The Salvation Army Doctrines have a huge gap in them. The Soldier’s Covenant can plug that gap and help us to live like Christ.
The Gap that got me thinking
It was this devotional from Richard Rohr that got me thinking. Noting that the Apostles’ Creed mentions nothing about Jesus’ life and practice, he suggests the Creed has little usefulness for people’s daily, practical behaviour.
The Gap in The Salvation Army Doctrines
Reflecting on this, I realised that to some extent, The Salvation Army doctrines have the same problem, perhaps even a greater problem. They describe who Jesus is. Like the Apostles’ Creed they explain the work Jesus did by his suffering and death. But unlike the Apostles’ Creed they do not mention his birth or resurrection! And like the Apostles’ Creed, the huge, glaring gap is any mention of his life and ministry before his suffering and death.
It is true that The Salvation Army doctrines, unlike the Apostles’ Creed, do mention Christian praxis, in that they say:
We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.The Salvation Army’s 9th Article of Faith
But nowhere in The Salvation Army doctrines is it explained what continued obedient faith in Christ looks like.
The Soldier’s Covenant Plugs the Gap
This is where the Soldier’s Covenant comes in. As I explained in last week’s post, the Soldier’s Covenant is the basis for the Salvationist’s praxis. With its declaratory “THEREFORE” following on from its recitation of The Salvation Army doctrines, it is the Salvationist’s guide for his or her daily, practical behaviour. It says quite clearly, “I believe this about God and his work in the world and in my life, and so this is how I am going to live my life in response. This is the practical difference it will make to me and those who come into contact with me”.
Seeking to Live the Simple, Christlike Life
The Salvation Army doctrines may have a huge gap in describing how Jesus lived out his life and ministry as an example for us. But the Soldier’s Covenant gives every Salvationist a spiritual pathway to follow in living out that example. May the reality of Jesus’ life lead me to live the simple Christlike life he calls me to.
If you found this post helpful, would you please do something for me?
Why not check out these posts from around the blog?
- Salvation Army Soldier’s Covenant as a Missional Strategy
- Self Denial: The Salvationist’s Most Effective Weapon
- How to Evaluate Church Leadership
- I Want to Live Right | Unclenching Our Fists (Mark 10:17-31)
- We Believe | A Voice for the Voiceless (Proverbs 31:1-9)
- Salvation Army Fellowship: Are We Losing It?
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