Salvation Army Apologizes, Reviews Statement on Jews
Approximately three days after The Algemeiner published an article highlighting a 2004 Salvation Army statement endorsing replacement theology — which states that “Israel has largely forsaken its place within the care and special purposes of God” — the Christian charity has announced that it is reviewing the text.
The organization declared that the 2004 document has been removed from its site “pending review,” and that it was never an official Salvation Army statement. That latter point, though, seems to contradict the content of the document, which was published under the heading, “Statement from Salvation Army Focus Group on Reaching Jewish the Gospel.” The first sentence read, “We, representing the Salvation Army worldwide, urge the Church in our time to reach out to Jews with the Gospel.”
The new announcement declared that, “In retrospect, it [the 2004 document] could have been read as insensitive to those of the Jewish faith.”
The Salvation Army noted that it wants to reaffirm “the opening focus of the original document: ‘Israel was and continues to be God’s chosen people. It has always been intended by God and that Israel should enjoy a special place in the favour of God.'”
The organization has not stated when it will issue a revised statement regarding the Jewish people, but the decision to remove the text from the Internet, as reported in The Algemeiner yesterday, and subject it to review is a remarkable about-face.
The full text reads:
A statement previously posted in 2004 has been removed pending review.
This statement, titled Reaching the Jews with the Gospel, was produced by a group of Salvation Army delegates attending the 2004 Forum for World Evangelisation run by the Lausanne Movement. In retrospect it could have been read as insensitive to those of the Jewish faith. It should have been stated originally that the document produced on that occasion did not constitute an official Salvation Army Statement of Position. We apologise if this has been the perception – any disrespect or offence was unintended.
We wish to emphasise the opening focus of the original document: “Israel was and continues to be God’s chosen people. It has always been intended by God that Israel should enjoy a special place in the favour of God.”