Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Comments on Evangelist Billy Graham

Evangelist Billy Graham (AD 1918 - 2018) led a remarkable life.  Even the dates of his birth and death are remarkable.  He trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1934 in a revival led by Evangelist Mordecai Ham (AD 1877-1961).  Graham has been known for his evangelistic work, preaching to millions, his books, personal morality, humility, fidelity in finances, opposing racial segregation, and always pointing people to Jesus. 

His son, Franklin Graham is faithfully and ably carrying on the ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Below are a few of many comments about Evangelist Billy Graham. 

Ken Hemphill
“Dr Graham’s promotion to heaven has allowed those commenting on his death to point people to JESUS. Clearly he had the gift and calling of the evangelist. Why not schedule an evangelistic meeting and use a gifted vocational evangelist to honor Dr. Graham and share JESUS.”

-Ken Hemphill; February 22, 2018; on twitter.com.  Dr. Hemphill is past president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and now serves as an administrator at North Greenville University. 

George W. Bush
“God's work within me began in earnest with Billy's outreach,” Bush wrote in the [Wall Street] Journal February 23. “His care and his teachings were the real beginning of my faith walk - and the start of the end of my drinking. I couldn't have given up alcohol on my own. But in 1986, at 40, I finally found the strength to quit. That strength came from love I had felt from my earliest days and from faith I didn't fully discover until my later years.”

Bush, America's 43rd president, wrote of the 1985 instance when Graham invited him on a walk around the Bush family estate in Maine and their conversation turned to spiritual matters.
"I mentioned something I'd been thinking about for a while - that reading the Bible might help make me a better person," Bush wrote. "He told me about one of the Bible's most fundamental lessons: One should strive to be better, but we're all sinners who earn God's love not through our good deeds, but through His grace. It was a profound concept, one I did not fully grasp that day. But Billy had planted a seed. His thoughtful explanation made the soil less hard, the brambles less thick.

-President George W. Bush, in Wall Street Journal; BP

Richard Land
"I grew up in a home with a Christian father because of Billy Graham. Dr. Graham came to Houston’s Rice Stadium for a crusade in the early 1950s. Some of the men from the local Baptist church in our neighborhood invited my father to go with them to hear Billy Graham.

It was there that my father accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior and became a faithful deacon and Christian father for the rest of his life. Similar stories have been repeated literally hundreds of thousands of times across the globe. I am eternally grateful that God sent Billy Graham to us and that he answered God’s call and became the greatest messenger for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ since the Apostles."

- Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and former president of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.  BP

Paige Patterson
"The eyes of a North Carolina farm boy sparkled as never before this morning when Billy Graham entered heaven. After nearly 100 years spent largely in an effort to 'rescue the perishing and care for the dying,' the world's evangelist was called home to a prophet's reward.

"Never accused of the hoarding of wealth or of sexual misconduct, his careful practices of conduct place him in a category of a man whose life was a proclamation of Christ as well as His message. His faithfulness to the proclamation of God's plan of redemption - undergirded by his initiatives on racial justice and his concern for the lost -- set the standard for all who would attempt to preach the riches of the Gospel. His allegiance to sacred Scripture was legendary. Never did he allow doubt to shake his confidence in God's Word."

-Paige Patterson, president, SWBTS

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, 2-27-AD 2018.  

More articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Have a Dream; Fulfilled

August 28, AD 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his famous message, “I Have a Dream.”

He spoke of a check that needed to be cashed. 

“In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  

In his message, he specifically asked for three simple things (numbers have been added): 

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights,
‘When will you be satisfied?’ 
1.  We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
2.  We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
3.  We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”  
-Martin Luther King

To a large extent, these very legitimate requests have been satisfied.  America is vastly different in this respect than it was 54 years ago.  On a regular basis, I see Black folks treated the same as others – in motels, restaurants, banks, all types of businesses.  Not just as customers, but also employees. 

Speaking of ghettos, one of the best ways out is a job.  Black unemployment is now the lowest in 45 years. 
“In the 45 years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking black unemployment, this is the first time that the black unemployment rate has dropped below 7 percent to just 6.8 percent.”  
-Armstrong Williams

Mississippi was specifically mentioned by King.  Today Mississippi has more Black elected officials than any other state in the nation.  No, that’s not to say Mississippi is perfect, but it has radically changed from the days Martin Luther King spoke these words.  

King continued,
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  
-Martin Luther King

While we have made great strides, this should always be our goal.  

To this I would add a more recent quote:
“The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.

Of course, this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.”
-Shelby Steele

Today, African-Americans, and all USA citizens are free.  Thank God for that.  Pray often for America.  Use your freedom wisely. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 15, AD 2018. 

More articles about racism and other subjects in the lower right margin.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

10 Reasons to Avoid Pornography

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.  -Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

1.  Pornography corrupts your mind, and makes everything dirty. 

2.  Pornography is addictive.

3.  It impairs your ability to have a right relationship with a real person. 

4.  It promotes immorality and perversion. 

5.  It normalizes the abnormal and sinful. 

6.  It destroys marriages and families. 

7.  It makes you more likely to cheat on your spouse. 

8.  You rate others as sexual objects, rather than as people of worth created in the image of God. 

9.  It makes you unable to enjoy the good and decent. 

10.  Pornography offers everything; yet instead of giving, it takes away. 

On a related note, whatever your age, never, never take naked pictures of yourself or others.  Never send naked pictures.  Never ask for, or seek out nude photos.  If someone asks you for them, just say “No.”  Period.  Remember, private photos have a way of becoming public photos, especially with the internet. 

Pornography has always been around, but you used to have to go to a little trouble to get it.  Now, it is thrown right in your lap by smartphones, internet, TV, etc.  While they can, parents need to protect, inform, warn their kids.  Be accountable.  Do whatever is necessary to stay away from pornography.  Whatever your age, you should have nothing to do with it. 

Years ago there was a Christian book against porn that some pastors said bordered on pornography itself.  I’ve seen some Christian discussions of pornography that got downright creepy.  I certainly do not want to be guilty of such.  So I’ll just leave you with this simple article, without going into seedy details. 

Stay away from pornography.  It has no place in the Christian life.   

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 3, AD 2017. 


More articles in lower right margin.