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
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.
I think Graham is a good man but like all people he sometimes says something wrong, this time it was not only wrong but evil.
Good point, it's part of the Popularity Cult in America today. But Jeremiah or Jonah or Paul would have repudiated "popularity." The Bible says that we cannot be all things to all men. It says that we should shun popularity. We cannot be popular and do the right thing.
Billy has long said that he is a "registered" NC Democrat, but he says he votes "the man," not the party. For years, even Jesse Helms believed that Graham was supporting his Senate campaigns, but was he?
Billy Graham is/was a man of religious and so political prominense. HE was sought out by many with political ambitions. Very early in his career, he was to meet with a president, Eisenhower I think. He did a photo op of kneeling on the White House lawn to pray, and it came back to bite in in the a**. Since then, he's avoided overt public attention with politicians. It doesn't mean he's avoided them, he just learned not to be in the spotlight with them.
Every president has had their "spiritual advisors", and Billy has been to a number of them. Bill Clinton asked Billy, but Billy graciously declined. I would say for a few reasons, though I don't really know. 1-Bill Clinton wanted to be associated with the most well known and respected christian in America, if not the world. Billy Graham would have given Clinton legitamacy. 2-Clinton wasn't sincere in his seeking of spiritual guidance. 3-Age. Billy was feeling old, and felt others could do just as well "advise" Clinton.
As far as point 1 goes. Bill Clinton had at least 2 "spiritual advisors" that I know of, 3 if you count the Rearend Jessie Jackson, but I don't. 1-was Tony Campollo a fairly popular pastor, with some pretty liberal leanings. religously, therefore politically. And 2-Bill Hybels, pastor of the largest, or one of the largest churches in the US. Though Hybels wanted to keep the association low key, and for the most part succeded. Clinton still used the assocation to his benefit, to give him credibility.
Billy Graham is now a very old man. The fire that is left in him, he wants to use for important issues. Though politics are important, politics only affect some, and only affect the present. Billy's message affects eternity for everyone. So he chooses the most important battle to use his energy.
Why was Clinton at a Billy Graham crusade? I have no clue. I would have laughed at him and kicked him in the a** on the way out. (better yet, kicked his wife in the a** on the way out) But the Grahams are extremely gracious people. Also, why not USE Clinton for your purposes, like he uses others? What better way to draw non-christians to an event, than to have the most beloved president to non-christians, speek at the event. Knowing that BJC isn't going to say anything damaging at the event. At least nothing that can truely damage the gospel.
Besides, when the spawn of Satan is the senator of New York, why not use Satan against Satan?
Perched up in nosebleed territory, I was in a good position to watch the multitudes below. You cannot believe the hypnotic sway Graham could induce in a crowd while he spoke. Not a noise could be heard. He was riveting. I am not a person who tends to exaggerate. I had gone to the crusade event as a slightly cynical observer.
Perhaps other freepers who saw him decades ago can bear me out. It was almost unbelievable. I doubt if we'll ever see the likes of Billy Graham again.
Back to politics......Hillary and Bill's skilled operatives can use video shots and sound bites of their appearance with Graham in the next presidential campaign. Their appearance with the preacher will certainly soften their images (if even slightly) in the bible belts of the country. Not good.
The Clintons continually create situations (such as this one) and then find ways to turn the situations to their advantage in elections.
Remember, the Democrat party has always been a party of coalitions. The Clintons know how to mine pockets of votes no matter how small (read the felon vote, for example). Then they add the small pockets to the whole.
I agree with you, small voice. I've always felt that Billy suffered from the same disease you mentioned (to be loved and admired) that afflicts both GHWB and GWB to a degree I find uncomfortable at times.
"The evangelist is suffering from fluid on the brain" - that's what did it!!!
I think in the long run, Franklin, must take as much responsibility as Graham himself. His father is at this point in life a symbol as much as anything. He should not allow him to be used by those as low as the Clintons. The problem is that there is some history that indicates that Billy has allowed himself to be used by politicians in the past. This does not bode well for the future of Graham's ministry under Franklin's direction. And as disheartening as this incident is for those of faith, the pastor of the largest church in America appeared on Larry King Live this past week. And I encourage anyone to read the transcript, and point out where there pastor gave anything amounting to a public testament to Jesus Christ and his saving grace.
not a surprise. Graham compromises truth for popularity.
You are talking about that Houston nondenominational minister, whose name I have forgotten. That young man was shamelessly pandering to the uregenerate, and I watched only a few minutes of the interview. I could not stand it. The Bible addresses that young man in several respects.
No, he spoke the truth and got his head served on a platter.
"But didn't Jesus get criticized for exactly the same thing"
No he didn't. Jesus was harshly critical of the apostate religious and political leaders of his day. He pulled no punches, calling them snakes, vipers, sons of Satan, heretics, and murderers.
The truth is always a good outreach.
SIN is what killed Jesus.
Billy Grahmam is in his dottage and has been for about ten years. When I was a child I was taught to excuse senile behavior for the sake of what the person once was and will do so now.
Suggest y'all drop a line (like I did) to www.billygraham.org. I let 'em know how I felt. Was hard too. My Pastor's brother is Dr. Corts, BG's E-VP for 40 years. My Dentist is a good guy named Dr. Lotz (Ruth Lotz-Graham's husband).
FWIW, I'm not a big follower of BG, so I don't know a lot about him. But there is one thing that I appreciate about BGand that is how carefully he has lived his personal life (from what I know) and his emphasis on Jesus instead of money. That imho is admirable.
And I will not let idiots like the Clintons separate all of us politically! So I just tend to let a lot of this "social niceties" stuff wash right over me and save my outrage for bigger things. I have to pick my battles because I don't have enough energy to expend on it all. Perhaps I'm wrong. Some people think that makes me an idiot. Who knows.
Anyway, I'm off to take care of responsibilities. Nice talking to you and hope you have a terrific day.
I am with you 100% on Billy Graham -- his son has always struck me as being much more conservative than his Father. But then I have never been much into Billy Graham crusades or others -- mostly leave me cold. His statements on the Clintons showed me that my instincts that he was not a conservative were right.
Perhaps,he, like the new Pope will not be intimidated by the politically correct.
Really? That isn't how the MSM are touting it. Rev. Graham gave them every excuse to use that photo op and statement in a future campaign----and you can be damned sure the Liberals use it.
Mr. Graham just lost the respect of a lifetime of good work.
That's pretty crass, if true. Do you really think he's that cynical?
Billy Graham - WTH - false prophet??? - crusading for what??? - getting Hillary re-elected as president???
Democrats put money in the plate too.;)
The evangelist is suffering from fluid on the brain...
Is there a correspondence?
Don't you know that Graham is the infallible Evangelical Pope?
He has been called the "Protestant pope," but at one time at least many Baptists rejected the term "Protestant" in reference to themselves.
Well, I guess they'd have to; after all, to whom and what do they "protest"?
I agree with you, and I can't justify the 'recommendations' to the Clintons. I remember years ago when Dr. Graham appeared on the old "Jack Paar's Tonight Show", Paar asked him what his followers thought of him associating with someone like him? Graham replied, that 'Jesus didn't come to minister to the saved; He came to seek and save the lost.' I've always tried to give BG the benefit of the doubt when I've seen him with people of questionable character.
When my children were young and I felt they needed to evaluate some of their friends, I always referred them to 1 Cor. 15:33 ... Do not be misled. "Bad company corrupts good character." I plan to use this with my grandchildren when they are older, and it could serve some adults well too. I don't think Billy Graham's character has been corrupted, but when he promotes people with bad character, it sends the wrong message to others. I hope he was trying to find something kind to say, and simply misspoke.
I do - I've been looking for a source to link back too, but I clearly remember Graham placing all the blame on the women - he couldn't even manage to fault Clinton for his lack of self-control. I lost all respect for him then.
There was an immediate outcry. A lame apology. Evidently low friends in high places feed Graham's ego.
Beware of quotes which are clipped and which may have been taken out of context. Journalists do this all the time. We would have to see the complete sentences to know what Graham really meant and said.
That being said, Graham never spoke out against Clinton's crimes. I did not respect him for that. I'm glad he's won many to the Lord, but I never really trusted his politics.
I wouldn't be surprised if Graham was a socialist.
I just wonder if those statements don't come from a man from another generation that does not see the world through purely political eyes. It may not have been a reference to her running the country as a future president but a hat tip to her current position as a US senator and an acknowledgment of his ability to speak well.
In any case, I don't think it really matters. I doubt that most people are going to be swayed by a passing comment like this. If BG endorses Hillary for president once she announces, then I will be very upset. Until then, I'll just give him the benefit of the doubt.
I do wish that the Clintons hadn't been there. While I do not automatically doubt BG's motives, I always, without question, doubt their's. And I know that it really ruined it for many people who were just looking to hear the Word.
ROFLMAO. Again, I have to remind myself not to eat and FReep. I almost choked.
No cause for alarm. Billy Grahams wife Ruth wasn't there. No harm done.
It's just another photo op to help get him back into the white house. clinton is still clinton.