In the March issue of Salvationist, I wrote about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that occurred last December. The article made a case that the massacre was not retribution from a deity who felt neglected and ignored. But the feedback I received on the article raised another issue. Should the Bible be taught in the public school system? Is this something that … [Read more...]
The Word of God doesn’t belong in the classroom.
May 14, 2013 by Major Juan Burry 2 Comments
Lance Armstrong’s confession reminds us to empathize with the broken—no matter how far they’ve fallen.
April 10, 2013 by Major Juan Burry Leave a Comment
“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer Once upon a time, there was a man whom the world revered. He was athletic and exciting. He not only battled cancer, but conquered it and became a seven-time champion in his sport. He also launched a charity that raised nearly half a billion … [Read more...]
A U.S. politician’s comments about rape sparked anger. How might Salvationists respond?
January 16, 2013 by Major Juan Burry 3 Comments
During the recent elections in the United States, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that when a woman becomes pregnant during rape, “it is something that God intended.” Mourdock’s comments sparked uproar. He apologized for his statement and said it was misinterpreted. He affirmed that rape is a brutal act, but said that he still believes that life is precious. However, the … [Read more...]
Many Christians experience times when their beliefs are challenged. Thankfully, God is big enough to handle all our questions.
November 30, 2012 by Major Juan Burry Leave a Comment
Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness.… If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul.… How painful is this unknown pain—I have no faith. – Mother Teresa Have you ever felt like that? I’m certain that … [Read more...]
Before we speak, we should weigh the implications of our words.
October 12, 2012 by Major Juan Burry 1 Comment
Be careful little tongue what you say For the Father up above is looking down in love So be careful little tongue what you say. I remember singing that chorus in Sunday school. It was an effective little ditty. I can recall walking home from the corps building when I was a child, with my head tilted towards the sky, wondering where this ethereal parent was that was so concerned about what I … [Read more...]
Do we treat refugees and immigrants as second-class?
October 3, 2012 by Major Juan Burry Leave a Comment
“In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity and mutual respect.” —former U.S. president Bill Clinton Canada has a good reputation for receiving people from other parts of the world. Generally speaking, we are compassionate, polite and accommodating to others. … [Read more...]
The marginalization of any group of people should disturb The Salvation Army, since one of our core values is to promote the dignity of all persons.
August 13, 2012 by Major Juan Burry 43 Comments
Pastor Charles L. Worley is a North Carolina minister who caused an uproar in May when a segment from his sermon was caught on video and posted online. Worley, infuriated by U.S. President Barack Obama’s proclamation that he supported gay marriage, called for the entire homosexual population to be gathered in an electrified enclosure until they perished from lack of reproduction. This was a … [Read more...]
We shouldn’t be afraid to engage in dialogue with non-believers. We may just find more in common than we previously thought.
July 19, 2012 by Major Juan Burry 2 Comments
I love atheists. And I don’t mean with that blanket Christian universal love that suggests we love people because we have to. Some of my best friends are atheists, and so are some of my favourite writers, such as the recently departed Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens was an outspoken radical and intellectual. His 2007 book, God is Not Great, was a scathing rebuke of religion that described how … [Read more...]
Seeing Christ in the marginalized
April 18, 2012 Major Juan Burry 1 Comment
The Salvation Army has a colourful history of using pithy statements to summarize the enormous mission that it has in the world. When I first encountered the Army in the 1980s, the slogan “Heart to God, Hand to Man” was used extensively. In 2000, General John Gowans (Rtd) attempted to capture the raison d’être of The Salvation Army with a phrase that resonated with officers and soldiers … [Read more...]