New legal guide helps ministries prepare for lawsuits

A new concept that sexual liberty trumps religious freedom has begun to impact churches, ministries, faith-based educational institutions and individual Christians across the nation in the form of sexual-orientation, gender-identity ordinances (SOGIs).

protecting-min-INIn response, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have collaborated on a downloadable manual — Protecting Your Ministry (From Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Lawsuits) — now available to help LCMS congregations, schools and other ministries hedge against legal intrusions by preparing for issues that may arise in the future.

Protecting Your Ministry offers congregations, schools and ministries guidance on updating their statements of belief on the issues of marriage, human sexuality and gender to include the congregation’s belief on same-sex issues.

The manual contains sample language that provides a starting point. Churches and other religious institutions also can ensure facility-usage policies are revised to allow only uses that are consistent with their religious beliefs. The manual provides recommendations for facility-usage policies and more.

“Now is not the time for compromise. It’s time once again for a Reformation,” said Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison in a recent statement announcing the manual’s publication. “By holding to our core biblical convictions, fighting for our God-given rights of conscience and fighting against government intrusion into the church and the lives of Christians, we stand firm not only for our church and those who shall follow us; we take a stand for the First Amendment religious liberty for all people.”

At the 2016 Synod convention, delegates overwhelmingly adopted Res. 14-10A “To Thank Alliance Defending Freedom” for its ongoing collaborative partnership with the LCMS, which involves protecting religious liberty.

To download Protecting Your Ministry, click here.

A copy of the guide also will be mailed to every LCMS congregation and school in the coming days.

Additional information on issues pertaining to religious freedom may be found at  lcms.org/freetobefaithful and ADFlegal.org.

Posted August 16, 2016

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