Skip to comments.Clinton Honors Graham at Final Revival (I'm so Confused)
Posted on 06/26/2005 9:17:36 AM PDT by AZConcervative
As his final American revival meeting continued Saturday, a fragile Billy Graham was met onstage by former President Clinton, who honored the evangelist, calling him "a man I love."
Clinton spoke briefly before Graham's sermon and recalled how the man known as America's pastor had refused to preach before a segregated audience in Arkansas decades ago when that state was in a bitter fight over school desegregation.
"I was just a little boy and I'll never forget it," said Clinton, who was joined by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. "I've loved him ever since. God bless you, friend."
Graham called the Clintons "wonderful friends" and "a great couple," quipping that the former president should become an evangelist and allow "his wife to run the country."
Graham, 86, then launched into a short sermon that was interrupted by applause five times. Organizers estimated 80,000 people had come to the crusade at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens about 20,000 more than the opening night Friday. The rally ends Sunday.
The evangelist is suffering from fluid on the brain, prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease. He uses the walker due to a pelvic fracture and is largely confined to his home in Montreat, N.C. He had said previously that the rally "will be the last in America, I'm sure."
Despite his many ailments, he spoke strongly for about 15 minutes, in an address meant to appeal to young people. He peppered his speech with pop-culture references from Madonna to Bono to MTV. He wove a parable about bad decision-making from the plot of "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith," in which Anakin Skywalker becomes the villain Darth Vader.
"The decisions you make tonight will effect your whole future and your eternal future," he said, before inviting people forward to accept Christ.
Graham's son and successor, the Rev. Franklin Graham, sat nearby, ready to finish the speech in case his father could not. But Franklin Graham was needed only to help his father move onstage.
Seats began filling hours before the event began, as temperatures reached into the 90s. Speakers repeatedly encouraged people in the audience to drink water to avoid fainting. Graham waited to go on in an air-conditioned tent, with aides nearby in case of a medical emergency, and the stage was shaded by a massive canopy.
Graham's pulpit has a movable seat hidden from view, so he can sit if he feels unsteady. He used the seat Saturday only after he finished his sermon.
Graham is considering a request to hold a rally in November in London, but Franklin Graham said his father no longer adjusts well to time zone changes and does not like to be away from his wife, Ruth, who is also in ill health.
Graham has preached to more than 210 million people in 185 countries. He has been sought out by U.S. presidents and leaders worldwide and, more than any other religious figure, has come to represent the American evangelical movement.
Marie St. Louis, 34, who came to the event hours early Saturday with friends and family from her New York church, called the rally "bittersweet" because it was Graham's last in the United States.
"It's sad because he's such a legend," St. Louis said. "When you think of Billy Graham, you think of a lot of things a Christian
That being said, the meeting was in NY and his audience probably likes and agrees with B & H. So insulting them would have turned off many of the people in his audience who would have ceased to listen to his real message. He was probably too generous, but what I read was that he was admiring Clinton's ability to speak effectively and the R-C's job as a senator.
I feel pretty strongly that politics can get in the way of bringing people to Christ. I know some very devout Christians that are politically liberal. (Although honestly, I can't figure out how!) I believe that someday, they will be more conservative. But I couldn't live with myself if I ran them off Christianity because I made my politics the issue. (They actually hate Clinton toobut love Carter. Blech!)
Boy, is this next statement going to get me flamed: I guess I just can't imagine Jesus down here getting into the political fray, but rather meeting each of us where we are, pointing our sin out to us and offering us redemption one at a time. It's a wider message, that's all. And what happens if BC ends up in heaven after all? Would you be mad? (I'm going to stay away from Hillary on that one...she seems less "saveable" to me at this point because of her continued arrogance, etc. ; ) )
Does Billy Graham have dementia?
What I meant to say is that I think Billy thought that he was right to evoke the popular Clintons while in NY. He was not right to do so. I have also heard him similarly evoke such "distinguished" personages as the Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., too. I don't know if he has similarly embraced some "third-world" tyrants, popular with the American leadership class too, such as Fidel Castro. He may have invoked Nelson Mandela too.
...proving once again that hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.
I was glad that Fox News had someone there live though. When was the last time you saw THAT covered on tv?
I think you can count on the Holy Father. In fact, I would bet my life on it.
Graham almost never spoke about abortion. I once heard him note that a line in, Jeremiah, I believe, points out that the Almight "knew us" in the mother's womb. But he never got involved in abortion politics, perhaps because some of his favorite politicos like Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Clinton were openly pro-abortion.
Did the Grahams invite Bubba? Or did Bubba invite himself?
Did Graham preach at the black church that burned into clintons mind when he was a child?
Actually I already know the answer to that question. John served no one but God and was murdered because he refused to cowtow to those in temporary power.
No. He has a much more serious disease: Deneedtobelovedbyeveryone. It's what you catch when you leave Bible truths for man's praise.
Can't say I blame him.
I should have read your #28 before making my post, anyway no harm in emphasizing the fact.
I believe that the daughter Anne is also very conservative.
I've always heard that Billy Graham was a Democrat, so I doubt he'd be supporting McCain.
Franklin Graham was on hannity & Combs, and said that his father was a dem. and he was a rep.
Yes, it is. Ha! Just ask anyone in my life. I try my best to think the best of people. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Just don't call me naive, because it's a choice of how I wanted to approach the world. It's worked out pretty well for me.
So here's my response: I think that you are right that Graham has cozied up to many people of ill repute. But didn't Jesus get criticized for exactly the same thing? Do BG think he's sold out sometimes, honestly, I don't know, because I'm not behind the scenes.
For me, it's just two separate issues. And I still find B & H icky. On ALL levels. But I fear that is not particularly good outreach.
No...he likely preached at all 40 black churches that didn't burn when Clinton was a child. He was also there when Clinton made first contact with aliens and took his vow of chastity.
I don't really know.
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