Billy Graham’s rule was probably a wise precaution in his special circumstances (high profile, constant travel, meeting unknown people). But to make it into a general rule is not compatible with Scripture. "Treat … older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity" 1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV). Should men generally refuse to be in the same place as their mother or sister, without a chaperone? The idea is absurd.

In the subculture that you describe, women are seen as a threat to men. That is a mile away from the New Testament expectation of positive interaction between men and women as Christian brothers and sisters – an experience that should be normal but is too often absent from that subculture.

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The BGR rule also prevents an aggrieved woman carrying out Matt 18:15 with a man who has offended her. It may also hold a man back from carrying out Matt 18:15 with a woman who he believes has offended him.

I’ve experienced this first hand. It hurts! The man is ignoring my attempts to resolve the problem.

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Thank you for pointing out the importance of context! There are three things that bug me whenever I hear people talking about the Billy Graham Rule.

The first is that the 'rule' they are referring to is always the one about men not meeting with women, and yet it is actually the second of four rules, and the other three are never mentioned. In fact, most people who quote the BGR at me don't even know about the other three! (Could this possibly be because it is easier for a leader to blame other people for tempting him to sexual sin than it is for him to blame others for his own financial dishonesty, arrogance or lying about his success?)

The second is that it is always phrased as how to protect the leader from all these terrible women who are tempting him to sin. But the emphasis in Graham's original 'manifesto' was to keep the evangelist himself walking right before God and treating others well.

And the third is that the manifesto was written after much thought and prayer by a group of men in very unique circumstances who were seeking God's will for their OWN situation - they weren't trying to create a rigid rule for the rest of the world to follow. I am sure they would all be deeply grieved if they could see how their rule has been twisted over the years to dehumanise women.

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And I thought you were going to chip into the recent comments on comparing BG with Taylor Swift!!

This was far better!

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