Christian Street Evangelists Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell have been convicted as criminals for preaching the message of God’s salvation to the lost.
Using the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, prosecutor Ian Jackson has successfully condemned two street evangelists in Bristol Magistrates’ Court for preaching the Word of God in public.
Outside a shopping mall in Bristol, street preachers Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell stood faithful to the Great Commission given by Jesus to his followers (Matthew 28:19) and preached God’s message of salvation from sin to the British public.
Risking ridicule, scorn and contempt in an attempt to save the lost, most would have “hidden their light under a bushell”, but these two Christians stood firm and preached a message of salvation from sin – without compromise!
Mr Overd told the crowd: “Mohammed is a liar and a thief (1 John 2:22), just like you and me…Buddha isn’t on the cross – he is a liar, just like you and me (Romans 3:23)”. The preachers also stated that marriage was between one man and one woman (Ephesians 5:31) and that anything else was abhorrent (Leviticus 18:22), as well as naming other religions and saying they led to the “very depths of hell” (Acts 4:12).
Whether you agree or disagree with this style of preaching, the basic message is straight from the Bible and is thus claiming to be true. As such this conviction is excruciatingly close to declaring open pronouncements of the Bible illegal. Lest you feel this is reading too much into this ruling, it is worth noting that Mr Overd found himself hauled into caught under similar charges in 2015 where a judge convicted him for quoting the “wrong verse of Scripture” in a conversation with a homosexual!
These preachers believe the message they preach is true and seek to convince others of its truth. Homosexual, Muslim and atheist activists believe the message the evangelists preach is false, but rather than allow the public to decide which worldview is true based on the strength of the arguments, the latter seek to silence their ideological opponents using the coercive force of government. This is a shameful, anti-intellectual and utterly anti-British approach and should be condemned by all who value the blood-stained freedoms we enjoy in Great Britain.
The societal, moral and intellectual heights reached in this country are a direct result of the freedom of citizens to openly debate and express their ideas without fear of physical violence or government sanction. Yet rather than protect the right of these Christians to expound the Bible’s teachings the Government has had them silenced and arrested.
If it truly is the case that we have “laws” on our books that place a person’s right not to be offended above the right of another to argue for the veracity of his beliefs, then we are in a sorry state indeed, having abandoned the very virtues that put us on the map in the first place.
Sadly the situation appears even more dire than the Government simply elevating the right not to be offended above the right to freely discuss and debate in public. Not only is this Government engaged in shutting down debate if anyone claims offense, but it is engaged in promoting and endorsing the right of certain groups to be heard whilst silencing and sanctioning others.
Whilst many of the statements made by the Christians may have caused offense to non-Christians the reverse happens on a daily basis and the Government couldn’t care less. Christians find comments made by Muslims, homosexual activists and militant atheists about Jesus, God and traditional marriage extremely offensive, yet these groups are never arrested for proclaiming their ideological positions in public!
The “inequality under the law” and favouritism promoted and endorsed by this Government is even more glaring when one considers the sheer amount of offense poured out against Christianity by various anti-Christian groups on a daily basis. Two lone voices preaching on a street corner cannot compare to the daily onslaught against Biblical Christianity perpetrated by the “progressive” main stream media and the public school system.
Even more shameful is the fact that Christians are actually being forced to fund the hatred against them via taxation which supports the public school system and Britain’s tax-payer funded ‘progressive’ propaganda machine – the BBC. Aided and abetted by Government enforced propaganda and a liberal-progressive mainstream media, anti-Christian groups have done a very good job of making the public extremely hostile to Biblical Christianity.
The public preaching of Christian doctrine that lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of Mr Overd and Mr Stockwell has far more to do with the prolonged atheist assault on our Christian heritage supported by a progressive elite in Government, than it does to do with the Christian evangelists who did what Christians have always done in our great nation, namely preach God’s Word.
If the Government actually upheld the British value of equality under the law then surely the New Atheist and ‘progressive’ attacks against Christianity that have so successfully convinced a large portion of the public to hate Bible-believing Christians should be condemned as incitement to religious hatred! Calling the God of the Bible an “immoral monster” and worse is surely as bad as calling Mohammed a “thief and a liar” yet we do not see Richard Dawkins arrested for openly inciting hatred of Christians despite his obvious calls to ridicule and marginalise them.
This ruling from Bristol Magistrates’ Court further marginalises Bible-believing Christians from society. Every avenue for Christians to evangelise and share their faith is gradually being closed by Government edict whilst atheist and homosexual propaganda is shown the red carpet at every opportunity. Christians are now further limited in their ability to defend themselves in the public arena and provide answers to the fallacious and “ridiculous” narrative created by Christianity’s enemies – a narrative that bombards the British public every day!
The root cause of this Government enforced marginalisation of Biblical Christianity is the ludicrous attempt to legislate away “hate”. The whole notion of “hate crimes” and the right not to be offended is utterly farcical. How can a society function if a person or group can make criminals out of their ideological opponents by a simple claim of offense?
The end result will simply be that intellectual and societal advancement is stifled because people cannot risk jeopardising their careers and livelihood by standing up for a political, moral or social cause. Even more worrying is that these laws create a perfect milieu for tyrannical government to take hold. Granting government the power to arrest and prosecute those who refuse to tow the current government’s ideological line does not a free and prosperous society make!