Reexamination

Paul tells us to examine ourselves daily to be sure we are still in the will of Christ, 2 Corinthians 13: 5-7.

As a soldier in the Salvation Army I signed a covenant between the Salvation Army, Myself, and God that I would do certain things and avoid doing certain other things. For example I covenanted that I would faithfully pay my tithes every pay day. I also promised that I would avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances. I contracted to uphold the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and if I ever become married and get a divorce I would be in violation of that covenant. I agreed to abstain from anything that could detract from my witness to Christ Jesus. Thus I am to avoid pornography, sexual immorality, and other detracting behaviors.

I also swore to uphold Salvation Army doctrine, which is very similar to Nazarene doctrine. All of this is part of the Soldier’s Covenant that I signed. I find it good to go over these “Articles of War” periodically and remind myself of exactly what it means to be a sold out Christian. Jesus did not want us to be half way. In fact, He wrote to the church at Laodicea, “Because you are neither hot nor cold, I will spew you from my mouth”.

Now there was some geological symbols in that that the church at Laodicea could understand. On one side of them was the cold waters at Collosa that were said to have healing powers. On the other side was a city with hot springs, often prescribed by the doctors of the day for their healing and restorative powers. Laodicea was caught in the middle and its water was useless and undrinkable. The Laodiceans knew what Jesus meant when He said he would spew them out because they spewed their water out all the time. We are not to become useless, lukewarm water. My soldier’s covenant helps remind me in simple form what God expects from me. I read it frequently and read God’s word even more frequently. It is my lifeline.

 

 

 

Marvin Schrebe, Elder WV (12)

I will be 59 on June 9, 2020. I was born on Friday June 9, 1961 in Parkersburg WV. I was first introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ as a child. My mom and dad were as I understand, devoutly pious Christians and my dad was the praise and worship leader at his church. Then he was arrested and charged with a crime that he did not commit. Like a lot of poor people he could not afford a good defense attorney and did four years in prison. This turned both my mother and he bitter against Jesus and we did not go back for a long time. I was reintroduced to the church at age nine when we attended a revival. I was "saved" and then quickly fell away, not really understanding what I was doing and receiving no instruction. I found my way back to Jesus when I was eighteen, and this time I did receive a lot of instruction from a minister who saw potential in me. I was convinced from that time that Holy Spirit was calling me to do something special in the kingdom. I studied everything I could lay my hands on, particularly correspondence courses and walked with the Lord for a good while. Then the cares of the world overwhelmed me and I fell away again. This time I fell into drugs. I drank and used the non-prescription drug diphenhydramine and marijuana for years along with a lot of alcohol. I was always careful not to mix substances, which may have helped Jesus keep me alive.

I was married and divorced throughout that period, then remarried. I began attending another church, where I was baptized and studied under the tutelage of another minister. Again I absorbed the word like a sponge. I became well versed in that denomination's doctrine and wrote and published a few tracts for them. Again I did not apply God's word and misunderstood a lot of it. I fell away again. This time I used drugs for nearly ten years, during which time I was a psychology major at a Bible college. The electives I took were all religion/Bible electives as required by the college. One elective I took was Philosophy 101. The instructor wanted us to develop a worldview based on a logical argument and write a paper defending our position. I chose to show logically how the universe and life could exist without being created. Thus I chose to disprove God. I was good at it and convinced myself for a while. Then in 2009 I got clean with the help of a 12 step program that reintroduced me to the concept of God. I set out to prove that one of the major religions was right and all others false. I studied many disciplines and archaeology and history convinced me that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. I joined a church and soon felt the call from Holy Spirit again. This time I did not run. I became ordained through NACM and then became the chaplain of the West Virginia Veterans Home after my second wife died in 2014.

Shortly after becoming chaplain of the WVVH I became a soldier in the Salvation Army Huntington Corps. I asked my commander there what ministry I could become involved in. She suggested that I accept a commission or bonding from the Maryland/West Virginia Division, and become a local officer, in this case the Community Care Ministries Secretary, Adult Sunday School Teacher, and Men's Club Treasurer. I was already unofficially filling these positions by being a soldier and chaplain of the WVVH. I accepted her offer and was bonded by the division commander during the 2019 holiday season.

Holy Spirit made it clear to me that the reason He had not used me from the time I was saved at eighteen was because I was too immature as a Christian. I would have made a mess of things. He wants us all to serve Him but He has to shape us first. He trained me under many good pastors throughout those years and I had to do the growing. He would not use me until He felt I was mature enough to use. That happened when I surrendered and began trying to always "Do unto others the things I would have them do unto me."

Today I serve in active ministry here at the WVVH and will soon be starting graduate school at Regent University in the Master of Divinity program, chaplain's concentration. College starts May 11, 2020. I will graduate in May 2023 if Holy Spirit is willing.

Leave a Comment