The Rogue's March
God is so rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4).
Sometime ago I heard about a youthful United States Marine who was court-martialed for larceny. The disgrace of public banishment began when a sergeant major read aloud the bad conduct discharge and snapped the order, "Escort this man from the confines of this United States Marine Reservation."
Drummers beat the Rogue's March while the bareheaded, degraded outcast trudged slowly past rows of his former fellow Marines standing at attention. As the disgraced Marine passed each platoon, the men turned from him in an about-face.
I do not know whether or not this discipline is still practiced in the Marine Corps, but the tradition goes back at least several centuries to the British Army.
In those days, being "drummed out" of the army was the ultimate disgrace. If a soldier was guilty of certain offenses, such as desertion, he would be thrown out of the army, and sometimes branded (marked on the chest with a "D" for "deserter"') so that he could not re-enlist.
A ceremony went with this in the form of a parade in front of the soldier's buddies, with his buttons being torn off and his sword broken over an officer's knee, or even over the soldier's head. As the soldier was led to the gate of the barracks, the smallest and youngest drummer was allowed to kick the soldier's backside while the band and drummers played the "Rogue's March."
Military discipline must be maintained, and some of the methods may seem heartless and without mercy. Man will often offer no mercy.
But thank God that anyone degraded and discharged by man may turn to God for His mercy and forgiveness, no matter what his offenses may be.
"God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms -- all because we are one with Christ Jesus. And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:4-7, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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