As an evangelical Christian, I've finally come to the sad conclusion that the public rhetoric of the current CEO of the Billy Graham Association is nothing but a #GrahamShame.
Franklin Graham, the son of renowned global evangelist Billy Graham, decided earlier this week to take to Facebook to publicly side with the anti-Muslim rhetoric of presidential candidate Donald Trump:
"For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over."
This rhetoric is a "Graham Shame" for the legacy and ministry launched by Franklin's father, who invested his life in sharing "good news" found in Jesus, not fear, hate, and warfare with other religions and their adherents.
This rhetoric is a "Graham Shame" for Christians, who are seeing our biblical faith and public engagement tarnished by one of the most renowned Christians in America.
This rhetoric is a "Graham Shame" for the cause of Jesus in the world. In the Gospel of John, Jesus famously said, "God so loves the World." Now, because of ignorance and evil, the message to so many is, "The Christians so hate the Muslims."
Most regrettably, this rhetoric is even more than a "Graham Shame" for hundreds of millions of Muslims in the United States and around the world, who long for a world of peace, justice, and opportunity, and in response have seen a Christian leader declare that our faiths are at war with each other.
Just as Muslims do not want to be defined by those who pervert their faith by hateful rhetoric and acts of terrorism and destruction, I only hope that others do not judge all Christians based on the hateful and exclusionary rhetoric and violence of a few Christians.
Therefore I proudly joined with other Evangelicals in PICO to pen the following statement: Standing Together Against Anti-Muslim Rhetoric I am also really sad that such statements are necessary.
We cannot just shake our heads and decry this #GrahamShame. As Christians, now is the time to act by reaching out to support and love Muslims in our midst, just as Jesus calls us to do.