Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Some good news and bad news?

Good news for a Katrina victim; bad news for a baseball chaplain

Some good news for my friend Don Elbourne, whose church facilities in Lakeshore, Mississippi were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Don's still dealing with those issues, including the need for wells to be repaired.

Though he pastored in Lakeshore, Don's actual residence was in New Orleans. He and his wife were finally able to make a trip back to take a look at how their home survived the storm, and they approached it with trepidation, fearing the worst.

But apparently the water had only reached the top of the porch. Don writes: "...I even reached down to touch the rug because after all I’ve seen over the past three weeks I almost could not believe it was dry. Everything remained where we had left it and nothing in the main house sustained any damage."

Read more here.

With all that Don has to deal with regarding his church, this is truly great news.

Washington Nationals Baseball chaplain suspended

This story grabbed my attention immediately, since my husband is the chaplain for the Rockford Riverhawks. It's a voluntary job that he loves and takes very seriously. Also, my blogging friend David Warren Fisher is the chaplain for the Toronto Blue Jays.

APreports that the Washington Nationals have suspended the team's chapel leader for agreeing that Jewish people are doomed if they don't believe in Jesus. Reportedly, the team has asked Baseball Chapel to appoint an interim replacement while the comments are investigated.

According to the AP story: "The decision was made following an article in The
Washington Post. The newspaper reported that Nationals chapel
leader Jon Moeller nodded when a player asked whether Jewish
people are doomed if they don't believe in Jesus."

Baseball Chapel is an international ministry recognized by Major League Baseball. Their website clearly states: "Our purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ!"

This story has very serious implications. No doubt about it, a team chaplain has to be sensitive to the religious beliefs of others. And one would hope that he would use utmost tact when answering Biblical questions. But when does the chaplain lose his right to free speech? When does the chaplain find his hands tied in sharing his own religious beliefs with a team member?

I don't know all the details, but I find the story troubling on several levels.

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