Often in my public talks, I point to the United Kingdom as an example of where the U.S. could be headed as our increasingly secularized culture gives up the authority of the Word of God. Well, a recent report in the UK’s Telegraph demonstrates once more the intolerance many people have toward Christianity—especially in a secular country like the UK.
According to the Telegraph article, U.S. citizen Tony Miano was preaching on a street in London when he was arrested. What was his crime? He supposedly violated “the controversial clause of the Public Order Act which bans ‘insulting’ words or “behavior.” Now, as you’ve probably guessed, this man was not actually trying to “insult” people. As the article reports, he was “delivering a sermon about ‘sexual immorality,’” and was arrested particularly for speaking out against homosexual behavior.
The reporter explained that this man, a former police officer in the U.S., was reported to UK authorities by a passer-by:
He was speaking from a passage from Thessalonians which mentions “sexual immorality” and listed homosexuality alongside “fornication” as examples [of] what he believed went against “God’s law”.
A woman out shopping called the police to complain that she was offended, prompting two officers to be dispatched to arrest him.
The London-based Christian Legal Centre reported that they are seeing such anti-Christian things like this more often. Of course, we can’t always rely on reporting to be accurate from newspapers for stories like this, so there’s always the possibility that we don’t know all the facts. But on the face of it, this UK incident appears to be a clear case of intolerance of Christianity in the UK.
Miano was released with no charges filed against him. But you know, with the continuing widespread acceptance of homosexual behavior in the U.S.—including ardent support from our own president—how long will it be before Christians will be arrested for saying it is sin?
This sort of treatment, however, should not surprise the Christian. Jesus Christ warns us in John’s Gospel that we will experience persecution because of the name of Christ:
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. (John 15:18–21)
What is clear in the UK and in the U.S. is that unbelievers are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and are increasingly being intolerant of Christians and the Christian message. Christians are being targeted for teaching what the Bible says. Regardless of the opposition, however, we must stand firmly on the Word of God and preach the gospel boldly, remembering what the Apostle Paul told us:
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5–6)
Yes, I believe the U.S. is heading in the same direction as the UK in regard to an increasing intolerance of the Christian message.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,