Persecuting Christians in San Diego

On Sunday I preached on the persecuted church from Acts 4.  A friend of mine forward an article to me discussing how the County of San Diego is considering legal action against a couple who is hosting a bible study in their home each week.  The county claims a “Bible study does not constitute religious assembly under the county’s land use regulations, which refer to religious assembly as religious services at synagogues, temples and churches.”   They are claiming the couple must seek a permit to gather with other believers in their home.  This happens every few years in some city or county around the USA.  Thankfully each of these cases has always been found in favor of the first amendment’s freedom to exercise religion.  Yet the persistence of such attacks goes to show that even in America, the foundations are being laid for a full fledged persecution.

See this article for a similar challenge in Fairfax, VA in 1999 and 2001.

On a side note, the county’s land use regulations betray a common misunderstanding that even Christians have about the church.  Many believe that the church is a building, an edifice where people gather.  This is erroneous.  The Church, ekklesia, is never referred to as a building or structure in the Bible, but always as the gathered people of God.  If we inside the church would grasp this line of thought and transform our language to reflect such understandings, then even a challenge to a bible study could successfully be defeated because a bible study is literally the Church, for believers are gathering to worship, study and pray; it has nothing to do with the building.  

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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