Gay Marriage according to Franklin Graham

I never pay attention to Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. After Jim Wallis of Sojourners called attention to one of Graham’s FaceBook postings, we found Graham’s more recent posting chastising the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s newly announced constitutional amendment redefining marriage. Said Franklin Graham:

“In His Word, the Bible, God has already defined marriage, as well as sin, and we should obey that rather than looking for ways to redefine it according to the desires of our culture. Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman—end of discussion. Anything else is a sin against God, and He will judge all sin one day.”

As of this moment, 107,850 Graham FaceBook followers “Like” it and 12,373 have “shared” it. I posted this comment on the FaceBook post.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you have yet to do your homework, and your statement “End of discussion” separates you from the more humble approach of the father whose name you proudly bear. Without interpretation and re-interpretation those who take the Bible at face value should also hold steadfast to the cosmology of a flat earth.

As a Presbyterian (USA) pastor since 1967, I have watched and heard the debates about the nature of human sexuality since 1979. The discussion within the church have not been without rancor or turmoil, but I’m proud that my church has had the courage to look at human sexuality and biblical hermeneutics through the lens of “the rule of love” not hate, separation, exclusion, or one’s own righteousness.

As a pastor who began hearing the stories of gay church members many years ago, I sensed that the prevailing view of homosexuality as a sickness and/or sin was off the mark and damaging to the heterosexual majority no less than the homosexual minority. There is no distinction at the baptismal font. No distinction allowed at the Lord’s table. And, at long last, I am now free, according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to make no such distinction at the kneeling bench before the altar.

– Rev. Gordon C. Stewart, H.R., Chaska, MN, March 19, 2015

14 thoughts on “Gay Marriage according to Franklin Graham

  1. I think anyone reading the comments from Mr. Stewart should read the bible and think for themselves. For example read 1 Timonthy 8-11

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    • It’s unusual for us to publish a comment by an anonymous contributor, but in this case, the comment deserves both applause and a further comment on the text from First Timothy. The word ‘sodomites’ derives from the despicable sexual humiliation of losers by winners at Sodom. Sodomy in its original context has nothing to do with love. It was non-consensual sex – rape.

      The Geneva Bible (1599) adds this footnote to v. 11: “He [God] setteth against fond and vain babbling, not only the Law, but the Gospel also, which condemneth not, but greatly commendeth the wholesome doctrine contained in the commandments of God, and therefore he calleth it a glorious Gospel, and the Gospel of the blessed God, the virtue whereof these babblers knew not.”

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      • Mona, Franklin Graham’s FaceBook page is a continuous rant with a HUGE following. If you or I get 8 likes and one share on our blog posts, it’s a really great day. Nobody is listening. But 100s of thousands are listening to the religious equivalent of George W., the son of famous father who wants to one-up his father. However much one agreed or disagreed with Billy Graham, one was impressed by his gentle spirit and humility. His son appears to believe his father was wrong to leave judgment in the hands of God. He seems to believe he has the inside track, and whoever disagrees is …. Well, you know.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Matthew 19:3-5 Jesus speaks about marriage…
      3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?…

      I can guarantee that Jesus did not die on the cross so that we as humans could make up our own rules and re-write the laws that God has established from the beginning. He is a holy God. Jesus said “Go, and sin no more.” He also said if you love Him, you will obey Him. He is my Savior, my God and my Best Friend. I will obey Him until He returns. When that day comes, I pray you are able to hear Him say, “well done,” and not “Depart from me, I knew you not.” I will be praying for you and this nation. May God have mercy on your soul and open your eyes to see His Truth.

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      • Sheri, I’m always interested to hear from people I’ve not “talked” with before. Thank you for taking the time to respond to Mona Gustafson Affinito’s comments.

        Since we don’t know each other, I’d like to share with you that I don’t come to my position lightly or capriciously. I study the Bible daily. I read the New Testament in Greek. I’ve studied Hebrew but am not able to read Hebrew Scripture in the original language. Reading Scripture in their original tongues almost 50 years ago opened a whole new world – what Karl Barth called “the whole new world of the Bible” – a different way of looking at the divine-human encounter. I believe God calls us to use our minds and hearts. So do you, I’m sure. I feel it is safe to suppose we agree on that in as much as we would agree that there is a development over time, in the Biblical literature itself and in the post-biblical interpretation of God’s will, in such things as children, polygamous and monogamous standards for sexuality and family, the abandonment of the Holiness Code’s prohibition against wearing clothing made of more than one fabric, the rights and roles of women, for example. Jesus himself was among those rabbis who interpreted Torah liberally, you might say literately rather than literally. He read the Scriptures he loved through the eyes of love, and so should we. As a pastor with whom GLBT church members have felt comfortable enough to share their journeys from the dark despair of thinking their affections were abnormal, sinful, or sick searching their faith, I listened. About the same time, I studied the Presbyterian Church’s 3 year commissioned study on homosexuality (1978). My mind and heart were changed. I read the Scriptures again in a new light in the same way the church once read the Scripture differently after Copernicus and Galilee’s view of the universe finally displaced the flat Earth cosmology of the Bible. This is one of the Galileo moments. Surely it cannot be argued that Jesus in the 21st Century would still assume a flat Earth cosmology. He would accept the revised cosmology as part of his own understanding of God, himself, the human species, nature, and the universe itself. God bless. Thanks for coming by and thanks for listening. – Gordon

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