The granddaughter of famous evangelist Billy Graham has criticized her uncle Franklin Graham for his support of President Donald Trump and said she believes he needs to “stick to” ministry — not politics.
“I think my uncle is an incredible – he has an incredible humanitarian ministry that’s been on the front lines often before a lot of ministries have been there,” Jerushah Armfield told CNN’s Pamela Brown in an interview posted on Tuesday.
“I think he probably needs to stick to doing that. I think he believes he’s speaking to a larger audience than he is. I think the audience he was once speaking to is starting to migrate to a little more progressive open mindedness,” she added.
Armfield took lamented that the term “evangelical” has “started to really represent, actually, a branch of Christians that seemed to be a little more conservative and a little bit more hypocritical, a little bit more willing to compromise on the personal morals of a candidate in lieu of what politically they could gain for their party.”
Billy Graham’s granddaughter went on to argue that the president “has not shown” himself to be a Christian.
“My Jesus that I follow was really somebody who fought for the outliers, and I think that Trump has actually done the opposite in kind of ostracizing them,” she asserted.
Franklin Graham, the 65-year-old president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, frequently praises the president, and in a a Dec. 1 post on Facebooksaid, “Never in my lifetime have we had a president willing to take a strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith like President Donald J. Trump has.”
“Whether you are Protestant, evangelical, Orthodox, Catholic — all Christians need to get behind him with our prayers,” said Graham.
During Graham’s 2016 tour of the country, where he held prayer rallies at state capitols, the evangelist said Trump’s election was largely a product of answered prayers.
“[Americans wanted] somebody in the White House that believed in God, and would listen to God’s voice,” he said.
The evangelist said he sensed that God was “getting ready to do something” when he listened to the prayers of the thousands who showed up at his Decision America Tour rallies.
“They were praying that God will change the direction that our nation was going in. The secularists that have gotten control of Washington, that have a humanistic, atheistic agenda – they (the people) were praying that God will change this,” he said.
“I believe God’s hand was in it,” he said of the election, “I’m not a Republican nor a Democrat, I’m just a follower of Jesus Christ.”
Previously, Armfield said her uncle’s suggestion that Trump’s win meant God answered the country’s prayer was bad theology, according to the Washington Post. “To suggest the president-elect is an ambassador to further the kingdom in the world diminishes not only my Jesus but all he stood for and came to earth to fight against,” she said.
She said Trump “encouraged racism, sexism and intolerance, exactly what Jesus taught against.” She said that her grandfather “understood the love of Jesus that fought for the outliers while the president-elect ostracized them.”
“The evangelical leaders that endorsed Trump put power and influence over principles and character,” she said.
Billy Graham — who was considered close to Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — and his wife, Ruth, had five children, and many of their descendants work in ministry, including Billy Graham’s daughter Anne Graham Lotz, and Franklin Graham’s son Will Graham.
Author: Leah Marieann Klett