Shunned but Not Silenced
Updated: Mar 3
The Apostle Peter pointed out that whenever persecution comes, Christians have a duty to stand firm, praise God, and continue speaking out. He reminded us:
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame (1 Peter 3:14-16 NASB).
Sadly, nations once known as strongly Christian, but which have grown increasingly secular, are becoming less free than ever before. The United Kingdom is proving this by publicly shunning Franklin Graham for his personal acceptance of the Bible’s standards for sexual morality.
Graham had “planned a four-month evangelistic tour of the UK, in hopes of sparking a revival similar to that spearheaded by his father Billy Graham in the 1950s [but]…all the original locations canceled, despite having signed contracts and received deposits.”Decrying Graham’s “statements, which we consider to be incompatible with our values,” one venue announced that:
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.
So, they’re limiting his free speech because they disagree with him repeating what the Bible says about sexual behavior. This chilling ostracization of Graham is part of a growing trend threatening anyone who holds Biblical standards in this culture. As Graham affirmed:
This attack on me is an attack on religious freedom and freedom of speech...For any Christian group that wants to rent a venue that believes the Bible is the Word of God, they’re in danger of being canceled.
Under this 21st century standard, John Adams and other Founding Fathers would have been shunned for Adam’s declaration that:
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
As we follow in Christ’s footsteps seeking “to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11), we may be persecuted in this increasingly secular and confused culture, but we should never waver in proclaiming His Gospel. As Jesus reminds us:
If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me (John 15:20-21 NASB).
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 Kumar, A. (2020, February 9). Franklin Graham surprised by backlash over UK evangelistic tour. Retrieved from https://www.christianpost.com/news/franklin-graham-surprised-by-backlash-over-uk-evangelistic-tour.html Fitzsimons, T. (2020, February 7). Evangelist Franklin Graham scrambles to rebook tour after all U.K. venues cancel: All 8 of the locations the controversial American pastor reserved for an upcoming tour of the country backed out over his anti-LGBTQ track record. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/evangelist-franklin-graham-scrambles-rebook-tour-after-all-u-k-n1132771  Ibid.  Adams, J. (1813, June 28). Letter to Thomas Jefferson. Retrieved from https://wallbuilders.com/founding-fathers-jesus-christianity-bible/