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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

News: Air Force Academy Rules on Public Prayer

AP reported yesterday (August 29) about the new guidelines for "religious tolerance" with the Air Force. The cause for this ruling was due to "evangelical Christians having too much influence" on the Air Force Academy. Here's the gist of their ruling. #1 Chaplains are to respect the religions of all others, including those who hold no beliefs. (A Christian chaplain is "respect" the religions of others, I suppose, by praying to Allah or Buddha, and to not pray or teach around atheists. What exactly does "respect" mean? #2 Prayers are to be "nonsectarian" and short and only to promote "a sense of solemnity" but cannot promote specific beliefs (a la praying in Jesus' name). These "prayers" are to be allowed only in "extraordinary circumstances" such as "mass casualties, preparation for imminent combat, and natural disasters." Prayer to promote solemnity? Is this what prayer is for? Prayer, I guess is psycho-theraputic, and not conversation and supplication with God through Jesus Christ. #3 The draft also says that the Air Force "will not officially endorse or establish religion, either one specific religion, or the idea of religion over non-religion." I am quite sure that no Christian is not asking the Air Force to put a cross on their emblem or ask them to wear WWJD? bracelets or listen to Jesus Freak or frequently visit Focus on the Family located nearby. One thing to consider, however, is how an officer or commander is to separate his beliefs/convictions from everyday life. When he prays, discusses Jesus, or reads his Bible, is he not an official officer of Air Force and thereby advocating that faith? It is my speculation that the overwhelming majority of religious folk are Christian, and this is not acceptable; thefore, the one or two aggregators must pipe up and complain about it. Clearly, this is the reason why, according to the article, this draft and ruling has taken place. #4 Public prayer is strongly discouraged at events or meetings. The internalization and privacy of religion is emphasized, and what they are discouraging is the public witness of Jesus Christ and the power of praying in His name has on people. Fortunately, God does not have his hands tied because of such rulings, and God's people, who are called by His name, shall pray - and in Jesus' name. This provokes two immediates thoughts in me: the continual rise of reliigous pluralism and the continual cultural war against Christianity. Speak of that cultural war, David Limbaugh has written a well-documented book called Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity which is on sale for only $4.99 on BAMM. It is a solid resource for discussing the antagonistic bias our media coupled with the ACLU have influenced our culture against Christianity. For the AP report by Robert Weller, click here. For the New York Times article by Laurie Goodstein, click here. For the Rocky Mountain News article by Dick Foster, click here.


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