Thursday, March 20, 2014

Current Salvationist Issues and The Salvation Army International Doctrine Council

In a rapidly changing global environment, the foundational doctrinal beliefs of The Salvation Army and the way they are taught and embraced around the globe, need to be looked at, considered and addressed when applicable. The Salvation Army have an International Doctrine Council (IDC) to help with such matters.

Now this may or may not interest you much, but the issues that the IDC need to address are at times contemporary theological issues that pertain to the life of The Salvation Army and its impact upon society. 

One of the purposes of The Salvation Army International Doctrine Council is the following:
The IDC approaches all assignments entrusted to it bearing in mind the need to affirm, promote and safeguard the Army’s identity and role under God, in keeping with the council’s stewardship responsibilities toward Salvationist doctrinal, theological and ecclesiological positions.
Another section remarks:
The IDC assists the General in responding to current doctrinal, theological and ecclesiological issues.
So what are the current doctrinal, theological and ecclesiological (church-centered) global issues?

Let me suggest some theological hot potatoes that The Salvation Army and the wider people of God need to wrestle with today. Some doctrinal, theological and ecclesiological issues worth considering, discussing, and 'putting on the table' for review are:
  • The use of IVF and surrogacy
  • The marriage of same-sex couples
  • The science of cloning
  • The debate around particular doctrinal statements and the wording of such doctrines
  • Women in ministry (continuing to keep that on the table is important)
  • Women in executive leadership positions within The Salvation Army
  • Safe-injecting rooms for those who are addicted to drugs (theologically, what is TSA's position?)
  • Rembracing evangelistic ministry in a 21st Century context
  • Quasi-militarisitic structure vs other structures
So there are some of the theological hot potatoes that come to mind.

I am not one to unnecessarily stir the pot in this regard, though I do believe that is important for Salvationists to have a foundational knowledge of why they believe what they believe, and to understand what belief system The Salvation Army embraces.

I pray God's wisdom upon those in The Salvation Army International Doctrine Council, as they discuss issues (such as above) when they meet together.

God bless The Salvation Army.

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