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What Are Your Opinions About Soul Winning In The Military?


TMJ
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As I was searching for different blogs, I found this article entitled: A Modern American Hero: A Testimony From the Frontlines of Iraq. It is the fourth article down.

 

http://passionatepat...m.blogspot.com/

 

I was wondering about your opinions on evangelism from Christian officers toward their subordinates. Many members of my family have been in the military. When men and women are experiencing the danger of war, it seems unethical to approach them with the sales pitch that is modern evangelism. You have to realize, it is more difficult for a soldier to tell someone who is higher ranked, "Leave me alone" then it is for a civilan to tell his boss the same thing. While they are in uniforms, military officers aren't allowed to speak negatively about the president so it isn't as if there aren't restrictions already on their freedom of speech. Don't ask, Don't Tell was a very big restriction on soldiers' freedom of speech.

 

Here are some of the quotes from the article about an officer that is there to be 'an avid sould winner"

 

Ray Zindell, a Major in the United States Army, is a very close friend of mine. In October of 2007, he returned from a combat tour in Iraq. While there he worked as an avid soul-winner working to care for the soldiers around him and to reach them with the gospel of Christ.

 

The following is from Major Zindell's memory of what a Captain John an Air Force service member. While in Iraq. John had been introduced to me through Lieutenant Commander (P) Mike Chettham and participated in our soul winning ministry in Baghdad (run by Mike Cheetham and I).

 

and

 

One of John’s soul winning efforts involved a Soldier with whom John worked with in Baghdad. During their down time together, John would talk to him about his salvation. They would talk about knowing if he was on his way to heaven. Every time John would ask that pointed question, this Soldier replied with, "Hey, I am fine!" or "It’s okay. You believe what you want to believe and I’ll believe what I want to believe

 

the soldier died and when his wife called Captain John asked her: John talked to her for quite some time. Before he got off the phone with her he said, "Ma'am, I want to ask you a question and I don’t want to insult you. Are you 100% for sure that you are on your way to heaven or do you have some doubt?"

 

She became a Christian. The entire story just sems sleazy. It is like selling a car using someone's most vulnerable moment to sell someone a vehicle. Do you think that there should be a restriction on 'soul winning' while soldiers are serving in a war area? I am not bothered by soldiers of the same rank trying to witness to one another but it seems very manipulative for someone of a higher rank to target a lower rank soldier.

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Personally, I think people have enough to worry about in combat operation then winning souls.

 

I feel if they are focusing on that then they are not focusing on their job.

 

Constitutionally I think its wrong, by gut instinct but I can put my finger on why right now.

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The troop is caught in the cross-hairs of his CO! He's screwed if he complains and he has to listen to a sermon every Commander's Call. I would have to consider whether or not I wanted to reenlist in the military before I complain about my CO. The CO knows this. He cannot help but know the soldier is stuck in a hard spot, that is why he uses his position of authority to evangelize or proselytize. Personally I believe that to be unlawful, ethic and morally, realistically unlawful and a conflict of interests in the use of one's position of authority. If I were not wanting a military career, I would challenge with a complaint. If I wanted a career, I would ask for a transfer to a different post.

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Constitutionally I think its wrong, by gut instinct but I can put my finger on why right now.

 

I'm not sure if there is a Constitutional violation here, though I do think military chaplains are a violation. However, it seems the same logic applies here that applies with sexual harassment laws. A superior putting undue pressure on someone who depends on pleasing him/her at the expense of their position applies in both areas. The question is, is religious intrusion on par with sexual intrusion? I'm not sure it would fly in the courts. Dunno.

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It's a gross abuse of power. The Christian precedent for such abuse is well established so I don't see atheists winning any battles in God's American Army.

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Of course it's manipulative. It's no different than a higher rank trying to inflict his / her political views on a subordinate.

 

(By the way, this will start happening to the public workers who no longer have union protection in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. Any idiot of a fundy supervisor can now "suggest" that his employees start attending his church, or suffer the consequences if they don't.)

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