Over 2,000 churches across the United Kingdom are supporting the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) to share the Gospel in multiple cities starting in May. That number has steadily increased in the past weeks, according to BGEA, after Rev. Franklin Graham’s events were canceled because of his viewpoints on gay marriage, according to published reports.
“We are aware of the recent adverse publicity surrounding this tour and have reviewed this with our partners and stakeholders,” said Susan Aitken, a Glasgow City Council leader.
A group called the “Liverpool Labour LGBT Network” called the son of the late preacher Billy Graham a homophobic “hate preacher.” They feared that a high profile event gaining so much traction “may incite hateful mobilization and risk the security of our LGBTQ+ community,” the group wrote. Franklin Graham posted an open letter to the LGBTQ community on Facebook, informing them that he didn’t have any intentions to condemn but to share the Gospel of Christ.
“I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins. The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners…”
Here are words of support for the Graham Tour, set to begin in Glasgow, Scotland, and end in London in October.
“The importance of bringing Franklin Graham to Newport [near Cardiff] is not about hate but the absolute opposite. It is about the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ to rescue us from the power of darkness. … Imagine standing before God and saying, ‘I stopped people having the right to hear your message of the Gospel. You sent your son, but I stopped the people hearing the message.'”
“On behalf of this nation, our church … wants to apologize to Franklin Graham and to ask for forgiveness for rejecting him and rejecting the standard of God he stands for. We choose to honor and welcome Franklin Graham into the UK, we choose to welcome the Gospel he carries, and we choose to welcome God and His standard into this nation.”
—Lydia and Jonathan
“I listened to Franklin on Radio Scotland today and would like to add my name to any list supporting his visit to Glasgow. I have e-mailed [name omitted] and told him I strongly disagree with his protest, I’ve also called the venue who are reviewing Franklin’s visit. I am appalled and ashamed that a city who used to have a motto ‘Let Glasgow Flourish by the Preaching of The Word and the praising of His name’ has come to this.”
When Billy Graham made his first trip to the UK in 1954, many objected to his visit. However, thousands had come to know Jesus Christ, and many today still share how God changed their lives during those Crusades.
Seven out of eight UK venues canceled Franklin Graham’s tour due to pressure from LGBT groups.
Franklin Graham is not backing down, according his Feb. 16 Facebook post.
“Opposition to the Gospel shouldn’t really surprise us. Jesus warned that it would come. As you may know, my eight-city evangelistic tour across the UK has been met with resistance by LGBTQ activists who inaccurately claim that I am homophobic, Islamophobic, and say that I speak hate. Anyone who knows me or has heard me speak knows that this really isn’t true – but, I DO preach the TRUTH of the Gospel. Could it be, rather, that these folks are truthophobic or free-speech-ophobic?”