This brief resource is intended for use within The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory. The conviction that all human beings have dignity is central to the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army. In the discussion of many important public issues in Canada today, “dignity” is widely referenced and appealed to as a grounding for the positions taken, but seldom is the concept explained. We trust Salvationists will find the document helpful as they seek to gain a better appreciation of an authentically Christian understanding of the concept of dignity. We also anticipate this resource will be useful for corps and unit leaders as they orient employees to the mission of the organization.
The Perspective of The Salvation Army on Human Dignity
Drafted by the Social Issues Committee, Canada and Bermuda Territory
The Salvation Army believes that all human beings have dignity. Human beings are created in the image of God, whose love for each one of us includes a plan of redemption for all.
Humanity fell into sin, but the image, though defaced, was not destroyed. Therefore all human beings retain value and dignity in the eyes of the Creator. Furthermore, God’s loving initiative has provided that everyone can be redeemed from fallenness by the sacrifice of Christ, and can be indwelt by the Spirit of God. (Genesis 1:26-27, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 6:19)
The Salvation Army believes that human dignity is not conditional on an individual’s capacities or quality of life. Even where people may feel their own dignity is compromised by the circumstances of their life, The Salvation Army is compelled to witness to God’s equal regard for all human beings and the dignity that is inherent in each of us.
This witness is foundational and essential to Salvation Army ministry. As God grants dignity to all, so The Salvation Army offers ministry to all. Both corps and social services ministries are active ways of honouring human dignity. The Salvation Army provides holistic ministry that strives to meet physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs as dignity is found in all aspects of the human being.
Through belief, word and action, The Salvation Army seeks to share a life-saving and dignity-affirming message.