“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.
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.
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
USA West TC