I like the Salvation Army. There is something intriguing and appealing about their use of military terminology and form. It seems a bit subversive. It is an alternative 'army' - with alternative concerns. Is not the idea of being a 'soldier' (or a Private, Officer or General) for Christ a way of turning the notion of warfare on its head? Rather than fighting with guns and bombs, our weapons are love and truth. The Salvos mimic the structure of a conventional army, and in doing so send a strong message about the battles that are truly worth fighting. These are wars not in the name of national interest or commercial gain, but are against poverty, addiction, disempowerment and oppression. These battles are fought not through death and destruction, but by offering life.
If the Salvos are offering an alternative army, in the background is surely an alternative state. This is the Kingdom of God, or the Empire of God, or the Nation-state of God, or maybe the International Institution of God. The governance of God offers an alternative political system: where love, truth and shalom replace fear, lies and war.
Prime Minister Jesus Christ: I want to part of your system. Though I live in Australia, I do not wish to conform to the ideas and values of Australia. I want to live by a different code.