The criticism is well founded and biblically based. From Job, through the establishment of Israel, right on through the New Testament, God makes it undeniably clear how He feels about helping the least in society, including the foreigner and sojourner. God actually reminds us that we are sojourners too! That is the point beloved. When you properly see yourself as merely passing through this world, how can you not have empathy for those passing through as well? And why? Because some might be bad players? Have we no faith in the God we serve? What Franklin Graham fails to see is that he is being criticized because his position is entirely unbiblical and his defense is merely carnal. Oh, and he benefitted greatly and personally for his support.
The sadly ironic part here is that he does not realize how he convicts himself by correctly pointing out that the role of the president is different than the role of the church. Amen and hallelujah! That is the entire point. Reasonable people again can debate in the world about the wisdom of this policy but the church should have absolutely nothing to do with it. But look at how exposed Graham is here. He does not even see how he is compromised. His insistence in this article and previous statements is to defend the president instead of taking the position the church is supposed to take. That is the problem beloved.
"As Christians we are clearly taught in the Bible to care for the poor and oppressed. At Samaritan's Purse, we have been working in the Middle East for over 30 years. We've provided things like food, heaters, blankets, coats, shelter plastic, and more for tens of thousands of refugees there and in other places around the world." -- Franklin Graham
Graham keeps convicting himself. Yes Franklin we are to care for the poor and oppressed. That is entirely why this ban is unchristian! It does not matter how great a job your nonprofit, excuse me I meant your association of churches, has done over the years. It is all of our responsibility even if we do not earn a ridiculous salary in return for our efforts. I am glad that Samaritan's Purse has helped but I do not see that as an excuse why we do not need to care about the marginalized anymore.
"As Christians we are commanded to help all, regardless of religious background or ethnicity, like the Good Samaritan Jesus shared about in the Bible. Our job is to show compassion. I believe the best way to help is to reach out and help these people in their own countries." -- Franklin Graham
How profoundly sad that Franklin Graham is so compromised that he cannot even tell that he is the priest in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He is the one that finds any reason to oppose helping them. He wraps it up in religiosity, just like the priest did. It is quite telling that he would reference this parable because it is biblical proof he is wrong.
Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." -- Luke 10: 30-37 (ESV)
There is even more irony in that the reason Jesus tells this parable is that someone was trying to justify themselves, just like Franklin Graham is doing. The Samaritan is chosen as the anti-hero because Samaritans were reviled by the Jewish people, much the same way Muslims are reviled today by many Americans. The man that fell among robbers can be anyone in need. People on the outside of salvation looking in. People who have been assaulted by this world. People who need the compassion of Christ and the Gospel that can save them. The priest represents leadership in religion, as does Graham. The priest had solid, pious reasons to not help this man. If he did he would be made unclean. Franklin thinks he has solid, pious sounding reasons for not helping as well. Look at all the help I have done over the past 30 years! These people are better helped in their own country!
Says no biblical text anywhere.
How sad is it that most of the people who are standing up to demand help for these people are unbelievers while Christians cross the street to walk on by? We are supposed to be the Good Samaritan; not the religious priest. I cannot imagine standing before Christ and trying to make the argument that I felt it was better to help these people in their own country. The callousness of Franklin Graham in this scenario is staggering. He tries to fall back on the work of his "association of churches" but that has been exposed as well as his meal ticket in this life. Listen beloved. If you want to side with this ban, go right ahead. We have free will. But stop pretending that this has something to do with something Obama did in 2011 or countries he highlighted in 2015. Stop acting like it really isn't a Muslim ban because that exact wording is not in the Executive Order. Stop following false leaders who are idolizing this country and providing cover for carnal leaders who could care less about the Gospel and the cause of Jesus Christ. Like the Priest on the road to Jericho, let them pass on the other side. We have a higher calling. We are the sojourner in these lands. We are the salt and light for a dying world. We are the shining city on the hill. I am not saying that you have to hop on a flight to the Middle East nor am I saying that you should be out protesting. I am saying to stop sending the message that Christians do not care about the least in society when that is the number one topic in the Bible after salvation. Those in the world may be spiritually blind but they have no problem at all recognizing hypocrisy. No problem at all.
Our key verse today reminds us that there will be some who come in the name of Christ but are merely peddlers of His Word. People who make merchandise of the Gospel. It certainly appears that Franklin Graham fits that role now. Perhaps he started with the best of intentions. Perhaps he still has good intentions. It matters not because he idolizes this wicked, carnal, pagan country. It matters not because he shills for the president and sees no problem with the fact that he has been paid to do so . It matters not what his intentions are because he has become the problem in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He thinks that person who fell in among the robbers would be better helped somewhere else. Not in my backyard. Yeah that is not the Gospel. Not even close.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- February 1, 2017