General John Larsson (pictured below) is the international leader of The Salvation Army
(photo by Anna Thompson)
From the Top: The Most Powerful Force for Change
by General John Larsson
We believe the Christian gospel is the most powerful force for change this world will ever know. The good news is that things need not stay as they are. The broken-hearted can be healed. The captives can be set free. The blind can be made to see. The oppressed can be released.
We believe this is true in both the literal and spiritual sense. God wants those who are held captive by bad circumstances in their lives to be set free. But we know that God also wants those who are bound by inner fetters in their hearts and minds to be set free so they can be what God intended them to be.
We believe God wants the blind to see. He is concerned about the physical well-being of his people – we know that from watching Jesus in action. But we know that God also wants those blinded by prejudice and hatred to be made whole.
We believe God wants those who are oppressed by evil political systems and economic injustice to be released. But we know that God also wants those who are oppressed by inner fears and compulsions, their own supposed inadequacies and their low self-esteem to be released.
Salvationists believe God has given them a special mission to make this good news known to those who are most disadvantaged in society and to work and fight to change their circumstances so they may have a chance in life.
Their vision is that of Jesus himself. Nor are they alone. Together with like-minded Christians everywhere they are dedicated to fulfilling the mission that Jesus left uncompleted during his short stay on earth.
Echoing their Master they say: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, because he has anointed us to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent us to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’ (adapted from Luke 4:18-19 New King James Version).
And as they proclaim that now is the time for wrongs to be righted, and now is the time for lives to be changed, and now is the time to make this world a better place, they see confirmed again and again that the greatest force for change in this world is the good news of Jesus Christ.