Love is where the rubber meets the road …

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I recently received the following IM from one of my soldiers in the corps.

I can’t or don’t want to continue as a Soldier … I feel that I want to fall in love, love and feel loved back. Therefore I wan’t to become an adherent.

Personally this is one of the most heartbreaking messages I have ever received. What is wrong with our organisation, our membership form if one of our members feel they must step down and turn in the uniform so that they may be free to fall in love?

This person is gay, and loves the Salvation Army and respects the organisations rules and regulations. Choosing celibacy no longer feels like a viable option. Adherency, the other membership of the Salvation Army does not have rules and regulations attached to it and therefore functions as a compromise. And so I received this message.

This Soldier is on of the most devout, gentle, spirit filled, loving Christians we have in our corps. I am humbled and overjoyed to have such a beautiful role model of what it means to walk with god and seek god for ones life as a Soldier in my corps.

What would you do, if you where the corps leader? How would you reply?

This makes me feel stronger than ever that we must be able to council LGBTQ persons the same way we do any other member of our church. If another member of my corps would come and say that they longed to fall in love, I would simply say: Good for you, lets pray that you meet the right person. I can’t wait to bless the two of you together. No need to step down or resign. No need to feel bad about it, it is part of ordinary (albeit extraordinary, as it is fantastic to fall in love) life!

So, right or wrong that is what I said.

 

 

  • Erik Andersson

    Patrik, you are my hero! God bless you!

  • Graeme Randall

    WOW!!!!! How I wish you were my TC when I were in Officership.

    I know I would have done the same thing – in fact I did when I was a C.O. I had a gay guy in one of my corps, who I put in as head of creative ministries in the corps (very small roll in that corps – but it was growing and had potential). Although I took that attitude, I did counsel him to be somewhat in the closet about his relationships with some of the other corps folk and with any future C.O.'s that would come after me. Sad I had to say that, but at the time, it was the only way it would work.

    I hope you don't take offence at what I say next, but I will be VERY interested to see how much longer you are allowed to stay an Officer – saying things like this. If you are, then I think the days of me coming back into the ranks are not far off. If not, then it's more prayer that TSA leaders will soon change and realise the damage they are doing at the moment – to both TSA and people and families etc.

    Keep up the good work – and the faith. I'm praying for you.

    Yours in Christ,
    Graeme Randall

  • http://bilbolainen.tumblr.com Tobias Viltonius

    Not only is a problem for gay people, even a heterosexual soldier have problems to obey the rules of soldiership. I think we have to rethink what a soldiership to be like. If I take myself for an example, all the obstacles that I face as a soldier, takes me further away from my allegiance to Salvation Army and the soldiership. I have been in so many situations, which have been very hard for me to handle, just because I am a soldier in God's army. The soldiership should lead to freedom, only in freedom can I give myself to others, only in freedom can I really love my fellow man.

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