[215] Billy Graham

[215] Billy Graham

Billy Graham died this week, and we will never see his like again.  He was the ultimate evangelist.  In his heyday he would fill sports stadiums night after night with his Crusades.  Think of that word—crusades. For Graham, that word perfectly described his ministry.  He was God’s soldier on a campaign to bring lost souls into the kingdom.  From a human standpoint, a major key to his astounding success was likely his riveting focus on that goal.  He was an evangelist, not a pastor, not a megachurch builder, and though he ministered to presidents, not a politician.  He was all about bringing the gospel to the lost.  That is what he did, and few if any, have done it as effectively.

Handsome, dynamic, and all-in for Christ, Graham radiated a spiritual charisma.  Lamar Johnson, formerly of the Chicago White Sox told me he could feel an unnatural spiritual power emanating from Graham’s person when the evangelist spoke to a group of assembled players in a small room at what was then Comiskey Park.

He was also wise.  To avoid even a hint of impropriety, Graham took a salary rather than stuffing his pockets with the cash that rolled in to his Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Amid the scandals that have made too many televangelists little more than salesmen and carnival barkers with a bible as their prop, his organization has always been above reproach and open to audit. His personal life could hardly have been more honorable.  His policy was never to meet alone with a woman–not his wife—to insure that his character would never be questioned.

Perhaps, most of all, he preached a pure gospel.  Though sought by the powerful, Graham’s message of sin, grace, forgiveness, and salvation was undiluted.  And it was the same for every person.  For Graham, the old saw, “the ground is level at the foot of the cross,” was not a mere cliché.  It was the driving force of his message.

For those of us who remember this saint so well, the earthly ground he walked will never be the same again. DC

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to this site
* indicates required