Category: Local Church

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Local Church Lawsuit against Harvest House

On June 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court brought an end to The Local Church’s six-year, $136 million legal battle against Harvest House Publishers and authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon. The Local Church was appealing a January 2006 Texas appellate court ruling in favor of Harvest House. After the appellate decision, The Local Church requested a rehearing, which was denied. The Texas Supreme Court also rejected the case twice.

Leading Evangelical Scholars Call On Local Churches/Living Stream Ministry to Renounce Doctrines, Legal Attacks

More than 60 evangelical Christian scholars and ministry leaders from seven nations have signed an unprecedented open letter asking the leadership of the Local churches and Living Stream Ministry to withdraw unorthodox statements by their founder, Witness Lee. The letter also calls on the movement’s leaders to renounce their decades-long practice of using lawsuits and threatened litigation to respond to criticism and settle disputes with Christian organizations and individuals.

Local Church: Texas Supreme Court Denies Petition for Review of Defamation Lawsuit

On December 1, 2006, the Texas Supreme Court denied review of the Local Church and Living Stream Ministry’s $136 million libel lawsuit against Harvest House Publishers and authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon. At issue in the case was the book Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions (ECNR), which The Local Church claimed was defamatory of them.

Publishers urge Texas Supreme Court not to hear libel claims

Led by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), a coalition of groups representing publishers, booksellers and librarians have filed a brief urging the Texas Supreme Court not to review a ruling by the Texas Court of Appeals in Houston, an intermediate appellate court, which granted summary judgment to Harvest House Publishers in a libel action brought by a group called The Local Church. The brief characterizes the ruling by the Texas Court of Appeals as correct in all respects.

Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Harvest House and Its Authors, John Ankerberg and John Weldon

On January 5, 2006, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas issued an opinion in favor of Harvest House Publishers and authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon, dismissing a $136 million libel lawsuit that The Local Church and its publishing arm, Living Stream Ministry, had filed in December 2001 in relation to the book Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. The Appellate Court’s decision, written by Chief Justice Sherry Radack, ruled that “the allegedly libel statements are not defamatory, as a matter of law,” and, “We reverse the judgment of the trial court and render judgment that

Decision in Local Church/Harvest House case

The following is quoted from the Opinion issued January 5, 2006 in the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas in the case of a lawsuit brought against two authors and the publisher of their book – the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions – by the Local Church/Lord’s Recovery Movement, which theologically is a cult of Christianity. For the background on this case, see: • Questions and Answers about The Local Church’s Lawsuit Against Harvest House Publishers and Authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon • Harvest House Publishers and Authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon to Appeal

Rutherford Comes to Defense of Christian Publishers in Defamation Case

(AgapePress) – A civil liberties group is asking a court to toss out a defamation lawsuit brought against a group of Christian publishers and ministries. The Rutherford Institute has filed a “friend of the court” brief with the Texas Court of Appeals on behalf of Moody Publishers, Gospel Light Books, and the Christian Film and Television Commission. A religious movement known as “The Local Church” has filed a defamation lawsuit against Harvest House Publishers for referencing the movement in a 700-page book called Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions, authored by John Ankerberg and John Weldon. Doug McKusick, an attorney