The gospel was being proclaimed in the centre of Stamford Hill, north London, by Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood on October 7th. Stamford Hill has a sizeable population of orthodox Jewish people, who are very obvious by their manner of dress, particularly the men wearing long black coats and having special tassels in their hair. It was actually delightful to see how modestly the Jewish young women and girls were dressed with smart black skirts.
A Roman Catholic lady walked by and was very upset by one of the posters on display, 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’. She said that she was deeply offended and that God loves everyone. The preachers should not talk about judgement, and she accused them of ‘targeting’ certain groups in society.
She was told in response that it is necessary to confront the prevailing and fashionable sins of the day, and that this is always done in the context of ALL people without exception being sinners and needing Christ’s salvation.
An elderly Jewish orthodox man said that money was all that mattered in life and that the message of the Christians was “absolute rubbish”.
Another middle-aged Jewish gentleman in the full Jewish dress and distinctive hat received an evangelistic tract as if interested, and then took great delight in ceremoniously tearing it up into little pieces. Pastor Simpson told him that he had just turn up torn up the word of God including the words of the prophet Isaiah referring to Christ : “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2), words which he presumably would recognise to be authoritative.
The two preachers observed a distinct hardness to the proclaiming of the gospel amongst the Jewish community, with many resolutely looking the other way, but at least a few stopped and read the posters on display. It is our duty of love to reach out to them, for the gospel is “to the Jew first”.
The two pastors spoke with a non-Jewish young man who also asked why anyone should take issue with the LGBT lifestyle. He was told that it was not a matter of the personal opinion of the preachers, but of what the Bible plainly teaches. Society is foolishly rejecting the moral law of God. Pastor Simpson challenged him to consider the basic physical reality that the human body is not designed for homosexual activity. He sadly disputed this. In the ensuing discussion the young man was encouraged to think about the fact that he personally is in grave trouble before the holy God because of his sin.
May the Lord opened his eyes to see this and indeed the eyes of many others to whom the word of God was proclaimed in Stamford Hill.