Friday, February 17, 2006

Hierarchy of membership

Ian's blog linked here. It is a discussion on what to do about the physically and mentally handicap people. Specifically do we make them soldiers?

Here is my issue:

First, I don't like official church membership ever. It leads to problems in every church, congregational churches use it to determine who can vote and what not, other churches use it to determine who can take communion. The Army uses it to say whether they are "one of us." Really who cares. Then it gets worse, officer, soldier, adherent, attender. (the latter don't even count on our stats other then as a seat warmer). This creates classes of membership. We parade soldiers, we have rules about what a soldier can do and what a non-soldier can't do. So here is what I posted:

I'm an officer out west working with those in recovery. I have a standard for soldiership, know what you are getting into. I then say why do you want to be a soldier? I became one only because I was going to go to training. It means little (nothing?) to me. I just don't care. I am more concerned about whether they are active in their relationship with God and their recovery. Really that's it. So we are asking the wrong question. The question is who cares. Or better yet: Why do we have this hierarchy of membership? Really, why? I still have to fight that issue after a year. Get rid of the hierarchy of membership and there is no issue.

So would I get rid of soldiership? Probably not (saying yes would get me a stern talking to anyway) I simply don't press it. I guess my time at non-traditional corps taught me a very important lesson: most people (non-army) are really confused by all out stuff. Not only that, they (myself at one point/still) feel very out of place in the larger Army, commissioning, welcomes, congress, ect. Another thought: I put on a uniform when I took a corps assistant (pastoral) role, not before. No I repeat No other church has completely different clothes for members and non members. Clergy, deacons, elders, other leaders might have something that signifies their leadership position but just because a person is a member? What the?

Let me finish with this: There are no second class citizens in the Kingdom of God.

Right?

Then why do we have and even encourage second and third class citizens in our churches?

2 Comments:

Hey, thanks for the breath of fresh air!

By Blogger wcs53, at 7:10 PM  

I agree with you on the hierarchy thing. I have been arguing for 8 ½ years (the length of my officership) that the uniform should be optional (for officers) and that ranks should be eliminated from our terminology and structure. The bible is clear that we are ALL priests. Even though God clearly outlines a system of leadership and order, we are all on a level playing field.

Thanks for the blog.
Blessings,

Bret
armytalk.blogspot.org

By Blogger Bret, at 7:32 PM  

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