That was the AP headline. Dateline: Phoenix, AZ. "Lutheran and Presbyterian leaders have lost the first round in their attempt to block government use of undercover informants to spy on congregations." The U.S. District Judge dismissed claims by three congregations and their parent denominations that such action by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service violated religious rights. Apparently these congregations (church institutions) had been defying U.S. law that forbids harboring and helping illegal aliens to circumvent the law, smuggle them into this country.
The "Reverend" of the Lutheran Church says this means the federal government "can come into any church, any time, with a tape recorder, and without warrant." The churches had asked for an injunction against such tactics. These Churches were engaged deliberately in unlawful actions, including deception, lying, and violation of specific U.S. and State laws. They think that the Church institution is above or outside the law. Where have we heard that before? Pay attention Sixth and Izard, Little Rock!
The Federal judge said the U.S. Constitution safeguards religious freedom only for individuals, not their corporate organizations. He also commented that "only individuals can go to hell." This judge understands the distinction between individuals and a "corporate organization," like "the local Church" institution that our clergy tell us is "the Lord's Church." Only individuals will be judged - as individuals - in the final day. Only individuals can go to hell or to heaven!
The person who sent me this clipping added this pointed observation: "Odd how the federal judge figured this out and Christians can't." In copying the denominations and establishing "the local church" corporate institution, Church of Christ Churches are making themselves more and more liable for government regulation and control, whether formally incorporated or not. The local corporate Church is not from the Lord. Why do our people refuse to recognize the obvious? -- CAH.