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Do You Think the Salvation Army is a cult?

If so, why do you feel that way?

Also, for all those who practice sacraments in the Christian faith: Do you feel that the Salvation Army shouldn't be recognized as part of the 'Body of Christ' because it does not partake of sacraments?


They refer to themselves as Charismatic Evangelical - who have a conscience for social injustice.

They don't practice the sacraments like the other churches.

Is this right or wrong?

11 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am someone who has worked with a lot of denominations including the Salvation Army. I am speaking from my experience and not from anything else. I am not sure where Tom got his info but I have seen the Articles of War that soldiers sign an it is nothing like he mentions. If you are an officer (like a pastor) you should marry an officer but soldiers are not told who they can and cannot marry.

    The Salvation Army where I live works wit all different churches and goes to combined church services etc. There is definitely nothing in the articles about disassociating yourself with other churches or orginisations.

    Like all churches and orginisations they have their own way of doing some things. And like all churches they have their faults. As someone who is a believer and follower of Christ I can tell you they are not a cult. As for the communion and baptism practices from what I have learned they do not believe they are wrong but they don't practice them on a regular basis as part of their services. I know people in the SA who have been baptized with water and those who haven't. I have been in a meeting where we broke bread together and remembered the Lords supper.

    This is my experience with the SA. They do great work and have great things happening.

    Source(s): Experienced fIrst hand
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For many officers, I think the Salvation Army becomes a cult since they are kept so busy, busy, busy with Army activities, that they have little or no time nor inclination to associate with people outside the SA or to take part in activities such as cultural affairs unless these are associated with Army involvement. Officers talk of nothing else when they are together; they have few, if any, friends outside the Army. They are paid a very low salary but receive so many perks that leaving "the work" after a few years' total involvement is very difficult, since most are unqualified for any job that would be as remunerative as their SA job. Their education is apt to be no more than 2 years at a very low-level training school. For this they do receive an A.A. degree, but the level of work required is far below university level. In retirement, the SA seems to become even more cultish for its officers. Their year includes meeting after meeting, from Bible Camp to fellowship groups. Often, they are treated to plane tickets or payment for automobile expense. Many retired officers work part time for the organization. On paper, the SA does not look like a cult, but when viewed from the edge of the inside, it definitely is. I would say it is not a cult for the run of the mill "soldier" or "adherent", though. It is their church, social services for some, and their social life.

  • 6 years ago

    No, I know for a fact it is not. The thief on the cross was not baptized was he..baptism does not a Christian make, God looks at the heart. The Salvation Army has regular praise and worship services, Sunday School, Bible Studies..they help the poor as Jesus told us to. They visit those in Nursing Homes and take the services and Gospel to them. I was baptized before going to The Salvation Army. I am not a member but have attended for 8 yrs. Jesus is the Head of the Church, not the Pope. Baptism should be done as an adult if they choose it for the right reason, a child does not understand baptism..

  • 5 years ago

    A cult is a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object. - Salvation army believes in God the father, the son and the holy spirit,, so that makes them not a cult.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The Salvation Army is a cult.

    They dictate to their leaders who they can or can not marry, ie must be a "saved" Christian on paper and a member of the SA in reality. So, they are exerting this control and setting up an us/they mentality as it implies non-SA are not saved. Other Churches see that other Christians are also saved.

    When people join to become regular members or "soldiers' they have to sign a pledge that cuts all ties with other religious groups. They talk about being open to all faiths, but in reality they are insular, often times the SA will not partner with other Churches on charitable projects for the want all the attention themselves. Other Churches are not so anal.

    Most members become, or strive to become soldiers. They have to sign a document saying that they must be loyal to their leaders. As an "Army" they take orders from their leaders often without question, much like a normal secular army at war. Other Churches without signed contracts do not command loyalty, they suggest respect of the leaders but not in the order taking sense.

    Members are instructed to give as much as humanly possible to the them. Other Churches say "give what you can" or set a guide of a tithe, not an open command.

    The leaders of the Army excert alot of control on their members and can kick them out or tell them to take off their uniforms if they do something wrong. The uniform is part of the brain washing. It says you "belong to us now." The threat to be kicked out is like using guilt and shame to keep people. Other Churches do not have uniforms.

    They really do the love-bombing by their community projects. People sign up to volunteer with them or will go to them for help, and before you know it they are preached too and an attempt it made to indoctrinate them. They put themselves above all others. Other Churches love people too, but they do not let the rind hand know what the left hand is doing.

    Everywhere you look there are SA logos, uniforms, flags, etc... All of this is done to drill the words SA into the minds of the members. In other Churches the images used at those of Christ and Heroes in Faith.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Dude.... No. Their Marriage rules might seem odd, but that does not make a cult. Also remember this only applies to Officers (Their Pastors)

  • 5 years ago

    What "Cult" teaches Jesus Christ is our Savior? SA has helped more people than many "churches" have, and SA is about as much a "cult" as a hog is a Rabbi.

  • Amy
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    I just think of it as a Christian organization, not a religion unto itself.

    But I'm not Christian, so I don't care about the inter-denominational squabbling. Any "charity" that refuses to disclose how it spends its money is not getting any of mine.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    No, they're not a cult. In fact, they've become far more like a service group than a religious sect lately, from what I understand.

  • cork
    Lv 7
    10 years ago


    NO NEED TO partake of sacraments.. IS THAT A REQUIREMENT OF JOHN 3:16?

    I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

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