Minefields for the Chaplain, Part 7 (The Work of the Chaplain #83)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 83. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Proverbs 4:23 which says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Elizabeth Elliot. She said, “Where there is no “moral gravity” – that is, no force that draws us to the center – there is spiritual weightlessness. We float on feelings that will carry us where we never meant to go; we bubble with emotional experiences that we often take for spiritual ones; and we are puffed up with pride. Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness. Instead of gravity, flippancy. Sentimentality takes the place of theology. Our reference point will never serve to keep our feet on solid rock, for our reference point, until we answer God’s call, is merely ourselves. We cannot possibly tell which end is up. Paul calls them fools who ‘…measure themselves by themselves, to find in themselves their own standard of comparison!’”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 11 – “Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 7)

Ethics

The chaplain functions at the invitation of an institution (e.g., NASCAR, the US Army, or South County Jail) and is governed by certain accepted professional standards. These are the ethical standards for which chaplains also establish boundaries. Within these institutions or similar organizations, chaplains and administrators have established professional standards for the ministry actions of chaplains. Setting appropriate boundaries means knowing what actions are acceptable and establishing personal limits in light of those standards. For example, some institutions may consider it an ethics violation if a chaplain dates an employee, or if a chaplain accepts expensive gifts from a patient, or if a chaplain provides legal advice for an inmate, or if a chaplain carries a sidearm. Chaplains must be willing to accept the ethical standards of the institution—or set their own boundaries and be willing to accept the consequences as administered by the institution.

When chaplains set boundaries, simple and direct language is most effective. Since boundaries are personal, there is no need to explain or defend one’s position. Fear of rejection and guilt sabotage the boundaries that a chaplain establishes. When boundaries are set with right intentions and respect for others, they set healthy limits to action, relationships, and self-care for the chaplain. Healthy boundaries allow the chaplain and client to set empowering standards for behavior and interpersonal relations.

A chaplain must always be guarded about boundary violations—his or her own and those of the client. The most violated boundaries are physical and emotional. On the chaplain’s part, standing too close to a person without that person’s permission is an infringement of his or her personal space. Touching people without permission—no matter how innocent—is unethical and inappropriate. People have the right to refuse handshakes, hugs, and hand-holding. Some cultures even forbid it. Eavesdropping on conversations, searching through or handling other people’s personal property without permission, and otherwise violating a person’s right to privacy are other ways physical boundaries are trespassed.

Perhaps the most painful boundary violations are those that affect people emotionally. While no chaplain would yell or scream at a client—which is abusive at its very core—breaking commitments, telling people they should or should not do something, or assuming a patronizing attitude could be equally abusive. A memory for names and details, cultural sensitivity, honesty, commitment, and extending grace are qualities that show respect for emotional boundaries.

Chaplain Misconduct

What causes misconduct among chaplains? Could it be the wrong attitude? Chaplains are not exempt from questionable behavior. They often struggle to find the black and white as they muddle through the gray. Chaplains who believe they are invulnerable are naive and unrealistic about their abilities and perhaps the motives of others. Chaplain misconduct is a betrayal of sacred trust.

Chaplains live in the tension of setting appropriate personal and professional boundaries while respecting the boundaries of others. With a clear understanding of their own faith, values, and beliefs, chaplains make the difficult decisions that exist in the gray areas of ministry. Chaplains each must consider safety, legality, morality, and ethics as they set and maintain boundaries.

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

“Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 6) (Work of the Chaplain 82)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 82. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Proverbs 4:23 which says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Elizabeth Elliot. She said, “Where there is no “moral gravity” – that is, no force that draws us to the center – there is spiritual weightlessness. We float on feelings that will carry us where we never meant to go; we bubble with emotional experiences that we often take for spiritual ones; and we are puffed up with pride. Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness. Instead of gravity, flippancy. Sentimentality takes the place of theology. Our reference point will never serve to keep our feet on solid rock, for our reference point, until we answer God’s call, is merely ourselves. We cannot possibly tell which end is up. Paul calls them fools who ‘…measure themselves by themselves, to find in themselves their own standard of comparison!’”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 11 – “Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 6)

Safety

Some criteria chaplains may use to determine appropriate boundaries may include the basic issues of safety, legality, morality, and ethics. Some chaplain settings create a special awareness of safety issues. Law enforcement chaplains deal with the possibility of dangerous suspected criminals, shootings, or high-speed vehicle chases. Fire chaplains deal with burning buildings, electrical and water hazards, or uncontrollable wildfires. Hospital chaplains deal with communicable diseases, radiation exposure, or hostile family members. Sports chaplains deal with avalanche, accidents, and stampedes. Industrial chaplains deal with explosions, toxic waste, or workplace violence. Correctional chaplains deal with fights, murders, and escapes. Crisis intervention chaplains deal with unpredictable natural disasters, food contamination, and health hazards. Military chaplains deal with war, bombings, and riots. In every setting, chaplains deal with issues that threaten or compromise their safety. Each chaplain must make intentional decisions about appropriate safety boundaries. Ask yourself, “What am I willing to do? Where am I willing to go? Who am I willing to see?”

Legality

Most chaplains would say, “I wouldn’t intentionally break the law.” But there are times when chaplains may need to clarify their own boundaries regarding what is legal and what is right. Chaplains are not exempt from the law. Setting boundaries means knowing the conditions under which one is willing to suffer the consequences of breaking the law. Breaking the law definitely has consequences. Shielding the criminal, nondisclosure, violating the right to free exercise of religion—these are decisions that have serious consequences. Chaplains must know the statutes that affect their ministry and set appropriate boundaries against those individuals who would manipulate or coerce them into illegal activity.

Morality

There are moral principles that govern the ministry of a chaplain. These principles are usually based on personal values and principles. They often reflect the chaplain’s faith and tenets of his or her religious belief. As such, the chaplain’s faith group may establish boundaries that the chaplain must accept or reject. Again, this requires self-awareness and the ability to set appropriate boundaries. The chaplain may say, “My church does not allow me to baptize people outside my faith tradition, but I will contact a minister who will be pleased to baptize your baby.” Morals are personally held beliefs; therefore, they may clash with the beliefs of clients whose culture or religion is different or even abhorrent to the chaplain. Setting boundaries is not about being right. It is about doing what one believes is morally acceptable and demonstrating grace to those whose values and principles differ.

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

“Minefields” for the Chaplain, Part 4 (Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #80)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 80. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Proverbs 2:11 which says, “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He said, “A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. As long as I am by myself in the confession of my sins, everything remains in the clear, but in the presence of a brother, the sin has to be brought into the light.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 11 – “Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 4)

Confidentiality & Privilege in the Workplace (contd.)

Chaplains face more questions than answers. Without clearly stated policies, chaplains, their employers, and the endorsing religious organizations continue to struggle with the questions that arise in areas of personal choice, morals, values, or priorities. If chaplains do not initiate spiritual conversations but hear sensitive information during the nonreligious conversation, will the state consider the sensitive or incriminating information protected under the clergy/penitent privilege? When the chaplain is employed directly by the institution, where is the line between obligation to institutional policy and client confidentiality? What are the ethical issues surrounding confidentiality of withholding information about an employee with AIDS or other communicable diseases when they work in food processing plants or healthcare facilities? What are the ethical issues surrounding illegal activity within the institution when the chaplain ministers to law enforcement personnel?

Most exceptions for client privilege deal with suicide, homicide, and child/elder abuse or neglect. But to whom are chaplains bound? Are they bound to their direct supervisors? Which ones—the supervisors in the institution that employs them or the supervisors in their ecclesiastical or religious body? Or are they bound only to the faith tradition they embrace?

For as solemnly as chaplains profess to maintain confidentiality, there are legal, ethical, and moral obligations that cause angst. Chaplains may eventually face an interesting dilemma: When does the chaplain’s high ethic of maintaining confidentiality make the chaplain a silent accomplice? The questions are difficult to answer, and there are no clear-cut solutions to the problems that arise regarding privileged communication, confidentiality, and privacy. Chaplains will continue to struggle in the confluence of law, professional ethics, and morality.

Diagnosis & Assessment

Diagnosis and assessments are essential in the work of the chaplain. Accurate assessments are helpful as the chaplain plans ministry intervention, but a careless diagnosis and superficial assessment may create more harm than good. There is always a risk involved in assessing people’s needs. Chaplains and clients are both vulnerable, and there is always the potential of inappropriate or damaging interventions.

The globalization of our nation and workplace has created cultural and religious diversity that in turn creates multiple needs and multiple expectations. The perception of needs varies among all clients based on cultural factors such as religion (or lack of religion), age, gender, ethnic heritage, economic status, physical disability, or previous trauma. In order to ease the tension of doing too much or doing too little, chaplains must have an intentional plan to assess and diagnose the client’s needs.

It was two o’clock in the morning when the phone rang, and the chaplain knew it would be an emergency, “I hope it’s okay, Chaplain. Did I wake you? I had my first DOA [dead on arrival], and I can’t quit thinking about it”. With four simple words, the chaplain began her mental assessment, “Tell me about it. …”

If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #79

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 79. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is John 14:18 which says, “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from the late Chaplain Emil Kapaun. He said, “When I was ordained, I was determined to ‘spend myself’ for God. I was determined to do that cheerfully, no matter in what circumstances I would be placed or how hard a life I would be asked to lead.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 11 – “Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 3)

Privacy
The third term, privacy, relates to the concept that individuals have the right to choose for themselves the time and circumstances under which personal information might be disclosed to others. Privacy might be a moral concept that is supported in many faith traditions, but it is also a professional construct that is governed by several statutes, including the Privacy Act of 1974, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). These acts establish under which circumstances an individual’s privacy may or may not be invaded, and they are intended as proactive measures against breaches of confidentiality. Chaplains are traditionally expected to be morally and ethically bound to honor these same privacy concepts.

Confidentiality & Privilege in the Workplace

Best practices in the workplace may include clear statements of policy regarding confidentiality and chaplain-client privilege, specifically stating exceptions based upon statutory requirements and institutional policy. The problematic issues are in the variables that arise—whether or not the institution is a private or publicly traded company, whether or not the institution deals with matters of national security, whether or not the institution’s mission is law enforcement. Furthermore, clearly defining “imminent danger” to self, others, and national security may be ethical issues in and of themselves for the chaplain and the human resources department of the particular institution.

In the world of the FBI chaplain, there is another dimension of confidentiality of which one must constantly be aware: “Top Secret” carries another layer of legal and ethical responsibilities. Legally the FBI chaplain is bound by the strictest penalties for disclosure, and ethically the FBI chaplain is bound to a self-governed policy of oral and written communication on a “need to know” basis. Exceptions in this world include the usual “harm to self” and “harm to others,” the sometimes institutionally added “illegal activity,” and the federally mandated “threat to national security.”

In the corporate environment, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 addresses corporate governance and financial disclosure. However, in the world of the chaplain, there are presently few clearly defined rules for accountability in the area of privileged communication and disclosure.

Chaplains face more questions than answers. Without clearly stated policies, chaplains, their employers, and the endorsing religious organizations continue to struggle with the questions that arise in areas of personal choice, morals, values, or priorities. If chaplains do not initiate spiritual conversations but hear sensitive information during the nonreligious conversation, will the state consider the sensitive or incriminating information protected under the clergy/penitent privilege? When the chaplain is employed directly by the institution, where is the

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

“Minefields” for the Chaplain, Part 2 (Ordained Chaplains: The Work of the Chaplain #78)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 78. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Proverbs 11:13 which says, “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Billy Graham. He said, “Confidentiality is the essence of being trusted.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 11 – “Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 2)

Confidentiality

Confidentiality pertains to professional ethics whereby the chaplain assures the client of nondisclosure to the fullest extent allowed by state law. Clients must be able to assume that their conversations will be kept confidential to ensure a spiritually and emotionally healing relationship with the chaplain. Some professionals, such as medical professionals, counselors, and attorneys, are legally required to maintain strict confidentiality. The law does not necessarily require a chaplain to maintain strict confidentiality, but in most cases, it does provide the opportunity for the chaplain to protect a client’s confidential communication if the communication was conveyed to the chaplain acting in a professional capacity as a spiritual advisor (as opposed to talking to the chaplain as a golf partner, relative, or committee member). Generally, conversations in the presence of a third person are not considered confidential. (An exception would be an inmate who cannot speak to a chaplain without the presence of a guard.) Ultimately, the responsibility of keeping such a confidence belongs to the individual chaplain; therefore, the consequence for disclosure or nondisclosure also belongs to the chaplain.

During a profession mentoring session, a colleague expressed some concern over an issue of confidentiality and mandated reporting. “Chaplain, you realize that in Colorado clergy are mandated reporters? You could be criminally charged for withholding such information.” “Yes, but the information I received was entrusted to me during a pastoral counseling session with the child. I am aware of the personal consequences legally, but it’s a difficult position for me. I must choose between obeying the law or obeying my conscience to honor a child’s hardwon trust in my confidentiality.”

Confidentiality is also a moral concept supported in many faith traditions. The moral obligation of the chaplain is not absolute, however; thus, professional ethics determine when the confidentiality of the helping relationship might be broken. The chaplain may predetermine that a moral standard requires disclosure if the client is a threat to self or others. Or the chaplain may predetermine that in a medical emergency, personal information may need to be revealed to ensure the client’s welfare or safety. Essentially, the chaplain must make a choice about breaking a promise or violating a covenant.

Chaplains should assure their clients that their conversations are confidential, only if in fact they are. Some people are fearful that no conversations are confidential, so such assurances are necessary to build trust and confidence in clients to approach their chaplain for spiritual counseling. That is why, ethically, chaplains must inform the client when conversations are not absolutely confidential.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

“Minefields” for the Chaplain, Part 1 (Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #77)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 77. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Proverbs 25:9-10 which says, “…Discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Billy Graham. He said, “Confidentiality is the essence of being trusted.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 11 – “Minefields” for the Chaplain (Part 1)

— Privileged Communication, Confidentiality, & Privacy

Trust is a critical issue in the chaplain/client relationship. Spiritual and emotional healing can only take place where trust and transparency are present. When people are in distress, they are vulnerable and say things that they would ordinarily keep to themselves. Chaplains are often the guardians of very private or sacred information.

The distinctions of privileged communication, confidentiality, and privacy are very important. While these concepts refer to the relationship between the chaplain and the client and are established for the benefit of the client, the concepts have their basis established from different sources. Privileged communication is a right established by law, confidentiality is an ethical concept applied by the chaplain, and privacy is a moral concept invoked by the client. These concepts are often discussed under the overarching umbrella of confidential communication.

Privileged Communication

Privileged communication is a legal term describing the prohibition of a client’s confidence from being disclosed in a court of law without his or her consent. The right of privileged communication belongs to the client and is meant for the client’s protection. While often perceived as being absolute, privileged communication does have its exemptions, even for the chaplain or clergy person. Forty-nine states have some form of privileged communications for clergy but also mandate reporting of child abuse. (Washington does not include clergy as mandated reporters.) The description of this privilege varies, and some states have specific exemptions. Many states specifically grant clergy-penitent privilege in pastoral communications but deny the privilege in cases of child abuse or neglect. Some states have not addressed the issue of clergy-penitent privilege within their reporting laws but include clergy in a broad category of professional “other persons” who work with children. Because the laws vary from state to state, it is the responsibility of each chaplain to know the exceptions for his or her particular chaplain ministry setting.

Since the client’s right of privileged communication is not inviolate, the same governing body that grants the privilege may revoke the privilege. Therefore, it is not a right that chaplains or clients should assume in all cases. These laws frequently change, requiring chaplains to remain vigilant regarding privilege changes. Chaplains should clarify the laws of the state in which they provide ministry and should engage legal counsel when uncertain about disclosure of information. Clergy-penitent privilege does not excuse a chaplain from being subpoenaed or appearing in court, but it does protect the chaplain from being forced to disclose privileged information during a deposition or court appearance. Usually, the appropriate attorney will make the objection for the chaplain.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Keeping the Chaplain Accountable, Part 4 (Ordained Chaplains: The Work of the Chaplain #76)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 76. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Micah 6:8 which says, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from F.F. Bruce. He said, “Where love is the compelling power, there is no sense of strain or conflict or bondage in doing what is right: the man or woman who is compelled by Jesus’ love and empowered by His Spirit does the will of God from the heart.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 10 – Keeping the Chaplain Accountable (Part 4)

— Ethical Accountability

As spiritual people providing spiritual ministry, chaplains feel accountability to a much higher source. They are accountable to God for their attitudes, motives, and actions. Ultimately, God wants the chaplain’s heart, not a forced sense of accountability. As the Judeo-Christian Scriptures proclaim, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, NRSV).

God requires the right response from chaplains as the people of God. That is, God compels chaplains to love mercy by having a compassionate heart that demonstrates godly action, and chaplains are to journey with God in obedience—not on the chaplain’s path but on God’s path. Chaplains are professionals who voluntarily subscribe to a code of professional ethics. They consent to standards and protocols, asserting that they are also accountable to their own sense of morality and ethics. The chaplain is always at liberty to choose his or her own path of conscience with the implicit understanding and concession that they are also accountable to the law, their faith group, and the institution they serve.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

God bless.

Keeping the Chaplain Accountable, Part 3 (The Work of the Chaplain #75)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 75. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Proverbs 27:17 which says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Al Mohler. He said, “With power and responsibility must come accountability. A leader without accountability is an accident waiting to happen.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 10 – Keeping the Chaplain Accountable (Part 3)

— Legal Accountability

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. —First Amendment to the United States Constitution

The United States Constitution provides some very specific guidance for chaplain accountability. The First Amendment provides that there will be no national religion established and that all people are free to exercise religion or to not exercise religion. These mandates clearly establish that chaplains must provide equal ministry to all people who desire it, not just the people who embrace the same beliefs as the chaplain. The First Amendment and the United States Constitution are written to protect the individual citizen, not the chaplain’s faith group or the institution in which he or she serves. Therefore, the chaplain is directly accountable to the United States Constitution.

The chaplain is also accountable to international treaties or conventions to which the United States has agreed. For example, chaplains may choose to minister to friendly and enemy prisoners of war, even if they are captured themselves. (Chaplains are not considered prisoners of war.) In this case, an international agreement, the Geneva Convention, provides the latitude that allows the detaining military power to direct the activities of a captured chaplain without later consequences to the chaplain from his or her government or religious endorsing body. The chaplain is expected to follow all orders for the sake of efficient function except in the case of conflict to professional conscience or sacerdotal mission.

Federal statutes and state regulations also provide accountability for chaplains. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) included privacy rules that created national standards to give patients increased control over protecting their health information. The chaplain is accountable to this statute in safeguarding a client’s health information. Other statutes make the chaplain accountable for reporting child abuse, intent to commit suicide or homicide, or elder neglect and abuse to the proper authorities.

The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) passed in 1974 established the basis for all fifty states to pass laws mandating the reporting of child abuse and neglect. Each state defines mandated reporters differently. Clergy are not always specifically listed. However, most state laws define mandated reporters as anyone who comes into contact with persons who are abused, neglected, or intending to commit harm to self or others while functioning in their normal professional duties. Chaplains must know the laws of the state in which they provide ministry. Failure to comply with such statutes results in the same legal consequences that any person would encounter.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Keeping the Chaplain Accountable, Part 2 (Work of the Chaplain #74)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 74. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Hebrews 10:24-25 which says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Tim Challies. He said, “We need accountability. Left to our own devices, we will soon devise or succumb to all kinds of evil. As Christians we know that we need other believers to hold us accountable to the standards of Scripture. Passages such as Ecclesiastes 4:12 remind us that “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” The Bible tells us that “iron sharpens iron” (Prov. 27:17) and that we are to “stir up one another to love and good works…encouraging one another” (Heb. 10:24-25). Life is far too difficult and we are far too sinful to live in solitude. We need community. We need accountability. And God has anticipated our need by giving us the local church as the primary means of this accountability. …[God has] helped me understand that accountability is closely tied to visibility and that personal holiness will not come through anonymity but through deep and personal relationships with my brothers and sisters in the local church. And so I have sought to make myself more visible that I may accept correction and rebuke when necessary. At the same time I have renewed my commitment to the One who is always watching and who knows every word I write and every intention of my heart.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Chapter 10 – Keeping the Chaplain Accountable (Part 2)

— Ecclesiastical Accountability

Chaplains do not minister in a vacuum. They are members of a specific religious body and are affiliated with a denomination or other faith group. In most cases, they are endorsed by their faith group to the institution in which they are providing ministry. As a representative of their religious faith and endorsing body, chaplains are held accountable for their beliefs and religious practices. When the chaplain’s actions and words conflict with the teachings of the faith group, various forms of discipline may occur. The confrontation may be as simple as a meeting to discuss and advise, or it may be as severe as excommunication or revocation of the endorsement to chaplain ministry. In the Christian church, some denominations provide a pastoral review committee that meets with the chaplain on a regular basis for support, evaluation, and review. Similar accountability and support structures are present among other faith groups as well. Proactive accountability is much healthier than ultimatums, censures, or reprimands. All chaplains must honor God and obey the tenets of their faith.

— Professional Accountability

Some chaplains are members of professional organizations such as the Association of Professional Chaplains, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, or the American Association of Christian Counselors. Each of these organizations has a code of ethics for chaplains and other member professionals. Membership or certification by these organizations requires the chaplain to support or endorse their mission and principles, and to agree to abide by those standards.

Chaplains are held accountable by these organizations through their membership and by participating in various activities within the organization. Some professional organizations require an associate membership period during which chaplains are mentored or supervised. Some provide continuing education opportunities on the national and local levels to improve skills, provide experiential learning, or develop knowledge in new or focus areas. Some provide peer reviews that offer consultation and counsel from peers in the field of chaplaincy. Others provide an avenue for networking, career assessment, and personal therapy. Professional organizations provide healthy accountability for chaplains while encouraging spiritual growth, professional advancement, and academic instruction.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Keeping the Chaplain Accountable, Part 1 (Work of the Chaplain #73)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 73. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 which says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Price Pritchett. He said, “You can’t put someone else in charge of your morals. Ethics is a personal discipline.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: PART THREE: The Person of the Chaplain;
Chapter 10 – Keeping the Chaplain Accountable (Part 1)

Chaplains minister in the context of complicated issues and potentially compromising situations. Based on institutional expectations, individual faith and beliefs, professional standards, legal statutes, and personal ethics, chaplains maintain accountability to others and to themselves. Chaplain vulnerability is minimized when proactive steps are taken to protect chaplains, their clients, and the institutions they represent.

— Institutional Accountability

When a person accepts an institutional position as a chaplain, he or she is making an explicit commitment to abide by the policies and procedures of that institution. In fact, some institutions such as the military and law enforcement require an oath of office. The rules and expectations are quite clear, and there are few ambiguities. Challenging or disregarding those expectations could result in termination, fines, or criminal charges.

Leadership and administrative policies may create accountability through processes that provide supervision to help the chaplain stay on track. Regular meetings, reviews, and evaluations are routine practices for maintaining accountability, even though filing reports and meeting deadlines may be the most painful accountability structure that chaplains endure. Another approach to institutional accountability is multidisciplinary peer review. Chaplains dialogue with their peers within the institution to process difficult situations, evaluate interventions, and assess effectiveness. In some cases, peer reviews are used to discipline chaplains for unethical or questionable practices, or for incompetence. For example, a chaplain who seeks board certification may appear before a peer review board. A peer review board that finds a chaplain unsuitable or lacking in essential skills may cause the certification process to be delayed or terminated. In most cases, the peer review board would establish a process by which the applying chaplain would be mentored or have opportunity to address appropriately the issues that were raised.

When implicit expectations such as a proscription against cohabitation, the use of obscene language, or excessive alcohol consumption are challenged, the chaplain is accountable first to God and then to his or her own conscience. Few institutions can dictate morality, but many will implement sanctions against breaches in institutional, industrial, or professional ethics. Where there is doubt, the chaplain would do well to utilize good chaplain skills such as clarification and self-examination.

————

— PRAYER —

***

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.