“We are an army of soldiers of Christ, organised as perfectly as we have been able to accomplish, seeking no church status, avoiding as we would the plague of every denominational rut, in order perpetually to reach more and more of those who live outside every church boundary.” (Commissioner George Scott Railton)
No church is perfect.
No Christian witness is flawless.
No song we sing can ever compare to the Holiness of God.
Dear Soldier of The Salvation Army,
I don’t necessarily see our mission and identity as completely “Church”.
Yes, we celebrate the resurrected Christ.
We recognize Jesus as the Son of God; the only way to eternal life and the source of salvation to the world; but this good news cannot be contained within four walls of a church building can it? No! We are called to go out into the world. Our mission as The Salvation Army is about being faithful to going out into our communities. It’s not just about feeding and clothing the poor, but this is a starting place!
We should represent the most welcoming aspect of “Church” in our communities to those who truly will “come as you are”! Many that we have the opportunity to reach will be unchurched, uneducated in “church etiquette”, and having little to no practice in biblical understanding. Some will know, but life has often times robbed them (whether through conscience choice or beyond their control) of their dignity, hope and joy. Yet, because of our mission, we have the capacity to welcome them into our buildings and provide for them more than just a morsel of food, but something more substantial – living water, and living bread.
We Are Not Perfect!
This organization is NOT perfect, it does have its flaws, it’s politics, its issues, as do we all as individuals.
There are numerous social issues we MUST fight for, however, that begs us to put these faults and imperfections aside and get back to work within our mission. If we can first get past the fact that we are flawed, we are imperfect even within our uniforms, we can make a more rapid response to the plight of people all around us.
We MUST be humble!
Officers & Soldiers, no matter what rank you are, no matter how long you have served, no matter how “high” you go up in the structure of our Army – know this: we do not serve as soldiers in this Army to attain rank and position. This should never be our aim and first pursuit. Unlike the world around us, our mission for Christ is about winning souls, serving souls, and caring for the lost, sick and afflicted. We cannot afford to become sidetracked on fame, rank, power, position or anything that would entrap us. The father of lies would love for us to become entangled in this game of church politics and army power wrangling…because if we do become ensnared in this, we become limited within the scope of our mission and its success.
The disciples of Jesus even argued about this very thing.
They wrangled about who would be the greatest disciple.
They tried to show off, look better, be more attentive to Jesus…it wasn’t what Jesus wanted from them.
So Jesus set them straight:
“An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48)
Dear Soldiers, we must be completely humble.
None of us should think we are greater than our fellow soldier.
We need each other and so we too must humble ourselves.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
No, we do not have an identity crisis in our Army…we simply have to recall what our identity is and should be for future generations! The structure of this Army is to get beyond Church walls, beyond Church boundaries, politics, policy and procedures and to reach into our communities toward those who have been rejected by everyone else. We must reach into our communities for those who are disparaged, discouraged, disillusioned, drugged out, pimped out, drunk, condemned, and without all hope.
So, what is your identity as a soldier of this army?
Are you humbly serving as a soldier of Christ?
Where is He sending you?
What is holding you back?
Who in your community is the fallen and rejected?
Can you go to them?
Will you show them love and grace and offer them hope?
Dear Salvation Army, let’s keep up this fight!
We are not finished yet!
Our calling still stands – His Holy Spirit will guide us!
Something more for our Army to ponder today!
Disclaimer: These postings and ponderings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Salvation Army.”