Denomination Differences

Methodist vs. The Salvation Army Beliefs

The Salvation Army is a denomination of Christianity derived from Methodism. Its theology is still largely the same as traditional Methodism. The main differences are just the Salvation Army's unique pseudo-military structure, its primary focus on charity and evangelizing the poor, and its non-practice of Baptism and Communion.

Belief Table

MethodistThe Salvation Army
a.k.a.
  • Wesleyan
  • Nazarene
Number of Members80,000,000[1][2]1,800,000
How does one get saved?Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people and their infant children get baptized by as the first sacrament of Christian initiation, cleansing them of all sins.Baptism not practiced.[3]
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by sprinkling water on the head.Baptism not practiced.[3]
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at the moment of salvation.
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.[4]
What is the human nature?Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.[5][6]
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.[6]
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?Yes, Christians can become evangelically perfect through sanctification.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements do not become the body and blood of Christ, but Christ is present in an unknown way.Communion not practiced.
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[7]Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[8]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.
What framework has God used in dealing with man?Covenant theology: God acts either within the covenant of works or the covenant of grace.
What are the requirements for clergy?Varies widely
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.[9]Jesus is the only true Sacrament.[10]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins. A general confession of sinfulness is usually done as a group during a service.Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.
How should a church be structured?Connectionalism: Churches are governed by conferences of representatives. How respresentatives and pastors are chosen varies widely.Corps should be governed by an officer, appointed by and governed by higher and higher officers in the hierarchy until reaching the General of The Salvation Army.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians worship on Sunday.Christians worship on Sunday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Prima scriptura: There are many sources of God's revelation, although none can contradict the Bible.Prima scriptura: There are many sources of God's revelation, although none can contradict the Bible.
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.
Is the Bible inerrant?No, the Bible is not inerrant in any respect.[11]Yes, the Bible was written without any error.[12]
What is marriage?Varies widely[13][14][15][16]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.
Is sex permissible outside marriage?Varies widely[13][14][15][16]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.
When is divorce permissible?Varies widely[17][18]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?Varies widely[17][18]Yes, a Christian may freely remarry after divorce.
When does a fetus become human?No established doctrine[19][20]Humanity begins at fertilization.[21]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible.Yes, contraceptives are permissible as long as they work before fertilization.[21]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.
Should women cover their heads?No, head coverings are no longer required due to cultural changes.[22]
Should Christians drink alcohol?Most believe that yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[23][24]No, alcohol should be totally avoided.[25]
Should Christians fight in wars?Most believe that no, Christians should never fight.[26][27]Varies widely[28]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[29]The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[30]
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?No established doctrine[31]Christians immediately go to heaven when they die.[8]