Evangelical preachers who came out strongly for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (and even some who didn’t endorse) have voiced their angst in the wake of President Barack Obama’s re-election victory. But in addition to showcasing their personal dissatisfaction with the results, they also issued warnings of Biblical proportions.
On Wednesday, the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelical leader Billy Graham, was candid about his fears for America’s future. After celebrating his father’s 94th birthday, Graham issued some apocalyptic-esque warnings to the American electorate.
“Unless we’re willing to repent for our sins, we will stand in [God's] judgment,” he proclaimed. “I want to warn America: God is coming around. He will judge sin, and it won’t be pretty.”
Graham also proclaimed that America may be risking God’s blessings, seeing as the Lord purportedly “brings bedlam when countries turn their back on him.” The faith leader warned that the Almighty may “withdraw his hand of protection.”
Then there’s Fred Luter, the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention. While he reiterated his belief that Christians should be praying for the nation’s leader, regardless of party affiliation, he also claimed that America is “in trouble.”
“As citizens of the United States, it’s now time for us to put away our yard signs and buttons and [pray for] our president,” Luter said in a Baptist Press interview. “Our nation is in trouble, and we need Believers to pray God’s will be done in America. We need to understand it’s only going to happen because the people of God start praying for revival in America.”
On the issues front, many evangelicals are fearful moving forward regarding what, exactly, a second Obama term will mean for issues like gay marriage and abortion. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr., in the wake of the president’s re-election victory, said that evangelical Christians ”must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns.”
Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, also touched upon this theme when he outlined some of the lessons and considerations that believers may need to embrace in the wake of Obama’s presidential win. Among his claims, he provides the hard-to-swallow (for evangelicals, anyway) notion that Christians may be on the losing side of the nation’s culture war:
“We must face the reality that we may be on the losing side of the culture war. For decades, the ‘religious right’ has focused its energies on winning the day through political means. But this year, voters in more than one state appear to have clearly passed referenda supporting gay marriage. This marks the first time for any state to legalize same-sex marriage by the expressed will of the people rather than through court rulings or legislation. While this certainly does not mean we should stop legal or political efforts completely, it does mean that we should begin thinking about what it looks like to be the church in a ‘post-culture war’ era. We need to be prepared to defend the protection of religious liberty as we move into the future.”
Even before the election, some preachers were attracting attention for their views on the election. This past Sunday, for instance, Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas in Dallas, Texas, made headlines for his pre-election warning. If President Barack Obama were to win re-election (the reality of which came just two days later), Jeffress warned that America would be set on a dangerous path toward Armageddon.
“I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all,” he preached. “But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”