ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, June 25   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
30 years of internet...
Will digital natives and the "Gen Z" use new technologies with a better ethical/values reflection than the previous generation?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Freedom of speech
 

English Mayor resigns over accusations of homophobia

Pastor Richard Smith was elected Mayor of Ferryhill in May. “My faith in Christ is what drives me to help people regardless of their faith, colour, culture, sexuality, or political persuasion”, he said.

SOURCES Christian Concern, Premier AUTHOR Evangelical Focus FERRYHILL (UK) 13 JULY 2018 17:00 h GMT+1
Richard Smith, former Mayor of Ferryhill. / Christian Concern.

A town Mayor in the British County of Durham (North East of England) has resigned because he has “been subjected to unprecedented levels of adverse publicity”, after posting his opinions about homosexuality on Facebook.



Richard Smith was elected Mayor of Ferryhill in May, and has been a pastor of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship in Ferryhill since 2003. He had previously served in the army for eight and a half years.



 



ACCUSATIONS OF HOMOPHOBIA



Smith had shared a number of posts on his Facebook account, promoting biblical views on sexual ethics and Islam.



A local drag artist, Tess Tickle, accused him of homophobia and Islamophobia: “Everybody's entitled to their own views and beliefs. However, sharing things in a public domain in a position of power... it's not acceptable”, she told the BBC.



Some local councillors and residents also called for the resignation of the Mayor.



 



“ORCHESTRATED ADVERSE PUBLICITY”



Smith sent a resignation letter, stating that “with deep and profound sadness, and after considerable deliberation, I have decided to relinquish the role of Mayor of Ferryhill Town Council”.



He explained that he has “been subjected to unprecedented levels of adverse publicity, orchestrated for political advantage, that has threatened both my church, family, and colleagues alike”.



“Whilst the instigators are very much in the minority, as evidenced by the widespread messages of support I have received, I realise that my ability to serve the people of Ferryhill in the manner I would have wished will always be subject to disruption and intimidation”, he added.



 



“MY CHRISTIAN IS WHAT DRIVES ME TO HELP PEOPLE”



“To be denied the opportunity to hold personal views was never my expectation when I undertook the role of Town Mayor, and it is a matter of sincere regret to me that those personal views have been so tragically and outrageously twisted and reported on in order to discredit both myself and my faith”, the letter said.



Smith pointed out that “my faith in Christ is what drives me to help people regardless of their faith, colour, culture, sexuality, or political persuasion”.



“People who really know me and Lauraine and the church, can truly comment on how hard we have lovingly worked to help and provide for those in need, this has now been decimated by the minority mob along with those wishing to score political points and who have a God-phobia”, he concluded.



 



STILL A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL



Smith ended the letter quoting Acts 5:25-32. “I guess nothing much has changed”, he said.



He will “remain a member of the council, to participate in and promote initiatives brought forward for the benefit of all in our town, as was always my intention”.



 



“NOTHING HE HAS SAID CONTRADICTS THE BIBLE”



Right after his resignation, on July, 11, a free speech rally in support of the former Mayor was held at the Council Chamber, in Ferryhill Town Hall.



“Councillor Smith has posted nothing illegal. He is a pastor of a church and nothing he has said contradicts the teaching of the Bible”, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said in support of Smith.



According to Williams, “an aggressive lobby is determined to distort those views, take them out of context, and ultimately silence and remove anyone who adheres to them. Councillor Smith serves as a local pastor and politician, motivated by his faith and love for the people of his community. What kind of system hangs him out to dry?”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - English Mayor resigns over accusations of homophobia
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals

After many years of labour, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa officially opened its new centre in Nairobi, Kenya. “Africa, your time has come!”, said the World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Efraim Tendero.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer
At the invitation of hundreds of churches in Spain, the Luis Palau Association are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Madrid, June 15-23, 2019, through numerous outreach events and a 2-day family festival in the heart of the city.
 
Mercy Ships volunteers perform 100,000th free surgical procedure Mercy Ships volunteers perform 100,000th free surgical procedure

The milestone represents an important point in the nonprofit’s 40-year legacy.

 
What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context? What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context?

Espen Ottosen talks about the truths Christians should share with people who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about Christian belief.  

 
A 50-metre high monument will encourage Britons to pray A 50-metre high monument will encourage Britons to pray

Thousands of visitors will have the chance to discover “the God who is alive who listens and answers prayers”.

 
John Lennox on Acts John Lennox on Acts

Professor John Lennox  examines the three supernatural events in the first three chapters of Acts: Jesus' ascension, the Holy Spirit's descent at Pentecost, and the healing of a lame man by the Apostles.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.