Having been thrown off his social work course at Sheffield University in 2014 for posting what it was claimed were derogatory comments about gay and bisexual people on Facebook, devout Christian Felix Ngole – who believes homosexuality is a sin and upholds a biblical view of marriage – was subsequently reinstated after the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour. Christians have the right to express Biblical views on social media or wherever, their Lordships declared, and expelling him from the course was a breach of human rights.
When the father of three graduated from his course last year, he must surely have thought the dispute was well and truly behind him. Now, however, it appears he is back in the firing line. In May last year, Mr Ngole landed what he described as his dream job, as a mental health support worker with Leeds-based Touchstone Support. A few weeks later, however, the offer was rescinded. Touchstone, ranked as 20th in Stonewall’s list of top 100 LGBTQ+ employers (https://touchstonesupport.org.uk/touchstone-ranks-at-20th-place-on-stonewalls-top-100-employers-list-for-lgbtq-people-and-achieves-a-gold-award/), had apparently found out about the case … through social media (where else?) … and said ‘his strong views about homosexuality’ did not align with the company’s ethos and values. Supported by the campaigning group Stonewall, the company further said it would only consider employing Mr Ngole if he undertook to ’embrace and promote LGBT rights’. In other words, they were issuing a demand that Mr Ngole abandon his convictions, and pledge allegiance to the rebranded values of Stonewall
This is wrong. Whatever ideas and values secular activists may wish to promote, they do not have the right to suppress opposing views. Such a demand displays bigoted intolerance and is a form of totalitarianism. It is a denial of those freedoms, rooted in the Bible, on which this country is founded – and that indeed once made us the envy of the world. Values such as freedom of religion or belief, respect for all, and the freedom to express one’s honestly held views without fear of intimidation or abuse. All of which rights and freedoms are, of course, guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights, as enacted in UK law in the Human Rights Act 1998.
But the breed of secular activists now increasingly attempting to force their ideas onto the rest of us appear to think such laws don’t apply to themselves and that they have an absolute right to silence what they regard as ‘opposition’. As demonstrated by the treatment of Mr Ngole, anyone who wants to express a contrary view must either shut up or put up – but what they cannot do is disagree.
It is a declaration of war on the values by which this nation has lived for over a thousand years – values rooted in the Bible and that have given our society stability, order and strength. It is a form of ideological dictatorship that is both judgmental and intolerant, and that actively discriminates against people of faith. Whether they know it or not – whether they care of not – such activists have declared war on God.
They do this at their peril. Contrary to what secularists claim, God is not just some woolly haired, fantasy figure in the sky. God is the Creator and Sovereign Lord of all. And while – in love – He allows time for rebellious and misguided mankind to repent, He will return to deal, once and for all, with evil, to pass judgment on those who have rejected His law, and to reclaim His own.
In the spiralling chaos, climatic disturbance, and rising levels of violence affecting the whole world, we are already seeing first signs of His approach. To have any chance of surviving what is to come, it is urgent we repent – for our disobedience and rejection of God’s law, for our greed and prioritisation of self-gratification over all else, for our worship of sex, money and power …. As Christ promised at His ascension, once all have been given chance to hear the good news of His victory over evil and God’s gift of redemption, He will return in glory to claim His kingdom.
That time is now close, and men and women are faced with a choice. Continue in evil and suffer damnation in both this world and the world to come, or come back to God and be saved.