The Military Is an Unholy Institution

My articles are usually rated G for general audiences. I don’t normally write articles directed toward a particular group. But since the juggernaut of military idolatry is proceeding full speed ahead through conservative Christian churches, I must address conservative Christians directly.

Let me first say that I am a Bible-believing Christian, as conservative as they come. Probably more conservative than many nominal Christians would feel comfortable with. Although I am not an ordained minister, I am no stranger to preaching, teaching, and church work. I have earned degrees in theology, taught at a Bible college, and written a number of Christian books. I will put my conservative Christian credentials up against anyone. I think I know Christianity and Christians as well as anyone. My religious areas of expertise include theology, Greek, English Bible history in general and the history and text of the King James Bible in particular.

I say these things for two reasons. One, Christians sometimes stumble across my writings for the first time and assume that because I have said something critical about Christians that I must not be one. And two, conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians need to know that I am one of them, so to speak. I write not as some liberal Christian who denies the authority of the Bible and the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. King James, His Bible,... Laurence M. Vance Buy New $19.95 (as of 11:36 UTC - Details)

There is an unseemly alliance that exists between many conservative Christians and the military. Many conservative churches fawn over current and former members of the military, not just on the Sunday before Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but also on the Fourth of July and on special “military appreciation” days that they designate. Some of these churches would have no trouble doubling as military recruiting centers. We hear more from the pulpit today in some churches justifying military intervention in the Middle East than we do about the need for missionaries to go there. Instead of the next military adventure of the U.S. government being denounced from every pulpit, it will be preachers in many conservative churches that the government can count on to justify it.

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To conservative Christians, I just want to say one thing: The military you love, adore, and idolize so much is an unholy institution.

This article shouldn’t even be necessary. If there is any group within Christianity that should be the most consistent, the most vocal, the most persistent, and the most scriptural in its opposition to the actions of the U.S. military, it is conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians who claim to strictly follow the dictates of Scripture and worship the Prince of Peace. It is these Christians who ought to vehemently oppose the U.S. military invading, occupying, and bombing other countries. It is these Christians who ought to be appalled at all the U.S. military’s maiming, killing, and making widows and orphans. It is these Christians who ought to be adamant about the U.S. military only defending the United States, securing U.S. borders, guarding U.S. shores, patrolling U.S. coasts, and enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies.

But this article is necessary. It is necessary because of the rampant military idolatry and blasphemy that pervades a great many conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians and churches. Too many.

Hey conservative Christians: If you won’t recognize that the military is an unholy institution and repudiate it because it is a force for evil in the world, then how about for the following four reasons?

The military is an unholy institution because it is filled with sexual predators. According to the latest DOD “Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military”: “Overall, sexual assault reporting remained consistent with the high levels seen in recent years. The department received a total of 6,083 reports of sexual assault for allegations involving service members. In addition, climate survey results indicate that over 16,000 service members intervened in situations they believed to be at risk for sexual assault.” The DOD also acknowledges that “sexual assault reporting in the military mirrors civilian reporting: only a small fraction of victims report sexual assault to DoD authorities.” Almost 20 percent of the sexual assaults in the military were male on male. How unholy. War, Christianity, and... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $8.95 Buy New $9.95 (as of 09:10 UTC - Details)

The military is an unholy institution because it allows women to serve in combat roles. Back in 2013, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women in combat after receiving a letter from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating that the armed service chiefs all agreed that “the time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.” The services had until January of 2016 to  come up with implementation plans or ask for special exemptions. Then, in December of 2015, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that within 30 days the military would be opening all “remaining occupations and positions to women” with “no exceptions.” How unholy.

The military is an unholy institution because it observes LGBT Pride Month in June of each year. According to the official DOD letter recognizing this year’s LGBT Pride Month: “During this time, the Department recognizes lesbian, gay, and bisexual Service members, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civilians for their dedicated service to both the DoD and our Nation.” In his LGBT Pride Month message, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter added: “Throughout our history, brave LGBT soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines have served and fought for our nation.  Their readiness and willingness to serve has made our military stronger and our nation safer.  We continue to take great pride in all that these men and women contribute to the Department and our mission.” How unholy.

The military is an unholy institution because it allows transsexuals to serve openly. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter recently announced that transgender troops can openly serve in the military, effective immediately. Said Carter: “The reality is we have transgender service members serving in uniform today. Americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to do so.” He added later that “we have reason to be proud today of what this will mean for our military because it’s the right thing to do.” Under the new policy, soldiers currently in the military can no longer be discharged, separated, or declined re-enlistment solely on the basis of gender identity. Carter related that in 90 days “the Pentagon will issue a guidebook for leaders to follow, and troops will have access to medically necessary care, including surgery.” There are an estimated 15,500 soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors in the military who are transgender. How unholy.

The conclusion is inescapable: the military is an unholy institution. War, Empire, and the M... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $5.24 Buy New $9.79 (as of 09:10 UTC - Details)

Hey conservative Christian pastors: You warn your congregations about unholy activities, unholy people, and unholy institutions. Why don’t you warn them about being ensnared and enamored by the U.S. military?

Hey conservative Christians: I thought you were adamantly opposed to homosexuality and perversion? I thought you considered it unnatural and unbiblical for women to act like men? I thought you believed that wanting to identify as a different gender was evidence of a mental problem? Then why are you such a defender of the U.S. military?

Hey conservative Christian pastors: The military is an unholy institution. Why don’t you stop the military idolatry you encourage in your church? Things like:

  • Recognizing some young person who has announced his (or her) intention to join the military
  • Praying for the troops to be kept out of harm’s way (but never for their victims to be spared from U.S. bombs and bullets)
  • Encouraging young people to join military
  • Posting on your church sign blasphemous statements about U.S. troops dying for our freedoms like Christ died for our sins
  • Having special military appreciation days
  • Treating military personnel differently from those with other occupations
  • Equating patriotism with admiration for the military
  • Calling soldiers returning from overseas heroes

Hey conservative Christians: The military is an unholy institution. You send your kids to Christian schools, Christian camps, and Christian colleges, but then turn around and send them to an unholy institution like the U.S. military. The Other Side of Calv... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $19.84 Buy New $29.95 (as of 08:35 UTC - Details)

Hey conservative Christian pastors: The military is an unholy institution. Why don’t you also stop the military blasphemy you encourage in your church on the Sunday of, the Sunday before, or the Sunday after Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Veterans Day? Things like:

  • Asking active duty military and veterans to wear their uniforms to church
  • Recognizing active duty military personnel and veterans
  • Listing the names of church members who active duty military or veterans in the church bulletin
  • Having active duty military personnel and veterans stand
  • Applauding active duty military personnel and veterans
  • Having the pianist playing the song of each branch of the military during the offering
  • Asking military chaplains to speak
  • Having a military color guard parade down the main aisle of the church
  • Playing video tributes to the troops during the church services
  • Turning national holidays into military appreciation days

Hey conservative Christians and pastors: The military is an unholy institution. Repent of your military idolatry and blasphemy and repudiate the military.