As a teen, I was “saved” by Rev. Billy Graham, watching him preach through the old black and white screen in my room. Went on to Christian college, seminary, ordination and years of ministry. When Billy brought his “crusade” to Seattle, I sang in an 8000-voice choir. He could mesmerize with his message.
Then, over time, I outgrew that childlike faith, no longer believing that “Good News” meant a “Loving God” welcomed only believers in (White American Evangelical) Jesus while condemning billions of “lost sheep” to eternal roasting in hellfire (Heaven’s barbeque or furnace?).
“America’s Pastor” died just a few miles from where we live. I hope his family feels some comfort since I know he suffered.
But if anyone wonders why some of us just can’t find ourselves honoring or greatly respecting the famous evangelist, listen to the politicians falling over themselves with praise for the man who brought “God’s Word” to millions. He received the same honors in the U.S. Capitol that Rosa Parks received.
And listen to one celebrity who had this to say at his funeral:
“Television personality Kathie Lee Gifford, who also attended Friday’s service, said Graham’s funeral was anything but a sorrowful occasion.
“Who told you this is a sad day?” Gifford said with her characteristic zeal. “This is a celebration. This is a triumph of a life well-lived. The first thing he saw was the face of Jesus, and he said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant,’ and he was ushered in to eternal life.'”
“The greatest day in a Christian’s life is the day you leave this world and go on to the better one,” Gifford said. “Billy wouldn’t come back for anything in the world.”
I find that immensely sad.
This is the otherworldly faith that Billy passed along.
I’m so glad that I was “saved” from that.
I’m happy to know I won’t be going where Billy went, since any Heaven is right Here.
So, I guess, sorry to say it, many won’t want to hear it but. . .
Billy went to the same place we’re all going: Nature.