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Monday, August 8, 2022
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Mocked, reviled and pelted with eggs – a Christian on the Pride front line

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LAST Saturday the 50th annual Pride parade in central London took place. Boris Johnson marked the occasion by saying

‘It gives me the greatest pride to lead a country where you can love whomever you choose to love, and where you can be free to be whoever you want to be . . . Today will see thousands of people, friends and families once more coming together to mark the tremendous milestone of 50 years of our capital’s Pride.’

The Prime Minister might just as well have said: ‘The teachings of the Bible and the opinions of UK citizens who are Christians are of absolutely no consequence to me or my government. I publicly repudiate their outmoded morality, which thankfully has been superseded by the enlightened progressiveness which now characterises modern Britain.’ 

The virtue-signalling festival which was Pride London was a demonstration that Britain’s new religion is to worship at the LGBT shrine. I know this to be the case because I was at the parade myself and saw every minute of it. I was present to preach the gospel with two other pastors and supported by a small band of brave Christian brothers and sisters. Our witness was by arrangement with the Metropolitan Police. We had barriers all around us for our protection as we endeavoured to uphold Biblical truth and proclaim the gospel in the capital city of a nation which has tragically cast off its glorious Christian inheritance.

The parade was publicly supported by Labour Party dignitaries Sadiq Khan, Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner. As the Labour Party contingent in the parade walked past, and when the Co-op float went by, we preachers reminded them of the historic origins of both movements in Methodism, which was grounded in the final authority of Scripture and in preaching the necessity of repentance from sin in order to enter into the kingdom of God. Sadly last weekend the Labour Party and the Co-op were demonstrating how they could not have moved further away from their Christian foundations.

Make no mistake, this parade was all about the rejection of the Christian revelation. It was a manifestation of the profound spiritual malaise within our country. The whole event was in effect a public trashing of the Bible, because what in particular made all the parade supporters so angry at a small group of Christians was quite simply the public displaying of God’s word and the public preaching of it. 

It is frightening how our nation has no qualms about the public mockery of the Christian faith. Consider, for example, the insulting and utterly contemptuous assault on the precious Christian doctrine of the incarnation in this headline on the Metro news website : ‘JESUS HAD TWO DADS – the best signs on display at London Pride’. Would anyone dare to insult the prophet of the Islamic religion in a similar fashion? 

A video report on Sky News used the term ‘religious bigotry’ to describe our Christian testimony. Whatever happened to impartial reporting? Why did the reporter not come over to us and ask some questions? She would have found out that we are perfectly capable of engaging in civilised debate. However, it appears that, according to Sky News, everyone who believes the Bible to be true in respect of its teaching on homosexuality must by definition be an unthinking and unreasonable bigot. 

This is the point which needs to be emphasised: we Christians on the parade route were doing no more than upholding normal, orthodox Biblical doctrine, yet we were subjected to scorn, verbal abuse, obscene hand gestures, girls exposing their breasts, and attempts to vandalise and steal our Bible banners. We were pelted with eggs and even showered with champagne.

The parade supporters tried to drown out the preaching by placing beside us a loudspeaker playing blaring music. They had a vast area of central London given over to them by the authorities to make their point, but they could not bear to let a handful of Christians have ten yards on the pavement of Piccadilly to make our point. Their aim was quite simply to do all that they possibly could to suppress the public proclamation of Biblical teaching. Yet they tell us that they believe in diversity. I complained to the police about the loudspeaker, to no avail. 

We pleaded with many to realise that the fashion of the age does not determine eternal issues of right and wrong. Numerous parade supporters told us that we were full of hate. The reality is that it is an act of love to our neighbour to point out the dangers of sin and the necessity of repentance. To preach the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing which anyone could ever receive. Thankfully, despite all the opposition, some excellent conversations with individual parade supporters did take place, as we endeavoured to explain to them basic Christian teaching, of which a number of them had no previous knowledge.

One of the Bible texts on display read, ‘The PRIDE of thine heart hath deceived thee’ (Obadiah 1:3). This verse well sums up what this enormous ‘celebration’ in central London was all about – the pride in the heart of man which thinks that he is wiser than God in his rejection of the institutions of marriage between one man and one woman, the two immutably fixed genders of male and female, and the family unit headed by a mother and a father. May God have mercy on our Christ-rejecting nation.

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Peter Simpson
Peter Simpson
Pastor Peter Simpson has been Minister of Penn Free Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire since 1990, and is a keen open air preacher.

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