Saturday, July 09, 2005

More on Covenant

I posted this on Ian's blog.

An interesting discussion once again. Ian I will have to put a link on my blog so I get over here more.

Anyway, as a whole my problem with the holiness movement (apart from the fact that it is modern and we live in a postmodern age) is the idea that faith is centered around obedience. (modern evangelical theology shares this problem but from differing rationales) That is the essence of holiness doctrine. We love God and thus obey. The problem with this is that often obedience becomes the singular issue. Furthermore there is a tendency in the holiness tradition towards legalism. Thus obedience looks like XYZ. The Therefore section is a perfect example. The articles say essentially "We Believe ...Therefore we will do..." Where is the emphasis on the greatest commandment?

Now the piece of paper (I know this offensive but it is just a piece of paper) is a tool. Like any tool it can be used or abused.

Prior to my arriving at my corps our CSM was berated for taking 1 Sunday a month to take social service clients to another corps (one that is more family oriented). They used his covenants (soldership and CSM) to abuse him. That is just one example.

I guess all I'm asking for is just some "Generous Orthodoxy" (read it if you haven't)


Now since this is my blog I feel free to be a bit more offensive. When I found out what was going on with my CSM I was pissed off. He works as a chaplain of sorts in another program (Bell Shelter) links us with Bell in great ways, and comes and invests his life in others. He could go to church with his wife and son but doesn't. He was surprised when I told him to take Fathers day and spend with his family. How dare we as officers beat people up just because they have more important things to do then great everyone each Sunday. Now I'm not saying that he can be CSM and not be committed but dang he is more committed to seeing people change then virtually anyone I know.

Lets keep first things first. And Sunday mornings are not first. If an officer spends 20 hours a week (I was told in bible college that a good pastor spends 20 hours a week prepping his sermon) she needs to look around herself. See the people dying? I can every day. And I see people living. Maybe that's why I don't care much about heaven and hell. Heaven will be a place without the nickel hell will be where the rich snobs (I cant use stronger language here) will be sent to live on the nickel.

So all that rambling to say that the reason why I don't put a whole lot of emphasis on soldership and less on uniform is because there are too many ungenerous officers. Now let me make this last comment.

We are at a recovery corps. We have no kids except the occasional kid visiting his mom or dad. Our intention is not to build church but rather build people and see them off to other better places. We have a few who invest their lives in others and that is how it should be. But, here is the number 1 practical reason why I am not big on soldership as a commitment to the Army. Where else can they go? We are 95% African American choir and all. Outside of Compton SA where can they go? Marano Valley, yes but not many live out there. You think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. Often the African American community worships different then white or Hispanic churches. So why would I send an African American guy in recovery to Torrance? Besides of the fact that they would not be welcomed (Yes this is true) they would not feel at home during sleepy time (4 hymns and a boring 3 point sermon). I care more about their love fore God (according to their not my understanding) and their recovery then I do about their commitment to the Army.

Does this all make sense?

And for the traditionalists I'll throw this out: I thought we were non-sacramental. Or have we just replaced old with new.

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