Live by the Sword ...

March 27, 2008


For the last six years, much of the Missouri Baptist Convention's time, energy, and money has been spent suing ministries, businesses, and individuals. Now, they have been hit with a $10 million countersuit. In justifying their initial lawsuit against five ministry organization, MBC leaders claimed it did not violate 1 Corinthians 6 because they were not suing individuals. In late 2006, they filed a new lawsuit that included several secular businesses and companies. It also named several individuals, which apparently meant that by their own interpretation they were violating Scripture. One of the individuals sued was William Jester, and his company was also sued. Now Jester has filed a countersuit against the MBC and the leaders who filed against him. The lawsuit accuses the MBC of interfering with his business and for printing defaming comments about it. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Plaintiffs have allowed comments to be made in The Pathway publication, a part of the Missouri Baptist Convention, both in print and computer on-line, which comments relative to Defendants' business capabilities, financial capabilities and the status of ownership of the subject approximate 943 acres are derogatory and were made without any effort to confirm the accuracy of the statements made.

Plaintiffs or their representatives spoke to prospective lenders of these Defendants, and warned them against lending money to Defendants, when Plaintiff knew the information conveyed to the lenders was false nor did Plaintiffs take any actions to determine the accuracy of the statements made against Defendants.

... Plaintiffs, individually and collectively and through their attorneys, acted with evil and malicious intent when they intentionally interfered with Defendants valid contracts and business expectations as alleged herein.

Plaintiff acted outrageously when they intentionally interfered with Defendant's valid contracts and business expectancies as stated herein.

Plaintiff acted with reckless indifference to Defendants' rights when they intentionally interfered with Defendants' valid contracts and business expectancies as stated herein.
In Matthew 26:52, we read:
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."
Perhaps this is a lesson that some in the MBC will now be learning. Hopefully, this lesson will lead them to stop wasting time and money on lawsuits and start focusing on ministry. Hopefully, they will stop attacking people and start looking for ways to work together to share the love of Jesus. As the lawsuit states, the hope is that this will convince the MBC to avoid "engaging in similar conduct in the future." Let us hope so!