This month is going to be an incredibly busy time for our Decision America Tour as we continue sweeping across America in 2016, visiting all 50 state capitals and calling on Almighty God to heal our troubled nation.
During March, I will travel to the capital cities of six western states, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and challenging believers to pray, vote and get involved in the upcoming elections.
We start in the Mile High City of Denver on March 15, move on to Santa Fe, N.M., the next day, and visit Phoenix on March 18. After a brief pause, I will preach on the Capitol steps in Salt Lake City on March 29, jump over to Carson City, Nev., the following day, and wind up at the historic California capital of Sacramento on March 31.
That will make 13 state capitals where the Decision America Tour has stopped during the first quarter of 2016, and I have already been greatly encouraged by the turnout and the response. The crowds have been great everywhere. More than 3,500 in Tallahassee, Fla., 4,000-plus in Baton Rouge, La. In Columbia, S.C., more than 7,000 people crowded on the Capitol grounds. In Atlanta, the crowd was nearly 7,000.
When we stood in the bitter cold in Des Moines, Iowa, to launch Decision America in early January, I told those who braved the chill that our nation is in trouble. I shared that I do not believe any politician—Democrat or Republican—can turn our country around. Our only hope is to pray fervently for the future of our nation, come to God in repentance and faith, and support candidates who best follow and uphold biblical values.
Decision America Tour
Will you stand with Franklin Graham as he proclaims the Good News in all 50 states and challenges Christians to live out their faith?
Just a few weeks later when the Iowa caucus was held, every media outlet reported a large surge in the number of evangelical voters across the entire state who participated. That’s exactly what I believe needs to happen since it’s estimated that some 20 to 30 million Christians stayed home and did not vote in the 2012 elections.
Every vote counts because every election—city, state, and nation—is vitally important. We have taken God out of our schools and made same-sex marriage the law of the land. Our government, instead of embracing the Judeo-Christian values that helped make our country great and blessed, now pursues, prosecutes and punishes believers who seek to live out their faith.
I believe we are at a historic moment in the history of our nation. I have talked with a number of leaders in Washington in recent months, and the recurring theme is that if we don’t do something now to return our nation to the strong moral convictions that guided us through the centuries, it could be too late.
That’s why I am doing all I can in the months to come to rally believers across the country. I cannot stand idly by and watch our nation disintegrate. After God’s angel warned the prophet Daniel of dark days ahead, he declared that “the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32).
Well, that’s what the Decision America Tour is all about—challenging godly men and women who know and trust God to take a strong stand for the Gospel in their communities and be actively involved in the political process.
I have been asked recently on several occasions, “Franklin, what would your father have done?” Well, I believe if my father were my age today he would be standing right here doing exactly the same thing. When my father went to school, he had the Ten Commandments on the wall of the school. When my father went to school, the teachers led the Lord’s Prayer every morning. When my father went to school, students still said the Pledge of Allegiance.
Daniel lived in one of the most heathen countries of the world, but he was prime minister under seven kings and two empires. We need more Daniels today. My father once said, “If I were a pastor of a church, I believe I would explain to my people where each candidate stood morally, spiritually and in relationship to the church.” Pastors need to speak out from the pulpit. Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to tell people who to vote for, but explain to people who the various candidates are, what they stand for, what they believe, what their stance is on moral issues. That’s so important.
As my father also said years ago, “We’re going to have to meet our political obligations as Christians and make our voice known, if America is to be preserved with a type of Christian heritage which has given us the liberties that we now enjoy. For unless America turns back to God, repents of its sin and experiences spiritual revival, we will fail as a nation.”
I believe God honors leaders in high places who honor Him. That’s why we need to purposefully and systematically fast and pray in the weeks and months to come. Nothing less than the future of our nation is at stake.
That’s a future worth fighting for, worth praying for. Because rest assured, if religious freedoms continue to be curtailed in the next decade as much as in the past decade, we will wake up and hardly recognize that this was once one nation under God.
So by God’s power and grace, may God’s people truly be strong and take action.