Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Coutts Quoted...

I was on a college staff retreat on Sunday. General Coutts was quoted twice...

Apparently General Coutts had three Concerns
  • The way some salvationists speak about the Army
  • The way some officers speak about their colleagues
  • The way in which some letters are written within the Army
somewhere else he said

"There is plenty of good news to be celebrated in TSA, and yet many within TSA are quick to talk themselves down. They need to hear good news and rejoice in what God is doing. Incidentally it is one of the few movements that make themselves the butt of their own jokes. The Anglicans make fun of the Baptists and vice versa. The Salvationists mock themselves."


Not a bad rule of thumb in the blogging world and beyond!

9 comments:

Matthew Bennett said...

Gordon,

I would agree that its all still true but good to hear it passed down again, but to hear it and look at 'myself' first....and pray for the rest.....

Thanks for that....Hope this finds you, Kate and family well,

Prayers, Matthew Bennett (Kirkwall)

Graeme Smith said...

A well timed quote to remind us what really matters! All too often, and I'm as guilty as anyone, we get caught up in the things we perceive as important, but in reality the only thing is the Lord and His work!

Hope you're settling in to college life!

Graeme

Fred said...

It reminds me of the teaching of Commissioner Ed Read who suggested that Salvationists who criticize the Army put themselves in danger of critizing God.

We just attended the welcome of the Fellow workers session here - a great moment of encouragement.

by the bay said...

Fred I can go with that if you substitute the word 'grumble' for the word 'criticise'. Grumbling is a morale killer. But I think if we abdicate ourselves from thinking positively/critically about our church we are all stuffed.
We are all responsible for helping it grow healthy, strong, and radiant as it shines out the love of Christ into the world.
There is a huge difference between grumbling which lowers morale, and thinking and arguing carefully which raises it. If the church tries to stomp the constructive stuff out we end up with a fear culture. And nobody wants to go there!
Warmest blessings, Eleanor n/TSSF

by the bay said...

Gordon, do we do enough in the church to explain the difference between grumbling and criticism as in critical thinking?! And is this a morale issue? In which case is grumbling/verbal aggression cause or result of low morale? And what do we understand generally about morale and what factors into keeping it high?

I would like to know what you think! :)
*laughter* Going back to sit on the rocks and gaze out at the bay now.
Warmest blessings,
Eleanor n/TSSF

Tim said...

“Salvationists who criticize the Army put themselves in danger of critizing God.”

And I think that statement puts the one who spoke it in danger of heresy.

Fred said...

I can go with grumbling - I guess I am thinking of those whose negative energies hurt the cause of Christ and divide us. I think that is what Commissioner Read was suggesting...the Army is not perfect and needs us all to work towards it being an effective tool for God.

Some spend the time God has granted them not in winning souls, but in tearing them down.

I think of Paul's words to Titus: "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him." - Titus 3:10

Hopefully that clarifies my thought.

Graeme said...

I just want to throw an idea around and see if anyone thinks it would be useful. This issue of trying to promote what God is doing in and through the Army has been on my heart for sometime, and was part of a letter I wrote to the Salvationist a couple of months ago.

Since then, and especially in the last few days, I've felt that there needs to be some sort of place where the encouraging news can be passed on to a wider circle.

In view of that I've been thinking about setting up a blog/site of some sort where people are able to tell their stories of God at work in their situation. This would primarily be focused on the Army's mission showing how varied strategies can be effective when centred on God and relevant to the community.

What do people think? If you are interested then let me know through my blog!

God bless

Graeme

John said...

There's a time to build up and there's a time to tear down. As well as a time for rejoicing in all that God is doing among us there's also a time for taking a good hard honest look at ourselves. This may well be one of those times.
Actually most of the time I can see the good stuff and I properly give thanks for it and let people know what I think about it, while at exactly the same time I can see clearly what we ought to to be doing better and I try to talk about that appropriately too. Being able to see yourself with a degree of objectivity is a good trait in an individual and an admirable quality in an organisation. It's called self-awareness.
Sounds like the good old General was a bit fed up with the contents of his post bag when he made his comments. Leaders ought to welcome constructive criticism, and Proverbs suggests we should be ready to receive the other kind too and allow it to be a spur to self-improvement.
As for Anglicans laughing at Baptists, etc. and only Salvationists laughing at themselves - well, it just ain't true. It's a sign of great nobility to be able to see your own funny side. And we do have a very funny side don't we!!