Rev. Franklin Graham.
Commenting on the rise of social division and hatred in America, evangelist Franklin Graham said that, overall, what is happening "is an increasing hatred of God" and "His Word," and that the primary target of hate, when all is said and done, is "none other than God Himself."
Franklin Graham, who is the son of world-renowned pastor Billy Graham, made his remarks in the October issue of Decision magazine, which is published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
"America has flaunted its sexual immorality to the world," said Rev. Franklin Graham. "We’ve neglected many of the poor and suffering and are guilty of much injustice, pride and self-indulgence. We are broken spiritually, adrift morally and divided politically and racially—following whichever direction the bankrupt culture seems to drive us."
Antifa activists burn the U.S. flag. (alsfirearmsblog.com)
"Sadly, the voices of hate have grown increasingly loud and insulting," he said. Although the voices of hate come from both sides of the political aisle, Graham added, "we must realize that ultimately what is transpiring in our nation is an increasing hatred of God, His Word and His ways."
"In my lifetime, I have never seen such blatant and incessant animosity toward Christ and His followers," said Rev. Graham. "We should not be surprised, because the Scripture tells us that if they hated the Lord Jesus Christ, they surely would despise those who worship and serve Him."
The Christian leader then cited the case of high school football coach Joe Kennedy, who lives in Washington. Coach Kennedy, for years, used to take a knee and pray on the field after football games were over. Then, in 2015, the school district suspended him and did not renew his contract because Kennedy refused to stop praying to God. Kennedy went to court.
Eventually, the very left-wing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said of its ruling against the high school football coach, "When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the 50-yard line immediately after games, while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee … and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected.”
Former high school football coach Joe Kennedy. (gospelherald.com)
Rev. Graham said, "Can you believe it? A coach, public or parochial, is not allowed to simply bow and silently pray because it might offend someone? Not only that, but in the eyes of the court this violates the First Amendment, which is supposed to guarantee and protect our religious freedom!"
The reverend also noted that the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is going after Christian groups simply because they oppose homosexual "marriage." The SPLC has labeled as "hate groups," for instance, the Family Research Council and the D. James Kennedy Ministries because they teach and uphold the model of marriage, between one man and one woman, as established by God and inscribed in the natural order.
"While believers should never raise voices of hate against anyone," said Rev. Graham, "the real object of hate in our nation (that has been so blessed by God) is none other than God Himself."
"What has been historically called good and righteous is now called evil, and what was evil is now called good," he said. "The Bible says, 'Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness' (Isaiah 5:20)."
In conclusion, Rev. Graham said, "We need to pray for those who hate the Gospel, those who hate the Name of Jesus, those who hate His followers—that they will come out of their self-imposed darkness and into the light of God’s forgiveness through faith and repentance in Christ, who gave Himself for our sins."
In addition to running the BGEA, Franklin Graham oversees the international Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse.