"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13).
Military chaplains are vital to the mission of leading people to Christ on restricted territories known as American military bases. In Romans 10:14, the apostle Paul provided clarity on why preachers must comprehend the indispensability of the chaplain role by asking the rhetorical question, "How can they hear without a preacher?" Indeed, the born-again chaplain is primarily in the military to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that our service members can hear and hopefully be saved. Of all the duties expected of a chaplain, none exceeds the task of evangelism.
A born-again military chaplain wears the cross insignia on his uniform with integrity. Without reservation, he is subservient to the one true God who exists in a trinity of persons. As such, a born-again chaplain will unashamedly pray in Jesus' name in both public and private settings. The chaplain will always strive to use his public platform to pray in the name of Jesus because of John 14:13. In that verse, Jesus Christ gave us the reason why Christians are to pray in His name. Apparently, according to Jesus, God the Father is uniquely glorified whenever a Christian prays in the name of Jesus: "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). Yes, this is about the glory of God. No genuinely born-again chaplain would ever rob the Father of His glory by intentionally not praying in the name of the Son. Whenever a chaplain prays in the name of Jesus, he is courageously self-identifying as a Christian – and it is not illegal to do so. By praying in the name of Jesus, the chaplain is confessing Christ publicly before men, and it is helpful to remember that Jesus said, "Therefore everyone who will confess in Me before men, I also will confess in him before My Father in the heavens" (Matthew 10:32).
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Tragically today, many military chaplains intentionally do not pray in Jesus' name. As disgusting as this may sound, it is a very common practice today among military chaplains – among both liberal and conservative ones. These "non-sectarian" prayers are now the norm within military chaplaincy as the vast majority of chaplains have abdicated the name of Jesus due to fear and shame.
Biblically, there is absolutely no excuse for a born again chaplain to leave out the name of Jesus. None at all! By wearing their cross insignia, they are sending a public message that they are followers of Jesus Christ. By professing Christianity, they agree with the apostle Paul who commanded, "Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Colossians 3:17, emphasis mine). Consider the example of U.S. Air Force Chaplain Stephen Kim on how to uncompromisingly pray in Jesus' name:
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It is anti-Christian to intentionally omit the name of Christ in public or private prayers. What kind of chaplain would do such a thing? Compromising chaplains, who claim to be conservative, are historically known for trying to rationalize apostasy by claiming that although they omit Christ from their public prayers, they "internally know who they are praying to." This sort of rationalized refusal to confess Christ publicly is an act of cowardice! Instead of unashamedly praying in Jesus' name (as the Bible commands), such chaplains will offer "inclusive" prayers to avoid offending unbelievers instead of God. They will then compound their sin by accusing faithful chaplains of being contentious for unashamedly praying in Jesus' name when they were too cowardly to do so themselves.
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Even worse, false teachers (e.g., Matthew 7:15-20) who masquerade as Christian military chaplains will invariably omit the name of Jesus and will argue that no chaplain should ever deliver such "sectarian" prayers publicly. Since these kinds of chaplains have not been truly born again, they will also often support homosexuality, Islam, or Mikey Weinstein and his anti-God foundation. To put it simply, a false teacher that operates under the guise of Christian chaplain will love the things that God hates while hating the things that God loves.
If you are a military chaplain, what kind of Christian are you when you wear the uniform? Are you a compromising, fake Christian who is ashamed to pray in the name of Jesus? If you are, don't rationalize – trust me, God knows exactly why you're omitting the name of Jesus from your prayers. God is not mocked, and life on Earth is short. Remember Lot's wife. Remember Esau, and do not trade the name of Jesus for the shoddy, temporary stew of "rank, pay and benefits." Do not bow the knee to polices, rules, laws and regulations that do not exist, which have prohibited you from praying publicly in Jesus' name. Bow the knee to Christ. For if you do not confess His name before men, then one day, you might discover Him denying you (2 Tim 2:12)!
Note: The opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily represent the views of any government, military, or religious organization. Sonny Hernandez wrote this article as a civilian on his own time on an issue of public interest.