JAC Online

Response to Pillar Four Of General Eva Burrows’ Agenda for the Future
by Colonel Richard Munn

 “To emphasise the Christian ethic as the significant influence in establishing a moral society.”

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

 

 

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