Unification News for May 1997
What of the Crusader?
Curtis W. Walker
So Billy Graham is still crusading. What of it? After five decades of having preached to more people than any man in human history, he has brought World Christendom no closer to erecting God's Kingdom on Earth than it was when this sermonizer first started his ministry.
Graham's triangle religion is rooted in three points: humanity's origin, life in the hereafter, and the second coming. It's a theoretical, piously irrelevant religion.
Unlike an authentic faith, which is rooted in disciplined, healthy and unselfish relationships, Graham's triangle religion leaves you free to do whatever you feel like doing to your fellow man, as long as you believe in Jesus. That's because Jesus, after a little while, will come along and just fix everything that's wrong.
With this type of magic-formula Christianity, Billy Graham has lived his life right through the "golden" fifties and the seismic sixties; into the second-thoughts seventies; through the empty eighties; right up until today.
He responded to Jim Crow and to the advent of the Civil Rights movement by retiring to the safety of his study, and penning a 250-page book entitled "Angels".
Can you imagine the leader of World Protestantism, after his having observed the revolutionary example set by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., taking the time to write about angels?
Following that, Graham authored two more titles: "The Holy Spirit" and "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." It's these types of sanctimoniously trivial issues that have fascinated Graham for the past 30 years. While his concern for angels and ghostly horsemen is high, his interest in people demonstrably loving one another is non-existent.
Close associates and supporters admire the "simplicity" of Graham's message. That message is simple, not because its messenger has special insight on the Bible, but because he is a profoundly trite thinker.
Careful study of Graham's writings reveals his devotion to "salvation in the heart" and "salvation in Heaven with Jesus." This man never preaches salvation here on Earth, and he never urges Christians to commit themselves to building the Kingdom of God here on Earth.
Billy Graham's milquetoast comfort-zone Christianity is the reason he is featured every year in "People" magazine as one of America's ten most popular citizens. This preacher is popular because he refuses to shake up the establishment with the trenchant, delusion-shattering challenges of the Gospel.
A genuinely prophetic evangelist would not sit and watch this society just drift along into higher divorce rates, higher crime rates, and higher rates of drug addiction, without sternly reprimanding the entire nation for her failure to become more and more like God's Kingdom.
Graham repeatedly ignores the fact that the Lord's Prayer emphatically declares, "Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on Earth...." With the influence he wields and the wealth he has at his disposal, Graham ought to be the prime mover in the effort to realize this ideal.
But he isn't. He would rather just "crusade". And because that crusading ends up being only words, and not words lived, the forces of evil don't even know who Billy Graham is. And those forces are certainly not worried about the fact that Graham is ready to crusade yet again.
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