Things I Think…

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56 Responses

  1. Rapturesaint says:

    I have a great respect and love for my brother in Christ, Franklin Graham who stick to God’s Word – Holy Bible.

    Nothing is wrong with a man loving another man or a woman loving another woman, but a sexual expression of that love is strictly prohibited.

    Scripture teaches that “God is Love” – Absolutely. But that teaching cannot be twisted to support behavior that contradicts other verses that establish God’s boundaries for emotional and sexual intimacy.

    Though the world is attempting to provide their own definitions for what they call “marriage,” the Bible still stands. The clear definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life.

  2. Michael says:

    He sticks to God’s word when it’s convenient and profitable to do so.

    I am not arguing whether or not same sex marriage is marriage in the eyes of God…I don’t believe it is.

    I’m arguing that we need a consistent biblical morality to have any right to say so…or more accurately, to be listened to.

  3. Michael says:

    What does the Bible say about Trumps lies, adultery, and fornications?

  4. bob1 says:

    Cancel Amy Grant? What a horselaugh!

  5. Officerhoppy says:

    Sadly, in my youthful ignorance, there was a time when I was critical of Amy for “crossing over” musically.

    I’ve heard her story and seen the good things she’s done. I will probably never buy any of her records, but I’ll support her.

  6. Jean says:

    Here’s the issue, and why people like Franklin Graham are so destructive to Christianity in America; he’s a hypocrite. Here are his words:

    “Amy Grant announced that she & her husband Vince Gill are going to host a same-sex wedding on their farm for her niece,” Graham tweeted. “Yes, we are to love God & love each other. But if we love God, we will seek to obey His Word. Jesus told us, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’ (John 14:15). God defines what is sin, not us; & His Word is clear that homosexuality is sin.“

    If Graham really believed and practiced what he preached, would he have been just as compelled to be consistent in judgment against the sexual immorality of politicians, pastors and denominational leaders as he is of Ms. Grant?

    One gets the impression that his public statement is more about raising his stature than advancing the kingdom of God. Am I wrong?

  7. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You are 100% correct.

  8. Captain Kevin says:

    Franklin dishonors the legacy of his father.

  9. pstrmike says:

    I tend to think the problem with many who are leaders within conservative evangelical circles is that they have never read broadly enough, thought broadly enough, asked enough questions, or doubted their faith long enough or deep enough to really be able to think outside of their own silo. However, liberal Christianity does no better. And that goes as well for most Christian musicians who should be the last people we look towards to gain an deeper understanding of the faith. I stopped listening to Christian music some time ago, most of it is boring, shallow, and without much theological depth. But then again, it’s not intended to be anything other than entertainment.

  10. DavidP says:

    Confession: Not to sound too hipster, I was off of Twitter long before it was cool — outside of some rare exceptions (Beth Moore, Karen S Prior, dril) I do not miss it. The drama club and Z-tier celebs combined with the villain-of-the-day mentality has been toxic long before Musk got his hands on it.

    All of that is to say: I just heard about Amy Grant and Franklin last night. There is something to be said about being out of the loop now and then (We’d probably all be dismayed if we knew all of our favorite singers’ political and theological opinions). I disagree with her decision but have no interest in “Canceling” her. Franklin, after years of holding up Trump and chasing the culture wars, has no ground.

  11. filistine says:

    regarding franklin graham I simply submit that while he seals his judgment with scripture, he negates other scripture. this is the fallacy of scripture bombing–and I run the same risk in doing so. Romans 2:1-4 outlines both the risk and the reality–that there is a wide swath to God’s kindness/patience/tolerance as well as his judgment. To exercise judgment when He is practicing kindness is to be foolish and putting oneself in the shoes of God. We are warned here to be cautious lest we be judged as hypocrites. God’s kindness/patience/tolerance leads us to repentance in a manner His judgment does not, cannot. I agree that FG has selectively given passes to some while trouncing others; he is a tool. Amy Grant is simply an easy mark for some. We all are put in a moral dilemma from time to time and those instances force us to choose between the various principles we hold as guideposts in the dark. There are few moments in life that are without paradox or contradiction; hence, the need for wisdom and the overarching need for love, grace, and mercy. Even for Franklin Graham.

  12. Michael says:

    Very well said, fil!

  13. Officerhoppy says:

    Yeah—well said Philly

  14. Captain Kevin says:

    Fil: “We all are put in a moral dilemma from time to time and those instances force us to choose between the various principles we hold as guideposts in the dark. There are few moments in life that are without paradox or contradiction…”

    There’s a reality check!

  15. BrideofChrist says:

    I love Amy Grant, and I have been a huge fan of her since I became a Christian in college back in the mud seventies. Amy Grant and I are the same age, and I was so saddened to see her villified and “cancelled ” by Christians after her divorce from her drug addicted first husband 25 years ago. I’ve never divorced, although I have been in a challenging marriage for over 40 years – yet I would never condemn another woman who made this choice. I’ve never walked in Amy Grant’s shoes, so who am I to judge another sister in Christ? Philistine posted ” She’s an easy target”. That is the wisest comment on this thread! Sadly, in Christian circles, it seems that women are always an “easy target” Just look at what happened recently to Beth Moore – a Godly woman of good character , and an amazing Bible teacher. Amy Grant was an easy target 25 years ago, and the good woman is an easy target now. I’ll be praying for her – how this must break her heart! Shame on Franklin Graham for piling on her with these horrible statements, especially after Graham endorsed and supported Trump, who not only repeatedly sinned against his wife with adultery, but also sexually assaulted women against their will outside of marriage. Franklin Graham has completely lost his moral compass. I always admired Billy Graham, but his son is nothing like his father.

  16. Michael says:

    Bride of Christ,

    Well said…and I love Beth Moore as well.

  17. Em Wegemer says:

    Today I had a doctor’s appointment and our mt. roads were solid ice. Got into town okay, but coming back unit a slick spot and ran into a ditch and a snow bank. So many people stopped to see if they could help, but I was dug in. Then a man named Ray came along, borrowed a shovel from a young girl and tried to dig me out.
    He was in his 60s and I said “I don’t want you to have a heart attack doing this!
    His answer, ” Well, if I do, I’ll go to be with the Lord and that’s better than this world!”
    Finally a snow plow came along g and he asked them if they had a rope of some sort. They did and he pulled me out! ! !
    If you think of it tonight say a thank you to our Lord for Raymond! 🙏

  18. Pineapple Head says:

    If I recall from Franklin’s autobiography, his mom did an amazing job of loving him while he was being a rebellious jerk.

  19. Linn says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post all week. Conclusion-I can’t support either Amy or Frankie on this one. Amy somewhere has lost her theological moral compass on marriage, and she wants us all to know. Frankie spends a lot of time policing others while not being consistent with his own pronouncements on sinful behavior. I think Amy and Frankie are tied.

  20. Dan from Georgia says:

    Well said Linn. I am absolutely not in line with Amy Grant her and in the past, and for Franklin Graham to all of a sudden speak out morally while ignoring the 900lb gorilla in the room is astounding.

  21. Dread says:

    Amy cannot say no to this request. Her world will not tolerate it. That spirit is soon to envelope us all. Let’s not be too bold about who lacks moral courage or spiritual grace until we are in the gristmill. There is no evidence that we have either the wisdom or the will to navigate this matter in kingdom consistency or authority. We are lost.

    Or as Michael reminds us we are in Babylonian captivity.

  22. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I don’t think Amy cares much about what anybody thinks…I don’t think this is a concession to the age.
    I think it’s the result of being treated like hell by the moralizers for decades…before we blame all things on the Babylonians, we need to check ourselves…

  23. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I think we are in exile…but so are all Christians in all places.

    I think we have to embrace this before we can move forward…Daniel never tried to convert Babylon…he just stayed faithful to his God.

  24. Linn says:

    Amy could say no, but she is embracing the current beliefs about it being okay to be gay and married. It’s a big “thing” with long-time Christian friends of mine embracing woke Christianity.

    Daniel and his friends endured losing their families and culture, but they did not lose their faith. They risked the king’s displeasure by sticking to their kosher diet, stared down the fiery furnace by refusing to bow down to an idol, and almost ended up as kitty treats for continuing to pray to the one true God of heaven. Exile does not mean deserting our faith. If anything, exile should make our faith stronger.

  25. Michael says:

    Amy could say no and reject a family member that she loves.
    That’s the Christian way…

  26. Michael says:

    The issue here is that the church has lost its moral authority because it allows sexual abuse and immorality within its own ranks and raises holy hell about what “they” do…causing anyone rational to wonder if their alleged morality is a sham in all areas.

    It takes all I’ve got to stay the course in the face of the apostates around me…

  27. Linn says:

    Michael,
    Does that mean you drop all morality? I “rejected” a family member years ago due to her drug use. But, I was never rude or berating. Every time I had to exchange the children, I was polite and caring in her presence. I did not run her down in front of her children, but I was the first to swoop in and remove them if she did not seem safe for them to be around. 10 years later, she told me that my demeanor around her was one of the things that brought her back to her senses. I personally refuse to not call sin sin-but I don’t need to glorify it or be a hypocrite not tending to my own sinful garden. It’s a very polite “I can’t go along with that or I can’t do that.”

  28. Michael says:

    “Does that mean you drop all morality?”

    What an odd thing to ask someone who has pretty much lost everything for standing for biblical morality… and a traditional sexual ethic.

    No, it means that I completely understand why so many, even in the church, reject a traditional sexual morality when what they have seen modeled from its proponents looks nothing like the work of a loving, righteous God.

    It may mean that Amy read somewhere that it was the love of God that leads to repentance…as I said earlier, I can take a stand on an issue while still standing with a human made in the image of God.

  29. Michael says:

    As an example…I’m totally convinced that the whole transgender movement is straight from the pit of hell and will do incredible damage to people.

    I believe that…but should someone caught up in this demonic deception come to me for counsel, I will act and speak as a follower of Jesus, in love and concern for their well being…for as long as it takes.

  30. filistine says:

    Wisdom is not deferring to what some leader says to do–especially those who pursue authority, power, and influence of another brand–it is recognizing the best course in a difficult circumstance that is informed by scripture and led by the Spirit of God. There is not only one correct response to any given situation–that is binary thinking that leads to right/wrong judgments. Instead there is a range of options that leads to good/better/better still/best under the circumstances as well as poor/worse/worst/even lousier. We are trapped on a cycle of binary thinking that enslaves us and deprives us of our freedom in Christ to walk in sync with our conscience and not lockstep with the “tribe.” I would offer Romans 14 as a text to wrestle through when it comes to wisdom & decisions. I probably sound really wackadoodle, but that’s ok.

  31. Em Wegemer says:

    Thank you, Michael. I realise I put that story in the wrong thread.

  32. Chris Long says:

    To Michael’s underlying point, I have believed for many years now that much of the stuff we like to blame culture for and get in shouting matches with culture over is actually our fault as the Body of Christ – we have created much of what we see in culture by misrepresenting God, and a key part of that is love. We were never supposed to be known by what we are against, but by our love. Of course that doesn’t mean that we don’t uphold Biblical standards, but there’s a right and wrong way to do that (and I have been guilty of doing it wrong). Anybody that ever gets out on the streets and does any street ministry will discover very quickly that a whole lot of people out there have been burned by Christians and put off to God entirely. Many that haven’t been put off entirely are wary. I’ve seen several personal intimate bio’s/interviews of prominent atheists and those conservatives rail against and one common denominator is that somewhere in their past often when they were children, typically you find some situation/tragedy happened to them or a family member and the Church came along and blamed God for it and misrepresented our God of love as something else entirely. Then when they see Christians getting up-in-arms over society combined with visible hypocrisy it just really turns people off. Nobody wants to be in relationship with who they perceive is or who they believe is represented to them as a vengeful, hating, afflicting God. Of course the darkness will do what the darkness will do, but as the Church we have contributed to many of the very things we say we hate by not representing the Light as we ought. Anyway, regarding this specific issue, I wouldn’t be comfortable saying either Franklin or Grant aren’t my brother and sister in Jesus, and I tend to agree with where Linn has landed.

  33. Chris Long says:

    And Amen to Michael’s 12:44pm

  34. Michael says:

    fil,

    I agree wholeheartedly…well said.

  35. Chris Long says:

    One more thing: While I think there is probably some legitimacy to the hypocrisy comments regarding Graham, it’s hard for me to rail too much against a man who has led the effort to send over 200 MILLION shoeboxes full of gifts, with Gospel presentation included with each of those 200 million boxes, to kids around the world… I haven’t had that kind of worldwide impact in a practical way of showing love in Jesus’ name and I’m going to assume that everyone that posts here hasn’t either, so….

  36. Michael says:

    Chris,

    You might want to check and see what the recipients think about the shoe boxes…just saying…

  37. Officerhoppy says:

    “ Amy could say no, but she is embracing the current beliefs about it being okay to be gay and married”

    I don’t know exactly what Amy’s thoughts are on homosexuality and same sex marriage. But it could be she is embracing her niece as a beloved family relative and not necessarily the gay agenda

    I would never officiate a wedding of same sex couple, and I am not in a position where I would be invited to a gay celebration. But if one of my daughters or my grandson were to have a same sex wedding, I would probably go, not to validate the union but to embrace my daughter or grandson and maintain a relationship.

    It’s a lose the battle; win the war scenario.

  38. Michael says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Grant had embraced “inclusiveness”.

    When her drug addled ex was beating the hell out of her, Christians made sure to let her know she was in the wrong for leaving…that leaves a mark…

  39. Chris Long says:

    Michael, not sure exactly what you are referring to/trying to infer? My church does quite a bit of missions work and just a few weeks ago someone with first-hand knowledge was telling me how appreciative one of the groups we partner with was to receive the shoeboxes and how the kids loved them. I personally have packed my share of those shoeboxes through the years and have also volunteered at their distribution center so I know what goes in those boxes and the heart behind it and it’s hard for me to imagine kids wouldn’t LOVE to receive them. I’ve personally gotten letters from one of the kids that received my shoe box in years past because they also often get the opportunity for follow-up Sunday-school type classes and was a pen-pal with them for a while many years back. I get that you don’t like Franklin Graham (anybody that’s been around this site knows your feelings on him) but for someone that’s big on helping the down-trodden and less-fortunate and representing love to them, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to at least praise these kinds of efforts through Samaritan’s Purse? You don’t have to love the leader to recognize there’s good being done. I do know that with over 200 million shoeboxes distributed I’m sure (and in fact know) there has been some corruption in the process with some of the groups they partner with on the ground, so maybe that’s what you’re referring to? As far as I know they made some real efforts to clamp down on that some years back.

  40. Michael says:

    Chris,

    I’m not going to do your research for you.
    Look it up there is much objection from indigenous people to the program.

  41. Michael says:

    Yes, I think Graham is an ass.
    I was still grateful for the work SP did here after the fires.

  42. Nonnie says:

    I was a missionary for 15 years in the Philippines, working amongst the urban poor with feeding centres, medical outreaches, church planting. The 700 Club had a big ministry in Manila and it was run by a man named John James. Now we all know that the 700 Club has some crazy stuff about it, but I’ll tell you, John James was a man of compassion, who loved Jesus and His people, and had a gift for networking with other missionaries. John helped us and our ministry, for many years, with food, medical supplies, surgeries for cleft lip children, and more. I will be eternally grateful for the resources that were afforded us through the 700 Club and distributed to us through John James. Let us never discount what God can do through ministries that may have flawed leaders but, at the same time, have men and women sincerely working for them who passionately love Christ and desire to serve Him and the people He cares about. To God be the glory!

  43. Chris Long says:

    Michael, all’s I know is there’s naysayers to everything, but you don’t distribute 200 million shoeboxes to kids filled with all sorts of fun gifts as well as practical items without a bunch of those 200 million being blessed in at least some capacity. I have read arguments against OCC from those that don’t like Franklin Graham (or Christians for that matter) because they feel they are racist or sexist or what have you and I’m sure there are some groups that don’t like some of the stipulations that were placed in times past by some partner groups in receiving the gifts (there was a problem with some groups requiring church attendance etc), but most of what I’ve seen and heard over the last 25+ years has been a lot of positive. The fact that you read some chatter on the Internet and concluded that there is “much objection” doesn’t match with their 200 million number….somebody took those 200 million boxes… Anyway, I agree with Nonnie, one doesn’t have to like everything about a leader of something, to recognize the good being done. Everyone I’ve ever seen or interacted with in regards to them had a heart of wanting to bless kids in Jesus’ name.

  44. Dread says:

    All I know is that 50 year as a Christian has not left me ashamed of my people, the church. Neither have the failures of others made me feel stained and unable to speak up. Further, I do not see addressing Amy about this issue as any different than addressing Franklin for his poor effort.

    For sure we would do better to weep and to take the towel but my experience in the faith has told me there are more tears and towels by multiples than grievous actors. Franklin would be better to have picked up the phone and reached to her for conversation and appeal.

    Christian conversion changes us but living out the redemption? … Well, if the worst of any of us was known by all of us none of us would pass the smell test. That calls for humility but not silence.

  45. Dread says:

    The question of what to do in Amy’s case is one that I wish we actually would discuss. I don’t think affirmation of things that stab our conscience is the love that brings repentance. I do think to address those we love and cannot affirm with tears while saying conscience forbids us is may. The captivity we inhabit is attached to our sexuality. We are fallen and stained. And I cannot escape the reality that when addressing the church immorality and idolatry are always the root of the Gospel call to repentance. You find that consistently in every text of scripture.

    At present the prodigals are returning home to demand repentance from the fathers and not finding it they excommunicate the parents from their grandchildren. We have been smitten with a curse.

  46. Michael says:

    “All I know is that 50 year as a Christian has not left me ashamed of my people, the church. ”

    And that is our difference, my friend.

    I’ve been in the “church” off and on since birth…and as I near the end, I am closer to Jesus and farther from the “church” than I’ve ever been. I will note that many have shared that they are as ashamed of me as I am of the institution…many…

  47. filistine says:

    there is much truth and wisdom to be unpacked in Dread’s last two comments. I will be chewing on them for a while. “At present the prodigals are returning home to demand repentance from the fathers and not finding it they excommunicate the parents from their grandchildren. We have been smitten with a curse.” This is happening with frightening regularity. Lord, have mercy.

  48. Nathan Priddis says:

    -got a wedding announcement
    -went
    -mingled with guest after
    -toasted groom..and..groom
    -wished them all the happiness life brings their way. Umm..meant it too
    -never gave Franklin a thought
    -would attend another if invited

  49. pstrmike says:

    This has been an interesting discussion. I think dread is right, in Amy’s world—both personal and professional—she had to say yes. I understand this to some degree, there are things I would do for family members who are LBGTQ that I could do out of love for them as family without condoning their life choices. I imagine the “announcement” by Amy (can anyone keep their business to themselves these days?) might have been a means of getting out in front of this before it was eventually leaked to media. But it sure seemed like a mild endorsement.

    From what I can tell Amy’s husband Vince Gill is still working with the Eagles, a band that made a ton of money back in the seventies by tapping into that rather dark, mystical/spiritual cult culture of the deserts of the SouthWest (and California). I don’t think they bought into much of it—if any at all— but they road that bus along a dark desert highway all the way to the bank. And we were all left guessing what the lyrics really symbolized (probably nothing close to all the rumors) as we enjoyed the “warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air.” Some of their lyrics in some of their songs indicated they were less than Christian friendly. A friend who toured with them essentially confirmed their criticism of the Christianity, whether that was of the faith or church, I don’t know. That was many years ago and things may have changed in their thinking, particularly after the passing of Glenn Frey, but this was who they were known as. For Gill to be anything but affirming would probably be the end of his relationship with Henley and company. So yes, it’s the world they live in, but it is also the world they have chosen. I can only hope they are stewarding their place well.

  50. BrideofChrist says:

    Tyler Huckabee has recently written an editorial for Religious News Service with the header ‘Leave Amy Grant Alone’. He has this to say about Amy Grant and “bad boy” ( Huckabee’s descriptor off Franklin Grahm, not mine). “Going purely by what we know about stated doctrinal fidelity, it’s not easy to come up with a theological metric by which Franklin Graham is still “one of us” and Amy Grant is not. Unless doctrine isn’t the real issue here.” That’s a direct from his editorial from Religion News Service. I believe it is a very accurate and telling observation.

  51. Reuben says:

    I don’t know much about Amy Grant except two things. One, I had a huge crush on her as a kid. Two, she married Vince Gill who is the only country musician I have respect for.

  52. Reuben says:

    “9. If we had any leadership in this country that actually cared about the people of this country…”

    We would have people who utterly destroy the two party system. Period.

  53. Harris says:

    Late to the party but never dull I promise, so here is what I would comment to say: FG is a person who has made gazillions selling Jesus. Pls spare me w/ the debates of “books” and “speaking engagements”, people donate money ‘in the name of Jesus’ to support FG’s pursuit of those things. FG is one of MANY, although not all 2 Cor 2:17. The fastest way to discern if a church, preacher or pastor is making money on the sale of Jesus is to look at their IRS 990 – “IF” they file one. I will note here that Calvary Chapel is notorious for not filing a 990. Why? If there is nothing to hide, if transparency is honestly, if bringing things to the light is best, then why? Churches are the only exempt group, not other non-profits (and many churches therefore took PPP (from, and ahead of, tax paying entities) based on arbitrary financial information). The Catholic Church is the largest real estate holder in the world, and they were struggling?? Go figure. Calvary Chapel? Struggling?
    To add, Pastors do not pay for their homes – the church does. Imagine how nice that would be to have the tax free income of your million dollar mortgage paid by your church. Your gas, electric, your travel, your hair appointments, etc..and so on. NONE OF THIS IS BIBLICAL! It is a mockery, as is the circus of politics in church. Those politicians are PAID to be there. Charlie Kirk in the pandemic was $35k / speaking engagement. Please people, wake up! This, at best is Ephesus – the church has 100% lost its first love. I pray we see the error of our ways and repent.

  54. CathyM says:

    P.S. Amy Grant can do whatever she wants that’s between she and the Lord. The famous song “Jesus Liver of My Soul” is not sung “Jesus Lover of my Flesh, Behavior, Good Deeds, My Church Attendance” The only thing “gay” about the situation is how “gay” (in an 80’s context) the haters are being with the self righteousness and total lack of perspective to what is the “good news”. And you can quote me on this one “Jesus does not stand at the door and knock while yelling through it to say ‘but be sure you clean that junk up before I come in’, He knocks, and THAT is precisely what we are to do. No person who loves you comes to your house to see the house, they come to see YOU. And if the place is a mess they help you clean it, they don’t B & Moan about how you didn’t, or what you need to do, the come in and help, and soon enough the place is beautiful.”

  55. CathyM says:

    “Lover” of my soul (typo)

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