What do you think? Should employment contracts count as legally viable contracts in Christian organizations?
Would you want to sign a contract to work at a Christian ministry and then later be told, “Oh, this contract only serves to say that you, as an employee, have to abide by its terms. It doesn’t obligate the organization at all since the organization is Christian.”
Do you think it is Christian for Christian employers to cut contracts, but then later say that they don’t have to follow them if they don’t want to?
Should a Christian entity be able to un-contract their own contracts if ever they fail to live up to what the contract says they will do?
Right now, in Shasta County in California, Religious Defenses overrode the legal validity of employment contracts issued by religious employers to religious employees.
In other words, in Shasta County, a religious institution can totally disregard an employment contract issued to a ministry worker– all in the name of religious freedom. What therefore lies at stake–at the mega-macro-level — is the integrity of religious freedom. What also lies at stake is the status of employment contracts in Christian churches and organizations. Are they legal or not? Do they mean anything or not?
As I type, Simpson University is trying to use its Christian heritage to evade its responsibility to honor the employment contracts it voluntarily drafted and signed for the sake of its own benefit. Simpson, in effect, is saying that because it is “Christian,” and affiliated with the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination, Simpson can thereby break its promises made in the form of employment contracts that Simpson cuts for its workers who do ministry.
In my assessment, Simpson University is violating both the Third Commandment and the Ninth Commandment.
The Third (3rd) of the Ten Commandments is not to take God’s Name in vain. Yes, this commandment means do not turn God’s Name into a cuss word. But more importantly, it means” Do not do evil and say that what you’re doing is of God.
To use God’s Name to hide corruption is a sin that comes with unavoidable punishment. Here’s what it says in Scripture:
You shall not take the Name of the Lord Your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His Name in vain (Exodus 20:7).
I fear for positional leaders at Simpson University — because the school is trying to use God’s Name to hide violations that were made when Simpson contracts were breached.
You know the saying, “So goes California, so goes the nation.” If employment contracts in Simpson University mean nothing before the court, then it could soon well be that no employment contracts issued by Christian churches or organizations to ministry workers in California are going to mean anything before the courts either.
If you are employed in an entity that is incorporated as a religious corporation, and you speak truth, and the professing Christian organization does not want to hear it, then you can get fired on-the-spot despite your contractual protections–unless contracts end up counting in court.
The Ninth (9th) of the Ten Commandments is not to bear false witness. Lying is a sin in and of itself, but to lie in the Name of God is a whole different level. God says whoever who does so will be punished.