I had an idea today. You know how lots of other churches are called “Grace Baptist Church” or “1st Presbyterian Church of Bumblyburg.” What if a new corps was planted where we dropped the “Army” from the Salvation Army? What would that mean? What else could it imply?
Trinity Salvationist Church of Arlington
Good Shepherd Salvationist Community Church
But then let’s take it further. What if at this “Trinity Salvationist Church” there were no uniforms, no “Captain”, no “Corps Council” (by name). What if we took the “Army” out of the Army?
I’m just wondering how much of our trappings are…….well……trappings.
Maybe I could say it better by asking “What really makes the Salvation Army what it is?” I mean, if the members of Trinity Salvationist Church are out feeding the poor, offering social serves in the week, meeting needs through disaster service, preaching the gospel, growing saints, and serving suffering humanity…well, wouldn’t that be the Salvation Army?
And look – I’m not saying it’s one thing or another. A corps could certainly have a good heart, do good things, thrive, and have all the old lingo and uniforms. This whole idea piqued my interest because as far as I know no one has tried a “Salvationist” church before. If you know of one let me know. I’d be interested to hear about it.
It just strikes me that there’s a chance people might be turned off to militarism in this day and age. And I honestly believe real Salvationism isn’t about being an Army. It’s about Holiness, Service and Love to Humanity, Discipleship, Evangelism, Justice, and a host of other things. But frankly, it doesn’t have to be an Army. Does it? And that’s a weird thought, right?
I actually spoke to someone just recently who had a better name I think for “traditional corps”. He called it a “preservationist corps”. Yikes, right? But he might not be that far off. What’s the real tradition of Salvationism? We could keep the doctrine, the mission, the spirit, but couldn’t we also try losing the militarism, maybe as an experiment in one or two places? Couldn’t we just see what happens?
Booth said once that he’d dance on his hands or something if it’d get someone saved. I bet we could get a few more saved by diversifying our communication of the gospel. So don’t go and throw out the old lingo just yet. But if you want to try and make something new, why shouldn’t you try? It might just help build God’s kingdom on earth where we weren’t building before. I’d be all for giving that a try.
P.S. “CityVille” is the name of just about every city I ever made in SimCity. Ever.