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THE LAST WORD

Billy Graham ads urge voters to follow biblical principles

Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 12:01 am

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started a nationwide campaign last week with a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal to encourage Christians to vote based on biblical principles.

Friday, a full-page ad appeared in USA Today, and similar ads will reportedly appear around the country. The campaign is displayed on the organization’s website, billygraham.org/vote-biblical-values/index.asp.

The message, which includes a picture of 93-year-old, silver-haired evangelist Billy Graham, reads: “The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Now retired from preaching and struggling with health issues, Graham has met with every sitting president since Harry S. Truman. And he has counseled many. Still, he has avoided politics during his long career. In May, however, he backed a successful effort to add an amendment to North Carolina’s constitution banning gay marriage.

The current ad campaign was the result of a meeting between Graham’s evangelist son Franklin and a former Fort Wayne preacher, Dr. David Jeremiah, who pastored Blackhawk Baptist Church in the 1970s. Jeremiah is senior pastor at the Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., and the founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries.

Jeremiah told American Family Radio’s “Today’s Issues” program that Graham wanted to talk about the idea with his father.

“The next day,” Jeremiah said, “I was leaving Boone to get back on the plane and come home, and he called me and … said … ‘I talked to Daddy about this, and he thinks it’s a great idea. And Dr. Jeremiah, he wants you to make it happen.’”

Jeremiah said he rounded up donors to help remind people “that there’s a moral climate in this nation that needs to be changed.”

Billy Graham doesn’t officially endorse a candidate by name in his ad, so voters who respect his advice need to figure out for themselves whether President Obama or Mitt Romney or any other candidates reflect the biblical principles Graham espouses, including marriage between a man and a woman.

Joseph Infranco, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote on Townhall.com: “The Bible identified these as moral issues long before the political experiment we call ‘America’ even came into existence. It is politics that has expanded into the realm of morality, and not vice-versa.”

Kerry Hubartt is editor of The News-Sentinel.