UK Pastor John Williamson of Newquay Baptist Church faces violent threats from the LGBTQ+ community for saying that homosexuality is a sin.
According to Christian Concern, Williamson wrote, “Wonderful news!” in response to a news article reporting the cancellation of the Cornwall Pride Parade. The parade was to occur on August 29.
An online user asked Williamson why he celebrated the cancellation. The pastor replied, “Because I don’t think sin should be celebrated.”
Williamson referred to Scripture to defend his stance on homosexuality.
The pastor shared the article on his personal Facebook page. He also noted that his church prayed for the parade’s cancellation.
“We also prayed that the Lord would save the organizers. One prayer answered. Now we wait for the second prayer to be answered,” he added.
Parade organizers learned of Williamson’s page. They took a screenshot of his post, tagged his church, and posted it with online users’ anti-LGBTQ+ comments.
The names of the users were blocked out by Cornell Pride, to make it look like Pastor Williamson made the negative comments.
Williamson’s wife received online threats. Her husband’s head was superimposed upon an image of homosexual pornography that was shared online.
Cornwall Pride followers reported the pastor to police for committing a hate crime.
Williamson received many threats. Members of the LGBTQ+ community protested outside of his church during Sunday’s service. They threatened to have the church’s charity status revoked. They also threatened to deport the pastor to Australia’s homeland.
Amid the threats, Williamson met with two members of Cornwall Pride. He continued to defend his stance on homosexuality. He shared a tract that explains why homosexuality is a sin.
But the group shared images of the tract online. This gave the appearance that Williamson was promoting hate speech.
Christian Concern shared a screenshot of a post. One member proposed to burn down Newquay Baptist Church. It was met with support.
Another user chanted, “LET’S BURN A CHURCH! LET’S BURN A CHURCH!”
Another member suggested having a mass sex orgy at the church.
Police officers told Williamson that he should not offend anyone in the LGBTQ+ community.
According to Christian Concern, the Cornwall Police are sponsors of the LGBTQ organization.
Williamson expressed concern about the threats. He said: “As Christians, we seek to speak the truth in love. We welcome all people to our services,” including members of the LGBTQ+ community.
However, Williamson stated that the Bible says all people need to repent from their sin and place their trust in Christ.
“It would be unloving for us to remain silent about what God’s Word says about sin. We, therefore, must proclaim the truth that homosexuality is a sin. But God loves sinners, and Jesus can forgive all our sins.”
Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre is representing Pastor Josh Williamson over the incident.
“It’s common in the UK to see threats and calls for violence against Christians for voicing their opposition to LGBT Pride,” Williams stated. “Police forces should show Christians they take this seriously. They should protect their free speech against mob threats rather than telling them to keep Christians quiet.”
“Christians are called to repay evil with good. I have no doubt that Pastor Williamson will continue to share the reality of sin and the good news of Jesus Christ with Newquay’s people,” she concluded.