I am encouraged to write an article about the Salvation Army because most people believe that it is NOT a church, but it is rather a “Social Agency” or Organization, which is likened to the Red Cross, Green Cross and Department of Social Welfare that are helping people who are least privileged, most especially those who were stricken by natural calamities.
I want to make it clear that it is not my intention to discuss the personal character of any individual Salvation Army member, as they are good, loving and helping people. Some of them are my close friends and I have a high esteem and respect toward them because they are God-fearing and friendly. But it bothers me thinking about them because they are very religious people, and being religious is not a guarantee that God will save a person (Acts 10:1- 48). I believe that they were only convinced to become members because of the social concern or services which this organization is rendering to people “without respect of race, color, or creed, or condition” (Handbook…, page 204). The Holy Scriptures plainly teach and warn, “Therefore to him that knoweth good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”(James 4: 17). Therefore in writing this article, I am dealing purely with this organization and its laws and doctrines. Is this agency or organization of God–fearing people upheld by the Holy Book? Are its laws and ordinances in consonant with the laws and doctrines of the True Church of the New Testament Bible? Or only a man- made organization with man-made doctrines? In answering these valid questions regarding the Salvation Army, a book entitled “Handbook of Denominations in the United States” by Frank S. Mead (New Fourth Edition; Copyright @ 1951 by Pierce & Smith) helps me unfold this organization and its precepts. Thus, all the materials which help me enlighten you, are lifted from this book “Handbook…” The Holy Scriptures (II Tim. 3: 16, 17) help me examine this so-called Social Agency “Salvation Army.” The article is a comparison or rather a contrast between the Salvation Army and the Church of Christ. I urge you to read it, as it is very interesting and enlightening, and you will not regret in spending your precious time, friends.
My desire in writing an article about this social entity becomes more intense because it is my utmost intent to enlighten the good and religious people of Villaros, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines about the “Salvation Army” which was established in their community. Its chapel is “sandwiched” by two chapels, on the south along the national highway is the Liberal Church of Christ and on the north along the national highway is the Villaros Church of Christ where my son Frankie and I are religiously preaching to every Lord’s day in the afternoon. The three chapels are erected on a flattened side of the mountain, as Villaros is mountainous. Of course, there is steep and strong competition among them in converting people of Villaros and suburbs to their side.
I. HISTORICAL ORIGIN
FOUNDER: “William Booth, an ordained minister in the Methodist New Connexion body in England, regretfully left the pulpit of that church in 1861, to become a free-lance evangelistic preacher. This step led him, in 1865, to the slum areas in London’s East End and to dedication of his life to the poverty stricken, unchurched masses in that area… He officially began his work in Mile End Waste under the name Christian Mission. In 1878 the name was changed to Salvation Army. The work spread quickly over England, Scotland, and Wales, and in 1880 it was officially established in the United States by a pioneer group under the direction of commissioner George Scott Railton” (Handbook…page 202)
Description. This Agency is composed of a CORPS. Corps is likened to a local congregation of other churches. “The unit of the Army is the corps, of which there may be several in 1 city. Each corps is commanded by an officer- ranging in rank from lieutenant to brigadier- who is responsible to a divisional headquarters. The 43 divisions in the United States, each consists of a number of corps, and the work of each division is under the direct supervision of a divisional commander. The Divisions are grouped into 4 territories –Eastern, Central, Southern and Western- with headquarters in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. Territorial commanders are in charge of the work in each territory, and the 4 territorial headquarters are composed of departments to facilitate the supervision and direction of all phases of Army work. National headquarter (New York) is the coordinating office for the entire country, and the national commander is the chief administrative officer, official spokesman, and president of the Salvation Army Corporation established under the laws of New York.. The Army has a DUAL function of CHURCH and SOCIAL agency, its first purpose is the salvation of men ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit combined with the influence of human ingenuity and love’” (Handbook…, page 203; emph. mime, DAJ). Therefore, the Salvation Army is indeed a CHURCH organization which is masked by its social services to the poverty stricken masses.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
I. HISTORICAL & BIBLICAL ORIGIN
FOUNDER: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. God the Father sent His only begotten Son (John 3: 16), to help Him accomplish gathering mankind into a UNIFIED ONE Body. The Apostle Paul confirmed the PLAN of God the Father when he said, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather in one all things in Christ, both are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him” (Eph. 1: 8- 10). Then he further confirmed that it was really TRUE that the two adversaries during that time -the Jews and the Gentiles were UNIFIED in One Body, he said, “But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ… And that He might reconcile both unto God in ONE BODY by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that are nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”( Eph. 2: 11- 20; emph. mine, daj). And that BODY is the Church ( Col. 1: 18, 24).
God the Father commanded us to believe in His Son (Matt. 17: 5), and Jesus Christ also said, “If you believe me keep my commandments…He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me,: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will manifest myself to him” (John 14: 15, 21). Christ fulfilled the WISH of His Father by obediently doing the mission He was sent to accomplish (Heb. 5: 8, 9; John 17: 4, 5). He founded a CHURCH (Matt. 16: 18), and His Apostles helped Him establish it ( Eph. 2: 20), but NOT one of the apostles became owner of that church, but the SOLE owner of the church is Christ, because He said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH…”( Matt. 16: 18; emph., mine), and so it is justifiable that the name of this CHURCH is “Church of Christ” (Rom. 16: 16; Gal. 1: 22), NOT church of the Apostles although they were instrumental for its establishment (Matt. 28: 19; Mark 16: 15, 16; Luke 24: 47; Acts 1: 8; 2: 1- 47).
Descriptions of this Church. The Apostles called it: “Church of God” ( I Cor. 1: 2; Gal. 1: 13; Acts 20: 28) because the BUILDER who was Jesus Christ is God, NOT Church of man ( Acts 5: 38, 39; Psalm 127: 1, 2). “The house of God” ( I Tim. 3: 15), “Church of the Living God” ( I Tim. 3: 15), “The household of God”( Eph. 2: 19), “The household of Faith” (Gal. 6: 10), “The Kingdom of God’s dear Son”( Col. 1: 13), “A Kingdom which cannot be shaken”( Heb. 12: 13), and Kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5: 5).
Some WISE men named the CHURCHES they established, Church of God, Church of the Living God, The Household of God, The Household of Faith, etc. Are these named groups of churches TRUE, as their groups are named Scripturally? ANSWER: Although they are read in the Holy Bible, it is not a guarantee that these named churches are already True churches! These recorded names are Identifications of the TRUE Church of Christ! Meaning they are ONLY adjectives to describe the CHURCH that Jesus Christ built, friends! Look, if these named churches are true, as everyone claims his group is indeed the true church; then, Christ built several churches! The Holy Bible, most especially the New Testament explicitly affirmed that Christ built only ONE church! However, to justify their claim that their groups are indeed the True Churches, they must show to us, BOOK, CHAPTER and VERSE that Christ built several churches! I am pretty sure, that they could not read! Instead the Apostle Paul confirmed when he said, “There is ONE body” (Eph. 4: 4), and that BODY is the Church (Col. 1; 18, 24). Clearer meaning, There is ONE Church! Paul further affirmed and confirmed that it is indeed only ONE body or only ONE church when he said, “And that he might reconcile both unto God in ONE BODY by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”( Eph. 2: 16, emph., mine).
The Salvation Army was never mentioned by the Apostles as one of the identifications or descriptions of the TRUE Church of Christ; therefore that name is NOT read in the New Testament! Thus, it is unfit for a sincere and religious person to be a member of this agency, as it is not the True Church that Jesus built and it will only lead him to damnation! Jesus Christ said, “Every plant .which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15: 13).
The Church of Christ was founded in the City of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, ten days after the ascension of Jesus Christ in heaven, in 33 A. D. (Luke 3: 23; Luke 24: 47; Acts 1: 8 -10; Acts 2: 1-47). Before the preaching at Jerusalem which was done by the Apostles, Peter, having been commissioned by Jesus Christ (Matt. 16: 19), to officially open the preaching (Acts 2: 14), the term CHURCH was not yet mentioned, but after the baptism of the THREE thousand people among the Jews (Acts 2: 41), the word Church was already mentioned. Verse 47 confirms, “…And the Lord added to the CHURCH daily such should be saved” (Emphasis, mine). Before the BAPTISM of the three thousand, the followers of Jesus were only called “Disciples” (Acts 1: 15). Therefore it is clearly understood that there was then a little group of disciples of Christ, and this group was officially named Church after the baptism of the three thousand Jews; thus, it was indeed the official day (Pentecost) of the FOUNDATION of the Church of Christ, and it was registered in heaven, as Jesus Christ said to Peter, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”( Matt. 16: 19). Thus, the names of the members of the Church of Christ were written in the Book of Life. The Apostle Paul confirmed when he said, “And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other fellow labourers, whose names are in the BOOK OF LIFE” (Phil. 4: 3; Rev. 3: 4, 5; Rev. 20: 12; emphasis, mine). And the name of the members of the Church of Christ is “CHRISTIAN” (Acts 11: 26, 26; 28; I Pet. 4; 16), NOT Salvation!
II. HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER
“With the changing of the name from ‘Christian Mission’ to the Salvation Army, the whole organization became dominated by the Title ‘Articles of War’ ( declaration of Faith) were drawn up, and soon the Mission stations became CORPS; members became SOLDIERS; evangelists became OFFICERS; and converts were listed as SEEKERS. Within the structure of the Army, converts who desire to become soldiers (members) are required to sign the articles of wars of which, as members, they give volunteer service”( Handbook.. page 203, second to the last paragraph; cap., mine).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
II. HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER
Becoming a member of the Church of Christ is very simple and easy, (I John 5: 3). Its method in converting sincere seekers of Truth is Scriptural. The requirements were drawn by God, unlike the Salvation Army whose doctrines were drawn by men, and those who desire to become members are required to sign “the articles of wars” (Handbook.. page 203). In the Church of Christ, a person, who desires to become a member must faithfully obey these requirements: (1.) HEAR the words of Christ( Rom. 10: 17). (2.) BELIEVE-Faith (Rom. 10:17). (3.) REPENT (Luke 13: 3; Acts 2: 38). (4.) CONFESS ( Rom. 10: 10; Acts 8: 37). (5.) BE BAPTIZED ( Matt. 3: 13- 17; Mark 16: 16; Acts 2: 38; 10: 48; 22: 16; I Pet. 3: 20, 21).
Then after you have faithfully obeyed these requirements, automatically you become a member, as you are already translated into the Kingdom of Christ which is the Church, as the Church is His Kingdom (Col. 1: 13).
(6.) Then you must be an obedient and faithful citizen in this Kingdom until death (Heb. 10: 35- 39; Rev. 2: 10), and the King who is Christ (Rev.19: 16) will reward you on the judgment day (Matt. 25: 31- 34). The Apostle Paul confirmed, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister”(Heb. 6: 10). Christ assured His blessings to those faithful citizens of His Kingdom (Church). He said, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21: 7).
III. HOW TO BECOME AN OFFICER.
“Booth was designated ‘GENERAL,’ and gradually he set up his organization on a military pattern which provided a direct line of authority and practical system of training personnel for effective action. The leader reasoned that it was ‘just as valid to build an army of crusaders to save souls, as it has been to send armies to recover a sepulchre’”(Handbook… page 202).
To be a full-fledged officer of this organization a candidate should serve faithfully for the corps. “The chief source of officer candidates is the Salvation Army corps. After a soldier (member) has served actively for at least 6 months, he may make application for officership, and if accepted, may enter the school of officers’ training where his curriculum, in addition to formal study, includes practical field experience, in corps and social services institutions as well as orientation in all possible areas of Salvation Army service. He is graduated from the school as lieutenant, and following additional studies is eligible thereafter to attain the rank of captain, major, brigadier, lieutenant colonel, colonel, lieutenant commissioner, and commissioner. The function of officers is similar to that of ministers of other churches, and officers are commissioned to fulltime Salvation Army service” (Ibid, 203, second to the last paragraph).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
III. HOW TO BECOME AN OFFICER
In any organization on earth, either Secular or Spiritual, there is always a set of officers to guide and direct its affairs. After the founding of the Church of Christ in Jerusalem, the church appointed FIRST, deacons to serve the table ( Acts 6: 3- 6). Then when Paul and Barnabas arrived from their first missionary journey, they ordained elders in every church (Acts 14: 21- 23). Since then elders were appointed in every local church, as these set of officers are needed for the PERFECTING of the saints. The Apostle Paul said, “He gave some apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers”( Eph. 4: 11; I Cor. 12: 27- 28). Then he instructed Timothy to look for able men in the church to become elders (I Tim. 3: 1- 13). He also instructed Titus to ordain elders in every city (Titus 1: 5).
The qualifications of a member to become an elder are specified by the Apostle Paul to Timothy and Titus. He said to Titus, “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, as the steward of God; not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers”( Titus 1: 6 - 9).
You see, friends, how simple and easy it is to become officers of the Church of the Lord! Not like the Salvation Army organization, that it is very difficult to become an officer, as this organization was patterned within the structure of military organization. This organization “Salvation Army” is indeed a man-made social and religious agency, NOT of God. And Gamaliel said, “And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, let them alone: for if this counsel or work be of men, it will come to naught: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God”( Acts 5: 38, 39; Psalm 127: 1, 2).
There are THREE terms to be further explained, as to many, the word ELDER, PASTOR and BISHOP are different offices of the church.
A. ELDER, Greek word, “‘Presbuteros’ an adjective, means ‘old man’ of a person advanced in life, senior ( Heb. 11: 2- the elders’ are the forefathers). In the Christian churches, those who, being raised up and qualified by the work of the Holy Spirit, were appointed to have the spiritual care of, and to exercise over, the churches”( Vine’s Expository Bible Dictionary of the New Testament). The word elder or presbetery is read in Acts 14: 23; I Tim. 4: 14; I Tim. 5: 17; Titus 1: 5.
B. BISHOP, Greek word “Episcopos, an overseer, means ‘to look and watch.’ Bishop, which is precisely the same meaning, is found in Acts 20: 28” ( ibid). This word is also read in I Tim. 3: 1, 2; Titus 1: 7; Phil. 1: 1.
C. PASTOR, Greek word “‘Poimen,’ a shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks, is used metaphorically of Christian ‘pastor’ ( Eph. 4: 11). Pastor guides, as well as feed the flock; Acts 20, verse 17 tells that this was the service committed to elders, overseers, and bishops; see also I Pet. 5: 1, 2, ‘tend the flock’…. Exercising the oversight. This involves tender care and vigilant superintendence” (Ibid). This word is also read in Acts 20: 28.
Through these explanations, it is understood that the work of Elders, Pastors and Bishops are the same, therefore, they are called “POIMEN” in the Greek language, and so the office they hold are THE SAME. And each congregation has a plurality of elders or bishops or pastors NOT only ONE!
The Church of Christ is purely congregational. Local churches are independent from each other, and local church is directed by a plurality of elders, and governed by the Head of the Church who is Christ (Col. 1: 18; Eph. 5: 23). There is no headquarter or national headquarter or central office. Not like the Catholic Church that is a centralized religious organization, and its central office is the Vatican City in Rome. Its head is the Pope. All man-made churches (denominations) are also centralized religious organizations, so they have CENTRAL offices. Like the Catholics Church, they have TWO heads also, in heaven- Christ and on earth-the founders of these churches. TO THEM Christ is just only a CEREMONIAL Head!
IV. FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES
“The motivating force of the Salvation Army in all of its work is the religious faith of its officers and soldiers. Fundamental doctrines of the organization are stated in its Foundation Deed of 1878 in 11 (eleven) cardinal affirmations. These statements document the Army’s recognition of the Bible as the only rule of Christian faith and practice; God, who is the Creator and Father of all mankind; the Trinity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost; Jesus Christ as the son of God and Son of man; sin is the destroyer of man’s soul and society; salvation as God’s remedy for man’s sins and man’s ultimate and eternal hope made available through Christ; sanctification as the individual’s present and maturing experience of a life set apart for the holy purposes of the kingdom of God, and an eternal destiny that may triumph over sin and death” (Handbook…page 203, second paragraph).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
IV. FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES
MOTTOS: (1.) “Where the Bible speaks, we speak, and where the Bible keeps silent, we keep silent.” (2.) “Thus saith…” (Deut. 4: 2; Isaiah 34: 16; Acts 20: 27; I Cor. 4: 6; Rev. 22: 18,19). These two rules of conduct are clearly endorsing and emphasizing so strongly that the Rule of Faith is ONLY the Holy Scriptures, as the words of God are already sufficient and enough to instruct and lead men to be upright and pleasing to God (Isaiah 34: 16; II Tim. 3: 16, 17). Thus, the Church of Christ religious organization is faithfully upholding ALL “the Counsels of God” (Acts 20: 27), nothing more and nothing less, NO ADDITION, NO SUBSTRACTION (I Cor. 4: 6; Rev. 22: 18, 19), and so its ministers, evangelists and teachers are faithfully and obediently preaching these 22 cardinal doctrines of the “…faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3):
(1.) Teach that there are THREE DISPENSATIONS ( Heb. 1: 1, 2).
(a.) PATRIARCHAL-from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ( Genesis – Exodus chapter 3).
(b.) MOSAICAL- from Moses to Malachi until the Cross ( Exodus 3 - Malachi to John 19: 28 -30).
(c.) CHRISTIAN- from Christ until the end of time -judgment day (John 19: 30; Heb. 9: 16, 17; Matt. 25: 31- 41).
(2.) Teach that God made TWO Covenants (Testaments) – Old Testament and New Testament, but the Old Covenant was changed by no other else, but God (Jer. 31: 31- 34; Heb. 8: 6, 7, 13; 9: 1, 15- 17; Eph. 2: 15; Col. 2: 14).
I could not fathom why a brother could not see and realize clear passages of the Holy Scriptures that there are in fact TWO COVENANTS! I wonder, how he can refute these passages of the Holy Book? However, I believe that because he doesn’t believe clear passages of the Holy Scriptures (the words of God), God blurred his eyes and hardened his heart (John 12: 40), so that he be more poisoned by the VENOM of Satan! (II Thess.2: 9- 12). Friends, this brother is the advocate of the “One Covenant theory.” Beware of this so called –Gospel preacher and associates (II John 9- 11). His teaching “One Covenant” will surely lead you to hell! (Matt. 15: 14; Luke 6: 39). This “One Covenant” teaching made him very popular in the brotherhood! ( Matt. 4: 8, 9).
(3.) Teach the One True God, and this One True God is composed of three distinct personalities, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is called Trinity because there are in fact THREE named personalities, but these three are ONE in composing the one ONE TRUE GOD (I John 5: 7), NOT three Gods! The Apostle John said, “These THREE are ONE!” He did not say “These three are THREE. Only those anti- Deity–of - Jesus Christ advocates are saying this!
(4.) Teach Christ as the Son of God, and at the same time the Son of Man, as both are read in the New Testament (Phil 2: 5 -8; Matt. 1: 11-23; I John 5: 20; Matt. 16: 17; 25: 31).
(5.) Teach that Christ is God. He is Deity like His Father and the Holy Spirit (Isa. 9: 6; Phil. 2: 5- 11; Matt. 1; 23; John 1: 1; Titus 2: 13; I John 5: 20; Rev. 11: 16, 17).
(6.) Teach that Christ built only ONE church because Jesus Christ said, “I will build my CHURCH “(Matt.16: 18; emph., mine). He did not say “I will build MY churches!” (Emph., mine). The Apostle Paul confirmed that indeed there is only ONE church, NOT many churches. He said, “There is one body ( Eph. 4: 4), and that BODY is called the Church, ( Col. 1: 18, 24).
(7.) Teach that the mode of baptism is IMMERSION( Matt. 3: 13- 16, Acts 8: 38), NOT pouring, NOT sprinkling either!
The Catholic Church and most denominational churches teach that the mode of baptism can be also pouring or sprinkling a little drop of water to the candidate for baptism, perhaps for convenience sake. But where in the Holy Bible can you read that those who were baptized were poured or were sprinkled some drops of water? If it can be, why did the Eunoch say to Philip, “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: … ‘SEE, HERE IS WATER; WHAT DOTH HINDER ME TO BE BAPTIZED?” (Acts 8: 36- 38). Nevertheless, to enlighten you further about the word BAPTISM, let us consult an authority of the Greek language. “The term baptism came from the Greek word ‘BAPTIZO’ to baptize, primarily a frequentative form of ‘BAPTO’ means to dip” (Vine’s). The definition of Cassell English Pocket Dictionary of the word Baptism, “a noun, its verb is to baptize means to immerse.” The Greek word for Sprinkling is “RHANTIZO” (Vine’s). The Greek word for Pouring; Two terms: (1.) “‘BALLO, means to throw, is used of pouring liquids, Matt. 26: 12. (2.) ‘KATACHEO,’ means to pour down upon” (Vines). The word BAPTIZE is read in Matt. 3: 13- 17; Mark 16: 16, etc., therefore, the TRUE mode of baptism which is clearly endorsed by the New Testament is IMMERSION, NOT sprinkling, neither pouring, friends! The Apostle Paul confirmed that there is indeed ONLY one baptism ( Eph. 4: 5).
(8.) Teach members to abstain from eating of blood, (Gen. 9: 4; Lev. 3: 17; Lev. 17: 10; Deut. 12: 15, 16; Acts 15: 20, 29).
(9.) Teach members to abstain from smoking, drinking liquor, dancing and other forms of vices, as these are works of the flesh (Isaiah. 55: 2; Gal. 5: 19- 21; Col. 2: 20- 23).
(10.) Teach NO INFANT baptism, as infants and children are sure heirs of the Kingdom of God (Matt.19; 13- 15).
(11.) Teach NO hereditary sin (Ezekiel 18: 20), as a sin is the result of transgressing the law (I John 3: 4).
(12.) Teach members should be always in the church assembly every Lord’s Day- first day of the week ( Job 1: 6; 2: 1; Ecc. 5: 1; Psalms 5: 7; Mal. 3: 14, 18; I Cor. 14: 26; Heb. 10: 25; Matt. 6: 33; Rom. 12: 1, 2).
(13.) Teach that during worship services, members should sing hymns and psalms without the accompaniment of instrumental music (I Cor. 14: 26, 40; Eph. 5: 19; Col.. 3: 16; Heb. 13; 15; I Cor. 14: 15). Only the Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church are not using instrumental music in their worship services.
(14.) Teach members to pray, as this is a means of communication to the Almighty God, but women are taught NOT to lead the prayer in mixed worship services (I Cor. 14: 33, 34), and also are not permitted to preach, teaching men and women in church assembly (I Tim. 2: 11- 13). Most denominations have their women “Pastors.” (preachers), teaching men and women in their church worship services.
(15.) Teach members should always give parts of his earnings during the six days of the week, as they prosper, but voluntary ( I Cor. 16: 2; II Cor. 9: 7- 9), but NO Tithe.
TITHE and BURNT OFFERINGS were among the ordinances that were given by God to the children of Israel (Deut. 5: 1-3), and He emphasized to them to faithfully keep and obey His laws and ordinances (Exodus 19: 4- 6; Deut. 11: 26- 28). However, in spite of this very strong and fearful warning, they disregarded it. They were so stubborn and God was not pleased toward them, and so He CURSED them (Mal. 3: 7- 9).
TITHING is strongly imposed by all Denominations to their members because it is a very good method or way to amass sums of money. Their MOTIVATING passage of the Holy Scriptures is Malachi 3: 10. Perhaps by IGNORANCE or they really quote this passage to convince the members to faithfully give their TITHES, so that God will pour to them more bountiful blessings. Believing what is clearly read in the Holy Bible, these members give also their tithes, hoping that the Almighty God will give them bountiful blessings, NOT knowing that this ordinance was for the children of Israel only! QUESTION? Can the members of these denominations give ALL their tithes of their earnings, proceeds of sale of their properties, etc.? IF NOT, then they are likened to the Jews (Israelites ) who were stealing God in TITHES and OFFERINGS (Mal. 3: 9).
(16.) Teach members should be always in the assembly to commemorate the death of Christ every first day of the week ( Matt. 26: 26–29; Acts 20: 7; I Cor. 11:23- 29). There are TWO elements which are used to remembering the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. (1.) The unleavened bread symbolizes the physical body of Christ. (2.) The fruit of the Vine – Grape juice symbolizes the blood of Christ which was poured while He was on the cross ( Matt. 26: 26- 29). “THE CUP” or means “A Cup” or clearer meaning “ONE CUP” which is read in verse 27 is actually the fruit of the Vine–grape juice (verse 29), NOT the container (I Cor. 10: 16, 17; I Cor. 11: 25), as the container is a solid matter, NOT liquid, so it does not symbolize the blood of Christ! It cannot be other juices, like the pine apple, pears or coca cola, coffee or tea. It is clearly understood that when Jesus Christ took “THE CUP…” He used a figure of speech which is called “Metonymy,” which is meant, “A figure in which one word is used for another” (Cassell English Pocket Dictionary). “Fruit of the vine” is read, and it is understood that it is the juice of the fruit of grape vine because the fruit can not be sipped or drunk! Therefore, this is “THE CUP” which Jesus was actually pointing to, NOT the container! Grape Juice is the “ONE CUP!” Don’t be deceived, friends! Don’t be swayed to the sophistry of men! (Col. 2: 8).
(17) Teach members to dress in a modest apparel (I Pet. 3: 1- 4).
(18.) Teach members to obey and respect the authorities(Rom.13:1- 6; I Pet. 2: 13, 14).
(19.) Teach that in matters of helping the needy (benevolence), the church collection is for the saints only (I Cor. 16: 1; II Cor. 9: 1- 13; Rom. 15: 25- 27). This is a collective action (local church). Individual action (member) is explained in Galatians 6: 1- 10. Each member can extend benevolence to his fellow saints, but if he has the opportunity he can also extend benevolence to non- members. Can you pick up, friends!
(20.) Teach that “Fornication” is the ONLY cause of divorcing your spouse (Matt. 19: 9), and the innocent spouse (party) is free to legally marry another.
(21.) Teach members to uphold faithfully these SEVEN Christian values which are read in II Peter 1: 4- 8). Verse 9 says, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
(22.) Teach members to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen”( II Pet. 3: 18).
The Catholic Church, the mother of all denominations is practicing INFANT baptism, as this is an excellent means to amass sums of money for the church or for the priests because the invited sponsors are obliged to pay the imposed amount for the sponsorship of the baptism. This infant baptism is imitated by almost all denominations, as a means to acquire money for the preachers or lay leaders. The Church of Christ doesn’t endorse “Infant Baptism,” and the Church of Christ is NOT a denomination! It is a CHURCH! The ORIGINAL Church which is read in the Holy Bible! “Through the gradual APOSTASY of the original teachings of the Church of Christ, the New Testament Church (I Tim. 4: 1- 3), the Roman Catholic Church came to existence in 606 A. D.” (Weaver, Errors and Dangers of Roman Catholicism).
V. SOURCE OF INCOME
The Salvation Army operates several business enterprises. “In meeting the needs of the ‘whole man,’ the Army has established a widespread social program. 124 treatment centers; 37 maternity homes and hospitals; 60 camps, providing camping facilities; 230 boys’ and girls’ clubs and community recreation centers; 33 Salvation Army –USO and Red Shield Clubs for servicemen; 186 mobile canteens; Family Service Bureaus: Hotels and lodges for men and women; nurseries; settlements; care for alcoholics; correctional Service Bureaus which work with prisoners and their families; community centers for all ages, and other allied services. Work is financed largely through voluntary subscriptions, participation in federated Funds, and annual maintenance appeals from each service. The properties and revenues are in the custody of a board of trustees or directors and citizens’ advisory boards assist in interpreting the work of the Army to the general public” ( Handbook…pages 203- 204).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
V. SOURCE OF INCOME
The Church of Christ does not operate any business enterprise, as the mission of the Church is not to store material wealth or not to enrich itself, but the SOLE work of the Church is to win lost souls into its fold (Mark 16: 15, 16; John 10: 9, 16) in order that these lost souls shall be saved from hell, or rather enriching individual member in material wealth, but enriching them spiritually in the grace, and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. …” ( II Pet. 3: 18). Jesus Christ asked, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16: 26). However, Jesus Christ is offering wealth, but NOT earthly treasure, but HEAVENLY treasure (Matt. 11: 28- 30; Matt. 19: 21; Matt. 6: 20). The ONLY source of income of the church is voluntary offerings of the members during their worship services every Lord’s Day- first day of the week (I Cor. 16: 2; II Cor. .9: 7- 9), but the instruction is “ GIVE AS YOU PROSPER,” so by strong faith, a member can do!
There are also business enterprises among the brotherhood, but these enterprises are funded or financed by concerned INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. The local churches do not operate or run these enterprises nor finance them from their treasuries. Because the church money is not intended for business purposes, as its prime mission is CONVERTING THE LOST SOULS from “Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”( Acts 1: 8)! The Salvation Army did not originate in Jerusalem; therefore it is not the True Church of the Lord, but a MIXTURE of MAN- MADE CHURCH and a SOCIAL AGENCY!
Friends in the Salvation Army, after reading this article, and you realized that the Salvation Army which you were called to become members of is not ONLY a social agency to give relief to the afflicted ones, but it is ALSO a church organization, and you realized that its doctrines are NOT in consonant to God’s ways or standards (Prov. 14: 12; Isa. 55: 8), don’t tarry, depart from it!
The Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” ( I Cor. 6: 17). The Lord Jesus also said, “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not her plagues. For her sins have reached even unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” ( Rev. 18; 4, 5; Isaiah 1; 18; Matt. 11: 28- 30).
Jesus Christ is so much concerned for our salvation because He and His Father love us, and so He commanded us, each one, you and me - to be baptized in order to have hope for Salvation. Mark 16: 16 is clearly read, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” Then after baptism, the Apostle Paul declared, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3: 27). Then you are now a full-fledged Christian, as you have already put on Christ! Then, if you will not defile that name Christian, God will not erase your name in the Book of Life (Rev. 3: 4, 5), PERIOD.
By Domie A. Jacob Friday 1 June 2007
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