The other day, I listened to a sermon by Adam Hamilton entitled, Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin. He used an illustration about an encounter between Billy Graham and the Clinton’s that took place at a public event during the firestorm of the Monica Lewinsky/”I did not have sex with that woman” debacle….
My father is so accepting, so nonjudgmental," says eldest daughter, Gigi Graham Tchividjian. During the height of the Clinton scandal, she was her father's date at the 75th anniversary celebration for Time magazine. The Clintons were also in attendance.The excerpt above is from a Charisma article
"Daddy sat with the Clintons and was so warm and gracious," Tchividjian told Charisma. "In the limousine going back to the hotel, Daddy and I were talking about how difficult it must be for the Clintons with so many people gossiping and judging them. His comment was: "It's the Holy Spirit's job to convict; it's God's job to judge; and it's our job to love."
I love that exchange…
I never really paid that much attention to Billy Graham in my BC - before Christ life. Oh sure, my grandmother used to watch his crusades on her little black and white TV when I spent my summers with her. She would cry during his altar calls when folks came forward in droves. I didn't pay much attention to him after I became a Christian. He was getting old. His crusades were fewer and farther between.
A few years ago, I came upon an article on one of those cult watcher blogs about a conversation between Billy Graham and Robert Schuller that smacks of universalism. It resonated so I wrote about it in a post called A Vortex with a Different Name.
I remember other here and there reading about Billy Graham; his reaction to a close call on an airplane (he was very afraid but trusted God with the outcome). And I’ve been reading snippets this morning, my curiosity piqued by this story of his encounter with the Clintons. He had/has his critics. Many criticized his seemingly lukewarm commitment to integration. Others point out that he was either too involved or too UNinvolved with politics. I’ve read some quotes, perhaps taken out of context, that are questionable. Sometimes he seemed to waffle back and forth on some issues.
But the encounter above illustrates a key component of Christianity. As Billy Graham points out, a Christian’s job is to love. You know, the greatest commandment...the command that sums up all the law….love God, love your neighbor as yourself.
Greg Boyd repeats this same sentiment in a video from 2012 during the time a vote on a gay marriage amendment was taking place in Minnesota. Greg Boyd is not one to back away from controversial issues (as he is accused of in the comments) and has taken infinite slack about his opinions and beliefs.
(Probably) More of this rambling, somewhat disjointed discourse to come…..