June 01, 2005

The Air Force Academy Revisited

A few weeks back I mentioned the scandal at the AirForce Academy where evangelical Christian leaders were being accused of evangelizing underclassmen and being intolerant of other religions. The woman making the charge is a chaplain who didn’t seem to be aligned with a biblical faith.
On the eve of the Academy’s graduation, the school’s top graduate--Nicholas Jurewicz-- sent an e-mail out to all 3,000 students at the academy which had religious tones to it. One of the horrific statements he included in his e-mail was this. "Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ."
The story reporting this mentioned the “constitutional separation of church and state.” To which I must remind everyone listening, there is NO constitutional separation of church and state and my deal still stands. You find me where it is written in the constitution and I will give you $1000. But if you can’t find it, you will give me $1000.
At any rate, this is the real point of my statements today. If, and I underscore “if,” it is true that the cadet did violate a clear and equally enforced rule of the school by using e-mail for such a purpose, the cadet should be punished with whatever is appropriate. We cannot allow our sympathies to run rough shod over such rules and I believe it is sin for the Christian to do so our motives not withstanding.
When Jesus said “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s” it pertains to more than just a coin with his inscription on it. So if a Christian is working for an employer that has policies in place; policies which are in fact constitutional, fair, and equitably applied, the Christian is wrong to willingly and knowingly violate such a rule or he willingly accepts the consequences of violating the rule without complaint or protest.
This was the situation the early apostles found themselves in when they refused to obey the magistrates to not mention the name of Jesus. They said in essence, “You have to what you have to do and we will what we have to do.” And they accepted their punishment.
So think about that the next time you are feeling all high and mighty ignoring some rule or law which you feel you must ignore to keep a good conscience and take the lumps when they come.


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