"God's people do not wave flags as a sign of conquest. We bear crosses as the sign of reconciliation."
I've read several posts on other sites about the chaplain offering baths for baptisms. One frequent criticism of the anger at what he's doing is that he is doing the job of a chaplain - helping convert new souls to Christ, and that he's providing a religous service to those who want it. And its true that if someone wants to be baptized, he is there to provide it, though chaplains are supposed to provide spiritual aid to all soldiers, regardless of their spiritual path.
I've also seen arguments that the pool is probably intended to be a baptismal pool and not a place for bathing, and it's appropriate to restrict its use to those who are being baptized. I might be willing to buy that argument, were it not for the fact that the chaplain made it clear that he has no problem offering bribes to get people to agree to baptism, and that he knows the soldiers desire for a bath is a motivation.
Were I still a Christian, I'd still be outraged by his actions. He is trivializing the rite of baptism by bestowing it upon people who may well not be sincere in their "acceptance" of Christ and who are just using it as a bargaining chip to get something else they want - be it a bath, raisins, juice or fruit rolls. It should means something more to the person than that - and the chaplain should want it to mean more than that. The ministry is more than just a numbers game, and to treat it as such takes the focus away from Christ and His relationship with the individual, and puts it on the minister and his "success" in making converts.
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