Billy Graham’s *Decision* Magazine Says Christians Will be “Open Targets” if Democrats Take Congress in 2018

Graham Decision

An early issue of *Decision*

Court evangelical and fear-monger Franklin Graham obviously has the reigns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).  The editors of Decision, the official magazine of the BGEA, recent published an article titled “How the White House has Strengthened Religious Liberty.”  Here is a taste:

The past 22 months have brought significant progress in restoring religious liberty in the United States. But if Christians do not remain engaged, those gains could be brought to a screeching halt or even lost after next month’s midterm elections. If progressives reclaim a majority in Congress, not to mention in state and local governments, believers will once again be open targets for punishment by left-wing activists bent on silencing those who wish to live out their faith in society.

The article goes on to praise Donald Trump for appointing Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, proclaiming that Christians will not “be bullied anymore,” protecting international religious liberty, and revoking the Johnson Amendment (which has not happened).  See the entire list here.

Billy Graham got burned by getting too close to politics.  I chronicle this story in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  So it is sad to see his organization and his magazine becoming so political.  How this will hurt the BGEA’s ability to spread the Gospel around the world is yet to be seen.  That will be a story for future historians to tell.

Will Christians be “open targets” if the Democrats are elected?  I don’t think so.  But even if we are, perhaps it is time for the church to suffer a little persecution.  It might do us some good and help us to figure out what we are supposed to be doing in these days.  It might also help us to articulate a more “confident pluralism” and relinquish our Christian nationalist longings.

8 thoughts on “Billy Graham’s *Decision* Magazine Says Christians Will be “Open Targets” if Democrats Take Congress in 2018

  1. This is the kind of demonization of the “other” that leads people to commit acts of mass murder. Because it says liberals aren’t just people we disagree with about policy, but evildoers that are opposed to God that want to take away freedom.

    I complete stopped attending church a couple of years ago because I no longer want to be around this type of inhumanity. I don’t want to think about the ugly Sunday sermons filled with lies as I go through my week. Listening to people talk about gays or intellectuals or whomever in such dehumanizing terms, we are seeing now where it leads.

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    • Paul,
      If you believed you had a scriptural argument contrary to the others in your congregation, why didn’t you start a dialogue on the matters which were of concern to you? Most adult Sunday schools are great places for open discussions. Furthermore, if your concern was with your pastor, I am sure he was accessible in person, via email, or telephone.
      While there are exceptions, it has been my experience that religious liberals are either unwilling or unable defend their views.
      James

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      • Open discussions? At evangelical churches? You are funny.

        Last Bible study I went to, left when the leader said, “if that’s what you think, what are you doing here?”

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  2. Hey John,

    A friendly push back on the comment that persecution “might do us some good.” Granted, it might, but the history of what persecution does, as you well know, is a mixed one. Some believers recanted their faith, a reality that Augustine and others like the Donatists had to address.

    Baylor historian, Phillip Jenkins, soberly underscores that Tertullian’s well-known comment that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” is not a binding promise we can count on:

    “Tertullian came from a church that died. Tertullian came from a North African church, which by the year 700 had ceased to exist. And it was replaced by Islam.”

    I would add that if Paul had a righteous way to escape persecution, he would. I’m thinking of him being lowered in the basket and invoking his Roman citizenship.

    Last, I Tim. 2:1-5 instructs us to pray for peace among the governing authorities so the gospel can be proclaimed without opposition.

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  3. “Will Christians be “open targets” if the Democrats are elected? I don’t think so. But even if we are, perhaps it is time for the church to suffer a little persecution.”

    No offense, but that seems like a weak response to this ridiculous assertion. I will guarantee that in no way, shape or form will Christians (77% of the nation’s population) suffer any persecution at all if the Democratic Party does well in November. None. Zip. Unless we are redefining our idea of “persecution” to include “things that bug us.”

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    • I don’t think Christians will be prevented from worshipping freely, but I think the issues of religious liberty for Christians with deeply held beliefs is a real issue. (Perhaps this does not fall into the category of “persecution”–fair enough).

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      • I am pretty sure a whole lot of us in that 77% aren’t the kind of Christians that would likely bother anyone enough to be persecuted.

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