The Call to War
WE call Salvationists worldwide to join spiritual battle on the grounds of a sober reading of Scripture, a conviction of the triumph of Christ, the inviolable freedom and dignity of persons, and a commitment to the redemption of the world in all its dimensions—physical, spiritual, social, economic, and political.
We affirm that Christ our Lord calls us to join Him in holy war against evil in all its forms and against every power that stands against the reign of God. We fight in the power of the Spirit in the assurance of ultimate and absolute victory through Christ’s redemptive work. We reject extreme attitudes towards the demonic: on the one hand, denial; on the other, obsession. We affirm that the body of Christ is equipped for warfare and service through the gifts of the Spirit. By these we are strengthened and empowered. We heed the injunction of Scripture to value all God’s gifts, and rejoice in their diversity.
The Commission highlights the Lord’s call “to join Him in holy war against evil in all its forms….” It’s an important distinction that this war is not against people. The Army has been purposed to fight for people, to help rescue them from poverty, misery, injustice, and pain.
The Commission also points out that the Christian fights in the power of the Spirit, and is assured of ultimate and absolute victory through Christ’s redemptive work. In John 16:33, Jesus tells His disciples: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” If Jesus is confident of the victory, then so should we be confident.
With such an assurance, there exist “some urgent battles [that] are not being fought—such as unjust legislation, racism, failure to distribute wealth among people who are most in need, remaining silent against the powers who defy the authority of the Church.” The call is to ensure that these and other battles are fought for the sake of leaders of the Army at corps, divisional, or territorial levels. The battles are also fought so that every Salvationist can play his or her part by the Spirit’s power to make the world a better place.
Paul’s words embolden us in our mission, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 8:38–39.
Such confidence is at the heart of our faith. We are now urged to claim it, to live it, and to prove it.
by Matt Hodgson