The Christian Broadcasting Network

  • CBN'S MINISTRIES
  • Give To CBN
  • Partners
  • Jobs
  • Log In or Sign Up

ChurchWatch

Join Craig von Buseck weekdays as he shares his perspective on the major trends and news affecting the Body of Christ today.

Government Threatens Bible Study Shut Down; ReDiscovering God in America

It's an all-too-familiar tale -- a local government declaring a home Bible study or church to be in violation of zoning laws. Often citing neighbor's complaints, parking and zoning restrictions, some local or county governments have moved to close down home fellowships across the country. The latest story to make headlines is concerning a San Diego pastor and his wife who have been told they cannot have a Bible study in their home. The couple says they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, and then they were threatened with fines if they refuse to stop the Bible study for their 15 attendees.

Pastor David Jones and his wife, Mary, were hosting the weekly study near their church, when they say they were visited by a county code enforcement officer. According to Dean Broyles, an attorney for the Joneses, they were questioned by the county official about the Bible study. "Do you have a regular meeting in your home?" The pastor's wife replied, "Yes." "Do you say 'amen'?" the official asked. "Yes," she replied. "Do you pray?" Again she said, "Yes." "Do you say 'praise the Lord'?" Another "Yes."

Unbelievably, the official told the pastor and his wife they were in violation of county rules.

Within days they received a written warning that listed the home Bible study an "unlawful use of land." They were notified to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a move that could cost the Bible study thousands of dollars.

Jones, his wife, and their attorney, Dean Broyles, were interviewed on the Fox News Channel. Broyles says the couple's rights have been violated.
 
"The government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion," says the attorney. "And I believe that our Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves if they saw that here in the year 2009 that a pastor and his wife are being told that they can't have a simple Bible study in their own home."
 
The American Family Association has launched an online petition drive related to the incident, asking the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to immediately stop interfering with the rights of individuals to hold Bible studies in their homes.
 
Jones and his wife say they will continue to challenge the county's policy. If the County refuses to release the pastor and his wife from obtaining the permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.

Watch local news coverage of this story from Channel 10 in San Diego.

Rediscovering God in America

Lou Engle of TheCall announces a special gathering in Virginia, the ReDiscovering God in America Event. This special gathering will take place at Rock Church in Virginia Beach on Thursday, June 4th and Friday, June 5th, 2009.

In what is being called TheCall To Action, Engle is gathering a movement of youth and young adults who, as he puts it, "refuse to succumb to this present darkness" and will "raise up the ancient foundations of righteousness and justice." Engle declares, "Let us gather to seek the Lord and rediscover the ways of God that could turn a nation back to his heart!"

Along with Engle, guest speakers for this dynamic event include Ron Luce, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, historian David Barton of Wall Builders, Lt. Col. Oliver North, and the Honorable Bob McEwen. Matt Gilman will lead worship for the meetings.

Newt Gingrich who is one of the featured speakers at this event writes, "There is no attack on American culture that is more destructive and more historically dishonest than the secular Left's relentless effort to drive God out of America's public square. I wrote Rediscovering God in America as a response to the 9th District Federal Court of Appeals' ruling that the phrase "one nation, under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional."

"The Rediscovering God in America Pastors' Policy Briefings goal is to ignite people of faith to again engage the culture and bring America back to our standing around the world as a Beacon of Hope and a Shining City on a Hill. Because God has entrusted you to care for one of His flocks, you are a critical component to reclaiming the centrality of God in American life. I look forward to seeing you in Virginia Beach."

Registration: https://meetingpro.wufoo.com/forms/rediscovering-god-in-america/

For more information, go to http://www.meetingpro.com/event/

Location:
Rock Church International
640 Kempsville Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23464 (map)

Print a copy of the ReDiscovering God in America flyer

Send CBN your prayer request

More Prayer Resources on CBN.com

More Church and Ministry on CBN.com

More from Spiritual Life

More from Craig von Buseck on CBN.com

MoreChurchWatch

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Friday, May 29, 2009 3:24 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Government Threatens Bible Study Shut Down; ReDiscovering God in America

Have people in this country gone completely insane. This is a community where 15 people are not allowed to be in your home at one time!!! Is this considered to be an unlawful assembly??? We truly are living in the time of Tribulation. I can only hope the truth about the serious and all encompassing evils that our government has been involved in will be reported to all Christians and the general public. If the truth were to be told maybe everyone would know and feel the same as I do. GOD PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR COUNTRY
Left by Michael on Jun 01, 2009 7:17 AM

# RE: Government Threatens Bible Study Shut Down; ReDiscovering God in America

Perhaps the best thing to do is to go in the back door in this circumstance. Since Jesus told us to bless our enemies, perhaps these believers could start a prayer chain asking God to bless these officials with life and blessings. Also, these believers could go out of their way to be kind to all the people involved. Remember God loves every one and His love is absolute--perfect, complete, and real. His love will not fail, and when we access His love on the behalf of those who persecute us, good will overcome evil.
Left by Patricia Zell on Jun 05, 2009 8:24 PM

# RE: Government Threatens Bible Study Shut Down; ReDiscovering God in America

If the government shuts down bible study, have the students study the book about love God, love your neighbor. It's from the book Visions of God from the Near Death Experience by Ken R. Vincent.

It's also a good book for people to read before they start reading the Bible.

God Bless You!

Thank you.
Left by 1marianne1man on Jun 06, 2009 7:33 PM

# RE: Government Threatens Bible Study Shut Down; ReDiscovering God in America

We are truly in our last hours, not days. These sad reportings only prove what Choo Thomas' message from Lord Jesus. - the Tribulation has already begun
Left by seekingChristsapproval on Jul 04, 2009 4:51 AM

# RE: Government Threatens Bible Study Shut Down; ReDiscovering God in America

You know this is disgusting, but it is real. Since it is in San Diego, move to a park. The weather is optimum and the parks are open until dark. God knows the battles we face, but don't waste time, get to praying and leading your bible studies.
Left by Carol on Jul 13, 2009 10:08 PM