Well, the “Prayer Police” in San Diego couldn’t take it, anymore than the “Black Boots” of the State of Missouri could. They were the ones who withdrew their Domestic Terrorism report, with an apology, when they received an avalanche of criticism, after calling the followers of Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin and their followers “extremists” to be feared as militia types, who might endanger law enforcement officers or worse, in a report revealed this past March.
World Net Daily, which broke the original story about the pastor and his wife who were threatened with fines escalating to $1,000 if they continued Bible studies in their home without a permit, has now reported on June 4 that the city has withdrawn the complaint with an apology and a promise that, "Training will be updated and conducted for all code enforcement officers."
This came about after a barrage of public criticism and a demand letter from the Western Center for Law & Policy. The letter of apology also noted that this was "in no way an attempt by San Diego County to infringe upon your religious freedoms." The letter continued in part "The County has determined that the weekly activity is within the scope of the residential use and the Joneses”, and also explained that the city was “willing and able to accommodate any concerns that may arise with respect to parking."
So Pastor Jones and his wife will continue their Bible studies, no doubt giving thanks to God for the great victory. The Policy Center who defended them, probably pro bono, will certainly have the right to add this to their repertoire of David and Goliath stories, and the multitudes that spoke up for their “right” to worship God in their home will go about their busy schedules and soon forget that this event ever happened.
But we need to understand that nothing of significance was accomplished in this case. The so called “victory” added nothing to the religious liberty battle or the preservation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and California Declaration of Rights which reads as follows, though weaker than the federal. You will note that it leaves out, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This Bird of Religious Liberty is trying to fly with one wing. How tragic that the citizens of California haven’t seen fit to correct this by now. The Preamble and Declaration of Rights Section 4 follows:
We the people of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
Article 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SEC. 4. Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. The legislature shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.
This shouting match in San Diego was a victory for Democracy (mobocracy), not our Christian Republican form of government. You will also notice the words, “safety of the State.” Once our religious faith is subject to the “safety of the State,” our religious faith is only left to whoever can shout the loudest. Let me explain.
In my first article, Has the Conventicle Returned? in FP on May 25, I explained how the Conventical (illegal or underground religious meetings) are coming to America as they did in England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries by order of the Legislature, of which this illegal Bible study was an example. Just because they escaped this time, the “public policy” police state laws that put them in jeopardy in the first place have not been eliminated. Those laws must be eliminated, not just shouted down. Just remember when the voices become hoarser and hoarser, the tyranny becomes coarser and coarser. People cannot continue to shout forever, they have to go to work some time.
The authorities know this. That’s why we must be a nation of laws, i.e. the Constitution - a Christian Republic – an orderly society - not a Democracy – a disorderly mob or rabble. In this case, there were enough shouts of good people to save a home Bible study in San Diego, but in 1982 there were not enough shouts of good people to save a Christian school in a church in Nebraska, and a pastor went to jail for 297 days and seven fathers for 97 days.
Regulatory laws, not taxes, was really the crux of US v Indianapolis Baptist Temple (US v Gregory A. Dixon, Pastor/trustee) in 1999 when Federal Judge Sara Evans Barker ruled for the US Justice Department, turned the property belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ over to a receiver and sold it to satisfy withholding and FICA taxes that the church did not collect because of the core belief that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, not the IRS.
The Government wanted all to believe that this was about taxes. After all, taxes have nothing to do with religion, right? Taxes are secular, pertaining to the business side of the church, right? And everyone including the courts and even the preachers in town said, right on. So the court said, since taxes are secular and do not pertain to religion, we will take jurisdiction in this case. The church said, wait just a minute, it does involve religion, The Lordship of Christ over the church is “the” central theme of a Baptist church. It is a Lordship issue. Christ is Sovereign over the church, therefore one sovereign cannot tax another sovereign.
The Indianapolis Baptist Temple had unincorporated in 1986 and was not operating as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit business organization, and was claiming all of its guarantees under the Indiana and federal Bills of Right (First Amendment). U.S. Attorney Doug Snoeyenbos said that the Government would stipulate to that fact. And Judge Barker, in her ruling, said that during the taxing period the church was not operating as a corporation. And then Judge Sara Evans Barker in her ruling of January 19, 1999 deliberately changed the doctrine of IBT. She said, “The Lordship of Christ is “a” central theme of the Baptist Temple. There is a world of difference between “the” and “a”. Our whole case hung on one little article. “the” or “a”.
However, in oral arguments before the 7th Circuit, U.S. Attorney Robert Metzler let the cat out of the bag and admitted that it was not a tax case but one of Lordship by saying, “…the position of Indianapolis Baptist Temple which as we understand it basically says that it allows no government regulation unless it VOLUNTARILY submits to it is simply an untenable position in society.” (Emphasis mine). Later he read most of the IBT resolution which also included fire, health, safety or licensure of any kind but left out the word “voluntary” to try and radicalize the congregation before the justices by saying that the county couldn’t enforce toxic waste laws and silly things like that. The Government knew what the IBT case was all about, it was about the total liberty of the New Testament churches in America. In every area, not just the tax area.
In the secret Clinton White House Meeting held in October 1998 to eliminate all uncooperative churches, in which the five fold plan was discussed to accomplish this goal, the second on the list involves using the regulating agencies which involves zoning, fire, health, safety, etc. under the heading, “International Pressures using the Treaty Powers of the UN”. This is where the so called “Global Warming” laws are coming from. When you begin to dig into these treaty laws that the U.S. has signed through the U.N., we are losing all of our God given rights through the State, County and city regulatory laws. For all practical purposes there is nothing left that anyone owns in this country, including the National Parks or our homes and our churches for that matter.
There is only one hope for us all. We must have a revival of the true Christian religion. There must be national repentance as a nation, but it must start with the preachers and churches. The churches must get out of this wicked “Covenant of Death” which is the IRS 501(c)(3) contract that binds them to preach “federal public policy” over the gospel of Christ so they can invoke once again the blessings of their state and federal religious liberty clauses of their God given constitutions.
For the individual there must be true repentance for those of us who know Christ from all known sin and a new dedication to Him and prayers for the intercession of our churches, families and nation. For those who do not know Him there needs to be a sincere turning to the Lord Jesus Christ in humble repentance and confession of sins and receiving of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior of your sins as the one who died and paid for them on Calvary’s Cross. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16]
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I am the National Director of the Biblical Law Center. We help churches to organize and reorganize to take advantage of their First Amendment guarantees. For information write to the e mail address above.