Franklin Graham sat down with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly to discuss his recent remarks about President Obama and to talk about hell.
In answering O'Reilly's question about whether he respected Obama, the evangelist said that he liked the man, respected him, but disagreed with his policies. He said his disagreement was as a citizen but not as a preacher.
O'Reilly said that Billy Graham did not get involved in politics, but Franklin said that his father actually did get into politics to a degree because he was friends with presidents on both side of the aisle. The younger Graham said he does not got out and campaign but merely answers questions.
Graham told O'Reilly that Republicans and Democrats are guilty of overspending.
As to Rob Bell's book questioning hell, Graham thinks that Bell is a heretic and false teacher 'because the bible is very clear that there is a hell.' When asked by OReilly whether eternal damnation in hell is cruel, Graham responded,
What's cruel is a person who rejects Almighty God and slams the door in God's face. The bible says that God so loved the world that He gave His only son."
In order to get to heaven and avoid hell, people must believe in Jesus Christ, Graham said, quoting scripture.
O'Reilly asked about people who do not know about the bible or who are not born again through Jesus Christ, but Graham responded that God has made Himself known to all of humanity and that all who seriously seek will be aware of Jesus because God will reveal Him. O'Reilly did not understand Graham's logic that Jews who died in the Holocaust should be denied heaven, particularly children who were never taught about Jesus being the savior. Graham insisted that everyone was accountable to God when they die, skirting the issue and saying that God is the judge.
"God gives every human being free will," O'Reilly concluded, saying the God will hold everyone accountable for their choices.
Earlier, O'Reilly questioned Bell's theology, talking with Pastoral Counselor Jack McKinney of Raleigh, North Carolina. According to O'Reilly, if Bell is right, it's great news for Hitler, Stalin and other villains who slaughtered millions of people.
McKinney noted that Christian churches teach that in addition to mass murderers, people like Ghandi go to hell for not accepting Jesus. He said that there has been a lot of misinterpretation of scripture.
O'Reilly talked about his Catholic faith, saying that people who sincerely seek God are not condemned to hell. He says that by saying there is no hell, it takes away any regulation of behavior.
McKinney says that the concept of eternal damnation is psychologically damaging, particularly for committed Christians who are gay who approach him for counseling. O'Reilly countered that McKinney was taking an extreme position in the Christian community and using it as a barometer. Judgment is best left in the hands of God, but by teaching a literal, eternal hell, we turn God into a monster, McKinney answered. He does not believe in a literal hell, saying it is a historical and theological mistake but believes in heaven.
"So that means you're going to see Adolf up there. Say hello to him for me," O'Reilly countered. "I don't want to be anywhere near him."