(CNSNews.com) - Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said he was “not afraid of homosexuals” and loves them enough to warn them that if they continue in their behavior, they risk falling into “the flames of Hell.”
The reverend, son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, made his remarks Thursday night at the Watchmen on the Wall National Pastor’s Briefing in Washington, D.C., a three-day event (May 21-23) sponsored by the conservative Family Research Council (FRC).
In today’s society, “we don’t want to be called a homophobic,” said Rev. Graham, “and I tell people, listen, I’m not afraid of homosexuals, I’m really not -- matter of fact, I love them.”
“I love them enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it’s the flames of hell for you,” he said.
Graham then explained that this was not his personal judgment but the instruction given by “Almighty God” in the Bible.
“Now, if you don’t like that, don’t get mad at me,” he said. “I didn’t write the rule book. Almighty God wrote it, and it’s a sin against Him.”
Graham, who is also CEO of the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, advised his fellow pastors to not compromise their teaching.
“And I tell you -- listen gentlemen -- we live in a world where there is so much compromise,” said Graham. “This city that we’re in, that’s all they do is compromise. We cannot go down that road because you and I are going to have to stand before God one day and give an account to Him, and you don’t want Him to say from His lips, ‘You were a coward.’"
Rev. Graham’s remarks were part of his address, “Standing Strong on the Controversial Issues,” in which he discussed the state of Christianity in America and stressed the importance of pastors speaking out on controversial issues.
Rev. Franklin Graham, 61, is married and has five children, and lives in Boone, North Carolina.
The Watchmen on the Wall National Pastor’s Briefing is an annual gathering of pastors from across the nation that aims to “remind spiritual leaders of our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage,” and, “inform them about the moral issues being debated in the public arena,” according to the Family Research Council.