(Photo: AP Images / Nell Redmond)
The Billy Graham Evangelical Association has reposted a 1973 article by the Rev. Billy Graham in Decision magazine, titled "The National Crisis," where he addressed what he called the disease of sin in America.
"Our newspapers and our television screens are bringing news of a hundred and one dangerous problems that are rocking the world. Each day seems to add to our already impressive number of crises here at home – an accelerating crime rate, mass murders, soaring drug use, rampant inflation, pollution, the breakdown of families, a jittery stock market," Graham wrote, which the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association aid still speaks to the age-old problems plaguing the earth since the fall of man.
In his 1973 article, which came after the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the country, Graham said that "American people have suffered an emotional trauma that has had few parallels in our history."
He added that millions of citizens pretend to be happy on the outside but inside they are lonely, empty and bored. Despite political tension and the struggling economy back then, the evangelist said that the real crisis that confronts people is moral and spiritual, not political or economic.
"If we fail to solve this moral and spiritual crisis we may be doomed like the great nations of the past," Graham warned, adding that society is "perilously close to reproducing the lifestyle of the people in the book of Judges in the Old Testament."
In Judges, he pointed out, people started doing what is right in their own eyes, rather than following God's commandments.
"The name of the disease is sin," Graham said. "Our nation must seek again the way of God and walk in the law of God. This is the only answer ultimately to America's problems. I am not suggesting that more interest in religion is going to save us, because many people in Jeremiah's day were religious. And that is true today as well. For all too many of us, however, religion is merely a formality that has little effect on the way we live and act during the week."
The evangelical leader offered hope that the trend of sin in America can be reversed if people turn to Jesus Christ, but added that it is up to individuals to make that decision.
Graham concluded: "I'm not asking you to turn to Christ in order to save America. I ask you to turn to Christ so that you can have purpose and meaning in your own life, so that you can find forgiveness before God, so you can have salvation and eternal life."
Last year, the 94-year-old evangelist also lamented what he called a "deceived" America, saying that "if God doesn't punish America, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."