Billy Graham has preached understanding and harmony.
Why does religion preach anger? Each religion espouses a universal ethic of love and respect for fellow human beings, yet it continues to be used as a platform to attack others. Whether it’s deciding that certain groups don’t deserve to exist or protesting the belief of others. On the birthday Billy Graham, we can remember a man who chose to focus on the connections between religion and society and tried to bring disparate groups together, rather than preach division.
Billy Graham has celebrated his 99th birthday. During that time he has reached 200 million people in nearly every country around the globe. He has written 33 books. He has been called One of the Ten Most Admired Men in the World,” 60 times (a record). He has earned titles such as “the Pope of Prostentant America” and “the pastor to presidents.”
During that time he avoided the temptations that were associated with other leading American preachers. While he is considered the pioneer of televangelism, he was never caught embezzling money from his parishioners. He was never caught in scandals. He never had to apologize on television for his illicit behavior.
But most importantly was his message. While he was rampantly anti-Communist, he preached against violence. He was criticized for it. He spoke out against anti-abortion groups that committed violence. He tried to read about the “culture wars” and did not immediately criticize those that thought differently. When he created the magazine Christianity Today he stated that the purpose of the magazine was “not to be divisive.”
To celebrate a man who has probably preached to more people than anyone else alive today we have to celebrate his message. We shouldn’t get worked up about how other people live their lives. As the man himself stated, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”