Monday Morning Insights

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    Franklin Graham:  Speaking Truth or Hype?

    Franklin Graham:  Speaking Truth or Hype?

    OK... I want your input on this.  Franklin Graham has, of course, been in the spotlight recently over the whole National Day of Prayer dis-invitation thing.  Last week, on the eve of the National Day of Prayer, Graham said this in a webcase from the offices of the Family Research Council:

    "I think its coming to this country where we (will) have the freedom to preach inside a church wall, but we will lose the freedom to do it outside. That day will probably come – maybe in my lifetime."

    I want to know what you think of this quote.

    Do you agree or disagree?

    Is it probably truth or purely hype?

    Franklin Graham continues:

    “(In the United States) we see everyday our rights being eroded. Just a little at a time, but its happening. Everyday. So let’s preach while we can. Let’s stand up and holler ‘Jesus Christ! King of Kings, Lord of Lords!’to the top of our voice... The secularists are going to get ticked off, the news media’s going to hate it. I don’t know, maybe the people in the White House are going to be mad. But you know what, I don’t care. Because God has called us to take the Gospel -- His Gospel, the power of God and His Salvation -- unto the ends of the Earth.”

    Again... agree or disagree?

    My take:  I don't know.  In some ways, I think it is the proverbial militant preacher that is preaching 'Jesus Christ! King of Kings, Lord of Lords' at the top of their voice that somehow is causing much of the turmoil and 'rights reduction' in America.  Don't get me wrong... America was based on religious freedom, and we need to protect our right to proclaim the gospel without government intervention; but purposefully ticking off the people who are the ones who are in power over making the rules doesn't make sense to me either.

    We can holler Jesus' name all day long at those we don't agree with; and at people who don't know Jesus.  They'll just think we're nuts.  (And they should... they don't know Jesus!)  And if they think we're nuts, they probably WILL move to keep us quiet.  After all, that's what we want to do with them, right?

    What's the answer?  Let the church be the church.  Like it was in Nashville last week.  The more we as churches (and individuals) can be the hands and feet of Jesus rather than trying to be the mouth of Jesus, the better off we are.  Out of the opportunities that God gives us every day being the hands and feet, lives will be changed, and instead of having to 'holler' Jesus' name; we can whisper it.  And my guess is that we'll be a lot more effective.

    Am I all wet?  It's Monday.  Early.  And I haven't had my coffee yet.  (But that's no excuse... I hate coffee).

    What do YOU think?  Leave a comment below...

    Todd

    (You can read more on Franklin Graham's comments here)

     

    Comments

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    1. Sgillesp on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Amen, Todd.  I dearly wish Franklin would go back to running Samaritan’s Purse and stop talking publically.  He is tone-daef in his public pronouncements.  Lots of people wanted Jesus to stand up and crow triumphantly, but Jesus’ enemies were not flesh and blood, and he picked his battles wisely.  Franklin needs to understand that saying things non-Christians don’t understand and then whipping up fervor about “persecution” just alarms the people he ought to care about loving, and creates the very restrictions he laments—or maybe he understands that all too well.  His father’s legacy should have gone to Anne, a much wiser preacher.

    2. Michael Buckingham on Mon, May 10, 2010

      The boycotts, the in your face shouting, pounding the pulpit…it’s not working. Or at least, it doesn’t work as well as being the light, letting God work through us. People aren’t bullied into a relationship with Christ, they are welcomed.

      That doesn’t mean we just rollover, and there are certainly times to take a stand but let’s pick our battles and choose our tactics in a way that reflects Christ. I find it interesting the only time Christ shouted was in the church with the church people.

    3. Stewart on Mon, May 10, 2010

      When someone asked Jesus how to get eternal life, he didn’t answer by saying “preach louder” or anything like that did he? Nope. He said “Love God and love others.” (That’s the stewart summed up paraphrased version smile ) But as Christian’s we don’t have rights do we? We belong to God and were bought at a price, so we should honor God with our bodies and our lives. I don’t think it matters what happens to our rights. Paul says we are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. So like the church in China or the middle east where it’s illegal to be a Christian, we should be loving God and loving each other.  I think love is the answer.
      That’s my take anyhow.

    4. Gordon Marcy on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Is “freedom from religion” in the U.S. hype? That may be unthinkable to some, but not to those who have been watching this happen in the UK for many years. Leaders involved in the batter there issue a warning to Christians in the U.S.

      http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=9425

      Perhaps a way to view this is that the church has hands and feet (Nashville) and a voice (Franklin).

      Each has a role to play as God leads.

    5. Karen on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I agree with you Todd. Acting out and crying out angrily, “I’m Christian and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” rarely gets us anywhere with the non-believer. Why would it? How did you come to know Christ? Were you bullied into the Kingdom? Jesus got far more angry with the religious leaders than the sinners of His day. IMO, it’s about building relationships that will one day give me credibility and opportunity to share the Gospel.

    6. Ebony mom on Mon, May 10, 2010

      As a Christian I believe we have the right to make our views known. Our goal is to draw people to Christ. Franklin Graham has a right to disagree with the tenets of Islam but to call them wicked was the reason for the “dis-invitation”. I do not believe that the Gospel will be confined to the church but let us not get the Gospel and our own opinions mixed up.

    7. Ray on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Well, hype or no - the fact is the light is going out in the west - and those of us who spend time in the east know it.  The gospel will prevail - even in times of persecution - but harder days in living for Jesus are just ahead.  The fact is - systemic Isalm has been brutish since its inception, and is far more of a religious political factor than the right in politics is in the US.  We will continue to offer a cup of cold water in Jesus name to the suffering, to the least of these - to those who are not of our persuasion - but Franklin is on mark.  Its just that we dont want to listen.

    8. Randy Willis on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I’m okay with the first statement. I think we’re clearly headed down a path toward greater control on what the church does publicly, although I don’t know what the timeline will be.

      But I’m not crazy about the second quote. What good will “stand(ing) up and holler(ing) ‘Jesus Christ! King of Kings, Lord of Lords!’to the top of our voice” do? I think Graham’s right, “The secularists are going to get ticked off, the news media’s going to hate it. I don’t know, maybe the people in the White House are going to be mad.” And for good reason!

      I’d rather the world be mad at the Church because we’re being the Church, not because we’re loud, obnoxious, and annoying.

    9. Randy Miller on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Franklin Graham is indeed right. You can no longer go into a school and share Jesus but a Wican can spout their stuff. Just this morning a senior citiizen center was told they can no longer pray because that is against the law. The comments I have read think we will always have the right to speak but that is not so. No you don’t have to get up and scream but his point was share while you can.

    10. rlh on Mon, May 10, 2010

      It seems that the Gospel is spreading in the countries where it is repressed the most and shrinking where it is free. While I don’t ever want our freedoms to be lessened, perhaps by adding “value” to our freedom by its limitations will cause the gospel to again spread here. Franklin is right that we must spread the news while we can, but I don’t think an in your face attitude is going to win as many as God’s grace, love, and forgiveness can.

    11. Dick Anderson on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I find it hard to improve on Scripture.  II Timothy 2:24-26 “The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men; able to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves, if God per adventure will give them repentance unto the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

    12. Greg on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I agree with Ray and Gordon.  We will see dark days in our lifetime.  “The light is going out in the west.”  As I understand Franklin’s comments, he wasn’t speaking to the world (though being overheard by the world).  He was speaking to the Church about what lies ahead and what our mission is.  We need to be warned.  It’s our nature in these times to want everybody to be nice and get along.  But Jesus didn’t just talk about love.  He called the religious establishment whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones.  He told stories showing the leaders of God’s people rejecting God, killing his Son, and then being rejected themselves.  This was not nice.  It was not restrained.  It did not play well.  But it was true.

    13. John Heading on Mon, May 10, 2010

      The question is, “Is he speaking the truth?” And the answer to that is, “Yes.” But is he speaking it in a way that is the best possible opportunity for progress, maybe yes/no. I think there are times to stand and say it loud and times to show it loud. Absolutely we must be the hands and feet of Jesus, but others times, “How will they know unless someone tells them”. We must be sensative to the Holy Spirit to know when is the time to take what approach.
      I am reminded of believers I have known who have been imprisoned and died for sharing the message of the Gospel. Where would those churches/nations be today if they hadn’t stood-up and spoke the Gospel?

      I believe the day will come when we will be sensored in what we can say (Britain pastor arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin) and then ultimately be silenced to speaking only in the church, like Kazakstan, etc.

      Don’t forget, God is still on the throne. Let’s serve to pleasure of our God!

    14. Bob on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I totally disagree!!! There is already a strong push to limit certain verses of Scripture from even being read in church.  This will not be long.  Once this happens on the inside (being censored in church buildings), the outside will be shut off. So yes, we need to quickly start loving God and loving people, but we must tell them of the greatness of God and His love and how He has allowed us to be redeemed through Jesus Christ.  This whole debate is easily seen with the way things are playing out in our country right now.

    15. David Kobelin on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Though I agree that the loud shouting can sometimes be less than effective, the “right” for those who feel called to do this needs to be fiercely protected, as does the right for those who disagree and shout out against Christianity. If we don’t defend that right, then we all lose. That’s what the Founders understood and what has made our nation unique in history.

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