CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 26 September An Army of One-Or-An Army of the One By Bob Flynn Unity 0 Comment We sometimes confuse our own culture with spiritual things. In America there exists within us an innate desire to succeed as an individual. Why else would we have team sports in order to learn teamwork? When we join the military we learn a new concept called unit cohesion. It is a long recognized phenomenon that is essential for successful war fighting. Unit cohesion goes well beyond the idea of mere teamwork into an arena where men and women place their lives and trust into the hands of those with whom they serve. General Krulac, Commandant of the Marine Corps (former), described it in this way: “We must do everything we can to enhance the transformation of young men and women into the marines that our corps needs to win battles. I firmly believe that unit cohesion is an integral part of the transformation process. Marines must possess and feel the absolute trust, subordination of self, the intuitive understanding of the collective actions of the unit, and the importance of teamwork.” “I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me” (John 17:20-23 NASB). Bob Flynn, President/CEO Unity is that gift from God that comes as an answered prayer of the Son so that the world (“Satanic System,” Lewis Sperry Chafer) may know the Father sent the Son. I have heard unity described in terms of what it is NOT, but sometimes we miss the point because we ask the wrong question. When unity is described as NOT being uniformity, the question should be, “Did Jesus think like His Father?” When described as NOT unanimity, the question should be, “Did Jesus and the Father completely agree?” Those who would make the NOT arguments are those who have NOT experienced this wondrous blessing! There is only ONE reason for NOT experiencing the Unity of the Holy Spirit — you do not belong to Jesus! We ARE one just as Jesus and the Father are one for the purpose of the Gospel! It requires more than teamwork, more than unit cohesion, it requires death to self that the Church may grow with Jesus Christ as the head. If you think you can make it on your own, I suggest you put jam in both your pockets, ‘cause you’re already toast! “But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God” (Colossians 2:19 NLT). “Instead we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church . Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16 NLT). “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT). “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others” (Romans 12:3b-5 NLT). We sometimes confuse our own culture with spiritual things. In America there exists within us an innate desire to succeed as an individual. Why else would we have team sports in order to learn teamwork? When we join the military we learn a new concept called unit cohesion. It is a long recognized phenomenon that is essential for successful war fighting. Unit cohesion goes well beyond the idea of mere teamwork into an arena where men and women place their lives and trust into the hands of those with whom they serve. General Krulac, Commandant of the Marine Corps (former), described it in this way: “We must do everything we can to enhance the transformation of young men and women into the marines that our corps needs to win battles. I firmly believe that unit cohesion is an integral part of the transformation process. Marines must possess and feel the absolute trust, subordination of self, the intuitive understanding of the collective actions of the unit, and the importance of teamwork.” “I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me” (John 17:20-23 NASB). Bob Flynn, President/CEO Unity is that gift from God that comes as an answered prayer of the Son so that the world (“Satanic System,” Lewis Sperry Chafer) may know the Father sent the Son. I have heard unity described in terms of what it is NOT, but sometimes we miss the point because we ask the wrong question. When unity is described as NOT being uniformity, the question should be, “Did Jesus think like His Father?” When described as NOT unanimity, the question should be, “Did Jesus and the Father completely agree?” Those who would make the NOT arguments are those who have NOT experienced this wondrous blessing! There is only ONE reason for NOT experiencing the Unity of the Holy Spirit — you do not belong to Jesus! We ARE one just as Jesus and the Father are one for the purpose of the Gospel! It requires more than teamwork, more than unit cohesion, it requires death to self that the Church may grow with Jesus Christ as the head. If you think you can make it on your own, I suggest you put jam in both your pockets, ‘cause you’re already toast! “But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God” (Colossians 2:19 NLT). “Instead we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church . Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16 NLT). “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT). “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others” (Romans 12:3b-5 NLT). Related Romans 1:17 - God's Righteousness Revealed Romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.'" (NASB) "For therein is the G1343 righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The G1342 just shall live by faith." (KJV) "This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, 'It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'" (NLT) G1343 (Strong) δικαιοσυ?νη dikaiosune? dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification: - righteousness. G1342 (Strong) δι?καιος dikaios dik'-ah-yos From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): - just, meet, right (-eous). Righteousness (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) ri?´chus-nes (?????, caddi?k?, adjective, “righteous,” or occasionally “just” ???, cedhek?, noun, occasionally = “riahteousness,” occasionally = “justice”; δικαιος, di?kaios, adjective, δικαιοσυ?νη, dikaiosu?ne?, noun, from δι?κη, di?ke?, whose first meaning seems to have been “custom”; the general use suggested conformity to a standard: righteousness, “the state of him who is such as he ought to be” Righteousness (Noah Webster) RIGHTEOUSNESS, n. ri'chusness. 1. Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion. 2. Applied to God, the perfection or holiness of his nature; exact rectitude; faithfulness. 3. The active and passive obedience of Christ, by which the law of God is fulfilled. Dan 9. 4. Justice; equity between man and man. Luke 1. 5. The cause of our justification. The Lord our righteousness. Jer 23. Our misery and ruin being the product and consequent of our iniquity, that which will show us the way of salvation must needs show us the way of justification, and this the gospel does. The gospel makes known a righteousness. While God is a just and holy God, and we are guilty sinners, it is necessary we should have a righteousness wherein to appear before him; and, blessed be God, there is such a righteousness brought in by Messiah the prince (Dan_9:24) and revealed in the gospel; a righteousness, that is, a gracious method of reconciliation and acceptance, notwithstanding the guilt of our sins. Mathew Henry (1662 - 1714) Righteousness by Faith Orville J. Nave (1841-1917), A.M., D.D., LL.D. (Army Chaplain) Go Army! Genesis 15:6 "And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith." (NLT) Romans 4:3 "For the Scriptures tell us, 'Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.'" (NLT) Romans 4:5 "But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners." (NLT) Romans 4:9 "Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith." (NLT) Romans 4:11 "Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith." (NLT) Romans 4:13 "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith." (NASB) Romans 4:22 "And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. (NLT) Romans 4:24 "for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (NLT) In Christ we have all that we require. His Gospel reveals His righteousness whose purpose is our redemption, transformation, and adoption. The concept that began the reformation, that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. Dear Heavenly Father how amazing is your love. It is like the words of the song: The love of God has been extended to a fallen race, Through Christ the savior of all men, there's hope in saving grace The Love of God is greater far, than gold or silver ever could afford, It reaches past the highest star and covers all the world! His power is eternal..eternal, His glory is supernal..supernal! When all this earth shall pass away, there'll always be the Love of God! It goes beneath the deepest stain that sin could ever leave, Redeeming souls to live again, who will, on Christ believe- will believe! The love of God is greater far, than gold or silver, ever could afford, It reaches past the highest star, and covers all the world! His power is eternal...eternal! His glory is supernal...supernal! When all this earth shall pass away, there'll always be, the Love Of God! (Bill Gaither) From faith to faith; that is, as say some, from the faith of God to the faith of men; from the faith of preachers to the faith of hearers; from the faith of the Old to the faith of the New Testament saints; or rather from one degree of faith to another; for faith, as it grows and increases, has clearer sights of this righteousness, as held forth in the Gospel. For the proof of this, a passage of Scripture is cited, Habakkuk 2:4 Dr. John Gill (1690-1771) Me and CMF CMF and Me SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret) Chairman, CMF Board of Directors Where do I begin? It’s been a long journey, about 30 years now. I guess I should start at the point in my life when God snatched me out of ODF status (Out Dere Flappin’) near the end of ’76, a few months before our first son was born. In terms of this life, I had it pretty well made — I was a young Staff Sergeant on a Special Forces ‘A’ Detachment, had met and married a wonderful woman (just had our 34th anniversary, BTW), and my lonely past seemed over. However, I had left the Savior of my youth in the dust, so to speak. About ten years earlier, I had decided that organized religion was a fake and struck out on my own — ODF big time, but happy as a pig in mud with my life at that point. The story around how God snatched me back from ODF status stands on its own and is too long for this venue. But snatch me back He did! We became involved in the Chapel system on Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, including a mid-week lunch time Bible study at the Special Forces chapel, which is how I found out about CMF. At about the same time, the thought of full-time ministry in the military surfaced, and I considered becoming a chaplain. That thought was fleeting however, when I discovered it would take about eight years of schooling outside of the military before I could re-enter as a chaplain. But I could see there was plenty of “service for God” in uniform that needed attention right away! So there I was, plugged in to chapels and Bible studies, learning and growing, and along came Ernie Miller, who was at that time leader of the CMF ministry. He visited the Bible study I attended and presented to us the concept of the CMF ministry: a network of believers in uniform, focused mainly on us enlisted types. Sounded good. When Ernie talked about this worldwide prayer network, my ears really perked up, considering all the different time zones around the globe and a prayer request being presented before the throne of grace around the clock on a given day! Ernie also talked about the structure of the network of believers: CMF Christian contacts, along with local and area-wide CMF representatives, plugged into the small home office in Denver. I was hooked — this was the ministry for me! That was then and this is now, thirty years later. Until I retired in 1996, I had the opportunity to be a Christian contact and CMF Local Representative anywhere I went, on permanent or temporary assignment, a paid “missionary” in uniform, funded by Uncle Sam! My marching orders in our Lord’s Army? Acts 1:8 — “BE” a witness for Christ — not preach, wear Christian “stuff,” or carry a CMF flag everywhere I went. I was to be available for whatever specific task God had waiting for me. I was just supposed to be a well cared for “tool” of the Master, ready, willing, and able for “divine appointments” whenever they presented themselves — which was usually without my knowing that God was setting these appointments. How often was God “setting something up”? Probably far more often than I will ever know! The times I can remember and realize it was God at work could fill a small book of their own. What part did CMF play all those years? Well, I already mentioned being plugged into a worldwide network of Christians in uniform, the monthly prayer “Battle Plan,” and the opportunities for service as part of the CMF ministry on the ground. I didn’t however, mention the training and logistical support CMF provided. They didn’t just have ministry positions that needed people in place; they also trained and equipped me for service in each position I filled. Then, on virtually every shelf in my office there’s something I received, without cost, from CMF — books by theologians and giants of the faith, long gone to their eternal reward, books by living pastors and teachers, even good study Bibles. The most cherished CMF-provided item resides inside a large 3-ring binder — a set of Christian growth lessons called Discipleship Training Objectives (DTOs) — that by themselves need only about a half-inch wide binder! You see, I have been through those lessons several times now, first with just a Bible and a concordance and small Bible dictionary. Each successive time through the lessons, as a set in a small group teaching role, or just in whatever has served as a place to study alone, I have added “stuff” I have learned/gleaned from a multitude of sources about each and every lesson. So, now I have one 3-inch wide binder — that might end up as three binders, one for each major section of lessons. Well, there you have the “big story” of an old retired soldier and CMF. Why did I even tell it in the CMF Newsletter? There’s only one reason — to encourage Christian men and women serving in our Military Forces to take up the challenge of being unashamed of the Gospel, being missionaries in uniform, lights in the darkness, salt of the earth, and taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to places no chaplain will ever be able to go! News From The Front News from the Front—by Dan Cartwright, Chairman, Board of Directors Sebaste, Cappadocia (now Sivas in Turkey) - March, 320 A.D. Roman Emperor Valerius Licinius had already ordered that all Christians in Cappadocia abandon their faith and worship pagan gods, including every member of the famous “Thundering” 12th Legion, whose record in combat was unparalleled in the annals of the Imperial Army! Forty soldiers of the Legion however, refused to recant their faith, declaring before a military tribunal (court-martial) that they would devote their love to God and only God! Agricolas, Captain of the Legion and the local pagan governor, would not humor this obstinacy. When imprisonment of the whole stubborn company could not break them, he decided on a novel sort of pressure. It was a bitterly cold March and the pond outside the city was frozen over. The governor, therefore, ordered that the 40 be herded out to the center of the lake stark naked and allowed to rethink their decision. Meanwhile, he set up on the shore statues of the gods to be worshipped, a nice fire, and a pleasant warm bath. He hoped that the offer of warmth might change the minds of the freezing men and induce them to apostatize. But the prisoners retained their solidarity. Together they prayed, “Lord, we are 40 who are engaged in this conflict; grant that we may not fall short of that sacred number.” During the three days of their lethal exposure, only one of the group gave up, stumbled towards the shore and sought the comfort of one of the hot baths provided for any who would recant their faith. The same hot bath that rewarded his apostasy also brought about his death. Ironically, the sudden heat was too much after the long chill, and he died of shock. Although the soldier-victims were saddened by this defection, their prayer was heard. Aglaios, a jailer watching the horrifying spectacle of the freezing soldiers had heard their shouts of “40 soldiers for Christ!” when they first headed out across the frozen lake, and now heard a fainter shout, ‘Thirty-nine soldiers for Christ!” What happened in the heart of the jailer Aglaios at that moment, only he and God will ever know. He wrenched off his own armor and girdle, and dashed to the edge of the lake. There, after lifting his right hand and crying, “Forty good soldiers for Christ!” he disappeared over the ice and into the darkness. Colorado Springs, CO - 1 March 2007 A small group of soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group gathered at Red Rock Canyon in Colorado Springs for a ‘spiritual fitness’ run and induction of Christian warriors into ‘The Order of the Cappadocian Martyrs,’ led by 10th Group Chaplains Darren Chester and Terry McBride. It was a cold, windy, and icy morning after a late snowfall from the previous afternoon and evening left a few inches of new snow on the ground and a lot of dangerous ice on streets and roadways. While such conditions sometimes cause outdoor physical fitness training to be cancelled, there would be no change of plans on this morning! The announcement of, and invitation to the event had stated, in part: “Note: Weather will not affect this run. If you can get there, we will run. Yes, it will be cold. That is the point. The martyrs for whom this order is named froze to death naked on a pond in the course of 3 days. If they can do that for Jesus, surely we can stand an hour or so in the cold.” The event was scheduled to begin at 0630 sharp. The rendezvous point was a snow-covered public parking lot just off of highway 24, heading west out of the city proper. As soldiers arrived, they remained in their vehicles rather than stand in the biting wind any earlier than necessary. At the appointed time, they gathered around the map of the canyon at the edge of the parking lot for the route briefing given by Chaplain Chester. After the briefing, they headed into the small canyon, along a trail that gradually climbed in altitude for nearly a mile. After winding their way through the canyon for 2-1/2 miles, they gathered at the end of the run at another spot in the canyon, a flat open area near a small frozen pond. Chaplain Chester spoke to the group, relating the story of the 40 martyrs from Sebaste who died on a frozen lake so long ago, not only refusing to recant their faith, but proclaiming their faith to the cold bitter end! The men were encouraged to stand firm no matter what they faced in this life, especially the persecution that all believers face at times when they live righteously before God and in an unbelieving world. Each member of the group was given a patch symbolizing the martyrs of the “Thundering” XII Legion, Special Forces warriors of today, and emblazoned with a golden Cross of Christ against the canopy of a deployed parachute, a Green Beret, and the crossed arrows. Each man also received a small card on which was printed the following oath of allegiance: SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret), Local Representative, Chairman, CMF Board of Directors “I am a Soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ. I am prepared to speak any word, do any deed, and go anywhere As He leads Me. His will is my mission. When the enemy attacks I will Stand firm. When tempted I will persevere. When persecuted I will not forsake my Lord. I will do good to those who hate me, I will bless those who curse me, I will pray for those who mistreat me. Though pressured I am not crushed. Though perplexed I am not in despair. Though persecuted I am not abandoned. Though struck down I am not destroyed. I will always carry the death of Jesus in my body, that the life of Jesus may be revealed in my body." One can only imagine what the response of the mighty host of heaven was when the sound of earthly warriors' voices joined as one in allegiance to the Lord of Hosts and filled the air of a small canyon on a cold windy morning! The short ceremony concluded with the men in a circle, arms around each other's shoulders and heads bowed as Chaplain McBride closed in prayer. Certainly this was an event to be followed by more similar occasions, as more warriors of the 10th Special Forces Group step forward in faith and join this 'Band of Brothers!’ The Great Privilege The Great Privilege SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret) Chairman, Board of Directors Idon't know about you, but I get tired of always hearing about “process” where I work as a government contractor. “Process” seems to have taken over everything! It's not like when I was running a communications shop in the Army, or even when I was the Operations Sergeant Major in the Battalion Headquarters. At least then ”process” was about more effectively getting the job done. Sometimes that meant figuring out how to do more with the same or fewer people. Sometimes it was learning to accomplish the mission with the resources that were available. If the “process” worked, it ended up as part of somebody’s SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). These days it seems the “process” is the mission! I sit next to a “process engineer” and sometimes, when I overhear his side of phone conversations, I feel his pain! Well, guess what? God is into “process”! Check this out: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.’ But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-17 (NET) That looks like a “process” to me! Just in case you missed it, let’s identify the process steps. Call on the Name of the Lord and you will be saved. (The end state.) Before you can call on the Name of the Lord you have to believe. Before you can believe you have to hear. Before you can hear, there needs to be a preacher. Before there's a preacher, there is a “sending.” If it didn't before, does it look like a process now? Where I work, my Process Engineer (PE) buddy keeps track of all the written processes we use and helps develop new processes when they are needed. He also ensures people are actually following the established processes. The Apostle Paul, who wrote the letter to the Romans, is reminding Christians in Rome of the process, like my buddy at work does. You might also see Paul as one of the “sent preachers,” since after his conversion he dedicated his life to preaching the gospel, at times while working a regular job (tent making). Now the process “developer” ─ that’s another story. In fact, you've probably already figured out that God is the originator of the process, the Grand Architect. The only part of the process not specifically mentioned in the above passage from Romans is the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the person who has NOT yet called on the name of the Lord for salvation. In order for any person to call on the Lord, that person needs to have come to the point of realizing his/her condition of being lost and helpless, without a hope in the world of being saved through human effort. Some would say that this is the “drawing” by the Father to the Son that Jesus spoke of in John 6:44 and the enabling spoken of in John 6:65. When that drawing happens in the heart of the one who is needy and the gospel is preached, there is a supernatural combining of the realization of one’s lost condition and the hearing of the Word that results in calling out to the Lord and the saving of a soul for eternity! This amazing process that brings such sweet relief on the day of our salvation even honors the human will by turning the human heart, which is totally dead and unable to choose anything but sin (Romans 3: 10-18), toward God, so that our decision for Christ is out of our own freed will. We choose Christ because we desire Him. We desire Him because God has given us mercy and placed the necessary desire with us. You could say God “owns” the process (using the terms of the workplace). All three Persons of the Trinity act in unity to miraculously create the new birth in Christ! The Father is the Master Architect, the Son suffered, died and was resurrected to make it possible, and the Holy Spirit operates at both ends; preparing the heart of that one lost in sin and prompting someone to share the gospel (“sends the preacher”). So what does all this process “stuff” have to do with the “The Great Privilege”? Let me answer that with a couple of other questions: Did God have to develop a process to save anyone? No! Isn’t He God? Yes! After all, didn’t he confront Paul on the road to Damascus without human intervention? Yes! God can save ANY ONE, ANY TIME, ANY WAY He wants! At stake are the eternal souls of men and women, and God decides to use a method to save them that involves using regular, ordinary people as “process agents.” Consider the original twelve disciples. Among those Jesus chose were some fisherman, an IRS agent and at least one political activist. None of them had any sort of higher education. There wasn’t a learned religious leader, popular speaker, or finely dressed rich guy among the lot. Peter denied him, they argued about who was the greatest, and when he went to the Cross, all but one (John) disappeared from the scene. Why these guys? About all I can say to that is that He is GOD and it's HIS choice. The Apostle Paul, speaking to Christians at Corinth provides a better answer: “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” There are probably other reasons why He chooses to use bumbling believers as process agents, but for the moment, it’s enough that He chose the method ─ “designed the process.” That’s where “Privilege” enters the picture. God doesn’t need people to save anyone—you, me or anyone else. It’s our Great Privilege to take the Good News to the world around us. If He prompts me to share that news and I refuse, He’ll send another. If that one refuses, He’ll send another. The mission WILL be accomplished, with or without me. God WILL send a man or woman obedient to the call, and souls WILL be saved according to HIS plan! As one pair of evangelical writers said so well: “The Spirit of God uses the Word of God through men and women of God to make the message about the Son of God available to all who want to know the truth. There is no limit to the creative ways God can use to bring about this process.”— from “I’m Glad You Asked” - Ken Boa and Larry Moody Reader, listen closely. Do you remember when you first embraced your Savior? Did not something happen inside you to cause you to desire God? Did you not somehow “hear” the good news of salvation in Christ and then call out to Him for that precious gift? Are you saved, to your eternal benefit and His everlasting glory? If so, the One who saved you now “sends” you into the world to share the greatest news mankind will ever know! (That's not my opinion─hear some of the last words of Jesus as He prayed earnestly to the Father on behalf of his closest disciples, those twelve ordinary men, shortly before He went to the cross of Calvary. “But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” John 17:13-18 (NET) Do you desire to be called? Are you prepared to go when called? Will you share in the Great Privilege? I leave you with the question, and pray that the answer is a resounding YES! That like the prophet of old, you will hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And you will say, “Here am I. Send me!” NOTE: The only reason CMF exists is to support, train and equip believers serving in all branches of military service as they grow in Christ and as the “sent ones” wherever they live and serve God and our country. Why is there a CMF? Why CMF? — by Dan Cartwright, Chariman, CMF Board of Directors SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret) Chairman, Board of Directors More than a few years have passed since I enlisted in the ranks of Christian Military Fellowship. I joined CMF after hearing a presentation by a CMF staff member to a small group of soldiers gathered for a Bible study in a chapel at Ft. Devens, MA. This “prodigal son” had returned home not long before, and I was excited about my rediscovered faith and hungry for both the Word and Christian fellowship. As a result of that hunger, I had joined the small group that met once a week over lunch at Independence Chapel. What I heard about CMF that day really caught my attention! I heard about a fellowship of believers who wore the uniforms of our Armed Forces. They were ordinary people, like this young NCO, with an extraordinary vision! They felt called of God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with their comrades-in-arms, and further, to help each other grow while serving in our country's military. I learned that the purpose of CMF’s small staff, in Denver, Colorado, was to help us “ordinary folks” accomplish the mission defined in the CMF motto— “To Win…To Disciple…To Equip…To Win.” In other words, CMF wasn't about an organization’s ministry TO the military, but about encouraging and supporting ministry IN the military. The “minister” IN the military was supposed to be the “man in the mirror"! Through the years, the mission and goals of CMF haven't changed. If you read the CMF Orientation Brief today (available on the CMF website “Resource” page), you will find the following statement: "We are a PEER ministry TO military people BY military people WITHIN the military society." You might be asking "Why?", and that's certainly a valid question. I found a large part of the answer to that question, already in practice, in a book called "Revolution in World Missions," written by K.P. Yohanan and first published in 1986. K.P. is the founder and President of Gospel for Asia, an organization dedicated to sending support to native pastors in Asia. "Revolution in World Missions" discusses the shift from “colonial" missionary efforts sponsored by Western nations (foreigners), due in large part to countries in Asia gaining their independence from the rule of colonial governments (foreigners) and the tossing out of colonial missionaries (foreigners) along with their governments. The leadership of remaining Christian missionary efforts fell to the native believers, Christians born and raised in the now free countries and remote areas of much of Asia. The spreading of the Gospel became primarily an “inside job,” accomplished by indigenous believers. Was there still a role for the West? Absolutely! K.P. Yohanan aptly remarks in his book:, "God still sovereignly calls Western missionaries to do unique and special tasks in Asia. But we must understand that the primary role for Westerners now should be to support efforts of indigenous mission works through finances and intercessory prayer." What may have begun out of necessity (foreigners tossed out) has actually resulted in evangelization and missionary work in much of Asia that is far more effective than the efforts under the leadership of the westerners (foreigners). There are several reasons for the increased effectiveness of native missionaries, attested to by the many organizations that, like Gospel for Asia, are solely dedicated to supporting native pastors and indigenous mission boards: “They already know the culture, the customs, the laws, the language. So they encounter fewer barriers in witnessing for Christ. They can go where no “foreigner” ever could.” - World-Wide Missions “… the most effective work done in many foreign countries was that carried forward by the nationals themselves. There were many arguments in favor of such missionary endeavors. They were already on the field. They knew the language and the customs.…I later discovered there is another sound argument for national programs—the fact that the work cannot be closed down where there is any type of religious freedom at all.” Dr. Basil Miller. Founder, World-Wide Missions Indigenous means, “native to the land.” A palm tree from Puerto Rico transplanted in Pennsylvania will not survive because it is not indigenous. But fertilizer from Pennsylvania applied to a palm tree in Puerto Rico will make it grow better in its native soil. Indigenous Christianity is not an imported denomination or other foreign organization. A Christian group started by foreigners hardly ever becomes truly indigenous. But an indigenous group can be inspired by visiting speakers from other countries (foreigners) and strengthened by financial help from believers overseas (foreigners), provided it is not used to buy control.” - Christian Aid U.S.A. Let's summarize. Indigenous ministry would be ministry carried out by those who are: Native to the land, Already in the field, Knowledge of the culture, language, customs, and laws, Cannot be expelled, More effective, and Can go where no foreigner could “Culture” is emphasized above because there is a distinct culture in the military. If the military can be viewed as a culture, the different branches can be called sub-cultures. Taken one step further, there are even sub-sub-cultures in each of the branches of service. I spent my entire career, aside from training and certain schools, in the Special Forces culture. If you are a current or past member of one of the branches of service, you know exactly what I mean. I need explain it no further. Suffice it to say that every culture or sub-culture has its own language, customs, and laws. Outsiders to the culture are viewed as foreigners in the same sense as the colonialists mentioned earlier in this article. That last characteristic is strongly emphasized because, years ago, an Army Chaplain invited two young soldiers to a Saturday morning men's breakfast fellowship at a local church of his endorsing denomination. At one point the Chaplain told the assembled group: "These two men go places where I will never be able to set foot." That Chaplain’s few words said it all then, and they still ring true today. They apply to every man and woman in uniform who, unashamed of the Gospel, live out their faith where no Chaplain will ever set foot. And that's what CMF is about! 5 Ways God Compels Us to Lead Coming up through the ranks as a military leader there were, on many occasions, times that I was able to learn from my leaders, my peers, and my subordinates alike. From each subset of the populous with whom I interacted on a daily basis, I began to formulate my own leadership styles at a very young age. You see, I learned from all of my leaders, which you would think to be a good thing. However, there were also occasions where I learned how not to lead. As a young Sailor I learned a lot about myself. As subordinate, I learned which traits and mannerisms of my leaders to which I best responded. There were days that they had to be creative in order to appeal to my motivators in order to obtain the best levels of my work. My best leaders knew what my motivators were, and managed accordingly. There were also other leaders who didn’t seem to know or care what motivated me. As a result my attitude, my morale and of course my quality of work waned. It was important to me that I was able to see a realistic path to ascend through the ranks. I held in high regard the office of those appointed over me and endeavored to show the proper respect to those persons who held the office. So with that, a natural tendency for me at that young age was to emulate the leader(s) that I felt had the best leadership attributes. These attributes contributed to my daily habits as a sailor, and through my habits, my leadership character was formed. Along the way, I learned the elements of those attributes and how to apply them in specific situations. Through my journey up through the ranks, I began to understand and assimilate into my leadership style, those characteristics that were displayed to me not only by men and women in uniform, but by our almighty God. In fact, when I began to “take it to the book” (the Holy Bible) did I first begin to realize how I was created, for what I was created, and the character that God displayed befor me every step of the way. God truly leads by example! 1. Lead by Example Colossians 3:17 says: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Jesus shows us many ways where He presents the theme of leading by example as being at the forefront of His actions! If you haven’t heard it before, you should hear it now: as a leader, in any capacity, where you have the ability to teach and mentor protégés, they are watching and learning from your every move! Make no mistake, like little children they are learning from your mannerisms, your speech, your ethics and your values and at each step, they are internally assessing your ability to lead them, in any capacity. We do it all the time. How many Pastors have you “sized up” when investigating a new home church? Paul writes to Timothy: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV The Gospel of John says that we’re to be an example in service to each other. “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” John 13:12-15 ESV 2. Be a Servant Leader “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28 ESV Chief among the attributes of servant leadership, Jesus compels us to put down our pride, and serve each other with grace and empathy. We have to remember that not only are we in the business of completing well-orchestrated (most of the time) strategic missions, that we’re also in the business of shaping and molding people. Jesus compels us to serve our brothers and sisters and that through that service, we are providing those within our charge with the best attributes of leadership possible, both morally and ethically. 3. Lead with Wisdom Wisdom and discernment come with time, age and experience. As a young leader, don’t be afraid to plant your flagpole and make a decision. Subordinates and protégés don’t always benefit from indecision. However, be deliberate in your decision making methodology, otherwise the ripple effects of your decisions can be impactful in other potentially unforeseen areas. Take as many factors into consideration as possible before leading the charge in any one direction. The benefits of your deliberate decision making process will be many. Proverbs 8:1-36 ESV states, “Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.” 4. Have Trust Have trust in those around you, as the camaraderie and bonds that you have formed through your traditions and training will be displayed during the most stressful of times. In leading young service members individually or collectively, there must be trust among those you empower, to be able to carry out the orders with precision, as they have been trained to do. Trust in each other, and trust in the Lord. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce” Proverbs 3:5-10 ESV As Paul again writes to Timothy: “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV 5. Lead with Love As leaders, whether we’re leading in a military capacity, or as teachers of education, or trainers for our business or our church, or as stay at home parents; the greatest of attributes that we could ever adorn in leadership or other capacities is on distinct display by our Lord and Savior. Of the many attributes that Jesus teaches us for how to behave and what is most consistent with the expectations that God has for us on this earth, he sums up with two very specific commandments. They are found within the Gospels, and Matthew tells us this is how the conversation occurred: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 ESV The apostle Paul also gives us, in his letter to the Romans: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 ESV Comments are closed.