I could have simply called this post “Franklin Graham is a liar” but I wanted something that was less obvious, more specific, as well as more likely to be obviously applicable when someone else at a later point is making the same dishonest and indeed libelous assertions.
What I am referring to is the fact that Franklin Graham has said that progressives and liberals aren’t Christians, and that these terms are simply a “code word for godlessness.”
The irony, of course, is that it is much easier to say that the reverse is true – that it is the conservative who have consistently been on the side of those who exclude, reject, and condemn those that godly prophetic voices defended and sought to uplift and include. It would be better, however, to not pretend that liberal or conservative automatically equates to “godliness” or to anything else. It depends what traditional stance one is defending and seeking to preserve, or advocating for the abolition of.
In this vein, Steve Wiggins wrote quite aptly:
Journalists seem to only now be catching on to the fact that “conservative” is a codeword for misogyny. Thus it has always been. The fact that it would take nearly two millennia before women could take leadership roles in Christianity (and in some very large sects they still can’t) should’ve been a hint. It’s the old frog in the slowly heating kettle thing. Nobody notices until it’s too late. Since conservative Christianity has always downplayed the worth of women, it didn’t come to public notice until the #MeToo moment. Enough women had to speak up before society took notice of the obvious. Many men feel theologically entitled. Entitled to run things, and they live by the lie that things haven’t changed since Jesus strolled out of that garden tomb a couple thousand years ago. Well, apart from the fact that men no longer wear dresses and keep their hair short, in Roman style. But let’s not call it that, let’s say Evangelical style.
You see, the way you say things matters. Said a certain way, a misrepresentation of the truth is called a lie. It’s considered one of the greatest sins possible in the conservative lexicon. In another way, however, the same statement becomes doctrine, and that’s a whole different way of looking at things. Make it the fault of the Big Guy up there and the other big guys down here are off the hook. After all, the Almighty’s a bachelor. Such a theology has no possibility of treating women equally. Theologians say God is sexless. What’s that like? We have trouble imagining it. English has no neuter gender so we use the masculine pronoun and once we do thoughts go back to sexual features. It’s deeply ingrained. That doesn’t mean it’s the truth, however.
Back in the days before leopards could change their spots, evangelical Christians tended to say that Jesus came to free them from the law. It seems that what they really meant was that Jesus came to allow them to cherry-pick the parts of the law that make the best cudgels against those they don’t like. Those who actually read the Bible know that it can generally be used to support either side of most arguments…Even Jesus said so. But let’s not talk about that—we’re too busy trying to pry children from their mother’s arms. Doesn’t the Bible say Rachel can’t be consoled because she’s lost her children?
That which is most holy is most horrible when it’s profaned. The Bible can hardly be called “holy” when found in the mouth of habitual liars…Separating families because it’s the law is robbing Peter to pay Paul, then blaming Thomas. Sanders, Sessions, and their ilk pander to the biblically illiterate who like the sound of the phrase, “the Bible says.” Prooftexting, as anyone who takes the Bible seriously learns the first day of class, is cheating…
See also the Commonweal article challenging Trump’s Christian apologists, and Hemant Mehta on the Southern Baptist pastor who described social justice as evil! The following are also relevant:
A too-limited understanding of the Church universal leads us to mistake one version of the faith—usually our own—for Christianity itself:
This older post of mine may be relevant: