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God is Where You Take Him, Not Find Him Print E-mail
Written by Ray Fairman   
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Where does a person find God?
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In almost any theological circle today there are many topics that can generate intense discussions and parochialism. There, however, appears to be at least one topic that is causing acute polarization in both the secular and religious communities. That topic is being voiced as a cause for great alarm. What is it that stirs up such a storm of controversy even among believers? Why it is an alleged influx of so-called "evangelicals" into the arena of chaplaincy.

It almost seems like there is a greater fear of God's Shepherds and Sheepdogs entering the hallowed halls of the military, law enforcement and medicine than there is of God Himself. I can't see why for the life of me.

I spent more than 33 years of my life serving in the active and reserve military and saw combat duty in both the Vietnam and Desert Shield and Desert Storm theaters of operations. I can promise you this. I was very glad that God accompanied me to both battlefields.

I said accompanied me because when I went to Vietnam the first time, I forgot to ask Him to come along with me. Yet when I needed Him the most, He was right there with me responding to my feeble prayers.

I was a bit more mature as a Christian when I was mobilized for Desert Shield and Desert Storm and I was sure God was leading me as I responded to the call to arms that time.

You might suspect that in all those years I experienced encounters with many Chaplains from both the Army and Navy (Marines are usually tended to by Navy Chaplains wearing either Navy or Marine Corps uniforms but still answering to God, as do US Air Force and U S Army Chaplains a fact that I wish more of them would remember). If you thought I did then you would be wrong. Though I met some great Chaplains during my combat years, when I was in garrison, I rarely saw or met a Chaplain unless I went to chapel services on Sunday. When I did go, the services seemed more like they came out of the Guidebook for Marines than being Biblically inspired. So my training as a Christian soldier was left to those civilian Bible Teaching Pastors I sought out in the communities I lived in. The problem I encountered was that these "few good men" seldom truly understood the way the reality I lived in was played out on a daily basis. The 'brotherhood of the Corps was not a tangible reality to them and most of them had never experienced even the most basic concepts of the brotherhood of arms.

Leaving active military duty for the reserve side of the house and entering law enforcement brought on a whole new barrage of ethical conflicts. These were met by those same kinds of well-meaning shepherds who really thought they understood what cops and soldiers faced because they saw Platoon, Apocalypse Now, and The Greene Berets and watched every episode of Law & Order and Miami Vice.

Reality was not born out of Hollywood, Hollywood was born out of reality mixed with copious amounts of imagination. In times of old, the 6 o'clock News was reported, not created for ratings. The general public is so bombarded with speculation and supposition under the guise of nearly all the media news sources that they have little understanding of anything outside their own small spheres of influence. They ask for nearly every opinion to be provided to them by someone else and that it be classified as radical or research based meanwhile they have forgotten how to reason critically themselves.

Brothers and Sisters, God Himself tells us to allow the Holy Spirit, whom He left as a Comforter and Spirit of Discernment, to guide us through the treacherous minefields of social upheaval and change we tread recklessly through today.

I traveled through many a minefield of good and evil in both my careers and would have appreciated one of God's shepherds as my point man. They were all too often non-existent. Those who answered the call sometimes did their best but lacked the experience and seasoning of the lives we cops, soldiers, sailors and Marines were facing each day.

After experiencing the worst of what life can throw at a person, I decided to look at retirement as a NASCAR term. The frantic rat race I lived through with its temptations, traumatic episodes, failures, victories and addictive behavioral traps taught me that what I had needed was what I wanted to become, A Law Enforcement Chaplain. A survivor who now wanted to "Re-Tire" and get back into the rat race before the rats won.

I thought I took God onto the battlefield when I was in the military and kept Him with me on the mean streets I patrolled as a police officer and deputy sheriff, but in reality I found that God was already at work in both locations. I might have made a bigger impact in the way I allowed myself to be used by God to do the work He had already ordained for me if I had had the guidance and assistance of a Chaplain who shared my desire to listen to and respond to the 'Voice of God",

So to those Cultural Christians who prefer harmony over truth and popularity over heavenly impact, I say don't worry about the influx of evangelicals into the brotherhood of arms, worry about your own testimony and why you are not joining them and supporting their mission, as I am sure God has.

If you are not a believer then I am sure you are more concerned with your right to prove Christians wrong and place your right to go to hell over their right to be able to grow as a disciple of the God they choose to serve, (did you notice I said choose and not are forced to serve). Well I say to you no evangelical, conservative or even the most liberal Christian will ever force you to become a Christian. That just is not the way God works. I have never seen and never expect to see anyone being dragged kicking and screaming into heaven. Those evangelicals who are enthusiastic are there for those of us who need and want their support and services.

As for the Constitution, their right to the 1st amendment is just as strong as yours and just because they use it, from whatever platform they choose, does not constitute a state sanctioned or established religion anymore than your use of it to eliminate religion will constitute the re-establishment of this country as a state sanctioned hedonistic Anti-Christian society. They are merely expressing their God given and Constitutionally protected inalienable right to do so. The danger you need to fear is the possibility that the hearer will understand what they are saying and believe them rather than you. That, my friend, is your real issue.

In short and in closing I want to remind you that even in your world a man who stands for nothing will, I believe the cliché goes, fall for anything. So I am quite willing to let the devout leader, member or whatever you want to call them of any particular persuasion espouse whatever they truly believe in and let those who hear make their own enlightened decision. One they will stand by for eternity.

There are many religions and denominations, Judeo-Christian, pagan and others who's leaders and followers should be given equal time to stand for and proclaim their spiritual beliefs even in the face of adverse commentary. Then let us all be measured by the yardstick of God.

Until next time,
Chaplain Ray Fairman
Winterville GA PD Article Manager module by by George! Software.




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