April 14, 2010
Army Report A Precursor To Christian Persecution?
Last Friday, I told readers of this column that I had come across a very disturbing government report and that I would be exposing that report during my Sunday address this past Sunday morning. I did exactly that, and anyone wishing to see an archived video of that address can do so by using this link (the video should be uploaded by this weekend)
The reports header reads, Strategic Implications of American Millennialism, A Monograph by MAJOR Brian L. Stuckert, U.S. Army. This monograph was defended by the degree candidate on 01 May 2008 and approved by the monograph director and reader named below. Approved by: Timothy Challans, Ph.D., Monograph Director; Robert Taylor, COL, MI, Monograph Reader; Stefan J. Banach, COL, IN, Director, School of Advanced Military Studies; Robert F. Baumann, Ph.D., Director, Graduate Degree Programs. The School of Advanced Military Studies, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, produced the report.
Here is the TABLE OF CONTENTS:
The Role of Civil Religion and Culture
Millennial Theologies in America
Post-Millennialism and the Founding of America
Civil War, World War and the Rise of Pre-Millennialism
Israel, Nuclear War and the Last Days
Contemporary Pre-Millennialism in the American Electorate
Contemporary Pre-Millennialism and American Culture
The Holy Land and Armageddon: U.S. Policy in the Middle East
Anti-Christ, Gog, Magog, and Armies From the East
Conclusions and Recommendations
Remember, this is not a Christian university report or even a secular universitys religion department report, but rather a report written by an active duty Army major (who is now stationed in Afghanistan, I am told) for one of Americas war colleges. Before analyzing this report, here are some questions to ponder. Whose brainchild was this report? Did the major select the topic himself or did a superior assign it to him? To whom exactly was the report distributed? How was the report used? What are the interconnections between this report and the MIAC and Department of Homeland Security reports that draw similar conclusions? And perhaps the biggest question is, What does this report portend for government action in the future?
When Major Stuckert speaks of millennialism, he is referring to the Biblical doctrine of Eschatologyspecifically, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth to institute a 1,000-year (millennial) reign. He recognizes some of the nuances of this doctrine in his study, most notably post-millennialism and pre-millennialism. His report is heavily focused on pre-millennialism, however.
At this point, I feel it is necessary to make this observation: whether one is a post-millennialist or a pre-millennialist, the fact that we Christians believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish His Kingdom puts us in the same boat, as far as the ramifications of Major Stuckerts reportand similar reportsare concerned. We Christians need to recognize that, as far as the Stuckerts of this world are concerned, because we believe the Bible and we believe in the literal return of Christ, we are considered an enemy. We can disagree with one another all we want to about whether there is a Rapture (and if there is one, when it will occur), whether Christ will return before or after a millennial kingdom takes place, and scores of other theological differences, but none of that is important to the events at hand: there is a growing sense among many governmental and military leaders in America that Bible-believing Christians are an enemy that must be marginalized, warned about, watched, and even controlled. And it does not matter to a tinkers dam to these Machiavellians whether one is a post-millennialist or a pre-millennialist. If we believe the Bible and believe that Jesus is coming again, they consider us dangerous. And we Christians better wake up to this stark reality, stop fighting each other, and focus on working together to preserve our liberties!
And one more early observation: there is an eerie and uncanny connection between the verbiage and spirit of Stuckerts report and the now-infamous MIAC and Homeland Security reports. The timing, too, is significant. The MIAC and Homeland Security reports were produced shortly after Major Stuckerts report was produced. A coincidence? Not on your life!
Here are some excerpts from Stuckerts report:
Millennialism has great explanatory value, significant policy implications, and creates potential vulnerabilities that adversaries may exploit. (Abstract, page iii.)
These factors [results of millennial belief] can be problematic for any military leader or planner attempting to achieve U.S. Government policy objectives through strategy, operations and programs. (Abstract, page iv.)
Notice that from the very outset of this report, Stuckert asserts that Christians who believe in the Second Coming create circumstances or conditions that might be problematic for Americas military leaders. We Christians also create potential vulnerabilities that Americas enemies may exploit, according to Stuckert. Furthermore, Stuckert laments that we Christians may even interfere with U.S. Government policy objectives.
Pray tell, exactly what are those U.S. Government policy objectives that Christians might prove to be problematic for? And is Major Stuckert suggesting that those Christian military officers currently serving in the US armed forces are somehow problematic to U.S. Government policy objectives? And do these same Christian officers make America vulnerable to our enemies? Is he suggesting that military officers in the US armed forces who believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ be expunged from military service, because of their beliefs?
As one will observe when reading the 61-page treatise, Major Stuckert, with a broad brush, paints millennialist Christians as being serious problems for Americas foreign policy and for U.S. Government policy objectives, and that we must be dealt with; but he offers no details on what, exactly, should be done. Or if he did, that part of his treatise is not a matter of public record.
The impact of American millennial religious ideas on U.S. Government policy will add to strategic hubris, compel increasingly reckless international action, and continue to over-commit the military in ways the Nation cannot afford. (Page 1)
Again, notice that Christians who believe in Christs return add to pride, recklessness, and war. Good grief! I suppose that we Christians are also responsible for the escalating price of gas and oil tooand maybe even global warming!
First, millennial thought and its policy implications may create strategic transparency that affords adversaries an advantage in decision-making. Second, an understanding of American millennial thinking may provide adversaries with the means to manipulate American policy and subsequent action. Third, the enemy may exploit American millennialism to increase the fragility of and even disrupt coalitions. Fourth, adversaries may exploit American millennialism to demoralize or TERRORIZE joint forces and the American people. By recognizing these potential vulnerabilities, military leaders and planners may TAKE ACTION NOW to mitigate the effects. (Page 2. Emphasis added.)
Dear reader, is the hair standing up on the back of your neck yet? If not, it should be!
According to Major Stuckert, the belief in Christs Second Coming makes us vulnerable to Americas adversaries. In fact, these adversaries (are they foreign or domestic? He doesnt specify) might even exploit this belief to TERRORIZE . . . the American people. (Emphasis added.)
Theres that T word again! Do you now see the connection to the MIAC and Homeland Security reports? Is it all starting to make sense now? Because we believe in the literal return of Christ to the earth, do people such as Major Stuckert consider us to be potential terrorists?
And just what does Stuckert mean by the statement, Military leaders and planners may take action now to mitigate the effects? Does he propose that we Christians be rounded up and put in all these FEMA camps (that dont exist)? Just how does he plan for the US military to mitigate the effects of us Christians? This statement is downright chilling!
In this report, Major Stuckert specifically mentions the holiness and Pentecostal churches; as well as the Assemblies of God; non-denominational churches; and Independent and Southern Baptists. Again, anyone who believes in the Second Coming of Christ is targeted in this report. According to Stuckert, Millennialism actually refers to any system of belief or interpretation that employs a literal thousand years, or chiliad, in reading and applying Revelation 20:1-7. (Page 9)
Stuckert even went so far as to say that Christian mission work, especially overseas, [has] significant implications for U.S. foreign policy. (Page 27)
I bet that when you folks make that financial donation to your churchs foreign missions program you have no idea that you are causing significant (negative) implications for US foreign policy. Well, Stuckert thinks you are.
Stuckert also berates Millennialists for [driving] the U.S. further from the U.N. in the near future since many pre-millennialists have to come to view that body as a platform for the Anti-Christ. He went on to say, American pre-millennialists will also feel increasingly threatened by the E.U. in coming years. And, Pre-millennial interpretations of biblical prophecy that predict the emergence of a one-world government led by an anti-Christ causes distrust and even antagonism toward organizations like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the European Union, NAFTA and OPEC. (Page 52)
In other words, folks, Stuckert is greatly chagrined that we Christians do not, and will not, accept the push toward global government being orchestrated by institutions such as the UN, the EU, et al. He feels that because we oppose NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, the FTAA, and the overall NEW WORLD ORDER agenda, we are problematic and must be mitigated.
Stuckert goes on to blame Christians for problems for relations between the U.S. and Russia (Page 53), problems in the Middle East and China (Page 56), as well as coming global disaster. (Page 55)
Major Stuckert then makes an incredible admission on page 58. He said, War is primarily about politics. While geography and technology play a role, in order to be successful military leaders must be able to see the political goals as clearly as possible. Because of the influence of pre-millennialism, it can be difficult for military leaders to see themselves and their government accurately and state policy goals objectively.
What did he say? War is primarily about politics? I thought war was about defending the people and territory of the United States. I thought war was about protecting freedom and liberty. War is about politics? So thats why our young men are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan? Its all about politics? If so, whose politics? Major Stuckerts? Barack Obamas? George W. Bushs? The CFRs? The UNs? Exactly whose politics is sending our sons and daughters to fight and die? The good major doesnt say.
But did you catch that last sentence? Because of the influence of pre-millennialism [and he could just as easily have said post-millennialism], it can be difficult for military leaders to see themselves and their government accurately and state policy goals objectively.
Holy cow! Belief in the Second Coming blinds military leaders? They cannot see themselves or their government accurately? What the heck does this mean? Is Stuckert saying that because a military officer believes the Biblebelieves in the return of Christ to the earthhe or she cannot see themselves and cannot see their government properly? Exactly what is it about his or her government that cannot be accurately seen? Maybe Stuckert means that because a Christian military officer believes in God, he or she cannot recognize government to be his or her god. Is that it, Major Stuckert? You want us all to see the US federal government as god?
On page 59, Stuckert accuses belief in millennialism of producing pessimism and paranoia. On the same page, he accuses people who believe in millennialism of causing a predisposition toward pessimism in world affairs and a general worsening of international relations.
Yeah! Thats right, Major! You devote 61 pages (and untold hours producing them) accusing Christians of bringing global disaster to the world, but we are the ones who are paranoid? If that isnt the pot calling the kettle black, I dont know what is.
On page 60, Stuckert blames Christians for having a proclivity for clear differentiations between good, evil, right, and wrong [which] do not always serve us well in foreign relations or security policy. Oh! Really?
Is Stuckert saying that there is no right and wrong in regard to Americas policies with foreign nations? Is he saying that there is no such thing as right and wrong in regard to security policies? Is Stuckert saying the US government should be able to do whatever it likes, regardless of right and wrong? Is he saying that anything done in the name of security is right, regardless of what it is? Is it right to lie to the American people, Mr. Stuckert? Is it right to violate the US Constitution? Is it right to murder? If there is no such thing as right and wrong, moral and immoral, in regard to the waging of war and other security matters, pray tell, what were those Nuremberg trials all about?
In researching this column, I found a WorldNetDaily report written by Bob Unruh on December 19, 2009. In his report, Unruh said that an Army spokesman could not say whether any other writings ever had attacked a religious belief as Stuckerts work. Thats a good point. Where is the Army report that singles out people who embrace Islam, Judaism, Catholicism, or liberal Protestantism as being problematic to Americas foreign policy? Why is it that only people who embrace conservative Christianity, or fundamentalism/millennialism were singled out?
Unruhs report also notes that no study or article refuting Stuckerts report has been discovered. Therefore, absent a counterpoint, it might be accurate to conclude that Stuckerts report has become de facto US government policy. It certainly does appear that the particulars of Stuckerts report made their way to both the MIAC and DHS reports.
See Bob Unruhs report here.
See Major Stuckerts report here.
My Sunday address exposing Major Stuckerts report will be uploaded to my web site later this week. When it is posted, it will be available to download and distribute. It will be titled, Seeds of Christian Persecution Growing in the US. Watch for it here.