churches and privacy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by menageriekeeper, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Does your church have a privacy policy? Do you think churches need one?

    Has there ever been a time when someone in your church was offended because their name was put on a prayer list, but they didn't want the issue discussed?

    What about health issues? In our churches we all know Aunt Susie has heart issues or Brother Bob has arthritis. However if their bosses came to church and heard us praying about those issues and decided to fire them because of it, would the church bear responsibility for giving out "health information"?
     
  2. El_Guero

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    An employer cannot legally fire anyone for disabilities.

    And if that employer is a Christian, THEN THEY SHOULD DEFINITELY HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE DISABLED ...

    My two cents.
     
  3. Thankful

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    I don't know if anyone has ever been offended, but I have always been uncomfortable with the printed prayer list of names and their illnesses or their problems for anyone to read who walks into the church foyer. These prayer lists are on the table for distribution.

    Any member can ask for a person to be placed on a prayer list and I am not sure if the person has asked or given their permission. There is a section for unspoken requests without giving a reason or a name.

    You bring up a very good point. I can't even get information about my husband's health from his doctor without my husband's written permission.

    I know that I am in the minority about thinking that these written prayer guides may be inappropriate.
     
  4. Johnv

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    If a person does nto wish for a personal issue to be made public, even if it's on a prayer list, that wish should be respected. It should be sufficient to pray for those who "silently and anonymously need prayer". I'm sure God knows who that would be.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

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    I think a privacy policy may be appropriate for address/telephone/e-mail address information found on the church directory or website.
     
  6. Deacon

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    The recent HIPAA RULES thrust the medical community into the legalities of maintaining confidentiality. Personally I've never seen anyone read the page-and-a-half of official legalese that is required of physicians and hospitals.

    Fortunately the rules do not apply to prayer lists...but perhaps that might be a good idea.

    Where I attend the employee manual say this:

    *******************************

    Provide Confidentiality
    Much of the work undertaken in the church is of a personal and confidential nature.
    As members and employees of the church we should treat our work in a confidential manner.

    One of the most common human failings is the inability to control one’s tongue, especially to keep silent. James 3

    Concerning confidentiality, the following standards should be upheld:

    Information received through counseling, spiritual direction, supervision, etc. should be kept confidential unless:

    </font>
    • Permission is given to share the information or;</font>
    </font>
    • The law requires disclosure, such as in instances of child abuse or,</font>
    </font>
    • A careful examination of the likely consequences of disclosure upon the individual, other persons, and the community, leads to the conclusion that, in the employee’s best judgment, it is more responsible to disclose the information. If disclosure is indicated, it should occur only after consultation your supervisor.</font>
    Rob
     
  7. bapmom

    bapmom
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    I agree, GOld Dragon.

    In California we were attending a large church and they put out a church directory, but no numbers and addresses were on there.

    THen we moved here to MIlwaukee and everybody knows where everybody lives and what their number is. Granted, its a much smaller church, but still....maybe its the Californian in me? We have six foot wooden fences around all our backyards in California, but here in WI if there's a fence at all its a 3 foot high chain link fence.

    Privacy just isnt the same.

    We've been getting better with this at our church, but we still have newer members we might need to teach. Had one time when in Reformers Unanimous a worker made a list of ALL the workers names, addresses and phone numbers and was intending on passing them out to EVERYONE, student and worker alike. Being the shy, quiet person that I am...I objected due to the fact that my name was included on there (as well as the address where all 5 of my kids reside with me), and he didn't pass it out after all. But I think he thought I was being snobby, or overreacting.
     
  8. David Singleton

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    While its true that the law says an employer cant fire someone because of health problems, it happens, many people have lost a job because of health problems. Its easy for the employer to say he knew nothing about the health problem and then offer another excuse ie attitude,work performance compatibility with others.

    When one goes to a Pastor for counseling it should be understood that the Pastor will keep issues confidential Gosip often begins because someone overhears something and they repat is to someone else, who then passes the story on and on until what is being said doesnt even resemble what was originally overheard. Ive allways believed that if someone shares something private we should be willing to keep it private even to the grave if necessary.
     
  9. SAMPLEWOW

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    Oh, God forbid we let amyone know how to get ahold of us. Come on ,Ican't believe you people even talk about privacy. I don't think Jesus had any 6 FT fences around his house. Iwant people to be able to get in touch with me. If people can't get intouch with me how can I help them. [​IMG]
     
  10. bapmom

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    Sample....

    I have no problem with people I KNOW getting in touch with me. [​IMG]

    I am however glad that a church of 3,000 did not let EVERYONE know my name, address, and phone number. Especially in California....lotta wackos out there. And I liked my 6 foot backyard fences...they don't prevent phone lines from getting in, anyway, right?

    I was merely pointing out the differences in point of view between the two different parts of the country. I really was not trying to say one was better or more spiritual than the other. And the thing with the Reformers Unanimous? We have people off the street coming to that.....and no, I don't want complete strangers knowing that sort of thing unless I choose to give them the info. Again, Im talking about men on drugs and alcohol who are total strangers to me. Yes, we are trying to help them, but that doesn't mean I invite them to know everything about me on the first day I meet them.

    Big city talk here, Sample....thats just how it is where I live.
     
  11. bapmom

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    I agree with Thankful, too....I think.

    I think it probably would be best if we only added specific prayers to our prayer lists when the actual person requests it. I think probably a close family member can also pass along the request, but I'd want to know if the person to be prayed for WANTS it on the public list.
     
  12. Thankful

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    All our church members have a directory and know where we live and we are listed in the phone book, but we have a six foot fence, a monitored alarm and a very fierce dog [​IMG]

    I have often thought that I would like a moat around my castle and have all visitors announced. :D

    Seriously, we do have to be more careful about private information and it has nothing to do with our willingness to be a witness for our Lord and Savior. It is a sign of the times.
     
  13. gb93433

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    My wife who works in a hospital cannot even tell me what is wrong with a patient we know. She is required to keep it confidential. I can ask the patient and they can say but she cannot tell me.
     
  14. SAMPLEWOW

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    gb I do understand that but we as Christians should be open to letting others know us big city or not.

    I pray for God to us me to reach people in need .

    I believe that God will keep me safe.
    I think a lot of the problems in America today stem from us living such private lives .
    People in need of our help are afraid to ask.


    how many people have you folks turned away by being so private minded or selfish?
     
  15. Alcott

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    Being in Single Adult Departments for so many years in a growing church with many new members coming in (and many going, or getting married and going to other depts.), we have made several attempts at creating new "contact lists." But it seems that every time, sooner or later, this is stopped and the list is 'maintained' by one person because someone "abuses" the list. Usually there is no further explanation given, but we know that by that they mean someone is bothering a member who does not want the first person to call, or in a few occasions somebody tries to use that info for business, making sales calls or connections that might further thier enterprises.

    There are always some complaints that "we can't keep in contact," but unfortunately a few always try to use these things to personal advantage. Some well-meaning members apparently misunderstand what "keeping in contact" is really supposed to mean, and their reasons for calling another member, as for a date for example, are a legitimate purpose for having the list. But the church, obviously, should be the first place for understanding that "No means no." But we can count on the opposite for the few who always manage to end a worthwhile endeavor.
     
  16. bapmom

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    Sample,

    I'm pretty sure that I can know for a fact that no one has ever been offended because my phone number was not in the church directory. Why would they be?

    And Im perfectly open to have people get to know me. This is not the same thing as giving out my name and address to people who have a higher potential of being dangerous.

    Remember too, Im a mommy, and I have to think of my children's safety. When talking about this it is THEIR safety Im concerned with. If I were a single lady living alone Id also have the same concern. As a man you might feel alot more safe than I do, but I can tell you that many women are more like me than not.

    Its not selfish to have some privacy. Its just privacy.

    Its not like we run around informing people that we choose not to give them any information about us. lol

    Please don't equate this discussion with some sort of lower spirituality, when it isn't about that. Its about respecting other people's wishes.
     
  17. SAMPLEWOW

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    Please let me explain bapmom.I do agree with most everything you say here on the board BUT ON THIS ONE I can not. when I first came on this board I tried to start a thread on soul winning and I think about 3 people responded to it. this thread has 2 pages devoted to it because it talks about church privacy. Your right it isn't selfish to have some privacy, but come on your trying to tell me that it's JUST PRIVACY. This world we live in is all about privacy and it is selfishness.

    I hope if there is anyone out there that needs anything I can give them that they will feel free to ask. MY phone number is in the book and if you can't find it ask I will give it to you .
     
  18. Artimaeus

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    Our prayer list consists of just names with no other information. We have a thing called an "unspoken request" which basically means that the particular issue is none of my business and it is between them and the Lord but they would appreciate my prayer. God knows the concern and I can pray that His will will be done. Most prayer requests are of the spoken variety and people have asked for prayer for a particular reason and it is public knowledge.
     
  19. gb93433

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    There are a lot of police officers who are not in the book. There are a lot of others like Oprah Winfrey, etc. who are not in the book because they don't want idiots stalking them.
     
  20. bapmom

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    Sample,

    I understand. And if we can agree to disagree on this, thats fine.

    Im actually pretty open about giving my number to people who ask. I just do have a strong sense of privacy, and a pretty strong sense of protectiveness for my kids.

    btw,

    theres a spirited discussion on things related to soul winning going on in the MIssions area, as well issues related to that going on in the Fundamentalist area. So don't worry, there are some who are dealing with things like that still. [​IMG]
     

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