In the December 7 2002 issue of the World Magazine, the cover story is titled "Speaking Frankly". It is an interview/article about the son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham - Franklin Graham. It is an article that focus on some controversies that Franklin has made during his continuation of his father's ministry in BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association). In some sense that the father and son are very similar, i.e. they look alike, sound alike and can generate the same atmosphere in the big stadium. However, there are some differences in the message they bring and their stand with other religions. The story is worth a read. I personally have never been to any Billy Graham's crusades, however I have known many people in my church that have, and some were even converted through these missions. Therefore, my impression is really subjected to what this article has said about Billy and Franklin. The biggest controversy with Franklin is his intolerance with other religions, especially the Muslims. He called the Islam "a very evil and wicked religion", while the western world is trying to paint the true Islam as a loving and peaceful religion.
I should have read Matthias Media's new book on Islam in Our Backyard, which tells us what the true fundamental Islam is like. I think Franklin has actually got it right. True Islam is a religion of war but not peace, and they are literally taught to conquer the world using military power. We don't really see that in our everyday Muslim friends is because, like our everyday Christianised friends, they do not care what Q'uan really has said. Just like the average westerners today who hold a basic world view from the Bible, but are not the true professed Christians themselves, many so called Muslims today also only observe the traditions. Where as the "fundamental right-wing protestants", who follow what the Bible says and believed the doctrines passed down by the apostles, are the true Christians. At the same time, the true believers of Islam also follow strictly what the Q'uan has taught. Looking at the history of Islam, it is not difficult to find out what the true teachings of this religion are.
And Franklin is standing firm in his belief, which Jesus Christ is only way to God our Father, just as the Bible has taught the world for 2 thousand years. I hope and earnest pray that he will stand firm on that, instead of what the world would like to believe, as in this situation we do not have to be accountable to anyone but God. And I'll pray that Franklin will continue to show his love to all people, including the Muslims and those who hated him, just as Christ loved us. The best way to express love is not being indifferent, but instead share the gospel of Jesus Christ to them because we firmly believe that everyone needs his salvation. How is that love by saying "your belief is okay" when knowing in full knowledge that this person will be condemned in God's judgement? At the same time, we see Franklin's father Billy is really loosing the plot. Billy Graham is trying to be conciliatory, welcoming all religions, and as political correct as possible. Shall we trade the truth with political correctness? No way!
We shall indeed pray for the church leaders around the world for their faith and boldness to make a difference. And I have never heard Franklin Graham preached, but he has got my thumb up for standing firm to the truth.