Can a Christian Institution Take God’s Name in Vain?

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 written contract only serves to say that you, as an employee, have to abide by its elaborate terms.  This document called a ‘contract’  that both parties signed does not function as a contract because this is a Christian organization.”


Do you think it is Christian for Christian employers to cut contracts, but then later say that the contract does not count?

Should a Christian entity be able to un-contract their own contracts if ever the entity’s authority figures decide to violate the contract’s terms?

Right now, in Shasta County in California, any religious institution can totally disregard its own 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 all Christian organizations.  What also lies at stake is the validity of employment contracts in Christian institutions.  Are contracts cut to ministers legal or not?   Do they mean anything or not?

As I type, Simpson University is saying that because it is “Christian,” and affiliated with the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination, Simpson can therefore break its promises made in the form of employment contracts that Simpson cuts for its workers who do ministry.

This is a treacherous dynamic.  I believe it amounts to nothing less than breaking the Third 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 justify corruption is a major sin that comes with unavoidable punishment.  Here’s what the Bible says:

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 has denied that it did any wrongdoing at all.

This lapse of integrity at Simpson is not good for Christian higher education.  Nor is it good for the church.  Nor is it good for our country.

You may have heard the 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 written contracts issued by Christian churches or religious organizations are going to mean anything legally.  To erode the validity of a contract is to erode trust in society.

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