Sunday, February 18, 2007

If by "Salvation Army", you mean:

I hope my Canadian brother Pernell doesn't mind me ripping off his latest post... but I connect deeply with the sentiment and expression... As you know my family and I worship at the Salvation Army in Bellshill... I joined the Army out of my free choice... I didn't grow up in it like my life (who, may I say, has chosen to worship there) and I am sometimes view myself as an outsider... an auslander, if you will. This is why I connect so strongly with this post:
If by "Salvation Army", you mean: uniforms, brass bands, flags, and predominantly military terminology and acronyms used... then "no, we're not."

If by "Salvation Army", you mean: either social service or church and not both together... then "no, we're not."

If by "Salvation Army", you mean: quality vintage clothing at a reasonable price... that's cool, but "no, we're not."

If by "Salvation Army", you mean: out-dated, mean-well-but-virtually-useless, stodgy, stayed, same old, same old... then "no, we're not."

If by "Salvation Army", you mean: simply collecting money door to door, or at red shiny bell-ringing Christmas kettles... we do that, but "no, we're not."

If by "Salvation Army", you mean: concerning ourselves with simply hanging onto the traditions/rituals/practices we love because we love them and for no other good reason... and we convince ourselves that they could still work even though they really haven't for fifty years [if they ever did]... then "no, we're not."

If by "Salvation Army", you mean: cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all... then "no, we're not."

However...

If you mean: mission and values... then "yes, we are."

If you mean: solidarity with the poor, the over-looked, the unloved, the disenfranchised, the broken, the riff raff, the down-and-out, the neglected... then "yes, we are."

If you mean: a movement which is simply part of the larger church [the Kingdom] world-wide with a 2000 year history [not just a hundred and something year history]... then"yes, we are."

If you mean: blending deep community with social action [and mission and the arts]... then "yes, we are."

If you mean: fighting against systems that oppress, battling dark spiritual forces, overcoming evil with good, fighting for the rights and health and well-being of the neglected, and trying to do what's right... then "yes, we are."

If you mean: "heart to God, hand to man"... then "yes, we are."

If you mean: bringing church to where the people are and finding any way necessary to show them Jesus by the way that we love... then "yes, we are."

If you mean: treating people with dignity and respect, being available and accessible, and recognizing our own desperate need of Jesus while responding in the darkest parts of the city with his love... then "yes, we are."

Yes, we really are Salvation Army.
I am Army... but, first and foremost, I am a follower of Jesus.

Thanks Pernell you are an inspiration!

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