A victory for free speech and the gospel

Pastor James McConnell has been found not guilty of two charges related to a message he preached back in 2014 where he described the Islam religion as heathen, satanic and a doctrine spawned in Hell.

Back in May 2014, shortly after the message was preached, BBC News reported  that Dr Al-Wazzan, of the Belfast Islamic Centre said he was contacting the police and would hold Pastor McConnell "responsible for any racial attacks on any Muslim in Northern Ireland"

Pastor McConnell was first questioned by the police over a possible hate crime but no further action was taken. He was later charged with the offence of using the internet to transmit a message that was "Grossly Offensive"

During the initial phases of the prosecution he was offered to accept an "Informed Warning." - however to do so, in his opinion would have been to accept guilt, and so he refused.

Pastor's full trial then took place in December 2015, and today the verdict on all counts was not guilty.

This is such an important ruling for Churches here - it is vital that Pastors and Ministers are able to speak out what God has led them to preach. It is vital that the Internet can be used by Christians to effectively spread God's message. To say that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and man, is to preach the message of the Gospel, and today the freedom to preach, and to publish online,  has been upheld.

Coming out of the court Pastor McConnell re-iterated his intention was not to offend individual Muslims but to preach against the doctrines of that religion, and he thanked all those who had supported him during these months.

Who would have thought six months ago judges, barristers, journalists would all have heard about the Lord Jesus in a Belfast court room, as they watched a full service from the Tabernacle on DVD  - surely God has his ways of allowing people to hear the gospel in strange settings, and who knows what the final outcome might be from those who have heard His Word in that setting.