I am sure of this: the time has now come in America for Christians to take a bold, uncompromising stand for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The recent Supreme Court rulings, the relentless attacks on Christian business owners by radical gays and lesbians—along with the suppression of religious rights on all fronts—have created a toxic, hostile environment for believers.
I don’t expect this will change any time soon. In fact, I believe the political, cultural, educational and social forces will become even more determined, aggressive allies in their collective agenda to suppress and remove any expressions of religious liberty.
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When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage this June, there was a glimmer of hope from the swing judge—Anthony Kennedy—that there would continue to be some room for religious freedoms to be exercised. It was brief, and quite nuanced, stating that those who hold sincerely held religious beliefs should not be “disparaged,” and that “those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate with utmost sincere conviction, that by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”
So much for mere words. Instead, what we all feared is rapidly happening—any dogma or doctrine that does not fully endorse the new constitutional “right” for same-sex marriage is anathema.
The bakers in Colorado and Oregon, photographers in New Mexico, the florist in Washington, and most recently a county clerk in Kentucky have all felt the government’s prosecutorial wrath for seeking to practice their sincerely held beliefs.
In fact, that Kentucky court clerk, Kim Davis, spent five days in jail on the orders of a federal district judge because her conscience would not allow her to lend her name to marriage licenses issued to gay couples in Rowan County. Her case was still ongoing as Decision went to press.
This is just the beginning of a deliberate, systematic targeting of churches, Christian-owned businesses, Christian colleges and individual believers who dare dispute the new godless mantra of tolerance and equality without moral distinction.
I am reminded of the biblical story of Shammah, one of David’s 30 mighty men who found himself in a dire predicament, surrounded by Philistine soldiers. Shammah didn’t flee or call for help. Instead, he stood firm.
“And next to [Eleazar, another of David’s mighty men] was Shammah, son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:11-12).
This is the kind of spiritual and moral courage that believers will need in the months and years to come. Christian men and women must be unafraid to take a decisive stand for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We saw a small but brave stand in Mississippi recently that exemplified this conviction.
The band at a local high school, which has been the target of a zealous state judge, was forced off the field at a Friday night football game because the famous Christian hymn How Great Thou Art was scheduled as part of their performance. They had practiced the entire summer.
In the stands, a lone voice began a rendition of the great hymn, sung so many times at my father’s Crusades by George Beverly Shea. “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee” the brave singer began. Soon others began to slowly join in, and before it ended, hundreds had joined the chorus.
As one lady in the stands told Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes—himself a tireless soldier for religious freedom—“I’m from Mississippi and I’m not ashamed to take a stand.”
Decision America Tour
In 2016, Franklin Graham will proclaim the Good News in all 50 states and challenge Christians to live out their faith.
There is no doubt our great nation is at a crossroads, and the church of Jesus Christ needs to take a stand. This is why in 2016, I’m traveling to all 50 states to hold prayer rallies, calling our nation to God. We’re calling it the Decision America Tour, and we’re challenging Christians to pray for America, practice biblical principles at home and in public, and be sure to vote in the upcoming elections.
I’m not looking to government or politicians to solve our nation’s problems. I don’t have any faith in the Republican Party, nor do I have any faith in the Democratic Party. But I am looking to the churches, to people who call themselves followers of Christ, to repent of their sins and call upon Almighty God.
But before the church can take a stand, we as the church need to humble ourselves and turn from our sin. We have forgotten God’s standards and His ways.
If the church of Jesus Christ would take a stand, then I believe we would have renewed hope for America.
I’m not going to be telling people how to vote or which candidates to vote for. We’re not supporting any candidates or any party. But we’re just asking Christians to live holy lives and to take a stand.
I’m excited about the Decision America Tour because I believe the church of Jesus Christ can make a difference in this country.
When my father was going to school, they had the Ten Commandments posted in every classroom, and they started the day with the Lord’s Prayer. Our country has changed. We have taken God out of school, we’ve taken Him out of government, we’ve taken Him out of everything.
We as Christians have to be bold. We have to take a stand for godly values. The culture around us is mocking, laughing, sneering at God. But we should be bold and unafraid to speak out for Almighty God and for His truth.
When I think of what my children and grandchildren are facing today, I realize that if we don’t get involved now, it may be too late.
I’m going to stand. I’m going to declare the name of Almighty God, and I’m going to lift up His standards and His Son, Jesus Christ. And I’m going to preach a Gospel message. I’m going to give an invitation for people to put their faith and trust in Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I’m sure there are going to be people who won’t like that. But we’re going to do it, because this is what God has called us to do—proclaim the Gospel. There is no hope for America outside of Jesus Christ.
This is a chance for all of us to stand—together. ©2015 BGEA
The Scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.
Take a stand with Franklin Graham. Learn more about the Decision America Tour.