Lawyers' Christian Fellowship on Gay Rights Law
Andrea Minichiello Williams, Public Policy Officer for the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, shares her views with Christian Today on the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which were passed by the House of Lords last Wednesday.
CT: What will these regulations mean for ordinary Christians who want to live according to the Bible and who may feel that providing a particular good or service to homosexuals may go against their conscience?
|QUOTE|AW: They're going to fall foul of the law and may well find themselves being sued. So can I please say at this point, please contact the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship and we will look after you. These are battles we are going to have to fight. But isn't it a very sad day when Christians, simply for acting according to the Bible, are going to find themselves falling foul of the law in our great country, Great Britain. It is really a very, very sad day today.
CT: So it is a shock to you that you are even here holding this prayer vigil?
AW: Absolutely, when you consider our heritage, when you consider the great freedom that has come and how we have led the world. And why? Because our values, our laws, have been founded on our Christian values.
What Christianity does is promote true tolerance. And that is a respect for every human individual. We would never compel anyone to believe. We want all mankind to know and love the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. But we cant compel people to do that. And in the truly tolerant society we respect another person's right to make their own decisions.
These laws will impose a new morality and if we don't accord to that morality we will find ourselves falling foul of the law.
CT: A number of Christians have said these regulations have been passed through undemocratically. Would you agree with that?
AW: Absolutely and we will be looking to challenge that through the due process of law.
CT: What will the next step be?
AW: We will consider whether or not there is any legal recourse because of the way these regulations have been rushed through Parliament without any proper debate or procedure. If we take that course I pray that the whole Christian community will come behind us, help to raise the funds to do that and pray for us that we might be successful and yet still turn over these regulations. But as I stand outside Parliament tonight I am still praying for a most dramatic miracle in there.
CT: Are you optimistic that Christians will be able to live as Christians?
AW: When we look at the Bible, Jesus was forsaken by his people, forsaken by those who had even followed him and was put on a cross and there he died for our sins. He underwent a false trial. And when we look at that example, and that of his disciples who were martyred and suffered as a result of following him, we know that when we truly live the Christian life those are the footsteps that we follow in. So we don't know what we can expect tomorrow.
One of the things about living here in the United Kingdom is that when we look at persecution across the world and the persecution of the church it is very often real physical persecution but the church must awaken to how we are being persecuted by a silencing across the church. If we speak out then what we say is lied about and distorted by others and we are being pushed out of the public square, unable to live according to our values. That is at the very least the beginning of persecution. And that is what we must become very alive to. If I was being sent to prison or being tortured then perhaps the church here in this country might wake up more quickly.
What I am saying is that we are no longer able to live according to these values and there is the beginning of oppression. Things that are against God's will are being legislated for. And it would be good if the church would wake up just upon hearing that and call the nation back to Christ, call for revival in this land.
CT: So Christians in the UK are in your opinion already suffering from persecution?
AW: Yes we are. It is censorship and a great chilling effect. Many Christians just resign silently from their jobs because they are no longer able to stay within them. We are beginning to see this. I get a case like that almost every week across my desk. Street preachers are being moved on; teachers don't get appointed because of their views; Christian GPs don't get promoted in certain circumstances, particularly in gynaecology, because of their views on abortion.
CT: Are the LCF and Christian Concern for Our Nation getting support from the church and other Christian organisations?
AW: Yes. Christian Concern for Our Nation now reaches over 30,000 people with its email network. That is the lay arm of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship public policy unit, which serves the church. We work in the community with organisations like the Christian Institute, Evangelical Alliance and CARE, to promote these values in society.
Please come and join us, please sign up to the Christian Concern for Our Nation e-mail alert and really keep ahead of all of these things and act upon them.
To sign up to the Christian Concern for Our Nation e-mail alert, click here: http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/emaillist.php