Interesting days in England and it probably indicates what the so-called progressive left eventually wants to see happen in North America.
A new law is being debated in England’s House of Commons and if passed, the government’s revised Policing and Crime Bill will see the penalty for a “racially or religiously aggravated offense” increased from its current seven-year imprisonment to 14 years.
Since the revised law implies that a person could be thrown in jail for simply offending someone, during the debate UKIP Member of Parliament Lord Pearson asked the following question of the government:
“Could such an offense be caused by a Christian preaching the supreme divinity of Christ and thereby denying the supremacy of Muhammad? Would various assembled Muslims be free to regard that as a religiously aggravated offense under this section?”
He wanted to know if a person could be thrown in jail for simply stating their belief Jesus is Lord? As an opposition party, UKIP led the charge in England’s decision to leave the European Union.
Rather than saying there was absolutely no way a person could go to jail over a theological disagreement, speaking on behalf of the government Baroness Williams replied:
“It is a matter for the court and the CPS to determine the points that he makes.”
After hearing her response, Christian Concern’s Andrea Williams expressed her outrage:
“Free speech is fundamental to a free society…. Free speech is meaningless if it does not include the right to offend. It is shocking that a Christian could face prison for proclaiming the supreme divinity of Christ….
The fact that Jesus is Lord over all is the hope of our nation. It is at the very heart of Christianity which has provided the moral and spiritual foundations of our society for centuries. People should be free to declare Christ’s Lordship in every area of public life.
The government should change its position and immediately clarify for the courts that preaching that Jesus is God will not be an offense under the act.”
Christian Concern provides legal support to Christians facing discrimination for their faith in England, a growing concern in that country.
So with Christians possibly facing imprisonment for simply speaking of the Lordship of Jesus, where is the opportunity you ask?
Well this is exactly the same political quagmire that Christ and His disciples faced when preaching the gospel.
One incident in particular riled the scribes who were looking for opportunity to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. They had the nagging suspicion Jesus considered Himself the Son of God and were looking for opportunity to nail the Lord with this accusation.
But then Jesus did something completely unheard of — He healed a paralyzed man by saying his sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:1-8).
And the man was immediately healed.
Without saying it, Jesus’ actions spoke louder than His words. Without directly calling Himself the Son of God, Jesus performed a miracle that only God could do.
The healing dumbfounded the scribes and amazed the people.
8 But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (Matthew 9:8 NASV)
As the secular left tries to tie the mouths of Christians, I believe God wants to unleash believers in exactly the same way – with miracles.
If it is against the law to say Jesus is Lord, then lay hands on the sick and heal them.
Actions always speak louder than words.
I believe the Holy Spirit is ready to empower Christians in an unprecedented way. He only needs believers willing to pray for the sick.
The Holy Spirit needs people willing to step out of their comfort zone and deliver the power gifts — prophetic words and words of wisdom and knowledge — not in the church, but in the world.
Jesus told His disciples:
12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12 NASV)
Do you believe that?
Then expect God to use you for miracles. Faith needs expectation.
- Meet the Christian who may spend years in prison for preaching Christ: Charisma News
- A transcript of the debate in England’s House of Commons: Hansard
- Christians at risk of years in prison for preaching Christ: Christian Concern