Friday, January 06, 2006

US Navy vs. In Jesus Name

As of today, Navy Chaplain Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt has been under a hunger strike for 18 days because the US Navy will not allow him to pray officially with the concluding “in Jesus Name” salutation with his prayers. Mr. Klingenschmitt indicates that he will fast with only intakes of water until death if necessary unless the Navy changes their policy. Pretty heavy stuff for a pretty heavy cause.

However why does anybody pray? Presumably to God the creator who by definition has control over all things. But if God has decreed certain “rules” governing how He will accept prayer, it seems foolish and counterproductive to ignore these rules. In the end you are simply talking to yourself. A position that Atheists think you are taking when you pray anyway. Lets have a look at what God decreed as it relates to approaching him in prayer: Jesus said in John 16:23-24 “…I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (NIV). The skeptics may say: why should we listen to Jesus, we are praying to God! But look at what God said concerning Jesus: Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" (Mark 9:7 NIV). To further put closure on this issue from the biblical perspective: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well...(John 14:6-7 NIV)

Since 1998, the Navy has issued a “pluralism” policy governing the behavior of Chaplains, which in summary decrees that you cannot pray to your God, you have to pray to the “civic god”. What or who is the civic god? If the Navy’s position is that the civic god is the God of the Bible which I suspect it is since the Navy Chaplain’s uniform bears a cross on it, then from where are they getting their guidelines on which their prayer directive is based? It can’t be the Bible. This is simply another example of modern day culture proving God’s word prophetic when He indicated how men would be in the last days: “…having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:5 NIV).

Here’s hoping that God will use Lt. Klingenschmitt to show the US Navy and America themselves. I think the full text of the previous scripture says it most accurately: But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV)

***Update***
The Navy finally relented on Saturday 1/7/06 and now allows Lt. Klingenschmitt to officially pray "in Jesus name". Amen!

2 comments:

rel said...

I am not trying to disagree w/ the Chaplin's position, but I do not believe you have to specifically say, "In Jesus' name," to be praying in His name.

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A God who sends people to Hell?