This is the time of year when we begin to see the bell ringers standing outside many retail outlets with the red buckets for donations. Thousands of people provide donations of anything from spare change to hundreds of dollars in these buckets. But where does this money go?
The organization behind the “bell ringers” and those red buckets is The Salvation Army, and while many people believe that it is just a benevolence organization, it is really a religious organization– a church. The Salvation Army is an evangelical denomination that has concretized the metaphor of the “Christian soldier” in Ephesians 6:10-18, having different levels of “officers” and who subscribe to the “Articles of War,” the creed of the Salvation Army.
While the members of the Salvation Army believe that they are fighting the “good fight of faith” and do many good things in the community, we exhort all people to consider the principle of 1 Timothy 5:16 and understand that God did not burden His church with the obligation of assisting the needy of the world. Instead, God expects individuals to assist those who are in need with whom they come into contact (Galatians 6:10, James 1:27). Therefore, you might do better to take that spare change and those dollars and go find someone in the community to help out by yourself!