Christian Concern Protest at Bristol Pride 2018 Fails to Made a Dent at the Event
Fundamentalists Christian Concern, attempts to rally a protest outside The New Room in Bristol against gay Christians using the space for a life-affirming service.
Protesters outside of The New Room being challenged by passerby (man with the bag)
A group of fundamentalist Christians were met with a mixture of anger, contempt and LGBT+ love from the public during a day-long protest at Bristol Pride on Saturday 14 July.
The protesters had assembled early in the morning after a rally on Christian Concern’s website and Facebook page. They opposed the use of The New Room for a ‘reflective’ Service of Celebration for Christians at Bristol Pride, because of ‘Wesley’s own views on homosexuality, and the stated position of the Methodist Church on human sexuality’.
Writing on their website they said: ‘It’s true that all people, made in God’s image, have inherent dignity – and that all who turn to Jesus are welcomed – but the message ‘God affirms you’ leaves out the need to turn away from what is wrong in God’s eyes, and is incompatible with being a disciple of Jesus. It seems loving, but actually leaves people abandoned to “the ways of the flesh”.’
They had asked for people to ‘witness and rally’ to show support with Pastor Dia Moodley of the Spirit of Life Church which meets in Henbury in Bristol.
During the protest they shouted out that they were happy to take questions, but were unable to appropriately respond to how stopping gay Christians using the space would work in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, saying the protest came from a place of ‘love’ and that the Equality Act also gave them the right to make homophobic hate speech against gay people.
Christian Concern chief executive, Andrea Williams said: “The heritage of sound biblical teaching on human sexuality that was faithfully proclaimed by Christian men like John Wesley should be upheld by the church, not torn down. Methodism is dear to my heart, and I find it very sad to see buildings intended for the proclamation of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ being used to celebrate a sexual lifestyle that He condemned.”
Whilst officers from Avon and Somerset Police were in attendance, there was little in the way of interference as members of the public challenged the protesters, who were quietly flanked by others in the crowd who stepped forwards to challenged hecklers.
The New Room comes out to wave the Pride parade through Broadmead
Education Officer and Methodist Minister Mandy Briggs, took the time after the service to wave through the Bristol Pride parade from outside of the New Room.
As the Bristol Pride parade passed the small group of protesters in Broadmead, who were still being challenged by members of the public, they responded with loud cheers and waves.
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