In today's increasingly "godless and secular" culture, evangelist Franklin Graham is urging Christians to ask themselves if they will stand for the truth - even if it means risking their lives.
In a Facebook message to his followers posted Sunday evening, the 64-year-old head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association asked, "What would you take a bullet for? What are the principles and beliefs that you would not compromise under any circumstances? Even if it meant putting your life on the line?"
He recalled the biblical story Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the Old Testament Book of Daniel, which recounts how three Hebrew men were thrown into a furnace when they refused to bow before the idolatrous image of King Nebuchadnezzar, which was required under Babylonian law.
Because the three men stood for God's truth, they survived the furnace unscathed. King Nebuchadnezzar then saw them walking along with a fourth figure, who appeared to be the Son of God.
Graham called on US pastors and Christians to stand firm like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and not bow to the" secular, increasingly godless culture in which we live-even when (not if) we're criticized, mocked, and labeled intolerant."
He concluded: "The God of the Old Testament that delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from their fiery execution is the same God today-and He is still more than able to save. Will you stand against ungodliness? What are you willing to take a bullet for?"
Earlier, Graham encouraged school officials to disobey a recent Obama administration directive that allows transgender students to access public school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Schools that fail to comply with the Obama administration's interpretation of equal rights laws risk losing federal funding.
"Who does President Barack Obama think he is?The sultan of Washington?" Graham asked Friday in a Facebook post. "Does he think he can just make a 'decree' and we will bow down and simply obey?"
"The president obviously must have no fear of God, who made us and created us male and female," Graham said. "I hope that school districts across this nation will defy President Obama and his administration's radical progressive agenda to promote and advance the sin of homosexuality and the LGBT agenda."
He also thanked North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for standing firm on the recently passed bathroom law despite what he referred to as "bullying and intimidation" from the Obama administration. North Carolina stands to lose more than $4.8 billion state-funded education budget in the midst of the ongoing lawsuits.
"Our president and his appointees aren't supposed to be making laws and bypassing Congress. That's dangerous," Graham wrote in a Facebook post.
He added, "This is far-reaching - it impacts every state and every family in our nation, not just North Carolina. Let's pray for Gov. McCrory and all those fighting this battle for what is right."