Anonymous Message to Mikey

From: MRFF Client and Supporter’s E-Mail Address Withheld
Date: April 3, 2019 at 9:06:26 AM MDT
To: ‘Michael L Weinstein’ <[email protected]>
Subject: Anonymous Message to Mikey

You have received this from an anonymous source.
 
I was a long-time Army chaplain in both the Active Duty and Reserve components.  And I can attest that there are a good many [actually MOST] Evangelical denominations who produce chaplains and direct their chaplains to see themselves as  missionaries in uniform.  In fact, when someone comes to them for any sort of assistance – not just pastoral counseling – the chaplains do an assessment of what they consider that service-member’s spiritual condition (saved or unsaved). If the service-member is unsaved in the chaplain’s opinion, then they see their job as getting that service-member to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  In these chaplains’ minds, lack of conversion is what causes these service-members to have problems – financial, relational, work-related, you name it.  And, in fact, these chaplains believe it is God who is using these problems to prompt the service-members  to seek help from their chaplain.  It is all just that simplistic in the minds of these Evangelical chaplains.  The chaplains tell the service-members that if they do not accept Jesus, their lives will just get worse, their problems larger.  A lot of circular reasoning and opportunistic manipulation are employed.  
 
[Example:  I found out, recently, that many of these chaplains have their chapels and commands buy expensive religiously-based financial management programs (see https://www.daveramsey.com/military/?snid=classes.military ) from the for-profit Financial Peace University in the guise of helping soldiers and their families manage their monies better, get saved, and if these events take place, the service-members are alleged to be more focused on their military missions — and thus, unit readiness is thought to go up.]
 
If these service-members reject the evangelizing and proselytizing chaplains’ suggestions, the chaplains basically refuse service or refer them to other chaplains who are more willing to offer real help.  These Evangelical chaplains are basically one-trick ponies ministry-wise and all they really know to do in “helping people” is to attempt to convert everyone who comes into their offices.  Virtually none of them have had any real, quality counseling education (pastoral or otherwise).  They come from seminaries, particularly Liberty University and Southern Baptist seminaries, educated solely in the Bible, evangelism, and missions.
 
Similarly, a number of chaplains use “spiritual resiliency” as a way to get at these service-members.  The argument is that a soldier who accepts Evangelical Christianity is more likely to be a hardy, cohesive/cooperative-with-other-Christians soldier (or sailor or airman, etc) and is, thus, less likely to suffer from spiritual/emotional injury.  And, they are less likely to be fearful about dying in battle — as the Lord will immediately send them to heaven if the worst comes to be reality.
 
The more aggressive Evangelical denominations seek to plant their best, younger and most charming and manipulative chaplains in the basic and advanced training installations.  There, these chaplains befriend drill instructors and company commanders to do their best “to incentivize” the young recruits with whom they are entrusted to get to chapel services.  Sometimes the incentive is a break from the constant drone and harassment of drill instructors.  Sometimes it is loud Christian rock music and party atmosphere.  Sometimes it is the promise of tasty foods and treats at a “Spiritual BBQ” on chapel grounds.  And sometimes it is a direct appeal by chaplains and Christian commanders for the young recruits who happen to  already be Christians to use their influences to keep their “battle buddies” from going to hell; to use their peer influences to get them to chapels to hear manipulative chaplains coerce them into conversions at the point in their lives where they are already psychologically vulnerable due to exhaustion and from being forcibly  changed from civilians to military service-members.
 
Last, a particularly offensive and contrary “to good order and discipline” tact that I am hearing about by chaplain friends who are presently serving is that these Evangelical Christian chaplains say that it is acceptable to lie, deceive, manipulate, etc., as long as in the end (salvation, the advance of God’s kingdom, etc.), God and His influence are increased.
 
Not only does that disgust me, but it makes me wonder how a pathetic understanding that these chaplains must have of a very weak God whom they serve: A god who is unable to accomplish much without the help of liars and manipulators for Jesus on the government payroll.

 

(name and all other ID information withheld)

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