John Sherwood, the 72-year-old street preacher arrested for “hate speech” early last year, has had the charges acquitted.
In April 2021, London police ‘pulled the open-air preacher from his platform,’ cuffed, then imprisoned him, after police were ‘flagged down by a member of the public,’ who claimed the Pastor ‘had made “homophobic” comments.’
Sherwood’s colleague, Peter Simpson broke news of the win for freedom of speech outcome in a piece for Conservative Woman UK.
“This represents some welcome relief in the assault upon Christian liberties in contemporary Britain,” he said.
Simpson explained, prior to his arrest, Pastor Sherwood had been
‘Speaking on Genesis chapter 1, verses 27 and 28, which read: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply.’
Sherwood’s alleged blasphemy against the LGBTQ+ political religion was simply reading from 2,000+ years of Biblical Christian teaching. By which he affirmed the biological union of man with, and for woman, and woman with, and for man – both with, for, and under God.
Simpson said, the open-air ‘presentation’ was part of a ‘general Christian message’ declaring that ‘all people have sinned, and need to come to Jesus Christ for salvation.’
Discussing the court case, Simpson recounted,
‘The public gallery was full with Christians showing their support for a man of God who is willing to stand up for the truths of Scripture in the public realm, despite the prevailing anti-Christian spirit of the age and the blatant promotion of the doctrines of cultural Marxism in all our major national institutions.’
He added that the trial was full of scripture, with John Sherwood maintaining ‘that everything that he ever preaches upon is grounded in the final authority of God’s word, the Bible.’
According to Simpson, ‘during his defence Pastor Sherwood explained that at no time was he attacking or disparaging any individuals.’
He was calling all people to repentance.
However, “no true Christian minister would be true to his calling if he deliberately avoided mentioning the prevailing sins of his own day,” Simpson exclaimed.
Sherwood’s defence leaned on Article 10 of the 1998 United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act, which states,
‘Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.’
While the outcome is good news for Christians besieged by an increasing amount of discriminatory lawfare from “love is love” jackboot activism, Simpson cautioned against complacency, saying,
“Despite this favourable outcome, Bible-believing Christians need to remain vigilant. The establishment needs to realise that public Christian testimony is part and parcel of British life, and our police forces need some basic education in the history of this nation. Open-air preaching is a longstanding feature of the British scene, and of our Christianity-based culture and love of freedom.”
The positive outcome trails close behind a Finnish court ruling which acquitted Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola and Päivi Räsänen.
Räsänen was ‘criminally charged’ in May last year for allegedly “violating the equality and dignity of homosexuals.”
At the time, Caldron Pool recounted that Räsänen, who is Finland’s former Interior minister, and leader of the Christian Democrats, had been charged with “hate speech” for posting a picture of the Bible, opened to Romans 1:24-27 on Twitter.
In a 2022 follow-up article, Caldron Pool also reported, the court, ‘threw out all of the charges, saying while Räsänen’s comments may be considered offensive, they did not constitute hate speech, adding: “It is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts.”
While these examples offer hope, they warn of a costly cultural battle, fought by a spiritual enemy whose primary strategy is to suffocate the revelation of God in Covenant and in Jesus Christ, therefore silencing opposition.
This spiritual enemy knows that an individual who removes ‘the sovereignty of God’s love’ from love, inevitably asserts a definition of love that is made in their own image, and is moulded by their own desires.
This distorted assertion can only be revolted against by asserting that love is not Lordless. This is because love is defined who God is, and from what God does.
Wins like these in Finland and Britain above, are a small reprieve in the Left’s culture war on a majority whose patience with the Leftist radical jihadism seems to be wearing thin.
First published on Caldron Pool, 23rd April, 2022.
© Rod Lampard, Caldron Pool, 2022.