Every year we see and hear them during the holiday season. You hear their bells ringing, you see them standing in front of stores with a collection pot hung from a tripod for people to drop in their money. They call themselves the Salvation Army.
As I was sitting in a Bible Study recently, reference was made to the Salvation Army. At which point I made the comment that they were, in fact a denomination. Many folks associate the Salvation Army with the charitable works they engage in yet just as many people do not realize that they are also a religious organization.
So, due to the time of year we are seeing the collection pots and hearing the ringing of the bells, consider a few points regarding the Salvation Army from their own website (http://www.salvationarmy.com) as we revisit this topic.
- “The movement (The Salvation Army – JDS), founded in 1865 by William Booth, has spread from London, England, to many parts of the world.”
The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ built His church on Pentecost in 33 AD in Jerusalem. Jesus said “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
On the day of Pentecost the Bible says in Acts 2:47, “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
- “We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.”
This is from the Calvinistic doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity. The Bible teaches that sin is something we do, not something we inherit. 1 Jn. 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Man is responsible for his own sin, not the sin of others. Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
- “We believe that repentance toward God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation.” “We maintain that no external observance can rightly be said to be essential to salvation or to the receiving of divine grace and that the biblical truth is that we can meet with God and receive his grace anywhere at any time through faith.”
The Bible teaches the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. Mark. 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
1 Pet. 3:21, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
Space prevents us from further examination; however it is clear that to support the Salvation Army is to support a denomination and the Biblical error they teach. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – Ephesians 5:11.
– Jerry Sturgill