"Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." I Peter 1:8
The founder of the Salvation Army was William Booth. Booth was born in Nottingham, England in 1829. As a young man he joined the Methodist Church and shortly thereafter around 1844, he had some sort of "conversion experience" which led to his becoming a revivalist preacher about two years later. In 1862 he left the Methodists to evangelize among the poor. Booth started the East London Christian Mission in 1865, the name being changed to the Salvation Army in 1878. According to its charter, issued in New York State in 1899, the Salvation Army is an organization "designed to operate as a religious and charitable corporation" whose paramount purpose "is to lead men and women into a proper relationship with God" (What is The Salvation Army? pp. 8,9).
(Street bands, trucks collecting items for repair, pleasant looking elderly ladies ringing bells at Christmas time, soup lines etc, - all of these are identifying of the Salvation Army, an organization hailed as a veritable paragon of virtue by most religious people. The Salvation Army is acclaimed for its significant charitable thrust. It operates hotels for the homeless, employment bureaus, hospitals, clinics, leprosaria, homes for unwed mothers, orphan homes, boarding schools, etc. The Salvation Army is a religious organization, with strong emphasis on physical welfare and rehabilitation.
We would certainly like to commend any organization that seeks to assist and helps those who are in need.
1. Organization: The structure of the Salvation Army is similar to the hierarchical system of Roman Catholicism. The headquarters of this international system is in London an dis under the authority of the "General." The General operates through a "Chief of Staff" into various overseas departments where limited administrative decisions are made. "In the United States , The Army is divided into four Territories , with headquarters in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Each has its own commander with rank of Commissioner or lieutenant-Commissioner . There is also a National Commander with headquarters in New York..." (Ibid, p. 10).
2. Doctrine: The official creed book is the Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine published by the International Headquarters in London. The "General Order" which prefaces the book states: "This volume contains an exposition of the principle Doctrines of The Salvation Army as set forth in its Deed Poll of 1878. These Doctrines are to be taught in connection with all Salvation Army officers training operations, both preparatory and institutional. It is REQUIRED of all ranks that their TEACHING, in public and private , shall conform to these eleven Articles of Faith."
3. The Salvation Army teaches that in consequence of our first parents' sin, we are born sinners, totally depraved, having inherited a disposition to self-pleasing (handbook, pp. 85,86)
4. Man has no way to be saved simply through the gospel message of salvation; rather, he must receive a special "Illumination of the Holy Spirit' so that he may personally know that Word is true (Handbook, pp. 89, 133).
5. The Salvation Army administers no baptism. They assert that it is not necessary "in order to receive salvation." They reason that there are climates and circumstance which would make immersion impractical, hence only repentance and faith are required (Handbook, pp. 185, 186).
6. The Lord's Supper is not provided. The Salvation Army excludes it, amazingly, that they might testify to themselves and others "against the danger of trusting to any external rite as though it has virtue in itself" (Handbook, p. 188).
7. The Salvation Army band is a common sight and sound. "Music plays an important part in Salvation Army religious work...it is symbolic of the cheerful quality of Salvation Army religion" (What is The Salvation Army? , p. 25).
8. The Army uses women preachers in its teaching system. Catherine Booth (the founder's wife) was a woman preacher who addressed great audiences. She wrote a vigorous defense of the "female" ministry."
9. The Salvation Army is involved in various enterprises for the raising of money and, according to one of their books, must even "look to the public for some of its financial support" (Ibid., p. 26). It also receives federal funds to support its services.
WRONG TIME: 1865 A. D.
WRONG PLACE: East End , London
WRONG FOUNDER: William Booth
1. Jehovah's community of believers in Jesus Christ have Him as their sole head (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23) and builder (Matt. 16:18), NOT William Booth.
Jesus built His church in 33 A. D. in Jerusalem, NOT in 1878 in London, England. Elders and deacons serve in the local church in each city, with NO higher structure of organization (Titus 1: ;1 Timothy 3).
2. The Scriptures contain the only rule of faith and practice, and the addition of an official handbook nullifies the all -sufficiency of God's Word. See 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 4:6; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 John 9-11; John 12;48.
God is honored and glorified through Jesus ' church ONLY which He shed His blood (Ephesians 3:21).
3. Sin is NOT inherited (Ezek. 18:20) , and "little ones" know neither good nor evil (Deut. 1:29). God is the Father of our spirits (Heb. 12:9) hence, when they come from Him (Eccl. 12:7), they are as pure as the Source. Man begins to practice evil in his youth (Gen. 8:21). Jesus had a human mother; was He at least half depraved?!
4). The gospel is "the power of God to salvation" (Rom. 1:16). It can be read and understood (Eph. 3:4). it can be heard and faith will be established by conviction (Rom. 10: 17; Heb. 1:1; Acts 2:37).
It would make God a respecter of persons if He illumined through His Holy Spirit just a segment of mankind, and deprived others. He is not responsible for man's decision to not love truth (1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Thess. 1:8-9; 2:10).
5. Jesus and His apostles commanded the gospel be preached and that those who "believe and are baptized shall be saved " (Mark 16:16). See also Matthew 28:18-20. Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Col. 2:12 and many more.
6. Jesus said of the memorial supper. "This do in remembrance of me" (1 Cor 11:24). The Salvation Army "testimony" is that of unbelief!
7. The use of mechanical instruments of music for Christian worship is NOT authorized by the New Testament (nor Jesus Christ). It is an addition to the specific New Testament command to SING (Eph. 5:19). It was a human introduction of the 7th century A. D. (history also confirms this)
8. The Bible prohibits a woman functioning in such a capacity (1 Tim. 2:12ff); she cannot be a public preacher to sexually integrated audiences.
9. In the New Testament, the work of the church was supported strictly by free-will contributions from its members (Acts 11:29; 1 Cor. 16:2).
The only real "Salvation Army" is the church of Christ purchased by His own blood with His army of disciples preaching His gospel message to lost men, women, boys and girls all over the world.