SBC Military Chaplains

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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:15 pm

My heart goes out to the chaplains who are caught in this Catch 22.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Sandy » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:49 pm

There are a lot of Southern Baptist chaplains in the military, and few places where they would encounter the things that NAMB wants them to avoid. I doubt that this is going to create much of a problem. It would be up to the ranking chaplain to determine what a specific chaplain would or would not have to do, and many of them are either Southern Baptist, or from a denomination that shares the SBC's Biblical perspective on homosexuality. And I think that most of those in authority, whether they agree with the SBC position or not, would be inclined to make the necessary arrangements to avoid putting the chaplains in a catch 22.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:46 am

Most of my experiences with chaplains has been that they are much less denominational in their concerns than they are simply concerned for the people with whom they work. I hope there will be few conflicts. NAMB just seems to have overstressed the obvious.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:44 pm

I would think that the NAMB "guideline" prohibiting a chaplain from conducting a service with a chaplain/contractor/volunteer who is gay OR affirms same-sex relationships could be problematic. I'm sure there are instances in which a Protestant chaplain would need to work in some capacity with another Protestant chaplain, possibly a mainline Protestant with a differing view on homosexuality.

Of course, it's worth remembering that the government (not churches) pays for the salary of chaplains.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Sandy » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:47 pm

I think it would be a rare occasion in the military chaplaincy to encounter a situation in which a chaplain would be required to work with another chaplain who came from a welcoming and affirming denomination or one that was favorable to same-sex relationships. First of all, I doubt that there would be very many situations in which the subject would be involved in some kind of service, and second, looking at the numbers of chaplains that are Southern Baptist, or come from a denomination that would share similar perspectives on same-sex marriage or on homosexuality in general, I doubt that arrangements couldn't be made to avoid that having to happen. There are few chaplains in the military from the few denominations that approve of same-sex marriage, or which are "welcoming and affirming." And the percentage of chaplains who would be in the commanding offices who are Southern Baptists, or who are from other denominations who share similar views, is at least as high as the rest of the chaplaincy. I don't think it would be a problem for assignments to be made which keep chaplains of any denominational background from having to violate their convictions.

I'll have to double check to make certain, but I believe that Southern Baptist chaplains are paid by NAMB. I lived adjacent to Ft. Huachuca, Arizona for years, and we frequently had a chaplain whose local church membership was at my home church, and they were under NAMB appointment, with a home missionary designation, and are part of that pay structure.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Haruo » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:18 am

Sandy wrote:There are few chaplains in the military from the few denominations that approve of same-sex marriage, or which are "welcoming and affirming."

Just out of curiosity, what is the breakdown of the chaplaincy by denomination? Where are the stats to be found?
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Sandy » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:25 am

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/fait ... bc538.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/12/natio ... nted=print

Not sure I would agree that the military is only 3% Southern Baptist and Evangelical, given their numbers among the Protestant Christian community at large. The article cites "self-identification" as the source, but they represent a much higher percentage of Protestant Christians than that.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:54 am

Sandy wrote:http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/military-chaplains-are-faith-mismatch-for-personnel-they-serve/article_19c66ee6-82b8-59f7-b3d5-fd3cc05bc538.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/12/natio ... nted=print

Not sure I would agree that the military is only 3% Southern Baptist and Evangelical, given their numbers among the Protestant Christian community at large. The article cites "self-identification" as the source, but they represent a much higher percentage of Protestant Christians than that.


Sandy, I couldn't access the NYTimes article, but the first seems accurately descriptive. Chaplaincy is a specialized calling, and those who fill it are accepting a major challenge to fulfill their ministries in it. I commend those who do it well and who are great representatives of their faith. Proselytizing has no place in the military, but genuine ministry to those with needs is vital. I was surprised at the lack of Catholic chaplains, but then priests are in short supply.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:13 am

Ed: I would like to see the form on which Military personnel self identify as to religious preference. Decades, really more than a half century ago (1953), our official choices where Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Other, or None, with no place to define other. The choice was stamped on your dog tags, with a single letter C,P,J,O,N. Later, but still in the fifties, Baptist claiming not to be Protestant, lobbied for and did gain a spot on the list,identified with a B. I have an idea that the figures here come form some independent survey.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Sandy » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:27 am

I don't think that entering military chaplaincy means that you surrender your religious freedom. Most chaplains that I've met and known, especially those who are Southern Baptist, have a very clear understanding of their role and have a high level of respect for differences in Christian traditions. But I think you can do that, and not be put in a position to compromise your convictions. If the article in the Post-Dispatch is accurate, the number of chaplains serving from the few denominations which endorse same-sex marriages, and which are welcoming and affirming on the issue of homosexuality is extremely small, as would be the number of military personnel asking for such services from their chaplains.

It becomes a controversy, as it most usually does, because the small minority of pro-gay activists can't tolerate people who don't see things their way, and so they make an issue out of it, either to force their will, or to create such a stir that the ability of those who hold a different view to minister in the situation is impaired, or eliminated.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Sandy » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:33 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: I would like to see the form on which Military personnel self identify as to religious preference. Decades, really more than a half century ago (1953), our official choices where Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Other, or None, with no place to define other. The choice was stamped on your dog tags, with a single letter C,P,J,O,N. Later, but still in the fifties, Baptist claiming not to be Protestant, lobbied for and did gain a spot on the list,identified with a B. I have an idea that the figures here come form some independent survey.


For several decades now, Barna group, in applying their definition of "Evangelical" has determined that their numbers in the US are well over half of all Protestants. I don't see any reason why the make-up of the military would be so different from the population at large. The Post-Dispatch article even hints at the fact that members of some mainline Protestant denominations might be less inclined to join the military than many Evangelicals and Southern Baptists would, because of their teaching regarding war.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Haruo » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:09 am

Whatever their church or creed, when they join the military they pledge to serve the spiritual needs of every faith.
But if they are convinced (as many of them probably are) that the only real spiritual need a pagan or Muslim recruit has, is to find Jesus, then doesn't "periodic proselytizing" actually constitute obedience to the pledge rather than a contravention of it? (As they see it.) Well, not the only need, but by far, indeed to an infinite extent, the greatest and most important.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby johnfariss » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:31 pm

Sandy wrote:I'll have to double check to make certain, but I believe that Southern Baptist chaplains are paid by NAMB. I lived adjacent to Ft. Huachuca, Arizona for years, and we frequently had a chaplain whose local church membership was at my home church, and they were under NAMB appointment, with a home missionary designation, and are part of that pay structure.


Sandy, I think you are wrong about SBC chaplains being paid by NAMB. Maybe that has changed, I haven't really kept up with it. However, I know that 25ish years ago (when I considered becoming one), they were paid by the military service as part of their structure, and merely endorsed by NAMB. I well remember in seminary (SEBTS) 30ish years ago, a discussion initiated by church history professor Glenn Miller about that, to the effect that if the denominations (especially SBC) wanted more say about the duties, responsibilities, and options open to a military chaplain, they would need to begin paying the chaplains themselves. Back then, the only sword of Damocles that the SBC had over chaplains was that of removal of the endorsement, which if happened meant that would have to seek this endorsement from another denomination. Now, the fact that NAMB did not provide the pay for military chaplains did not stop them from counting them as home missionaries when they bragged about having 5000+ missionaries. . . .

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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:34 pm

No endorsing body pays military chaplains. They are on the military payroll.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:20 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:No endorsing body pays military chaplains. They are on the military payroll.


Ed: In fact there are relatively few civilian civilian chaplains who are paid by a denomination, an association or a local church.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Haruo » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:40 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:No endorsing body pays military chaplains. They are on the military payroll.


Ed: In fact there are relatively few civilian civilian chaplains who are paid by a denomination, an association or a local church.

You mean civilian chaplains serving with the armed forces? Or are you talking about hospital chaplains etc. in the outside (i.e. non-military) world?
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:29 am

Haruo wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:No endorsing body pays military chaplains. They are on the military payroll.


Ed: In fact there are relatively few civilian civilian chaplains who are paid by a denomination, an association or a local church.

You mean civilian chaplains serving with the armed forces? Or are you talking about hospital chaplains etc. in the outside (i.e. non-military) world?


Ed: I am not aware of civilians acting as chaplains in any U.S. military facilities. I am talking primarily about Hospitals, nursing homes, non religious based educational institutions and secular employers. Government, organizations such as police and fire departments are a mixed bag with many chaplains being local pastors who volunteer their time. However some larger communities do utilize chaplains who are paid, and work either a part time or full time schedule . Most who serve on an occasional "as needed" basis are volunteers.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Haruo » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:25 am

When our pastor, Dr. Judy Gay, started back to seminary after retiring from a long career in special education and educational administration, it was with the intention of working in chaplaincy. She was not initially comfortable with the pastorate for women, although she had felt a calling to preach since childhood. I know she worked for awhile as a chaplain ("spiritual care provider", the term is there) at Harborview Hospital: in this program. But I don't know whether, how much, or by whom she was paid during that part of her professional life.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Jerry_B » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:03 pm

Why chaplains at all? Seems to me that the goal of the military and the goal of most religions are antithetical to one another.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Haruo » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:57 am

Jerry_B wrote:Why chaplains at all? Seems to me that the goal of the military and the goal of most religions are antithetical to one another.

What "goal of the military" are you thinking of?
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Jerry_B » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:36 pm

Well, specifically I guess, the killing of people.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Haruo » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:22 pm

Yeah, if that is the goal then you're probably right. But my understanding is that the military views killing people not as the goal but as a means to the establishment and maintenance of peace, and since they are all (with a tip of the hat to William) Marxists anyway, to whom ends justify means, they kill people merely as a stepping stone to a better life for all who are left.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:40 pm

Jerry_B wrote:Well, specifically I guess, the killing of people.


Ed: If that where the goal I would expect them to pay a bonus for the number killed. I have neve known of the U.S. Government paying such.
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Jerry_B » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:04 pm

So what is the goal then if not killing people?
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Re: SBC Military Chaplains

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:46 pm

Jerry_B wrote:So what is the goal then if not killing people?


Ed: Go back 3 post and see Hauro's reasoning, posted before your question.
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