What began as a tussle over the Episcopal Church’s liberal stance on homosexuality has become a contentious legal fight over church property. The Protestants’ amicus brief says the law draws “civil courts into a theological thicket” and favors congregational-based denominations over hierarchical churches.
The Episcopal Church, the UMC, the PCUSA and other denominations argue that local congregations hold property—from the stained glass to bank accounts —in trust for the denomination. Their hierarchical structures, they say in the amicus brief, are religiously based, and civil courts have no business resolving “fundamentally religious questions.”
Rifts are bad. So is using civil law as ecclesial law. I think Paul was right and this just keeps getting worse.