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THE GRAHAMS, GOLF AND THE GOOD NEWS

By July 22, 2015 10 Comments

GRAHAMS GOLF AND GOSPELWhat would Billy  Graham say about same-sex marriage, same-sex Christians, Muslim immigrants or Obama’s religious orientation?

His son, Franklin, has made his opinions imperfectly clear.

The younger Graham had the entire LGBTQ community incensed because of his “Christian” stance against same-sex marriage and same-sex anything. He inflamed the Christian community because of his “un-Christian” stance on banning Muslim immigrants from America.

Give him credit – he accomplished a phenomenal amount of agitation in a short amount of time.

BILLY GRAHAM AND THE GOOD NEWS

Franklin’s father refused to be marginalized by becoming a lightening rod for moral issues like the pro-choice movement and segregation or spiritual issues like speaking in tongues.

Billy Graham was focused on preaching the Good News of Jesus. That didn’t mean he shied away from controversial subjects like judgement and hell fire but at least he didn’t intentionally set anybody’s hair on fire.

He was a confidant/confessor of American Presidents and was equally welcomed in capitalist and Communist countries. He was the unofficial chaplain to the nation’s power brokers. While the elder Graham didn’t have Social Media to reckon with, newspapers and books were largely Graham-friendly. William Randolph Hearst, the 1950’s media mogul, instructed his reporters to “puff” Graham and the resultant exposure made him a national and eventually an international figure.

Why?

Maybe it was his golf game.

graham golf4BILLY GRAHAM AND GOLF

Graham golfed with many of the U.S. presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, etc. Golf brought them together. In 1968 Billy Graham wrote a tract called “God and Golf.”

He was even made an honorary chaplain of a golf club in North Carolina.

Graham could be called “an evangelist” for golf – “There’s no game which opens a man’s personal life like golf. It illustrates an individual’s honesty, integrity, intelligence, and character. Golf demands control of temper, concentration, and integrity. You can tell a lot about a person by playing a round of golf with him. In golf, you cope with the same troubles as you do in life.”

graham golf3

NOT HIS FATHER’S GOLFING PARTNER

Franklin doesn’t like golf.

That may be one of the subtler ways he is at variance with his dad, and that may explain a lot. Franklin often sites the belief that his dad would be taking on the social issues of our day if this were his day. Franklin said, “…if my father were a younger man, he would be addressing and speaking out in the exact same way I’m speaking out on them.”

The jury’s out on that one.

In 1960, faced with the possibility of the nation’s first Roman Catholic president in John F. Kennedy, Graham at first helped Norman Vincent Peale mobilize Protestant leaders for Richard Nixon, but insisted on staying behind the scenes.

Then, 10 days before the Kennedy inauguration, he accepted an invitation to play golf with the president-elect in Palm Springs, telling a group of reporters, “I don’t think Mr. Kennedy’s being a Catholic should be held against him by any Protestant.”

graham golf kennedyTHE GRAHAMS, GOD AND THE GOOD NEWS

How would Dr. Graham address the divisive social and moral issues of our day? How would he engage CEO’s or the President?

Might the evangelist Graham play a round of golf with the President and talk about the obstacles, struggles, victories, conflicts, and blessings of life through faith in Jesus Christ?

Fore!

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 27 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 38 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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