June 11, 2009
image: Neighborhood (cc) R. Cao
Carman, from Revolution, wrote this brilliant and cuts-to-the-heart post regarding the shutdown of a San Diego Bible Study group, which picked up nationwide attention.
The incident in San Diego where the authorities demanded that a home Bible study shut down because it was in violation of local codes has attracted nationwide attention. The last I heard was that the authorities backed down because of the firestorm that was created by their prohibition of the Bible study.
This Bible study was brought to the authorities' attention when neighbors complained about all the cars that were parked in the neighborhood by those attending the Bible study. It was far too congested as far as the neighbors were concerned.
I wonder if those who are hosting the Bible study have any healthy relationships with their neighbors. Do they host anything for their neighbors, like backyard barbecues, Super Bowl parties, birthday parties, etc.?
What would happen if all the people who were driving into this one neighborhood for a Bible study would start gathering with people in their own neighborhoods, developing friendships whereby some of their own neighbors might become interested in checking out the Scriptures together with them? One thing for sure, there would be no congestion or parking problems because everyone lives within walking distance of each other's homes.
Perhaps this San Diego incident is indicative of the mentality that is so predominate in western Christianity. We will travel miles to gather with other believers ensconcing ourselves deeper and deeper in our Christian bubble while ignoring our neighbors that live right in our own block. So how are we advancing God's kingdom on the geographical turf where he has placed us?
It occurs to me that even when Jesus fed the 5,000, the disciples (good stewards that they were) did the job of cleaning up all the leftover food, which helped to ensure that a public outcry over molding bread and rotting fish never happened. Being a good neighbor seems to be part of Jesus' MO.