Resigning Our Commission

General George Washington Resigning His Commission (1824), by John Trumbull

Two TV shows I always enjoyed watching were Horatio Hornblower on A&E and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

These two shows didn’t exactly have a whole lot in common since one was set in 1790s Europe, while the other was set in 24th century outer space, but there was one similarity in that the main characters of both shows were basically naval officers who served on ships—a similar occupation, just separated by 600 years or so.

In the course of both shows, events occasionally transpired which led to certain characters, in dramatic fashion, offering to resign their commissions. Usually this occurred if the character felt he had performed in an unacceptable manner, or if some action had taken place or was about to take place which he didn’t approve of and wanted nothing to do with.

In the TV shows, the characters rarely went through with their resignations, but if they did, they were no longer a part of the group which had issued them the commission in the first place (whether it was the Royal Navy or Star Fleet).

Christians talk quite a bit about a commission which Jesus issued to His disciples in Matthew 28.18-20. We actually refer to it as “The Great Commission.”
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”
Although we may never consciously resign the commission which Jesus bestowed upon us, all too often, we do so by our actions.

When George Washington (pictured above) resigned his commission as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he was no longer a member of it.

If we resign our commission, where does that leave us?


Anonymous 4/27/08, 5:38 PM  

Nice analysis and linkage to the Christian walk; I love your tie to popular culture.And the historical approach -- A+

Luke Dockery 4/28/08, 12:56 PM  


Glad you liked it and thanks—from what I gather, you don't give out A+'s easily.

Edward Carson 4/30/08, 11:13 AM  

...not at all.

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