Dear Salvationist, Why Do You Want To Be A Soldier?

Dear Salvationist,

I ask you this question within this pondering today because it truly matters how you answer the question.  There are good reasons to be a soldier, and there are not-so-good reasons to be a soldier.

The ‘Not-So’ List: Photo Feb 24, 1 29 59 PM
1) I want to be a soldier because my whole family is a soldier…
this may be the most common of answers.  The answer itself isn’t necessarily bad or wrong, but if this becomes the sole reason you are a soldier, then you have missed the point of soldiership.  In the same way that no one will get into heaven on the merits of others, so it is with soldiership.  A good soldier is one who understands the mission and is prepared to be holy and then to live out holiness everyday.  Familiar bonds are wonderful, yet they are not a sufficient motive for soldiership.

2) I want to be a soldier because I look good in dark blue…(comforts)
Probably not a common excuse, but none-the-less it still address the physical aspects of soldiership.  If we choose to become a soldier because of the opportunities and comforts it affords us – we will have joined for the wrong purposes and motivations.  I am not saying that one can’t change, but if this motive remains constant throughout soldiership, then it will always be about dependancy on the organization and movement than it will ever about being a useful part of movement in the first place.    We don’t wish to become soldiers because of the comforts it affords.

trimMarching On…
Why do you want to be a soldier?
If the answer is that you long to be used by God for His holy purpose, and that you care about suffering humanity – then you are in the right place!  Our hearts and purpose for being soldiers has to line up with the mission of this army.

what is that mission you ask?
“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

What vision should we, as Salvationists share?
I think this still applies – don’t you?

ONE ARMY: We see a God-raised, Spirit-filled Army for the 21st century – convinced of our calling, moving forward together

We will… one

  • deepen our spiritual life
  • unite in prayer
  • identify and develop leaders
  • increase self-support and self-denial

ONE MISSION: Into the world of the hurting, broken, lonely, dispossessed and lost, reaching them in love by all means

We will…

  • emphasise our integrated ministry
  • reach and involve youth and children
  • stand for and serve the marginalised
  • encourage innovation in mission

ONE MESSAGE: With the transforming message of Jesus, bringing freedom, hope and life

We will…

  • communicate Christ unashamedly
  • reaffirm our belief in transformation
  • evangelise and disciple effectively
  • provide quality teaching resources

Dear Soldier, 
bandif you join these ranks as soldiers for any other purpose than to be servants of God and servants of man, then we have joined for all the wrong reasons.  The uniform, and all it represents, is a symbolic representation of a sacrificial life.  We are taking a stand against sin and death in this world.  We are standing with the marginalized.  We are pushing to end human slavery in our world.  We are striving to end the blight of human trafficking.  We are fighting for the homeless, the destitute the helpless, the hurting, the lost.  When we put on our uniforms and say we are soldiers, we are saying that our identities are no longer individual, but we are united with Christ to bring His love into some very loveless places of our world.  When we say we are soldiers, it means we are saved to serve, and we are saved to save.

soldiersIt’s more than just a uniform.
It’s more than just a covenant or a soldiership enrollment paper that we sign.
This mission, this movement – we become the very hands of feet of Christ if we do it properly.  Improperly, we join the throngs of clanging noise of the world that leave little impact and change on humanity.  The choice – this choice to be a soldier of Christ is ours to make.

So…what will it be?
Something more for our Army world to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

Disclaimer:  “The opinions and thoughts expressed here on Pastorsponderings do not necessarily always reflect the opinions and thoughts of The Salvation Army.  Reader discretion is advised.

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2 Comments

  1. I am a soldier now but as of this past year I have seen how the people in the administration offices make there decisions on moving officers by putting credit in unsigned letters and non professing christians who have been coached on what to say and do. they have taken comments made and turn them to meet there decisions.I am very disgusted with the salvation army and I feel like the army needs to get back to its roots. It seems like the army as become more of a busness than a place where christians can come to worship. I think there are some DC’s and AC’S who are using there positions to settle scores with officers they don’t like, because some officers can do what ever they want and more cannot get a break. I will continue to go to church to worship because i worship my GOD not my CHURCH and being a soldier will not get me into heaven but trusting my GOD will

  2. My mistake, and testimony

    Friday, January 15, 2016
    4:43 PM

    So with all due respect to the world and all my loved ones, I’ll try to communicate a part of my life.

    In May 03. 2012, I was sentenced at, 58 years of age in Duval County Jacksonville, Florida. I’d been convicted of cocaine trafficking. This was a new experience for me never had I been arrested for anything. When I understood, I’d be going to prison, I almost threw in the towel, (offed myself). One night sleeping, in cell the room felt as we were in the belly of Satan. In the first few days, I could hear the breathing and sounds of other inmates asleep as a dungeon. I had difficulty sleeping on a steel bed and was a wake. The most horrible moment of my life, covering my head with pillow and blanket, I cried out, The Name of Jesus, for forgiveness and help.

    I clearly heard a voice say “Now you have a second chance, join the army”. “What”? In my head I thought to myself, I’d been rejected, at 18 years old, of serving my country for medical reasons.

    A few days later I was called out for mail call, and given a package, a bible I had sent for. Inside were some magazines and newspapers.

    On the cover of one of the newspapers, were photos of people in military dress. Then I heard the voice again it said “That Army”. The package was from The Salvation Army Corp Church.

    From that moment on , I made up my mind, I’d study every second of my time to better myself. To show improvement for the time I’d invest in prison.

    My daughter Monique found me, not one but three attorneys. A thirty year sentence, turned out to be five years. Plus gain time for good behavior, I did four years three months, total of (51months).

    I’m saying all this , because when a person is offered a second chance and wants a better life, GOD, creator of heaven and earth never turns one down. He gives us love, mercy ,grace and favor. More than we deserve and can even understand. Jesus saved me from my sinful nature and myself.

    My first 36months in a faith and character base program. FDOC gave me the opportunity and now have over 39 certificates of theogy and better class of all kinds. I’ve came to the end of sentence Dec/2015.

    Now preparing to start training classes to be a Salvation Army Soldier, to become a Salvationist Cadet. I graduated Miami Springs Senor High School, studying photography, music, and electronic technology. Also studied at Linslye Hopkins trade school and Miami Dade Jr. Collage.

    I’ve had twelve Florida Corporations, music, theatrical agency, recording video and sound studios. Four trucking company’s and photo journalist for two major Hispanic media magazines, and El Herald en Espaniol ( Editor Norma Nurika).

    Now in a disable retirement waiting to server GOD through Christ Jesus In his Army of Salvation.

    GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank You for your time.
    Carlos Salazarte

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