Rev. Billy Graham, R.I.P.


Last week, the Reverend Billy Graham, known affectionately as “America’s Pastor,” passed into eternal life. Throughout his long life, Graham never flagged in his evangelical zeal. With every opportunity he was given through preaching and teaching, through print and visual media, he boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ as Lord. There is no doubt that with Graham’s passing, our nation has witnessed the end of an era. Long gone are the days when faith was given a fair hearing in the public square or when the input of religious leaders was seriously valued by those concerned with the common good. Religious belief is now merely tolerated, and religious leaders are often portrayed as relics of the past. The increasing marginalization of religious voices in our culture can lead to at least two possibilities for Christians: we can make accommodations for the culture by minimizing and—as we have seen in the mainstream Protestant denominations—simply changing our belief system for the sake of popular palatability, or we can remain steadfast in what has been handed on to us by the apostles, who received what they taught from Christ himself. We must choose fidelity over popularity, not because we seek increasing alienation, but because we believe that the proclamation of truth with clarity and charity is ultimately capable of saving souls and redeeming cultures. Rev. Graham was never afraid to boldly proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in season and out of season, and that boldness is worth imitating. May he rest in the peace of the Christ he faithfully served above all others.