Evangelist Franklin Graham shared some encouraging words for pastors in the U.S in response to COVID-19 on the Ben Shapiro Show Sunday.
The Christian Post reports that Graham told Shapiro “we can’t slow down” when asked how he, his family and organization are doing in the pandemic.
Despite Easter Sunday, many churches have shut down following social distancing guidelines and being deemed as “non-essential” by state and local governments.
However, “we need to obey those in authority. That’s what the Bible teaches,” responded Graham, son of the late evangelical leader Billy Graham. “The churches are not shut down,” he continued.
“I think more people are attending online services than they did when they were meeting in person.”
Graham emphasized that the Church “needs to continue to be the Church.”
“But I’d just encourage pastors across the country to obey those that are in authority. And I think that’s what the congregations would expect us to do,” he said, calling the virus very infectious and deadly. “Especially for those who have underlying health issues, this could be a death sentence,” he added.
Graham, who is also the CEO and president of humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, also noted the work the organization is doing in New York and the aid the group has sent to Italy.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, last month, Samaritan’s Purse opened a 68-bed emergency field hospital in northern Italy to help the medical system in the fight against COVID-19.
Graham affirms that Samaritan’s Purse’s mission is to, in the name of Jesus, show that God cares for His people “and has not turned His back on them.”
Despite criticisms for being pro-life and holding traditional views on marriage, the group continues to serve people with love and compassion, “no matter who they are.”
“We’re there to serve the people of New York, anyone who comes. It doesn’t matter who they are, we’re gonna help them, we’re gonna love them, we’re going to care for them and we’re gonna give them the best medical care we possibly can. We’re not gonna give anything less than best, Graham asserted.
“Everybody’s welcomed and if a gay or transgender person shows up at the hospital, we’ll show them the same love and compassion and give them the same world-class healthcare that we give to anybody else that comes,” he said before clarifying that the company does, however, require its employees to hold the same Christian beliefs as the company.
“We are Christian; we are not an equal opportunity employer,” he clarified, “We don’t do that. “The doctors and nurses are all Christians and what motivates us is our faith in Jesus Christ and that’s what we have in common and that’s what makes us go forward.”
Listen to the full podcast episode here.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.