There is an occasion of persecution against Christians prevalent in the news right now in the U. K. The case of Dale McAlpine in Great Britain is getting a lot of press (as it should). The case is clearly one of persecution. Mr. McAlpine was neither abusive nor offensive in his actions. The offense clearly erupted from the content of his speech, namely, the Word of God. McAlpine was not preaching against homosexuality. He was speaking against drunkenness from 1 Corinthians 6:9. His only mention of homosexuality came after being questioned by a private individual. He responded to the question of the individual, and, for that, he was arrested. Apparently, his offense was that he called homosexuality a sin in a private conversation with an individual who asked him about it.
I know that this case represents a loss of religious freedom in the U.K. It is strange how imams there have the freedom to incite real violence against innocent Englanders under the free speech laws; yet, in this case, a man cannot answer a question about his beliefs regarding homosexuality. Obviously, free speech is absent in England in any meaningful sense.
More than the loss of speech or religious liberty, however, this case is clearly one of persecution. It separates the darkness from the light. It was offensive to those outside of the truth not because it was presented in an offensive manner (such as rude signs during a funeral procession), but, rather, it was offensive simply because it displayed the righteousness of God. God, of course, has the right to order human sexuality for our good. We may not like it. We may not agree with it. We may choose to disobey it. Nevertheless, God–as creator and sustainer of all things–has the right to order sexuality. Pointing this out to others–even if done gently–is offensive. In fact, we are all offended by the gospel because the gospel has a way of speaking to us about a standard of righteousness we have failed to meet. (Of course, the great good news is Christ offers righteousness to us).