What comes First ? (this is important right now)

its not called a prime mover for nothing !!!


Today we have seen some fireworks around the place as The Salvation Army in Victoria made a statement in regards to Safe schools. It has caused a bit of an uproar around the place and in some ways fair enough.

One of the key problems we have, which in many ways is a good problem, is that injustice and the fight against injustice has lifted around us so much that many people are standing up for other  peoples rights, thats a good thing. Right ?

In fact TSA has always been a movement where we have done that.

Now I pre empt what I am about to say, (as I know it will upset some apple carts), with the disclaimer that this is my opinion and not a statement from TSA. 

In my opinion we have gained so much momentum in fighting against injustice that we have left the gospel behind. 

However that is the incorrect order.  The Gospel always goes first and followed closely behind is the cause for our fellow man, namely the fight against injustice. It cant be assumed its happening. It has to be as intentional if not moreso than the cause for justice.

The image above is helpful, the trailer never can go anywhere with out the prime mover in position.  
The sad analogy /  reality has become, it seems, in some ways, that all we ever hear now is the need for our stand against injustice.

So we speak less about the gospel for fear of offending others, and we speak more about various humanitarian issues.  It's back to front.  Maybe a very clever ploy of the enemy of the cross. Subtle. Blatant. And weakening.

When we proclaim the gospel less, we lose power, momentum and purpose.

When we help our brothers and sisters in need, it is seen as a good thing. And it is a good thing.

The problem is though, that fighting for injustice will not in fact get anyone into heaven, only a full surrender to the Lordship Of Jesus Christ will do that. (the gospel)

It's a natural order of the Christian life that once Jesus enters our heart we want to help others to live a better life, and to find Him..... the gospel  and its transforming power always must come first. 

If all we ever hear is declarations about justice issues..... and we don't balance that out with the full gospel about Jesus, well....perhaps, the writing is on the wall.

When the writing is on the wall you can be sure that power, and spiritual authority is gone or about to go.  

Has TSA lost that ? no I dont think so... I dont think God has finished with us yet.  But we must heed the call from Him back to our first love and that means Jesus and His authority and love and grace and truth.  

We all, everyone of us, without exception must place Him first. Injustice comes second.

Here is a place in scripture where God deliberately wrote on the wall... read this...  (you can read the full account from Daniel Chapter 5 ( here is a link  Daniel Chapter 5 )

25 “This is what was written: ‘MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN.’ 26 And this is what it means: ‘MENE’ means that God has numbered the days of your rule and has brought it to an end. 27 ‘TEKEL’ means that you have been weighed and found to be too light. 28 ‘PERES’ means that your nation has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”


 I want to say, that I don't want to have God start writing on the walls in my house, about how I am living about what comes first in my life.  I know I fall short all the time on this ... but I choose Him every single day and am never wanting Him to need to write on my wall that I have been weighed and found light, or as it says in some translations, "found wanting".

So before I end this blog, let me reiterate my view.

The gospel can be active without injustice. 

But injustice and the fight against it, can and never should try to be be active without the gospel, from a Christians point of view.

 our world is not the same as it used to be.

We cant impose our Christian beliefs on the world and expect the world to just buckle down and accept it. We now live in a post Christian society.  Does that change the truth of the gospel ?  NO WAY.
Jesus Christ is still the answer. And we must still proclaim it, share it, live it.

The world will not change to adopt us any more.  
And we (the church) must not change our beliefs and purpose just because its now harder. 

I think what the world is looking for, is someone, something, that will stand up for what it says it is and make that stand courageously and boldly and also  with grace and truth and love.

We are, The SALVATION Army.   The Army of Salvation...seeing people saved. Bottom line

Have we lost our power ? Have we lost our spiritual mantle ?

what does the evidence show us...?

 the evidence always gives an accurate conclusion.

what does the bible say ?

in its simplicity, it says come to Jesus, all who are weary and burdened and He will give us rest. 

Now that's not a bad idea right now is it ?

and one final matter... its not about you or me...its not about how good we think we are, or if we think someone should be elevated or not... its not about us big noting ourselves, or thinking more highly of ourselves than we should, its not about one single human being on the planet at this time... even if they super smart or not...

as I recall it, its about Jesus Christ and His compelling love for humanity that all would be saved and none would be lost, and we... who call ourselves Christ followers, or Soldiers or Officers in this TSA must do all we can to join Him in that supreme purpose.

here is what Officers signed when they were commissioned:
please note which comes first.


to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
as an officer of The Salvation Army

to love and serve him supremely all my days,

to live to win souls and make their salvation the first purpose of my life,

to care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovable, and befriend those who have no friends,

to maintain the doctrines and principles of The Salvation Army, and, by God's grace to prove myself a worthy officer.

 I hope I haven't offended you.

Jesus must become greater and we (all of us) must become less.














  1. You're spot on Gary. If we don't have our first love for Jesus then others we will perish. The Great Commission is to introduce others to Him. Bill Dodds

  2. Hi Gary,
    Thank you for your thoughts on this subject.
    The gospel should be what drives the Salvation Army in its fight against injustice not he other way round.
    Daniel Watson

  3. Hi Gary,
    in coming to terms with the recent events, your words have been very encouraging.
    Daniel Watson


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