Called to God’s word
We call Salvationists worldwide to a renewed and relevant proclamation of and close attention to the word of God, and to a quick and steady obedience to the radical demands of the word upon Salvationists personally, and upon our Movement corporately.
—Based on the Army’s first doctrineThe Bible is the written word of God. And we affirm that when that same word is opened, read, proclaimed, and explained through preaching—God speaks. Even in our human weakness and foolishness, if we still faithfully proclaim and explain the word, the world may hear and see a new thing. God speaks and God acts.
To respond in obedient faith results in a decisive encounter with God. We affirm that He speaks profound truth in simple words, common language, and potent metaphors. And we confess that, at times, our words, which are all too often shallow, obscure, archaic, or irrelevant, have veiled rather than revealed our God.
“It isn’t by accident that the Salvation Army’s first doctrine centers on the word of God,” writes Commissioner Robert Street in Called to Be God’s People. “‘We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.’”
This tenet of our faith tradition stresses that God’s word is foundational to who we are and to what we do. Our very being and service must always be viewed through the lens of the word of God. The answer to every question and concern of life is found in the Holy Scriptures. They give “correction, challenge, command, hope, explanation, and foundation for living.” At times, the Bible must be viewed as a textbook and as a roadmap for life. And at other times, it must read as an intimate love letter. A heart hungry for the word will never come away from earnest reading and meditation on its pages without renewed comfort or new revelation to meet the day ahead.
Writes Street, “In Marching On! Ted Palmer writes: ‘The Salvation Army has served God with authority and success over the years because it is motivated by the word of God ….’ Neglect of the word of God cannot help but diminish authority and success. If the Bible is not at the heart of all that the Army is and does, the Army will undoubtedly fail in its mission.”
The word of God must be embedded in our hearts, preached from our pulpits, and witnessed in our lives.
Would you like to read more? Go to www.armyonitsknees.org for the complete article “Called to Be God’s Word.” You will also find there the territory’s list of prayer requests.
—Major Lauren Hodgson is the Assistant Secretary for Spiritual Life Development