Franklin Graham slams Christianity Today for article claiming Jesus was Asian

Rev. Franklin Graham shares the Gospel at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland, on Saturday, April 29, 2023, as part of his God Loves You Tidewater Tour.
Rev. Franklin Graham shares the Gospel at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland, on Saturday, April 29, 2023, as part of his God Loves You Tidewater Tour. | Photo provided by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Evangelist Franklin Graham criticized Christianity Today on Wednesday after the magazine his father founded published an article claiming that Jesus Christ was Asian.

In a Dec. 18 article by art curator Victoria Emily Jones titled "How Asian Artists Picture Jesus’ Birth From 1240 to Today," CT showcased how Jesus has been depicted by various Asian cultures, though Jones' assertion that Jesus was Asian because he was technically born on the continent prompted pushback from Graham and others on social media.

"Jesus was born in Asia. He was Asian," Jones wrote in a quote that CT used to promote the article on X on Christmas Eve. "Yet the preponderance of Christian art that shows him at home in Europe has meant that he is embedded deeply in the popular imagination as Western."

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Jones claimed the nine artists showcased in the article "bring [Jesus] back to Asia — but not to ancient Israel," and "make the birth a local event, translating the story into their own cultural contexts."

She went on to say that artists who represent Jesus as Japanese, Indonesian or Indian convey "a sense of God’s immanence, his 'with-us–ness,' for their own communities — and for everyone else, the universality of Christ’s birth," and noted "many fine examples" of Christ being depicted by Muslims out of "their own faith tradition’s reverence for Jesus."

She also claimed "Hindu and Buddhist artists" have been "significant contributors" to depictions of Jesus in the 20th century.

Linking to a Fox News Digital article about the fallout to Jones' claims, Graham posted a statement to social media asking why CT "would publish something so far off base."

"We don’t have to wonder or speculate about this — the Bible gives us very specific details about Jesus’ earthly lineage and where He was born and grew up," Graham wrote. "We know that Jesus was Jewish. However, if you don’t believe the Bible or accept it as the Word of God, then everything is in question."

"Guess what — we don’t get to make God in our own image," Graham added. "He is Who He is! We must be on guard against anything or anyone who attempts to undermine the authority of the Word of God."

CT took flak from many others on social media for the article, which prompted some to accuse the publication of "going woke."

Graham has been critical of CT before, such as when the publication invoked his father's name in a 2019 editorial that called for then-President Donald Trump to be removed from office amid his first impeachment.

Mark Galli, who was editor-in-chief of CT at the time before retiring in 2020, wrote that Trump's 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy exhibited an attempt "to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents."

"That [Trump] should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments," Galli wrote, adding that Trump-supporting Christians should consider "how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior."

Graham said at the time that while his father founded the magazine, he would have been "very disappointed" in Galli's editorial, noting that Trump was the last presidential candidate his father voted for before he died in 2018.

Graham maintained that CT "has been used by the left for their political agenda," adding, "It's obvious that Christianity Today has moved to the left and is representing the elitist liberal wing of evangelicalism."

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles