Operating throughout our military are a number of fundamentalist Christian parachurch military ministries, the largest and most widespread of these being Campus Crusade for Christ’s CRU, the Navigators, and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship. The common goal of these military ministries, which specifically target the places where young military members are in training, is to transform their recruits into, in the words of CRU, government-paid missionaries.
The Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF), which has chapters on virtually every U.S. military installation worldwide, targets the military service academy’s and ROTC colleges and universities, the places where our future military officers are molded.
Up until 2009, the OCF’s official vision statement was to:
“… create a spiritually transformed U.S. military with Ambassadors for Christ in uniform empowered by the Holy Spirit …”
Its official mission statement was:
“Christian officers exercising biblical leadership to raise up a godly military.”
In 2009, the OCF stopped using these vision and mission statements, at least publicly, likely due to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF) constant quoting of them in articles and elsewhere continuously confronting them and exposing their true mission.
I’ve written about the OCF in the past, but getting to why I’m writing about them now, an email came in to MRFF yesterday, sparked by the cover of the just-released issue of the OCF’s “Command” magazine.
On the magazine’s cover is a photo of a newly commissioned military officer receiving their other commission — their “spiritual commissioning” by OCF. Accompanying the image are the words: ”Sent out to serve the nation and the Lord.” (See artist's rendering of cover image at end of post. Actual cover image not used for copyright reasons.)
This new U.S. military officer is now one of the OCF’s “Ambassadors for Christ in uniform,” one of thousands of military officers who see their military service as a vehicle to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
The following is the email received by MRFF about this “spiritual commissioning,” written by someone who was themself a member of the OCF:
From: MRFF Client’s E-Mail Address Withheld
Subject: OCF COMMAND magazine Cover Photo, "Sent out to serve the nation and the Lord"
Date: November 13, 2019 at 9:20:12 PM MST
To: Michael L Weinstein
Mikey Weinstein &
Members of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)
Thank you for your previous work in taking on the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF), a parachurch organization embedded with all pre-commissioning sources, including service academies and numerous prestigious Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) universities. You have steadfastly confronted them in the past in order to force them to revise their mission statement to refrain from telling their members to "Go Make Disciples" as newly commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. I even recall that they "walked back" their mission statement to refrain from proselytizing other nations and focus on their oath to support and defend the Constitution. I just checked OCF's website to find their current Vision & Mission, "Our Vision is the military community positively impacted through Christlike leaders. Our Mission is to engage military leaders in Biblical fellowship and growth to equip them for Christlike service at the intersection of faith, family, and profession." As I review their espoused mission statement, I do not have a problem with it. Tragically, the most recent cover of their flagship COMMAND magazine flies in the face of any past "walk backs" on their mission statement. Please allow me to explain my current concern and my request to OCF, by way of MRFF.
The most recent Fall 2019 Officer Christian Fellowship (OCF) COMMAND magazine's cover photo of spiritual commissioning with the words, "Sent out to serve the nation and the Lord." (See artist's rendering of cover image below. Actual cover image not used for copyright reasons.) This picture reinforces an "old guard OCF" mission statement to "Go Make Disciples" and contradicts the extensive Officership training the cadets receive to support and defend the Constitution. Instead, OCF is spiritually commissioning, thereby influencing another generation of officers to confuse their oath of office with their personal and private faith. As in times past, I would ask that you rebuke this picture "that says 1000 words" and is contrary to their espoused Vision and Mission statements above.
Before I continue, please allow me to provide some background on myself. I am a professed and practicing Christian, retired high ranking Commissioned officer and current spouse to a member of the clergy. I am on the membership rolls of Officer Christian Fellowship; in that, I am asked to vote for board members each year. I graduated from an Academy, supported OCF while faculty at my service academy, and I was a cadet member of OCF during my most influential days at the academy. I know OCF and genuinely grieve when OCF is tragically making a detrimental impact on the next generation of officers. I believe that they are influencing them to think that they are serving "the Nation and the Lord" (per their magazine cover title). They are perpetuating another generation of officers who believe they are Warriors for Christ and not Scholar-Warrior-Diplomats for Peace. We continue an Imperialistic mindset for our United States of America for another generation. The scripture says that you can't serve two masters. Unfortunately, cadets are "spiritually commissioned" as officers to believe they are helping to convert others to Christ rather than defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I ask MRFF to represent me in stopping this unconstitutional education and training in its tracks.
I demand a retraction and full apology from OCF that they have strayed from their mission statement through the publishing of the most recent magazine cover photo. Unfortunately, OCF has not learned anything, and their old-guard OCF leadership will continue to push their radical agenda. Therefore, I ask that ALL COMMISSIONING sources, including all federal Service Academies and state ROTC universities, review Officer Christian Fellowship chapter local practices on their respective campuses. If institutions are led to believe that OCF influences future commissioned officers to "Go Make Disciples" over defending the Constitution, then I ask the institutions to take action. Actions may include reviewing any resources provided to OCF, as a parachurch religious organization. Are they given preference on publicly owned (state and federal) facilities? Are OCF local chapters provided resources or other support from the service academy or state university? In the end, the institutions may become liable for supporting an organization that builds officers intent on proselytizing others, including foreign countries, and may risk losing federal and state dollars for supporting parachurch religious organizations bent on radicalizing another generation of commissioned officers. We need a generation of officers intent on leading with character and integrity, pursuant to their sworn oaths to support and defend the Constitution, not with a partisan, sectarian religious agenda.
As always, thank you for being my voice, my hands, my feet, in correcting this multi-generational wrong,
Yours, in service,
(MRFF Client’s name withheld), Ph.D.
Colonel, US Army (Retired)
E-mail address and phone number withheld