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Friday, November 10th | Onward Christian Soldier (ft. Bruce Parrish)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
November 10, 2023 8:00 am

Friday, November 10th | Onward Christian Soldier (ft. Bruce Parrish)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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November 10, 2023 8:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah celebrates the Marine Corps. Birthday and interviews a special guest.

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Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?


Hello, everyone. Today is Friday, November the 10th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at You guys can help us keep the show going by supporting the podcast, supporting the radio show. You can share it online with your friends and family. You can leave us a good review anywhere you get your podcasting content from, be it iTunes, Spotify. Leave us a good review.

Absolutely nothing less than five stars. We're going to leave some links in the description so you can do just that. And the verse of the day today comes from Luke 11, verse 10. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Yep, because we treat the Christian life like it's some passive thing. We're passive participants just letting God happen to us, letting the Holy Spirit happen to us. But he who seeks God is the one who finds him. And it's a good reminder for us, I think, to always be seeking his face, always be looking forward to what his plan is, not just letting it happen. Yeah, just like you said, be an active participant in the Christian life.

God does the work of the Christian life, but he calls us to do work as well. He calls us to be active participants in the process of our sanctification. Speaking of being active, we've got a special guest on the show today. Today is a really, really important episode for us here at Cleaver. I'm so glad that he's here for my birthday and David's birthday. Oh, happy birthday, man.

Thank you. Happy birthday. It's your birthday. But that's not the birthday we're talking about today. David's birthday. Three birthdays today.

Yes. There's a more important birthday. There is a more important birthday.

That's what I was going to say. It is our birthday, but there's a more important birthday. Dr. Shaw, happy birthday, my friend.

No, no, no. Happy birthday, Dr. Shaw. It is yours and David's birthday.

It is. But before us, there was another birthday today, and that is the birthday of the Marine Corps. That's what we're talking about today. It goes all the way back to 1775. Before America was even America. That's crazy.

The Marine Corps of America was there before America was. That's crazy. Well, the guest today is Mr. Bruce Parrish, who is a good friend, and his family has been a good friend to me and to Nicole. We've been connected through God's providence for a few years, and he and his family have been part of the Marine Corps for a long time. Wow. And so I'm really glad to have him here with us. Yes, welcome. Thank you.

It's great to see you, Bruce. You know, with today being the Marine Corps birthday and tomorrow November 11th being Veterans Day, we wanted to kind of do something where this has kind of become a tradition on the show where we talk to people who have been in the military and who have served the country. What years were you actually involved in the military?

I was in the Marine Corps from 1986 until 2009. Wow. Wow. That's a long time. How many years is that? Twenty-three years and three months. Wow.

Unbelievable. Yes, sir. What do you think is the thing you took away most from it? Well, the thing I took away from it was exactly the reasons I joined. Just the structure, the discipline, just learning the new value in life or whatever.

That's awesome. When I was young, I didn't value things as much, and I think the Marine Corps set me on a path to better my life. How old were you when you first set your sights on the Marine Corps? Was there a certain age where you remember, maybe that's something I want to do? Well, I had always been fascinated with the military, but I had a buddy of mine that went to school, Sam Leonard, and he introduced me to a recruiter.

I got suckered in. Was it at school? Right, it was at school, and then I got introduced to the recruiter, and the next thing I know, I'm more interested, and next thing you know, I'm taking a physical and I'm taking a test, and then I just decided I was going to join. I was 18, and I turned 19.

Actually, I was in Marine Corps boot camp on my 19th birthday. Wow. That's amazing.

Incredible. I know all those attributes listed, like discipline and order and structure. Those are amazing traits that come from the U.S. military, but also traits for the Christian life.

Those are things that are essential to Christian living. Well, I really got close to this family through Bruce's son, who was also a Marine, I should say. He's also a Marine. Well, I was at their wedding, and I made the mistake of saying ex-Marine.

Oh, no. And Bruce very nicely... I remember that story. I didn't know that was Bruce, though. Yeah, it was Bruce.

He was like, all right, Dr. Shaw, you can say ex. So explain to us how that goes. Right. Well, the Marine Corps has the saying, once you earn the title, it's not something you can turn back in. Once you earn it, it's yours for life. Even now, the Marines don't even like to be referred to as former Marines.

It's like, you're always a Marine, so you're either a Marine on active duty, or you're a Marine retired, or you're a Marine that's no longer on active duty. Wow. Yeah.

Yeah. And then it's a big deal. Now, it's personal to me because our son-in-law, Jared, is also, how do you say it, a non-active duty Marine. And he's very proud of his Marine heritage, because when some things happened, I think it was two years ago, some Marines died, and I could just tell he was down.

And I said, you okay? Well, it just hits you different. It's a brotherhood. Marines are webbed into that. I recruited in the Marine Corps for three years.

I actually became the person that got me in. And talking to people about joining the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps doesn't sell people on the tangible things, like going to college. The Marine Corps sells people on the intangible things that you get from joining the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps has the 14 leadership traits, the judgment, the justice, the decisiveness, the dependability, the initiative, the integrity, those intangible things that you can have whatever job you want in the Marine Corps, but what are you going to do once you're no longer in the Marine Corps? And I think the Marine Corps prepares you by giving you those intangible things that no matter what you do in life, you're going to be successful at it. I think Christians can learn a lot from that, because there are stories of Christians being persecuted overseas or being killed or going through some level of tribulation.

And as Christians here in America, a lot of times we're like, oh man, well, we'll be praying for that. That's terrible. But it doesn't have that same gut reaction, maybe sometimes, but not always, as what you were saying, Dr. Shah, with Jarrett, actually feeling that visceral feeling of Marines being killed, because like you said, it is that brotherhood, and there's an emotional connection to people who went through the same thing as you did.

Yeah. Well, for me, there was definitely a difference in Jarrett when he came back from active duty, and the way he shook my hand. Well, he was still in the Marines at the time, and he shook my hand. I could tell, I was like, what happened to that handshake? It was kind of like a little, you know, limp fish.

And he was like, oh, and I said, oh, okay, good to have you back, Jarrett. Did they teach you all that social stuff? Yeah.

The Marine Corps is big on traditions and customs and courtesies and things of that nature. And even now that I'm a little older, I'm not old, but I'm a little older. I still call people sir. Sir, no matter what. Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, sir.

No, sir. And some of that you get coming up, because it's not like the Marine Corps just turns on a light bulb for you one day. You know, you do have some of that in you.

You may not know it. Right. And the Marine Corps brings that out in you. And they really harp on that. And, you know, I tell people all the time, people ask me, well, why are you so enthralled with the Marine Corps? Why do you know, I never let opportunity pass by without talking about the Marine Corps.

And I just tell them because it just, it just turned my whole life around. Yeah. Yeah.

And so now your whole family, you have several people in your ancestry who were always part of the Marine as well. Right. My wife's dad was in the Marine Corps. Right.

That's right. Her uncle was in the Marine Corps. My wife's uncle was in the Marine Corps. And then of course, Joshua was in the Marine Corps.

And then that's some of what got Joshua, my son, to join the Marine Corps was he just wanted to be a third generation Marine. Right. Yeah. That's right. It's one of those things that you, it's a lineage. You just want to keep it going.

That's right. And so, yeah, there's a heart to serve. And I think that speaks volumes about your character and his character, you know, that heart to serve our nation. And now somebody doesn't spend as much time in the Marines as you did without moving through the ranks. So it wasn't like you just stayed kind of base level entry Marine. You kind of ascended a little bit. You moved through. Talk to us a little bit about what that was like.

Right. Well, when I joined, you know, Marine Corps was always hard about obtaining rank in it. And I tell people, you know, I spent, I spent a better part of 44 months as an E-4 and another 46 as an E-5. So I spent a long time as a Marine NCO, Corporal and Sergeant.

Is that, is E-4 and E-5, are those low or are they relatively high? Well, once you, once you obtain the rank of Corporal E-4 in the Marine Corps, you're kind of like, you're on your way. Okay. Okay.

All right. You know, and so I got, you know, promoted as Sergeant and, Sergeant and Gunnery Sergeant, E-5 and E-7 in the Marine Corps is kind of like the ideal rank to be. Sergeant and then Gunnery Sergeant? No, it's a Sergeant. Then you make Staff Sergeant and then you make Gunnery Sergeant.

And those, that's the sweet spot. That's the sweet spot is Sergeant, Sergeant, you're, you're driving the mission. You're driving the, you're, you're in daily contact with the Marines.

You're constantly on the go. Then you get promoted to Staff Sergeant. It's not so much, it's kind of like a low, you're not a Sergeant. You're not driving the bus anymore. You're not a Gunnery Sergeant.

You're not, you know, issuing the orders down. But then once you make Gunnery Sergeant, those two ranks, Sergeant and Gunnery Sergeant. Those are the fun ones?

Those are the fun ones. The Sergeant drives the mission and the, and the Sergeant doesn't do anything without the Gunnery say so. See Gunnery is just a great nickname. I would want to be a Gunnery Sergeant just for that. Just so that when I walk by people like Gunny, to me, that's, that's, that's a really cool thing.

Well, if, well, if you saluted the Gunnery, you'd probably be in trouble. Really? Oh, really? Okay. Oh yes. Because Gunnery Sergeant's E4 or E1 up to E9 in the Marine Corps is enlisted ranks.

Okay. Which the Marine Corps, if you find an enlisted Marine, which I was, they will say, well, what's the difference between an enlisted Marine and an officer? And an enlisted Marine will tell you, well, we work for a living. So, so is Gunny, is a Gunnery Sergeant too, too low to be saluting or too high? No, it's, uh, enlisted Marines don't get saluted at all.

And this goes back to customs and courtesies. The only enlisted Marines that rate a salute in the Marine Corps are Medal of Honor winners. Okay. Okay.

If you're a Medal of Honor winner, then you rate a salute. Gotcha. Gotcha. Wow.

I'm learning something new every day. Yeah. So you were a Gunnery Sergeant for how long? I was a Gunnery Sergeant, um, for the better part of five years. Okay.

Okay. And then I got promoted, uh, to Master Sergeant and that's the rank I retired as. That sounds pretty cool. Master Sergeant.

That's a great title. Um, Master Sergeant is, I mean, it's, you know, the next rank up and you know, you can only go to E9, that's Master Sergeant's E8 and you can only go to E9, which is a Master Gunnery Sergeant. Um, but Master Sergeant, um, that's about the time I decided I was ready to retire. Is it less desirable? Because you said the two greatest ones are the Sergeant and the Gunnery Sergeant. Is being the next one up Master Sergeant less desirable than Gunnery Sergeant? Well, obtaining rank is always great. Right. Because, you know, with rank comes greater responsibility, greater, um, pay, you know, you get more pay of course.

Right. That's the way the military works is the higher up you go, the more pay you get. Um, but once I obtained Master Sergeant, it's kind of like you get removed from the everyday involvement with Marines.

So you're not in, right. You're in the desk, you're, you become the they of the world. Like when you're, when you're a young Marine, all these orders are barked down to you by the corporal or the Sergeant and you're like, why are we doing this? And they're like, well, they say it.

Okay. And they never, they never say who they are. Well, once you make Master Sergeant, you find out who they are. Because you're the they. I see.

The higher rank is good, but functionally it's not quite as from the, you sit at a desk knowing that all the Marines somewhere are complaining about you. Right. Well, that's the part of being a boss is, you know, you're not there to be loved. True. And unfortunately sometime. Wow. That's, that's pretty cool.

That's, that's interesting. You know, it points to kind of like we were talking about that this leadership principles behind the way the Marines are set up and, and how that works. And you know, that separation between the ones who are in charge, the they, like you said, I love that distinction, the they versus the people who are kind of carrying out the orders that can, that can breed some disunity that can, that can breed some kind of hierarchical thinking. You know, Dr. Sean, your leadership style, how do you separate the boss from the leader? Cause I think you would probably agree that there's, there's leaders out on the field and then there's bosses, you know what I mean? That are kind of, like you said, sitting back expecting things to be done, but they're never really seen or, or heard from directly.

Well, I think Bruce would agree with that. If you've been there, done that, that builds some kind of camaraderie with, with the guys under you, where you can say, I'm not telling you anything I wouldn't do, I haven't done. I'm sure how many times you've said that. It's funny you would say that because like when you become they and they look at you and you're passing all these orders, you know, I always tell my Marines, like you always know when they're disgruntled or whatever. And I always told the Marines, I will never ask you to do anything that I have not done myself or I would not be willing to do.

Right. And so I think they appreciate that. They're like, okay, he's been here and he's done that.

And so he's not telling me anything that he's not willing to do. It's a lingo and that lingo cannot be learned just going to a college on an office of rank, which is, which is great. But sometimes if you haven't been in the trenches, you learn a certain way of saying things and certain mannerisms that cannot be learned in a textbook. It has to come from being there. And it's crazy that people somehow know they can always pick up when you've gone through it or when you're real and when you're credible.

You know what I mean? Right. It's, it's, it's insane that you have to sort of, it's this unspoken thing. Even if you told them, Hey, I've been there, I've done that.

They can tell just by the way that you speak or by the way that you lead that you haven't. Right. Wow.

Right. And then even in the officer's program, like officers in the Marine Corps course, they go to college and they get a four year degree and they become commissioned and they go to officer candidate school and to the basic school in it. And but you know, there is another program that the Marine Corps has to where they actually allow enlisted Marines to become officers.

And so like you're enlisted and you can get your four year degree and then you can convert over to the officer's program. The Marine Corps refers to them as Mustangs. Oh, okay. So, uh, if you're a Mustang, then you really get to respect of the enlisted Marines because they know, okay, he's an officer and he's done all this and that, but he was enlisted too. So he knows what it's like to, to, uh, he's been where we are. Yeah.

To, to, to carry this burden to, it's more of a slang, not a, not a title like in the Marine Corps handbook. Right. Okay.

Okay. That's, that's pretty cool. Here's, here's something I want to know because Dr. Shah, you have two son-in-laws, you have two daughters married to, and they're both married to military men. I don't know how that happened.

I guess it's just how I am, I guess. So your daughter Abigail is married to a Marine and your daughter Rebecca is married to someone who's in the army or who was, who was up until very recently in the army. He's still sort of connected with the army.

He still works for the army, but in a different capacity. And they, they're, I mean, they really over the years have become brothers and, and I've seen this comradery between them, but also this kind of lighthearted, playful tension because one's in the Marines and one's in the army. And there's this, this, this kind of running gag between them that, Oh, the Marines is, is tougher than the army. It's like, yeah, but the army is better than the Marines because of this.

Is that real? Right. It's, it's, it's really, it's, it's, it's kind of like you banter back and forth or whatever, but you, you still have that little bit of respect because you know, everybody has a mission. Everybody has a purpose. Everybody has a, you know, my oldest son, uh, he did time. He did his time in the army or whatever.

And, um, and so I appreciate it. He, he served his time and you know, I feel kind of talk him into going the Marines first. Well, actually I will, I will, I will tell you the truth.

I never talked either one of my children into joining the military. I kind of like, I wanted to distance myself from that because I didn't want to be the responsible party of you talked him out of it or you talked him into it because then if, if later on something goes wrong, it's, it's your fault. And if they, if they don't join, they think years later on, I could have been, or I could have. And so I kind of like just, you make your own decisions. I know, um, I made my own decisions. My parents, my parents didn't even know I had joined.

Really? Wow. I went down and talked to the recruiter and went off and did my little physical and test and that came back home and told my parents I joined. How did that conversation go? Um, my mom, she was always, always one of those that when she received news or whatever, she'd go, Oh Lord. That's a very mom response. She's like, Oh Lord. I told her, mom, I joined the Marine Corps.

She was like, Oh Lord, Bruce, what have you done? What have you done? And then my dad and he was, he was very strict person or whatever. And, um, I think he used reverse psychology on me because he was like, Oh, you won't make it. You'll be back.

Oh. And so, but, but you know, I used it. I used that as motivation and recruit training and bootcamp to push through like, I'm not going back. I'm not going back.

I'm not going back. And we actually had conversations years later. He was like, I didn't really mean that. I knew it would push you. And so, and I needed that because I'm telling you before I joined the Marine Corps, before I, before I became a Marine, um, I needed that. I was not a person that was motivated, a person that was that set on task or, you know, I was, I was wishy washy and everything that I did.

So when you were in bootcamp, was it, what was the moat? Did you ever feel the motivation shift? Was it ever like, I have to please this drill instructor, get them off my case or I know I can do this. I know I can be better.

Like, did, was it, did ever fluctuate between those two? It was kind of like, I know I can do this. Okay. I know I can do this because one of the things that I used later on to actually talk to other people about joining Marine Corps is, is that, you know, the Marine Corps is only less than 1% of the U S population, but when it's still a great number, like on any given day, there are 160, 176,000 Marines on active duty. And if, and if any one of them can do it, then you can do it.

Right. It's kind of like that. And then, uh, also had the privilege to basically luck really of joining the Marine Corps on a buddy program. So me and two of my high school friends actually went to bootcamp together. We were actually in the same platoon and, uh, we kind of made this pact, Hey, as long, as long as you're here, I'm here. And it's kind of like that pushes you. I think, yeah, absolutely. And I think one thing we can all agree on, uh, dr, dr. I know if you said this a lot is whether you're in the military or whether you're in ministry being self-motivated and you know, not having to work to please someone else or to, but, but saying we can right on your own on our own.

Go for that. I mean, I saw that in Jared, uh, when he came back, uh, now he was always hardworking. That part was never an issue, but when he came back, I could just tell he was a go getter.

Great. Things happen. And now he's doing architectural design and joined the same college as he's walking around the campus. Um, with Abigail for her law school, he sees, uh, an admissions counselor for the same college. And he's like, let me go talk to him for a minute. He goes talk to talk to him, comes back with an application, joins the same school. Now Abby is doing her law degree at masters, I guess, in a sense he's starting his bachelor's, but he's started, he actually started school before Abigail did.

Same school. So it was kind of like, okay, the self motivation part I can definitely see, you know, and that's, that's what you want to see in your staff and in people is, is, um, self initiative. You know, don't wait somebody to tell you to do that. You, you see the need, you know, you have the skills and the authority to do it. Go for it.

Right. Don't make us come over there and tell you, Hey, yeah, well I can see like, like a kind of hopeless 18, 19 year old just in this desperate situation. And there comes that point where you realize like the drills and instructors never going to be like on my side. We're never going to be like buddy, buddy. I'm not going to please him to where he'll leave me.

Like he's here to push me. So that mental shift of I can do this and I have to do this. Right. Wow. That's really awesome.

Yeah. That's, that's such a great reminder. And we've talked about this throughout, but a such a great reminder for us as believers, like, you know, it's not just kind of kick back, kick your feet up and let Jesus do all the work. Like you, there's some push required in the Christian lives. There's some hard work that's required in the Christian life. Bruce, what do you feel like over the course of your time in the Marines?

How do you feel like that impacted your faith today? Just the focus, the focus that's required because there are so many things that can take you outside of that realm. There's, there's so many distractions, there's so many things going on in the world that sometimes you can lose yourself and you just be like, well, maybe not today. And then you revert back to that Marine Corps mentality of yes, if, if, if there's any time to do it, today's today, don't, don't, don't stop just cause it's Monday. Stop just cause it's Friday, you know, a long weekend or something like that. You have to stay continuous in it all the time. Yeah.

Can be on and off again kind of person. I mean, you have a mission, but you cannot stay on that revved up the whole time, but at least that's the focus of which you're going in every task. And I think Clearview reflects that as well, that we're always pushing forward. You know, when your book came out, your book came out a couple of weeks ago, we could have, we could have thrown a big party taken months off, celebrated, but it's like, no, there's a paper that has to come out as well. Like while we're celebrating this book coming out, this paper is in its final stages of being polished. And so there's always, not that there's always something more to do, but kinda we're, we're constantly pushing forward for the sake of the gospel. Well, that's, that's one of the things that I admire so much about you, Dr. Shaw, is that is your vision is, is you see what's next and then you see what's coming after that. So you know, while we hit these milestones, while we hit these peaks and there's celebration to be had when we get to those peaks, there's a greater goal. There's, there's a, there's a mission that continues. Where did you learn that? Where did you, where did you pick up on that? Well, see, I always wanted to be in some form of armed service, but I never got the opportunity.

It just did not materialize for me. And I attribute that to God. But growing up very early on, my dad, of course, his father was commissioner of police. So he, they always had that sense of, you know, focus, discipline. We can do this kind of mentality, work together.

And so what he would do is he would bring home these comic books. Ooh, nice. All right. Now you're speaking my language. It's kind of funny. And they're called commandos and they come from England.

Okay. So these are British comics called commandos and he would bring it every month. There would be one. And my brother and I would read them through and through. And it was British commandos or American Marines. And sometimes they would even go, like the French cavalry. I mean, so I grew up reading these comics. So I already had that kind of mindset, although I never got the chance to either serve in India or coming here, I was in college immediately and then kind of went into ministry, but always had that desire.

Maybe I could, I should have. But, so it's no wonder my two of my son-in-laws come out and they are both armed forces. I mean, that's not by coincidence.

It's always funny. I always tell people, one, God always puts you exactly where you're supposed to be. And you know, the other thing is, is that you will find that most people that joined the military or were members of the military, they're somehow involved in law enforcement or EMS or first responder or something like that. It gets back to that call for service. And a lot of people that leave the military service and they get out, you know, they, they still look for that camaraderie, that, that discipline, that structure and stuff like that.

And law enforcement provides that. And it's, and that's how I wanted to help people rescue, serve, be the, be the front line. If there's a fight or battle, they're out front to save and protect. That's a mindset not everybody has, but you know when somebody has it. And you know, the United States is truly, in my opinion, I think we can all agree is the greatest nation on earth. And it's because there are men and women like you and like your sons-in-laws who are willing to do that, who are willing to be out there, be out front and say, Hey, I'll protect you. I'll serve.

And I think, you know, it's, it's good that we're able to come together and I mean, just do this every year where we can come together and celebrate that. Yeah. Right. What advice would, would you give to someone and, and Bruce and Dr. Shaw, who is thinking about the Christian life, what advice would you give them in terms related to the Marines or the armed forces?

How, how is, how is your faith like being in armed service? The first thing I'll tell them is it's not easy. Yeah. That's a great answer. It's not going to be easy. Just when you, just when you think you've accomplished something you're and you're at your goal, you're not even a quarter of the way there, not even a percentage of the way there. You just got to keep working. It's, it's kind of like that. You know, you can't rest on your laurels.

You had to continuously keep working, keep working because there's always another mission and always another, there's always another hill to conquer. And so that's the way I look at, that's how I compare the two. Yeah. Right.

I call that. I mean, that's a great way to say that. Of course we have God on our side helping us in that battle and it's not that we alone are doing it. So that makes a difference for the Christian life.

And just like the Marines, you have your brothers with you. That's right. So that's awesome. So good.

So important. Bruce, thank you so much for being on the show today. I want to wish everybody who is watching happy Marine Corps birthday and then the following day happy Veterans Day. And just to all of our veterans out there, Bruce, as well, thank you for your service.

Amen. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Scroll to the bottom, click that donate now button and become part of our Clear View Today Show family as we seek to impact the nations with the gospel of Christ. You guys have a wonderful weekend. We love you and we'll see you next time on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-10 10:14:39 / 2023-11-10 10:28:04 / 13

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