Saturday, February 04, 2006

Marching as to WAR !

I am so tired of politically correct emerging post modern C.E. Christians complaining that any reference to War or the Military is offensive to those searching for truth - that these references actually serve as stumbling blocks to those we are trying to reach. This is a lie ! I think the problem is that PC Christians must have never met any of the people that we are trying to reach.
Seriously, you who are totally offended, please consider:

When was the last time you hung out with a crack dealer ?

When was the last time you walked home from school with a kid that sees gun fights in their yard on a regular basis ?

If you have spent any time at all with the poor, oppressed and broken of this world you would have seen that we are at war and that the people we are called to serve live the manifest reality of war every day. Many are literally in danger of being attacked, killed or captured.

Here is my point; the poor and the oppressed actually appreciate our militaristic campaign of attack on sin and hell. Why? Because they know its real. They have experienced the forces of hell manifest with a plan to kill them, and when given the opportunity to Fight back - Fight they want to and will!

Those pushing the PC agenda need to put down their books and touch something real. I say that in love.

Rob

16 comments:

Kelly said...

yeah, i see things completely differently. it's been my experience that the people we live alongside respond more fully to love than our desire to equate their struggle with hard core military metaphors.

one of my new years resolutions was to stop using the phrase "impact the world for Christ" and instead focus on infusing my relationships with His love.

Bryan said...

I'm with Kelly. The militarism metaphor just encourages violent and self-righteous responses to problems. Not to mention all that military connotes today - Western imperialism and "might makes right" theology.

patrick lyons said...

I'm with Elijah Cadman: 'I would like to wear a suit of clothes that would let everyone know I meant war to the teeth and salvation for the world'

Aurora said...

War is real. Not against people, but against powers and principalities; against falsehood and half-truths; against injustice and poverty; against oppression and slavery...if you don't think there's a war, open your eyes. That's my two cents.

Bret said...

I have to agree with Kelly. Good stuff! However, I agree that the only agenda we need to be pushing is Christ's agenda.

Keep up the God work!

Blessings,
Bret

Andrew said...

I'm with Rob & Aurora on this one.

Blood & Fire!

surrendered said...

I think it can get to be a confusing thing - the war metaphor in the Salvation Army. Clearly, Paul used military jargon, but that doesn't justify our every use of it.

Romantic idealism doesn't necessarily equate with love. Do we really love the sinner? Or do we just love our ideals?

Patrick, in my days growing up at the training college, I used to pass that Elijah Cadman quote on the wall nearly every day. It inspired me from time to time.

But of late, I have started thinking, "Why must I rely on what I'm wearing to tell people what I believe?" I should let others know I mean war on injustice and salvation for the world by the fruit of the Spirit in my life, shouldn't I?

Never let your service TO God be a distraction from your worship OF God. The former will flow naturally out of the latter once the Target is fixed and you are walking and worshipping in the Spirit.

patrick lyons said...

My concern is this: Compare the Christian Mission and TSA. From 1865 to 1878 Booth only grew 30 stations adn 33 evangelists. After the change it began to grow exponentially.

Don't look at this discussion through western eyes. Where is the Army growing most? Third world African countries with uniforms, bands, drums, and open airs. (All the stuff we complain about no longer working here.) And they do this in the midst of warlords, ethnic cleansing, and tribal infighting.

If the Army dies in the Western hemisphere, it will not be because of brands adn uniforms and militaristic terminology - it will be because of inaction adn the church mentality.

I'd be interested to see a Salvation Army planted on one street and a Christian Mission planted on the next. Who do you think would flourish?

My concern - There are too many excuses for leaving our "militaristic" overtones behind. Why? Are people ashamed? Are they simply not concerned with the people we were created to serve?

It is our Christian responsibility to infuse Christ into our personal relationships. (Judea) But we mave a mandate from Christ to reach out to our suffering Communities. (Samaria) And then to the uttermost parts of the earth!

Over one hundred years ago, the gauntlet was laid down and a war was declared on sin and the poor souls enslaved to it. But if you want to see the Army die...

Then while there are weeping women. hungry children, and imprisoned men, then you pray and feel bad and discuss. I'll fight.

I have noticed that the people who say that they don't wear the uniform and are still good salvationists are not the ones in the gutters. No offence - just an observation.

angie joy said...

I believe we are called to serve and minister to everyone - and that goes beyond the "poor and oppressed" who I have no doubt often benefit from militaristic metaphors. However, try using that type of language with my peers at law school (who need God just as much as the next person), and I'd venture to say that it wouldn't go over well.

patrick lyons said...

You are correct, angie joy ... those law students need Jesus - He loves them, in fact, and He has sent you.

And there are alot of churches full of lawyers and doctors adn other young upwardly mobile professionals. If only God would raise up a church to send to the people "Christian" society no longer cares for...

So who do we sent to pimps? Christian pimps? Christian s? Christian -heads? There are some churches with active ministries to the fringe.

We were birthed in the slum, crime-infested streets doing what noone else was willing to do. Show me a presb. or southern bab. church not willing to reach out to a lawyer. I'll show you a bunch of them with no time for a .

My point: There are 50 churches in town trying to reach out to and attract from the same pool of people. One thing I have discovered as I journey with the poor in my community - they have no use for religion adn are tired of churches who don't really care.

They trust The Salvation Army adn don't mind that we are different. SO I will not waste a second of my time trying to be like all the other churches who vye for one more person to come into in church. I want to be a part of our weird ool army and be relevant to the cause of Christ as we go about meeting human needs adn preaching the gospel.

I do not care if my uniform or terminology is no longer relevent in pop culture as long as my ministry is relevant to those I serve.

And sure, no church would mind if "one of those people came in." I had one of my congregation say, "We don't care if a black person comes in our church." I asked that person, "When was the last time you went to them?"

(I posted this in the next blog as well.)

Dave C said...

Although I agree that there are many people who don't like or agree with the military overtones and language we use, but those are not the people we are called to help. Unfortunately, those are the people who fund may of our programs and The Army has gotten too attached to that money.

For Blood and For Fire,
Dave

angie joy said...

I guess I'm just not in agreement with you on your idea that the Army is called to exclusively serve the "fringe". I don't understand this insistence that this is the way it ought to be - why can't we just serve and witness to all?

patrick lyons said...

Angie Joy, I honestly appreciate your compassion for all the lost. That is a gift that all Christians should have. The honest truth is that their is sin at every level of society and missionaries are needed to every culture.

In dealing with TSA, I look at it from this standpoint. Middle and upperclass America are overreached. Everyone would love to have these folks in theri congregations.

But our society is not much changed from Booth's 1865. (This is Patrick speaking, not Christ) teh Church is doing a horrific job in reaching teh least. Secular counseling centers and godless organizations are mounting in our absence with un-spiritual and anti-spiritual answers.

The fact is, I have limited resources in a town with a church on every corner. Who will I spend my time and resources on: the people everyone wants or the people noone wants?

Also, please do not confuse my passion with condecension. I'm not better than you; I am a fellow believer seeking to work out his own salvation and willing to throw his two cents in on the present and future Salvation Army.

God bless you as you reach the lost.

angie joy said...

Thanks for your response. I think the real issue, however, is that regardless of if "everyone wants" the middle and upper class people in their congregation, they simply aren't getting them. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this issue! :)

Anonymous said...

Kelly,

You wrote on your blog:

"If the electricity went out, and your walls fell down, and your biggest givers died, what would you have left? Would you have a community of people still seeking after the heart of God? Would you still worship even without a band? Would you still be able to learn about God even though you can't show a video or a PowerPoint slide? In other words, what you have when everything else goes away is what your church is really all about."

Why did you write that? you have no idea what you are talking about. You are ignorant, but you believe yourself to be smart. You also said "I see things completely differently", and yet, you don't see at all. You 'imagine' things, like your electricity failing and what you would do about it.

Am I wrong? Perhaps I am, show me, give it all away, go live on the streets proclaiming your love for Jesus and your neighbor like the holy simpleton. Then see that military metaphors WORK. They are accurate terms for the conditions many of us find ourselves in. If you don't understand the language we speak, we will be more than happy to teach you. And if still you will not learn, then your love is closed off, only to be accessed by those who talk and act like you.

Even worse, your a liberal

angie joy said...

Interesing post "Anonymous"...I guess I am beginning to understand now...
And, I'm sure you must know this, but attacking and labelling people is not the way to reach them. IS it possible that if you attempted to understand the worldview of everyone, and not just those you encounter on a daily basis, perhaps you would find that you'd be able to share your view of the world in a way that encourages people to respond, not forces them to retreat...