Here We Stand
500 years ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, an intense monk, nailed a copy of his 95 Theses (complaints) to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in Germany as an act of protest against corruption in the Church.
This symbolic action resulted in Protestantism and exerted revolutionary change on Europe’s cultural landscape.
While on trial for his beliefs, Martin Luther famously stated, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” We might say this provides context for The Salvation Army.
Even today, we stand on the foundational principles and convictions of the Reformation.
- Personal relationship with Christ
- Salvation by grace through faith
- Primacy of preaching
- Married clergy
- Scripture, worship, and music in the language and idiom of the culture
- Reduced church ritual
The Salvation Army is saturated with Reformation values—from married corps officers who greet people in the lobby, to soldiers who preach while on vacation, to reading The Message in a meeting, to a contemporary guitar band playing preliminary music, to an invitation for anyone to share a word in a testimony meeting, to a simple meeting outline, to a centrally–placed sermon, to an invitation to come to a mercy seat and accept Jesus as “your personal Lord and Savior.”
This year, let us review what might need to be “re–formed.” Let us lessen unnecessary burdens, enabling us to truly stand—confident, flexible, and free.
by Colonel Richard Munn