Franklin Graham warns that the British Methodist Church is “trying to edit the Word of God”

Evangelist Franklin Graham criticized The Methodist Church in Britain for “trying to edit what the Word of God says” after the church published “Inclusive Language Guide” advising Methodists to avoid using gender terms such as “husband” and “wife.”

“Shame on the Methodist Church,” Graham, CEO of Samaritan's Purse, wrote in a social media post on Tuesday. “These are Biblical terms — and marriage between a man and a woman is a biblical truth. The word “wife” is used in approximately 360 verses in 38 books of the Bible. They are basically trying to edit what God's Word says and teaches to be more appealing to the changing whims of culture. We are warned against this in scripture. As Christians, we are not called to avoid what might offend people – we are called to share the Truth of God's Word, which can guide and direct us through every step of life.

Graham's comments come in response to the guidance, published in December, which claimed that gender terms such as “husband” and “wife” could be “offensive” because such are thought to assume what is not “the reality for many people.”

“As Christians, we must have the courage for conversations that can sometimes be difficult, recognize that we sometimes exclude people, listen with humility, repent of any hurtful language and be careful about how we listen and what we say or say. write, in the Spirit of Christ”, says the guide, which will be updated every six months.

According to the guide, there is “infinite variety in the way God's creation is expressed in human life.” It offered “husband” and “wife” as examples of terminology that “may sound innocuous but it makes assumptions about family or personal life that are not the reality for many people.”

The guidance also outlined the words “parent”, “partner”, “child” and “carer” as suitable alternatives.

The guide said the UK-based Methodist Church “uses language that is inclusive of LGBT+ people”, and encouraged using the language an individual prefers, including the pronouns they choose to identify with.

The guide also pointed readers to non-profit organizations that include the left-wing Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Stonewall, an LGBT charity in the UK.

A spokesman for the denomination told The Christian Post it was “proud” of the guidance, adding: “It helps the Church to have conversations without making assumptions or unintentionally causing upset. Some find it especially useful when talking to those who may had grief. a different life experience to his own.”

According to the denomination's Book of Discipline, LGBT-identified clergy are barred from ordination, and same-sex marriages are also barred. However, progressive Methodist churches and regional boards in the United States have defied these rules in recent years.

In the United States in 2022, the UMC Western Jurisdiction voted to make Rev. Cedrick D. Bridgeforth of the California-Pacific Conference a bishop, even though he is in a same-sex marriage.

A growing schism within the UMC in the United States over LGBT issues has led to a significant number of congregations leaving the denomination. It is estimated that about a quarter of the congregations decided to separate; as of 2019, more than 7,000 congregations have received approval to leave the denomination.

Thousands of congregations that disaffiliated from the UMC joined the Worldwide Methodist Church, a theologically conservative denomination launched as an alternative to the UMC last year.

An interdenominational legislative meeting is planned for spring 2024, which will consider calls to liberalize policies on marriage and other issues related to LGBT ideology.


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