Posts Tagged ‘military’


A Parallel

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Copyright 2002. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety

The sound is a harsh, sharp, irritating, loud, staccato buzz, repeated three times. To those of us in Strategic Air Command, it was a reminder of the unpleasant reality of the real reason why we were here. It was an unwelcome intrusion in our daily lives.

Just off the end of the runway, was a pad large enough to hold four KC-135 tankers with its own special taxiway leading to the end of the runway. On that pad, an utter, but strangely organized pandemonium broke loose with Crew Chiefs and Flight Crew members running to their particular planes, removing covers and beginning startup procedures. Perhaps today is not merely a drill, but a horrifying reality has occurred and time is of the essence. Meanwhile, the Control Tower and the Aircraft Readiness Center have cleared the runway of all normal flight operations so that nothing impedes the launching of the Alert aircraft. In short, everything is now focused on the fact that the Cold War may now no longer be something to be pushed out of mind and temporarily forgotten.

During the years of 1948 through 1991, most of the Western world, but particularly America experienced a war that, after the early years, became something to be forgotten, or ignored. In the 1950’s and early 60’s, it was not uncommon for attack response drills to be carried out in schools and government offices around the country. However, as time wore on, the response to a very real threat began to drop off. As the expected attack never came, people became far less concerned with the fact that The Soviet Union had several thousand warheads and bombs designated for targets in the United States. In fact, by 1985 the perception of actual threat in American society had diminished to the point of being the concern of only few “warmongers” and virulent anti-communists. The vast majority of America was too absorbed in being entertained and making money for retirement, or the next vacation. By 1991, when Communism supposedly collapsed in on itself, American society was poised for the decade of self-absorption in which “If it feels good, do it.” was the motto.

However, over the years of the Cold War what was not well understood by the society at large, was that the enemy was not the USSR per se, rather, the enemy was the philosophy and socio/political system of Communism (or Marxism, whichever you prefer). Indeed, the aggression of missiles and bombs was only the outward manifestation of a deeper, and more serious war that was occurring on many levels and fronts. Most of which were either unseen, or undetected except by a few perceptive individuals. When those individuals sought to raise the alarm, they were derided as virtual lunatics and paranoids.

What was not, and still is not well understood about this war, is that those who are the aggressors hold a completely different mindset about war and how war is to be fought. To them, the war is not confined to the battlefield where the bullets and bombs are expended. No — to them the war encompasses every aspect of life. This war is to be fought in the hospitals, schools, libraries, factories, social gatherings, churches, etc. etc. and consists primarily of the conversion of persons from one way of thinking to another. Every turning of thought, every person convinced to change their way of thinking, even on the smallest of issues, was and is considered a victory. To achieve this victory, every means of communication is used by the adversary, whether it is the supposed “documentary,” a Hollywood movie, a song (it doesn’t matter what particular genre — the Communists have their agents in every aspect of the music industry), the various books (even religious books), or the political and social issues arena, they left no area untouched in their drive to alter the thinking of American society. Thus, bit by bit, person by person, the Communists seek to change the thinking of a significant minority, up to the majority of persons to their way of thinking. When this is achieved, then they will have accomplished a victory without ever firing a shot.

Failing that, they have a backup plan — tear down the existing society if it will not accept the tenets of Marxism. This is done by actively working to increase disorder and immorality in the society so that it collapses in on itself. Thus, the society is set up for them to propose their “solution” to the problem of the chaos that they helped create. Fascinating isn’t it, that when the end justifies the means, anything can be done — so long as the goal is accomplished.

There is a parallel here — between the war the Marxists launched against America, and American society’s long term response to it, and the church the Lord Jesus Christ brought into existence on this earth, particularly in the late 20th Century. You see, we all “know” that spiritual war exists and that there is a spiritual war that is occurring, but we, like the American society that we come out of, don’t like to be particularly troubled with the details of it, or involvement in it (as if we could really avoid it). And, like American society, we frequently wish it would just “go away” so we could continue on with our lives.

However, like the Communists (whose father is the Devil), Satan has other plans for the Lord’s church. And, like the Communists, the Devil uses every bit of deceit and trickery he can find to get his message across, and influence the Lord’s people to do things contrary to what the Lord would have them to do. But, unlike the Marxists, Satan is far more successful. How do we know? History records it, specifically Bible history.

If we go back and read about the various churches spoken of in the New Testament (which weren’t supposed to fail) we can ask ourselves a very simple question: Where are those churches today? In fact, where were those churches in 250 AD? Since the last book of the New Testament was written in 90 AD, it is reasonable to ask if the churches described in the New Testament survived as proper churches for the next 160 years.

Moreover, we ought to ask ourselves a very similar question: Will we survive as a proper church? Now I know that some raise the question: Doesn’t the Lord tell us that the “gates of Hell will not prevail against it” meaning that the church cannot be defeated?

The answer is both a “yes” and a “no” to the question. If we consider the church as a kind, or a species (if you will), then it is very true that Satan will not destroy the Lord’s church. Additionally, if we consider the implications of the entire statement, we find that gates are a defensive measure used by cities against attackers. Thus, as long as a particular church is on the offensive, and guided by the Holy Ghost in that offensive, then that church will stand. There is no possibility of that church being defeated. However, we find recorded throughout the last 19 centuries, voluminous evidence of churches that decided not to follow the leadership of the Lord and adhere to His commandments. In short, they also became like American society in the late 20th century — unwilling to commit themselves to the reality of the war that is on-going.

Therefore, what guarantees do we have as a proper New Testament church that we will survive in both doctrine and practice? Do we also understand that it is not enough to have a good doctrine but we must also give that doctrine feet and legs. The doctrine must be put into practice. This is one of the very valuable lessons taught in the military — readiness doesn’t mean much if you cannot respond quickly in the event of an actual attack. This is the exact reason for the no-notice Alert drills that SAC loved so much. Why? Because it proved that what we stated daily was actually true. As fundamental, independent, Baptists can we actually prove that what our doctrine states is really true by our actions? Or, are they just so many words on paper, nice to look at, but not to be actually practiced?

When we talk of spiritual war, do we really understand that there is a real war occurring? Or, is this something that happens somewhere else? Do we understand that the focus of the war is the Lord’s people and their ability to carry an effective Gospel testimony? Do we also understand that the Devil is a liar and the father of lies, and thus has no problem setting about to deceive us and distract us from the task the Lord has given us? Do we also understand that nothing is off-limits as far as what the Devil will use against us?

And finally, is it clear to us that everyone — lost or saved, is involved on one side of this war or the other? And that those on the other side desperately need deliverance from the destruction of sin and iniquity and the bonds of the Devil? Moreover, just like the war that Communism continues to prosecute against the United States, this war will not end until one side is completely defeated.



Complacency Kills

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Copyright 2002. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety

In the whole issue of Spiritual warfare it is proper to remember something that we so often forget, and that snared several persons in both the Old and New Testaments. The illustration that follows is not quite that old. In fact, it happened while I was on active duty, and was related to me by a subordinate who was directly involved, though not by choice.

One of the strange things about my Air Force career was that I ended up with three specialties, and reached a high level of proficiency in all three. It really was not by choice that I ended up changing careers three times, except for the transition from logistics to avionics. What this meant was that I became intimately familiar with the Air Force training program and its processes. Without actually looking at certain paperwork, I know that certain things must be accomplished prior to allowing an individual to perform certain tasks. That knowledge bears heavily on understanding the event which occurred at Williams AFB.

While stationed at Castle AFB I had the privilege of training several individuals on KC-135 autopilot and navigation systems. As the Combat Crew training base in Strategic Air Command, we had an extremely heavy flying schedule. Thus we consumed people. One of those individuals we received at Castle was a young man that transitioned from Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) to Guidance and Control Systems. He was serious individual that was easy to train and conscientious about his duties. He also had a story to tell; one that was not so pleasant, and is a lesson for us all.

This Senior Airman (SRA) was stationed at Williams AFB as an AGE technician. Part of his duties involved delivering requested equipment to the aircraft that needed it, for the performance of certain tasks. As he put it, there was nothing unusual about the particular day that he delivered a piece of equipment to a T-38 Talon trainer on the ramp. From the enclosed cab of the AGE tractor he could see the crew chief of the aircraft. He also noted that the aircraft was jacked up with one wheel removed for replacement. There was a wheel and tire technician present at the aircraft along with a high pressure Nitrogen cart used for various tasks on the flight line.

The high pressure Nitrogen cart figures prominently in this whole affair, thus it bears brief consideration. It consists of several high pressure Nitrogen bottles (3000 PSI) laid in a rack, four across and two or three high. This cart also has two regulators. One is for low pressure that will allow only 300 PSI. The other regulator is the high pressure side that allows the full 3000 PSI to be available.

Also, aircraft tires are not quite like vehicle tires. First, they are designed for high speed contact with the ground. They are also designed for high impact and extreme temperature changes. To help prolong the life of the wheel and tire, they are also filled with Nitrogen.

Pressurizing the tire was the task being performed by the wheel and tire technician when the SRA pulled his tractor past the nose of the T-38 and cut towards the wingtip in preparation to drop off the equipment. As he pulled his tractor past the wheel and tire technician and the Nitrogen cart, he heard a dull explosion and blood splattered across the cab of his tractor. At that point he stopped everything he was doing.

The subsequent investigation revealed that one critical mistake had been made. Unfortunately, it cost the life of the wheel and tire technician.

Without having to read the report of the incident, I know that certain things were accomplished, and that the individual who died knew certain other things that should have prevented this from ever occurring.

  1. This individual had reached a certain level of proficiency that is classed as “skilled” in the task he was performing with the tire.
  2. He had performed this task many times, both with, and without supervision. In all probability he had also been evaluated on this task for his proficiency and knowledge.
  3. The Technical Order specifically directs every step of the task. Whether you are just beginning, or are the most highly skilled technician on the line, you must have the Technical Order open and follow it every step of the way. Regulations demand it.
  4. That same Technical Order contains “Warnings” “Notes” and “Cautions” that inform everyone of things that will, or can occur while performing the task. Pressurizing a tire would have had a “Warning” prior to the step of pressurizing the tire, informing anyone of the fact that improperly performing this task could result in severe injury or loss of life.

The SRA informed me that the investigators found that the wheel and tire technician had improperly selected the high pressure side of the cart and had applied 3000 PSI to the tire while he was immediately adjacent to the tire. The results were predictable. The most devastating thing about the whole incident is: HE KNEW BETTER!

You know — it is not a stretch to apply this one to spiritual warfare: How many times do we know better, and still do it anyway?

It is evident that Solomon knew better than to take so many wives. It is evident that David knew better than to look upon, let alone touch Bathsheba. It is also evident that David knew better than to number Israel. In fact he was specifically warned against it. It is again evident that David also knew better than to have more than one wife as well. Just what were the Lord’s words against such actions, and when were they given?

When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:14-20)

Thus we find that the Lord had given specific warning about the very issues that snared both David and Solomon before Israel ever even entered the land of Canaan, and long before they asked for an earthly king.

And what about Demas from the New Testament?

Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. (Colossians 4:14)
Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
(Philemon 1:24)

Just how long did one have to be in the company of Paul the Apostle to understand the dangers of following after the world? Demas was considered by Paul to be a fellow laborer in the Gospel. Obviously, Demas knew that friendship with the world was enmity with God. How could he miss “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)?

The problem is, he didn’t miss it. No, Demas knew what the Lord Jesus Christ stated. Yet, as we see:

For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)

I think the problem lies in the following:

We believe that all we have to do is maintain our doctrine and we will be okay. If we just get taught, and then hold fast, we will make it. If we really want to be a go-getter, we will teach Bible studies, or get actively involved in a ministry and that will help maintain our strength and stand in the doctrine.

Except that violates all the evidence of history. It also violates the scriptures and the construction used in scripture. By that I mean:

The history of war plainly shows that the best defense is an outstanding, well-executed offense.

Moreover, and more importantly; scripture states:

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (Romans 13:13)

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Galatians 5:7)

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

All these plainly indicate that progression is to be made. That we are to be proactive in opposing this world. After all, to run (or to walk) means that one must necessarily move forward. In the case of spiritual war, in which we are all involved, it means to be on the offensive. If a soldier merely sits on the battlefield and simply occupies a patch of ground, he is not going to take any territory. Moreover, eventually an adversary will come along and begin to dislodge him from his position. This is a continual problem with individual soldiers and thus armies in peacetime. Since there is no active opponent, they get complacent and secure in their position, weapons and tactics. So when an active war erupts and they go to battle, they suffer needless loss as they were not really prepared.

As all this applies to the church; we should understand the proper interpretation of the following verse as supporting what is previously stated: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Again, it must be emphasized: This is a war of deception. Satan does not want you and I to understand that we are really at war. And, if we do, he wants us to believe that merely maintaining our position will keep us secure and immune from defeat. He dearly loves it when we think we cannot fall, (or we do not take the possibility of falling away seriously) as he now has us in the perfect position to fall. It is the most difficult of things to keep in mind. After all, don’t we know so much? How could we then fall?

It’s quite easy — complacency kills.


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