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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Do Military Chaplains "Sell Out" God's Truth?

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groh_frog
Member



Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Do Military Chaplains "Sell Out" God's Truth?

This past Sunday I attended a military chapel, and heard what probably could be inarguably classified as a "watered down" sermon.

Well, recently I found out that U.S. Military chaplains take an oath when they enter military service that says they will not "prostelatize", and that they will remain sensitive to the beliefs of others. This seems a wordy way to say that they will not profess to have the only Truth, or that they will not work to spread their religion among the military members. This has also seemed to be the case in the actions of most of the chaplains I have met.

Now, I will have to find out exactly what this oath says, and what chaplains specifically agree to, but this seems like a sell out for "ten shekels and a shirt". What service is it to God when you agree not to proclaim his Word as the Truth?

Have any of you had any experience with this, or have any insight on it?

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/6 10:42Profile
Christisking
Member



Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 672
Los Angeles, California

 Re: Do Military Chaplains "Sell Out" God's Truth?

I'll have more to say later, but for now -

You could gun to my head and blow my brains out and I wouldn't give an oath against evangelism and the great commission.

In my opinion, this would be tantamount to publicly renouncing and denying Jesus Christ.


_________________
Patrick Ersig

 2005/11/6 12:55Profile









 Re:

I ask, with Love. That you would change that title. Pray about it please.

Now. I'm 18, I was in the JROTC (it teaches you the basics of the military, and the subject was leadership...marines was the branch). And I hate war, or anything about the physical war.

But I've heard tremendous stories of people in Iraq getting saved, BAPTISED IN THE DESERT (they build a mini-pond and baptise them in it...if you want some of the pictures, i think i still might have that email...just pm me.)

God is doing many things through them.

I feel called to go into the military for 2 years. When? when He wills. I hope not for a while. :-P

I'm going to be a chaplain. No matter what. Preaching a non-compromised message.

Now, many people break the 'law' of man to preach the gospel everyday. Just cause on the service ONE person might preach a watered down message, doesn't mean they all do. And just because they have to sign something, doesn't mean they always submit to it.

Perfect examples is the Chinese church. (I shouldn't have to explain it)

So, with much love. Please reconsider what is around this situation. It's not just your physical sight (the bad), that is occurring. But there is also good things going on.

Another example: Chinese church. I never saw any people getting saved but over 1,000 people have said 'something is happening over there'.

Conclusion: It's everywhere. This watered down gospel. In what I think, is in like 90% of churches (at least in my county: over 1 million people in the county) It's just another place where the enemy is having fun because they have a fortress there. And we (i think anyone devoted to this site) should be able to rise up, and speak to those people who are feeding others the "watered-down" gopsel.

 2005/11/6 16:05
letsgetbusy
Member



Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re: Do Military Chaplains "Sell Out" God's Truth?

I have been in the military for 13 years. The messages I have heard have not been on the tip of the spear any more than most sermons I have heard in the average church. I have only been saved the last 3 1/2 years, so I don't remember the sermons from boot camp at all (they must not have been that good).

I have looked into being a chaplain, but the only thing that concerns me is sort of what you asked about. I won't give mass to someone, and I think even as a Protestant chaplain, you have to cater to the needs of all military members in your group, regardless of their view. I couldn't bring myself to do this. I am not positive of this, but I think it is pretty safe to say that's the way it is. Very politicolly correct.


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Hal Bachman

 2005/11/6 18:58Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re: Do Military Chaplains "Sell Out" God's Truth?

Hi groh_frog...!

I'm not totally certain, but I thought that there were not any restrictions concerning the messages that chaplains preach -- as long as it is in line with their aforementioned beliefs or doctrinal sway.

My dad was a military officer for 20+ years, and he attended some services that he told me reminded him of the "hell, fire and brimstone" preaching of "old revivalists." I imagine that there might be restrictions while serving in combat situations (or in foreign nations), just like certain denominations (like the Assemblies of God) must uphold to be allowed into certain nations (such as Muslim nations).

If you look further into this, or if you happen to find the particular oath that you mentioned, I would like to know. Please keep us informed! Thanks!

:-)


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Christopher

 2005/11/6 20:01Profile
Christisking
Member



Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 672
Los Angeles, California

 Re:

I think some of this is being discussed because of the recent Air Force controversy regarding the subject. Here is an article from Oct. 11th Reuters News Service. As far as I understand - at this time Air Force Chaplains are being forbidden to evangelize at all. What is surprising is that I have not heard about any chaplains being discharged or resigning for disobedience to this. Chinese pastors will sit in prison and endure torture for 20 years while their families starve for lack of a male provider and all they have to do is sign a piece of paper that says - I renounce Jesus. I would love to hear about Air Force chaplains who are willing to go to jail over this issue. It would be terribly sad and a disgrace if there weren't any.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force said on Tuesday it has withdrawn ethics guidelines to its chaplains that allowed them to "instruct and/or evangelize" members of the military not affiliated with a particular religion.

Air Force Academy cadets have complained that evangelical Christian leaders on campus used their positions to push their religion and one Jewish graduate, who has a son enrolled at the academy, filed suit in federal court last week to force the chaplains to stop proselytizing.

The Air Force said a Code of Ethics statement issued by the Air Force Chaplain Service in January stated: "I will not actively proselytize from other religious bodies. However, I retain the right to instruct and/or evangelize those who are not affiliated."

The Air Force said these guidelines were "withdrawn for further review" on August 10.
"It was pulled to be reviewed following the release of the interim religious guidelines that were put out" on August 29, said Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Stephens.

These guidelines warned against promoting any particular religion in official communications or meetings, athletic contests and ceremonies and cautioned against pushing "religion over non-religion."

A team from Yale Divinity School said in April it had found evangelical Christian proselytizing commonplace at the Air Force academy, in Colorado Springs and described a chaplain telling cadets they would "burn in the fires of hell" if they were not born-again Christians.

"The U.S. Air Force is committed to defending the rights of all of our men and women whatever their beliefs," said Stephens.

The Air Force issued a report in June stating that the had academy failed to accommodate minority religious beliefs, but there was no overt discrimination at the college of about 4,000 cadets, which produces junior officers for the Air Force.

The report stated that some faculty and staff inappropriately expressed strong religious views and Jewish cadets on campus faced anti-Semitic comments.


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Patrick Ersig

 2005/11/6 22:57Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37036
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
This past Sunday I attended a military chapel, and heard what probably could be inarguably classified as a "watered down" sermon.


I know that the calvary chapel movement just got permission to have their pastors speak and become chaplans. They are teaching verse by verse through the bible not only speaking of salvation and love but also law, judgement and hell. President bush came into an calvary chapel fellowship on an army base and I heard it was reliably told that he did water down the truth at all but preached the word of God verse by verse as he was going to.

I think calvary chapel is going to bring back the reliance of the bible in alot of army and navy bases across the world, pray for them.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/11/6 23:01Profile









 Re:

There is bound to be a few stories on this. but i don't know. Someone is going to have to dig. And i have no time to.

**add to the article** it's sad that DI's and other military personel force Jesus onto the new soliders...

Very sad.

 2005/11/6 23:10
groh_frog
Member



Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re:

I was poking around to try and find some more info on this, and stumbled across an article about becoming a military chaplain. Part of it I found interesting:

"But that is the extent of your duty to the Church. It is decidedly subordinate to your primary duty -- ministering to those (of whatever denomination) entrusted to your care. A military chaplain must be prepared to provide for the free exercise of religion for all the members of the Armed Forces who come under their care, regardless of denomination or religion. They must be able to provide a wide range of religious services and pastoral care to those in uniform and to their families, regardless of faith preference."

I'll talk to a chaplain today to see if I can find the acual oath that's undertaken.

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/7 7:02Profile
groh_frog
Member



Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re:

I don't disagree that there are some very useful chaplains, but I do have a problem with agreeing not to preach the full Word of God in hopes of appeasing some.

YeshuaIsMyGod, I you're right that at times you have to disobey the law in order to do right. But to agree to a law that undermines your faith, and then disobey it shows a person to "be a fountain of both salt and fresh water". I don't agree that it's right to twist like that in the hopes of something.

I want to say that I also respect the fact that you want to become a chaplain, or more so that you're planning on serving the Lord on the "forefront of the battle". But if you're forced to take an oath like that, what would you do?

Grace and Peace...

 2005/11/7 7:07Profile





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