Is There a Lawyer In the Church
2008 - 2010
From 2008 until 2010 when Stephen Bloom was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, he dispensed with advice and information for his Christian readership.
The new owners of this domain have chosen to keep an edited version of his advice believing it is a relevant today as it was when first posted.
Content is from the site's 2009 -2010 archived pages.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord builds the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
- Psalm 127:1
Don't hire me!
I'm a lawyer, but I don't want your business. I want to help you avoid the misery of lawsuits and lawyers. Really.
There's a better way!
I wrote "The Believer's Guide to Legal Issues" to show you how to restore relationships and find lasting peace, even in tough legal situations. Discover God's eternal (and amazingly relevant) counsel instead of the same old ugly advice you get from secular lawyers.
No matter what legal challenges you face, I hope and pray you'll find God's blessing through the Biblical wisdom and information in my book and on this site.
Your Brother in Christ,
Stephen Bloom, Esq.
Who am I? With 22 years in law practice, I'm an Adjunct Instructor at Messiah College and Consultant to the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation of Central Pennsylvania. I'm a frequent media guest and speaker, columnist for Crosswalk.com, and former host of the “Practical Counsel – Christian Perspective” radio show.
Please note: Most of my usual non-political speaking activities will be postponed during my 2010 campaign for PA State House…
Some remaining non-political engagements:
- Bible Baptist High School - Commencement Address - Shiremanstown, PA - June 5, 2010
- 6th Annual Capital Area Prayer Breakfast - Central Penn College - Summerdale, PA - October 15, 2010
I’ve shared my Christian perspective as a guest on more than 40 radio programs (including several nationally syndicated), as well as making TV appearances and leading live presentations for churches, colleges, law schools, high schools, businesses and community groups.
In addition, I teach a number of accredited academic and continuing legal education courses.
As a certified lay speaker, I’ve also been privileged to deliver dozens of Sunday morning sermons.
My work has been quoted, featured, and/or reviewed in numerous publications, including: The ABA Journal Online, The Pennsylvania Lawyer Magazine, MichelleMalkin.com, TheLawyer.com, Christianity 9 to 5 Magazine, Pulpit Helps Magazine, Crosswalk.com, Good News Daily, The Penn State Dickinson Connection, Legal Blog Watch, The Link, Home Base, FreeRepublic.com, BellaOnline, AllianceAlert.org, Prophecy Central, HeartBeat the Magazine, Author’s Choice Reviews, RFFM.org, A Time to Love, Midwest Book Review, and various blogs and newspapers.
To inquire about arranging a speaking engagement at your venue, please use the information on my contact page.
Astute counsel to Christian families. I found myself quickly engrossed in Stephen's practical counsel, examples, illustrations, and his solid stand on Biblical principles when facing legal issues.
Easy-to-read plain English... Saves you $ in wasted fees... Exposes how lawyers manipulate clients... Gives real hope for real peace...
I highly recommend this easy to read and well written book.
D. Peterson, Pennsylvania
Is There a Lawyer in the Church?” Blawg
- Good News and Bad News: Primary Election Win Extends Blogging Break
- Taking a Blog Break: Pennsylvania Election Day May 18 (I’m running for state legislature)
- April 15 vs. Jesus
- Action Update on “Christian Lawyers of America, Inc.” Consumer Warning
- Consumer Warning: Christian Lawyers of America, Inc.
- Our Godly Heritage: Not a thing of the past
- Better than any lawyer’s advice
- Three Rings and You’re Out: Bishop Busted for Bells
- Missed ministry: What are the top legal issues confronting members of your congregation?
- “You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room” - U.S. Senate Candidate Coakley Legal Shocker
- How to find a Christian lawyer
- Why You Hate Lawyers: Exhibit “A” - Ridiculous Lawsuits
- Christian Client: The First 5 Things to Ask When Choosing a Lawyer
- DEVELOPING…Court Grounds Reindeer Flight
Good News and Bad News: Primary Election Win Extends Blogging Break
By Stephen Bloom | May 22, 2010
Good news: I won the Republican primary election for the PA 199th District State House seat!
Bad news: No time for blogging as my campaign for the November 2 general election is on!
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support!
Taking a Blog Break: Pennsylvania Election Day May 18 (I’m running for state legislature)
By Stephen Bloom | April 20, 2010
I’m running for Pennsylvania State Legislature and will be focused on campaigning through election day, so I’m taking a break from new postings here until after May 18.
Please visit my campaign website www.StephenLBloom.com
Your prayers and support are much appreciated!
April 15 vs. Jesus
By Stephen Bloom | March 27, 2010
What about taxes?
Since the government uses much of our tax money for immoral purposes, is it okay for Christians to shade the truth when it comes to paying taxes?
Aren’t we honoring God if we hide some of our income from the IRS?
It sounds appealing: Save money, honor God, and keep the fruits of our labor out of the greedy hands of government!
But sometimes our best human reasoning and self-justification just doesn’t measure up to God’s clear standards for our behavior. Sometimes, for our own good, we need to listen to God’s guidance, especially when God’s guidance is perfectly straightforward: Pay the taxes you owe!
The story is told in three of the four gospels. Jesus is approached by some religious people who think they know his character. They are sure he will advise against paying taxes to the corrupt Roman government. And they plan to use his opposition as a way to trap him with legal trouble and shut down his ministry. But Jesus surprises and amazes them by saying, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
It’s that simple. Jesus says to pay the government the taxes we owe!
Yet many Christians seem to struggle with honesty and full compliance when it comes to paying taxes. And some Christians continue to dance around the issue of taxes almost as if they believe there is an entirely separate standard of morality that applies, as if the distinction between lies and truth mysteriously evaporates in the realm of taxation.
So here’s the real deal: Lying about taxes is still lying. The book of Proverbs, at Chapter 21, verse 6, warns us, “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.”
What are your thoughts on the morality of Christians paying taxes?
Action Update on “Christian Lawyers of America, Inc.” Consumer Warning
By Stephen Bloom | March 23, 2010
Earlier this month, I alerted our readers to consumer warnings about Christian Lawyers of America, Inc.
Today, a lawyer on staff at the State Bar of California (the state where Christian Lawyers of America is based) contacted me with the following important action update for anyone potentially scammed by the organization in question or other similar loan modification rip-offs:
The State Bar of California (the agency responsible regulating and disciplining attorneys admitted to the practice of law in California) has formed a Loan Modification Taskforce in order to deal specifically with attorney misconduct in loan modification cases. If you believe you have been the victim of illegal or unethical behavior by an attorney in a loan modification matter, you have the right to file a complaint with the State Bar against that attorney. If you choose to file a complaint, please do so as soon as possible because if you wait too long the State Bar may be barred from taking action against the attorney.
The California State Bar’s website is www.calbar.ca.gov
You can get further information on how to file a complaint and download a complaint form.
Consumer Warning: Christian Lawyers of America, Inc.
By Stephen Bloom | March 2, 2010
Be careful out there folks!
Just because a company uses the phrase “Christian Lawyers” in its name doesn’t mean it will reflect genuine Christian ethics and professionalism.
I’ve been getting research alerts on consumer complaints about a company called Christian Lawyers of America, Inc., a company that claims it “has the experience and the network to protect you legally against creditors, lenders and banks.”
Well, the Better Business Bureau of the Southland (California, where the company in question is based) gives Christian Lawyers of America, Inc., a resounding “F” grade, warning consumers: ”We strongly question the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.”
Question: Have you been scammed by a lawyer who claims to be a Christian?
« How NOT to ruin relationships & destroy churches | Home | Don’t shop for groceries hungry, don’t hire a lawyer angry »
A Contract with God (an Invitation)
By Stephen Bloom | December 8, 2009
Excerpt from The Believer’s Guide to Legal Issues, Copyright 2008, 2009, by Stephen Bloom & Living Ink Books:
Chapter 14: A Contract with God (an Invitation)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. —John 3:16
As a lawyer, I am often called upon to document contracts for my clients. For example, if someone says to my client,“If you give me fifty thousand dollars, I’ll give you my land”—that’s what we call an “offer” in legal jargon. And let’s suppose my client wants to buy the land at that price, so he says,“Okay, I’ll give you fifty thousand dollars for the land”—that’s what we call “accepting the offer.” Once an offer is accepted, there is an agreement, a meeting of the minds, a contract. Some contracts must be in writing, others can simply be informal oral agreements. But the essence of a contract is the mutual consideration, the give and take, the “I’ll do this if you’ll do that.” At the core, a contract is a binding exchange of promises.
I know lawyers sometimes look at things a little differently, but did you know that the Bible is full of contracts? Of course, not everything in the Bible is a contract. Some things God tells us in the Bible are simply unilateral promises, where God just gives us certain things without asking us to do anything in return, like his promise never again to flood the entire earth. Some other things God tells us in the Bible are laws, where God forbids us from doing something or requires us to do something, like most of the Commandments. Some other things in the Bible are simply God’s good advice, like many of the proverbs, basically God telling us,“Here’s a better way.” And some things in the Bible are expressions of worship or love, such as many of the psalms.
But throughout the Bible, there are also many contracts, places where God tells us, “If you do something, I’ll do something for you in return”—a basic legal contract.
And of all the contracts God proposes to us in his Word, there is one I consider to be especially important. So important, in fact, God provided for it to be mentioned in numerous places throughout Scripture, presumably so we might have ample opportunity to consider and accept this very special offer. One place this offer appears, where the terms of this proposed contract with God are laid out before us, is in Romans, chapter 10, verse 9: “Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This offer from God is clear and concise. God doesn’t rely on complicated terminology or confusing “weasel words” such as you might find in a contract written by lawyers. Instead he simply tells us, “If you confess and believe, I’ll save you.”
And to make God’s proposal into a binding contract, all we have to do is accept the offer. Once we’ve accepted the offer, it’s a done deal. God doesn’t say, “If you confess and believe, you might be saved” or “If you confess and believe, I might consider saving you if you’re good enough from here on out.” God’s contract is very simple, with no loopholes. If you confess and believe, you will be saved!
If you’ve never entered into this contract with God, I humbly encourage you to “sign on the dotted line” right now. This is the best and most priceless legal advice you will ever receive from any lawyer.
If you’re ready in your heart to accept the terms, to receive your eternal salvation, I beg you to pray these words, whoever you are, wherever you are, at this very moment: “Jesus Christ, you are the Lord, the Son of God, the only Savior of mankind, my Lord, my Savior . . . and Jesus, I believe that you died on the cross for me, an imperfect sinner, to spare me the punishment I deserve, and that God really did raise you from the dead, and that you’re really living with God your Father in heaven . . . and God, I accept your offer of salvation.”
Amen. May God bless you abundantly!
Better than any lawyer’s advice
By Stephen Bloom | February 5, 2010
I’ve been practicing law for a long time. I’ve learned a lot, read a lot, seen a lot. And I’ve never found a better, stronger, simpler tool for resolving conflict than “The Slippery Slope” by Peacemaker Ministries. Here it is:
Learn it, live it. More info and supporting Scripture are at Staying on Top of Conflict on the Peacemaker Ministries website.
Question: How do you resolve conflict?
Three Rings and You’re Out: Bishop Busted for Bells
By Stephen Bloom | January 29, 2010
Zero tolerance for church bells? Ring free zones?
Instead of getting tough on dealers, Arizona prosecutors are going after pealers.
ADF is representing the bellringing Bishop in an appeal hearing of his criminal conviction and, in a separate civil case, is challenging the application of local noise ordinances to church bells.
Question: Has the freedom of your church been threatened by overzealous government regulation?
Missed ministry: What are the top legal issues confronting members of your congregation?
By Stephen Bloom | January 23, 2010
Your church is full of vibrant ministries reaching out to meet the pressing needs of congregation and community, as you seek to offer real life expressions of Christ’s love. But are you overlooking one of the most relevant and vital areas of need?
As a Christian lawyer, I can’t avoid hearing about the legal problems confronting my fellow believers. People confide in me not only at the law office, but at almost every gathering I attend, even Sunday morning services in my own church. And too often, it turns out the only counsel they’ve been getting is the destructive advice of some secular-minded lawyer.
But you don’t have to stand back and let the people you serve wander alone in the rough and tumble legal arena. You have an amazing opportunity to fill the spiritual void with the healing power of God’s counsel (and believe me, the Bible offers plenty of positive, redemptive legal advice, some of which I humbly attempt to capture in my book, The Believer’s Guide to Legal Issues).>
Based on my experience, here are the top legal issues facing the people in your church:
1) Divorce and family law
2) Bankruptcy and financial crisis
3) Injury and accidents
4) Employment and workplace problems
5) Criminal incidents
6) Tax problems
7) Elder law and estate planning
Healing, restoration, and forgiveness abound when people struggling with the weight of legal challenges discover the Bible’s rich, constructive (and often very much counter-cultural) advice. Give it to them!
Question: What legal issues confront the members of your church?
3 Responses to “Missed ministry: What are the top legal issues confronting members of your congregation?”
Law firm Manila Says:
January 27th, 2010 at 3:04 am
The most common legal issues in our church is about family law and separation one of this is annulment there is no divorce in our country
- Ann Schupp Says:
February 24th, 2010 at 11:07 am
Wehavean 18year old’single female in our church. She is engaged and pregnant, the church is no longer allowing her to serve in any ministry, they aren’t allowing her Father to serve in any ministry either, because he’s not handling the situation the way the deacons want him to, the church doesn’t have a minister right now. She is engaged to the babie’s daddy, the church doesn’t want them together until they are married. They live with her uncle, in his house, he doesn’t attend their church and he’s not a member, her church is telling her uncle he should not have let her fiance move in, and that he needs to tell him to get out. The girl and her fiance are both believers and they are both saved, they admitted they know its a sin to have premarrital sex, they asked their families and the church for forgiveness, it seems as though the church isn’t forgiving them, they are confused, they were told by someone at church that God forgives and that the church needs to forgive them to. Also, She’s been told she is going to have to meet with the deacons at the church and prove she repented. I talked to a licensed councelor and therapist and she said this shouldn’t be, because the onlyone we owe our repentance to is God. To make matters worse, another girl in the church was in the same situation while she was still in highschool and no one at the church said or did anything to her like they are this other girl. This girl feels like she no longer belongs or is no longer welcome at church, she has went to this church since she was 3 and she has served the church in so many ways. The other girl was allowed to continue serving. We would like your thoughts on this, and on what you think this girl and her family should do. In His name, Ann Schupp
August 24th, 2010 at 11:00 pm
Jesus said go and sin no more. If she has repented then she should be allowed back into the fellowship
“You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room”
- U.S. Senate Candidate Coakley Legal Shocker
By Stephen Bloom | January 15, 2010
The following YouTube clip is shocking audio of Massachusetts Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate, Martha Coakley, arrogantly informing Catholics (and, by extension, other Christian believers who might wish to exercise their religious rights of conscience), “You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”
Attorney General Coakley, with all due respect to her office, is wrong. Her statement mischaracterizes the law and, if applied, would amount to unlawful religious discrimination. Religious freedom means much more than believers merely being free to voluntarily segregate themselves from certain professions (especially the caring professions which are so often reflective of the very essence of religious faith).
Under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment. This means employers cannot treat you any less favorably because of your religious beliefs or practices, nor can they force you to stop participating in religious activities as a condition of your employment. And this means emergency rooms cannot discriminate against practicing Catholics or others who hold religious values.
4 Responses to ““You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room” - U.S. Senate Candidate Coakley Legal Shocker”
Martha Coakley’s Brazen Violation Of The Civil Rights Act « Start Thinking Right Says:
January 15th, 2010 at 12:47 pm
[…] Coakley’s Brazen Violation Of The Civil Rights Act By Michael Eden Newsflash: the Civil Rights Act actually protects some groups that the left […]
Twitter Trackbacks for “You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room” - U.S. Senate Candidate [istherealawyerinthechurch.com] on Topsy.com Says:
January 15th, 2010 at 5:51 pm […]
[…] “You can have religious freedom, you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room” - U.S. Sen… www.istherealawyerinthechurch.com/?p=158 – view page – cached Practical counsel for consumers on law, lawyers, legal issues from a Christian perspective, by attorney Stephen L. Bloom. […]
Law firm Manila Says:
January 27th, 2010 at 3:44 am
Discrimination in the workplace is not good especially when it comes to religion everyone should have all the rights they should not be discriminated
August 24th, 2010 at 11:06 pm
I believe we can fight for religious freedom in law and the Bible should be used in the court room
Do we not use the Bible on the stand to swear upon, despite the fact that Jesus said NOT to take oaths?
This is how the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus (in the court..at the Temple) So we too can have wisdom when they drag us to the Temple (court)
How to find a Christian lawyer
By Stephen Bloom | January 8, 2010
As much mischief as lawyers instigate, there really are times in life when you do need to hire a lawyer. Whether it’s properly documenting your estate plan or a major transaction, or understanding your legal options in any number of complex situations, good advice from a good lawyer will sometimes be indispensable.
So how do you find one?
And, most importantly, how do you find one who shares your Christian worldview?
While word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients are often your best resource, there are useful Christian lawyer referral services being (or soon to be) offered nationally in the U.S.
Christian Lawyer Connection provides “a way in which people who are seeking the guidance of a Christian attorney can gain easy access to multiple, self-professed, local Christian attorneys.” The service is free to consumers.
The Christian Legal Society is also in the process of setting up a Christian Lawyer Referral program, which is “under construction” as of the date of this post.
Inclusion of a lawyer on these referral lists doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good lawyer or one who shares your worldview, so you still have to do your homework. The consumer rule of “buyer beware” certainly applies in hiring a lawyer. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, start by asking them these five questions, and then ask any other questions especially important to you.
Consumer tip: Don’t wait until a legal crisis is blowing up in your face to choose your lawyer. Start an attorney-client relationship now, while you have time to consider your options and carefully make your selection. Then, if and when a difficult situation emerges, you’ll know where to turn for help or a solid referral.
Question: How have you found a good Christian lawyer?
5 Responses to “How to find a Christian lawyer”
MB Tozer Says:
January 13th, 2010 at 2:47 pm This is a useful blog with insightful recommendations and caveats.
In addition to the above recommendations, to find a Christian attorney, you may use Google, Yahoo, Bing or another search engine. In the search box, type “Christian lawyer” combined with the name of your state and/or county. Depending on the location, you will often find Christian lawyers’ websites.
When you contact an attorney, verify that he or she is both a devout Christian and who practices and is experienced in the area of law you need help with. If the lawyer does not practice the type of law you need representation for, he or she may know another Christian lawyer who does. Another growing Christian lawyer directory is:
MB Tozer Says:
January 13th, 2010 at 2:52 pm
Actually the directory is: http://www.christianlawyers.com/
Stephen Bloom Says:
January 13th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Thanks Matthew, for the kind words and for the link to the directory (as corrected in your second comment).
Law Firm Manila Says:
January 19th, 2010 at 4:44 am
“True” Christian lawyers are rare. However, they are the one that we need. They have balance view on religion and law. Most of their views are based on Christian faith but do have a respect for the views of other religion. Thanks for this blog for such a nice article.
Stephen Bloom Says:
January 23rd, 2010 at 9:49 am
Thank you, LFM, for adding your thoughts.
Why You Hate Lawyers: Exhibit “A” - Ridiculous Lawsuits
By Stephen Bloom | January 4, 2010
The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is out with its annual list of most ridiculous lawsuits.
Here’s the top five examples of over-the-top legal insanity, in reverse order of ridiculousness:
5. Neighbor sues woman for smoking in her own home
4. Double-murderer sues to claim his victims’ classic Chevy pickup
3. Holocaust denier sues Auschwitz survivor, alleging memoir contains “fantastical tales”
2. Tourist sues hotel, claiming swimming pool got daughter pregnant
1. Illegal immigrants sue rancher who stopped them on his land at gunpoint and turned them over to Border Patrol
The President of ILR rightly notes, “While ridiculous lawsuits may be easy fodder for late-night television hosts, they are no laughing matter for the defendants targeted.”
The ILR is exactly right. Stupid lawsuits hurt real people in real ways.
The pain inflicted by unnecessary litigation is financial, emotional, and sometimes even physical (stress-related illnesses). And our society pays a heavy price too. For example, what happens when citizens are afraid to report criminals to the police for fear of being sued by the criminals!!!???
Question: Have you been victimized by a ridiculous lawsuit?
5 Responses to “Why You Hate Lawyers: Exhibit “A” - Ridiculous Lawsuits”
How to find a Christian lawyer | Is There a Lawyer in the Church? Says:
January 8th, 2010 at 11:42 am
[…] Why You Hate Lawyers: Exhibit “A” - Ridiculous Lawsuits […]
January 22nd, 2010 at 2:18 am
No. Not yet. It is very sad that though the law offers only justice to everyone, it is still use to inflict problems through manipulation of the law. Well, people want things to be rational though we know it is not.
Ken Shigley Says:
February 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 pm
I would appreciate specific citation to court case names, case numbers, dates and locations of the lawsuits listed above, if indeed they are real. Many such examples cited by tort “reform” advocates turn out to be urban myths.
Ken Shigley Says:
February 3rd, 2010 at 12:47 am
I’ve searched for the listed cases. Here’s what I’ve found.
5. “Neighbor sues woman for smoking in her own home.” Allegedly cigarette smoke wafted through wall between townhome units, making the plaintiff’s home uninhabitable due to her strong sensitivity to cigarette smoke. That was supported by her allergist and internist. She had to move out, get all her upholstery, art and clothing professionally cleaned. Certainly it would be absurd to complain about my neighbor in a subdivision smoking in his own home, but is it absurd to complain about a neighbor’s smoke invading your home and forcing you to move?
4. “Double-murderer sues to claim his victims’ classic Chevy pickup.” This is another absurd pro se suit by a death row inmate, and the trial judge granted summary judgment against him. No lawyer had anything to do with filing it.
3. “Holocaust denier sues Auschwitz survivor, alleging memoir contains “fantastical tales.” Another pro se suit by an anitsemitic nutcase. Again, no lawyer had anything to do with filing this absurd suit.
2. “Tourist sues hotel, claiming swimming pool got daughter pregnant.” Absurd, but not American. A Polish woman sued an Egyptian hotel, claiming that her 13 year old daughter was impregnated by “stray sperm” in the pool. Again, no American lawyer had anything to do with this.
1. “Illegal immigrants sue rancher who stopped them on his land at gunpoint and turned them over to Border Patrol.” The merits of this case are dubious to me. However, note that no private attorney had anything to do with this. The case was filed by a Mexican immigrants advocacy group.
Your title, “Why You Hate Lawyers,” is hardly fair when it appears that only one of the five cases involved an attorney in private practice is the U.S.
May 20th, 2010 at 2:21 pm
Your illustration is absolutely brilliant! To make your case for why AMERICAN lawyers are hated, you have to resort to an EGYPTIAN lawsuit and 3 others filed WITHOUT lawyers. Only ONE out of the FIVE examples you mention include an American lawyer. (And that case seems to be both frivolous and politically motivated). So by your very own standards, out of the millions of lawsuits filed this year in the United States, only ONE frivolous lawsuit was filed by a lawyer! That’s pretty good odds.
However, this all pales in comparison to the rest of your site. Using our Lord’s name in vain to get clients to trust you could not be more reprehensible. Claiming to be a “Christian Lawyer,” while clearly lying that these lawsuits were filed by American lawyers, is beyond hypocritical. There is a special place in Hell for people who use God’s name to gain someone’s trust, and then lie.
Lying, half-truths about lawyers are what has given our profesion a bad name — and the lawyers like you that hope to gain someone’s trust by it.
Christian Client: The First 5 Things to Ask When Choosing a Lawyer
By Stephen Bloom | December 26, 2009
As a client choosing a lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask blunt questions. It’s okay, lawyers are used to it, and there are some things you really need to know.
Get solid answers to these five key questions before you make your legal hiring decision:
1) How much will you charge me? (not only nice to know, but professional ethics rules say lawyers must tell you - and, by the way, don’t be afraid to try negotiating the amount and payment terms)
2) What’s your expertise? (lawyers specialize, just like doctors - but watch out for lawyers straying into areas beyond their expertise, especially in tough economic times when they need more work)
3) How will we communicate? (the lawyer should have a plan to keep you informed - also find out the best way for you to contact the lawyer)
4) Have you been the subject of a disciplinary investigation? (not surprisingly, there are some bad apples in the legal barrel - beware of hiring a lawyer with a track record of ethics complaints)
5) How does your Christian faith speak to issues of the law? (your lawyer should be able to reconcile essential Christian beliefs and values with the practice of law - be sure they will integrate faith into the counsel they give)
If the notion of cross-examining a lawyer seems too intimidating (although it shouldn’t – after all, you’re about to embark on an important and expensive journey together, with potentially life-changing consequences), then just show them a copy of this post and ask, “What do you think?”
Question: What’s most important to you in hiring a lawyer?
DEVELOPING…Court Grounds Reindeer Flight
By Stephen Bloom | December 24, 2009
Santa’s Village, North Pole - Handing victory to a coalition of environmental groups, a judge in the Northern District today issued an emergency injunction against the traditional Christmas Eve flight of Santa’s reindeer herd.
The temporary restraining order cites a “substantial likelihood of irreparable atmospheric harm” arising from “high altitude carbon emissions” and bans further reindeer flights until full environmental impact studies can be completed, a process that could take up to five years.
Green leaders praised the ruling off the record, but few were willing to make public statements.
“We understand the potential backlash,” said one unnamed U.S. environmental official reached in Copenhagen, where he remained stranded by a blizzard after the recent climate conference, “It’s never popular to ruin a holiday for millions of children around the world - but it’s the right thing to do, given the unknowns and the potential that even modest quantities of deer carbon in the stratosphere could accelerate the pace of global warming.”
In a hastily called press conference, Santa’s lawyer, Herb Elf, promised a swift appeal. “Clearly, Santa is disappointed,” said Elf, “We’ve got piles of toys everywhere and no way to get them delivered.”
URGENT UPDATE - December 24, 2009 - 3:25 P.M. EST - Multiple officials are confirming that an emergency panel of the Polar Circuit Court of Appeals has just lifted the lower court’s injunction against reindeer flight. Other sources report Santa himself was seen leaving an appellate courtroom looking jolly and shouting, “Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!”
8th Commandment canceled: Priest teaches poor to steal
By Stephen Bloom | December 21, 2009
“My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift.”
Father Tim Jones preached these words to his congregation at St. Lawrence Church in England yesterday, according to this article in the Daily Mail newspaper. And he wasn’t kidding.
Father Jones went on, teaching the poor how and when to steal: “I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices. I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.”
The Priest’s justification for his shocking counsel? “My advice does not contradict the Bible’s eighth commandment because God’s love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich.” In other words, if you’re poor enough, go ahead and take what you want!
To me, this is all very odd and more than a bit disturbing. I don’t see exceptions or weasel words in the eighth commandment. In my Bible, Exodus 20:15 reads “You shall not steal.” The chapter then goes right into commandments nine and ten, warning us against lying and coveting our neighbor’s stuff.
And aside from the very real risk of getting arrested and sent to jail when you steal, Father Jones’ advice creates a whole new set of problems for the poor (and society).
Just who is entitled to steal? Exactly how poor to you have to be? Is simply having less than someone else enough to make stealing right, or is there an income threshold? Are we all free to keep stealing until everyone is reduced to economic equality?
If we’re allowed to take what we “need,” how much do we need and who decides when we don’t need any more?
And where’s the line between the small family businesses we should leave alone and the large national businesses we should hit? Maybe it’s okay to steal from Walmart but not Home Depot? Okay to steal from McDonalds but not the local burger joint?
I’m sticking with the basic “don’t steal” rule and I would humbly advise you to do the same. If times get tough, there’s plenty of help out there, often from your own church family. Give God a chance to bless you in your time of need, don’t shut him down by twisting his words to justify theft.
Question: Have your needs been supplied by God when you faithfully asked for help?
2 Responses to “8th Commandment canceled: Priest teaches poor to steal”
8th Commandment canceled: Priest teaches poor to steal | Is There … Lawyer just to Me Says:
January 1st, 2010 at 3:26 pm
[…] posted here: 8th Commandment canceled: Priest teaches poor to steal | Is There … By admin | category: Uncategorized | tags: bible, biblical, christian, […]
lawyer philippines Says:
January 22nd, 2010 at 2:35 am
I was also shocked when I read your post. This priest have bitterness for the rich people and he thinks that they are also stealing something from the poor that’s why it’s okay to also steal from them. I also agree with your opinion that we should stick to the commandment “do not steal” because when God says this commandment, He didn’t add “except from the rich”.
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