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Franklin Graham, Russell Moore Warn Against Idolizing 'Playboy' Founder Hugh Hefner

( [email protected] ) Sep 28, 2017 03:26 PM EDT
Christian leaders Franklin Graham and Russell Moore have shared their thoughts on the life and death of "Playboy" founder Hugh Hefner and warned against celebrating his life as a "success."
Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, died Wednesday at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Getty Images

Christian leaders Franklin Graham and Russell Moore have shared their thoughts on the life and death of "Playboy" founder Hugh Hefner and warned against celebrating his life as a "success."

In a Facebook post shared Thursday, the 65-year-old CEO of Samaritan's Purse wrote: "Hugh Hefner, who died yesterday, was asked by The New York Times in 1992 what he was most proud of in his life. His answer? 'That I changed attitudes toward sex...That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.' He wanted to be known as the one responsible for the sexual revolution."

"That's a sobering thought," Graham said, because the sexual revolution of the 1960's was "in direct rebellion against God's Word and His laws."

"News reports also said that Hefner paid $75,000 years ago for the vault next to Marilyn Monroe so that he could 'spend eternity with Playboy's first cover girl,'" he continued. "This is a reminder to realize that where our soul-not our casket-is going to spend eternity is what matters most. That will be only one of two places-Heaven or Hell. Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith is the only way to Heaven. God is the ultimate judge."

Hefner founded Playboy -- a magazine promoting sex and sexual freedom -- in 1953 and eventually grew the magazine into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire. "Hef," who married thrice in his lifetime, died on Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion near Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 91.

While a number of celebrities have fondly remembered the late pop culture icon, several Christian leaders have warned against celebrating Hefner as a "hero."

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, penned an op-ed titled "Hugh Hefner Did Not Live the Good Life" in which he said that while every death is a tragedy, Hefner's life was neither a "success" or "a dream."

"Hefner is the iconic figure who not only made pornography socially respectable (and even more lucrative), but also spent a life constructing a 'playboy philosophy' of sexual freedom that would supposedly undo the 'Puritan sexual repression he saw in American life,'" wrote Moore.

"Hefner did not create, but marketed ingeniously the idea that a man's life consists in the abundance of his possessions and of his orgasms," he said. "To women, he marketed frenetically the idea that a woman's value consists in her sexual availability and attractiveness to men."

Moore explained that Hefner chose the "bunny" logo to represent his empire because he viewed men and women as essentially rabbits.

"It is not a happy life," he said.

If you want to see "success," Moore said, don't look at men like Hefner -- "look instead to the man faithful to the wife of his youth, caring for her through dementia."

Moore said that in many ways, Hefner's hedonistic philosophy has "won."

"In many cases, those who hold to what the church has always taught on sexual morality and the value of women are the dissidents now, regardless of how 'conservative' a movement proclaims itself to be," he said.

But in the end, Jesus will reign, Moore said.

"In the meantime, the Good Shepherd searches the thickets for his lost sheep. And sometimes for a lost rabbit, too," he concluded. "The sign of the good life is not hedonism but crucifixion. The sign of the good life is not a bunny but a cross."

Tags : Playboy, hugh Hefner, Hugh Hefner death, Russell Moore, Franklin Graham