Gear Up: Equipping the Christian Soldier for Spiritual Warfare in a Pre-Deployment Environment
The Christian who enlists in the United States Armed Forces is given all the tools he or she needs to complete the mission on account of their new identity as a US soldier. The aspect of life a soldier will find himself ill-equipped to handle is his spiritual life. The military offers no spiritual training for the soldier so that he can defend himself against the devil and all of his schemes, and that is not their job. The military does provide assistance through pastors who are certified through their denominational affiliations, and who are commissioned as officers. The training which comes from the military chaplains is ineffective due to the dualistic nature of the chaplaincy and its improper handling of scripture. As a commissioned officer the chaplain is subject to the duties of the chaplain corps and the orders of those appointed over him. As a pastor he is bound to the denomination which is sponsoring him as their representative. In order to assist the Christian soldier in his spiritual struggles it is necessary for the WELS military contact pastor to understand their member’s conflicting identities, as a soldier and as a Christian. Using Ephesians 6:10-17, along with modern day applications to the armor of God, the contact pastor can supply positive imagery to solidify the soldier’s identity in Christ.