May 2013

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Newsletters | 0 comments

Dear Family and Friends,

May is when we observe the National Day of Prayer, but for those serving in the active duty or reserve military, any mention of this annual tradition or an invitation to participate in a prayer gathering could now result in a hearing before a military tribunal.

Under the guise of “tolerance” and in compliance with the mythical “wall of separation” interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the Obama administration has essentially prohibited any expression of faith within the ranks of the U.S. military.  The Air Force has been the administration’s primary target, as it is considered to be the most “faith-saturated” branch of the armed forces.  The 27-page Air Force directive regarding religious expression, the cover of which states, “COMPLIANCE WITH THIS PUBLICATION IS MANDATORY,” effectively prohibits any public expression of faith:  “Leaders at all levels must avoid the actual or apparent use [emphasis added] of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extent preferential treatment for any religion.”

In response to an inquiry earlier this month as to whether military personnel could actually be prosecuted for sharing their faith, a DoD statement concluded, “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense … Courts martial and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis.”  In response to this statement, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin noted, “The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away … Christians within the military who speak of their faith could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state.  It’s a matter of what do they mean by ‘proselytizing.’ … If you’re talking about the free exercise of our faith by individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, especially for the chaplains, then I think the worse thing we can do is stop the ability for a soldier to be able to exercise his faith.”

Consider the implications if the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were to issue the following directive to all military personnel:  “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion.  To the distinguished character of the Patriot, it  should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

The preceding quote is from the General Orders issued by George Washington on May 2, 1778, after his Continental Army survived the brutal winter at Valley Forge.  A year earlier, shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington stated, “The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.”[1]

Once upon a time in this country, Christian faith and character were esteemed and embraced by those in leadership.  Today, sadly, virtually any expression of faith in God or Christ is deemed offensive, divisive, and even dangerous by the powers-that-be who seek not only to suppress but to discredit and, ultimately, eliminate such expression from virtually every segment of public life.

The result?  A nation that is increasingly being “given over” by God (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28), or what John MacArthur refers to as “the wrath of abandonment.”  The evidence of this is sobering:  As a nation given over to “sexual impurity” (v. 24), we’re reaping the bitter fruit of promiscuity and marital infidelity, sexually-transmitted diseases, abortion and, as the Kermit Gosnell trial revealed recently, the most barbaric and inhumane forms of infanticide.  As a nation given over to “shameful lusts” (v. 26), we’re reaping the bitter fruit of an increasingly “normalized” view of homosexual behavior, including the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in more and more states.  The end result of this downward moral spiral is a society that is given over to “a depraved mind,” a mind that is tested or evaluated (by God) and found to be worthless, a mind that causes people, even compels them, “to do what ought not to be done … every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity” (vv. 28-29).

This is why there is such an urgent need today for the Church in America to pray as never before — to confess our sins, both personal and national, following the example of the Old Testament saints (Ezra 9:5-15; Neh. 9:1-38; Jer. 14:7-9; Dan. 9:3-19); to petition God, fervently, that He might send revival throughout our nation, revival characterized by “godly sorrow” over sin that “produces repentance … leading to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:9-11); and to intercede on behalf of “all who are in authority” (1 Tim. 2:2) — that the God who holds the king’s heart in His hand would be pleased to turn it to Himself, producing leaders who “do righteousness and justice” (Prov. 21:1, 3).

And as we pray, we also need to be about the Father’s business of making disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).  Here at home, we’re making disciples through Released Time Bible classes.  Our RT enrollment was up by 60 students compared to last year, from 1,426 to 1,486, with 57 boys and girls trusting Christ as Savior.  Pray that these students will be directed to faithful, loving church homes where they can be fed and nurtured in their spiritual walk.

In Kenya, we’re making disciples through teaching and evangelism in the schools and open-air evangelistic meetings.  I’ll be returning to Kenya June 16th for a four-week mission to Ogembo and Mfangano Island, Lake Victoria.  Week one will be spent in Ogembo with Pastor Elijah Osiemoh.  We will visit three public primary schools, two public secondary schools, and one Christian school; conduct meetings in three churches, an open-air evangelistic meeting at Itumbe Market, and an all-day pastors conference for about 50 local pastors.  One day will be devoted to ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the many widows, orphans and elderly in the area.  I’ll spend the following two weeks with Bobby Johnson and Andrew Hill on Mfangano Island doing school ministry and open-air evangelism.  In addition, we will be working with the local pastors in developing a ministry to enable the widows on the island to become self-supporting.

Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in providing the funds needed for air fare and the ministry on Mfangano!  The additional week in Ogembo has increased the projected budget of the trip by about $1,800.00.  To date, $800.00 has been given or pledged.  To those of you who have given so generously towards this trip, thank you so much!  Many people are praying, and I know that God is going to do a great work in bringing many people to Christ, as He did during our March trip.  If you haven’t yet given but would like to be part of our financial support team in helping provide the remaining $1,000.00 needed, your gift would be greatly appreciated!  Please make your check payable to CBM and write “Kenya trip” on the memo line, or if you’d prefer, you can donate online using PayPal by going to our website (www.cbmgreatsouthwest.org) and clicking the yellow PayPal tab.  Faith Bible Church, Edmond, members may also donate through the church (“Scott Brinson – Kenya”).  Thank you so much for your vital ministry to our ministry!

                                                                                                         To the Praise of His Glory,

                                                                 Scott


[1] Excerpted from Mark Alexander’s Patriot Post, May 2, 2013.  To read the entire post online, go to:   http://patriotpost.us/alexander/17989

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