William Franklin Graham III (born July 14, 1952), known publicly as Franklin Graham, is an American Christian evangelist and missionary. He is the president and CEO of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse.
Check out these recent comments by Mr. Graham in response to the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami disaster…
“What are the signs of [Christ’s] second coming? War and famine and earthquakes … escalating like labor pains. … Maybe this is it, I don’t know. We should pray and be vigilant. The Bible teaches us Jesus is going to return someday. Many of us we believe that day is sooner rather than later. ”
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. ”
He is basically stating…Is this the end? Hmm, maybe.
There are some who interpret these words as raising the level of human accountability. I see these words as raising fear to an unnecessary level. Should we be concerned about recent events in a practical way? Of course! Should we equate these events to any kind of end time scenario possibility? Absolutely not.
I follow more the opinion of the following individual…
Eddie Gibbs, a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary stated Graham could represent “a particular segment of the evangelical movement that thinks the end is near.”
“My response would be to say the Matthew 24 passage in fact relates to every period of history. There have always been catastrophic earthquakes,” Gibbs said.
In regards to Mr. Graham…I do have to applaud his constant aid efforts with Samaritan’s Purse which is also helping greatly in Japan. He has spearheaded great practical aid to many people. On the side of faith, religion, and the mind of human kind, however…Let’s just cut to the chase. I am really tired of being nice about this type of person who either does not think before they speak or does so to keep a constituency loyal, scared, tithing, and in need of his form of faith.
What has this world come to if the only way religious leaders can keep people coming to church is by keeping them scared? Perhaps, this is one of the ways organized religion has fallen short or become disconnected from mainstream society. Many would see this as a broad statement, but within the USA it has been my experience that the largest percentage of people who still go to church, do this only because they feel they are supposed to and have that tradition inlaid into their heritage. Now, how is that kind of existence going to allow people to receive the correct teachings from whatever religion they follow? Well…it’s not. Many more people in the USA have simply stopped looking to organized religion because it is not producing a lasting practical structure for them to base their lives upon any longer. Some may completely disagree with this, but even still…there are many people out there who have done just that and they lie within many age groups, nationalities, and all genders.
What has this caused? It has caused a disillusioned public in regards to faith. They know they do not exactly follow the church or temple, but they also do not know how to define their own form of faith nor do they feel the need of time to contemplate such things because they have enough to worry about in their practical lives.
Why all the disillusionment? It is because of people like Franklin Graham. Instead of looking to the people who have lost faith for a reason for the loss, perhaps you should look to what caused it in the first place if it an answer you so desire to receive.
That being said…I am a very spiritual person. I also once followed organized religion. I also became disconnected with organized religion. The difference with between me and some people is that I care about faith. It is important to me. I also have spent the time to be able to develop that faith into a form of pure assistance to all. Saying this, what assistance do statements such as these from Franklin Graham serve to create?
Shame on you Franklin Graham.
——- Erik Sudberg