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Salvationists are generally conservative in their ethical thinking. Since the Army devotes much of its energy to working in difficult social and ethical areas it is able to claim that its ethical doctrines are tested in practice every minute of every day.
All Salvationist ethics rely on Jesus for their authority. Their essence is captured in phrases like 'following Jesus' and 'the imitation of Christ'.
Every Salvationist makes the following ethical promises:
"... to be pure in soul signifies deliverance from all and everything which the Lord shows you to be opposed to His Holy Will." William Booth, Purity of Heart
The Salvation Army expects its members to live according to the "values of the Kingdom of God and not the values of the world."
Salvationists try to avoid "all impurity, including unclean conversation and the reading of any obscene book or paper" as well as pornographic pictures, films and exhibitions of any kind, or similar television and radio programmes.
The Salvation Army has historically required total abstinence from alcoholic drink from all its soldiers and officers.
"Social drinking to please a host or hostess or a business associate should be ruled out. Alcoholic beverages in any form should not be tolerated within Salvation Army circles."
However, Salvationists are not forbidden to mix socially with drinkers, and War Cry is regularly sold in pubs.
Members of the Army also abstain from "tobacco, the non-medical use of addictive drugs, gambling, pornography, the occult, and all else that could enslave the body or spirit."
Such things are seen as endangering and degrading the physical, moral, and spiritual welfare of all those who become involved with them.
A body of Salvationists meet regularly to discuss and pray about modern societal issues and, with the blessing and approval of the International and Territorial leaders, Positional Statements are issued to guide Salvationists in their beliefs and ideas.
Below is a short list of some of those Positional Statements on issues such as: