Today, we take a look at the Reverend Franklin Graham. I started (as I often do when I'm trackin' teh crazie) at World Net Daily. This morning, I found this:
He was banned from a Pentagon prayer service because of Muslim complaints about his beliefs, and he later charged that Barack Obama has “shaken his fist” at God by endorsing same-sex “marriage,” so no one would expect mild platitudes from the strong-willed Franklin Graham.The WND writer, Bob Unruh, sums up Franklin's message with this:
But to liken America’s current situation to the status of the Old Testament tribe of Judah under Manasseh, the “wickedest king to rule?”
That the message that can be taken from a recent public letter posted on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.
There, Franklin Graham warns that the nation’s financial cliff is nothing to worry about compared to the spiritual cliff he sees.And Graham uses 2 Kings 22-23 to warn us about the deep doo-doo we're in - but the solution offered by Scripture can't possibly be comforting. This is how Graham begins his letter:
My hope and prayer is that the Lord will once again move in our land. It can happen, and we are trusting that a fire of revival will ignite as tens of thousands of homes are opened up this year to share the Gospel through My Hope with Billy Graham.Oooo...scary forewarning here but no details. After bemoaning the usual causes (for conservatives) of our once great nation's moral decline ("blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior" as well as "same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses") Franklin writes:
No question our country’s foundations are being destroyed, but I am reminded of an era in the Old Testament where the Lord moved in a dramatic way to bring godly change to a spiritually dark and depraved nation like Judah, whose moral foundations had been seriously eroded.It's a lot to take in, but it exposes what "morality" and "religious liberty" means to teh crazies - this bunch at least. Let's start with Manasseh. What did he do? While 2 Kings 21 mentions "so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end" and a sacrifice of his own son, much more time is spent with Manasseh's religious transgressions:
Manasseh was the wickedest king to rule over Judah. Throughout his 55 years of evil reign, the land had been defiled with innocent blood. He led Judah into witchcraft, sorcery, and the worship of false gods and idols, including the fertility goddess Asherah. He even sacrificed his own son in the fires of idolatry.
Not many years later, God worked in an extraordinary and unexpected way to bring national revival.
Josiah, Manasseh’s grandson, became king at age 8. Ten years after becoming king, Josiah asked his high priest, Hilkiah, to collect funds to repair the temple that was in disrepair. As they worked, they uncovered the book of the law (the first five books of the Bible). Apparently it had been lost and neglected for a number of years. When Josiah heard the books read aloud by a scribe, he tore his clothes and said, “Great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us” (2 Kings 22:13).
3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” 5 In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.The Lord's initial solution to Manasseh's transgressions? 2 Kings 12-15:
7 He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.” 9 But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
12 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies; 15 they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.”That's a lot of innocent blood, too. But that's not for me to point out, I guess. Let's get back to Graham. He writes:
When the Word of God was then read aloud to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, it pierced their souls and the stage was set for national repentance. Idols were smashed, spiritists and mediums forcibly removed, and the worship of the one true God reinstated. Once again, righteousness ruled.Not exactly a complete reckoning of the events of 2 Kings 23, doncha know. Please keep in mind that last sentence as you read this:
4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. 5 He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. 6 He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people.There was a general purging of any other religious practice in the area (and no mention of any of these events occurring because of Manasseh's sacrifice of his own son or the blood-filled Jerusalem - no, these events occurred due to the religious practices Josiah opposed). At the end of these tales of destruction we have this:
19 Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria and that had aroused the Lord’s anger. 20 Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.To Franklin Graham, this is a story of how "righteousness ruled." The solution to our nation's peril? If this story is any indication, for Franklin Graham it's the imposition of his faith over everyone else and the destruction of any religion he opposes.
Trackin teh crazie.