Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Why God is Not Finished with The Salvation Army.

The response was varied. The readership was huge. The viral nature of my previous blog astounded me. I wrote a piece entitled, 'Why The Salvation Army is in decline and what we can do about it!'  For different reasons it sparked discussion right around the globe (especially in the West - and many are right when they assert that decline is most relevant IN the West). In one corner people agreed, and in another there was vehement disagreement. Some sought to sharpen up the original post, with some clarifying thoughts. Some pointed out that some of my assertions were general assumptions and not applicable to their setting.

Well, the dust has settled and I want to follow up that provocative post with Part 2: Why God is Not Finished with The Salvation Army.

I am convinced that Salvationists need a sense of urgency of the need for change, hence my previous post. One does not get a hair cut until they are dissatisfied with their current hair style (Ok, I do not speak from experience on that one...). You know what I mean? We can not change the course of history by trying to solve the challenges we have with the same thinking that existed when the challenge arose. We must think outside the box. Give new things a shot. We keep what is absolutely essential to what makes us The Salvation Army, and allow the Lord to reveal to us new ways of expressing gospel-centered ministry to a broken world in our rapidly changing global environment.

So, that's why I have written this post. God is not finished with The Salvation Army. In fact, I think the best days are still ahead. No offense, Will and Kate. You did great things. Though God has planted something within this movement that desires to do greater things!

We could rewind to the vision imparted to The Salvation Army from William Booth, found within In Darkest England and the Way out. The vision was an army pulling people from the ills of society, and giving them the hope of full salvation. You can see workers straining to reach out to people in need. There is a passion for the transformative work of Jesus to transpire in people's lives.

Today we have Salvationists right around the globe still working tirelessly to draw people out of addictions, hate, pornography, apathy, homelessness, loneliness, anger, abuse, bitterness and the list goes on.

I think of the street ministries of Salvationists and volunteers that give cups of cold water to those who thirst, and the community lunches that feed the hungry. I know of a ministry that provides free legal advice to those on lower incomes. There are Salvation Army hospitals and schools, and rehab centres, and shelters from abuse. There are Corps that are ignited by a passion to lead people to Christ and disciple them in the process. Some Salvation Army communities of faith meet in buildings, under trees, in houses, in fields, in large basketball arenas, in 'mission houses' and even in secret.

There is a passion to do something about our faith!

But one knows only too well, that there is still a job ahead of us.

This is why I believe God is not finished with The Salvation Army. See, within this movement is an embedded DNA that says, while there is still one lost soul, we'll fight. While there is still brokenness, we'll fight.

We're still fighting.

Until the fullness of the Kingdom of God has come among us, we will keep fighting.

We may wrestle with what The Salvation Army looks like a decade from now. We may not be able to conceive of how God will shape us moving forward. No doubt we'll discuss uniforms and music and ecclesiastical structures. A commissioner here and there will make some tough decisions. We'll debate about how to do effective mission in the world and we'll work at finding alignment on such issues. But that being said, I know this: we'll keep fighting.

We'll keep fighting, because there is still something to fight for. And while there is still something to fight for, you'll find The Salvation Army.

* These are my opinions and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Salvation Army.

1 comment:

  1. I will not give to a homophobic organisation that sexually abuses children. God may not be finished with the Salvos, but I am.


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