Military chaplains told to shy from Jesus

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Pastor_Bob, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    By Julia Duin
    THE WASHINGTON TIMES
    December 21, 2005


    To pray -- or not to pray -- in Jesus' name is the question plaguing an increasing number of U.S. military chaplains, one of whom began a multiday hunger strike outside the White House yesterday.

    "I am a Navy chaplain being fired because I pray in Jesus' name," said Navy Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who will be holding 6 p.m. prayer vigils daily in Lafayette Park.

    The hunger strike is intended to persuade President Bush to issue an executive order allowing military chaplains to pray according to their individual faith traditions. The American Center for Law and Justice has gathered 173,000 signatures on a petition seeking an executive order.

    Seventy-three members of Congress have joined the request, saying in an Oct. 25 letter to the president, "In all branches of the military, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian chaplains to use the name of Jesus when praying."

    About 80 percent of U.S. troops are Christian, the legislators wrote, adding that military "censorship" of chaplains' prayers disenfranchises "hundreds of thousands of Christian soldiers in the military who look to their chaplains for comfort, inspiration and support."

    Official military policy allows any sort of prayer, but Lt. Klingenschmitt says that in reality, evangelical Protestant prayers are censored. He cites his training at the Navy Chaplains School in Newport, R.I., where "they have clipboards and evaluators who evaluate your prayers, and they praise you if you pray just to God," he said. "But if you pray in Jesus' name, they counsel you."

    Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic chaplains are likewise told not to pray in the name of Allah, in Hebrew or in the name of the Trinity, he added.

    But the Rev. Billy Baugham, executive director of the Greenville, S.C.-based International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, says restrictions on other religious expressions have "yet to be tested."

    "No Islamic chaplain has been refused to pray in the name of Allah, as far as we know. Neither has a rabbi been rebuked for making references to Hanukkah, and no Catholic priest has been rebuked for referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary."

    The Navy allows chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Allah or any other deity during chapel services, spokeswoman Lt. Erin Bailey said.

    At other public events, "Navy chaplains are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of all those present," she said, "and may decline an invitation to pray if not able to do so for conscience reasons."

    Lt. Klingenschmitt has not been formally punished, she added, and there are no plans to take him off active duty. However, the lieutenant contends that he may lose his job next month and be evicted from military housing. He says he got in hot water during the summer of 2004 while aboard the USS Anzio for preaching an evangelistic sermon at the funeral of a Catholic sailor in a base chapel. The lieutenant said he was reprimanded by two senior chaplains and, in March, sent ashore to Norfolk.

    Lt. Klingenschmitt also has fought at other times for the religious rights of non-Christians, having backed a Jewish sailor's bid to get kosher meals and sought to include a Muslim seaman in the rotation of sailors offering the ship's nightly closing prayer.

    The lieutenant is not alone in fighting to pray to Jesus. The Navy is facing two lawsuits, filed in 1999 and 2000, by 50 Christian chaplains, saying the Navy discriminates against evangelical and Pentecostal clerics.

    Mr. Baugham said the 350 chaplains he oversees are concerned about a new set of guidelines issued in August after complaints about Christian evangelism at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Air Force guidelines allow "a brief, nonsectarian prayer" during military ceremonies "to add a heightened sense of seriousness or solemnity, not to advance specific religious beliefs."

    "So, to what deity do you address your prayer to?" Mr. Baugham asked. "No one knows. And who gets to write the prayers? Once the government becomes the approving authority, the poor chaplain is forced to be an agent of the state."

    Mr. Baugham said he had "just got a call from an Army chaplain in Iraq who says he'd be hammered if he used Jesus' name. Chaplains are scared to death. They must clear their prayers with their commanders, they can mention Jesus' name at chapel services, but not outside that context."

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  2. Me4Him

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    Ac 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    There's "NO NEED" to pray at all, unless the "NAME", "JESUS" is invoked,

    God won't even "HEAR" a person's pray unless they go through Jesus.

    Joh 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners:

    You have to acknowledge that God was working in/through Jesus, before God will accept you,

    If you reject Jesus, you reject God, Thomas got it right “My Lord”, “My God”.


    Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.

    Subtil
    1. Mental keenness,
    2. delicately skillful or clever,
    3. not open or direct, Crafty, sly,
    4. delicately suggestive, not grossly obvious,
    5. working insidiously, not easily detected.
     
  3. hillclimber

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    There's "NO NEED" to pray at all, unless the "NAME", "JESUS" is invoked

    AMEN Me4Him
     
  4. hillclimber

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    The Lord God Almighty is a higher authority than a chaplian's boss. So fire me, cause my prayers are useless without Christ.
     
  5. emeraldctyangel

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    I actually attend services on base with a Baptist Chaplain at the helm and he always uses 'in Jesus name". He did it when we were in Iraq as well. So color me confused. Or wait, oh yeah I just looked at the source of this mainstream crying towel...heh.

    I cant imagine what this LT Klingenschmitt is into. It sounds like he went off the deep end and is using his cloth to make excuses for his behavior. The old blame shifting game.

    When a service member goes to a Chaplain and the chaplain has a word with the CO, the command usually takes steps to accomodate the member's request/issue. A chaplain would not speak up unless a member's religious rights were infringed or the command was acting inappropriately.

    For this LT to be 'kicked out of housing' and removed from service, there is more to this than meets the eye.

    I am not getting worked up about this, I hear Jesus' name every time I speak with my chaplain and so far none of it has been from the confines of the brig. *shrugs*
     
  6. larry9179

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    I'm a 24 year Army veteran. I don't remember any of the chaplains ever being big on Jesus. This isn't anything new. You don't need to worry, there are plenty of soldiers conducting their own prayer and worship services wherever they happen to be.

    We had one chaplain, probably the best one in my experience, who would ride around in his jeep, or Hummer, and if he could find two soldiers in one place, he'd ask them if they'd like a religious service. He didn't organize Sunday services, but whatever was convenient for the men. It was more personal and more appreciated by those of us who might be in the field 7 days a week.
     
  7. gb93433

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    I have a friend who is a Navy Chaplain and is having a tremendous ministry. He told me not too long ago he wished he had done that years ago.
     
  8. Brother James

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    I've got my doubts about any preacher who draws a paycheck from the government for his theology.
     
  9. hillclimber

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    I share your doubts Brother James but God bless larry9179's chaplain. A man like that is worthy of his pay wherever it comes from.
     
  10. emeraldctyangel

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    Well Brother James, when your pastor would like to strap on kevlar and come out to reach the flock in the forward areas, driven out of nothing but devine purpose, please let me know. I will apply to be his driver and share my MRE with him.

    The preacher we had in my hometown received pay and benefits, and he lived on church property. What would be the difference?

    larry - wow, sorry to hear that. My chaplain is big on Jesus. Perhaps back then they didnt have many baptists in the military as chaplains?
     
  11. gb93433

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    A friend of mine is a Navy chaplain. He got so tired of religious nonsense and complacency in the chruch nowadays. He loves being a chaplain. He goes out of his office to talk with the sailors and dialog with them.

    In the last church where he was at he led the college group. The college group was nearly dead and a few years later it was about 300. He taught college students to disciple people and trained adults to help college students by discipling them.

    Some of the church leaders including the pastor did not like it so much that he was effective and trained men to do ministry. He was energetic and was always meeting new people.

    Now he has a full load of helping sailors.
     
  12. El_Guero

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    Makes me wonder what he preached?
     
  13. emeraldctyangel

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    He preached something about Heaven and hell, making further references from Romans. The Sailor's funeral he presided over (?right word?) died in a motorcycle accident and was pretty young. The family was not happy with the Lt's sermon and felt it was inappropriate, as did many of the shipmates of the fallen Sailor.
     
  14. billwald

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    "There's "NO NEED" to pray at all, unless the "NAME", "JESUS" is invoked"

    The secret mantra which backs God into a corner and forces God to act.
     
  15. Daisy

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    I can see how they might be a bit miffed at his evangelizing at a Catholic's funeral.

    I can see his POV, but it seems like he just isn't cut out to be a chaplain to a multi-faith organization.
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    I'll 'draw' to that, BJ.
     
  17. The Galatian

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    Bingo. I'm sure most of them are dedicated and sincere; most of the ones I knew in the service were.

    But the problem (which I don't know how to solve) is the government financing religious activities.

    If we don't, the spiritual needs of the troops are unmet. If we do, we have problems like this.

    My feeling is that if we're going to do it at all, let them preach their faith as it is. Jesus, or Allah, or whoever they represent.

    If not, then why bother?
     
  18. gb93433

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    Depends on who his Lord is.

    So many pastors get their paycheck from congregations who will not listen to the truth. So many pastors preach soft sermons to tickle the pew sitters ears because they feel they cannot preach the truth without losing their job. So again it is who their Lord is.

    Anyone who will not give out the straight stuff is afraid of people and Jesus is not their Lord.
     
  19. billwald

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    I suppose that congregations could sponser chaplins by paying for their compensation to the govt. Fat Chance!
     
  20. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    It's obvious that Christmas is in the air!

    I totally agree with Galatian!!! [​IMG]

    Trying to be "inclusive" is for the birds; NOBODY gets any satisfaction from that!
     

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