Oct 31 2011

Halloween Message to Marines: Don’t Get Tricked; Jesus is the Treat

Amidst the plethora of Halloween clip art in the October edition of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s newsletter, is a clear warning from Chaplain Ray Bailey: Don’t get tricked by “meaningless philosophy” — choose Jesus, the treat!

“Wouldn’t it be nice to end up with the treat rather than the trick in life? The amazing thing is that this is God’s desire for you. He wants you to enjoy life to the fullest and get the treat. He has expressed this clearly in John 10:10 as it tells us that ‘the thief (the one who tries to trick us) only comes to steal (a person’s joy in life by tricking us as to what will bring us happiness) but Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly (full of life and joy)!

“This is why the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians and said ‘Beware so that no one ‘tricks’ you with empty (meaningless) philosophy and high sounding nonsense based on the principles of this world that merely come from human thinking and not from God” (paraphrased by Chaps — Colossians 2:8). A person may ask, ‘How does one get tricked by empty or meaningless philosophy and the nonsense of this world?’”

Of course, Chaplain Bailey has plenty of Bible verses to back up this danger of philosophical “trickery,” like “what Paul is talking about in Colossians 2:8 regarding empty philosophy and high sounding nonsense based on the principles of this world, not from God.”

Yes, Marines, “These thoughts and actions can trick us into a life of chaos, destruction and anything but happiness whereby we miss out on experiencing the full ‘treats’ from God.”

But, the good news is that to get all of God’s treats, all you need to do is stop thinking for yourself! Chaplain Bailey explains:

“Proverbs promises us that if we ‘trust in the Lord with all our heart, not depending upon our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge him in all we do, he will show us which path to take (3:5-6). The treat is that God is willing to lead us down a path with limited obstacles because ‘…the path of the upright is an open highway’ (Proverbs 15:19).”

Chaplain Bailey gets a full page of this six-page newsletter every month to foist his opinions upon the Marines of the 31st MEU, so we’ve encountered him before, like a few months back when he was so proud of a good Christian officer who was going to work for Cadence International upon his retirement from the Corps, writing:

“I have been encouraged by the many great men and women of faith here with the MEU. I’ve seen one of our officers who will retire soon be accepted as a missionary with Cadence International. This is the ministry who runs the Hansen Christian Center and Harbor House and Malachi Youth Ministries here on island.”

Cadence International is also the ministry that has said of its success in targeting and converting new military recruits at training bases:

“Deployment and possibly deadly combat are ever-present possibilities. They are shaken. Shaken people are usually more ready to hear about God than those who are at ease, making them more responsive to the gospel.”

Yep, taking advantage of young service members when they’re at their most vulnerable — now, there’s something to be proud of!

That’s right, Marines — Semper Fi (but to Jesus, of course, not to the Marine Corps)!


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  1. 1
    Chris Rodda

    My fellow FTB blogger and resident poet, The Digital Cuttlefish, has written an AWESOME little poem about our fine military chaplains, titled “For God And For Country (But Mostly For God)” I love this!


  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    … a life of chaos, destruction …

    Perhaps I overgeneralize from personal acquaintanceship, but isn’t that one of the primary appeals of the USMC to its recruits?

  3. 3

    empty (meaningless) philosophy and high sounding nonsense based on the principles of this world that merely come from human thinking and not from God seems to imply that “empty philosophy and high sounding nonsense” also can come from God. Thanks for that information, good chaplain.

    Question then is, how does one distinguish one from the other?

    And by the way, Paul just says “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit” (KJV), he doesn’t seem to consider the existence of nonempty, meaningful philosophy.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    “Jesus is the treat.” So… Jesus is like a box of raisins? Or is he more like a bite sized Snikers? We probably do not want to go into apples with razor blades stuck into them.

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