Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've been thinking a lot lately (hence, the lite blogging) about the analogy between the church and an army. I don't think it's a completely inapt comparison, given Jesus' statement about the gates of hell not withstanding the advance of the Church, Jesus' return as the conquering King with the armies of heaven, etc. At any rate, as I have thought about it, it occurs to me that any fully functioning army requires three things:
  1. Institution: The structures and supplies that give an army its organization and shape. This includes everything from tanks and rifles to matching uniforms, a chain of command, barracks, units, and even the history and traditions of each platoon, battalion, brigade, and division. Without institutional elements, an army ceases to be army and becomes a mob.
  2. Community: The relationships between the people who compose the army. The better the relationships and the greater the level of trust between them, then (at least generally speaking), the better the unit's effectiveness in combat. Without community, an army isn't so much an army as a collection of individuals fighting on the same side of a cause.
  3. Mission: The task of the army or army unit. Generally speaking, the basic task of army is "kill the enemy and take over his territory." Without a mission, there is no purpose for the army's existence.
As I consider these things, it occurs to me that one of these is clearly more important than all the rest. Which one is it? Stay tuned...

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