“America’s Pastor”, one of the most famous evangelists in our recent history, Billy Graham has returned to God’s womb. I can only imagine the joy that God and Rev. Graham’s wife Ruth and all the saints that have gone before Graham felt at the most recent heavenly feast.
Many people are reminded of and reminiscing the ways that this great evangelist made an impact on their lives. Countless numbers of people are giving thanks for the ways that he helped to woo them to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord through his preaching, teaching, and writing. He has advised many world leaders and received numerous honors for his work.
He was a humble man, a good husband, and father and he maintained integrity throughout his career. Graham experienced a spiritual awakening when he was 16 years old and he spent his life trying to encourage a spiritual awakening in others. Many have recognized a movement in the tone of his teaching and writing as he progressed in his relationship with God in his years lived here among us. His ecumenical approach to evangelism appeared to grow, as did his openness to the mystery of God.
Graham made an impact on the Civil Rights Movement once preaching “Jesus was not a white man; He was not a black man. He came from that part of the world that touches Africa and Asia and Europe. Christianity is not a white man’s religion, and don’t let anyone ever tell you that it’s white or black. Christ belongs to all people; He belongs to the whole world.”
Some are taking this opportunity to criticize Graham’s ministry and even call him a heretic and worse because Graham may have suggested a more generous orthodoxy as he progressed than some are comfortable with. Some suggest that his message was too simplistic, and others wish he had progressed even further towards inclusivity. But friends, there is no time or space for those sorts of arguments.
Billy Graham accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and he spent his life trying to introduce others to Him. And for that, we need to be grateful and give thanks. Well done, good and faithful servant. Now it is time for us to take up his mantle.
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Claire – A Tribute to Billy Graham
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