There goes the neighborhood

I was listening to the radio on my way to work yesterday and they were talking about an ordinance that is being voted on in our area. This ordinance would regulate the number of cars allowed in any one residences drive-way and prohibit automobiles for being parked on the front lawn.

There are, of course, two opinions to this particular ordinance. Those who are against it say that it is their house and they should be free to do as they like with it and their automobiles. Those that are for the ordinance say that half a dozen cars in their neighbors drive-way and any number of cars in the front lawn drastically diminishes the value of the other homes in the neighborhood and the hurts their ability to sell at market value. Both seem like reasonable arguments.

This piece of news stuck out to me because just the other day Angela and I were discussing the trend of the younger Christians around us. It seems that the cool Christian thing to do these days is drink. Not get drunk mind you, just an occasional night out with the gang and a few mixed drinks. The discussions always come down to the question is it right for a Christian to drink alcohol. For the purposes of this post we are really talking about drinking in public.

There are, of course, many opinions on this subject but for the sake of brevity I will only share a couple. One of the groups for drinking say that nowhere in the Bible does it condemn the simple intake of alcohol but only being overtaken by “much wine”. By the grace of Christ I am free to drink or not to drink. Their battle cry is, “everything with moderation”. Then there are those who think drinking is unbecoming of a Christ follower. After all Jesus never drank ;).

Before I share what Paul had to say let me share a simple fact. Many non-Christians still believe drinking is not something a true Christian should do. Whether right or wrong that is the perception for most of the non-Christian society and therefore affects your credibility in their eyes. With that in mind let’s see what Paul has to say.

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat or drink, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat or drink, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.Romans 14:12-15 ESV (My additions – Please don’t misquote Revelations 22:19 and write me off.)

So let’s see if I can tie this back into my opening paragraphs.

Sure I may think it’s my right to place my cars on my property wherever and whenever I choose but am I more concerned with my rights than the value I can add to my neighbor. It would be a real shame if my rights ruined the neighborhood instead of saved it. Just a thought.


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