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In this month's video, Maj. Oscar Arauco, Joint Operations chaplain, Multi-National Corp - Iraq, is interviewed, in uniform, by In Touch Ministries about their new product for our troops, a handheld, solar-powered audio device called the In Touch Messenger. The Messenger, launched on Memorial Day weekend 2007, contains 35 sermons from In Touch Ministries founder Dr. Charles Stanley.
When asked by the interviewer what his prayer request for the troops would be, Maj. Arauco began his answer, "I would pray that every service member and civilian here would grow closer in a relationship with Jesus Christ. For some folks -- they don't have a clue -- and they'll move a little closer and maybe one day come to Christ."
Such comments are not unusual for Maj. Arauco. MRFF has found plenty of instances of this chaplain ending his prayers at memorial services and other military functions in Jesus' name, and inappropriately pushing Christianity in his military newsletter "Chaplain's Corner" columns. In a 2007 Fourth of July column on freedom that appeared in the Multi-National Corp - Iraq newsletter, for example, Maj. Arauco wrote, "This is freedom for life, freedom in life, freedom to live life in all its richness, fullness, and delight as it was meant to be. This only truly begins to be found through freedom in Christ," and "...this freedom for life that God speaks of is so open, so liberating, so available through personal acceptance of Jesus Christ."
When asked in the In Touch Ministries interview if he was familiar with the teachings of Dr. Stanley, Maj. Arauco said that he was. If this is the case, then Maj. Arauco must have heard at least some of Stanley's many statements on the war, which have included such comments as: "God has divine reasons for choosing to use war as a vehicle to accomplish His will," and "American foreign policy and military might have opened an opportunity for the Gospel in the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
According to the In Touch Ministries website, 50,000 Messengers have already been sent to U.S. troops, and another 30,000 are on the way. The Messenger is also now being produced in several foreign languages -- including Arabic.