by Patty Unruh
Franklin Graham, the CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, appealed to a crowd estimated at 4,200 on Tuesday, March 15, that they as Christians need to pray for the nation, vote, and consider running for office themselves.
A brisk wind buffeted those gathered around the west steps of the Colorado Capitol in Denver, where Graham was appearing as part of his Decision America Tour, in which he is visiting each of the 50 state capitals over the course of the 2016 presidential election season asking people to pray for their country and get involved. The event is not political; no candidates are on stage or endorsed by Graham.
In fact, he startled the crowd by announcing, “I have zero hope in the Democratic Party.” As some folks began to chuckle and applaud, he interrupted. “Wait a second, before the Republicans start high-fiving each other – I have zero hope in the Republican Party. The only hope is in God – only God!”
Graham brought greetings from his father, world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, who is 97. He said if his father were 20 years younger, he would have been on the Capitol steps, too.
“We’re here today because we all understand that our nation is in trouble. We’re on the verge as Christians of losing our nation. We are broken spiritually, economically, and politically.”
Graham preached on Nehemiah chapter 1 from the Holy Bible, which recounts how God judged Israel by allowing the people to be taken into exile because of unfaithfulness. The walls of Jerusalem had been broken down, making the city vulnerable to enemies. When Nehemiah prayed for permission to go and rebuild the walls, the Bible recounts that he found favor with God and, though beset by opposition, was successful.
“We need God’s favor,” Graham said. “When Nehemiah got back to Jerusalem, there were threats of violence and his enemies tried to discourage him, but he kept his focus, and the wall was rebuilt in just 52 days. Our moral walls and gates are broken down. The education system, politicians, and some churches are more concerned with political correctness than with God’s truth and righteousness. Nehemiah fasted and prayed and confessed his sins and those of his fathers and of the nation. We need to confess the sins of our nation. Where do we start?”
He suggested confessing the sins of abortion, same-sex marriage, pride, racism, not caring for the poor, and morally depraved entertainment.
The theme of an America in need and hope that Christian people can revive it was launched by gifted guitarist and songwriter Dennis Agajanian, who sang, “We’re gonna get together again, you can take that to the bank.”
Graham called on the crowd to pray aloud. “I’d like you join hands with the person next to you, maybe a complete stranger, a person of another race. I want to take the next few minutes to pray out loud, and let’s confess the sins of our nation to Almighty God.”
Following the time of prayer, he delivered a brief gospel message, telling the people that God loves them and inviting them to trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He said those making that decision could use their cell phones and text the word “decision” to him, and they would be texted back for information that he promised to send.
He then issued a call to action. “We’re here today because we’re fed up and mad with the direction this country is going. What can we do? Vote – for those we believe stand and live for biblical principles. I’m often asked what my father would do. He has said, ‘It’s the duty of every individual Christian at election time to study the issues and the candidates, go to the polls and vote.’ He would explain to people where each candidate stood morally and politically. We will fail as a nation unless we participate in electing those whom we believe will honor God.”
Graham said the threat to America in the 1950s, communism, now has been replaced by secularism, “which is the same thing.”
“It’s Godless. It permeates Washington, our states, and our local communities. We have taken God out of our society. There are no Ten Commandments on the school room wall, no teachers leading students in the Lord’s Prayer.”
He said the solution is, first, for Christians to vote.
“There were 20 to 30 million Christians who did not vote in the last election. Don’t think your vote doesn’t matter. Political races are not won by millions of votes.” He cited examples of races that had been won by only a few hundred votes. “Your vote matters!”
Then, he urged the crowd to consider running for local offices and to imagine the impact they could make by serving on city councils, county commissions, and school boards.
“Get involved! Some will try to discourage you, as they did to Nehemiah, but don’t let them. Engage!”
Graham asked the attendees to sign a pledge to pray, vote, and consider running for office. They could simply use their smartphones or visit his website, decisionamericatour.com, to register their pledge.
“We need men and women of integrity…to offer themselves to public service,” he said. The nation is in a bad state, in part, because sometimes only ‘the bad ones’ are candidates. The choice isn’t always clear. You may have to hold your nose when you go to the polls, but vote,” he said. “Be an advocate for God’s truth and righteousness. I want us to be ‘One nation under God’ again. Let’s take our nation back, community by community by community. It begins with you. To God be the glory!”
Warning: json_decode() expects parameter 1 to be string, object given in /home/customer/www/wrcnews.net/public_html/wp-content/plugins/posts-social-shares-count/classes/share.count.php on line 66