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.
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.
Dr. 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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