Andy Miller III
Visions for the Salvation Army Part Two with Willis HowellVisions for the Salvation Army Part Two with Willis Howell

Visions for the Salvation Army Part Two with Willis Howell

May 16 2023


Three denominations that I care deeply about are going through difficult moments in their history: The Salvation Army, the Church of the Nazarene, and the United Methodist Church. This summer I am bringing interviews with conservative and progressive voices from each denomination. I am doing this individually with the hope of producing clarity. I am not interested in a debate. Each side will be asked the same questions.

Salvation Army: Christina Tyson and Willis Howell

Church of the Nazarene: Thomas Oord and Brian Powell

United Methodist Church: Adam Hamilton and Rob Renfroe

This week we’re hearing from Commissioner Willis Howell.

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Bill Roberts is a financial advisor, who has been serving the retirement planning and investment needs of individuals, families, non-profits, and churches for 25 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner and accredited investment fiduciary. Bill specializes in working with Salvation Army employees and officers by helping them realize their financial goals.  You can find out more about Bill’s business at www.WilliamHRoberts.com

AND

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Thanks too to Phil Laeger for my podcast music. You can find out about Phil's music at https://www.laeger.net

Transcript

Welcome to the more to the story. Podcast. I'm so glad that you have come around for this. This is going to be a great show, and this is the second part of a series that i'm doing actually it's a second part of a six-part series. I'm doing

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Andy Miller III: the first 2 episodes are centered around the denomination of the Salvation Army then eventually we're going to look at the Church of Nazarene, and then finally the United Methodist Church. And we're listening to progressive and conservative voices from within that phenomenon. And those foundations

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Andy Miller III: thinking about their future. And there are critical questions, and there are critical things happening in each of these denominations this summer. So i'm delighted to have a guest with me in just a second to represent the Conservative side. If you didn't get to hear the Progressive side. We had Major Christina Tyson

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Andy Miller III: this past week, and this podcast is coming out a little earlier in the week, so that these things, these 2 conversations.

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Andy Miller III: it can be closer together. But before we get into that information. I want to make sure you know that more to this story is brought to you by Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we do that through a variety of programs we have a lay initiative certificates, bachelor's, degrees, masters, Ms. Mdives, doctors, of ministry degrees. We would love for you to check that out. We are really thankful that right now we have just been approved, or the first school approved

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Andy Miller III: to to have a course of study for the Global Methodist Church. And right now we have 115 people who signed up for that course of study just in the last 6 weeks, in addition to serving dozens of other denominations within the kind of Pan Wesley and world.

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Andy Miller III: Also, if you go to my website, Andy Miller, the iii.com that's Andy Miller iii.com. There's a couple of things there that I want to clue people into.

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Andy Miller III: I've had a few people say they'd be interested in donating to the podcast or to more to the story ministries. Now I've put this out there. It's available. If you'd like to make a a donation to this podcast. It's something that you know. I offer this free content and make it available, and i'm glad to do that. But if you take that

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Andy Miller III: plunge and you go, and you make a gift there's an option to give monthly, and if you sign to give monthly, even if it's a small amount, i'll send you one of my books. I have 2 books out and another one coming out this summer on the Book of Jude. I would love to love to share that with you. And many of you. Listen, my podcast. No, to I have an email list that regularly shares content. That comes from this kind of Pan Wesley and perspective. And if you sign up for that email list you get

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Andy Miller III: 5 steps to deeper teaching and preaching, which is a 45 min video session that I have, and a eight-page guide to help you go deeper in Scripture. So that you can proclaim it in a faithful and creative way. It also has listed courses available there, and then there's opportunity to engage me. If there's if you're interested in having me come to speak on of it. I'll be I'll be at where i'm going to be Indian Springs this summer. The lead conference in Western Pennsylvania or late. The Kansas and I have a couple of openings where there's a couple of months

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Andy Miller III: the fall they're available. I'd love to come and share with your your

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Andy Miller III: your church pastors group, whatever it is. Just make that available. That's@andymillerthethird.com. Okay, now the advertiser is over, I am glad to welcome into the podcast my friend, my former boss.

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Andy Miller III: Commissioner Willis Howe, who's a retired officer from the establish army. He recently retired from being the territory commander of the Southern territory in the United States, and he also teaches now at the Evangel and Booth College. Willis welcome to the podcast.

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Willis.Howell: Good to be with you again, Andy and i'm sorry we've got lowers going around the building right now. The the long people, any time you got to do anything, this video like this

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Willis.Howell: Somehow the blowers come out so we'll have to contend with that.

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Andy Miller III: We'll just have to deal with it. That's okay? Well, you sound good to me, and I'm really thankful to have you on here now. I had thought of you an option, but I want when I was when this had this idea of kind of presenting 2 voices from either side of denominations. I had actually particularly then a Nazarene situation in mind, because there's a recent book that's come out that's like led led to Nazarene to be in a moment where they have to take some action.

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Andy Miller III: and I but I asked some people well, who should I give a conservative side of the Salvation Army.

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Andy Miller III: and your name came up a few times, and your name came to my mind as well. So i'm really thankful you're willing to take this on, and I know that the labels are not always helpful, and you we might not want to be. Say, oh, I'm the Conservative or or Christina, who you know when you served in New Zealand. Well, yes, yeah, particularly wasn't excited, probably about being called the Progressive, but I think it's just like a helpful categories, even though we might not be completely comfortable with them.

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Willis.Howell: Yeah, thank you for that. I appreciate that. And yes, I know Christina and Keith. Well, we've been to their house. We've. We've had many, many discussions, and I've got all the respect in the world for Christina and Keith Tyson. Beautiful people.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, it was. We had a good conversation, and, like I said to her at the end of the conversation. I think we were, even though we very much disagreed. My goal in these these interviews

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Andy Miller III: is not to debate people my goals not to debate you, but I want to give an opportunity for clarity, and I think that if we have clarity that will then produce an environment where it's easier for people to make decisions and to understand what's going on, and I didn't think it'd be helpful to put people in a debate. I just wanted to be able to give this type of venue for people to respond to the same question. Now I had 10 questions originally that I sent to you and Christina, but Christina and I only got to 7 of them.

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Andy Miller III: I'm just going to start with those 7 questions with you as well. So the one. The reason that this comes up now is that there's a a big move happening in this. In one reason I want this to come out now is something that you participate in. I I won't get you the first question yet, but

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Andy Miller III: the High Council and you participated in one high Council as a territory commander, and there's this is like, maybe the main democratic function of the Salvation Army, and so I think it's helpful to kind of this is the moment, maybe in Salvation Army timely timeframe, where we think about the future and what's going to happen. So that's part of why we wanted to have this happen at this time.

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Andy Miller III: Okay. First question.

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Andy Miller III: What role the Scripture play in the life of the Salvationists? And the second part is this: and do you believe that in it there is a divine rule that speaks universally to the beliefs, values, and practices of a people from every generation and culture.

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Willis.Howell: Well, now, clearly yourself being a salvation is, You're even quoting part of the Salvation Army's first doctrine that there the the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the divine rule of Christian faith and practice. So

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Willis.Howell: yes, I would say that there is very definitely

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Willis.Howell: the the primary role, the guiding role, the defining role of who is what we are as a Salvation Army has to be grounded in and established by

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Willis.Howell: what we read what we see, what we understand in Scripture

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Andy Miller III: absolutely, and it is that something that transcends time like the even the the meaning of Scripture.

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Willis.Howell: I think Scripture is in fact, transcended. We know that it's God breathed. We're told that the God god speaks it. God breeds it through humanity. Yes, no question about that, but it's no less inspired.

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Willis.Howell: Our Handbook of Doctrine very clearly indicates it, and and says in in no on certain terms, the authority of Scripture overshadows all other authority. So for the Salvationist

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Willis.Howell: it would seem that we are saying that we adhere to that. We are holding to the position that says the authority of Scripture supersedes

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Willis.Howell: the whims of culture, the ever-shifting

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Willis.Howell: current of culture that the

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Willis.Howell: that the the authority of Scripture transcends personal tastes, however, we like that or not. Scripture

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Willis.Howell: supersedes my own personal preference, whatever it is that's popular or not. Popular Scripture is the Word of God, and we respond from that

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Willis.Howell: in coordination with and in keeping with, what Scripture teaches.

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Andy Miller III: Beautiful. Now, some people might suggest. Well, well, Willis, isn't that Just a nice thing? You can just make it mean whatever you want. Now, here here's the idea

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Andy Miller III: in this particular, as it relates to issues of human sexuality. Some would suggest that Scripture was just the the writers of Scripture didn't have as much enlightenment as we have, and I've heard I mean, I've heard people say liberal scholars say, Well, yes, Jesus affirmed

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Andy Miller III: marriage, Jesus would have been against same-sex behavior. But Jesus was just wrong. I mean, is there ever anything that the bible just gets wrong?

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Willis.Howell: Well, i'm. I'm a little taken by your your statement that Jesus is just wrong.

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Willis.Howell: I don't believe that, of course i'm just yeah. I I think that anybody who lands on that kind of a conclusion.

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Willis.Howell: Well, you're You've already stepped off the mark.

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Willis.Howell: Who is it, Tony Evans? I think, who has a line along this? I I may not get him exactly right, but it's the idea. There are 2 views on anything

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Willis.Howell: God's view and everybody else's, and when everybody else's view differs from God's view. Everybody else is wrong.

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Willis.Howell: And so to all of a sudden discover or to declare, yeah, Jesus, he comes really close on on so many things, but on this

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I think he's just that far off.

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Willis.Howell: First off, I think that's

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Willis.Howell: well. I I I think there's an element of hubris in there. I think there's there's an arrogance, and furthermore.

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Willis.Howell: well, i'll I'll maybe get into that in another time. But I just

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Willis.Howell: if you, if you start from the premise of Maybe there's something in there Not correct.

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Willis.Howell: I think you're on slippery ground to begin with. Does that mean we understand everything? Absolutely Not when I don't understand.

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Willis.Howell: I conclude that the problem is with me, not with Scripture.

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Willis.Howell: Now

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Willis.Howell: back to your other point. There are.

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Willis.Howell: There are certainly scholars on every side out there. It's not just both sides. There's all sorts of sides of issues who are going to parse, Hebrew and greet verbs. And here's what it means and examine culture. Okay, and

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it's going to be a theological basket and Robins 31 flavors. You know. What flavor do you have to the like.

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Willis.Howell: And so I find it most consistent that while

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Willis.Howell: first century or earlier, they they may not have the the cultural sophistication we have. But they were not ignorant people. These are still very smart, brilliant

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Willis.Howell: philosophers, thinkers, and I

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Willis.Howell: to to dismiss them out of hand to say, Well, they probably didn't know what we're talking about. I I i'm not on that page.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: that's really helpful. And th this is really is a hermeneutical question like, how do we come to interpretation, just because there are multiple interpretations, doesn't mean that all interpretations are equal.

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Andy Miller III: The text has a meaning so. Nor is it. Nor is it which interpretation do I like.

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Willis.Howell: Yeah, Which interpretation is most consistent with

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Willis.Howell: script. We compare Scripture to Scripture, which interpretation is most in keeping with what we know and understand that the character of God to the point that we can no one understand the character of God, so we, weighing all that together

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Willis.Howell: which interpret it, follow the evidence of the Scripture as opposed to which one suits my case better.

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Andy Miller III: Right? Right?

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Andy Miller III: That can definitely be a challenge. Okay, that's great. The next question I have is related to an important matter that's happening in the life of the savage term, and honestly at every denomination. This is something that people are thinking about, and that's the nature of polity or governance. So

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Andy Miller III: there has been. There have been moves towards more accountability established an army. Sometimes there's move towards more democratic functions, sometimes less. We have a hierarchical system in the Salvation Army. Do you think that there needs to be any update to the governance structure of the Salvation Army.

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Willis.Howell: Let let me come running at this another angle first before you, and you may need to bring me back onto the subject

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Willis.Howell: I've been in settings where people are wanting to

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Willis.Howell: criticize hierarchy. It seems to me this is just my opinion.

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Willis.Howell: Hierarchy in and of itself

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Willis.Howell: is neutral. It's a tool. It's a system. and tools and systems can be used for good or ill. I think that our hierarchical system andy

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Willis.Howell: problematic only when we make it problematic.

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Willis.Howell: interesting. I think that it helps us in many ways, and especially I do like the very militaristic, the the Marshall aspect of the Salvation Army. I like that image personally.

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Willis.Howell: So I I don't think there is a problem with hierarchy in and of itself.

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Willis.Howell: But as anything once humanity gets a hold of it. Well, it can be perverted. It can be twisted. It can be. It can be used for harm. But the system itself, I don't think, is the problem, I think, when we are all of a sudden manipulating

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Willis.Howell: the the position, we have, the the power we might have when we choose to not be accountable. So I very much appreciate the accountability aspect of this. I think there's danger there. Part one part, 2,

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Andy Miller III: yeah.

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I think there is.

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Willis.Howell: And and this is happening somewhat organically. It's, I think it's being more and more codified. But it's happening more organically across army world. I think there is.

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Willis.Howell: They a benefit

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Willis.Howell: to, not just listening to what is being said at the grassroots, but inviting that input

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Willis.Howell: this is all part of consultation. It's not negotiation. It's consultation. And I think there's a key difference there, and so I I very much enjoy hearing what the people on the

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Willis.Howell: the frontis of the front lines, what they have to say what their take. What do you see? What are you experiencing? Speak into this decision? We're making? Help us understand how how

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Willis.Howell: more widgets or fewer widgets impacts you in what you're doing in not just advancing the mission of the army, but advancing the kingdom in your community

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Andy Miller III: as somebody who this is that's really helpful as somebody who's been at the top of a system or a corporation. That matter. As a territorial commander you had significant opportunities to lead and influence people. But you were at the top. You were the

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Andy Miller III: CEO of the corporation, and so but but but the Territory commander, the ecclesiastical leader of it as well. So you understand this, maybe more than other people can. What does that? A hierarchical system, autocratic someone suggest? And I don't say that in a bad way. What can it do? Well.

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Andy Miller III: what can it? What can it do distinctly from other systems?

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Willis.Howell: I think it can be more decisive.

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Willis.Howell: The more people you add the more cooks to the to the kitchen. Well, then, the weaker the broth, I think.

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Willis.Howell: Ultimately somebody has to make a decision

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Willis.Howell: and given the amount of information that you have. What's the decision? I know that you have several viewers listeners who come from international settings, so they may not know who General Colin Powell was. Here in the United States. He had come up through the ranks of the Us. Army, became the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

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Willis.Howell: and was also later on the Secretary of State in the United States.

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Willis.Howell: In one of his books he talks about decision making in this kind of a setting. He says, Listen.

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Willis.Howell: Once you have 70 75% of of the information you think you need make a decision because the window is going to close, and all of a sudden the moment is passed. Somebody has to be decisive. Somebody has to make the decision, and more times than not, I think

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Willis.Howell: committees

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Willis.Howell: helpful as they can be for research, for information, for input fine what's the call? And so our system, our Salvation Army system is is such that finally, the territorial commander, whoever he or she may be.

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Willis.Howell: it's not a decision of a committee. It's not follow. We

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Willis.Howell: no, it's follow me. Here's the decision. Here's where we're going.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: that's really helpful. And I think this will come into play in one of the questions we have later about how we provide an opportunity for gardening that trust which given to a mission, and what the leader has. But we'll get to that in a minute before we get there another kind of a theological question.

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Andy Miller III: What do you believe is necessary? What are the necessary conditions for salvation?

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Willis.Howell: Now, quick, disclaimer. I'm not a theologian as you and so many others are.

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Willis.Howell: I don't think i'm theologically stupid, but i'm not a theologian.

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Willis.Howell: However.

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Willis.Howell: what's necessary to salvation? It seems to me, is

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Willis.Howell: simple.

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Willis.Howell: If If children can be saved. If if children can come to faith in Christ, it doesn't need to be complex, how how the sal different process works. That's a whole other matter. But understanding salvation, we used to include it. Excuse me, Got a fraud here. Sorry about that.

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We used to include it in our work, right? It used to be a regular little corner in one of on one of the pages. Work right the Abcs of salvation. The ABC's of salvation.

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Willis.Howell: acknowledged your need, acknowledged that you're a sinner, acknowledged that there is sin in your life that has separated us from God.

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Willis.Howell: B

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Willis.Howell: Believe believe that Jesus Christ has come and offered a sacrifice; that he has been the substitute for the death penalty that is ours, and that His

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Willis.Howell: is salvific work on the cross That' be mine. and then see.

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Willis.Howell: consecrate, commit yourself to it. Follow along. I I know that's an F, but commit yourself to following you. Commit your life to to Christ. It seems to me that it is just that simple that it is as simple as that. ABC. Now am I oversimplifying it? Well, yes, I I suppose I am, in a sense.

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Willis.Howell: but I don't think it needs to be overly complex. It involves acknowledging sin. It involves the Christ piece for salvation, and then the commitment, the the life that I live post salvation.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, it's beautiful. And you know we have an article of faith that hits at this, too. Repentance toward God, they in a lot of Jesus Christ and regeneration by a Holy Spirit. You're talking about the same part. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, I could go back there. It it's all connected, of course, that that those little doctrines are all about soteriology. So like, if we think about like repentance, and send; and admitting that we have a need

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Andy Miller III: like what what's involved with that admitting where sinners, what's involved with repenting.

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Willis.Howell: Oh, boy. now I can only speak in our Western culture. I can't speak

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Willis.Howell: globally.

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but

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Willis.Howell: tried in us, does not want us to admit.

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Willis.Howell: I've fallen short. We we find it easier to say. Well, let's just accept Christ.

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Willis.Howell: Oh, okay, I I can accept him.

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Willis.Howell: I think that falls short of merely accepting Christ.

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Willis.Howell: I think that we've got to confess I have offended God

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Willis.Howell: my sin.

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Willis.Howell: whether it's my my sin. Nature given to us from Adam, and he does this come down to for my own set. This is why this is why little children demand their own way. When they don't get it, they pitch a fit, because it is that nature. We want our own way.

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Willis.Howell: and we don't like to admit we're wrong. We don't like to admit that we fall in short. So if we can sort of downplay

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Willis.Howell: anything to do with. Oh, I have offended a righteous guide. Well, then, it's a whole lot easier to swallow. And so we're not big these days Church world. I'm not talking Salvation Army. I'm talking to Church world. We're not as big as we used to be about

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Willis.Howell: acknowledging

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Willis.Howell: sin, and that has to be dealt with.

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Andy Miller III: Yes. absolutely. That's what comes. I think that's absolutely necessary

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Andy Miller III: to salvation. This is great. Thank you. Thank you for being so clear, Commissioner, I appreciate you.

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Andy Miller III: Another thing related to our articles of faith is often in jeopardy; and interestingly as I've been doing my own research into William Booth, and thinking about his theology, particularly as doctrine of the Church. I've been amazed at how much he even had to deal with so alternate views of hell.

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Andy Miller III: For instance, dealing with annihilationism, dealing with universalism. These were things that he was presented with on a regular basis, and people left the early Salvation Army because they didn't affirm they didn't jive with William Booth doctrine of hell. So here's a question.

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Andy Miller III: Is there a having a hell? And how does this inform the mission of the Salvation Army.

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Willis.Howell: I'm. Going to defer to Jesus on that one. He seemed to think that there was. and i'm just gonna go with him on this

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Willis.Howell: Jesus

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Willis.Howell: clearly. But now, did he Was he talking about hell as a specific location? Okay, that's for you, theologians to debate, but hell as an existence, hell as a as as a a, a, a

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Willis.Howell: a punishment. I think Jesus was very clear, and I think that William Booth was clear too. He frequently spoke about it. I I just thought of this now.

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Willis.Howell: so I I should have done my homework a little bit better on this. But what was the we. We use this story an awful lot. When When

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Willis.Howell: the nineteenth century was changing over the twentieth century, he was being asked, what are the main? What are the chief concerns, you see, for this new century? You know the one i'm talking about in. So what are the what are the concerns, you see, and I think you rattled out 5 different things, but the last of them, or one of them one of the 5 was that a chief concern I see, is the idea of heaven without hell.

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Willis.Howell: And I think that we have very. We, as a culture, have very much embraced that idea. Yeah, we all like the idea of heaven. And we're all going there. By the way, don't you think because nobody's gonna say? Oh, I don't think it. No, the the the cut, the cut, you said we're just both beneath me.

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Willis.Howell: and so we all see ourselves as going. and I actually i'd like to follow up on that in just a moment.

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Willis.Howell: But there is very clearly a heaven. There is very clearly a there is very clearly a place where we will be with Christ for eternity. There is very clearly a place where you are separated from God or attorney.

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Willis.Howell: and I think I think Scripture is clear. We can, we can gussie it up all we want.

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Willis.Howell: but the only one who's ever been there is Jesus, and he has something to say about it.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah. Amen: yeah.

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Andy Miller III: it's interesting. You and I served together in. You're the divisional commander when I serve the Madisonil, Kentucky core for the Kentucky Tennessee Division that has a great time to survey for you and your wife, Barbara.

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Andy Miller III: but I remember an officer who was maybe maybe wasn't an office, or actually somebody who was serving in some sort of a ministry Position came and said, Well, hell is just the reality that the drug addict faces every day, and so hell became

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Andy Miller III: equal to human pain, and and even William Booth would say those; but at the same time he's still a affirmed and eternal state of how a of punishment, i'm sorry to say, like it. So go ahead. I remember you responding really well to that.

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Willis.Howell: Well, I wish I would have known what I said. Profound! Yes.

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Willis.Howell: I I think that there's times that we use held as a comparison. And in the drug addict situation that you describe. Yes, i'm sure that is as close to hell as perhaps we can understand this side of eternity.

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Willis.Howell: But we're comparing the temporal to the Eternal, how do they even come close?

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Willis.Howell: Whatever whatever this this

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Willis.Howell: or person, this this drug, controlled person. Yes, I'm sure it's absolutely terrible. And we, as salvation as believes we should do everything we can to stop that hellish existence. But

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Willis.Howell: one day

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Willis.Howell: that particular hell will perish. That temporal hell will pair his the hell he's going to he or she is going through. But then you'll have to come to grips with

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Willis.Howell: an eternity and eternal hell. Yeah. And I, I think that's as different as different can be.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Willis.Howell: And when we talk about the the idea of heaven, here's where I was gonna go before everybody. Everybody thinks, Well.

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Willis.Howell: i'm good.

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Willis.Howell: And i'll. I'll be good enough right? Well, Who?

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Willis.Howell: Who's good enough

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Willis.Howell: on a curve? I mean, what? How does this work? Exactly to be good?

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Willis.Howell: What so, Mother Teresa? Was she good enough, Billy Graham, Was he good enough? And if I'm not quite as good as Mother Teresa or Billy Graham, you know that. Have I still made the cut.

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Willis.Howell: It's got nothing to do with good heavens for people who are forgiven.

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Willis.Howell: Heaven is for people who have confessed their sin and accepted Jesus Christ. So it's got nothing to do with if I earned my way. Am I good enough? Do I have enough good things on this side of the of the scale to to outweigh the bad things that I've done.

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Willis.Howell: Heaven is the place where people who are forgiven people who love Jesus, people who have a relationship with him that's for heaven

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Andy Miller III: absolutely, then the the other side to this is second part of the question: how does this inform the mission of the Salvation Army like. So we you very clearly articulated what you believe on this subject. So, then, what does that mean for the mission of your denomination?

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Willis.Howell: Sadly, I think we are as a denomination. I think we are less clear than we used to be.

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Willis.Howell: I think we were more driven in our earlier days

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Willis.Howell: about

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Willis.Howell: the horrors of hell

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Willis.Howell: and the joys of heaven.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Willis.Howell: this is just my own opinion. I I do not speak on behalf of the Salvation Army. I understand my place, and i'll stay in my lane but my own.

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Willis.Howell: But excuse me, my own study of Salvation Army history indicates that we were far more outspoken. We were far more decisive. We were far clearer in our understanding than than I think we are now, and it prompted us

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Willis.Howell: to do incredible things. We would take

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Willis.Howell: what people now would call crazy risks

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Willis.Howell: to save someone from hell. I have an old orders and regulations from, I think, 1,900.

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Willis.Howell: So this is this is still Booth overseeing this and talking about

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how to save the roughs.

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Andy Miller III: the the the undesirable p, the the criminal element, the the, the.

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Willis.Howell: the the rough people. And so he starts off that section with sort of a tongue and teacher tongue in cheek approach, saying, If you don't want to reach them.

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Willis.Howell: Here's what you do.

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Willis.Howell: Don't go where they are.

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Willis.Howell: if they happen to come where you are, don't talk to him. Oh, and he goes on this way. Then he he turns it and says, now, if you do want to reach them.

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Willis.Howell: go to them. You don't have to be in a community a day before you know those parts of town go there. and then he imagines a conversation with his reader. He imagines the reader saying.

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Willis.Howell: But but what if they kill me? Who says. Well. you die?

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Willis.Howell: You've often said that you would give your life for the salvation of others. Here's perhaps a chance.

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Willis.Howell: Can you imagine putting that in writing?

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Willis.Howell: Yeah, but he did. We had this sense that we were going to live sacrificial lives in order to save someone

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Willis.Howell: from the threat of death and hell, and not just from the threat of death and hell, but so that there could be an eternity of Paradise with Christ.

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Willis.Howell: That was far more the standard. Now we're well, I I think we suffocated bubble. Rep.

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Andy Miller III: Hmm. So that you will. We let's insulate ourselves. Oh, we don't. We don't want to get hurt like that, being very careful. Don't do that, don't go there.

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Willis.Howell: and I don't think we are a stronger, or before that by a

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Andy Miller III: that's great. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah, it's interesting. You bring up the O. Andr. I found interestingly that a place where a Bramwell booth, and Harold Begby, the official biographer, both said that the 1,886 version of the O. Andr for field officers was the

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Andy Miller III: one piece of literature that we put more time in than anything else, and it shows because it's 680 pages long. Yeah. And that that section on rough. So I mean, if we want to kind of understand where he now, of course, that doesn't necessarily mean William Booth doesn't carry the same authority

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Andy Miller III: as Scripture, and we rooted this all in the Scripture so like, nevertheless like. But it is interesting to to see those historical connections. Okay. The next question, and i'm jumping ahead on the ones I sent you, because I wasn't able. I didn't have time to get through all of them with Christina

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Andy Miller III: should the Salvation Army change its position on issues related to human sexuality?

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Andy Miller III: If so, how should it change?

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Willis.Howell: Let me start by saying: Obviously this is

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Willis.Howell: highly, emotionally charged around the world. This is not a subject

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Willis.Howell: that that people are emotionally neutral about.

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Willis.Howell: This is highly personal. This is very close to the heart.

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Willis.Howell: I do understand this.

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Willis.Howell: This sort of touches back to our original discussion at the front.

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Willis.Howell: What does Scripture say first?

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Willis.Howell: Now, up above all.

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Willis.Howell: should we be loving.

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Should we be kind, should we be accepting? Should we embrace absolutely in a nutshell? Should we be Christ like

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Willis.Howell: a a resounding Yes.

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Willis.Howell: but as far as changing our position. It's been affirmed and confirmed that marriage, for instance, is between one man, one woman.

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Willis.Howell: The Salvation Army has affirmed and confirmed that as our theological, our biblical, our denominational position. So here's what I would ask. I would answer the question with a question.

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Willis.Howell: if, in fact, our previous view or views.

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Willis.Howell: If, in fact, they have been and are based on Scripture.

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Willis.Howell: Has Scripture changed

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Andy Miller III: right?

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Willis.Howell: If Scripture Hasn't changed.

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Willis.Howell: I don't see the license for my view to change as a Salvationist. Now my practice should still be. I'm just reiterating. Now my practice should still be to embrace, to love, to support, to house, to take care of anyone who comes to us.

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Willis.Howell: Are they welcome in our meetings absolutely

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Willis.Howell: to change our theological position? Well. unless and until Scripture changes. i'm. Bound by

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Willis.Howell: Scripture.

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Willis.Howell: and until I see that Scripture has a different position.

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Willis.Howell: I don't feel that I am at liberty to say, Well, i'm going to just sort of negate that part, because that's that's uncomfortable.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, that's great in every Salvationist, and and I consider those who claim to be salvation. It's not an Advisory Board member, and maybe not an employee, but those who have signed the Soldiers Covenant. Yeah, the articles of war. So there's cover that. I'm sure your soldier covered. Yes, absolutely. I would agree with you.

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Andy Miller III: There's there could be a conversation about it being stronger like that. Maybe some of those commitments should be upheld, or at least respected, on another another area. But i'm wondering from your perspective they go. Let me back up so articles of faith or not. Your article to faith, the Soldiers Covenant. We have that we'll uphold the sanctity of marriage and family life outside of our doctrines, which I think then lay the groundwork for this as well.

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Andy Miller III: but at least we have that clarity there. The orders and regulations for soldiers which just came out a couple of years ago again articulated the same thing. We have a variety of positions that have been described to the years. Nevertheless.

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Andy Miller III: some might even yes, we need to do more like. Is there anything more that we should say anything? Should the savage charm be clearer in what we, what our, what's the foundation? Because it seems like?

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Andy Miller III: And this is where it's easier for me to say this no longer. As an officer. It seems like we're a little shy like we're. We're really quick to say, don't worry. We love everybody, and we'll debunk the myths that are out there. But we're not as as a quick to say what we actually believe in public.

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Willis.Howell: I I don't know. First of all, if that's the case, I don't know why it is.

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Willis.Howell: I don't think we have anything to shy away from if we simply choose to stand on the authority of the word.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Willis.Howell: I I think you can do that and be loving. I think you can do that and be accepting. I'll put that in air quotes because these days words have all sorts of different meetings

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Andy Miller III: Right?

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Willis.Howell: I think you can do that, and

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Willis.Howell: and love the person. Yeah, I don't have to. I don't have to agree with your lifestyle

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Willis.Howell: for me to love you, to serve you, to house you to to care for you, to clothe you, to include you in our in our meetings.

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Willis.Howell: So I think.

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Willis.Howell: instead of. And this is just my own answer. Let me repeat, I can't speak on behalf of the entire Salvation Army. I think. when we stand on Scripture. does that mean that we eliminate the criticisms.

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Willis.Howell: No, not at all. But i'd rather I'd rather take the criticisms while standing on Scripture. Then step away and find myself

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Willis.Howell: losing my footing.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah. Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: I think it'd be really appropriate for the Established Army to even have. And now not necessarily, if we were to say, join. If let's say today, Wesley Biblical Seminary started initiative, and all all the denominations that we serve from the Global Methodist Church to Nazarene Church, Free Methodists.

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Andy Miller III: and and the somebody to show me, too. We serve this. I'm going to show me if we had a statement. It says, You know Wesleyans, who believe that marriages between a man and woman there'd be. No, we we came up with a nice tidy statement. It'd be right for the establishment army to sign on to that statement, and to like. Just affirm this because of our understanding of Scripture.

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Andy Miller III: So i'm just getting in my little I I think I I would. I would challenge to the I would hope that in the future

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Andy Miller III: all the nominations in this tradition that hold the Biblical authority would be willing to do what you just said, and that is to say, that we stand on Scripture, and we have a generous approach to welcoming people, at the same time holding these clear beliefs.

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Andy Miller III: Anything you want to add that before I go to the next question?

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Willis.Howell: No, I think i'm.

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Andy Miller III: I've said all along. I'm sorry I didn't. I didn't want I started talking a little longer than I. Don't might do there. So okay, next one in light of what we just talked about in the the relationship with doctrines and ethics, and I think that's clearly defined within the articles I I keep on saying, the soldiers come in. I can. The articles of faith.

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Andy Miller III: the they are, for you know we have the we believe, and in the we wills I will I will. Those are the ethical statements. Yes.

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Andy Miller III: so with that. What does accountability look like

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Andy Miller III: for Salvationists? And in the light of how those 2 things interact together, doctrine and ethics?

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Willis.Howell: I think it's very interesting in that you and so many others understand this very well, full well.

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Willis.Howell: Salvationism having come from Methodism while we didn't establish something exactly or precisely like the

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Willis.Howell: the the bans, you know where where we would hold, but there still was a holding of one another accountable. We we are less likely, or we're less engaging and less embracing, of wanting to be held accountable these days.

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Willis.Howell: I should people be held accountable absolutely. I think that there is something. Excuse me

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Willis.Howell: when I, when I sit with people who know me well, who have permission to ask me anything.

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Willis.Howell: and

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Willis.Howell: I tell them I will answer truthfully. They can examine, they can probe. And here's why I think there's value to the accountability of that.

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Willis.Howell: I can't see

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Willis.Howell: in my blind spots. They called them blind spots for a reason

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Willis.Howell: So there are clearly areas of my life things that I do. I'm not aware of actions that maybe i'm committing that I think you're being perceived one way. But you're being perceived completely different. I can't see that for myself, and I think that there is

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Willis.Howell: something helpful to accountability when someone speaks into my life. Now.

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Willis.Howell: if if I had gone on record, and by definition, every Salvationist i'm talking, as you were saying, people who had signed a junior soldier pledge the soldiers covenant and officers coming. I had gone on record as saying, this is the way, not just that I want to live.

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Willis.Howell: This is how I will live. This is what you can expect from me. This is what's reasonable. These are now the values I claim I have. I have nailed my flag to the staff.

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Willis.Howell: This is me. And so by

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Willis.Howell: by that declaration, when and if I am inconsistent

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Willis.Howell: shouldn't someone in love absolutely in love, take me aside and say how

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Willis.Howell: you you kind of miss in the mark Here you're You're not exactly you no, not not from a legalistic standpoint, not not just for the rigidity of of the do's and don't of it. No.

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Willis.Howell: but

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Willis.Howell: if this is what I've declared, I want to do. If this is what I'm declaring is my values. If and when that slips I want someone to call me on that. And I think that by declaring

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Willis.Howell: my intention in front of others is this? Is it? Okay? Let me finish one thought before I go to another. So, by declaring my intent in in front of others, which is what you do as a junior soldier, as a senior soldier, as an officer.

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Willis.Howell: I think that is at least implicit permission to hold me accountable. Now I think that there is a parallel you like all parallel, they they go so far

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Willis.Howell: with marriage another covenant.

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Willis.Howell: Yeah. So by

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Willis.Howell: declaring in public, I am committing myself to this woman, this man you are in effect

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Willis.Howell: challenging those who are there.

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Willis.Howell: If I don't hold up to this, call me on it. If i'm not being faithful to these vows. To this covenant I've entered.

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Willis.Howell: Come and tell me, why are you? Why, it seems like you're flirting. Why are you flirting? Yeah, yeah, you've committed yourself. Yes, yes. And so I I see a very close parallel

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Willis.Howell: in that. So a long way around.

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Andy Miller III: That's good. Let me give you a. Let me give you a scenario. I'm gonna use one that's outside of the sexual revolution. How about that? So we both junior soldiers, senior soldiers, officers, by the fact that they are soldiers.

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Andy Miller III: make commitments about their the stewardship of their resources. So if you were to find a Salvage Army officer, and that this might have happened, I pray it didn't. But who embezzled money right? Who was using money inappropriately? What does accountability look like in that scenario, Commissioner?

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Willis.Howell: Well, now there may very well be legal accountabilities as well. Yeah. Yeah. So I think there are legal accountabilities. I think there are ethical and moral accountabilities, and Certainly there

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Willis.Howell: there is the accountability, from

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Willis.Howell: what you have pledged and covenanted to do, and I think, still in love, and depending on on

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Willis.Howell: the specific situation. So what you're talking about?

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Willis.Howell: Can it be done without shouting it from the rooftop rooftops to embarrass someone if there's a way that restitution can be made. And i'm not talking about covering it over. But if this is something we can, we can take care of, and

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Willis.Howell: well, i'm, i'm still coming down to. They've got to be held accountable. There is accountability that must at some point work itself out.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: so it's not just him, but it is also. And it's right for this to happen on matters of human sexuality, of finances, of anything that we commit ourselves to. And that's part of growing in holiness.

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Andy Miller III: Okay, i'm gonna get down to what is listed as the tenth question, and this is connected. You know one of the things I said this to

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Andy Miller III: I said this as well to Christina, that it's disappointing to me to know that the Salvation Army has clearly articulated beliefs about human sexuality, as we've already indicated. But yet I see a variety of sections of the savage army moving against

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Andy Miller III: the direction that we've all covenanted to right. We we are on under that system. So that's all that's hard for me. That's kind of like the heart of this question. But what should be the consequence of a leader? Rather, it's international, territorial divisional or frontline.

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Andy Miller III: What should be the consequence?

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Andy Miller III: Someone who does not remain aligned to these guard rails

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Willis.Howell: well. Now you specifically brought up the human sexuality piece, but it's it's far. It's far broad that that's that's just one small of any number of ways

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Willis.Howell: that

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Willis.Howell: perhaps someone could be

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Willis.Howell: less than true to to the covenants that they made, and and all that it entails.

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Willis.Howell: Don't let this sound like waffling here.

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Willis.Howell: I think it it. It's going to still depend

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Willis.Howell: on

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Willis.Howell: what has happened, and what is the person willing to do? Is Will will a person accept correction.

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Willis.Howell: or will they be out of it? But no, this is my view.

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Willis.Howell: and here I stand.

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Willis.Howell: and I I can do the well

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Willis.Howell: if you are. If you find yourself inconsistent out of alignment with

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Willis.Howell: the pledges the covenants that you've entered into.

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Willis.Howell: I'm. Not I. I. I don't know that it's necessarily for the Salvation Army to act. But why wouldn't the individual him or herself choose to remove themselves

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Willis.Howell: from from the situation right

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Andy Miller III: and earlier. Excuse me, I mean that's a very dramatic thing. You just said. I'm going to push push a little bit. There, you said. Why has that person that removed themselves? Now this is going to sound harsh, but I think she'd be willing to have the conversation. Me, and she said she might even like

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Andy Miller III: have a cup of coffee, and we can hug right. But

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Andy Miller III: after after our conversations over

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Andy Miller III: somebody like Christina, who, whenever you get a chance to list that conversation articulated in theology that that would not be consistent with what the savage army says.

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Andy Miller III: should somebody. if they've changed their view, should they leave this situation? If

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Andy Miller III: leave leave, leave this zone of ministry.

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Willis.Howell: this will sound weak me again.

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Andy Miller III: I think it depends on what if if

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Willis.Howell: if we're talking about something theological, something doctrinal, something in keeping with Salvation Army practice? I don't mean just I think I'm going to wear a green tie with my uniform. Okay.

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Willis.Howell: No one's going to go to heaven or help because of a green time. So if if we're talking about something

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Willis.Howell: substantive, substantial.

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Willis.Howell: There there was an early or

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Willis.Howell: well. No, I I'll go to the undertaking the the undertaking, especially as a selfish. So you're. I think you were framing this in the context of of leadership in the undertakings.

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Willis.Howell: The current undertakings it clearly states.

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Willis.Howell: I declare my belief in the truths of the doctrines of the Salvation Army. I will teach them faithfully. I will see to make my life a reflection of these troops. The officer coming at pledges that I will maintain the Prince of the doctrines and the principles of the Salvation Army. The Soldiers Covenant states.

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Willis.Howell: I believe, and we live by the truth of the Word of God expressed in the Salvation Army's. 11 articles are paid. I will be faithful and true to the principles, the purposes, and the principles and the practices of the Salvation Army.

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Willis.Howell: If if you can no longer in good conscience.

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Willis.Howell: hold that covenant.

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Willis.Howell: why would someone insist and persist? Now i'm not trying to show somebody the door. But why? Why would you choose to stay in a setting where you are clearly and intentionally, and for reasons that make sense to you. You are out of step with what you have declared

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Willis.Howell: that that's an inconsistency that I can't quite square.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, this is all. It's hard that you said. Interesting thing you said Well, about the green tie. It's not a matter of heaven or hell, and I think what we've what I've been hearing is that I I I think you'd affirm this

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Andy Miller III: consistently, willfully. Sinning is.

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Andy Miller III: put your eternal fate in jeopardy of not being in heaven, and being the experiencing the eternal punishment of the wicked. I I know we might not use that language, and I will certainly wouldn't use that language if I was in an evangelizing situation, but I would suggest that that is a reality.

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Andy Miller III: Continue so if we are to come along, and all of a sudden we start saying, No, no, you can live this way. You can keep cheating on your wife continually, and having 3 wives. Let's say you can keep on doing that, and it's all going to be okay.

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Andy Miller III: And I'm not going to judge you. The most important thing is that you're not harmed by me. and at the same time, i'm going to just make this a little subtle shift that in that, in my view, if we really believe

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Andy Miller III: that intentional willful sin moving away from somebody is going to lead somebody

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Andy Miller III: to eternal punishment. It's not a loving thing to not hold them accountable.

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Willis.Howell: I think I think we do

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Willis.Howell: in private

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Willis.Howell: definitely in love for sure. And Scripture tells us if they don't listen to what brings somebody out. So I think we follow what Scripture tells us.

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Willis.Howell: If they persist.

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Willis.Howell: i'm trying to put it on the person rather than on the Salvation Army. Why, why, why would you want to stay

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Willis.Howell: with a movement

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Willis.Howell: that you don't align with.

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Willis.Howell: There was a time, you know. We had a couple of editions of orders and regulations for soldiers.

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Willis.Howell: but there was a time when toward the what Chapter one. I can quote this chapter in verse, I got it on my screen here, Chapter one section, 2

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Willis.Howell: on the Soldiers Covenant

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Willis.Howell: point one, though the army soldiers are drawn from various cultures, traditions, and races as well. Okay, fine. Let me get down to it

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Willis.Howell: in 1,890. It was stated as a regulation that every Salvation soldier must consider except and then sign the articles of board. Yeah.

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Willis.Howell: this requirement is in force today as are its reasons which are reproduced here.

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Willis.Howell: A. That he may understand beforehand the doctrines, principles, and practices to which he will have to conform. Yeah.

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Willis.Howell: thinking and praying over this code. It will help him to find out whether he is, whether he really has the faith and spirit of a Salvation army. So a Salvation soldier or not see

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Willis.Howell: the pledge involved in signing the Covenant will help him to be faithful to the army. Then listen to Letter D.

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Willis.Howell: The covenant, looking at it beforehand, working through it with people in soldiership classes. the covenant may prevent many joining who are not in heart and head with us.

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Willis.Howell: and who consequently would likely be afterwards to create dissatisfaction and division.

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Willis.Howell: So if you don't. if you don't, and God bless you, if you don't align.

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Willis.Howell: And and please don't hear this in an arrogant way. Let us help you find somewhere in the vineyard, where you do

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Willis.Howell: we where you are more effective. Where? Where your views align with others, let us help you. I'm not trying. I'll say again, i'm not trying to show someone the door.

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Willis.Howell: and I understand also the salvation of getting really raspy. Sorry I understand the Salvation Army is an acquired taste. We're not everybody's cup of tea. I get that.

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Willis.Howell: But if if you don't a lot, or if you start off with us and somewhere along the line, you you no longer align.

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Willis.Howell: Let's take a look at that together. and if we can't bring someone back into alignment. then let's work together.

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Willis.Howell: because this is all about the kingdom isn't it. Let's work together to find where in the overall kingdom work

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Willis.Howell: there might be meaningful work for you to do. because in the Salvation Army

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Andy Miller III: Head budding isn't going to get anybody safe right, and there's plenty of that now, and it's very interesting. What's happened. Yeah, i'm. Sure, you've had this scenario too particularly like we I serve for 15 years in the Southern Territory, and you serve this the core officer in several locations, I mean. I would have somebody who's very committed to the army. I get them, maybe for a couple of

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Andy Miller III: months they would be a part of the activity of the congregation, and they would get actively involved in ministry. Taking this holdership classes, and then we get to Doctor 9 now. They should have heard it my preaching, but nevertheless it's like Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I can't. I can't that that so many times. What do you mean? It's? I'm not a once saved always saved.

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Andy Miller III: and at that point i'm not going to say. Well, well don't worry about it. We don't really push that. We don't no like, and the same thing would be if there's an if there's an officer

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Andy Miller III: who is like

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Andy Miller III: articulating something outside of the tradition about of what we have, covenant it together to do? Why, we exist as an entity, how we are focused ontologically. If that's a case like we're not like.

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Andy Miller III: The only right thing to do is to say you're outside of that. And now that now that's not how I would say it like I appreciate the pastoral, pastorally sensitive way that you're talking about this. I imagine we both have people in mind when we've had to do. Have these conversations.

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Willis.Howell: Hmm.

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Andy Miller III: So I think it's helpful for us to realize that. That that's the that's the loving conversation

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Willis.Howell: I've been in settings before.

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Willis.Howell: outside of the context of of the well. I do this here in the Southern territory as well. But outside the context of the Southern territory, where I've had the the the blessing of being able to speak to cadets. Those who are in Salvation Army Seminary, those who are studying to become officers.

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Willis.Howell: and when we talk about doctrine I will encourage it exactly along the lines you're describing.

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Don't. Stop with doctrine 8.

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Willis.Howell: Be sure to preach, Doctor 9 about the necessity of obedience. Don't stop at night. We need to know, understand about the privilege of sanctification, and of course nobody wants to hear about doctor and 11 with judgment. Oh, golly! Got it! No, if people do not hear about the

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Willis.Howell: the possibility, all that well, the the certainty and judgment, but the possibility that you'll be at that judgment. Then, if we, if we're not warning them.

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Willis.Howell: my lord, we're we're off base, and then someone needs to hold us account.

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Andy Miller III: and if we don't affirm those things, those last 3 articles of faith, then we have completely changed

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Andy Miller III: what the organization is. You know one that is true to our covenants. That's right. I love that. Now. I'm going to give a personal example here, and this might seem kind of critical of me, but

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Andy Miller III: I felt called to serve in theological education outside of the establishment army's off officership system. Now, that was a very hard decision to come to, and it was like I felt the Lord leading me there.

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Andy Miller III: But you know, Commissioner, you you were a part of this like, and it was all done in all love and kindness, and we had good conversations about what I was doing. But essentially

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Andy Miller III: I I couldn't come to you, and just say, you know, I really want to stay an officer. But i'm going to exist. I'm not going to wear a uniform every anymore, because i'm going to be at this theological institution, and I'm going to be doing this, and you can't move me anymore. What did I do?

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Andy Miller III: I came to you in, you know, through the system of the savage army. And, said

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Andy Miller III: I, I i'm going to need to leave, because this is where i'm feeling called to serve now I still can be a part of this obviously me in certain other ways. But I couldn't function as an officer with this new calling, so I just want to give give myself as an example of somebody who's received this pastoral conversation.

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Willis.Howell: No, not just very quickly. I'll bet you the folks there are. Wesley wouldn't mind if you wore your uniform. Oh, there you go!

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Willis.Howell: I have it. Listen! Here's Here's what I understand.

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Willis.Howell: I'm not a deep theological thinker. But I understand this

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Willis.Howell: on that last day

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Willis.Howell: no one's going to stand before the General, the Salvation Army

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Willis.Howell: me that we're we're gonna stand before the Lord

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Willis.Howell: to give an account then.

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Willis.Howell: Yeah. and how we' what we've done with the blessings, with the opportunities. How we have stewarded all of that that's what we're going to be held accountable

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Willis.Howell: or or answerable. For. And so if

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Willis.Howell: if I find myself consistently out of step

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Willis.Howell: with covenants that I've made.

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Willis.Howell: I think something needs to be done, I think I need to do something about that, something that

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Willis.Howell: the individual is comfortable with.

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Willis.Howell: and that they're willing to be held accountable for not by me.

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Willis.Howell: not by the Salvation army. But on that day.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, yeah, there is that day coming. We believe in general judgment at the end of the world like this. Is there that that time is coming. Okay, Commission, I have a little bit more time. I'd like to just outside the questions that we had.

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Andy Miller III: What what are you hoping could come, not necessarily a name of person, but the High council's coming around here soon. What do you hope comes as a result of the election of a new general.

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Willis.Howell: Well. it's an easy answer, and people are going to think that i'm being far too general.

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Willis.Howell: What i'm hoping is what every salvation is. Hopes and praise for hope is not a strategy. So what we're all train for

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Willis.Howell: is clarity in the minds of the members of the High Council.

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Willis.Howell: Absolute clarity, spiritual discernment, so that

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Willis.Howell: the person God would have is elected. Yeah, and let me just confirm something. You everybody suspects it. But let me let me say that it's true.

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The High Council is absolutely

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Willis.Howell: bathed in prayer by the Council members themselves, and, as you would know, and as you would expect.

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Willis.Howell: the worldwide Salvation Army has already collectively hit their needs.

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Willis.Howell: Yeah, and and they've already begun to be in prayer for this process.

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Willis.Howell: There is great soul searching. There is there. There's any number of folks who attend the High Council who even fast for a significant portion of it during meal times they're in the prayer room, wanting to make sure. Oh, Lord.

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Willis.Howell: speak clearly, so that I don't misunderstand. Oh, let me have a spirit of discernment. Oh, Lord, move among the members, and that's not with any specific name in mind that that that prayer is offered. And so

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Willis.Howell: I also know

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Willis.Howell: that God Hasn't begun pacing the floor of heaven, he's not begun biting his nails. Oh, what are we going to do about the Salvation?

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Willis.Howell: He's? He's got this. He knows this.

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Willis.Howell: and knows what he's going to do with for and about us. So i'm

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Willis.Howell: this is not left to us. I'm comfortable.

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Willis.Howell: Oh, gosh! I'm gonna get my

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Willis.Howell: my story incorrect. You're right when when Nebuchadnezzar never can measure the one that went mad.

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Willis.Howell: And while the you know, with talons like a like a bird of prey, and his hair on that it.

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Willis.Howell: and this will be for a season until you realize that we can desert that the Lord God is sovereign. and he puts who he wants

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Willis.Howell: in these kingdoms God will put

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Willis.Howell: who he wants. I'm not talking. I'm i'm not talking about predestination here. I'm. I'm not being absolutist in that sense.

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Willis.Howell: God

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Willis.Howell: God isn't going to say, Well, here's why I had in mind the golly, the High Council over road me. I guess i'm stuck. No. God has this?

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Willis.Howell: Am I still praying absolutely.

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Willis.Howell: And I know that the members will be

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Willis.Howell: in round the clock prayer

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Willis.Howell: and people already around the world in these worldwide prayer meetings that we're still continuing to have at least here in the Southern territory we've already begun praying about, and for the High Council

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Andy Miller III: beautiful Well, Commissioner. One of the things I always ask my podcast is called more to the story, and I ask people, is there more to the story that is typically told of Willis. How is there something that yeah, some hobby that you have, something that people might not know about you?

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Willis.Howell: Well, to those who know me. I I I think i'm pretty much an open book.

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Willis.Howell: so I don't think that there's any little aspect. There's probably plenty of quirks.

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Willis.Howell: I do. Well in retirement. I get to play my horn more. I I I enjoy music, you know that.

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Willis.Howell: and we've had a few spiritual to the bone concerts that I've gotten to play at friends. This is the original base trombone player of spiritual to bone in case you didn't know that keep going. Keep going. All 5 of the people who know what you're talking about. Yes.

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Willis.Howell: I even get to play in a in in some of the jazz bands here in in the Atlanta area.

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Willis.Howell: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: Oh, good. And you making a little money.

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Willis.Howell: It's not. It's not for pay. These are just bands that play for the fun of it.

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Andy Miller III: I bet they were happy when you walked in.

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Willis.Howell: Well, i'll. I'll tell you a story in a moment, but it's also a place because, being on the on

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Willis.Howell: the Evangel and Booth College campus. So much you you! You really are in in Church World Bubble Army World Bubble.

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Willis.Howell: And so this is an intentional stepping out of the bubble, so I can be with people

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Willis.Howell: on on different terms. and I will always give them up. Well, God bless you! Oh, it's great to see you. God bless you today. I want to be

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Willis.Howell: in settings that is not that are not saturated with and overrun by believers. I want to be out there. and you talk about. Oh, they're glad when I Well, I played a job maybe a month ago.

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Willis.Howell: and i'm sitting next to a an older gentleman come to find out

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Willis.Howell: his name's Harry Maddox. Now that means nothing to you, nor many of the here. No, Harry medics was the principal true bone for the Atlanta Symphony for over 30 years.

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Willis.Howell: And so.

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Willis.Howell: boy, there's a little pucker factor. You're gonna make sure you're you're playing your a game.

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Willis.Howell: So I get. I get to sit next to people like that. and I get to play my more a little bit more. So that's enjoyable. That's

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Willis.Howell: people know that I enjoy music, but you don't know that I get to play a little bit more right now that's fine. Do you get to play banjo. Still.

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Willis.Howell: I do still play my banjo. Not as often I used to go. I used to do that on a Sunday night

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Willis.Howell: after meetings.

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Willis.Howell: There was a a bluegrass jam festival. Leave Leave your comments to yourselves, folks.

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Willis.Howell: where

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Willis.Howell: we would all show up at this particular restaurant, and it was all these bluegrass musicians. and the way it would work is, you keep going around the circle, and everybody calls the tune that they're gonna play. So they come to me.

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Willis.Howell: Well, Willis, what do you? Wanna what do you want to do? And so

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Willis.Howell: here's the opportunity for my witness. Again. I use gospel songs. Let's do

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Willis.Howell: standing on the promises, you guys know, standing up. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, we know that.

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Willis.Howell: So we, in fact, that we talked about Christina Tyson. I played with her her husband, Keith. We would stand down on Cuba Street

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Willis.Howell: and and collect. He would play his guitar. I played my banjo, and so now there it was a witness out to the people in the open air. But here I get to just let's let's sing some gospel songs as we're going around picking Bluegrass songs together. So I don't get to do that as often, because, honestly, the restaurant burned down.

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Willis.Howell: Oh, man, over there, it was.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, Well, thanks so much for your time, will. This is great to spend some time with you and appreciate the clarity that you're able to bring this conversation. My hope that it's helpful for the Salvage Army to see both sides of the conversation. So I appreciate you representing this side so well.

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Willis.Howell: Well, thank you so much, Andy good to talk to you, friend. God bless you, and thank you again.

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