Franklin Graham: What Can the Righteous Do?

Franklin Graham, President and CEO, Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Just a few weeks ago, Congress passed legislation that codified same-sex marriage as the law of the land, certifying the 2015 Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges that had already sanctioned same-sex marriages. Joining the Democrats in the Senate were 12 so-called conservative Republican senators whose votes gave the bill the 60 it needed to move it to the House, where it was easily passed by the Democratic majority.

This is a watershed moment in the moral state of our rapidly depraving and godless culture. To satisfy the incessant, sinful cries of the incredibly powerful LGBTQ lobby, the halls of Congress gave their endorsement to an immoral and degenerate lifestyle that not so many decades ago was a criminal act.

The deceptively and deceitfully named Respect for Marriage Act is anything but that. The senators rejected an amendment proposed by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah that used stronger language to protect the religious liberty of people of faith. As the law is written, it could threaten churches, Christian institutions and individuals who hold to the traditional, Biblical view of marriage between one man and one woman.

As this calamity unfolded, the once-solid bastion of traditional family entertainment Walt Disney was unveiling an animated movie featuring gay characters, and this on the heels of another popular animation that featured a gay kiss that was originally cut from the movie, but then restored after pressure from the LGBTQ lobby.

As I write, the case for a young website designer in Colorado who does not want to be compelled to design custom websites for same-sex weddings is being argued before the Supreme Court by Alliance Defending Freedom, which has done yeoman’s work in protecting religious freedoms in our nation for a number of decades. Lower courts have already ruled against her, much like they did against our good friend, baker Jack Phillips, who continues to be harassed by hateful activists.

How far and how rapidly we have fallen in our country!

Sins that were unthinkable when I was a young adult are now heartily approved, endorsed and ratified by virtually every segment of our society. The slippery slope of moral compromise that we warned about for so long has now become a free fall into debauchery and dissolution.

Where is it all headed? I don’t know. The pressure on Christians from ungodly leaders and a depraved culture will only continue to increase. Remember what Christ said, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). For millennia, followers of Jesus Christ around the world have been oppressed by wicked governments, false religions and secular cultures that don’t want to hear the truth of the Gospel.

“What can the righteous do?”

The psalmist asked this pressing question long ago: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). It certainly appears that the moral foundations of our nation that was founded by Christians seeking freedom to take a stand and practice their faith have eroded so much that we wonder what we can possibly do.

First and foremost, the righteous can pray more fervently than we ever have. We all know that the Scripture exhorts us to pray for our leaders, but I wonder how seriously we take it. During our time of Bible reading and prayer, which believers should practice every day, let’s be sure to take a period of concentrated time to intercede for our nation. Pray for the president. Pray for Congress. Pray for governors, state legislatures and your local authorities. Pray for their decisions to be guided and informed by Biblical principles. God can move the heart of kings however He wishes, and He may use our petitions as part of His sovereign working. God hears prayer. God answers prayer according to His will and wisdom that is always for our ultimate welfare and His glory.

Second, the righteous can pursue personal holiness and purity in our own lives and witness. God has called His people to be a holy people, whose lives will be markedly different from the culture around us. If there is little difference between God’s people and society, the witness for the Gospel is dimmed. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Christians have always been called to be salt and light to a rotting and dark culture. Only God can affect the change and transformation that must happen, but He uses the bold witness of disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ whose lives clearly testify to the saving power of the Gospel. We are not to fear what others may think of our witness, but rather fear God and trust Him wholeheartedly, whatever may come.

Third, the righteous can work in God’s strength to make a difference in our communities, schools and local governments. Christians can run for office. Many have been elected to school boards where they bring a badly needed godly influence. We can work to help elect officials whom we know are aligned with godly principles. We are not to sit on the sidelines but do all we can to fight and stem the rising tide of godlessness. Evil must be resisted, not yielded to. We may not succeed as often or as much as we would like to, but we must stay in the fight regardless.

Rest assured that we at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will work tirelessly to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ far and wide. For 2023, we have Festivals and Celebrations scheduled for Mexico City, Mexico; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Seoul, Korea; Chisinău, Moldova; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Essen, Germany; Curitiba, Brazil; and evangelistic tours in the United Kingdom and the United States.

As gloomy as the future may look, our Lord has greater things in store for those who are faithful. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). ©2022 BGEA


Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Decision magazine, January 2023; ©2023 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; used by permission, all rights reserved. Photo credit: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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