Teaching the bible in public can land you in jail. At least that is what happened to Dale McAlpine of Cumbria, England. I might understand this if it were in a militant Muslim nation like Indonesia but in England. This is cause for great concern.
The arrest occurred in the famous “speakers corner” of Hyde Park in London. I have been there many times and seen all kinds of speakers practicing their right to free speech. It so happened that Mr. McAlpine is a Christian. He was speaking about sin when he was challenged by a passerby. According to the London paper the Telegraph:
During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness. After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO [Police Community Support Officer] who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr. McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language. The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin.
What is even more troubling than the fact he was arrested was the language written into the police report. The citation stated that the aggravating factor in the incident was that he said his views in a voice loud enough to be heard by others. So by this we can assume that we can have our views as long as we say them under our breath.
I hope this sends a clear signal to all teachers of God’s word: beware! Despite the dangers, however, I pray that men and women will continue to proclaim the truth in love. Satan loves to use incidents like these to silence the gospel. As believers we have an obligation to trust the Lord and let our humility and righteousness silence our critics.
Be sure to keep Mr. McAlpine in your prayers.
HT: Dr. Al Mohler