Imagine the outcry there would be from Christians if having decided to hold an open-air service, a group of atheists turned up and started shouting through tannoys at them as they attempted to enjoy their celebration. Imagine those atheists shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ and ‘Losers. You need to come to your senses!’ Imagine if they said they were only doing this out of love to break the spell the Christians were under, the spell of religion. Imagine they held up signs the entire time with text inspired by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, like ‘Free yourself from your God Delusion’ and ‘ Religion Poisons Everything’.
Yes, imagine the outcry; the Christians would see themselves as persecuted by ‘militant atheists’ out to spoil their day. And, who knows, perhaps they’d be right, though perhaps persecution is overstating it, though we all know Christians like their martyrdom. So long as it doesn’t entail any actual… erm… martyrdom.
This didn’t happen at the weekend in my home town – I doubt it happens anywhere – but pretty much the opposite did. A bunch of Christians, complete with loud speakers and placards with scripture verses on them, turned up at the Gay Pride celebration in the centre of town and proceeded to tell those out to enjoy their day that they were sinners in need of Christ and his salvation. They kept this up, because, they said, they loved the people whose afternoon they were trying to disrupt, for at least two hours. These were not members of a local church; according to the young man I spoke to they had come from various parts of the UK and from the States specifically to interfere with the event, or ‘preach the gospel’ as he put it.
The LGBT people at the Pride were having none of it, of course, and drowned out the tired old rhetoric with whistles and good natured chanting until the Righteous Ones accepted the futility of their mission and packed up to go home… but not before they transplanted themselves near the stage to show off their signs again.
Now, how is this different from the scenario we started with?
Christians would object if others gate-crashed their events and attempted to disrupt their celebrations; yet they think they have the right to do just that to others, with their message of hell and damnation. They’d cry ‘persecution’ and see the same kind of actions as militant (when they have no idea what the word ‘militant’ actually means) and part of an ‘anti-Christian agenda’, if it was they on the receiving end.
It’s Christians themsleves who have the agenda – to judge, impose on and convert those with different beliefs and philosophies. They think they have special knowledge of The Truth that no-one else has and which has never been heard before when all they really have is a superstition, a belief in a sky god and magical incantation, much like any other superstition. Even if this weren’t the case, even if their beliefs were what the Christians think they are, that does not give them the right to exercise their arrogant, shouty agenda by rudely imposing themselves on others’ special days.
Update: Evangelist Dale Mcalpine says it wasn’t his merry little brand of preachers that invaded Pride. Oh no. According to Dale, a bunch of irresponsible LGBT people tried to spoil a bona fide Christian event that just happened to be going on nearby at the same time.
These people’s self-delusion knows no bounds.
There is nothing honorable about celebrating same sex in our cities, men dressed as women and sometimes with very little on in front of our kids is nothing to be proud of.
Repent and believe the Gospel
You are of course entitled to your opinion, Dale. However, there’s nothing very honorable either about setting up in town centres and shouting these opinions at people.
And which gospel do you mean, in any case? Paul’s or Jesus’? They are both very different.
Neil, you were never a Christian, but the good news is you can be.
I am willing to discuss this with you as long as it remains civil and beneficial.
Dale, I’m sure you’re a very nice man, but you’re awfully conceited. Without knowing me, without being there during those 25 years, you have decided I was never a Christian. Yet I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and saviour, repented of my sins and had a relationship with him (which I now know was entirely within my imagination, but even so.) So in what way wasn’t I a Christian? I am so glad now to be free from the chains of that supersitition and the good news is, Dale, you could be too.
Actually, I could say the same thing about you. When you were wrongly arrested for making anti-gay comments, you sued the police (and won). Yet Jesus clearly says that what you should have done is asked for even more time in the cells:
But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew 5.39-42)
Why didn’t you respond in this way? Why did you take very human approach to the situation and not the one your saviour commands? I guess like most Christians you ignore what he says when it’s unpalatable – though I do agree with you that the morality he expects is impossible. It’s no wonder you don’t practise it. You see why I think you may not be a Christian after all?
Neil asked ” in what way wasn’t I a Christian?”
A Christian is someone who knows God in a saving way and you cannot go from knowing God to not knowing Him, look –
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may *know You, the only true God*, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
You never knew God, you were never a Christian, and I can say that with full confidence based upon the Word of God who does not lie.
1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that *they all are not of us*.
Neil also said “Jesus clearly says that what you should have done is asked for even more time in the cells:”
LOL you really are getting desperate now. Matt 5:39-42 says absolutely nothing about being arrested falsely, but other verses in Scripture do.
Repent of your rebellion to the God you know exists Neil, do it today, you are not getting any younger, He has appointed your day of death and meeting with Him where all of your sin will be on display and you will receive justice.
Dale, your quoted verse doesn’t say anything about knowing God then not knowing him. It doesn’t demonstrate one can’t go from one to the other, because evidently you can; many people do it. They break out of the delusion, free themselves from imaginary gods and start to live their lives. That’s what I’ve done and what you should do instead of wasting your life peddling a superstition. (I saw you again in Carlisle yesterday but didn’t hear you preach. Your American colleague hogged the limelight – though he wasn’t very good – while you held up Bible verses that meant absolutely nothing to people passing by.)
There’s no ‘desperation’ in looking to Christians to do as their saviour commands. The principle of going the extra mile and giving someone your shirt when they demand your coat should be seen in Christians – though invariably it isn’t, as in your own case. Jesus does not say ‘sue those who wrongly arrest you’. He says, ‘Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account’ (Luke 6.27). Why didn’t you count yourself as ‘blessed’ rather than grumbling and suing? Because you don’t see Jesus’ teaching as applying to you – you’re only interested in Paul’s supernatural Christ, who bears little relation to the man who lived. Your witness is, or should be, the way you live according to Jesus’ teaching, not ranting at others about their sin. ‘By their fruits shall ye know them’ and all that. Show others Jesus in your living – not in ineffective preaching and placards – and then maybe they’ll consider him. (I hope not of course, because Christianity would still be nothing more than a superstition.)
As I’ve said before, I’m not in rebellion against God, any more than I’m in rebellion against Father Christmas, Allah or Zeus. You can’t rebel against things that don’t exist.