Arminian Today

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Arrested for Preaching the Gospel

I recognize that there are many thousands of disciples suffering for the Lord Jesus in many parts of the world.  In places such as China, Iran, Sudan, Vietnam, and many other places, disciples are not just suffering at the hands of evil people but are dying for the gospel.  How many disciples have been killed in the Middle East alone?  So I write this post with an eye not on suffering per se but simply how the West is slowly leading toward this.  A day will come when we will be persecuted in the West for the gospel.  At this point, we must deal with arrests and with mockery more so than with actual violence though I am seeing more and more of that toward open air preachers than before.

In the past day I have read of two brothers arrested by the police for preaching the gospel.  One was a brother at a Florida beach who was arrested for preaching.  In the video I watched, the policeman was harsh toward the open air preacher not because they had violated any law but simply for the message preached.  The policeman vented that people should not be told that they are going to hell in light of mass killings that are taking place today.  They need to hear that God is good and loving and not that He will pour out His wrath on sinners who do not repent.  It was ironic to hear a policeman lecture an open air preacher about how to preach instead of enforcing the law.

In the second event, brother Josh Williamson was arrested in Scotland for preaching the gospel.  His gospel was not offensive other than pleading with sinners to turn from their sins and be saved.  His text was John 8:31-38.  Josh was arrested because some people didn’t like what he said.  The police, rather than enforcing Josh’s right to open air preach, instead arrested him simply because of the offense of the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:23).

All the open air preachers and evangelists I know seek to abide by the laws of the land.  They don’t preach in private places, do not trespass, and are sensitive to the laws.  I don’t doubt there are lone ranger evangelists out there who do violate the laws but we are under obligation to obey just laws according to Romans 13:1-7 and Titus 3:1.  The only time we must violate the laws of the land is when the gospel is being prevented by unjust laws (Acts 5:19-20).  In the West we enjoy, at this time, freedom of speech.  Muslims can preach.  Jehovah’s Witnesses can go door to door as do Mormons.  Atheists can put up signs protesting Ray Comfort.  People are allowed to have public discourse.  But more and more, disciples of Jesus are being silenced simply because of the gospel.  We should expect this (1 Peter 4:12-19) and we know that the world hates us (John 15:18-25; 1 John 2:15-17) but it is disheartening to see places such as a land where John Knox once open air preached in Scotland or here in the United States where open air preaching has been part of our lives since the dawn of our nation, that the police are now seeking to arrest disciples for preaching.

My time has not come.  I have not had any legal issues with police.  I suppose that the South is still pretty conservative toward this issue but I am seeing more and more people hating the message.  I use to read how people would pick up stones to attack John Wesley for preaching justification by faith.  I wondered why would English people despise Wesley’s preaching on salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  Now I know.  People hate this teaching.  They want to believe that we are all going to heaven or that we can earn our salvation by our good works.  When you show them the foolishness of both beliefs, they don’t try to reason with you.  That just hate you and would rather kill you than submit to God’s Word.  Romans 4:5 is a slap in the face of the self-righteous and prideful who think that God is obligated to save them just because they exist.

Let us pray for the West to repent and for the gospel to go forth.  Even if a time comes in the West that we lose our “rights” I pray that we will still preach the gospel until they kill us.  Better to obey God than man.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/21/2013 at 9:21 AM

3 Responses

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  1. Good post. I believe that the light s fading in the West because of the sin and backsliddenness in the church, not just the mechanisations of the Devil. This constantly rebuked my own hypocrisy. Keep the thoughts coming brother. – BPB.

  2. drwayman

    09/21/2013 at 5:16 PM

  3. Hello, I think this might be due to the unwise way the gospel is being preached.

    Most Evangelists in France and Germany have approaches which are utterly inappropriate to gain converts to their Conservative or fundamentalist forms of Christianity in a
    Western secular context.

    Shouting that God is going to eternally torture every human being if
    he does not freely and sincerely believes in Him sounds as meaningful as
    saying that Reptilian Aliens are among us and they are going to devour
    you in three weeks if you don’t adopt five turtles as pets.

    I believe that this rabid evangelism stems from a deep-seated belief
    in eternal torment for anyone not having given his life to Christ on
    this side of the grave.

    This an absurd blasphemous doctrine

    which is completely incompatible with God’s love, from which it
    naturally follows: whoever truly desires to be with Him will be with

    I see Evangelism as simply trying to follow Jesus, letting Him shine
    through my actions and attitude and honestly answering as best I can
    challenging questions.

    Friendly greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son


    09/22/2013 at 3:54 AM

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