Monday, June 7, 2010


Billy:The Early Years

Last night I watched Billy: The Early Years. It’s a movie about Billy Graham and his life leading up to 1949.

The movie’s all right nothing worth spending your time on if you have no interest in Graham’s life or ministry. But, I found it fascinating.
If you follow me on various social medias you know I struggle with hearing about the politics that go on in my denomination. The struggle is getting worse. For a while I thought, well I still believe the Faith and Message but I’m not so sure that’s true anymore… at least not the current version of it. And the more I hear denominational leaders talk the more frustrated I get. But what does that have to do with Billy Graham? Well, I don’t think I REALLY realized he is considered to be a Southern Baptist. What fascinates me is that everyone knows Billy Graham. But I don’t know anything bad about him. I don’t know anything political about him. The controversies in the Southern Baptist Convention go back decades and decades as does Billy Graham’s Crusades. How did he keep out of all the Baptist politics? How did he keep out of national politics? How did he keep his calm about it? Did he really keep his calm? I don’t actually know much about him. But I want to know if he did, how’d he do it?

I heard a clip from his 1949 Los Angeles message in the film.

That was in 1949! A decade after Scottsboro and 15 years before the 1964 Civil Rights Act. How did that fly in 1949? After hearing this, I Googled him and found that he took down the ropes of segregation at his crusades. And yet, people still came to see him. Ministers in other places were kicked out of their churches for suggesting “everyone” was welcome… Our SBC history is not always pretty. How’d he do it? I really want to know. How do you stand up and not end up in a fight? I really want to be able to believe and not be caught up in the politics.


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