Christian preachers win appeals over shopping centre sermon

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    Christian preachers win appeals over shopping centre sermon

    In March I reported a story about two preachers in Britain who were convicted of preaching the gospel.

    Street preachers who quoted Bible convicted in 'modern-day heresy trial' - Christforums

    I have good news. Their conviction was overturned on appeal.

    Two street preachers who were fined for a sermon delivered to shoppers have won appeals against their convictions.

    Michael Overd, 53, and Michael Stockwell, 51, were convicted of a religiously-aggravated public order offence in February.

    But judges at Bristol Crown Court said it was not proved the offence was religiously aggravated.

    After the hearing, Mr Overd said he was a "Christian soldier" and would return to preach.

    The men were filmed in July 2016 preaching at Broadmead Shopping Centre in Bristol.

    Mr Overd, of Creech St Michael, Somerset, and Mr Stockwell, of Selden, New York, were fined £300 each and also ordered to jointly pay court costs of £3,372.

    But His Honour Judge Picton overruled the conviction, saying he was "conscious of the right of freedom of speech and freedom of expression".

    Speaking outside court, Mr Overd said he was "very sad" that "this is what this country has come to".

    "This is not an isolated case. How many times must we go to court before there is respect for the law?

    "My heart bleeds for this country, but I am a patriot and I will be back on the streets to preach." 'Great victory'

    Mr Overd added: "My life is not my own. I am a Christian soldier and I rejoice in this prosecution."

    Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which supported the men, said the ruling was a "victory for freedom of speech".

    Mr Stockwell added: "People should be free to express their beliefs in public, without risk of harm, violence or other repercussions.

    "That's why today's result is such a great victory."
    Christian preachers win appeals over shopping centre sermon - BBC News
    Clyde Herrin's Blog

    #2
    Very good news indeed. Though it is horribly tragic that GB has descended to that level where it would even be an issue to call street preaching worthy of prosecution there. I wonder if they'd affect the same offense toward an Imam teaching the Qur'an openly on the streets?

    Comment


      #3
      Even in the United States it can be illegal street preaching is legal, because people have a choice whether or not to listen. But, having a captured audience is illegal. Personally, I agree with the law. We not long ago had a preacher arrested for preaching the gospel outside a DMV to people in line. A lot of my Christian friends were upset, and I asked why? What if you were stuck in line and had to listen to an imam for 45 minutes? Or the communist manifesto? How about a Buddhist sitting and chanting? Freedom of speech doesn't cover captured audiences. On a street corner they can listen, or keep walking. The preacher had multiple warnings and asked to leave by the police, but refused. Jesus said, if they don't want to listen, leave.

      Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

      Comment


        #4
        Well Kteas1, you bring up a very good point. I was a missionary where my senior encouraged us to street preach. I never like it much, even in the ghetto the people have their own ideas what the Bible says. Most black people grew up either in a Christian environment or a "hate" environment.
        Last edited by deade; 02-02-2018, 07:27 AM. Reason: Typo

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          #5
          I think Ray Comfort does a great job. He interacts a lot with people. I think, the right personality and a good location is essential. And a good topic that would get people engaged. Then discussed the issue with a biblical view.

          Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

          Comment


          • Sue D.
            Sue D. commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, the right personality and location are important as well as the topic.

          #6
          It is hardly a captive audience in a shopping mall, particularly as that area is known for open air preaching of various faiths. People can keep walking quite easily.

          What is concerning is that his original conviction for religious hate was by District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi (details here) who suggested he should not quote certain verses. However, the same judge was the first judge allowed to rule on Sharia tribunals (details here). Surely allowing him to judge a case which may be religious hate against his own faith is a conflict of interest, and he should have recused himself?

          Comment


          • Sue D.
            Sue D. commented
            Editing a comment
            And he's a District Judge in This country? Why would That be allowed in the 1st place.

          • deade
            deade commented
            Editing a comment
            Read the articles Sue D, the judge is in England.

          • Sue D.
            Sue D. commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks 'deade' -- I feel sorry for England.

          #7
          Ray Comfort is a small man, not very tall at all, but a giant in evangelism. I have watched him preach on TV, he is such a blessing and an encouragement to go out and witness. His web site it Living Waters. and well worth your time to go and view his videos.

          Comment


          • Sue D.
            Sue D. commented
            Editing a comment
            I just Googled Ray Comfort -- it seems that he believes that a person not only accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior -- but -- has to be giving up sinning Period. That 'Lordship Salvation' ? means that a person lives Completely for the Lord -- Lord of your life, okay, but that does Not mean living in sinless perfection and apparently that's what he promotes. That Almost sounds like a works' based assurance of Keeping the person's salvation. There are Lots of other articles that are positive about him.

          #8
          Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
          It is hardly a captive audience in a shopping mall, particularly as that area is known for open air preaching of various faiths. People can keep walking quite easily.

          What is concerning is that his original conviction for religious hate was by District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi (details here) who suggested he should not quote certain verses. However, the same judge was the first judge allowed to rule on Sharia tribunals (details here). Surely allowing him to judge a case which may be religious hate against his own faith is a conflict of interest, and he should have recused himself?
          I use to preach at rescue missions. I called those poor souls a captive audience, because they didn't eat until I was finished preaching. I said I would preach where ever I was asked, and those missions asked a lot. In the winter those poor men needed a bath and clean clothes, sometimes those guys were shaved and clean smelling, sometimes not so much. I never had any of those men say they wanted to be saved, but often they came up and told me how they once used to go to church every Sunday. It was very sad in deed.

          But never say a place is a bad place to preach.

          Comment


          • Sue D.
            Sue D. commented
            Editing a comment
            Unfortunately churches can be cruel. A person almost has to meet a certain standard in order to be accepted.

          • Eric T.
            Eric T. commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi Justme. Your story reminds me of Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, where (many years ago) I sang with my church youth group one evening. They did things the same way. You were provided a good meal and even overnight lodging if needed, but not until you sat still for a gospel presentation. Although the attendees of such gatherings are very sad, there is much good work being done there, as folks are shown the love of Christ and also being told the good news. Many are saved and restored to useful positions in society.

          #9
          EricT My dear Pastor, friend and mentor Less Gentry used to be at P G and worked there many many years ago. His story on how he got saved as a drunken sailor was recorded and on the radio several times. That dear old friend supported P G until his death in 2006. Oh how I loved that deal soul. He is with the Lord now. I will be so glad to see him when I go home too.

          Comment


            #10
            Sue, Ray Comfort is 1,000% dedicated to Jesus Christ, I know he knows there is no such thing as sinless perfection. He is a fanatic for Jesus there is no doubt i agree. He uses the law to show people they are sinners. AS a added information up until sometime in 1850 the law was still used in preaching to prove we are sinners and need to come to Jesus Christ. Sometime during those great revivals in the early 1900 Evangelist stop using the law. They began to ask people to come ask Jesus in your heart. They has soft music playing during the invitation in those tent revivals. Billy Graham used those that same style when he gave an invitation.

            Comment


            • Sue D.
              Sue D. commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for sharing that info. It seems that those who are taking a strong stand For Jesus Christ / Godliness Are found fault with. People have to find Some reason to discredit him.

            #11
            Originally posted by justme View Post
            Sue, Ray Comfort is 1,000% dedicated to Jesus Christ, I know he knows there is no such thing as sinless perfection. He is a fanatic for Jesus there is no doubt i agree. He uses the law to show people they are sinners. AS a added information up until sometime in 1850 the law was still used in preaching to prove we are sinners and need to come to Jesus Christ. Sometime during those great revivals in the early 1900 Evangelist stop using the law. They began to ask people to come ask Jesus in your heart. They has soft music playing during the invitation in those tent revivals. Billy Graham used those that same style when he gave an invitation.
            justme, I said I did not like the street preaching but preaching to people that come into the mission for help is different. Maybe it is not quite right to make them sit through a service before getting help, but I have seen good things come of it too. I did my mission work in Oakland, CA during the late 80's and early 90's. We ran rehab homes right during the crack cocaine epidemic. I have seen the Lord clean up some really nasty people. It seems the ones you have the most trouble with coming in, make the greatest change coming out.

            Comment


              #12
              Good news.Thanks for the OP.

              I am praying the Good Lord will send out more street preachers preaching the Truth.

              Dear Jesus, raise up more Arthur Blessitts and John Wesleys the world over! Praying also for the diminishing of the "evangelism"/missionary efforts and activities of other non-biblical belief systems in whatever arena in which they occur. Thank you for it, Lord!

              In the name of Jesus, Amen.
              Last edited by Kingdom Citizen; 02-17-2018, 12:24 PM.

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