Although evangelist Franklin Graham has been banned from speaking in Liverpool, England on his upcoming summer tour of the U.K., because of his opposition to the LGBT agenda, the reverend clarified that "God defines homosexuality as sin" and God also forgives sinners.
On Jan. 26, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson tweeted, "Our City is a diverse City and proud of our LGBTQ+ community and always will be. We can not allow hatred and intolerance to go unchallenged by anyone including by religious groups or sects. It’s right we have banned from the M&S Arena Franklin Graham. #Love conquers hatred always.”
In response, in a Jan. 27 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham said, "A letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK— It is said by some that I am coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins."
"The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin," said Graham. "The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners -- myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death -- separation from God for eternity."
"That’s why Jesus Christ came," said the reverend. "He became sin for us. He didn’t come to condemn the world, He came to save the world by giving His life on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins. And if we’re willing to accept Him by faith and turn away from our sins, He will forgive us and give us new life -- eternal life -- in Him."
Graham continued, "My message to all people is that they can be forgiven and they can have a right relationship with God. That’s Good News. That is the hope people on every continent around the world are searching for."
"In the UK as well as in the United States, we have religious freedom and freedom of speech," he said. "I’m not coming to the UK to speak against anybody, I’m coming to speak for everybody. The Gospel is inclusive. I'm not coming out of hate, I'm coming out of love."
"I invite everyone in the LGBTQ community to come and hear for yourselves the Gospel messages that I will be bringing from God’s Word, the Bible," said Graham. "You are absolutely welcome."
Franklin Graham is the son of the late Pastor Billy Graham. He is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and also oversees the international aid group Samaritan's Purse.