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The Ugly Side Of The U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy

Rev. Daniel R. Jennings, M.A.


    Having been unable to find a full-time ministry position in the civilian world (which is very common in the United States due to the unequal ratio of trained ministers to open church positions) I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2004 with the hope of finishing seminary and then applying for the Air Force’s Chaplaincy Program. The U.S. has had military chaplains since 1775 when the Continental Congress created the Chaplain Corps in the Continental Army to minister to the spiritual needs of our soldiers.

    Before joining I had researched the chaplaincy program on the internet and even called the Air Force Chaplain Corps office where I spoke with a Chaplain about the program. Almost everything that I learned made it appeal to me: an opportunity to minister the Gospel to people who needed to be ready spiritually to die at a moment’s notice, the government’s backing and approval of my ministry, a great salary with excellent benefits, and the sense of patriotic value that comes from serving in the military.

    Only one person really presented a valid argument against me pursuing this. He was a conservative Methodist minister and he warned me about a friend of his who had joined the chaplaincy, only to find out that chaplains are pressured to promote universalism. I took him at his word but I thought that surely his friend was mistaken or perhaps overreacted on some things. However, after enlisting I began to realize that his friend’s experience was true and that there is a dark and hidden side to the U.S. Air Force Chaplaincy that most people are unaware of.

    One of the first things that made me question the Chaplaincy was when I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base for technical training. I remember being forced to go to a briefing at which a chaplain was discussing why people should not commit suicide (suicide is a big problem in the Air Force). As he discussed ways to deal with suicidal thoughts he mentioned that God was one source of help when we were discouraged. What struck me as odd however, was that even though he was a Christian chaplain (I believe that he was Southern Baptist to be specific) he talked about God in a general sense without giving any explanation of who He was. I remember being struck with the impression that he had worded his briefing so that whether one was a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or any other religion he or she would assume that he was talking about their God, not his. That made me feel a little uncomfortable although I didn’t think much of it for very long.

    Later when I was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base I found myself at another mandatory briefing in which a chaplain was present. This time it was a Pentecostal chaplain and as she shared with the class what services the chaplaincy program at the base had to offer I was very surprised when she made a statement to the effect of “If you are a Mormon and you would like to meet with someone from the Mormon church let us know and we will get you someone from there to minister to you.” I couldn’t understand that. Pentecostals (as well as all evangelical Christians) know that Mormonism is a cult and that those who are involved in it are lost and on their way to a burning hell. How could she talk about it as if it was just another Christian group?

    At every base I served at (a total of four) I attended the chapel services and in two of the chapels I was even allowed to preach. My wife also became very involved with the Protestant Women of The Chapel, at one point even becoming an elected officer. At one of the chapels (the one which we attended the most) I asked a chaplain (a Wesleyan) if it would be alright if I went over to the dorms and handed out witnessing tracts. I guess I expected him to be at least somewhat supportive as having preached in and taught Sunday School in Wesleyan churches I knew that they were evangelical. You should have seen him cringe almost and tell me something to the effect of “Ah, uh, I don’t know…that’s a very tricky issue…you would need to talk to the First Sergeant about that.” Well I got the point. The chaplain could not give me permission to share the gospel (in fact it seemed to make him very uncomfortable that I had asked him for permission to do so) and if he couldn’t I certainly didn’t think that the First Sergeant (who had absolutely nothing to do with the chapel program) would let me do it either. So I just got the addresses of the dorms and mailed the tracts anonymously.

    While I was in the Air Force the issue of freedom of religious expression came to the forefront. A Jewish student at the Air Force Academy had initiated a law suit claiming that he was being unduly pressured to convert to Christianity. In connection with this the issue of “praying in Jesus’ Name” became a focal point of debate and chaplains were discouraged from praying in Jesus’ Name at non-chapel related events even though the Bible is very plain in that Jesus taught his disciples that we were to pray “in his name” (Jn 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-26). I know that at Tinker in 2008 the Base Commander was putting pressure on chaplains to not pray in Jesus’ Name. I know this because one day after a chapel service a very discouraged chaplain was sharing, out loud as if he didn’t care who heard him, that this was the case. For him it had become an issue in which the church group which sponsored him had had to become involved because if he chose to give into the pressure of the Base Commander they would no longer sponsor him with a religious endorsement and without a religious endorsement he could no longer be a chaplain.1 Ironically, this particular Base Commander attended the chapel and had even been known to get up in front of the congregation and deliver the children’s message. Why did a high ranking officer, who attended and took part in the Protestant chapel services, pressure a Christian to not pray in Jesus’ Name?

    On more than one occasion a particular chaplain (another Pentecostal), knowing the amount of theological education that I had, encouraged me to become a chaplain. In our first discussion I shared with him how that I could not do so because I knew that Jesus said we were to pray “in his name” and that the chaplains were not allowed to. He acknowledged this and shared with me the story of a very high ranking chaplain who refused to obey the Air Force and prayed in Jesus name and was disciplined for doing so. I asked him how could he pray one way when the Lord told us to pray another way and he said that he would just substitute another title for Jesus such as if he was at a Chief Master Sergeant’s retirement ceremony he would pray “in the name of the Chief of Chiefs” or something like that. But Jesus didn’t tell us to pray in the name of the Chief of Chiefs. He told us to pray in His Name and anything else that is substituted in order to keep from mentioning his name is nothing less than a refusal to acknowledge him in our prayers.

    Another incident that troubled me involved a prayer event that the chapel sponsored. It involved going to various stations that were set up to pray for specific things. There was some relaxing, spiritual sounding music playing in the background and overall my wife and I felt like it was a very spiritually uplifting experience. However, before we left we went to the CD player to see which CD was playing. We really liked it a lot as it seemed to really set the mood for prayer and reflection. However we were shocked when we saw that the CD was labeled as music for Zen Buddhism Meditation. The only people involved in the prayer event were Protestants and Catholics. The event was all Christian oriented and even featured communion at one of the last prayer stations. So, we really did not understand why they were trying to mix Zen Buddhism into a Christian event.

    Concerned by this I sent an email to one of the Chaplains but received no response. I saw this chaplain later but he seemed like he felt uncomfortable around me and didn’t mention the email. Thirty two days later he finally responded and seemed generally supportive although I don’t know why it took him so long to write back about this.

    Every week in the Tinker base newspaper a chaplain was asked to write a religious article. Of these articles that I read they were usually more generically religious than Christian in tone. In other words, even if they were written by a conservative Christian they didn’t really seem Christian in their message but just referred to God very vaguely so that one would not know which God they were referring to. I know of one incident in which a chaplain was asked to write the Christmas issue article. Being a Presbyterian, he of course wrote about the true story of why we celebrate Christmas. But after turning his article in the Head Chaplain (affiliated with the Calvary Chapel) told him that his Christmas article was too Christian and could not be published as it was because it was too one-faith oriented. How else is a Christian supposed to write a Christmas article? Even if this was a case where a secular newspaper had approached the chaplains and asked them to write religious articles but with the stipulation that they could not promote Christianity, why would a Christian minister agree to write a religious article with the condition that he not promote Christ? Could a real Christian write an article instructing people about religion and not feel the least bit convicted knowing that he had willfully held back the Creator of the one true religion?

    Perhaps the biggest negative experience that I had involved a third Pentecostal chaplain. He was in charge of the young adults, a group which my wife and I attended when my work schedule would allow it. Once, he sent out a mass email saying that he had a special treat for the group and was going to have a Jewish woman come speak to the group. My wife and I assumed that if she had been invited to speak to a Protestant Christian young adults group that she herself would be a Messianic Jewish Christian. However, after arriving, indirect things that she started saying didn’t really seem to fit with a person who believed in Jesus. At first her comments were more subtle in nature. Finally, my wife asked her if she was a Messianic Jew and she told us that she was not. A young lieutenant who was in attendance and who had went to school to be a minister (though he was not a chaplain) asked her directly if she thought that we (the Christians) were going to go to Heaven and there in our Christian meeting she very arrogantly told us that she believed that we ourselves thought we were going to Heaven. The implication was that she did not believe that we were saved, just that we were deluded into believing that we were saved. She took the opportunity to share with us her feelings that Jesus was not the Messiah because, in her opinion, he did not fulfill the prophecies regarding him. She also made very negative comments against Messianic Jews and shared that she did not even want to be around them as she viewed them as some sort of cult-like group and did not even consider them Jewish.

    What was most disappointing about this was not the fact that an unbeliever had been invited to address a Christian group on spiritual matters but the way in which the Pentecostal chaplain behaved. When the young Lieutenant tried to get the speaker to pointblank tell the group that she did not believe that we were saved the chaplain stood up and stopped the conversation. Why would he do that? Didn’t he want the impressionable young adults to know the truth? Did he not want the speaker to be presented with the Gospel? If he believed that Jesus was the only way why did he stop that from being discussed?

    After the speaker was finished the chaplain stood up and told the group that he thought we should all take a trip to the speaker’s synagogue.  And then, after this woman had showed her obvious disdain for Christ, even sharing that she did not believe that any of us were saved, the chaplain encouraged everyone in attendance to give her a round of applause. WHY would a Pentecostal preacher do that? Pentecostals believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.

    The final straw came after the speaker left. After she was gone the chaplain stood up and started talking about how we needed to feel sorry for this lady because she was so bogged down in rabbinic tradition and that she was in real need of Jesus. Didn’t he find that a bit hypocritical to keep her from being presented with her need for salvation while she was there, only to emphasize her need for it after she had gone? What is wrong with that picture? The chaplain did not want her to hear about Jesus that day, that is all I know.

    Well, I decided that I had to say something about this and I sent the chaplain an email. I just felt that I had to. Surprisingly, he responded back in a timely manner and said that he would like to meet with me to discuss this. We met at a Starbuck’s and while there we discussed the chaplaincy and the issues that I had with it. He admitted to me that the chaplains who were more administrative, rather than pastoral (which I took to mean evangelical) were the ones who got the promotions to the highest ranks. At one point I asked him if he had ever done anything contrary to what the Holy Spirit had told him to do because of one of his commanders. Rather than saying yes or no he gave a long, drawn out answer in which he said that that would be a sin but would never say “yes” or “no”. His long, drawn out answer made it obvious that he had and just didn’t want to admit it. Apparently he felt that if he spoke negatively enough about what I had asked him that I would just assume he had never done it. But it was obvious to me that he was trying to avoid telling me that he had let his commanders pressure him into disobeying the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    In regards to the Jewish speaker he claimed that he had only invited her to help us understand the Jewish roots of Christianity but that her comments got out of hand. That in and of itself should show how compromising the Air Force chaplaincy is to the point that it would let not only an unbeliever address a Christian youth group but an unbeliever who has completely rejected Jesus Christ. I took him at his word that he meant well in inviting her but why did he stop the Christians from presenting her with the gospel? His reason for doing so will be exposed in just a few paragraphs.

    The real question here is where is all of this heading? Why are evangelical Christians who believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven not wanting to witness and presenting a generic God (who is whoever the individual wants him to be) rather than the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?


·    Why did a Southern Baptist chaplain purposely word a briefing on how God can help people overcome suicidal thoughts in such a way as to not let anyone know who the real God is?

·    Why did a Pentecostal chaplain encourage a group of young airmen that Mormons were on the same level as mainstream Christians?

·    Why did a Wesleyan chaplain discourage me from sharing the gospel?

·    Why did the Base Commander at Tinker, who attended and took part in the chapel services, put pressure on chaplains to not pray in Jesus’ Name?

·    Why did a second Pentecostal chaplain purposefully replace Jesus’ Name with other phrases when praying?

·    Why did a Christian prayer event at the Tinker Chapel use Buddhist Meditation music in their program?

·    Why did a Calvary Chapel chaplain reject a Presbyterian chaplain’s base newspaper Christmas issue article for the religion section because it told the real meaning behind Christmas?

·    Why did a third Pentecostal chaplain invite an unbelieving Jewish woman to address a Protestant youth group, allowing her to inform the group that there was nothing special about Jesus, and then stop the conversation when the youth group wanted to present the gospel to this woman?


    Rather than look for a hidden conspiracy, all we have to do is read what the Air Force has written upon the subject of religion and it will become very clear that the chaplains are being pressured to promote universalism-the belief that all religions are equal and that all religions will lead one to heaven.

In a 2005 article entitled There Are Many Roads To Texas Col. Lela Holden of the Air Force Surgeon General Office of Congressional and Public Affairs criticized those who believe that there is only one true faith stating that the traditional Christian understanding of Jesus being the only way to Heaven did not make sense:


And if there are many roads to Texas, or to success, how is it possible there are not truly many roads to God? For those of us who believe in an omniscient, omnipresent, loving Creator of our magnificent universe, and the source of our individual beings, how is it possible that any human can limit that Creator to only one road to understanding, loving, and worshipping Him?...Does it make sense to say that only one religion offers the definitive road to God? I think not.2


    Colonel Holden finished out her article by encouraging all Air Force personnel to “respect that others’ roads to God are valid” and that the “belief that one’s own religion is superior is not sufficient to truly build the teamwork our Air Force and country need.”3

    It could not get any plainer than that. The Air Force does not want its members to be Christians and it is obvious that they are putting pressure upon the chaplains to discourage people from embracing Bible based, evangelical Christianity.

    What happens when a chaplain refuses to let the military tell him how to serve and worship his God? Let’s look at the true case of what happened when one chaplain decided to follow God instead of Government.

    In 1991 Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Garland Robertson was faced with a dilemma. The U.S. was preparing to invade Iraq (for the first Gulf War) but his military parishioners and several U.S. Christian leaders were questioning the decision to do so. Faced with his civilian ministry colleagues and the concerns of the troops under his spiritual care he wrote a letter to the editor of his local paper expressing his concern over the decision to go to war. These were his personal religious feelings and he had no intention of refusing to go to war. He merely wanted to encourage people to take into consideration what God might think about this decision.

    The Air Force’s reaction was swift. Robertson was forbidden and restrained from preaching in any of the chapel services. His leadership of the base chapel choir, special educational classes, Bible study and prayer services with those detained at the base stockade were all taken away from him. Stripped of all his duties he was removed from his chapel office and placed in a windowless, closet-sized room adjacent to the base runway where he was given the task of writing book reviews. Robertson’s “discipline” didn’t end there. He suddenly found himself charged with fraud and was forced to undergo psychological evaluations. When his first and second evaluations gave him a clean bill of health a third was ordered at which he was finally found to suffer from a “personality disorder so severe as to interfere with the normal and customary completion of his duties.”4 The Air Force psychologist responsible for authoring two of the three evaluations of Robertson testified that the wing leadership “wanted his head”5.

    At an official Board of Inquiry held to investigate Robertson he was accused of being “disrespectful in words and actions towards his immediate superior”; that his “leadership skills were below standard”; and that he was diagnosed as “having a personality disorder.” After hearing extensive testimony the first and third accusations were thrown out. His mysterious fraud charge was also eventually dropped. The second regarding his leadership skills, however, was sustained even though a previous performance appraisal had noted that Robertson was “an outstanding pastoral chaplain, always eager to help others and consistently displays industriousness, conscientiousness and diligence in his ministry.”6

    One might not be surprised to see the military act this way but what about the chaplaincy program’s leadership? Surely the chaplain leadership does not support a chaplain not being able to serve God as his conscience determines. Surely the higher ranking chaplains would never encourage their subordinate chaplains to compromise their faith, or would they?

    In the midst of Robertson’s “discipline” a letter from the Chief of Chaplain’s office in Washington, D.C. arrived indicating that he was on his own in this one. An officer was eventually sent from there and reminded him that “compromise” was essential for becoming a successful military chaplain. When Robertson suggested that perhaps “cooperation” was a better choice of words the officer reinforced his intentional use of the word “compromise” by giving the analogy that, “If Jesus had been an Air Force chaplain he would have been court-martialed.7 Before leaving, he encouraged Robertson that compromise was necessary in order to maintain a presence in the Air Force.

    At his board of inquiry a civilian employee who had worked at the chapel where Robertson was a chaplain testified that her former boss, the senior chaplain at Robertson’s chapel had taken her aside one Sunday morning “to tell me he had to get Chaplain Robertson out of the service. Chaplain Elwell went on to tell me that this task must be accomplished by a certain date… so that [Robertson] would not be entitled to full retirement benefits.” She said that it seemed evident, that the senior chaplain “had been told that part of his job was to remove Chaplain Robertson”8 and the one chaplain who did stand by Robertson’s side was not allowed to renew his chaplaincy contract after his three year term was up.

    The Air Force does not play around with chaplains who will not put them before God and any chaplains who hope that their chaplain supervisors will stand by their side if they choose to do so are placing their hopes in something that is not there.

    This type of pressure to not speak when God tells chaplains to speak is shown even more clearly in that while I was attending the Tinker Air Force Base Chapel they had posted on the wall there a Code Of Ethics For Air Force Chaplains which at the bottom stated that it was approved of by the Chaplains Office at the Headquarters United States Air Force in 2005. In essence it is a list of what is and is not considered ethical behavior for an Air Force chaplain and consists of eight statements worded in the first person. According to this list one thing that a chaplain must be able to say in order to be considered ethical is, “I will not actively proselytize from other religious bodies.” Apparently those who take the words of Jesus seriously that we are to “make disciples of all nations”9 are unethical.10 I also believe that this was the reason why the Pentecostal chaplain stopped the young adults group from witnessing to the Jewish speaker—he had to or else he would have been in violation of the “Code Of Ethics For Air Force Chaplains”.

    Is it really a big deal for a chaplain to refrain from praying in Jesus’ Name? Look at what is really happening when a chaplain gives in to their commander’s order to not pray the way Christ taught us to pray. The Air Force does not want Christian chaplains to pray in Jesus’ name because, as noted above, they want to create a universalistic religion that they can impose upon the armed forces. Jesus, because of his unique claims to be the Son of God and the only Savior of the world, keeps that from happening. If they are unable to get people to forget about Jesus and his message of being the only way to salvation (Jn 10:9) then they know that they will never be able to convince the military into accepting universalism. This is one of the reasons why chaplains are discouraged from praying in Jesus’ name. Jesus warns us that:


Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Mt 10:32-33


    Chaplains who refuse to pray in Jesus’ name are denying Jesus, plain and simple. There are no ifs, ands or buts to this issue. Jesus told us to pray in his name and James reminds us that “to him that knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin (Ja 4:17).” There is no way of getting around it. Not praying in Jesus’ name simply because a military commander tells you not to is a sin!

    There are some chaplains who have tried to justify what they are doing by claiming that it is worth compromising in order to have a “Christian witness” in the armed forces. They rationalize that it is better to have a “weak” Christian presence than no Christian presence at all. Anyone who thinks about that will see how utterly ridiculous that is—God does not desire a Christian witness in the military so badly that He would rather have a compromising, weak witness than no witness at all nor does He call a chaplain to minister in such a way. That doesn’t make any sense at all and I don’t see how anyone who had any relationship whatsoever with the Father could even come to such a conclusion! Besides, even if there were no chaplains at all there would still be Christians who joined the military and these people would provide a Christian presence and witness for the other soldiers.

    Many Christians are obviously wondering why would chaplains who come from denominations that believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and that it is our duty to pray in Jesus’ name stay in the military under such conditions.  A chaplain’s contract only lasts three years but it seems that the majority of them decide to renew term after term despite the pressure to apostatize.  For the ones who have given in I can only find one real reason--$$$. The salary of a chaplain compared to the salary of a civilian minister is in most cases as different as Heaven and Earth. A chaplain’s salary varies depending upon which base he/she is stationed at.11 A married chaplain who is just starting out at Tinker Air Force Base will begin making $52,702.08 a year,12 of which $15,996.48 of this will be tax free as housing and food allowances are not taxed, but he also gets 100% health coverage for him and all of his dependents, free gym memberships for the whole family, free legal advice, tax free shopping, low-cost flights around the world, and a whole list of other benefits equaling to thousands of extra dollars a year. The starting salary and benefits for a beginning chaplain is higher than the salary that most ministers who have been in the ministry for 50 years are making by the time they retire. I hate to say it, but it truly appears that the love of money is the root cause of the compromising chaplains staying in the military. They certainly are not doing it so that they can make a difference by taking a stand for the Name of Jesus.

    The real question is, why, if God is sovereign, is all of this happening? Why is God allowing the government to put pressure upon evangelical Christians to deny their Lord and Savior and reject his great commission? The answer is simple. For years chaplains enjoyed freedom to witness and pray in Jesus’ Name. There were many godly chaplains who ministered powerfully and effectively in the United States. But as it was with Job, Satan noticed the large financial blessings that God had bestowed upon the chaplains through their generous government salaries and benefits. He saw that the chaplains were ministering (and ministering hard) but who wouldn’t under the circumstances? Just as Satan questioned whether Job served God only because He blessed him, so Satan questioned whether chaplains would serve God if it meant possibly losing His blessing. This is all a test just like Job’s to see who will really serve God when the possibility of losing one’s military salary, benefits and retirement comes into play. Sadly, some have failed their test miserably and shown the Lord that they are ministering as chaplains more for the benefits than for the Lord because when the threat of losing the benefits for praying in Jesus’ Name was thrown out I saw how quickly some chaplains were to distance themselves from Jesus’ name. I shared this once with a chaplain (the Pentecostal chaplain who prayed in the name of the Chief of chiefs) and he just got quiet and didn’t say anything. What could he say; he knows in his heart that if Jesus tells us to do something we should do it no matter what the cost.

    As my time in the Air Force came to a close and the issue of the chaplaincy weighed upon my heart, I was reminded of Moses. The author of Hebrews tells us that Moses chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward (Heb 11:25-26).” The benefits for Air Force chaplains are very nice, much nicer than almost anything that the civilian ministry world has to offer. But they come at a heavy price. Chaplains will invariably find themselves like Moses faced with either compromising what the Scriptures and their consciences are telling them is right in order to enjoy the “pleasures of sin for a season” or take their stand with God and acknowledge that suffering “reproach” for praying and evangelizing the way that Jesus said will lead to “greater riches” than anything that the Air Force could ever give.


A Final Word To The Chaplains

    I would like to offer one last word to any chaplains who may have read this article. Any chaplain who starts out with good intentions and then gives into the Air Forces’ temptation to compromise will go through a series of stages until he finally becomes what the Air Force wants him to be. You will begin by compromising in some seemingly “little” way such as closing your prayers in some other formula than in Jesus’ Name or not speaking up when you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to. At first this will bother your conscience but eventually you will find that the more you resist the Holy Spirit the less your conscience bothers you (1Ti 4:2). In the meantime, while your conscience still bothers you, you may try to appease it by being “overzealous” when it is convenient. You know that the Holy Spirit has led you from time to time to witness to certain individuals but you did not because it was inconvenient, however, when you find someone whom it was convenient to witness to you become very zealous and go on and on talking about the Lord. This has the effect of appeasing your conscience but it never quite completely takes away that guilty feeling. From time to time God will send people or circumstances your way which will be attempts at getting your attention and encouraging you to remember that Christ must come first, the military second. But even these are never designed to override your free-will. You will still have the choice of either choosing or rejecting these messengers. Eventually you will come to the conclusion that it is better for you to compromise so you can still be a “witness” rather than leave the military. By this time you have deceived yourself into thinking that you are doing something good (by compromising) when you are actually living in rebellion against God (2Th 2:10-12). By this final stage you are self-deceived and rather than being a minister of the Lord you have become a minister of the Air Force.

    One of the first stories that I shared was of a Wesleyan chaplain who discouraged me from witnessing even though Wesleyans teach that we should be active in sharing our faith. Several years after that event this particular chaplain’s Wesleyan Church supervisor was invited to preach at the Tinker Chapel, most likely through the efforts of this chaplain. He preached a great message on how all Christians need to be active in evangelizing. While he preached on this topic I looked at the Wesleyan chaplain who had discouraged me from giving out witnessing tracts and he appeared to be very deep in thought, to the point of appearing to feel a little troubled by what his ecclesiastical supervisor was saying. His facial expressions were not those of anger or frustration but looked more like guilt and (as strange as it sounds) conviction. What he was really thinking I don’t know. Only he can say for sure but by all appearances he looked as if he sat there feeling guilty. Today the Air Force chaplaincy is filled with chaplains who have a guilty conscience. They know that their Bible and their Savior has commanded them to preach the gospel to all people regardless of what the government says but yet they choose every day not to do it. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other (Lk 16:13a).” Chaplain you are going to have to decide whom you are going to serve: God or the Government. Both want your undivided attention and loyalty. Both are promising you great rewards for giving it. Both will not be satisfied with being in second place.


Which one will you choose?





1 A religious endorsement is basically a religious organization’s stamp of approval upon an individual. It usually carries with it ordination. Having an approved religious organization endorse you is a requirement for becoming a chaplain in the United States military. Different religious organizations have different requirements in order for an individual to retain their endorsement. In this chaplain’s case it was a requirement for him to pray in Jesus’ Name.

2 Col. Lela Holden. There Are Many Roads To Texas.  Archived here.

3 Col. Lela Holden. There Are Many Roads To Texas. Archived here.

4 Ken Sehested, Loyalty Test; The Case of Chaplain Robertson, Christian Century, March 2, 1994. The accuracy of this article was confirmed in a personal interview that I had with Garland Robertson. Compare also Garland Robertson vs. United States Of America, United States Court Of Appeals For The Tenth Circuit.

5 Ken Sehested, Loyalty Test; The Case of Chaplain Robertson, Christian Century, March 2, 1994. The accuracy of this article was confirmed in a personal interview that I had with Garland Robertson. Compare also Garland Robertson vs. United States Of America, United States Court Of Appeals For The Tenth Circuit.

6 Ken Sehested, Loyalty Test; The Case of Chaplain Robertson, Christian Century, March 2, 1994. The accuracy of this article was confirmed in a personal interview that I had with Garland Robertson. Compare also Garland Robertson vs. United States Of America, United States Court Of Appeals For The Tenth Circuit.

7 Ken Sehested, Loyalty Test; The Case of Chaplain Robertson, Christian Century, March 2, 1994. The accuracy of this article was confirmed in a personal interview that I had with Garland Robertson. Compare also Garland Robertson vs. United States Of America, United States Court Of Appeals For The Tenth Circuit.

8 Ken Sehested, Loyalty Test; The Case of Chaplain Robertson, Christian Century, March 2, 1994. The accuracy of this article was confirmed in a personal interview that I had with Garland Robertson. Compare also Garland Robertson vs. United States Of America, United States Court Of Appeals For The Tenth Circuit.

9 Mt 28:19-20

10 Photo of the Code Of Ethics For Air Force Chaplains taken in the Tinker Air Force Base chapel. This document was “pulled to be reviewed” in 2005, not because it contradicted the Bible, but because it contained a clause stating “…I retain the right to instruct and/or evangelize those who are not affiliated [with any religion].” Apparently it was never completely removed because it was still hanging in the chapel at Tinker as late as the summer of 2008 which was the last time that I was there.

11 The base pay for chaplains all begins at the same level of O-2. Chaplains also receive a housing and food allowance which varies based upon the geographic location in which they are stationed and whether they have dependents or not.

12 This total includes their base salary, food allowance, and housing allowance.















































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