Billy Graham died this week, age 99. Born just after World War 1, he experienced the rise of Liberal Christianity which came to control the mainline denominations pushing Christianity to their left-wing cultural Christianity. Billy graham held firm to the justification by faith in the Cross of Calvary early in his ministry and the rest is history.
Billy was a very humble person and there lies his weakness of often buttering up to the great Presidents and Popes he would meet, sometimes speaking things in private which he said just to appease the very powerful such the incident with Nixon regarding the Jews. This did not reflect the real Billy Graham who had supported the Jewish movement.
Billy Graham operated at a time when the Left wing Liberal churches and the Catholics were the major players in Christianity. He had to compromise often, but yet stayed true to his calling of preaching the Cross of Calvary. All things really are not that important as compared to the Cross, the risen Christ and Billy Graham knew it well. He made friends with everyone and needed to in order for his crusades to be welcoming for all.
The Left wing Liberal Christians said that he had failed in many ways including not coming against racism, inequality etc, but that wasn’t his calling. Billy wasn’t called to be a left-wing liberal Christian prophet. He was called to be an Evangelist of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so denigrated by the liberals, and he made Evangelism to be the third major force in Christianity alongside the Liberal World Council of Churches, and the Vatican.
It is sad that the liberals don’t have their own prophets of renown enough to change and move the nations. Because Billy Graham had a unique gift, his calling and ministry to the Gospel came first. He wasn’t going to be involved in the cultural wars, and was out to make friends not enemies. He wasn’t like their Bishop Spong who arrogantly declared that the Evangelicals must follow his far left liberal progressive ways lest they faced demise. When the dust settled, it was the Episcopal churches themselves facing a dim final destination and not the evangelicals. The Christian left has been so aggressive and against everyone not fully on their side, unlike Billy who built bridges everywhere he went with Presidents, Kings, and Popes.
The death of Billy Graham marked an end of an era of big tent evangelical crusades. it also marked the ending of the century of Liberal Christianity which he have had to contend with throughout his ministry. During their period of time in his ministry, the liberal churches fell massively whilst the Evangelicals and Charismatic Evangelicals are now coming to a point of exceeding them in numbers when hitherto the liberals were 10 times bigger in numbers in the 20 years after WW2.
God gave Billy Graham, a very long life, almost 100 years, double grace, that his life may be a testament to God’s grace and mercy. His name invokes the call to repentance, to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour. With his death, begins the coming to the front, the Asian Charismatic Evangelical Christianity which will hit China, Taiwan, and Japan, and just as the Azusa Street revival of 1904 brought out revivals to China and Asia, the move of the Holy Spirit is coming back from the East to the West.
The enduring lesson of Billy Graham is “All to Jesus I surrender”, and being faithful to his calling and ministry knowing that at the end of it all, it is the Cross of Calvary and Jesus the Risen Lord and Saviour, above all. God chose Billy Graham because he gave God all the glory and honour in His Son Jesus Christ.
Above all powers, above all Kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the World begin
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what you’re worth
Crucified, Laid behind a stone
You lived to die, Rejected and alone
Like a rose, Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
and thought of me, Above all