After reading your article posted on your web site entitled "Can Christians help support The Salvation Army" I was very sad. I am a Salvation Army Officer (ordained minister) and I have worked for The Salvation Army for 8 years. I have many conflicting opinions regarding your comments made, however I will say only this. As Christians in the body of Christ, we are to support each other. Perhaps you and I do not agree doctrinally, but I hope we agree on the basics. That God created us to love him and to serve him, and that there is only one way to get to heaven, through Jesus Christ. The Salvation Army has never hidden the fact that they are a Christian organization and that they seek to save the lost.
I feel that you may be uneducated on who The Salvation Army is and what we preach. In your attempts to "warn" folks about the organization, you are only potentially hurting an organization that helps millions of people every year, with out discrimination. We never force anyone to adhere to our doctrine or believe what we believe. We only want to take care and love people in our communities as Christ has commanded us to do: feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. This is what that money in the kettle goes toward. This is what you are warning people to not support.
As Christians, we expect those who do not love the Lord to question us and to even despise us, because they do not understand the love of Christ. however, it is most disheartening to hear such divisive words from a fellow believer.
I encourage you to contact your local Salvation Army officer, invite him out for coffee, talk to him as a person, even take a tour of the Army building, and see what great things God is doing through The Salvation Army.
While I agree that it ought to be clear, from the name of the organization at a minimum, that the Salvation Army is a religious organization, it is not true that most people think of it as the denomination it is. Just as an example, "Iím always amazed at how few people know that the Salvation Army is a denomination. People always think of it as a charity, which it is. But itís also a denomination." ["To break the rules, you must know the rules", GetReligion] In part it is due to the low-key nature of your denomination's presentation of its beliefs which causes this misunderstanding.
The difficulty Christians have, though, is whether funds should be given to an organization to support its beliefs. To say that the organization does good deeds is insufficient. The Roman Catholic church does many good deeds, but I don't contribute to that organization because I find errors in its teachings.
Nor is it enough to claim that there are some subset of teachings on which we do agree. The apostles made that very clear:
"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-9).
"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself" (I Timothy 6:3-5).
"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (II John 9-11).
The article lists out a number of teachings of the Salvation Army, documents the source, and then shows how that teaching is different from the gospel message found in the New Testament.
The charge you make is not that the documentation on the Salvation Army's beliefs are inaccurate but that you believe it shouldn't matter. Yet, for Christians desiring to adhere to the Lord's words, it does matter -- very much so. That is why we let people know the facts so that they can make an informed decision.