The Rev. Franklin Graham has told a large gathering of pastors to address controversial issues from the pulpit, declaring that “God hates cowards.”
Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, based his remarks on Revelation 21:8, wherein God lists eight groups of people who will be “in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Of groups like murderers, idolaters, unbelievers, and others, the first group of persons listed were the cowardly. It was this first group that Graham focused on for his speech, titled “Standing Strong on the Controversial Issues,” at last week’s session for the 2014 Watchmen on the Wall National Briefing.
“The definition of a coward: a coward will not confront an issue that needs to be confronted due to fear. That is a coward,” said Graham.
“God hates cowards. And the cowards that the Lord is referring to are the men and women who know the truth but refuse to speak it.”
In his remarks at the dinner session, Graham spoke about the need for churches to speak out against abortion and homosexuality, declaring that “you’re not going to shut me up.”
“We have a responsibility to speak on the moral issues. Abortion, homosexuality, these are moral issues. This is a free country, you can do what you want to do but I want you to know it’s a sin against God. This is a sin,” said Graham.
Graham mentioned how he has “friends who are pastors” who say they want to preach the Gospel and not “become targets.”
“Well don’t you think the Lord Jesus Christ was a target?” asked Graham. “Could we get our heads chopped off? We could, maybe one day. So what? Chop it off!”