“One of the great things about the Salvation Army and the Robertson family is we’re both trying to help people. Our family has been about reaching out and telling people about the good news about Jesus. And in essence, that’s exactly what the Army does,” said Robertson.”
The above is a quote from Alan Robertson, according to an article by Kyle Rothenberg published on April 09, 2014 on Fox News’ website, as he spoke to Fox News concerning his speaking engagement at a fund-raising event in Mississippi for the Salvation Army organization.
What caught my attention in the quote was the word “essence”. It’s interesting how the word “essence” can be used by some to completely slide (if not right out jump) over key doctrinal gaps, assuming that the doctrinal gaps exist between the guest speaker and the leadership of the hosting group. But I guess it would be “wrong” to tell someone you’re trying to raise money for that they’re wrong when it comes to the good news of Jesus and how to receive the benefits thereof.
Now don’t get me wrong in what I am saying; this is not a “bash the Salvation Army” post. I believe the “Salvation Army” does a lot of good. And I also believe that they are doctrinally sound in many areas of their teaching and understanding of the Bible. But, as far as this post is concerned, one area that I do not agree with them on is how a person must respond to the good news of Jesus in order to be saved. Sure, they believe that one is saved by grace through faith – but according to my understanding they do so to the extent that their version of salvation “by grace through faith” excludes the necessity of baptism when it comes to its role in the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5, Acts 2:38). If I’m wrong concerning the Salvation Army’s stance, feel free to correct me. But if I’m correct in my understanding then it is the Salvation Army who stands in need of correction.
Furthermore, this is not a “bash the Robertson’s” post. I praise the Robertson’s clear and resilient stance against the homosexual agenda and their movement of intolerance, and for their stance on other moral issues and the importance of family in spite of their popularity. They have been given a national platform that few are willing to stand on when it comes to politically incorrect topics. But, as far as this post is concerned, going beyond the forces that seek their caving in to “political correctness”, my concern is that their popularity in the spiritual world will only lead to more and more caving in to a version of “spiritual correctness” that winks at what should not be ignored. Namely, what Jesus himself said when it comes to enjoying the benefits of his good news (Mark 16:15-16).
The spirit of unity and the unity of the Spirit should not be confused with one another. They are two different things (Ephesians 4:3-6), and they should be recognized as such.
Now, I believe building bridges is one thing, but helping to support bridges that blatantly teach false doctrines concerning the gospel of Christ and one’s salvation is a road that I wish the Robertson’s, at least to which family members it may apply, would not travel down, for good deeds do not necessarily lead to good results (Matthew 7:21-23), nor does the endorsement of another’s “essence” that resides in error (Romans 16:17). And this is something that I hope they would recognize when a comparison is made.