In the course of conversations or on the internet I often hear or see comments such as "Why do the Army do that?". I'm sure you can recall similar situations where you've heard such a statement. I'm sure this kind of thing is not the exclusive domain of the denomination of which I am a part...
I have a real problem with this comment. It's not just "the Army" but you hear it narrowed down to different departments as well - "DHQ/THQ" or (my personal favourite) "The College". The problem I have is that the people who say these things are Salvationists themselves, yet they speak of "The Army" as if they are not a part of it. It betrays a complete lack of ecclesiological understanding and reeks of individualism.
For me, I made a concious decision a while ago to avoid at all costs speaking of "The Army" as if I'm not a part of it. I don't always succeed at this, but I try. The Army is not an institution but people. The reality is that it's not "The Army" making decisions that we disagree with, but people. People just like me who are struggling under similar (and probably greater) pressures, seeking to do their best in the Lord with a kingdom focus and a heart for the lost. So, it's likely they will make mistakes. They will get it wrong sometimes. But the reality is.... so will I. Goodness knows I have made some BIG mistakes in my time, and I'm sure that there are some whoppers to come!
I know these mistakes can really hurt people as well. I'm sure those who actually make those mistakes realise this. I'm certain that they agonise over appointment changes, or funding programmes, or how to reverse the decline in our territory. So instead of complaining about "The Army" when a decision is made that you disagree with, how about we each try praying for those people who are making those decisions. Let's uphold those who have responsibility for huge amounts of money, people resources and providing direction. They are difficult positions to be in and they don't choose them, but are appointed to them as well. So let's do our part by kneeling along side them, and lifting them up in prayer.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I am "The Salvation Army"
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