Salvation Army

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by JonC δοῦλος, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    Does anyone have experience with the Salvation Army? I’m asking because “’tis the season.”

    I see them everywhere, and I realize that they are a church, but I know little about them or their beliefs (which I assume close to Methodist belief as this was their origin). I know that their officers are required to marry only other officers, and that they hold to what I’d interpret as a works based salvation (continued salvation depends on works). I’m apprehensive about their church structure. But that’s about it.

    So if anyone has experience with the church and their beliefs, I'd appreciate the information.
     
  2. Yeshua1

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    From their own website...
    www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/what-we-believe

    Would see them as being "Evangelical Arminian"

    true Christian group, just would differ with calvinistists in mainly Sotierology issues!
     
  3. Melanie

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    They are pretty big in Australia and New Zealand....probably because they go to the pubs. They do very good works in the area of social justice. They tend to have good brass bands...there church aspect is not something I know anything about .
     
  4. JonC

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    I’ve always wondered. For a long time I didn’t realize that they were a church, but as Y1 points out, they came from the Methodists (and have a commendable history).

    I have, of course, seen the Salvation Army collecting money and I know that they do good works towards the poor and suffering. But I have never really heard them speak of their faith (AND I am not saying that they don’t….just that I am not familiar enough to know their beliefs). I disagree with their idea that salvation must be maintained or it will be lost (it makes me wonder if their charity has become a part of this work) and I think that having to marry within the Salvation Army (if an officer) is a bit cultic. But otherwise, I know very little about them and not much is on their website.
     
  5. Zenas

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    I understand they don't baptize so that probably precludes their having church status.

    They take very good care of their officers as they should, and their officers are usually capable well educated people.

    We have a strong Salvation Army in our town but its strength comes from its ability to get lots of money from people on the outside. The local congregation is very poor and could not support even a small fraction of what they do. They maintain the town's only homeless shelter and serve one hot meal a day, bought and prepared by members of the downtown churches--Baptist x2; Methodist; Presbyterian; Episcopal; Disciples of Christ.
     
  6. JonC

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    They do a lot of good. The Salvation Army does have a church status (this much is clear from their site) , and their beginnings are very interesting. There isn't one in my area and I was just curious if anyone had more info.
     
  7. JonC

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    Thanks for the information.

    The Salvation Army is not only part of the Christian church but also a ‘holiness movement’ whose members seek to become more like Jesus Christ through the indwelling presence of the Holy spirit in their lives. Personal devotions and worship together in the community of believers are vital parts of the Salvation Army spiritual life, as are Bible study, prayer and meditation. The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church with its own distinctive governance and practice. They worship in “citadel’s” or “temples.” I’d say that they probably constitute what we’d call a “church.”

    http://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/wichita/wichita-citadel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywGGaiC7ZDY
     
  8. rsr

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    As mentioned, they are Wesleyan in theology and part of the Holiness movement. They have services at the local Citadel (and yes, they do have a brass band.) They are very similar to the Nazarenes in theology (being both Holiness and Wesleyan), and Nazarene universities provide education programs for Salvation Army leaders. Where they diverge from traditional evangelicalism is that they do not practice baptism or communion, though they do not forbid members from practicing those ordinances elsewhere.
     
  9. JonC

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    Thank you for the info. Do you know why they don't practice baptism or communion?
     
  10. Salty

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    An official response
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Yes, they would be part of the branch that has free will salvation, and need to live holy in order to maintain that work of God, but unlike the other branches of Holiness, do not think they see a second Blessing, baptism in holy Ghost...
     
  12. rsr

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    While the Salvation Army's views on entire sanctification may differ in detail — and especially in language — from those of other Holiness bodies (such as the Nazarenes) they do not deny something very much like what other Holiness call the "baptism of the Holy Spirit."

    Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    They would see that as the person walking in the fulness of the Holy spirit and living an overcoming life, but not as say AOG does by needing to be evidenced by speaking in other tongues, correct?

    Think this confusion comes from just misunderstanding that the bible teaches all are indwelt, but we need to also daily seek to be infilled, but not a "second act of grace"
     
  14. rsr

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    Although the Pentecostals arose from the Holiness movement, not all Holiness are Pentecostals (the Church of the Nazarene and the Salvation Army, for example.) The focus is on living a holy life, not on charismatic gifts.
     
  15. JonC

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    Thanks Salty. I very much disagree with the church here. I know that denominations may differ in interpretation, but there is no excuse to simply choose not to observe what is commanded in Scripture.

    It looks to me that they replace baptism with an initiation ceremony where they swear into the "Army."

    I did not realize (if the Salvation Army church's website is correct) that Quakers did not observe the Lord's Supper or baptism.
     
    #15 JonC, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2014
  16. Jerome

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    There is also a tendency in the Evangelical Free Church to minimize baptism:

    http://go.efca.org/sites/default/files/resources/docs/2013/03/ministerial_forum_summer_2005.pdf

    In the doctrinal survey of EFCA ministers released this year, a majority still do not believe that baptism should be required for church membership:

    http://go.efca.org/resources/document/efca-doctrinal-survey
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    Seems that they hold to and practice that doctrine of individual right to choose more so than we baptists!
     

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