Your Son Will Be "Tried by Fire"!
W. N. Jackson
In 1956, when I resigned from the military to preach the gospel, I purposed to write this article. I have purposed to write it many times since, but each time delayed the matter. I felt that this material was already in the public knowledge sufficiently. Only after hearing Willard Collins deliver his wonderful lesson on mission work, in which he mentioned the evils confronting our servicemen in the Far East, have I decided to send this forth.
We have many men in the brotherhood who are more qualified to speak in this area than I. But I do have some qualifications here, since when I resigned in 1956 at age twenty-seven, I had spent one-third of my life in association with the military, with over six years on active duty. Lest any think I am overdoing this matter, let me say that I am only going to mention things within my personal knowledge.
We are told that the draft law is being extended for another four years. In all likelihood, we will have some compulsory military service provision in our laws from this time onward. Your sons, and mine, are involved. I am persuaded that few parents are aware of the lasciviousness presented before our servicemen. How often do we hear parents express that they are not in the least worried about their young sons, because they were "brought up in the church?"
Parents should remember this: It is one thing to have an obedient and clean-living son while he is at home, under near-constant supervision, and continually in a position of accounting to his parents for his time, his whereabouts and his friends. It is quite another matter, however, to take this boy away from the supervision of parents, teachers and church, send him a thousand miles from home (and often for the first time), place him in an ungodly environment, surrounded by men more mature (?) and experienced in the ways of sin, and then to have him enticed above anything he expected in this life! Is your son ready for this?
Let us illustrate the matter:
1. A North Carolina barrack occupied by twenty men, not one of them a Christian, except your son. He lives in an atmosphere of constant profanity, constant filthiness in story and song, the constant relating of sexual conquests of the evening before, constant drinking, constant gambling, the constant reading of the filthiest of literature, and all of this for days, weeks and even months. Is your son ready to move into that barrack? Have you fortified him that he might meet this and not fall?
2. A Virginia military classroom, presided over by an officer of high rank. Your son has been taught to salute, honor and respect this officer as a leader of men, and indeed, as an example. Each class must begin with a joke just as filthy as possible, and every lecture is filled with vulgar references, and each bit of obscenity is obviously longed for and enjoyed by ninety-nine per cent of the men in the room. Is your son ready to take his seat in that group and to be taught by this officer for weeks on end?
3. While doing some legal work in the Courts-Martial system of the Navy Department in 1953, I had occasion to counsel a young man not yet nineteen years of age. With pride he informed me that during the past cruise of his ship, with at least forty days visiting foreign ports, he had averaged committing fornication more than once per day while visiting in these ports! Is your son ready to share a double-decked bunk with that young man, and in a room with several like him? Is your son ready to "see the town" in company of such young men?
4. In Lisbon, Portugal, I saw a launch tie up to the pier, and twenty to thirty young men stepped on foreign soil. The American "reputation" has already preceded them, of course. Waiting are the prostitutes... a dozen or more. These depraved and diseased creatures will not wait until your son takes the initiative. Rather, they will, in plain and lewd language and mannerisms offer themselves for less than the price of a milk shake in this country! In many instances these prostitutes will lay their hands on the young men to excite them, knowing what will follow.
And, while these young men stroll the streets, the prostitutes will continually offer themselves, and many of the little children and aged parents will be in these streets selling the services of their mothers and daughters. Is your son ready to visit these ports? Is he ready to make that visit in the company of other young men who have already decided that they will buy at first opportunity?
5. In 1954, I had the unpleasant task of turning over to Naval Intelligence officers in Boston, men, both young and old, who had become a part of a homosexual ring aboard one of our major warships. As I saw to their belongings being packed, and then to their being whisked off the ship with a minimum of attention, I couldn't help but wonder: "What if these same temptations had been placed before some youngster who was a member of the church? Could he withstand all the pressure?"
Most of these boys were introduced into this depravity by perverted men of seeming maturity. Never before had any of them entertained a perverse, warped thought. But in months at sea, in the company of constant perversion, they were initiated by these men, and some came to enjoy this filthiness, and sought to repeat the sin over and over again. Is your son ready to be stationed aboard such a ship, and among such men? Is he ready to be put to the test, night after night?
With the military draft practically a permanent part of our way of life now, this is hardly the time for parents to be careless and indifferent in either example or teaching of their young people. This is hardly the time for elders and preachers to say, "Let the home do the teaching."
It is true that rules against profanity and other filthiness remain on the military regulation books`, but seldom do you find the rules enforced. Under present conditions, there's little likelihood that high moral standards will be enforced in the military, ever.
Your son, Christian parent, will be "tried by fire." Is he ready? What have you done, parent, elder, preacher, Bible class teacher, to fortify our young people? Are our sons ready to be tried by fire?
Truth Magazine VII: 12, pp. 8