As the evangelist celebrated Independence Day on Monday, he called upon Americans to take a moment to "thank God for His hand of blessing" to the U.S.
On Monday, evangelist and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) president/CEO Franklin Graham took to social media to share his thoughts about the Fourth of July and urge Americans to be grateful to God for a number of blessings. He also reminded Americans that they must not turn their backs on God.
"This Independence Day, let's stop and thank God for His hand of blessing on this nation-and we need to pray that He will not remove it," Graham wrote on Facebook. The 69 year old evangelist said that Americans need God's "guidance, protection, and help" and reminded them that people must not "[turn] our backs on Him" and instead "seek Him" and "stand firmly on His Word."
Franklin, who was ordained in 1982 and has traveled the world to spread the word of God, turned to Scripture to give advice to Americans on the Fourth of July. He quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14, which speaks about calling God by His name and humbling one's self to pray and turn away from sin so that the Lord would forgive them and "heal their land."
Evangelist's Fourth of July Message Comes Amidst a Somber Mood
Graham's Fourth of July post come amidst a less-than-celebratory mood from many political and religious leaders especially following the string of mass shootings in America these past few weeks and the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade, which strips women of reproductive rights to save the unborn.
According to Breitbart, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams took to social media to remind the public of a "fight for freedom" that began back in 1776 and "never ended." Adams called upon the public, writing that, "The work is ours to finish" and that Americans' liberties are now "under attack from extremist voices" in response to Roe v. Wade being overturned.
Fewer American Pastors Planned to Honor America During Fourth of July Services
Last week, the Christian Post reported on a new Lifeway Research study that only a little over half of Protestant pastors supported expressing patriotism at church over the Fourth of July weekend. Of the half, 27% said they strongly support such displays of patriotism. Meanwhile, about two in five pastors or 42% disagree, with 2% saying they were not sure.
The recent study was conducted on 1,000 U.S. Protestant pastors in September 21. The results of the survey were released on June 28. The survey was conducted through interviews that were completed by the senior or sole pastor or minister at a church, while responses were weighted by region and church size to make a clearer representation of the population.
Survey results showed that pastors who had graduate degrees were less likely to talk about patriotism in their services compared to pastors who had no degree (an overwhelming 70%) or a bachelor's degree (a majority of 67%). The survey also found that denominational pastors, who made up 48%, were less likely to incorporate patriotism into their worship services, compared to 64% of Evangelical pastors. Among these denominations, Pentecostal (77%) and nondenominational (70%) churches were more likely to bring up patriotism in their Sunday services. In terms of age groups, younger pastors aged 18 to 44 were also most likely to refrain from using patriotic messaging in their worship services (65%).