Court evangelical and fear-monger Franklin Graham obviously has the reigns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). The editors of Decision, the official magazine of the BGEA, recent published an article titled “How the White House has Strengthened Religious Liberty.” Here is a taste:
The past 22 months have brought significant progress in restoring religious liberty in the United States. But if Christians do not remain engaged, those gains could be brought to a screeching halt or even lost after next month’s midterm elections. If progressives reclaim a majority in Congress, not to mention in state and local governments, believers will once again be open targets for punishment by left-wing activists bent on silencing those who wish to live out their faith in society.
The article goes on to praise Donald Trump for appointing Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, proclaiming that Christians will not “be bullied anymore,” protecting international religious liberty, and revoking the Johnson Amendment (which has not happened). See the entire list here.
Billy Graham got burned by getting too close to politics. I chronicle this story in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump. So it is sad to see his organization and his magazine becoming so political. How this will hurt the BGEA’s ability to spread the Gospel around the world is yet to be seen. That will be a story for future historians to tell.
Will Christians be “open targets” if the Democrats are elected? I don’t think so. But even if we are, perhaps it is time for the church to suffer a little persecution. It might do us some good and help us to figure out what we are supposed to be doing in these days. It might also help us to articulate a more “confident pluralism” and relinquish our Christian nationalist longings.