General André Cox,
How about some leadership? Is the General not going to speak to this directly?
This is not your run of the mill Catholic Priest style abuse allegations being dredged up; they involve 11yr old boys, teens and even 6yr olds being raped in cages, where they are left for sometimes days, sometimes over a week, with broken limbs, they are tortured; and then the perpetrators are not only kept in the fold- but protected by other active members of the Church corps: where they are facilitated to destroy more lives. And all under the banner of the Red Shield.
This isn’t anything like normal crime. This is Hitler stuff. Abuse perpetrated by Holy men aligned with this order. Salvation Army Officers being moved to cover up severe abuse. That is a dark, systemic evil. And on this earth it is answerable, ultimately, to you.
Have they all been striped of rank at least, pending the inquiry?
Will they be excommunicated from the order if found guilty under law?
Does the Bible not instruct the law of the land is the law of God? Wasn’t Christ just generally against doing intentional harm to others; in a very sweeping kind of way?
I do not think anyone cares when it happened: as long as it is a public concern, surely it should be the General’s concern.
This undoes all the good work for the region. It makes anyone receiving help from the Salvos almost unwilling complicit accomplices at worst- and all victims by proxy at least.
If the commission finds against Wilson, will he be stripped of rank posthumously? Surely this goes without saying. But it does need to be said. And not by me. And not by Commissioner Condon either.
As head of the Church, being silent and absent does not assist in restoring confidence in the Salvo’s being other than a culture of, well, silence: especially on issues where it is required to look itself hard in the mirror.
Any who read their Bible prayerfully (or even just accurately) will see there is no way the Lord is in opposition to gay marriage equality.
And perhaps if gays could marry in our Church; there would be less pent up Captains and Majors violently raping children as young as 6yrs olds in cages and beating them with whips. Allegedly.
To withhold rank from someone for a minor carnal sin could be argued as unHoly enough. We are all born in sin. We have no such right to cast that stone.
But more than that; If we all agree that marriage is not even a Sacrament of Christ, yet we offer it to some and not others – then this is patently the pure wickedness of persecution by misuse of our God given will, and is surely as worthy, if not more so, of the endless punishment reserved for the wicked. I say “likely” more so as a matter of pure arithmetic; the ripple effect of our crimes by exclusion are surely greater in their impact on the community, before anything else is even considered. We are driving people away from God over an issue not considered by Christ to be Sacrament. When it comes to bad; that is pretty, very much, not what God intended.
We can not dispense the love of the trinity in portions of our choosing. We dare not offer community and acceptance of our brother (and sister, x) man in halves. If our arms are not open fully, then they are closed.
Now might be a good time to correct that, potentially causal, error that comes from a mistaken reading and weak interpretation of the scripture by some. Fewer every day, as more let the Holy Ghost in. What they lack is a leader.
Leadership with a more enlightened and clearly deeper analysis of the text, guided by God and the Holy Ghost, and spoken by this Army’s most senior commanding officer would probably be the order being given from on high. I’m just saying maybe. I don’t know, I don’t give marching orders; I give email. Still, you have to admit a Royal Commission is one heck of a sign.
Because right now, as Commander-in-Chief of the entire Salvation Army Church Divisions and Corps; you are more responsible than most other Church members for the continued suffering caused by events such as these, as you are responsible for the conduct, just discipline and culture of your Officers. As well as the environment that continues to create them.
By demonizing gay Christians, and holding back the cause of equal rights, you alone, General Cox, bear the most responsibility for driving any future good men and women into a culture of enforced silence, mental anguish: and for any pain and suffering inflicted upon others when that anguish finally boils over.
Without a strong leader, the Salvation Army Church will not be able to act as one, united in God, with equity. There are many passages in the Bible that, with a prayerful understanding, find a truer meaning for the 21 Century. We all know them. They are plentiful. If this revelation, which had to be delivered via a Royal Commission, does not show that demonizing people for who they love most certainly is not the way of God; then I shudder to think of what the Holy Father will send next to open our eyes and the eyes of our senior leaders.
And if there is an argument that anything short of complete, open, equality for gay members, and Officers, achieves anything aside from, by virtue of its very nature, a twisting the soul of such an individual, and leaving no choice but a path of silence and serious, preventable, psychological harm; I’d sure like to hear it.
How many more are to be delivered to the Devil’s hands by the current leadership of the world’s once leading compassionate Army of welcoming disciples of Christ the savior? There is a reason we are no longer number one. It is because we are falling from grace. We move towards the trinity by a prayerful reading of the truth in today, not through hubris; guessing at what the message may have been to another in a distant time. The word is infallible, the truth for today is in there – there is no question of that. But it must be read with God and the Holy Spirit so we can hear it spoken in the voice of today. By grace do the words become infallible.
Other conservative Churches have woken up to this obvious reality. We are the only Church with a General: we should be the leaders of reform, not an antiquated cult to be lumped in with the impractical mystic Christian religions, the likes of the wizard cult of Joesph Smith. Or for our leadership to be able to be compared, so completely and shamefully accurately, with the misguided, backward leaning, leadership of the un-Christ like opulent, idolatrous Pope lead churches!
If a General can’t lead God’s Army; then God truly is dead. Only in this case it is this Army who has killed him a second time; and it is all happening on your watch.
I am not asking that you merely take on these views, of course not. However; I do ask that you pray for guidance, read your Bible passages again and let the Holy Spirit guide your insight.
The culture of oppression still exists, and should you take no action to cleanse it completely by leading with the open accepting love of Jesus Christ’s Salvation – then you leave your successor a problem that you willfully continued to perpetuate. And any evil that comes from what you actively will not to change must leave a stain on your soul.
I don’t mean that as a ‘curse”, or a “pox” on your house or whatever, I just mean think about it; when you alone have been given the power to lead in this moment, and in this moment you are being called: any action that by its nature assists the forces of evil in staying their strength and inflicting more savagery on the world must, in part, be owned by your soul. Any action, including the act of inaction, must, by necessity, leave stains on your soul if at the time you were called you did nothing, and it leads to torment and violence of the worst kind.
Surely this is as true as if part of the Satanic acts where carried out with your own hands? Indeed, surely this is the case with any future deeds similarly inspired. Deeds which find root in the dead earth of unGodly tradition, and grow twisted, nourished by, well meaning, Salvation Army Christian soldiers who have lost their way, in a culture of ‘exclusion for the other’ over the teaching of ‘inclusion via Salvation thanks to Jesus Christ the savior’; who went through quite a lot to offer that gift to us all, just by the way. And to deny Christ is the savior, by a self imposed divine authority that places oneself as equal or greater than God…I don’t know, something about that just doesn’t seem OK to me.
Remember, marriage is not Sacrament.
As such, any and all suffering caused by persecution set forth by such any exclusionary decree must fall first on the soul of the General. He who lead in a manner placing himself equal to God almighty, in the choosing of Sacrament, and, with the height of pride, presuming to decide who will be welcome in the almighty flock, who is worthy to receive Salvation. And most specifically; who is judged unworthy, too sinful for the powers of Lord Christ. So many fingers in nail holes in these actions. It doubts Christ’s capacity to love and forgive. It doubts God himself.
Turning people seeking salvation away? That is what these equality issues are doing. Something isn’t right there, that is not what we were instructed to do. We were told to spread the Word; but the Salvation Army Church Corps seems to have forgotten that the Word IS God. That does not mean spreading the word is achieved in going door to door, or merely handing someone a Bible.
A General, imposing his own will on the God given free will of others, outside the remit of Holy law, with no regard for divine grace, nor respect for the position in Christin history that the Father has offered up to him, is not too far shy of blasphemy. He offered you a chance to lead. And at a time of great change. For, naturally, if there was no change we wouldn’t need leaders, would we? We would keep doing whatever we had always been doing, like the angels.
But make no mistake, I think he must have chosen you to lead; not to sit impotent on the other side of the world.
This event is not arbitrary. This is a time of change where leaders are required. Much of this is symptomatic of larger oppressions. Responding to symptomatic events as they surface can only do so much, and I am not saying these demons would have been cured were they not persecuted in their time. At least not necessarily. And I am not saying the majority of their acts were driven by inner torment and shame from never being truly offered salvation. Necessarily.
But it would be difficult to deny that it was a part of it. Possibly a large part; but definitely unnecessary. Or, to be fair – at least unnecessary today.
In truth, little could have been done in the ‘90’s, I don’t doubt. But in the decades that followed, God the Father has seen fit to bring forward many insights not then available. And only in the past 12 months, really, has there been any change targeting something systemic and causal, rather than reactionary and symptomatic (and damaging to, and un-befitting of, Officers of rank in the Corps).
To let this continue. To merely react to dark revelations is fruitless; and will ultimately be permanently damaging to the cause. And it will never go away. But to take point and to Lead, as I feel God planned for you to do, would mean you will be the General in this chapter of our history who heard the call of the Holy Ghost to bring Salvation to those in the 21st Century. Which would be great, since that is when we live.
But more than that; you have the chance to go after a wickedness that is actually causal of multiple other evils. To remove it is to leave a lasting legacy of goodness in your wake. Also, if the Pope gets to it before us, I think the heavens would open up and a great wind would be sent down to disband the Army; that would just be too much to bear.
I am just saying pray on it.
We need to show the world those uniforms they see on our Officers are not mere dusty, empty suits. They mean something in today’s world. Something relevant. The most relevant. The truth.
Once again, at the end of the day, I am just asking you pray on it. Because it is not about me. It is about you.
You are being tested. You are being called to arms. It is not Commissioner Condon’s place to lead the marching beat for the entire culture of the Church; right now, it is yours.
Sorry to be the one to say it.
God Bless and good luck General Cox,
PS: If it hasn’t been done, strip them of their ranks, pending the inquiry, on pain of ex-communication under the findings. I am not sure of the provisions and by-laws in those regards; but make your opinion publicly heard anyway. I know your election and appointment is still reasonably fresh, and this may be the last thing you would want to be involved in – especially so soon. But that is part of what makes it a test I suppose. I don’t have all the answers; but just going from the Bible, I think stripping their ranks and ex-communication, in these case(s+++), is less than what Jesus would do: but it will be enough to send a message of integrity to the world, in this world.
Jesus will add his demerits in due course, as he see’s fit.
J Raphael & CJ Casper (2014). Under the Banner of the Red Shield. Chronicle of Letters. (29), Ed. 3.
*Posted to the chief of the Salvation Army Church 1-29-14 hinting that if they were wanting to stop oppressing people and making them guilty, crazy and perhaps even finally evil; perhaps starting on gay rights issues now would be a good thing. Especially since they don’t even believe in marriage. Hey, or not. It is worth asking.