Natural beauty is abundant and diverse in America’s Pacific Northwest. Soaring redwoods. Rocky coasts. Snowcapped mountains.
It’s God’s grand design, but many living there are inspired by nature itself and not its Creator.
Starting tonight through Aug. 13, the Decision America Pacific Northwest Tour with Franklin Graham will point to the majesty of Jesus Christ. Each of the seven evangelistic prayer events will navigate through the spiritually dry landscape in Oregon and Washington.
“It is a firewall of secularism on the West Coast, and we want to pierce it, go right through it with the Gospel,” said Steve Rhoads, vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s (BGEA’s) church ministry team.
Decision America Pacific Northwest Tour Stops
Wednesday, August 1
Friday, August 3
Sunday, August 5
Tuesday, August 7
Thursday, August 9
Sunday, August 12
Monday, August 13
The ideological blue wall Rhoads is referring to isn’t about Democrat vs. Republican, but secular values.
“The tour doesn’t have anything to do with politics,” he said. “What it does have to do with is Christian activism.”
At the one-day Decision America events, Franklin Graham will urge Christians to get involved in their local, state and national government—including their community school board.
“Our public schools are battlefronts for a larger spiritual battle,” Rhoads said.
This is especially important in Oregon and Washington, where moral battles in schools have included controversial sex education programs, gender identity curriculum and the addition of a transgender book in a popular reading competition.
“It’s our responsibility to push back against these [pursuits] and say, ‘Nope. Not in my community.’ We have that right and we have that obligation as Christians.”
The West Coast is second only to New England in terms of non-religious people. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 43 percent of Pacific Northwesterners aren’t religious (this region includes Alaska and Hawaii).
“It’s hard out there. It’s hard ground. Very secular, very anti-God. A lot of resistance to the Gospel and to Biblical values,” Rhoads said.
Yet there’s a lot of church support, he said. Hundreds of churches are working with the BGEA and excited for God to work through the Decision America Pacific Northwest Tour.
Why Is it Called ‘Decision America Tour’?
“The tour is a call to action; that’s why it’s called ‘Decision.’ It’s a call to Christians to be prayerful and active and a call to unbelievers to get right with God,” Rhoads said. And he said that’s the kind of challenge BGEA’s president Franklin Graham gravitates toward, noting that Franklin takes the Gospel where it’s not always popular.
The people who come to the events, though, are anxious to hear from the evangelist, he said. “Franklin’s very direct, and I think that’s refreshing to have directness in this age when everything is gray.”
Taking a Stand
After years of prayer, Franklin Graham launched the 2016 Decision America Tour as a re-commitment to the United States and to the American church.
He visited all 50 state capitals, drawing more than 230,000 people together from coast to coast.
The tour returned to Tennessee and Texas in 2017, and Franklin wrapped up a 10-city trek through California this spring.
“The culture tends to put pressure on Christians to retreat and to be quiet inside the walls of the [church] building,” Rhoads explained. “We have to say, ‘No, we will not do this. We’ll be kind and generous but we’re going to be outspoken and we’re going to be involved.’”
‘My Apple Watch Has a Design’
The Pacific Northwest Tour will traverse through some of the West Coast’s most beautiful scenery. Within that beauty—on some of country’s hardest ground—God can still transform hearts, that His children will know Him.
“I don’t know how you drive through Oregon and Washington and see some of those cliffs and rock formations—and the beauty of it all—and say that there’s no design,” Rhoads said.
“My Apple watch has a design. Somebody made this. We would never say that it’s a total accident, that some random particles came together.
“Some people look at the universe, which is infinitely vast and microscopically complicated and say it’s an accident. But to say, ‘There is no God?’ There’s a lot of evidence to say there is.”
How can this tour help open eyes of the spiritually blind in the Pacific Northwest?
“It starts by changing hearts,” Rhoads said of unbelievers. “You can have your heart changed. You can have a brand new heart.”
Pray that God will supernaturally lead unbelievers to the events and change their hearts.
Curious about who Christ is? Find out more.