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June 27, 2005

It's OK, Dr. Graham

Billy Graham’s last crusade in New York City has become a media love fest, and it is really great to see the admiration for Dr Graham and the way the Crusade is pulling together the Christian church in the city. But please don’t pay attention to anything Dr. Graham says these days, except in his prepared sermon. He has lost his political discretion, but it’s OK. He deserves a little senility late in life. Don’t condemn him, as some have. Just smile when it sounds as though he’s endorsing Hillary Clinton for president (when Bill Clinton joined him on stage, Graham "quipp[ed] that the former president should become an evangelist and allow 'his wife to run the country'”). This wasn’t politics; just a good-natured quip at an evangelistic crusade. We need to read in the discretion the grand old man of evangelicalism is now lacking.

Posted by Jim at June 27, 2005 07:42 AM

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Tracked on June 27, 2005 08:27 AM


Well put.

Posted by: oxymoronnb at June 27, 2005 01:01 PM

This is absurdly and offensively condescending toward Billy Graham. His quip in no way could be read as an endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president, except for those listening with intensely partisan ears.

In fact, in his statesmanship and his refusal to say that one political party or philosophy is more righteous than another, Graham is not being senile. He's being Christian. He's showing an awareness that political isms are ultimately arguments over how to decorate a building marked for the wrecking ball. He refuses to be snagged by politics or to engage in any idolatry of ideology because he has a greater, more eternal cause.

His comments then, don't require our indulgence as though he were some witless oaf. I should think that the world's recent experience with Pope John Paul II, whose mind and work remained vital and relevant even as his life ebbed away, would keep us from dismissing those with whom we may disagree simply because they've attained a certain age.

Graham deserves our attention. He is showing how we ought to be the Church, that is, as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, not emissaries of the Republican National Committee!

We Christians seek to win to Christ not just those who agree with our politics, but all people. Billy Graham knows this...even if he is eighty-six years old.

Posted by: Mark at June 28, 2005 11:00 AM

Brother Billy has been very consistent. He doesn't preach politics, abortion, pornography ... just the cross. He never let his ministry get sidetracked - he just keeps preaching the cross. I'm sure he is glad others are fighting 'issue' battles, and he probably recognizes that they need to be fought. He has made a decision that his only 'issue' is the cross. I'd say that it has worked pretty well for him.

Posted by: bruce at June 28, 2005 06:16 PM