Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood, along with Mr Graham Parkhouse, were proclaiming Jesus Christ crucified and risen in the centre of Slough on June 4th. Pastor Simpson preached on Acts 17:30-31, 

“God … now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained” (Acts 17:30–31). 

He explained how becoming a Christian is literally a matter of life and death, of eternal life and eternal death. “Where will you spend eternity”?, he challenged the passers-by. All men  deserve to die, to have their blood shed, because of their sin, but God in His mercy has provided a substitute, a sacrificial lamb, who has shed His blood in the sinner’s place to satisfy the demands of God’s justice.  As the preacher was declaring these truths, including the reality of all without exception being guilty of sin, a woman going past claimed that she was not a sinner. Pastor Simpson responded by saying that she had in effect just accused God of telling lies, and that in any case, she surely cannot possibly claim with any smidgen of seriousness that she has never, for example, had a sinful thought, such as harbouring hatred for someone.  She sadly did not stop to give a reply to these points. 

At one stage Pastor Simpson had a brief conversation with a Muslim who insisted that the Bible was corrupted, and that by even calling it ‘the Bible’, the Christians were guilty of changing what God had revealed, because its proper name is the ‘Injil’. Sadly, the man did not stay to hear the minister’s response to this common claim, but the Quran itself states that the writings of Moses, the Psalms and the Gospels are the work of God Himself, and Surah 6:34 states that “there is none that can alter the words of Allah”. So the Muslim claim that the Bible has been corrupted is actually a denial of the Quran’s own teaching! 

Pastor Simpson also had a more lengthy discussion with two Muslim schoolboys, who also denied the authority of the authority pf the Bible and argued that Jesus was not the Son of God. The minister gently responded, as he thought it was relevant to do so, that the Muslims’ freedom publicly to denounce cherished Christian teachings in itself the fruit of the beneficial influence of Christianity in the nation, with its great emphasis on loving one’s neighbour and even loving one’s enemies. However, great intolerance of any public denial of Islamic teaching is a primary characteristic of societies in majority-Muslim contexts. 

The schoolboy asked, Why do you support the invasion of Iraq (which took place in 2003). Pastor Simpson replied that he did not support that invasion, and that in any case he did not represent the British government, about which there is nothing particularly Christian; he was rather an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ. The minister then asked the Muslim schoolboy if he was a good person, and he seemed fairly confident that he was. Was he going to heaven?, he was further asked. The boy stated that Allah would be merciful, to which the minister responded, But does not Allah have to punish us for all our sins, if he is a just God, just as a judge in a secular court has no authority to bypass the punishments with the law requires, even if the defendant shows some contrition, because justice must be done. How can Allah be merciful, whilst at the same time upholding perfect righteousness? It is of course only Biblical Christianity which can answer this question by pointing to the justice-bearing death of the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners. 

The conversation with the Muslim schoolboys was thankfully calm and amicable. The preacher had to work hard to get them to take a tract, which they did not wish to do, but he challenged them about whether they were open-minded or not, and thankfully they did receive one in the end. May the Lord open up their understandings, and rescue them from the Christ-rejecting errors of Islam. May the Lord indeed open the eyes of many others who heard Biblical truth proclaimed in Slough  High Street upon this day.