Battle Log

Sunshine Coast

Tuesday, 13 August, 2013

Posted by Posted 15 August 2013, 6:09 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

What a day in Nambour. There were four of us on public land in Nambour, Australia and we were getting into friendly conversations with people walking past about whether they thought they were going to Heaven preaching the great gospel of Jesus Christ.

We also were giving out gospel tracts, which sell nothing, advertise no business, instead they simply have the message of the gospel of Christ on there.

Two police officers approached us near the start of the day, asking for our identification. We asked whether we had committed an offence, he said no, so we said that we do not have to give him our personal information.  

This is where the first video below starts. I then asked him about whether he was a police officer because he was not wearing a name badge. I was unsure whether he was. At this point the police officer responds by calling me "mentally retarded". These two police officers soon after just left us alone and said they'd make some inquiries.

After lunch, this is when the Sunshine Coast Council decided to pounce on us. The council law local law officer Matthew Bell said "It is an offence to approach someone and give them the Christian literature".

He then proceeded to say that we would would fined $550 for doing that. We asked him to show us the law exactly where it says we cannot do what we were doing, for we had researched already all the local laws and it says nothing of the sort. In fact, we even contacted the council last week about this, they said that it is not illegal to hand out gospel tracts or approach people to speak about Jesus, nor even is it illegal to stand on public land to preach the Bible. We told the local law officer this, but he refused to listen to us and then called the police on us.

The police arrived and spoke it us saying that they are not familiar with the council by-laws at all and they said that they think we've gone down all the right avenues, seeking out the council about whether it is okay to do this or not.

But then the police spoke to the council local law officer that was still standing around and he convinced the police officers that it is wrong to approach people with Christian literature. We then showed the police exactly what the local law prohibits. Under schedule 3 of local law 4, touting for business and distributing business advertising is prohibited. What we were doing is neither.

The police would not listen, and said they they are giving us a move on direction to leave the whole Nambour CBD for 4 hours for the reason of "handing out literature" - which is not a legitimate reason for a move on direction under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act section 46.

Here is a 4 minute summary of the issues we were experiencing with the police and the council.

Here is the full conversation with the first police officer in the video above (8 minutes long).

But the gospel still went out today to many people. So to God alone be the glory!

Here is a 3 minute clip where each of the people on the team describe their day, including how some of the witnessing encounters went:

To the God who is the King of Kings!