“Social Justice necessarily involves politics because it takes place in a polis – in organised groups of people attempting to live together. Even when Christians agree on the end of biblical justice that protects the vulnerable and allows for shalom, there is still the question of how that end is best achieved” (Ken Wytsma).
Those who hold political power have the ability to make decisions on behalf of and that affect other people. We have an opportunity to engage with those who hold such power, and in fact as Christians who care about the wellbeing of those around us, we must. If we care about the world around us, we will naturally be interested in the way society works, and in the way it is governed.
There is a common belief that The Salvation Army is apolitical (not interested or involved in politics). This is not correct! The Salvation Army engages with politics, and the workings of Government, on a regular basis. Instead, The Salvation Army is non-Party Political (non-partisan), meaning that it does not consistently or strategically support one political party or candidate. Instead, The Salvation Army seeks to promote Biblical values, including justice, truth, mercy, equity, human rights and peace, as part of its religious convictions and practice.
Upon being asked “what will be your position on political issues?”, the newly-elected General Eva Burrows responded – “While I definitely feel that the Army should have no partisan bias, I believe we should feel strongly about social injustice. If political means speaking out… to quicken the conscience of the government on the needs of the people, then I’m political”.
Check out The Salvation Army’s Policy Statements and Budget response, and some of the other ways we engage with politics in the other articles in this category: https://salvosocialjustice.org/category/politics/