Clerical Clarification

Greetings friends.

So, some have taken offence at my post on clericalism. Its too important too delete, but as usual these things can always be communicated clearer.

Let me just communicate again in a very short sentences what I was saying:

– It was a post in favour of soldiers of The Salvation Army throught the world, and a dream that they might again be release to be soldiers. I consider myself a soldier first and and officer second.

– It is an appeal to officers to release their soldiers and to engage in training of them

– It was a post of anger in the way that sometimes people are not released or equipped for spiritual ministry by the people who are set aside to identify, release and train soldiers for ministry which then results in a consumerist church

– It is a comment on a world-wide issue for The Army which needs to be discussed, and indeed since the post the salvosphere has been adding their thoughts to the discussion…this is healthy.

– It is a comment on what God is calling Tracy and I to model in our officer leadership

– I mentioned Wick as just one example among many where soldiers haven’t always been released, utilised and trained for ministry. It appears that some have taken offence at Wick being mentioned as an example of a place where the above things have perhaps happened. If it was perceived as a denegration of these good folks, it has been percieved wrong or communicated wrongly on my part. There are very few examples of corps where every soldier has been trained and released in ministry so I could have chosen any location but at the moment Wick is my context.

The trouble with saying something difficult is that we all come with our own prejudices and opinions and occasionally they clash. For everyone who agrees with one opition there will often be two who disagree. Isn’t it good that we live in a world where we are free to discuss and disagree without censorship?

I’m confident that the position I set out expounds a more biblical view of leadership within the people of God. You’ll appreciate how it might be impossible for me to climb down for this position, but this post is hopefully a clarification and an ‘apology’ (as in a defence) for the points needing clarifying.

The flip side is the people who have responded to say the post articulated where they find themselves in their own corps. Bless you and may God make a way for the laos of God in your situation to be released. The lost are the very first people who need this to happen.

Blessings, friends.

Andrew C

One thought on “Clerical Clarification

  1. I’ve been back in the army about five years and in that time I haven’t been in a corps where there haven’t been people deeply frustrated at their not being developed, encouraged, deployed in service in neighbourhood or church. These were almost the first conversations I had with soldiers in the army when I returned and they continue around me now, (at least among the minority who haven’t given up and left). It’s desperately important the army in the UK in all those corps, like the half dozen or so I saw, wakes up and realises how completely incongruous and inappropriate it is to have a clergy-dominated style of church not only in a Salvation Army setting at all, but in our contemporary post-Christendom context even more. Your post isn’t an attack on officers, it’s a resounding call for a course correction. The army is all about Jesus first. After that it often comes across as being all about officers. And after that conversation generally gets onto music! If you want to know what happens to armies made up of poorly trained, ill-equipped and uncertainly deployed soldiers, read the history books. In 2005 I asked where the evangelism training materials were in the corps I was in at the time. They didn’t have any. I asked when they had last run a course. They hadn’t. Even our DHQ couldn’t find anything or point me to a course resource pack in the whole division. When I asked if a training course on mission existed I was told nobody had ever heard of one. In the end I got a course from the Baptist church. Thank God for the Baptist college I’m now doing theology there, but what happened to the Salvation Army? The Baptists have to train our soldiers? For pities sakes – Thank you for you post, and keep posting on this Captain.

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