Archive for: 2018

The Turn at the Gate: What Jesus Knew about the Separation of Church and State

"Jesus had two choices. Arriving at Jerusalem, He could turn right at the Damascus Gate and head for the seat of government (Herod’s Palace) or turn left and walk the short distance to the seat of religion (David’s Temple)." Photographed by the author in 1969.

Christians everywhere are driven by the same passion—to share God's love with the world. But not all agree on how that's best accomplished. Some insist that civil authorities should be involved—making it harder to run afoul of the Bible's timeless principles. Others feel compelled to witness on their own. Perhaps it's time to ask the age-old question: What would Jesus do? Good news. He answered that question two thousand years ago

 
 

When Not to Tell the Story: The Ethics of Announcing a Religious Conversion

When Not to Tell the Story: The Ethics of Announcing a Religious Conversion

Churches like nothing more than to have a wonderful and exciting conversion story to proclaim to the world.  What happens if proclaiming such a story puts lives in danger?  What happens when a person is put in danger against his will?  These questions have been at the center of a fascinating legal case, Doe v. First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Tulsa, (OK Sup. Ct., Dec. 19, 2017), involving a church that announced on the internet how one converted from Islam to Christianity.  

 
 

Supreme Court declines Establishment Clause challenge to Mississippi LGBT law

Supreme Court declines Establishment Clause challenge to Mississippi LGBT law

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declined to review both Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, two suits filed against Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant contesting the state's law (HB 1523) which allows public officials and businesses to deny services to LGBT people for religious reasons.

 
 

FEMA's reversal of no-aid policy for churches raises Constitutional concerns

FEMA's reversal of no-aid policy for churches raises Constitutional concerns

Last summer, Hurricane Harvey created a wake of destruction across southeast Texas, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stepped in to provide disaster-relief grants to some organizations. Under FEMA’s policy at the time, churches could receive funding to repair only those portions of their facilities where less than 50 percent of the space was used for religious purposes. As a result, schools or church-run hospitals and community centers could receive aid, but not church sanctuaries.