A Christian pastor in the UK was arrested by police after a member of the public reported him for the “homophobic” comment of saying that marriage was between a man and a woman.
The incident occurred outside Uxbridge Station in west London. A video clip shows the elderly pastor being confronted by police and forcefully handcuffed before being led away.
“I wasn’t making any homophobic comments, I was just defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. I was only saying what the Bible says – I wasn’t wanting to hurt anyone or cause offence,” said John Sherwood, who has been a pastor for 35 years.
“I was doing what my job description says, which is to preach the gospel in open air as well as in a church building,” he added.
Sherwood was arrested under the Public Order Act, for using “abusive or insulting words” that cause “harm” to another person after a member of the public flagged down officers snitched on him.
Although the pastor was released without charge after spending a night in jail he is still under investigation by the Crown Prosecution Service and could be charged at a later date.
“When the police approached me, I explained that I was exercising my religious liberty and my conscience,” he added. “I was forcibly pulled down from the steps and suffered some injury to my wrist and to my elbow. I do believe I was treated shamefully. It should never have happened.”
The UK is notorious for hate crime laws where authorities will investigate supposed “hate incidents” if the “victim” merely perceives themselves to have been victimized.
Earlier this year, we highlighted how officers in Merseyside took part in an electronic ad campaign outside a supermarket which claimed “being offensive is an offence.”
A video published by the UK government Home Office last year also suggested that insulting someone’s appearance now constitutes a “hate crime,” despite this not being the law.
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
In 2 Timothy 3:12, we are told that in the last days, persecution would come upon all who “live godly in Christ.” In other words, those who live by the Biblical and godly standards outlined in God’s word, which run contrary to the world. It would be the refusal to give up Biblical morality that would cause Christians to be hated/persecuted.
This same chapter also explains that others would be “despisers of those that are good,” people who “resist the truth,” and be “reprobate concerning the faith.”
The Bible tells us that the world in the last days would be like it was in “the days of Lot” (Luke 17:28). In Lot’s day, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, chiefly for the sexual immorality and homosexuality that the cities were given over to (Genesis 19, Jude 1:7).
In Romans chapter one, Paul warns against the sin of homosexuality and, more specifically, the celebration of it as a rebellion against God.
It is this reprobate mind that our society has fallen into, not in the celebration of sins alone (such as homosexuality, abortion, etc.) but also the attempt to force everyone, no matter their convictions, to celebrate and/or participate in such sins. In so doing, society brazenlydisregards and violates religious freedom and freedom of conscience.