the love of money and ease

I have been dwelling on the intimate relationship between our personal actions and global inequality- i.e.. if everyone lived according to need not greed, poverty - in the the absolute- would be rather unheard of.
Us Salvationists have forsaken the path of simplicity we started on.... we have succumbed to accumalation and materialism with the best of them. I was flicking through candidates forms yesterday (application for full time work in the Salvation Army) and came across the contract at the back, number four is something like "I understand the army will not pay me a salary. They will try to give me an allowance but I wont expect it, and understand it is not a reward or payment for my work" I was like WHAT! People actually sign that?! You wouldnt guess it! I have sat in financial boards and heard people say "Oh they have been working so hard the last few years, lets give them that house with extra bedrooms and a big laundry"...
Not only does this kind of extravagant mindset add to the growing gap of rich and poor, put a barrier between us and those we are meant to reach -the most deprived- but it is also a total danger to our whole mission:
George Scott Railton
"I intend carefully to instruct my children that if at any time they see The Salvation
Army a wealthy, respectable concern, the majority of whose "soldiers" simply go
where they please to attend its' "ministrations," leaving the godless undisturbed to perish; and if they see another set of people, however they may be clothed or despised, who really give up all to go for the lost, then they must not for a moment hesitate to leave the concern their poor old dad helped to make, and go out amongst those who most faithfully carry out what the founder of the Army laid down in his writings and acts. May God preserve them from such a day by keeping the Army free from the love of money and ease."

George rather terrifyingly hit the nail on the head with that one didn't he.

1 comment:

JoJo said...

So so so hard. Am constantly challenged about this one. It seems to be the subject that convicts me the most but I am the least able to manage. I believe in living generously with our money and our time and I'm ok at that. I just find the simplicity thing painful. In moments of want I find it way to easy to justify it as need. I want to be able to speak into the world with integrity on this issue cos I think it's tearing lives, families and the world apart but I know I can't. Please keep challenging me and unpicking the justifiations I make for buying things cos I think they're pretty.