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What do we mean by ‘uniform?’

October 18, 2008

A few weeks ago I wrote about the place of the uniform within the Salvation Army. I suggested that whilst the uniform is supposed to be a public statement of our intention to take the Gospel to the world, it has become a sign of adherence to Salvation Army culture and an important tool in the maintenance of our hierarchy.

It seems I’m not the only one to have noticed this. (Actually, I know I’m not. Now I can prove it!) Eric Himes writes

As I grow in leadership and experience I am getting mixed messages about the purpose of the uniform. Is it a high calling? Is wearing it a prophetic act? Or is it simply a symbol of conformity and authority? Of all the messages out there, the latter gets the most prominence in the discourse. And I am not comfortable with this short-sighted purpose.
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My fear is that we are settling to define the uniform as an adjective and not a noun. That we are only using it to describe who we are rather than what we are as Salvationists. If the uniform is a truly an effective prophetic tool than we shouldn’t only wear it for ourselves and at the same time, we should be wise in knowing when not to wear it and have the faith to believe that God would still use us to win His world.

Very true.

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