Rev. Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said the last few decades in America have witnessed an increased hostility towards “the sacred nature of Christmas,” a stripping away of religious references in the public square that is “at its root and core” a “war on Christ and His Followers.”
“The war on Christmas is a war on Christ,” said Rev. Graham, a “hatred” against a culture that celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh as a baby 2,000 years ago, and anticipates his second coming when, as a “conquering King,” He will “cast Satan and unbelievers into an eternal lake of fire.”
Analyzing the war on Christmas, Rev. Graham in his December commentary in Decision magazine, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said, “Stores, schools and communities across America continue to find new and intolerant reasons to remove any religious references to Christmas, stripping it of any holy or historical significance. Christian songs, prayers and other spiritually vital connections to the Lord Jesus Christ are deleted or diminished.”
For example, in Ramsey County, Minn., he said, a courthouse “banned red poinsettias because someone deemed them a ‘Christian symbol,’” and in Pittsburgh the Christmas holidays are referred to “as ‘Sparkle Days,’ in an ironic attempt at avoiding offense.” Also, a VA hospital in Georgia banned “religious Christmas songs in public areas.”
Between the time that Jesus came as a baby and His second coming are “the last days,” said Rev. Graham, adding that, as the Apostle Paul wrote, the last days will be marked by “pride, brutality, treachery and heartlessness.”
“We should not be taken aback, then, when a day that should be devoted to meditating upon the marvelous, virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is instead treated in a scandalously secular way that denies His deity and saving work,” said the reverend, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
“The Name of Christ is an offense to the unbelieving world,” he said. “The mention of His birth, or life, or death and resurrection, is an insult. The world, the flesh and the Devil all hate the mere mention of His glorious Name. They are mortal enemies of the Savior.”
That “world system,” said Rev. Graham, “is enthralled with power and greed, and it wants no part of the Messiah’s absolute authority.”
That rebellion against God is animated by the Devil, said Rev. Graham, the demon who, “knowing that his time to roam on Earth is short and that he will one day be cast into the lake of fire, he opposes Christ at every turn. He and his demons will help gather all the nations into a great last-ditch rebellion against the King of kings before he is defeated.”
Until that happens, however, “we should expect stiff, relentless opposition to the Gospel message from our culture,” said Rev. Graham.
He added that the brutal persecution of Christians in other countries may be “far into the future for us” in the United States, but we cannot expect “that it will not intensify and heighten.”
Franklin Grham, 62, is married and has five children and numerous grandchildren. He and his wife, Jane Cunningham Graham, live in Boone, N.C. In addition to heading the BGEA, Rev. Franklin Graham is chairman and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian-based international relief organization.
Like his father Billy Graham, Rev. Franklin Graham evangelizes at venues here and abroad, and through television, radio, publishing and through the Internet and social media.