Imagine every day for nearly seven years you go to the same part of town and preach the Gospel. Imagine being spat upon, occasionally accosted, and regularly cursed, all because people hate God’s law and find no use for God’s Gospel. Now, imagine local pastors gather together to co-write and sign a letter publicly condemning you. That happened to Evangelist Michael Jones.
Toll Gavel, in Beverly, United Kingdom, is a bustling but quaint burrow where an evangelist can regularly be heard proclaiming the Gospel. That evangelist is Michael Jones. An elderly gentleman wearing a cross and holding a Bible, preaches about sin and repentance, grace and forgiveness. On occasion, people call the police on Jones because he condemns abortion and homosexuality, which they claim is a breach of the peace or violation of incitement laws. On some occasions, people walk by and intentionally knock him with their shoulder or push and shove the gentleman. And yet, day after day and year after year, he continues to preach.
According to Hull Daily Mail:
Church leaders in Beverly say that Jones is “too controversial, too negative” and “too critical.” They claim that he is a bad witness because people are often offended at his message. The churches have all banded together, including the Beverly Minister and St. Mary’s Church, to condemn the preacher in an open letter of rebuke.
The church leaders’ statement says: “We, the ministers and pastors of the Churches Together in Beverley, together declare that we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, based on a foundation of love, is one of good news for ALL people, regardless of their history and present condition and the message it contains is one of hope and the offer of abundant life.
“We are making this declaration because we are concerned that the message about what we believe, preach and try to live out, has recently been presented in a negative, critical and condemnatory fashion.”
The lady-pastor at St. Mary’s Church said:
“I am aware that people were feeling criticised by some of the things being said in the town by the preacher.
“I think when people are critical of others, it is not very kind, that is not the Christian Gospel. No one should feel that they are being told they are bad.
Trevor Green, pastor at New Harvest Church in Beverley, says, “There has been a lot of criticism of Mike Jones on Facebook saying that he’s upsetting people, he’s calling them rude names. It’s not what we would call promoting the Christian faith. We believe in promoting God’s love, not that people will go to hell and that people will be damned.
He continued, “This is not the kind of Gospel we preach.”
Another clergy member added, “I just feel he’s perhaps putting the wrong message to the public – listening to him we are concerned people won’t go anywhere near our churches, they might think ‘if that’s Christianity, we are not interested’.”
The Facebook post where the churches made their joint-statement of condemnation of the preacher had commenters asking questions like, “Can we have a petition to get him removed” and “When I see him, I film him and call the police.”
The churches seemed to be encouraging these clearly persecutory statements toward the preacher.
The evangelist, Mr. Jones, said he’ll continue to preach the Gospel.
Mr Jones said, “I respect their views but I tell the truth of the Bible no matter what. I can’t compromise on the Holy Bible and that’s what I do out there. I just tell people about repentance. It’s not all good news, some of the Bible is tough truth. I am not worried about my safety at all, I have God’s protection.”
The wicked clergy members that condemned the Bible preacher are as follows:
Phil Palmer, Minister, Beverley Baptist Church; Richard Bradbury, Leader, Beverley Community Church; Jonathan Baker, Vicar, Beverley Minster; Trevor Green, Pastor, New Harvest Church; David Grant, Priest, St John Catholic Church; Becky Lumley, Vicar, St Mary’s Church; Mike Peatman, Vicar, St Nicholas Church; Peter Cross, Minster, Toll Gavel United Church and Peter Clark, Minister, Walkington and Tickton Methodist Churches.
[Editor’s Note: Pray for that guy. I’m sure he needs it. Also, HT Hull Daily Mail]