“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)


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?”


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.


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.




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.

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