Posts Tagged ‘Billy Graham’

Any time a quote is attributed to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it demands attention and possibly the breaking out of a handy Moleskin because memorization may help you become a better person.

He once was quoted discussing the issues associated with the Church when he said, “11 a.m. Sunday is the most segregated hour in America.” For years, pastors among diverse congregations have either combated or contributed to this axiom for decades.

Although some may have no clue this aphorism was ever uttered, it seems one man in Florida with quite the ecumenical legacy not only knows about it, but also is heaven-bent on doing something about it. Tullian Tchividjian is a man with both an incredible anointing on his life, and one huge pair of feet. Why? The shoes this cat has been placed in some massive shoes to fill.

Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Billy Graham

Who knew a guy named Tullian could connect these dots?

His first pair of wing tips belong to his granddaddy, a gent named Billy Graham? Maybe you have heard of him? I was told he was a big deal. Moreover, Dr. Graham has met the aforementioned Dr. King, so he would know a lot about the hour of segregation.

The second pair of Hush Puppies belonged the highly esteemed Dr. D. James Kennedy. A couple of years ago, Dr. Kennedy went home to be with Jesus and left the pulpit of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC) vacant. After what seemed like American Pastor Idol was complete, the Elder Board called upon young Tullian to pastor the historical church.

It wasn’t without creating some cantankerous hullabaloo that needed to happen, but once cooler minds prevailed, the church lowered their old-man pants from midriff and got a little more progressive.

And now, thanks to this article in the Christian Post, we see things are even more progressive – and somewhat inspired by Dr. King.

CRPC in Fort Lauderdale now offers only one service at 10:15 a.m. with, essentially, blended worship – that means no more separation based on age, likes and comfort. The aim by church leaders, including Senior Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, was to unite the congregation and demonstrate the power of the Gospel.

Praising God should be without face, but all voice

How old is this person? Does it matter?

Naturally, there will some compromise between the “Old Rugged Cross” and “For the Cross,” but despite the whimsical guitar riffs and slow melodious chords on the pipe organ, the object is getting everyone to the Cross.

Yes, Dr. King was clearly discussing race, but Pastor Tullian took another demographic clearly segregated more seriously and decided that wall needed to come tumbling down.

The best way a church can demonstrate unifying power of the Gospel before our very segregated world is to maintain a community that transcends cultural barriers,” Tchividjian said in a sermon earlier this month. “The church should be the one institution, the one community – this countercultural community – in our world that breaks barriers down.”

Man, preach that. Saints, we need to learn because this decision – as bold as it was – reflects the microcosm that exists inside the entire Church, not just his. Go to any church or watch TBN for any period of time and you will easily see we are not a “Catholic” church. There is nothing universal inside of it.

Country clubs have strict rules about keeping out the riff raff. Why? Because they can. The only difference with churches is that there are no printed signs in the parking lot. This may seem like a stretch to make an ideological statement out of removing the Gomer worship service, but there is validity in it.

Churches should dig internally and discover ways to unify their congregations in every way possible. And if that means worship leaders can mix in a classic hymn with an upbeat twist versus some random David Crowder tune no one outside of folk with the CD has heard, then so be it. If you don’t believe, check out the guy who sounds like he is channeling Grandpa.

Explaining the significance of removing barriers, Tchividjian told the congregation, “The only way to know God deeply is to have many different types of Christian people in your life since each person will reveal a part of God that you cannot see by yourself. That means this: that the great tragedy of segregation is not so much that we see less of each other but that in seeing less of each other, we see less of God.”

Yeah, the next time I am in Fort Lauderdale, I am so checking out this worship service. I’m sure the pastor isn’t that shabby either.

“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham

If any eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, it's his.

If any eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, it's his.

Very few people alive can ever find true inspiration from their own words. Regretfully, that’s the case with the most esteemed and recognized statesman of the Church in the 20th century, Billy Graham.

As a nonagenarian, things will fade. It’s expected. Only, not with Rev. Graham. His legacy is his life… and ours for the viewing. He is one of those people you would expect to escort Jesus back to earth upon rapture.

However, that’s not to be the case, per his friend and fellow man of the cloth, Jack Hayford.

In a recent interview with Minnesota’s KTIS Radio, Rev. Jack Hayford said Graham ‘can hardly talk now.’ You can understand him, but he could not get up and speak before a group,” Hayford explained.

Heartbreaking. According to the story, his long-time spokesperson and personal friend, A. Larry Ross, notes Graham is “does have bouts of weakness, but is lucid and remains interested in current events.”

I’m sure he does still ask about politics, religion and about the weather, but all that begs the question (in all seriousness):

Do you pray for healing for a 92-year-old preacher who has clearly done his work for the Lord, or just hope the Holy Spirit allows Graham some peace as he goes home?

In my life, I have known of anointed people taken from us way too early and others who are so old they sat behind Jesus in study hall. Yet, my experience with them was within years of going home to be with the Lord.

I, like most of faith-based Americans, feel like they grew up with Rev. Graham. And then there are those like Hayford and Ross (Larry, if you’re reading… I’m praying for you, my friend), who actually have.

So, do you pray? Do you just wait for the headlines? Or, do you just wait and see? What do you do?

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15 ESV)

With death of the saints being precious, can you imagine the hullabaloo Rev. Graham’s passing would cause in heaven?

Heck, a sizable portion of folks on the good side of pearly gates are probably there because of one of his crusades.

That said, is it selfish to pray for Billy Graham to stay or more of a godly thing to let him go? I don’t know but if he could talk, what would he say about the quality of his days now?

Godspeed, Billy Graham. After you, there will an infinite chasm in the Church that will never be filled.

Picture it: An Italian suit-wearing, copious adornment-blinging, freshly inked bible-touting, mightily poised on his throne-sitting, big time preacher in his big time church.

And then, without hesitation, the TV cameras turn off and the aforementioned primadonna says, “Any questions?”

When megachurch pastors care enough to send the very best

When megachurch pastors care enough to send the very best

You could hear a church mouse fart up in that place. I mean, talk about something that would Marcel Marceau squeak. That question would do it.

Nonetheless, it happened recently in Plymouth, Mich. at Brad Powell’s 14,000-member Northridge Church with much ado about something.

Pastor Brad Powell of NorthRidge Church kicked off the “You Asked For It” sermon series last weekend, hoping to engage the thousands who come for worship. The series, he says, is about taking God’s truth and applying it to the countless questions believers and also non-believers have about God and the Christian faith.

Somewhere, closed-minded, uber-snotty, self-aggrandizing megachurch pastors are cringing while thinking to themselves, “Man! I thought once we got big enough, I wouldn’t have to hang with the serfdom. Shoot!”

Now, the PR dude in me is wondering if there were staged questions. Um, not so much.

“Brad, why do you seem so distant?” one question posed.

Although I abhor the practice and trend of calling your pastor by his first name, I adore this question.

Just come out swinging. Pow! What. Up. Who hasn’t thought about their pastor? Yeah, me too, which is why I left a megachurch.

Another asked: “How big is too big for a church?”

Holy POW Batman

Maybe this is Pastor Brad on Halloween?

Crash! I feel like I am jonesin’ for one of those scenes from Adam West’s “Batman” because the smackdown is on like Donkey Kong.

These are questions pew-warming Christians have opined for decades but never had the chutzpah to inquire. Ever.

And why? Name a single megachurch pastor – besides the darling of this post – who does this?! One. G’head… I’ll wait.

Okay, while I’ll separate my whites from colors, I’ll continue with the musing.

The point is this is novel, which is why it made the Christian Post. The problem is a misdirection of view that begins in the pastor’s office.

Churches – big, small or somewhere resting in some cat’s living room – are meant to be theocracies. Governed by God, via the Holy Spirit, through the vessel in-charge known as “Pastor.” The regretful aspect is once these churches get a little growth, notoriety and… oh yeah, cash… the “theo” is put out to pasture and the “auto” stampede comes corralling back to the chapel.

In other words, the pastor gets self-promoted to “Bishop” or just “Mand of Gawd,” stops shopping off the rack, looks into getting his beat-down American-made hooptie on the Carmax home page and sets his eyes on the Bentleys of the world. Sigh.

Is that really what being a pastor is all about? Lemme consult my Bible for that answer:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep (John 10:11 NKJV).

Get that? The good shepherd. So, all those who aren’t… we’re watching you. It’s not about taking life to pad a pocketbook. It’s giving life to pad a soul in the bosom of the Lord. Next?

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by my own (John 10:14 NKJV).

This is regretfully true on both sides of the green pasture. Ask most congregants of a megachurch, “Where do you go to church?” and odds are they will act like the pastor. Why? We are called sheep for a reason. Or better yet, like my father taught me, “A person is smart. People are stupid.”

Now, of course “Shepherd” is a metaphoric term indicating a man who can be trusted with great treasures. Whether those gems are the livestock that pay a herder’s rent or the souls of the lost and found who fill the church, a pastor’s job is to be in charge and feed them, love them and nurture them.

Thank God for Pastor Brad. If he got my mojo working across the U.S., there’s no telling what he did for his people sitting in the back row.

We should be asking our shepherds weekly questions about the food we are being fed, where we are being led and how he intends to get us there. He is not our CEO. He is not our muse. He is not the Pope. He ain’t Billy Graham.

From the megachurch pastor's point of view

From the megachurch pastor's point of view

Fellow sheep, he is our pastor and he has a job for two reasons: 1.) God called him there (well, most of them can say that honestly) and 2.) We pay his bills.

Wall watchers, ask more of your pastor, minister, reverend, bishop, elder or dude leading church. If they aren’t up to snuff as the Bible in Titus 1:5-9 or 1 Timothy 3:1-7, then either bow up and make your request be made known unto to God and man, or give up the peace sign, the ghost and your membership.

Sheep can’t talk. You can! Anyone disagree? Na-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a.

Thanks to a masonry shout out to Another Brick in the Wall, Polycarp [AKA MultiTilapia, PluristicFish, MultiplePersonalityDisorderStryper, et al] by way of Politico and AmericaBlog (the supreme scooper of this… er, uh, story), we have a fascinating story of hyperbole, science fiction, religion, the occult and half-baked folk who seriously need to seek professional help.

Oh yeah, and the BarackStar’s mama. Thought that would get your attention…

Obama Mama DramaSo, the Mormons have this quirky practice where they believe they can baptize a living person on behalf of a corpse.

This way, any breathing person who in fact doesn’t possess the soul of the dead one can be the baptisee by proxy.

Yeah, perfectly normal.

However, as bananas as this practice is (which uh, completely slaps this Apostle Paul guy in the mullet, so says 1 Corinthians 15:29), the Latter-day Saints are “investigating a ‘serious breach of religious code'” for the baptism (vicarious, temple baptism) of Stanley Ann Durham, the deceased mother of President Barack Obama.

Should be another normal post on the Wall, eh?

Thanks to this screen grab from the registration-only, Mormon-only Web site,, we see the LDS church snagged the soul of the President’s mother – fresh with her new posthumous baptism date?! No, you haven’t seen this on MSNBC? Don’t fret… you probably won’t.

But, as we see on the dates given, the Mormons (who honestly can – and will – do this to anyone) baptized President Obama’s mother amidst the election.

Why is this news to me? Two words: Proposition 8

The LDS Church took on hell to combat gay marriage in California. The money, the advocacy, the mission against – in their words – a liberal agenda. Well, who heads up said “liberal agenda”?!

That would be the son of whose mother you just tried to snatch from death’s grasp to baptize – only to use another person in her stead.

There is a reason they do it in secret. Look at that thing?!

There is a reason they do it in secret. Look at that thing?!

What the…

I didn’t see the Pope asking for former priests to be taken out of purgatory thanks to the long arm of the Mormon law. I don’t believe Billy Graham called up the temple lords looking for Baptist legends to be resurrected.

You see, both know the rapture of the saints will take care of that ballyhoo. But while the Mormons have their eyes set on extraterrestrial lands of beneficence, children of God KNOW their Daddy and how he would act.

My father ain’t a monkey and he dang sure ain’t E.T. This is not a political story, this is a theological story. It just so happens that leader of the free world is thrust in the middle of this boondoggle. My only question is if someone tried dragging my mother through some muck and mire, I would expense everything I had to open a can of whoop @$$.

He is the president… and what’s he doing about this?! Only time will tell. Well, unless the Mormons get involved.

So, there’s this new poll the Pew Forum developed that is about as soothsaying as a press release advising Christians that the Pope is Catholic, Billy Graham is really Baptist and those funny looking hats Rabbis wear really aren’t frisbees, coasters or pasties.

The grandiose discovery? Black people are more religious than the rest of the U.S. population.

While the U.S. is generally considered a highly religious nation, African-Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole, including level of affiliation with a religion, attendance at religious services, frequency of prayer and religion’s importance in life,” the report says.

black-church“Oh please, HiScrivener. White folks are uber-sanctimonious. And have been to a Catholic church in the barrio lately?” Listen, I get that, but I double-dog dare you to do this…

Walk up to any crackhead. I’m not talking potentially homeless and panhandling. I’m talking crusty lips, ashy-mouthed, looking to borrow a TV to sell for a dimebag of rock crackhead. Then… talk about Jesus, and watch what happens.

They sit up and instantaneously – as if prodded by a TV camera at some pulpit pimp’s megachurch that I won’t waste space discussing here… at least now – and begin extolling the praises of God.

Now I could get into a long sociological and ontological discussion as to why religion seems to stick to blacks more, as opposed to any other race… and I really could… but I won’t.

Suffice to say, while white folk were um, burning up the town, there were other folk who had nothing but Jesus. Including, you know, freedom. Anywhoo… here are some highlights:

  • 79 percent of blacks say religion is important. No let’s get this straight. “Say” is the operative word because some of those same “I love the Lawd” folk will also cuss you out in a minute and drink you under the table. Amazing how conviction works, eh?
  • While 39 percent of all other folk attend church weekly, 53 percent say the same. Heck, some people I know go to “ch-uuch” three or four times a week.
  • 2/3 of blacks oppose gay marriage, while less than 50 percent of whites agree. And in other news, 93 percent of blacks voted for Obama and chucked the whole “gay marriage” thingy out the window despite those pesky convictions.

I have another highlight not found in the poll, and it shouldn’t be a surprising statistic in the slightest:

  • 100 percent of Republicans will buy this poll in its entirety to figure some novel strategies for outreach, growth and scrapbook parties in say, four years. I’m just saying.