Padre's World: After much reflection, the Good Vicar would like to share his perspective on the life and legacy of Evangelist Billy Graham. I was steeped in the southern revivalism of Billy Graham. I was born and raised in Palatka FL where Billy was ordained a Southern Baptist. We have murals, plaques, and a church dedicated to his life and ministry. Though Pentecostals and Baptists claimed no written prayers or rituals, we all knew the Billy Graham altar call: If you were to die tonight...every head bowed; every eye closed. I was told growing up that I could be Bob Graham (politician) or Billy Graham (preacher). Billy Graham was the gold standard of the scandal free ministry. Yet when one passes away we either idolize one or demonize one but never humanize one. Is Billy Graham's legacy complexed and mixed. Did he make mistakes in laying a foundation for the marriage of politics and religion, making a conversion about decision without discipleship; and did he struggle with supporting the Civil Rights Movement on one hand and support candidates unreserved who may have not? Did he bring Catholics and Protestants together reach out to Muslims and Jewish folk and yet say some disparaging things about Jewish folk behind closed doors. Yup! Did he repent to the best of his ability and allow the Spirit to transform him into the image and likeness of Jesus? Yup! I pray that the next generation will have mercy on us who claim to be most fully awake to theological and social issues. This time of soul searchin' has made me confront my own racism, self righteousness and down right sin that needs the forgiveness of God, the grace of Jesus, and the empowerment of the Spirit and the forgiveness of my brothers and sisters. Pray for me, Pray for Billy, Pray for the Church, for we are all sinners!
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When you don’t turn away from the ‘shades’ of you..
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