Last night, on his 95th birthday, the most prolific Christian evangelist since the apostle Paul launched his last crusade: My Hope America with Billy Graham.
His message was as old as the Bible, yet newer that what the New York Times saw fit to print on their website this morning:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16
You, like all human beings born this side of Eden, were born a slave to sin. God sent his only begotten son to set you free to be the joyous person God created you to be if only you would accept Christ's gift of eternal life as God's child; rather than insist upon being the God of the destruction of your own life.
Before his health made it impossible, Rev. Graham took the good Gospel news message to every corner of the world, including the My Hope church and home-based ministry to 57 countries before this week's launch in the 58th: a United States, millions of whose citizens no longer identify with Christ and his church.
In his first nationally televised appearance in many years, Rev. Graham also prayed that his beloved America experience another Great Awakening, akin to those that inspired our forefathers to found a nation based upon prosperity-producing Liberty; establish self-government and the rule of law; end slavery and racial segregation; and liberate millions enslaved by fascist National Socialists (NAZIs) and International Socialists (Communists).
More Americans and America were closer to God, Christ and the Holy Ghost when our children prayed in schools; a cross in a jar of urine wasn't subsidized as "art" by taxpayer dollars; and tolerance and diversity didn't treat the name of Jesus as profanity while celebrating serial utterances of N-, F- and MF-words.
It wasn't the hippies and free lovers that ended racial intolerance. It was the Greatest and so-called-Silent generations. It has been too many of us spoiled brat-Baby Boomers that have elevated self-loathing of the greatest inheritance of Liberty and transmogrified it into exaltation of a paternalistic welfare state that kicked the Black man (and the man, in general) out of the house, made Uncle Sam Daddy and deemed 26 year-olds perpetual children dependent on their parent's Obamacare.
Amen Billy Graham, America needs an awakening that lifts our eyes towards heaven and away from our lint-filled navels or government.
But before there was an America, and now; there was and is God and each of our individual souls. Graham's great forerunner to Go Ye unto all the nations, the former Christian-killer Saul, struck down on the Road to Damascus and henceforth known as the Apostle Paul, went on to be the rock upon whom Christ built his church. Yes, the church that went on to have its human-frailty-wrought flaws, but which also shined a light in a barbaric Dark Age, saved souls from paganism, sent Pilgrims to a New World to found a Shining City on a Hill with Christian-founded churches, hospitals and jobs. You will find one around most corners in the United States, and yes, there are sinners there, much as there are in the local pub and on street corners. But there is more there than in most pubs and on most street corners. Why not take your flawed self down there to get help in your spiritual journey and help those that are there that need yours. Just a thought.
Most people never lived and don't live in America. And those of us that remember decades past across the Fruited Plain know that we no longer live in the more exceptional version it. But we live, God is great, and all lives matter and can have it more abundantly in Christ if only they would accept his gift; and politics be damned.
Don't make politics your God, for if you do, you will only know disappointment. Know Christ as your savior, and you, like Paul can sing even in a Roman or American jail, whether that jail have bars or be the government-run version being built around us everyday outside penitentiary walls; and so To God be the Glory by Fanny Crosby:
To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!
2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
Click here for My Hope America with Billy Graham website and see birthday party report below:
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson