America still needs a Billy Graham

The sun has set on the incredible life of evangelist Billy Graham, but the light of his legacy still shines through all the souls he brought to Christ.  Over the past century, Billy Graham was counselor to kings and presidents, but most important he brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to literally millions around the globe. 

As we reflect on a life so well lived for others, many Americans cherish his memory, but a worn and worldly society seems to regard him as an anachronism of days long gone.  As if that old time religion and the goodness of America can only be found in dusty history books.  The nation that established the dignity and freedom of every individual, which fought a bloody civil war to end slavery, and battled evil across the planet to spread the fires of freedom is like some distant legend.

America is having an identity crisis.  The past few decades media and institutions of education have insisted America is an unfair, greedy and even racist nation.  They admonish us to be ashamed of our prosperity, morality, and virtues as if the blessings of God are some ill-gotten gain.  But Americans intrinsically know there is more to the story.

Billy Graham obviously lived in a different time difficult to grasp by modern notions.  Claiming his conversion to become a Christian at the tender age of 15, he described himself as a misguided youth on the wrong path.  Compare the teenage influences in 1934 to the extraordinary filth flooding our youth today.  They are bombarded with pornography, vile violent video games trivializing cruel carnage, and the glamorization of substance abuse.

While there are quantum variations in societal ills with seemingly darker and deeper immorality preying on humanity, the foundational dilemma is the same – separation from God to avoid His laws and pursue what each thinks right in his own eyes.  But there is a sprawling sinister difference.  Popular culture regards the Gospel at best as quaint and obsolete, but more often as arrogant and divisive.  Modernists and humanists charge Christianity as some unworthy privilege to be eradicated.

The Gospel is the good news available to all, but you must choose to accept it.  There will always be poverty, social problems, and evil, but those equipped with the armor of God and His manifest grace will be able to handle life’s challenges.  America is exceptional not because of any particular Americans, but because Americans as a nation embraced Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and He richly blessed us.  That is America; that is who we are.

We can turn from God, but like the Israelites we will be deprived of His blessings.  America will falter and fade into history.  We see such prospects daily in the news.  Prominent African Cardinal Robert Sarah warns the west is committing suicide by forgetting its roots.  “Because a tree without roots is condemned to death.”

At the ceremony for Billy Graham to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda, President Trump noted that when Graham’s father allowed some local businessmen to use part of his dairy farm for a day of prayer, that group prayed that “Out of Charlotte, the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.”

Now some 80 years later a grateful nation can fully realize how fantastically their prayers were answered.  But Billy Graham was a humble man.  Though thousands attended his funeral, he was buried in a simple pine box handcrafted by prisoners in Angola Prison in Louisiana.   The message…God’s grace is available to all.

God did not make Billy Graham great because he was Billy Graham, but he became a luminary because he was obedient to the call of Christ.  And so is America only exceptional when we are a shining beacon leading the peoples of the world to freedom through the salvation of Jesus Christ.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16


No Comments