Christian Embassy, Jr.
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 06:15:16 PM EST
Everybody remembers the Christian Embassy video, right? and that the officers who appeared in this video were found guilty of misconduct by the Pentagon Inspector General for violating the regulation prohibiting the endorsing of a non-federal entity while in uniform? Well, it seems that our military has been training enlisted recruits and military academy cadets to violate this very same regulation -- before they've even finished basic training or graduated! And, guess what, these recruits and cadets have not only violated the same regulation as the Christian Embassy officers, but have done so to promote the same organization -- Campus Crusade for Christ! The evidence? Two videos, and numerous photos, recently uncovered by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
In addition to its Christian Embassy, which targets Pentagon employees, Campus Crusade has an extensive Military Ministry, consisting of a number of subsidiaries, each designed to target a specific segment of the military. The three primary divisions are Military Gateways, which targets basic training installations and other training locations such as the Defense Language Institute; Military Campus Ministry, which targets U.S. Military Academies and ROTC; and Valor Cadet and Midshipman Ministry, which also targets ROTC. Military Gateways is further subdivided into branch specific organizations: Airmen for Christ, operating at Lackland Air Force Base; Sailors for Christ, operating at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Command and Navy Training School Command; and Warriors for Christ, operating at Parris Island. Military Gateways is also operating at Fort Jackson, the largest Army basic training location, and list Fort Benning, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Sill as their next three targets.

The evidence uncovered by MRFF includes a video filmed at the Air Force Academy, a video filmed at Texas A&M, and photos and Bible study guides from Fort Jackson's "God's Basic Training."

The participants in the Military Ministry promotional video filmed at the Air Force Academy, three Academy cadets and two chaplains, some of whom are still on active duty, clearly violated the same regulation as the officers at the Pentagon who appeared in the Campus Crusade Christian Embassy video. In this video, they actually come right out and say they're creating "government-paid missionaries," a goal repeated over and over in other Campus Crusade materials. This video, although a few years old, is still currently in use, and available in the online video library of the Global Pastors Network, another organization founded by Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright. View the Air Force Academy video here.

The second video, titled "God and the Military," was filmed at Texas A&M in 1997, but has been re-released for distribution by Campus Crusade, and is currently included in their Military Ministry "Chaplain Boxes." The speaker in this video was Tommy Nelson, Pastor of Denton Bible Church in Denton, TX. Nelson's audience for the filming consisted of Texas A&M cadets and an assortment officers from 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___________."

Like the "God and the Military" video, Fort Jackson's "God's Basic Training" Bible studies for basic trainees teach the recruits that "when you join the military, you've really joined the ministry." The rationale for this, in both the video and these Bible studies, is the same -- governments are ordained by God, therefore, all government employees are really God's ministers.

To see some unbelievable photos of the recruits posing with their rifles in one hand and camouflage Bibles in the other, as well as a photo the commander of the basic training battalion, Lt. Col. Snodgrass, posing in uniform with the Military Ministry director for a photo that appears on the Fort Jackson Campus Crusade website, see the full MRFF vs. the Campus Crusade for Christ report. (The photos referred to by Ed Brayton in his post here earlier today, including the shot of the office door in a Fort Riley Military Police building on which hangs a picture of Ann Coulter with the quote, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity," and much more, can also be found in this report.)

So, just how dangerous is Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry? Just take a look at their goals, which they are well on their way to achieving, with the endorsement and help of countless military commanders.

The primary goal of the Military Ministry is to:

"Evangelize and Disciple All Enlisted Members of the US Military. Utilize Ministry at each basic training center and beyond. Transform our culture through the US Military."

According to Maj. Gen. Bob Dees, U.S. Army (ret.), the Executive Director of Campus Crusade's Military Ministry, in the October 2005 issue of the organization's "Life and Leadership" newsletter:

"We must pursue our particular means for transforming the nation -- through the military. And the military may well be the most influential way to affect that spiritual superstructure. Militaries exercise, generally speaking, the most intensive and purposeful indoctrination program of citizens...."

And then there's the Military Ministry's slogan:

"Reaching the World through the Military of the World"

There's also the Military Ministry's frequent use of the term "government paid missionaries." Describing one of their ministries at Lackland Air Force Base and Fort Sam Houston, for example, the Military Ministry website states:

"Responsibilities include working with Chaplains and Military personnel to bring lost soldiers closer to Christ, build them in their faith and send them out into the world as Government paid missionaries."

The following explanation of their "gateway" strategy appeared on Campus Crusade's Military Ministry website in 2002:

"Young recruits are under great pressure as they enter the military at their initial training gateways. The demands of drill instructors push recruits and new cadets to the edge. This is why they are most open to the 'good news.' We target specific locations, like Lackland AFB and Fort Jackson, where large numbers of military members transition early in their career. These sites are excellent locations to pursue our strategic goals."

Similar statements can be found for each of the various Military Ministry divisions, like this one from their Valor Ministry:

"The Valor ROTC cadet and midshipman ministry reaches our future military leaders at their initial entry points on college campuses, helps them grow in their faith, then sends them to their first duty assignments throughout the world as 'government-paid missionaries for Christ.'"

"Young recruits are under great pressure as they enter the military at their initial training gateways. The demands of drill instructors push recruits and new cadets to the edge. This is why they are most open to the 'good news.'

Why engage in brainwashing activities like isolating potential converts in a weekend camp, love-bombing them and depriving them of sleep, when you can work with a population that is already being isolated, given group identity and being pushed to the edge?


by Rusty Pipes on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:53:43 PM EST

Hoo, hah, boy-oh-boy am I glad I didn't make a career out of the military. I'd have been court-martialed for insubordination, or worse, given my propensity for not taking any b.s. ("baloney sauce") from either superiors or subordinates, especially when it comes to treading on my religious rights. But I did serve, 1979 through 1985 on active duty, with a short break followed by another year and a half in the drilling reserves. And for all that time I was (and still am today) a non-believer, a strong atheist. If I hadn't decided to get out of the military I suppose I'd likely still be sitting in the brig today. I'd also be willing to bet Jesus would never have joined the Roman Legion.

by Forrest Prince on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 10:14:32 PM EST

and should be handled by Congress.

Then heads should roll.

by Leckey on Wed Dec 19, 2007 at 08:57:47 AM EST

First, I will say that I speak unapologetically from a Christian perspective.

Now, imagine if these CCC-types were truthfully interested in Jesus the Messiah from the New Testament. And then imagine thousands of soldiers becoming followers of this Jesus. Then killing and hating people for being Muslim, or enemies of George Bush and his clan, would drive them to leave the military and we could reduce our military budget and perhaps use our tremendous wealth to do good rather than harm.

Of course, CCC and similar organizations are more interested in Christianity as ideology than they are interested in Jesus.

I know several people involved in CCC ministries (not the military ones), and they are generally good people. However, something has gone so wrong with American Christianity that so many American Christians cannot even imagine a Christian faith that is not connected to right-wing politics. I don't think that all CCCers are completely dominionists, though most have sympathy for this heresy.

I'm in Nairobi, Kenya and the CCC theological school is full of reconstructionist theology books by Rushdoony and Demars, along with other more normal (non-heretical) theological works. Given the poor quality of the library I find it significant that it has practically all of the reconstructionist texts.

by chipmunk on Mon Dec 24, 2007 at 08:56:11 AM EST

Your example of the way that the school library is stocked with the works of Christian Reconstruction is exactly how the ideas of this movement percolate through the culture here and abroad. Otherwise thoughtful scholars and commentators miss this because they do not actually visit libraries and book stores to see what people are reading, teaching, and thinking about.

If you would like to do a more detailed report on what you are seeing, drop me a note.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Dec 24, 2007 at 01:07:05 PM EST

I too would be interested in finding out what books are being stocked and read in the libraries and book stores there.

by trog69 on Mon Dec 24, 2007 at 01:42:08 PM EST

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