Dear Salvation Army: “Politics, Placation and the Papacy…”

Pope Francis has done it again.
One could categorize him as a pope who is polarizing.
Still others might categorize him as a pope who has made difficult choices but also the right choices.
However you view this leader of the Catholic church, he is certainly NOT your average run of the mill Pope.
His latest leadership decision has been to appoint Cardinals and out of the 15 nominees, 9 hail from emerging countries of the developing world.  News link: Pope Francis Names New Cardinals
I find it interesting that this leader has appointed new Cardinals from emerging countries.  Think of it?!  These countries do not have as much political or financial power as places like Italy, France, the United States and the United Kingdom but Pope Francis has appointed a majority of the new Cardinals from these places anyway?
This comes after his strong chastisement of current leadership and even stated they had “spiritual Alzheimer’s”.
Perhaps this leader has made these difficult decisions because they were the right decisions to make.
Perhaps, instead of placating incumbent, staunch “comfy” leaders, it was time to appoint new ones.
Perhaps, this leader (Pope Francis) recognizes where a majority of his church’s growth is taking place.

translationIs There a TSA Translation?
I’d like to say that we have it made in our Army.
That everything is hunky dory and peachy…but we have growth issues too!
When an organization stops growing and/or plateaus it can be a warning sign.

Are we recognizing the fastest growing armies (Salvation Army corps, divisions, territories that is) in the developing world?
Do we, at times, play the political game because of where a majority of our World Services funds come from?
Do we, at times, placate and position ourselves in order to appoint leaders?
crest6Some of these questions are well beyond me.
What do I know?
I am a lowly Captain.
But I am a soldier of this army.
I believe our voices are important…don’t you?
But it seems to me that there is something for us here.
Please don’t misunderstand my point.
I do not wish to emulate any other denomination other than our own.
We were created for a purpose, a holy purpose I believe.
We are not the Catholic church…nor should we ever strive to be.
We DO have much to learn though.
In retrospect we are this very, very, young Mission/Army of the Universal Christian Church (big ‘C’).
We have some growing to do.
God is not finished with us yet.
Perhaps, within this “growing”, there will be pains, groans, the occasional adjustment.

Are we all that we can be as an Army?  (Sorry if I stole a line there from an old United States Army slogan)
Are we wise enough yet in our 150 year existence to recognize the need to shuck off politics, placating practices and to see the bigger Army – world wide?
I believe politics and policies at times ties our hands.
It hog ties us.
It holds us captive.
Dare I say, it places limits on the moving of the Holy Spirit in our Army…especially when there are far too many “hoops” to jump through these days to get anything done.  Could it be that we have become like pharisees in rule keeping that we have far too many laws and rules to abide by that we truly cannot keep them all?

I’m certainly not advocating anarchy by any means, but I am wondering where this Army is going if we are too bogged down with maintaining instead of expanding this mission of the Lord?
Who knows, perhaps there IS something that we can learn from this rebel-rouser Pope…perhaps the days of Joe the Turk aren’t dead after all in this army…here’s to hoping anyway!
Something more for our Army to ponder today.
To God be the Glory.

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