I Think, “NO”

I read the question in an email from One News Now: “Should Churches File Spill Claims Against BP?”  My answer is, NO!  In our overly litigious society, we see a case like this and think pragmatically.  It is easy to see the case that this church from Alabama is making.  The gulf spill is costing the church money because people are not working and, thus, cannot give.  BP has said that it will pay for all legitimate claims. So, BP should reimburse the church for its claim of lost income.   However, BP views the church claim as a “gray” area.

I would like to change what the world calls gray to something a little more black and white.  What is the goal of this church?  Is it to witness to the glory of God? Then, how does winning a “gray” area lawsuit against a business demonstrate the power and glory of God?  It seems to me that the faith of this church would be displayed better by absorbing the loss and, by faith, continuing to serve others (including BP?) without knowing how the Lord might provide for them, but trusting in every way that He will.  [I have the autobiography of George Mueller in mind here as I write].

In addition, I think BP has a point to make here that will be considered in court.  If BP has recompensed all the members who lost their jobs and their pay, then will it not have taken away its liability to the church?  In other words, if BP pays all those employees, then those employees have their wages, and all lost income to the church is a result of the members not giving, not the result of BP not paying.  I don’t find the church’s case compelling.

Worse, I find it a disturbing display of misplaced faith.  I am sure I am being too hard on this Assembly of God congregation from Alabama, but I just cannot imagine the Apostle Paul suing the ship company which operated the vessel he boarded which crashed on his way to Rome.  Indeed, Paul might say, “Why not rather be wronged?” (1 Cor 6:7)

The Gulf Stream of Oil

Like Russ Moore, I am concerned about the people along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi and Louisiana.  Also like Russ, I grew up along the Gulf Coast (except I was privileged to be from the Louisiana side).  His blog does so much to point out what is good and right about our concern for creation.  Yet, I find one thing lacking in his commentary, and it is the same thing lacking in practically every news story about the spill.  There were 11 men killed in the explosion.  Whatever the economic and environmental impact may be is still a matter of future speculation.  The human cost is already at a tragic proportion.  I understand we must be fighting to get the oil stopped and under control.  Sure, that is urgent.  But we must not forget the families who have lost loved ones.  The Gulf Oil spill is a human tragedy first (and already).  Hopefully, the catastrophic environmental tragedy may still be averted.  (Though the response of the government may not be adequate: See Here).