Pastor Peter Simpson was proclaiming the gospel in High Wycombe High Street on June 16th, assisted by four ladies, who handed out leaflets and engaged in conversations.
Mrs Pilkington, one of the helpers, asked a young man walking past him if she could tell him about Jesus. He was just about to walk on by, when he changed his mind and began to talk. He had experienced difficulties in his upbringing, which still upset him. He used to go to church, but long ago had turned away from God. By God’s grace he listened to an explanation of the gospel, and was even at one point moved to tears.
An arrangement was made to talk with him again the next time that the church witness in High Wycombe takes place. May the Lord in the meanwhile draw this young man powerfully to seek mercy in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The witnessing sister had another lengthy conversation with an ex-soldier who had been homeless for 10 years, but who was now living in good accommodation. He had received much practical help from Christians in the past, but openly admitted to not being saved. He politely listened to a setting out of gospel principles, but it appeared that little headway was being made, as he heard about the way of salvation. Nevertheless, he did take some evangelistic tracts and said that he would read them.
An older lady, who had been recently bereaved of someone very close to her, came up to Pastor Simpson and asked him what happens to people when they die. This of course was a wonderful opening to speak about the gospel and of the realities of eternal life and also eternal death.
The minister referred to the thief on the Cross to whom the Lord said, “Today thou shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). This saying shows how, when people’s bodies die, the spirits of those who believe in Christ, go immediately to be with the Lord.
The lady thankfully took a tract. May the Lord open her heart to understand the truth that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), and that peace and security is to be found through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A man came up to Pastor Simpson and asked him about the poster on display which stated that unnecessary fear over climate change is one of the results of a nation abandoning the authority of the Bible and trust in the Creator God. The minister endeavour to explain that secular society is indeed unduly concerned about climate change, not realising that the Trinitarian God controls the climate. It was explained to the man that the climate has always been changing throughout history, and, as an example of this, Pastor Simpson referred to the mediaeval warm period which lasted from about 900AD to 1300AD. During this period the Vikings were actually farming in Greenland.
The minister also stated that anxiety over climate change, which is a real problem amongst many young people, was unnecessary on the grounds of Genesis 8:22 where God promises, following the global flood in Noah’s time, that the recurring seasons, and cold and heat, will never cease.
Sadly, the man remained singularly unimpressed by Pastor Simpson’s arguments and accused him of saying that one cannot be a true Christian and be concerned about climate change. The minister tried to explain that one’s attitude to climate change is not of course the determinant of one’s salvation, but a preoccupation with this issue does seem to be a fundamental characteristic of a secular society which wants nothing to do with any notion of the Providence of God.
Pastor Simpson also suggested that fears over climate change were leading to ever-increasing government control over how people live, which was not a good development, and he tried to start talking about the assault on eating meat by the climate change activists, whereas the eating of meat is one of God’s gracious provisions to mankind for their sustenance.
The man disappointingly appeared to become quite annoyed with Pastor Simpson, and he walked off somewhat dismissively, rather than allowing there to be be a polite agreement to differ.
Another man came up to Pastor Simpson, also objecting to the same poster on display, which reads, “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NATION ABANDONS THE BIBLE? – Drug-taking, knife crime, no respect for the Lord’s Day, abortion, the LGBT agenda in schools, needless anxiety over climate change”. This man took exception to the LGBT reference on the poster, and using foul language accused the minister of being a “….. homophobe”. Pastor Simpson endeavoured to explain that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is sinful, to which the man replied that writings of ancient book have no relevance whatsoever.
One of the arguments put to the minister was that he had no right to stop people being themselves by saying that homosexuality was wrong. The minister responded that the embracing of such a lifestyle has nothing to do with how one is born or one’s genetic make-up. He then referred to a study in Australia of 980 identical twins. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (No. 78, March 2000, p526, p533) reported on a study of 980 such siblings, and it 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.
Sadly, the man was personally abusive to the preacher, and so it was suggested to him that had Pastor Simpson been, say, an Islamic cleric, he would probably have chosen to be much more polite. The angry man also stated that homosexual people were persecuted, abused and fearful. The minister responded that, on the contrary, society is constantly going out of its way to be pro-gay, from the Prime Minister downwards. It is a plain fact that many of our major national institutions, along with large and well known commercial concerns, are all continually demonstrating to the world their pro-gay credentials.
In any case, when the Christian asserts the Bible’s teaching on the sinfulness of homosexuality and of the need to repent and come to Christ, he does so as an act of love. He is not stating that he hates anyone, any more than the declaration that adultery is sinful means that adulterers should become the objects of abuse and hatred.
All that the poster on display said was that the pro-gay agenda in schools is a result of the nation no longer accepting the authority of God’s word, which is surely a fair and accurate assessment of the current situation. Pastor Simpson explained to the man that children in schools should not be encouraged, for example to consider changing their gender, and thus risk exposing themselves to the traumatic physical consequences of taking such action, which could then, some years later, be deeply regretted. It is God who immutably fixes the gender of every single human being.
When Pastor Simpson asked the man to put forward his arguments without continually using four letter vulgarities, he just walked off in disgust, uttering a further insult.
This incident shows how the gay rights movement so often appears completely unwilling to countenance any public questioning of their stance, whereas they demand a never-ending public endorsement of their Bible-rejecting morality.
May the Lord be pleased to open the heart of this man, and of others who opposed in High Wycombe upon those day. Indeed, may many others who heard a word of precious gospel truth be mobbed to consider the danger that they are in, until they flee to the Lord Jesus Christ.