A Mission of Love

Mar 10, 2016 | by Major Frizzell

A Mission of Love

The Salvation Army Mission

Love First
Hope First
Believe First

Love your neighbor as yourself. The early Christian church in the Roman Empire was known by their love, zeal, action, and acceptance of the "other."  In Gibbon’s classic, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, it is noted that from this great love lived out the church grew quickly throughout the Empire and then to the world. The love of the "other", the unprotected alien who believe other things, lived other ways, had different needs, was appreciated not only by the recipient of that love, but also those Romans who saw the difference that love made.

Love your neighbor as yourself. The Salvation Army started 150 years ago with the  zeal as the early church.   The founder William Booth began his work in East London in 1865,  to the poor were very poor. By 1890, more than ever disturbed by their needs, Booth the preacher, the evangelist, began to be known also as a social reformer. In October he published his book, In Darkest England and the Way Out. Twelve months later over a quarter of a million copies had been published, and the profits were invested back into the scheme outlined in the book. He offered a plan, ‘a very humble one, but if realized it would solve the worst problems of modern society ‘.

Love brought forth by belief and encouraged by hope brought faith in Jesus Christ around the world, currently in 127 countries. Unfortunately, the organization of love is too often known by judgment.  Consequently and to the loss of the organization the "other" fades from the fellowship. Richard Neighbur in Christ and Culture, reminds us that Christ is not against culture, Christ is not aligned with culture, Christ is not above culture, there may be a tension of paradox with culture,  but that Christ can absolutely transform culture. Culture is conformed by love.
The Salvation Army loves the other first, until there is love together.
The Salvation Army hopes for the other first, until the other hopes for themselves.
The Salvation Army believes for the other first, and continues after the other chooses what to believe.

Scripture reminds us that three things remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest is love.  In loving first we live the mission of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army Mission Statement
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.

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