Pastors John, Sherwood and Peter Simpson were proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified in the centre of Uxbridge on January 6th. As soon as the ministers began setting up the Bible posters, and before they had started preaching, their presence was immediately noticed and one or two passers-by were coming up and asking questions.
A young Muslim woman approached, Pastor Simpson and asked him, ‘Do Christians, like Muslims, refrain from eating pork’? The minister responded that Christians are totally free to eat pork, and he endeavoured to explain that a person’s purity of conduct is determined, not by his diet, but by the motivation of his heart. He then quoted the Lord’s words in Matthew 15:11,
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matthew 15:11).
The Muslim lady also asked Pastor Simpson, ‘Do Christians believe that Jesus could miraculously speak fully coherently, even when He was a very young baby’? The preacher responded that the Lord Jesus took upon Himself all the infirmities of our human nature, so He would have had to learn to talk and put sentences together, just like any other child, and so would not have been able to speak and hold a conversation having been newly born.
The Muslim then stated that the Quran teaches that Jesus did indeed miraculously spoke from the cradle, as is recorded in Surah 19:30-33. The same chapter also tells us that Mary gave birth to Jesus under a palm tree.
How sad that the Quran refers to the Lord Jesus, but does so in a manner which denies His deity and which adapts and corrupts the truths of God’s inspired word.
One of the lady helpers, Mrs Lesley Pilkington, had conversations with two young lesbians, who stated that the preaching was homophobic, because at one point it implied that homosexuality was sinful. The witnessing sister sought to make clear how all people are sinners by nature, and all need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. One of the young women was quite hostile, but the other actually asked about the way of salvation. As Mrs Pilkington was explaining the gospel to her, one of her friends came up, kissed her and pulled her away, but hopefully some seeds of truth by that time had been sown.
An encouraging conversation also took place with two young Muslim men who wee wearing the traditional Islamic attire of a long long white robe and head covering. They appeared to be angered by the preaching, which of course would have emphasised the Lord Jesus Christ as the only and exclusive Saviour of sinners. As they began to walk away, Mrs Pilkington asked them if she could help them. One answered and said that they felt insulted by the preaching. They were told that there was no intention to insult, but to publicly proclaim to people of other faiths the necessity of faith in Christ as the eternal Son of God and the unique Mediator between God and men is actually an an act of love.
One of the Muslims asked about the difference between the Old and the New Testament, and was told how the Old foreshadows and anticipates the appearance of the Messiah, who is God manifest in the flesh, in the new. A long discussion took place, and the two men were willing to take a tract and a copy of John’s Gospel. May the Lord work mightily in their hearts.
As Pastor Simpson was preaching, a man came up to him and accused him of being homophobic, and others also began to take exception to the poster on display which referred to the LGBT agenda being promoted in schools as an example of how much the nation had abandoned the authority of the Bible. One young man in the crowd shouted out ‘Hail Satan’ and then decided to run off with the offending poster in his hand. He was chased by Pastor Sherwood and others, and thankfully the poster was recovered.
Some from the crowd of onlookers which had formed engaged in strong verbal opposition to the Christian witness. One young lesbian told Pastor Simpson that by calling homosexuality sinful he was guilty of being judgemental, which the Bible tells him not to be. The minister tried to explain to her that a Christian’s whole life consists of making judgements between what is right and wrong, and that she herself had just passed judgement on him as being quite objectionable for simply having stated what the Bible teaches.
There is in fact no blanket condemnation at all of making judgements in the Bible. When the Lord Jesus Christ In Matthew 7:1 says, “Judge not that ye be not judged”, He was referring to the specific instance of hypocritical people who challenge others about their sin before dealing with the even greater sin in their own lives.
However, this verse cannot be abused, as if it were teaching that no Christian should ever express an opinion about other people’s behaviour. If that were the case, no Christian parent, foe example, could ever discipline a child who had done wrong, because he would be judging him; or no one could ever tell another person who has just stolen something that it is wrong to do so, because that would again be to judge.
The Christian, in expressing an opinion on any matter, always starts from the fundamental premise that he himself is a wretched sinner (though now saved by grace and pursuing holiness in the power of the Holy Spirit). It is, in fact, the Christian’s duty to uphold God’s moral law and to make a stand for God’s righteous standards in the midst of a God-rejecting world. When a Christian preacher points out the sinfulness of homosexuality, he is, in fact, offering a gracious warning about the great danger of sin not being repented of.
The Lord Jesus Christ most certainly made judgements concerning others during His earthly ministry. For example, referring to a majority of His own contemporary countrymen, He used the term ‘wicked and adulterous generation’ (Matthew 16:4).
The crowd, which had gathered to listen to this debate included others who were strongly opposed to the preaching. The ministers were criticised along the lines of, ‘What right have you to force your opinions on members of the public and tell them that they are wrong’?
One wonders if those who made such a statement have ever stopped to consider how much the secular establishment, the media, the politicians and the educational system have endeavoured to enforce the opinions of the LGBT lobby upon the rest of society? Not even those who organised the fireworks in central London on New Year’s Eve could resist the temptation to further indoctrinate us by focusing upon the landmark of 50 years of Pride London events and with a special message from LGBT activist, Peter Tatchell. In other words, New Year’s Eve was marked in our capital city by a public trashing of Christian teaching.
Uxbridge, whilst on the western edges of the capital, is of course part of a London borough. So this witness was a wonderful opportunity to shine some Biblical light in our capital after the official celebration of the rejection of the Bible which had taken place on New Year’s Eve. The witness focused on no one particular sin, but nor were the most fashionable sins of our day avoided and skirted around. The Name of Christ was uplifted and the need for sinners to repent and come to Christ was proclaimed. By God’s grace we trust that Satan’s strongholds came under vigorous assault. May God have mercy upon our nation.