March 30, 2011

But he's not a tame lion .....

A friend who's son is in Basic Training recently referred to our military (specifically the Army) as Godless. I was a little incensed at the time and I beg to differ even now... defines the term Godless as:

1. having or acknowledging no god or deity; atheistic.
2.wicked; evil; sinful.
While I would admit there are many who may act this way in the Army does it follow that the institution itself or everyone in it is/does? Nope not at all ..... just as it does not follow in civilian life either!  In fact  there is more evidence of worship of God in some ways in the military than outside it! (that old saying about no atheists in foxholes is true....) Chaplains such as  Dale Goetz give their all on a daily basis for those around them. Prayers and creeds still refer to the Lord, including the oath of enlistment.

I understand her concern for her sons exposure to others who may or may not use profane language, drink, carouse, etc ... however I know many, MANY godly people who see the military as a calling from the Lord and who have made a huge difference for the kingdom!  Should we discount or discourage our children's calling because they make us uncomfortable? How is our military less needy of godly men and women and their families then the slums of Calcutta, Appalachia or some other mission field?

I can also say that God is on the move (hence my reference to Aslan in CS Lewis' books)  in our military and in our Army and that the recently retired Chief of Chaplains was a true warrior for the Lord and a tremendous man of faith!   I would also submit that God has used the military to teach me much about His character and love, challenged my faith and forced me to know what I believe and why, and given me faith-filled and faith-walking friends who are on fire for the Lord! 

Whilst our military may not be able at times to acknowledge God the way we wish they are on the front lines both physically and spiritually these days and I can assure you that God is right in the midst!  

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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)