"I believe military chaplaincy -- and chaplaincy at large -- is one of the toughest ministries in the Kingdom of God," Carver said. "Southern Baptist pastors who respond to a vocational calling as military chaplains enter a multi-faith, multi-cultural environment where diversity is expected, promoted and applauded, and where the intrinsic values of our nation are tested in a combat environment.
"Pastors who volunteer for the military chaplaincy agree to accommodate the religious beliefs of all they serve without violating the religious beliefs and practices of their own faith group," Carver continued. "Our Southern Baptist military chaplains have the complete freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ to our troops as the only way of salvation and to promote God's Word as the foundational truth for a significant, moral and ethical life."
Carver acknowledged, "It's a vague environment out there, especially as our chaplains promote and defend the whole counsel of God in a post-'Don't Ask-Don't Tell' military environment. Our chaplains are navigating through unchartered waters, where the cultural values of the military increasingly conflict with the traditional values and beliefs of Southern Baptists."
Carver said such an environment requires NAMB to protect SBC chaplains' religious liberties.
"Our chaplains need the assurance of our prayerful support as they fight the good fight of faith with the uncompromising truthfulness and love of Jesus Christ," Carver said. "We're going to protect our chaplains and, as they take their stand, they need to remember they're not alone. We are here to love, defend and support them."
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Mickey Noah writes for the North American Mission Board. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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