Tag Archives: ethics

Accountability and the Church

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside… 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Imagine my joining a CrossFit class and telling the trainer, “I just do not do squats of any kind. Sorry. It’s not that I cannot do them, because I can. I just don’t believe they will help me at all.” That trainer is likely to respond with something like, “Well then you don’t really want to do CrossFit, because squats (of every kind) are pretty foundational to everything we do here.” And then he/she would encourage me to leave and try a different program somewhere else; one that I really can believe in. I might ask him/her to please explain WHY squats are so foundational to CrossFit, and maybe that trainer would have a great answer, or maybe not. That’s not really the point. The point is, squats are a foundational part of CrossFit. So, if I am able to do them but just don’t really believe they’re helpful, then I really don’t believe CrossFit is helpful. If I don’t want the accountability CrossFit offers, then I don’t really want CrossFit. It’s simple that way.

Christianity works that same way. It is a revolution founded by Jesus, who …

Churches: Don’t Let Your Lawyers Write Your Testimony

Tuesday Re-mix –

One of my kids attended a week-long camp last summer which happens to have been held on the campus of a prominent Baptist university.  The university doesn’t sponsor the camp.  They just contract with the sponsoring organization which actually operates the camp.  The university’s only part in the endeavor is to provide the facilities.  So, as I was filling out the paperwork for the camp,  there was a release which the university required to be signed by every participant.  No surprise there.  As an attorney who  makes a living representing corporations, churches and other organizations, I would recommend some type of release be obtained.  But here is some of the pertinent language in the release:

“I release [prominent Christian university]…from all claims…caused by the negligence of [prominent Christian university] [or] its regents, officers or employees…”

This is what we lawyers call an “express negligence” clause in the contract.  It is designed to escape liability even for your own negligent acts.  Allow me to translate this for you.  This says that, if a university employee assaults my daughter while that employee is on the job for the university, neither the university nor the employee will be responsible for it.  If the university’s administration is all aware of a building about to fall down on their campus and chooses to do nothing about it and it falls on my daughter, the university will not be responsible for it.  If the President of the university himself were to carelessly run over my daughter while driving across campus, neither the university nor their president will be responsible for it.  In other words, this university says, “You can send your kids to camp here if you want to, but don’t expect us to act like a responsible Christian institution.”

Couple of questions: …