Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials
TOLERANCE –A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement
Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Contributed by B. E. Tumbleson
Librarian, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Cincinnati, OH
March 5, 2002
Billy Graham (1918- ) has had a long and fruitful ministry as America’s chaplain and world evangelist. Because of his tolerance of people from all nations, faiths, races, social rank from president to country boy, and both genders, Graham is an effective ambassador for God. “’I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the gospel of Christ, if there are no strings attached to my message. …The one badge of Christian discipleship is not orthodoxy but love. Christians are not limited to any church.’” (77) Perhaps this is why those in Greater Cincinnati prayerfully anticipate Billy Graham’s June 21-30l, 2002 crusade here. In pointing to our Lord Jesus Christ, racial tensions may diminish and greater tolerance may be fostered as believers are united in Christ.
As a young man, Billy Graham left Bob Jones College because he could not tolerate its strict rule. Later, he worked with Youth for Christ International, led crusades and revivals, founded Christianity Today, befriended presidents, penetrated the Iron Curtain, and sponsored international conferences by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. As his acceptance among mainline churches grew, ties with fundamentalists were strained and severed. Graham and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. eased racial tensions, reflected in boycotts and sit-ins, at the New York Crusade, 1957. Through their joint prayer and preaching, both became allies in the civil rights movement. Graham was reluctant, however, to endorse the Religious Right political movement of the 1970s. Billy Graham has faithfully carried out the work of an evangelist to a very needy world. Tolerance and love rather than condemnation have shaped his ministry as it did Christ’s (John 3:16-17).
[Adapted from 131 Christians Everyone Should Know, Mark Galli, Broadman & Holman, Nashville 2000.]
This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.