The Salvation Army has long been an icon of charity often dubbed the “Church of the Red Kettle” while its members can be seen standing outside of big box stores at Christmas collecting money to feed and give to the poor. While this is a noble cause, the Salvation Army has always missed something vitally important to any Christian church — the gospel.
The gospel — that God is good, we are not, that God sent his son Jesus to die in place of us for the sins we committed, was buried, and raised from the dead three days later defeating sin and death so that we could live — is missing from a vast number of organizations that call themselves “churches” — especially the Roman Catholic Church.
The Salvation Army does not hold to a dogmatic doctrinal view of salvation by grace alone through faith alone — it officially sees these doctrines as optional and unimportant. That being said, it should come as no surprise that the world leader of the Salvation Army, Brian Peddle, would meet with the Pope of Rome to discuss ecumenical relations and advance what they call “human redemption.”
According to this report in a Catholic publication,
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“Holiness transcends denominational boundaries,” the pope said, quoting a comment made by the former leader, General Andre Cox, during his audience with the pope in 2014.
“The holiness that shows itself in concrete acts of goodness, solidarity and healing speaks to the heart and testifies to the authenticity of our discipleship,” the pope told Peddle in his address.
“On this basis, Catholics and Salvationists can increasingly assist one another and cooperate in a spirit of mutual respect,” he added.
“The gratuitous love that inspires acts of service to those in need is not only a leaven,” which, like the parable says, makes a large mass of dough rise, it releases “the fragrance of freshly baked bread. It attracts and convinces,” and “young people in particular need to breathe in that fragrance,” the pope said.
“Let us remember one another in our prayers and continue to work together to spread God’s love through works of service and solidarity,” he said.
It is safe to say that we can expect more capitulations to Rome as the Christian Church continues to be persecuted. Those who don’t stand on the true gospel and biblical truth as their final authority will eventually side with Rome, the harlot Church, as their ally in the world and ultimately submit to her authority.