Think Twice Before Giving Donations To The Salvation Army

By David J. Stewart
December 2008 | Updated December 2016

       According to Forbes the Salvation Army's top dog, Todd Bassett, took home $175,050 from the “CHARITABLE” organization's donations for the fiscal year ending in 2004. $175,050? That's ridiculous! I wonder how many Santa Claus buckets need to be filled to pay Mr. Bassett's extravagant salary? I wouldn't give a dime to the Salvation Army.

Kindly, the top CEO at Red Cross pulled down a $651,957 salary in 2003! According to Forbes, United Way's top executive made $629,950 in 2004! Still, the Salvation Army pays their CEO and his wife far more than what the average American survives on. No one working for a “charity” ought to get paid that kind of money. That's just my humble opinion. They're supposed to be helping the poor, not spoiling themselves with extravagant salaries. Just because other charities pay their CEO's high salaries doesn't justify them doing it. It's ironic that out of all the careers a person can pursue, administrating a charity pays some of the biggest salaries. That's messed up. Think about that. Why would an organization that's dedicated to helping the poor paying their top leaders over $100,000 a year?

*Update June 2016—In 2012 the Salvation Army paid it's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) $259,720!!! I have a serious problem with that! Over 44 officers received 6-digit salaries over $100,000 a year! Charities are supposed to be benevolent organizations, helping the public, not paying themselves 5-10 times what the average American earns per year. Over half of American citizens in 2016 are earning less than $30,000 per year! So why should a so-called “charity,” especially a professed Christian charity, pay those kind of extravagant salaries? Few people know that the Salvation Army also owns luxurious vacation properties in Hawaii for their executives to enjoy. I don't care how much money (billions!!!) they take in per year, it is wrong for ministers (which means “servant”) to pay themselves exuberant salaries. To put it into better perspective, the CEO of the Salvation Army in 2012 was paid $21,643 a month!!! All I'm saying is that I would never give the Salvation Army a penny, and this is why!

People are so naive and gullible nowadays. The Apostle's didn't go out on a spending-spree with the money given to them, buying steak dinners, purchasing fancy clothes and vacationing in Hawaii. No, they distributed the money to the THE NEEDY AND AFFLICTED... “And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man ACCORDING AS HE HAD NEED (Acts 4:35). God deliver us from selfish and covetous pastors who want every penny you have in the bank.

Granted, the Salvation Army fairs better than many other so-called “charitable” organizations, spending 90 cents of every dollar to help the needy; however, if they can afford to pay someone $175,050 a year salary, I have a serious problem with that. No one serving in a charitable organization should make that amount of extravagant pay.

I have a right to my opinion and I'm sick of “non-profit” organizations paying 6-digit salaries to their administrators. It just makes me sick how such organizations advertise that “every dime donated counts,” while hypocritically paying exorbitant salaries to their top officials. I would NEVER donate money (or tithe) to any organization or ministry where the top officials are paid 6-digit salaries. 

Another example is Feed The Children based in Oklahoma. I did my homework and found that the head of the organization pays himself $125,000 a year. I wonder how much his wife gets paid? I realize that the organization takes in hundreds-of-millions of dollars and he could easily pay himself much more; however, he could also live just fine in Oklahoma on $50,000 a year (which would free up an extra $75,000 to feed the “starving” children they so much advertise TV!). Less than 3% of all Americans make anywhere near the $125,000 he makes. 

So why should we financially support an organization which can pay someone that kind of money? Are there not children starving? They're the one's who continually tell us that every dollar matters; but then they hypocritically squander that money on themselves. How many meals and medical supplies could $75,000 buy? It makes me sick! I feel it is highly hypocritical for a man who makes $125,000 a year to expect working Americans (who are lucky enough to make $30,000 a year), to support his CHARITABLE organization. I feel it is highly hypocritical for Todd Bassett of the Salvation Army to expect working class Americans (who are struggling financially in a recession), to give donations to some bogus heathen Santa Claus, while Mr. Bassett is secure in his $175,050 a year job. Ninety-five percent of Americans DON'T make over $30,000 a year. 1.3 million Americans lost their homes in 2007. Sadly, another 1.9 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008. I say Mr. Bassett ought to have a serious pay cut of at least $125,000. That leaves Todd $50,000 a year to live on, which is far better than what most Americans are surviving on.

We see TV commercials featuring starving children, pulling on our heart strings, and we are told that one child can be properly cared for each day for pennies on a dollar. If the top management employee of Feed The Children and the Salvation Army can afford to pay exorbitant salaries of $125,000 and $175,000 a year, respectively, then they shouldn't get our money. Why should struggling Americans give until it hurts, when those greedy buzzards live high-on-the-hog without sacrificing?

I did not write this article to be unkind, nor to attack anyone; I simply feel that charitable organizations ought to be extremely careful and diligent about how donations are spent. I'm sure the Salvation Army has plenty of excuses as to why they pay Mr. Bassett so much money. No doubt they'd say he's an invaluable asset to their organization. Howbeit, I'm not going to give a dime to any charitable, non-profit, organization that compensates anyone with a 6-digit salary.

The Salvation Army Perverts the Gospel

Furthermore, the Salvation Army teaches the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation. If, as the Salvation Army teaches, “We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ,”[1] then salvation is conditional upon human effort and self-righteousness. It is a false gospel. May I say, salvation is not a “state” that you can enter into and out of. It is a new birth. Salvation means being born-again into God's family by the Holy Spirit of God. The new birth, that is, a spiritual birth, is as irreversible as the physical birth. Once saved, always saved!!!

Shame on the Salvation Army for teaching heresy. I say that kindly. Sadly, their organization has become more “army” than “salvation.” I'd rather offend the Salvation Army, and please God by contending for the Christian faith (Jude 1:3). If a person doesn't continue in the faith, it is only because they once ascribed to the principles of Christianity, but they were never really born-again. This doesn't mean that believers don't have serious doubts at times. John the Baptist asked his disciples to go ask Jesus, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). John was saved, he was just discouraged in prison. We need to be very careful about deciding who is, or isn't, really saved. My beef with the Salvation Army is doctrinal. By saying that a believer must continue in obedient faith to remain in a state of salvation is unbiblical. It is false doctrine because it requires human effort to remain saved! Please listen to the MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008) titled, “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?

A believer's salvation is unconditionally based upon the precious, literal, blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1st Peter 1:18,19; Hebrews 9:12). Once a lost sinner acknowledges their guilt of sin (Romans 3:19) and deserved punishment in hellfire (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8) and believes upon the Lord Jesus as the Christ to forgive their sins (Acts 10:43), they will be eternally saved (Romans 10:13).

The very notion that a believer can lose salvation if they fail to continue in obedient faith to Christ is self-righteous hypocrisy. The truth is that if salvation could be lost, we all would have lost it a long time ago. How dare anyone claim they are self-righteousness enough to please God, as to not lose their salvation. If salvation could be lost, we'd all lose it permanently. Listen buddy, your salvation and mine is based on HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., Jesus' righteousness, and not our own worthless self-righteousness. Anyone who teaches that salvation can be lost is a liar and a self-righteous hypocrite, because NO ONE is self-righteous enough to keep their salvation. We are kept safe by God's grace and mercy in spite of our sins. This is the gift of God, paid for by the sacrifice of His dear only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 

Lest you think it is just a matter of semantics amongst different Christian groups, please consider that there is only ONE Gospel, not two or three. Salvation is receiving, not giving. Eternal life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23). One's salvation is NOT dependent upon continued obedient faith in Christ. A person who claims they “used to be a Christian” is a liar. They may have once had the philosophy of Christianity, or the organization of some religion; but they were never born-again. The second birth is as irreversible as the physical birth.

There are all sorts of charitable organizations, most of which shine during the holidays as people all of a sudden feel compassion for the poor; but it's all done in vain if the gospel of Jesus Christ is not preached to the lost. The Salvation Army has deteriorated over the past century, being more army than salvation these days. They teach a perverted Calvinistic view of the gospel (which requires a person to continue in good works and faith to remain saved). This is called the doctrine of the 'perseverance of the Saints.'

This is very similar to the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation (which requires a person to surrender all to Christ and to forsake their sinful bad habits to be saved).

Such false doctrines attempt to force a sinner to change in order to be saved; instead of allowing God to do the changing in a sinner's heart who comes to Christ by faith to be forgiven and saved. In Calvinism's 'Perseverance of the Saints' and in 'Lordship Salvation,' both false gospels place the BURDEN OF CHANGE UPON THE SINNER. However, in Biblical salvation, God saves the person who acknowledges their sinnership and believes on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, to be forgiven and saved (John 20:31). The BURDEN RESTS UPON CHRIST, Who took our sins upon Himself at Calvary.

God the Father gave up His only begotten Son so that we wouldn't have to give up anything to be saved. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9). And a good thing, for we have nothing to offer God; “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6). Thank God the Father for the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus! Jesus is precious!

Ye Must Be Born Again!

You Need HIS Righteousness!