Tuesday, May 17, 2005
REV. BILLY GRAHAM
Graham believes in concepts that are anathema to today's Christian right. Like pluralism, inclusion, ecumenism, and tolerance. While the Pat Roberstsons and James Dobsons of the world equate these words with moral relativism, Dr. Graham believes them to be positive. Indeed, his next crusade, in Flushing Meadows, NY, will be sponsored by 1300 Protestant and Catholic churches of every stripe.
Graham makes a strong differentiation between Evangelical and Evangelism, and has strong feelings about mixing the pulpit and politics. "There are a lot of groups that feel a little bit strange around me, because I am inclusive" .... "Evangelism is when the Gospel, which is good news, is preached or presented to ALL people" .... "If I took sides in all these different divisive areas, I would cut off a great part of the people that I really want to reach. So I've felt that the Lord would have me just present the Gospel and stay out of politics", he says.
In the end, Graham equates what is currently going on in the Christian right to a scene from the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC. In this scene, the Austrian Baron von Trapp is surprised and dismayed when an Austrian teenager hails him with a Heil Hitler salute. Says the Baron sadly, "My world is passing me by."
Actually, I believe Rev. Graham is passing by his!