USA (MNN) — The U.S. released its National Military Strategy this week, highlighting Russia, Iran and North Korea as “countries of concern”.
“Globalization, diffusion of technology, and demographic shifts are driving rapid change as state actors and trans-regional networks challenge order and stability,” said Army General Martin E. Dempsey in a press release.
“This strategy addresses these dynamics and our strategy to ensure that our force remains the best-led, trained and equipped military on the planet.”
Thousands of U.S. troops are currently deployed in over 150 nations.
“Their spiritual needs are very great as they’re around the world, away from their families and away from their local church community,” notes Faith Comes by Hearing’s Gregg Leisman.
Leisman speaks from experience, as he served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed twice to the Middle East.
God and the U.S. military
Chaplains have been part of the U.S. military since its very beginning. Congress established chaplains as an integral part of the Continental Army on July 29th, 1775, according to ChaplainCorps.net.
However, as U.S. families prepare to celebrate 239 years of freedom and independence tomorrow, the religious freedom of service members is on the line.
As reported by WND.com, activist group Military Religious Freedom Foundation is lobbying the U.S. government to rid its military of any chaplains who oppose gay marriage.
“At this stage, the only honorable thing that these losers can do is to fold up their uniforms, turn in their papers, and get the [expletive] out of the American military chaplaincy,” MRFF president Mikey Weinstein wrote last week.
“If they are unwilling or too cowardly to do so, then the Department of Defense must expeditiously cleanse itself of the intolerant filth that insist on lingering in the ranks of our armed forces.”
In addition, a military court ordered that the Marines could demand one officer remove Bible verses from her work station. The U.S. Air Force is commanding its members serving in the Middle East to observe Ramadan when off-base, or fines and a possible jail sentence will be imposed.
“As ‘Airmen-Ambassadors’ representing American and U.S. military values around the world, we are committed to the concepts of tolerance, freedom and diversity,” stated Brig. Gen. John Quintas.
In 2013, an Army Reserve training presentation classified evangelical Christians as “religious extremists”.
A copy of the presentation — obtained by TheGlobalDispatch.com — contained the following statement in the “Notes” portion of a slide defining religious extremism.
“Extremist Organizations follow ideologies which are considered extreme by societal
norms….and we are talking about this today because individuals who hold extremist views that conflict with Army Values are sometimes inadvertently recruited.”
What does all of this mean for Faith Comes by Hearing’s military outreach? While they’re still able, the ministry is working with chaplains to deliver Military BibleSticks to those who request God’s Word.
Getting God’s Word to the military
The Military BibleStick is a digital audio player specifically designed for military service members. It’s about the size of a pack of gum, and comes pre-loaded with a dramatized recording of the entire New Testament and specially-selected Psalms.
It’s rugged enough to withstand tough weather conditions, can be used in low-light situations, and easily fits into uniform pockets.
“The insomnia is what drove me to listen to it basically daily, for the last eight years,” says Leisman.
“Time and time again I have been thanked by soldiers who received the BibleStick,” says an Army Chaplain. “I’ve seen countless Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines requesting these Bibles to go into their ruck sacks, so they can listen while waiting to go on missions.”
On Facebook, an Army Reserve Staff Sergeant writes, “#Military BibleStick is a blessing to me at work. i just have to turn it on & it keeps me away from worldly talk. I get focused & my work is fine.”
Will you please keep military members in your prayers, too?
“The testimonies are in the tens of thousands of what prayer and God’s Word can do to give people strength in very stressing circumstances,” Leisman says.