Important Lessons We Can All Learn From Franklin Graham

Important Lessons We Can All Learn From Franklin Graham July 20, 2015


In recent months Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, has been in a downward spiral that continually seems to generate a lot of buzz around the internet. The progressively intolerant rhetoric recently cumulated with his call to ban the immigration of all Muslims to the United States– even though US wars and policy supported by Graham have left the Middle East in shambles and resulted in countless Muslims needing to be granted refugee status away from their homeland.

Graham’s downward spiral has been sad to watch, but I do think it is a learning opportunity for all of us. Here are some of the more important lessons I think we can learn in all of this:


1. The quest for power and relevance is a path that leads us away from Christ and his Kingdom.

I take no pleasure in what I’ve watched unfold in the life of Franklin Graham- it’s really a tragic story that demonstrates the danger of wanting relevance, fame, and power instead of being a humble servant of Christ and his Kingdom. Franklin had the pinnacle of what so many Kingdom people dream of: tremendous means to tangibly help people around the globe. His organization Samaritan’s Purse has done untold good in meeting the physical needs of the hungry and homeless, and presumably has the long-term financial means to keep going. A beautiful legacy if it ended there!

However, it seems in recent years that Franklin’s passion wasn’t so much feeding the hungry as it is being a powerful influencer in the political realm. This has actively harmed the Kingdom work that used to be so important to him, as he continues to alienate just about everyone with his over-the-top political rhetoric– even alienating many mainstream evangelicals. While his father was a gentle pastor to politicians it seems Franklin desires to be a politician to pastors, and those two quests produce very different fruit.

2. There is anti-religious persecution in America.

And it’s Muslims who are the victims of it. Ever since 9-11 Muslims have been uncharitably painted with a broad brush that none of us would want applied to ourselves. As a result, Muslims– not Christians– have become the only religious group who it is completely acceptable to discriminate against solely on the basis of their religious affiliation, because such discrimination is easily clothed under the guise of “national security.” All this despite the fact that most terror attacks in America since 9-11 have been perpetrated by white conservatives.

3. If you dehumanize a group of people long enough, it will become easy to eventually advocate for their deaths.

When we perpetuate negative stereotypes and label people we ultimately dehumanize them in our own minds. Franklin has been engaged in a systematic process of allowing our Muslim brothers and sisters– people with stories, families, hopes, and dreams– to be reduced from real people to a mental image that doesn’t reflect the truth. As a result, it’s an easy step for Franklin to now advocate that we refuse entry to Muslims even though so many of them are refugees who would die if not granted entry into the United States. Once you’ve removed a person’s humanity in your own mind, it’s much more palatable to actively or passively advocate for their death.

4. It’s easy to like Jesus but not the things he actually said.

I believe Franklin Graham is a fellow Christian, and I believe deep down in my heart that Franklin loves Jesus. However, what we see in this current situation is that it’s easy to like Jesus without liking the things he actually said. Whether openly advocating violence against enemies instead of Christ’s command to love them, or indifference toward the suffering of our neighbors when Christ commanded we love and welcome them in, it seems clear that while Franklin loves Jesus, he’s not in love with his ideas.

It’s an easy position to arrive at if we’re not careful.

5. The dominant version of Christianity in America is actually just a civil, nationalistic religion that is confusingly called “Christianity.”

Once upon a time Christianity was set apart (aka, “holy”) or as Jesus put it, “not of this world.” Franklin is demonstrating that this is not the case in the United States. In the US, much of Christianity is actually a nationalistic religion and not the original thing at all. If you look carefully at Franklin’s Facebook posts, you’ll see the religion being articulated by him is not a Jesus-centered Christianity that is set apart or different, but a religion that is nation-centered and hopelessly entangled with nationalism.

6. When pledging allegiance to both God and America, America will usually win.

Jesus taught his disciples that it is impossible to serve two masters– it just can’t be done. While Jesus said it was impossible, Franklin has valiantly tried anyway and the result should be a learning moment for all of us. Mark my words: when trying to be loyal to Jesus and loyal to America, America will usually win. When America wins, as it did with Franklin, it will invite us abandon the teaching and example of Jesus in order to protect and preserve the nation, instead of to build and expand the Kingdom.

One cannot pledge allegiance to both Jesus and America– you’ve gotta pick one. Franklin certainly has, and you’ll have to make a choice too.

7. More than ever, we need to evangelize American Christians with the message of Jesus.

If there’s one important thing we can learn from the spiral of Franklin Graham it’s that more than ever, we need to be evangelizing American Christians. Out of all the people groups in the world this is the group that perhaps most desperately needs to hear the message of Jesus and to be invited to repent and join the Kingdom. As we can see from Franklin’s growing popularity, there is no shortage of those who have been lured into the false religion of Americanized Christianity. We must love them, grow to better understand and communicate with them, and reach them with the message of Jesus.

In the end, what’s happened with Franklin Graham is tremendously sad. His life story could have been that of a humanitarian who was dedicated to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked in the name of Jesus, because that’s historically been his story. Yet, having succumbed to the tempting invitation of nationalistic religion and the ensuing  desire for political clout, we see that his story is changing– and not for the better.

And that’s sad, because Franklin Graham has the potential to be a major force for good in the world. I for one will be praying that Franklin Graham’s story does not end here, and will try to glean as many lessons from the situation as I am able.

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  • mikeatle

    “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” — Thomas Paine

  • Maura Hart

    an excellent post. it has appeared to me that graham is more filled with rage and fear than the love that christ tells us we must have

  • Paul Schlitz

    Can anybody tell me what Franklin was doing during the Vietnam war? Certainly it is relevant considering his love of American military misadventures in the last 15 years

  • Paul Schlitz

    After all he was a healthy young man of draft age in the prime of life. Or do sons of evangelists get exempted from military service

  • Wale, now, here we have this Benjamin Corkey. My great granddaddy used to call these people “hairy ticks.” Wale, I ain’t never seen no hairy ticks but I know a heretic when I see one, amen?

    So this fella on the In-tar-net *pause for effect and laughter* says to me that I cain’t love Jesus and love America. Didya ever hear of such an ungodly thing in your life? I am sorry to see these days, friend. Surely the Last Days are swift upon us, amen. God will punish America for unbelief like this, amen.

    Wale, amen, I tell ya what my forefathers didn’t found this country on the Bible so that Benji feller can tell me to hate America. America is God’s special nation, amen. We have fallen but we can get up, amen, with God’s help. We can get Osama out of the White House, amen. Or Obama. Cain’t keep my Muslims straight, amen. That birth certificate is fake, amen.

    There is a reason our symbol is the eagle, friends, because we are a government like the Bible describes. Are ya payin’ your taxes, friend? I hope so, because the Lord tells ya to. After ya tithe of course, amen. And kick in for the new piano fund, Lord have mercy. If I have to hear Faye clunk out “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” on that out of tune noisebox I think I’ll go to Hell myself and sell my ears to Satan, amen. That’s a joke, amen. I hate the devil and all his works, amen, like PETA and such, amen. I swear, women paintin’ themselves for animals. Jes like the Last Days, friends, amen? The Bible said this was a-comin’.

    Let us stand now and say the Pledge of Allegiance as Jesus surely would if He were fortunate enough to live in this country, and remind ourselves that God is behind this country, amen. We didn’t come over on boats just so other people could come over on boats. The boat stops here, amen? Amen.

  • John Samuel Craig

    Franklin Graham is awesome. Benjamin Corey is obviously a “Christian” with a chip on his shoulder. Franklin Graham does do humanitarian aid. Not sure why this guy thinks he does not. And, he speaks out against evil. He has been critical of Islam. Why? Because they are evil and are killing Christians. People like Benjamin make me cringe. They miss the message of Jesus and think Christians are supposed to be like “Jesus meek and mild”. No thanks. I, and Franklin Graham believe in a God full of power and courage. The radical message of Jesus (to quote his book title) is to speak the truth of the Gospel without compromise. Thankfully, Franklin does that. Too bad Benjamin has missed the Gospel.

  • Jonathan

    The answer to Fundamentalist Islam is NOT Fundamentalist Christianity.

  • Paul Schlitz

    Anybody here know what Franklin was doing during the Vietnam Ware year that his father was supporting wholeheartedly. If that is preaching the Gospel then I think it is certainly a false one

  • Sarah

    You seem tense.

  • Paul Schlitz

    I’m not sure with all of the information thats come to light in about the connection between Billy Graham and Nixon that the former was such a humble preacher. In reality it seems like the same person only now the Muslims have now replaced the Communists as people we should be fighting. My understanding is that Billy was classified as unfit for military service because he had the mumps. But I’d sure like to know what Franklin’s excuse was

  • Haymen, brother. You get these so called “Christians” out here saying we should love our enemies and whatnot. What kinda hippie crap is that? God is a god of vengeance and we are to be a people of vengeance, amen? These Muslims hate America and that is the same as hating God, amen? Jesus took up a cross so I wouldn’t have to, amen? We are not kicking enough ass in the name of God, friend. Forgive my language because I am just so agitated about this wimpy gospel being taught in these Last Days.

    Just yesterday, friend, my name was misspelled on my copy of World magazine in an unflattering way and you know I’m sure World would never hire one of them Muslims, but you know the Post Office does, amen? They goin’ crazy in that post office shootin’ the place up and spelling the names of men of God in insulting and diverse manners, amen. Thank you for standing up, brother.

  • guvner

    Looks like he would have been eligible for the draft of the summer of ’72. His draft lottery number was 305 (based on Wiki birthday).

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Benjamin. This should be required reading for every U.S. evangelical.

  • deirdre

    The Grahams have served this country in a spiritual capacity for so many years – they are human and have flaws, but mis-understanding the bible is not one of them. It is sad to attempt to make your name by deflating anothers’ – what would Jesus think about that? Preach the gospel and leave others alone – Mr. Graham never singles out individuals as you have.

  • Leanne Zeck

    Jesus taught to love our enemies, to be peacemakers. The Bible teaches us to be welcoming to the stranger and not to bear false witness and to overcome evil with good.
    In Franklin Graham’s post, there is no evidence of love for those he considers enemies or the attempt to be a peacemaker or welcoming to the stranger. In fact his labeling all Muslims as potential terrorists is to bear false witness.
    So I believe it is the Church’s responsibility to call him back to the Gospel. Franklin Graham has gotten off track. We need to hold him accountable because he should be the bearer of Good News not political news.

  • I have on nit I’d like to pick, Ben. I’m sure you didn’t intend it, but the way you’ve worded a few things suggests that the words “Muslim” and “Middle-Eastern” are synonymous. Now granted, with Rev. Graham calling to ban immigration of Muslims into the USA, it’s possible that he thinks the same thing, but one might also wonder what Rev. Graham would think about European Muslims immigrating to America, and what he would think about Middle-Eastern non-Muslims immigrating. I have my guesses as to what he would think, but I’d rather not go down the road of speculation.

  • Leanne Zeck

    Thank you for your well presented post. We often cannot see how our culture and our politics shape our faith. Franklin Graham is evident of that. He has become more political than gospel in his message. And he has blended the two to the point that people are having a hard time sifting through it. Add to that the fact that the Graham family has been such a part of Christian culture in the USA, we give the benefit of the doubt and don’t see where Franklin has gotten off gospel.

  • Steve M

    I honestly think Billy Graham must be ashamed of his son.

  • Steve M

    The only way people like Franklin know to build their own self esteem is by putting other people down. It is synonymous with bullying.

  • I don’t recall reading “The fulfillment of the law is to speak the Gospel without compromise.”
    I do recall reading that we should love our enemies, and that “the fulfillment of the law is loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and the second *is like it*, to love your neighbor as yourself.”
    (Emphasis mine).
    FYI, Muslims are your neighbors.

  • Je’ Czaja

    Excellent! It was in Graham’s town in NC where I first saw Christians raising their hands in worship-as they sang the national anthem! What is wrong with this picture? Nothing but idolatry.

  • Not my intent. Was trying to draw attention to the refugee crisis in that particular part of the world.

  • Je’ Czaja

    Tom Paine, the apostate Quaker-like Nixon. But he was talking about state churches-he was from Britain after all.

  • He doesn’t single out individuals? Have you ever been to his Facebook account?

  • I figured as much, which is why I considered it to be a nit-pick. :-P

  • Barbara Stone

    Franklin Graham is 100 per cent right in his comments. If Muslins believe in Sharia law, then they need to go home and stay there. It is incompatible with our laws. Not many Americans try to become citizens of other countries. Why the influx of so many foreigners, Don’t they love their country.

  • Matt Jacobs

    “Franklin Graham does do humanitarian aid.”
    Maybe you forgot to actually read the entire article, but It’s mentioned multiple times that he does.

    “He has been critical of Islam. Why? Because they are evil and are killing Christians.”
    And what is the Biblical response to persecution? Please, tell us where it says, anywhere in the NT, that we should respond to persecution with hatred (Try starting here: Perhaps you should actually spend some time reading what Jesus and the apostles had to say about these things, rather than hero-worshiping Graham.

    “The radical message of Jesus is to speak the truth of the Gospel without compromise.”
    Uh…. what? That makes no sense: Jesus’ message was to speak his message “without compromise”? We aren’t saved through knowledge (that’s a gnostic belief), but by faith.

    Jesus’ message was that we can obtain God’s forgiveness for our sins, and that we are to offer similar forgiveness, as well as care for the less fortunate of the world.

    What did you think Jesus’ message was, besides speaking that message?

  • Matt Jacobs

    The civil religion version of Christianity is very much about fear. Fear of change, fear of outsiders, fear of attack, etc. When America comes first, worry and fear take precedence over peace, because they are clinging to something that is worldly, and therefore temporary. It can’t last forever, and it’s terrifying to those who make America their master.

  • NapoleonD

    We didn’t come over on boats, then invent airplanes so that people could come over on airplanes. Amen.

  • Matt Jacobs

    “If Muslims believe in Sharia law”
    Firstly, that’s “if”, which is based on your assumptions, not anything realistic.

    Secondly, Sharia law is very similar to Jewish law for many Muslims; it guides religious observance and daily life, but they don’t intend for it to become the law of the government. If observance of Sharia law is a basis for banning immigration, you would have a tough time arguing that conservative Jews would not also be banned in the process.

    “Why the influx of so many foreigners, Don’t they love their country.”
    *facepalm* Unless you’re Native American, you’re descended from foreigners. America was built by foreigners. Like the foreigners nearly all of us are descended from, they want to immigrate for a number of reasons, but mostly seeking opportunity or fleeing persecution or war.

  • John Segrest

    This writer is a dope and has very little if any informed idea about Christianity. Like love the person, hate the sin. Get it straight If your gonna talk about love thy neighbor. Then love People, but love the lord 1st and his laws. Don’t persecute , But don’t be a fool. If you want the love the lord provides then don’t kick him in the head. Then look up and ask what wrong. Because although he will love you He wont like what you are doing, so dont expect a reward. All rewards are not here and now. And most of all read what he has for you.

  • It’s the ungodly TSA, brother. All they do is flirt with teenagers and keep me from bringing my Desert Eagle on trips, lord have mercy. They’re taking away our rights, amen? When a preacher can’t protect himself, then only the protectors will preach, that’s what I said. I need my Desert Eagle when I’m out soulwinnin’, brother Napoleon, but the Demon-crats we’ve got in the White House don’t want to hear that kind of talk, friend. If you want to win the lost, sometimes you’ve got to shoot people in the face, amen.

  • Mark Schnitzer

    Wow, and this after you read this article! Franklin Graham is 100% wrong if he is a follower of Jesus. But if he is a Republican lap dog then I guess he is right.

  • Amen, Sister Stone. You tell these Godforsaken liberals what’s what. God hates Muslims. I mean He loves them but through a hateful way amen. He hates them in Christ, Sister.

    You know, I wanted to see this problem for myself, so I went down to the Mexican border to see first-hand the Muslims getting into this country, and would you believe all that’s keeping them out is a fence? Sister, no fence is gonna stop some godless heathen with dynamite strapped to their turban, amen? They come in here and take American jobs and won’t eat American pork and won’t go to American churches as the lord intended and we are all gonna pay for it, amen? You want to see a jihad? Just wait for Jesus Jihad from the Sky on that great day, then we’ll see who climbs whose fence.

  • Mark Schnitzer

    His influence touches millions of evangelicals, and what he is preaching is contrary to the Gospel. What is said is anti-Christ.

  • Amen brother Ryan, this writer has been smoking the dope. His brain is addled and that is why this man speaks against Franklin and America. He listens to the rap music, amen. That Snoop Doggy Doggy character. Full of immorality and gangs and hoes. The first shall be made last, and I will make this blog the last on my bookmarks.

  • Mark Schnitzer

    Did you actually read the article Mr. Corey wrote about your “awesome” Franklin Graham? The article extols the humanitarian work the Mr. Graham has done.
    And I don’t think that that the radical message of the Gospel is to broad brush an entire group of people as being potential terrorists. Mr. Graham is speaking against PEOPLE, not evil. And that is NOT the Gospel.

  • otrotierra

    No John, Jesus never said “love the person, hate the sin.”

    No thanks, I’ll stick with what Jesus actually said.

  • otrotierra

    No, that’s not what Jesus taught. Why are Jesus’ actual teachings missing in your outburst?

  • Mark Schnitzer

    Where Mr. Segrest does Jesus tell us to discriminate against another person Where does Jesus tell us to demonize another group of people? I am not sure what you are getting at here, but I have a two part question for you… what does Jesus mean when He says to love your neighbor as you love yourself, and how does the words of Franklin Graham fit into that command?

  • Carol Thomas Carlton

    Hi Benjamin, Your post is well articulated and surely captures some of my recent angst. My question is, did you privately contact Franklin with your concerns before going very public? Not a criticism, just a question. Thanks, Carol

  • otrotierra

    No Barbara, Jesus taught a message that is radically different than Franklin Graham’s fear-driven hatred for his neighbors. Look up “The Greatest Commandment” and you will discover that Franklin Graham has more in common with Mars–the Roman god of War–than with Jesus.

  • Mark Schnitzer

    But it seems to appear as a veiled criticism. Why not just ask Benjamin Corey if he followed the Matthew 18 model for confrontation of Mr. Graham’s sin.

  • I totally agree with this, but in fairness, he’s just giving the people what they want. If there wasn’t money, power, and popularity in marrying conservative Christianity to American conservative politics, nobody would do it.

    It might be a chicken or the egg thing, but I tend to see the American Christendom culture producing leaders like Graham as opposed to the other way around.

  • John Segrest

    No Jesus does not tell us to discriminate Against People that repent Also Jesus never said to demonize . Who ever said he did. Sounds like you are the demonizer.

  • John Segrest

    Jesus never said Hate Sin?

  • otrotierra

    No John, nowhere in Mark’s comment do you find an example of demonizing. That’s not part of what Mark actually wrote.

  • otrotierra

    It’s best just to go directly to what Jesus actually taught. Then compare Jesus’ teachings to the hate-filled words of Franklin Graham. Two remarkably different gospels.

  • CroneEver

    Matthew 5:39-48:
    “39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
    41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
    42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
    43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
    47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
    48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

  • That is correct. Jesus never said to hate sin. Point out the verse where he did.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Probably cynical of me, but I’ve never had much respect for his father, Billy, who seemed to me to be a
    two-faced manipulator practicing the old Southern Baptist tradition of
    comforting the comfortable and using religion to quiet those who are not.

    Witness he creating Christianity Today mostly with money from J. Howard Pew and then sticking his “voluntary segregation” father in law, Dr. L. Nelson Bell, in as executive editor. Except for one notable exception, the soon to be censored Frank E. Gaebelein, CT was, as I remember one religious historian putting it, “petulantly hostile” towards Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in general.

    So I regard Franklin as Billy just turned up a couple of notches and a lot less sneaky about it.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Oh…come to think of it. Dr. Bell founded the Southern Presbyterian Journal, which was a gathering point for the “better class” of segregationist.

    SPJ is now WORLD Magazine. Both WORLD and Christianity Today, as you could probably predict, are against full citizenship for Gay people.

  • The context of Matthew 18 is when a brother or sister personally sins against you and gives steps toward addressing that in your local community of believers. It is not a passage that prohibits critiquing the words and actions of public figures.

  • Leanne Zeck

    Yes, I agree. Being a consumer oriented, capitalism culture–we produce people like Franklin Graham as we marry politics with faith. But I think that is why we have to call them out on it. This is not real Christianity that Graham is now propagating.

  • Leanne Zeck

    But Franklin Graham is telling people to contact their representatives and demand that Muslims not be allowed to immigrate to the US. That is discrimination–especially since the mess in the Middle East has been in at least part caused by us. With every war we create and wage, there are displaced people created. And so people leave their homes looking for safety. Now Graham wants us to say no to them. That is discrimination.

  • Brother Corey, now, this is just the kind of watering down of Christianity that I’m talkin about. How come whenever I am showing someone the Bible’s clear teachings on invading Muslim countries or women wearing pants that some pansy liberal like yourself comes up talkin’ about context. It’s the get out of jail free card for you so-called intellectuals. Just explaining the Bible away. Trying to cut corners.

    You know, the road crew outside my subdivision is trying to cut corners, Brother Corey. They are using the concrete instead of the asphalt which gives my suspension the smoother ride the Lord intended all of us to have. It’s a travesty is what it is, and here you are defending it!

    You know Brother Graham is out there talking to Muslim immigrants and loving up on ’em in Christ before recommending they get put into internment camps, amen? Why aren’t you showing the same courtesy, friend? Surely you’ve got Brother Graham’s phone number in your godless smart phone that has taken away so much of the face to face communication our young people need, today. School violence on the rise, cheating on tests, people buying actual biology textbooks – Satan can use technology, Brother Corey, and don’t you forget it!

    What kind of country has America become when a man o’ Gawd can’t no longer put people in internment camps, amen? When has that ever hurt anybody, I ask you? I went to camp when I was a young person and it changed my life. It’s what youth need today, Brother Corey. Now how’s that for context for you?

  • Galen Crew


    Great thoughts in the highlighted bullet points, but you are pretty harsh towards Franklin Graham. For how much you talk about being Christlike, it seems hypocritical to write such judgmental statements that publicly throw a great (but imperfect) Christian leader under the bus. I doubt you’d be thrilled if someone wrote a popular article on how to correct our brothers and sisters in Christ, and used you as a bad example before calling your life a “downward spiral”…that’s just mean :/ The dissonance between intense nationalism and the gospel is definitely something we need to be discussing more in this country. Thank you for keeping that conversation going. But I think our talks would be more productive and effective if we don’t slander the ones Jesus told us to love in the process. Franklin is your brother in Christ.

  • Carol Thomas Carlton

    Benjamin, I truly didn’t mean my question as a criticism though I realize it might have felt that way. Understanding Matthew 18 or Galatians 6 (carrying your brother’s burdens) or 1 Cor 3 ( we’re God’s fellow workers — so why do we use Apollos’ name or Paul’s name?) it seems God desires we work in harmony in building His kingdom and air our grievances with our brother privately or with a witness. Clearly you may not feel personally sinned against by Franklin’s words, and clearly there are valid lessons you offer regarding his recent posts. My hope, however, is that instead of setting a dynamic where one Christian is pitted against another Christian, we could simply point out what we believe God is teaching us and leave personal attacks and people’s names out of it. Do you think Franklin will be encouraged by your words/ Do you think those who follow his leadership will be encouraged by your words? No, it just creates divisions & we as Christians should be about carrying each other with love and sharing our concerns or corrections privately. This is the Kingdom of God we’re discussing, not just Franklin. I truly do apologize if I have offended you – it truly wasn’t my intent. I just get baffled why we seem to keep shooting our own and creating divisions within our body. If you had spoken to him privately and he had rebuffed you and clearly wasn’t interested in hearing your heart, then to me that would be a different framework for reading your post. Perhaps one day I’ll learn to keep my comments to myself. ;)

  • Shellie Lyon

    I had a chance to observe Billy Graham close up in a meeting with students of Wake Forest University in 1961. I came to the conclusion that he was the real deal, and all the years I watched him, I never changed my mind. Franklin Graham, sadly, is nothing like his father, nor anyone I would call a Christian.

  • Carol Thomas Carlton

    Mark, I apologize if my response to Benjamin offended you. I didn’t mention Matt 18, because I don’t see any benefit in my joining an “I can out-reference you” discussion. Clearly my personal lesson from my post to Benjamin’s blog, is don’t comment and simply keep praying for the body of Christ to love God, love each other and love our neighbor. So I ask you to forgive me if I have offended you.

  • John Segrest

    You are where you are because you dont read it. So stay where you are and live it.

  • VMWH

    I used to donate to the Shoebox project for Samaritan’s Purse which has always been chaired by Franklin Graham. I do not any longer feel that I can trust him to send what I would give where it would g, now that he has so politicized his image. I would like him, if he intends to continue to snoop people’s private lives to at least give up his position with Samaritan’s Purse to someone more responsible first.

  • Kent Carle

    He’s a very public figure that context doesn’t apply here.

  • Kent Carle

    Just by the mean spirit of your post, I would question many things about your faith. I think you are in the wrong forum, maybe a fundamentalist one?

  • Kent Carle

    Amen, amen.

  • You didn’t offend me at all, no worries.

  • Agree– he’s totally uninformed. He should go to seminary or something and actually study this stuff before he writes about it.

  • He came close in the beam/speck analogy, which would aptly be paraphrased “love the sinner, hate your own sin.”

  • Herm

    Franklin Graham no more speaks for or is a brother to Christ than Caiaphas was speaking for or an authority of God. Both men have crucified children of God in the name of God.

  • Carol Thomas Carlton

    :D Happy face Benjamin! Thanks so much for your reply! (And I’ll keep my opinions to myself — this is your blog!)

  • Kent Carle

    Benjamin, I personally think your post is very generous, and points out the inconsistencies of large swaths of modern American christianity. I used small “c” intentionally, I think you know why. And you are correct in my opinion, these types of Christians need to be evangelized.

  • Sheila Rivera

    Thank you for this, I have been saying this for a long time, just not as well. I hate that he has hurt his ministry this way. I’m not sure what happened to him but he’s not his father’s son. I remember watching Billy Graham’s revivals on television and the love he evinced was palpable. I don’t feel that from Franklin Graham. Very Sad.

  • Herm

    Calling one’s self a Christian authority does not make one a student of Christ. Only by the Holy Spirit residing full time in one’s heart and mind can we recognize each other by our fruits taught by Jesus. Franklin Graham is neither speaking nor acting for the good of all the children of Man nor all the children of God in the documented example of Christ Jesus. Those who are, led by the Spirit of Truth, must out of love point out the destruction caused by false leaders. Would you allow what you see as destructive to the Spirit of “Christianity” from Ben’s observations without feeling compelled to risk being offensive?

  • Galen Crew

    Wow, strong language. Who has Franklin “crucified”? Making light of that word would be distasteful to say the least.

  • Ruthitchka

    Gosh, next time I go to the Jo-Ann store, I’ll be sure not to buy any “Muslin” fabric. ( o :

  • John Samuel Craig

    I’m assuming you are not a Biblical Christian. If you were, you would not buy into the “Jesus meek and mild” philosophy that says “Jesus just said to love everyone”. You assume I have not read the Bible. BAD assumption. I’ve been a Christian for 35 years. Jesus confronted sin. He was not shy. He called out sin. Franklin Graham does too. No hero worship here. I only admire a man who acts on the whole Bible. He calls out evil. Jesus did too. So, if you object to someone doing what Jesus did, I have to question whether you are a Christ follower. Maybe you a cultural Christian that wants the label but bows to sinful culture, approving of gay marriage, abortion. Increasingly real Biblical Christians have to speak out against cultural christians that are willing to twist the Bible , bowing to a Godless culture. No thanks. Sadly we have a godless Muslim president leading the charge in America’s moral descent. Lord, have mercy.

  • Carol Thomas Carlton

    Herm, thanks for your question. In Ben’s post he clearly states he believes Franklin to know Jesus. I do also. Clearly, you don’t. I’m so grateful that neither my opinion, Ben’s opinion, or your opinion is taken into account when Jesus judges our hearts. My desire is not to offend, and if you are offended by my assessment of Franklin then I also assume my daily sin might also be offensive to you. I’m truly grateful that I come to Jesus through His grace and the power of His blood and not through my ability to rightly judge people.

  • I don’t read the verses that aren’t there? Well, um, I guess you’ve got me on that one.

  • I have to admit, this one is funny. You do realize that Jesus said “blessed are the meek” and taught we are to love both neighbors and enemies– and that our enemy love would be the ultimate hallmark that we’re truly children of God? This is a good example of how it’s possible to love Jesus but really dislike his ideas.

  • Carol Thomas Carlton

    Hey Ben, my hometown is Auburn, ME — love reading the thoughts of a fellow “Auburn-er”.

  • I appreciate your basic sentiment, but in this particular case, it isn’t just a matter of slip ups or disapproval. Franklin Graham tweeted that Muslims should be put in internment camps. This isn’t “imperfect.” When I snap at my kids, that’s imperfect.

    I think, at some point, you have to admit that observing a casual level of propriety isn’t really appropriate. It’s not like Ben is saying Franklin Graham should be more careful about the websites he visits; he’s saying you shouldn’t mobilize American Christians and government to support the cause of closing our borders to Muslims and putting the ones who live here in internment camps. I think it’s ok to get a little loud about that.

    What if one of your Muslim friends was hurt and angry over those remarks, that a Christian leader was trying to make America put him in a camp? What would you say? “Well, we’re all imperfect and flawed. Gotta show a little graciousness, here.”

  • John Segrest

    The problem I have with the article is that the writer simply is obviously writing about something that he has not properly read up on, there for he may do more damage then good

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Have you never read Matthew 25 and the parable of the sheep and the goats? It’s so long, but I just have to post it! (I’m so sorry!). Please note the part about inviting the strangers in (bold by me):

    Mathew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

  • Herm

    Franklin Graham murders people by his vocal leadership to protect Christianity. He reaches out to those he chooses to like and advocates destruction of those he does not. He acts as though he speaks for God to promote Christianity no different than Caiaphas did to promote Judaism.

    Jesus and our Father in Heaven chose that He pick up the cross to knowingly be murdered by a spirit other than love for all mankind rather than kill any offending sinner or usurper of God’s loving authority. They ask that we do the same to become Disciples of Christ and to be Christ like.

    Franklin Graham chooses to protect God’s people no different from the Caiaphas, the popes or the preachers who killed the Son of Man, raped and pillaged to afford the Crusades and burned/drowned witches. None of these examples of usurpers of God’s authority are in the example of Jesus Christ and His teachings.

    “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-27

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

  • John Segrest

    Kent If I sound mean it is only because After a while of reading the crap that uninformed people put up as if they are somebody. This has the capacity to do more harm than good. There is a wide open and vast area of information for the hows and whys, there for do not try and speak as a man with a cry of a child..Know more. This article is not informative and at best someone’s bad Idea of information.

  • Galen Crew

    No, I wouldn’t say that…I just think it’s important to take into account who someone is when they say something. We all know the kind of work Franklin and his dad have done for the Kingdom and I think that deserves some respect, even when we disagree with him. I think some of his recent statements (like suggesting banning Muslims from entering the country for the time being) are more coming from a place of recognizing the real threat of radical Islam in this country, and the difficulty of fighting it when you realize the unpredictability of these terrorist attacks by those who “didn’t seem like terrorists”. Not saying he’s right. One of my good friends in a Muslim, and it makes it harder to get behind any blanket statements of people group when you have real relationships with them. I see the points Benjamin is making about the conflict between nationalism and true Kingdom mentality, which is quick to extend grace and kindness to the alien and the marginalized. I also think Franklin Graham should not be disqualified from receiving that same grace from us. Having trouble seeing the good that slandering his character will do. Also think some of us need to tone down our rhetoric like my buddy Herm here. Social media is making us default to shock value instead of depth and reason in our conversations.

  • Don Lowery

    Both of the Graham’s and what they stand for should repulse any Christian. If you look at the history of Billy…then his son…you will see the father laid the foundation for what his son has done decades ago by being more than willing to settle for the easy political gains over the ones Jesus stood for every time.

  • Jonathan Bernier

    I really don’t care who is suggesting that we herd people into concentration camps. He doesn’t get a pass because of daddy or past good deeds. If Franklin Graham does not want me to think that he is an evil, vile, man then he should stop advocating evil, vile, things.

  • Jonathan Bernier

    The problem is that Graham makes no distinction between a Muslim person who might want to hurt Americans and the many more who would not. Thus in his mind all Muslim persons are out to get America. Therefore he considers it perfectly legitimate to wage war on Islam, which means on Muslim persons. First he advocated waging war on them in their lands, now he advocates waging war on them in America. If you follow the Graham line you will have more Muslim persons murdered in the US. One probably ought to keep that in mind before one speaks a word in his defense.

  • otrotierra

    Yet, since you can’t cite where or what Benjamin hasn’t read up on, you fail to offer a legitimate counter-argument. Writing a logical and valid counter-argument requires that you first read Benjamin’s commentary. Read first and aim for comprehension, then take the time to formulate a response. It’s best to take your time to read and understand before posting.

  • Em Anne

    It’s ironic how the fundamentalist right does essentially the same things as the Muslim or Jewish extremists. Calls to keep out certain ethnicities (or people who have certain religious views), to make their beliefs part of the law and government.

    Of course it is absolutely wrong and immoral to keep immigrants out of the country on the basis of their religion. Or is it their race and religion? How wrong can you get?

    Reminds me of the Japanese intermint camps during WW2.

    If you look at the laws in the Old Testament the Jewish people lived under very similar laws as extremist Muslims today. Modern versions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are compassionate, reasonable, and loving. But if you look back in history generally speaking there is a long long list of horrors. It’s not so long ago you could be put in jail for not going to church, we had the Catholics killing the Protestants, then the Protestants killing the Catholics yada yada yada.

    That is not about religion or spirituality. That is about human nature. I see the rise of this Nationalistic Right Wing ‘Christian’ political movement as being about human beings fallability, desires to have power, to feel less helpless, to get revenge, and find a way to feel safe. Hence minorities have to be made out to be the ‘bad’ ‘dangerous’ guys. It can be about being gay, or about your race, religion….anything which puts you in the minority.

    Look at history sometime and if you find a different country, in a different century, it makes it easier to recognize what is going on now.

    I personally think that people got so angry, frightened, and worried by 9/11 (and were further worked up into a lather by the administration and it’s constant terror reports), that it was almost inevitable that some group would step forward. Religious fever and Nationalism sprouted up like an ugly reminder of the not very distant past. That’s how I see it anyway.

  • Well, yes, we can all probably be more civil online, myself included. But I don’t think what Ben wrote is slander. Franklin Graham actually said those things and is doing those things. They’re not lies or speculation, and the issues are not small ones of personal offense or personal struggles with sin.

    I thought Ben acknowledged the good that Franklin has done and especially his father, so it wasn’t like the piece is a hatchet job. However, Franklin Graham has really been poking the Christian America hive, and it hurts all of us. There is no threat of radical Islam in this country, and even if there were, what does that have to do with the kingdom of God?

  • Galen Crew

    There is no threat of radical Islam in this country? Try convincing the families of the fallen marines in Chattanooga of that. Or the families of the victims of 9/11. Geez man. I don’t understand how people can be so insensitive and politically correct at the same time. We can make the Kingdom of God our first priority but I’m not going to deny the obvious. Recognizing the rise of radical Islam (in the whole world) recently doesn’t make me want to harbor prejudice against all Muslims (who might one day accept Christ) and it doesn’t make me want to attack other Christian leaders who aren’t afraid to be honest about the threat it poses. It makes me want to pray. I’m done with this conversation, starting to feel like a waste of time. Benjamin, thanks for encouraging the pursuit of the gospel of Jesus above American nationalism. Your work and ministry will be more effective if you don’t attack the character of Christian leaders you want to critique -guarantee it.

  • Leanne Zeck

    I’ve read all the Facebook posts Franklin posted that the article here points to….he read those posts very well. Franklin Graham has strayed from telling the Good News to being politically charged and synchronized the politics with his faith.

  • Kent Carle

    What makes you think he is uninformed, just because you don’t agree with him? Adults should be able to decide for themselves what kind of harm is done by a blog post. And regarding your opinion that this article is not informative, we will have to agree to disagree, it is very informative, and I hope it reaches millions. Franklin Graham needs to get off the airwaves or get out of ministry, he is not helping the cause of Christianity in this country. —Peace.

  • Timothy Warren

    Excellent article. Mr. Corey makes several salient points for consideration. I’ve often felt that the American Church has become a mouth piece for political parties and a protagonist for nationalism. Sadly, Christian Fundamentalism has taken away the Church’s ability to rationally approach scripture and apply it to modern situations.

  • Timothy Warren

    On the contrary, Mr. Corey is well-versed on the subject. I’ve been following Graham’s vitriol on FB, and Mr. Corey nails it right on the head.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    So two instances means there is a grave threat from radical Islam? You do realize that there have been more terrorist attacks on American soil from radical Christians than radical Muslims, right? Maybe we should ban Christians from America and put them in camps…

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Farewell to Mars – Brian Zahnd

    LOVE IT!

  • otrotierra

    Yes. Since the immense majority of domestic terrorists have been white people, I guess it’s time to detain white people in America’s nearest concentration camp, Guantanamo.

    Will Franklin Graham promptly turn himself in?

  • John A. C. Kelley

    It’s really sad that the first few of these I read, I thought you were dead serious and not being satirical. It’s sad because I know people who actually say these exact things… Thank God you’re being satirical….

  • Kevin Thomas

    You lost me with the “L” word…..

  • Wes Peaden

    Benjamin, I share your concern and pray with you for Franklin and other leaders I know who have done so much to lead people in America to live like Jesus, but have recently become more pro-American christianity than pro-Jesus. You will likely find some voices who cheer you, but many in the “church” who jeer you. I will also pray for you. May God have mercy and send revival to those who claim to follow Jesus here in the U.S. May we start to look more and more like him, at any cost.

  • nicolelynn

    Jesus called the religious leaders of his day who participated in oppressing people “a brood of vipers.” How horribly impolite of him.

  • Brandon Roberts

    honestly i agree i don’t think franklin hates these people i think he’s just doing what he thinks is best

  • otrotierra

    ISIS has much to learn from the terrorist tactics of Evangelical George W. Bush and his terrorist attack of “Shock & Awe” over Bagdad in March 2003.

  • otrotierra

    Or, rather than fearing and hating your neighbors, you could follow Jesus and The Greatest Commandment.

    You could start today, right now.

  • Leanne Zeck

    Isn’t it odd that what we often think is the best for ourselves sounds like hate?
    I hear a lot of fear in his statements about Muslims which often is a key ingredient of hate. Graham’s words are increasingly more and more fear filled and demeaning to Muslims especially which indicates to me a lack of Christian love towards them.

  • ken

    That is his opinion which he is entitled to.

  • ken

    otrotierra, you have much to learn about this nation and freedom. Educate yourself.

  • Jennny

    Plato said it best. ‘Those who seek power are not worthy of that power’.
    Here in N Wales, UK, the many groups who collected thousands of shoeboxes for Samaritans’ Purse have gone over to a local charity who distribute without discrimination. Graham’s homophobia, Islamophobia and underhand proselytizing in the boxes was too much and a terrible witness to the many non-church organisations who were previously filling boxes for his mission.

  • As Edmund Burke said “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
    It is telling that Franklin Graham uses the treatment of the Japanese during World War 2 to bolster argument. What he fails to mention is the internment of loyal Japanese-Americans during the war.

  • Key

    You say, and I’ve heard this from several others in addition to you so maybe you can explain this, that “Indeed if you are not saved and don’t believe in Christ you have NO LOVE.” And frankly, this is where you lose me, because that seems to contradict basic, observable reality. Because when you say that, you seem to be saying that Buddhists don’t actually love their spouses, or that Muslims don’t actually love their parents, or that atheists don’t actually love their children. Which seems, again, observably false.

    Okay, unless you start changing definitions. As in, you don’t mean love by the generally understood definition of it, but rather by some other definition particular to your own religious subset. Which may cause you to make perfect sense to yourself, or to another member of your congregation, but leaves at least some of us (okay, especially me) rather confused as to what exactly you’re talking about. If your definition is so group-specific, you really might as well be talking about “grshnkk” as “love”, for all the term will mean to me.

  • Jonathan Bernier

    What is the “that” and what is it “opposite”?

  • Jason Millican

    Ok, I get it. Franklin is not a Liberal. His ideas don’t line up with Liberals. He doesn’t think as a Liberal. He says things Liberals don’t like. Therefore. he is judged by the Liberals for not being Liberal.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    You win an internet for hilarity and Poe’s Law!

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Poe’s Law is eternally frustrating, praise its writing!

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    And it all happened because we went against Jesus commandments in the Tanakh and New Testament on how to enslave people. Appareantly, we could just Sharpie all passages of the Bible mentioning slavery and replace them with, ‘Slavery is wrong as all humans have autonomy’. What Jesus-less talk is that? Jesus even casually used beating one’s slaves in a parable to describe his relationship with us and how little he would mind harming us for stepping out of line even unknowingly. It would only be wrong to beat something if that thing were not a slave and you the master, Amen! We await Jesus, the Master’s, righteous slave-beating, Amen!

  • Occupational hazard. But I couldn’t help it. I was temporarily possessed by the spirit of my old Free Will Baptist preacher.

  • Chattanooga had nothing to do with radical Islam, and 9/11 would not have been prevented by internment camps and also happened 15 years ago. The fact that you believe this country is under siege by militant Islam just shows how pernicious people like Franklin Graham and Fox News can be in the “Christian” community in America.

  • So, are you saying internment camps are part of the Conservative platform? Good to know.

  • And Ben is entitled to say that opinion is wrong.

  • I agree that Franklin probably hasn’t made a conscious decision to hate Muslims in the same way that most people don’t make a conscious decision to be racist. But “you can’t come to our country and, if you do, you should be put into an internment camp” isn’t exactly love, or even neutrality.

  • Dude, take a breath. Franklin Graham actually said those things people say he said. If you don’t think his words and trajectory are harmful to the kingdom, great, but nobody is just making stuff up because some “celebrity” told them to. They’re on his Twitter account for all to see.

  • We absolutely blow up buildings and kill men in front of their families. Ab-so-freaking-lutely. You should do a term of service in the military sometime.

  • Not too long ago, you were quoting Bible verses that didn’t exist, so you might want to go easy on the accusations of writing about something someone hasn’t properly read up on.

  • I was trying to figure out a way to make a joke about that. Thanks for taking care of it!

  • I’ve said it before on this blog, and it keeps coming up: I really think a Christians Against Christ (CAC) parachurch organization would get some traction in America.

  • Leanne Zeck

    If the points of this article are liberal values, what are you saying about conservatives–that dehumanizing people is a value of conservatives? that the blending of American values with Scripture values is ok with conservatives? that giving your full allegiance to America first and then to God is conservative values? That we should proclaim not just the gospel of Jesus Christ but politics as the good news–thats what conservatives believe?
    The points made in this are neither liberal nor conservative. No one is asking Franklin Graham to join a different political party. The request is for Graham to return to preaching the Gospel and sounding more like the teachings of Jesus rather than a political party.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Upvoted for illustrating empathy for why such a thing is wrong.

  • Leanne Zeck

    He is a preacher. Yes, he can have his own opinions, but what he proclaims needs to be the Gospel. He knows he has influence over a vast amount of people and needs to be careful in how he presents “his opinion.” The people in the comment sections of his posts are reading his “opinion” as if it is the Gospel. That is the problem.

  • Leanne Zeck

    Those who see the world differently than you and come to different understandings of Scripture than you are not ignorant to the fact that sin has consequences. We are all living with the consequences of sin–which are built into sin. We reap what we sow–until Christ steps in and redeems all things.
    But what I am called to be is a disciple of Jesus Christ–which means to do what Jesus did. While the Pharisees thought the best way to force law breakers and sinners to conform was to keep them at a distance (it kept the Pharisees clean and shamed the sinners) Jesus ate with the sinners, healed the sinners and served the sinners–before he ever uttered the words “go and sin no more” Jesus showed them the unconditional love of God which would die for them before they even repented one sin. That is how Jesus changed people–he got them into the presence of God and let the Divine Love change them. The command he gave to me was to love God, love neighbor, love enemy. Thats it. He didn’t tell me to be the judgment of God on them. He didn’t tell me to shun them until they realize how wrong they are then bring them in. He didn’t tell me to convict them–thats the job of the Holy Spirit. I have a hard enough time with the job Jesus gave me–to love all people like Jesus loved me. So you might want to judge me for not saying the words you want me to say. You might want to judge me for not experiencing faith like you. That’s ok. I am just in love with Jesus and trying to do what he did by the help of the Spirit of God.

  • My klingon brother, you have convinced me, amen. I was on the fence, but the capital letters made your warning stand out like capital letters.

    For indeed, the book of Revelation hath foretold all of this, amen. John the Revelator wrote letters to the churches in Asia Minor warning them about what would happen to America, amen, in the hopes that they would listen. Or maybe they could do something in the past to stop it, brother, like that documentary I saw where some freedom fighters had to send a soldier back in time to protect us from big government and their terrible robots. It’s all going by the book.

    We need to be more like Jesus, amen? The Gospels are full of story after story of Jesus condemning sin and telling people to straighten up before he comes back to smite them, amen? He healed the sick and told them, “I smite thee now to heal thee, but the hour is coming and now is when I shall smite thee much harder and thou shalt not like it and shall ask the mountains to fall on thee, but in that day shall be trumpets and lightning and all the horses of the world shall die in that great pit which is called Abaddon.”

    Thank you, brother, for your clear warning and welcome to your inclusion in the United Federation of Planets, brother, although you have to keep an eye out on them, brother. The skirts those women wear when they answer the space phones are not godly, amen.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    “Who do you SAY JESUS IS?

    Upon that answer you are saved or damned”

    WOW! A god who is said to be love itself and also just. Perhaps we have been wrong all these years to call tyrants like Stalin and Hitler monsters. They treated people who stood for their justice and goodness very well. All the people they tortured were just goats, tares to be burned.

    “Do you assume and call names because a celebrity or leader told you what to think today?”

    But it’s OK to turn off one’s brain and just obediently “love” all one says or writes what Jesus would want us to do if that celebrity is a clergyman or a religious text like the Bible, right?

  • otrotierra

    And yet Jesus and The Greatest Commandment will always be greater than Franklin Graham’s entitlement.

  • “Hate the sin, love the sinner” was Gandhi, not Jesus. And even then, it’s taken out of context to end up saying the complete opposite of what was intended; what Gandhi actually said was more along the lines of “the idea of hating the sin while loving the sinner doesn’t work.”

    So, no. Jesus never said those words.

  • Pff, we all know that modern seminaries actually only breed liberal heathen hedonists. What the author needs to do is sit alone with his Bible (the original KJV that Jesus used, obviously!) until he comes to the Truth that is so painfully obvious.

  • otrotierra

    Sometimes I forget that Jesus spoke King James English fluently, and was also white, Western, loved guns, megachurches, capitalism, and frequently condemned same-sex marriage.

    It sure would be helpful if people came to Benjamin’s comment section in order to remind us of this from time to time…

  • otrame

    I remember Mark Twain’s cry: ” Oh, you missionaries in China, COME HOME and convert these Christians.

  • Kevin Thomas

    The “L” word I was talking about was liberal. Politcal partisanship is a construct of this world. There is no liberal, conservative,socialist, captialist, etc… in the Kingdom of God. These words are used to divide and hurt. There is only love in the Kingdom. God is pure unadulterated love. Jesus forgave even His torturers while on the cross. He had a lot to say about how we should respond to our enemies. The last pages of Revelation is a completely different subject–I will say that the sword Jesus has in His position is coming from from His mouth and the blood on His robe is His,,,,not His enemies. Hmmmm… think about that. BTW I don’t hear love in your I missing something? Is that your intention? I wish you peace brother Peter…

  • Paul Schlitz

    While we were interning Japanese during WWII there was actually a Japanese regiment fighting in Germany and France that ended up being the most highly decorated regiment in the entire U.S. Army. The late Senator Inouye of Hawaii was one of those fighters.

  • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

    HAHAHAH!!! I love this parody. Oh, wait. *shudders*

  • James

    I think Benjamin was pretty clear that he was criticizing the fruits of Mr Graham’s political agenda, not his political orientation. If demonizing people is truly a right-wing value, then America’s turn left is a very good development.

  • Matt Jacobs

    “Fear of tyranny, oppression, dictators, monarchs who throw people in jail for religious or political offenses.”

    Many, many Christians before us have lived and died under such regimes, all the way back to the book of Acts, and they did it with their hope in Jesus, not filled with fear. That’s because they didn’t place their faith in earthly governments.

    “Not all old or conservative people are dumb”
    I didn’t say they were “dumb”, just seduced by the world.

    ” they just know how dangerous life can be & aren’t willing to believe every liar activist or party.”
    We live in one of the safest eras in human history (wars are few and small and violent crime is at historic lows). The ones that are lying are the ones telling you to be afraid. Fear is one of our most basic emotions, which makes it very popular with those who seek to manipulate others.

  • Cassandra

    Worthywalking? That is your name? And yet you leave this comment, that I find divisive and actually quite lazy. Mind you, I am not calling you lazy. I am not name calling. I am calling out. Do you think Mr Corey would spend all his time and effort writing this just so he could draw liberal lines? It matters not to me who is liberal. It matters to me if someone’s ideals line up with the gospel. Can you tell me how the ideals Mr Corey shares here do not line up with the gospel?

  • Matt Jacobs

    “Jesus confronted sin.”
    You need to reread that Bible, then, because what sin did Jesus confront? It sure wasn’t sexual sin; the few times that came up were when a woman was brought to him or came to him on her own, and he said anything about sin. He didn’t have much at all to say to all those sinful Romans of his day, at all, either. Heck, he barely had anything to say to outright traitors like the tax collectors.

    When Jesus confronted sin, it was among the religious elite; those who thought they had everything sorted out with God, and treated those who did not do as they did with contempt. He confronted pride and hypocrisy among the elite, not the poor, downtrodden, and foreigners.

    “Franklin Graham does too.”
    No, Franklin Graham is making convenient political scapegoats, not calling out sin. He’s telling his followers exactly what they want to hear, which is far, far from what Jesus did.

    “Maybe you a cultural Christian that wants the label but bows to sinful culture, approving of gay marriage, abortion.”
    Interesting, so what you want is a culture that reflects the morals of Christianity, correct? You want a Christian culture? Doesn’t that make you the cultural Christian?

    I don’t expect non-Christians to follow Christian morality, because there is no basis in the New Testament for such a thing.

    “Sadly we have a godless Muslim president leading the charge in America’s moral descent.”
    Last I checked, lying is a sin. Since you seem to demand it, I’m going to go ahead and remind you of that, and that you, as a sinner, should stop lying about another human being and repent.

  • Ruthitchka

    “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.” ( o :

  • nathan

    The problem isn’t that Franklin is “not a liberal” — it’s that he’s so involved in politics in the first place. The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world are two separate things.

  • Paul

    Actually, anti-Muslim hate crimes are VERY low. The people likeliest to face hate crimes are African-Americans, Jews, and LGBTs:

  • Screen names like that are a dead giveaway. The wingnuts always have names like WorthyWalker or SolaScriptura or SoldOut2God or BoyzInDaPew or something like that.

  • I was in the military. They’re not all evil, but they’re not all heroes, and America’s causes are not always just.

  • Even though you sound amazingly intelligent, I doubt you know the right answer.

  • Cassandra

    I appreciate that you’ve used your actual name. This is my first rodeo here. I felt a twinge of guilt for not using my whole name, as I do not want to be an anonymous troll. I also want to be safe.

  • Oh, I wish I’d thought to use a screen name for Disqus, but if I did, it would be something cool like Flowbocop and not something like MouthpieceOfTheWord or whatever.

  • Matt Jacobs

    “People who are fearful of the bad choices of others know nazi Germany can happen here & work to stop it from harming others.”

    I’m currently on the first half of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, so, please, let’s talk about Nazi Germany. The Nazis rose to power by keeping people afraid and angry over foreigners, economic problems, and scary political groups (communists). Fear and anger were their tools. Heck, if things started going too well, they would find some reason to get into a frenzy over something just to get people back to being afraid and angry again.

    Also, please don’t promote some partisan baloney about how similar the current administration is to the early Nazi party. It’s complete nonsense, if you actually were to read real history books, and not pundits lying just to manipulate you into being afraid.

  • Matt Jacobs

    I tend to think that Billy did make the same mistakes earlier in his career, getting too involved in partisan politics, particularly with Nixon. Unfortunately, it seems like Franklin has not only failed to learn from his father’s mistakes, but is amplifying them and refusing to learn.

  • Ken Cameron

    How do we critique this article ? A good beginning is to assert that all human beings are made in the image of God and therefore merit respect and dignity. Treat others as you yourself expect to be treated. In secular society there is much emphasis on tolerance to the extent that it is not appropriate to criticise personal behaviour that does not adversely effect anyone else. This is a form of appeasement, the lowest common denominator, and it is inconsistent with the Gospel which is often challenging and confrontational about human failure.
    Although we are not free to denigrate others we are obliged to oppose
    false ideology and deception.

    So what about Islam ? What about the prophet Muhammad ? Instead of vaguely speaking of tolerance about a ‘sister monotheistic religion’ and its deity being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Messiah Jesus in different guise, we need to spend a couple of hours trawling through some reputable and factually correct web sites. After doing that, you will understand three points that expose
    Muhammad as a charlatan and his ideology as false.

    1 Muhammad was a pedeophile. Having sex with a nine year old girl was
    pedeophilia during the 7th century. Perversion – sex with a girl before puberty – this is perversion in all societies. Muhammad was not specially exempted.

    2 Muhammad was a liar and a deceiver. By his example at Medina, a Muslim is empowered to make a deal when weak but repudiate it when strong. Muhammad put his opponents to the sword. You may understand that this moral failure is at least partly responsible for the fractious and volatile Moslem world.

    3 Muhammad told a good lie by dressing it up in a few elements of truth. Some parts of the Koran are indeed moral. Muhammad decided, that Allah should be the only God. Allah was his choice. So who is Allah ? Before Islam was invented Allah was one of 500 Arabian desert demons – Allah is a demon. So where does that leave Muslims today – in deception and outer darkness.

    What is the Christian response ? The Truth. Jesus is the Truth. Muslims need to be confronted by the truth, by education, and led through the Gospel to repentance and the rejection of satan worship.

    Perhaps Franklin Graham has sounded the alarm but deaf ears will not hear.

    Ken Cameron

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    1 John 4:7

    Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

    Bold by me ^_^ (It’s one of my favorite passages).

  • Arabian Christians called God “Allah” before the Muslims did, and Christianity is full of rulers who put opponents to the sword. If the moral failures of leaders, a history of violence, and syncretism is worthy of internment camps, we might as well start converting our churches into them.

  • Matt Jacobs

    “What is the Christian response ? The Truth. Jesus is the Truth. Muslims need to be confronted by the truth, by education, and led through the Gospel to repentance and the rejection of satan worship.”

    How often did Jesus tell someone “your knowledge has saved you”? Being saved by knowledge is a Gnostic, not Christian, belief. The Gospels make it clear that we are saved through faith, not “education”, and that people are led to faith through love, not confrontation.

    How often did Jesus “confront” those who did not already share his faith (Judaism)? Jesus confronted those who thought they already had God’s rules all figured out, not unbelievers.

  • Leanne Zeck

    How should we assess this comment? A good beginning would be to point to how Paul held Peter accountable for living out the Gospel to the gentiles when Peter refused to eat with gentiles. Christians holding each other to the message and standard of the Gospel in love is important. The author here never demeaned Graham. He applauded Graham’s humanitarian work–where Graham is getting it right. He stated where Graham is compromising and needed to get back on track.
    Now on to muslims:
    1. It doesn’t matter what the Koran says or what Muhammed did…all that matters is what Jesus said. Jesus commanded us how to treat neighbor and enemy–with love. Jesus taught us to be peacemakers. In Graham’s posts there is nothing that sounds like love or peace making. We are not given exceptions to the rules. The command to love and be a peacemaker has no exception.
    Perhaps those who need to be brought to Christ would do so when we live out the radical love of Christ which eats with sinners, serves sinners and heals sinners before they ever repent or think they need to repent. The pharisees tried to prove their holiness and force those who didn’t keep the law into repentance by shunning them and shaming them and condemning them. Jesus brought about repentance through mercy and love.

  • Brandon Roberts

    agreed honestly i think he just needs someone to sit him down and educate him

  • Obscurely

    As a liberal pastor, I’m no huge fan of Franklin Graham’s, and I think you’ve made many excellent points … but especially since your post is addressing the Household of Faith AND can be read by those without faith, we need to make sure we speak as accurate a truth in love as we possibly can … below are a few examples (with my comments) where rhetoric has exceeded the bounds of charity … time to step up your game, Brother Ben!

    ” … the Kingdom work that used to be so important to him” / (But wait, can’t Franklin walk and chew gum at the same time like the rest of us?)

    “… passively advocate for their death” / (Passive advocacy is an oxymoron that’s inappropriate here — you either actively want someone dead or you don’t, Franklin certainly does not)

    “… it seems clear that while Franklin loves Jesus, he’s not in love with his ideas” / (Don’t you mean SOME of Jesus’ ideas, not ALL of them?)

    “Franklin certainly has [picked America over Jesus], and you’ll have to make a choice too.” / (None of us serve any master perfectly, especially not Jesus — it’s called being human)

  • Johnny25343

    Ken bottom line, what Islam is or is not what Mohammad was or was not is irrelevant in the scheme of things What is important is how those of us who name the name of Jesus Christ respond. Its not a question of what they do, its more a question of our OBEDIENCE! Do we treat our neighbor down the street who slanders us any different because they do so? Of course not, we are commanded to love them we are commanded to serve them. This is no different. Either we walk as Christ walked or we do not. Because the truth is Jesus would wash the feet of the muslim, the homosexual, the thief, the adulterer, the glutton, He would wash the feet of them all, are we to do any less?

  • cvryder2000

    I believe he would resist being educated because he has convinced himself that he is RIGHT. He only *thinks* he has had a “come-to-Jesus” moment. He will never be able to have one so long as he has the irrational fear and ignorance of Muslims, and I fear that unless he actually physically has his life saved by a person of the Muslim faith, he will never overcome that fear and ignorance. Sad, but I believe it to be true.

  • DrDon

    So glad the message has gone out about those shoeboxes. I cringe every year pre-Christmas when hundreds of people here in my area from many churches think stuffing these boxes is the most worthy way they can show Christmastide charity to the poor children of the world and so they buy stuff and donate $ and flock to volunteer at the warehouses where all that packing is going on.

  • cvryder2000

    Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

    You’re doing a pretty good job of “claiming to love God” and so is Franklin Graham, but when you start throwing epithets around, you just prove the truth of the verse.

  • DrDon

    Franklin’s organizations no doubt have boards of directors like all corporations but there is no chain of religious oversight to which he is responsible: he doesn’t have to listen to a bishop, a session, or any set of spiritual counselors or denominational disciplinary bodies. So he acts on what he hears in his own head and it clearly has been turned by the adulation of his followers and the success of his “ministries”–and the cash flow generated by them. With all due respect, Brandon, who will sit down and educate him?

  • John Segrest

    1st of all Dr Phil I never quoted bible. 2nd of all You wouldn’t know if it were bible or not. Dope

  • Of COURSE they are. We hunt them down, use drones to blow up entire wedding parties of them (including the kids), we call them “bug splats” because of the way their bodies explode on the video feed, we drop bombs on them and then wait for the ambulance to get there and then blow up all the first responders (a technique called “double tap”) and have overall, destroyed their world. Approximately 4 million of them since I graduated high school 20 years ago.

    But I will agree with you– what we’re doing to Muslims is sickening.

  • This is so deliciously full of irony. The Franklin Graham who questioned Obama’s faith because he didn’t hold to conservative evangelical orthodoxy is being judged by liberals? Jesus said not to judge or you will be judged likewise. I think FG is proving that principle perfectly. I do believe Jesus also said it was impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven and that some lord it over you but you are to be servants.

    Franklin Graham needs to wake up to the depth to which he has fallen. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were going to the ends of the earth only to convert gentiles to become more sons of hell than they were. Jesus didn’t wish them to go to hell but his warnings were severe. FG should stop seeing nooses round the necks of Muslims and consider the rope he is tying around his own neck.

    Conservatives love taking Bible verses literally. Does FG believe Jesus when he said that if we don’t forgive others their trespasses God won’t forgive ours? Or does he take a liberal view on that?

  • Brandon Roberts

    honestly if he’d listen to me i’d be willing to do it though i’m not a christian so he probaly wouldn’t listen

  • When 9/11 happened, I thought it was oddly kind that the terrorists would wait so long before the second attack; it seemed like they were giving people a chance to escape. My mother explained to me that I had it exactly wrong. They were waiting for the first responders to arrive so that they could wreak even more havoc. A trademark terrorist move, my mother called it. I wonder if she still thinks it’s a trademark terrorist move when we’re the ones doing it?

  • If Jesus were your lord, then you’d understand the problem of using the church to stir America up to political action.

  • Psht. Hogwash. The biggest threats to the church are homosexual Muslims who use historical criticism when they read the Bible.

  • cvryder2000

    Just like you do, I suspect….ignore the parts that aren’t convenient for you. And YOU dragged in Huffington, I didn’t.

  • >> 1st of all Dr Phil I never quoted bible.

    I know. Um, that’s MY point.

    >> 2nd of all You wouldn’t know if it were bible or not.

    I’d probably recognize it. Give me a shot. You say stuff, and I’ll tell you if it’s actually in the Bible or not.

    >> Dope

    It is dope. I like your enthusiasm.

  • Cassandra

    I love the phrase “exceeded the bounds of charity.” I would like to suggest that though you are correct, being passive and advocating for something are oxymoronic, there is a paradox at work here that does work. In sociology, the idea is used when referring to someone who smokes or eats way too much or way too little: It is passive suicide. They are not actively seeking this; but all their actions lead to it.
    I think the way I read this is that it’s very illustrative, and it works for me.

  • Matt Jacobs

    “You mean how Hitler blamed jews for everything & menaced them with street mobs like certain leaders here blame police for everything and ‘allow room to’ riot?”

    I think I recently reminded you that lying is a sin, didn’t I? There is no one who is out to “blame police for everything”, and to make that claim is simply dishonest. The recent problems with protest, riots, etc. were over specific problems with the way most police departments in the country are overseen (or, more specifically, not overseen).

    Also, no one said “‘allow room to’ riot”, either. To attempt to recast “vent” as “riot” is also dishonest.

    “Where gays fly their own flag as though the American flag needs replacement? ”

    Yeah, don’t know what to make of those jerks who think that they have the right to make their own flag. Perhaps you could consider not making your attacks so blatantly hypocritical?

    “Where people here are hacked off at lawless immigration taking jobs, taxes and allowing known criminals access to repeat offenses? ”

    First off, illegal immigrants pay taxes (payroll and sales taxes, among others), yet are not eligible to receive benefits, so they actually are a major source of tax income. Secondly, promoting fear of illegal immigrants during an era in which illegal immigration has fallen to a net zero is also pretty ridiculous.

    “Yes clearly our ‘fears’ are unnecessary!”
    Considering everything you just posted is either based on false information or complete untrue, it would seem that your fears are indeed unnecessary.

    You seem quite determined to find something to be afraid of. Have you ever considered the peace found in Jesus Christ?

  • Melinda Killie

    It’s kinda hard, as a believer in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, NOT to see Franklin Graham’s OBVIOUS hypocrisies. Franklin Graham KNOWS EXACTLY what he is doing and he’s bringing down the name of God in his hypocrisies.. It’s a shame really. I used to listen to his father preach years ago, you know. If his father were in better health, and knew what Franklin has been “up to” using Billy’s church for his politically charged hypocritical formum; Reverend Billy Graham would NOT be pleased, I think…

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    The only “real” god here would say that.

  • BT

    #5-#7 – amen.

  • Obscurely

    I guess I’m one of those annoying sticklers for how language is used ;) … but to my mind the word ‘advocacy’ should be reserved for cases where there is active intent (in this case) to cause the death of Muslims? … once we open that door, then don’t we have to agree to propositions like, “The US government is passively advocating for the starvation of Africans (or the impoverishment of Mexicans, etc) because we don’t open our borders to ALL immigrants?”

  • Obscurely

    Graham may know exactly what he’s doing, but does that mean WE know exactly what HE thinks he’s doing? … I’m just not comfortable with the premise that there’s only one right way to preach the Gospel, and all other ways are “bringing down the name of God,” as you put it …

  • Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

  • Melinda Killie

    “I’m just not comfortable with the premise that there’s only one right
    way to preach the Gospel, and all other ways are “bringing down the name
    of God,” as you put it …”

    Tell THAT to politically charged, religious zealot hypocrites like Graham, Obscurely Agnostic.

  • The Happy Atheist

    I know this is a bit of a necropost, but I couldn’t resist. I lived in Georgia for fifteen years. Phil’s posts are hilarious specifically because I knew not one or two, but DOZENS of christians who said exactly these kinds of things. I can hear all the southern lilt and inflection.

  • The Happy Atheist

    Not you.

  • However, how many suicide bombers are Christians? How many Christians advocate the execution of anyone who wants to change his/her religion?

    I’ve lived in Palestine/Israel. While it is true that orthodox Jews, and Jewish atheists, and Christian Baptist Palestinians do support the killing of each other over land,
    I don’t know any Jews, Christians, or atheists who strongly support suicide-bombing and slaughtering people who leave their religion.

    But many Muslims do. Check out the statistics.

    The fact that Christians in the past used to slaughter–in the Crusades, in the 30 Years War, in the American and the English Civil Wars, etc.–
    doesn’t give modern Muslims in Palestine/Israel and elsewhere a we-can-kill-too card. The Islamic Pakistan government has held Christians in prison for years awaiting execution for allegedly insulting Muhammad!

    Of all the many Muslims I’ve dialogged with only one rejected war. Most support the verses in the Qur’an and in the hadith which advocate killing.

  • Obscurely

    But what does the possible danger of Graham’s zeal have to do with the log in OUR own eyes?

  • Israel has killed more Christians in the area than Muslims have.

    Suicide bombing, with the possible exception of Samson, was a tactic invented by Christians during the Crusades.

    Very few Christians also reject war. Most support an interpretation of the Bible that advocates killing both at a personal level and especially at a national level, with a rather sizable group wanting the Torah – especially the Ten Commandments – to define America’s national government.

    Saying, “Well, Muslims don’t get to go to war and suicide bomb and kill and burn heretics just because Christians did,” is true. I agree with that. However, it’s ridiculous to assume that somehow Muslims are more violent or expansionist than Christians.

  • louismoreaugottschalk

    passive advocacy for death of the marginalized?
    that’s structural violence.
    now can somebody give me the definition of what a bystander is?

  • Paul

    I’ve been hearing of this “Islamaphobia” buzzword for quite a few years. Yet, the hate crimes don’t seem to increase to alarming levels.

    If anything, they’ve stayed pretty low. Compare that to whenever rulings such as Obergefell and Windsor come down, or a politician comes out in favor of gay rights, or a famous celebrity comes out of the closet, and anti-gay and anti-trans hate crimes seem to spike up.

  • Coffee

    I don’t think anyone sings “Jesus Loves Me” anymore! If they do; I can’t hear it!

  • Coffee

    Does anyone remember the words?

  • Melinda Killie

    He’s dangerous in his zealot rantings, Obscure Agnostic… There are the zealots that have blood in their eyes and bull crap in their hearts. Franklin Graham is one of them.

  • Excellent point–Samson was one of the first suicide bombers. I’ve made that point repeatedly in the past too.

    I’m fairly well read in history, but I don’t remember Crusaders committing suicide in order to kill civilians. I do know that the Crusaders slaughtered huge numbers of innocent civilians, many thousands when they massacred nearly every one in Jerusalem in 1099. Etc.

    But I already stated that Christians in the past did slaughter millions of others.
    My point was that now,
    Jews, Christians, and atheists don’t regularly support the intentional slaughter of civilians via suicide.
    Even stranger is how some Muslims–Sunni versus Shia kill each other. Again we are talking about now.

    I just spoke with two North American Muslim leaders several months ago. Again I was greatly disappointed because since they are brilliant, the one with a PhD and both seemed very nice, I thought they would oppose what Muslims are doing now.
    But they defended the commands of the Qur’an:-(

    And as I said, have spoken with many others over many years.

    It’s tragic that even the nicest Muslims defend (or won’t condemn) HAMAS, etc. And they seek to defend religious oppression of those who leave Islam or who disagree with Islam.

    If you haven’t had a chance to read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I highly recommend the autobiography.

    As for Israel killing “more Christians in the area than Muslims have,” I don’t know of any evidence for such a statistic. It’s mostly been Muslims who have intentionally slaughtered innocent civilians.

    (By the way, I should add that I am not a defender of the Israeli government. Their attack against Gaza to defend their civilians from rockets was entirely wrong in the way they handled it. So many Gazans who weren’t terrorists died.

    And the Israelis practice apartheid against Palestinians. Recently the Israeli government again stole land, again cut down thousands of trees belonging to Palestinians. etc.)

    I agree with you that “very few Christians also reject war.” On the contrary, most Christians are avid warriors, very pro-war as George Bush, Obama, Franklin Graham and others show when they even support first strike war.

    But I wasn’t talking about war in general, not defensive war, or even first strike war, but the fact that millions of Muslims
    support the intentional killing via suicide of civilians,
    and they support punishment, usually, execution for those who leave Islam or who “insult” Muhammad.

  • Kerry Cox

    So anyone who is mute or suffers from a disability rendering them unable to speak (confess Jesus as Lord “with their mouth”, that is…) is automatically condemned to hell. Sounds like great theology to me.

  • Timothy Weston

    Franklin Graham has become the ultimate product of politically-infused American Christianity.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I’d offer that the product has a few flavors, of which Mr. Graham is one of the more blatant examples… But, oh, yes… there is quite a bit of competition for the top slot…

  • Yeah, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree that the current frequency of suicide bombings makes one side drastically more immoral than the other, but I understand your point.

    Back in 2003, I was training in pencak silat, which is Indonesian and also exhibits lines being split between Muslim, Christian, and indigenous animism lines. That year, a group of Muslims broke into a Christian church without warning and hacked everyone to pieces with machetes – men women and children. They did this in retribution for a group of Christians who had done the exact same thing to a mosque a few months earlier.

    If you’re interested in reading up on Israel’s impressive record of killing Christians, Ben has a post on that somewhere around here. It wasn’t too long ago.

  • I’ll look it up. Thanks.

    Very tragic about Indonesia.

  • Kevin Thomas

    There you went with the L word again.. Nope life wasn’t pleasant for them…. But Jesus taught them alot on His Sermon on the Mount. He talked alot about enemy love, peace making, turning the other cheek, the meek inheriting the world, the weak strong, and the poor rich. His Kingdom is Counter cultural and upside down. It is the antitheses of this Kingdom. We love sacrificially like He did…. Abba has the rest under control…

  • Attacking Graham with this petty argument is silly! Christians can and should love Jesus Christ and America without feeling guilty. Graham has been truthful and factual with his statements about the Muslim unholy evil beliefs!
    I for one will continue to pray for more truth telling and men of courage to speak out against the EVILS of Islam. Christians have been silent in the face of far too many evils in America it’s time to speak out with the boldness of Franklin Graham!

  • Lannie Cates, Esq.

    I must respectfully voice an opinion of support for Franklin Graham, vis-a-vis his recent comments on Islam. I want to see Muslims healed, saved and delivered and my heart breaks for those who die not knowing Christ. However, at the risk of sounding like a “bigoted” Southern white conservative (let the vitriol commence), there is an evil that hides behind the face of those who allow Islam to control their lives and so this issue is not an issue of race or prejudice. The commonality and widespread influence of the foe should bind white, black, Latino, Jew, Arab, Christian and, anyone else who respects the freedom of the United States. We are facing an unprecedented challenge and those incidents of the loss of life of American and Christians will only increase unless something just as radical is effectuated to stem the tide. Islam is an ideology and not just a religion, involving religious, social and governmental components. Any study of Islam reveals a thread of deception and a quest for dominance such as the concept of “taqyya” (i.e., allowing Muslims to follow Muhammad’s example of lying to the Infidels until in a stronger position) which permeates the religion. This quest for dominance was the impetus for over 500 battles in Europe at the hands of Islamic aggression (compared to 13 Christian crusades) and the loss of life of literally hundreds of millions. We see Christians martyred on a daily basis and the killing is not just in ISIS controlled territories, even as our friendly allies such as Saudi Arabia decapitate wives for falling away from Islam. There are over 100 “no go” zones in France where Islamic influence has enacted Sharia law and where Islamic men have established a beach-head and begin to have children with multiple wives which increases their population and influence. Frankly, it is way, way to late to curb the problem by immigration controls. This is also an enemy which is insidious in that there is no way to determine who has been radicalized and to what degree. How do you fight this enemy? As a pre-millennialist Christian, I know there is a king coming to sit on the throne of David (as promised by Gabriel to Mary) who will rule the world with an iron fist. Until that day comes, we Christians should be about the business of the king, making disciples of all men and we should feel the urgency of the hour. As watchman we should heed Jesus’ warning to be not deceived. Until Jesus splits the Eastern sky, each American citizen should arm himself and his or her family with information, the Word of God and a good Remington, Mossberg or Barretta. We are not to worry but God has given us the ability to reason and to prepare. Even so, come soon Lord Jesus.

  • gimpi1

    That was my thought, too. I got up to “Godless Muslim president, and thought, Ah Ha, POE! Then, I re-read him and realized, he’s serious…

    We laugh lest we weep.

    An aside, how, exactly, can anyone be a “Godless Muslim?”

  • gimpi1

    I made “Muslin” curtains for my kitchen. Does that make me a traitor, or just a potential terrorist?

  • gimpi1

    Would Jesus also use the random capitalizations and misspellings and bad grammar that Mr. Segrest does?

    (I know it’s petty, but when you’re telling someone to “know more,” you ought to at least try to punctuate your thoughts correctly.)

  • gimpi1

    I think there’s a difference in a threat to the country from radical Islam, or radical racism or any other group, and a threat to people in the country. Remember, a white-supremacist just shot up a historically black church. I don’t hear a ton of calls for monitoring the movement of or restricting the freedoms of groups that classically shelter white supremacists.

    Our country is in no danger. There is no group that could cause us enough damage to undermine our existence (with the possible exception of we, ourselves). The U.S. will continue. Radical groups and individuals of all kinds can, and will, hurt individual and groups of Americans, but I can state with great confidence that the risk of an I.S.I.S.-led invasion of the U.S. will not happen. I would bet on the moon striking the earth first.

    The problem is I see is that statements like those of Mr. Graham serve to inflame people around the world. He’s not warning us about, “the dangers of radical Islam,” he’s playing to his base, arousing rage, and making Christians in the U.S. look like hateful bigots.

  • gimpi1

    So, you get a pass when you do awful things that you condemn others for? That’s… convenient, I suppose.

  • Ruthitchka

    You are in a third category, “sewist”. (My friend told me that is a real word.)

  • gimpi1

    I like it!

  • otrotierra

    No Lannie, Jesus is not calling you to bury your head in Islamophobia and more warmongering. You’re thinking of Ares, the Greek god of war. Instead, google “The Greatest Commandment” and start there.

    Accept Jesus as your point of origin and you will discover radically different conclusions. Seek and you will find.

  • otrotierra

    And Jesus was undeniably opposed to hypocrisy. Indeed, Jesus sure is inconvenient…

  • gimpi1

    We kitties need to stick together!

  • otrotierra

    No Jerry, Jesus never taught his followers to love America. Nor did Jesus teach you the lazy, self-serving Islamophobia you display here.

    No thanks, I’ll stick with what Jesus actually taught.

  • nashbash

    I agree — Christians should be able to love Christ and America without feeling guilty. It’s possible to love both, everyone. Most people love their home countries. It’s certainly a biblical mandate to pray for our lands. We, of all people, should care about civic laws, moral values…as we want the best society that we can possibly have in democracy…and work to that end.

    What I’m finding is that if you’re over, umm 42-ish today (in 2015), then you know what it’s like to be from a country that you can love. If you’re younger, then America’s never been very stellar during your lifetime, so you find it easy to contrast allegiance to America vs allegiance to Christ. During my entire life, we’ve never had to do that….until just recently. So, please, please Gen-X Christians, please go easy on your older Christian brothers and sisters. Their view is totally different. They grew up in a time when you could know your enemy easily and defend your country from them; and they grew up in a time when black was black and white was white. You’ve haven’t. Believe me I’m post 42 years old. I see the differences oh so clearly.

    Franklin is not a Gen-X-er. He sees the world a different way from you. And he always will. It doesn’t make him less of a Christian. Older folks could read what you write & think that you’re just ready to throw in the towel on America….that serving Jesus has nothing to do with voting, with influencing voters, etc.. That’s not completely right. OF COURSE, we should all be praying fervently and doing the Kingdom work….but talking to your friends about who’s running for presidential office is just as Christian as telling someone the Good News of Christ….or digging a well for folks in another land.

    I just ask that you, as Gen-Y-ers, try to understand his side of the generational fence. And as Gen-Y-er, call him up and talk sensibly with him. He’d be more than happy to converse on this. But it will not be a quick talk or conversion of ideas/approaches….because of the generational differences. (And please don’t say that generational differences shouldn’t influence your Christian walk/Christianity. They do. The way you live your Christian life is directly tied to the culture in which you live.) Yours is affecting your comments too. I’m a young Gen X-er….so I sit between your generation and Frankin’s (Baby Boomers). I can so clearly see your differences…..though I can’t fully identify with either.

    btw, I am a Friend to All Cultures. I have friends from most places around the world with different religions from mine. I’ve worked in Muslim countries. I know God can change any heart. And I know that all Muslims are not the same. I’m just asking that you enter into appropriate dialogue & recognize the generational differences at play here.

  • nashbash

    fully agree.

  • nashbash

    Benjamin’s article is from a Gen-Y-er Christian perspective and he’s speaking about a Baby Boomer Christian. Radically-different approaches. I wrote more below on Jerry Lingle’s post. (I really don’t know Benjamin’s age…but am guessing this.) It’s good for each generation to challenge the other…but both need to be respectful of each other and attempt at all costs to understand the other….just like you would do if you were attempting to live in another culture & had to learn its ways. We need utmost respect in the Family.

  • Why couldn’t he have included “communist,” too? I was this close to Bingo!

  • James Quinn

    Petty argument? There are thousands of refugees who just happen to be Muslim and would/will die without being granted refugee rights. Graham is essentially saying we should let them die because of their religion. That’s straight satanic.

  • gimpi1

    You were closer than I was.
    I would have needed “Communist Socialist Godless Muslim Marxist Kenyan President” for bingo. Unhappily, I’m likely to be able to make bingo before the end of the day.

  • James Quinn

    According to famous birthdays, he’s 39.

  • That’s a lot of words to line up for bingo! :-P

    And because I don’t want Bingo to be an unhappy thing for you, let me suggest trying it for happier occasions, as well. My family got into the habit of doing graduation bingo. Two cards, even; one for things that the speakers said, and one for things that graduates and attendees were wearing/doing.

  • gimpi1

    I used to play buzzword bingo at a company I worked for in the 1990s. I once hit with “ongoing dynamic proactive synergy.”

  • nashbash

    let’s go easy on others in the faith. Franklin Graham is far from satanic. He may not “get” this issue the same way that others younger than him do. I encourage all of us who are bothered or inflamed by his comments to nicely converse with him & voice why you think his comments are awry.

  • otrotierra

    Franklin Graham can be respectful to every generation by following Jesus instead of fundamentalist violent Islamophobia. He could start today.

  • kaydenpat

    At a time in the U.S. when Blacks are being killed by White police officers, I have to laugh when you say that Muslims are the greatest threat to Americans. No. Americans are the greatest threat to Americans. Gun violence is the greatest threat to Americans. I’m not afraid of Muslims. Not at all.

    And no, I’m not arming myself with guns for protection. That’s ridiculous. But if having guns makes you feel safe, knock yourself out. I didn’t know that Christians needed guns to fight their battles. I guess God is too weak to protect us now.

  • ccws

    Franklin Graham makes Baby Jesus AND his mama cry.

  • ccws

    What’s age got to do with it? I’m a 62-yo Baptist Preacher’s Kid, and I’m utterly horrified by the bigoted crap Franklin Graham et al. are spewing. It bears absolutely no resemblance to the Christianity I’ve known fever since I was old enough to sing “Jesus Loves Me.”

  • ccws


  • ccws

    1. Jesus loves me, this I know,
    For the Bible tells me so,
    Little ones to him belong,
    They are weak but he is strong.

    Chorus: Yes, Jesus loves me, (x3)

    The Bible tells me so.

    2. Jesus loves me, he who died,
    Heaven’s gates to open wide,

    [*Sorry, can’t remember the last 2 lines of this verse]

    3. Jesus loves me, he will stay
    Close beside me all the way,
    If I love him, when I die
    He will take me home on high.

    That’s all I can remember without looking it up in the hymnal. You’re welcome. B-)

  • ccws

    SMILE when you say that, LOL! (One good snark deserves another)

  • ccws

    I bite my tongue till it bleeds when my mom (generally progressive on most issues) talks enthusiastically about her church collecting & filling shoeboxes for Operation Xmas Child. Either she’s not aware that proselytizing is the main point, or she’s stuck in the old mindset that “anything you do for the glory of the Lord is good.” What can I say…

  • nashbash

    I was just saying that I can see that Franklin grew up in a time when patriotism was a normal part of our society & was not seen as opposite to Christ. Also, all things were clearly delineated/absolute during most of his lifetime. You knew who your enemies were back then…..and you took action to protect your people.
    He obviously is operating in that mindset. I think that if you’re a Jesus-follower, you can see clearly that Franklin Graham is a true believer. His life matches that of Christ’s. His sharing matches that of Christ.
    So now, if he’s saying something that we disagree with, we (fellow Jesus followers) should attempt to understand why a man whose life shows that he’s a Jesus follower would say certain statements. And we should dialogue directly with him (emails, letters) about how we think his statements are off. No family members eat their own. We’re asked by God in the scriptures to bear with one another in love. If we don’t, we too are not following Christ very well. I find the comments about Franklin Graham on this site to be, well, very hateful. Some would say, “Well, he was hateful with his remarks.” And I’d say that hate on top of hate is also not of Christ.
    I hope you are understand what I’m talking about. I have tons of Muslim friends in the U.S. and abroad. I know that they all don’t follow the same dogma.

  • agree

  • Mary Kilbride

    Huff Post says it all. Have to consider the source.

  • cvryder2000

    And you…..and Franklin Graham….claim you don’t? HA!

  • It did neither of those things.

  • Matt Jacobs

    I’m a little unclear who exactly the “satan worshipper who poses as an evangelist” is. Perhaps you can explain what, exactly, makes something “satan worship”? Maybe you could include some arguments based on some sort of truthfulness this time?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I can’t imagine you would suggest otherwise. ^_~

  • Kevin Thomas

    You heard it said….. but I say… Jesus

  • Matt Jacobs

    Yet another claim that makes no logical sense whatsoever. If Obama didn’t care, then the easy solution would be *not* going to all the trouble of negotiating with Iran. They were doing just fine making a bomb without any help.

    Of course, that’s assuming that anything Netanyahu and others have claimed about Iran being a few months or years from getting a bomb was true, which even Israel’s Mossad says was not.

    “Maybe evil knows how to change it’s dress every age to deceive the gullible and stupid who want to believe deceptions?”
    Yes, because preferring attempts to stop wars and decisions to not hate other people is the very definition of “evil”.

  • Matt Jacobs

    Oh, you mean the very slight rise from the lowest crime rate since the 70’s. Yeah, that low point, was still *during Obama’s presidency*, and there hasn’t been much of a rise since then. How exactly do these facts do anything other than make your fearmongering look ever more ridiculous?

  • Matt Jacobs

    LOL. I love how you have to jump to another topic as soon as I bring in the facts on the current one.

    Yes, there are a number of economic indicators that have not gone well for the black population. I think you missed the part where you link it to Obama in any way.

    As for “baby parts”, you again missed the part where you actual provide some evidence that actually connects your meme (that’s all it is) to Obama in some way.

  • Christianity had nothing to do with the USA and continues to have nothing to do with the USA. Why people think a pack of slave owning deists is the same as being founded by Christians is a mystery to me.

  • Yes. It’s ok to be violent as long as other people are being violent, and we should only make peace once they give in. That’s exactly what Jesus taught.

  • Matt Jacobs

    LOL, riiiight. The *negotiations* are the opera. It couldn’t possibly be any of the abundant pundits out there selling you pants-wetting fear in order to keep you too scared to listen to anyone else. I mean, it’s not like they have a financial interest in scaring you into watching/reading/listening to them, or anything.

    “Reports are Iran got everything it wanted”
    What reports? You mean where what they wanted was a chance to get out from under the economically disastrous sanctions, so that their large middle class will continue to grow? Oh horror of horrors! I mean, whatever will we do if their middle class keeps getting bigger and more educated than it already is?

  • How many native Americans did we kill? How many people did we kill in the Civil War? How many slaves died? How many people have we killed for resources? How many have we killed with sanctions?

  • Matt Jacobs

    Ah, I see. So arguing with someone who I should clearly just be listening to is “the mark of the devil”. I mean, what kind of person would pick fights with their spiritual elders?

    Yeah, I know you’re just looking for some way to avoid dealing with the problem that you can’t support what you want to believe with facts, or anything approaching the truth. If arguing with you is “the sign of the devil”, then you have a nice easy way to never listen to anything anyone says (unless it’s what you want to hear), and always decide you’re right, no matter how untruthful and fact-less your statements are.

  • Kevin Thomas

    I confess Him as my Lord and Savior. The alpha and the omega. The exact representation of Abba. Do I pass the test?

  • Or perhaps because they had greater populations. I’m trying to decide if you’re purposefully trolling, massively stupid, or just idolatrous.

  • You are ludicrous.

  • Matt Jacobs

    Heh, sorry about all those “mind games” where I used facts to demonstrate that you don’t have a basis for your beliefs (not really). Of course, declaring that arguing with you is “the mark of the devil” isn’t at all your own (rather sad) attempt at mind games, is it?

  • Matt Jacobs

    I suppose the fact that America and Israel have repeatedly undermined their country doesn’t have anything at all to do with their anger, does it? I don’t suppose it ever occurred to you that maybe an attempt to de-escalate the history of hatred might be the best way to avoid war? I know I carry “the mark of the devil” for arguing with you, but aren’t hatred and war bad things, last I checked?

  • Matt Jacobs

    “He likes abortion like satan does. Get it?”
    I see… so, did I miss it, or did you completely fail to actually demonstrate where any of that statement is true? Or, is it truth just because you say it is?

    “Also selling baby parts ”
    Again, I think you missed the part where you explain how that has anything to do with Obama.

    “He has been in office for 6 years and blacks act like everything is worse – his fault.”
    First off, I don’t think you actually have a clue what “blacks act like”. If you’re talking about the Black Lives Matter movement, that’s not about things getting worse, but people not wanting to tolerate the way things have been any more. I know, it’s difficult for you to understand viewpoints that aren’t about scaring or angering you, but that’s how reality works.

    “I don’t do endless liberal trickery conversation it is you that writes books that are unanswerable here.”
    They’re only unanswerable if, for some reason, you don’t have any answers. Maybe you need to start considering why it is that you have so much fear and anger, yet no answers?

  • cvryder2000

    Then you, my fine friend, are lying.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Which is why we throw up questions. Who are we to question “god”? Why, we’re part of the group of everyone.

  • Jonathan Bernier

    I just saw this. Sorry. But this is just silliness. Who the heck is hunting military personnel?

  • Jonathan Bernier

    That’s not a response. I repeat: who is hunting military personnel?

  • Jonathan Bernier

    That’s simply not true. The military personnel *were* armed. In fact, it’s now known that one of them shot and killed the suspected shooter. But in any case a single instance is not a pattern. I repeat: who prior to and after that event are hunting military personnel?

  • Jonathan Bernier

    Okay. What about Fort Shelby, today. *White* folks fired at US soldiers. Does this mean that all white folks should be suspected as potential terrorists?

  • Jonathan Bernier

    That doesn’t address the question.

  • razajac

    Corey keeps it vague… which is JUST AS WELL: It’s a good (if in some cases futile) exercise to flex the mental and moral muscle and see how much it can lift.

    For example, when he mentions how demonization of a class of folks can lead to their murder, how many people thought of the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

    And you can do this exercise with pretty much all of these points.

  • Sara Huizenga Wagasky

    I so value and appreciate your insight – Franklin Graham so bat shit upsets me. I have been trying to figure out why HE especially does so very much.

    I now see that it is his complete VICTIM MENTALITY. Everything I have overcome and work so hard to make sure my children as well never embrace -this man represents.

    He spits into the face of any and all true suffering.

  • Mike French

    6. Ted Cruz and sharia law if God wins? How about X-tian Trump, Graham’s God-chosen savior? Is God winning and America losing, or is everybody losing?
    7. Does this mean spreading the word? Does this mean there are still people in USA who haven’t heard the word? Does this mean you’re gonna tell people they’re going to hell, like St.Pat Robertson? Does this include stirring up all the hate X-tians seem to harbor against LGBTQ. gay marriage, and abortion, mainly sins of a sexual nature? “cause that’s being X-tian these days. Oh, and sins of not thinking and doing like I do?

  • Mike French

    Patriotism is the opposite to Christ? Patriotism means separation of church and state, just as the founding fathers wanted. Nobody persecutes Christians. Starbucks’ cups are not out to get X-tians; and we have always been able to say Merry X-mas all day today and every day, thanks to the first Amendment.

  • The Mouse Avenger

    I only have one thing to say: You are absolutely right. (nods head in agreement)