Practicing Christianity is apparently a no-no according to neighbors of a church in California caught following the teachings of the Bible.
Located north of San Francisco and due west of Napa, Sonoma boasted a population of 10,648 as per the 2010 census, some of them even attempting to practice Christianity.
Sonoma is left-leaning with all three legislative seats held by Democrats (one each in the state Assembly and state Senate, and one U.S. Representative).
However, local residents are up in arms about a homeless shelter operated by the Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS) organization at the Sonoma Alliance Church.
Local Group Vows To Shut Down The Shelter
SOS reported that: “The church shelter runs from December through March, when weather is at its coldest and rainiest… The church can take in from five to 11 people when the year-round shelter, ‘The Haven,’ is full. It has 10 beds.”
The Sonoma Index-Tribune recently reported that: “With temperatures dropping and rain predicted for the coming weeks, neighbors are threatening to sue to shut down the Sonoma Overnight Support shelter that has succored a handful of people at Sonoma Alliance Church on Watmaugh Road for the past three winters.”
Continuing, the Index-Tribune spoke with Rick Deringer, the group’s leader, who said said they aim to shut the shelter down within weeks.
“These people are crazy. They are criminals. They’re not just people looking for a place to live. They are dangerous. A lot of them are child molesters and pedophiles,” Deringer said.
Apparently he is unfamiliar with the Bible’s Leviticus 25:35-36. “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.”
He also appears to be unaware of the words of Jesus from Matthew 22:36-40. “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Legal Action Threatened To The Tune Of Millions Of Dollars
Returning to ringleader Deringer, he told the Index-Tribune that he plans to sue the church. “The neighbors are furious and are joining me in litigation and an injunction to stop this shelter,” he stated. “Every house that is surrounding the church property will be part of the litigation and others who are a block away will join us as well. They are fuming.”
Continuing his rant, Deringer stated that he hired an attorney out of San Francisco and is suing the church for “tens of millions of dollars.” He also claimed that other neighbors are joining the lawsuit.
“The church doesn’t have the right to host a homeless shelter. It should have gotten a permit, which it never got,” he continued. “The county knew there is not a zoning clearance on file, there is not a permit on file.”
However, as the Index-Tribune reported, permit and zoning issues are merely technicalities that can be easily addressed according to the Sonoma County Community Development Commission.
“The fact that the church hasn’t done that (gotten a permit) but has been operating for three years is something that can be corrected,” she told the Index-Tribune.
The Community Jumps In To Support The Shelter
Meanwhile, the shelter has seen an outpouring of support from the community with a GoFund campaign raising over $5,500 of its $10,00 goal.
That campaign noted, in part that:
[W]e were incredibly disappointed to hear a few neighbors of the Sonoma Alliance Church are missing their compassion bone and fighting hard to remove the few homeless people sleeping indoors, courtesy of this church and SOS/The Haven…
Despite our differences and penchant for yelling on social media at each other over… we are actually a pretty wonderful community. During our fires, we confirmed we will always take care of each other when it matters the most. We sheltered, fed, clothed, and hugged each other with a dedication that will live with us forever. I’ve never been more in love with ya’ll.
Let’s help the neighbors become better Sonomans by doing something positive to thwart the goals of the evictors, which if achieved, will live in their guts forever.
**If you enjoyed reading this article be sure to check out “Biblical Marriage Made Easy For Conservatives,” and “6-Year-Old Chooses To Give Up Birthday Party So She Could Feed The Homeless.”