Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"Good Old Army"?

I usually really struggle when I see my denomination criticized in the media. It kinda hurts, and sometimes I want to yell "that's not the Sally Army I recognize or belong to!"

Recently on various blogs I’ve seen The Salvation Army described as “a very conservative fundie church”, “fundamentalist conservative organization” or “notoriously homophobic” …and it doesn’t seem to chime with those wonderful folks I spend so many of my waking hours with. Those people I grew up with and watched their love in action for years on end. It doesn’t seem to resonate with the diverse broad global Christian Church that we are. It’s hard to match some perceptions with my reality.

Having said all of that, we’re not beyond criticism – we do wrong things. Lots of them….and often! Let’s be humble – take the criticism on board when it’s justified – and be gracious in our response when it is not. Sometimes it’s good to be metaphorically hit square between the eyes, just to keep you alert and awake.

I chose this beautiful picture of a Salvationist, my sister in Christ, to illustrate this post because sometimes we can think we have it all down – we know the score, we’ve got it covered. If you think you know The Salvation Army….this slightly eccentric, uniform wearing bunch of do-gooders…..…this shiny shoes & short hair religious music machine….this huge corporate social agency seemingly rolling in Kroc cash…think again.

That ain’t the whole picture. We are not always what we seem – even to ourselves

God bless you my sister in Christ.


shirley buxton said...

Hello, John.

I enjoyed reading this post today for several reasons, the main one being, I think, is your attitude of humility and reality.

I too am part of a very conservative group--The United Pentecostal Church---and it smarts sometimes when people misunderstand or don't see the "full picture" as you so capably noted.

God's blessings on you and yours.

Shirley Buxton

John said...

Thanks for passing by Shirley.

Peace & Blessings


Graeme Smith said...

It's wonderful how a whole denomination can get tarred with the same brush. If the writers of those statements cared to look over to Scandinavia they would see a very different Army to the conservative 'fundie' one.

I personally, would place myself well outside both ends of the spectrum, hopefully on a inclusive, respecting middle ground that challenges sin in peoples' lives, yet loves them unconditionally as well.

John said...

sounds like a good place to be, Graeme.

Peace & Blessings