“A worship service is an act of organized religion that consecrates the place in which it is performed, making it a church” – Judge Pierre Leval
I disagree with this judge's ruling and statement.
As pastor of a church that currently meets in a city building, the East Central Community Center, in our neighborhood, I find the recent ruling in New York to be extremely troubling. For a judge to make such an erroneous theological statement in relationship to his ruling, pushes this civil debate into murky waters with unforeseen consequences.
Martin Bashir of MSNBC recently weighed in on the issue and his thoughts are worth hearing.
Well known, NYC pastor Timothy Keller also had something to say as a pastor from that area. As the courts of our nation wrestle more and more with matters of secular versus sacred legislation and policy that touch issues of faith and practice for millions of Americans, one must be vigilant in staying current in the public debate on these matters that will affect us in the days to come.
Our own city is cutting funding and our neighborhood community center is under the budget knife, which could eliminate many important social services to this neighborhood. Our church leases space and runs a community resource center for refugee resettlement on the second floor of the East Central Community Center. We primarily work with the marginalized and low-income people and these cuts will potentially impact our services and community work in this neighborhood.
I hope the local and national electorate, especially the religious part, will work hard at maintaining their presence, voice and vote in the public arena. It is important because the America many of know and love, continues to be reshaped by neo-constitutionalist secularists who would like to expand beyond the original intent and meaning of the founding father's ideas regarding separation of church and state.
I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob’s Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on ‘that’ side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.
When it is time to seek financing for a church building there are some very important things to keep in mind. First, is the money going to be used for the best long-term benefits of the church and its people? And can the financing be sought? It may sound as though these questions are being asked in the wrong order, but the truth is that a way can always be found when one is leading his followers in the right direction.