Sounds like they are assuming that laws pertaining to employers (who cannot tell a later potential employer if they terminated an applicant for cause or why) apply to any and all organizations--clubs, societies, churches, etc.
Such an assumption is not true. And if it was, I can't imagine that faithful churches would obey a law that required them to go against conscience and the Word of God.
Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI
Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12
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Honesty may draw a lawsuit. Even if the church wins, it can get expensive. And while truth is a defense to libel or slander, it may not be a defense to an invasion of privacy suit. The church should probably work with a local attorney to draft a policy on disclosure of information, make the policy known to the congregation, and then strictly follow that policy. That should lessen the risk. Dealing with the situation on an ad hoc basis is usually the most dangerous approach.
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I'm guessing that some churches have insurance agents who tell them this. I'm thinking of a case I handled representing a Lutheran church that handled a discipline case badly and got sued. It was dismissed on our argument that the state had no business adjudicating a church discipline issue, but it did cost the insurance company litigation expenses.
But people and organizations can be sued for all sorts of invalid reasons. That shouldn't make a church afraid to do what it is obligated to do.
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