Response to Pillar Four Of General
Eva Burrows’ Agenda for the Future
“To emphasise the
Christian ethic as the significant influence in establishing a
Since its late 20th century publication
there is an immediate sense that this section of the General
Eva Burrows international agenda – the Christian Ethic –
represents a simpler era.
The segment uses words and phrases that would likely
not be posted today.
Language has evolved, and the matters are politically
charged. In its reading we are also quickly conscious of
current scarring schisms within the church, and army, on such
ethical issues as human sexuality, marriage, gender equity and
diversity, racism, the death penalty, abortion, climate
change, immigration and refugees.
We also see that in subsequent years
same sex marriage is now legal in most western democracies,
refugee and asylum-seeking people have swollen to unimagined
numbers, multi-cultural community is becoming the norm, human
trafficking has emerged as a global scourge and gender equity
has become defined by the United Nations as the international
human rights issue of the 21st century.
In this 35-year time span Christianity,
and the army, has numerically increased dramatically in the
global south and declined considerably in western democracies.
This shift of gravity has ethical implications.
LGBTQ affirmation, recreational use of marijuana,
workplace diversity, environmental concerns and secularism are
predominant values in the west.
In contrast, patriarchy, bride price and dowry,
systemic corruption, tribalism and casteism are seemingly
ingrained in south Asia and the global south.
What does remain unchanged from the
original agenda is the continued need for regular ethical
dialogue, unimpeachable integrity, our mission to face social
evils and the continued assertion of ‘Christ’s Lordship in
every area of life.’
We can be encouraged.
General Peddle stated in the 2022 International
Conference of Leaders, ‘The worldview suggests we are
intolerant, no longer on the right side of history, antiquated
in our beliefs and that the moral law of the gospel is no
longer acceptable. Legislators are often not Christian, know
little of the Bible and care less for its teaching. The result
is that in years to come we will find ourselves often at odds
with the world. I hear in my heart the words of Joshua: “Be
strong and courageous.” If there was ever a time for Booth‘s
vision of a worldwide One Army to flourish … it is now.’
Around the same time as the Burrows
Agenda John Gowans perceptively wrote: ‘In a world of shifting
values, there are standards that remain.’
Your task and mine, it seems, colleague
soldiers, is to discern what values should be shifted, and
what standards should remain.