At no other time in American history have the rights of individual Christians been jeopardized to the degree they are today. Furthermore, churches and other Bible-based ministries are being challenged and sued like never before, and in many of these cases, the ministry’s doctrinal, social, and cultural positions are under attack. This is why it is so important for ministries to articulate in their bylaws their stance on these issues. When those positions have been clearly stated in writing and are made readily available to prospective and current members, the ministry will have a much stronger legal footing to defend itself if it is ever sued on the basis of one of those positions.
This past week, media attention exploded over two Michigan children whose bodies were found in a freezer where they had been hidden for the past 2 years. Their mother, who murdered them, had kept questions about the children at bay during the last couple of years by claiming they were being homeschooled. After the story broke, and with predictable speed and ready media coverage, Michigan State Representative Stephanie Chang announced legislation that would require homeschool families to submit to meeting with a mandatory child abuse reporter twice a year.
“The measure of a civilization is how we treat the weak, the dependent, the helpless and the ill.”
—Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Dr. Laura Program, March 24, 2005
On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo died. She was the tragic victim of the first-ever American civil court case that ended with a pronouncement of death—despite the fact that she had never been charged with a crime.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
—John Adams, President of the United States, 1797–1801
Perhaps this quote by John Adams, one of our nation’s most influential founding fathers, highlights the critical point to which we have come in America.