’10 on The Army’ – Part 1

I came across Geoff Ryan’s new book, ’10 on The Army: re-imagining The Salvation Army for the 21st Century’ at Roots this year. The books don’t seem to be widely available as yet, so I thought I’d go through the ten articles, lift some quotes and make some comments.

Article 1: McArmy and the Franchise Factor

I think that much of the genetic code of The Army stalled in the early part of the twentieth century, wedded to a culture – a formula – that we have remained doggedly loyal to even as it has become irrelevant and archaic.

AC – The Army must seek to express its core values in the local context. People joke about sausage factory training colleges, training all officers the same way. It still happens. No corps used to be complete without a band, songsters, Home League. By and large, these things have a fair degree if irrelevance to them in what they have become. Yet we still measure success by them. As much as we love The Army, it is much more important to preserve the passionate motivation for our existence rather than just the forms

What are the values that drive the corporate culture of our day and age? Are they compatible with scriptural values, or antithetical? What price are we paying in our ability to speak prophetically into culture when we align ourselves with the power structures of globalization that encourage consumerism in order to encourage materialism?

AC – Geoff maintains that the new empires are large corporations and the fact that the Army still seems to model itself on empire. The Army have been jumping on empire building for years…Church Growth movement, and now Natural Church Development (NCD). These are all tools of preserving self. They remove us from mission to maintenance. When we jump on the bandwagon of becoming more business-like. We lose each week, it seems, another element of freedom to be creative in the Salvation War. What happens is that we end up with a church culture that says: ‘come to us to be saved, but only when we are open, and only on our terms.’ If we are going around wedded to a pre-decided plan wherever we are and not adjusting ourselves for the lost, we become no better than the churches of Booth’s days which excluded vast amounts of people.

Have we become McArmy? And are we happy to be McArmy uncritically franchising ourselves all over the place in pursuit of a magic formula that does not actually exist?…Are we still shaped by values that at the most fundamental level clash with the values of our faith?

AC – we want to be celebrating the diverity of God’s creation and recognising that not everyone in every nation is the same. But we also need to recognise that to win a community, we have to bend over back-wards to make that possible. What are the transferrable principles of The Army’s mission? I’d argue: salvation, holiness, visibility/availablity, internationalism, commitment to the last lost and least, prophetic calling out with in the church and within society the heart and standards of the Kingdom. The rest is commentary and most certainly dispensable.


One thought on “’10 on The Army’ – Part 1

  1. Andrew Clark,You have written about Globalization, Consumerism, Faith and Culture in your post. Before Industrialization humans destroyed Environment primarily for Food. After Industrialization humans are destroying environment for Food and Consumer Goods. Our planet can still provide food to all people – It cannot provide Consumer Goods to all people. in this context I want to post a part from my article which examines the impact of Consumerism and Industrialization on our Minds and Environment. Please read.Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.If there are no gaps there is no emotion.Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.Emotion ends.Man becomes machine.A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.To read the complete article please follow any of these links :PlanetSaveFreeInfoSocietySocietyePhilosopherCorruptsushil_yadav

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