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He was banned from a Pentagon prayer service because of Muslim complaints about his beliefs, and he later charged that Barack Obama has “shaken his fist” at God by endorsing same-sex marriage, so no one would expect mild platitudes from the strong-willed Franklin Graham.
But to liken America’s current situation to the status of the Old Testament tribe of Judah under Manasseh, the “wickedest king to rule?”
That the message that can be taken from a recent public letter posted on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.
There, Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s oldest son, warns that the nation’s fiscal cliff is nothing to worry about compared to the spiritual cliff he sees.
“Since the recent election, we’ve seen same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses, and hundreds of people gathering in public places to light up marijuana cigarettes in the states where it has just been decriminalized,” Graham wrote.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. The moral decline we see on television programs – blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior – is just a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days … but there is hope.
“The Bible says, ‘If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ (Psalm 11:3, ESV). No question our country’s foundations are being destroyed, but I am reminded of an era in the Old Testament where the Lord moved in a dramatic way to bring godly change to a spiritually dark and depraved nation like Judah, whose moral foundations had been seriously eroded.”
Graham, who heads not only the BGEA but also the relief agency Samaritan’s Purse, described Manasseh as “the wickedest king to rule over Judah.”
“Throughout his 55 years of evil reign, the land had been defiled with innocent blood. He led Judah into witchcraft, sorcery, and the worship of false gods and idols, including the fertility goddess Asherah. He even sacrificed his own son in the fires of idolatry,” Graham wrote.
But he noted the Bible story continues, with the account of Josiah, Manasseh’s grandson, who when he was 18 and king, came across the “book of the law.”
“Apparently it had been lost and neglected for a number of years. When Josiah heard the books read aloud by a scribe, he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled again us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us,’ (2 Kings 22:13),” Graham wrote.
Consequently, he said, “idols were smashed, spiritists and mediums forcibly removed, and the worship of the one true God reinstated,” Graham wrote.
“For far too long, as a nation we have neglected – and even rejected – the Word of God and His commands. Yet the Scriptures are mighty, able to penetrate even the most hardened and darkened hearts with convicting, life-giving power,” Graham wrote.
“This is the only cure for a sin-sickened country that is about to slip into a moral abyss, and it is why we must proclaim the Good News,” he wrote.
Overt action to minimize Christianity in America is becoming more familiar, with governments banning prayer even when it doesn’t mention Jesus, a military officer’s research paper insisting officers should abandon certain Christian beliefs and the the Air Force Academy designating a parcel of ground to be used to worship “Mother Earth and the Horned God.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was disinvited to speak at a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base because of his opposition to President Obama’s call to allow homosexuals to serve in the military.
Shirley Dobson, who coordinates National Day of Prayer events, said: “Prayers uttered by those in official positions are being met with hostility, or they have been banned outright. This opposition represents a radical change of direction for this great land. National days of prayer have occurred since 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the nation to join in a petition for divine guidance.”
Graham also has been unafraid to address the most politically sensitive issues of the day, telling CNN in an interview that “true Islam cannot be practiced in this country.”
“You can’t beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they’ve committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries,” he said. ” … I don’t agree with the teachings of Islam, and I find it to be a very violent religion.”
The research paper criticizing evangelical Christianity was written by a major for the School of Advanced Military Studies in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. It calls for Americans to lose the Christian belief of premillennialism because it damages the nation’s foreign interests.
“As a result of millennarian influences on our culture, most Americans think as absolutists,” Maj. Brian L. Stuckert wrote in his 2008 course requirement at the school for military officers.
“A proclivity for clear differentiations between good, evil, right and wrong do not always serve us well in foreign relations or security policy,” he said. “Policy makers must strive to honestly confront their own cognitive filters and the prejudices associated with various international organizations and actors vis-à-vis premillennialism.”
Graham wrote that America’s financial problems “are nothing compared to the spiritual and moral cliff that is far more destructive to our nation than any economic concerns.”