(This is an old post I wrote many years ago, cant remember when, but I am ashamed to say its still relevant and still an issue)
Right Wing Salvationism… Militancy or Maliciousness?
I have seen a disturbing swing in Salvation Army views towards what I can only describe as a right wing agenda. Now in some ways a black white view on the world is good and right for a Christian and their church. However, what I have seen disturbs my spirit. I have seen people (officers included) getting annoyed that we are now seen as a church. I have seen arguments that if you don’t like uniforms, flags etc you have no place (certainly not in leadership). I have seen a disturbing emphasis being thrust on to our military aspects.
I am a salvationist, I am a solider of God and I am proud of that fact.
I do not wear a uniform of dark blue, or hold any love for a flag or crest. I hold no love for ANY flag, for any emblem. I hold a respect for what they mean, I hold a respect for those that fought and died so that I can worship God in my way. These people I fear are steps away from the same idolatry that destroyed the Israelites in the old testament.. I was serious when I said no flag hold my love, I hold no allegiance to king or country. I follow only one king, I am a citizen of only one place. This world is fleeting and I couldn’t care less what anyone thought of me as I go through it, uniforms tear and break, clothes fade, flags wither, crests and emblem rust and tarnish. The spirit (or soul) endures.
The church has for too long focused it teaching in the wrong testament, that is the old testament. Christ by His glorious death and resurrection abolished the law and our binding to it. We were free, Jesus commandments were now our guide, His teaching our goal. Not Moses, not Elijah, not David, although these are good for lessons but not theology. Are you aware that The Salvation Army (in fact many churches) in their creed (or doctrine as we call it) do not acknowledge the resurrection of Christ? The dead in the end day/s, yes, but not our saviour? Excuse me shut up about smegging uniforms, worship music styles, what is or is not right to listen to/watch and make sure OUR CHURCH has the basics in its doctrines! Christ died and was raised to life to save our souls so that we may have life in all its abundance. We preach it so why is it not there in the doctrines for all to see, shove a uniform as a display of our convictions when our churches own creed denies Christ His sovereignty over death! And in case you don’t believe me…
” We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.”
I have also seen a returning to the “old ways” of hating and despising the pagan and ancient religions that the churches of old did so much to alienate and persecute. Ask yourself this, has anyway one any right to judge a person or belief that they have not got their facts on? I say facts here and I do not means from one side or the other, I mean problem investigation, looking at all sides of the “story”, as it were. I know witches, worlocks, wiccan, satanists, pagans, athiests, christians, muslim, ba’hai, and more. I try my best to understand their faiths, their beliefs, I look to see what binds not divides. I see within them the desire to know more about our world, to find solace somewhere, to find meaning. They do not hate us (at least most don’t, there are the few who make us hate them all).
Our distrust of other faiths (especially the ancient religions) is the greatest weapon the enemy Satan has against us. He winds us up in knots fearing them, hating them, reacting against them when in truth we should be loving them, talking to them, understanding them and drawing alongside them as Christ would have. Satan would have us hate and distrust them rather than love them.
The same goes for this heretical idea of hating being called a church, we a church, its called being part of the body of Christ. The word church does have a bad rep and rightly so in many cases as it has smeared the wonderful intentions of the early Christian’s into an almost unholy shape. It is time then rather than shun away from “church” as a concept rather retake it, remould it, reclaim it. Let The Salvation Army be the beacon that shines the way, and I believe that through ALOVE that is happening. We are a church, we are an army, the two are not separate the two are not distinct. We fight because we believe, we believe because we have fought.
I say to all those who have offended through this, why do my words offend, why are you so afraid of losing your uniforms and flags are you afraid you would not stand out enough in the crowd without them?
If we are not careful these moves I have mentioned will destroy us. Yes the people saying them are only saying them because they care ad they want to see the victory as much as I do, just remember that as there is room for all in body of Christ so their should be in The Salvation Army and all churches. I acknowledge and applaud these peoples bravery, and love for the cause, I just question where their motives come from and where they may lead.
Freedom Fighter in the midst of the enemies lines
(sorry, I couldn’t resist, no offence to those blogs I read who use these sorts of endings)