• Franklin Graham Refreshingly Opts for Grace When Responding to Celebrity’s Criticism

    Daily Surge Summary: Renowned preacher Franklin Graham responds to criticism from TV personality Whoopi Goldberg by modeling graciousness and clarity. 

    Faith Family America’s Judy Clair writes, in response to criticism from a prominent television personality, well-known evangelist, missionary and Christian leader Franklin Graham set a tone which not a few Americans might want to emulate when interacting with those who differ with them on hot-button issues.

    [He] could’ve answered “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s accusation in a variety of ways, but he clearly chose the most gracious.

    Whoopi Goldberg recently and bizarrely lit into conservative evangelical leaders for supposedly not speaking out more against Jeffrey Epstein, the liberal financier accused of sex trafficking and pedophilia charges.

    Epstein, who traveled in socially rarified circles, befriending such notables as Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and celebrities like Chris Tucker and Kevin Spacey, is under legal fire for allegedly running a sex trafficking ring and abusing underage girls.

    Last week, Goldberg accused evangelicals of staying silent about Epstein. “You know who I’m waiting to hear from?” asked Goldberg. “All those folks that are out there that talk about they want to take care of young people and make sure young people are good… why isn’t the evangelical community coming forward? Where is everybody? That was worrying me because I thought, ‘Well, one of the ways that you show that you care about people is … you come out, and you condemn this kind of stuff… and all the folks that I’m used to hearing talk about, you know, ‘This one is bad, or this is bad or this’ haven’t said much, and I was just wondering… where are they?”

    Co-host Meghan McCain took up for the accused conservatives, saying, “I don’t think evangelicals are OK with pedophilia.” She also reminded her colleagues Epstein was a “giant donor to a lot of Democrats.”

    Ouch.

    Franklin Graham was specifically fingered by Goldberg as one of the “silent”. The sixty-seven-year-old preacher answered her knock via Facebook – but in a manner many may not have anticipated, writing:

    “I understand that on The View this week Whoopi Goldberg questioned why I and some other evangelical leaders hadn’t spoken out and condemned the actions of Jeffrey Epstein. The things Epstein is accused of are evil and horrific.”

    “I strongly condemn his actions and I’m sure that every follower of Christ would do the same. I wholeheartedly agree with Whoopi that this is one of the ‘ills of our country.’ What the Epstein case comes down to is something I have written and commented about a multitude of times—sin in the human heart. The world is in a moral crisis—a sin crisis.”

    “The only cure, the only hope, for every heart—for you, for me, for Whoopi, even for Jeffrey Epstein, as horrible as his transgressions may be—is forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We are all sinners in God’s eyes who need forgiveness from Him. There are a lot of religions in this world, but there is only one Jesus who paid the price for our sins with His death, burial, and resurrection. I appreciate Whoopi bringing up this topic.”

    Graham, interestingly, is mirroring his renowned evangelist father, the late Dr. Billy Graham, who rarely missed an opportunity, whatever the context, to share the redemptive message of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ.

    NB: The lack of defensiveness from the younger Graham, his respectful tone. It’s refreshing – particularly against the savage backdrop of so much of the political and cultural wrangling presently dominating the news cycle. He didn’t personally trash Goldberg, didn’t assail her with insults or pejoratives, although she had pointedly singled him out for criticism. Instead, Graham took advantage of the situation to expressly reinforce his position on the Epstein outrage and present the Gospel solution for it.

    Not a few public commentators – including many a professing Christian one – could benefit from patterning themselves after Rev. Graham.

    I’m wondering: does Whoopi now wish she’d never mentioned Franklin Graham? Or did his sentiments and attitude touch her heart? We can pray the result was the latter option.

    Image: By Cornstalker – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67019271


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