Billy Graham's Grandson: Church Too Close to Conservatives

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 07:44 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The preacher grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham says the church is causing congregants to become "burnt out" by becoming too closely associated with the conservative movement — and needs to refocus.

"We've gotten a little off message and the way that I know that is because I talk to … people inside the church, people who used to go to church," the Rev. William Graham Tullian Tchividjian told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"They're burnt out. They are on the receiving end of lots of 'do more, try harder' sermons.

"The church is not the first place that people think to go if they are weary and heavy laden and tired and needing relief, because oftentimes what they get in church is exhortations to perform better, to do more, to try harder, to stop certain behaviors."

Tchividjian said the church first started veering off course in the 1970s, when it began getting too closely associated with politics.

"The church got off track . . . the evangelical church, by becoming so associated, so associated with politics, and specifically conservative politics," he said.

"Conservative's fine but the church became so associated, the evangelical, [with] the moral majority and the religious right, that they made a lot of enemies and one of the reasons they made those enemies is because they got off message," he said.

Tchividjian, senior pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale and author of "One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World," said the solution is clear.

"Church needs to be a place where we hear once again that Jesus has come to do for bedraggled train wrecks like me, Tullian, what I could never do for myself," he said.

"No matter how hard I work, no matter how good my kids turn out, no matter how great my marriage is, no matter how many people buy books or listen to sermons in my particular case, I will never be able to secure my own worth, value, significance, that sort of thing.

"That's what I need someone else outside of me to do and the Gospel is the good news that that's happened."

Tchividjian said his beloved grandfather, who is about to turn 95, talks about a root issue that must be worked on.

Editor's Note: What the Bible Says About Investing (Shocking)

"He would always say … 'The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart,''' he said.

"And so my job as a preacher is to preach Jesus and what he's done and let God handle the rest. So he would agree. I really do feel like this is, in many ways, a modern-day version of what he spent his entire ministry saying."

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