Jerry Newcombe
When chaplains can't discuss the Bible
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By Jerry Newcombe
May 28, 2015

I believe that America is kept safe by the military, which has had a spiritual shield held over it from before we were even a country – by the chaplains. But today chaplains are under enormous pressure to fully embrace political correctness.

Meet Lt. Commander Wes Modder, a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. About fifteen years ago, the Navy thought so highly of him that they used him in a video to recruit potential chaplains. He has ministered to sailors, Marines, and Navy Seals. Today, Chaplain Modder is fighting for his military career because he refused to bow the knee to political correctness.

Sadly, this is not an isolated case. Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Vice President of Family Research Council, told me in a 2013 interview: "I talked to [chaplains] privately about the pressure that they are under. Many of them are under pressure to perform same sex marriages and most of the ones that I have talked to...when the time comes that they are told to do it...they're going to refuse."

Kelly Shackelford, the founder and director of Liberty Institute, fights for religious liberty in the courts and in the court of public opinion. His group fights against the anti-Christian legal organizations that try to strip away any Christian influence (including that of chaplains) from the public arena. He says such secularist groups are working "to really change our country to something it never was and I hope never will be."

He adds, "They think that society would be better if religion was sort of relegated to people's homes or their churches or synagogue but not brought out in public. Well, that has never been the approach in this country; that wasn't the approach of the founders, that's not what our Constitution says and hopefully we can continue to win these cases so that it doesn't become what this country is about and how it's based."

The founders of America were very clear that God was important to the American cause. Our national charter, the Declaration of Independence, said our rights come from the Creator. They appealed their cause "to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions." It also said the founders had a "firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence."

When George Washington, then Commander-in-Chief of the continental forces, first read the Declaration to his troops on July 9, 1776, he decreed that chaplains should be hired systematically throughout the military.

In his order, he declared, "The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger." But today, we seem to be turning our back on God.

Lately, there is pressure against military chaplains to make their prayers more "inclusive." Translation: Don't pray in Jesus' name.

Kelly Shackelford told me, "These attacks that we're seeing are not usually against the Muslim faith, they're not usually against the Buddhist faith. They're not against the Jewish faith. They're attacks against Christianity in particular."

There is also pressure lately to accept modern views of sexuality, as opposed to traditional views taught in the Bible. The widespread acceptance of those novel views has wreaked havoc on society – ultimately causing the breakdown of the family, the rise of crime, runaway venereal diseases, fatherless homes, rampant divorce, untold misery, etc.

In the military, as in society, conflicts over standards of sexual morality are bound to lead to conflict.

As an example, Chaplain Wes Modder, has been relieved of his duties. Why? Because during private counseling sessions with some young sailors, he privately expressed his disagreement with pre-marital sex and homosexual practice, in accordance with the Bible and his sending denomination, the Assemblies of God.

The sailors complained to Chaplain Modder's higher ups, who summarily relieved him of his duties threatening to kick him out of the Navy and cut off his pension – after 19 years of stellar military service.

Mike Berry, Liberty Institute's Director of Military Affairs, said, "Knowing what I know about Chaplain Modder, reading his service record, seeing the awards he's received, the decorations he's received, the accolades, the fitness reports, and evaluations, the letters of recommendation – and to see these allegations and accusations that...the Navy is trying to use against him, I can't comprehend how this is happening to this American hero."

Wes Modder was shocked when he first got the news several months ago: "I feel betrayed. I feel dishonored for my 15 years, almost 20 total of my service to my country."

Says Shackelford, whose legal group is defending Modder in this case: "The chaplains are under a lot of pressure to bow their knee to the government instead of to the proper One that they should be bowing their knee."

© Jerry Newcombe

 

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Jerry Newcombe

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of the Providence Forum, an outreach of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air host. He has written/co-written 33 books, including George Washington's Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.). www.djkm.org @newcombejerry www.jerrynewcombe.com

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