Liberty Church Opposes Franklin Graham's Gospel Liberty

Further to yesterday’s post about the Blackpool MPs opposing Franklin Graham’s September outreach, it would seem that even one of Blackpool’s churches is offended. Nina Parker, one of the leaders at Blackpool’s Liberty Church, told the Guardian that there is an “enormous amount of protest from Christians in the north-west,” against Graham’s planned appearance at the Lancashire Festival of Hope. She even claims that “there will be an increase in hate crimes”. I looked up her church’s website. As well as all the usual guff about being ‘inclusive’, the ‘What we Believe’ section isn’t all that bad. Nevertheless, a little phrase gave the game away:

By His death on the cross Jesus paid the price to purify us from all sin, no matter what we may have done, and to make us worthy to be a member of his family.

Christ’s death wasn’t primarily about making us pure and 'worthy'; it was about making restitution for our sin. Having been justified by his death on the cross, i.e. accounted righteous before the Judge, we are thereafter sanctified, that is, purified and made good. When you’re boasting about your high levels inclusivity, sin and repentance become words with disturbing meanings; justifying sinners contaminated by Adam’s corruption becomes an inconvenient truth.

Even the town councillors are signalling their virtue by speaking out against the preacher and threatening to close the venue. Local gay businessmen Basil Newby said “Blackpool is like Las Vegas on heat; Anything is allowed…”. He went on to suggest that Franklin Graham should not be allowed.

Marsden, Maynard, Newby and Parker would rather the denizens of their crepuscular town didn’t hear the gospel than their social liberalism be offended by someone who sees things differently. What has this country come to?