Question:I love the Lord with all my heart. In my life I have been on an adventure with Jesus. I am not perfect (who is?), but I try every day to live a life as a servant of Jesus. I am really hurt that you would advise Christians not to give to the Salvation Army because you have different doctrinal views. I don't care if you give to the kettle or not, but don't give uninformed doctrinal arguments to slam the work of thousand of brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Is the Salvation Army perfect, no, but I doubt your denomination has reached perfection either.
I guard my heart and apply effort to study the Bible and live doctrinally sound. Salvation is by faith through grace, not by works. Is baptism is a work? Yes, so then biblically it is not necessary for salvation. Jesus did the work on the cross, once for all. The first Lord's Supper was a Passover meal, do we have to partake of a Sader meal to continue in faith with God? Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in someone, not someone walking in perfection. I suggest you read John Wesley and Samuel L. Brengle and see if they teach Scripture.
It is a really poor article on your web site, "Can Christians Help Support the Salvation Army?", and I pray you and Mr. Pettus fully think through these important biblical issues before you tell fellow Christians that The Salvation Army as a church is evil. Do you think God is interested in religiously pious people, or maybe people who have a personal relationship with the Living God? Do your really think that you can really fully grasp the Bible without the Holy Spirit? It is Him who is our teacher, counselor and guide.
I will keep serving the Lord in The Salvation Army, if the Lord sees fit to bless the work, He will provide all we need to keep serving. Just the other day we were able to pray with a young person at our soup kitchen. In our town we were able to assist hundreds of families at Christmas with food and toys and Christian love. Over 80% of the donations we collect in the kettle go to directly assist families in our community who are outside our own denomination. I wonder how much your church is helping people in your town who are not part of the La Vista church?
I don't want stop you from believing your doctrine, but don't write in a public format on issues when you don't fully understand them. We will all be accountable to God for every work we do and don't do and for every word we say.
Let me see, you claim to believe that people have the right to disagree with a denomination's teachings but only so long as those disagreements are not published. Hmm. That would be a direct contradiction of the principles of "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11) and "Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear" (I Timothy 5:20). That you don't view your denomination's teachings as wrong doesn't change the truth.
Brother Pettus documented what the Salvation Army believes, including citations from their handbook so that others can look them up for themselves. He then pointed out the passages being contradicted by those beliefs.
In response, you state that you accept the Salvation Army's beliefs. You think they are true, though you have no answers to the passages cited. I'm sorry, but mere assertion is not proof. Worse, however, is that you charge Mr. Pettus with uninformed charges, even though you find no fault in his list of doctrines that the Salvation Army believes. The fact that you disagree with the passages he cites showing a contradiction between the Salvation Army's beliefs and the Bible does not constitute a lack of knowledge regarding the Salvation Army or the Bible. The best I can find is that you recommend people read the uninspired writings of two men, and you didn't even bother with citing any specific references. What happened to going to God's book to find answers about what God teaches?
The only proof you offer is what is typically offered by members of the Salvation Army. "Look at all the good we do," as if works (which you state does not save) justifies doctrine. The line of reasoning is false. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. any will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23). You also express the idea that if money comes in, then God must be approving what you are doing. This, too, is a false line of reasoning. "For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men" (Psalms 73:3-5). Success does not necessarily equal God's approval.
Now, if you would like to discuss the Scriptures as to whether the teachings of the Salvation Army are in accord with the teachings of God, then we might have a productive conversation. But, no, I won't stop teaching truth just because it embarrasses you.