This is an excerpt from an email I received from the Family Research Council today. I pray many more courageous Christians will take a stand with Billy Graham. We must not remain silent! And let's also pray for Dr. Graham's ministry and the upcoming election.
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Acts 20:16-17
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Billy Graham will turn 94 on November 7th. His remarkable ministry, spanning 69 years, is not over yet. Graham expects to live to see the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) conduct the greatest effort ever undertaken in the U.S. in November 2013 (see Heartache, Final Call, My Hope). Graham, like us, is praying over the upcoming elections. Last week, BGEA launched a nationwide ad campaign urging all Americans to pray for the elections and to vote for candidates who support biblical values. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today carried full page ads depicting a simple but elegant black and white portrait of Graham with this br ief exhortation:
The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God. Billy Graham
Immediately following publication of the ads, articles emerged from left-leaning evangelical and atheist blogs criticizing Graham. Some suggested that he was unduly influenced by his son, Franklin, now President of BGEA. Critics pointed to Graham's long practice of not commenting on politics. Graham, who has advised Presidents both on private matters and political issues, at one time made public his political views, but stopped doing so many years ago - both after being burned by the conduct of politicians he had helped and coming to believe that expressing his political views could diminish his ability to reach all men with the gospel - his primary calling.
Yet earlier this year he came out strongly in support of the North Carolina Marriage Amendment, using the full weight of his influence to persuade his beloved fellow North Carolinians to vote for passage of one of the strongest constitutional marriage amendments in the nation. There is little doubt Graham inspired many of his fellow citizens to produce a lopsided 61%-39% vote to pass the amendment.
Graham is not alone. Christian leaders across the nation, silent in the past, have found their voices. They are speaking out now because secular politicians have frequently and increasingly crossed the line of separation between church and state, usurped eternal moral laws, lightly esteemed tested biblical values, openly profaned sacred institutions, and viciously assaulted the spiritual foundations of our nation, culture and government. Arrogating to themselves powers they do not have under our federal and state constitutions, they have become a direct threat to the faith and freedom of the American people. Clergymen now feel compelled to correct the politicians who have politicized weighty moral matters and treated them like trivia they can trade, discard or eliminate at will. In so doing they have abused millions of Americans who hold fast to these values and ideals. The specific biblical values Billy Graham has outlined as voting criteria are the bare essentials...the line that God-fearing people must hold in their clash with secularist politicians. If we fail to do so, our nation will either self-destruct or incur the wrath of the Living God or both.
Graham's call to Americans urgently to pray and vote on the basis of candidates' adherence to: 1. Biblical Values; 2. Support for Israel; 3. the Sanctity of Human Life; and 4. the Definition of Marriage as between One Man and One Woman, is a call to fundamental biblical faithfulness, not partisan politics. Graham is doing what every Bible-believing pastor and minister in America should be doing right now within his own sphere of influence: using his influence to make sure those within his sphere of influence understand the biblical issues at stake and faithfully use their sacred votes to advance righteousness in our nation and so to please God to whom we must give an account. Graham is providing fellow ministers and rank and file believers some help (see Dr. Graham's Profile, Biography, Photos, Campaign Ad and links to downloadable Church Bulletins, Posters and other resources).
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