Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners, with Mrs Pilkington engaging in many gospel conversations with passers-by.
The preachers were standing opposite a statue of the great Puritan, John Hampden, who valiantly contended for the liberties of Englishmen against royal absolutism doing the Civil War (1642-1651), and of whom the great preacher, Richard Baxter, said, “(He) was one that (both) friends and enemies acknowledged to be most eminent for prudence, piety and peaceable counsel”. How our hard-won liberties are again under threat today, as those who endeavour to uphold Biblical truth often find themselves being ‘cancelled’ by society generally and by the powers that be, even to the extent of being thrown out of their work, simply for believing what the word of God teaches.
An elder man, who said that he leads worship in a local church, came up to Pastor Simpson, and told him that what he was doing was all wrong. He described the preaching in derogatory terms, and as being no more than ‘shouting at people’. The minister endeavoured to explain that raising one’s voice in public proclamation was not shouting at people, but was merely a means by which as many people as possible walking by would be able to hear the most urgent message that they could possibly hear, namely the need to repent of sin and trust in Christ, that they might escape from the wrath to come.
Pastor Simpson also endeavoured to explain to the man complaining how the Lord has mightily used open air preaching in times past in this country, and was such a vital means of propagating God’s truth. Should John Wesley and George Whitefield never have engaged in such open air proclamation? Was the 18th century Great Awakening in which public preaching played such a prominent part an awful mistake?
The man responded that God loves everyone, and the method of witnessing being employed was therefore totally unsuitable. This denigration of the God-ordained and noble ordinance of preaching and the calling of sinners to repentance is tragic, and that professing Christians openly encourage this rejection of preaching is indeed most distressing. Truth must be proclaimed from the housetops. When 3,000 were converted on the Day of Pentecost, we are told in Acts chapter 2 : “Peter, standing up with the eleven, LIFTED UP HIS VOICE”. How else could the great crowds in Jerusalem have heard him? Furthermore, not once did Peter say, “God loves you”, but he rather confronted the thousands of people directly with their sin of having caused the Lord Jesus to be put be to death (see verse 23).
A young woman came up to Pastor Simpson and said that the Christians were creating disorder and causing distress to the many schoolchildren who were round about. The preachers had no right to try and force their views on the youngsters, she said. The minister made the point in response that no force was being employed, but that the children were voluntarily interacting with the Christians, and were perfectly free to ignore them, if they wished to.
In God’s providence up to 40 schoolchildren were hearing the gospel. About half of them accepted gospel tracts. Very few of them, however, knew the gospel basics, and so some responded in disbelief and also with mockery. Others, thankfully, did listen and asked questions. The youngsters were very accepting of all things LGBT. One boy aged about 13, who was wearing make-up and so who was presumably influenced by transgender ideas, responded very emotionally when hearing about the Lord’s deep love for sinners who repent. May the Lord continue to speak to his heart.
What was so distressing to observe was the manner in which so many young people have been thoroughly indoctrinated by the gross anti-Christian deception of the LGBT activists. The schoolchildren claimed that the preachers were wrong in saying homosexuality is sinful because “God loves everyone”. Pastor Simpson responded by asking them if God loves those who commit adultery? He offers them mercy, if they repent, but are they basking in His love as they delight in carrying on with their sin? Of course not. The wrath of God lies upon them (Romans 1:18).
At one stage, two policewomen turned up at the scene, saying that they had received a complaint about the preaching. They first spoke to Mrs Pilkington, who explained what the message of the witnessing Christians was, and used the opportunity to make known some gospel truth to the policewomen themselves! Several of the young school children told the officers that the preachers had said they were going to hell because of the way that they were dressed. This of course was quite inaccurate. What the preachers had said is that men must not dress as women and vice versa, because God has fixed their sex, and because His word explicitly forbids cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5). Furthermore, the Lord requires that all people dress themselves with an appropriate modesty. The police officers took a copy of the literature being handed out, and decided after speaking to Mrs Pilkington not to speak to the preachers about the complaint received. They then left the scene.
One schoolgirl told Pastor Simpson that he was entitled to his views, but that he should not try and ‘force’ them on other people. This comment was made in the context of the preachers’ declaration that homosexuality is sinful.
Pastor Simpson asked the girl if she had ever been to a Pride parade, because he had attended many as a Christian preacher. Whatever Pride parades are for, he explained, there is no doubt that their primary purpose is to declare to the whole of society that it must accept the LGBT lifestyle, and embrace wholeheartedly this Bible-rejecting morality. Any who dare not to embrace it must be stigmatised as nasty bigots : that is the clear message of the parades. How strange it is, given this reality about LGBT activism in trying to change the way people think, with threats of ostracisation if they do not conform, that Christians are accused of forcing their views on others!
How tragic it was to see 13-year-old girls totally given over to the propaganda of the LGBT activists. Pastor Simpson told them that they were trying to be wiser than God and that they were hopeless slaves to the fashion of the day. What have the politicians, the media and the educational establishment done to the young minds of our children?
Nevertheless, gospel light shone forth in Aylesbury upon this day. May the Lord be pleased to bring these young ones out of their satanic darkness and into the glorious light of the Saviour of sinners, our Lord Jesus Christ.