Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Sharing Christ's Love?

I'm taking a bit of a blogging sabbatical this Advent season. But I'll be here now and then.
As I've mentioned before, I work for a law enforcement agency. We have a program where we have several chaplains on-call who are available to respond to people who've just experienced tragedy in their life. It is a great idea.

Here's where the program breaks down. We currently have five volunteer chaplains who are all non-denominational, conservative, evangelical Christians. Our chaplains have engaged in some of the following behaviors:

  • refusing to cooperate with an effort to bring on Jewish or Muslim clergy so we can be responsive to all members of our community,
  • engaging in discriminatory behavior towards the one female chaplain in the program (e.g. refusing to schedule her for shifts)
  • refusing to honor requests for assistance from clergy of specific denominations
Just to be clear, I don't believe all conservative, evangelical Christian pastors would behave this way. But what a horrible example of sharing Christ's love with those in need. I have trouble imagining why a pastor would not want someone to receive the pastoral care they want.
The result of this disaster of a program is that most officers don't even offer the chaplaincy services to our citizens. We're trying to fix it, but what a mess.