MRFF vs. the Campus Crusade for Christ

You can quickly familiarize yourself with Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry by reading the report on the Military Religious Freedom (MRFF) website at the following link:

This report contains details about the Campus Crusade Military Ministry hierarchy, their goal (which they're already well on their way to achieving) of using our military to create "government-paid missionaries for Christ," and a number of quotes from this organization. Much of this story is about two Campus Crusade videos, one filmed at the Air Force Academy, and the Campus Crusade program of indoctrinating basic trainees through their "gateway" ministry at Fort Jackson, the largest Army basic training facility. This background information about the organization will make it easier to understand, and see the significance of, the specific items below.

There are a number of elements to this story, outlined here first, with the details and/or photos for each item below.

1. Campus Crusade Military Ministry -- three separate examples
   a. Fort Jackson "God's Basic Training" -- These Bible studies for basic trainees teach the recruits the "when you join the military, you've really joined the ministry." The rationale is that governments are ordained by God, so all government employees are really God's ministers. MRFF's researchers have obtained their Bible study outlines, and some unbelievable photos of the recruits posing with their rifles in one hand and camouflage Bibles in the other. MRFF also has uncovered a photo the commander of the basic training battalion posing, in uniform, with the Military Ministry director on the ministry's website.
   b. Air Force Academy video -- The participants in this promotional video, three Academy cadets and two chaplains, violated the same regulation (endorsing a non-federal entity while in uniform) as the officers at the Pentagon who appeared in the Campus Crusade Christian Embassy video. In the Air Force Academy video, they actually come right out and say they're creating "government-paid missionaries."
This video can be viewed at (For more information on the Christian Embassy and the Pentagon IG report, see the MRFF press release at )
   c. "God and the Military" video -- This video was filmed at Texas A&M in 1997, but has been re-released on DVD and is currently included in Campus Crusade's "Chaplain Boxes." This one, like the Fort Jackson "God's Basic Training" Bible studies, uses the "when you join the military, you've really joined the ministry" rhetoric. We only have this one on DVD, but we have transcribed the opening remarks of the speaker, which say it all.

2. Photos from Fort Riley -- These include, among other things, a shot of an office door in a Military Police building on which is a picture of Ann Coulter with the quote, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."

3. Photos of Malmstrom Air Force Base's new "Enabled by Christ" Christian men's store in its on-base exchange facility.

4. Mandatory Christian concerts at basic training installations -- This story was written about by Josh Harkinson on Mother Jones a few weeks ago, but the track-covering done by Eric Horner Ministries after the Mother Jones story is a story in itself. Eric Horner, a Christian country singer, regularly appears at military bases, with some performances being mandatory for basic trainees. He has endorsements from General Petraeus and other commanders, was introduced to George Bush by Fort Jackson's base commander, Brig. Gen. James H. Schwitters, and, most recently, has been made an "honorary Ft. Jackson drill sergeant" by Gen. Schwitters.

Fort Jackson "God's Basic Training" -- (#1a in above outline)

From the "God's Basic Training" Bible study outlines, developed by Campus Crusade for Christ's Fort Jackson Military Ministry director Frank Bussey for basic trainee Bible studies.

From the "Can a Christian Soldier Kill?" outline:

III. In Public State Service, NO to murder, YES to killing
   A. Gov. Authorities, Police, and The Military = "God's Ministers"
Rom 13:1-7 1 Pet 2:13-17 Tit 3:1 Dan 2:21 Acts 23:5
Acts 16:12
      1. Two primary responsibilities
         a. To praise those who do right
         b. To punish those who do evil - "God's servant, an angel of wrath"

Here are a few examples of the Fort Jackson Military Ministry photos, found on a Campus Crusade website, Because these photos are all clearly deliberately posed, there is no question that they were taken for the purpose of promoting the Military Ministry. Apparently, they're teaching the soldiers right off the bat in basic training that it's OK to violate the same regulation that the Pentagon Inspector General found the Christian Embassy officers guilty of violating. The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Snodgrass, is setting the example by violating it himself.


Basic training battalion commander, Lt. Col. Snodgrass, with Military Ministry director and chaplain:

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One of many group photos of soldiers holding up their Bibles:

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Close-up from one of the photos of soldiers with rifles and Bibles.

Explaining these photos, the website says: "This was the first week our recruits brought their rifles with them. This is training to always have your weapon with you. They also proudly display their Sword (Bible)."

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Group photo with rifles. It's hard to see at this reduced size, but the young man laying down in the front center is holding up a camouflage cover Bible. All of the large group photos like this have someone with a Bible prominently positioned in the front.

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This image appears on a video screen at the Fort Jackson basic training Bible studies, and appears to remain up constantly throughout these classes when the screen is not being otherwise used. Typical of all Campus Crusade classes and events, the name of the military base, unit insignia, etc., are displayed much more prominently than the words Campus Crusade for Christ, giving the appearance that these Military Ministry programs are run by the base itself more than Campus Crusade.

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And, just for its sheer weirdness, I'm including this one. They begin some of their classes with ten minutes of the children's Christian cartoon "Veggietales," with Campus Crusade images flashing on an adjacent screen:

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There are two other things going on at Fort Jackson that are worth noting.

1. The Military Ministry director is permitted to hang posters around the base advertising the "Jesus Film," and to go around to the basic training units inviting all the recruits to attend the screenings. See:

2. Cadence International has a facility near Fort Jackson called "Victory Ranch," and hold retreats, endorsed by the Fort Jackson chaplain, every weekend -- three weekends for soldiers in AIT (Advanced Individual Training, where soldiers just out of basic training learn their particular job), and one weekend for permanent party.

Cadence is a ministry that preys on soldiers who are about to be deployed, stating on their "Strategic Ministry" page that "Deployment and possibly deadly combat are ever-present possibilities. They are shaken. Shaken people are usually more ready to hear about God than those who are at ease, making them more responsive to the gospel."

Campus Crusade Air Force Academy video (#1b in above outline)

This promotional video is a few years old, probably filmed in the spring of 2003, but is still in use. It can be found on the Global Pastors Network's resources webpage for Bill Bright (the founder of Campus Crusade), under Military Ministry.

The above link is to a half-hour long video containing the Air Force Academy segment. The link in the above outline,, is the seven-minute segment that will be on the MRFF website.

The most important thing about this video is that they actually come right out and say they're creating "government-paid missionaries."

Like the Fort Jackson basic trainee photos, the appearance of the three cadets in uniform in this video shows that they're teaching future officers that its OK to violate the same regulation that the Christian Embassy officers violated before they're even out of the academy.

Note: The chaplain's name is spelled wrong in the video. His name is John Ditter (not Didder).

Description of the "God and the Military" DVD (#1c in above outline)

Originally released in 1997 by Nelson and Hudson Publishing, the "God and the Military" DVD was re-released in 2005 for distribution by Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry, and is currently included in the Military Ministry's "Chaplains Boxes."

The speaker at the event was Tommy Nelson, Pastor, Denton Bible Church, Denton, TX

Nelson's audience for the filming consisted of Texas A&M cadets and an assortment of officers from the various branches of the military, ranging in rank from Lieutenant to Colonel, all appearing in uniform.

Nelson's presentation opens with the following:

"I, a number of years ago, was speaking at the University of North Texas -- it happens to be my alma mater, up in Denton, Texas -- and I was speaking to an ROTC group up there, and when I stepped in I said, "It's good to be speaking to all you men and women who are in the ministry," and they all kind of looked at me, and I think they wondered if maybe I had found the wrong room, or if they were in the wrong room, and I assured them that I was speaking to men and women in the ministry, these that were going to be future officers."

The first question in the study guide that accompanies the video is:

"If you are in the military, then you are also in the m__________."

Photos from Fort Riley -- (#2 in above outline)

This is what is hanging on an office door in a Military Police building at Fort Riley.

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At the Fort Riley PX, they are not only selling "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam," but display it right next to "The Soldier's Bible."

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We have numerous photos showing that virtually everything at all of the Fort Riley chapels, from holiday displays to the chapel doormats that are present year-round, depict specifically Christian or Judeo-Christian symbolism and language. For example, this is a photo of the Main Post Chapel's T-shirt, displayed at the chapel and given out for free.

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Because of the photos that our guy at Fort Riley sent of the seal on the chapel doormats, I went to check out whether or not this seal was an official seal used throughout the Army, but in doing this, found something far more important. The image below is of the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, which is located at Fort Jackson. (Bush toured this school and met with the chaplains after the same graduation where he had the meeting with Eric Horner about his ministry. See item #4.) All personnel assigned to this unit must wear this, regardless of their personal beliefs. This is from the official explanation of the symbolism: "The pages of the open Bible represent the primacy of God's Word."
For more on this, see:

Enabled by Christ store at the Malmstrom Air Force Base on-base exchange facility -- (#3 in above outline)

AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) is military run and has a military chain of command just like any other unit, so the approval for this store is a government endorsement not just of the name on the sign, but of anything hung in the windows. This includes the large item in the second window, which says: "The Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes"

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Mandatory Christian Concerts for Basic Trainees -- (#4 in above outline)

This is a link to the Mother Jones story on the Eric Horner Ministries concerts. In the comments on this story, Chris Rodda [Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation] responded to Mr. and Mrs. Horner's accusations that the article was full of lies, and detailed all the track-covering that the Horners were doing immediately after the story came out, which included altering the quote on their website from General Petraeus. This will probably give you a better idea of what was going on than anything I could send you now.

In a post titled "Our mighty God orchestrated a Presidential Visit!," on the Eric Horner Ministries message board, Horner describes, in a lengthy list of numbered items, all the details of his command performance at the Fort Jackson graduation that Bush attended. This is the part about the meeting with Bush meeting mentioned in the Mother Jones piece:

13. Afterwards we were in the Presidents holding area waiting to meet him and the General from the base leaned over, winked at me and said "thanks for all you've done for our Brigade". He had set it up the meet and greet. There wasn't supposed to be one but the General at FT Jackson made it happen for us. Thank you Lord for him!

14. President Bush walked in and he couldn't have been nicer. He was very kind and paused to take photos with us. The General then spoke up and explained to him that we came as a ministry to the troops. The President seemed to get excited about that and thanked us several times. Again, I'm not looking for glory in what we do but it was pretty cool to hear those words from the President.

15. Debby asked him, how we could get some of our music in to his hands and he said "give it to me right now and I'll have them for sure". Of course Deb was prepared and she gave him 3 of our c.d.'s as well as a brochure about our ministry to the military. As they whisked him away in the motorcade, we could see him reading something that looked like our brochure in the car.

16. Folks the Lord made a way to get us to the very top person in the chain - talk about eliminating the middle men. Please pray for favor in all of this. If the President heard or saw something he liked, he could open more doors for us to grow this ministry than anyone else. (at least anyone of this world)

Here's the link to the whole thing:

Please contact the Military Religious Freedom Foundation at [email protected] with any questions or for further information on any of the above items.