Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Franklin Graham: Trump’s “Kill Them All” Speech Was One of the Best Ever

President Trump said he'd "totally destroy" North Korea- an act that would kill 25 million people. Franklin Graham is praising the speech as "perhaps one of the best ever."

Just the other day, the unthinkable happened: The President of the United States stood in front of the United Nations and threatened to kill 25 million people.

It was shocking beyond words.

In reference to the growing escalation with North Korea, the President said:

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

No matter how accustomed one may be to some of the outlandish things Donald Trump says, this one cannot be shrugged off for those of us who claim to follow Jesus– or for anyone who is a decent human being, for that matter.

In fact, for those of us who are Christians, Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea should be held as the most obscene, offensive, and anti-Christ thing he has ever said. The total destruction of a nation? The death of 25 million people– most of whom are totally innocent?

This mere suggestion of this is morally disgusting beyond words– no matter what “kind” of Christian one is, and irregardless of which theological belief one holds about war. This should outrage every Christian from the most straight-faced-conservative, to the most flaming liberal. In fact, I would argue that one would have to completely and totally depart from the Christian religion in order to praise or even passively support such a suggestion.

There’s simply no room in the Christian tradition for killing 25 million people. There never has been.

Let me briefly explain:

There have generally been two different views when it comes to war. The first Christians, and the entire early church, were steadfastly and absolutely against all war and violence. They opposed war, capital punishment, killing in self defense, and any other act of deadly violence one can imagine. The original Christian view was that followers of Jesus must never condone or participate in the taking of human life– this is the theological position I personally maintain.

However, after the era of Constantine and the ultimate fall of Rome in AD 410, the Christian religion was altered to make room for the support of war and violence– but even those alterations to Christianity (called “Just War Theory”) were not absolute. The establishment of Just War Theory, as much as I disagree with it, at least had some severe restrictions placed upon Christian justification or support for warfare. While I find the position theologically wrong, one can at least appreciate the fact that the alternative Christian position had some safeguards built into it.

Essentially, this alternative “Christian” belief argued that war is horrible and must always be avoided. However, if war ever became unavoidable, Christians could support it if certain conditions were met. Traditionally there are 7 conditions– I won’t outline all of them here, but the last two conditions are critical: (a) the violence used must be proportional (a nation must use the minimum amount of violence needed), and (b) civilians must never be intentionally or deliberately killed.

The position of Christian nonviolence, and the position of Just War Theory, have been the only two positions that have been considered Christian. There has never been room for a “Christian” position that justified the indiscriminate killing of human beings– and there certainly has never been room for the suggestion that somehow the death of 25 million people could ever be remotely justified.

Any Christian who has ever read the New Testament, or any human being with a single ounce of value for human life– regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum– ought to find themselves appalled that a world leader would even *think* something like this, let alone actually threaten to do it.

And this, of course, leads me to What Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today.

Instead of expressing even the slightest hint of moral reservation about wiping out an entire nation of people, Franklin Graham doubled down and praised Trump’s “kill them all” speech as being one of the best speeches ever given to the UN. Here’s what he said on Facebook:

“Thank God we have a president who stands for truth and is not afraid to speak truth to the whole world. President Donald J. Trump’s address today to the United Nations General Assembly may have been one of the best speeches ever given to that body. It made you proud to be an American. I hope you will join me in praying for this man, that God will guide and direct him. He reminded the world, “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.”

Listen– I understand that Christians disagree on political issues. I get that we have different theological beliefs on the issue of war and violence.

But for one of the most prominent Christians in our nation to reference a speech that threatened to kill 25 million people as one of the “best speeches ever”? And more than that, to publicly thank God that we have a leader who would threaten to do it?

It’s beyond rational explanation.

This isn’t Christianity. This isn’t a Christian position. There isn’t a Christian on the planet who could praise a speech that included the threat to kill millions of innocent people, without ceasing to be a Christian in the process.

Instead, praising such a suggestion is as evil and wicked as anything I could imagine.

And to thank God for it? Well, that’s outright blasphemy.

Not only is this What Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today, but this one places Franklin Graham so far outside of every version of historic Christianity that to even use the word “Christian” to describe such a person, is truly profane.

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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11 Responses

  1. God’s Law for individual believers is completely, totally, 100% different than His Law for The State. The individual Christian is to mirror His Mercy. The State is to mirror His Judgment.

    Jesus commands us in Matthew 5:39 [Mat 5:39 NKJV] 39 “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” And yet Paul says of the State in Romans 13:4 “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain … “. The “sword” being an obvious symbol for lethal force.

    In the Old Testament we see the exact same dichotomy: Deuteronomy 19:15 through 21 describes, not a moral code but a LEGAL PROCESS of investigation, trial, and punishment of crime. This is what the Torah is … not a code of individual conduct but a legal system for a theocratic state!! (Which is one reason why in Acts 15 the Apostles did not impose the Torah on the Gentile Christians.)

    At the same time, the Old Testament demands MERCY of the INDIVIDUAL child of God. Hosea 6:6 says, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”. Micah 6:8 says, “[Mic 6:8 NKJV] 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”

    And so this is the dichotomy that we see throughout Scripture. The individual believer is required to to show mercy and forgiveness. But the state is FORBIDDEN to show mercy and forgiveness.

    So, as part of the State/Ruler’s duty before God, the state must defend it’s citizens from other hostile states, even if that requires lethal force. It “bears the sword” to protect it’s own citizens. It isn’t just justified … it’s required.

    1. Problem is Paul was living under a military totalitarian dictatorship.

      You aren’t.

      “But the state is FORBIDDEN to show mercy and forgiveness.”

      Says who?

      Paul, who lived under a military totalitarian dictatorship at at time of rebellion? His verses have to be read in context. Which is if you rebel against the government you will face the lethal force of the law. (Fun fact – there were plenty of Jewish rebellions in the first century including the destruction of the Temple)

      Why do we have laws protecting the disabled? minors?

      Did individual Christians make those laws?

      Why does the state pay unemployed, single parents, disabled, vets?????

      Democratic governments reflect the will of the people. That includes laws that the people want to see.

      This is not Nazi Germany nor Imperial Rome.

      Yet again you have no idea. Instead you sit and moan that poor people are getting support and vets are being fed by the government while you whinge about paying taxes and sit on your arse and feel sad about wearing a mask and not going to church. F**K OFF!

      The god who created the galaxies ex-nihilo is pissed off because poor people are given scraps from the government to live on.

      Your god is too small.

      I reject him too.

      Christians are f**king pathetic. Worse than snowflakes.

      1. I’m afraid I don’t see what the fact that we don’t live under a military dictatorship has to do with anything. Frankly, I would suggest that the modern U.S. has more in common with Ancient Rome than not. But that’s really quite beside the point. I just don’t see how that matters in the least, one way or the other.

        I was addressing the very narrow issue of the state using lethal force to defend the citizens or maintain order. And I was only addressing the issue of religion in relation to that because Mr. Corey tried to use religion to attack Trump’s statement about using force against a potential enemy. You seem to be trying to make this an argument on very broad aspects of the Christian religion, which simply isn’t supported by the subject matter.

        I have no idea what the fact that individual Christians did not make whatever laws to which you refer has to do with anything at all. And of course we have laws that protect people (as is the state’s job under Romans 13 if you insist on bringing religion into it) .

        The State pays disabled vets because that is part of the agreement we make with people when they join the military. They pay single parents, frankly, in order to create a class completely dependent on the government for their survival.

        Again … not sure what that has to do with the very narrow subject of whether the state is justified in using lethal force to defend it’s own citizens.

        You’re right … I have no idea what you’re trying to say or why you think the things you’ve said connect in any way to what we’re talking about.. In truth, I don’t believe any of it does. However, the level of anger and hatred you express through your language convinces me that I can’t possibly be wrong.

        1. Bahahaha the US is not a totalitarian military dictatorship.

          To claim it is shows how dishonest you are. You’re trying to create a false equivalence between the US and Imperial Rome to push your stupid ‘the government shouldn’t help poor people’ agenda.

          For someone to spout about the evils of government and not know how laws are made and policies created is frankly idiotic.

          The government supports people like disabled vets, single mothers, unemployed and disabled people due to social movements especially the Labour movement.

          Before government pensions for single mothers, they would give their children to orphanages. Or have illegal abortions. Or prostitute themselves.

          During the Great Depression, some 200K boys lived on the streets begging for food. Over 30 million people had no work and no money.

          Where were the Christians?

          Praying of course….

          It was up to FDR to create a welfare network which saved lives and the very social fabric of the US.

          The same way the social movements created laws to stop children being preyed upon by the rich and the religious.

          It says a lot that you would rather women and children prostitute themselves on the street than the government support them.

          The world lived your way.

          And it was totally f**ked.

          1. You’re doing that thing where you read what you expect/want to see rather than what was actually written again. It’s like you think I typed the opposite of what I typed.

            You seem to be assuming I said a great deal that I never said an, in fact, sometimes said the opposite. It’s hard to carry on a conversation like that.

            1. You wrote

              “But the state is FORBIDDEN to show mercy and forgiveness.”

              Ffs look at Romans 13

              13 Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a servant of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.

              Now what is Paul actually referring to here. None other than the Jewish Rebellion against Rome, which was a source of some division among Jews.

              Don’t get involved with it. It’s not your fight.

              Now the Jewish rebels committed atrocities as well including against fellow Jews.

              You could even argue it is a pro-Roman apology against the Jewish rebellion.

              So is Paul saying you shouldn’t hide Jews when the government at the time make being Jewish illegal?

              According to you he is.

              Your stupid eisegesis of this text, has led Christians to support the government doing all sorts of evil shit including participating in the holocaust. After all Hitler claimed he was protecting his country from the Jew.

              You are trying to universally apply verses from Paul which were only meant for a local issue.

              And you wrote that the state helping people is evil. WTF!

              Now if you want to change your mind because you posted such drivel then fine.

              1. Trying to have a reasonable discussion with someone who is constantly putting words in your mouth simply isn’t profitable. At no point was I even commenting on when and to what extent Christians must obey the laws of our respective governments. That’s a whole other subject, and is irrelevant to subject at hand. This post was strictly about the obligations of THE STATE as an entity, not the obligations of individuals.

                All the other issues you brought in have nothing to do with what I was talking about. Whether your right about the various points is irrelevant to the question at hand, and I’m not saying anything like what you claim I’m saying. I’m not even talking about the SUBJECT about which you claim I’m talking.

                Whether the failure is mine or yours, it is clear we can not have meaningful conversation on the matter. It’s like we’re in completely different conversations about completely different things. I don’t think further conversation is warranted.

                1. Dude, I posted the actual verses and put it in context in Paul’s time.

                  Then I applied your interpretation to Christians living in Nazi Germany to show how stupid it is.

                  You, dishobestly, think Paul’s word should apply to every government ever.

                  Maybe that’s how you’ve been told to think.

                  In fact the Roman Army in Judea was not defending Rome. It was brutally occupying another country.

                  You know like Germany in Poland.

                  You’re right.

                  It’s impossible to have a reasonable discussion with someone who lies about their own posts.

                  1. That’s precisely what I mean. We’re not talking about the same thing. You’re going on about the obligations of individual Christians under various governments. Well, that’s not what Mr. Corey’s blog post was about AT ALL. That’s a whole other subject that has nothing to do with what Mr. Corey is talking about or what I am talking about. We aren’t TALKING about THAT!!

                    Mr. Corey’s blog post was about the obligations of THE STATE ITSELF. And that is what I was talking about. Sure, sure. You’re quoting the right verses. But those verses discuss two different sides of the thing, both the State’s obligations and individuals obligations.

                    I have neither agreed nor disagreed with you about the obligations of the INDIVIDUAL because that’s NOT THE SUBJECT AT HAND. I’m talking about the obligation of THE STATE ITSELF. And that is completely different than the individual’s obligation.

                    You shouldn’t be applying my interpretation to individual Christians living under Nazi Germany because I was talking about the obligation of THE STATE, not the individual. You should be applying it to the obligation of The German STATE, not the obligation of Christians living under the Nazi government.

                    Now, certainly, the obligation of Christians living under Nazi Germany would be a fascinating topic, and one well worth discussing in some other thread at some other time. But that’s not what this thread is about at all.

                    It’s like if I wanted to talk about wheat farming and you insist we talk about trading wheat futures. I mean … yeah, they’re connected, but they’re not really the same thing.

                    1. I am talking about the STATE itself.

                      You wrote

                      “And yet Paul says of the State in Romans 13:4 “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain … “. The “sword” being an obvious symbol for lethal force.”

                      That’s a dumba#se comment.

                      Nazi Germany was God’s minister to you for good”?

                      Did you get that evil J#ws?

                      Bahahahha

                      You really are a complete and utter [email protected]

                      Once again Paul is saying don’t get involved in the Jewish rebellion.

                      He sure as shit is not saying that Caesar, Hitler, Stalin and ISIS have some sort of mandate from god.

                      Do you think according to Paul that the US should not have risen up against their colonial masters?

                      Complete bs. It’s not even Sunday School level theology.

                      It’s the ultimate in dishonesty to take one verse and build a whole theology out of it.

                      It’s that sought of bs thinking which lead Christians to engage in genocide.

                      We’ve seen the results of it.

                      Nothing you propose is new.

                      It’s all been a failure.

                      And led to misery everywhere.

  2. My father Did have to deal directly with North Korea in 1950… and here we are still dealing with them

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