Ok, I wasn going to “rant” on this but I must vent… hopefully I will be able to put into articulate words why this annoys me so that discussion can take place… anyway, its all because I read a friends status where they shared something from ArmyBarmy, a site which I usually avoid as I disagree with some (probably many) of their attitudes and beliefs as they are part of the “Primitive Salvationist” movement (which I have previously raised concerns about many years ago – LINK).
This view was reinforced with the some of statements from the following section of a post entitled “Controversial? To slackers and sinners”:
“Now, for some reason, some people seem to think that we are controversial here. I’m not sure why keen Salvos would think nearly anything we say is controversial. What are we on about here?
Well, we’re harping on about winning the world for Jesus. So if you don’t like that you don’t like William Booth, Catherine Booth, George Scott Railton, Booth-Tucker, Samuel Logan Brengle, and the rest of the primitive Salvationists.
We’re on about holiness (google armybarmy and holiness or Journal of Aggressive Christianity and holiness to prove it; or, yesterday’s post threat).
We are big on covenant. So is God.
You might hear us mention Primitive Salvationism now and again (charismatic-flavoured, mission-focused heroism). We have concluded that it is historically and currently the most effective strain of Salvationism. The facts back this up. Check out the facebook group with that name.
We’re into Aggressive Christianity (lining up behind Catherine Booth). We named the oldest SA online journal after it.
So we’re pro-SA. We beleve that we’re the fist of the Body of Christ – that we are a revolutionary movement of covenanted warriors exercising holy passion to win the world for Jesus.
We’re pro-doctrines. We believe them. We aim to live them. We teach them (our recruits all memorise them). And so on…
We’re pro-militant Salvationism (“We are not a metaphor” – Anthony Castle – www.armybarmy.com/JAC/article11-56.html).
We’re pro-Bible – we believe it is God-breathed (like Paul does),
pro-holiness – we’re solidly with Brengle on this one (read THE UPRISING, HOLINESS INCORPORATED, BOSTON COMMON for evidence),
pro-life – we believe God loves life and wants to protect it, even unborn babies!
and pro-soldiership (read Salvationism 101, 201, 301, ONE ARMY, ARTICLES OF WAR and other books for evidence)
in a time when it is trendy to question this whole list (well, except for the things the trendists have already discarded).
And so on. There is nothing controversial there to a keen Salvo.
Slacker Christians might find it controversial.
Sinners might find it controversial.”
… erm, now I know I may be reading into this but it certainly feels like if I find any of that controversial I am not a “keen Salvo” so I must either a sinner or a slacker? Also that asking questions about what we believe and why we believe it and asking if its relevant (something I believe is fundamental to anyone’s belief, be they christian or not) is “trendy”, which judging by the tone and in this context is a horrendous wrong?
These statements, these definitions, seem to imply that if you dont hold to these you are not a proper salvationist, not a fully functioning member of this part of the church. Reading through these statement I can see elements I agree with but I cannot actually fully put my name to any of these statements… I am obviously a bad salvationist.
I believe in questioning, I believe in doubt, debate, discussion. If we accept things “just because” we are fools. We must ask ourselves always is this relevant to today, why do we believe this, why do we do this, where did this believe come from? Just like taking the bible literally and ignoring its metaphorical and allegorical interpretations is foolishness so is the idea that questioning is wrong. We should be willing to question, seek answers, and then change/add/remove as needed.
There is so much to get me annoyed in this, the assertion of “pro-life” especially after the tragic and avoidable death in Ireland recently, this is a complex issue and one I am not fully up to speed on but its safe to say I am “pro-choice”, this of course does not mean I do not somehow believe life is sacred. This also highlights my dislike of presuming that because someone identifies themselves under a particular banner that they are all the same. Its a fallacy and shows up the stupidity of presumption and prejudgement because of a label that has either been chosen or forced upon a person. Just because I am a Christian does not mean I believe what the Westbro do, just because I am a Salvationist does not mean I believe what these guys do, do you see what I mean?
To be honest I could rant for hours dissecting the above, if you want to know what I believe my “creed” is on the website. Its safe to say that I do not believe what they believe and if that means I am not a salvationist in their eyes, then so be it. I am my own person in Christ and what others think I am like or wither or not I “believe correctly” is not their concern its between me and the big guy.
One last thing I don’t know why but the original site doesnt seem to allow comments? So feel free to comment here (at least until wordpress autoshuts them down after a time to stop spam :)). Just keep it civil, I understand if this post annoys some from any background.