This is followed by a public ceremony in which they are ordained, commissioned and appointed as ministers of the church. The world is divided into zonal territories, which are themselves divided into smaller, usually national, areas. Leadership within a territory is delegated by the General to a territorial commander appointed by him.
The administration of Salvation Army work in the UK and Ireland is further devolved to 18 divisional headquarters. These are purely symbols - Salvationists do not regard them as sacred, but they treat them with great respect. The flag consists of a blue border surrounding a red background, in the centre of which is a yellow star. The flag bears the Army's motto 'Blood and Fire'. The mercy seat is found in every Salvation Army meeting hall. It's a bench at the front where people can kneel.
When a person decides to become a Christian they often make a public commitment by kneeling at the mercy seat during worship. However it is important to realise that the act at the mercy seat is a public statement that God has changed something in the believer's soul; it does not itself make any change in the believer.
Humanity is involved in this battle and should choose Christ. The Adventist church has released official statements in relation to other ethical issues such as euthanasia against active euthanasia but permissive of passive withdrawal of medical support to allow death to occur ,  birth control in favor of it for married couples if used correctly, but against abortion as birth control and premarital sex in any case  and human cloning against it while the technology is unsafe and would result in defective births or abortions. Main article: Oriental Orthodoxy in North America. White 's status as a modern-day prophet has also been criticized. VNR AG. When contacted in late , the Adventist hierarchy readily agreed to this plan. Retrieved
People who are already Christians also kneel at the mercy seat, either as a public demonstration that they are re-dedicating themselves to God, or in order to pray in a special way about a particular decision or problem affecting their lives. The mercy seat is a very old idea, found first in the Old Testament, where it was the holy place where God's presence was believed to be and where he communicated with his people. Salvationists do not believe that the mercy seat is a piece of furniture with special spiritual properties; whenever and wherever a person meets in spirit with God, that is a 'mercy seat'.
A soldier has plain black or blue epaulets. Local officers are indicated by the initials on the sleeve of their uniform, eg CT - corps treasurer, YPSM - young people's sergeant-major. The Salvation Army does not have a christening ceremony - children undergo a ceremony of dedication instead. In this ceremony parents thank God for the gift of their child and promise to provide a Christian upbringing. Salvationist parents also promise to bring up the child in a Salvationist lifestyle and with Salvationist standards. The officer conducting the ceremony reminds the parents of the promises they are making and they agree to keep them.
The promises are to care for the child and protect her or him from harmful things as far as possible. The officer then takes the child in his or her arms and, praying for the child by its full name, asks God to bless the child and guide the family. People in the congregation are asked to encourage and help the child as he or she grows up.
After the prayer, the child is given back to the parents. A dedication certificate is presented and the dedication register is signed. Children can become junior soldiers from the age of seven. They sign a simple statement that they love God and have asked to be forgiven for their sins. They promise to try to follow the example of Jesus. A short course of Christian teaching is given. At a simple ceremony the child receives a badge and certificate of acceptance. This initiates a person as a full soldier in the Salvation Army. It can take place at any time after the age of fifteen.
The Salvationist wedding ceremony is very similar to any church wedding, but with some unique Salvation Army additions. For example:. One question frequently asked is "who can Salvationists marry? Salvationists don't have to get married to other Salvationists but very often they do ; they don't even have to marry other Christians although they almost always do.
In earlier days Salvation Army officers were only allowed to marry other officers if they wanted to continue their work. This is now changing and Salvation Army officers have more freedom in their choice of partner. However this will make little practical difference, as officers often choose to live out their ministry as a husband and wife partnership. Salvationists believe that when the physical body dies, the soul or spirit continues to exist in another dimension.
This new dimension could be Heaven or 'glory' in which God is present, or hell which is the absence of God. Salvationist believe that those who have accepted God will go to Heaven, and so they use the phrase "Promotion to Glory" to refer to the death of a Christian. Salvation Army funerals have an atmosphere of joy and hope, since despite the sadness of losing a family member, friend or colleague, there is joy in the belief that the dead person is happy in a new existence with God.
So instead of black the Army's funeral colour is white, and the flags which are walked to the graveside are draped with white ribbons. Salvationists regard their whole life and being as an act of worship, but, of course, they meet regularly for worship. Salvation Army meetings are open to anyone - you don't have to be a Salvationist or even a Christian to attend.
Meetings don't have a set order of service. They usually include plenty of hymns and songs, and there may be group or individual music items. Occasionally a dance or drama group may be used to help with the worship. Verses from the Bible are read in every meeting.
Music may be provided by the local Salvation Army band or by the choir who are called the 'Songsters'. An officer usually leads the meeting and gives the 'address' sermon , but other people can do both or may be invited to take part by praying, reading out verses of hymns or from the Bible, or by giving 'testimonies' in which they talk about their experience of God. Music has been important to the Army from its early days, when it was a powerful evangelical tool; not just to attract a crowd to hear the preacher, but as a way of helping people to experience faith in a more embracing way than words could on their own.
The Salvation Army is famous for its works to help the poor and needy. Members pride themselves on being "doers of the word and not hearers only" and emphasise rolling up their sleeves and getting on with it. The Salvation Army helps believers and non-believers equally.
White, Christian America has represented centuries of cultural, political, cultural, political, and economic domination, says author Robert P. Jones. claims, collected in his recent book “The End of White Christian America.”. The End of White Christian America and millions of other books are available for .. Jones dates the shift away from this dominance to the Catholic Kennedy's.
Practical care is never offered - or refused - on the basis of belief. The Army hopes that those it helps will become Christians, but it doesn't require them to do so. The Army's social work is a religious activity. Members of the Army are inspired by their belief in a loving and caring God to show their love for humanity and their practical response to human need.
In this they follow the teachings of Jesus. I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was in prison and you came to see me. The Salvation Army sees no conflict between spiritual and social ministry. It seeks to serve people so as to satisfy both the spiritual and social dimensions of their needs. The Army believes that this approach shows the very essence of the Gospel. The Salvation Army works to change structures in society that perpetuate economic injustice.
For example, the Salvation Army campaigned against government proposals to increase the opportunities for gambling. William Booth believed that fighting for social change was vital to achieve his vision.
When speaking his social work plan, he often used the metaphor of an ambulance at the foot of the precipice of human failure, noting that he also intended to erect a fence at the top. The Salvation Army has a tradition of not giving up on anyone. Members believe that however low a person has sunk God continues to love them, and that God's grace can redeem anyone.
In the UK alone, the Salvation Army has 50 centres which help people without homes and provide over 3, beds. They are full almost every night. The ultimate aim of the programme is to help homeless people to live independently in homes of their own, and all the centres have case workers and resettlement workers to help their clients achieve this.
The Army doesn't just provide beds: many centres distribute blankets and sleeping bags to those without homes, and offer drop-in centres where people can find warmth, food and friendship - as well as help in finding somewhere to live. The Salvation Army also organises soup runs in city areas. In London, the Salvation Army's Eagle Project co-ordinates an extensive soup run provision and many other volunteer-based activities. The Salvation Army has 60 social programme centres which provide residential accommodation and rehabilitation for people with substance misuse problems.
These are part of the National Addiction Service. The Army has created an integrated, nationwide monitoring scheme providing a unique epidemiological profile of alcohol and drug taking in the UK. As well as the over Senior and Junior Youth Clubs run by Salvation Army corps around the country there are a number of specialist initiatives:. This is a church based youth project operating in an area where high unemployment leads to high crime, illegal drug use and low morale amongst residents.
The project involves Christian workers moving into the area to live and work alongside local young people as positive role models in the community. This fellowship has about 1, members and works to works to cultivate a right attitude between the public and people with mental or physical disabilities and their families. The majority of prisons in the UK receive regular visits from a Salvation Army chaplain.
The Salvation Army Care and Support for Prisoners' Families Group offers practical and spiritual support by visiting families of prisoners, assessing needs and trying to help.
The Salvation Army maintains a number of purpose-built emergency mobile units which are equipped with resources which would be needed at a major incident such as a fire, flood, bombing, chemical incident, train or plane crash. This service was established as long ago as The aim is to restore or to sustain family relationships by locating relatives who for various reasons a deliberate break or otherwise have become out of touch.
Over 20, family members now enjoy restored relationships as a result of enquiries carried out by the Family Tracing Service in the UK. Salvationists are generally conservative in their ethical thinking. Since the Army devotes much of its energy to working in difficult social and ethical areas it is able to claim that its ethical doctrines are tested in practice every minute of every day.
All Salvationist ethics rely on Jesus for their authority.
Their essence is captured in phrases like 'following Jesus' and 'the imitation of Christ'. I will uphold Christian integrity in every area of my life, allowing nothing in thought, word or deed that is unworthy, unclean, untrue, profane, dishonest or immoral. I will maintain Christian ideals in all my relationships with others; my family and neighbours, my colleagues and fellow salvationists, those to whom and for whom I am responsible, and the wider community.
I will uphold the sanctity of marriage and of family life. I will be a faithful steward of my time and gifts, my money and possessions, my body, my mind and my spirit, knowing that I am accountable to God.
I will abstain from alcoholic drink, tobacco, the non-medical use of addictive drugs, gambling, pornography, the occult and all else that could enslave the body or spirit. The Salvation Army expects its members to live according to the "values of the Kingdom of God and not the values of the world. Salvationists try to avoid "all impurity, including unclean conversation and the reading of any obscene book or paper" as well as pornographic pictures, films and exhibitions of any kind, or similar television and radio programmes.
The Salvation Army has historically required total abstinence from alcoholic drink from all its soldiers and officers. Social drinking to please a host or hostess or a business associate should be ruled out. Alcoholic beverages in any form should not be tolerated within Salvation Army circles. However, Salvationists are not forbidden to mix socially with drinkers, and War Cry is regularly sold in pubs. Main article: Polity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Main article: Adventist Mission. Main article: Seventh-day Adventist education. See also: List of Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities , List of Seventh-day Adventist medical schools , and List of Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools.
Main article: Media ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Main article: Seventh-day Adventist interfaith relations. Main article: Criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Main article: Inspiration of Ellen White. See also: Independent ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. See also: Great Disappointment. Main article: Seventh-day Adventism in popular culture. Seventh-day Adventist Church portal Christianity portal Religion portal. December Retrieved Encyclopedia of American religious history. Volume 3 3rd ed. New York: Infobase Publishing. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
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