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The Brave New World of Patrick Harvie and the Tired Old World of Franklin Graham

pi1GBlA__400x400Patrick Harvie, leader of the Scottish Greens, is one of the most intelligent and effective politicians in Scotland. He knows his ideology, he knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. It is for that reason that he is one of the most dangerous men in Scotland – because he is an authoritarian who is opposed to the basic human rights of freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of speech and the freedom to have your children educated according to your own values.  Recently Harvie stated that ‘there is no debate’ when it comes to the Gender Recognition Act (attacking the LGB Alliance).  That is his world.  Where only his fundamentalists doctrines are acceptable and can be expressed.    The Brave New World of Patrick Harvie and his liberal progressives is antithetical to freedom and is typical of the way that authoritarian regimes work.

Step 1 – Prevent Freedom of Speech.

This week Harvie attempted to get Franklin Graham banned from speaking at the SSE.   He tweeted.

Screenshot 2020-01-30 06.29.25

Given the way that modern Scotland works Mr. Harvie may well succeed in his censorship.  In fact just as I write it appears that he has succeeded.   According to The National the SEC have cancelled the event – on the command of their major share holder – Glasgow City Council.   In case you think my concerns about moving towards an authoritarian society which suppresses free speech are unfounded consider the chilling statement from Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of the Council, in which she states that allowing the Mission to go ahead could be breaking the law.  Just stop and consider the implications of that.  In the Brave New World that the Progressives are building in Scotland – to disagree with them is a crime!

When SSM was going through we warned that refusing to accept it would soon be illegal…we are getting there very quickly.   Have we now moved to a time when critiquing the sexual philosophy of Mr Harvie, or questioning Islam is deemed illegal?

The SEC, in giving into Mr Harvie’s bullying are only following the example of  the Liverpool ACC who earlier withdrew their permission for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to use their facility. In a statement they declared:

“Over the past few days we have been made aware of a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values.

In light of this we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city. We have informed the organisers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.

We are proud to represent all communities and will continue to move forward with our aim as a business to drive profile, major events and economic impact for Liverpool City Region.”

They, like Patrick Harvie, seem unperturbed at the irrationality and intolerance in their statement – all of course done in the name of tolerance. How Orwellian!   The ACC want to avoid a ‘divisive impact’ within the city. One assumes then that they will ban political rallies, football matches and anything else that has the potential to cause division?   The ACC are ‘proud to represent ALL communities’ except those who hold to the Christian view of marriage. Or indeed the Islamic view. Or the Jewish.

Meanwhile across the country Sheffield City Trust is showing a more tolerant and liberal attitude.  David Grey, chairman of the trust, said it supported the “right to free speech and freedom of expression whilst promoting equality and freedom from hatred and abuse.” “If individuals or groups aren’t breaking the law then their right to speak freely should be respected,”.

(Addition:  Since writing this Sheffield Council have also announced that they are banning Franklin Graham with the usual oxymoronic excuse that this goes against their values of being inclusive for everyone!)

Step 2 – Impose your ideology upon all areas of life.

Of course it is not just Franklin Graham who has to face this hatred and intolerance.   Yesterday at the Australian Open in Melbourne, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova marched on to the courts holding up a banner calling for the renaming of the Margaret Court Arena to the Evonne Goolagong Arena – because of her views about SSM.   Two Americans telling Australians how they should run their sport – this is the new cultural imperialism of the Brave New World!

Screenshot 2020-01-29 18.08.20

And notice how certain and fundamentalist they are in their beliefs. Navratilova said, “while it was understandable venues were named after sporting legends, generally those athletes were on the right side of history. But Margaret Court does not belong in that company.”   They know what the right side of history is. But Martina should be careful…the revolution eats itself. She has already been classed as being on the wrong side of history because of her alleged ‘transphobia’. Once you start dictating that only your view is on the right side of history and only your view has value – then that will come home to bite you.

If Margaret Court had walked on to the arena named after her and displayed a banner opposing SSM, her feet would not have touched the ground as she was thrown out.

Step 3 – Ensure the Media only portrays the State Sanctioned Ideology

Meanwhile Israel Folau has signed a contract with the Catalans Rugby league team, the Dragons. Even as I write I am listening to the BBC ‘experts’ saying that the RFL have deplored the Catalan team hiring Folau and that ‘whatever thoughts he might have, he should keep them to himself’” Read that phrase again.   This is the BBC seeking to exercise thought control over an opinion that is not (yet) illegal.

The BBC’s thought for the day is supposed to be non-controversial and none political.   Not yesterday. The Rev Giles Fraser expressed a strong and controversial opinion – attacking his own denomination, the Church of England, for its pastoral statement reaffirming Christian doctrine that sex is to be only between a man and a woman within the context of marriage.     The test for the BBC would be if they allowed someone like yours truly to actually uphold the Christian teaching – but I suspect it would be a cold day in Hell before that happened. The BBC’s commitment to equality and diversity is not even skin deep.

Step 4 – Use Mob Rule

Every authoritarian government has a handy mob who will riot on suitable incitement – which then allows the government to say that they are only acting in response to public demand. If you doubt the mob rule mentality on this issue – consider this.   Within minutes of the Catalans announcing that they had signed Folau, Wigan RL put out a press release saying that when their club plays the Dragons they will deem it Pride Day and wear LGBT ribbons.   Virtue signalling has reached a new level.

Patrick Harvie and the Progressive Stormtroopers have no qualms about stirring up a Twitter mob, or petitioning venues, warning advertisers and threatening any who dare to challenge their absolutist view.

Step 5 – Get the Religious Organisations on Board

 In predominantly Christian countries that means the church. And the church has far too often bowed the knee to Caesar. So in the Franklin Graham case – The Bishop of Sheffield Pete Wilcox said in November: “Mr Graham’s rhetoric is repeatedly and unnecessarily inflammatory and in my opinion represents a risk to the social cohesion of our city.”   I wonder if the Bishop said the same thing about Islam or does he think that it is adding to the social cohesion of Sheffield?

Meanwhile not to be outdone in asking ‘how high?” when the authorities say ‘jump’, the Church of Scotland joined in. The Rev Bryan Kerr, a Church of Scotland minister in Lanark, said Graham’s views “do not sit comfortably with many Christians in Scotland”. He said: “These views, and many more like them, are not shared by all Christians as Mr Graham would have people believe. “Franklin Graham isn’t the voice of Christianity.”

But then neither is Rev Kerr  (Although I don’t ask that he be banned!).  The voice of Christianity is the voice of Christ speaking in the Scriptures. Jesus’ Christ’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman would mean that he would be banned from the BBC and the SEC – if Patrick Harvie gets his way. I suspect the radical Jesus of the Bible would not be welcome in Rev Kerr’s church either – he would ban his views as being too unChristlike!

(Additional note:  Again since writing this I have discovered that Mr Kerr not only objected to Mr Graham coming but actually organised a petition to prevent him coming.  Grasp that!  A Church of Scotland minister launches a petition to prevent the Gospel being preached in Glasgow.  What will the C of S do about that?  Not a thing!  You’re fine in the church if you deny the Gospel..thats about the last thing you will get disciplined for!)

What will the Church do? There are those leaders who will speak on behalf of the State and its Progressive/Regressive ideology. The State and the media love them. But just as culpable are those who keep silent when they know what is right and wrong.   It’s easy to be ‘prophetic’ when you are saying what the cultural elites want to hear. It becomes much more difficult when you challenge the status quo. So we will have bishops who live in mansions pontificating about the poor, ministers who regularly fly on their holidays lecturing us all on climate change (as happened on thought for the day this morning) and evangelicals who keep quiet because we have to win people by not disagreeing – except on safe subjects like racism.   The Church of England stating the biblical position on marriage was a refreshing change – but is ultimately useless if there is no church discipline and its clergy can do whatever they want. It’s all just white noise.

“The church goes along with everything and stands against nothing – until she is convinced that it is the safe and popular thing to do; then she passes her courageous resolutions and issues her world-shaking manifestos – all in accord with the world’s newest venture – whatever it may be” (A W Tozer – 1956)

Tozer on the Church

Step 6 – Dumb Down the Population so that Rationality doesn’t matter and truth is whatever the Elites say it is.

This is why you can get such inconsistencies. Patrick Harvie wants Franklin Graham banned because of his views on SSM and Islam. The only problem for Mr Harvie is that if he were ever to be consistent he would have to ban the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and most evangelical churches.    It is ironic that the Church of England pastoral letter issued this week stated: ‘Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purpose for human beings.’  If Mr Harvie and his allies are banning Franklin Graham for saying that sex outside marriage is a sin then they would have to ban the C of E as well – because that is precisely what they have said.  For the non-theological who get upset about the use of the word ‘sin’ – it means ‘falling short of God’s standards”.

Even worse from Patrick’s point of view he would have to ban Islam which also states that SSM is a sin. Perhaps Mr Harvie should do a wee study of how homosexuals are treated in Islamic countries?   We have Premier League football clubs owned by countries where homosexuality is banned and homosexuals go to jail or are executed. Meanwhile our brave sports clubs show how virtuous they are by remaining silent on this injustice, whilst campaigning against an Australian rugby player because of a couple of injudicious tweets!  They are so blind they can’t see the beam in their own eye.

Scotland, the UK and much of the West is heading down this authoritarian route. Whilst paying lip service to democracy the reality is that to various degrees these steps to authoritarianism are becoming increasingly common.  Harvie states that he is ‘for equality for all’.  With such a statement the English language has become meaningless.  He does not think that Franklin Graham or those who believe what he believes, should have equality.  In  order for his statement to make sense he has to redefine both ‘equality’ and ‘all’.   If the latter he is really saying that those of us who don’t agree with him are not the ‘all’ of the people.  We are the ultimate outsiders, the ultimate Untermenschen – fit only to be cast out and trodden on.

And Finally: The Old World of Franklin.

Some will say that you are only arguing this because you are a fan of Franklin Graham and he is on your side. That is understandable in today’s binary world. ‘You are either for us, or against us”. But, and in some ways this is by far the harder part to write, although I support Franklin Grahams right to come, I don’t think this is a wise move for the UK church. It’s an attempt to return to the glory days of what God did wrought through Billy Graham – but that’s the issue. It was God who did it – merely being Billy’s son (or grandson) is not guarantee that you are a good preacher

I have no doubt that Franklin will preach the Gospel – and for that I am glad. Like Paul I too rejoice if the Gospel is preached – whatever the motivation.   But I struggle with several issues about this mission. I realise that in saying this it will cause some of my fellow Christian’s pain – but please bear with me.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK’s website said the tour meant, “The truth of Jesus Christ will be preached amongst a nation searching for answers”. I think that whilst that may be the intention – Franklin Graham is not the way to achieve that.

Franklin-Graham-Unlike his father he has shown a considerable lack of insight and wisdom in his open and public support of President Trump as the Christian champion.   I think that some of his statements on other issues have been injudicious and unhelpful.   But most of all I think that this style of public stadium evangelism is not really appropriate for todays UK.   It costs a fortune, and I fear will largely be attended by Christians who are encouraged to make it a ‘success’ and will show little fruit.

How can I know that? I don’t.   But I can go by previous experience and knowledge of my own culture. A Trump supporting American evangelical using American revivalist methods is not the person to answer the questions that are being asked in the UK today.     I know as bible believing Christians we feel obliged to support this. We remember the success of the Billy Graham crusades in the 1950’s. We long for people to come to know Christ. We love the idea of Christians working together in evangelism. And so we feel bad about even daring to question.   But for all the above reasons I can’t support or give money to something that I don’t believe will work. I would love to be wrong – but I wish the money spent on this was spent on far more effective and long-term evangelism – like Twenty Schemes, or Solas, or many other largely unsung organisations which exist to communicate the Gospel. What about the local church? We don’t need one big name big scale publicity campaign – we need thousands of faithful local churches living out their faith and communicating Christ within the context of their local culture.

The great need of the UK church just now is not this kind of large-scale mission, with small-scale impact – but rather the equipping and mobilisation of the thousands of evangelical churches in the country. We need to know both the Gospel and the Culture better.

I would argue that Franklin Graham is an example of how NOT to communicate to our culture. But is anyone listening? The liberals who deny the Gospel don’t want him anyway, and the evangelicals are looking for an easy way to reap. Evangelism is ploughing, sowing and reaping – we just want to go straight to the reaping part – without bothering with the difficult stuff.

I have just been reading about the revival in Australia in 1902 – where tens of thousands were converted. What stands out is the commitment to prayer, the extent of evangelical unity, the desire for holiness and the sheer long-term hard work. In Melbourne alone there were 16,000 prayer meetings – and over 250,000 out of a State population of 1 million attended the weekly mission meetings.

We need the same again – there are no quick fixes. Patrick Harvie wants to introduce his Brave New World. He will use things like the Franklin Graham mission to impose his views upon us all.  We don’t need the old world style of Graham – especially when it is mixed in with American politics – we need God to do something new. And so we pray. Come Lord Jesus….

PS.   We warned what this increasing intolerance would lead to last year.  See the article below.   The time will come when articles like this will be banned either because media platforms will be intimidated into banning those who disagree with the current Zeitgeist or it in the words of Susan Aitkens it will be against the law.

https://theweeflea.com/2019/05/22/the-threat-to-religious-freedom-in-scotland-and-a-response-from-the-humanist-society/

 

 

 

 

 

28 comments

  1. David, I thank you for your analysis of the news from the UK and your accurate comments on the Franklin Graham. Your insights are so helpful, and your bold (while kind) conclusions are an encouragement to many. Please continue to speak biblical truth on the issues of the day.

  2. Some churches in my neck of the woods are starting to hear up for Graham’s visit.
    Dr Ian Paul was interviewed by Nicky Campbell, on BBC radio 5 live, in the face of trenchant opposition, he defended the Bishop’ statement. He has written an excellent, matter of fact, robust, article on his blog, on the historical context of Civil Partnership in distinction to marriage, and it’s course within the Church of England. Needless to say it’s met with opposition, as has the Bishop’s statement, within the CoE, including some Bishops themselves.

  3. Wonderful as usual David on your grasp and explanation of the challenging Scottish conditions we face as ministers of the gospel. However extremely saddened to read your unfair comments about Franklin Graham and the BGEA organisation. Sadly your judgement of BGEA is in no way near reality or true. I have had the privilege of serving with BGEA team since 2014 on major evangelistic events in Scotland and lives have been changed and people in their 100’s have been Saved. 20 Schemes and Solas do NOT have all the answers when it comes to evangelism. Your organisations impact doesn’t come close to the number of believers who have trusted Christ through BGEA inspiring the local church to equip the saints to reach many for Christ. The golden rule in business is don’t knock the competition! Maybe you should try it! Our battle is not against flesh and blood! And I have to say a bit hypocritical given your boat has sailed out of Bonnie Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    1. Thanks Robert….I would be grateful if you could tell me in what way my comments about Franklin Graham are ‘unfair’. I would hate to do that. I have had others who have served with BGEA contact me who say that basically, they are accurate. However it is unfair of you to argue that I was saying that 20 Schemes and Solas have all the answers – I don’t. It is not helpful to misrepresent. I don’t regard the Gospel as a business and I don’t regard those who tell the Gospel as the competition. It’s also unfair of you to accuse me of hypocrisy for leaving the country – not least when you feel free to call an American evangelist to Scotland – a man who has little understanding or grasp of the culture and who is in his post because of his fathers name. I guess my comments wounded you – for you to react so strongly – but remember that the wounds of a friend are faithful!

    2. Thank you Robert .. I was so disappointed to see this blog start well but sadly take a turn for the worse by attacking someone like Franklin Graham who had a very successful tour of Australia last year. His meetings were very well attended by thousands including myself. I was saved by His dad’s ministry in 1959 and forever grateful. I no longer doubt that Christianity in Britain is on a downward path and now sadly more than grateful that my parents emigrated to Australia in in 1952. As for Donald Trump, even though an imperfect human, has done much to boldly speakup for Christian values in the USA.
      My love and prayers go to Franklin Graham and the BGEA for the amazing work they do around the world. Scotland’s loss for banning him and preventing the people from hearing the true gospel message of salvation. 😥😥😥

  4. Thank you for this excellent post David. This ‘Brave New World’ gets scarier – and more irrational – by the minute.

  5. Thank you David, I have just found this by way of a Facebook friend. I’m reminded of what Billy Graham said to Dawson Trotman ( founder of The Navigators) in his excellent book Born to Reproduce. “Daws, I am not able to sleep nights for thinking of what happens to the converts after a crusade is over.”
    Whereas some may have found the way forward with The Lord, many will have fallen away, my own sister went forward all those years ago, and now wants none of it!
    You say that the way forward is in local church’s and our own congregations, however I think before that, we as individuals must come back to our individual relationship with our Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally, only then when we begin to grasp His love can we then see others through His eyes!
    Revival starts with an awakening in us as to who God is and who He says we are!
    We have so elevated the way we do things, that we neglect Him!
    We must come back to our first love!
    Prayer is absolutely vital, you mentioned the Australian move, can you tell me of one revival that didn’t start with prayer? See Acts 2 and throughout History!
    Talking of Acts I think we will see the fear of the Lord returning, after Ananias Sapphira lied by saying that they had given all but hadn’t ( a very dangerous place) great fear came upon all, with the result that multitudes were added!
    I have has the pleasure of seeing churches grow through early morning prayer meetings, every weekday morning, sometimes just the pastor and me, starting out with the usual shopping list but then eventually asking Father what He wants!
    In conclusion’The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much! That is where we must be !
    Thanks for taking the time to read this I hope it helps some of your reader.

  6. Here is a well written article, by someone, Paul Eddy, who had involvement with BGEA, with comparisons and contrasts between then (with Billy) and now (with Franklin:
    https://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/why-is-franklin-graham-being-turned-away/
    My view is that prayer is needed from Christians who are for and against Franklin, that the gospel prosper, that the word accomplishes God’s purposes. not mere analysis.
    And if I may be so bold it may (or may not depending on whether he’s truly heard it) be doing so in the case of Patrick Harvie.

  7. Thanks David for a challenging analysis of the situation regarding banning Franklin Graham.
    Whatever my own views on the Franklin Graham organisation I certainly take issue with the ban in general and in with particular regard to the ban from Glasgow.
    As a proud Glaswegian I would take the opportunity to remind all who support the ban of the motto of our city –
    “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His Word and the praising of His name”
    Of course for decades this has been conveniently truncated to “Let Glasgow flourish”
    When we deny the Source of all good things then we lose our rudder and end up in very deep and troubled waters.
    The solution is clear for all who believe –
    We must realise that we have lost ‘our first love’ and get on our knees for our country to return before the Lord returns and we lose many souls around us.

  8. I have to disagree. The church need not be forced into a false choice. Solas and 20 Schemes are surely needed and well within the gospel. If Mr Graham preaches the gospel as well how can it be wrong?

    1. The question is how the gospel is preached…whether this is the best way to preach the Gospel…..and whether this is the best use of the massive amounts of money that is used for it…we are allowed to question without being accused of wanting to prevent the Gospel being preached!

  9. David, I wonder what your thoughts are on Donald Trump being the first President of USA to speak at the March for Life event held in Washington last weekend? The march was started in the wake of the Roe v Wade judgement and has been held every year since 1974.
    Personally I think it is wonderful the President Trump spoke at this event and I am sure the Lord is using him positively in a world where the shouts of the Patrick Harvies and the Susan Aitkens predominate above those of our ministers and pastors.
    Trump’s speech might be a good topic for the Quantum pod.

  10. Some further thoughts.
    There is a nearby old Abbey town with a wall plaque commemorating a meeting place of Methodist Ranters.
    Hardly an endorsement of contemporary discourse analysis, of blending with culture.
    There is a scriptural tension between being well regarded and disliked, even hated, as a Christian in the world. Winsomeness in the delivery is key today in some Christian quarters.
    Whereas,in scripture it can be said “the same flame that melts the butter, hardens the egg”. The word of God will soften or harden.
    The biggest impediment, to me, to FG, seems to be his perceived alignment with Trump the man as much as Trump the President and welding this to what it is to be Christian. It can muddy the message, when the man becomes the message. And we all know, particularly unbelievers, how a Christian should be, believe and behave and vote for.
    As it happens, I can recall having a figurative wrestle with God, when putting up some resistance, as I associated church and Christianity with “women in hats” and social climbing and standing, (and my perceived hypocrisy of it all) and I didn’t want any part of that.
    It’s been said that FG will be mostly speaking to Christians, but it’s worth recalling this from Billy Graham, ““When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Maybe this is apposite today in the church.
    Locally churches are gearing up for the visit, with training for those who wish to get involved in the ministry at the end of the meeting. I’ve heard of a number of local ministers who were converted under Billy Graham’s ministry as he spoke at a soccer stadium.
    Do it again Lord, even in the face of opposition. Sometimes the local church is concerned with Kingdom, not empire building and is humble enough to recognise a need for help, when it is seem that growth may have stagnated and they are running on empty.
    It’s not either or,local, national, venue big/small, but both and, otherwise we may get stuck in a cost-benefit analysis. How much is the salvation of even one person worth? I think Jesus has something to say about that. “Father forgive…”

  11. David, I very much appreciate your wisdom and writings for most of the time, but… on this occasion (in my opinion )I think what you have written is wrong.
    You say ‘ I have no doubt Franklin Graham will preach The Gospel’ but then you more or less go on to say that you cannot support this?
    You say regarding Billy Graham ‘it was God who did it’ – can God not do it through Franklin Graham?
    You say being Billy’s son or grandson is no guarantee that you are a ‘good preacher’ – I don’t think Franklin is guaranteeing that he is a ‘good preacher’ although I personally think he is. Even if he is not ,can God not use a bad preacher?
    Just because Franklin Graham might agree with Donald Trump on many issues (as do many Christians), is that a reason that the UK should not welcome an American to come and preach The Gospel?
    Would you not love to preach The Gospel to thousands in a ‘stadium’? Surely you would.
    Come on David, on this occasion, try again.
    Keep up the good work that you do.

    1. Yes – I think Graham will preach the Gospel but that does not mean that I think having a large expensive crusade is the best way to do it.

      Yes God ‘can’ use Franklin Graham….just as he can use Benny Hinn or anyone. I know someone who was converted through a cult – that does not mean I support the cult.

      Yes God can use a bad preacher – but I would not employ one. He can speak through a donkey – I would not suggest that as a means for communicating the Gospel.

      Franklin Graham does not ‘just agree with Donald Trump on many issues’ (as I do!). He has pronounced him as the Lord’s anointed and implied that not to support him is sinful.

      I love to preach the gospel. I don’t care if its thousands in a stadium (although lets be honest those thousands in the UK are far more likely to be Christians) or a kid on a street corner.

      Thanks for your comments…

      1. David,
        I’m disappointed that you seem to be succumbing to a fallacy equating FG and a cult and Benny Hinn and Balaam’s ass. It doesn’t do yourself or ministry justice. Maybe you know more about FG’s theology and preaching content as well as style than I.
        I’d need to know more about the context, of the assertion that Trump is the Lord’s annointed. There are examples of God using, akin to anointing, unbelieving Kings, to bring about his purposes, in history.

      2. There is one thing I hate more than illogicality and that’s when people misrepresent my argument and then go on to argue against their own misrepresentation. I’m sure in your case this was inadvertent – I did not equate FG with a cult or Benny Hinn or Balaam’s ass. Go and read it again and I’m sure you will get it. I would prefer not to have to waste time explaining it to you but if you really don’t get it – let me know and I will.

      3. There were two separate point I was addressing
        1 FG’ s preaching and
        2 FG’ s assertion that Trump is God’s annointed.
        They are different points -different categories.
        Apologies for stirring up your hatred in my ignorant illogicality.
        Yours
        Geoff

      4. But you were dealing with my article which was not really about Franklin’s preaching. The argument being used was that God could use Franklin even if he was a poor preacher (not my argument)….I just simply agreed that God can use a poor preacher as he can use a cult, a donkey etc…In other words I was pointing out that the argument of God being able to use someone is not a justification for saying that that person is the right one for a particular mission. The fact that you chose to conflate this into saying that I was equating Graham with a donkey.cult etc was not accurate.

        Graham’s assertion that Christians should support Trump also means that he is not a suitable person to lead a mission here. I don’t believe that party politics and gospel proclamation go together.

  12. There was some discussion at last years General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria re Franklin Graham which was much along the same lines as David outlines here.
    What would be better is something along the lines of what was done in 1902 which could be initiated at the level of General Assemblies and Synods, reaching out across denominational lines but not necessarily, certainly not initially, too formal and structured and it needs to work at congregational level, which is where the action is.
    We do need the leading of the Holy Spirit and our context today is very different to 1902. Anyway, food for thought that might lead to some action.
    Thank you for the post. I would be interested in source of information re 1902 revival

      1. I’m reading The Fountain of Public Prosperity at the moment, but I’m not up to that part, so I can’t compare it to another book that does cover it well, that being Marvellous Melbourne and Spiritual Power: A Christian Revival and Its Lasting Legacy by Will Renshaw. The latter book is smaller and an easier read that Piggin’s though, and I would thoroughly recommend it.

  13. Hi David
    I wonder how we interpret the words of Jesus in Luke 9 :50 ‘forbid him not for he that is not against us is for us’. Is it the case that when Franklin preaches he tells about the love of God, he speaks about sin and The havoc it can bring in people’s lives. He preaches the cross, and that man can be forgiven on account of a sinless saviour who took our punishment for sin in his body to the tree. He does mention God’s intention for marriage one man , one woman. He speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual being born again. He speaks of hell and lake of fire to be avoided and heaven to be gained. None of these principles you would disagree with, yet the methods and money you would. Do we have such an in-depth view of the Spirit that we can judge the motives of another Christian ‘s heart ? I think not. On personal note I think at times there is an imbalance on teaching and outreach. We speak of teaching and at times I fear as believers we have highlighted the world of academia and brought it into the church. When do we hear teaching on evangelism both personal and collective, of course there are times when local churches outreach into their communities through holiday bible clubs, Curry nights with a speaker, and surely it would be the case that if God decides to use a man or a group to see souls saved then local churches will benefit from this. That said would not put hearts burn within us to see God move in s mighty way across our land again, would it not thrill us to see the convicting power of the Holy Spirit touch and transform lives in repentance- of course it would, in a world of grey paint , Jesus stands alone and still calls to those who would hear Him. May our eyes never leave him and our feet follow harder after him for at best we are ‘sinners saved by grace’ blessings JH

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