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  • What Next: Bible Study Edition

    Do you host a regular get-together with friends to watch your favorite college sports team? (Go Jackets!) What about a ladies dessert pot-luck or a monthly poker night with a small group of co-workers? If you are in the habit of such gatherings, you may want to hear how your rights to host friends at your house are under fire from out of control government interference.

    In San Diego County, California, Pastor David Jones, is in the midst of a throw-down with the County who has demanded that the Jones family obtain a permit to host a small weekly Bible study in their home. The County says that visitors driving to the meetings are affecting traffic in the neighborhood. Although the Jones’ guests sometimes spill over into the cul-de-sac, it does not seem to be the neighbors that have a problem with the weekly Bible study or alleged traffic obstacles. Jones says he has spoken with his neighbors and that they don’t have a problem with his meetings. San Diego’s 10News reported this to be the case after interviewing Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ neighbors.

    According to San Diego News, a County official asked the couple: ‘Do you have a regular meeting in your home?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say amen?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you pray?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say praise the Lord?’ ‘Yes.’” The County official then notified the couple that their gathering violated county regulations. According to Jones’ Attorney, Dean Broyles, the couple received a written warning several days later for their “unlawful use of land” demanding that they “stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit.” These permits can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

    But this is clearly just some local permit dispute, right? Well, you may want to say only silent prayers that the opposing team miss that buzzer-beater (a moment of silence for Lebron James please). Maintaining your poker face is not the only reason to resist a “praise the Lord” outburst when just the right card appears on the board. Oh, and it would probably be wise to avoid a spoken blessing for the food altogether. Failure to do so could mean your dinner party is in danger of being considered a religious gathering, which means you could need to get a costly permit. Sound outrageous?

    Apparently in San Diego County your First Amendment right to freely exercise your religion may not go so far as hosting a small gathering in your home. The implications of such a ruling would be far-reaching but, fortunately, the Jones family is ready to fight. The pastor and his wife intend to dispute the county’s orders this week and will consider a lawsuit in federal court if San Diego County refuses to allow the couple to continue gathering in their home without a permit.

    As Mrs. Jones pointed out, “There are thousands and thousands of bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future.” 

    Exactly.  Apparently a San Diego home = no place for a Bible study. What’s next?

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    34 Responses to What Next: Bible Study Edition

    1. Kilted Cat, Texas says:

      You may want to look into the case of the Iron Oak Church in Florida as well. It was a far more decisively anti-worship case there: http://www.ironoak.org/articles/articles.html

      The comments on this posting also provide some additional information:

      http://ballew74.newsvine.com/_news/2009/05/28/287

    2. Ken Yarmosh, Charlot says:

      This is just outrageous and insane. When will the madness end? We started down this road when humanism and relativism philosophically crept into our nation during the last century. The first postulates that the happiness of man is the reason for our existence. The second insures that there are no moral standards by which anyone can be judged, such as the Bible. Anyone seeking to communicate such a standard, requires the neutralization of such proponents through ridicule, harassment, and/or penalties.

      Never mind that most of Western law and our ethical moral values as a society have their foundation in the Bible. The embrace of these twin empty philosophies of humanism and relativism has resulted in the welfare state of today, a national divorce rate of 50%, 1 in 3 pregnancies ending in murder of the unborn through abortion, and the increase in uncivil behavior within our society such as greed and violence.

      Until Americans individually make the decision to return back to the values promoted by Scripture and the historic reality that our Judeo-Christian values have made us successful as a people and culture, we will continue down this slippery slope of hedonistic calamity.

    3. Justin, DC says:

      Here is the applicant guide put together by the county for major use permits.:

      http://www.docstoc.com/docs/6518689/Required-Perm

    4. HPHope new york says:

      Let these people complain.They are messing with the God of the universe and I don't think they will win.

    5. Barb -mn says:

      First of all, the county official has no right to invade in privacy of citizens. No right to ask personal questions that violated no person physically. If people are having nervous break downs because some other people are praying inside a home, they went out of their way to find out and are obviously, mentally intolerable and in violation of the freedom the Jones' are excersizing. Including invasion of privacy and property.

      This country has been spewing dictation of tolerance. Why is it lawful San Diego have laws for the intolerants? The intolerant need to deal with this personal issue at their own expense.

      As far as "traffic" why do you have roads? Is it a road of bias? Only certain people can travel? Only a certain number? The roads are open for all to travel unless otherwise specified.

      Mind not your own business stick your nose in anywhere you can to steal the trillions. It will stop with justice, soon.

    6. Barb -mn says:

      I don't mean justice in a negative way. Positive, for all people.

    7. Craig Duane McNeil, says:

      Land of the Free HA!

      Home of the Brave-Pastor David Jones Yes! County of San Diego No!

      Next they will tell us orange jello causes climate change and is not allowed (or better yet they will require a special use permit with fees to make it)!

      How did this country become so lacking in common sense!

    8. mark elder, texarkan says:

      Come to my door and try that!

    9. JILL BARTO, EL CAJON, CA says:

      I talked with Pastor Dave a couple wks ago at a BBQ for my brother-in-law & then this last wknd at there church with his wife Mary at my cousins bridal shower, I first can say they are such wonderful couple & have been put thru a huge issue for no reason, Maybe next the county will knock on our door for our BBQ’s, Tupperware party or SHHHH… Our Bible Study we go to every week & yes it’s at a pastor’s home… This is something you would think would happen in China or Russia but No it’s in our back yard… Yes it’s in the USA, in California, in San Diego, in the little town of Bonita, Ca. I ask everyone to think real hard if it’s now them then when will it be YOU or ME???? Please keep Pastor Dave & Mary in your prayers for wisdom & desissions on how to handle this. Jill, El Cajon, Ca

    10. mark elder, texarkan says:

      I can not believe that there are not already a thousand comments on this subject if this is the case America is in much worse shape than I thought. If any thing makes ones blood boil and I mean boil! this should be it….To Arms America! To arms!

    11. Jaime, Naples, FL says:

      There is a reason people want to target Bible studies and that is to shut up and limit the communication of Christians. Christians are a strong voting force and if you limit the communication between Christians you limit their influence. I am not surprised by this attempt to restrict our freedoms.

    12. Lee, California says:

      Fact: The County of San Diego is one of the most restrictive, backwards, and business hostile bureaucracies in the Nation.

      E-mail the County Official responsible for this action – Pam Elias, Head of Code Enforcement ( Pam.Elias@sdcounty.ca.gov) and tell her what you think of her staff's outrageous actions. I hope the lawsuit is tendered and the County loses big time – the taxpayers will foot the bill but it may stop these bureaucratic zealots from abusing other citizens. Again please e-mail Pam Elias the Head of Code Enforcement ( Pam.Elias@sdcounty.ca.gov ) and tell her what you think of her leadership and her staff's outrageous actions.

    13. Pingback: San Diego Bible Study: San Diego County Officials Shut Down » Right Pundits

    14. ann silverhill al says:

      so where is our freedom of religion? boy we are a bunch of whimps. if we cant fight for what is right than we deserve to get to get what they throw at us

    15. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Legally this is sticky. Local ordinances often ban the use of private residences as store front businesses. Disturbance of the peace and/or licensing issues are some of many of reasons for this. I understand the argument that it's basically a routine social gathering. Looks like a possible court case.

    16. Christina Cardella, says:

      Wow, here we go again with the 1st Amendment tear down. This administration is truely an abomination. I think religious persecution is right around the corner, luckily those that have read the Book know it eventually ends well. WE need to stick together and support each other. Brace yourselves!

    17. Leith Wood, Virginia says:

      How about compassion and common sense. Big brother is watching you,but we'll win,if we fight for our beliefs. Bless the Jones for their courage.

    18. Lynn O'Hara, Ha says:

      Unbelievable. How is this even possible? Why isn't this front page news in every news venue, electronic and print, across the nation.

    19. Pingback: Yet More Hangnail Martyrs | Lean Left

    20. Stephen Maust, Vanco says:

      I am not surprised that "the law of the State" should happen to contradict the teachings of the Bible. Jesus,Paul the Apostle, and every believer in the Bible suffered persecution, and you can bet that it all started w/ someone saying…"hey, You can't do that here."

      Pastor David Jones and Mary…congratulation for not only standing on your Right in this country for Peaceful Gatherings,( and what is MORE peaceful than a Bible Study!) but thank you for standing tall for the calling of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

      Some people may mock, or call us fanatics, but remember it was the "religious fanatics" of the day that cried out for Christ to be crucified, and it will be the fanatics following the anti-Christ who will cry out for the blood of believers when THAT day comes. This will be a jewel in your crown in the kingdom of Heaven, because persecution comes in ALL forms…AMEN?

      To responders..REMEMBER, the eyes of the world are watching to see what the reaction of the Body of Christ is going to be, and this is our chance to shine w/o saying a word…so be careful that your responses ARE like Christs…" Forgive them, for they know not what they do".

      Signed Boldly;

      Stephen Maust

      Vancouver, Washington

      Minister

      stephenmaust@yahoo.com

    21. Stephen Maust, Vanco says:

      Remember Folks, When the world goes looking for the face of Jesus Christ, We are the face they see…

      When the world goes looking for the God of Heaven and Earth, we are the ones who God has called to direct them…

      There are laws that the Scriptures tell us to follow…"the laws of the land…Honor the king…except they be in direct contradiction to the scriptures.

      This can be a sticky one for both sides, but we aren't called to start waving flags and screaming at the top of our lungs. We are called to trust God in all things, always…that is faith…believing that God not only see's us in this situation, but His Fingerprints are all over it, AMEN ? So trust in the Lord that this will pass like every wave passes in a storm, and Praise the Lord…

    22. Pingback: San Diego Bible Study; San Diego County Officials Back Down » Right Pundits

    23. marcy pompano beach says:

      in the last days the love of many grows cold, darkness increases and lawlessness is the norm, GOD has laws[instruction] and you can break many without lifting a finger, HE is after hearts of people to worship and submit to HIS kingdom,HIS RULE. pretty much time is short. THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH is roaring and the other side knows it. as the HOLY SPIRIT withdraws the means of grace ,the TEN COMMANDMENTS, since it is clear people would rather be a law unto themselves and do what is right in their own eyes, this is only the very beginning of sorrows.woe, woe,woe to the people of the earth

    24. Stephen Maust, Vanco says:

      Wow, I would have believed there would be more smoke going up on this subject than what I see…where is everyone? This may seem like a small thing to some, but there will come a time when we as believers will look back and wonder if we had just SAID SOMETHING, maybe things would have progressed a little more slowly. I don't know, but these are the last days, and those of us who are believers SHOULD say more…be wise as wolves and cunning as serpents….ya know? God Bless Ya'll

      Minister Stephen Maust

      stephenmaust@yahoo.com

    25. ozzy6900 says:

      I agree with Mark Elder of Texas, "Come to MY door and try that!"

    26. Debbie, Arkansas says:

      Great comments all – Prayers and support to the Jones family from all who love and understand. I thought the First Amendment expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws "respecting an establishment of religion" or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to peaceably assemble, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

      In actual context, it states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      I think that says it all. Thanks and may God be praised!!

    27. Eric Nashville says:

      Hello and welcome to the brace new world that America has ushered into existence through its lackadaisical voting and citizenship. However, it is not too late. Practice your rights, especially wise voting and watch your leaders VERY CAREFULLY.

      ——-If you are interested in seeing what else our leaders are up to, look at http://WWW.PARENTALRIGHTS.ORG and find out what US leaders want the United Nations to give us!!!!

      AND FINALLY, PRAY!

    28. Anthony Branham says:

      Great comments here. I agree with Stephen, please be the example of Christ in our responses. Most of these people want to see Christians get angry and justify us as hypocrites…. Our prayers are for San Diego County tonight…

    29. Julie in Washington says:

      Where are all the Christians? Everyone else is haveing HUGH parades, fund raisers & funding from the government.

      Look how far homosexuality & abortion have come. For you older folks did you think 20 years ago this could ever happen in America?

      Lord forgive our sin of complacency.

    30. Steven Rodriguez, Ci says:

      My family will pray for the strength and conviction of all of us who believe in the Christ. As Christians, the only move we need to make is to ask our God in Heaven to move within us so that we obey His and only His orders, not our own.

    31. Nancy, Wilmington,N. says:

      Think "Movie of the Week" Christian film makers! "The pen is mightier than the sword" as our forefathers wrote, so why not follow this story and re-create it as "a made for television" movie? Perhaps then the Christians in our great Nation would "wake up and smell the coffee".

      If people saw this terrible event unfolded from a Christian/U.S.Constitution/First Amendment perspective, portrayed in "film form", at home on their T.V.s on say,"Hallmark Channel"–or whatever network would have the courage to show this story–maybe we could get the message accross in a way that would reach the masses and make them feel sufficiently uncomfortable to actually affect public policy. Just an idea…

    32. Nancy, Wilmington,N. says:

      By the way, the name of this movie could simply be, "Keeping Up With the Jones"…

      The whole thing is, God is writing this script right before our very eyes, and so all we need to do as Christian screenwriters is to accurately portray, in script form, the actual events that are taking place; there is an inherent message that I believe God is trying to get us to pay attention to through the ordeal the Jone's family is going through. We all recognize this, so let's broadcast this message by telling the story of their struggle–through film–with their permission of course.

      Once again, just an idea…

    33. Paul Dobbins says:

      Liberty to speak, assemble, bear arms, worship; to be secure in our private lives, and exercise the sovereignty of the individual is sacred to all Americans.

      There is now a great responsibility for all Americans to stop the erosion of our hard fought rights, and insist upon the cessation of governmental interference in our lives.

      Why are these laws and regulations not challenged at the outset of their implementation? Why are legislators and regulators not more educated on what is constitutional and acceptable?

      I will praise and pray whenever, wherever, and with whomever I want, it is my God given right.

    34. Patricia Brittell A says:

      Well folks, unfortunately many people have been to busy with their own lives to take notice of everything going on in our country, and we all fell asleep while the evil doers kept up their bad deeds. I believe our country is starting to arouse from their sleep and it took someone like Obama to do it. As they say, "The Sleeping Giant" has finally awoken.

      The Atheists,GayRights,Abortionist,and other leftwing rights started long ago and have excelled to the point of winning over our civil rights. We must stand up for our God Given rights, afterall this Country was established under, "In God We Trust."

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