I almost got my bell rung taking this video of the church bells. No, really. I almost got beat up.
The Presbyterian church in this neighborhood rings its bells every Friday at noon. It’s a very peaceful and joyful moment except for this day. More about that later.
According to Got Questions, the ringing of the bells goes back to 400 AD. Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran churches ring their bells three times a day in the tradition of the thrice daily Jewish custom of a call to prayer.
Some people, like me, are blessed by the ringing of the bells while others are annoyed. This battle has been fought for years in communities across the country. The Bishop of Cathedral of Christ the King Church in Phoenix, Arizona was sentenced to three years probation and a suspended 10-day jail term for violating the city’s noise ordinance.
An independent study found that the Cathedral church bells rang at 67 decibels whereas normal conversation is as high as 70 dbs. A Harley Davidson, in comparison, can exceed 100 dbs. I would suspect that people who live in the neighborhood aren’t so much bothered by the bells as they are with having a church in their midst.
In the days I walked apart from God, there was a church across the street from my apartment. Every time I looked out the window it was a nagging reminder — uncomfortable, really — of my sinful condition. Not to pass judgment on those who are offended, but I’m just sayin’.
Anyway, I hope you are blessed by this video. Oh, and the story behind my scuffle is explained in the following email that I sent the pastor:
At noon today I was enjoying the church bells and taking pictures of the bell tower. Anyway, there was a young homeless couple sitting on the entry steps. The young man charged me, cursing profanities and threatening to smash my camera.
A gentleman came out of the church and I told him that the young man threatened me. He told me to call the police.
The young man got in my face, reached into his back pocket, was cursing and threatening to slam me. I was just trying to enjoy a peaceful moment, but found myself having to make a hasty retreat (turning the other cheek, if you will).
I understand that the local churches provide necessary services for the homeless, but it does create problems that we cannot be oblivious to.
The neighbors who live near the Methodist church gathered a petition some time ago complaining about syringes and condoms found in the alley behind their homes. And local businesses complain about shoplifting.
There has to a responsible balance between doing the Lord’s work and maintaining public safety.
May God Bless You
Here’s the thing. Local churches do well providing food and medical care to the homeless population, but my perception is that while symptoms are being dealt with, the underlying spiritual condition is not. The church is basically facilitating a homeless lifestyle by not addressing the drugs, alcohol or mental condition that has forced so many unfortunate souls onto the street.
Homelessness is a huge problem that will not be solved until Messiah returns. To that I say, Come Lord Jesus.
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