A senior military chaplain in the United States has been harshly criticised for sharing a copy of Pastor John Piper's new book on the coronavirus. Twenty-two US Army chaplains are calling on Senior Chaplain Col. Moon H. Kim to be disciplined for emailing a copy of Coronavirus and Christ to a number of his colleagues.
The call was initiated by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), who wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper explaining that Kim had sent out the email using his official military email address to 35 other chaplains, attaching an "unsolicited" copy of the popular pastor's new book.
MRFF is representing the 22 disgruntled chaplains, most of whom are representing mainline and progressive Christian traditions. According to the lobby group, the complaining chaplains are upset because they "do not subscribe to the ultra-conservative/Reformed/evangelical Christian theology of John Piper," particularly on issues of sexuality and the punishment of sin.
According to US outlet The Christian Post, Kim shared the booklet with his colleagues because it helped him "focus [his] sacred calling to Jesus Christ to finish strong."
His email added the exhortation: "Hopefully this small booklet would help you and your soldiers, their families and others who you serve."
MRFF argued that the book was "clearly meant as a full-fledged endorsement and validation of what the book espouses and proclaims."
It added: "Thus, in CLEAR effect, especially to the recipients of his shocking email, Chaplain (Colonel) Kim is likewise endorsing and validating the very same dictates as established by the author of this book."
The group lambasted Piper for supposedly alleging that coronavirus could have been sent as a judgment from God, arguing that his belief in "predestination" means that "even something as deadly as coronavirus is sent from God."
The letter reads:
"In referencing his belief with the heading of "Some people will be infected with the coronavirus as a specific judgment from God because of their sinful attitudes and actions," he alludes to the theological point that all misery is a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden, and that it is meant to purify and not punish, but he then says a few paragraphs later:
"Another example is the sin of homosexual intercourse. In Romans 1:27, the apostle Paul says, 'Men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.' That 'due penalty' is the painful effect 'in themselves' of their sin."
"He is unquestionably attempting to make the case that as LGBTQ people are punished for their sin, the Coronavirus is a punishment for sin also."
The group warned that Kim had shared a document "which propagate beliefs in vulgar contradiction to DoD and Army regulatory policy" and sent the email in "direct and wretched opposition to good order, morale, unit cohesion, and discipline."
Finally, MRFF called on Secretary Esper to ensure that Chaplain Kim be "aggressively and visibly" investigated and then "disciplined in punishment" for his "deplorable actions."