Elizabeth & I are currently reading God’s Soldier: General William Booth, by St. John Ervine (Heinemann, London 1934)
This book arts out to be a corrective to some of the early day Salvationist hagiography by using a wide range of sources, including the Booth’s personal correspondence.
Even so, there is a great deal to challenge modern Salvationists regarding method and commitment. They were willing to appear eccentric in order to gain attention. Sometimes they were offensive in order to challenge & provoke their hearers to response.
We rightly seek to abide by the law. But in other ways we may have become invisible. "Ken the Salvation, they dae guid work" is a common cry in Hawick. But many of those Teries would be hard pressed to name anything except helping the homeless – and we do little of that here because the Scottish government has made good provision.
Recently I offended our longer serving brothers & sisters by suggesting in a sermon that we were not united and that we needed to change. This was taken as a direct attack on those faithful people who had kept the corps going whilst others were galivanting around!
This shows the work has moved from mission to maintenance. How to get back to where we belong?