I Prayed have prayed
Father, we pray that You would allow believers in the UK and across the word to preach Your word uninterrupted and without fear. Prevent this disrespect for the Bible from reaching our shores, Lord.

The United Kingdom is calling the Bible offensive. If this is happening across the Atlantic, it may very well happen here.

From The Daily Signal. A Christian street preacher faced charges of violating the Public Order Act by engaging in “threatening,” “abusive,” and “insulting” speech in telling a lesbian couple that homosexuals will not “inherit the kingdom of heaven,” citing the Bible. In defending the case against him, a prosecutor wrote that “there are references in the bible [sic] which are simply no longer appropriate in modern society and which would be offensive if stated in public” (emphasis original).

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The court dismissed the case against the preacher, John Dunn, because the lesbian couple declined to testify, but a prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service, the office of England’s government prosecutors, claimed before the trial that some Bible passages are “no longer appropriate in modern society.”

When reached by The Daily Signal, a CPS spokesperson declined to address the claim.

“On the day of the trial the complainants could not be located to provide vital evidence for the prosecution, which resulted in us offering no evidence,” a CPS spokesperson told The Daily Signal. “It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments of the evidence to put our case before the court.”

The spokesperson did not respond to multiple questions about whether England’s official government prosecution office endorses the claim that some Bible passages are “no longer appropriate in modern society.” Prosecutors made the claim in a document sent to the defense, not stated in court, but the office did not disavow the claim, nor apologize for making it.

“The non-response from the CPS speaks volumes,” Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which represented Dunn in the case, told The Daily Signal. “The CPS should be offering a full explanation and apology, not ducking the seriousness of what they have wanted to argue against the Christian faith in court.”

“This would not happen to another sacred text, such as the Quran,” Williams added. “This is a war on Christian culture, with the aim of removing it from the public square. If the CPS had won, this would have set a precedent that put Christians on the wrong side of the U.K. law.”

The United Kingdom does not have a First Amendment to protect free speech, although the Christian Legal Centre cited the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights in defending Dunn’s free speech and religious freedom. The prosecution argued that Dunn impinged on “the similarly protected rights of the aggrieved parties.”

According to Christian Concern, an organization connected to the Christian Legal Centre, the case traces back to Nov. 1, 2020, when two women walked past Dunn, holding hands. Dunn told them, “I hope you are sisters,” at which point they replied that they were in a same-sex marriage.

According to Dunn, he replied out of “genuine concern for the women” that “It says in the Bible that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God” (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). He insisted that he intended to declare God’s truth out of love and compassion for the couple.

The women reported Dunn to the police, describing his comments as “biblical speak.” They alleged that Dunn had shouted at them, “You are going to burn in hell,” referring to one of them as “devil woman.” Dunn categorically denied making either comment. Christian Concern noted that Dunn “lost his voice box following throat cancer,” so he would not have been able to shout at the women.

On Sept. 9, 2021, Senior Crown Prosecutor Nicholas Hoyle sent a letter to the defense, rebutting Dunn’s arguments. (Christian Concern provided The Daily Signal with the document, available here. CPS declined to provide the document.)

“Defendant denies saying to the women that ‘they will burn in hell’ or to one of them ‘you are a devil woman’ – presumably because this would be ‘crossing a line’ into unacceptable behaviour,” Hoyle wrote. “It is precisely these phrases which form the crux of the prosecution case.”

“The Crown does contend that ‘you will burn in hell’ is intrinsically threatening, as well as abusive and intimidating,” Hoyle added. “Targeting comments through a megaphone at specific members of the public is similarly behaviour which the court can legitimately conclude is disorderly. The complainants are clear that the behaviour was ‘offensive’ and ‘upsetting’ – clearly consistent with an interpretation of ‘Harassed, alarmed or distressed.’”

“Whether a statement of Christian belief or not, the Court is being asked to consider whether the language has the potential to cause harassment, alarm or distress,” Hoyle added. “This document is not the forum for religious debate, but the bible contains other material recognising slavery (Exodus 21:7), the death sentence (Exodus 35:2 and Leviticus 24:16) and cannibalism (Deuteronomy 28:27). There are references in the bible which are simply no longer appropriate in modern society and which would be deemed offensive if stated in public.”

Hoyle did not explain why passages “recognising” various practices are supposedly inappropriate in modern society. While passages in the Bible allowed slavery, the Bible also set down principles that encouraged the abolition of slavery.

Hoyle’s Bible passages suggest a level of biblical illiteracy. His slavery passage—Exodus 21:7—stipulates that a Jewish man may sell his daughter as a servant, but the passage adds that he cannot sell her to foreigners (differentiating the practice from modern views of slavery). One of his passages on capital punishment involves Moses saying that anyone who works on the Sabbath should be put to death, something Christians consider to have been superseded by Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels.

Deuteronomy 28:27 does not mention cannibalism, but rather God punishing the Israelites with tumors if they disobey His commandments. The passage goes on to mention cannibalism (Deut. 28:53-57), but not as an endorsement of the practice. Rather, the passage prophesies that if the Jews disobey God, a foreign army will besiege them and they will resort to cannibalism “because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you.”

Hoyle did not explain why any passages noting the existence of now-defunct slavery laws or death sentences, or predicting the horrors of cannibalism are “no longer appropriate in modern society.” He did not put forth a standard for endorsing or condemning Bible passages, but his decision to include this statement suggests that he considers 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 to be inappropriate in English society.

CPS did not respond to The Daily Signal’s question about the prospect that other street preachers may face similar prosecution if they cite certain Bible passages that CPS considers inappropriate for modern society.

Williams, the Christian Legal Centre CEO, argued that “The view from the CPS was that the Bible is offensive and contains illegal speech which should not be shared in public.”

England’s government prosecution office had the opportunity to disavow the statement and clarify that it does not consider the Bible offensive and illegal, but it declined to do so.

How are you praying over this attack on scripture? Share your own prayers and scriptures in the comments!

(Used with permission. From The Daily Signal. Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Renata Berger
December 6, 2022

It is either a fact or it isn’t that homosexual activity bars you from heaven.
You can’t argue against what someone holds as a fact, only what they do with that fact.
If someone preached that lesbianism qualifies you , would that be actionable? NO, why ?

Darlene Estlow
December 5, 2022

Father, thank you for the courage of this pastor. Prepare your people here to suffer for you. May I be willing to suffer for your name. Give us joy. Take our eyes off this world and fill us with joy at the hope that lies before us. Give us boldness. While we are concerned about what is happening in our nation and the world, and we take action as we can, may our joy not be destroyed by what is happening around us. May you be our joy.

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Minister Mina Holmes
December 4, 2022

Father In the name of Jesus, cause us to speak like you do too the lost. No condemnation, no brimstone, but with power demonstrated here on earth. Silence the hateful, and prideful. Open heavens gate wide that we sinners may come in. Expose and remove the false teachers, the fakes and the phonies. Grant us your the generosity of your spirit of Benevolence. Protect those who carry the gospel to be taught in a lost and dying. Demonstrate your power one again.

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Joan
December 4, 2022

Father, in Jesus’ Name, scripture tells us there will be persecution during period of Tribulation.
Christians will be persecuted for being obedient to God’s Word. Those who are enemies of the Cross, and the Word, apparently, as was this women at the time she reported Dunn to the police, as was the Prosecutor in the case, were definitely from the “Dark Side”.

A Pastor who was imprisoned for his Faith in Triune God, years back, spent many years in prison, and recommends Christian be in the Word, prayer, and teach their children how to handle persecution. I pray, not, but no doubt, we will see more accusations as written about in the report above. Those who desire the end of the Word and Christianity are in a losing battle, but it is a battle, and we are soldiers of the Cross, and I pray, if I am called to defend the Faith, our Lord will grant me the strength and courage to do so.
encouraged Believers to be in the Word, teach their children there will be persecution.

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Donald Vader
December 4, 2022

Thank you Father for your word that you have given us and help us to be wise and thoughtful in every word we speak and that our words would bring honor and glory to you in every situation when leading others to you and speaking the truth of your word to others and may you strengthen and bless and raise up those who are being persecuted for speaking out according to your word… Amen

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Darlene DeAngelis
December 4, 2022

Father God whoever’s behind all this please take what they’re doing and correct them in the name of Jesus it is time for you to release your wrath on all of this evil father God let us open up our eyes let us use our courage and boldness let us push the bowels of hell back into hell and let it burn for eternity Lord we have had enough of the devil in his imps in the name of Jesus put the fear like no other fear that everyone that’s behind this feels in the name of Jesus we will not bow our knees to anyone except you Lord in the name of Jesus

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