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Whilst I have no argument Commissioner with your clghlenae to live a just life as the people of God, I wonder if this places a focus on individual praxis that deflects from the distinctive Hebraic understanding of justice – a covenant demand upon the people of God to express and experience justice in every arena of daily life. Amos 5 declares the prophetic condemnation of the worshipping community who have failed to provide “justice at the gate” (Amos 5.15). The gate of the city was the news centre, the hub of civil life, the place where neighbourhood disputes were heard and resolved. The unjust person is depicted as the one who exercises force and falsehood, who ignores the duties which kinship and covenant demand, who tramples the rights of others underfoot and thus fails to establish peace and wellbeing within the community relationships. Is there “justice at the gate” within TSA? How often are conflicts within the corps satisfactorily resolved giving all parties an equal voice to express their concerns and/or respond to issues of dispute?How often are conflicts left unresolved often resulting in one or more parties leaving the Corps fellowship?How often does an individual become the scapegoat and get cast out? Or, as I’ve heard an officer say, “If someone affects the health and wellbeing of the Corps, they should be amputated from the Body of Christ.”How often do Corps become polarised and divided through conflicts and disagreements? Does TSA even have a “gate”? An effective mechanism through which complaints or disputes can be heard, resolved and relationships restored? Is there an impartial place provided, perhaps external to the Corps and/or DHQ, where the rights of all parties are upheld regardless of name, rank or commission? Failure to provide justice and restore relationships will impact negatively on the mission and ministry of the Corps. Mission! Ministry! Pastoral Care! Fellowship! Christian Service! Worship! Inevitably all lose their authenticity and integrity if the spiritual anguish and estranged relationships of members is ignored.Perhaps a Salvo-fied version of Amos 5.21-24 would be:“I hate, I despise your Holiness meetings and Cafe9 churches,I take no delight in your morning teas and corps programs!Even though you have effective planned giving programs andsuccessful pub rounds – I will not accept your tithes and offerings;I’ll take no notice of your sacrifices made for OWSOMS and Red Shield collecting.Take away from me the noise of your Bands, the racket of the Timbrels.Give the loud singing and off-seat clapping a rest.But let there be Justice, Hope and Integrity,Human Dignity, Compassion and true Community.” The call for prophetic change may come from below, from a position of oppression, but can only be achieved from above, by leaders who have the courage, vision and integrity to make a difference. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matt 5.9).
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Dear Pastor Bob, just want to let you know how wonderful your semron was, ,sorry I missed it live, but thank God for the internet, never thought I will hear myself say that! your semron was very moving, I sent it to all my friends. GOD BLESS YOU! AND THANK YOU!