NEWS FROM THE CENTER FRIDAY DIGEST January 8, 2021
DON'T GET READY. BE READY.
As I write this, we are bringing 2020 to a close, but there is no end in sight for the continuing tension between fellow Americans on the issue of religious liberty. I am often asked if I am ready for the upcoming battles and challenges ahead and whether or not there were any victories in 2020.
A big victory was that the Department of Defense issued a revised instruction entitled, “Religious Liberty in the Military Services.” This updated policy is grounded in the Constitution and recognizes one of our first liberties is the free exercise of our religious faith and includes the men and women who selfless serve our nation in the military. It emphasizes that service members have the right to observe the tenets of their religion and may not be used as the basis of any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment. That’s a great victory for religious liberty.
However, we still need to be ready and prepared for upcoming battles in 2021 where there are those who will continue to assault our God-given and Constitution-protected liberty to live out our faith. Being prepared and being ready are always on the minds of our men and women serving so faithfully in the military. There is not a day that goes by that they are not training. They must be ready at a moment’s notice to answer the call. They don’t have time to “get ready.” They need to “be ready.” And to “be ready,” they train, train, and train some more.
Pray that our LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces is always ready to defend religious liberty for all who wear the uniform of our nation. We don’t know the future, but we do know that we live in a sin-sick world and that there will be those who try to infringe on our religious liberty. In America we may not yet be hauled out of our places of worship, our homes, or our businesses by evil people who threaten our physical life, yet we do live in a “cancel” culture where people are losing their jobs, businesses, or positions simply for giving a defense of their faith and speaking out against issues that go contrary to their conscience and the Word of God. They want you to leave your faith at the door of the church and/or your home and not bring it out into the public square.
Please pray for wisdom and courage as we stand alongside our LCMS members serving in the military that we may encourage them and defend them against assaults on their religious liberty. Please pray that we remain vigilant in our defense of religious liberty for those who sacrifice so much for all the freedoms and liberties we enjoy today.
Finally, remind those whom you know who are currently serving in the military that they are in our prayers and they don’t have to leave their religious faith at home when they join the military. We are here to help them.
The Rev. Craig G. Muehler is CAPT, CHC, USN, (Ret.) and director of LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces.
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