Wednesday, July 18, 2018

When "Hope" Is Bigotry

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Franklin Graham's "Festival of Hope" is not being well received by some because it is creating "angst"---in response, the media is apologizing and the bus company has yanked Franklin's signs off all their buses.

The signs read, "A Time For Hope" with Franklin Graham.

That's it.

A British transportation company has removed advertisements promoting Franklin's upcoming "Festival of Hope" because his coming to Lancaster is causing "angst" among the LGBTQ community.

Graham is promoting the Lancashire (England) Festival of Hope that is scheduled to be held in September, similar to those scheduled here in the Northwest in August.

More on that in a moment.

Blackpool Transport, who operates the buses, said: "The removal of these adverts is a result of us listening and acting on customer and public feedback which we aim to do at all times."

Are they suggesting Christians don't ride buses in England?

The bus people also said, "Blackpool Transport is a proud ongoing supporter of the Pride and LGBT+ communities and in no way did we intend to cause any distress or upset."

So they don't care about the Christians who also ride their buses who may be "distressed or upset" that the bus folks are characterizing a festival of hope as controversial, bigoted and stressful.

Franklin wrote on Facebook:
“I’m sorry that some see hope as offensive, but I can assure you that tens of thousands of people in Blackpool and across the United Kingdom are searching for hope. Sex, drugs, money, even religion—none of these are the answer. I’m coming to share with everyone in Blackpool, Lancashire, and across North West England that there is One who can give you hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity. His name is Jesus Christ!”

Removing the signs from the buses wasn't enough. The homosexual community also wants consequences for all associated with the "Festival of Hope."

The "Blackpool Pride" organization has now canceled their 2-day event that had been scheduled for the Winter Gardens venue where Graham's event will be held.

The newspaper is reporting that "a number of people have taken to social media claiming that Franklin Graham will be preaching hate and homophobia at the event."

The local organizers said on the festival's website, "It's a travesty that a company we had formally contracted to provide an advertising service should withdraw this inoffensive Festival invitation, in response to a small minority of people who objected via social media."

It's a travesty that a small minority has been successful in legally redefining marriage. But they have. Using words like "tolerance" and "equality," they have rammed their agenda down the collective throat of the public while practicing neither tolerance or equality.

Peter La Barbera, with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, told One News Now yesterday that Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the biggest, most highly funded homosexual activist organization, has now released a new "Coming Home to Evangelicalism and to Self" guide for those who identify as LGBTQ Evangelical Christians.

While he was not specifically addressing the matter of Franklin Graham in England, his point is certainly linked to the Franklin Graham matter.

LaBarbera says, "The new guide encourages homosexuals to be open within their churches to convince members to accept their lifestyle."

He says, "The evangelical church is the last bulwark for truth."

"So basically they want to be rid of biblical influence in our culture," he says. "The HRC report talks about allowing homosexual so-called Christians to 'fully live out their sexual orientation' as they put it."

I read through the HRC material "Coming Home to Evangelicalism and to Self" yesterday. You should also read it.

LaBarbera is right. The biblical church is the last bulwark of truth and churches are increasingly embracing what God calls an abomination as normal and acceptable.

The HRC says they worked with "an advisory team of evangelical Christian scholars and advocates to develop and shape this essential resource."

They say they are "deeply indebted to the evangelical Christian scholars and activists who helped create the resource."

They have also created guides to help homosexuals gain acceptance in "Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and general faiths" as well.

HRC is also sponsoring their Wild Goose Festival---an annual gathering that teaches kids and adults how to move the agenda forward, including a day-long "Justice Camp" for advocacy training to uplift LGBTQ voices in the church."

Their goal, they say, is to help "build a world in which nobody is forced to choose between who they are, who they love and what they believe."

Therein is the spiritual conflict.

True biblical Christianity teaches that "all have sinned" and consequently "all need a Savior."

Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, did not allow Himself to be brutally nailed to a cross where He bled and ultimately died to "affirm" what He calls sin.

And God did not raise His Son from the dead so people would not be forced to make decisions about who they are, who they love and what they believe.

The Church of Jesus Christ was birthed on the testimony of His death and resurrection, and His resurrection was to save us from our sin, not to affirm our sin.

Christ did not give his life to reconcile the homosexual with his sexual behavior or perceived identity---He died and rose from the dead to deliver, restore and renew the homosexual and every other sinner, giving each of us an identity in Jesus Christ.

Newton explained the transformation like this; "I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound---that saved a wretch like me."

That's Franklin Graham's message. That is the message of hope. It is the true message of Christianity.

And no matter how desperately one does not want to be forced to "choose" what they believe---ultimately each of us will make that choice.

Joshua said choose you this day whom you will serve---and Jesus said you cannot serve two masters, you must choose.

Franklin is preaching this message in his "Decision America" rallies across our nation.

He will be in the Northwest in August.

His schedule includes Medford, Aug. 1; Bend, Aug. 3; Portland, Aug. 5; Tri-Cities, Aug 7; Spokane, Aug. 9; Tacoma, Aug. 12; and Monroe, Aug. 13.

Details are included in the link above.

“Never lose heart in the power of the gospel. Do not believe that there exists any man, much less any race of men, for whom the gospel is not fitted.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

Be Faithful. Be informed. Be Blessed.