Saturday, August 22, 2015

The ex-Officer still belongs to The Salvation Army

“The  ex-officer, no matter what was the cause that resulted in his loss to our fighting forces, is still a child of the Army.… He received the spirit of officership, whereby he mingled amongst us, for a season, as one of us, and go where he likes, and do what he likes, the imprint of the life he lived will remain. Time will not efface it; sin even will not blot it out. So that in a sense which we ought ever to remember, the ex-Officer still belongs to The Salvation Army.” William Booth


The path to discernment-

A ‘former’ officer, now a senior executive in the secular world, on learning that the SA was issuing invitations to a territorial retreat geared to ‘formers’ contacted the FSAOF:
“The SA really doesn’t have much to say to me or any other former officer unless it issues first of all in the form of a long-over-due apology to me and thousands of others, and to offer us a seat at the table in order to tell them where they got it wrong. They need to learn of our individual struggles that ensued as a consequence of our being released without proper care or consideration– 18 years of officership and not even a letter of recommendation to land me an interview?”

In our response to a territory’s intent to host a ‘formers’ retreat we all need to be on board recognizing what the FSAOF’s expectations are of the SA host. We want an assurance that they’ll share in a discussion of the criteria of assessed needs to be provided the departing officers with particular focus on their: mental, emotional, physical, social, spiritual and economic well-being. The reasons for their departure, their individual issues and motives, should have no bearing or effect on the Army’s moral obligations.

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I would totally agree with this! We had a sterling quality ministry and love for souls. We were misunderstood, and because our emphasis was “soundly saved and sanctified souls”, and not fundraising, our DC did his best to get rid of us. Our reputation is fine with the SA in regards to doing anything wrong. Our DC was a ladder climber for position, and we are thankful we got out of his way. We have not ever left our ministry and calling. God has used us in other vehicles of ministry. This past year we were able to bring 12 new families with both father and mother,
and children to join a church we were attending. God brought these people to know the Lord through an adult class. We were so humbled and grateful that His powerful ministry still does its saving work. We wish the SA no ill will and love the doctrines and all it stands for. We just gave up our Officership because of the destructive powers of human frailties and weakness. God called us away from the SA and we left. We hope someday the Salvation Army will realize the huge loss to their ministry, and God's mission to save souls and go for the worst. There are many wonderful people who trusted in the SA to go out to the fields for harvest. It is time for Salvation Army to get on its knees and ask forgiveness, and make things right.
 Ray Neuman

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THE APOLOGY
For some ways people have been treated in the precious movement known as The Salvation Army, they deserve an apology. This is not about me. The Salvation Army doesn’t owe me anything, but I know quite a few others that would do well to receive an apology.

Is it the movement that has offended? Sometimes. There are systemic flaws that affect people and do harm. More commonly, there are individuals in The Salvation Army that have hurt others in the name of The Salvation Army, and they need to apologize.

If that’s you and you’re in the Western Territory, please trust me enough to contact me and see if we can give you the apology you deserve. We may not be able to fix the situation, but we may facilitate the healing. I believe that’s what Jesus would do.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 NIV

Commissioner James Knaggs
USA West TC



5 comments:

FORMER SALVATION ARMY OFFICERS FELLOWSHIP said...

Having surveyed thousands of people on what they want in their leaders, in someone they would willingly follow, the quality of being forward-looking is second only to being honest as their most admired leader quality (p. 46, The Truth About Leadership).

Commissioner Knagg's honesty and heartfelt apology should surprise no-one. His courage and integrity are legend in the three major SA territories where he has served. Officers and employees alike are indebted to him for speaking and acting on our behalf, sometimes against the advice and will of his superiors.

NINE years ago he and Commissioner Joe Noland were great encouragers as a fledgling FSAOF was struggling in making our voices heard. Today, we have harnessed the power of membership and count almost 1,300 former officers in our fellowship, have posted 2,000+ blog articles, with more than 100,000,000 visitors. Our private FB FSAOF site has recorded hundreds of threads with thousands of comments; more than 10%
referencing the abuse of indifference.

We’re encouraged by the Commissioner's initiative and await a similar expressed concern from other SA territories with great anticipation.

Sven Ljungholm
FSAOF

Anonymous said...

Ray Neuman is a session mate and good friend. I can personally attest to the accuracy of his comments here. He and Carol are tremendously passionate about the important aspects of ministry, and for that were looked down upon by the ladder-climbers. Their departure from officership was a tremendous loss to the Army, but not to the Kingdom. They and many others are definitely owed an apology!

USA Central former

Anonymous said...

What good does apologising for someone else's mistakes make? Many former officers have gone on to lead more fulfilling lives than they would ever experience within the rigidity that is the Salvation Army. Thank God that you got out - don't hanker after the past - let it go - liberate yourselves!

J Fred Gregory said...

As a Former Officer I have come across these subjects before. We can't control the judgment and criticism of the ladder climbing officers however they get there. We can only be true to God and ourselves. This last June was our 40th session reunion, "Soldiers of the Cross". I introduced my self to Commissioner Knaggs and thanked him for his concern about Formers on behalf of the Army, but he cannot apologize for the way individuals on DHQ and THQ treated my family and I.
We have been assured by God that His justice will be served on individuals who hurt his children.
My wife and I were discussing this the other day. What good came from this tragedy my family suffered from the Army? The answer: We are now in the best place that God would have us, He delivered us from that bondage and has restored that which was stolen a bunch of times over. He delivered our children from the judgment and criticism that came from the leadership. We would never have been blessed the way we have if we had remained officers. The education we have both received, serving others in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and West Africa. Serving people on our local neighborhood with the Good News of the Love of Jesus.
Will the Corporate Salvation Army ever change and love officers unconditionally, I don't think so because it is big business.
I love the Godly ministry of the Army and believe with my heart that God uses them in building His kingdom. It is the under belly of administration that needs healing.

Debra Davis said...

Commissioner Knaggs owes us an apology. He has failed us in his duties as our shepherd. He thinks he wants to reconcile formers to the Army, but he is the one who sent a directive to his DCs to get rid of Officers who weren't pullibg their weight as our DC pointed out at many Officer Councils.
Neither was our complaints of harrassment taken serioualy by Personnel. We were just another joke to them. I for one will never forget what he did to us.