The evil of sodomy and the need to protest

Gospel preacher Ryan Williamson, 44, was arrested by PSNI officers for suspected disorderly behaviour after refusing to stop preaching in Larne town centre in 2021.

“‭Even as‭ Sodom‭ and‭ Gomorrha‭, and‭ the cities‭ about‭ them‭ in like‭‭ manner‭, giving themselves over to fornication‭‭, and‭ going‭‭ after‭ strange‭ flesh‭, are set forth for‭‭ an example‭, suffering‭‭ the vengeance‭ of eternal‭ fire‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jude 1:7.

Following the display of depravity by those who have adopted a life of moral perversion and defiance of God in Belfast, on Saturday, July 29th, there has been much in the press about one protest mounted against that exhibition of the latest example of the fast growing rebelliousness of mankind and the tragic acceptance of it by thousands of men, women and parents with their children.

I am referring to the open-air protest mounted by Mr Ryan Williamson. There followed quite a stir amongst the supporters of the sodomite parade at what he said during his open-air meeting. I will not repeat what was reported in the press as being his words of condemnation, for he has claimed that he was taken out of context though he did not dispute his use of the word ‘rape’. The matter is under consideration by the police who took videos of what was said by Mr Williamson. We await the outcome of that investigation.

I might offer my support to Mr Williamson in his protest. I do not know him. I have never met him or heard him nor do I know much about his theological views, though I do accept his profession of being a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have been a preacher in the open-air and in pulpits since I first feebly opened my mouth to proclaim Christ in an open-air conducted by Mr Noel Stephenson, back in April 1964, some thirteen days after God saved me out of darkness, ignorance and sin on 5th April of that year.

I have been engaged in preaching and in protest ever since, both in pulpits, open-air meetings and by the use of the pen. Some might even suggest that I have been a ‘mite’ controversial in my witnessing! Be that as it may, I have been led to follow a simple rule when denouncing the wickedness of this age. I recall hearing old Pastor Willie Mullan, as he related his response to criticism of something he had said: “Your argument is not with me, but with God for I have only quoted what He said in the Bible!”

Providentially, that simple precept was implanted in me from that time and almost unconsciously I have been constrained to abide within the parameters of that rule.

The Bible gives an abundance of clear and proper denunciations we may employ when dealing with men’s sinfulness. Indeed, we cannot come up with words more damning than those God employs. The Saviour’s censuring of His critics, His enemies, in Matthew 23, sets down an abundance of proper terms to employ against God’s enemies.

When criticised for employing the Saviour’s terms of rebuke against those who break His Law, we may respond with a ‘Thus said the Lord’! Such criticism should not in the least embarrass Christians nor, above all, bring any measure of reproach upon the cause of God.

These are evil times and whatever a Christian may seek to do to uphold the honour and truth of the Lord Jesus will be opposed and misconstrued by those who have no compunction about employing lies against the child of God. Remember it was so in the case of our Saviour Himself!

“‭And‭ the chief priests‭ and‭ all‭ the council‭ sought‭‭ for witness‭ against‭ Jesus‭ to‭ put‭‭ him‭ to death‭‭; and‭ found‭‭ none‭.‭ ‭For‭ many‭ bare false witness‭‭ against‭ him‭, but‭ their witness‭ agreed‭‭ not‭‭ together‭‭.‭ ‭And‭ there arose‭‭ certain‭, and bare false witness‭‭ against‭ him‭, saying‭‭,‭ ‭ We‭ heard‭‭ him‭ say‭‭,‭ I‭ will destroy‭‭ this‭ temple‭ that is made with hands‭, and‭ within‭ three‭ days‭ I will build‭‭ another‭ made without hands‭.‭ ‭But‭ neither‭ so‭ did‭‭ their‭ witness‭ agree together‭‭‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Mark 14:55-59.

I acknowledge that I could not go anywhere near a ‘Pride Parade’ to protest for the simple reason that I would find the display of lewd and crude immorality and immodesty too abhorrent to tolerate! I do not fault any who do mount a protest in the vicinity of such a parade. But I have reasons why I just would find it impossible to do so!

I find in the Bible that there were times when the Lord withdrew from any further protests against those who ignored what He had said and went on regardless and persisted in their wickedness. The example of His silence before His accusers prior to His crucifixion bears this out I believe. Paul said that in the past, in His dealings with sodomites and their kind, “God‭ also‭ gave‭‭ them‭ up‭‭ to‭ uncleanness‭ through‭ the lusts‭ of their own‭ hearts‭, to dishonour‭‭ their own‭ bodies‭ between‭ themselves‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬”. And again, “For‭ this‭ cause God‭ gave‭‭ them‭ up‭‭ unto‭ vile‭ affections‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬”, (Romans 1:24, 26).

That same sentiment is recorded in the instruction given to the prophet Hosea. “‭Ephraim‭ ‭is‭ joined‭‭ to idols‭: let him alone‭‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Hosea 4:17.

I do not say that sodomites cannot be saved. That they can is made plain in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. However, it must be remembered that Corinth was a city in which there had NEVER been a substantial gospel witness. Peter on one occasion said, “‭For‭ Moses‭ of‭ old‭ time‭ hath‭‭ in every‭ city‭ them that preach‭‭ him‭, being read‭‭ in‭ the synagogues‭ every‭‭ sabbath day‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Acts 15:21. The reading of the Law of Moses in a Jewish synagogue falls far short of the heritage of gospel preaching that we here in Northern Ireland have been privileged to enjoy for centuries.

It is in the light of the blatant and undisguised trampling of that witness under their feet by participants in the ‘Pride parade’ in Belfast that I feel that the words of Paul I have quoted from Romans chapter One, may be applied to those organising and supporting the display of mocking God in Belfast last Saturday.

I would like to share something of the reports that have appeared in the ‘Belfast Newsletter’ regarding the parade and the protest. The reports contain criticism of the protest mounted by Mr Williamson. Some are particularly galling! None more so than the letter by Terence Reid, which has been published criticising Rev Philip Campbell’s letter defending such protests as the one in Belfast. Both are reproduced below.

Mr Terence Reid, in his letter, showed the all too familiar tactic of criticising the claims of Christianity and seeking to overthrow its witness by using the very tactic of which he accuses Rev Campbell. He says that the Bible is not a ‘moral’ book. I have no doubt that it does not uphold Mr Weir’s notion of morality but it may be honestly claimed that those nations which adopted its teachings to any degree were more moral and just in their dealings than those which reject it!

Terence Reid also claimed that “the story of Noah is a myth not history’. I suppose nothing could be more ludicrous than that assertion when one considers the fact that man has constantly digging up evidence of that flood in virtually every country in the world. The evidence of a sudden, catastrophic event is found in every fossil man has uncovered, many of which indicate the animals involved suffered a instantaneous death and were engulfed in such a fashion as to preserve them as they were at the moment of their demise. Only the Biblical flood of Noah’s day offers an adequate explanation for such fossils.

One day all the ‘Reidites’ there have ever been will learn that truth to their eternal horror.

Sincerely in Christ’s name,

Ivan Foster

Belfast Pride hate crime investigation: Preacher quizzed over Pride ‘hate crime’ claims his message was misconstrued

A preacher accused of making hate crime comments ahead of the Belfast Pride parade at the weekend has claimed his message was misconstrued.

By Rebecca Black, PA

Published 1st Aug 2023 — ‘Belfast Newsletter’.

Ryan Williamson, of ‘Salvation On The Streets’, has been preaching in the city centre for the last five years.

Speaking in Royal Avenue ahead of the Pride parade on Saturday, he was recorded saying: “Homosexuals have become so brazen that they wanted to rape the righteous, and that’s what is happening today – they want to rape our children, they want to rape our country, they want to pillage and they want to pilfer, all in the name of love. We need to stand up against the sin of homosexuality.”

Mr Williamson’s comments have been criticised by the organisers of Belfast Pride and some public representatives.

Preacher Ryan Williamson was accused of a hate crime at the Belfast Pride parade – something he denies.

At the weekend the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they were aware of a video circulating on social media showing a male using a public address system in the Royal Avenue area of the city on Saturday, July 29, prior to the Belfast Pride Parade.

They said officers were present at the scene and gathered evidence on body worn video, and footage is being reviewed by investigators.

On Tuesday evening the PSNI issued a statement saying that they are treating the tearing of a bible in Belfast city centre on Saturday July 29 as a hate crime.

On Tuesday morning, Mr Williamson responded to criticism of his comments, saying an 18-second clip does not portray his message.

He told the BBC’s Stephen Nolan Show that he believes God has called him to “speak out against the evil of the homosexual ideology and agenda”.

“I have spoken to many homosexual people, I have many homosexual friends, I don’t not love people – I love them, but I love God more, and I love the truth more, so I tell them the truth.”

Questioned about his comments at Belfast Pride, Mr Williamson said: “Of course I don’t believe that homosexuals rape kids. I believe what the rape is is the rape of our children’s identity.

Challenged that that was not what he said, he countered: “It’s what I meant.”He went on: “They’ve caught my words, an 18-second clip … but we’ll be putting the full message up to let people know on our Facebook page, Salvation On The Streets.”“There is a pretext to vilify Christians and to vilify preachers.“Police and the council and others have been weaponised against me by the homosexual community … I have been arrested over the head of them taking things out of context, so I’m saying that what I mean is that kids are being indoctrinated by a militant homosexual agenda, it’s the rape of their identity, our biblical morality and Christian heritage is being raped from our country.”

On Monday, Belfast Pride co-chairman John O’Doherty said the “language used was entirely unacceptable”.

Alliance Party councillor Micky Murray also expressed his concern, and said he will be meeting senior police on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

“Belfast Pride is the biggest, brightest, most inclusive parade in our city. So, it was utterly depressing to hear the hateful messages being preached by people who proclaim to be Christians on Saturday.

“In my view, what was being preached constituted a hate crime and members of the public were visibly and audibly outraged by it,” he said.

At present, no specific offence of hate crime exists in Northern Ireland. Instead, under current legislation, a sentence can be increased where it is proven a person was motivated by hostility against someone’s race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

In December Northern Ireland judge Des Marrinan made 34 recommendations for proposed hate crime legislation. However he also caused concern when he was recommended the abolition of free speech protections for individuals’ own homes – the private dwelling defence.

The Department of Justice says it has been working to implement his recommendations and finalise a range of policy positions to inform the introduction of a Hate Crime Bill. The first of a two-part public consultation was published in March. It is also developing topics for part two, which will be considered by an incoming minister, it added.

Belfast Pride hate crime: Preacher Ryan Williamson has been arrested and prosecuted twice before – and acquitted of all charges

The Banbridge businessman who made headlines after controversial preaching on Saturday at the Belfast Pride parade, has made many headlines before.

Ryan Williamson made headlines again after preaching on Saturday at the Belfast Pride parade that homosexual people “want to rape our children”. However today he told the BBC Nolan Show that his comments were taken out of context.

“Of course I don’t believe that homosexuals rape kids,” he said. “I believe what the rape is is the rape of our children’s identity.”

Mr Williamson has made many headlines before for his preaching. He has been arrested and prosecuted for his preaching in Larne and Dundalk.

Gospel preacher Ryan Williamson, 44, was arrested by PSNI officers for suspected disorderly behaviour after refusing to stop preaching in Larne town centre in 2021. He was de-arrested 30 minutes later and went back to preaching.

Yet despite much public criticism for his actions, in both cases judges acquitted him of all charges, after his legal representatives argued that his religious opinions are protected under the European Convention of Human Rights.

On 24 June last year a judge in Dundalk dismissed the case against him and two associates for preaching against homosexuality – prompting their solicitor to accuse Garda of a ‘bogus prosecution’.

The men were arrested by Gardai in Dundalk on 21 September 2021 after being warned to stop preaching on homosexuality. When they declined, Ryan Williamson, 44, and his associates were all handcuffed, taken into Dundalk Garda station and charged with public order offences.

After hearings over two days, their solicitor Ciaran Mulholland of Mulholland law in Dundalk, told the News Letter that the Garda owed the trio answers.

“I would welcome the decision of District Judge McKiernan which vindicates my clients’ position that they were not in breach of public order nor inciting inflammatory statements.

“These three men all with deep faith; practicing Christians felt their only crime was preaching the word of Our Lord. After hearing evidence from the arresting Garda and the Accused the Judge rightfully dismissed all three cases over the last two days.The Garda declined to offer any response.

Mr Williamson said after being acquitted: “Our barrister said in court that According to Article 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, you are entitled to express those views publicly. He also said that the preamble to the Irish Constitution says that Jesus Christ and the most Holy Trinity are the ultimate authority in the affairs of state.”

Only days later, on 27 June last year, he was cleared of all charges for similar preaching in Larne.Police were called to investigate reports that he was committing hate speech in Larne on 10 August 2019. However when they arrived and directed him to stop preaching he refused, and they arrested him for disorderly behaviour.

In Ballymena Magistrates Court Mr Williamson pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour and was found not guilty, with the case being dismissed.Mr Williamson’s solicitor, Paul Dougan from John J Rice Solicitors in Belfast, welcomed the outcome.“We never believed that it was disorderly behaviour,” he told the News Letter.

“Obviously Mr Williamson was innocent until proven guilty. And it is quite clear from the court today that the judge, having heard the evidence, dismissed the prosecution’s case as not having satisfied the burden of proof that it was disorderly behaviour.

“The judge agreed with our submission that what was being spoken about publicly was well within Mr Williamson’s [European] convention rights – articles ten and eleven – and the judge agreed with that.”He added: “From a defence perspective I think they shouldn’t have taken the case, because as we said from the outset, this was never a scenario of disorderly behaviour as defined by the statute.”

The businessman affirmed that they receive much criticism from both believers and unbelievers for their street preaching and that they are regularly assaulted by members of the public. However he claimed he also receives much support – again from both unbelievers and believers.“Lots of people weep and pray with us and tell us that they have received Christ,” he said. “Anywhere from two to ten a month.”

Larne based independent catholic Bishop Fr Pat Buckley has frequently demonstrated against Mr Williamson when he preaches in the town. He offered only a very short comment on the outcome of the case, expressing strong dissatisfaction with the law and with street preachers in general.

“I hope they stay from Larne,” he told the News Letter. “We don’t want them here”.

Letter: Those who demonstrated against the Pride parade in Belfast on Saturday were not acting out of hatred

A letter from Philip Campbell:

Published 1st Aug 2023, 01:37 BST- 1 min read

Christians protest against the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre on Saturday July 29 2023. They did so out of love for the God whose desire is that all should repent.

Many years ago Jesus Christ wept over the city of Jerusalem. I wonder was He weeping over Belfast last Saturday? A city which has enjoyed the privileges of a Biblical heritage and Gospel freedom now accommodates and celebrates a parade which both condones and promotes immorality.

And the rainbow – which so encouraged Noah after God’s judgement on sin in the global flood – is now abused to endorse sin! Where are the public representatives who will challenge this offence to marriage, to family and to God Himself?

But amidst all of the noise, colour and defiance of God’s law, there were those in the city centre witnessing to the life-changing message of the Gospel of Christ. And I remind folks that they were doing so, not out of hatred for homosexuals, but out of love for the God whose desire is that all should come to repentance.

How we pray that many will find – as others have – release from the guilt and grip of sinful behaviour and its addiction. (2 Cor. 5v17)

Philip Campbell (Rev)
Secretary, Caleb Foundation

Letter: Minister displays arrogance that his version of Christianity is correct

A letter from Terence Weir:

Published 2nd Aug 2023, 05:56 BST- 1 min read

Letters to editor

In response to Rev Philip Campbell’s letter on Tuesday (‘Those who demonstrated against Pride parade weren’t acting out of hatred,’ August 1, see link below):

Rev Campbell’s arrogance that his version of Christianity is correct is staggering, and that he feels the right to spout his homophobic frustrations under the guise of religious authority. The Bible is far from a moral book. The story of Noah is a myth not history and Rev Campbell’s viewpoint only endorses the harm that can be caused to humanity by religion and self-righteous fundamentalists.

Terence Weir