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How can The Salvation Army justify non-adherence to
Therefore go and
make disciples of all nations,
baptising them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28 v19
The Sacraments and the Bible
A personal review and testimony by Andrew Kite from his perspective as a Salvationist who is a Local Officer, August 28th 2007.
'I was made to reconsider my whole
grasp on the subject.'
A LOCAL OFFICER'S VIEW
As a newcomer to the Salvation Army I always took the answers I was given by more experienced soldiers and officers to questions about the sacraments.
I was told that we didn't have infant baptism as we had the child dedicated to God by the parents as a primary commitment, solid and binding by the parents and all the members of the Corps sharing in the child's spiritual development. When that child was of an age to decide on, and agree to the conditions and soldiership of the Salvation Army, then this was our "baptism".
I was also told that we did not celebrate the Eucharist as the presence of wine in the early day Salvation Army meetings could cause problems with the newly converted ex-alcoholic members; indeed that the wine could encourage others to attend merely for the alcohol.
I was more than happy to accept these explanations, from what I knew they seemed more than reasonable.
It was not until I read this book that I was confronted with a Bible-based reason for the Salvation Army's non-conformity on the sacraments. I was willing to say that every other denomination was correct and that the quirky old Salvation Army was doing things the way it saw fit.
Reading the texts quoted by Captain Phil I was made to reconsider my whole grasp on the subject.
I would not hesitate to point any future questioners to this book, and maybe even take time to go through it with them. It may be that this subject should be raised during enquiry and recruits classes to aid understanding.
I've been challenged on more that one occasion by fellow Christians telling me that, as we don't practise baptism, we aren't "proper Christians". Now I have the answer. We're "proper Christians" after all. Read the book.
Corps Treasurer, Canterbury Corps, UKT