Bishop David's STATEMENT in relation to the Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK visit 2020:
The planned visit of Franklin Graham to the UK in 2020 has focussed many Christians on the renewed priority for sharing good news about Jesus Christ.
However we, colleagues and friends across the Church of England Birmingham, alongside our local partners, share concern about Franklin Graham’s received views on Islam and Human Sexuality.
We are disappointed his views are overshadowing the primary work of evangelism training that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is gifted in.
We expect Franklin Graham to keep his promise, when speaking as an evangelist, to avoid expressing condemnation of persons and not promoting political bias.
Nonetheless, the bishops and the Church of England Birmingham do not endorse this speaker. The grace of God in the BGEAs evangelistic event is being obscured by the danger of being associated with judging and condemning our fellow human beings and provoking discord.
There are many calls to action upon our lives. As followers of Christ we consistently seek opportunities to share and affirm His love for all. In so doing, we enter many conversations with fellow Christians, those of other faiths, and those on their own journeys of faith. As your bishops we ask colleagues to be wise in the things they choose to support, and in not endorsing this speaker we stand firm for the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and against destructive prejudice.
Rt Revd David Urquhart
Bishop of Birmingham