Salvation Army Moves Towards New Apostolic Reformation Theology
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:47:54 PM EST
With an operating budget, in 2004, of 2.6 billion dollars, the Salvation Army is one of the largest providers of social services in the world. There's been some previous indication, during the last decade, that the religious culture of the Salvation Army, has been changing; as described in Michelle Goldberg's book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and also discussed here at Talk To Action, in 2003 the New York City social services division of the Salvation Army began a purge of gay, and Jewish and all other non-Christian employees. The religious purge triggered a New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that was eventually dismissed in a victory for religious nonprofits receiving public funds which practice religious discrimination in their hiring practices.

Now, the Salvation Army appeared to have developed a working relationship with C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation. The War College, a recent Salvation Army creation with campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, "is affiliated with the Wagner Leadership Institute" and teaches doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement surveyed in a 36 page report recently published here at Talk To Action. As the website for the War College's Chicago branch declares, "You may have heard of The Salvation Army's bold foray into radical battle schooling. The War College has been created to train this generation's warriors to win the world for Jesus." Peter Wagner's doctrine includes the expectation that the drive for world conquest will, if necessary, be fought with guns and bullets rather than prayers and evangelism.

As described on that site,

1. Teaching. You will learn from some of the best leaders in The Salvation Army.

2.    Content. You will be immersed in essential subjects for warfare success, such as extreme holiness, warfare operations, spiritual disciplines, extreme prophetic, spiritual accountability, social justice, and apostolic leadership. You will receive the course content required for success in the future wars to which God appoints you.

3.    Training. You will be trained by successful Salvation Army leaders in evangelism, discipleship, intercession, the prophetic and other spiritual gifts, servanthood, cell multiplication, preaching, warfare worship and more. You will find yourself in the thick of the fight, right on front lines. You will also be deployed for four months to another Salvation Army unit for further experience....

6.    Win The World. God is raising up The War College to train this generation's warriors to win the world for Jesus. The spiritual synergy of the experience will spin off dynamic ministries and warfare on fronts around the world. Warfare that will transform cities and people groups and nations. Compare that to your alternative of post-bachelor degree, entry-level office work or your fourth year undergrad.

7.    Wagner Affiliation. The War College is affiliated with the Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI) and phase 2 students can qualify for post-secondary diplomas. This is a bonus to students wanting to continue their study beyond The War College toward associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees.

The War College's Vancouver campus website lists course curriculum [note: since I wrote this story, the curriculum page has been taken down - link is to Internet Archive version of page] that align extremely closely with New Apostolic Reformation doctrines on spiritual warfare and appears to include indoctrination on the expulsion of demons.

This new alliance between the Salvation Army and Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation network, only one out of hundreds and possibly even thousands of Apostolic networks that have sprung up worldwide in the last several decades, is notable for, among other things, writings by Peter Wagner stating that the "spiritual warfare" doctrines Wagner has helped develop and popularize--which attempt to free cities, towns and geographic regions from alleged possession by "territorial demons"--are strategic attempts to reduce the loss of life in an actual war Wagner expects may well be necessary at some point in order to complete the New Apostolic Reformation's program of global conquest.

the ACLU page you link to says that the lawsuit is still pending, not that there was a victory for the Salvation Army.

by Laurel on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:41:32 PM EST
Perhaps I should have linked to a follow-up. The judgment itself was supposedly mixed but it certainly was not a victory for Anne Lown.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:04:34 AM EST

That the Salvation Army has been my choice of charities was because I believed that they helped everyone without discrimination whereas churches either help their own believers or with an eye on new "victims" for conversion.  

What an eye opener and with it, the end of my donations to them!  

by Concerned on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:31:04 PM EST

I agree... how can anyone donate to this charity that has such ideology?  This sublimal hatred needs to be exposed and stopped.

by deatons on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 12:09:36 AM EST

I am very troubled by this news.

The nickname "Sallie" for the Salvation Army is well known- it often refers to their shelters for people who are homeless (Go to the Sallie!).  I've even heard people in the homeless "industry" refer to the Salvation Army that way.  In many areas, they are the primary source of aid to people who have experienced a personal disaster of one type or another, and often government branches and organizations refer people to them (such as police or the fire department to people who have suffered a house fire).

They're also so involved in community-wide (and larger) disasters and emergencies- and indeed are counted on for assistance in such.  I shudder at the idea of having to go to a militant "Christian" organization for assistance if something horrible happened.  There has been enough injustice in this country as it is, and having to join their "ranks" (or attend a dominionist hellfire-and-brimstone "service") in order to get the things needed to survive in an emergency would clearly be unjust for quite a few people.  It could also be psychologically devastating, knowing the dominionist penchant for preaching guilt and condemnation at people who have suffered!

Believe me, requiring people to attend "services" or change churches as a requirement for aid already happens- I've seen it and it's well documented.  

Having the "Sallie" go that route is scary.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 05:24:18 PM EST

I think it really merits more coverage than the story will get on this site but I have too much in the works right now to push this one. I'll keep 'Sallie' on my radar screen however.

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:08:35 PM EST
FYI- a local AoG megachurch is bragging about supporting and working with the Salvation Army in a letter to the editor.  

url: T?Title=Mission_for_Salvation_Army

I do know a lot of the churches regularly volunteer to provide bell ringers, including the church we used to attend (severely steeplejacked Episcopal Church).

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 12:29:01 PM EST

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