Franklin Graham has it wrong. God did not intervene in the selection of this president. Jesus was not concerned about governments, either Jewish or Roman. Jesus was concerned about the heart of the people. As we know from history, the heart of the people can be very hard and unforgiving, lacking justice and mercy. It is doubtful that God would have given this as a Christmas present to us.
We are one week before we celebrate the birth of Jesus. At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Jews were looking for a Messiah who would bring the kingdom of God to earth.
The great hope of Israel centered in the kingdom of God which would change the course of history by inaugurating the period of justice, peace and prosperity announced by the prophets, the more strenuously since the bitter experience of the deportation to Babylon. (The Jewish world at the time of Christ)
They wanted justice, peace and properity. Who doesn’t want that? The problem with wanting justice and peace is twofold: 1) we want to determine what justice is; 2) we want to determine what peace is.
When I think of justice, I immediately think of women’s equality and how women have been mistreated, marginalized, abused, and discounted by government and by religion, and how that continues today. I think of homosexuals who have also suffered greatly and still do. So it is with trepidation that I look at our newly evangelically-voted for government. The people chosen to represent the nation have a history of misogyny against women and hatred against homosexuals. Justice? I see no way to justice.
When I think of peace, I think of living peacefully in our own country. My children were born during the great Civil Rights demonstrations and conflict. I was fearful for my children being born in such an unsettling time. As a mother, I desire peace. Sure, there are times I would like to get even, strike back, and win above all. But as a mother whose son has gone into a battleground in Iraq, I don’t want to see other mothers suffer during wars. So, yes, I desire peace.
Jesus did not come to change Jewish government or Roman government. He came to change the hearts of people. Through love. He said it himself “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love – it’s personal.
2016 is coming to an end. What did you do this year to promote love towards people? Did your heart change in thinking about women’s equality or gay rights? The two are tied together, you know. Because when we feel we can hate one group because the Bible says so, then we can restrict the other group because “the Bible says so.”
Shirley: How are folk like Graham so ignorant of the Bible? IMO they do the cause of the Gospel way more harm than good.
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After the election, I emailed Franklin Graham’s ministry and told them I was withdrawing financial support and told them why I was stopping. I received a reply from them that said in part, “it is time to put the election behind us.” The election itself is not my only concern with Franking Graham. My concern also is that he has a fundamental Presbyterian pastor leading his marriage retreats in Alaska. I have also written to that pastor and received a reply but of course they still do it. So, I gave it a lot of thought and decided that I could not in good faith continue giving my $6 a month to Mr. Graham. I wanted to help a little child, but in doing so, I was also supporting his theological beliefs and I could no longer do that.
Shirley: Do you think Graham would have said: “it is time to put the election behind us.”, if Clinton had won?
No, because he went on to say in the link to this that all the Christians had prayed at all the capitols and that is how God had spoken. I doubt sincerely if he would have said that if Clinton had won.
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I like to make shoeboxes (Operation Christmas Child) and still will, but only that. Franklin Graham has become intolerable – promoting a fear-based Christianity, overly obsessed with politics.
I loved the idea of the shoeboxes and my donation was for the Christian booklet to be placed in those boxes.
Shirley: You said:”I see no way to justice.” That one statement right there by you has stolen my piece of mind since this new president was elected–where will there be justice? I still ask myself over and over again how this happened. Someone just the other day told me that a good friend of mine had said to them that Trump was a bad man but that Clinton was much worse than Trump. This good Christian friend of mine is someone I respect, but I’m not sure about our friendship now.
Tom, I was looking at a Christian college magazine last week and it said, “Make a difference where you live.” And that is what I try to do. I can’t change a lot of things, but I can try to make a difference in the circle where I travel. If we all try to make a difference in the circles where we travel, that will be a good thing.
With God’s help that is exactly what I am going to try and do. Merry Christmas to you, Shirley!
Merry Christmas, Tom!