I have absolutely had it.
This article is not going to be filled with rebuttals to the vicious attacks on the life of Billy Graham, but instead I want the reader see the lives of other great men of God. I keep having a picture in my head of Christians holding and throwing stones at the very memory of Billy Graham, who spent his life sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of this article is to take a look at many other theologians throughout history, and even in the Bible. I hope to show the reader that we (all who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ) are human, with the frailties and faults which come from being in these sinful bodies of flesh.
If there was ever a man who broke every one of God’s Commandments, it certainly was David. And yet God called David “A man after My own heart.” From his great sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and then arranging for her husband to be murdered on the front lines of battle, David’s great sins were laid bare before him, and also before anyone who reads the Word of God. And yet the life of King David inspires us to love God and His Word. This may sound hypocritical, but it is truly not so.
From gotquestions.org (excerpts)
After he sinned, David was truly repentant. David’s sin with Bathsheba is recorded in 2 Samuel 11:2–5. The mighty fall hard, and David’s fall included adultery, lying, and murder. He had sinned against God, and he admits it in 2 Samuel 12:13: “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” But admitting our sin and asking for forgiveness is only half of the equation. The other half is repentance, and David did that as well. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance to God: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1–2).
In conclusion, David was a man after God’s own heart because he demonstrated his faith and was committed to following the Lord. Yes, his faith was tested on a grand scale, and he failed at times. But after his sin he sought and received the Lord’s forgiveness. In the final analysis, David loved God’s Law and sought to follow it exactly. As a man after God’s own heart, David is a role model for all of us. – source
The Apostle Paul
I believe that the Lord allowed the struggles and sins of His anointed to help us in our walk with God. As we read about the Apostle Paul, we know that he struggled with what he called “The thorn in his flesh.” Do we know exactly what this thorn was in the flesh of God’s servant, Paul? We can only speculate about this.
Read what Paul said about his struggles:
“Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:13-20). (emphasis added)
The Apostle Peter
How we love Peter as we get to know him through reading the Gospels! How plain it is before us that this man who adored our Lord Jesus, was prone to saying the most outrageous things. Yes, they are all recorded in the Word of God for us to see.
And after proclaiming to his Lord that he would never abandon him, Jesus tells Peter that before the cock crows thrice, he will deny Him three times. I cannot imagine the pain in Peter’s heart when he realized that he had done just as the Lord had said:
“And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.” (John 18:15-17).
“Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not!”
One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed” (John 18: 25-27).
There are so many more examples in the Word of God which show clearly the frailty of men and women – and how, despite their sin, God used them in such mighty ways for His glory.
Let us look at servants of our Lord in more recent times:
Well known as one of the fathers of the Great Reformation, there are certainly very dark periods of this man’s life. Many believers know about the great sins of Luther – many don’t. I wrote an article expanding on Luther’s anti-Semitism. You may read it here:
In his latter years, Luther wrote a sermon entitled “On the Jews and Their Lies.” This disparaging and outright evil sermon caused the burning down of countless synagogues, and the murder of over 2000 Jews in one night.
Hitler loved Martin Luther, and carried this sermon with him to all SS meetings.
I’m sorry if I have shocked those who did not know about this side of Luther. I admit to you as a Jew that when I read about this sermon, I was appalled and for a time did not even want to see a quote by Luther.
One day a sister in Christ spoke words to me which changed my heart. She told me that Luther was but a “man” and therefore not perfect. She reminded me of the boldness of Luther’s writing the 95 theses and nailing them to the door of the Catholic church. He was striving to show the leadership of Catholicism that the Word clearly spoke of being saved by Grace through Faith, and NOT by works. I am so thankful that the Lord sent this sister to me to help me see Luther as a “man” and not beyond the ability to sin greatly.
Another father of the Great Reformation, John Calvin was quoted as saying this:
“Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.” ~John Calvin.
I could write on so many “great” man of the faith and shock you with quotes and actions towards my people, but I think that the ones presented in this article suffice to drive home my point.
My father was brought up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Boston. Somewhere along the path of his life, someone shared the Greatest story ever told with my dad. I don’t know this for a fact, but there is no other explanation for the words which my father spoke to us as we were growing up – words about Yeshua. In retrospect, my dad had been searching for the truth about Jesus for many years.
As my father got older, he began to watch Billy Graham Crusades, much to the chagrin of my “Secular Jewish” mother. She would say that my dad must be losing his mind! My father would never miss seeing Reverend Graham when he was on television.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Billy Graham sowed so many seeds into my father’s heart through the years. The Lord allowed me the blissful privilege of leading my father in prayer to our Savior on the night of his death.
I will see him in heaven – Hallelujah!
Brothers and Sisters in Christ – there is one ONE perfect one and that is our Redeemer – our Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ. Tempted in every way which we are, He had no sin. He is God.
PLEASE lay down your stones. Please see Reverend Graham’s life as any other servant of our God. Please understand that when you disparage the life of Billy Graham – you are hurting the body of Christ and even the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You are taking the eyes of the world off of the Lord and even more, you are dragging the Lord Himself through the mud.
I pray that this article has opened at least some eyes of those who are bound and determined to disgrace the name of a great servant – an anointed man of God, whose life’s work was to bring people to the Cross and have them lay down their lives and accept the finished work of Christ so as to be saved.