Bible-Believing Military Chaplains Wanted
Heralding Christ and Denouncing Apostasy
by Sonny Hernandez
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
– 2 Timothy 3:1-5
I. The role of a military chaplain
Military chaplains are instrumental to the mission of the US military. Chaplains perform or provide for the service men and women they serve by defending their free exercise of religion. This includes Bible-believing Christians that serve despite the delirious conceits of anti-Christians hate groups. Military chaplains also exist to advise commanders on multiple affairs that could unpropitiously affect the mission. The provision of sincerely held theological convictions that are imbued by God is vital to the good order and discipline of the Armed Forces, which is why the role of the military chaplain is imperative.
Military chaplains must carefully understand their respective branch’s policies that pertain to religion, which will not conflict with a chaplain’s doctrinal affirmations, but rather support their sincerely held theological convictions that are consistent with the tenets of their respective religious organization. For example, this can be seen in Air Force Policy Directive 52-1 which states:
Chaplains must adhere to the requirements of their endorsing religious organizations.
Aspiring military chaplains should consult with their respective branch’s recruiter on the academic, clergy and additional requirements that are compulsory to military service entrance. (The Air Force example can be seen here.)
II. The necessity of military chaplaincy
Military chaplains are also a necessity to the mission of the Gospel, especially if they wear a cross insignia signifying a representation of Christ. The US military is a mission field. Therefore, Christian chaplains are expected to faithfully discharge their duties as cross bearers (Mark 8:34-38) and ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), especially if they are endorsed by an ecclesiastical authority that has an unwavering commitment to the Gospel. Why is this important? Christians are commanded to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Christian chaplains must embrace the perspicuity of Scripture that demands subservience to Christ, and they must never abandon their servility to the whole counsel of Scripture (Proverbs 30:5-6).
It is important to note that not all military chaplains that profess to represent Christ are ambassadors, as some are apostates. Just because Christian chaplains wear cross insignias, reference Scripture, and are amicable, it does not mean that they are regenerate, born again Christians. The Devil quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:6) and masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), which is why Christ warned:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
– Matthew 7:15
False teachers are identified by their subtlety (Genesis 3:1), deviant heresies (2 Peter 2:1-30), contradicting doctrines (Romans 16:17), human tradition that nullifies Scripture (Colossians 2:8), that is palatable (2 Timothy 4:3), fabricated (John 8:44), and perverted (Jude 1:4). This is why Bible-believing chaplains are needed.
A. Exercising Caution
The standard for being a faithful chaplain is Christ. He is the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:14-15). There are many professing Christian chaplains who have contravened the unbending principles of Scripture that command believers to pray in the Name of Christ (Colossians 3:17) by deliberately omitting His Name whey they are asked to pray. Many have divorced their responsibility to Christ by never practicing evangelism, while there are zero policies that prohibit these practices. There are also many conservative chaplains who will preach bold sermons during Sunday chapel, but the rest of the week they become politicians who omit Christ in prayer, never evangelize, and focus more on embracing inclusivity while neglecting doctrinal indicatives and imperatives. Why would a Christian chaplain do these things? Several reasons might include:
- They are possibly unregenerate (1 Corinthians 2:14).
- They are ashamed of Christ because (Mark 8:38) they never pray in His Name publicly for invocations, benedictions, or any public event, despite the fact that there are no military policies that prohibit this practice.
- They possess no doctrinal integrity (Proverbs 28:18).
- They are scared of persecution (Mark 8:34-38).
- They desire to be liked (1 John 2:16).
- They are careerists (Proverbs 16:18) or compromisers (James 4:17).
- They are ignorant of Christian doctrine and constitutional policy (Ephesians 4:18).
- They care more about self-preservation than they do Scripture and perseverance (Romans 8:6-7).
- They are worried about offending others instead of God (Matthew 10:28).
- They don’t believe in the power of the Gospel (2 Timothy 3:5).
- They are hirelings, who do not care for the sheep, as they flee once wolves come (John 10:12-13), and even become friends with them despite what Scripture teaches (Ephesians 5:7-11).
Military chaplains must be faithful stewards of the Gospel that was entrusted to them. They must warn Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines to carefully examine the conduct of the chaplains they serve with to ensure they are being spiritually fed by a faithful preacher, and not a false prophet. Here is an example of a faithful chaplain that is distinctively Christian:
B. Embracing Faithfulness
- Prays in the Name of Jesus Christ alone during all public events and never (intentionally) omits His Name to be inclusive of others, but prays as commanded (Colossians 3:17).
- Practices evangelism regularly (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Practices holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16).
- Biblically qualified male (1 Timothy 3:1-7).
- Embraces the whole counsel of Scripture (Acts 20:27) as the inerrant and infallible Word of God (Timothy 3:16).
- Will never call sin good (Isaiah 5:20-21).
- Not afraid to denounce sexually immoral practices (homosexuality, fornication, adultery, bestiality) and call them sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
- Takes advantage of every opportunity to herald the good news (2 Timothy 4:1-8).
- Represents a Department of Defense (DOD) approved ecclesiastical authority that has a robust statement of faith and policies that are saturated with doctrinal imperatives of the Christian faith (2 Timothy 1:13).
- Loves people enough to tell them the truth that will set them free despite the consequences (John 8:31-32).
- Often persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12), and rejoices over it (Matthew 5:10-11)
C. Executing Sound Judgment
Bible-believing military chaplains should never abjure their responsibility to be watchmen (Ezekiel 33:6-7), which is why they must instruct the service men and women they serve to ask a lot of questions to the chaplains they currently serve with, or one day will encounter, so they are not led away by false doctrines (Ephesians 4:17). Here are sample questions that service men and women can ask their chaplains to see if they speak for Christ (John 6:44), or someone else (John 8:44):
- Do you believe the Bible is sufficient, infallible, and inerrant (2 Timothy 3:16-17)? (Special note: if the Bible is not their authority, then they are not born again Christians, because they have nothing to measure their Christianity upon).
- What ecclesiastical endorsing agency do you serve (Joshua 24:15)? (Special note: you need to research ecclesiastical endorsing agencies, as there are some that actually approve and endorse homosexual chaplains to serve, despite the fact that Scripture condemns this practice. The Presbyterian Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America are a few examples).
- Do you believe homosexuality is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)? (Special note: a person can be gay, or they can be a Christian. However, they cannot be a gay Christian, because no such things exist. Unless a homosexual man or woman becomes born again, they can never see the kingdom of God (John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 6:11).)
- How do you define the word love? (Special note: always remember that many homosexual advocates love to pervert the word love, as they define love as tolerance to sin, and call it good (Isaiah 5:20-21). The biblical definition of love is about obedience to the commandments of Christ (2 John 6), not our conceits, and rejoices not in iniquity but in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Most importantly, true love is about sacrifice, as Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), to make them new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
III. Final Plea
To aspiring Bible-believing military chaplains or those currently serving: You must be weeping prophets for the service men and women you serve (or aspire to serve) because many are held captive to the Devil who roams around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The Devil was cast out of heaven along with his angelic culprits for sinning against God because of the violence that soaked their hearts with aspiration to rob the King of His glory. The Devil is the chief antagonist of God and man, and he clothes himself in pride because his heart is callous and filled with mutiny against the Lordship of Christ. The voluminous names for the Devil articulate his relentless pursuit of leading the rampage of sin down the unbridled ramp that leads to death. He can offer the natural person a recipe that appears to be enlightening, and promise temporal fulfillment, but it is actually a trap door filled with fangs that will inflict poison and hellish fire that cannot be eradicated. He wants nothing more than to see the flesh melt and the foul stench of their rotten corpse (those you are entrusted to serve) to be cast into the fiery flames of hell, and to be surrounded forever by a conflagration of misery. This is why you must weep, and pray that God will keep them from the evil one (John 17:15).
To Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines who are faithfully serving: Please know that you are loved. You are loved so much that I plead with you to bear fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8), or else you will perish (Luke 13:3). Judgment day is coming, and God will render His anger in fury (Isaiah 66:16-16). The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces, and He will punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity by executing great vengeance on them as He tramples them with wrathful rebukes. This is not a game, this is the Gospel, because a Gospel that does not confront sin is no Gospel at all. If you choose not to repent, because you care more about your happiness than you do your holiness (Hebrews 12:14), you must understand, that one day you will petition for clemency but no ear will hear you because you will be surrounded by misery (Isaiah 66:24). On that day, you will wish that someone had told you truth (Luke 16:27-28), as hell is a long time to be proven you were wrong.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
– Acts 17:30-31
Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez is a US Air Force Reserve Chaplain assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In April 2015, he was selected as the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Individual Mobilization Augmentee Company Grade Officer of the Year, and in May 2016, he was selected as 445th Airlift Wing CGO of the Quarter, first quarter. Hernandez earned a Doctorate from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily represent the views of any government, military, or religious organization. Sonny Hernandez wrote this article as a civilian on his own time on an issue of public interest.