Church and State: Lutheran Perspectives

By John R. Stumme; Robert W. Tuttle | Go to book overview

7
Love Thy Neighbor:
Churches and Land Use Regulation

Robert W. Tuttle

Consider the following three cases:


1. Cornerstone Bible Church v. City of Hastings1

In 1983, Cornerstone Bible Church formed and began to hold worship services in the home of its pastor. As the congregation grew, it moved first to the local high school and then leased space for worship in an office building located in the city's central business district. When the city's planning director learned of the church's move, he ordered the church to stop using the office building for worship services: the city's zoning ordinance excludes religious uses from commercial districts. The church then started to look for other worship space. It attempted to purchase a former theater, also located in the business district, but the city denied the church permission to use the theater for religious services. The congregation met with the same response in several other attempts to convert commercial space into a church. The city argued that religious uses would interfere with economic development of the central business district, and that churches were free to locate in residential zones, which made up nearly half the city. The church claimed that it could find no suitable sites in the residential areas, which were already well developed, and sued for permission to locate in the commercial zone.


2. Western Presbyterian Church v. Board of Zoning Adjustment2

Western Presbyterian Church, located just blocks from the White House, sponsored a feeding ministry that served breakfast to homeless men and women. In 1989, the International Monetary Fund and the church exchanged parcels of property: the IMF wanted to expand onto the church's site, so the IMF agreed

-140-

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Church and State: Lutheran Perspectives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contributors viii
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - The Tradition Revisited 1
  • 1: The Confessional Basis of Lutheran Thinking on Church-State Issues 3
  • 2: Toward a Lutheran “delight in the Law of the Lord” 20
  • 3: A Lutheran Tradition on Church and State 51
  • 4: Promoting the General Welfare 74
  • Part II - The Legal Contexts of Church-State Interaction 93
  • 5: Religious Liberty 95
  • 6: We Must Spare No Diligence 119
  • 7: Love Thy Neighbor 140
  • Index of Cases 208
  • Index of Names and Subjects 210
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