Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whiteman Airforce Base and the B-2





Last week the Currey family and my family were given a guided tour at Whiteman Airforce base where 14-16 of the 20 existing B-2 "Stealth Bombers" are kept. The tour was personally guided by a man whose family has been attending Redeemer while stationed at Whiteman. He is one of the few airman who pilot these $1.4 billion dollar bombers. While these jets have been in service since the early 90's, some of their technology is still classified. We had to go through several security checks in order to see the plane. Part of the tour included getting to fly the B-2 in the special computer simulator that is used to train pilots. Nathan and I made a good pilot tandem, until he crashed us on one of our landings. I would tell you all that I saw on the tour...but then I'd have to kill you. Here's some pictures.

15 comments:

Rick Calohan said...

I noticed these were declassified photos. Praise God that members of the military in our region can call Redeemer home. Defenders of the faith and our nation, truly the great commission is fulfilled!

Salt and Light

Mathew 5: 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

The Great Commission

Matthew 28: 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee , to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Cultural Mandate

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Salt and Light. That is what Christ commanded every one of us to be (Matthew 5:13-14). That is what this ministry, in its own small way is attempting to be. That, I think, is the answer to the problems we face in this country as individuals and as a nation and as a world. I believe it is very simple. You look at almost any of the great problems we face, and the answer to it is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Cultural Mandate (Genesis 1:28). We need to proclaim the Gospel if people's lives are going to be changed, but we need for Christians to get involved in the culture if we are going to bring that transforming power of Christ to bear on every different facet of life. -- Dr. D. James Kennedy

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in the Scripture alone to the Glory of God alone! Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria!

jeff said...

The B-2 is an awesome aircraft. I got to see one in flight last year while I was in Mississippi near Biloxi. It's an incredible thing to see. What an opportunity for you all to see one up close!

My personal favorite aircraft was always the SR-71 Blackbird.

RA said...

Pastor, what do these modern war machines, built by forced taxation, actually do in their blind and obedient service of the state? I doubt it's anything that our Lord would wholeheartedly approve. So, what's really cool about all that?! Did it produce in your kids a sense of awe, fear and respect for the technology, for the government behind it? I hope and pray that doesn't ever compete with the awe, fear, and respect that we should have for the Lord. Remember, as Samuel Johnson aptly pointed out, "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

Reepicheep said...

RA,

The technology required to craft such a machine is, well, cool.

So let me be sure I understand you- Our country should not have a military?

Do explain.

Phantom495 said...

What a great opportunity! These aircraft are amazing, and cool! I join with Rick in praising God that we have members of our military in our covenant family at Redeemer! I pray that they will be salt and light in our armed forces.

As far as the comment by Ra, the Samuel Johnson quote seems to be miunderstood or taken of context. Johnson was actually most likely talking about Edmund Burke and his false patriotism, and general manipulation of the emotions of the "commonfolk" of his day (much like Barak Obama today!). Johnson also said "He that wishes to see his country robbed of its rights cannot be a patriot." If we have no military, how can we not be robbed of our rights?

Frontier Forest said...

This was awesome! What a patriotic experience you all will never forget! “A strong defense is the best offence.” Don’t know who said it but sure has some stinging, sticking, staying power! I was going to say something tacky to the liberal, but it’s much better “to be quick to hear, slow to speak slow to anger.”

R.A. said...

Pastor, read what the Bible says in Deut. 17:14-20 re: the practice of having a standing army. Also, please read the MANY words that the prophets had to say about trusting in the horses of Egypt rather than in the LORD God. Can you imagine what Isiah would have to say to a priest or religious leader who praised the technolgy of an Egyptian chariot?! Also, since so many in this online community seem to have a deep seated love for what is essentially a non-trinitarian pagan government, read what the founding fathers of the nation had to say about standing armies. By the way, when Francis Schaeffer was asked near the end of his life about the most dangerous threat to the modern church in America his reply was basically one word, i.e. statism. I think he's right and I would venture to speculate that each of the respondants to this post are evidencing in this discussion this deep-seated idolatry. I urge you brethren, instead of responding in knee-jerk reactions to my comments, to examine your hearts to see if there are competing demands on your loyalty and allegiance. Jesus is the king of the world, not America. Right now there are pastors and elders in churches of China who are saying the same thing to their parishioners about their own nation. Wake up, the world is the Lord's, not a comparitively small pagan nation that has only been around for a little more than 200 years! The church NEEDS to stand in prophetic opposition to the state, not support it in everything that it teaches. Where in the Bible does it say, "a strong offense is a strong defense." By the way, "frontier forest," please get past the "liberal" and "conservative" dichotamy. I am not a liberal. A liberal wants to invest more and more money and power in a federal government, which is exactly what YOU want to do when it comes to foreign policy and, more and more, domestically now. Peace brothers...

Reepicheep said...

RA,
1. I am pretty familiar with God's instruction to theocratic Israel. I do not see those instructions as absolutey 1 for 1 with modern nations which are not fundamentally Christian. Simply put, God's instruction to Theocratic Israel to not have a standing army is not explicitly applicable to us. Further, even for them, if an outside threat arose, calling up a standing army was a swift process- not one that demanded extensive technical training.

2. No one should trust in armies or military might. I would never advocate such misguided trust. Appreciating our military strength and the men and women who serve in it is not putting trust in it over God.

3. I don't believe in statism. Thinking it's allowable to have a military doesn't make me a statist. Please, give me a break.

4. Schaeffer's views on statism were most certainly pertaining to communism, nevertheless, statism is wrong, so you're making a point that isn't necessary.

5. The technology invented to creat things like the b-2 is amazing and ultimately gives glory to God for His giving such ingenuity. Certainly machines can be used for evil, but the machines themselves are not evil.

Peace to you also.

Rick Calohan said...

RA,

Peace and Grace to you in the name of the Lord!

If a Communist nation such as China or the fundamental Islamic terrorist were to take over the United States of America, a rogue nation state like North Korea transferred nuclear weapons to Syria who in turned used them against Israel, whom then would protect your freedom of speech to criticize the government or its military?

I think those whom have posted a view contrary to yours are not idol worshipers of the State. I think those of us who attend Redeemer, know that are rights and freedoms are given to us are by Divine Providence from God. Our God has providentially blessed this nation and His chosen people before and after our Declaration of Independence, which is now approaching its 232 year of existence. Our Constitution is now in its 221 year of existence.

The analogy a Good Defense is a Strong Offence is from football. Perhaps the policies of Peace through Strength (Reagan), and in Time of Peace Prepare for War (Washington), may not be what you support. However, it has brought down an evil empire (Soviet Union) and if you look at US History, you would see that every major conflict has taken place when we have become isolationist, have unilaterally disarmed, and withdrew our presence, case in point World War II and Korea.

What the founders said about foreign entanglements applied then because the United States was a relatively military weaken nation that could not afford to take sides between England and France. Note well the War of 1812, when a weak U.S. Military was invaded again by Great Britain. Look at December 7, 1941, when a weak U.S. Military invited the Japanese to attack at Pearl Harbor, look again when the United States pulled out of the Republic of Korea (South) in 1949, withdrew to Japan, that by June 25, 1950, the North Koreans had crossed the 38th Parallel and invading the south. A garrison force was sent Task Force Smith to hold off the attack were pushed back to the Pusan Perimeter until reinforcements could be brought in.

Because Truman did not use full force and did not permit MacArthur to blow up the bridges along the Yalu River the Red Chinese entered the conflict to assist the North Koreans whom have killed, tortured, slaughtered and help enslaved half a nation though a three year stalemate. Now over 55 years later we still help the South Koreans defend their borders and protect 60 million people from being enslaved by those who oppose God and our way our freedom.

The B-2 Bomber is an awesome piece of machinery that has prevented and decimated the Taliban and Al Qaeda from further attacks on the United States.

Perhaps a quote from Col. Jessup will sum up how those of us who have served and continue to serve feel about our military and our country.


Son, we live in a world that has walls.
And those walls have to be guarded by men
with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You,
Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater
responsibility than you can possibly
fathom. You weep for Santiago and you
curse the marines. You have that luxury.
You have the luxury of not knowing what I
know: That Santiago's death, while tragic,
probably saved lives. And my existence,
while grotesque and incomprehensible to
you, saves lives.

You don't want the truth. Because deep
down, in places you don't talk about at
parties, you want me on that wall. You me
there

We use words like honor, code,
loyalty...we use these words as the
backbone to a life spent defending
something. You use 'em as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the
inclination to explain myself to a man who
rises and sleeps under the blanket of the
very freedom I provide, then questions the
manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer
you just said thank you and went on your
way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a
weapon and stand a post. Either way, I
don't give a damn what you think you're
entitled to.



Perhaps even further, as to why we serve, protect, and defend the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic can be found in the sixth stanza of our National Anthem.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Remember in the words of Senator Barry Goldwater, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is not vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

Kampfgruppe-H said...

Glad you all had the opportunity to take a tour. The B-2 is pretty neat.

My faith and trust is in the LORD.
We are required to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give to the LORD what belongs to HIM. Unfortunately, in a fallen world, armed forces and weapons of destruction are necessary.

R.A. said...

Briefly, in reply to your points.
1. I'll concede that it's possible this part of the law is only applicable to theocratic Israel (although that is debatable). But, given your point, shouldn't we then as the church view the federal government as what it really is, i.e. a pagan non-trinitarian entity which seeks to set itself up, a'la Psalm 2, against the throne of the Lord? I only say that because the church in general seems to view the U.S. military and U.S. foreign policy in such glowing ways rather than taking a prophetic stance similar to the prophets that spoke against other pagan nations.
2. Agreed. The only source of our trust should be the Lord, not b2 stealth bombers.
3. Please define what you mean by being a statist. Maybe we disagree because we aren't agreeing on the terms.
4. With all due respect, I think you're wrong. F.S. made those comments about the church in the West and America in particular, not the USSR. I think he was right - statism is a major threat primarily because most of us don't even see it.
5. Right, I agree. But, that doesn't seem like the tone that was first presented. And, the initial respondants didn't even mention the glory of God revealing this to us, etc. Still, I think my initial question was never answered. What is the primary purpose of the machine? This isn't an anti-military diatribe, or even anti-war. It's more of questioning the righteousness (which the church implies) behind modern warfare. Sorry, but there's something evil about flying above the clouds and dropping bombs on civilians. I don't understand how the church can't do anything but take a prophetic role against that.
Pastor, I seem to have touched a nerve and I'm sorry. I don't mean to offend. Maybe we should just agree to disagree. You can drop this by not posting my comment. I don't think it's possible to see eye to eye because we disagree at the presuppositional level.

Reepicheep said...

RA,

You never answered my original question- should our country have a military?

I think the nerve was struck in you, that's what started this interesting dialogue.

R.A. said...

Not a standing army. The founding fathers were right - it leads to despotism. There are too many temptations to use it to find wars elsewhere. And, history shows that it is eventually used on it's own people. I am in support of the people owning arms and if we are ever invaded we go to the defense. Like I said, I'd be the first to volunteer. Now, the argument could be made that in an age of nuclear warfare and other WMD that would be foolish because other nations would have the upper hand (a might makes right scenario). I can agree with that. So, I would support an incremental move toward the ideal. I like the model of Switzerland - but, we would have to get rid of American pride, American Empire, American Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, etc. and that isn't likely to happen quickly. But, again, it gets back to the original point that WMD are not things to be praised, because they got us to this point (and they essentially tempt humans to break the 6th commandment). You are right and I ask for your forgiveness-I'll confess that the nerve was struck in me. Mea culpa.

Reepicheep said...

RA,
No need to ask for forgiveness, you haven't sinned against me or offended me. I don't agree with the totality of your position, but I do respect your the point of your last post.

You have raised many debatable points in your various posts, ones that are not really the point of my blog, so I won't challenge you further (e.g. implying the purposeful bombing of civilians, and that my post somehow praised WMD's, your quotes from Johnson and Schaeffer, etc).

Thanks for the interchange and the food for thought.

It's great that we live in a country that allows for disagreement on these points. I would suggest, while flawed, our military prowess has helped secure our right to have this debate without fear of persecution.

Christine said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog over the last months, I can't believe it has taken a post on Whiteman for me to leave a comment. (I really enjoy your theological posts). We see (or briefly hear)the Steath's fly over our house on a regular basis and I am going to try not to be jealous. The coolest was when one flew right over us on 50 Hwy so low we could see the pilot...

On a side note, I personally think we would be stupid in this day and age if we didn't have a standing army!
God bless,
Christine Richardson
(wife to Shane that works at Bott Radio)