Introduction and Interaction
Part of the beauty of social networking websites, despite their manifold dangers, is the potential for reconnection and even reconciliation with long-missed friends. Facebook allowed me to reconnect with my best friend from West Point, (now) Major Ray Kimball.
Ray Kimball is a Major in the US Army whose operational experience includes counterdrug operations on the Mexican border, peacekeeping in the Balkans, and high-intensity combat in Iraq. He is a Charter Member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nation’s first and largest group dedicated to Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Recently he wrote an article entitled, “Mission First: What BOTH Candidates Get Wrong.” I highly recommend that you check it out. In it, he interacts with the following two quotes.
Senator Obama (in Army Times): “I don’t know a higher [military] priority than making sure that the men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way, day in and day out, are getting decent pay and decent benefits … These are just basic requirements of a grateful nation.”
Senator McCain (on his website): “There can be no higher defense priority than the proper compensation, training, and equipping of our troops.”
Patrick Mead, Ben Overby, and I share a deep and abiding affection for and spiritual commitment to the soldiers of our free nation. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have sacrificed the opportunity to minister directly to those brave men and women as a military chaplain. But that’s yesterday. What about today?
I won’t spoil either Ray’s presentation of the problem or his solution by quoting it here. PLEASE go read it, and think about it in context of the following quote from Brad Harrub (who is my scapegoat SIMPLY BECAUSE he is the last person I heard say it; it is a common conviction in our brotherhood).
“The #1 Goal in my life is to make sure I go to heaven.” – from 7 Reasons We’re Losing Our Children and How to Save Them DVD, Focus Press
I’ve heard this phrase, suspiciously unaccompanied by Scriptural support, time and time again from pulpits across the South (not to suggest that it isn’t prevalent elsewhere; I just haven’t been in CoC assemblies elsewhere). And yet Paul understands his mission and his identity in such a way that he can say such things as Romans 9:3.
We’re deeply confused at the level of identity and mission.
in HIS love,