Franklin Graham is touring California, and yes, he's presenting the gospel and giving an invitation – but he's also calling the church to political action.
There's a lot of Billy Graham in his son Franklin. "If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I'm going to give you that opportunity tonight to invite him to come into your heart," the younger Graham offers regularly.
But whereas his dad was cautious in his appeal to the political Christian, Franklin walks right in the front door. "Listen, church: the church has to get involved politically. You say, Oh, we shouldn't do that. Who says we shouldn't do that."
The evangelist began a ten-city tour through the Golden State on May 20; it ends on June 5 in Redding. He's hoping to turn the Golden State "red" again – a tall order, according to resident and pollster George Barna with the American Culture & Faith Institute.
"I think to turn around California is a long-term process," the pollster tells OneNewsNow. "It's not going to happen in this next election; it's not going to happen in the 2020 election."
So Graham is urging the church to start small – but he's not pulling any punches:
"If the pastors would get together and ... would put together candidates to run for school board. … You say, Well, Franklin, I don't have time to be on a school board. Oh, give me a break. Really?"
If the school board isn't to your liking, how about city council? Or state representative? Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.com says building from the ground up is the only way – the Christian way – to effect change.
"Professing Christians need to come out of the closet – the church closet," says Thomasson. "A Christian is bold and courageous."