Beware of the NCMAF Compromise! An Adjuration for Bible-Affirming Chaplain Endorsers

An adjuration for Bible-Affirming Military Chaplain Endorsing Agencies to come out from among them (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

by Sonny Hernandez

The National Conference on Ministry to Armed Forces (NCMAF) began in 1982 as a private, non-profit organization that connects member faith groups with military and VA chaplaincies, and claims to “celebrate the religious diversity of the United States of America.”

The NCMAF has members that are Roman Catholic, Jewish and Orthodox, Buddhist, Islamic, professing Christians, and even claims to span the total theological spectrum of religious life in the United States. What this means is that NCMAF has members that unite together who accept idolatry, blasphemy, sexual degeneracy, Trinitarian heresies, adulation to false gods, and even compromise from professing Christian endorsing agencies that align themselves with a theologically depraved conglomeration.

I. Biblical Edict

If an ecclesiastical endorsing agency affirms “the” (definite article) Holy Bible as the infallible rule of faith that constitutes salvation, then the standard for conduct inexorably rest on Scripture alone (Sola Scripture). The Bible is replete with ominous threats of false teachers, and how to combat their gross misconduct, which requires separation. What is Biblical separation? It means to separate from worldliness, religious apostasy, and any sinful practices that bring reproach upon Christ. This does not mean isolation from unbelievers in the world (1 Corinthians 5:9-10), but separation from those who would call themselves a believer, but live like devils (1 Corinthians 5:11). The Bible also commands:

  • Do not eat with those who erroneously call themselves a Christian (1 Corinthians 5:11)
  • Do not be deceived by false teachers (Ephesians 5:6)
  • Have no fellowship with false teachers—expose them (Ephesians 5:11)
  • Avoid false teachers who deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17)
  • Turn away from those who appear to be godly, but are godless (2 Timothy 3:5)
  • Never allow false teachers into your house or greet them (2 John 9-11)
  • Rebuke false teachers sharply in the presence of others (Titus 1:13)

Additionally, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 states: avoid the appearance of evil. How can Bible-affirming endorsing agents avoid the appearance of evil if they, without compulsion, voluntarily become members with a group (NCMAF) that embraces evil in their membership? Paul warned in 2 Corinthians 6:17 to come out from among them, because purity can never be mixed with pollution, and because separating from wickedness to avoid the appearance of evil is not a conjecture—it is a command.

II. NCMAF Compromise

It is preposterous for a Bible-affirming, military chaplain endorsing agent to become members with a group (NCMAF) that will unify them with other endorsers, irrespective of their religion, that are diametrically opposed to Christ. A Bible-affirming endorsing agency has no need to unify themselves with NCMAF. A theologically competent endorsing agency should be equipped to endorse, protect, and train their chaplains to ἀπολογία (defend) the faith, κηρύσσω (proclaim) the truth, and support the Constitution, without capitulating theological dogma, or uniting themselves with those who embrace putrescent doctrines that God abhors. This is why the Bible perspicuously explains that either an individual is with Christ, or they are against Him (Matthew 12:30), and not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).

A. NCMAF Eschewed Vision

According to the NCMAF website:

NCMAF will advocate for the First Amendment and provide a unified voice on religious freedom and religious diversity.

The NCMAF vision statement is fallacious.

There are non-theist worldviews and counterfeit Christian endorsing agencies that are members of NCMAF, and several of them embrace wicked ideologies that are irreconcilable with the Christian worldview. Why is this a problem? Unbelievers by nature, are wholly defiled in all faculties and parts of the body and soul, are at enmity with God and will not submit to His law (Romans 8:7), which is why it is impossible for unregenerate NCMAF members to be united biblically with a Christian on religious freedom because they both have diametrically opposed beliefs. A true Christian will support holiness, not homosexuality, and a true Christian will embrace freedom and truth, and not false teachers. This is why Christians must never unite with the wicked, and never build their foundation on anything except Christ alone or else suffer the consequences:

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).

B. NCMAF Disconcerting Leadership

There are leaders and members of NCMAF that espouse devilish convictions that Christians should be aware of. Consider Sarah Lammert, for example, a supporter of homosexual perversion:

“…She is one of only three female endorsers. ‘The fact I am being put forward indicates a commitment to plurality and diversity.’ She noted that in this position she will be ‘a voice for everyone serving in the military, including LGBT folks.’”

Lammert is a representative of the Unitarian Universalists, which is a wicked association that embraces a gigantic litany of heresies, as they support a belief in false gods, killing babies (abortion), and sexual perversion (LGBTQ). For those professing Christian endorsing agencies that are members of NCMAF, Lammert is also the chair. It is important to remember that Christ never said to consort with false teachers—He taught that we need to beware of them (Matthew 7:15), and His Word says to expose them (Ephesians 5:11). This is why Lammert must repent of her wickedness (Luke 13:3), and why Bible-affirming endorsing agencies must flee NCMAF.

C. NCMAF Anti-Christian Training

On January 9-11, NCMAF held their 2017 annual conference.

On day 1 (January 9), the event started with training called, “Emerging Trends: serving on the cutting edge,” which was for new endorsers. This training was not taught by an instructor who is distinctively a Christian. This class was taught by Frank Clawson, endorser for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is a Mormon cult that rejects many fundamentals of Christianity.

On the last day (January 11), Rev. Wollom “Wally” Jensen taught a class on, “Emerging Trends in Ministry-Moral Injury.” Jensen is the Executive Officer and Deputy Endorser, Federal Ministries (The Episcopal Church). It is important to note that Jensen is part of a homosexual-affirming denomination (Episcopal Church) that is open to ordaining their ministers, even if they are homosexual as well.

III. Closing

At this point of the article, you have learned that NCMAF is a concoction of biblical degradation, false unity, and compromise, given the fact that several of their member’s embrace anti-Christian tenets. Why would any Christian endorsing agency want to be part of a fellowship with false teachers, cults, and homosexual advocates? If a Christian endorsing agency is really Christian, they will come out from among them and seek a syndicate of like-minded brethren.

The International Conference of Evangelical Endorsers (ICECE) is a coalition to prayerfully consider. Since its inception, the ICECE has championed religious liberty for evangelical chaplains and service members, as they have underscored every opportunity to defend the rights of evangelical chaplains to pray in the Name of Jesus, and they fought the repeal of the military ban on homosexuals (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). It is important to note that there are no homosexual supporters, cults, Buddhist, Muslims, or any other godless organizations that are part of ICECE—only men from Bible-affirming endorsing agencies that will not compromise. This is because the men of ICECE adore Christ, and they abhor compromise, which is something professing Christian endorsing agents must do, by coming out from among them (NVMAF):

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you…” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)


BIO:
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.

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17 comments

  • Help me understand the difference between, say, your endorser joining NCMAF and you being assigned to a chapel staff with chaplains endorsed by NCMAF members. By your logic, by being a chaplain, you are involving yourself with the same kind of evil compromisers, aren’t you?

    How in good conscience can you even be a military chaplain? And how can you be trusted to treat your chaplain colleagues with the kind of professionalism expected of any military member, especially when you become responsible for supervising NCMAF-endorsed chaplains?

    Not trick or accusatory questions, so please answer forthrightly.

  • This is strongly worded for a topic that is worthy of nuance — and grace.

    While some statements by the NCMAF may make it difficult, there is room for “unity without uniformity.” Theology must be without compromise, certainly — but when it comes to military chaplain-related issues like military religious freedom and Free Exercise, it is not necessarily an issue of conflicting theological tenets. What benefits one religious faith benefits all.

    The religious rights of US troops — and the cause of Christ — benefit from freedom. Within our human/secular society, that freedom at times may best be guaranteed by a unity of effort, even if not a uniformity of belief.

    As to association, the book Christian Fighter Pilot is not an Oxymoron has a fairly extensive discussion on the topic of a Christian making choices on “integrating” with the non-Christian culture. Part of that discussion is necessarily on understanding that other Christians may come to different conclusions about similar situations. That discussion is relevant here. While some Christians may feel it inappropriate to be part of NCMAF, others may not feel that such association is wrong — or may even feel they are “called” to such association.

    How much should a Christian “integrate” with others who do not share his theology? Ultimately, each man is responsible alone to God.

    “One man esteems one day as better than another…”

  • # Jacob Wright

    I appreciate your question.

    This article is a theological admonition that I was hoping to see theological responses that interact with my argument. Unfortunately, the responses I receive are usually analogous to your reply (respectfully), which do not address the biblical point I am trying to make (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Nevertheless, I will address your question.

    To start, my endorser is not part of NCMAF, and I would never intentionally align myself with an ecclesiastical endorsing agency (EEA) that would unequally yoke themselves with this group.

    I have served with chaplains that are endorsed with ecclesiastical endorsing agencies that are aligned with NCMAF, but this does not mean I am violating my own standards of conduct, for several reasons:

    First, military chaplains are autonomous, as they are paid representatives of their respective EEA, and they are not allowed to perform any duties incompatible with their EEA. Since military chaplains represent their respective faith group, the practices of each individual chaplain are not to be used as an exhaustive measure against any other chaplain who is serving in the same unit, as chaplains represent their EEA, and are not direct representations of other chaplains. Here is an example:

    If a chaplain officiates a homosexual marriage, this does not mean that a Bible-affirming chaplain who is serving in the same unit is guilty of partaking of their evil, especially if the Bible-affirming chaplain is against homosexual marriage, and publicly denounces the practice. If you read the “Chaplains corner” on Christianfighterpilot.com, you will see my position statement that shows that I do not align myself with the same kind of “evil compromisers.” In fact, I publicly refute them.

    Second, serving alongside other military chaplains is quite different from joining NCMAF. The military employs chaplains of all faiths that teach doctrines that are antithetical to each others, which is why I purposely do not attend training events that have cults, false teachers, and homosexual affirming chaplains that conduct the training. Serving in the military does require every chaplain to have other chaplains (irrespective of their religion) to be part of the same base chapel. In this case, Bible-affirming chaplains are not required to work alongside them nor are they mandated to receive theological or religious liberty training from them. As a missionary in the US military, I align myself with like-minded brethren, and I receive training from my EEA and from schools that affirm Sola Scriptura.

    Being part of NCMAF is voluntary, and Bible-affirming EEA are not mandated to be part of this group. What benefit does joining NCMAF provide for a Bible-affirming EEA, where they will receive new endorser training and moral injury from cult leaders (Mormons), and homosexual affirming teachers (Episcopalian)? False teachers approve of gay marriage, while Christians oppose it, and false teachers have historically criticized Bible-affirming chaplains for praying according to their faith tradition (ex: EEA David Plummer criticized the Air Force Chief of Chaplains for simply praying at an event), while true Christians will never intentionally omit the Name of their Lord (Mark 8:34-38). This is why Bible-affirming EEA need to align themselves with like-minded EEA to receive training on religious liberty (pray in Jesus Name, stand against homosexual sin), and away from those who want to suppress it, which is another topic I plan to address in future articles.

    In closing, I can in good conscience serve as a military chaplain because the Constitution protects my right, and others who espouse the same theological convictions as I do. If I serve with other chaplains that disagree with me, I will certainly extend respect and treat them with dignity, as they are created in the image of God. Just because I affirm a theological position, it does not mean that I am personally attacking other chaplains, as this is a typical ad-hominem from liberals that have no standard for morality except themselves. Nevertheless, I will continue to adjure others to come out from among them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), as I am appealing to the Bible, as the standard for my conduct, and not my emotions.

    I hope this answers your questions.

    Very Respectfully,

    • @SH
      Like the NCMAF, being a military chaplain is also a voluntary association with other religious leaders who may be “cult leaders” and “homosexual affirming teachers.” Should chaplains also be encouraged to “come out from among them” and not be in the military’s diverse religious chaplaincy?

    • Chaplain Hernandez, I would like to clarify a point you have made above. You stated that I criticized the Air Force Chief of Chaplains for “simply praying at an event.” Actually, I do not recollect criticizing him. Rather, on my FaceBook page in July, I posted a link to an Air Force Times article stating that the Chief was being investigated for appearing at a political event in uniform and participating in that event by offering a prayer. I urged my and others’ chaplains to use that article as a “cautionary tale” to avoid even the slightest hints of legal impropriety and conflicts of interest (particularly in an election year!) and I posted the same on our website at https://spirit-filled.org/readme.html . My understanding is that to this day there is an active IG investigation on his participation. While I am not a lawyer, it does seem that the event was an opportunity to honor a now-retired US Congressman for his legislative activities while in office that supported the goals of a non-profit activist organization, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberties. I can see why some would consider that act as one supporting a political event while in uniform. Folks while in uniform must show the utmost of care to not be seen as endorsing one particular candidate or partisan issue over another. And that is especially true, in my opinion, of chaplains as to do such an overt endorsement automatically alienates the chaplain from some of the people in his/her pastoral care.

    • @David Plummer
      You said

      My understanding is that to this day there is an active IG investigation on his participation.

      Your understanding is incorrect. The IG closed the investigation last year (read here). Mikey Weinstein demanded they reopen it. Publicly, they declined.

      You said

      I can see why some would consider that act as one supporting a political event while in uniform.

      That is your opinion, and you are entitled to it. However, the Department of Defense that your chaplains work for has now told you that your caution is unnecessary, as Chaplain Costin’s presence was entirely permissible.

      There’s nothing wrong with using the “utmost care.” But if you continue to use Chaplain Costin’s case as a “cautionary” tale, you are contradicting the DoD and potentially encouraging your chaplains to self-censor more than necessary — or even restricting the religious liberties of them/their troops when such restriction is unnecessary.

      In light of the official statements of the military, will you consider revising your statements to best inform your chaplains about the truth?

  • JD,

    In regards to your question, not at all. Bible-affirming chaplains do not join the military to coalesce with chaplains who are false teachers or cults–they join to make Christ known. As I stated in my reply to Mr. Wright:
    military chaplains represent their respective faith group, and the practices of each individual chaplain are not to be used as an exhaustive measure against any other chaplain who is serving in the same unit, as chaplains represent their endorsing agencies, and are not direct representations of other chaplains.

    • @SH
      You seem to be saying the difference between endorsers/groups and chaplains is only motivation. But the Bible passages you cited do not say “come out from among them unless you’re there to make Christ known,” or “do not be unequally yoked unless…”

      It is unlikely any chaplain endorser in the NCMAF would say they joined to “coalesce with false teachers or cults.” They, too, likely had a Christ-centered motivation.

      If they said they joined the NCMAF to make Christ known — just as you said a chaplain joins a group of non-Christian chaplains and does the same — would you then say their presence in the NCMAF was permissible?

  • Chaplain Hernandez, Thanks for your very prompt response and posting of my reply. You have stated, “The IG closed the investigation last year (read here). Mikey Weinstein demanded they reopen it. Publicly, they declined.” I know that they [DoD] closed it last year, but I think that I heard/read that they did re-open it. I have not seen a public statement that the IG/DoD have declined to re-open it. Can you direct me to a URL that reports that? Thanks!

    • @David Plummer,
      The link in the prior comment (this link) included the quote as well as a link to the Military.com article (this link) which quoted the DoD IG as saying:

      The Defense Department’s Inspector General’s Office has not opened a formal investigation, according to spokeswoman Kathie Scarrah.

      “The DoD OIG is currently evaluating additional information received on behalf of the MRFF,” she said in an email to Military.com on Friday. “A determination on re-opening an investigation has not been made at this time.”

      The investigation was closed. Their last statement indicated they had not reopened it.

    • Mr Plummer,
      Here is the link you’re looking for, which presents a total repudiation of MRFF’s claim in the DoD’s letter from January 13th, 2017.

      http://militaryreligiousfreedom.org/legalfiles/Response%20to%20MRFF%20on%20USAF%20Chaplain.pdf

      The link is not immediately apparent on the MRFF website because it shuts down their quest to find a trophy rather than the truth. It also shuts down your repeated claims that the original allegation had merit in the first place. MRFF keeps coming back in an attempt to throw mud at the wall, but they’ve long since reverted to desperation rather than fact.

      You would do well not to follow their lead. Ever. Hopefully, the DoD’s unassailable logic will help you think through this and similar claims in the future.

  • Mr. David Plummer,

    If you do not recollect the time that you allegedly criticized the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, I would like to respectfully remind you of your interaction on social media: http://christianfighterpilot.com/2016/08/30/bible-believing-military-chaplains-avoid-the-wrong-endorsing-agency/

    Your replies to Gordon James Klingenschmitt (i.e., chaplains having the integrity to resign if their convictions do not comport with yours) and your eschewed understanding of the Constitution that you have publicly advertised certainly imply criticism.

    • Chaplain Hernandez, My goodness! I don’t think I caught that particular page on your blog before. I certainly do not recollect seeing it. Otherwise, I likely would have spoken up then to the “criticism” comment you allege. Well, as I read thru that August blog and my comments on chaplains and integrity still stand. And that particular comment was intended to apply to all chaplains. I was not applying it specifically to the Chief of Chaplains. …

      But I would like to go back to my question to you in the earlier reply, ” I have not seen a public statement that the IG/DoD have declined to re-open it. Can you direct me to a URL that reports that? Thanks!” If the DoD publicly refused to re-open the investigation, I would really like to see that. I very well may be mistaken. Thank you.

    • @David Plummer
      You seem to be confusing “JD” and “SH.” The link you requested has been provided twice in the replies to your comments above and again here: CFP.com article referencing the Military.com article.

  • JD, my brother, I think you are getting confused. Let me try to hard to break this down:

    A Bible-affirming chaplain joins the military because they are called to evangelist the lost, defend the faith, preach the Gospel, and never compromise their biblical convictions. This can never happen if chaplains compromise their convictions by unequally yoking themselves with “false teachers”, no matter how hard an individual will attempt to mitigate this. This is an issue about authority, and not savvy relevance, which is why 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is imperative.

    In regards to your statement:

    “It is unlikely any chaplain endorser in the NCMAF would say they joined to “coalesce with false teachers or cults.” They, too, likely had a Christ-centered motivation.”

    Why else would they join? Are they mandated by the DOD to attend a conference that has Mormons (cult), and Episcopalians (homosexual affirming) teaching new endorser and moral injury training? Are they not able to function as endorsers if they are not part of NCMAF? Are any of them (NCMAF members) actually preaching Christ to false teachers, cults, and homosexual advocates at these conferences? If you can answer any of these questions without speculating or trying to rationalize, please share, and also, please provide a chapter and verse and evidence to explain the possible Christ-centered motivation behind these “likely practices.”

    The fruition of my faith substantiates my position as a Christian. It is apparent that I represent Christ, since I do the work of an evangelist (Matt. 28:18-20), defend the faith (1 Pet 3:15), expose false teachers (Eph 5:11), and turn away from those who appear to be godly, but are godless (2 Tim 3:5). My service in the US military does not contradict my position, as I stated in one of my replies: since military chaplains represent their respective faith group, the practices of each individual chaplain are not to be used as an exhaustive measure against any other chaplain who is serving in the same unit, as chaplains represent their EEA, and are not direct representations of other chaplains.

    As a Christian, I am going to appeal to the Bible as my authority, as all matters of faith and practice rest on God’s Word, and not our savvy relevance.

    Love you brother.

    • @SH
      You asked a series of questions about why an endorser would join the NCMAF, but those questions speak to their motivation. To repeat myself, the very Bible passages you cited do not say “come out from among them unless you are motivated to make Christ known.”

      In trying to understand your position, I have proposed two scenarios based on your argument:
      1. A chaplain endorser who voluntarily joins the NCMAF, which has “cult leaders” and “homosexual affirming teachers.”
      2. A chaplain who voluntarily joins the military chaplaincy, which has “cult leaders” and “homosexual affirming teachers.”

      You have cited biblical authority to condemn the former, but you have not explained how that same biblical authority does not condemn the latter. Your only response has been to say chaplains’ motivations are biblical, while you’ve speculated the endorsers’ motivations aren’t biblical.

      But motivations aren’t found in the biblical authority you cited.

  • JD, since you mention motivation, consider this: If an individual has no motivation to be faithful to the Scripture (Jn 14:15) by separating from the wicked (2 Cor. 6:14-18), and if they are not motivated to obey the Bible as their only rule of faith and practice (Prov. 30:5-6), then they are not a Christian (Matt 7:21; 1 Cor 16:22). The Bible is clear about those who are truly the children of God or the children of the devil by the way they conduct themselves (1 Jn 3:10). If an individual is truly born again (2 Cor 5:17), they will hear the instructions of God and obey (Lk 11:28). As a preacher, I am compelled to make this message (come out, be separate) known (Rom 14:10), which is why I wrote the article. Why is this important? Whoever fails to do what is right, is in sin (Jam 4:17).

    The article I wrote was intended for Christian chaplain endorsing agencies to obey the Bible that many of them profess to believe in. The multiple questions (series of questions you refer to) I asked in my previous post was not a theological exposition on every Bible verse I cited, but a response to your comment: “It is unlikely any chaplain endorser in the NCMAF would say they joined to “coalesce with false teachers or cults.” They, too, likely had a Christ-centered motivation.” I was hoping you would have provided evidence, and a chapter and verse to support your speculation.

    Also, when you say: “the very Bible passages you cited do not say come out from among them unless you are motivated to make Christ known,” you are correct, but what is your point? You still appear to be missing a major theological point. Even if a person claimed to be motivated about making Christ known, it is still un-biblical to have fellowship and partnership with the wicked. Again, the multiple questions in my previous reply to you were in regards to your speculation, and the Bible versus I cited in my article are commands from God, that commands His children to avoid fellowship and partnership with the wicked.

    Coming out from among wicked men and separating from them requires obedience, which is why Christians cannot willfully reject the two imperative verbs (translated come out, be separate) to reach the lost (make Christ known). Christians endorsing agencies can reach the lost without having anything to do with NCMAF.

    In closing, I fully believe that the same biblical authority I cite that prohibits fellowship and partnership with false teachers does not condemn your second scenario (A chaplain who voluntarily joins the military chaplaincy, which has “cult leaders” and “homosexual affirming teachers.”) for reasons I have already stated (see response to Mr. Wright, and my last response to you). Nevertheless, I will break this down a little more, respectfully:

    1. As a chaplain who voluntarily joined the military chaplaincy, I am in no partnerships nor do I attend conferences with false teachers, cults, or homosexual advocates (2 Cor. 6:14-18).

    2. As a chaplain who voluntarily joined the military chaplaincy, I serve in the military as a representative of my church and my ecclesiastical endorsing agency to reach lost people from around the world (1 Cor 5:9-10), and to avoid fellowship with false teachers (1 Cor 5:11).

    3. As a chaplain who voluntarily joined the military chaplaincy, I publicly refute false teachers, cults, and homosexual advocates (Eph 5:11). See Chaplains corner.

    4. As a chaplain who voluntarily joined the military chaplaincy, I represent an ecclesiastical endorsing agency that is part of ICECE, which has Bible-believing men only. False teachers, cults, and homosexual advocates are not welcome to join.

    I hope this helps brother.

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