23 February 2018

South Africa: Op-ED - Death of a Salesman - Billy Graham (1918-2018)


Billy Graham was our grand uncle in the "thoughts and prayers" business. Christianity was open for business. From stadium Christianity to television evangelism, after Billy Graham the numbers were staggering, growth in the industry exponential. While the jury may still be out on the overall global trends in religiosity, the shift towards evangelical Christianity, at least in the US has happened. Billy Graham was its greatest proponent. By PATRICK PILLAY.

On hearing of the death of any fellow human the emotions which flood the mind, even for a long lapsed altar boy, mix sorrow and mercy with a sense of compassion for the grieving family for their dearly departed. This is no different in the case of the world renowned Baptist minister and evangelist Billy Graham; a father, a deeply committed family man, a personal friend to many, a husband to his dear wife Ruth (m. 1943-2007), a confidant to presidents, and a man who permanently changed the face of Christianity globally since the 1950s. Perhaps the last word in the face of death should be "mercy", for what we dish out we shalt receive, if not in life, then certainly over our dead bodies.

But then, there's that slightly...

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