Every person who chooses to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces signs a document stating that while they remain in the military they adhere to the conditions and expectations of service. This document is validated with the member taking an oath declaring: “I, __________, do swear (solemnly declare) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD (delete if declaration)”
It is not a vow to be taken lightly because, in military service, people will lose their lives. The military’s commitment to helping their members keep their oath is the pledge to provide training and resources. The success of each soldier, sailor or airperson is based on their willingness to almost deny their former mindset, commit to possible hardships, train hard, utilize their resources, and follow their leaders.
Many readers of this newsletter have made a decision to follow Christ and become His disciples. They spoke some words to declare their hope and faith in Jesus and went about learning how a disciple responds to this call. Many understand the cost of allegiance to Christ has both eternal and day-to-day consequences. Jesus shares in scripture that rewards of discipleship will be great but the journey could be difficult to navigate; difficult especially without the willingness to rely on His teachings and resources. Jesus knew that many would suffer in their struggle to accept His calling. Some would even lay down their cross and become bystanders content to watch others stay on mission with Him. Serving in the military without faith in the mission does not validate the oath taken. Not all recruits make good members of the military family; some even quit without actually resigning. They think they can serve in the military and behave as bystanders serving under their terms. However the oath is not meant for bystanders but calls to those willing to sacrifice.
Sadly today we live in a world of compromised loyalty and “bystander Christianity”. Bystander Christians are those who want to be numbered among the flock, but seem to care less about following the Shepherd. They want the forgiveness Christ’s cross offers, but never intend to carry their own cross. They want warm, fuzzy moments on Sunday mornings but offer no commitment to Jesus the remainder of the week. They want the crown without the cross (thoughts from Pastor John Raulerson sermon).
Jesus knew many would think they could become Disciples on their terms but He clearly shows us we must come to Him on His terms. He alone is the Way. Disciples worship God, read scripture, fellowship with other believers, and pray. We want to assist you on your walk with Jesus and starting the first week of July we will begin a 9 week prayer adventure aimed at helping us stay closer to God, to ourselves and to each other. FACEBOOK will be our primary tool to relay each week’s prayer guide, however other electronic forums will also be used.
We challenge you to become committed disciples and join us on a journey to validate our faith and hope in Christ.