The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian
Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission
is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
The first of its statements of faith is this:
“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.”
The Bible is a book written by many writers: it is a human document. But we believe that it is also God’s word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). It carries God’s authority, is the revealer of truth and the guide for Christian living (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). In its pages we encounter the living God of history and from its teachings we learn to live in relationship with him.
Other books, traditions, and practices are not superior to the Word of God. We believe the Word of God is contained in the canon known as the Old Testament and New Testament. Everything else is secondary at best. Included in them are God’s instructions for the life and lifestyle of the Christian, which is to say a follower of Jesus.
A Salvationist (member of The Salvation Army), subscribes to additional practices which are not mandated by the Word of God. For example, a Salvationist agrees not to indulge in alcoholic drinks or use tobacco. Neither are forbidden by God’s Word, but the abstinence from both is a mark of the Salvationist.
From this first doctrine then, the Salvationist trusts the Word of God as the primary source for God’s revelation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”