Dr. Aaron Edwards, a Christian theologian in England, has been reportedly sacked from Cliff College and threatened with referral to a counter terrorism program for simply posting the following tweet:

There is obviously a serious problem in a Christian denomination when those who are faithful to its doctrines are expelled for upholding them. And not only that, but are then referred to Prevent—a counter terrorism program—because they are considered as being a physical danger to people in society.

But clearly, Dr. Edwards is not spreading ‘hate’ but calling people to come and receive the love of Christ by trusting in His death, resurrection and ascension and then turning away from their sinful rebellion. As Dr Edwards said in an interview Calvin Robertson on GBNews:

People who basically see the conflation of a particular sin—that someone might take as their identity—when you challenge that sin which someone has said, “But that’s who I am!”, it sounds like you’re hating that person. And of course, Christians have long separated the difference between hating sin and hating the sinner.

It’s necessary to hate sin, especially if you want to honour God in this life. God hates sin. It’s really important that we make that clear. Anyone who has read their Bible will see that God really hates sin. But He loves sinners who repent and come to Him and who say, “I have sinned and I repent of that.”

We are all sin, we’re all under God’s judgment. But there’s actually a wonderful message of Christianity. It’s called the “Good News” precisely because God has overcome that in the Gospel as we’ll be learning about this Easter. It’s what the story of the cross and resurrection is all about.

So, it’s not a message of hate, it’s actually a message which is good for you to overcome the problem of sin which has plagued humanity forever. And that’s a really important thing to get clear. It’s a good thing to hate sin, it’s not a bad thing.

It’s important to remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is described in the book of Revelation as having eyes of ‘blazing fire’ and feet of ‘burnished bronze’. This means that in His divine holiness, Jesus sees perfectly every compromise we make while Himself being completely without sin. And because this is what He is like, He challenges those in His body—such as the church at Thyatira—to not tolerate sexual immorality (i.e. Rev. 2:18-20).

But this is also a good indication as to what all faithful followers of Jesus in the West are increasingly likely to experience. Because if Dr. Edwards can have his employment terminated by his so-called ‘Christian’ employer, then what should one expect from their secular ones? And if a Christian theologian can be threatened with inciting acts of terrorism, then it won’t be long before more of us are sent to modern day gulags for re-education. 

Dr. Edwards is right; it is imperative for those especially in the church to stand up against the LGBT agenda. As Edwards powerfully argues:

We’re seeing a growing LGBT agenda. It’s one thing to see what happen outside in the world beyond the church, but when it comes into the church I think it’s a time when those who want to stand upon the orthodox Christian faith need to speak up and speak out and not allow the toleration of sin because God doesn’t tolerate sin. He can forgive sin, but he doesn’t tolerate it.

So, when the church as it were gives its blessing—on behalf of God—for same-sex relationships as the Anglican Church did recently, I find that particularly offensive as a Christian. I think Christians need to stand up for the Word of God at that time.

So, that’s why I tweeted what I tweeted. I don’t think I was trying to cause trouble on purpose. But of course, I knew that it might be a difficult thing for some people to hear but I think that it’s something which evangelicals especially—but really anyone who wants to stand upon the Word of God—needs to be awake too at this time.

Dr. Edwards is right. The church catholic needs to wake up to the spiritually danger we are currently in. For we have a Saviour and Lord who is present with us, walking amongst His lampstands. A King who searches hearts and minds, and who both promises and warns that He will repay everyone according to what he has done (Rev. 2:23).

– Mark Powell