I’ve got respect for you, brother. You have lead thousands of people toward helping the poor, and given life and joy to millions overseas. Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child are phenomenal, upstanding organizations that change lives all over the world. Your organization leads people to a compassion that, I believe, is Holy Spirit driven. You have a powerful voice in the world, and I’d ask that you be careful.
Because I’m concerned that we’re not reading the same Bible.
My Bible describes a very different Jesus than yours. Mine says God loved all so much that he would send his son to die in our place. Mine tells of a day when Jesus’ followers will turn their swords into shovels. Mine says to love our enemies and pray for them. Mine says to practice hospitality. Mine says “do not be afraid.” Mine says to welcome the stranger, help the needy, feed the hungry and clothe the naked.
Your Bible says that Jesus died for some. Yours says to arm yourself. Yours says self-protection is first and foremost. Yours says to keep the enemies away. Yours says to keep the stranger out because they might be dangerous. Yours is full of fear and dread. And yours says feeding the hungry and giving gifts to children is good as long as they stay on their own continent.
See, Mr. Graham… not the same Scripture.
So here’s the thing: I’m a Christian. A Bible believing, Christ loving, God fearing, Christian. I read my Bible, study theology, work in full-time ministry, and pray with my children and husband. I try to live in a way that looks different than the world, and I try to love others.
But you… you’re different. Your faith is blurring your commitment to your right-wing donors with your commitment to Jesus. You’ve crossed a line. In fact, you’ve crossed the same line as the extremists you allegedly speak out against. You took my perfectly peaceful, love-filled faith, and made it about revenge and self-protection and self-righteousness. It’s time for everyone to know, Mr. Graham, that you’ve hijacked Christianity, along with others like Jerry Falwell, and made it into something that it was never supposed to be.
So you don’t speak for me, and as far as I’m concerned you no longer represent Jesus to the world. Sadly, I don’t have enough influence to really shout louder about love than you shout your hatred. But I can make sure that my family knows, my circle of friends know, and that even my enemies know, that yours is extremist christianity, violent, hateful, dark, fear-mongering and willing to kill those who disagree, and that is not Christianity. You’ve got a powerful voice in the world right now, so please just shut up, take a sabbatical, and spend some time in your Bible. In the words of your latest FB post, with one substitution: Our [faith leaders] are not listening to the truth—My prayer is that God will open their eyes.