‘The only hope for this country is Almighty God’
Evangelist Franklin Graham says both of America’s major political parties are “corrupt to the core” and called on Christians to pray and consider running for office to change things.
Speaking in Albany, N.Y., on Aug. 25 as part of his 50-state Decision America Tour 2016, Graham addressed nearly 3,000 people on the sun-splashed grounds of the state capitol.
“I can tell you right now, no political party is going to be able to turn this thing around,” Graham said at the noon rally. “I may make some people mad at me, but listen to me. I have no hope in the Democratic Party—zero. Now, before you Republicans start high-fiving each other, I have zero hope in the Republican Party.
“The only hope for this country is Almighty God, and the most important thing you and I can do today is pray.”
Graham, son of the world-renown evangelist Billy Graham, said many people have asked him what they can do to help.
“Well, you can vote,” he said. “I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. You figure that out. Vote for candidates who stand for biblical truth and for biblical principles.
Vote for them. The key is vote.”
The 64-year-old evangelist, who is visiting every state capital this election season to mobilize Christians, shared a quote his 97-year-old father made in 1952:
“It’s the duty of every individual Christian at election to study the issues, study the candidates, and go to the polls and vote. If I were the pastor of a church, I believe I would explain to my people where each candidate stood morally, spiritually, and in relationship to the church.
The quote continued, “We’re going to have to make our voice known if America is to be preserved with the type of Christian heritage which has given us the liberties that we now enjoy, for unless America turns back to God, repents of its sin, and experiences a spiritual revival, we will fail as a nation.”
Graham, president and CEO of both the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, also shared verses from Nehemiah 1. He reminded his listeners how the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in 52 days.
“Now some people say America is finished. It’s too late. Folks, with God it’s never too late!” Graham said to cheers.
Graham also led the crowd in prayer for government leaders and a confession of personal sin.
Addressing the country’s moral slide, Graham said the enemy is not at the gate, but has busted through because “we’ve let our moral walls deteriorate and fall down.” A country that vanquished communism saw secularism creep into prominence, Graham said.
“Secularism and communism are basically the same thing,” he said. “They’re both godless.”
Graham said much of society, including many churches, “are more concerned about political correctness than they are about God’s truth and His righteousness.”
That has to change and Graham urged Christians to run for political office at every level and stand up for godly values.
“We need men and women in high places who are willing to honor Almighty God,” he said. “America is being stripped of its biblical heritage and its God-inspired foundations.
“It’s the duty of Christian men and women to offer themselves for public office. One reason we’ve had such bad political leaders is because in some places only the bad ones offer themselves for office. There are many places where Christian men and women could get the vote if they only offered themselves.”
During the rally, Graham urged people to sign a pledge to pray, vote, engage more fully in their communities—and consider running for political office.
“I want you to go back to your community and be an advocate for God’s truth and His righteousness,” he said. “The only way it’s going to be changed is through prayer and Christians getting elected and making a difference inside those walls.
“America needs the Christian voice. American needs the Christian vote.”