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)
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.”