Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Turtle on a fence post

Billy Graham is 86 years old. He is frail, and sick, and still brilliant. I pulled this story off AOL news:

As his final American revival meeting continued Saturday, a fragile Billy Graham was met onstage by former President Clinton, who honored the evangelist, calling him "a man I love."

Clinton spoke briefly before Graham's sermon and recalled how the man known as America's pastor had refused to preach before a segregated audience in Arkansas decades ago when that state was in a bitter fight over school desegregation.

"I was just a little boy and I'll never forget it," said Clinton, who was joined by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. "I've loved him ever since. God bless you, friend."
Graham called the Clintons "wonderful friends" and "a great couple," quipping that the former president should become an evangelist and allow "his wife to run the country."

It bothers me when Rev. Graham says things like that, for surely he knows that possibly one of the worse things that could happen to our country is to have Hillary in charge, however, I think this is indicative of the way that Rev. Graham has endeared himself to the world. He just loves, unconditionally. Just as God would want him to do.

I heard an interview with Franklin Graham, Billy's son, on the radio on Friday, in which he was asked what makes his father so effective in his ministry. Franklin replied that his father was like a "turtle on a fence post". That turtle didn't get there on his own, he had to have been put there by someone else. He said his father is a man of God and took special care that he would never allow himself to be put in positions in which he would look as if he was anything other than a man of God. I agree with that. I have heard that he will never allow himself to be alone with a single woman. If he is on an elevator alone, for instance, and a woman gets on, he will step off, to avoid any possiblility that someone will suspect impropriety. With that said, I have to say that I believe Franklin doesn't get it.

In my opinion, the reason that Billy Graham is so effective in his ministry is because of the intangible. That is, The Holy Spirit. If you really sit and listen to his sermons, you will notice that Rev. Grahams sermons aren't complicated explanations of theology. They are simple. They simply state the message of God's unconditional love for all humans, and how one can be saved. This is a message that everyone has heard countless times but rarely does one take heed. But it works for Graham because he has the Spirit of God in him, and that spirit speaks to our hearts through him. In other words, it isn't Billy Graham or his message at all. It is the Holy Spirit that makes the difference. Rev. Graham is just the anointed messenger.

I believe we can all learn from this great man. I, along with millions of other people, have been touched by his ministry. But I'm not sure I am ready to love Hillary Clinton.


tugboatcapn said...

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Mark. I could begin to try to love Queen Hillary if she would only go away...
You are so right about Rev. Graham. He has perhaps been the most effective witness for Christ in history. I am sad to see him retire.
He will be sorely missed.

carrier said...

"Again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:24

Could it be that the Rev. Graham understands that Sen. Clinton would serve the needs of the people as president far better than George Bush ever has?

Oh I know, she would devote too much time and money dealing with issues such as healthcare and know, things that really matter to the average citizen...instead of waging a trumped up war.

God blessed us with Billy Graham my friends. I won't forget a thank you to whoever listens to me when I take a knee before lights out tonight.

rich bachelor said...

Okay, and just to finally ask the question, I forget: why am I supposed to hate Hillary again? All I've ever been told is that I'm supposed to, but what makes her any worse than any other lawyer/pol? I told the Cap'n that I figured that it was that she is a woman who didn't keep her mouth shut, but he never said anything specifically back about that.
Discuss. But-if anyone comes back at me with refried talking points they heard on the radio rather than their own ideas, I'm back on the warpath, and language be (darned).

Mark said...

Carrier, my point is not a political one. I am talking about unconditional love, which not many have the capacity for, but Rev. Graham does. Would that all of us could love that way, then there would be no such thing as partisan politics.

Mark said...

Bachelor, interestingly enough, I just bought the new book about Hillary. I won't say you are supposed to hate her, but if this book is only partly true, even you probably wouldn't like her very much, which is all the more reason to admire Billy Graham's capacity for unconditional love.

rich bachelor said...

"Even you". See-that's what your problem is. I'm willing to listen to you, but you've already made up your mind about me.
Try, man, really try to listen to other people. It's important.
No, I didn't read the book. And are you talking, by any chance, about the book written by the guy who even Hannity is trashing?

Mark said...

No Bachelor, I said EVEN YOU because you asked why YOU were supposed to hate Hillary. YOU are the one that brought "YOU" into the discussion, and yes, I am talking about the book written by the guy that Hannity had an issue with. My point wasn't about Hillary, per se, it was about the kind of Christlike love that Billy Graham has for all people, even someone who is as anti-Christian as Hillary, and the reason I chose to mention Hillary, is because the AOL news story was about the Clintons' visit to Rev, Graham's crusdae meeting. I didn't mean to infer that she is any worse than any other anti-Christian.

Blondie said...

I had to laugh (VERY HARD) about the Rev. Graham's comment on the Perfect couple. Obviously he was PREACHING during the week ole'Billy was cought with his pants down around his ankles...and oh yeah maybe he meant Billy & Monica......? YA THINK?

Bite me said...

Christians. Can't live with 'em, can't throw them to the lions anymore.

Mark said...

"bite me", Everyday we Christians go out among "lions". They are people like you who live to tear people like me asunder for no reason other than we are Christians. But that's ok, Jesus told us we were to expect that. One thing you don't understand. You may tear me apart, and still every piece will say, " I love you".
What do you have to live for if not hope?