Salvation Army’s Harsh Love

During the holiday season you’re bound to hear the ringing sound of the Salvation Army beckoning you to have compassion for your fellow man. That’s a tough call during the difficult economic times we’re experiencing.

For Salvation Army Captain Johnny Harsh the ringing sounds of wedding bells was muted by a 50 year old Salvation Army Church doctrine that forbids officers to marry non-officers of the church.

Salvation Army’s refusal to allow love to flourish for a man who has devoted 14 years to the church simply because of a five decade old rule made me want to ring my own bell of contradiction.

How do you preach spreading goodwill, happiness and love towards others, but refuse to allow an officer in your own church organization to marry a non-officer. Perhaps you would have them to just live together instead.

This ruling, like a lot of other things in other churches, is a man-made rule. God doesn’t look at a Salvation Army uniform.” – Capt. Johnny Harsh

References & Inspiration

ABC News – 12/07/08 “Breaking Salvation Army Tradition, Trading Career for Love


4 thoughts on “Salvation Army’s Harsh Love

  1. Valid point, Tim. Love is such a special gift that none of us should deprive anyone else of experiencing it. Pretty ironic that an organization that gives so much to others in the spirit of love won’t even allow one of their own to enjoy it….Have a wonderful day sir. Safe travels.

  2. Bravo, Tim! It’s amazing how much a simple kind gesture can signifigantly make such a postive/hugh difference to someone. Safe travels sir and enjoy your holidays.

  3. Many organizations preach love and goodwill toward others without actually meaning the words. I believe lip service might come to mind. Here is a question for you to ponder. Why would a man spend so many years in service to a church/organization that would hold on to such a bias rule unless he thought that rule should be upheld? Is this a case of a man who accepted the rules and thought they should be upheld as long as they didn’t apply to him? Or was it simply a case of a man who spread the lip service of an organization without truly researching what he was giving so many years of his life to?

  4. For me, what it all comes down to is that regardless of how bizarre or controversial the Army’s policies are, he agreed to it. I support the Salvation Army wholeheartedly and believe in its ministry, but will never enter into officership because of my opinions and feelings towards some of their policies and rules. It just seems stupid to me that he willingly entered into a covenant with The Salvation Army – and more importantly, God – and then instead of simply bowing out when he felt the desire to do something against Army policy, made a big deal out of it to make TSA seem terrible.

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