All my life since I was a child I have been conscious of God’s hand on my life. But I date my conversion from the night as a teenager when I knelt by my bed and asked Jesus into my heart. I wanted to know for sure I was born again so I read a book titled “How To Be Born Again.”
The author of the book was Billy Graham.
Billy’s son Franklin has become somewhat of a pariah to woke councils in Britain, who see his pronouncements on LGBT matters as inflammatory and divisive. This has prompted venues across the UK to cancel bookings on his upcoming preaching tour.
It’s a different world from the days of Billy Graham Crusades in Britain, although they were also fiercely opposed in their time by some in more traditional churches. The level of that hostility would shock some today.
This time opposition is from the authorities, reflecting the drift in society towards an entrenched culture that is vehemently antagonistic to Christian faith. These authorities are cheered on by liberal contrarians, again mostly from more traditional church backgrounds.
The Franklin Graham ban should come as no surprise. Those in positions of power who, as Psalm 2 tells us, set themselves against YHWH and His Christ, have been itching for an opportunity to very publicly beat down and intimidate the Christian community, obliterating Christians’ right to speak truth to power.
The manoeuvring and manipulation of those in power has resulted in a culture and society where biblical positions on sex, sexuality and gender has been fenced off into a zone labelled hate crime and bigotry. This allows the authorities to “legally” reject – with assumed impunity – events like the Franklin Graham tour.
There are some vital things that Christians in Britain need to be aware of with all this.
Firstly, the Franklin Graham ban is very concerning, though, as I said, not surprising. Franklin Graham is a controversial and outspoken guy. A Marmite character, as some have pointed out.
Of far more sinister concern is the subsequent cancellation of Destiny Edinburgh’s Surge Conference in the Usher Hall in June. This is a far more direct hit against Christianity in the nation. This decision in Edinburgh is an indication, along with the Franklin Graham cancellations, that it is open season on all Christian activity in public space in the UK.
This leads to the second thing we believers must face up to, which is that the erosion of our influence on society and what is known as the other six mountains of culture happened on our watch. Previous generations of the Church in Britain built societal foundations of truth and faith that created a distinctly Christian culture. Yes, some of that atrophied and stagnated into dead religiosity which people gradually (and rightly) rebelled against. Unfortunately, they didn’t rebel only against oppressive legalism but against the authentic faith.
Our postmodern society is very much post-Christian.
And, it must be said, it’s on us.
I personally, along with others, have warned for many years this day we are now in was coming.
The prophetic warnings of the days we now are living in – when proclaiming the Christian message would be a criminal offence, prohibited by law and despised by society – were largely ignored. Those warnings were seen as negative and unbelief.
My own position preaching throughout the UK and writing was and is that these days could be avoided and the inexorable march towards a society that is aggressively antichrist could be stopped and reversed.
For me, revival, reformation and restoration is inevitable. It is going to happen. The only variable is the condition of the nation and, crucially, the Body of Christ in the nation, when it happens. We don’t have to be in terminal decline in terms of our influence. We CAN conquer the seven mountains of culture and transform society. We CAN see a Golden Age in Britain founded upon the Word of God and a heaven-sent Awakening in these islands.
We really don’t have to hit rock bottom, see churches closed and become an underground movement. But we will if we don’t get our act together very quickly.
The third thing we must be aware of is that we must not fight the devil’s battle. There is a trap here we can easily fall into which is to engage on the battleground that antichrist civic leaders want to lure us upon. Yes, there is a place for contesting situations where Christians are targeted, such as the high profile Ashers Bakery case and Pastor McConnell’s case where he was charged with anti-Muslim utterances.
There must always be a recourse to law for Christians and churches who are under attack for their faith.
However, the problem with turning to the law and asserting human rights and civil liberties is that the powers that be make the laws, define the rights and grant the liberties. When the playbook is held by the enemy, standing on your rights is building on shifting sands.
The long-term strategy, which requires instant implementation, is to aggressively conquer the seven drivers of culture which form the 7M concept. This has to go from theory to practice very quickly. Sadly, the Church in the UK is either too timid or too poorly informed to begin such a venture. This requires that teaching and training on societal transformation through penetration and conquest of the seven mountains becomes a massive priority throughout the Church immediately.
In short, if Christians make the laws, we cannot be frozen out by them. We have to shift our paradigm into this type of thinking. Christians today are too “nice” and assume that by being loving and kind, we will disarm hostile councils and governments. You cannot charm devils or people sold out to them.
However, the trap the enemy wants us to fall into is to fight fire with fire. That means going all legal and demanding our rights in belligerent tones. Knowing when to not adopt this strategy is as vital as knowing when to adopt it.
Some are taking this route with the Franklin Graham tour. It’s understandable. My problem with it, however, is there are a number of factors involved concerning both GCC and the SNP that people are oblivious to. These are critical factors. One is that we underestimate the level of hostility toward Christianity held by leaders and key people in these organisations. By that I mean the kind of Christianity represented by churches who support the Franklin Graham Tour.
What I think we must comprehend is that there is a real probability that the authorities i.e. the SNP/Scottish Government/Glasgow City Council actually want this fight. They see it as an opportunity to beat down the Christian voice in society and put us in our place once and for all. Let’s not forget they have an agenda to push and that is at odds with our faith. They are all too aware that we believers oppose this agenda and have no reason to facilitate our opposition to their agenda or incentive to appease us.
The reason is simple: we have no clout. Our collective votes will hardly make a dent in their comfortable majority and we haven’t the organisational capacity to unite believers to vote against them. All of which they are aware of. Besides which, the other parties are signed up to Babylonian agendas just as fervently.
But we do have clout in heaven if we will use it. Yes, prayer is still our number one weapon in this battle – if, that is, we are prepared to pray the right prayers. To be blunt, many Christians don’t have the stomach to pray these prayers.
The simple fact is many Christians are quite oblivious to the scale of what we are up against. There certainly seems to be a coordinated attempt across the UK to knock the voice of the Church right out of public space. The next step is blatantly obvious – they will come into churches, surreptitiously and/or openly.
If that sounds dramatic or scaremongering, so did telling a Christian pastor twenty years ago that BGEA would not be able to book public arenas in Britain.
My entire approach to ministry has changed over the years from a confrontational to a transformational approach. I believe we can operate in divine favour, even with the worst of Babylonian powers. I believe we can and should share transformational concepts such as the Key of David and the Blessing of Abraham with civic authorities. After all, we have the answers to the problems of governance they encounter and are appointed to deal with.
We should expect favour and give honour to those who have the rule over us, as well as praying for them.
However, we must not be foolish in assuming that we can “take them on” anywhere or anyhow except under the mighty hand of God.
If recent events have taught us anything, it is that we need that mighty hand more than ever. Our rights to preach the Gospel and be Jesus to our communities and nation are determined not by man’s law but by God’s command.
We ignored the warning signs of Babylon being constructed around us, bringing us to where we are now. If we don’t want it to get worse, we need to start hearing from heaven now in order to stop the decline in our influence across this nation