What’s the difference between God and a fighter pilot? God doesn’t think he’s a fighter pilot. – Unknown
Some people have compared fighter pilots with the knights of old; selected because of their superior skills and courage, they charge off into battle with little or no support to further the greater good. Though modern training and equipment have taken many of the uncertainties away, flying can still be dangerous, and flying in combat is more dangerous still. Being a fighter pilot, then, does have the qualities of a noble profession. Men and women sometimes become fighter pilots because of the impact they as an individual know they can make for the good of their country. While some want to be nobly fly and fight for their country, many want to be fighter pilots just because it looks fun. Who isn’t impressed by the amazing acts they see at airshows, from the performance demonstrations of an F-15 climbing straight up into the sky or a formation of F-16s with their wingtips within inches of each other? Read more
A Christian is to be a soldier “marching as to war,” not searching for a safe harbor in which to drop anchor and rest. He is to be in the world, doing the work God would have him do. That work—and the constant spiritual struggle it presents—can be unbelievably fatiguing. The daily struggle to live the Christian life while nearly being overwhelmed wears on a Christian’s spiritual, emotional, and even physical being. If after fighting not to be overwhelmed he spends his remaining energy recuperating from spiritual fatigue, he has little energy left for personal growth and nothing left for assertively professing his faith. Constant bombardment in a hostile environment quickly wears a Christian out, and it tends to put him on the defensive, rather than the offense for Christ he would desire. He may be in the world, but if his efforts are focused on not getting drowned by it, he’s not doing much in the way of saving those around him. Read more
“Remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death.” James 5:20
While the fighter pilot environment causes a Christian to make reactive moral choices, what about a Christian fighter pilot who wants to exercise his faith? Can he actively witness to his fellow pilots? Can a Christian fighter pilot evangelize his fellow fighter pilots?
Prior to 2004 the Air Force had no official policy on most matters regarding religion other than prohibitions against discrimination. It was a vague but simple matter, then, for a Christian fighter pilot to live his life with wisdom, tact, and discretion. So long as he didn’t beat his fellow pilots about the head and shoulders with the Bible he would create no grounds for official complaints.
The religious culture in the Air Force has changed, however, Read more
[The text below was copied from internet sources as a generalized reference; it is not claimed as accurate.]
During World War I, American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard who quit in mid-term to join the war. In one squadron, a wealthy lieutenant ordered medallions struck in solid bronze and presented them to his unit. One young pilot placed the medallion in a small leather pouch that he wore about his neck. Read more
Considering God, himself, his objective, and his witness are suggestions to help Christian fighter pilots decide if they should participate in certain events—to help them figure out where their “line in the sand” will be. Potential decisions in every situation may be different even among Christians because people are different. There are Christians with the spiritual strength to be deeply in the world and yet not be phased by it; there are also Christians in the world who struggle just keeping themselves from becoming part of the world. There are Christian fighter pilots that are called to be a light to the other non-Christian pilots, and there are those that are called to disciple the younger Christian ones. There are a multitude of degrees of attendance and participation when it comes to the events and occasions of a fighter pilot life. Fighter pilot events themselves range from the harmless and fun to the vulgar and evil. There is no single cookie-cutter answer that will fit every person, personality, place, and party. Read more
Whether or not you believe in the concept of the exact tithe, charitable giving remains one of the basic tenets of Christian living. Besides “passing the plate” on Sunday, the Combined Federal Campaign is one of the more popular means through which members of the military have an opportunity to give. Read more
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, New Jersey 1985.
Topic: Christianity and War
Though in some parts a treatise against communism, this book contains interesting research on the Christian and war from Biblical, historical, and philosophical perspectives.
Not Recommended. If you are specifically interested in the philosophical discussion of the morality of war, the book is interesting, though it doesn’t provide too much in the way of unique insight.
This book is available from Christian Book Distributors.
Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, Oregon, 2003.
Topic: Christian living
Mr. Holton’s book is not specifically for a Christian military audience, but it is very well written; it is essentially autobiographical relating to the author’s time as an Army ranger, with analogies to Christianity, though the application is not specific to the military life.
Recommended for those who enjoy application of the military to Christianity. Not specific to the Christian fighter pilot.
This book is available from Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.