Updated on 03.06.2017 Last week’s ruling by a magistrate’s court in Bristol, convicting two street preachers (Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell) of a public order offence, is just another example of the loss of freedom of speech for Christians in the UK. The prosecutor argued that publicly quoting the King James Bible in modern Britain should “be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter.” During the trial, the prosecutor argued:
To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth.
The men were found guilty under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 of using “threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person . . . and the offence was religiously aggravated.” Although last year British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We must continue to ensure that people feel able to speak about their faith, and that absolutely includes their faith in Christ,”2 this is obviously not the case.
In many ways, being a Christian was like paddling downstream. Most everyone and everything around you reinforced your faith. But today is a much different day. Here are today’s challenges.
In today’s world, it is a challenge to live a Christian life. Our culture’s definition of free speech and tolerance now seems to demand silence for those who disagree.
The world, with all its religious diversity and moral complexity, is literally at our doorstep. Every moment of every day we are confronted with differing beliefs, values, and world views. The Bible is no longer an unquestioned authority and Christianity is losing its place as the dominant religion.
If a teacher were to read C.S. Lewis to her class, she’d likely be fired from her job and well if you tell people about Jesus, you are ostracised for being intolerant, a fundamentalist, or an extremist.
However, remember when the saint’s of God are in the fiery furnish and refuse to give up their faith people who have never seen God will see God in you.
How Should We Speak as Christians?
First, it is important to remember to pray and intercede for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1—2).
Are Afflictions Wordless Prayers? | Walter Bright.
Christianity is not about status or fame or being in control of the culture, but about living day by day under the Lordship of Christ.
I am so glad when it comes to talking with God, we have freedom of speech. We come before Him and He knows what we are going to say, even before we have uttered the words. (Psalm 139:4).
Whatever else we may think about Christian faith, it comes down to this: “Follow me.
The only reason we live is to make God known.
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19—20)
This is a spiritual battle, one in which we must stand firm even in face of those who would seek to silence the gospel.