Evangelist Franklin Graham has shared his thoughts on what it means to be a Christian and revealed that it has "nothing to do" with denominational affiliation.
In a Facebook post shared over the weekend, the 64-year-old president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse acknowledged that there has been a "lot of talk" over the past few days about what it means to be a Christian.
Billy Graham's son was likely referring to the recent feud between Pope Francis and Donald Trump, where the pontiff slammed the GOP frontrunner's vow to build a wall along the southern U.S. border to keep out illegal immigrants as "not Christian."
While presidential candidates and religious leaders continue to debate about what defines a Christian, Graham argues that the answer is simple: a Christian is a person who is a follower of Jesus Christ.
Graham goes on to share his personal testimony: "I was 22 years old when I asked God to forgive me of my sins and I put my faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ. I invited Jesus into my heart and turned my life over to Him-and I've been following Him ever since."
He asserts that being a Christian has "nothing to do" with denominational affiliation, whether it is Presbyterian, Baptist or Catholic.
"Religion can't save you," he charges. "You have to confess your sins, turn from your sins, and believe in Jesus Christ, who took your sins to the cross, died, was buried, and God raised Him from the grave. That's the Good News, that's the Gospel. The Bible says, 'This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins' (1 John 4:10)."
Graham also cites 1 John 1:9, which reads, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)."
"Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?" he concludes.
A January Pew Research Center survey found that 50% American adults say they would be less likely to vote for a hypothetical presidential candidate who does not believe in God, while just 6% say they would be more likely to vote for a nonbeliever.
Graham has been highly vocal about the 2016 presidential elections, and while he has not endorsed a candidate, he has cautioned Christians that they might "lose this country" unless they get out and vote.
"America is being stripped of biblical heritage," Graham said last week while speaking at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, encouraging believers to "vote for candidates who stand for biblical truth and biblical principles, and are willing to live them."
"I want to get to as many Christians as I can to vote in the next election," he added, speaking of his Decision America Tour.
"Our country is going in the wrong direction," Graham warned. "And I think some of the politicians that are running have tapped into the anger and the frustration in this country. And I want Christians to know that their vote does count and we've taken God out of government, schools and everything else and we need to get God back into it."