As you are probably aware, there is a brouhaha over military officers appearing in evangelical fundraising videos, in uniform, in the Pentagon.
In doing so the officers, according to the Inspector General, committed violations under the umbrella of ethics breaches. I have no expertise in such matters, but I will for the moment assume the officers were in violation, but that's not really the point of this post.
The military has always been accommodating to the beliefs of the troops, as it should be. As a country, we should expend public funds to help men and women facing death and killing seek out, should they desire, spiritual comfort and counsel. But that's not a blank check. Imagine if you will the response to a video of a General Officer, in uniform, in the Pentagon, raising money for Islam, and stating Allah is Great, There is no God but Allah.
What I find repulsive is that the officers in question are being treated like civil rights victims. Hogwash.
Sigh. If only they would state publicly that they accept and even anticipated their punishment, but nevertheless they proceeded, knowingly at risk, because of their devotion to a higher cause. Then I, for one, would find them admirable. A certain level of civil disobedience for the cause of evangelism is a good thing—but civil disobedience presupposes that you acknowledge you are bending the rules and are willing to suffer the consequences. In the bible, you do see examples of such civil disobedience—Peter and John in Acts 4 come to mind.
My impression of civil disobedience in the bible is that it is minimal—it is of the well, we have no choice variety. It was not for the purpose of demonstrating strength or to make a political point just for the hell of it. Peter and John, in spite of orders to cease and desist, continued to speak the name of Christ, because—what else could they do? If it comes to the point where you have to break the law in order to preach the gospel, then break the law. If you don't have to break the law, don't. That's the degree of civil disobedience I see practiced in scripture. That's the model we should follow, as Christians.
In the case of this fund raising evangelical video, there was no compelling need to break the rules. And there is no respectful I know this is in violation, but I'm going to do it anyway attitude. Instead we are treated with more Christian-victimhood whining, more complaining about how the mean-old secular U.S. government is persecuting Christianity—a charge that must make the Christians in the Sudan or Indonesia want to cough up their skulls. Oh, if only the Sudanese Christians were forced to endure such persecution as we face in America!
Case in point: former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt writing hideously in the often hideous World Net Daily (and conveniently forgetting to mention the minor detail that the officers appeared in the video in the Pentagon):
So, if left-wing activist Mikey Weinstein wants congressional hearings, count me in, too. Let them haul us Christians before the tribunals to give an account for our public faith-speech. Only let us wear our uniforms to testify before Congress like Lt. Col. Ollie North did bravely, to their embarrassment. Let us testify about Jesus Christ before Congress and the entire world. We may surrender our wrists to their nails, right there on C-SPAN, but we'll never be ashamed to speak publicly of our Lord and Savior.
No sir, I don't think so. You dare speak of tribunals. I suspect you couldn't handle a tribunal. You dare use the sacred image of nails and wrists to fulfill a narcissistic need for victimhood status, and by doing so abominably imply a similarity between Jesus' martyrdom and your appearing before Congress. You dare think that a motivation of embarrassing "them" can ever be associated with a righteous cause.
Don't go testify to congress in your uniform to embarrass them; you'll only succeed in embarrassing Christianity. Go preach the gospel to a lost neighbor. Without your uniform. Without being on C-SPAN. Without writing about it in World Net Daily. And without whining if the neighbor shoos you away.
But first change your attitude. And read the bible for models of evangelism.