Dear Salvation Army, Convenience or War?

booth“We are not sent to minister to a congregation and be content if we keep things going. We are sent to make war…and to stop short of nothing but the subjugation of the world to the sway of the Lord Jesus” – William Booth

Today I wish to ponder upon our identity and that of our action as a Salvation Army.
I believe the chief dangers of our Army currently is comfort and prosperity.  I speak primarily to the Western world “Army”.  Not as an indictment, but rather as a conviction of mine.  We are comfortable. We have where places in the world does not have even a roof to worship under.  We can call it blessed, and it certainly is, but within that “blessing” there is the real danger of becoming lazy.

-Lazy with Jesus’ teachings.
-Lazy with the need to leave our buildings.
-Lazy with the necessity for Holiness.
-Lazy with the Officer or Local Officer in their preparation for Sermons and Teachings.

Comfort can produce these dangers if safe guards are not in place, and spiritual disciplines are absent.  (I am not calling anyone lazy in this pondering, merely warning all of us of its lure and harming  effect it has on our mission)

go onGeneral Booth’s quote here seems to indicate that it is not The Salvation Army’s mission to maintain .  Are we doing this right now?  Are we simply playing it safe and maintaining the status quo?  What of Spiritual and Corps Growth?  What we are we doing within the context of Suffering/Serving Humanity that leads to lives being transformed?  Our Army is NOT about becoming like another Church…or is it?  Is it an erroneous thought that we are Church or that our evangelistic approaches should mimic that of other churches?  What are the dangers of such an approach?  Do we get it wrong sometimes when it comes to this train of thought (Distancing ourselves from being just another “Church”)?

I know that the Booths truly believed that they could win the world for Jesus, and i’m not doubting that this is possible, BUT…was this quote simply used to rally the forces in some sort of pep talk/rally OR are we to wage spiritual warfare everywhere we look?

Some Truths: fight
We have become slightly (maybe more than slightly) comfortable in our cozy corps and structured programs.  We have sort of evolved, funding sources have more guidelines, we have more to lose and so we protect the ground we have already gained and risk much less often…tell me is this Booth’s vision of our Army?

I do not wish to sound like a militant Salvationist, but are we lacking something in this current approach?  I know that I’m not the only one asking this.  I know that there are leaders all around the world in our Army seeing this very same danger.  So…how do we fix it?  How do we go about turning the ship (sometimes Titanic-like behemoth) around?

I Believe… 
*I Believe we are not to be an Army of Convenience.
*I Believe we are not to be an Army of Comfort.
*I Believe that if we barricade the corps doors and insinuate ourselves with program and “play” church, and look like all the other churches – we will have lost our Blood and Fire Souls!
*I Believe this generation needs to step up our efforts in the fight against sin in our communities.
*I Believe a little civil disobedience in order for deaf ears to hear of the hope of Christ needs to be utilized once more.
*I Believe that we need to rely less on where our next funding source is coming from and more on the Great Provider to grant us these gifts.
*I Believe that Holiness in our Ranks means that our mission will not face extinction.
*I Believe that without prayer in the pews we will not have warriors for Christ in the streets.
* I Believe that without spiritual disciplines employed in our personal daily walks, we will be greatly weakened, Christ’s image not realized, and more susceptible to the lures of temptation.
* I Believe that our Army is in need of a revolution which can only begin on our knees in full submission.
*I Believe what make us an effective army is the Holy Spirit’s power, and the obedient-servant hearts of soldiers!

ArmyI do not belong to a convenience Army…do you?
May we continue to wage war in our communities on sin.
The darkness is very real in towns and cities.
Suffering because of sin still occurs…and we cannot, we will not turn a blind eye to those who are suffering!

Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

 

 
Disclaimer:  The Opinions and thoughts of the writer do not necessarily reflect the opinions and thoughts of The Salvation Army.  

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2 Replies to “Dear Salvation Army, Convenience or War?”

  1. Thank you for another thought provoking pondering! When I read Joseph Girzones “Joshua, A Parable For Today” last year I have never been the same. Though it is a fiction story written by a retired priest the book questions whether any of the churches get it right. Being a retired priest he writes from a scriptural view…
    Now every time I ponder this complacency I see not only in others but beginning in myself I question the lack of FIRE in my soul. For time is short and we must get more interested in saving souls than raising funds. Sharing Christ IS what God called me to do.

  2. I am not a Salvationist, but I am sister-in-Christ and I believe this applies to the whole body of Christ especially in the West and I thank you for sharing it.

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