Why Franklin Graham Had Better Hope That Progressive Christians Were Right About Hell

Why Franklin Graham Had Better Hope That Progressive Christians Were Right About Hell November 10, 2016
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Matt Johnson, Flickr Creative Commons

Is Franklin Graham headed to hell when he dies?

That’s a tricky question, but one he’d do well to wrestle with.

The answer to that is found in how one views the Bible– is it the inerrant, inspired Word of God? Is the Bible true? Is it authoritative?

If one were to answer yes to those questions, which Franklin Graham does, the Bible itself pronounces condemnation for him on multiple counts. Mainly, he stands condemned as an unrepentant liar and hypocrite– both offenses that his Bible declares as actions that exclude one from God’s Kingdom (Matthew 23:13-15, Rev 21:8).

While the examples of his lying and hypocrisy are endless, let’s take a few recent examples. This is what Graham said on Facebook today in response to the election of unregistered sex-offender, Donald Trump:

“Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking “How did this happen?” “What went wrong?” “How did we miss this?” Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up.

While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country.

President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are going to need a lot of help and they will continue to need a lot of prayer. I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation. My prayer is that God will bless America again!”

Graham is clearly rejoicing that his candidate won the election, even going as far as saying God did it! But here’s the thing: Graham has spent the last six months claiming he left the Republican party, that he wasn’t endorsing a candidate, and traveled to all 50 states asking Christians to pray and “vote their conscience.” He didn’t fool any of us, but he portrayed himself as a simple Christian standing in the gap with no dog in the fight, and we all know that was a blatant lie.

While Graham portrayed his 50 state rally effort as being a nonpartisan religious event, let’s call it like it was: Franklin Graham traveled to all 50 states to campaign for Donald Trump. He knew he was doing it, and we knew he was doing it– but he had to clothe it as something that it wasn’t in order to appear he was a non-biased Christian (and he also likely had to disguise his Trump rallies to steer clear of IRS regulations).

It was deceitful, and we all knew it.

Furthermore, during the campaign Graham criticized “media bias” as if he were clean and pure, all the while being guilty of the very thing he claimed he opposed (the very definition of a hypocrite). For example, after the Vice Presidential debates he praised Mike Pence for discussing his faith openly during the debate, but made no mention to the fact that Time Kane also discussed his faith openly, because he was a Christian, too.

It was dishonest and hypocritical, and we all knew it.

And then there’s the consistent trope he claimed again today— that progressivism is “atheistic” and “godless.” This claim is as blatantly dishonest as one can get, as most progressives are Christians, and both of the candidates who ran on the democratic ticket were Christians too. Of course, Graham knows this, because you’d have to be stupid not to. Which means once again, he’s lying in order to discredit and malign and entire group of people.

He’s done the same thing with the lies he tells about LGBTQ people, claiming they are godless and anti-Christian when in fact, half of them are Christians.

With today’s celebration, Franklin Graham is finally openly and honestly showing his true colors. While he was pretending to be someone fed up with politics who left the Republican party, he spent months traveling the country campaigning for Donald Trump on the tax-free donations given to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He daily spewed bias and hate on social media, all while claiming it was everyone else behaving with bias. And now, he continues his lies of claiming that progressives hate God and are atheists, when that is absurdly untrue.

So, is Franklin Graham going to hell? Does he stand condemned?

I don’t believe in hell, and even if I did, I don’t believe we know who is in and who is out.

BUT…

The irony is that if he is right about the Bible being the authoritative, inerrant Word of God, if what Franklin Graham himself teaches is true, if it’s true that “all liars will have their place in the lake of fire,” and if it’s true that hypocrites are sons of hell who will be excluded from God’s Kingdom, Graham is on the list of people the Bible says will go there.

In fact, it seems clear that by Franklin’s own standards, he condemns himself.

Unless Graham repents and turns to Jesus, he’d better hope he’s wrong about the Bible– and that progressive Christians were right all along to dismiss the idea of hell.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Herm

    Perhaps you don’t understand the biblical difference between grief and judgment:

    If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

    Matthew 18:6-9

    I don’t know because I can’t judge you by how you framed your comment.

    Love you!

  • Herm

    I grieve deeply for those Franklin Graham has caused to stumble. Woe be to us in the USA and on this earth.

  • toddrvick

    How far the apple has fallen from the tree. In 18 months, Franklin Graham has tarnished all that his father has done.

  • Al Cruise

    False equivalency.

  • Dan Whitmarsh

    I’m trying hard not to be too snarky, but I think from here on out, whenever somebody references Graham or Dobson or MacArthur or any of the others who supported Trump, I’m simply going to say “Ah yes, he’s the one who told Christians to vote for a rapist and abuser.” That tag should stick with all of them for the rest of their lives.

  • Arlene Adamo

    I know hell is real and I also know it’s a vacuum that removes unscrupulous ambitious greedy souls, especially those who try and justify their unscrupulous ambition and greed by claiming that they do what they do in the name of God.

    And Donald Trump is certainly no blessing on the United States, and he won’t be a blessing for men like Graham either.

  • otrotierra

    And it will stick with them for the remainder of their lives. White Evangelicals (81%) will always be associated with compulsive deception, bigotry, sexism, bullying, xenophobia, incitement of political violence, and the firm rejection of the biblical concept of repentance.

    When Jesus is removed from one’s world view, Franklin Graham’s theology of lies becomes possible.

  • otrotierra

    You’ll need to work much, much harder in your attempt to justify lies, dishonesty, deception, and hypocrisy.

  • mhelbert

    “Of course, Graham knows this, because you’d have to be stupid not to.”
    Nailed it!

  • richard

    i agree with josh.

    appears as more than one commenter wants to jump all over josh’s comments without even considering the hypocrisy of mr. corey.
    thank god we serve a merciful god.

  • Al Cruise

    By their fruits you will know them.

  • Al Cruise

    “I still fail to see how this is a false equivalence.” Graham is a gatekeeper, Benjamin Corey is not.

  • Herm

    Perhaps a study in judgment might help us all:

    Judge not, that ye be not.judgedMatthew 7:1

    (KJV)
    ***********************************

    Greek Strong’s Number: 2919
    Greek Word: κρίνω
    Transliteration: krinō
    Phonetic Pronunciation:kree’-no
    Root: perhaps a primitive word
    Cross Reference: TDNT – 3:921,469
    Part of Speech: v
    Vine’s Words: Call, Called, Calling, Condemn, Condemnation, Determine, Determinate, Esteem, Judge, Law, Ordain, Sentence
    Usage Notes:
    English Words used in KJV:
    judge 88
    determine 7
    condemn 5
    go to law 2
    call in question 2
    esteem 2
    miscellaneous translations 8
    [Total Count: 114]
    properly to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish :- avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.
    Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

    In no way do I determine that Dr. Benjamin L. Corey has decided the fate of Franklin Graham by sentencing him to anything. Benjamin’s shared perception is that Franklin might have condemned himself by his own words shared in public according to the higher level of study of Dr. Corey.

    Do you deny Dr. Corey his shared acumen in concern for Mr. Graham’s influence, and that of his disciple’s, that will cause the little ones who believe in Christ to stumble? Are you suggesting that learned disciples of Christ must sit silent and not share their acuity refined at the feet of Jesus in love for the future of others? Would you sit silent because you would have others sit silent rather than warn you of potential risk?

    Do you dare to be judged as you judge?

    judge
    jəj/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a public official appointed to decide cases in a court of law.
    synonyms: justice, magistrate, sheriff, jurist
    “the judge sentenced him to five years”
    verb
    1.
    form an opinion or conclusion about.

    judg·ment
    ˈjəjmənt/Submit
    noun
    1.
    the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
    “an error of judgment”
    synonyms: discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, sense, common sense, perception, perspicacity, percipience, acuity, discrimination, reckoning, wisdom, wit, judiciousness, prudence, canniness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, powers of reasoning, reason, logic; More
    2.
    a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.

  • Herm

    …yes, according to Franklin Graham’s theology… thank you!

  • Herm

    Oh, but you are when you stand against those who illuminate the potential for danger to others who by the Graham name are following Franklin Graham as though he is a disciple of Christ.

  • Herm

    I understand that you don’t understand the trap of sitting in judgement of those you judge to be judging. I have read all that Dr. Corey has written regarding judgment and Mr. Franklin Graham. I do not see where we are getting anywhere in this disagreement so I make the judgment to end here with no resolution between us. Thank you for your effort to correct me!

  • Al Cruise

    “We’re not talking about their roles in God’s Kingdom here.” Jesus however does talk about their roles here. Benjamin is like the Samaritan who helps the man beaten on the road. Graham who is like the religious elite who turns up his nose and walks around the man. Benjamin’s discourse against Graham is for seeking justice for those whom Graham publicly dehumanizes through judgmental views. Graham’s power comes from being a leader of a large and wealthy constituency in which he has great influence. Something that does not go unnoticed by God as Jesus explained.

  • otrotierra

    No, there is nothing merciful about Trump’s rage-filled gospel and his White Evangelical (81%) support. There is no mercy in the racist bullying, threats, and intimidation that Trump has emboldened. There is nothing merciful about White Nationalism, xenophobia, sexism, or predatory behavior.

  • Richard Lambert

    Personally, I do believe in hell. You can argue that by he’ll Jesus was referring to a garbage heel in Jerusalem, but never the less, Jesus used real things physical things to discribe real spiritule things all the time, including heaven, and I sure hope that’s a real place… anyway, not a fan of Graham either.

  • richard

    you’re judging again – see josh’s comments. lol.

  • otrotierra

    You’ll have to work much, much harder in your attempt to excuse racist bullying, threats, intimidation, White Nationalism, xenophobia, sexism, and predatory behavior.

  • Dave-n-TN

    Just curious, has anyone checked under Franklin’s hairline for an engraving/tattoo of the 666?

    From what I have seen and heard of him, It seems possible that he is the real-life Damien from the movie … taking on his non-biological father’s status/perceived power and then using it in such evil and devious ways to create hate, fear, and division.

  • By the grace of the almighty God the American people elected a new President. He had to fight the Democrats, the Media, the Pollsters and the Republican elites. They Democrats tried to Destroy him personally and professionally showing the world how much the power and money have corrupted politics. Without God this could never have happened as the hand picked heir to the Presidency, Hillary Clinton, was rejected by the people and the much maligned Donald Trump was victorious. The election was so monumental that it left the news networks speechless as the Republicans retained control of the Senate and the House giving President Trump a clear mandate to stop the destruction of our great country and return prosperity and peace to the people. Praise God and His son Jesus Christ.

  • Crprod

    Actually, Trump lost the popular vote.

  • Crprod

    I read recently that the Soviets never needed a spy to know who the undercover CIA operative was in an American embassy as they always acted the same way. In the same way, Franklin Graham could always be spotted as a GOP operative no matter what his apparent job might be.

  • otrotierra

    You can’t defend Franklin Graham’s lies, deception and hypocrisy, because Franklin Graham’s lies, deception and hypocrisy are indefensible. Thank you for confirming this simple truth.

  • Linda McQ

    I’m sure if there is a hell they’ll be roomies.

  • Linda McQ

    To the world, that’s exactly how American evangelical christianity is now seen. And don’t forget angry. Not something to be proud of. Not something to want to be a part of. How many more people will now decide to leave the church, as a result of this.

  • NWaff

    “he portrayed himself as a simple Christian standing in the gap with no dog in the fight, and we all know that was a blatant lie.”
    .
    He didn’t endorse a candidate, which was the smart thing to do, so there was no “blatant lie” unless you have a narrow-minded agenda to find a “blatant lie” where none exists and smear Graham.

  • NWaff

    “made no mention to the fact that Time Kane (Tim Kaine) also discussed his faith openly”
    .
    Kaine’s own Catholic bishops were rebuking him for being anti-Catholic, so Graham didn’t need to say a word. So if you’re on a bashing rant, bash the Catholic Church.

  • otrotierra

    U.S. Evangelicals have indeed shown the world that rage-filled White Nationalism and hatred are more important than Jesus and The Greatest Commandment.

  • NWaff

    “I don’t believe in hell” – I love people who know more about Christianity than Jesus Christ. Always good for a giggle.

  • NWaff

    With the Franklin Graham bashing, I can’t tell if Dr Corey actually calls himself Christian or Anti-Christ.

  • Matthew

    I think one problem is that conservative Christians like Franklin Graham think most (if not all) progressive/liberal Christians are not really Christians at all.

    Such begs the question:

    What makes one a Christian?

  • Bones

    Franklin Graham is a liar like his father…

    That apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • Bones

    Guess who’s made a new idol….

  • Bones

    Franklin Graham is a liar like his father………

  • Bones

    So you just came on here to have a sulk….

    Of course Jesus judged one group of people to be especially onerous and exclusive to humanity – the Evangelical fundamentalists of his day….

    Nothing has changed.

  • Bones

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matt 23:27

    That’s your Evangelical fundamentalist crowd…

    Take it up with Jesus.

  • Bones

    Good point, he did….like Jesus….

    Next….

  • Bones

    Meh….didn’t go far enough….

    Jesus was a lot harsher hence why they wanted to kill him.

  • Matthew

    Did MacArthur openly support Trump? I thought he was pretty much against political involvement. ??

  • Matthew

    It is interesting when one closely looks at how Jesus deals with the Pharisees of his day who can also be compared to the hardline fundamentalists today.

    Jesus seems to judge them, but then extends much grace and mercy and compassion to those the Pharisees reject.

  • Ron McPherson

    “What makes one a Christian?”

    Ask 100 people and you may get 100 answers. Ultimately, I believe it boils down to those who answer Jesus’ call to “Follow me.” With that comes the forgiveness of sin through the grace of God with the indwelling of the Spirit to enable us.

  • Ron McPherson

    When the word “hell” is attributed to Jesus, you realize he used it in reference to Gehenna (the valley of the Hinnom just south of Jerusalem) right? Whether you agree with Ben or not, the thing that must be acknowledged is that Ben does not believe in a hell of eternal conscious torment BECAUSE OF what Jesus said, NOT in spite of it. You may disagree with his interpretation, but believing in a flaming unending afterlife is not a foregone conclusion among many believers which is actually based on the preponderance of evidence from Jesus’ many other teachings.

    Peace

  • Other than his name and his father, I don’t know anything about his ministry. I have seen him on TV. I concentrate on this blog because of the outrageous and non-biblical statement that Ben makes. Mr. Graham had nothing to do with the success of President elect Trump other than to agree with him.

  • Perhaps. The totals are not in yet.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for confirming that you don’t know anything about Franklin Graham, and for confirming that you didn’t even read Dr. Corey’s column above. .

  • Ron McPherson

    ” I concentrate on this blog because of the outrageous and non-biblical statement that Ben makes. ”

    It’s funny how people have different perceptions. I follow this blog because I’ve found Ben to be very biblical in the sense of taking Jesus’ commands very seriously. This has actually challenged me to no longer keep God tucked away in the theological box that had been constructed from my fundamentalist upbringing.

  • otrotierra

    His father certainly failed in some significant areas, such as failure to advocate against war, war-mongering, war profiteering and perpetual warfare. But Franklin is very much a product of what U.S. White Evangelicalism has now become: White Nationalist, xenophobic, rage-filled, self-serving, worship of the self.

  • Bones

    “On the account of James Warren in the Chicago Tribune, who has filed excellent stories down the years on Nixon’s tapes, in this 1972 Oval Office session between Nixon, Haldeman and Graham, the President raises a topic about which “we can’t talk about it publicly,” namely Jewish influence in Hollywood and the media.

    Nixon cites Paul Keyes, a political conservative who was executive producer of the NBC hit, “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” as telling him that “11 of the 12 writers are Jewish.”

    “That right?” says Graham, prompting Nixon to claim that Life magazine, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and others, are “totally dominated by the Jews.”

    Nixon says network TV anchors Howard K. Smith, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite “front men who may not be of that persuasion,” but that their writers are “95 percent Jewish.”

    “This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain,” the nation’s best-known preacher declares.

    “You believe that?” Nixon says.

    “Yes, sir,” Graham says.

    “Oh, boy,” replies Nixon.

    “So do I. I can’t ever say that but I believe it.”

    “No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something,” Graham replies.

    Magnanimously Nixon concedes that this does not mean “that all the Jews are bad,” but that most are left-wing radicals who want “peace at any price except where support for Israel is concerned. The best Jews are actually the Israeli Jews.”

    “That’s right,” agrees Graham, who later concurs with a Nixon assertion that a “powerful bloc” of Jews confronts Nixon in the media.

    “And they’re the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,” Graham adds.

    Later Graham says that “a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine. They swarm around me and are friendly to me. Because they know I am friendly to Israel and so forth. They don’t know how I really feel about what they’re doing to this country.”

    After Graham’s departure Nixon says to Haldeman, “You know it was good we got this point about the Jews across.”

    “It’s a shocking point,” Haldeman replies.

    “Well,” says Nixon, “It’s also, the Jews are irreligious, atheistic, immoral bunch of bastards.””

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Ron. Where does belief come in?

  • Bones

    Except Jesus did judge….

    I can see that’s confusing for the likes of you.

  • Bones

    No…..it’s equivalent to you’re talking out your arse.

    And yes as far as I’m concerned you have no integrity.

  • Bones

    I wasn’t aware Jesus was ambiguous……

    And yeah we saw what happened to MLK and the hatred of gay people that Graham is promoting.

    But do keep trying to post irrelevant gotcha posts to try to make yourself look smart.

    You just made yourself look like a complete fool.

  • Bones

    So then Jesus is a hypocrite….

    Maybe you need to take that up with him…..

    “Jesus you shouldn’t have judged those pharisees so meanly”….

    Derp….

    But it’s ok for Trump to call Mexicans rapists….

  • Bones

    Franklin graham’s enemies are gay people and civilised human beings…..no wonder you love him….

  • Bones

    He’s following Jesus….

    You aren’t…..

    Whatcha gonna do about it?

  • Bones

    You need to go and read your Bible and read about Jesus and the prophets specifically about social justice before you embarrass yourself further….

  • Bones

    Meh most of the posts I’ve read haven’t been in favour of Hilary Clinton so this nonsense of not criticising ‘elites’ is just bullshit.

    Is ‘elites’ the new term for Jews?

    Wtf are these ‘elites’ the far right goes on about?

  • Bones

    Lol….

    Johnny Mac is a moron

    “John MacArthur recently joined the list of evangelical leaders publicly supporting Donald Trump. At a recent forum for The Master’s University MacArthur said he’s not voting for Donald Trump, he’s voting for a worldview.

    “I’m voting for an ideology that is closer to Scripture,” MacArthur said. “Because [the Republican platform] is political responsibility, work, it has a place for the Bible, it has a place for God, it understands the necessity of a family, it understands the role of government is primarily to carry a sword to threaten evildoers and protect those who do well.”

    MacArthur also said he believes he’s commanded to vote this way by 1 Timothy 2’s instructions to “make a peaceful contribution to life and culture,” presumably referring to verse 2 which tells Christians to pray for kings and those in authority.”

    Why am I not surprised…..

  • Bones

    And I’m merely pointing out yours……

  • Bones

    Actually I’ve read and posted in all those…whereas you haven’t……

    Maybe you need to go back to Sunday school.

  • Bones

    Pretty much….

    Like Jesus was intolerant of the Pharisees….

    Maybe you should look up the difference between judging people based on a subjective moral code as against those who wish to cause evil and harm to others.

    And your mates are intolerant of gay people and Mexican and blacks and Jews or whoever the f*ck else they don’t like.

    Now you’ve had your say, go run along….

  • Bones

    Well let’s start with Jesus, who according to you is a hypocrite….

    And the prophets…..intolerant bastards….

    And anyone else who has called out systemic evil…….oh how intolerant of them….

    It’s amazing how people don’t get the Gospel and think it is all about what people do with their penises and nothing at all to do with oppression and injustice.

    So yeah, put your little hypocrite hat on and go sit in the corner.

  • Bones

    You are calling Jesus a hypocrite….

    Jesus said ‘don’t judge’

    Then he judges the Pharisees…

    Maybe you need to go understand what those two things are about.

    Come back when you might have an answer.

  • Bones

    Yeah sure……I mean that’s why you’re here. Your real enemy is Jesus….

  • Bones

    Now you’re just posting incomprehensible dribble…..

    That’s the first I’ve heard religious leaders called ‘elites’.

    But anyway, let’s take Martin Luther….he called for the slaughter of the Jews and was an outright anti-semite…..that’s a fact…..

    But that doesn’t fit in with your narrative of whatever the shit it is.

  • Bones

    If you can’t get that then you obviously haven’t read the Bible.

    As Jesus said tot he Pharisees when they tested him “F*ck off!”

  • Bones

    Y.

  • Bones

    Jesus said “don’t judge”

    Jesus judged the Pharisees.

    According to you Jesus is a hypocrite….

    I rest my case your honour…

  • Bones

    So now you’re making up your own definitions…..

    Well no…according to you Jesus was a hypocrite…..

  • Bones

    Corey is following Jesus…..who according to you is a hypocrite….

    Jesus said ‘don’t judge’ then judged the Pharisees.

    And obviously you aren’t following Jesus….

    Now go away.

  • Bones

    It gets lost in translation.

    But pretty much that is what Jesus says to the Pharisees and right wing fundy conservative preachers….

  • Bones

    Yes you go and do some study on Jesus and how he said not to judge and yet he judged the Pharisees.

    Maybe look at the difference between judging people over ‘lifestyle’ (lol) and those who do real oppression and evil.

    Sound familiar?

  • Bones

    I can’t see how I lost when you’re the one who thinks Jesus is a hypocrite.

    Obviously that’s something you need to work out.

    So yeah don’t judge others over their sexual morality or ‘lifestyles’..eg I don’t know John 8 off the top of my head

    Through the f*cking sink at anyone who preaches harm, oppression and exclusion.

    There’s Jesus for ya.

    As I said Corey was too soft.

  • Bones

    elites
    “a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society.”

    The Right hates ‘elites’.

  • Bones

    That’s a shame.

  • Bones

    Yeah, I judge those who wish to do harm and oppress people as evil.

    You don’t.

    Which of us is following Jesus.

    I’ll leave that with you to think about.

  • Bones

    Oh I don’t know – John 8 “Neither do I condemn you – (before the woman repented btw) and Matthew 23 where Jesus condemns the Pharisees.

  • Bones

    FO.

  • Bones

    That is the gospel……

    Good news for the poor and release of the captives….according to Luke

    But nah that isn’t good news for you is it……it’s all about dicks….like it is for Frankie graham.

  • Bones

    I was….

    Oh so you don’t see how politics and the gospel relate….

  • Bones

    No probs……

    Good luck with your hypocritical Jesus.

  • Bones

    Cognition….tradition….

  • Ron McPherson

    I see belief (faith) as prompting the desire (coming from the Spirit) to follow Christ (i.e. repentance) with the indwelling Spirit given to us as a pledge and an enabler to bear spiritual fruit (i.e. fruits of the Spirit). But I’m certainly no theologian and these are just my thoughts based on my experiences and with my interpretation of Scripture. Ultimately I believe salvation is all of God with his grace and mercy.

  • Matthew

    Are you saying that following Christ is what redeems us?

  • LadySunami

    He’s not actually judging Graham by condemning him as worthy of hell (unlike Graham who has made it quite clear he judges me worthy of hell), he’s actually pointing out the ways in which Graham fails by his own standards.

    It also has to do with the “tolerance paradox” as I like to call it. If your end goal is a tolerant society, then not tolerating extreme intolerance is a must. After all, if every pro-tolerance individual lets the intolerant do whatever they like without criticism, the end result is not going to be a tolerant society, now is it? The same thing applies to judgement. If nobody calls out those who judge and condemn others, how are we supposed to create a society free from excessive judgement and condemnation?

  • Matthew

    When we do judge, we must try to judge rightly.

  • Obscurely

    Please Dr. Ben, not ANOTHER screed against Franklin Graham! wasn’t this horse already dead about 10 posts ago?

  • Dan Whitmarsh
  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Dan Whitmarsh.

  • Ron McPherson

    No I wouldn’t go that far. I believe we’re redeemed by the Spirit from the grace of God. A free gift

  • Matthew

    Thanks Ron. I must say … it’s a pleasure discussing these things with you. Have a good day.

  • LadySunami

    “he’s actually pointing out the ways in which Graham fails by his own standards.”
    That doesn’t matter; he’s still judging him by the same words Graham believes (in which case they share some ideals, such as “Judge not…”).

    It does matter actually.

    Judging people by your own standards when they don’t agree with your standards is rude and dismissive of their own perspective in reguard to morality. I don’t accept the inherency of scripture, so you’re not going to get anywhere by judging me based on the inherency of scripture. When people try to get me to change my behavior by quoting scripture at me, all it does is irritate me.

    Judging a person by their own standards of morality on the other hand is perfectly sensible and is a good way to root out hypocrisy. If you point out I’ve failed my own moral system in some way, that is going to matter to me and do a lot more to encourage me to change my behavior.

    Now compare what Corey is doing to what Graham does. Graham judges people based on his own moral system while completely ignoring the fact they don’t share it and have no reason to listen to him. What is he hoping to gain by doing this? That kind of judgement, based not on a shared moral system but on a patronizing view of his own moral superiority, does not foster character growth or a loving relationship between people, it only serves to stroke his own ego. Corey pointing out the ways Graham fails his own moral system on the other hand is quite important and could actually cause Graham (or more likely his supporters) to undergo real growth both in his faith and as a person.

    In short it’s the difference between telling someone they’re failing themselves (or their god) and telling them they’re failing you (or your god). The first is sensible while the second is something I’m guessing both Corey and I would say Jesus was trying to avoid.

  • LadySunami

    Yup. And not only judge rightly, but do so for the sake of others. Not just so we can feel smug.

  • Off-topic. The mention of “Laugh-In.” That is a show that is before my time. I don’t even think that my older siblings were a glint in my father’s eye when it aired… but my man downloaded several episodes of it and we watched together, and despite it being very dated… one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen!

  • Not familiar with the incident, but ANYBODY can accuse ANYBODY of being “anti-Christian.”

    I once got accused of being “anti-Christian” on a forum I went to because I had the audacity, as a Christian, to tell some people who were fighting in a thread on that forum where most of the people were not Christians that having an all-out fight about the nature of transubstantiation (i.e. one of those very churchy things that outsiders do not understand) was unproductive on the board and making all of us look bad. This wasn’t a religious forum, by the way… it as a forum dedicated to a specific series of videogames to which Christianity has about zero application. I basically said “Stop fighting over this please, there are a lot of atheists here and they’re all being turned off by us / seeing their prejduices about us confirmed” and got accused of being “anti-Christian” for trying to be a peacemaker.

  • Clinton won the popular vote.

  • LadySunami

    Hitler murdered Jews out of the idea that the Germans were the supreme race (the Aryans)! But, hey, at least he wasn’t hypocritical. So, er go, he’s not to be judged.

    The exception in that case wouldn’t be because of hypocracy, but because Jesus calls calls people to love and serve one another. Sitting by while a mass murderer kills a bunch of people isn’t terribly loving from the perspective of the people being murdered, now is it.

    Remember, Corey made it quite clear in his call not to judge others that judgement is wrong because it hinders people’s ability to love one another.

    No, Graham judges people sinful according to his theology which he believes applies to all people and outlaws certain practices/ways of life which he deems homosexuality as being a part.

    Right, but not everybody believes in Graham’s god (or if they are Christian they don’t necessarily believe in the same version of said god).

    Graham believes that his god will send people to hell simply for not believing in him. What good does it do if Graham prevents gay individuals who aren’t a part of his religion from entering into same-sex relationships? Same-sex relationship or not, he thinks they are going to hell. It still doesn’t make any sense for him to judge gay people for their homosexuality specifically.

    Corey’s own “moral system” (actually theology) prevents him from doing this!

    Does it? I’m pretty sure Corey doesn’t consider scripture inerrant, and as I observed before the blog page you cite makes it clear he is against judgement specifically because it hinders people’s ability to love one another. If X is wrong because it causes Y, it follows that a version of X that doesn’t cause Y isn’t wrong (unless it causes some other bad thing of course).

    I’m not arguing that showing people the folly in their own “moral systems” isn’t important. This is what Jesus did. However, it’s blatantly fallacious to do what Benjamin Corey has done, which is not to show just follow, but to publicly shame and ridicule AND JUDGE Franklin Graham–a practice which Benjamin Corey deems forbidden.

    Again, he deemed it forbidden specifically because it hinders love. Sometimes publically calling people out for their bad behavior actually is loving though, especially if they’re a public figure with a great deal of influence. First, it makes it much more likely they’ll actually listen to you, and second, it gets the message out to those they’ve influenced many of whom likely have the same belief system and are engaged in the same kind of hypocrisy.

  • Ron McPherson

    Matthew,

    Thanks so much. I very much appreciate that your responses to all are always very kind and balanced. God bless brother.

  • So far. After Arizona the difference is 430,000 votes with Michigan and the outstanding mail in ballots to go. Out of 120 million votes I’d say it’s 50/50 on the popular vote.

  • LadySunami

    And who the hell gives you authority to make that call?!
    Certainly not a God as revealed through some non-inerrant scripture.

    Nobody gave me the authority. I have the right to express my opinions though, haven’t I?

    Also, you seem to have mistaken me for a Christian. While I was raised Christian I am not one any longer.

    However, according to your theology, you approach what is loving on the basis of how those needing it perceive it.

    I don’t have a theology, but you’re right that I consider people’s perceptions of an action to be important when determining how loving it is. I consider verifiable consequences to be important too though… which ties into what you said next.

    I’m sorry, but a drug addict coming down doesn’t view withholding the needle as loving.

    Indeed not, but this is where verifiable consequences are important to consider. If a drug addict continues doing drugs their quality of life in the stretches where they aren’t shooting up is just going to get worse and worse, not to mention their highs getting less potent with time. These are all verifiable consequences of drug addition. Helping them get out of that downward spiral is a kindness (provided they aren’t dying of an inoperable brain tumor or something, in which case there might not be a good reason to take away their drugs after all).

    A 5 year old child doesn’t view withholding TV or outside play as loving.

    Sometimes they’re right and it actually isn’t. If a parent takes away TV privlages as a punishment to prevent harmful behavior and verifiable future suffering, then it is indeed loving. If the parent is any of those described on the “raised by narcissists” Reddit I sometimes read, and they took it away as some sort of power play, then it’s not loving at all. Making it so your children are perpetually terrified of you snapping and punishing them without cause has verifiable long term negative physchological effects.

    And similarly, in respect to Graham, a homosexual being told their homosexuality is due to sin and isn’t in fact “natural” also does not appear to be loving.

    It appears that way because it isn’t. There are verifiable negative consequences to teaching people homosexuals are horrible evil sinners. LGBT people are more likely to be thrown out of their homes, more likely to have psychological disorders, more likely to commit suicide, etc. Graham has shown absolutely no concern about these consequences (the “fruits of his labor” if you like Christian idioms) preferring to wallow in his self righteousness instead.

    You see, this is what leads to intolerance. You can’t tell people they’re wrong, when you’re busy trying to be affirming for the sake of “loving”. It leads to intolerance like that of our current culture where people feel they have to walk on eggshells so as not to offend.

    People trying not to offend each other? Oh no! What a nightmare!

    I think you forgot what I said earlier about the tolerance paradox. To build a more tolerant society there must be some level of intolerance for intolerance. It would be nice if I could think of some way around that, but I haven’t been able to.

    So then “these people” are given a card to say, “They don’t like me.” And before you know it, this “loving community” tells those who disagree to “F-off”, which happened to me in this blog TODAY!

    I’d say they don’t like you because you’re being incredibly rude to an individual who is trying to call out the bad behavior of an influential figure. It’s incredibly frustrating when every attempt to shed light on intolerance, injustice, hypocracy, etc. attracts folks keen on making the speaker shut up about it already.

    Graham, I’m sure, wouldn’t find Benjamin Corey’s manner here to be very loving.

    How would you lovingly call Graham out for his hypocracy?

    Ben might not be portraying Graham in a very flattering light, but he is staying true to his intent of increasing love as a whole.

    Surely you can reason this out. Graham probably thinks the more you allow them to take part in their vices and be affirmed in it, the less likely they’ll ever reach repentance.

    What he thinks means little in light of the actual evidence it does not work. See what I said above about the verifiable consequences of mistreating gay people.

    IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY! The mere fact that he’s against it and is doing that very thing is the hypocrisy!

    It absolutely matters why. Ben’s theology isn’t one of rules that must be followed in all circumstances, even if following them puts you in the position of violating their original intent. Ben, like many progressive Christians, sees biblical rules not as moral absolutes but as tools or “rules of thumb” meant to facilitate the goal of love.

    Peter saw it that way as well, based on his letters:

    Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

    Romans 13:8-10

    I might not agree with Ben’s theological claims, but I respect his willingness to go beyond simple proof texting and his refusal to adhere to the letter of the law when it violates that spirit of the law.

    Look, if Ben had lost sight of the purpose behind his “do not judge” post, then calling him out on it would be perfectly reasonable. Instead you found a rule that Ben was advocating for certain specific reasons and are upset that when those certain specific reasons don’t come into play he doesn’t follow the rule any more. You might as well yell at a kid you overheard telling his friends not to pull the fire alarm because when there was a fire the kid went and pulled it himself.

  • LadySunami

    Just begging the question:
    What if Franklin Graham is right? What if gays are, indeed, sinners? Would it not be loving to tell them so?

    Sure, but you’d need a much better explanation for why it’s a sin then just “God said so.”

    Would they understand love as expressed by God, unless first having a repentant heart with which to experience it?

    Why not? Why would a “repentant heart” be necessary to recognize god’s love?

    I read FormerlyFundie from time to time thoroughly ashamed at the hypocrisy of his work and the vitriol of his followers.

    But it’s not hypocritical. Again, Ben isn’t a literalist and doesn’t see the Biblical rules themselves as unassailable absolutes. What is absolute is the goal of those rules, and should the rules end up hindering that goal in certain circumstances then it’s the rule that must give way, not the goal.

    Graham is different in that he does consider the Bible to be inerrant and the rules to be all encompassing. When he ignores the rules for the sake of some goal then he is a hypocrite because he’s made a living telling other people there are no exceptions and the rules must always be followed.

    I’m not saying that is necessarily a bad idea, but it is certainly a bad idea if you think the better substitute it with some form of personal moral system which is bound to be fraught (like all human endeavors) with shortcomings.

    The benefit of human based moral systems is when you find shortcomings you can actually fix it. When you believe scripture to be inerrant on the other had you can’t even point out errors let alone fix them.

    I’m pretty sure Ben isn’t my leader… He’s a guy with a blog that I find interesting.

  • Bones

    Then neither did Jesus.

    And interesting you add a verse in which Jesus describes conservatives.

  • Bones

    I hope so too.

    It isn’t everyday someone comes on here accusing Jesus of being a hypocrite just to score personal points.

  • Bones

    He probably did when referring to people who practise and excuse oppression.

  • Bones

    Lol the evangelicals malign themselves.

  • Bones

    OK.

    These are the same bishops who sat on their hands while their clergy gorged themselves on the weak and vulnerable all around the world.

  • I hear a lot of people blaming Christianity for the election of drumpf/trump-pence. It was not Christianity, it was Christians who chose not to pay attention to the teachings of Jesus Christ when they voted. They are Christians who have embraced the gospel of greed that is all the rage in America, and once one accepts the perversion that Christianity endorses greed it is easy to also accept racism, misogyny, xenophobia, sexual assault, homophobia, and authoritarianism are basic tenants of the faith. I do disagree with Mr Corey about Hell. I do believe in it, don’t want anyone to go there, and I can not share his condemnation of franklin graham to Hell. He is right about franklin graham deliberately lying to America and perverting the teachings of Christianity to the extent that his version, his vision of our faith holds more in common with daesh / isis than Jesus Christ. I will leave the judging to God…..

  • Matthew

    Not always, but I do try. I’m currently reading a book about how to build Christian community with both conservatives and progressives/liberals. Its focus is the parish, but I think it has broader reach as well. God bless you too brother.

  • LadySunami

    And therein lies the rub.
    Homosexuality has been embraced by our society, counter to what you’d like to say, people don’t care that gay people are gay…even MOST CHRISTIANS. Yet, suicides (for gays and non-gays) are on the rise in this most accepting society, and more and more people (as a % of population) identify as gay.

    Really now? I’ve got to wonder where you live, because where I live while overt homophobia is generally frowned upon and so has certainly lessened with time, I definitely wouldn’t say “people don’t care that gay people are gay.” It’s really not hard to find anti-gay hate and vitriol in America, Josh, especially if you live in a more religiously conservative area.

    One, like Franklin Graham, might draw the conclusion that homosexuality is correlated with suicide. One might also identify this is a broader issue: identity crisis. In which case, one would not be considered unloving in telling them their sin is the cause of these things. It’s just a though.

    In which case one would be an idiot because the actual data shows that accepting one’s sexual orientation and having loving and accepting family members does a wonderful job of reducing risk of suicide among gay and lesbian individuals.

    LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.

    Each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average.

    You’re right about the suicide rate increasing, but considering all the research done on LGBT specific suicide rates tolerance is most certainly not the cause. The research is somewhat inconclusive at the moment, but it seems that poverty, depression, and high stress competitive environments are all contributing factors. I’m guessing a more stable economy and less pressure on students to get perfect grades and employees to get perfect performance evaluations would do a lot to reduce people’s over all stress levels and thus the likelihood of them committing suicide.

    I’ve not been incredibly rude; I merely pointed out that he’s not following what he teaches.

    While completely ignoring the people trying to explain to you that “what he teaches” is not “thou shall not judge is a universal moral law that must be followed at all times and in all circumstances.”

    What intolerance? What injustice? What hypocrisy?

    Franklin Graham’s.

    I’ve not defended Franklin Graham. I merely, like Jesus, told him advised that he might want to quit trying to point out Graham’s speck and instead deal with his own plank.

    But Graham’s is not a speck, Josh. Specks do not lead to the things I mentioned previously, like LGBT people being more likely to be thrown out of their homes, having an increased chance of psychological disorders, or becoming more likely to commit suicide. Graham’s actions have very real and horrible consequences, while at worst Ben’s make you a bit irritated by perceived hypocrisy.

    I’ve not told him to shut up; I’ve just requested that he concedes some teachings.

    What do you want him to concede exactly? Do not judge is still a good general rule you know, it just doesn’t apply to every single circumstance. Do you want him to say something along those lines?

    If you wanted clarification you could have said so. Something like, “Ben, you have said in the past it is best not to judge, but in this post you are judging Franklin Graham. Is there some reason you consider judgement justified in this context?”

    Instead it felt more like the drive by commentary of some Trump supporter who posts a picture of some female celebrity grabbing her own crotch with the caption, “I notice you hypocritical progressives didn’t object to this p*ssy grabbing.”

    If you genuinely don’t understand why a person is behaving/reacting differently in some situation, then ask them about it. Maybe their answer will satisfy you, maybe it won’t, but at least your criticism will be a more informed one.

    And not to mention, when someone says “F-Off” IT SPEAKS VOLUMES about the intolerance inherent in forums that are busy trying to weed out intolerance from the Christian fabric.

    I’d say it says more about how fed up that particular person was with people trying to defend or divert attention away from public figures who abuse their status to harm people. Like I said before, “It’s incredibly frustrating when every attempt to shed light on intolerance, injustice, hypocrisy, etc. attracts folks keen on making the speaker shut up about it already.”

  • Bones

    Hey Josh….Just f*ck off…

    Jesus has nothing to do with your conservative nonsense….

    It speaks volumes that you think Jesus is a hypocrite.

  • JamieHaman

    If Franklin Graham would just quit proving what a crappy human being he is, well, then we could quit reading about this moronic, vindictive, lying man whom a whole lot of Evangelicals follow.
    Personally, I’d like to see him sit down and shut up.

  • JamieHaman

    Ya know, that’s the first workable theory I’ve heard on Franklin. I think I’ll spread it around.
    Thanks.

  • tfjtoday

    Hey, if you don’t believe in the Hell, whatever Rev. Graham says or does absolutely doesn’t matter anyway, right? According to the “progressive” version of Christianity, everybody can go to Heaven. And the Bible says “forgive.” “Love your enemy.” “If he slapped your right cheek…..” and so on. In your own standards, Rev. Graham can go to Heaven anyway, and you have to forgive and love him whatever he says or does. And you have to give him your left cheek. LOL

    “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?” LOL

  • LadySunami

    So you believe that if everyone goes to heaven that their earthly actions suddenly wouldn’t matter? You can act for purposes other then directing your soul to a certain afterlife you know. Graham’s lies and bigotry are hurting people in the here and now, and that’s worth opposing regardless of his “final destination.”

    Also, as I understand it many progressives think heaven is a punishment for the cruel. Think about it, heaven would be an awfully uncomfortable place for someone like Graham, who would spend eternity surrounded by all the people he ever victimized or threatened with damnation. (I’d add a caveat that all the people who he injured wouldn’t be able to see him, lest they also suffer by being reminded who hurt them, but then I’m an atheist and this is all hypothetical musings to me).

  • Blerg

    I had thought Franklin had explicitly endorsed Trump, so I went back and looked at some of the coverage of many of his pro-Trump statements, and Dr. Corey is right – Graham always slipped in a statement about “not endorsing anyone”, despite his obvious bias.

    Franklin Graham is just one of the shameless evangelical leaders who should be called to account for supporting the candidate who LEAST represents Christian values. I’m not saying Mrs. Clinton is Christlike; but her platform was more in line with Christian values than the republicans’.

  • Blerg

    If there weren’t so mamy Christians who trusted him because of his surname, you might be right. Unfortunately, my Facebook was (and still is) filled with articles shared by my fundagelical friends and family, letting me know how much Franklin loves Trump. Several shared a misleading article that falsely implied Billy Graham endorsed Trump. Franklin Graham is implicitly trusted by these people because of his father. He must be exposed as a false prophet.

  • Blerg

    So it’s not Christian to call out false prophets as liars and hypocrites?

  • Blerg

    I’ve been called anti-Christian for suggesting that women who get abortions should be loved and treated with kindness instead of judgment. Also, for suggesting that American Christians who whine about being persecuted when they’re called out for being hateful, are a slap in the face of Christians around the world who are beaten, tortured, and killed for their faith. American Christians (no not all, but an awfully large, loud majority) are an embarrassment to Christ.

  • Blerg

    When he makes statements like the ones in this article (which he did throughout the campaign), he makes himself the liar. http://www.churchleaders.com/daily-buzz/281852-franklin-graham-evangelicals-trump.html

  • Blerg

    That’s because Franklin has no ministry. He plays on his dad’s name to get rich. He’s deplorable.

  • Blerg

    Donald Trump is a bigot, a racist, a xenophobe, a misogynist, one who mocks the disabled, brags about sexually assaulting women, and stirs the hatred of the most racist Deplorables among us. He is a liar and a cheater; he cheats those who do business with him (70+ lawsuits) and cheats on his wives. Hillary Clinton misused email. I think his election is evidence of just how un-Christian this nation is.

  • Those outrageous words are just part of the Democrat strategy to destroy him so Hillary could win the election. You just repeated the Party Line that did not work. She lost convincingly. Look at the electoral map and notice your fellow citizens who were not deceived. This election has buried Politically Correct Speech forever. The progressive wing of the Democrat Party has been silenced. Oh, they will thrash around for a while but they are gone with Obama for the next thirty years.

    Do you not know that under the Obama presidency Democrats are at there lowest totals in a hundred years for elected offices across the country: Federal, State and Local. Obama’s administration has been a total failure and his “Legacy” is forever tarnished. If he dares to Pardon Hillary for her various crimes he will complete his humiliation. From Obamacare to the Iran deal and his unconstitutional Executive Orders – all will be undone. And guess what, the country will prosper again!

    Cheater more aptly describes Hillary who received debate questions in advance and did not disclose them. “Misused email” is a vast understatement and the people were not fooled. The Clinton Global Initiative is simply a scam to enrich the Clinton’s and their family. This will be exposed under a Trump Presidency. Whether they will pay for this unjust enrichment remains to be seen.

    Our nation is in deep trouble that I agree with. God is now pushed out of every institution as if He is unwanted. The bible is ridiculed on a daily basis. Even the people who reply to me on this blog with the most hateful comments and foul language are no different. If this is how a Progressive Christian debates, the we are in deep trouble.

  • Blerg

    Too long, too much derpitude. Come back when you know a little something about the world in which we live. I didn’t use foul language towards you, but I understand why some would. It’s hard to watch the name of Christ sullied by the hate, ignorance, and fear of Trump supporters.

  • tfjtoday

    Thank you for taking my comment seriously. I was just wondering that if the author of this article doesn’t believe in the Hell, why does he have to say “Rev. Graham will go to Hell?”. Mr. Corey is condeming someone with standards that he doesn’t believe in himself. That made me laugh….Opposing Rev. Graham is fine. But this is a political or (possibly) legal matter. If you believe he was abusing the previlege of religious organization while secretly promoting the Republican agenda, just hire a lawyer and sue him!

  • Carmen Flanders

    Corey, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. EVERYTHING!!!!!!

  • LadySunami

    He’s pointing out Graham’s hypocracy. Pointing out Graham is wrong by Ben’s standards isn’t going to mean much to Graham or his supporters because they don’t particularly care about Ben’s standards. Pointing out that Graham is not even trying to follow his own standards on the other hand is likely to have a much larger impact on Graham and his followers.

    Read through the post again and you’ll see Ben doesn’t say Graham should or will actually go to hell, just that if Graham’s claims about sin and the afterlife were correct that would be the case. If Graham’s claims are correct Ben would presumably be going to hell too, so it’s not really the gloating threat it is in the hands of some Christians, it’s just an observation.

  • Bones

    Nah..even I wouldn’t like to see Graham burn forever…..

    In a way it’s not his fault that he’s turned into an arsehole….

    It’s part of how he’s been brought up….

  • Bones

    Graham’s evil but he doesn’t deserve hell….

    No one does…..

  • apoxbeonyou

    Carmen, what is wrong with your grammar?

  • apoxbeonyou

    LMAO….please tell me this was a ky jelly reference.

  • apoxbeonyou

    You don’t know that he didn’t. But we do know that he pissed off a bunch of peeps so much that they tortured them. I mean, he called them a brood of vipers and tossed around their furniture.

  • LadySunami

    Name one large group of people (whom the media doesn’t propagate such as Westboro–which is a small church primarily composed of a homophobic family).

    Because all bigotry is the result of formalized groups, right? Wait, no. No it’s not.

    FBI statistics show that 20.8% of all single bias hate crimes are were committed because of bias against a specific sexual orientation.

    40% of all homeless youth are LGBT despite them only accounting for about 7% of the population. While there are various reasons for youth homelessness, homelessness amongst LGBT youth is most often due to conflict over their sexual orientation or gender identity. More then 1 in 4 LGBT youth who come out to their families are thrown out of their homes.

    If you really insist on specific groups this link will take you to a list of anti-LGBT hate groups designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    This just isn’t conclude-able. The evidence suggest that LGBTQ teens are at significantly higher risks of suicide.
    Granted, rejection and harassment can drive people to suicide, but it doesn’t say anything about the base line suicide rate of LGBTQ teens who don’t experience these things. To use these two lines to say that “it’s lower”, it’s not extrapolated from these conclusions that it is no more than non-LGBTQ people.

    Let’s suppose you’re right and even with perfect equality and no bigotry what-so-ever the suicide rate for LGBT individuals was still somewhat higher then that of the general population. How would “telling them their sin is the cause of these things” reduce this rate in any way? Believing that homosexuality is sinful is what causes all the hatred, family rejection and homelessness that dramatically increases their suicide rate in the first place.

    Come on now! Poverty and high stress have always existed! Depression, however, IS on the rise. Yet it’s on the rise in 8 years of Democratic (HIGHLY DEMOCRATIC) presidency.
    This should say something about national policy.

    Are you serious? The rate of suicide has been slowly increasing since about 2001. Last I checked we had a Republican president then. The rise of depression also began a lot earlier then 2008. It has in fact been rising since the 1940s.

    Again, 8 years of presidency with a piss poor economy!

    Of how quickly you’ve forgotten, the “Great Recession” began under George W. Bush in December of 2007 after approximately 8 years of continual deregulation, tax cuts, and decreases in spending on social programs. But yeah, lets blame the administration that came into office after the crash for it.

    Next, No Child Left Behind (a Bush, non-conservative education reform act) did little to push for performance evaluation. If anything (and i know this, because I know many teachers—my own family including, who are Democrats historically) NCLB brought down the performance bar. Thus, school has gotten easier!

    I’m not talking about grade school here, I’m talking about high school and university levels. The rapidly increasing college costs have put a lot of stress on both university students themselves and on high school students desperate to earn scholarships that might help them afford it.

    So would it be any different if, instead, Graham went after Corey (and not the community) for teach affirmation of LGBTQ individuals because Corey has bad theology?

    If Graham was criticizing progressive theology instead of LGBT individuals you mean? It would be rather self serving if Ben was criticizing him for that and so make hypocrisy more likely… assuming that’s what you’re asking (I’m honestly not sure).

    This isn’t the fault of Franklin Graham–sorry, but Graham is not THAT influential.

    He is an influential evangelical leader and evangelical Christians account for many of the families who aren’t accepting of their LGBT children. That he isn’t solely responsible doesn’t mean he isn’t responsible at all and is thus immune from criticism.

    Let the moral relativism begin.

    It’s not “moral relativism” to acknowledge that in different contexts the morality of a specific action will be different. Even the most extreme fundamentalist knows this, though they like to pretend it isn’t true.

    If you need proof that context is important in all moral systems, consider the following:

    A man has sex with a woman.
    Were his actions moral or not?

    I’m guessing you require more details in order to determine the morality of his actions, right? Well there you go. You too are now a “moral relativist” according to all the authoritarian Christians I’ve ever spoken to.

    “Instead it felt more like the drive by commentary of some Trump supporter who posts a picture of some female celebrity grabbing her own crotch with the caption, “I notice you hypocritical progressives didn’t object to this p*ssy grabbing.””
    What?

    You posted a link to another post as if it were some sort of “gotcha” revealing Ben’s hypocrisy while completely ignoring the different contexts of that blog post and this one. This is the same sort of behavior that can been seen in Trump supporters who post images of women grabbing their crotches as if it’s some sort of “gotcha” revealing the hypocrisy the progressives upset at Trump’s p*ssy grabbing comments while completely ignoring the different contexts between women grabbing themselves (consensual) and Trump grabbing women (non-consensual).

    THIS IS THE PIN IN CUSHION RIGHT HERE!
    You entire reason for this post isn’t an understanding about the intolerance and hypocrisy thereof expressed by Benjamin Corey, Bones (the one who said “f-off”), or yourself. Instead, you come back as if that phrase is almost appropriate! You come back to apologize for the apparent frustrations. It is complete intolerance, and your apology for it is also intolerance!

    Benjamin Corey isn’t being a hypocrite. I explained this to you several times.

    Remember, Corey made it quite clear in his call not to judge others that judgement is wrong because it hinders people’s ability to love one another.

    I’m pretty sure Corey doesn’t consider scripture inerrant, and as I observed before the blog page you cite makes it clear he is against judgement specifically because it hinders people’s ability to love one another. If X is wrong because it causes Y, it follows that a version of X that doesn’t cause Y isn’t wrong (unless it causes some other bad thing of course).

    Again, he deemed it forbidden specifically because it hinders love. Sometimes publically calling people out for their bad behavior actually is loving though, especially if they’re a public figure with a great deal of influence. First, it makes it much more likely they’ll actually listen to you, and second, it gets the message out to those they’ve influenced many of whom likely have the same belief system and are engaged in the same kind of hypocrisy.

    It absolutely matters why. Ben’s theology isn’t one of rules that must be followed in all circumstances, even if following them puts you in the position of violating their original intent. Ben, like many progressive Christians, sees biblical rules not as moral absolutes but as tools or “rules of thumb” meant to facilitate the goal of love.

    Look, if Ben had lost sight of the purpose behind his “do not judge” post, then calling him out on it would be perfectly reasonable. Instead you found a rule that Ben was advocating for certain specific reasons and are upset that when those certain specific reasons don’t come into play he doesn’t follow the rule any more. You might as well yell at a kid you overheard telling his friends not to pull the fire alarm because when there was a fire the kid went and pulled it himself.

    Sneer at this as an example of progressive moral relativism if you want, but please recognize that progressive morality is goal based, not rule based. As long as the goals are preserved there is no hypocrisy in saying “in this specific case this rule does not apply.”

    While I personally prefer to avoid swearing it doesn’t really bother me when other people use colorful language to express themselves. What matters is the content of the message, not how politely or impolitely it’s stated. Bones was asking you to leave. That’s not some horrible insult or a call to remove your civil rights (unlike many of Graham’s statements about LGBT individuals… yes I will keep bringing him up because he’s the topic of this article).

    I wasn’t aware I was apologizing for frustrations… I’m pretty sure I was just pointing them out.

    I, however, do not share this burden. I bit my tongue while allowing this. However, the complete hypocrisy that YOU NEED TO REALIZE is just too compelling for me to have stayed silent.

    You haven’t been biting your tongue at all… you’ve made it perfectly clear you think the lot of us are intolerant hypocrites.

    Graham says LGBTQ are sinners worthy of hell (or some paraphrase of this).

    Which is an incredibly judgmental thing to say is it not?

    According to his theology (assuming its somewhat grounded in Evangelicalism), this is true for every individual.

    That this judgment supposedly applies to everyone doesn’t make it any less cruel or horrific. Besides, he doesn’t go around advocating the removal of everyone’s rights, he specifically targets LGBT individuals.

    Corey says Graham is wrong and is going to his own hell.

    Um, no. Try reading the blog post again, particularly this part:

    So, is Franklin Graham going to hell? Does he stand condemned?

    I don’t believe in hell, and even if I did, I don’t believe we know who is in and who is out.

    BUT…

    The irony is that if he is right about the Bible being the authoritative, inerrant Word of God, if what Franklin Graham himself teaches is true, if it’s true that “all liars will have their place in the lake of fire,” and if it’s true that hypocrites are sons of hell who will be excluded from God’s Kingdom, Graham is on the list of people the Bible says will go there.

    In fact, it seems clear that by Franklin’s own standards, he condemns himself.

    Corey doesn’t believe in hell, and says that if hell existed he wouldn’t know the selection criteria anyway. What he is observing is that a man who claims there is a hell and that he knows the selection criteria would, based on his own selection criteria, end up going there.

    Corey’s followers says, yeah well Graham is the one who is judging.

    Specifically Graham is the one who is judging in a manner that hinders “reflect[ing] the love of God to others.” Corey is then judging Graham for being judgmental (incidentally much as Jesus judged those who were judgmental based on the Biblical narrative).

    Nobody is claiming Corey isn’t judging Graham, they’re pointing out the way both types of judgement differ from one another and why that difference is important. I direct you once again to the “tolerance paradox” I mentioned earlier. How are we meant to reduce judgmental behaviors without judging those who demonstrate them?

    IT IS THE SAME THING!

    No, it’s not. Context matters, Josh.

    I realize accepting the importance of context is frustrating, and it makes morality that much more complicated, but it’s also a necessity.

  • Nick

    This is a perspective I needed to see. I am having a hard time getting over the anger at the hypocrisy of Christian Americans.

  • Herm

    Thank you nick. We need your perspective, also.

  • LadySunami

    Third, Dr. Corey completely ignores disciplinary procedures prescribed in the Bible. If someone is found to be sinning, he/she must be admonished through one-on-one meeting. If he/she refuses to repent, then handle the issue in collaboration with other fellow believers. If it doesn’t work, take it to Church. If he/she still refuses, then kick him/her out of congregation. (Matthew 18:15-17)

    I don’t think Dr. Corey even knows Graham personally, so it would be hard to discuss the matter one on one. As you say it’s very important to consider context. Matthew 18 is presumably about an ordinary member of a small church community, not a public speaker with a massive ministry whom the concerned party doesn’t actually know personally, and who is probably contacted so often they have secretaries who go through their mail and decide what to forward to them or not.

    Second, in accordance with the Bible, if you want to accuse other Christian of sinning, you have to secure two or more witnesses. (Matthew 18:16) Did Dr. Corey has secure witnesses ? I doubt Dr. Corey doen’t even secure concrete evidences.

    With modern technology it’s quite easy for us to see Graham’s lies personally, so other witnesses are unecessary in this case. His 50 state rally effort is well documented, as his response to the election which Ben quotes verbatim.

    Do you really think that in order to avoid going to Hell a Believer has to avoid telling even a slightest lie throughout his/her lifetime? I think Dr. Corey is effectively saying that he assumes Rev. Graham believes in this kind of stupidity.

    Not at all, but Graham hasn’t just told a couple of lies in the past, he lies all the time, continuously.

    You mention one thing Graham said about repentance, but what do you suppose he would say to a gay man who did repent in the proper evangelical manner but was also married to another man, sleeps with him regularly, and has no intention of ending the marriage? Based on my past conversations with evangelicals he would say something like, “You can’t really be saved as long as you continue with this sinful behavior without making any effort to stop.” And yet, somehow when it comes to his lying problem this suddenly isn’t a hindrance.

    If a gay man who repented but continues to sleep with his husband anyway is damned, then a liar who repented but continues to lie anyway is also damned. Graham cannot both condemn homosexuals who repent but remain in homosexual relationships and believe himself immune from damnation despite his continual overt lying.

    He took Matthew 23:13-15, Rev 21:8 and then created such paraphrases as “all liars will have their place in the lake of fire” and “hypocrites are sons of hell who will be excluded from God’s Kingdom.” He simply takes these words out of context.

    You’re absolutely right, but Ben needs to do so in order to judge Graham with his own standard, as Graham does that exact same thing with his anti-homosexual clobber verses. Graham ignores the context of shameful Egyptian and Canaanite practices to be avoided (Leviticus) Roman fertility rights (Romans), and pederasty and the rape of slaves (Corinthians) and uses such verses to condemn and shame modern gay men and women instead.

  • RonnyTX

    RonM to Matthew:
    I see belief (faith) as prompting the desire (coming from the Spirit) to follow Christ (i.e. repentance) with the indwelling Spirit given to us as a pledge and an enabler to bear spiritual fruit (i.e. fruits of the Spirit). But I’m certainly no theologian and these are just my thoughts based on my experiences and with my interpretation of Scripture. Ultimately I believe salvation is all of God with his grace and mercy.

    Ronny to RonM:
    Amen! :-) And it’s because salvation is all of God and God’s love, grace and mercy-because of that, I can see why in the end, it will be well and that for all people. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Blerg to NWaff:
    When he makes statements like the ones in this article (which he did throughout the campaign), he makes himself the liar. http://www.churchleaders.com/d

    Ronny to Blerg:
    Thank you, for posting that link. I’ve read it and saved it! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Josh to Lady Sunami:
    Just begging the question:
    What if Franklin Graham is right? What if gays are, indeed, sinners? Would it not be loving to tell them so? Would they understand love as expressed by God, unless first having a repentant heart with which to experience it?

    Ronny to Josh:
    I’m a gay person and of course, all gay people are sinners. Indeed, all people are, including Franklin Graham. And in my being born of God, God simply let me know I was lost, not in a right relationship with God. Then God showed me my sin and brought me to repentance. And just as soon as I had repented, the love of God began to pour out on me. :-) And God put a picture in my mind, of three crosses. And I knew on that center cross was Jesus Christ and that he was there for me, taking all of my sins upon himself. That is how God showed and proved to me, how greatly God/Jesus Christ loved me. :-) But in my being born of God, God never brought up my being gay, much less let me see that such was sin/sinful. No, the sin God showed me in myself, was my selfrighteousnes. My thinking I was better than some other people, because of the church I was a member of. Where did I get that thinking from? I got it from the church I grew up in and was a member of, from 12yo to 16 years old. So to me, the irony is that the sin God showed me in myself and caused me to repent of, I was taught that sin, in the Baptist church, that I grew up in. I was taught, that my being a member of that particular church, made me better than other people. But then, God showed and taught me better, as I was born of God. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    RonM to NWaff:
    When the word “hell” is attributed to Jesus, you realize he used it in reference to Gehenna (the valley of the Hinnom just south of Jerusalem) right? Whether you agree with Ben or not, the thing that must be acknowledged is that Ben does not believe in a hell of eternal conscious torment BECAUSE OF what Jesus said, NOT in spite of it. You may disagree with his interpretation, but believing in a flaming unending afterlife is not a foregone conclusion among many believers which is actually based on the preponderance of evidence from Jesus’ many other teachings.

    Ronny to RonM:
    Amen! And a good article on that here, about Gehenna.

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks, I’ll check it out

  • Blerg

    You’re welcome! :-)

  • tfjtoday

    Have you ever attended one of Graham’s “Decision America Tour” rallies? I haven’t and all the slogans and catchphrases I’ve heard about these rallies were “No hope for Democratic and Republican parties, only God can save us,” “Pray for our country,” “Make sure you vote” and so on. I’ve also received numerous newsletters from Graham’s Evangelistic Association but none of these letters included clear words of recommendation suggesting “vote for Clinton” or “Trump” in its text. (One e-mail reads “Before you cast your ballot, research the party platforms on the issues that are important to you—and above all, pray! “) If I have subscribed for BGEA’s detailed guidebooks, maybe I would be able to find out such recommendation but I haven’t.

    Unless you have established that he exploited these “politically neutral” religious events to secretly push attendees to vote for Trump, you can’t condemn him a hypocrite.

    Graham’s personal view on the election results, which he expressed via his facebook post, doesn’t necessarily proves Dr Corey’s suspicion about Graham’s alleged abuse of a religious organization. And that’s why I insist on securing witnesses. If some attendees testified that Graham has kicked Hillary-supporting Christians out of the venue or explicitly pressured attendees into supporting Trump, then the allegation will be established. (If the allegation was established, then Rev. Graham must be prosecuted. I agree with the idea that any religious event should not be abused for a political purpose.)

    As for procedures prescribed in the Bible, you’re right about difference between two circumstances. However, I believe that it doesn’t mean modern-day Christians can throw away all of his/her efforts to follow biblical standard in this regard. As I have noted, St. Paul directly confronted and rebuked St. Peter to address his act of hypocrisy. I think St. Paul did so out of true friendship and brotherly love. I feel sad when we see Dr. Corey hasn’t even bothered himself to send a single e-mail to Rev. Graham (or has he?), publically condemning a fellow Christian as a liar and hypocrite without giving him any chance to defend himself. This shows that Dr Corey has absolutely no love for those who explicitly or implicitly support Trump . Doesn’t Bible say “love your enemy?”

    And did you hear or read Rev. Graham actually saying “A gay man who repented but married his husband and continues with homosexual relationship will go to hell?” I’ve not heard him saying it but if he did say so, I would disagree with him. Although evangelical Christians you’ve personally met apparently have such a view (or they told you Graham has said so?), I don’t share their view either. I personally think that this is a matter of personal weakness rather than the loss of salvation. Anyway, I would recommend you to check out exactly what Graham has said. I think he didn’t actually say “hell.” (Maybe he said “a gay man can go to heaven but he must walk away from his sins”)

    Finally, let me address several biblical passages you’ve cited at the end of your post. I’m almost sure that you’ve read some theological materials influenced by such scholars as John Boswell. Having read countless papers, however, I’m convinced that these arguments cannot stand up to scrutiny.

    As you’ve noted, Leviticus implies that sexual immorality was rampant among peoples of Egypt and Canaan (Lev. 18:3). But have you noticed that bestiality (18:23) and incest (18:6-) are also presented as abominable practices alongside homosexuality (18:22)? Do you think that since we’re not ancient Egyptians, we’re allowed to engage in bestiality and incest? Why do you think only homosexuality is permissible today, while other two practices are still prohibited?

    Also read Lev. 18:24 onward. The Bible says God has driven people of Canaan away from their land because they engaged in these abominable acts. It’s not about their race or religious belief at all. God decided to punish them not because they’re Egyptian or Canaanites, but because they did certain things God didn’t want humans to do. It is clear that this prohibition of sexual immorality has nothing to do with pagan practices or ethnicity. These “don’ts” equally applied to God’s people as well as other people.

    With regard to Romans 1, the notion that this chapter only deals with homosexuality in relation to pagan rituals is baseless. Read the chapter from 1:18. St. Paul’s not addressing the status of individual sinners, he sees the issue as a symptom of disease that the entire humanity has been suffering. In this chapter, he practically says homosexuality is a RESULT of human’s fall and sinfulness.

    Dr. Richard Hays explains it like this; “The passage is not merely a polemical denunciation of selected pagan vices; it is a diagnosis of the human condition. The diseased behavior detailed in vv. 24-31 is symptomatic of the one sickness of humanity as a whole. Because they have turned away from God, ‘all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin'” Richard Hays: Relations Natural And Unnatural: Response To John Boswell’s Exegesis Of Romans

    If you have a time, I recommend you check the following to read the whole monograph:
    http://www.dennyburk.com/Stuff/1986-Hays-Nature.pdf

    I have to say that nowhere in I Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 10 clearly suggests that St. Paul is only against child rape and sexual slavery. (Can you tell me exact Greek words that support your opinions?) I think you’ve heard of the Greek word “arsenokoitai” haven’t you?. This is the word that is exactly written in Greek scripture for the English translation “homosexuals”. It is widely agreed upon by many scholars that this word was coined by St. Paul himself who combined “Arsenos; man” and “Koiten; to lie with.” (Even some gay scholars agree with this.) And when we look at Greek Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), Lev. 20:13 includes a passage “άρσενος κοίτην” which attests to the unmistakable connection between multiple new and old testament passages (Lev. 20:13 and I Corinthians 6 /1 Timothy 10), the former of which explicitly condemns homosexuality. It is also widely known that Gentile Churches mainly used Septuagint due to their lack of profiency in Hebrew reading.

    Lastly, I confess that as a sinner, I’m no better than any person who has homosexual or heterosexual inclination. I have no intention to condemn anybody to elevate my moral standing. We’re all sinners. I also believe that gays and lesbians can go to Heaven if they believe in Jesus.

    My point is that since Dr. Corey claims to know Rev. Graham’s standards, I think he should have examined the issue more carefully. I believe that he must first try to contact Rev. Graham directly (as St. Paul did) and that he must secure witnesses (as the Bible tells us) or concrete evidences, so that every reader can clearly see that Graham actively pushed for Trump from his pulpit at his religious rallies.

  • RonnyTX

    Benjamin:
    I don’t believe in hell, and even if I did, I don’t believe we know who is in and who is out.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    You’re right. That is, there is no such thing as a Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment. And as best I understand it now, there was no hell in the bible, until Jerome added that on, to his Latin Vulgate translation. There was no hell in the bible, as it was written in Hebrew and Greek.

    Benjamin:
    BUT…
    The irony is that if he is right about the Bible being the authoritative, inerrant Word of God, if what Franklin Graham himself teaches is true, if it’s true that “all liars will have their place in the lake of fire,” and if it’s true that hypocrites are sons of hell who will be excluded from God’s Kingdom, Graham is on the list of people the Bible says will go there.
    In fact, it seems clear that by Franklin’s own standards, he condemns himself.
    Unless Graham repents and turns to Jesus, he’d better hope he’s wrong about the Bible– and that progressive Christians were right all along to dismiss the idea of hell.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    As much as I dislike somethings, that Franklin Graham says and stands for, I am glad to know, that things will turn out just fine for him. And the same true, for every person from Adam on down. :-)

    And a real good webpage, on the false teaching of hell, by clicking on the following link.

    http://what-the-hell-is-hell.com/2010/introduction-to-the-hell-site/#more-184

  • RonnyTX

    Lady Sunami to Tfjtoday:
    So you believe that if everyone goes to heaven that their earthly actions suddenly wouldn’t matter? You can act for purposes other then directing your soul to a certain afterlife you know. Graham’s lies and bigotry are hurting people in the here and now, and that’s worth opposing regardless of his “final destination.”

    Also, as I understand it many progressives think heaven is a punishment for the cruel. Think about it, heaven would be an awfully uncomfortable place for someone like Graham, who would spend eternity surrounded by all the people he ever victimized or threatened with damnation. (I’d add a caveat that all the people who he injured wouldn’t be able to see him, lest they also suffer by being reminded who hurt them, but then I’m an atheist and this is all hypothetical musings to me).

    Ronny to Lady Sunami:
    If anyone progressive, thinks heaven is a punishment for the cruel, then they are wrong on that. And though you’re an atheist now, I’m getting a smile on my face here now, knowing that you and I will meet, in the next life! :-) Will be good to see and meet you. As well as see and meet, everyone from Adam on down! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Craig:
    I hear a lot of people blaming Christianity for the election of drumpf/trump-pence. It was not Christianity, it was Christians who chose not to pay attention to the teachings of Jesus Christ when they voted. They are Christians who have embraced the gospel of greed that is all the rage in America, and once one accepts the perversion that Christianity endorses greed it is easy to also accept racism, misogyny, xenophobia, sexual assault, homophobia, and authoritarianism are basic tenants of the faith. I do disagree with Mr Corey about Hell. I do believe in it, don’t want anyone to go there, and I can not share his condemnation of franklin graham to Hell. He is right about franklin graham deliberately lying to America and perverting the teachings of Christianity to the extent that his version, his vision of our faith holds more in common with daesh / isis than Jesus Christ. I will leave the judging to God…..

    Ronny to Craig:
    Craig, Ben can’t be condemning Franklin Graham to hell, since he does not believe in such a place.

    And think about, how greatly God/Jesus Christ loves us all. :-) Jesus Christ loves us all so much, he went to the cross and took all of our sins upon himself. By this love/this action, Jesus Christ reconciled us all back to God our Father. :-) No greater love than that! :-) Now think about the One who loves us all so much; but then in time, we had some priests and preachers start telling people, that Jesus Christ created a hell of eternal torment and that most people were going there. Well Craig, when they started teaching that, they were simply slandering, God/Jesus Christ. A lot of good articles about such as this, at tentmaker.org.

  • RonnyTX

    Matthew:
    “What makes one a Christian?”

    RonM to Matthew:
    Ask 100 people and you may get 100 answers. Ultimately, I believe it boils down to those who answer Jesus’ call to “Follow me.” With that comes the forgiveness of sin through the grace of God with the indwelling of the Spirit to enable us.

    RonnyTX to RonM:
    I would simply put it, that is is God who makes one a Christian, a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ. But being born of God, is simply the beginning. For after that, God has much to teach us all. And one of the best things God has taught me, is that I’m not to look up to and believe some religious leaders, as if they were God/Jesus Christ. But instead, I am simply to follow God/Jesus Christ and love all people.

  • RonnyTX

    RonM to Matthew:
    I see belief (faith) as prompting the desire (coming from the Spirit) to follow Christ (i.e. repentance) with the indwelling Spirit given to us as a pledge and an enabler to bear spiritual fruit (i.e. fruits of the Spirit). But I’m certainly no theologian and these are just my thoughts based on my experiences and with my interpretation of Scripture. Ultimately I believe salvation is all of God with his grace and mercy.

    RonnyTX to RonM:
    Amena and amen! :-)

  • Ron McPherson

    Nailed it!!

  • LadySunami

    Graham might be a liar, but he’s also smart enough to figure out that an outright endorsement of a political candidate is illegal. He does the bare minimum to make it seem like he doesn’t endorse a candidate while doing so anyway. If you honestly haven’t noticed it I’m surprised, as he’s not exactly subtle about it. I’ll give you an example:

    “The crude comments made by Donald J. Trump more than 11 years ago cannot be defended. But the godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton likewise cannot be defended. I am not endorsing any candidates in this election. I have said it throughout this presidential campaign, and I will say it again—both candidates are flawed.

    The only hope for the United States is God. Our nation’s many sins have permeated our society, leading us to where we are today. But as Christians we can’t back down from our responsibility to remain engaged in the politics of our nation.

    On November 8th we will all have a choice to make. The two candidates have very different visions for the future of America. The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court. That impacts everything.

    There’s no question, Trump and Clinton scandals might be news for the moment, but who they appoint to the Supreme Court will remake the fabric of our society for our children and our grandchildren, for generations to come.

    Which do you suppose Graham expects to be worse in the eyes of his supporters… 11 year old “crude comments” (note he doesn’t even mention the actual issue, which was the implication of sexual assault, not the “crudeness”) or a “godless progressive agenda”? What message do you think he’s trying to get across when he describes a certain candidate’s agenda as godless and then- after a brief aside claiming he’s ‘totally not endorsing anyone guys, really’- tells his audience the only hope for the United States is God?

    The talk of the Supreme Court is a not at all subtle endorsement of his candidate as well. Franklin Graham has made it very clear he believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned and it’s no secret which candidate has promised to appoint justices that are willing to do just that.

    Ben and I are not fools, so we are both more then capable of understanding his insinuations, as is his audience.

    If some attendees testified that Graham has kicked Hillary-supporting Christians out of the venue or explicitly pressured attendees into supporting Trump, then the allegation will be established. (If the allegation was established, then Rev. Graham must be prosecuted. I agree with the idea that any religious event should not be abused for a political purpose.)

    Which is precisely why he wouldn’t kick out Hillary supporters and only makes thinly veiled references to who he wants his audience to vote for. As long as he sticks to insinuation and very unsubtle hints he knows nobody is going to do anything about it. After all, a group of pastors started an initiative known as “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” that regularly send tapes of overtly political sermons to the IRS, pretty much daring them to press charges and remove their tax exempt status. The pastors know if the IRS does do anything about it it will spark protests from their Christian followers who will spin it into being a story about anti-Christian persecution. (The IRS knows this too, which is why they haven’t done anything about it. It’s a lose-lose situation). As long as Graham includes even the tiniest bit of plausible deniability he knows it’s perfectly safe for him to endorse candidates.

    I looked up a Graham quote specifically about gay Christians to make sure my assumption was correct:

    Listen, I’m not here to bash gays, I don’t want to do that – and God does love them. I have people ask me, can a gay person go to Heaven? Absolutely, sure. But the gay person is going to have to repent of their sins and turn from their sins, leave their sins, and they have to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him as their Savior. They have to be willing to follow him as their Lord. But you cannot stay gay and continue to call yourself a Christian. You can’t do it.

    Just as I thought Graham says a person cannot be both gay and Christian at the same time and that they must “leave their sins” to go to Heaven. Well I counter that a person cannot both be a liar and a genuinely saved evangelical Christian, so Graham has to leave behind his sin of lying if he’s going to get a chance at Heaven.

    As you’ve noted, Leviticus implies that sexual immorality was rampant among peoples of Egypt and Canaan (Lev. 18:3). But have you noticed that bestiality (18:23) and incest (18:6-) are also presented as abominable practices alongside homosexuality (18:22)? Do you think that since we’re not ancient Egyptians, we’re allowed to engage in bestiality and incest? Why do you think only homosexuality is permissible today, while other two practices are still prohibited?

    Have you noticed that having sex with a menstruating woman is also mentioned in addition to those things? Do you think that should still be prohibited? I don’t, and I don’t think any of the other prohibitions should be honored just because that particular chapter says so either. The morality of the actions mentioned should be considered and determined based on other factors. For instance, I consider bestiality to be immoral because animals cannot provide consent. I similarly consider sexual relations between a child and the person who raised them (regardless of their familial status) to be immoral because I worry about possible “grooming” as it’s called.

    Consider also that the Biblical patriarchs themselves broke many of these rules without comment. Both Abraham and Isaac were married to their half sisters after all, and Jacob married two sisters, Leah and Rachel. Nowhere does it indicate they sinned by doing these things. Also, despite prohibiting sexual relations between a man and his brother’s wife, later on such relations are mandated should the brother die childless (aka. Levirate marriage). Either the Bible is contradictory or there is some additional context here that needs to be considered (namely the Israelites trying to distinguish themselves from their cultural neighbors by setting up completely different rules of behavior).

    Also read Lev. 18:24 onward. The Bible says God has driven people of Canaan away from their land because they engaged in these abominable acts. It’s not about their race or religious belief at all. God decided to punish them not because they’re Egyptian or Canaanites, but because they did certain things God didn’t want humans to do. It is clear that this prohibition of sexual immorality has nothing to do with pagan practices or ethnicity. These “don’ts” equally applied to God’s people as well as other people.

    Except they don’t apply to God’s people when those people are Abraham, Isaac or Jacob apparently. Just saying.

    You would do well to consider Leviticus 20 as well before trying to determine the goal of these laws. Here is portion of Leviticus 20 that comes after the list of punishments for the crimes mentioned in Leviticus 18:

    “‘Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.

    “‘You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those that I have set apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.

    Leviticus 20:22-26

    Eating unclean animals also defiles a person, just as the Leviticus 18 activities were said to defile a person, and it was specifically because they were defiled that God drove out the nations before Israel. Why then do neither Jews nor Christians claim eating unclean foods is immoral despite them being equally defiling? (Jews expect other Jews to follow the dietary restrictions, but they don’t expect this of anyone else.)

    With regard to Romans 1, the notion that this chapter only deals with homosexuality in relation to pagan rituals is baseless. Read the chapter from 1:18. St. Paul’s not addressing the status of individual sinners, he sees the issue as a symptom of disease that the entire humanity has been suffering. In this chapter, he practically says homosexuality is a RESULT of human’s fall and sinfulness.

    It’s not “baseless” at all.

    For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Romans 1: 21-27

    As the parts I put in bold demonstrate, Paul makes it quite clear he is discussing pagans and pagan worship, which makes it easy to see he’s discussing the common pagan practice at the time known as temple prostitution.

    If you need a quote from someone else, I offer the following:

    …there can be little doubt but that Paul is referring to the practice of ritual prostitution which was all but universal in the idolatrous systems of the first century… in the nature cults, for example, people thought that they had the secret of fertility. By the use of appropriate rituals (which included the sex act) they held that they could secure growth and vitality.

    The Pillar New Testament Commentary, The Epistle to the Romans, by Dr. Leon Morris, 1988, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, p. 89.

    These rituals involved male worshipers having anal (aka “unnatural”) sex with both male and female temple prostitutes. (Note that the only women involved would be the female temple prostates, not married women, since like most ancient cultures the Romans only considered extramarital relations to be acceptable for men. That’s right, no lesbians.)

    You’re absolutely right about “unnatural” anal sex being the symptom of something else, you’re just a bit off about what it was a symptom of. Paul was describing otherwise heterosexual men engaging in specific sexual practices because they were pagan. Since the sexual practices in question were involved in pagan ritual, this makes perfect sense.

    I have to say that nowhere in I Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 10 clearly suggests that St. Paul is only against child rape and sexual slavery. (Can you tell me exact Greek words that support your opinions?) I think you’ve heard of the Greek word “arsenokoitai” haven’t you?. This is the word that is exactly written in Greek scripture for the English translation “homosexuals”. It is widely agreed upon by many scholars that this word was coined by St. Paul himself who combined “Arsenos; man” and “Koiten; to lie with.” (Even some gay scholars agree with this.) And when we look at Greek Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), Lev. 20:13 includes a passage “άρσενος κοίτην” which attests to the unmistakable connection between multiple new and old testament passages (Lev. 20:13 and I Corinthians 6 /1 Timothy 10), the former of which explicitly condemns homosexuality. It is also widely known that Gentile Churches mainly used Septuagint due to their lack of profiency in Hebrew reading.

    We’re talking about context, remember? It is the context in which the word “arsenokoitai” is used that tells the story of its meaning. We know from context that when Paul uses the word “arsenokoitai” he certainly wasn’t thinking of egalitarian relationships.

    I’m sure you’d like to know what contexts I am referring to specifically, so here we go.

    First, Paul’s obvious reference to the Greek Old Testament (which you yourself mentioned) puts the word in the same context as the Old Testament passages themselves. As I noted previously, the Old Testament passages in question were condemning specific Egyptian and Canaanite practices. Both the Egyptians and the Canaanites frowned upon consensual sexual relations between men that were each other’s equals. When Egyptian or Canaanite men had sex with other men they were either raping their prisoners of war to shame and humiliate them or ‘screwing’ their slaves to prove their “dominance” over them. In both cultures anal sex between men was a weapon, not an act of love.

    Second, while Paul might among the first to use the word, we have examples of its use in other texts written at the time as well which can tell us more about how the word was used. For example, the word can be found in Sibylline Oracle 2.70-77 (which some contend is the actual first use of the word), translated here by J.J. Collins:

    (Never accept in your hand a gift which derives from unjust deeds.)
    Do not steal seeds. Whoever takes from himself is accursed (to generations of generations, to the scattering of life.
    Do not arsenokoitein, do not betray information, do not murder.)
    Give one who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man.
    Take heed of your speech. Keep a secret matter in your heart.
    (Make provision for orphans and widows and those in need.)
    Do not be willing to act unjustly, and therefore do not give leave to one who is acting unjustly.

    You’ll notice that “arsenokoitein” finds itself listed among sins of exploitation and cruelty towards others. When Sibylline Oracle discusses sins of lust or of self indulgence, the word is mysteriously nowhere to be found. This trend holds with other texts from that time period as well. “Arsenokoitai” always finds itself among exploitative sins, or those specifically committed against another person.

    As consensual egalitarian sex is not a sin committed against another person, and neither the Egyptians nor the Canaanites approved of egalitarian sex between men, you should be able to see why I view the word “arsenokoitai” as specifically relating to non-consensual or otherwise exploitative male-male sex. Based on our knowledge of Roman sexual practices at that time, the most likely candidates would be pederasty and/or sex between masters and their male slaves.

    Is it possible Paul was talking about same-sex activities in general? Absolutely. It doesn’t change the context from which he was writing though. Paul was an ostensibly heterosexual male whose only knowledge of male-male sexual activity was its prevalence in exploitative contexts. If he assumed all male-male sexual relations were exploitative by their very nature, well, he would be wrong, but the mistake would be an understandable one. I don’t expect ancient Biblical authors to be terribly knowledgeable about human sexuality. They wrote what they knew, it just happens much of what they “knew” was wrong. Ignoring their lack of knowledge and taking their moral demands at face value is very unwise.

  • LadySunami

    What can I say, there are as many different versions of heaven as there are people who believe in it. :P

    Just curious, but are you an evolution accepting Christian? If so, who do you think Adam is? The first of our ancestors to conceive of God perhaps? I know some Christians believe humanity is a specially chosen species instead of a specially created one (that’s also what I thought when I was religious) but that generally goes alone with conceiving of Adam as a metaphorical person instead of a literal one. I’m curious as to your take on it.

  • seanchaiology

    Late to the discussion, but I did want to add a comment specifically to you Josh. I do not fully agree with your arguments and “tend” to agree with the “points” made against your arguments (in the more civil case anyway). However, I think you have still handled yourself quite well and you do not deserve the horrible attacks that were thrown at you. It probably doesn’t, but if it does help just know that says much more about them than it does you. Ad hominem attacks are found throughout these threads. If you don’t agree with everything they say then you become satan in the flesh. Don’t get me wrong, there are really good people here too, but I think some come in with the hopes of someone like yourself joining the conversation just so they can bash you. Some may deserve it (if I’m judging), but you certainly did not. From my perspective you were trying to express a view, you argued it well, but then you were attacked. I just wanted you to know there was at least one person who thought these attacks were uncalled for, even if that one person didn’t completely agree with all of your views.

  • seanchaiology

    It speaks volumes that you twist people’s words all the time so that you deflect from having any real conversation. I’ve seen you do it countless times. I don’t think Jesus has anything to do with those types of actions either. However, I think Jesus was open to those who seek Him, and made it clear that we are not to cause others to stumble, and it sure looks like Josh seeks Him while your only intention is to make him stumble. And just so we’re clear, I don’t agree with all of Josh’s arguments, but he did not deserve the hatred you threw at him. Additionally, because you have proven to do so before, go ahead and start throwing it all at me now for speaking out against you. I really don’t care and will simply ignore you unless you have something of substance to say.

  • RonnyTX

    Lady Sunami to Ronny:
    What can I say, there are as many different versions of heaven as there are people who believe in it. :P

    Ronny to Lady Sunami:
    I don’t doubt that! :-) And I won’t claim to you, that I know exactly what heaven will be like, because I surely don’t. But this I do know, we will all be like Jesus Christ. For God will shape us all and conform us to that way. So, we will all be love and loving. And there will be no more sin there. No more missing the mark. No more one person hurting another, etc.

    Lady Sunami to Ronny:
    Just curious, but are you an evolution accepting Christian? If so, who do you think Adam is? The first of our ancestors to conceive of God perhaps?

    Ronny to Lady Sunami:
    No, I don’t believe in evolution, as taught by most people; but I do believe in a form of evolution. That is, that over time, God conforms us to the image of Jesus Christ. In other words, we will all end up as he is. And what Jesus Christ is, is pure love. :-) As to Adam, I simply believe he was the first created human being. And no, I don’t believe God created him perfect; but instead, God created Adam, with the ability to sin-to miss the mark. And that was not a mistake or a misstep. For to really appreciate love and that which is good, we need to also first experience the opposite. We need to experience evil and when we do, then we can that much more appreciate and value love and caring.

    Lady Sunami:
    I know some Christians believe humanity is a specially chosen species instead of a specially created one (that’s also what I thought when I was religious) but that generally goes alone with conceiving of Adam as a metaphorical person instead of a literal one. I’m curious as to your take on it.

    Ronny to Lady Sunami:
    Personally, I believe all of God’s creation is special. And it is that, because of God/Love, who created such. And sitting here now, looking over at my older sisters little dog, who is sleeping on the couch. :-) And then there is my little dog out back, in his pen.He’s a mini-Doberman; but he thinks he’s a big dog! :-) LoL One thing I can sure say for them, they have never hurt anyone. And that is sure more than I can say, for myself or anyone else that I know and or know of. So yes, I believe mankind is a special part of God’s creation; but then I also see and believe, that we have no room, right or reason, to look down on any part of God’s creation.

  • Bones

    Yawn…

    Do try to keep up.

    His comments about gay people show he is not seeking Jesus and he is stumbling over his own bigotry.

  • RonnyTX

    RonM to RonnyTX:
    Thanks, I’ll check it out

    Ronny to RonM:
    You’re welcome Ron. :-) And just wanted to add, at the bottom of that page, is the word Hell in blue letters. If you click on that, there are a lot more good links to articles, about the false teaching of hell. :-)

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks much

  • And yet, we have President Elect Trump who will drain the swamp. He turned politics upside down and single handedly defeated the Democrats, the President, Republican elites and the dishonest Media reducing the Democrat Party to a bi-coastal party with no influence. Reminds me of Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews….

  • Bones

    The liar still hangs around…..

    As for ‘draining the swamp’ Trump has surrounded himself with lobbyists and Republican elites.

    And suddenly he doesn’t hate Hilary as much as you do.

    What a pathetic example of your religion you are.

    For a group who are supposedly evangelical, their religion is so bad i would rather die than have anything to do with it….

    That’s their ‘good news’.

    Just lies and hate.

  • Bones

    Trump supporter…..

    I’m surprised they knew what punctuation was….

  • Bones

    Josh’ll be back with his gotcha posts for another ass spanking.

  • Bones

    Time for a new term….evangelicals is a misnomer….and a disgrace to the term.

    There is no good news in them….

    What’s the Greek for that? non-angelicals?

  • JD

    He’s not president yet. As for all his promises, well, we’ll just have to see.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Franklin Graham just keeps on being alive, unfortunately.

  • Proud Amelekite

    [While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this
    happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the
    godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our
    country.]

    Part of why Five Point Calvinism is the only type of Christianity I respect is that they reject the concept of free will right off the bat. Evangelicals claim we have free will but then claim God can sweep in and circumvent it at will.

  • LadySunami

    Now Romans 1. Is this chapter really about temple prostitution?

    Yes. Paul is explicitly talking about pagan worship. He really couldn’t get any more explicate.

    1) Why didn’t Paul condemn the “male on female” ritual sexual intercourse in this chapter? Wasn’t this practice so rampant, too?

    He did.

    Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

    “Unnatural” is a euphemism for anal sex. Even their women, namely the temple prostates, exchanged “natural” penis in vagina sex for “unnatural” anal sex.

    In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.

    Many people like construing that “and” there as indicating a secondary descriptor for the same behavior, but no. Paul is describing two behaviors here. Men 1) abandoned “natural” relations with women for the aforementioned “unnatural” ones still with women, and 2) were also inflamed with lust for one another.

    2) If you say there’s no lesbians involved in temple prostitution, why Paul actually implies the possibility of lesbianism? Isn’t it contradictory?

    He doesn’t imply it. Some modern day interpreters use their preconceived ideas about sexuality to add that back into the text. Today we recognize what lesbians do together as sex, but back then sex was understood in terms of one party penetrating or “using” the other one. Women can’t “use” other women sexually as they lack the means to penetrate.

    I think that when he wrote Romans Paul had no intention to directly hurl criticisms at those who engaged in such practice. Rather, he meant that sources of all problems can lead back to human’s failure to acknowledge one true Creator. Due to this failure, God handed people over to their sinful nature.

    Either that or the man writing to the early Roman church filled with Gentiles was discussing the behaviors of the non-Christian Gentiles surrounding them. You talk about Paul’s Jewish knowledge and all the parallels to the Old Testament, but in doing so you are completely ignoring the audience he’s actually speaking to in that letter.

    Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
    To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
    Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Romans 1:5-7

    Why would Paul expect these Roman Gentiles to understand all those nuanced references to Jewish Scriptures and tradition you mentioned? They wouldn’t. None of that would be familiar to them. What would be familiar to them though is all the pagan practices their neighbors engage in.

    Paul is praising the people he is writing to, telling them how much wiser they are then their pagan neighbors, and also affirming their belief in Christ by criticizing the religious groups around them, which is why he brings up particularly foolish behaviors engaged in by those neighbors.

    I’ve read plenty of posts and sermons from fundamentalists talking about the Catholic Church, so I recognize the pattern. The denomination I was born into is condemned as foolish and obviously wrong, as in Romans 1:18-20 (Catholics are often accused of ignoring “obvious” verses such as Ephesians 2:8-9 and foolishly thinking works will save them), examples of particularly foolish practices are brought up and mocked, as in Romans 1:26-27 (Likely where you got the idea many Catholics worship statues of Mary. It’s not true, but it makes for a suitably mock-worthy accusation.) and finally the believers, or at least the leadership, is called out as wicked and depraved, as in Romans 1:28-32 (Oh how frequently pedophilic Catholic priests are brought up to discredit the entire denomination).

    You would do well to remember Paul wasn’t writing for those of us in the 21st century using our understanding of sexuality, and in this case he wasn’t writing to Jews familiar with the Tanakh either. He was writing to a group of Roman Gentile converts very familiar with the pagan customs of their neighbors. That’s not to say you can’t relate what he said to the modern day, you can, but in order to do so you need to understand the context he was writing in and who he was writing to. Don’t impose modern understandings on it and don’t pretend the message is as much ours at it is theirs.

    I know I have to be cautious about invoking Romans 1 when handling this issue. But I would tell gays who say they were saved and born again that “Are your sexual activities really honoring your Creator? Look at the way God made human bodies how sex should naturally be carried out. Man complements woman and vice versa, and this is true anatomically, physiologically, and even psychologically.”

    I wouldn’t recommend framing arguments that way as simple observation shows all that to be untrue…
    Looking in nature we can see animals engaging in all sorts of sexual acts, both between opposite sexes and those of the same sex.
    It’s also not hard to learn that “vanilla” sex is notoriously bad at satisfying women, as there is little direct clitoral stimulation involved. There is also the rather peculiarly placed prostate, only present in men and in the perfect location for anal stimulation. Kind of strange that giving men orgasms via anal intercourse is easier then giving women orgasms via vaginal intercourse, don’t you think? I consider it more of an amusing evolutionary quirk, but if you attribute the human reproductive system to some sort of intentional design it seems God is weirdly keen on the idea of male-male sex.
    Your claim that men and women are psychologically compatible is the strangest claim of all. Heterosexual couples are notoriously awful at relating to one another, and much of human literature, art and music is about how terribly frustrated one sex is with the other. I personally have overheard many a heterosexual woman say that if not for her attraction to men she would have nothing to do with them.

    If they say “I’m not dishonoring my Creator by engaging in homosexual activities” then I wouldn’t push any further. I would just pray God to let their eyes open.

    Their eyes are already opened, tfjtoday. They don’t need your attempts to manipulate them through prayer. Think about it, is there anything creepier then learning someone is requesting supernatural aid in an attempt to manipulate your thoughts? Are you really being loving when you attempt to use supernatural forces this way?

  • JD

    ‘Merika!

  • Maura Hart

    the saddest part that there is no god, no satan no heaven and no hell because people like franklin graham surely do belong in hell

  • Texas_lib

    Powerful argument Mr. Corey! Thank you for calling him out. I have detested his attitudes for a long time.

  • jayne190

    And his politics is one reason that I won’t participate in Samaritan’s Purse.

  • Whirled Peas

    But, I do love him anyway. I’m not angry that he’s wrong, nor am I seeking punishment.

  • Steve

    Franklin Graham does more good in one day that most you will do in your entire lifetime.

  • Bones

    Actually I spend my days educating young minds for the future…

    Graham spends his time spreading ignorance and taking people to the dark ages.

    His Samaritan’s purse has made him a millionaire..

    Well done, poor people.

  • Bob Presnell

    If there is no hell, then where will Satan and his fallen angels and demons spend eternity? In these scriptures we see a rich man in hell after he dies and he lifts up his eyes! This is no parable because it says there was a certain man! Was there a certain man or not? Luke 16:19-31 (KJV)
    19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
    20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
    21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
    22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
    23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
    25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
    26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
    27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
    28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
    29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Of course this was before Christ went into paradise and set the captive free: Ephesians 4:8-10 (KJV)
    8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
    9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
    10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) So if Christ lead all the righteous out of paradise, and He descended into the lower parts of the earth and preached to the spirits in chains, who and where was all this taking place? The rich man was not in the grave lifting his eyes up! I have preached a lot of funerals and no one yet has lifted their eyes up! I wish there was no hell, but what about the wicked souls of men and not just their souls but there will be a resurrection and everyone will have a new body and this is what Rev. says: Revelation 20:11-15 (KJV)
    11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
    12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
    13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Hell delivered up the dead that were in it! Hell is not the grave and here is the Greek for the word hell: Greek Strong’s Number: 86
    Greek Word: ᾅδης
    Transliteration: hadēs
    Phonetic Pronunciation:hah’-dace
    Root: from (as negative particle) and
    Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:146,22
    Part of Speech: n pr loc
    Vine’s Words: Hades

    Usage Notes:

    English Words used in KJV:
    hell 10
    grave 1
    [Total Count: 11]

    from (a) (as a negative particle) and (eido); properly unseen, i.e. “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls :- grave, hell.
    The place of departed souls! Of course everybody is going to believe what they want to believe and all the scriptures in the world will not change anyones mind but for me there is to many scriptures that tell us about the place called hell and Jesus himself said there was one and he even went to it for 3 days and nights! Decide for yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bones

    “where will Satan and his fallen angels and demons spend eternity?”

    The same place as the bogeyman or the Candyman or werewolves and zombies

  • Bones

    Lol…how deluded must you be to read infowars. …

    What is it with you and aliens?

    Prometheus was not a documentary.

    Neither is genesis.

  • Bones

    Actually jesus didn’t say that….

    It’s ironic as to who is making god into their own image.

    Those who are judgmental pricks worship a god who is a judgemental prick.

  • JD

    ter ber: “Name calling? What name calling?”

    I guess calling another Christian a ‘Fake Christian’ isnt name calling in your book.

    I’ve always found it ironic that Christians love to call each other fake and damned for not believing exactly like the other guy….

  • Jeff Preuss

    I agree.

    If he just focused on the charitable aspects of Samaritan’s Purse, I’d be more inclined to think highly of him. Because, SP does mostly good things.

    (I say mostly, because they also have an arm that financially props up those ‘persecuted’ for breaking non-discrimination laws protecting gay people. Why would I ever support an organization that gives money to those who would refuse to treat me as an equal human being?)

  • Blerg

    So sexually assaulting women, mocking the disabled, lying about literally everything, threatening to round-up millions of people, making them register, taking healthcare from millions cheating those who do business with you; those are Christian ideals? Guess Gandhi was right about Christians.

  • Bones

    Yes…

    That’s obvious…

    Tin foil is big business in the USA.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “He did not mock the disabled this is the same way he mocks all people he sees that get flustered.”
    And you share a video of Ann Coulter explaining it away as proof?

    Yes, he DID mock a disabled reporter – he was caught on video doing so. You trying to spin it to be something other than what he objectively did shows your priorities to be severely out of whack.

    It’s funny how the morality police choose to ignore Trump’s lack of morals.

  • JD

    Ter ber, all you’re doing is making your deity look like a hateful bigot.

    Why would anyone want to adopt such a hateful belief system that you’re demonstrating??

  • JD

    Ever wonder why your deity cannot seem to keep one pesky demon under control…?

    Rather pitiful if you think about it.

  • JD

    You didnt answer the question.

    Try again.

  • JD

    “Are you judging me? “

    No more than you judging your fellow believers. Is that how you Christians recruit future converts?

  • JD

    “I think this short video explains it very well.”

    Excuse me, you’ll have to give me a few minutes. I’ve got to get find a box of tissue.

    Cant see the keyboard with the tears in my eyes for all the laughing. Brb…

  • JD

    So judging and insults are tactics of your religion then. Not to mention living in fear of everything and everyone else who doesnt think like you. All those you think your demon has control over.

    Which brings us back to my question:

    Ever wonder why your deity cannot seem to keep one pesky demon under control…?

  • JD

    Still doesnt answer the question.

    Try again.

  • JD

    Cleared of what? Giving me a chuckle? It was funny.

    Did you ever notice you put as much faith in your demon as you do your deity?

  • JD

    Cant ask him yourself? Go on. Try.

    Ask him why he cannot seem to keep one pesky demon under control.

    Ask him why you are so full of fear of anything and anyone who doenst think like you do.

    Ask him: Why so much fear?

    Ask him: Where’s the love?

    Go on. Try it.

    Really try it.

  • JD

    Back at ya,

  • Blerg

    I should have guessed. A Tealibani who doesn’t know the Bible, and is quick to defend one of the most disgusting thing Cheetolini did during the campaign (and it’s hard to pick only one).

  • Bones

    The only demon here is you.

  • Bones

    Yeah these morons think they are a great example of their deity. I wouldn’t touch their religion with a hundred foot pole.

  • Bones

    I think this guy is der per

    https://youtu.be/ABXWHELHAiI

  • JD

    Fear is the driving force of your belief system. tb. Fear of the devil, fear the devil is everywhere, fear the devil in everyone is your enemy out to get you. Fear is the cornerstone of your belief keeping you looking over your shoulder, keeping you suspicious, fearful, untrusting. Without fear your belief system is hollow.

    Oh, btw, I am not an atheist. But that doesnt matter to you, does it. All you assume of me is that I’m filled with the devil that is trying to get you.

    As for the night sky, when I look into the stars I feel my Ancestors near. They are a part of my very being. You are the accumulation of thousands of years of love and wisdom. I have no need of fear for we are all connected.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk

  • Yvonne Interval Frith

    Exactly!

  • WayneMan

    Seriously? A child under 5 dies a horrible death from disease or starvation about every 5 seconds, but God only cares about our political election. Really?

  • Blueboyo

    Frank Graham would do better to get back on his motorcycle and trundle back out on the open road and let the wind blow through his hair again. Perhaps good clean wind could blow some of the cobwebs of bigotry, spite and pretentious hypocrisy out of his numb-skull.

  • Ron McPherson

    Well if the Lazarus story is not a parable, and you take it literally, then that would mean we can communicate with the souls in hell after death correct? Plus it means we have physical bodies prior to the resurrection because the Rich man spoke of his tongue. Plus it means that Lazarus was actually in Abraham’s bosom.

    Also the word certain does not preclude that from being a parable any more than Luke 13:6 which in some versions also uses the word certain. And the Bible expressly declares that to be a parable.

  • Ron McPherson

    So all “Progressive Christians” are “‘FAKE’ Christians?” How about let’s let Jesus figure out the wheat from the tares ok? I do know this much from reading the gospels. The exclusivist religious elites who thought they were ‘in’ were actually on the wrong track. However, many of the outcasts who were the objects of scorn were actually closer to the kingdom than the religionists. Well at least according to Jesus that is.

    Peace

  • Ron McPherson

    What do you mean by making it up?

  • Bones

    You’ve made up one yourself.

    Your jesus is just another pharisee.

  • Ron McPherson

    You specifically called progressive Christians fake. How have ALL progressive Christians identified Jesus in a way that is fake? That’s a pretty serious charge without offering something concrete. Given the seriousness of such a charge you can surely understand that an explanation of “gumby Jesus” doesn’t quite cut it for credibility sakes.

  • Ron McPherson

    Uh, this isn’t answering the question of why you believe all progressives are fake. Unless you’re saying that no progressive has ever humbled themselves before God.

  • Ron McPherson

    Maybe it would be helpful to let you know that I am born again by the Spirit of God and am staking my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ. This isn’t about me. Progressives have accused me of being fundamentalist and fundies have accused me of being progressive. I don’t fit neatly in some category so you don’t need to feel you need to proselytize to me. If you’re a genuine Christ follower then you will know that Jesus did not identify true followers as those who had a certain theological bias. Instead he stated that the world will actually know his disciples by the love they have for one another. They won’t be persuaded by how often we quote scripture or by what church we go to or by what biblical platitude we can spout.

  • Herm

    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.

    “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

    “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

    “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    Luke 14:25-35

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15

    If you wish to be a student (disciple) of Christ you must give up everything you have including your enchantment with your Bible. Only when you have opened your heart and mind to be filled (baptized) with the Spirit of truth will you be in Jesus, the Word, and Jesus in you. Then you will understand how infinitely more progressive and liberal God is than any of Man on earth. By Their grace you will know how to live today according to Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40, and Luke 10:25-37.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21

    The Word was here in the Fertile Crescent. The story of Cain and Able.

  • Ron McPherson

    Those items you list are not components of the gospel as how Jesus defined it.

  • Herm

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12

    By your fruit you do not know the Teacher who authored each of the quotes above well before your Bible was compiled.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31

    This you do not know for you have yet to hate your mother and, yes, even your own life. Then you too can speak the word of God boldly. That isn’t your Bible!!!

  • Herm

    The Author is Christ and the link is the Dove.

  • Herm

    No, ter ber, you aren’t ready, only judgmental. Your god has no spirit while my creator God, who Man’s spirit is in the image of, lives only in the Spirit, not stuck on any parchment or wood pulp. See, you reeled back. You have no relationship with and in God, only with the study of God. Your Bible tells you so.

  • Ron McPherson

    IMO, That type of response is not conducive to authentic dialogue. I know of no Christian, progressive or otherwise, that believes God to be a liar. The issue of biblical inerrancy does not define authentic faith. If you believe it does, then you’re reading something into the scriptures that is not even there (which is ironic in itself). I have a high regard for scripture and believe anything God breathed is inerrant. However, I am not prepared to elevate the Bible itself into a fourth member of the trinity. The Bible is not God. God is God

  • Herm

    Son of Man, Son of God, Lord with all authority over heaven and on earth, the Teacher, the Instructor, the Messiah, the Christ, the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, my Brother.

  • Herm

    No, ter ber, Jesus did not give His life for God, He gave it all for Man. This is about you and I. God can do just fine without us. You have been graced an opportunity to inherit eternal life as a child of God if only you learn to actually love. We are told to become a student of Jesus, as His sibling, we must learn to hate the traditions, rituals, theologies and dogmas of Man while, also, picking up our cross that other children of Man might choose to be with and in God without end. The focus is all about mankind.

  • Herm

    The WORD of God!!!

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    John 1:1-5

    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John 1:14

    There is no other Word of God. I live in and with Jesus as Jesus lives in and with me. How can a document, chronicling only a few thousand years of Man and God, compare to the Word in the beginning all the way to the end of eternity?

    Who is Jesus to you?

  • Herm

    ter ber, your response then makes you of the world and judgmentally blind. This is obvious according to the scripture you adore that was written long after Jesus spoke it. I can honestly testify (as does your New Testament) Jesus did not lie and those of us little children in Christ and Christ in us were definitely not left orphaned, we have a divine Family. You are welcome, also, but the prerequisites are stiff as I have shared them with you earlier which you judged them as did the Pharisees. You cannot judge what you cannot see.

    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

    John 14:16-20

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    John 16:12-13

  • Bones

    The pharisees who opposed Jesus were of the Shammai school. They were evangelical fundamentalist nationalists who held on to rigid doctrinal beliefs and absolutely hated liberal pharisees like Hillel…

    Educate yourself….

    BET HILLEL AND BET SHAMMAI:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3190-bet-hillel-and-bet-shammai

  • Bones

    Except ‘the world’ is Judaism…..

    1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.

    12:9 9 The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.

    12:19 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

    18:20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.

    Jesus seminar hits a home run over the hopeless evangelical interpretation….

    The world is NOT every single person who ever lived including modern days…

    It was the Judaism of the late first century.

    That’s why John is largely irrelevant.

  • Bones

    Ouch!

    Like was that supposed to hurt.

    You’re a prime example of a complete tool who has nothing.

  • Bones

    So you know Satan der per.

    As usual you clowns are confounded by facts.

  • Herm

    ter ber, thank you for trying to work me out of my confusion according to your theology, your study of God. Beware of all the false dogmas of Man for they crucify the children of God.

    The Greek word for “in” as used in…

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    … is “ἐν” which the transliteration is “en” and the phonetic pronunciation is “en”. Now, as it is true that this word, in the King James Version of the Bible, has, also, been translated as “with” please note that the Spirit of truth, according to Jesus, will not only be “with you” but, also, “in you”.

    and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Luke 3:22 (NIV2011)

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    I hope the picture of Complete Jewish Bible’s “united” is beginning to clear for you for all of our sake. The word baptize means to immerse, unite, fill and, yes, be in.

    You may be satisfied with the symbolic cleaning of sprinkling and/or immersion but by your fruit you have not had the Dove descend upon you. You probably have had visits with the Holy Spirit but you have not accepted the Holy Spirit to be filled continually without stop or pause.

    Thank you for taking the time to share with me the video. I took the time to watch it. It is nothing but twisting and turning interpretations of Man when none of those childish word games are necessary, or even useful, when immersed in the Spirit of truth (the Dove). Compared to my relationship in the eternal and infinite Word of God (not the words beginning to end bound between any two covers) that YouTube (Division or Unity?) usurpation of my Teacher’s authority is truly painful to watch.

    I am a very little child of God and disciple (student) of Jesus.

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13 (NIV2011)

    I know nothing relative to how much my Teacher is sharing with me, yes united in me through our Advocate, as I am ready. I am not the authority here but what I share with you today I am being told what to say. I find it both humorous and exciting that from my writing you were, for the third time, referred to as having an enchantment for the Bible.

    I was stripped of all my carnal and spiritual authority by the time I was 50 years old after I told God, “I have it all now, you can use me as you will”. I had nothing in my name left to give or sacrifice to buy holiness in the eyes of God. I realized, for the first time in the 33 years of in depth study and exercise in the name and service of God, I had not done two things:

    First; I had not trusted God to be real enough to actually totally depend on Their grace for all my studies, providing and protection from evil. You share today the evil of the Pharisees, as did I but I have to say I hope it was to a lesser degree. You would crucify all those progressive liberals who call themselves disciples of Christ in the name of God. God doesn’t call for us, Their children, to crucify anyone in our heavenly Father’s name. Our Father with and in our Lord Jesus calls for us to pick up our cross … never to place anyone else on it.

    Second; I had not accepted the Holy Spirit full time into my heart and mind. I had a relationship of divine convenience with God because when I thought I might be sinning I closed God out sans Their timely counsel. I had learned to do that to survive the, too often in error, puritanical carnal parenting I had grown up under. Having no longer a family, job and church in my name, while having, also, fulfilled all my expected duties as an adult of Man, what more could I lose if I accepted God’s continual counsel without pausing for sin? Wow, did you know that sin is no more mysterious than an intentional separation from the reciprocal love of valuing, compassion and empathy of self or an other? I didn’t but I know now and I am so much more secure in all my relationships even without the hammer of authority I once wielded effectively as a credentialed adult of Man.

    I care about you and all my siblings of Man. I care with joy, peace, anticipation, fear, and woe for all of us. I am cared for perfectly today, without merit, by my family of God.

    You keep trying to pin any other source for my relationship as a child and disciple in God than God. There is no doctrine (a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group) that I abide by, none. That is over.

    I have the relationship of a child without a need for any more rules than in everything I do to all others as I would have all others do to me. I cannot even try to crucify you for your blind ignorance. I have to try to lift you out the spiritual ditch, if you are willing to live, into which you have been cast by carnal spiritual muggers. I will gladly spend what little is in my name to get you safe to healing.

    God is real in all our midst. God is spirit only. God is not subject to the carnal differences of with, in, united and/or on. God is absolutely everywhere and, yet, can sit Their entirety on the head of a pimple on a quark with room to spare for infinitely more children. God loves you, especially today for your misplaced sincere temerity, as He loved Saul to Paul.

    Are you reading to comprehend sufficiently that you actually can trust our creator God, who mankind’s spirit is in the image of, to provide for you, protect you, nurture you and teach you in relationship without doctrine, ritual or dogma? What doctrine did the carnal guardians of your youth force you to follow to get their favor? Was it more than in everything do to others as you would have others do to you?

    Love you!

  • Bones

    As usual all you can do is rant and froth at the mouth.

    Maybe the talking snake told you that on infowars.

  • NCGran

    The Bible was written by MEN who had their own motivations in putting down what they did. There are many good things in the Bible that I do believe in….the 10 Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount and others. However, to say that it cannot be left open to personal interpretation is ludicrous. It is a collection of stories to guide us, but each man/woman must find their own way to what they believe. Religion should never be confused with God. Religion is a group/philosophy of dogma particular to their system of belief. God is bigger than all religions combined and throughout life, some “try on religions” to find where they fit, some just need that community to maintain faith. Others find their way to God without religion. I choose to follow Christ in my faith and belief that there is something bigger than me in this world and I do not need a “middle man” to get me to that conclusion.

  • Dan Tucker

    I have my doubts about Franklin Graham, but I also have serious doubts about Hell. Who cares where Franklin goes after he dies?

  • MiniMeme

    “But the world, especially the Christian world,” says the Professor at the close of one of his long and pungent epistles, “is yet to be instructed that every thing supernatural is not necessarily infallible; and this, I doubt not, is the grand lesson designed, by an overruling Providence, to be taught by the permitted appearance at this day, of the present, most stupendous psychological phenomena.”

    Prof Rev George Bush (1796 – 1859)

    quoted in Memoirs and Reminiscences of

  • ollie

    Of course, I do agree with Mr. Graham, God’s most gracious law freedom is allowing us the right to suffer or to enjoy the rewards of our decisions. But in especially a Democratic Society we all enjoy the rewards if or not we voted for it.

    So Graham is correct in it was God’s Will, God again in his gracious love for us have given us as a society a choice of two paths and we, as a society, have voted for the most evil path. The unfortunate consequence of that vote is that we all shall suffer for it. I believe that the Hindu word for that is karma.

  • ollie

    Yes God can sweep in and vent circumvent free will but very seldom does that happen and when it does it is about not forcing someones free will to change but about changing the consequences of the actions caused by the decisions of free will.

  • Proud Amelekite

    [Yes God can sweep in and vent circumvent free will but very seldom does that happen…]

    If it has ever happened, even once, then free will is an illusion. Free will is either absolutely free or what we have is merely a privilege that seems like free will but that God can simply take back any time he likes. If the latter is true then all sin is, ultimately, God’s fault and not ours because we have no free will. If the former is true then God cannot circumvent free will and, thus, Scripture cannot be protected from alteration by human tampering, making it all suspect.

    Freedom either is or it is not – there is no gray area.

    [… and when it does it is about not forcing someones free will to change but about changing the consequences of the actions caused by the decisions of free will.]

    This isn’t the way Graham is using it here. Saying “God intervened Tuesday night” is unambiguous and not passive. This is common of Southern Baptists and Evangelicals. In my area, a local blogger blamed a slew of tornadoes on a gay pride parade days prior to them – it makes no logical sense.

  • ollie

    I agree with what you are saying. And yes Graham was not using it in a way that I would use it. My argument is that Graham is not understanding freewill. God does not change our freewill, he does however on occasion, change the outcomes sometimes by acting on outside forces to change what happens because of someones actions caused by their use of freewill.

    I would argue that God could come take freewill back at anytime, but that would go against the whole purpose of freewill as you have pointed out. God is hands off in any way other then perhaps putting something or someone in the way to try to get someone to reconsider their desired action.

  • WayneMan

    No one understands free will because it makes no sense. I saw a debate between two Biblical scholars, one Calvinist one traditional. They are both scholars of the same text, yet came to opposite conclusions on free will, and each had many convincing Bible verses to support their claim. Unfortunately, the Bible is full of ambiguities and contradictions, so not a very reliable source for your world view. You would think god would have made the Bible crystal clear, instead of this mass confusion.

  • ollie

    It is easy enough to understand. You can not understand it if you are looking for excuses though.

    I have said for years that one of the worst things Flip Wilson did was his trademark< "The devil made me do it." What a great excuse I didn't do it because the devil made me do it! Come the Devil had nothing to do with me deciding to eat the gallon of ice and a half of quart of chocolate syrup in one sitting! I did it with my own decision making.

    Take the word "free" and the word "will" look up what they mean apart from each other and put them together. After that it is pretty easy to understand what freewill means. God has given us the right to make up our own minds on what to believe and what we want to do. And we either reap rewards (maybe just nothing good or bad) or punishments (driving drunk causing and accident) for our decisions. Really pretty straight forward.

  • WayneMan

    Sure everyone knows what free will means. I was referring to what the Bible says about it, because it says both. These are Biblical scholars that cannot agree on this. Ask any Calvinist. Why? Because the Bible is full of ambiguities and contradictions.

    Take this Bible quiz. http://exchristian.net/3/ No matter what you think you know, it can show you wrong by using the appropriate Bible verse. The Bible is a horrible text to use as your guiding light, because it is covered in fog.

  • Ruth Strachan

    Free will or predestination? We can’t change the destination of a train, but how we act while travelling on it is up to us.

  • Eugene Lanzl

    Hello everyone, Eugene here. I believe in Gehenna . I believe it is God’s garbage dump. It is where all that is unredeemable is put to be eternally destroyed, where it parishes, where it is burned up and becomes as if it never was. I also believe that before the eternal destruction there will be a judgement where all will come to understand the why & where of their future or fate. Then I believe that justice will finally be administered and what remains will be clean.

  • Proud Amelekite

    In this hypothetical we can stop or crash the train as passengers and find a new path. But even without nitpicking if it is the train and its journey which is important than our free will is meaningless as it has no effect on anything of value concerning outcomes. It’s a meaningless game. Free will is all or nothing. We control our own lives and, thus, we control the fate of this world or it is all preordained and our decisions aren’t decisions at all but the actions of cogs in a grand machine.

    There is no road between. Yes or no. Zero or one. Free or not.