Pastor John Sherwood (Pilgrim Tabernacle Church, Finchley) and Pastor Simpson from Penn were preaching the gospel in the main high street of Oxford City Centre on July 17th 2017.
There were vast numbers of tourists walking past. Some stopped to listen for short periods and some conversations were entered into. Passing Christians were encouraged by the public testimony. There were some complaints about the volume of the preaching, and so Pastor Sherwood, who is blessd with a particularly strong voice, spoke a little more quietly following an approach by a Council official, but both ministers were using only the unaided human voice, whilst amplified music was being played further down the street.
Some tracts were handed out and it is the church's prayer that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin to the hearers. A few were certainly listening with more than just passing interest. Others seemed genuinely surpised that such preaching was happening at all, perhaps coming from countries where such activity simply never takes place.
Some were probabaly taken aback by the preachers' serious and earnest demeanour, which suggested that this was not just another form of take-it-or-leave-it street entertainment, but the most urgent message which people will ever hear in their lives.
Many suppose that Christians should be quiet and gentle to the point of invisibility - anything else would not be 'loving', it is argued; but gospel preaching must be with authority. Yes, we speak the truth in love, but true preaching is not, 'Let me share a few thoughts with you, trying my best not to upset you', but rather "Thus saith the Lord".
"What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops"
"And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear,