Denomination Differences

Three-Self Patriotic Movement vs. The Salvation Army Beliefs

Three-Self Patriotic MovementThe Salvation Army
a.k.a.Chinese Patriotic
Number of Members20,000,000[1]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.[2]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.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[3][4]Baptism not practiced.[5]
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by sprinkling or immersion.[3]Baptism not practiced.[5]
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.[6]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.[7]
What is the human nature?Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.[8][9]
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.[9]
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.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.[3]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.[10]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has two ordinances: Baptism and Holy Communion.[3]Jesus is the only true Sacrament.[11]
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.[2]Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.
How should a church be structured?Every church congregation should be governed by its members and the Chinese Communist Party.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.[12]Christians worship on Sunday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Sola scriptura: The Bible is the only infallible source of God's revelation, sufficient for all faith and practice.[13]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.[13]There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.
Is the Bible inerrant?Yes, the Bible was written without any error.[14]
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[15]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[15]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?Yes, a Christian may freely remarry after divorce.
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at fertilization.[16]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible as long as they work before fertilization.[16]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.
Should Christians drink alcohol?No, alcohol should be totally avoided.[17]
Should Christians fight in wars?Yes, Christians should fight in just wars.Varies widely[18]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[19]
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?Christians immediately go to heaven when they die.[10]