grandmother smiled.

Even Ernie, an English atheist and WW1 veteran , stood for Onward Christian Soldiers. This a warm memory but I can’t imagine singing this in public now!!

Crusade - like fer sure.


Doug Sargent

Keego Harbor, MI, United States

To each their own. I grew up in a low Episcopal church outside NYC. This hymn rubbed me the wrong way from the earliest age. Something about going to war for Christ that reminded me of the Crusades.

I'd rather sing Morning Has Broken.


May Brain

Rochford, Essex, United Kingdom

How sad that a church in England banned the singing of this hymn in 2017 at their remembrance service in case it offended non Christians! The sooner everybody agrees to accept everybody else as they are, the better our world will be.


John Wood

Montgomery, Texas, United States

I sang this song in the hospital in 1985. It was a real war, and it turned out victory.

Paul continues, "To walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace" (vv. 1b-3). Whenever we talk about the practice of the church life, we must remember that the first thing needed is to keep the oneness of the Spirit. This requires that we forget about everything else. The third stanza of the traditional hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" says, "One in hope and doctrine, one in charity." This is not an accurate concept. Christians can never be one in doctrine. If someone has a certain understanding about a particular portion of the Bible, he may hold to that portion without caring for the oneness. Many Christians insist on baptism by sprinkling, some insist on a single immersion, and some insist on three immersions. Some immerse in warm water, others immerse in cold water, and still others baptize in other ways. In this one matter alone there are many opinions. In order to realize the church life we need to forget about doctrine. If we pay attention to doctrine, we may become a "three-immersions" church. Praise the Lord, the Spirit is in you and in me, so we all are one in the Spirit. Therefore, it is better to sing the above line as, "One in faith and Spirit, / One eternally" (Hymns, #871).