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Evangelical Leaders React to President Donald Trump's U.N. Speech: 'It's an Answer to Prayer'

( [email protected] ) Sep 20, 2017 10:18 AM EDT
Franklin Graham has thanked God for "a president who stands for truth and is not afraid to speak truth to the whole world" after Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York City.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday delivered his inaugural address to the United Nations and threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary. Getty Images

Franklin Graham has thanked God for "a president who stands for truth and is not afraid to speak truth to the whole world" after Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York City.

"President Donald J. Trump's address today to the United Nations General Assembly may have been one of the best speeches ever given to that body," Graham, the CEO of Samaritan's Purse, wrote in a Tuesday Facebook post. "It made you proud to be an American. I hope you will join me in praying for this man, that God will guide and direct him. He reminded the world, 'If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.'"

Trump's speech addressed many different topics such as the economy, radical terror, the nuclear threat of North Korea, Iran's funding of terrorist groups, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, immigration, socialism, and United Nations reform.

While promising that the U.S. "will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies," he threatened to "totally destroy" the "depraved regime" of North Korea if the U.S. finds itself "forced to defend itself or its allies."

He also demanded that "Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors."

The president also criticized the Iran nuclear deal, calling it "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions" and "an embarrassment."

"We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all," he concluded his speech.

Graham is not the only religious leader to applaud the president for his bold speech. Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump's evangelical advisers and the pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, tweeted: "@POTUS just delivered to the @UN the most courageous speech of any Pres. in history. Thank God for a President who will call evil -'evil.'"

He later tweeted, "Isn't it refreshing to have a @POTUS whose mantra is 'Make America First' instead of 'Hate America First!'"

Tweeted Pastor Mark Burns: "President @realDonaldTrump will defend America and protect our sovereignty from #RocketMan #KimJongUn & all Evil Global Terrorist #UNGA"

James Robison, founder of LIFE Outreach International, also praised Trump's speech in a Facebook video: "I believe it was an answer to the prayers of deeply concerned people," he said. "And I believe that if we will continue to pray for those in authority, we may see one of the greatest miracles we've ever witnessed and that would be nations coming together to actually be the United Nations. I'm praying for our nation and our national leadership to become united. As Christians, we need to become one in Christ, one with one another, and pray for miracles."

He added, "Many of you have wondered if President Trump could actually deliver the kind of message that you heard and actually believe what he said and stand for it and lead us in a positive direction. He was not the candidate that most conservatives or Christians would've picked, but it's obvious that people with common sense who knew we couldn't continue the direction we were going [knew] we had to have a total change."

Robison said that as "God supernaturally" led him to Trump, he witnessed the president change from a man focused on accumulating material wealth to one who seeks "good counsel and prayer" and the two American dreams - "freedom and opportunity" for everybody.

"Pray for his family, pray for his cabinet," he concluded. "We have a change - pray that the United Nations will respond positively to what they heard."

Critics, however, warned that Trump's "inflammatory" language will only feed North Korea's propaganda machine.

"This is just a boon to North Korea," Prof. Stephan Haggard, a Korea expert at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy, told Time Magazine of Trump's speech. "Because you have a regime that has built its entire existence around the idea that the United States is out to destroy them, and the U.S. President is saying just that."

Marcus Noland, an executive vice president at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and one of the authors of its North Korea: Witness to Transformation blog, told the Washington Post that Trump "handed the North Koreans the sound bite of the century."

"That footage will be used time and time and time again on North Korea's state television channel," he said. "The Kim regime argues that only it is capable of protecting the country from the existential threat North Korea faces from 'hostile foreign forces' led by the United States. All of the depravity and the denial of rights is all justified by this."

Tags : Donald Trump, United Nations, North Korea, Christian leaders, Franklin Graham, James Robison