Charisma News Update: Since the time of this story's original posting, there have been developments in this story. Charisma News Staff have been tracking the progress and provide an update here.
D. James Kennedy Ministries has released a statement in support of Franklin Graham in light of recent attacks against his moral character.
The statement reads,
Franklin Graham is an international evangelist and a renowned humanitarian whose organization, Samaritan's Purse, delivers aid across the world to people in need. He is also an outspoken defender of Biblical moral values at a time when the left is determined to purge competing voices from American public life.
That is why D. James Kennedy Ministries is collecting signatures on our "I'm With Franklin!" open letter for delivery to our friends at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse.
We want him, as well as the boards of BGEA and Samaritan's Purse to know that faithful believers in Jesus Christ love Franklin and stand with him.
To further show its support, the ministry has created an online petition called "I'm With Franklin" to counter the petition calling for his removal from his positions at BGEA and Samaritan's Purse.
Here is the original story from Charisma News:
Thousands have signed a petition calling for the termination of Franklin Graham from his positions at Samaritan's Purse and at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The reason? His supposed encouragement of the Capitol riots by way of showing his support for former President Donald J. Trump.
The Faithful America petition likens Graham to "blasphemous preachers" who "must be held accountable for their deadly dishonesty."
The assertive language expressed in the letter goes so far as to say Graham's actions have soiled his family's legacy.
"Graham gets away with his hatred and conspiracy-theories by hiding behind the humanitarian work of Samaritan's Purse and his late father's name. It's time for Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) to realize that by propping up Franklin's unchristian extremism, they are abandoning their Gospel missions, undermining democracy, and helping incite white-nationalist sedition."
In a comment to the Associated Press, along with other faith leaders, Graham condemned the violence. "I do not support violence from the right or the left," he said. "Our country is in trouble. We need God's healing and we need God's help."
In fact, Graham further encouraged believers to pray for President Biden and the incoming inauguration.
The division in our country is as great as any time since the Civil War. I am calling on Christians to unite our hearts together in prayer for President-elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris, and for the leadership in both parties. — Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) January 7, 2021
Paul Saber, who serves on the board of directors for both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, came to Graham's defense. Saber said both organizations "fully support Franklin Graham and are more than satisfied with the job he has done and is doing in leading these ministries. Franklin Graham was not in Washington, D.C., and he did not encourage people to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6."
And Saber isn't the only one defending Graham. While some are criticizing Graham for supporting former President Donald J. Trump, others are recognizing his leadership in Spirit-led healing and evangelism efforts throughout suffering communities. Faithwire.com reported on the multiple efforts the BGEA and Samaritan's Purse have initiated to provide relief to health care workers as the stress of COVID-19 takes its toll on hospitals around the country.
Of this project, Graham told Faithwire, "We are there in Jesus' name. It's just something God has done, and it's given us the opportunity to magnify His name in the middle of a crisis."
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