Luther remembered 500 years later

| November 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (CAPT.)
516th Signal Brigade

Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremy Davis
516th Signal Brigade

FORT SHAFTER — Five hundred years. It has been 500 years since Martin Luther began what is now known as the Protestant Reformation.

Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church.

Millions of people around the globe have celebrated and commemorated this pivotal event in history. But what does this mean today? What does this mean for you? Even if you are not Lutheran, even if you are not Christian, I believe this turning point in world history affects your everyday life.

After Martin Luther nailed that document to the door, his life changed and became very dangerous. His convictions, beliefs, even his very life was threatened, but he never wavered. Then in April 1521, Luther was forced to recant his radical, reformed stance upon Scripture and the Church.

Instead, he stated, “Here I stand. I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

He stood upon his convictions. He could do no other.

What do you believe?
You may say nothing because you do not go to church, have never gone to church and do not ever want to go to church. However, I would still say you have a spiritual dimension that convicts you, shapes you and forms you.

“Spiritual Fitness: The development of the personal qualities needed to sustain a person in times of stress, hardship and tragedy. These qualities come from religion, philosophical or human values, and form the basis for character, disposition, decision making and integrity” (AR 600-63, Army Health Promotion, 20150414).

What are these for you? As stated, when stress and hardship strike, you need something to sustain you. What convicts you to be you? Martin Luther showed all of us how to be consistent in those convictions.

Defining religion
The Army has another definition that further unpacks a very important area of conviction.

“Religion: A personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, moral or ethical beliefs, and practices held with the strength of traditional views, characterized by ardor and faith, and generally evidenced through specific observances” (AR 600-20, Army Command Policy, 20141106).

The most difficult time I see Soldiers and families having in life is when their circumstances are not supported by a consistent conviction. Although not impossible, it is difficult for a person to begin standing upon a new conviction in times of hardship and stress. It is difficult for a person to find refuge in a new set of beliefs or attitudes when the waves of adversity are barrowing down upon them.

Beliefs as foundation
What do you believe? As the world celebrates 500 years of reformation started by the spiritual fitness and religious strength of one man, we must reflect on where we fall into this reformation. This reformation now takes place within ourselves, so that when the world threatens our convictions, our beliefs, our very lives, we have a solid foundation upon which to stand.

Be courageous. Be faithful. Be consistent.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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