In 1950, Billy Graham started a radio show called “Hour of Decision.” Cliff Barrows, Graham’s musical director, hosted the show. It featured Graham sermons and usually ended with a call to make a “decision” to accept Jesus Christ as savior and be born-again.
Billy Graham’s sermons often included political commentary (usually something about the evils of communism), but when the evangelist talked about a “decision,” it was always meant in a spiritual context.
Franklin Graham, Billy’s son, is current on the road on a tour he is calling “Decision America.” When a reporter asked Franklin “what is the question being decided?” by his tour, he gave an answer that would have made his father proud:
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) October 2, 2019
If you can’t see the video in the tweet, here is a summary of what Graham says:
[By “decision” I mean] where do you stand before God. Are you ready to meet Him…Life is coming to an end for all of us one day and are we ready to stand before God at that point. I believe there is God. He sent His son to die for our sins….The problems in this world is because of our sin of the human heart. So I hope many people will come. I hope many people will put their faith and trust in Christ and they’ll have their lives changed forever.
But is this really what “Decision America” is really all about? Is this tour just about the preaching of the Gospel? We will have to see how the tour unfolds.
In the meantime, check out Alana Schorr’s Associated Press piece on Decision America’s Greenville, North Carolina stop. The piece does not say that Graham used his platform to preach politics explicitly, but I think Schorr’s is right when she suggests that when Graham makes reference to the “trouble” our country is facing, he is probably referring to the Democratic attempts to impeach Trump. It is hard to understand this in any other way in light of Graham’s court evangelicalism.
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Rev. Franklin Graham did not utter the word “impeachment” as he spoke to thousands of Christians here this week, the latest stop on a long-running tour he has dubbed Decision America — a title with political and religious undertones.
But evangelicals who turned out to see Graham didn’t necessarily need his warning that “our country is in trouble” in order to tap into their deep-rooted support for President Donald Trump during an intensifying political crisis hundreds of miles north in Washington.
“I do feel like we are, as Christians, the first line of defense for the president,” Christina Jones, 44, said before Graham took the stage. Trump is “supporting our Christian principles and trying to do his best,” she added, even as “everybody’s against him.”
The impeachment furor is the latest test of Trump’s seemingly unbreakable bond with conservative evangelical Christians. Trump suggested this week that the peril of impeachment would only cement his ties to that voting bloc, which helped propel him into office, and supporters who have stood by him through accusations of sexual assault and infidelity see no reason to back away from a president they view as unfairly beleaguered.
Frances Lassiter, 65, dismissed Democrats’ pursuit of a case against Trump as “all a bunch of crap” designed to push him from office.
Read the entire piece here.