Open-Air Preacher Arrested Twice in Scotland in One Week

Josh Williamson is an Australian who recently moved to the UK to serve the church there. After working in London for a while he was called to Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, Scotland. I had the joy of meeting him in Sydney a few years ago.

Josh is also a street preacher. His style is to get up, boom it out (he has a huge voice – a real gift from God) and tell it straight. As you might expect it has varied responses – God has been very good to him in bringing many to salvation but it also gets him into a spot of trouble now and again because, let’s face it, people don’t like it when they hear the gospel preached.

It seems some people in Perth really didn’t like it and Josh has had the privilege of being arrested not once, but twice in one week for nothing more than opening his mouth and teaching the Bible.

You can read Josh’s own account of the first arrest here and the second here. He has a first-rate handle on the issues involved:

ScotlandPreacherWhen we arrived in the city centre we were greeted with a barrage of noise. At one end of the street was a busker playing loud South American music through an amplifier, and then in the middle of the street was an opera singer who was singing at the top her lungs with amplification.

All in all it was very noisy in the town centre. After walking the street we found a location between the buskers that we thought would be the best location. We didn’t have any amplification so we had to rely on our natural voices (this was going to be hard due to the noise!)

It was a hard open-air as at times I couldn’t even hear myself speak due to the noise coming from the buskers. I had to wonder while I was preaching how the Christian message is classed as a “breach of a peace” but loud music isn’t?

The female sergeant asked me to stop preaching. She told me that complaints had been made, and people were upset with what I was doing. I asked her what law I was breaking, and she said I was in breach of the peace. Around this time the sergeant noticed she was being filmed by my friends. She objected to this, and demanded that they stop. Since it is not illegal to film police in Scotland they continued. This was done because we have been told that legally we need to document what happens. It is for our protection and also for the police protection.

The sergeant kept insisting that the filming stop. When it didn’t I was asked to get into their car so they could talk to me. At this stage I hadn’t been detained or arrested, but I was talking to them of my own free-will. I declined their request to get in the car. At this the sergeant told me that I was being detained, and with that both officers grabbed me by the arms and forced me towards the car.

josh_williamson_arrestvid_320The sergeant told me that I was being detained for breach of the peace. I asked the sergeant why she targeted a preacher without amplification when two buskers were amplified and making much more noise. She replied by saying that people had complained about me.

The sergeant then said I would be given a fixed penalty notice (a ticket / fine) for breach of the peace, and that I would have to cease from my activities. If I had accepted this it would mean that I would not be legally allowed to preach. Biblically I could not accept such a condition as that would mean going against God’s Word. I replied that I would preach again. At this the sergeant placed me under arrest for breach of peace.

What is so striking here is that the issue of “breach of the peace” is clearly no longer being defined simply in terms of the noise level. That wasn’t why Josh was arrested because, as he points out, there were louder buskers either side of him. No, the issue at stake here is that people complained about the content and that was enough. So, as Williamson quite rightly identifies, we are now falling back on an entirely subjective  measure. I say “subjective” because not once did any policeman clearly outline an objective measure of what Josh did wrong.

Christian Concern have taken his case up and we ought to pray that it will end with both an apology to Josh and further clarification on what our rights actually are. Notwithstanding that further clarity, they have a booklet on currently understood rights for street preachers [pdf].

Under our domestic laws, however, Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 makes  it a criminal offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour  with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Whether something can be considered “insulting” is highly subjective and therefore many feel that Section 5 is open to abuse.

Freedom of speech is often tested when it comes to the proclamation of Christian sexual ethics in the public sphere. However, it is completely lawful to preach in public that homosexual acts are sinful.
There is a free speech clause, tabled by Lord Waddington as section 29JA in the Public Order Act 1986, which states that:

“In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred”.

There’s also some helpful stuff on breach of the peace. The bottom line is that Williamson’s rights were clearly violated here. We ought to pray that this matter is rapidly addressed and that Josh and the saints of Craigie Reformed Baptist can continue to respond in grace and with truth.

Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

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29 comments on “Open-Air Preacher Arrested Twice in Scotland in One Week

  1. Came here from Twitter. Interesting. I am 100% for the gospel being preached. However, I am not from the UK and so do not know the free speech laws in those countries, but according to Wikipedia, Scotland has a particularly sensitive “breach of the peace” laws that allow the authorities to stop any behavior that is causing public alarm or annoyance. It seems to me that, if the other laws of the country do not suppress one’s right to practice Christianity and tell people about Christ, then the Christian response to this Scottish “breach of the peace” law is just to follow it–submit to the authorities and stop doing your obnoxiously loud street-preaching, since there is no normative and imperative biblical command for this form of evangelism.

  2. hi Matt,

    Thanks for coming and commenting. Always appreciate that!
    What do you mean by “obnoxiously loud”? The embedded video has the full recording of Josh and I’m not sure that I would use that language about him. If you think it’s justified, though, could you explain a little why.

    Also, while there is no explicit command to preach in this manner it has to, surely, be conceded that it is a consistent pattern of proclamation throughout both Testaments!

    Coming back to the “obnoxious” issue, who can actually define it? As Josh points out there were loud buskers of equal noise-level. So the objection was therefore not to the actual level of the noise but it’s content. In which case doesn’t that concern us? Josh’s message was pretty tame – there were no controversial statements about sexuality etc – and at an equivalent level ot other public performers. In that situation surely it’s more than simple Romans 13 submission to authorities. We have to speak up for not only our rights but those of others.

    Interested to hear your further thoughts.

    • Hi David
      interesting you only refer to the embedded video, there are others were he is being obnoxiously confrontative not on Christ, but on topics that will create an emotive response…it is not about ‘noise’ levels…its about his SHOUTING approach to his fellow human beings.
      As for obnoxious and who can define it.. is just misdirection. When he is approached, gracefully, by an older lady in the other video on chube, he SHOUTS over her. He SHOUTS at anyone who actually tries to engage… Its not about the content, but how he is actually behaving.
      The only time the big guy did this in the NT was AGAINST Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s, not the people he was walking around and within.

      Tell you what… I’ll come up to Perth and come into Craigie Reformed Baptists Church, to one of your public services and I will engage with Josh.. in a similar manner.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1_rwtjvOfw
      We can SHOUT at each other on the merits of the biblical stance of loving your neighbour, the Nature of Adam and Christ as Messiah.

      • hi Alistair,

        I think you’re referring to the encounter at 2:20 in the video you refer to. I’m not sure that he “shouts over her”, I actually thought that he spoke to her directly – although certainly in a voice louder than you or I have.

        As for going up to Perth, you’re certainly welcome to do so although I fear you’ll find it’s illegal to interrupt a church service in that way. You should know, however, that it’s not “my public service” – I minister in Sydney Australia.

        Having said all that, I do understand what you’re arguing here. We might not all like Josh’s style – personally it’s not the way I’d handle the situation. But just because I may not be happy with how he goes about it, doesn’t mean that I can’t defend his right to do it. If a busker played and sang at the same volume (and they do, regularly) there would not be outcry. So it’s really about the content of the message.

        So yes, if you want to persuade Josh to go about evangelism in a different manner – go for it. But his right to get it wrong is one that’s important for each and every one of us.

          • Alistair, I am afraid you are completely wrong on this.
            The first thing to be aware of is that he is preaching on a high street. As he mentions, there are 2 buskers using amplification. There are also the shoppers walking and talking, car sounds in the background and, almost certainly, music from the surrounding shops. A street preacher has to contend with all of this and his/her aim is to gain the attention of the people around them. The best way to do this is to project their voice. He was not shouting, as he says he could have gone louder. What he does is raise the level to that which a performer on a stage does. Do you think that Jesus spoke in a normal, unraised voice when speaking to a crowd, or do you think that he increased his volume? The fact that it is being recorded is both a help and a hindrance for the volume, as it does come across very loud when the camera is pointing at him, and yet when it turns away it does decrease markedly. This second bit shows that he wasn’t actually as loud as he seemed when the camera points at him
            Also, regarding the comment about shouting over someone, any preacher in full flow could well preach over someone if they feel that engaging is not helpful to them getting their point over. After all, sermons would take a hell of a lot longer if they responded to every comment that is made during it! So if he did preach over her, does it really matter? He was speaking about how God loves the world, so in this setting is speaking over someone any different from them speaking while he was still speaking?
            Finally, the police were COMPLETELY in the wrong as far as the law is concerned. They have interpreted it to their own understanding of keeping the peace, meaning they want to keep people happy, when actually their responsibility is to carry out the law as it stands. People complained about him, so they act. This is NOT the law, this is abuse of the law and discriminatory behavior to satisfy people who are unaware of what the law allows. The law does not allow us to be arrested if we say something that someone else finds annoying, or off-putting. It is there to stop people being harmed.It could be argued (although only from a Christian perspective) that by removing the preacher from the street the officers were harming the public and their chance to hear and respond to the gospel.
            It is not my preferred style of delivery, but I applaud all street preachers who are willing to go out onto the streets of the world and share the Good News that Jesus brings with those around them.

  3. I live in Australia however spent the first 39 years of my life living in Glasgow Scotland and open air preaching was common. I have never known anyone to be arrested for it? It may be the case that the police took action based of the complaining of a few individuals. I suspect that this complaining was done on the basis of religious objection rather than ‘breach of the peace’ However the police in the UK have to allow freedom of religion so intervened in a way that they knew was allowed. If I walk down a city centre street just now I surely cannot complain that musicians are busking or that the newspaper sellers are shouting every 2 mins, people blowing cigarette smoke and large crowds of people talking loudly? mattwilcoxen the gospel can be preached in a variety of ways. There was no Christian radio or television in New Testament times however I would hardly say that those who evangelise this way are not doing it biblically.

  4. I agree that his message is not objectionable in the ways you mention. However, it’s not a stretch to say that he’s yelling at a level that can rival small forms of electrical amplification. It sounds to me like he can be heard from a few hundred feet away. It may not be subversive, but it’s definitely disruptive in at least a benign sense. Again, I don’t think such a thing would be illegal in the US or UK, but I got the impression that it is, in fact, classifiable as a breach of the peace in Scotland.

    My more personal reasons for siding with their law on this: As a shopper I would like to go out to the shops and buy some Clark’s without having a message *forced* on me. When he is preaching that loudly, I either have to listen or I have to leave the area. As a shop owner I would like to have an environment that makes all people comfortable. I would not want them to feel like they are being yelled at when they come into my shop. Finally, as a Christian I am amenable to hearing *his* message, but I would not want to have, say, a Muslim or Jehovah’s witness shouting at me about their beliefs. (I don’t mind if they come up to me personally and engage me, since that would require a form of consent.)

    • hi Matt.
      So is it your position that the street busking, presumably at an equivalent level, is also unacceptable? Or is it simply the content that is objectionable?

      • It’s not the content, but the disruptiveness. seems like it’s a judgment call the authorities make (and then can be evaluated later). It’s hard for me to comment on the busking since I can’t hear it in the video. I imagine if some citizens or shop owners complained about a busker the police would stop by and evaluate the situation. If the music was obnoxious–say, heavy metal–or if it was so loud that one couldn’t sit 10 meters away and have a coffee and concentrate on a conversation with a friend–then it would be disturbing the peace. I don’t think an arrest is called for in either the imaginary case or the actual case of the street preacher; that is where I find it alarming. They should just tell the person to stop.

        • thanks Matt. I think, then, that’s where we’re going to differ. I think the fact that it’s “a judgment call” puts us in a very difficult and vulnerable position. If, as Josh asks in the video, it’s a subjective judgement being made then on what basis? And who’s to say that in the future simply standing and speaking at any volume is “disruptive”?

          Let me also add one more thought. You say

          I would not want to have, say, a Muslim or Jehovah’s witness shouting at me about their beliefs

          I disagree on the basis that their right to freedom of speech is my right. Let them shout if they want to.

          • I can see where you’re coming from; I really can, since the question becomes “what will they restrict next?” Anyways, my previous argument aside, I never meant to say people shouldn’t preach the good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection. I think we should tell everyone! Just want to be clear about that.

  5. First of all I agree that Josh is doing the right thing and that even if it is illegal to preach we still must do so.

    If Josh can get justice than fine. The Apostle Paul also did this. He was arrested and beaten without a trial and as a Roman Citizen the Apostle Paul did insist on his legal rights at the time.

    However if you read on you will realise that by asserting his rights Paul ended up remaining imprisoned as his case was being heard. Paul was taken from place to place to speak to various authorities about the matter until he was finally taken to Rome. The Apostle Paul used his imprisonment mightly for the Lord but imprisoned he remained and under guard, he was not free to live where he pleased and preach where he pleased and to have a free life again. I am just saying for the Apostle Paul he never did regain his freedom.

    Today the humanistic rights of Christians within many nations are being tested and as Christians we should be prepared to be taken before authorities and have our rights trampled on and be jailed and I suppose all that goes along with being imprisoned. The Bible warns of these days coming.

    I read today in Laos various Christians and their families have been identified by the authorities in their villages. They have been brought before the local authorities and threatened with explusion from their villages if they do not renounce their Beliefs and Cease their activities. I’ve found a basic news article below but I know there are more details given on the Voice of the Martyrs website.

    http://morningstarnews.org/2013/09/lao-officials-threaten-christians-in-three-villages-with-expulsion/

    While we have the ability to openly share the gospel and meet together as Christians to study the Bible and worship the Lord we should do so openly and with boldness. When the time comes to be taken before authorities and questioned and persecuted I keep this in mind.

    NIV MK 13:9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

    I’m no martyr (yet) and I certainly am not looking forward to any clash with those in authority. However I rest in the knowledge that I don’t need to have something worked out ahead of time, God will help me when the time comes (if it does, time will tell).

    None of us know the future and we are often not told ahead of time what to expect in our lives as we walk by faith and not by sight. I hope and pray Josh will not have to walk in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. If Josh does I know the Lord will give him all he needs to cope and to go through it in a Godly manner.

    Meanwhile I will pray for Josh, may God’s will be done in this situation, amen.

    The days are getting darker for every Believer & so we must be prepared for persecution. May God strengthen our faith accordingly, amen.

    • Melissa… when did Paul SHOUT and do this in his travels? What was his method of preaching? was it different in Antioch and what did he do in Jerusalem.
      He was pretty subdued in Athens… and acted accordingly.
      This is not persecution FAR FROM IT. Perhaps he would have been better out in the fields where it would be more appropriate and SHOUT… And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. KJV.
      but I think the creatures, like humans would hide, or in the case of dogs, bark back.

      It is dark days for believers and this doesnt help.

      • Alistair, I’m not sure you’re at all right about this one.

        Acts 17:16  While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagoguea with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.

        It seems to me that the “reasoning in the marketplace” was clearly a public engagement.

      • Alistair

        I think you need to go back and read the book of Acts closely again for yourself.

        I am not sure how familiar you are with the Bible.

        My comment was not about shouting the gospel in public. If you re-read it you will see my comment was addressing the fact that if you do Preach the gospel it will attract persecution. You don’t even have to preach it in the streets, Paul often preached in meeting places and was attacked a number of times by the crowds.

        Paul and many of the Apostles were beaten, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Which is pretty much what ended most of their ministries as it did their lives. So they suffered persecution for openly preaching the gospel message.

        I’m not going to quote many scriptures but here is one example of persecution that Paul experienced.

        AC 17:13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

        If you preach the gospel publically you will attract persecution.

        I cannot comment on wether Josh was shouting too loudly or just speaking over the noise around him. That is up to others to make that judgement.

        I haven’t personally preached on the street but as a Christian when I was a Univsersity Student we did various events where we read the Bible out loud in public places and got Council permits to do so. We had not been loud or obnoxious in anyway, all we did was read the Bible out loud and hand out gospel tracts. Engage people in conversation about Jesus if we could. You don’t need to be shouting to get complained about.

        I also participated in handouts of gospel tracts & invitations to our Church services (when I was living in town) at the local fair. Again with permission we had paid for a site and set up our table with other things people could buy, plants, cakes etc.. We had many complaints and were harrassed by other stall owners and some local regulars who didn’t like us handing out Christian stuff. The Council did try many times to disuade us from having a stall but couldn’t deny us one. As long as we didn’t preach or play Christian music. Yet other stall holders had loud radios etc.. they were not complained about.

        I know from my own experience you only have to be representing Christ to have people get upset over your presence let alone your activities.

        CO 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

        Not sure if you have done any evangelism in public places. If so be prepared. You will attract opposition.

        Melissa

        • Melissa
          I know my NT, Torah, OT, I know about ‘revivals’ and I know from experience what reformed, the free kirk or the really free Kirk or any number of the 48,000 denominations of Christianity that have wandered the planet since 33 AD do to humans.

          The meeting places you refer to are synagogues… not the public market places…
          I too have actually given out tracts on the street… but so what, how does that, in the usual guilt trip form of shaming, help a hurting human.

          I have ‘evengelised’ whatever that means in places that you safely watch from your TV set. The building I worked in had bullet proof shutters on the first floor, it was a gang and drug infested neighborhood, we would march and call on gang leaders to leave the lifestyle, not by shaming but with a promise of love and help. My old pastors’ adopted son was shot in the neck and killed for the work he was doing.
          I’ve lost a family, children, my body, been jailed on false accusations and been in front of judges and even lost my mind at times in this process… so please dont try and tell me this is evangelism and that Josh is somehow being ‘persecuted’ for shouting in public…he already has his reward.

          Heal the sick, clothe the naked, love your neighbour, forgive debt, build up the ruins and my light will shine upon you… are better ways to show your love one for another so that people will see this and wonder at God.

          St Augustine warned about people like this in the 6th Century.. its not new.

          I’ll make my position very clear. Leave the Church. Every church in the UK and the US comes under the control of Charitable Status. Which is controlled and governed by the Charities Commission, the head of which is the UK Govt and therefore the State and the Head of the state is the Queen, who is the Head of the Church of England. Unless your church revokes its charitable status, it is under the control of the state and not God.
          As it is under the control of the state any actions you do are controlled by the statutes and laws applicable to any one Under the State….

          A burden has been placed upon you by nature of the piece of paper that governs the Church. Exit that system: for the kingdom of God is within you, it is here and now and a future event.
          Placing God in the ‘book’ and restricting God to that ‘book’ (any translation you like) diminishes who God is and what he does and who you are in him. reread Galatians 5 if you still need the book.

          There was no ‘book’ in the 1st to the 4th Centuries.. it was the holy spirit moving in love and transformed humans moving in love, with the law in their hearts. Against this there is no law.

          This style of preaching creates conflict, division, bad feelings, control and cult like behaviour and that has a different father. Where is the love here?
          Where is the joy? where is the peace that passes all understanding? Where is the healing?
          Its just someone shouting on a street corner making people upset… not with the ‘word’ but just an extremely bad attitude to what he thinks is ‘loving’ his fellow man. I mean who cares about evolution when he could have whammed them with a healthy dose of the love of God. Give me pimps, prostitutes, gangsters, addicts, crack heads, smackheads divorcee’s…. anyday over preachers like this…

          As for an easy win for Josh.. I’ll let dad decide on that one.

          • Alistair starts his rant at me with the following:-
            [“I know my NT, Torah, OT, I know about ‘revivals’ and I know from experience what reformed, the free kirk or the really free Kirk or any number of the 48,000 denominations of Christianity that have wandered the planet since 33 AD do to humans.

            The meeting places you refer to are synagogues… not the public market places…
            I too have actually given out tracts on the street… but so what, how does that, in the usual guilt trip form of shaming, help a hurting human.
            I have ‘evengelised’ whatever that means in places that you safely watch from your TV set. The building I worked in had bullet proof shutters on the first floor, it was a gang and drug infested neighborhood, we would march and call on gang leaders to leave the lifestyle, not by shaming but with a promise of love and help. My old pastors’ adopted son was shot in the neck and killed for the work he was doing.
            I’ve lost a family, children, my body, been jailed on false accusations and been in front of judges and even lost my mind at times in this process… so please dont try and tell me this is evangelism and that Josh is somehow being ‘persecuted’ for shouting in public…he already has his reward.”]

            Well I’m shaking my head here.

            I’m not from a rich family or even a middle class family but a poor family. I haven’t just seen drive by shootings or drug dealers on the TV. I have them in my own street.

            I am sorry you feel that somehow I have belittled you.

            Your reply also shows you have missed what I was saying. You want to make your own point about Josh and obviously are quite unable to see beyond that at the moment.

            I can see you obviously have issues and plenty of them. I will pray for you.

            Melissa

  6. I think Josh didnt do anything wrong in this encounter. He was very calm, patient, and preached the basic gospel message. I think most Christians would look at this and agree that Josh is clearly in the right

  7. The man was shouting because he was in a busy street with lots of noise, buskers, loud talking and so on. I think that it is wrong to equate shouting with aggression or rudeness. How would it be possible to preach the gospel in a busy city street without raising your voice? Newspaper vendors and so on also raise their voices in order to be heard. Josh was not standing in people’s way or directing comments at individuals. I hope that this case does not deter others from doing open air ministry. 🙁

  8. Oh Melissa
    The issue is not you, but IF you are going to make statements such as:
    “I think you need to go back and read the book of Acts closely again for yourself.
    I am not sure how familiar you are with the Bible”.
    I did not miss what you were saying but will respond to assumptions..
    As for an apology for ‘my’ feelings… please dont, My feelings and I are my responsibility alone.
    I too am poor and still deal with all the local issues in my area, but lets stay on topic here.

    This is about this form of evangelism or ‘street preaching’, the purpose of which is not to get humans into the Kingdom but into a ‘church’, through guilt, shame and condemnation… Ive yet to meet a street preacher that does not do it in any other fashion

    My statements have shown that the churches have bedded down with the state, this is not ‘my issue’. If this is the first time you’ve heard this… it may sting, but please understand you will hear it more and more in the coming days.

    But if you wish it confirmed I suggest listening to this street preacher who does it in a different fashion… Its all about people:

    • Does the bearded one mention the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, it is hardly the Gospel. I suppose that highlights the fact there is a difference between preaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ…

  9. Alistair

    I only have dialup. As I’m said before not a wealthy.

    I had said I am sorry if you think I had belittled you. My words of “I don’t know how much you know about the Bible.” Was not said as sarcasim but a statement that I didn’t know you at all and my suggestion to go back to the book of Acts. I based that on the fact you didn’t seem to understand what I had said about presecution.

    You do obviously have a total bee in your bonnet over this Josh thing. I also note you have now shown that you do not have much respect for those who attend a Church (and preach the gospel). You also have displayed an attitude that you may have spiritual understanding/knowledge that seems to be superior than mine based on your own experiences and service to God.

    As I have said I am praying for you.

    There is nothing I can do or say that will gain your respect or even your full consideration of what I am saying. You are not listening. You are only interested in trumping others with your own Beliefs and Opinion here on this matter and a few others you listed.

    God knows and understands where you are coming from and I also have some idea. I am sorry you are angry with me. I see this whole conversation in a different light. If you are offended I hope you can forgive me. It would be nice to discuss this rationally from both points of view but that is not happening here.

    I leave you at least with this one thought on the matter. I hope it might give you some peace.

    PHP 1:15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    Melissa

  10. Does anyone have an update on what happened to Josh after this arrest? I reckon that the world has gone mad! Street preachers in the UK being arrested for preaching too loud yet at the weekend here Melbourne Australia numerous assaults and destruction of property by pro-choicers in an attempt to end an organised peaceful pro-life demonstration and the police here do absolutely nothing! One MP Bernie Finn had eggs thrown at him, others were thrown to the ground, there are videos on youtube showing elderly people being pushed onto the ground and having their banners pulled from them. Despite this the police would not intervene. These 2 events in the UK and Australia makes me wonder about the police and worry. 🙁

  11. Tolerance of evil deception and intolerance of the Truth is a particular sign of the times, as is characteristic horrible indifference to God and His creatorial and redemptive rights expressed in Jesus Christ.

    Police Officers are able to show discretion but probably resented the fact that they did not receive the respect they believe their uniforms warrant. I would personally have tried to have a laugh with them, agreed I was quite loud, but sought their understanding that the Gospel needs to be preached and loudly. An interesting test would have been to start again and ask them to indicate the moment at which they felt the volume was acceptable.

  12. SMH… DO ANY OF YOU LIVE IN SCOTLAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF SECTARIANISM, DIVISION, VIOLENCE AND DEATH CAUSED BY PREACHERS AND PRIESTS?
    if you shout at someone in this country they will take offence… happens every week at football games and that is rife with sectarian overtones and violence.

    In trying to equate this modern form of preaching to Jesus teaching is a bit disingenuous. If Josh had walked down this street healed the sick and then preached… you betcha he’d get a listen. He’d be arrested for practicing medicine without a licence. Unfortunately he did not.

    Where oh where in the scriptures does it say… ‘that the gospel needs to be preached and LOUDLY’? Good grief he was trying to engage the guy on evolution.. and did it LOUDLY. What has that got to do with the Kingdom of God?

    Please start with the tolerance of evil deception within the church then people MIGHT just start to listen.

  13. Alistair. I am very familiar with the sectarianism in Scotland. I lived in Glasgow for the first 39 years of my life and recall taking my catholic school tie off in case I ran into those from the ”Proddy” school. In the 80s I knew a protestant family who father had disowned one of his daughters because he could not cope with having a catholic son-in-law. The catholic and protestant divide is not as bad as it used to be and does not affect football as much either now. I believe that if Josh had in anyway tried to stir up any old firm religious tensions then yes the police should have moved him. However he did not. It is interesting that while people who have commented on here claim to believe the gospel they however have an issue with it being preached on the streets, and loudly. I reckon that the reason Josh was removed has nothing to do with loudness or sectarianism but rather the current religious tensions just now with Islam and terrorism. The police can hardly stop and apprehend muslim clerics in England for street preaching while allowing Christians ministers in Scotland to preach their religion.

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