Are you ready to join the apostles Paul, John, and Peter in being imprisoned for your faith? The plain truth is that if you are a conservative Christian with Protestant views, and you actually believe what the Bible teaches (instead of what you want it to teach), then the day won’t be far away when this becomes a reality.
The UK has a ‘Commission for Countering Extremism’ headed up by someone with the interesting name of Ms Sara Khan. You shouldn’t read everything into a name, just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But reading the fly-leaf, or in this case looking more closely at what this Commission is up to, helps to deepen one’s accuracy of judgement on such matters. And doing so ought to awaken any sincere Christians to the imminent and seemingly inevitable moment coming when we are once again, like John Bunyan, going to be locked up for saying the unsayable.
And what is that unsayable? Well, there are two areas in which it is likely to be found. Firstly on doctrinal matters, especially those pertaining to what the Bible actually says and teaches. And secondly on moral matters, once again pertaining to what the Bible actually says and teaches.
One fundamental doctrinal matter over which we are likely to find ourselves in hot water will be making the simple and biblical statement that eternal salvation comes through faith in Christ alone. Even though Scripture is absolutely clear over this matter (Ephesians Chapter 2 being a simple text for proving this – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”) it has become clear that the law of the land is not going to protect those who make this statement in public for much longer.
Only last year, seeking to clarify the legal position on this, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a UKIP peer, asked the House of Lords if they would “confirm unequivocally that a Christian who says that Jesus is the only son of the one true God cannot be arrested for hate crime or any other offence, however much it may offend a Muslim or anyone of any other religion?” The spokeswoman for the Government, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, did not give a clear answer, saying instead that the legal definition of “hate crime” has been the same for the past 10 years.
As for moral matters on which the Bible is unequivocal in its teaching, we will soon find that in the defence of the much touted, but never defined, ‘British values’ anyone who dares step out of line by publicly quoting, or relying on arguments based on Bible teaching on such matters as the family, divorce, sexuality, the value of unborn life, and so on (*see below), will not merely be chased across social media and in the newspapers, but will have legal charges placed against them. As others have rightly said about the Commission’s work: “We suspect that the real target will be the Bible and those who dare publicly to proclaim it.”**
So, I ask once again, are you ready to be imprisoned for your faith just as were the apostles? It is coming once again for those whose faith is more than skin deep. The time of quiet and comfortable Christianity in the UK is over. Your faith will be tested and you’ll either back down and keep silent, or you’ll fail in the keeping of the Great Commission and all that leads to.
On a personal note. I’m not ready in one sense, who could be? But in another, as Chairman of the Protestant Truth Society, I’m surprised I haven’t yet found myself in hot water with our ‘oh-so-right-on’ authorities as they seek to peddle not merely Marxist ideology, but plain and simple anti-Christian ideology. Are you ready? You need to be. And when the moment does arrive, remember, Christ is with you, and the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say. So don’t try and placate the accusers, speak Christ instead.
*I’m not going to seek all the Biblical quotations to defend these various positions. Both New Testament and Old Testament are utterly clear on these matters – and they only support a conservative, traditional, position.
**The British Church Newspaper – Editorial. 16/1/2019