There is a post circulating on Facebook titled, “An Open Letter to Rev. Franklin Graham from a ‘small church’ pastor.” It has disturbed me from the first time I read it. I’ve tried to ignore it, but it has irritated my conscience like a sticker in my foot. You will probably have to read his post before this one makes much sense.
Although I am…this blog post is not intended to praise or defend Rev. Graham. I am just tired of people knocking Christianity. And when one church pastor tries to stir up anger against another pastor who is doing so much for human suffering not to mention winning souls for Christ…well frankly, it upsets me!
This pastor who says, “Feel free to call me Peter” (perhaps because he tries to quote the Apostle Peter) criticizes Rev Graham for being a mega-church pastor and for touring America to encourage Christians to pray and to stand up for our religious freedoms.
He seems to be supportive of same-sex marriages and accuses Franklin Graham of preaching hate for supporting Christians who refuse to perform services for them that go against their religious beliefs. “Peter” says that when we meet Jesus, he will not ask us what our sexual orientation is, how many times we have been divorced, or who we voted for; only if we have done good deeds for others.
This pastor does not preach God’s word. The Bible tells us that our good deeds will not get us to heaven, lest any should boast. The only thing that will get us to heaven is if we repent of our sins, and follow Jesus.
God tells us very plainly that homosexuality is a sin. So is adultery and fornication. He tells us that any who are living in sexual sin will not enter the kingdom of heaven. To preach this is not hate. It is love. It is to warn us that we are living a lifestyle unacceptable to God so that we may change.
The example “Peter” uses about the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage is stupid. She did not refuse to feed the hungry. They did not want a wedding cake because they needed food. They wanted it to celebrate a lifestyle that is against Christian beliefs. The woman who owned the bakery actually employed this gay man. She said she had nothing against him, and he was a good employee. She did not refuse to serve him because he was gay. She refused to bake a cake that celebrated something God called a sin.
I, as a Christian, am tired of people calling me hateful if I don’t accept the gay lifestyle and call it normal. People are free to choose however they want to live, as long as it does not cause harm to any one else. I have worked with gay people. There are some I call friends. There are also people who have cheated on their spouses that I call friends. That doesn’t mean I hate them or am prejudiced against them because I believe their infidelity is wrong; a sin. And I don’t judge them. That is God’s job. But I can discern between right and wrong. There is a difference. I am not going to call them out on their sin (I’ve enough of my own), but I am also not going to pat my friend on the back who just cheated on their spouse and tell them “way to go!”
And as far as persecution in this country not being real? This is not physical persecution. It is verbal, and financial persecution, and it is real! If we stand by and do nothing, it will escalate to physical persecution in the same way that verbal abuse and control of what you say, or do in a domestic situation, often leads to physical abuse. And there is religious physical persecution happening in our country. It is called radical Islam.
As a nation we are losing our Christian freedoms every day. Read the paper. No mention of God in the classroom or even on some school grounds. People wanting to take In God We Trust off our money and national monuments. No Christmas songs can be sung at school “Christmas” programs. Some are not even allowing their programs to be called Christmas programs. Winter program, now that is acceptable. That is what I call no common sense political correctness!
If you own a business, they are trying to make you offer birth control options that end life, to your employees. Company’s are demanding their employees to say Happy Holidays to their customers instead of Merry Christmas! They are afraid of offending the atheists, or the muslim, but not afraid of offending the God who created us?
To Peter’s comments about President Trump I will say only a few things. I don’t approve of some of the things he has said. I am not defending them. I also do not believe Franklin Graham has ever condoned them, nor do I believe God condones them. However King David was an adulterer and a murderer. Yet God called him the apple of His eye. Why? Because of his sinful deeds? NO! Because he had a repentant heart and turned back to God. Has Donald Trump turned back to God? I don’t know. Only God knows our hearts.
However Peter, God tells us in Romans 13:1 that “The authorities that exist have been established by God. Not only did he tell Rev. Graham that, but he has told me and you that also.
To your remarks about following our nations’ laws even if they are against God’s ways I give you Luke 20:25 “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God, what is God’s. The bible is full of examples of his people standing up to the government when asked to do something not in accordance with God’s way.
You say Rev. Graham is preaching hate. I’ve listened to him a lot and I’ve never heard anything that remotely comes close to hate. He preaches God’s word. He ends every sermon or post that I’ve heard or read with something similar to ” There is no sin you have committed that God can not forgive. Repent, from your sin and follow Jesus.”
You sound as if you are envious because he has a mega-church, and you have a small church. You say you can not fill an auditorium and don’t have a 100 voice choir. You insinuate that is somehow bad or showing off. If you will read back in the old testament, God’s people had a huge worship service. It was to honor God. If you don’t have that in your small church, I’m sure God will understand. He might not understand you putting down others who can give him that honor.
You ask Franklin if he has ever heard of Peter. Did you know that in the book of acts, Peter spoke to the crowd gathered and added 3000 people to the church that one day? Kinda sounds like he had the start of a mega church.
I have only attended small churches, because I have always lived in small rural areas. They teach God’s word. They teach about love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. They also preach about sin and the judgement that follows it. They teach about the sacrifice Jesus made on a cross, that will cleanse us of that sin, if we repent and give our lives to him.
I have no doubt that our small church would welcome Rev Franklin Graham with open arms and would be honored to have him share the gospel with us.