Ahead of a planned visit to the UK Franklin Graham sticks his nose into C of E affairs

WHEN Graham, who never lets up on demonising LGBT communities, learned that the Church of England has declared that sex in gay or straight civil partnerships ‘falls short of God’s purpose for human beings’ he rushed to social media to applaud the church.

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Graham, above, is expected pour more of his vitriol into the ears of his devoted UK followers when he visits Britain in June. The despicable bigot wrote on Facebook:

I appreciate the church taking this strong stand with the Word of God, which is truth.

His impending visit has already met with resistance. The BBC reported on January 16 that LGBT+ leaders have called for his visit to Sheffield to be cancelled, claiming he promotes homophobia.

Franklin Graham is due to appear at Sheffield Arena in June as part of an eight-city tour of the UK, which is not open to the public.

Graham, son of the late preacher Billy Graham, has said he believes gay marriage is a “sin”.

Sheffield City Trust, which runs the venue, does “not endorse the views”.

Graham said:

I’m not coming to Sheffield to preach against anyone, I’m coming to tell everyone about a God who loves them. The Gospel’s life-saving truth and power applies to everyone in this great city.

The protest letter said:

Franklin Graham has repeatedly publicly promoted his homophobic beliefs.

Sent to the Sheffield City Trust, it was signed by 22 representatives of the city’s LGBT+ community.

According the Christian Post, the House of Bishops of the C of E this week issued pastoral guidance in response to the recent introduction to mixed-sex civil partnerships. The guidance says:

For Christians, marriage – that is, the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.

The church “seeks to uphold that standard” in its approach to civil partnerships, and “to affirm the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships” within such partnerships.

The introduction of same sex marriage, through the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, has not changed the church’s teaching on marriage or same sex relationships.

Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purpose for human beings.

Officially, the Church of England does not conduct or recognise same-sex unions as marriage. However, In December 2012, the Church of England permitted gay clergy in civil partnerships to become bishops, provided they were abstaining from sexual relations.

Same-sex civil partnerships have been legal since 2005 and same-sex marriage was introduced in 2013.

The Church of England is part of the global Anglican Communion, which has long experienced division over theological issues, including gay marriage and ordination. Those rifts widened in 2003 when The Episcopal Church in the US consecrated its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. 

In recent years, a number of denominations have entered the debate over LGBT issues and how the church should approach them.

Last month, the United Methodist Church proposed a plan that would formally split the denomination after years of division over non-celibate LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage, with the formation of a new denomination for Methodists who hold to a biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality.