The Expository Files.

Biblically Correct Prison Chaplains Barred for Being "Offensive"

Recently, two volunteer prison chaplains from Minneapolis congregations were barred from the prison, according to a report in "National & International Religion Report" (as cited in "Pulpit Helps, June, 1996, page 22). They are suing, but given the climate of today's "politically correct" atmosphere (see Ney Reiber's article in this issue) its a toss-up at to what the outcome of that will be. The reason? These two are "politically incorrect"!

But, at least on this issue, they are "Biblically correct". They had been instructed not to present the biblical view of homosexuality in their counseling after a lesbian prisoner had complained. Now, no one is forced to hear or receive their counsel, but that does not seem to matter. Hennepin County official Marilyn Schoonover said that the jail "must be free of comments or actions which may be offensive to inmates" and that volunteer chaplains must speak to them "without judgment".

I think I would like such a jail if I were a prisoner. I think I would explain how I was offended by the bars and locks on the cell doors. and that we did not have steak every day for dinner, or that the guards carried weapons.

More than that, I think that these prisoners need Christ as much as ever, and if they had already been His faithful disciples they would not have been in jail in the first place. And Ms. Schoonover needs Christ as much as any of the prisoners, and in truth, we all do. How long will our society continue to retreat from its only hope? The pollster George Barna predicts that America is headed toward either anarchy or revival within ten years.

We may be.

By Jon W. Quinn
 The Final Page  
 From Expository Files 3.7; July 1996