'A Deliberate Attack Against the Name of Jesus Christ'
Franklin Graham on America as a Christian nation, his father, Islam, and how he prays
BY: Interview by Deborah Caldwell
Then there's this notion that Islam is just another way to God, that Christians have their way to God, and Muslims have their way to God, and it's all the same God. But it isn't the same God. The God of the Christian faith is not the God of Islam. People say they're cousins, but they don't know what they're talking about. The Arab race are cousins to the Jews because they have the same father, Abraham. But we're talking about the religion, and there are millions of Christian Arabs in the world--they're not all Muslim.
The God of Islam is not a father. But the God of the Christian faith gave his son Jesus Christ to come to this earth, to die for our sins on Calvary's cross. He shed his blood, he was buried, and then God raised him. He's alive in heaven and some day the Bible says he's coming back. The God we worship is completely different than the God we see in the Qur'an.
What about the god of the Hebrew Bible? What about Judaism?
Yes. Same God.
What do you believe about Judaism as a faith?
I worship the Jews. In the Old Testament, they're looking for a Messiah. We believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah. They're still looking. But I believe the Jew to be God's people, his chosen people. When we talk about the land of Israel, God gave that land to the Jew. People say, "Well that's not fair." Listen, I didn't give it to them. It wasn't my land, it was God's land. He gave it to the Jews.
We think we can settle this problem in the Middle East. We'll never be able to settle this problem. It is beyond the presidential office to solve this problem. It is beyond the United Nations. It is only going to be solved by God himself.
How will he solve it?
I don't know. It's beyond us. It's too complex, it's too deep. Every time a bomb goes off, every time the Israelis retaliate with another assassination or another invasion into their territory, the rift gets deeper and deeper and wider and wider. And it is not going to be solved.
How would you like to see it solved?
You would like to see peace, where the Jew and their cousins, the Palestinians, could live side-by-side in peace and harmony. You would love to see that. But this notion that the Palestinians have to have their own state-never in history have the Palestinians ever had their own state. Why should they have it now?
I have many Palestinian friends, and I love them and my heart breaks for them, and I see what has happened to their homes and businesses and the difficulty. The Israelis have been very difficult and have made it very hard on many Palestinians. It breaks your heart. There's enough finger-pointing to go both ways. But I have to look at Scripture as a minister of the Gospel. Whose land is it? God created this earth, and he can give this to whomever he chooses.
I want to talk about another name-your own name. How hard has it been to have that famous name?
The expectations sometimes people have for me because of my father-well, I'm not my father, I can't be. I love him, admire him, appreciate him, but I'm not Billy Graham. And I think when I was younger I felt it much more. I'm 50 years old. You get to be 50 years old and you don't care. You just kind of get a thick skin.