I just came across this recent interview with evangelical leader Franklin Graham on Newsmax.com, wherein he stated that the tsunami in Japan and other events could be signs that the return of Christ is near.
What I read made me wonder just how well Graham really knows the Bible. The signs he mentioned--war, famine and earthquake--are taken from what is called The Olivet Discourse, which Jesus delivered outside Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, and wherein he prophesied the details of the destruction of Jerusalem, the desolation of Israel, the Apocalypse and His Second Coming.
It seems to me, Mr. Franklin Graham, that if you are going to call the recent tsunami one of the signs of the end times, you'd do well to specifically mention the verse in The Olivet Discourse where Jesus said: the sea and the waves roaring. Luke 21:25. It certainly pertains, and would make you sound a little more authoritative.
And why do you hedge? "Could be?" War, famine and earthquakes are three of the many signs Jesus said to heed. Any believer who's read the Bible knows this, and that they are coming to pass right now with uncanny accuracy, so why not quote the Bible directly instead of deferring to it vaguely? And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:27-28.
And why are you giving such an interview to Newsmax.com? Those people are not exactly compassionate Christians. It's a website that's run by and caters to hard right arch conservatives and the mentally ill tea partiers on the lunatic fringe.
To get a better feel for Newsmax, take a quick look at the authors of the Newsmax.com blogs.
Here's a brief rundown of the bloggers I recognize. Among his many foul personality traits, the bloated, bellicose gasbag Dick Armey is a misogynist. Then there's the notorious Y2K wacko Pat Boone. I've never heard of Chris Freind, but his latest blog post is entitled: America Needs More Nuclear Power. That sounds like a common sense response to the recent disaster in Fukushima. Dr. Laura is a racist whose potty mouth ruined her radio career. Betsy McCaughey is a former tobacco industry lobbyist and was a vociferous opponent of health care reform (how very Christian) who propagated the death panels lie. Dick Morris is insane, Grover Norquist is inane, and both are Fox News hacks. Ralph Reed, along with the aforementioned Grover Norquist, was intimately involved in the infamous Jack Abramoff Indian Casino scandal. John Stossel's muddled mind is just plain weird, and George Will is a pompous, condescending, right wing liar who still holds to the ridiculous belief that climate change is not real.
Are these the modern day disciples of Christ you associate with, Franklin?
Additionally, Mr. Graham, you are a Republican, and in the Bible I read, Republicans resemble the enemies of Jesus Christ, not the disciples and friends. For as I understand it, Republicans screw everybody--including themselves. Jesus instructed us to give to the poor, and to be of compassionate hearts, and when asked what were the two greatest commandments, He said: Love God above all things, and thy neighbor as thyself.
So exactly how is inflicting Republican policy upon everyone ministering to the poor and loving God and thy neighbor as thyself? Seriously. Republicans condone raping God's sublime creation for cash, they don't give a fig about their neighbors, their hearts are stone, and they enrich themselves at the expense of what little the poor do have, thereby oppressing their neighors while condemning themselves, insomuch as it is written: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Furthermore, you supported Mitt Romney for president in 2008. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Mormonism calls itself a Christian denomination, but it is not: it is a false religion based on a work of fiction that its adherents hold to be a sacred book. It's a crock of rubbish that was written by their great 'prophet' Joseph Smith, a nineteenth century grave robber and womanizer who was killed in a shootout with authorities.
The Bible very clearly prophesied that such believers as the Mormons would come. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Barack Obama is a Christian. Mitt Romney is not. So your preference of Romney based on Christian faith makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
You recently used your charitable foundation Samaritan's Purse planes to deliver 90 tons of relief supplies to Japan, and that is commendable; but you also used one of those planes to chauffeur Sarah Palin around in style during one of her book tours,and to solicit charity in the name of Christ and spend it in such a manner is deplorable.
Franklin Graham called Islam 'wicked' and 'evil.' As one who loves and clings to Jesus Christ, I feel the same way about right wing Christians, in that they give a horribly false example of what it means to be Christian, thereby leading some astray and turning others off, and about whom Jesus said: ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.