Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Commissioner Joe Noland

I once - a couple of years back - flagged Joe Noland as one of the few senior Salvation Army leaders to be actively engaged in blogging.

Two years on, nothing much has changed, but Joe continues to churn out some really thought provoking stuff.

His latest post on uniform wearing (he says he has a love/hate relationship with it) & Salvationism has a real resonance with the way I see things – even though I don’t always feel the necessity to make mention of the liberal and conservative worldviews. As a Brit – even one who almost reluctantly accepts that label – I don’t quite connect with that requirement to show we are bipartisan, or more accurately not aligned to any number of political mindsets as a movement.

Here are a few selected highlights:

Salvationism is a two part word: Salvation + ism. The salvation part is never changing – the same, yesterday, today, forever (The conservative part). Ism, by its proper definition is “a movement” – always changing: “Mobile, fluid, robust, pulsating, progressive, maturing – Genesis in motion.”

In other words, our methodology needs to stay relevant, inclusive and flexible in order to reach the last, the lost and least (The liberal part).
you will find that good, calculated, risk-taking begins to dissipate as mission metamorphosis into institutionalism. Early day Salvationists were risk-takers for the right reasons. Let’s take this primitive concept and make it contemporary, sans the traditional, institutional regulations and regalia. For many that’s too scary (risky) to even think about.

I also like the quote he includes from Commissioner Harry Read:

"Salvationism is an engine-room kind of word, for within its robust, energy-exuding frame pulsates the heart of the Army. Here, the essential beliefs of the Movement, its active, maturing and progressive concepts, its love and service-centred ministries, all reside in a living, quick-to-respond balance for the benefit of mankind."

HT to Joe Noland for the wonderful pic
Follow Joe on Twitter

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