Pastor to Go on Trial for Comments on Islam
In a portent of the times, a pastor is going to trial in Northern Ireland for comments about Islam in a sermon. Pastor James McConnell of Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast called Islam “Satanic” and “heathen,” both of which are true according to the Bible’s teaching. Pastor McConnell is charged by God to “preach the Word, reprove, rebuke, exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2), and that is what he was doing. The Irish government has become so audacious as to try to rule over the content of Bible preaching. Because the sermon was streamed online, the 78-year-old pastor is being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Acts for allegedly “causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network” (“Pastor to go on trial,” RTE News, Dec. 14, 2015; RTE is Ireland’s national broadcasting service). Hundreds of Christians have attended the pre-trial hearings to show their support of the preacher and their protest of this brazen attack on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. Pastor McConnell isn’t cowed. He told the press, “It’s a good day for hanging--particularly to hang the prosecution.” “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:1-3).
(Friday Church News Notes, December 18, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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