Human Nature, politics

In Praise of Billy Graham

 

Preaching to over one million in South Korea

Preaching to over one million in South Korea

“God loves you. He wants you to come home to him, right now, just like you are.”

This was the simple message Billy Graham preached all over the world to millions and millions of people; and the people came, right then, millions of them. Billy Graham was a simple man and this was his simple message, a message of love and hope and acceptance. He preached the Gospel, which means good news and we could use some good news today.

Billy Graham will be vilified for his connections to politics, he will be lumped into the right-wing political camp, the camp that hates gay people, wants the poor to go die quietly under a bridge and wants to conquer the world and impose “Judeo-Christian values” everywhere. To lump him with these people would be a mistake.

Billy Graham was a simple man and he was used. While preaching a 1949 revival in Los Angeles, a revival which was not going well, William Randolph Hearst, the fascist newspaper tycoon, heard him mention “Godless communism” and Hearst issued these instructions to his news empire: “Puff Graham.” He immediately got banner headlines and a cover story in Time magazine.

That Graham advised presidents was completely in line with his gospel. Presidents are lost people, too. Very opposed to abortion on moral grounds, he supported politicians who were also opposed. He was horrified by revelations of Nixon’s hypocrisy (this shows his naivite’-most people were not horrified) and eventually said, “The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”

At the very beginning of his ministry, he set out to operate with integrity. He concluded that ministers went bad for three reasons: Gold, glory and girls. He scrupulously avoided going bad in these ways.

I went to one of his revivals after I became a Christian. The crowd was immense. His lead singer was powerful. His message was very, very simple. That he believed his message was obvious. He was no hypocrite. He was a human being who never claimed to be infallible and certainly never claimed to be perfect.

He just claimed this, with all his heart, soul, mind and strength:

“God loves you. He wants you to come home to him, right now, just like you are.”

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About Je' Czaja

Je' is a writer, artist, and stand up philosopher. She founded and directed two non-profit organizations for disadvantaged children and their families, served as a missionary for three years and is the author of several books. https://www.smashwords.com/interview/jeczaja Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IU4RWKE

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