Cissie Graham Lynch: Standing for Faith, Even in the Public Square

Cissie Graham Lynch: Standing for Faith, Even in the Public Square

The two things we’re told not to talk about in mixed company are religion and politics. And those just happen to be two things I’m very passionate about. Our faith was intricately woven in every detail of our family when I was growing up, as well as our work around the world with Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. And current events and politics were always talked about in our home.

But it was my freshman year in high school that the love of politics really started to take root, as I sat in my political science class. I can remember being so excited a few years later to turn 18 during an election year. While many of my friends were excited about the new adventures that turning 18 brings, I was most excited about voting.

Fast forward 16 years to 2020. We as Americans find ourselves in the midst of a very heated and volatile political year. Some people say Christians should just stay behind the pulpit and preach the Gospel and stay out of politics, but the very first part of the First Amendment is about the freedom of religion. Our Founding Fathers called it the free exercise of religion. They meant for us to be able to live out our faith in every part of life, whether that’s in our jobs, in our homes and schools, in our businesses, or even in the public square.

Unfortunately, many young evangelicals have been swayed by the idea that we should keep our faith to ourselves. But I’ve spent my whole life traveling the world with Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and I’ve seen the aftermath in countries where the government attempted to remove God from the public square and how Christians are persecuted. To those Christians, being able to vote their beliefs and live out their faith in every aspect of their lives would seem like a wild dream.

I’ve seen women around the world who have zero voice in their homes, much less their country. What a shame it would be for me to be so ignorant as to waste this opportunity and this freedom that God has preciously given. “To whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:48).

We have been blessed beyond our imagination in this country because of the freedoms we’ve received. We have the freedom to live out our faith in any way we want, the freedom to choose any career we want, the freedom to live anywhere we want. What are we going to do with these freedoms? Are we going to cherish them and fight for them, or are we going to carelessly lose them?

Jesus gave us the ultimate freedom when He died on the cross to free us from sin. Our first goal as Christians is to share this Good News of His salvation with a hurting and broken world. And that’s what has made America so wonderful, because we have been a light to the world. We’ve had the freedom to grow our faith and to grow our churches. But those freedoms are slowly slipping away as Christians are sitting silent.

I get emails all the time from moms telling me what their children are facing in our education system. The far left has an intricate plan of how they’re going to change a generation, starting with the minds of our children. They’ve executed that plan, and we as Christian moms are finding ourselves on the defensive. We have an enemy who’s alive and well, and we can’t imagine how fast and how hard he is coming. Just recently, a mother wrote me a letter about her little boy being sent home with a book about homosexuality, asking me what she should do. The enemy is coming fast, every day, to destroy Christian values in America, like waves crashing on a beach. We cannot be caught off guard.

Many Christian leaders have been criticized for voicing their political opinions in the public square, but hasn’t God called Christians to all mission fields? Some of these mission fields are in corporate boardrooms, some are in courtrooms, some in classrooms. They’re in our homes around the dinner table and, yes, they’re in the public square. We want Christian voices speaking into our education system. We want Christian voices speaking into public policy that affects every single one of us.

When I go to the polls, and when I speak in the public square, I’m thinking of my children—my little girl and my little boy. I want my children to grow up in the same free America their grandparents and parents have known. We as Christians will persevere in the darkest of times, but the America we know will not survive without the Judeo-Christian pillars that our Founding Fathers knew.

In 1952, my grandfather said, “I think it’s the duty of every individual Christian at election time to study the issues, study the candidates, then go to the polls and vote.” The issues that we’re seeing in our headlines today, these aren’t just political issues, these are Biblical issues. These are sin issues that we’re facing in this country.

Believers who are old enough to vote need to vote in all the elections. The school board race is one of the most important races on the ballot. It’s important that we as parents have a voice, as our voices are the most important for our children’s future in America.

However, we must remember that no matter how this election turns out, we know Who sits on the throne and Who has an everlasting Kingdom. I don’t know if our days will ever be easy again as Christians in this country and in this world. That’s why it’s so important for us to be sure that we know where our hope is. Our hope is in Him who sits on the throne.

 

Cissie Graham Lynch is the daughter of Franklin Graham and Jane Austin Graham. She is Senior Advisor/Ministry Spokesperson for BGEA.

Photo: Thomas J. Petrino/©2020 BGEA

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