Spiritual Life Commission Reports
Members Reaffirm Non-Sacramental Tradition
AT THE CROSS–The importance of prayer was highlighted by The Salvation Army’s Spiritual Life Commission.
by Robert Docter –
The International Spiritual Life Commission, created by General Paul A. Rader to examine the spiritual life and total ministry of Salvationists, presented its final report to the Inter-national Conference of Leaders during the recent meetings in Australia. The conference examined the report and endorsed it.
The report emphasizes “the Army’s God-given freedom in Christ which, if used to the full, could enrich its ministry in ways far beyond those already enjoyed,” according to Lt. Colonel Robert Street, commission chair. Among a number of important issues the Commission explored was the Army posture in relation to the sacraments of baptism and holy communion. The report was definitely not anti-sacramental. The members re-affirmed the Army’s non-sacramental posture while leaving open the opportunity for individual soldiers to take the sacraments elsewhere.
Comprised of 17 officers and soldiers from all over the world, the Commission met for five separate weeks during a two year period during which they became increasingly aware of the rich cultural diversity represented within the Army world and the Commission itself. Street succeeded the initial chair, Commissioner Ian Cutmore, now territorial commander for New Zealand.
The report states: “The vitality of our spiritual life as a movement will be seen and tested in our turning to the world in evangelism and service, but the springs of our spiritual life are to be found in our turning to God in worship, in the disciplines of life in the Spirit, and in the study of God’s word.”