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Franklin Graham: Spokesperson for Christianity-Lite!

Stan Moody:


Gen. MacArthur’s famous self-deprecating slogan, “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away!”, might well be

applied to old white evangelical pastors and theologians with a death grip on their family’s religious empires. Refusing even to fade away, Franklin Graham continues to lead the charge of Christianity-Lite.


Blessings LGBTQ+ Couples?


How so, you might ask? He is biting at the heels of Pope Francis, who recently urged his Church to bless LGBTQ+ couples. In Franklin’s worldview, sinners are to be shunned and shamed rather than blessed with the hope of renewal: “The Rev. Franklin Graham slammed Pope Francis for approving a measure that will allow Roman Catholic priests to offer blessings to same-sex couples, warning that such "blessings" will not "save you from the judgment of God."[1] Yuh but?


On the other hand, at any public sharing of the hymn, “God Bless America”, watch the little flags and the cheering joy of micro-Christians in attendance! It is right and proper, apparently, for God to bless a nation that the same believers condemn as corrupt and irreversibly sin-infected absent their political intervention (biblical exercise of Gen 1:26 command of dominion). Condemnation of OPS (other people’s sins) in denial of our own noetic sinful natures apparently is exempted from judgment and the pesky standards of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7).


Hating the Sinner by Shaming the Sin?


Consistent with the pop-Evangelical escape clause, “Hate the sin but love the sinner”, the Vatican declaration offers this: “…when people ask for a blessing, an exhaustive moral analysis should not be placed as a precondition for conferring it" and that "those seeking a blessing should not be required to have prior moral perfection."[2] “Plenty of Room in the Family”[3] or not?


The religio/political realm of evangelicalism, having abandoned God’s unmerited grace through Jesus in its stampede toward moral absolutism, is uncomfortably reminded that it may well be possible that the Mother Church is returning to its roots. God forbid?


My contrarian impulse is fired by two scriptures from both testaments. The first is the Old Testament standard, Micah 6:8b: “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Hmmm – “love kindness and walk humbly”? The other is from the New Testament, Heb 13:13, 14: “So, let us go out to Him (Jesus) outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” So much for Christianity-Lite!


On that note, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).

 


[2] Ibid

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