Not all lawsuits are the same. Some are potshot attacks hurled by activists who plot against practicing Christians such as Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who was minding his own business, found himself being targeted by the Colorado government on account of his Christian belief in traditional marriage. By contrast, other lawsuits are legitimate cries for help to the Romans 13 government that God Himself established for the purpose of mitigating evil.
I believe it was right, for example, when Catholic families sued Catholic bishops who refused to stop Catholic priests from abusing Catholic children. As grievous as it may be to resort to filing a lawsuit, sometimes doing so is the best, biblical option. That’s why I don’t think it’s wrong to seek help from the courts, for instance, when denominational executives intentionally steer churches away from the the Great Commission in effort to seize church assets in the process. Likewise, I believe that when a professing Christian board refuses to submit to its own contractual agreements, outside accountability is probably needed from the courts.
Sure, a grieved party can just let go — with knowledge that yet more children are going to be sexually abused, and that additional church assets will hostilely be seized, and that parties to other contracts are likely to be illegally ripped off. But since letting go in these cases harms people and sometimes devastates people for years, I believe that victims are biblically permitted to seek justice from the courts.
What do you think, dear reader? Do you know what Scripture says?
Lamentations 3:35-36 says this: “To deprive a person justice in the Presence of the Most High, and to defraud a person of his/her lawsuit, of these things the Lord does not approve.”
What is your assessment in this matter? Do you think Scripture says that Christians are forbidden to defend the vulnerable if the perpetrators they’re suing verbally profess to be Christians?
Granted, I Corinthians 6:1-10 instructs us not to sue a “brother/sister,” but I Corinthians 6 says nothing about Christians suing religious corporations. The context of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth in the first century pertains to rich Christians suing poor Christians in trivial matters that require “the smallest law courts” (I Corinthians 6:2). The context in Corinthians says nothing at all about stopping multi-million-dollar professing Christian corporations from breaching employment contracts that they themselves voluntarily drafted and issued in effort to induce workers to become their employees. Nor does I Corinthians 6 forbid believers from suing someone whom Jesus says to treat “as a pagan and a taxgatherer” (Matthew 18:15-17).
Here today in this blog, we’re talking about mega-matters, not trivial matters. We’re talking about otherwise powerless plaintiffs suing powerful corporations that are shielded by insurance policies. This type of lawsuit is simply not the subject of I Corinthians 6.
Think carefully through this with me. Scripture says not to sue a “brother/sister.” Sadly, sometimes the people we thought were our brothers and sisters conduct themselves as “pagans and tax gatherers.”
Before filing a lawsuit against Simpson University, I personally reached out to eight different officials at Simpson University and appealed to each of them through all four steps of Matthew 18:15-17. I also took pains “first” to remove “the log” from my own eye (Matthew 7:1-5) before attempting to to remove “the speck” from each of their eyes after I was unfairly targeted, falsely accused, framed, and illegally dismissed two years in a row without due process in explicit violation of my Simpson employment contracts. In other words, I applied Matthew 7 first, then Matthew 18:15-17, only to conclude afterwards that Jesus was then instructing me to treat eight positional leaders at Simpson University — as well as the corporation itself known as Simpson University — as unbelievers, that is, “as pagans and tax gatherers” (Matthew 15:18).
To treat Simpson as “pagans” is to treat certain people at Simpson as unbelievers. Of course, God alone knows who is truly born again and alive in His Spirit. I cannot say definitively whether the board members at Simpson are true Christians or not. What I can do, however, is “treat”them as unbelievers because they “refuse to listen” (Matthew 18:15-17), not only to me, but to others who respectfully have confronted them and begged them to be honest enough to honor Simpson employment contracts instead of devaluing them.
In August 2012, I reached out individually to each and every member of the Simpson University board. I notified each one of them approximately five weeks before I sued. Each one of them was apprised that Dr. Dummer breached my contract when he fired me (via email) in July 2012 and violated numerous aspects of my express (written) employment contracts (uniquely I had two of them). Each board member surely knew full well that then-President Larry McKinney had violated my contract the year before in June 2011–I say this with confidence because the Simpson board itself formally reprimanded the president later in 2011. Remarkably, the Simpson board allowed the Simpson president in 2011 to break California Law, Simpson policy, and my contract — and allowed the same thing again in 2012.
Here’s a copy of the letter I sent to Simpson board members on August 29, 2012.
Upon receiving my August 29th letter requesting “governance integrity,” then-Simpson President, Larry McKinney, directed me–not to God–but rather to Simpson’s lawyer.
None of the Simpson board members would talk to me as a Christian. All instead relied on Simpson’s San Francisco lawyer whom I believe was assigned to them through Simpson’s insurance company.
No board member paid any heed at all to Jesus’ instruction about lawsuits in Matthew 5:23-26. According to Christ our Lord, if we, as believers, remember that our “brother/sister” has “something against us” — for instance, as I, as a plaintiff, have a legally-based grievance against Simpson University– Jesus says folks at Simpson are “first” to “be reconciled” with me, the grieved party, and to “make friends” with me “quickly” so that whoever is guilty may not be delivered “to the judge.”
Please pray for Simpson because it is poised to be held accountable by the courts.