‘McConnell and Jesus were both offensive and we shouldn’t shrink from being so too’

Newbuildings Independent Methodist Minister, Rev Jonathan Campbell, has praised Rev Pastor McConnell, saying he was only following the example of Jesus by offending people with his comments about Islam.

In a sermon following Rev. James McConnell’s trial, the Londonderry pastor said: “Even if it should come to the day when we - like Pastor McConnell - are hauled into court and dragged into the court room...we need never be alarmed.

Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini with Pastor McConnell outside court in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini with Pastor McConnell outside court in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

“There is no reason to panic and to think we have done something wrong. We have just to remind ourselves of our precious saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, a man who offended others.

“The Lord Jesus didn’t go out, the Blessed Son of God didn’t go out deliberately to offend people but in preaching the truth people were offended.”

Rev. Campbell argued that there’s no place for à la carte Christianity and said believers shouldn’t be censored by transient societal mores but guided by the Bible alone.

“There was one time, you know what Paul said? He said that ‘all Asia has turned against me. They’re all against me. I don’t have any friends left, because I preached the truth.’

“What way did Paul react? Did he say: ‘Oh, I think I’ll tone it down in future and I’ll just watch my ps and qs in future. I’ll just preach about daisies and dandelions and roses?’

“Well, Paul didn’t say that. No, he got the Church at Ephesus to pray for him, to pray that boldness would be given on to him. You see boldness comes to the Lord.”