Commandments: Law and Religion Blog

Dr. John Mrazek continues his guest series by talking about two of the primary functions of an executive pastor: to serve as a sponge and to anticipate.

Dr. John Mrazek begins a guest series sharing the reasons why he believes churches should have executive pastors. Image removed.

While the 7th Circuit was making headlines, other circuits went the other way on sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII. This post explores the circuit split and what is on the horizon going forward.

In April 2017, the 7th Circuit became the first federal appeals court to conclude that Title VII provides protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Learn more in this informative look at the Court’s opinion.

A federal judge in Texas has granted a nationwide injunction that temporarily halts the new federal overtime rule change that was set to go into effect on December 1st. This ruling is big news for many ministries.

The point of this recent case is that Title VII does not cover sexual orientation discrimination, but the court wishes that it did.

A few years back, values-based referrals by counselors were proper under the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics if done tactfully, so as not to wound the client, and were ethically permissible if the therapist, because of personal beliefs, could not provide what the client was seeking. Since we first reported on this issue, several big changes have altered that premise, most importantly, a major change in the ACA Code of Ethics.

Pastors work tirelessly preparing for sermons, counseling parishioners, and managing other administrative aspects of running a church. A teacher at a religious school spends countless hours developing lesson plans, and even more instructing students on matters of doctrine. A missionary’s work in the field does not fit the traditional 9 to 5 work day, and the person may be “on call” nearly 24-7. Often, religious workers, driven by a sense of calling, work far more than a 40-hour-work week. Does a religious organization have to pay overtime under a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? While the answer used to be “most likely not,” a recent change in the rules governing when overtime must be paid creates some confusion, and probably a mixed result.

Privacy law in Europe (also known as data protection law) became an important issue for organisations both in and outside Europe in about 2000 when tough rules around use of ‘data’ were introduced. The need for the law was attributed to the explosion in generation and use of data as a result of the advancement of the electronic age.