God the great and powerful (and warm and wonderful)
Thu Dec 05, 2013
by Marsha Michaelis
The top 5 posts of November
Wed Dec 04, 2013
5 reasons to open your blinds
Tue Dec 03, 2013
by Andrew Lisi
6 simple ways to write better blog posts
Mon Dec 02, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Joy in service
Sat Nov 30, 2013
by Andrew Weiseth
Biography of a Christian Soldier, Part 2
Continued from Part 1.
Service-Members Need the Gospel
There is on average one chaplain assigned per battalion (roughly 500 individuals). Other than a few exceptions, chaplains are normally in their mid-40s and from mainline liberal denominations. The guys they are assigned to minister to are not being presented the Jesus who is enthroned, exalted, and getting ready to come back covered in the blood of His vanquished foes. They are being fed the marginalized Jewish carpenter, who has given us some nuggets of suggestions to help us live good lives.
We, as the church, have a responsibility to disciple others. There is a golden opportunity for us to rise up and assist not only the chaplains currently serving, but also men who are called to rise up in the ranks as leaders. The church dropped the ball by not welcoming in and discipling Vietnam veterans, causing many service-members to actually feel at odds with the church.
The church is not designed to be a place for you to go once you have your life put together. It is designed to be the headquarters, sending men out and receiving men in who are trying to piece together their shattered selves through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. We should actually be recruiters who enjoy what we are recruiting folks into, since we don’t deserve the grace Jesus has given us.
While our government has set up measures to help both service-members and veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is ill-equipped to address the core needs of service-members. The church needs to man-up and lead the nation in restoring the emotional, marital, and familial health and dignity of our veterans. We as the church have what service-members need: the Gospel.
How To Support the Troops
I will be posting about issues pertinent to both active-duty service-members and veterans in order to raise some awareness for Americans who think they are supporting the troops.
Most folks think they are supporting the troops by putting a magnet on their car, forwarding a prayer chain email for the troops that asks you to pray one minute each day for them, or randomly sending a care package full of baby wipes and mints to soldiers in Iraq (to these folks, please go read James 2:16).
This is not support.
The support needed looks more like the early church from Acts 2 (committed to community and fellowship), and less like you giving a buck to the homeless vet on the side of the freeway as you drive away sipping your venti $5 coffee. Hopefully I can give you guys some idea of what this support looks like.
After exiting the Army, I have struggled at times to communicate openly with my wife of five years, and even to just feel “normal” in civilian life. I have been extended grace in not only employment, but also in protection from falling into sin.
As I read about the growing numbers of returning warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan who are struggling with the reintegration process and wondering what is the purpose of their suffering and their service, my heart is wrenched as I meditate on the grace which has been poured out and is being poured out over me and my family. I know that I could easily become the man on the off-ramp of the freeway asking for change.
As the church, God has called us to engage the warriors serving and the veterans who have served (Romans 10:14-17). He does not need us or our “help” (Acts 17:25) but has allowed us to be involved in His kingdom-building and the spreading of His glory. I pray that God raises up men who will accept this mission.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Mars Hill Military Mission, email firstname.lastname@example.org.