IHQ Releases Position Statement on Peacemaking
By: Dan Childs
The Salvation Army has released a position statement on peacemaking, addressing the violence and unrest that has been pervasive in the world in the last several months. Incidents including the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the mass shooting in Orlando and incidents involving police and citizens that ended in loss of life have evoked several responses from General Andr Cox and other Salvation Army leaders addressing these tragic and unsettling events.
The Army’s position statement reminds Salvationists that God blesses those who actively work for peace in a troubled world and that the pursuit of peace must be a communal effort. “The Salvation Army supports global peacemaking efforts and will collaborate with others who share our objectives,” the statement said.
The statement also addresses the issue of the church’s relationship to violence throughout history; although some people often connect religion with violence, The Salvation Army states that violence is not inherent to religious belief but is the result of complex causes. Peace is jeopardized when society’s most vulnerable people are unheard and disrespected, the statement said. Moreover, the Army addressed the concept of peace that is wedded with justice. “Just peacemaking practices can be nurtured by churches and other bodies that do not have governmental decision-making powers,” the statement said.
Identified in the statement are 10 examples of effective peacemaking practices as well as scriptural grounds for the Christian’s responsibility to act as a peacemaker. The position statement concludes with 15 practical responses endorsed by The Salvation Army for engaging as active peacemakers in a troubled world.
The full text of the position statement is available at southernspiritonline.org and at salvationarmy.org.