Pastor, Church & Law
Selection and Qualifications
Key point 6-09.1. The procedure for selecting members generally is defined by a church's governing documents. The civil courts have refrained from resolving disputes over the selection of members on the ground that the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevents them from deciding whether or not individuals satisfy the requirements for church membership.
The essence of the relationship between members and a church consists of an agreement, a profession of faith, adherence to church doctrine, and submission to church governance. The membership of a church is typically determined by reference to the church charter and bylaws and to any applicable state corporation law. It is well-settled that (1) the right to determine the qualifications ...
Copyright © 2008 by Christianity Today. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."
Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.