Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood were preaching the gospel in High Wycombe on July 29th helped by various lady members of the congregation at Penn Free Methodist Church.
As soon as Pastor Simpson began preaching, a young man came up to him, saying that the message was neither needed nor relevant. He presumably had come to this conclusion from the posters on display, because the minister had hardly said anything this stage. The man claimed that the Bible was unreliable and that there was no evidence that Jesus was the Son of God. Pastor Simpson asked him if he was a good person, and he replied that he thought he was. The preacher then tried to disillusion him of such a notion, for all have hopelessly broken God’s commandments. Sadly, he did not stay to discuss further the issue of personal sinfulness.
Mrs Pilkington, one of the lady helpers, had a most encouraging conversation with a group of four women, to whom she explained the way of salvation. One of the women was particularly receptive. The witnessing sister would have liked more time with them, but hopefully seed has been sown.
Pastor Sherwood endeavoured, in the midst of so much of the news every day centring around the issue of vaccinations, to focus people’s thoughts on the vital importance of immunity against sin. It is only the blood of Christ which can provide this immunity in respect of the disease of the heart which has afflicted all mankind without exception.
As Pastor Simpson was preaching, one young woman who described herself as ‘gay’ was finishing smoking a cigarette. Walking in front of the preacher, she flicked the stub so that it landed just in front of him, doing so as a gesture of contempt. The pastor responded that such an act was the most feeble of arguments with which to justify a lifestyle which the Bible calls sinful. Why not come and have a sensible discussion?, he asked. Sadly, the challenge was not taken up.
As is frequently the case, the witnessing believers had on display a poster which reads, ‘WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NATION ABANDONS THE BIBLE? Abortion, the LGBT agenda in schools, marriage redefined, family breakdown, drug-taking, lawlessness, knife crime, murders’.
This poster appeared to upset a number of people, who felt that it fell into the category of bigotry and ‘hate crime’ because of the references to abortion and LGBT issues.
A passer-by rang the Police to complain, whilst the preaching was taking place. A complaint was also made to the Police that the preaching was ‘anti-Muslim’. This was because Pastor Simpson stated at one point, expounding 2 Corinthians 5:10, ‘Whether you be a Jew, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, an agnostic or an atheist, all without exception will have to appear before the judgement seat of Christ. So the comment was directed to those of all faiths and none. The comment was also made without any rancour, out of a desire that many of all backgrounds might come to know the love of the Saviour. Yet it appears to have been presented to the Police as being anti-Muslim!
The Police Officer speaking to the two pastors told them that they had to be careful about what topics they deal with in their preaching, and she stated that she had gay friends who would have been offended by the witness. She was told politely in response that Christians are often offended by society’s obsessive promotion of all things LGBT. During the month of June, for example, one cold not walk round a supermarket without being told by the virtue-signalling retail magnates that the aforesaid lifestyle is that in which all should rejoice. Despite the offence which Christians feel, they do not resort to the Police to deal with those offending them.
Pastor Sherwood also made the point that the gospel and Biblical truth are always offensive to the unregenerate heart of the unbeliever.
Prayer is being offered up that those who heard the gospel in High Wycombe will be brought in repentance and faith to the only Saviour of men, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.