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Post  trevorofbude on Sat 31 Jan 2009, 8:09 pm

I was interested in the comment regarding the major american denominations stealing the buildings from the local congregations who paid to buil;d them and maintain them. Democracy in the worlds greatest democracy obviously doesnt work. A locak churhc that votes to leave its denominational masters because of the removing Biblical Principles from their organisational teachings is price tht Bible based christians have had to pay even in the UK.

In the 60s when evangelicals in Wales wanted to leave their dead denominational situations (as happened in the Presbyterian movement) they were forced to lose their buildings even if the local church had voted overwhelmingly to secede. Some did but them but others had to start meeting elsewhere.

When liberal theologians get in power they discipline any dissent by the strongest means possible if that dissent is shown by Bible based Christians but they allow the most unbiblical teachings to be preached without a murmur as long as it fits their liberalism.

However that can be true of Bible based churches too and there are examples of the denominational trustees for meeting houses get control of the local buildings. Independent free churches who value their freedom and want to keep control of their buildings need to be very careful about who controls ther deeds.

The 'wee frees' in Scotland are the only group I know of in recent history who chllenged the leaders of their day and won so retaining their buildings though in the light of the social changes and felxibility of meetings these days if they are lumbered with pews and huge pulpits and old organs they probably wish they could move to something more people friendly!

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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Jan 2009, 9:55 pm

Court rules against breakaway churches

The California Supreme Court Monday ruled churches that disaffiliate from national denominations may not retain title to church property and assets.

The court found that the property of St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, Calif., does not belong to the congregation, but rather to the national church, the Los Angeles Times said. The congregation left the national church following the 2003 ordination of V. Gene Robinson, a gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire.

"When it disaffiliated from the general church, the local church did not have the right to take the church property with it," said Justice Ming W. Chin, who authored the court's unanimous decision.

Monday's ruling may complicate decisions by local churches considering disaffiliation, the newspaper said. A growing number of Protestant congregations in the United States have been dissenting on decisions by national churches, mainly on issues of sexual orientation and gender.

Seven hundred conservative Episcopal congregations decided last month to organize a dissident church in North America, the Times said.

The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, suggested the ruling would encourage congregations to remain with their national organizations.

Eric Sohlgren, an attorney for St. James Parish, said the ruling might discourage local congregations from affiliating with national churches to begin with. Sohlgren said St. James night appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Several other denominations -- including Methodists, Presbyterians and Seventh-Day Adventists -- joined the Episcopal Church in the court case.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International.

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