Ravi Zacharias speaks at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Story Pvt. Kathrin Forbes via – http://www.dvidshub.net
Ravi Zacharias greets an attendee at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Chapel Sept. 17. Ravi took the time after his speech to meet several attendees face-to-face. (Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Katerine Forbes/120th PAD/JTF-GTMO Public Affairs)

NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba – Theologian and philosopher Ravi Zacharias visits Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to speak to the GTMO community.

“It’s a tough world in which to try to deal with the questions that haunt. And these questions just don’t seem to go away,” said internationally renowned theologian Ravi Zacharias as he began his speech. More than 100 troopers and family members attended Zacharias’ talk at the Naval Station Chapel Sept. 17.

The questions Zacharias discussed included: What kind of culture are we looking to build? What is it that frames our cohesive world-view? And, how do we put it all together?

Ravi Zacharias was born in India and immigrated to the west in his twenties. He earned his master of divinity from Trinity International University in Illinois and became an expert in comparative religions, cults and philosophy. He is an Oxford Senior Fellow and studied at Cambridge University in the areas of moralist philosophers and Romantic era literature. While studying at Cambridge he wrote his first book, “A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism.” Since then, he has authored numerous other award-winning books. Beyond writing, Zacharias speaks around the world and on radio with a program called “Let My People Think.” More specifically, Zacharias’ passion for speaking to troops began in his twenties.

“I was a student and was invited to Vietnam. Because of the chaplains in the U.S. Military, I traveled the length of the country,” he said. “I grew to have a real affection for the people in the armed forces because I know the toughness of their life. I felt my love for them and gratitude for them; for the price they pay for our freedom and our protection, it is the least I can do.”

Ravi Zacharias, world-renowned author and philosopher, speaks to a crowd of approximately 180 troopers and families at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Chapel, Sept. 17. Zacharias’ speech addressed society’s need for a moral center and absolute truth. (Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Katerine Forbes/120th PAD/JTF-GTMO Public Affairs) Photo credit: http://www.dvidshub.net/

Zacharias’ generosity of spirit proved to be more than words. Thomas George, director of religious education at the Navy Chapel, explained how the plan to bring Zacharias here was almost squashed by the lack of funds. However, Zacharias paid for the trip and waived his speaking fee. His coming here was purely in support of the military mission and the people here, George said.

Zacharias’ speech delved into three main ideas: Secularism leads to loss of shame, pluralism leads to loss of reason and privatization leads to loss of meaning. With strong support from antidotes, quotes and philosophical reasoning, Zacharias closed with the statement, “Life is intrinsically sacred” and the question, “whose image is on you?”

The most impressive thing for the audience that night was his kindness and generosity, said George. After Zacharias’ speech and Q&A session, he spent one on one time with the attendees, giving them encouragement and answering deeper questions.

For Zacharias, the drive to speak to people for a living comes from the four questions every human being asks about origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Where do I come from? What gives my life meaning? How do I differentiate between good and evil? What happens to a human being when he or she dies? These questions come from a felt reality, he said.

“It’s not just cerebrally driven, but bridges the head to the heart,” he said. “That’s the longest journey in life.”

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news

Sign of the Times – Court martials could face Christian soldiers if they „proselytize”

via MissionNetworkNews.org (Photo via www.sodahead.com)

USA (MNN) – The Pentagon confirms that it may court martial soldiers who share their Christian faith. This, after meeting with an atheist who accused Christians of „sedition” and „treason.” The meeting on April 23 didn’t yield any immediate changes, although the Pentagon released a statement indicating that proselytization is not permitted. Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, „What’s at stake is the ability of the U.S. military members to practice their Christian faith. That includes not only the rank and file military members: that actually include even the chaplains.” The ministries we contacted with military outreach declined to be interviewed for this story. Their concern wa s the same: staying under the radar for now. Does this qualify as real persecution? „When we see a military chaplain who is court martialed for preaching the Gospel, for saying ‘Jesus is the only way to Heaven,’ I think then we’ll be able to say, ‘Absolutely. That’s persecution. Then we’ll have crossed the line.”

Nettleton states, „What’s at stake is the ability of the U.S. military members to practice their Christian faith. That includes not only the rank and file military members: that actually includes even the chaplains.”

The concern is that the definition of proselytism is unclear. Nettleton asks, „If you share your faith, if you share the plan of salvation, is that proselytism or does it become proselytism if there’s some sort of coercion?” He is quick to note that while this is an alarming shift, it’s not technically „persecution.” But, „When we see a military chaplain who is court-martialed for preaching the Gospel, for saying ‘Jesus is the only way to Heaven,’ I think then we’ll be able to say, ‘Absolutely! That’s persecution. Then we’ll have crossed the line.'”

Weinstein accused members of the military who share the Gospel of Jesus Christ of „sedition” and „treason.” He also described Christians who shared their faith in the military as „enemies of the Constitution.” Yet, Nettleton says as strong as the language is, it’s not really a surprise. „Christ said, ‘You will take up your cross.’ The cross was an instrument of torture, an instrument of death. So He wasn’t saying, ‘It’s always going to be easy to follow Me.’ He was saying, ‘Take up your cross. You may have to pay a price.'”

Regardless of what happens with the policy or how it is enforced, Nettleton says American believers can take a page from the book of the Global Church. „It is coming in our culture where we may have to pay a price for living out our faith in Christ, as well. Again, I point to the example of our persecuted brothers and sisters because we have so much to learn from them: they face this every single day and yet they faithfully follow the call of Christ on their lives.”

Read the story in full at http://www.mnnonline.org.

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