GENERAL Brian Peddle has approved the publication of a new Salvation Army International Positional Statement (IPS) on the death penalty. A positional statement is an articulation, crafted with careful and prayerful thought, of the official viewpoint of The Salvation Army. Each IPS is put together by the International Moral and Social Issues Council, which is comprised of Salvation Army officers and soldiers from all over the world.
As well as stating the position, each document expresses the scriptural and theological grounds for the statement and the underlying principles. Officers and others representing The Salvation Army are expected to speak consistently with the stated position, which is available to view by the public. It is understood, however, that individual Salvationists may hold different views on some subjects and acceptance of the official position is not essential to membership.
The IPS on the Death Penalty recognises that the subject is controversial, but puts forward a clear and strong position, stating: ‘The Salvation Army affirms the responsibility of government to create and sustain justice, and while it recognises that this includes punishment, The Salvation Army calls for the end of the use of the death penalty.’
Acknowledging The Salvation Army’s worldwide experience of ministry with offenders, victims and their respective families, the statement adds: ‘The Salvation Army, in recognising the need for there to be consequences for criminal acts, advocates that such consequences should allow for the rehabilitation of offenders. The Salvation Army uncompromisingly stands for life.’
- The full statement – including context, biblical exploration of the issue and suggested practical steps – can be accessed alongside all current positional statements at sar.my/ips. Translations are being added when available.
Report by IHQ Communications