Religious Freedom By W. Scott Brown
With the recent death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a consistent defender of the religious liberty protections ensured by the U.S. Constitution, upholding religious freedom is a growing topic of national discussion and import.
In recent years, our culture has shifted on this topic. Increasingly religious freedom is being challenged at federal, state and local levels. Having earlier in my career served as a legislative adviser both for a U.S. Senator and for a U.S. Representative, I do sense the shift in attitudes about religious freedom here in Washington, D.C. However, I am also very hopeful because of the brilliant men and women here in D.C., and across the nation, who are working zealously to uphold these bedrock constitutional freedoms. And that hope is also strong because of ministry leaders who recognize the growing need to communicate the irreplaceable value of their work to the communities they serve.
Christian nonprofits are directly impacted by the religious freedom issues swirling through our culture today. These organizations are on the front lines of caring for those in need worldwide, serving as living examples of Matthew 5:13–16 “Salt and Light.” Their good deeds are rooted much deeper than mere philanthropic impulse. They are rooted in Christ. They reflect the clear teaching of Scripture, and echo the ages-long lineage of Christ-centered ministry to which we belong. That is why it is so vital to protect religious liberty. One can’t embrace the good works of Christian ministry without respecting the religious liberty to follow the very Scripture that undergirds and inspires that work. You can’t have one without the other.
In the Fall 2015 edition of Christian Leadership Alliance’s (CLA) Outcomes magazine it features a powerful new book on this vital topic: Free to Serve: Protecting the Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations (Brazos Press, 2015) by Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies and Dr. Stephen Monsma. These authors argue that faith-based organizations are facing increasing pressures to play down, ignore or abandon their distinctive religious identity and practices. Their book not only documents challenges, but also provides practical steps leaders can take to protect the freedoms of faith-based organizations.
This vital theme will also be explored at The Outcomes Conference, April 19 – 21 in Dallas, which will feature several sessions that address religious liberty issues facing ministry leaders today.
Here are a five high-impact sessions to consider:
- ITI Seminar (6 hours): Being a ‘Daniel’ after Obergefell led by Scott Ward, J.D., Attorney/Owner and Steve King, J.D., Attorney/Managing Owner, Gammon & Grange, P.C., and Rhett Butler, M.A., Director of Government Relations, Gammon & Grange Consulting, LLC
- Workshop (1.5 hours): New Threats: Protecting Your Ministry let by Douglas Napier, Esq., Senior Counsel, Chief Alliance Officer, Exec. Vice Pres., Alliance Defending Freedom.
- Workshop (1.5 hours): Surviving the Obergefell Decision led by Richard Matthews, J.D., LL.M, General Counsel, Trail Life USA
- Workshop (1.5 hours): Religious Identity Audits for Organizations led by Scott Ward, J.D., Attorney/Owner and Steve King, J.D., Attorney/Managing Owner, Gammon & Grange P.C.
- Workshop (1.5 hours): Legal Hotspots led by Robert Showers, J.D., Managing Owner, and Dan Hebda, Associate, Simms Showers Law Firm.
This is a small representation of the more than 350 hours of training in eight dynamic leadership tracks offered at The Outcomes Conference. These learning experiences offer cutting-edge leadership perspectives for every Christian leader. Your voice and perspective matters to us here at CLA, and we hope that you will join us there as we celebrate CLA’s 40th Anniversary and focus on “perspectives” on Christian leadership past, present and future.
W. Scott Brown is vice president for leadership resources and experiences for Christian Leadership Alliance. He also serves as the editor-in-chief for CLA’s Outcomes magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University, and master’s degrees in communications: journalism/public affairs from The American University and in liberal arts from St. John’s College.
Learn more and register today!
What is Christian Leadership Alliance?
Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.