Tonight was a great night of ministry. Meeting at Cafe Nero before heading into the square we enjoyed a blessed time of fellowship and prayer. Barney spoke with us about the importance of standing biblically on the issue of homosexuality. There is a good reason for this.
Recently, a good friend of mine and fellow open-air preacher, Dale McAlpine, was arrested while preaching in his home town of Workington. It involved speaking about homosexuality and the charge was that he had caused harassment, alarm and distress, which falls under section 5 of the public order act. A person is guilty of this offence if he:
(a) Uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b) Displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.
Having spoken to Dale, clearly these charges are completely fabricated and untrue. While he was preaching from a ladder Dale did not mention the sin of homosexual practise at all. He was approached by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who told him that if he said homosexual conduct was “sinful” it would be a crime. Dale correctly responded by stating to the PCSO that it is not a crime to describe homosexual practise as a “sin.” Police officers arrived later on the scene and Dale was arrested.
Dale is due to stand trial, yet we are confident that he will be found innocent of all charges. He is currently being represented by The Christian Institute. A trial date has yet to be set. You can visit www.christian.org.uk to learn of any new developments.
Barney gave us a good summary of how we ought to defend our position should any of us be pulled up by the police:
1) The Bible teaches that God loves sinners (Mark 2:17).
2) The Bible teaches that homosexual practise is sinful (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
3) The Bible teaches that everyone who repents from their life of sin and turns to follow Jesus will be saved from the eternal punishment they deserve (1 Timothy 1:15-16).
After we headed into the square we quickly got ready and then Andrew stood up to preach. It was great to have him back with us after he had recently gone back to Australia to visit with his family. After preaching a solid message on the Gospel and the importance of turning to Christ, I stood up to preach.
I asked people where their hope resides. Recently the U.K. had a General Election and people are looking to a new government to bring us out of the many problems that the country is facing. But ultimately our hope needs to be in God and not man. The Bible says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8). During my message I was able to engage with a young man named Aiden and I took him through the good person test and into the Gospel. He seemed to listen with a keen interest.
After I had finished preaching we all got busy talking with people one-to-one and handing out Gospel tracts. I got talking with a young man named Constantine. He is from Greece and grew up Greek Orthodox. Our conversation became quite philosophical and we spent some time wrangling over the issue of morality and how we can make sense of the belief that says there is no God even though we have an absolute morality in this world. Where did this absolute morality come from and why is it that universally we know things to be wrong at a fundamental moral level if there is no ultimate standard that tells us what is right and what is wrong? We are all moral agents and so for sure there is a Moral Law Giver.
Towards the end of the evening Aiden and his friend Frank came up to me just to say thanks for my message and that it was certainly going to make them think. We gave them all some in-depth Gospel tracts and that told them to really think upon the things they had heard. Do pray for them.
Soli Deo Gloria!