UXBRIDGE WITNESS : Muslim teenagers crowd round preacher in debate about salvation and place of good works

The gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners was proclaimed outside of Uxbridge tube station on May 28th. As Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson preached, they were aided by three local Christians, and Mr Chrisden de Souza and Mrs Patricia Newman.   

One passer-by, a middle-aged man, deemed it appropriate to give Pastor Simpson a vulgar hand gesture, as he walked past and with his back to the preacher. The minister interrupted the preaching and shouted out to the man that the gesture constituted no reasonable objection whatsoever to the gospel. If a visual token of contempt is the best which the God-rejecting world can offer, then the preachers of God’s truth have already won the argument.  

The man immediately turned round to respond to the challenge offered to him, and declared, “I don’t debate with bigots”. This again, however, was an insult and not an argument. To call someone you disagree with a bigot, just because he has a different opinion, again constitutes absolutely no valid refutation of the Christian message. Sadly, the man did not think it worth his while to linger to offer up a more considered and reasonable riposte to the gospel preaching. 

Pastor Simpson had a discussion with a young homosexual man, who insisted that he had had a homosexual orientation since he was aged 8, and that it was an intrinsic and irreversible part of who he was. He also stated that gender was merely a social construct. Pastor Simpson suggested to him that he did not seem to be a particularly happy person, and that a major factor in this must surely be that he is living outside of God’s will. Furthermore, through faith in Christ, he could be wonderfully changed. 

Will such a conversation, courteously participated in on both sides, actually become illegal, if the government’s proposed conversion therapy ban passes into law? 

The Penn minister also told the young man that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, not an innate genetic condition. This is proven by observing identical twins, who share the same genetic make-up. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (No. 78, March 2000, p526, p533) reported on a study of 980 twins in Australia. The study found that only 20% of males and 24% of females who had a homosexual twin were homosexual themselves. If homosexuality were genetically determined, there would have to be, of course, a 100% correlation. 

At one stage during the witness a large number of Muslim teenage schoolchildren in uniform gathered round Pastor Simpson’s preaching steps. Some were asking, Why are you calling other religions false? They were told that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught that He is the only way and the only Truth. ‘But there is only one God’, came the reply. 

The preacher then endeavoured to explain that Islam and Christianity were totally different, teaching completely divergent methods of salvation. in Christianity good works and religious duties cannot contribute to salvation, which is by God’s grace and on the basis of Christ’s death on the Cross. The Muslim hope that Allah will be merciful to him fails to deal with the issue of God being a God of justice, as well as being merciful. Sin must be punished, if God is just. If Allah forgives sin without justice also being satisfied, then the holiness of God is not being maintained. In the Cross, however, forgiveness is made possible, precisely because justice has been satisfied in our Lord’s substitutionary death.   

Pastor Simpson also challenged the teenagers : Are you good people? One of the Muslim  girls responded that, whilst she was not perfect, she did feel that she was essentially a good person. She was then encouraged to think about the various ways in which she may have broken God’s laws. She was also asked that if she considered herself to be good, might she not be guilty of pride? The aim was to try and cause the young people to see that they in fact possess no innate goodness, but need the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue and cleanse them.  

These conversations were thankfully carried on in a polite manner. May the Lord open the hearts of all who heard the gospel in Uxbridge to see the corruption within their hearts, to cease relying on any notion of their own goodness, and to flee in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, the unique Saviour of mankind.