On the streets of London, an elderly priest was investigated for making “homophobic remarks” and warning passers-by that same-sex partners were against “God’s made order.”
On Friday, April 23, pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were praying outside Uxbridge tube station in West London when police officers arrived.
“I started the preaching and pointed to our nation’s grave abandoning of its Christian roots, and abandonment that has expressed itself, for example, in the redefinition of marriage,” Simpson said.
He called same-sex marriage an “attack on Biblical revelation,” which states that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.
Sherwood, 71, then took over and started “expounding Genesis 1’s final verses.”
He told onlookers that households must be “led by a father and a woman,” and that “the core of God’s produced order” is “the division within humanity of only two genders, male and female, made in the image of God.”
Soon after, police appeared on the scene, claiming they had received calls about the pastor’s “homophobic remarks,” which were causing “distress” to members of the public.
Officers were recorded on video requesting that he cease campaigning against LGBT+ people, which he denied.
Sherwood was also informed that he was being detained and ordered to leave his step stool, which he declined to do.
“He’s an old man, take it easy on him,” onlookers can be heard yelling.
Police then seized the man’s hands and led him down the street, after which he attempted to flee before being handcuffed and taken to a police vehicle.
Mr. Sherwood, a 35-year pastor, said: “I wasn’t making any homophobic remarks; I was just describing marriage as a man-woman relationship. I was just stating what the Bible says; I didn’t try to offend or harm someone.
“I was doing my duty, which required me to preach the gospel both outside and inside a church building.
“When the cops came up to me, I clarified that I was exercising my religious freedom and conscience. My wrist and elbow is injured as a result of being yanked down from the stairwell. I assume I was handled in a deplorable manner. It should never have existed in the first place.”
Mr Sherwood, who preaches at an independent evangelical church in north London, was arrested for reportedly causing alarm or panic under the Public Order Act. He was released without charge, although the Crown Prosecution Service is still reviewing his file.
A member of the public called down traffic staff, alleging Mr. Sherwood had made homophobic remarks, according to the Metropolitan Police.
Officers questioned Mr. Sherwood about his stance toward gay people, he said. He was also questioned about what he would do if his children turned out to be gay.
The father-of-two, who is married, said: “The issue has nothing to do with the accusation leveled against me. I said that I would try to lead them to Christ, but that I would love them regardless because they are my friends.”
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