A man preaching in the open air from 1 Thessalonians 4, in Wimbledon, London this week was questioned, arrested, charged and imprisoned for seven hours while the police and lawyers worked out if he had committed an offence. One woman from the whole listening crowd (that’s all) made a phone call to the police complaining that the speaker was homophobic, and wanted something done about it. The police duly arrived and dealt with the situation.
I suppose the incident raises a few questions, but how about these for starters:
1. If a pastor or minister preaches something in his sermon which offends a person by suggesting that homosexuality is a sin as recorded in the Bible, would you expect that offended person to call the police?
2. If that offended person in church did phone the police, do you think it right that the ‘suspect’ should be questioned, arrested, charged and imprisoned to await trial for repeating that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin?
3. Is the UK in danger of falling into a police state where faith/belief/thought is an offence punishable by imprisonment? Hence the title question, ‘What Now?’
Now here is a question for my friend ‘Anon’: As a self professing christian, would you have phoned the police if you were in the crowd listening to the street preacher? Anon, you and I have traded many thoughts on this issue, usually in a good and reasoned exchange, so please take the time to read, watch and let me know what you think of the item and videos, bearing in mind that it may open up many other and different issues and questions.
Of course others are also welcome to comment, and that would possibly add another dimension to a two way conversation.