Franklin Graham has issued a bold and sobering warning to the world regarding God’s hand in the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with Fox host Judge Jeanine Pirro over the weekend, Graham said that the pandemic is the result of sin because “man has turned his back on God,” urging Christians to be in continual prayer and repentance as we approach Resurrection Sunday.
“As we come to this week, Easter week — I would encourage people around the world and across the country to pray,” Graham told Pirro. “I pray that God would protect us, and God’s hand would relieve us from this pandemic.”
Samaritan’s Purse, the humanitarian organization helmed by Graham which brings medical professionals and supplies to war zones and disaster sites around the world, has set up a 68-bed field hospital in New York City’s Central Park. The makeshift hospital, staffed with 60 to 70 medical personnel to treat coronavirus patients, is an intervention welcomed by municipal hospitals expecting a strain on resources as the virus continues to ravage the city.
“We never thought we’d be in New York City,” Graham told Pirro, adding that his Christian staff constantly pray for their patients.
“This is a very serious situation, and we need God’s help,” he continued. “Of course, in Central Park, our doctors and nurses are Christian men and women. We pray for our patients. We have chaplains there to pray for our patients. We care for everybody that comes in, and we want them to know God loves them, and He hasn’t forgotten them. We’re there to care for them in Jesus’ name.”
As the death toll continues to climb Pirro told Graham, “you must get questions about why God would allow this kind of thing to happen.”
“I don’t think God planned for this to happen,” Graham responded. “It’s because of the sin that’s in the world, Judge. Man has turned his back on God. We have sinned against Him, and we need to ask for God’s forgiveness. And that’s what Easter is all about — it’s about God so loving the world that He gave His only begotten son — that whosoever should believeth in Him should not perish, but should have everlasting life.”
“Jesus Christ came to save sinners. He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save the world,” he declared. “And if we’ll put our faith and trust in Him, He’ll forgive our sins, and He’ll heal our hearts, and He’ll change the course of our lives. This pandemic — this is a result of a fallen world, a world that has turned its back on God. I would encourage people to pray. Let’s ask God for help.”
According to LifeSite, however, LGBT activists and allies have complained about the field hospital because, as one stated, the organization is run by “the notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ minister Franklin Graham.”
New York state senator Brad Hoylman (D) called on Graham to “publicly assure LGBTQ New Yorkers that they will receive the same treatment as anyone else at the Central Park field hospital” and told NBC News it was “a shame that the federal government has left us in the position of having to accept charity from such bigots.”
“Samaritan’s Purse treats everyone we help the same,” Graham replied in an emailed statement to NBC News. “We do not make distinctions about an individual’s religion, race, sexual orientation, or economic status. We certainly do not discriminate, and we have a decades-long track record that confirms just that.”
“This is a time for all of us to unite and work together, regardless of our political views,” he added. “Let’s support one another during this crisis, and we pray that God will bless the efforts of all those battling this vicious virus.”
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