You now likely have heard of the passing of Billy Graham, a man who defined 20th century evangelism with his tireless schedule and bold approach to preaching.
Although his faith roots were Southern Baptist, he appealed to all Christian denominations. He was a registered democrat when that seems to be less the party of choice for “conservatives”. He was caught on tape with Nixon in the midst of making anti-Semitic comments – and later apologized. And following a meeting with Mitt Romney, his website removed remarks about Mormonism being a “cult”.
Billy Graham worked to stay above the fray.
It’s not that he didn’t have a position on hotly contended issues. However, he never wanted issues that aren’t worth dying for to be those that we find we’re too often fighting for. Billy Graham always and often had only one question for his audience:
“Do you believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life?”
To him, this is the only question that mattered. He seemed to never intend to be the center of attention. And he also seemed to limit or eliminate any behaviors or opinions of his own that might interfere with the message of the gospel to his audience. The great lesson here is that of unity among the Christian community. Not to get so hung up on doctrine that we divide our own ranks and become less effective.
Billy Graham worked to stay above the fray. Those of us that carry the moniker of some version of a Jesus follower should follow his example.