Many evangelicals in Norway will not be attending a Christian festival where the Rev. Franklin Graham was scheduled to speak, due to Graham’s support for President Trump.
The Christian Post reports that Graham was scheduled to speak at a revival festival in late 2017 in Oslo, but evangelical leaders in the country say that attending the festival would be endorsing Graham’s politics, which would mean endorsing the politics of President Trump.
Stefan Fisher-Høyrem, an historian in the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and History at the University of Agder in Norway expressed his concern in a recent Christian Post opinion piece:
"It is precisely because these conservative Evangelical leaders care about the Christian witness and the importance of conservative Christian values in society that they are saying they cannot be associated with Franklin Graham. While they all agree that the Christians should pray for political leaders and that God can use the worst leaders for his purpose, they have said Franklin's increasingly unChristian rhetoric and claim that God intervened to ensure Trump won have undermined Franklin's credibility and witness," Fisher-Høyrem wrote.
Graham disassociated himself from the Republican party before the 2016 presidential election and did not officially endorse Trump, but he encouraged followers to vote for someone who would appoint a conservative Supreme Court justice. He also seemed happy with the election results, posting on Facebook, "God's hand intervened" on election day "to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country."
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association remains optimistic about the Christian festival in Norway. In a statement to The Christian Post, Viktor Hamm, vice president of Crusade Ministries with the BGEA said, "The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is holding the Franklin Graham Festival in November at the invitation of local church leaders. We are excited about the opportunity to share the hope-filled message of Jesus with the people of Norway. This will be a positive event that focuses on one thing only: Jesus Christ. The festival is free and all are welcome, so our hope is that everyone in Oslo will come see and hear it for themselves."
Photo: Evangelist and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Franklin Graham takes the stage before then president-elect Donald Trump during a thank you rally in Ladd-Peebles Stadium on December 17, 2016 in Mobile, Alabama.
Photo courtesy: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Publication date: April 6, 2017