Billy Graham Calls for Focus

The venerable Billy Graham is old and incapacitated by Parkinson’s disease, with round-the-clock care, yet when he speaks, Christians still listen. And he nails the core weakness of the modern church:

…the most important issue we face today is the same the church has faced in every century: Will we reach our world for Christ? In other words, will we give priority to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the gospel? Or will we turn increasingly inward, caught up in our own internal affairs or controversies, or simply becoming more and more comfortable with the status quo? Will we become inner-directed or outer-directed? The central issues of our time aren’t economic or political or social, important as these are. The central issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature, and our calling is to declare Christ’s forgiveness and hope and transforming power to a world that does not know him or follow him. May we never forget this. 1

Is anyone listening?

In a related vein (but a little surprising), Graham also regretting having tangled the work of building the Ecclessia with the business of the Kosmos:

I also would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now — Graham2

You’re not alone, Mr. Graham. Maybe it was characteristic problem for the WWII Christian generation, but far too many evangelical leaders hitched their spiritual wagons to the horsepower of the Kosmos. They somehow did not think America was included in Paul’s warning that, “you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air…” (Ephesians 2:2)

  1. See Q & A: Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction. []
  2. Ibid. []
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