The Indignation!

I think I touched a raw nerve. Last week, an older post of mine generated nearly 2,000 views. I started receiving all sorts of comments from Salvos (mostly Americans, I believe, based on their grammar), seriously condemning me for my views. Someone even tweeted on Twitter that they could not believe I was still an officer.

First of all, I could not believe the amount of people who viewed my site. It seems that the vast majority of the viewers were from the States. Many of them seemed to dare me to even publish their comments. I do not know why. Therefore, I obliged them.

There were a few things I learned out of all this:

  1. They were indignant with me. Why? I believe they think I am advocating for sin. I am not. I am advocating for love and acceptance. Most Salvationists believe it is impossible to be in a same-sex relationship and be a Christian. Bollocks. Hogwash. Who are we to judge whether someone is a Christian or not? Who are we to judge on whether or not someone is saved? Who are we to judge the state of one’s soul? I do not need to justify myself or my salvation. The Eighth Doctrine of The Salvation Army states:

    We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.

    I have no need to prove my salvation to anyone. This is a matter strictly between my Saviour and myself.

  2. Secondly, many of my commentators seem to think that I am gay. I am not. I am bisexual, which means I have the possibility of being attracted to both men and women equally. A mate of mine asked me which I preferred:  men or women. I appreciate both equally. Given the opportunity, I would marry either, if he/she is willing.
  3. Finally, I am concerned by the amount of hate that seems to emanate from those posters. I saw several of my more conservative friends link to my article, thinking that it was impossible for someone to believe as I do and still be an officer. I am not “out” yet. However, I do know personally 2 gay men who are out and they are both officers. They are single. They are celibate. Believe me, I know they are watched like hawks. However, they have impeccable characters and are a true witness to the saving grace of our Lord.

I am truly sad for this state of affairs. It seems that we can only talk at each other and not with each other. We are not capable of listening. We are only capable of condemning. May we all remember that we are all sinners saved by grace. We need to stop condemning and begin loving.

A Cause for Celebration!

AmsterdamOost

Sometimes I get nothing but good news. A friend of mine from the Netherlands shared this beautiful image with me. Yesterday, 12 July 2015, Ronald Bar and Gertjan Nicolaas, who are gay Salvationists (and in uniform no less!), received a blessing by their corps officer (similar to a pastor) at the Amsterdam East (Oost) Corps (Church). They have been in a committed relationship for 25 years. Not only did The Salvation Army acknowledge this, but celebrates this as well!

I could not believe this great news. I am so happy that this may be done in the Netherlands. I hope some day that this will be able to be acknowledged and celebrated all over The Salvation Army world. We speak about comforting the marginalised. The Netherlands has shown us the way!

Moge God zegene de gelukkige paar! (May God bless the happy couple!)

Boundless 2015

rainbow shield

This past week The Salvation Army held an International Congress in London, UK. The theme for it was “Boundless 2015”. This was taken off of William Booth’s most famous hymn, “O Boundless Salvation”. The Salvation Army is currently in 126 nations worldwide.

The last Congress was held in 2000 in Atlanta, USA. Normally these congresses are held every 10 years. For some reason there was none held in 2010. I’m not certain why.

A lot of money is spent on these congresses. I’m not privy to how much is actually spent. One could make the argument that the money could be spent on far better purposes, but I also believe it serves a greater purpose for fellowship. It’s not as if these Congresses happen every year and the last one was 15 years ago.

The Salvation Army divides the world into territories. Each territory designed its own pin. These pins become collectable items quite quickly; however, the most sought-after pin did not come from a territory, but was an unofficially produced Rainbow Salvation Army shield. (See the picture above.)

When I saw these pins, I rejoiced. I know that I am not alone in my denomination and in my beliefs. I know that we are on the beginning of a long journey which will eventually lead to full inclusion of all LGBT Salvationists. I long for that day. I know that this inclusion will take time and will involve a lot of love. We will need to be patient, but also persistent.

This Rainbow Shield has given me hope! I am so grateful for it.