Evangelist Franklin Graham has called out The Methodist Church of Great Britain for trying to “edit what the Word of God says” to avoid “what might offend people.”
Graham’s strong statement came after the church released an “Inclusive Language Guide” advising its leaders to avoid using gender terms such as “husband” and “wife” because it is not “the reality for many people” and instead use “neutral” words like “parent,” “partner,” and “carer.”
The denomination also called leaders to repent for hurtful language.
“Part of the work of being a justice-seeking Church is about recognizing and acknowledging that harm has been done to marginalized groups in the past, not just by wider society but at times by the Church itself, and that it is the Church’s responsibility to make amends for this,” the guidance reads. “It is crucial for our communications to be sensitive and inclusive because, for such a long time, some groups have been marginalized and/or demonized by common culture.”
The guidance, which will be updated every six months, also suggests that leaders use inclusive language when addressing their congregations. Instead of using terms like “men” and “women” they were encouraged to use less offensive language.
“Try gender-neutral language such as ‘folks’, ‘teammates’, ‘friends’, ‘colleagues’, or simply ‘people’! Similarly, the word ‘man’ used as a verb – ‘who is manning the front desk’, for example – can make people feel excluded,” it advised.
The Methodist Church’s guidance tells leaders to share their pronouns to help “create a safe space for people to be themselves.”
Graham blasted the guidance.
“Shame on the Methodist Church,” Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, wrote in a Facebook post. “These are Biblical terms — and marriage between a man and a woman is biblical truth. The word ‘wife’ is used in some 360 verses in 38 books of the Bible. They are in essence trying to edit what the Word of God says and teaches to be more appealing to the changing whims of culture. We are warned against that in Scripture. As Christians, we aren’t called to avoid what might offend people — we are called to share the Truth of God’s Word that can guide and direct us through every step of life.”
Read Graham’s Facebook post here.
He reiterated on X, “The Methodist Church in the UK is trying to edit what the Word of God says to be more appealing to the changing whims of culture. As Christians, we aren’t called to avoid what might offend people—we are called to share the Truth of God’s Word.”