Be Unashamed of Christ

Cultural pressures facing UK believers are coming to North America

Be Unashamed of Christ

Cultural pressures facing UK believers are coming to North America

I gave my heart to Jesus at age 4. It was my childhood dream to become a barrister in my native England to pursue truth and justice. Little could I have imagined when I qualified in 1988 that I would spend my life advocating for the beauty of God’s truth in public life because it would come under such relentless and sustained attack.

In 1988, who could have imagined the need for groups in the United Kingdom like Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre—the ones I have been blessed to lead?

Who could have imagined a U.K. where a right to homosexual “marriage” and family would be so enshrined in law that those who do not affirm, promote and celebrate it would end up punished?

Who could have imagined there would be a right to redefine gender irrespective of chromosomes? That we would punish those who raise an issue about it? 

Who could have imagined a right to kill unborn children with two pills delivered by postbox? Or legal logic enshrining a “best-interests test” to die, and our most likely next prime minister being a euthanasia advocate?

Who could have imagined a legal right to prostitution and the most vile, degrading pornography? 

Who could have imagined suppression of free speech and faith expression in the U.K., Bibles and prayer removed, and street preachers arrested?

Well, it has all happened.

And in the midst of it there is the gathered Body of Christ, whom I love but who has largely not understood the times. The church was even prepared to close her doors when a global pandemic came. At Christian Concern we succeeded in a case that upheld the freedom of the church to worship without government interference.

I write here to a mostly American audience, warning of what is coming to you unless you earnestly seek God, the only lasting source of help; and then, as Christian citizens, oppose evil policies by voting in accord with Biblical truth in this year’s elections.

We have 1,000 case inquiries every year at the Christian Legal Centre because Christians in the U.K. face losing their jobs for upholding their faith.

I write this having spent most of the week in court (again!). The case this time was that of a Christian school teacher, Hannah, who raised safeguarding concerns about an 8-year-old pupil whom the school said would be “socially transitioning.” Hannah would not comply, believing this would harm the child. For this she lost her job; was reported to the Teaching Regulation Agency, which threatened her teaching license; and has been reported to a national database as a possible safeguarding risk to children.

The truth is the opposite. The school is putting the child at risk and Hannah is the only one speaking sense. She gave evidence in court and explained to the judge her Christian belief that all of us are created male or female (Genesis 1:27), supported by hundreds of pages of expert medical and scientific evidence. 

Not long ago, it would have been unimaginable that a Christian teacher would lose her job for trying to protect a child from “transitioning gender.” Yet these kinds of cases are occurring regularly in the U.K. 

Another example is the case of Reverend Bernard Randall, a Church of England chaplain in a church-affiliated school who preached a sermon in line with official Church of England doctrine. He lost his job because he said pupils were free to disagree with the LGBT+ ideology being promoted by the school, and whose goal is to “smash heteronormativity.” 

Moreover, the school referred him to the government’s counter-terrorism watchdog and to the Teaching Regulation Authority, and he was referred as a possible safeguarding risk to the Disclosure and Barring Service. Not to be outdone, the Church of England itself weighed in and blacklisted Randall as a safeguarding risk for preaching what is in line with the Church of England’s own official doctrine. 

Instead of setting the culture, some of our mainline churches are reflecting the culture and abandoning orthodox teaching, particularly on God’s moral code. 

In another case, Christian theologian Aaron Edwards was sacked by a Methodist Bible College last year for a tweet upholding Biblical teaching on human sexuality that went viral. We are helping him bring a case against his Bible college for discrimination on the grounds of his Christian beliefs! 

It is worth reading that last sentence again. It seems unthinkable.

Aaron Edwards. Photo: Courtesy of Christian Concern

Earlier this year, we were in court with Christian preacher Stephen Green, prosecuted for holding a sign which read: “Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.”

Green held up this sign outside an abortion clinic in West London and was found guilty of breaching a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). Extraordinarily, this means that it is now a crime to hold a sign with a Bible verse on it in parts of London. It is believed that the last time something like this happened in the U.K. was 1670, when Quakers William Penn and William Meade were arrested and put on trial for a silent religious act in a public street. Their brave stand eventually led to the free speech clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution, and in due course, the U.S. Constitution.

We’ve defended doctors, nurses, therapists, politicians, teachers, social workers, students and preachers because they’ve shared faith, prayed, given testimony or upheld God’s moral code.

These cases give you a flavor of the work we do. As our nation deliberately and defiantly rejects Jesus and His moral law, Christians are increasingly being called to stand unashamedly on their beliefs and to witness to the truth of God’s unbreakable Word. It is such a privilege to stand with these faithful Christians. 

Confronting the culture and witnessing to the truth of the Gospel is what Christians have always been called to do. As our culture rapidly shifts from reflecting and upholding Christian truth to rejecting it, everyone suffers.

Consequently, Christians are in for a shock. We’ve taken for granted the great blessings of our Christian heritage. When the culture is shaped by alternative ideologies, then the pressure on Christians increases. No Christian in the U.K. would have lost a job for expressing their Christian faith when I was newly qualified. 

Jesus said: “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38, ESV).

No matter what the culture throws at us, we cannot be ashamed of Christ, or ashamed of His unchanging Word. Christians of previous generations in the West have been called to such faithfulness, and it birthed the greatness and might of the United States of America. Since the Great Awakening, on both sides of the Atlantic we have been blessed by freedom, but if we are going to be faithful, hard times are coming. 

The remnant will be strong, uncompromising and unashamed. Our God is great and Sovereign, and as the U.S. dollar bill states: “In God We Trust.” 

As for you all, dear friends, my hope is that you will be strong and help us fight the good fight of faith until the battle is won or the Lord calls us home.  ©2024 Andrea Williams

Andrea Williams is a barrister who has practiced at all levels of the British legal system. She is co-founder and chief executive of Christian Concern, a U.K.-based advocacy center, and the Christian Legal Centre, which has argued some of the most high-profile Christian freedom cases in Europe. 

Above: Bernard Randall. Photo: Courtesy of Christian Concern.

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

About Us     Contact Us     Privacy
©2024 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.