Billy Graham, You Complicated Man.

I’ve got a little fire in my belly about a couple things.

Having reflected a bit on the death of Billy Graham, I’m observing the polarization his legacy has renewed within our culture. There will be lots of other events that have the same net effect, but presently his death is an excellent case study.

I note two distinct perceived legacies [the way people posthumously see Graham]:

1. He was a perfect man who led thousands/millions to a meaningful, life changing, salvific relationship with Jesus. 

2. He used the power he had to destroy countless lives, harming Jews, the LGBTQ+ community, and set up a political/religious framework that set up the rise of the religious right. 

There does not seem to be much ground in between these two poles. Part of the polarization has much to do with Billy’s son, Franklin, and his unwavering support of president Trump. I’ve been quite bothered about the influence of folks like Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell. These men are enjoying the sway they have in high political places, and in my little opinion an American theocracy is not the goal. Actually, it is absolutely nowhere near the interest of faithful Christians. Christians have no business whatsoever becoming enmeshed with the power of empire. Instead, we simply follow Jesus’s instruction: we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.

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