One of the most fascinating aspects of this Q & A programme was the tweets that the ABC flashed up on the screen. In that unique definition of impartiality that the ABC has, all of them were hostile or mocking to Martyn and Christianity.
The tweets themselves betray an ignorance of Christianity which is quite shocking. I will list them first so that you gauge the extent and nature of the ignorance.
“ACL needs to follow more of Jesus’ style”
“Who decides which souls need to be saved, Martyn?”
“I don’t want my soul to be saved Martyn. Please keep your beliefs to yourself and stop forcing them on to all of us?”
“We need a law giving us freedom from religion in this country. “
“Actually the Bible says we should ‘love one another as I have loved you’ so let’s not judge”.
“God loves everyone, made in his image. Straight, gay, bi, trans”
I believe this Q & A clearly shows we are in the days Jesus spoke of as representing the godless society that will precede His return first to take believers to heaven prior to His pouring our His wrath on an unbelieving, unrepentant world.
Although we are all made in the image of God, that image is tainted, distorted, perverted and fallen. We all need to be restored, renewed, reborn and there is only one way that can happen: repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We must die to the old self and be been born again of the Holy Spirit as water baptism so clearly expresses. Only then will we realise that following the Maker’s instructions on all aspects of life not only sex and sexuality is essential for our own good and for the well-being of society. Also, that it is love that compels us to speak as we do.
Over 7 million people across six East African countries are at the cusp of starvation as communities have faced existential threats from violence, flooding, the pandemic and locust infestation, the evangelical humanitarian organization World Vision has warned. Jesus also warned us that ecological disasters will be one of the signs the Father gives us prior to Jesus second coming to earth.
“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them … There will be great earthquakes,and in various places famines and pestilences.” Matthew 24:3-7
According to the charity, which operates in nearly 100 countries, thousands of children could face death or long-term health consequences if the international community does not respond quickly to East Africa’s worsening crisis.
Debebe Dawit, program manager for World Vision’s humanitarian emergency affairs team, recently visited Ethiopia and saw firsthand the effects of poverty in the East African country. He said the situation is “severe.”
“The situation is very severe in East Africa, and particularly Ethiopia. Over 2 million people are in need of food assistance,” Dawit told The Christian Post in a Thursday interview. “Among conflict, COVID-19, flooding, locust infestation, all these are adding [an] additional burden to the community.”
Before the pandemic began, several countries in East Africa faced a widespread desert locust infestation that impacted hundreds of thousands of hectares and damaged croplands and pastures.
Later in 2020, large-scale floods destroyed crops that were ready to harvest, which impacted the food supply for 4 million people in the region, World Vision reports.
Matters have also been complicated by military conflicts — most recently the Tigray conflict — and the rise of Islamic extremism.
In the face of unprecedented global demands for humanitarian funding, crises in East Africa are receiving limited international attention, despite urgent and life-threatening needs,” Joseph Kamara, World Vision’s regional humanitarian and emergency affairs director for East Africa, said in a statement. “We appeal to national governments, regional institutions, humanitarian actors and donors to urgently address the hunger crisis in East Africa and more forcefully communicate its breadth and severity.
The head of a leading black organization that supports Israel said Tuesday that the Black Lives Matter movement in America has been co-opted by people who are making millions of dollars from donations and using their platform to push an anti-Israel message instead of concentrating on black rights.
“We at the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI) have been asking this question for years now, and still have not received an answer,” IBSI director Joshua Washington wrote in Times of Israel.
“If Black Lives Matter is supposed to be about police killings of unarmed black people, why is part of its focus on Israel thousands of miles away – as opposed to, for example, the African slave trade in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania or Qatar?” asked Washington. “BLM leaders are using the Black community as a cudgel against Israel, garnering much personal wealth in the process.”
Washington noted that since its inception in 2013, the Black Lives Matter organization has amassed tens of millions of dollars in corporate and individual donations, with $90 million raised last year, particularly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
However, since 2013, the lack of financial transparency in the BLM organization has been the topic of multiple investigative articles, with BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors being questioned as to why she recently bought her fourth house worth over $1 million.
Instead of using the funds to help solve the problems of police disproportionately targeting black people, BLM has been diverting funds for alternate agendas like its anti-Israel activism.
“This is not a movement that was hijacked. On the contrary … BLM is the hijack,” said Washington.
Following the 2014 killing of Mike Brown Jr. by a white cop in Ferguson, Montana, “the world saw the Israeli-Palestinian conflict forcibly injected into the bloodstream of what was supposed to be a movement about police brutality and criminal justice,” noted Washington.
“‘From Ferguson to Palestine’ was the rallying cry created in order to demonize Israel, falsely correlating the plight of the Palestinians with black Americans, and even blaming the Jewish State for American police violence,” Washington said.
He noted that in a 2016 interview, BLM leader Patrisse Cullors said: “It was important for the Black Lives Matter movement to show up to Palestine … we believe that Palestine is the new South Africa.”
Washington slammed those comments, saying it is “reprehensible and manipulative” for falsely trying to link Israeli counterrorism efforts with any sort of racism or injustice by American police.
“Alluding to Israel as apartheid South Africa is equally reprehensible … even if Cullors and BLM leadership truly felt this way, how does attacking Israel help the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Ahmad Aubery? Answer: It doesn’t,” Washington said.
The BLM movement even uses the donated funds to sponsor solidarity trips to “Palestine.”
Washington noted that American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin warned years ago that black leaders should not side with Yasser Arafat, who built his reputation as a violent terrorist.
“We risk becoming the unwitting accomplices of an organization committed to the bloody destruction of Israel — indeed of the Jewish people,” Rustin wrote at the time.
Without directly mentioning left-wing anti-Israel agitators, Washington noted that the anti-Israel stance of BLM can also be explained by the fact that “many of those who continue to defend BLM are not members of the black community.” But bottom line BLM is just another tool like Critical Race Theory that Satan is using to attack Israel in these last days.
In September, 2020 Washington addressed an #EndJewHatred event at the University of Southern California, demanding an end to discrimination against Jews on campuses. Saying that Jewish students are being “bullied” to reject Zionism, “their liberation movement, to satisfy anti-Jewish fetishes on campus,” he encouraged those students to stand strong.
Bob Gallaty finally realises He was the problem in His church. The reason why churches are not seeing God move is the Holy Spirit is not directing them, particularly their leaders, and true prayer is absent. Pastors in particular need to watch this video.
Robby Gallaty is senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He spoke with Faithwire about his church having seen 1,048 people baptized from Dec. 20 to April 11. He spoke about how to lead a church, how to make space for the Holy Spirit, and how to pursue God in prayer in effective and meaningful ways.
Those who follow livingeternal.net know that I believe the end times church will be like the church described in the Book of Acts. Church is relational, home groups, and is about making disciples who in turn make disciples of Jesus. Therefore, I am not saying that Bob Gallaty has discovered the right model but he is certainly moving in the right direction.
Prince Philip planned every aspect of his funeral service. The choice of every piece of music played, by the bands before the funeral service and the hymns during the service. He chose the Bible readings and the order of service. He even designed the Land Rover on which he would make his final journey. It was to be simple and humble.
Prince Philip wanted the service to be a testimony to His Triune God. There was no eulogy. He wanted the total focus to be on His God and on all three persons of the Trinity. He also wanted all to know, particularly his family and friends, that he had total confidence his eternity was in the hands of the God he wanted to be made known through the funeral service he had planned.
Note: In the early part of the service Prince Philip puts the focus on our Heavenly Father and His awesome, powerful, wonderful, beautiful creation that proves His existence. He then moves on to Jesus and the Father’s goodness in sending His Son to earth to die in our place, to pay our SIN debt, and provide the only hope for mankind to attain eternal Life. As with most Anglican services there is not enough focus on the role of the Holy Spirit but He is given a mention in the Jubilate and particularly in the Commendation at the end. “Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul, In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengthened thee.”
I was so impressed that I felt I had to include the content of the service in my post but I would suggest you go and watch it yourself. You will be moved, even to tears, I was. The four singers contribute powerfully to the service as do the bands.
Prince Philip you have done a great job of providing a powerful witness of your Triune God to the world. Thank you.
The choir sings these Scriptures
I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11. 25–26
I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. Job 19. 25–27
We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. William Croft (1678–1727) 1 Timothy 6. 7, Job 1. 21
The Dean of Windsor gives The Bidding – the reason why they are all there today. All sit and the choir then sings
Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm doth bind the restless wave, who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O Saviour, whose almighty word the winds and waves submissive heard, Who walkedst on the foaming deep, and calm amid its rage didst sleep: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O sacred Spirit, who didst brood upon the chaos dark and rude, Who bad’st its angry tumult cease, and gavest light and life and peace: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O Trinity of love and power, Our brethren shield in danger’s hour; From rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect them whereso’er they go: And ever let there rise to thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
The first reading is taken from Ecclesiasticus 43. 11–26 Look at the rainbow and praise its Maker; it shines with a supreme beauty, rounding the sky with its gleaming arc, a bow bent by the hands of the Most High. His command speeds the snow storm and sends the swift lightning to execute his sentence. To that end the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds. By his mighty power the clouds are piled up and the hailstones broken small. The crash of his thunder makes the earth writhe, and, when he appears, an earthquake shakes the hills. At his will the south wind blows, the squall from the north and the hurricane. He scatters the snow-flakes like birds alighting; they settle like a swarm of locusts. The eye is dazzled by their beautiful whiteness, and as they fall the mind is entranced. He spreads frost on the earth like salt, and icicles form like pointed stakes. A cold blast from the north, and ice grows hard on the water, settling on every pool, as though the water were putting on a breastplate. He consumes the hills, scorches the wilderness, and withers the grass like fire. Cloudy weather quickly puts all to rights, and dew brings welcome relief after heat. By the power of his thought he tamed the deep and planted it with islands. Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them; in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea-monsters. By his own action he achieves his end, and by his word all things are held together.
THE CHOIR SINGS THE JUBILATE
O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands: serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song. Be ye sure that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name. For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting: and his truth endureth from generation to generation. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
THE SECOND LESSON John 11. 21–27
Read by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”
The Duke of Edinburgh requested that Psalm 104 should be set to music by William Lovelady.
Originally composed as a cantata in three movements, it was first sung in honour of His Royal Highness’s 75th Birthday.
My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise. The waters rise above the highest mountain, And flow down to the vales and leas; At springs, wild asses quench their thirst, And birds make nest amid the trees. The trees the Lord has made are full of vigour, The fir tree is a home for storks; Wild goats find refuge in the hills, From foes the conies shelter in the rocks. My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise. O Lord, how manifold is your creation, All things in wisdom you provide; You give your riches to the earth, And to the sea so great and wide. You take your creatures breath and life is ended, Your breath goes forth and life begins; Your hand renews the face of earth, Your praise my whole life I will sing. My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise.
PRAYERS including The Lords Prayer
The Dean of Windsor shall say
O Merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us by his Holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him: We meekly beseech thee, O Father that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth; and that, at the general resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight; and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come ye blessed children of my Father; receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this we beseech thee, O merciful Father through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer.Amen.
THE CHOIR SINGS THE ANTHEM
Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints: where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing, but life everlasting. Thou only art immortal, the Creator and Maker of man: And we are mortal, formed of the earth, and unto earth shall we return. For so thou didst ordain, when thou createdest me, saying, Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. All we go down to the dust; and, weeping, o’er the grave, we make our song: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
As the Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor shall say
Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul, In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengtheneth thee; May thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.
When Jesus was addressing his disciples questions about His second coming, Jesus said, “the days of Noah would be like the days of His coming.”
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:37-39
Jesus therefore tells us that most people will be living their lives as if life is normal, nothing unusual is happening for them. However, we know for Christians this time will be a time of get distress, even great tribulation, when they reject the Mark of the Beast/Antichrist.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:9-12
Jesus attests to the fact that the Flood narrative is an Old Testament account that parallels the return of Jesus. Does this even include parallels between the number of days of the Flood and the final Wrath? Does God’s Word tell us plainly how long the Wrath of God lasts, and will it be a surprise to almost everyone?
Nelson does a great job of answering all these questions and more.
“On the way to Jerusalem he (Jesus) was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
The only thing we can ever offer to God is Deep Gratitude for HIS amazing, undeserved Grace. In the above account, it is interesting that nine of the healed lepers (who presumably were Jews) lacked such gratitude because they did not see themselves as being in need of such grace, while the Samaritan ‘foreigner’ did!
A salutary warning to those of us, like me at 84 years of age, who have benefitted over many years from the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit: we can be too prone to take for granted our spiritual growth, and to think this growth is somehow our contribution to God, rather than His gift to us for which I am eternally grateful. I like the verse of the old hymn about the Holy Spirit’s work in us: “And every virtue we possess and every victory won, and every thought of holiness, are His alone.”
THOUGHTS ON MINISTRY
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.”2 Corinthians 4:1-3
What great comfort and instruction these verses provide for us as we labour in the work of the Gospel. Once we have experienced for ourselves the rich and comprehensive blessing of God’s saving grace, we have an overwhelming desire to share this blessing with others, especially those close to us and those who are really struggling with the burdens of our troubled world.
The Apostle Paul reminds us of some very important truths to keep in mind as we struggle.
Firstly, our own salvation, and our taking hold of it, was never a result of our work/efforts, but is only ever brought about by God’s Sovereign Mercy!
Secondly, and because of this, we must neverlose heart – If God managed to soften my proud, rebellious, self-centred, self-sufficient heart, he can do the same for anyone else as well!
Thirdly, we must never resort to using the world’s tactics/weapons, or to ‘watering down’ the claims of the Gospel, just to ‘get people in’. As he wrote to the Christians in Corinth: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Fourthly, although it might be twisted and deadened by SIN, Man-made-in-the-image-of-God still has a conscience that the Holy Spirit can use to convict of “sin and righteousness and Judgement” (John 16:8)!
Fifthly, it is not our job to change people – nor is it ever within our skill-set! Only God can remove the ‘veil’ that prevents people from coming to repentance-and-faith and thus dissociating themselves from all those who are ’perishing’. Our only job is to proclaim the Good News, Faithfully, Persistently and Prayerfully, whenever and wherever we can, and then to leave the outcome in God’s hands (1 Corinthians 3:6)!
“You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labours at it. I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.” 1 Corinthians 16:15-18
Note Stephanas and his household ‘devoted themselves’ (the word speaks of a dedicated and disciplined lifestyle) to serving others. As these folk began to meet the needs of their fellow-Christians, people began to recognise in them the marks of true Christian leadership. Paul felt able to urge the Corinthians to ‘be subject’ [‘submit’] to such people, ie to respect their leadership gifts. This insight challenges our notions, but particularly our practice, of leadership. We tend to give leadership to those who have received one particular kind of education, who have a measure of articulacy and general ability to think and speak on their feet, who measure up to worldly criteria of leadership. Do we ever take with proper seriousness the perspective Paul provides on leadership as SERVICE?
Jesus taught the same truth: ‘Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.’ (Matthew 20:26). This indicates that the authentic, solid leadership of a local church will come from people who give themselves to SERVING the saints. Such leadership does not depend on education, qualifications, degrees, or natural charisma. It comes from the grace of God equipping his people with gifts which enable them to be SERVANTS OF OTHERS in the fellowship of believers.
“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” Luke 17:10
The point of Jesus’ parable of the servant coming in from the field (Luke 17:7-10) is quite sobering. In it, the Lord of Creation, the Son of Man who will one day come in all his glory to reveal his Kingdom (Luke 17:20-37), is reminding us just who we are: Servants of God. This is not an easy truth for us to come to grips with. We were made in the image and likeness of God, but we are not God; and in the end we will all be accountable to the One who is God for the way we have served Him.
How many in His church today, truly see themselves as servants of God and worse lack gratitude for all that He does for them.
Medical researchers at the Pentagon have been working to develop what is, in essence, a microchip capable of detecting a COVID-19 infection when inserted under the skin.
While it might sound like science fiction — or akin to the unfounded conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 vaccines currently in circulation are laced with microchips — the technological development is entirely true.
The “subdermal implant,” as scientists are calling it, is now in the late-stage testing phase and was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a top-secret Pentagon unit established during the Cold War to study emergent technologies for military use, “60 Minutes” reported.
Bill Whitaker reports on the Pentagon projects that helped combat COVID-19 and may help end pandemics forever.
Many of the innovations deployed to counter the coronavirus were once obscure Pentagon-funded projects to defend soldiers from contagious diseases and biological weapons. The life-saving vaccine developed in record time owes a debt to these programs. To learn more, we met the man who has been leading the rapid vaccine effort, retired Colonel Matt Hepburn. An army infectious disease physician, he spent years with the secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), working on technology he hopes will ensure COVID-19 is the last pandemic.
Dr Hepburn said the beauty of the DARPA model was that we challenged the research community to come up with solutions that may sound like science fiction. And we were very willing to take chances with high-risk investments that may not work. But if they do, we can completely transform the landscape.
More than 60 years ago, DARPA was born, after President Eisenhower was caught off guard when Russia launched the first satellite, “Sputnik”, into orbit.
The small Defense Department agency was given a single purpose: prevent surprises like that from ever happening again. So Dr. Hepburn finds academics, companies, inventors working in garages — and pushes them to deliver.
Dr. Matt Hepburn: What we don’t do — we don’t say, “Okay, here’s our problem. Here’s your blank check. Come back to us in three to five years, we’ll see how you do.
Bill Whitaker: You’re on them?
Dr. Matt Hepburn: Active program management is what we call it. Okay? (LAUGH)
Dr. Hepburn showed us a few current projects, some sound like they’re from an episode of “Star Trek.” Consider a ship like the USS Theodore Roosevelt — hobbled last year when 1,271 crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. What if everyone on board had their health monitored with this subdermal implant, now in late-stage testing. It’s not some dreaded government microchip to track your every move, but a tissue-like gel engineered to continuously test your blood.
Dr. Matt Hepburn: It’s a sensor.
Bill Whitaker: This tiny green thing in there?
Dr. Matt Hepburn: That tiny green thing in there, you put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow.
Bill Whitaker: Wow. There’s an– an actual transmitter in that–
Dr. Matt Hepburn: Yeah. It’s like a “check engine” light.
Bill Whitaker: Check this sailor out before he infects other people?
Dr. Matt Hepburn: That’s right. Sailors would get the signal, then self-administer a blood draw and test themselves on site.
Bill Whitaker: Look at that.
Dr. Matt Hepburn: We can have that information in three to five minutes; as you truncate that time, as you diagnose and treat, what you do is you stop the infection in its tracks.
The technology that makes the Biblical mark of the Beast/Antichrist possible is with us today. It is just another one of the signs that Jesus spoke of that alerts us to the coming tribulation and persecution of Christians and Jews that precedes His return. Church are you ready.
After a legal fight lasting several years, evangelist Franklin Graham has won an important case for religious freedom in the UK. A County Court Judge Claire Evans has ruled that the 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope was discriminated against when ads promoting the event were pulled from buses in Blackpool, in an effort to ban him from preaching. In 2018, the Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport Services removed bus advertisements displaying the words “Time for Hope,” citing that members of the community complained about Graham’s association with the festival. The transportation company said they received feedback from members of the community who were concerned over the evangelist’s religious beliefs on marriage and sexuality. Complaints referenced Graham’s biblical views about LGBTQ matters like same-sex marriage.
Some falsely accused him of “preaching hate” or being “racist.” Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport said, “The removal of these adverts is as a result of us listening and acting on customer and public feedback which we aim to do at all times. 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.” After the decision was announced, additional complaints were made about the removal of the advertisements by members of the public who saw the move as bias against Christians, censorship, and a restriction of free speech. Moreover, the court concluded that the ads themselves were inoffensive and the transportation company had actually violated the UK’s Equality Act 2010. The law forbids discrimination against anyone because of religion or belief.
Judge Evans ruled “overwhelmingly in favour” of the Lancashire Festival of Hope, saying that Blackpool “had a wholesale disregard” for the Festival’s right to freedom of speech. It prioritized the rights and opinions of members of the LGBT community. “We thank God for this ruling because it is a win for every Christian in the U.K.,” Graham said. Despite removal of the ads, the Lancashire Festival of Hope brought 9,000 people together in Blackpool, garnered more than 50,000 online views worldwide, and saw more than 400 people commit their lives to Christ. “It is a significant day for religious liberty,” said James Barrett, chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK. “The court recognized that Blackpool Council cared more about appeasing the LGBTQ community than upholding the rights of local churches to advertise a Christian festival.” He added, “The judge summarized it best in her ruling when she said, ‘This is the antithesis of the manner in which a public authority should behave in a democratic society.