Franklin Graham vs the Anglican Church of Canada

Franklin Graham’s Vancouver crusade seems to have been a great success.

Mission accomplished: 2,318 people made a commitment to Christ.

Received via email:

What an amazing weekend at the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope.

Over the three nights, 34,406 people attended in person, with 1929 people going forward to make a commitment to Christ.  On top of that, 65,429 people from seventy-six countries watched the Festival of Hope online, with 389 people making a commitment to Christ online.  We are rejoicing for lives that have been touched for eternity.  It was such a privilege to serve on the Festival of Hope Executive, led by Pastor Guilio Gabeli with the invaluable wisdom of the Festival Director David Ingram.  The Billy Graham family and the Billy Graham team are such quality people.  We are particularly grateful for Dion and Tammy Collins who served on the ground as Assistant Director and Office Manager.  An unexpected treat was to have the grandson of Billy Graham, Will Graham, join his Dad Franklin Graham for the Festival.  This was Will’s third time here, since he helped us kick off the Festival and then led 500 young people to Christ at Vancouver Missions Fest this January.

As an antidote to Franklin Graham’s blatant promotion of Christianity, Anglicans sponsored a multi-faith event to celebrate diversity.

Mission accomplished: 0 people made a commitment to Christ.

From here:

People from many faiths met twice early in March in Vancouver to show support for one another at two well-attended public meetings that celebrated diversity and took a stand against acts of hatred.

Both gatherings were in reaction to concerns about an upsurge in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of social conflict that seem to have accompanied the inauguration of the new administration in the United States.

That American political problems have spilled into Canada was suggested by a bomb threat the previous week which resulted in the evacuation of Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre (no bomb was found), and by controversy surrounding a three-day campaign in Vancouver led by Franklin Graham, an American evangelist who once called Islam “a very evil, a very wicked religion” and supported a ban on Muslim immigration in the U.S.

Anglicans were involved in sponsoring both gatherings. The first took place on March 7 at Vancouver’s Or Shalom Synagogue. It was sponsored by the synagogue and the diocese of New Westminster and featured talks, chants, songs, meditation, and even dancing, from a wide variety of faith traditions.

It was followed two days later by a presentation  at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church involving a rabbi, an imam, and a bishop entitled “Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance.” This event was organized by St. Andrew’s and Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver.

A safe space for Trumpophobics

The Diocese of New Westminster along with St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, representatives of the fastest declining denominations in North America, are banding together “to offer an antidote to the fear and despair” resulting from democracy in action in the USA.

Franklin Graham seems to have been the catalyst for this but honourable mention is given to “right-wing groups” in Europe, Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duerte. “The list goes on” as the article below notes, but it doesn’t go on to include Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, Iraq or any of the other countries that concentrate much of their national energy on persecuting Christians.

The featured speakers include an imam, a Zen Buddhist and Michael Ingham, one of the most divisive Anglican bishops of the 20th Century.  Anglicans should feel quite at home.

The event is called: Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance. Even though Franklin Graham will be in Vancouver, he hasn’t been invited to state his side of the story; liberals generally can’t cope when both sides of an argument are presented. Their brains shut down in self-defensive panic. These days, I think it’s called “triggering”.

From here:

People have been confiding in Vancouver Rev. Gary Paterson that they’re having trouble feeling hopeful.

In a political era characterized by U.S. President Donald Trump, growing immigrant-skeptic movements in Europe and the murder of six Quebec Muslims, the minister at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church wanted to offer an antidote to the fear and despair he’s hearing from members of his church and the public.

So Paterson, past moderator of the United Church of Canada, teamed up with another downtown Vancouver clergyman, Rev. Peter Elliot of Christ Church (Anglican) Cathedral, to have a multi-faith group of speakers lead a four-part series in March titled Hope Amidst the Politics of Fear: Conversations for Creative Resistance.

“It’s partly a reaction to what’s happening in the United States. But the U.S. has such an influence on the world, especially Canada,” Paterson said, noting the city has been divided by the Vancouver crusade of American evangelist Franklin Graham, a major Trump supporter, to be held March 3-5.

“It’s also a reaction to reports from Europe about right-wing groups gaining traction … and to the aplomb with which (Russian President Vladimir) Putin seems to be acting these days and to (strongman Rodrigo) Duerte in the Philippines. The list goes on.”

Women’s March Anglicans

For those who just can’t get enough of Anglican clergy mixed up in politics condemning Franklin Graham for being too mixed up in politics, here is another choice selection of assorted reverends demonstrating in support of the Women’s March on Washington – you remember, the one where the alleged singer, Madonna, lovingly intoned that she “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House”

From here:


The Rev. Canon Mark Kinghan of St. George on Yonge, Toronto, the Rev. Joanne Davies, chaplain at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Rev. Dawn Leger, pastor of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toronto, were among tens of thousands who attended the Toronto Women’s March on Jan. 21 at Queen’s Park. The three-hour demonstration for justice, equity and social change was one of hundreds held worldwide in support of the Women’s March on Washington following the American Presidential inauguration.

Politics and the Bishop

Bishop Kevin Robertson, in this case, the newly minted Bishop in the Diocese of Toronto who happens to be a practising homosexual.

Here, he uses Lent to lecture us about the evil of walls:

Lent is an invitation to tear down walls

It is vital that this work of tearing down walls continues. Over the past few months, the world has witnessed an increase of suspicion and mistrust of “the other.” The proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico threatens the further separation of two peoples that, though divided by citizenship, are united in so many other ways. In a speech in Berlin 30 years ago, American President Ronald Reagan famously challenged his Russian counterpart, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” But now, a new president is threatening to erect new walls with the aim of keeping people apart. The recent executive order to restrict entry into the U.S for people of seven Muslim-majority countries is another kind of wall. It paints entire nations and peoples with a single brush, and heightens a sense of xenophobia around the world. Even here in our own country, we were shocked and saddened by the murder of six Muslim men at a Quebec City mosque in late January. Again, a reminder of the wall s that divide us.

None of this is surprising, of course. It is worth pointing out that the Mexico wall is designed to keep illegal immigrants out of the US while the Berlin Wall was used to imprison East Berliners in their communist paradise by their own government; that doesn’t matter much to Robertson. Robertson’s article is quite clearly one that aligns with a liberal-left view of immigration and national sovereignty; it has nothing to do with the Gospel and is likely to alienate people whose politics don’t match Roberson’s.

Now, had Robertson been in favour of the US-Mexico wall, he probably wouldn’t have got his new job in the first place, but if by some miracle he had, I’m sure there would be howls of righteous indignation from our clerical elite denouncing his opinions and demanding that he be prevented from speaking from any pulpit in Canada. Just as they have done for Franklin Graham.

Here is the bishop smiling happily within the walls of one of his churches:

Bishop of New Westminster joins in petition to prevent Franklin Graham speaking in Canada

Bishop Melissa Skelton has added her voice to those attempting to stop Franklin Graham’s Vancouver crusade.

Read it all here:

I’m writing to let you know that I have signed on to a letter from a group of concerned civic leaders and clergy about the upcoming visit of Franklin Graham to Vancouver as a part of The Festival of Hope. This group, of which I am a part, sent the letter in advance to Franklin Graham. He responded in writing yesterday.  I thought you might appreciate knowing the reasons why I, along with the leaders of our group, still believe that we should release the letter linked here.

The letter contains this little gem of hypocrisy:

Such blending of politics and religion is dangerous. First, it comes close to aligning the power of the church with the power of the state. Second, it does so by seeming to develop a false religious narrative to support an exalted and troubling American nationalism. Third, it can divide Christians who do not view things the same way as Mr. Graham. Fourth, we are concerned that some of the policies of the Trump administration have introduced unprecedented structural shifts that put the most vulnerable in our world at risk of greater harm. These policies may jeopardize refugees and reinforce prejudice.

For decades the Anglican Church of Canada has been “aligning the power of the church with the power of the state”. Not that the ACoC has much power but, insofar as it has any influence, it exerts it on behalf of liberal-leftist politics. Here, for example is the letter of congratulations to Justin Trudeau on his election to Prime Minister from Bishops Fred Hiltz and Susan Johnson, awash with more breathless sycophancy than could be gushed by a couple of teenage girls over Justin Bieber’s haircut:

Dear Prime Minister:

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), we extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as our new Prime Minister.

You have set a bold vision for our country. The times in which we live call for visionary leadership in Canada and in the world so that we may build a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.

We welcome your approach to governance and your commitment to work closely with all levels of government on issues such as homelessness, lifting children and seniors out of poverty, improving our welcome of refugees, and refocusing development assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable. Anglicans and Lutherans from coast to coast to coast share a deep concern and profound hope for justice, peace and the well-being of creation. Your invitation to Provincial Premiers and to representatives of other political parties to participate in the Climate Change Conference in Paris is an important sign of the kind of partnership needed to address critical issues.

The Canadian blooming of Franklin Graham hysteria

The Anglican Journal, bastion of liberal thinkpol, tweets its smug approval of attempts to block Franklin Graham’s visit to Canada:

Naturally, a United Church minister must get in on the act:

“We live in a country that has free speech, but there’s a difference between free speech and hate speech” said Stevenson, who is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada.

And there is the problem in a nutshell: if, when liberal orthodoxy is challenged, what is said is automatically classified as hate speech, then in Canada we do not live in a country that has free speech, do we?

Vancouver church leaders oppose Franklin Graham crusade

A number of church leaders are opposing a crusade in Vancouver by Franklin Graham because, supposedly, he “regularly denigrates Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists”. Predictably, Anglicans opposed to the visit are represented by Peter Elliot, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.

The fact that Graham is coming not to talk about Islam, homosexuals, the Democratic party or atheists but to preach the Gospel with the intent of saving souls is beside the point: he must be stopped because liberal inclusion simply isn’t inclusive enough to cope with a different point of view – diversity be damned.

Other prominent Christian leaders unwelcome in Vancouver churches include a chap with no surname calling himself Jesus, who alienated ecclesiastical panjandrums by calling them snakes and Saul of Tarsus who demonstrated a worrying, dehumanising insensitivity when he invited his opponents to remove their own testicles.

Thanks to the vigilance of Vancouver’s church leaders the city will remain a Christian free zone, a safe space for Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists.

If Franklin Graham is not allowed into immigration friendly Canada, he will have the singular honour of being just about the only foreign national prevented from entering our borders.

From here:

A growing number of Christians in Metro Vancouver want to stop controversial U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham from leading a major crusade next month in the city.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently met with evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant leaders to discuss concerns about the visit of Graham, who regularly denigrates Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists.

Provocative statements by Graham have become increasingly worrying to many Metro Vancouver Christians since the evangelist presided at the January inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who criticizes Muslim immigrants, and after a lone gunman was charged last month with murdering six Muslims in Quebec.

Franklin Graham comments on the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians

From here:

The militant Islamic terrorist group ISIS has released a video called A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD TO THE NATION OF THE CROSS showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya. Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians? Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world? As we mourn with the families of those 21 martyrs, we’d better take this warning seriously as these acts of terror will only spread throughout Europe and the United States. If this concerns you like it does me, share this. The storm is coming.

He is correct, of course; Christian leaders would have unanimously denounced such an evil act by Christians. As it is, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has no contemporary Christian barbarity over which to lament, he is forced to confine himself to wringing his hands over the bombing of Dresden during the Second World War.

Meanwhile, ISIS redoubled its efforts to convince us that Islam is a religion of peace by burning to death 45 people in Iraq.

Bishop apologizes for Franklin Graham’s mission to Iceland

Franklin Graham is going to Iceland not to talk about gay marriage but to preach a “message of God’s hope and unconditional love for all people”, and “to renew, encourage and strengthen the people of Iceland through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The Festival of Hope “is open to everyone and is about the good news that unites us through Jesus.”

One might be forgiven for falling into the trap of thinking that a festival intended to save souls would be welcomed by a Christian bishop, even a bishop of the Evangelical – never was a word less applicable – Lutheran Church of Iceland. Not so!

The Rt. Rev. Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir doesn’t want anyone spreading God’s unconditional love in Iceland unless they also promote homosexual marriage.

Once again, the liberal church’s obsession with the ecclesiastical legitimisation of gay sex overrides every other consideration.

BishFrom here:

The Bishop of Iceland the Rt. Rev. Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, has apologized to the island’s gay community for the participation of the Church of Iceland in next month’s Festival of Hope meeting in Reykjavík due to the presence of U.S. evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham.

Anna Pála Sverrisdóttir, chair of Samtökin 78, an Icelandic gay activist organization told the news website Ruv.is she was angered by the state Lutheran church’s participation in the Christian rally as Graham opposes gay marriage.