Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelical preacher Billy Graham, said that America is increasingly embracing a “culture of death” that echoes what has occurred in Europe, and which stems from a “sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ.”
A further problem in America, he added, is that “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”
“In places like Europe, where Christianity has been in decline as the deceptive forces of secularism and materialism have spread across the continent, it’s not surprising to find the practice of euthanasia so entrenched,” said Rev. Graham in a commentary for the January issue of Decision magazine. “Earlier this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to allow child euthanasia with no age limit.”
“I’m concerned that America is not far behind,” said Rev. Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. “The euthanasia movement—disguised now as ‘death with dignity’—is gaining ground in a number of states. And for every 1,000 live births in the United States, 219 pregnancies end with a murdered child, through abortion.”
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that this rise in the culture of death in our own country coincides with the embrace of an immoral, sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ,” he said. “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”
In addition to the push for euthanasia -- the deliberate murder of the terminally sick, handicapped, elderly, or mentally ill – Reverend Graham noted that the social and entertainment culture seems fixated on death and gore.
Football used to be the dominant choice on television on Sunday evenings in the fall and winter but today, for example, 17 million people skipped the football game to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead, a series about zombies (the walking dead) hunting and eating people.
A few weeks after that premiere on Oct. 12, “nearly 15 million people turned in to yet another episode, easily surpassing that night’s matchup” between the Broncos and the Chiefs, said Rev. Graham.
“That program is just one of numerous television programs that have garnered tremendous followings by fixating on gore and death,” he said. “At least half a dozen prime time shows are strangely enamored and captivated by it. These shows, when combined with hugely popular video games like Mortal Kombat, demonstrate how obsessed with death our culture has become.”
Despite the near-constant stream of death-entertainment, the peddlers of such fare avoid the stark reality of actual death, said the reverend. They avoid the serious questions.
“The Bible says that once a person dies, he will face the judgment of God,” said Rev. Graham. “There is no reincarnation. There is no second chance.”
He continued, “Death is serious, eternal business. Once our physical hearts beat for the last time, we will instantly find ourselves either in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in all His splendor, or in the pit of Hell away from His presence.”
Hollywood doesn’t want to talk about that in any serious way. But “death is not a fictional television series,” said Rev. Graham. “It is not a popular gaming topic. It is the entryway into either eternal life or eternal death. And a culture that treats it as mere fantasy and amusing entertainment does so at its peril.”
Our only hope, said the reverend, is “bold, biblical Christianity” that counters the “devilish, dark culture of sin and death that seeks to enslave and ultimately damn people for eternity.”
Life is short. Eternity is long. Do not tarry for you do not know when you will die. Choose sin and you will face eternal damnation, said Rev. Graham. But choose God and you will gain eternal life.
This also applies to our institutions, our laws, our society. “Wherever Christianity flourishes, there is a vibrant culture of life, not death,” said the reverend. “When the precepts of the Christian faith are faithfully taught and followed, there is an abundance of selfless, sacrificial living and giving.”
Franklin Graham is married, has five children, and lives in Boone, N.C. In addition to running the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, founded by his father, Franklin Graham is the CEO of the international aid group Samaritan’s Purse.
Billy Graham, 96, reportedly is in decent health and has good days and bad days, and lives at his home in Montreat, N.C. His wife of 64 years, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007. Billy Graham still reads the Bible every day and occasionally meets with the staff at BGEA and participates in some ministry work, according to Franklin Graham.