Can You Be Arrested in America for Preaching the Gospel?June 24, 2010 9:46 am Christian Life Issues
From Champlain Gordon James Klingenschmitt’s “Pray in Jesus’ Name” newsletter:
“Jailed for Jesus in America…Michigan police arrest Christians for talking to Muslims
Four Christians were arrested and jailed for talking to Muslims about Jesus, by order of police chief Ronald Haddad of Dearborn Michigan, who defended the arrests one week after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered those same police to let Christian evangelist George Saieg preach openly at a Muslim festival there.
‘We didn’t distribute literature, or preach anything,’ said one of the four jailed evangelists. ‘We spoke only to those people who first approached us, we talked only about Jesus’ love…and within minutes we were handcuffed and jailed.’ But Haddad was unrepentant. “We did make four arrests for disorderly conduct,’ Haddad told Worldnet Daily. ‘They did cause a stir’ [with their free speech about Jesus]. Is talking quietly about Jesus now disorderly, just because some Muslims get angry?
‘Allah Akbar!’ shouted two Muslims as the Christians were taken away in handcuffs, by police who also seized the Christians’ video camera evidence and refused to return video footage of the arrests.
The video is now on YouTube of another group of three evangelists being detained by the same police the very next day, because they distributed the Gospel of John on a public sidewalk outside the Muslim festival. This new video got 15,000 hits in 3 days, after the police told those being held that city policy states Christian literature is not allowed within 5 city blocks of the Muslim festival, creating a ‘banned-Bible zone’ in violation of the First Amendment.
‘The police are enforcing Sharia law in America,’ said one of the four arrested Christians, explaining that Muslim Sharia law is not just about putting Burkas on women, but also prohibits anyone from talking to Muslims about Jesus, and prevents listeners from escaping Islam by converting to any other religion.
Richard Thompson, President of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), defends the Christians from the ministry called Acts 17, saying: ‘Contrary to the comments made by [corrupt Dearborn] Police Chief Ron Haddad, our Constitution does not allow police to ban the right of free speech just because there are some hecklers. Not all police officers approve of the way their department treated these Christians.’
TMLC told Worldnet Daily, ‘Judge Paul Borman had affirmed the city’s ban on handing out Christian material near the festival. It was last year when Dearborn police threatened Saieg with arrest if he handed out information on Christianity near the event.’ The city’s ban was temporarily restrained by the Sixth Circuit, but the Police ignored the court, saying the TRO only applied to Saieg, not to any other Christians. On charges of ‘Breach of the Peace’ are: Negeen Mayel, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, and David Wood. TMLC reports Mayel, an eighteen year old female, whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan and a recent convert from Islam to Christianity, was also charged with failure to obey a police officer’s orders, [because she raised her voice while being physically violated.] She was approximately 100 feet away and videotaping a discussion with some Muslims when her camera was seized.”
So, the answer to my posting headline, is, sadly, in the current climate… yes! But, make no mistake, we are to preach the Word of God in Jesus’ Name! In the book of Acts, when the disciples were confronted with the same choice, “do we preach the Gospel, or obey the authorities?” Here’s what they did, and said:
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:27-32)
What does God say? “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2) During this sad season of our country, in which we see so much denial of our personal rights, we need to hearken to the Word of God, and preach the Word with boldness!
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel…” (Eph 6:16-19)