The air may be starting to taste like freedom in the UK – but for those in the pulpit, it’s already going stale. A recent flurry of arrests of Christian leaders was brought sharply into focus this month when police in Uxbridge forcefully handcuffed, arrested, and detained a 71-year-old grandfather. Phew. He might have offended someone.
John Sherwood has been a Pastor in North London for 35 years. As part of his Christian calling, he preaches in the open air. Expressing the teachings of scripture is a central component of his faith and identity. If you hear scraping, it’s because local authorities reached the bottom of the barrel on what they could censor him for: the apparent use of “abusive words” that is likely to cause “harassment, alarm or distress”, under the infamous Public Order Act. Bewildered, Sherwood strongly refutes any ill intent. “I was only saying what the Bible says – I wasn’t wanting to hurt anyone or cause offence.” He had preached from Genesis 1:26. Male and female they created them. It’s his basis for the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman – a view held by about 1 in 5 Brits. The elderly man was grilled by police on what he would do if his children were gay.
Writes Lois McLatchie in The Critic. Read the rest of the article here.