Monday, June 27, 2005

On covenant

Continuing the discussion on soldership and covenant I am wrestling with a definition.

So here it goes it is a work in progress so feel free to chime in:

A pack, agreement, or bond between two or more entities (could be individuals or groups) to think, feel, or do a certain set of thoughts, feelings, or actions. A covenant means whatever the participants say it means. That meaning must be agreed upon by all parties. Here are some of the things a covenant can mean apart from the words: How long does the covenant stand for? What happens if the covenant is broke by one party? Often these and other meanings are not stated they are understood. Now the key to understanding covenants is this: A covenant is binding and meaningful only as long as ALL parties involved continue to give the covenant the agreed upon meaning. A life covenant is only a life covenant as long as all parties continue to view it as such. Marriage is the perfect example. It is for life unless one partner besides its not.

Now I hope it makes clear this point. Covenants binding until someone brakes the covenant. At that point it is null and void.

Now, If I sign that I will be an officer of the salvation army it is only for life if I believe that it is for life, no matter what others say. If I or other officers I know break the covenant it is null. They are not held to that covenant anymore.

Soldiers, the covenant is not no matter what anyone says only between you and God. It is between you, the Army, and maybe God. (I've met to many to believe that God is always in the covenant.) Besides, God will only have a place within the covenant if you as the signer hold that to be true. So here is the net result. If a soldier signs the Articles of War, then for whatever reason (jerk of a corps officer seems to be common) leaves the Army, that soldier is not for any reason still held to the covenant. Its dead. The covenant is only binding as long as the signer holds it to be binding. Only then can others hold the signer accountable.

So to all former Salvationists enjoy a glass of wine occasionally (unless you have a problem with addiction.) If life or God has lead you down a different path great enjoy your journey with God. If you have felt wrath and abuse by colleagues of mine I apologize.

Generosity in the Army is truly needed.



When I think of covenant, I always fall back on Genesis 15. God and humankind enter into a form of covenant where, when broken, a penalty is to be paid. The amazing part of that story is that, while the lower of the two persons is to be the one to bear the punishment, God puts Abraham to sleep and takes his place, foreshadowing the perfect new covenant brought forth through Christ. Now THAT is what it is all about.

Again Bill, thanks for the honesty and for being willing to step out there and take a viewpoint which many of your fellow officers would not share. That's huge and it means alot to someone like myself, once right in there but now a few steps back from the Army and trying to come to terms with some of my experiences. I appreciate it.

check out my blog and the links to some others where this discussion has been taking place for more...



By Blogger Ian, at 10:27 PM  

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