Staying On The King’s Highway

Ever since the first century church, there has been times when church practices and doctrine don’t match what Jesus taught. Even people who start out on the King’s Highway (a reference to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress) start going down the wrong road. 

The Salvation Army Levittown PA Community Center is an example of getting off track.  

After having fallen financially and spiritually early 2014, I entered the Salvation Army Community Center to get food from the food pantry. I was puzzled at the brusque manner in which the woman who ran the pantry treated the customers.  Her demeanor didn’t seem to reflect the image I had of Salvation Army people.   

Despite this experience, shortly thereafter I started worshipping at this center.  The church seemed to be theologically sound, putting the emphasis on scripture. I was going through a rough time. Broken, the church helped me put the pieces back together.   

But in time, I found the behavior of some of the folks there were not Christian, and the one in charge, whom I nicknamed Caspar Milquetoast, didn’t resolve problems when I was victimized when I volunteered in the food pantry.  The employee who ran the food pantry, whom one of my fellow volunteers called Queen Latifah, bullied me and other volunteers. On one occasion, when a young camp counselor spoke briefly on his way to get with the camp kids, the queen got in the kid’s face, saying something like “where you supposed to be; you best get their now!”, making street-like motions. She treated us three volunteers as if we were mannequins. But when it came to a counselor of her race, the youth helper had free run of the pantry; she didn’t inform us that the camp counselor had permission to go into a restricted area. 

Interesting, at a recent meal for the homeless and needy (not the homeless and greedy), one of the guests at my table said the food pantry head, who also hosts the meals, is “racist.” Many of the guests who attend the meals won’t go to the Salvation Army meals. Some poor, desperate souls have to go to the Salvation Army meal, and occasionally have to put up with abuse, condescension.  

On one occasion the queen told me that I wouldn’t listen to her because she is black. I responded “People have a problem with you because you talk down to people!” 

Another Salvation Army official, who is in charge of community relations and development, whom I’ve nicknamed The Countess of Carlisle, used her position to block an offer from someone I met at the center from regional to write for the Salvation Army.  During a conversation I had with another volunteer, where I said that I had a problem with the way the local library constructively aims to keep the homeless out of the library just because they are homeless, the Countess said the library should keep the homeless out of the library, simply because there are people who don’t like them there.  

This is not the historic Salvation Army that went to bat for the down and out and were attacked by those who didn’t agree with them helping drunks but they stood their ground for what is right. In contrast, today’s Salvation Army tends to kowtow to the politically correct! 

Recently, there was another church that hosted the shared meals that I found a big, conspicuous problem with. As my girlfriend and I were waiting to be let into the shared meal, she noticed different flags flying, but not the American flag. I noticed a “Black Lives Matter” sign, and then the homo promo rainbow flag. All lives matter! And scripture is clearly against homosexuality. We are all sinners but the church needs to set people on the right road, and preach what is right! As the preacher said at my father’s memorial service, God comes to us sinners and makes us saints! Evidently, this church is not Biblical. The hosts, however, were very gracious. 

Churches, like the people who visit them, need to act like Jesus, and should listen to their brothers and sisters when they (it is hoped), point out gently their error. I’ve been reading about this in the Recovery Devotional, which not only applies to addicts but to the rest of us, including me! 

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 

We need to remember this, and hold one another accountable to this standard!

To learn more about the homeless, focusing on Bucks County, PA, read: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2qT8c-IdV5tS_lDCYj3RGXcKvtvKBLfS2dJbPw857-W2fURTjVivU5UW8