Do you remember that wonderful verse in the Gospel of 2nd Hesitations? You know the one in chapter 9 verse 23 — “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their SWORD daily and follow me.” Here is a way to literally apply that verse…
U.S. Army Chaplains serve both God and country by bringing their unique gifts with which they are endowed by God, to the Soldiers of our nation in the broad, challenging, diverse, and ever changing environment of the Army. While the benefits and pay of an Army Chaplain are often much better than what a minister normally receives, the requirements and stakes are much higher! Army Chaplains are our nation’s Soldiers who minister to our nation’s sons and daughters, and their families. Like any Soldier, they must endure the hardships, separations, and deprivations of those whom they serve. Like any Minister, they must provide dynamic and genuine ministry with a shepherd’s heart. Our nation’s sons and daughters need qualified, committed, and called men and women to serve as spiritual leaders to them in the fulfillment of their duty. Will you consider the call? The need has never been greater, the experience never so rich. Qualified and sent by their religious bodies, trained by the U.S. Army, and led by the God that they serve, Army Chaplains are expected to exercise dynamic and influential spiritual leadership, without violating their faith or conscience. Army Chaplains are the ‘soul and conscience’ of our nation’s Army. Whether leading worship, patrolling the motor pool, or visiting the hospital, Army Chaplains are always at the frontline of the Soldiers’ life. Additionally, Army Chaplains serve on a Commander’s special staff in order to ensure that their spiritual gifts and leadership are integrated in the daily exercise of command decisions. The Army has a place for you if you have a place in your heart for Soldiers. We have both full-time and part-time positions. Many of these positions are right in your own backyard. We even have a place for you if you’re a ministerial student. Explore the site. Talk with an Army Chaplain. Your nation needs you. Consider the Call!
There is a word that comes to mind after reading this advertisement for the recruitment of the Army chaplain: Constantine. Now, before I go on, I want to make something clear. I am not judging those who feel that this is a route that they can take to serve God. Soldiers need Jesus and his grace just like all of us. I suppose that if there were a way to be a full-blown advocate of nonviolence and therefore, anti-war; that I could imagine being a pastor for the Army. In a very real sense, the Army could be one of the greatest missionary endeavors ever undertaken as one attempts to expose the propaganda of the US Empire, releasing good people from the bondage of violence and acting contrary to the way of Jesus.
And think of the wonderful perks of such a job… “benefits and pay of an Army Chaplain are often better than a minister normally receives;” you get to be considered as one of “our nation’s Soldiers;” you get to “endure the hardships, separations, and deprivations of those” who are in the Army; and best of all, you get to be “trained by the U.S. Army”!!!!! Oh, did I mention the opportunity to serve two masters! As the first line of the advertisement proclaims: “U.S. Army Chaplains serve both God and country…” Okay, now I have offended some, and for this I am sorry. So, what’s my deal?
My deal is: I am convinced that the church of Jesus Christ, a movement of nonviolence in the shadow of the second greatest empire in history (Rome), was intentionally subversive towards power for the first three hundred years of the her existence. I am convinced that us Americans have bought into the lie of common sense rather than the foolishness of the Gospel of peace. I am convinced that the idea of peace through the sword led to Rome’s eventual demise as it will every nation. I am convinced that no nation is “Christian.” I am convinced that a better way forward for the people of God in the Empire is possible. May we be the people who show our culture that the only Empire worthy of giving our lives to is the upside-down kingdom of God! May we choose to pick up Rome’s instrument of execution reserved for insurrectionists – the cross. Remember: “Your nation needs you!”