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Billy Graham remembered as ‘faithful,’ ‘most important evangelist’ by religious leaders

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After Rev. Billy Graham’s death at the age of 99, pastors, authors and faith leaders alike remembered the evangelist as someone with great humility and a passion for the Bible’s teachings. 

Some praised Graham – who preached to more than 200 million people in his lifetime – as “the most important evangelist since the Apostle Paul” and “one of the most faithful followers of Jesus.” Others recalled the impact he had on their faith or that of loved ones.

About 2,000 people, including prominent religious leaders, were invited to Graham’s funeral service, which took place Wednesday under a tent outside the Billy Graham Library near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Rev. Franklin Graham delivered the main funeral address for his father after personal messages from Billy Graham’s three daughters and younger son.

“My father was F-A-T. He was Faithful, he was Available, and he was Teachable … May we all be that way,” Graham’s son, Nelson, told the crowd of mourners.

“My father was not God but he showed me what God was like,” Graham’s daughter, Ruth, added.

Several other religious leaders stepped up to the podium to thank Graham for his unwavering faith and leadership.

“Mr. Graham, on behalf of millions of international Christians around the world… thank you for your bringing salvation message to our part of the world,” Billy Kim, former president of the Baptist World Alliance, said during the noon service.

As he’s honored, here’s a look at how Graham is being remembered by fellow Christian faith leaders.

Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham, the late reverend’s son, recalled something his father once said about Heaven. 

“My father … was once asked, ‘Where is Heaven?’ He said, ‘Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!’ This morning, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ — the Savior of the world — whom he proclaimed for 80 years,” Franklin Graham said. 

Russell Moore

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, part of the Southern Baptist Convention, said it’s almost “impossible” to count the number of people he knows who have become Christians through Graham’s work.

In an interview with Fox News, Moore praised the authenticity of Graham, saying he was someone who was the same in both his public and private life.

“The death of Billy Graham is a time for all of us to reflect on the hope that he preached – forgiveness of sins and peace with God through Jesus Christ.”

– Russell Moore

“My earliest memories are watching him preach on television as a very small child. I remember being struck as a child with the gravity with which he took the Gospel. That continued with me for the rest of my life,” Moore said. “When I met Dr. Graham, that same sense of weightiness of the Gospel was evident in him personally – just as it was in public.”

Moore added that Graham was “successful” because his work wasn’t all about himself, comparing him to the John the Baptist.

“I think the death of Billy Graham is a time for all of us to reflect on the hope that he preached – forgiveness of sins and peace with God through Jesus Christ,” Moore said. “I hope there’s a great deal of reflection, not just on what he did, but why.” 

Greg Laurie

Pastor Greg Laurie went from watching Graham on his black and white television to attending one of his crusades in San Diego, California, to serving with him as a board member on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“I wasn’t in any way disappointed that I got to know him. He was every much the man you would have hoped he would be,” Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, told Fox News.

“I don’t think anyone will ever take Billy’s place. But we can all, in our own way, follow his example and proclaim the same Gospel as he did.”

– Greg Laurie

Laurie said Graham, who he has been friends with since the early 1990s, was a “very humble man” who enjoyed meeting and talking with new people. Graham was faithful in his message, Laurie said, which was simply: We’re all sinners, but God loves us and sent his son to die for us.

“I don’t think anyone will ever take Billy’s place. But we can all, in our own way, follow his example and proclaim the same Gospel as he did,” Laurie said. 

Rick Warren

“Billy Graham served God’s purpose for his generation and then he died,” Rick Warren said.

The venerable pastor and author’s stark statement about Graham is a reference to Acts 13:36, a Bible verse that says, “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.”

That epithet, Warren told Fox News, is perhaps the greatest praise he could give someone. He complimented the late evangelist’s integrity, single focus and humility.

“It would be hard to overestimate Billy Graham’s impact on my life and ministry.”

– Rick Warren

“There will not be a replacement” for Graham, he said. But that’s not necessarily a bleak perspective.

“He was irreplaceable and unique, but the world has changed. In each generation, God raises up new women and new men to serve his purpose in his generation,” Warren said. “It’s one of the greatest lessons we can learn from Graham.”

Warren also said, “It would be hard to overestimate Billy Graham’s impact on my life and ministry.” 

Graham “affirmed the next generation” through his encouragement. Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in California, said he still has multiple handwritten letters and cards from Graham, sent to him in encouragement when Warren was a young pastor.

Now – carrying on Graham’s legacy – Warren continues the tradition. 

James Dobson

Calling Graham a “brother in Christ,” Dr. James Dobson said he would miss the evangelist greatly.

“It’s not often that you can say someone truly changed the world, but when it comes to Billy, he changed the face of eternity as well,” Dobson, author and founder of Family Talk, said in a statement to Fox News. “Through his crusades, he helped turn many millions of hearts to Christ.”

“While superlatives abound regarding the life and deeds of Rev. Graham, I believe he would want us all to point our admiration and adoration back to Jesus,” he continued. 

Paula White

Paula White, pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, told Fox News that Graham’s “love of God was so tangible in his life.”

“This man truly lived out Christ-likeness,” said White, a spiritual adviser to President Trump, adding that when she met with Graham it was like she was having a conversation with Jesus himself. “His words were powerful and profound, but it was the presence of God in his life.”

White continued, “He always pointed everything to Jesus Christ. It’s one thing about Dr. Billy Graham – in word, deed, action, presence – he pointed everything back to his Lord and Savior.” 

Thom Rainer

It was only the second or third time Thom Rainer was able to meet Graham before a Louisville, Kentucky crusade, but when the reverend saw him, he said, “I am so honored to see you again.”

Rainer, president and CEO of the Nashville-based LifeWay Christian Resources, recalled the meeting, telling Fox News that it points to the “incredible humility” that embodied Graham.

Aside from his humility, Rainer praised Graham’s ability to understand the context in which he lived in. As an evangelist, Graham was always asking questions, always searching for a better way to reach people, Rainer said. He did that through his crusades, then with the radio and eventually through television programs.

“He was an anointed man – we can only explain that through the right theology of God – but God used him because he was willing to understand the context [of the era],” Rainer, the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky, said.  

Samuel Rodriguez

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez recalled watching Graham preaching on his black and white television when he was a young teenager. His sermons about reaching the world with the gospel inspired Rodriguez to do the same, he told Fox News.

The president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rodriguez praised Graham as the “quintessential unifier,” pointing, in particular, to the integration of his crusades at a time when segregation was prevalent.

“He understood that every single person is created in the image of God without exception.”

– Samuel Rodriguez

“No Christian leader in modern history brought more unity to the Christian body than Billy Graham,” he said.

“He understood that every single person is created in the image of God without exception,” Rodriguez said of Graham, who he also called a “civil rights advocate.”

Additionally, Rodriguez said Graham brought together different factions of Christianity – charismatics and non-charismatics – through his preaching.

“He taught me if you teach the word, but most importantly if you live the word, if your character lines up with your rhetoric, then God will convict the hearts of mankind,” said Rodriguez. 

Anne Graham Lotz

When evangelist Anne Graham Lotz thinks of the late preacher, she doesn’t necessarily think of the public figure – but her father, she said in a statement.

“But when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life,” Lotz, an author, said. “Simple faith. Faith that matters more than anything else.”

Lotz recalled that she’s said she was raised by a single parent, as Graham was often away for his ministry.

“Now, he has left again. This time, he will not be coming back. At least, not until Jesus does, too,” Lotz said. “While he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come.”

She said she hopes her father’s death will be a “rallying cry” for others to “rise up to take his place.” 

David Jeremiah

Pastor and author David Jeremiah said people should “rejoice that this child of God is reunited with his Father in Heaven.”  

“I thank God for the life and ministry of this man to whom so many of us pastors, ministers and church leaders have long admired and whose example has inspired so many others to spend their lives in service to Jesus,” Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in California, said in a statement provided to Fox News.

Jentezen Franklin

Jentezen Franklin, the senior pastor of Free Chapel church in Gainesville, Georgia said, to him, Graham had the most commitment when it came to preaching.

“Upon hearing him preach for the first time one could immediately realize how dearly this man loved Jesus and wanted others to experience that same love – it overflowed from the very depths of his heart,” Franklin said in a statement provided to Fox News. “His passion and commitment to sharing the love of Jesus all around the world was instrumental in my own life, inspiring me as I began my ministry.”

Lee Strobel

Author of the bestseller “Case for Christ,” Lee Strobel tweeted a simple message following Graham’s death.

“A life of sharing the Good News with the world. Well done, good and faithful servant!” he wrote.

Beth Moore

Author and evangelist Beth Moore also took to Twitter to remember Graham.

“There simply will never be another Billy Graham,” she posted. “What a gift of God to this world.”

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church in the Charlotte area, paid tribute to Graham.

“You showed us how to leave the 99 for the 1. Thank you, Dr. Graham,” Furtick tweeted.

His social media post referenced the Biblical parable about a shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 safe sheep to look for the one that wandered off.  

Joel Osteen

Evangelist and author Joel Osteen shared photos of himself with Graham with his Twitter followers, calling the late religious leader a “hero in our home.”

“Next to my own father, Reverend Graham was the most humble and gracious man I ever knew. I am honored to call him a friend and mentor,” Osteen said.

Dave Ramsey

Author and financial counselor Dave Ramsey remembered Graham as “possibly the greatest man of the last 100 years.”

“The world is darker today as Billy Graham goes home,” Ramsey said. “Thousands of souls applauding in Heaven as he walks in and hears: ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”

Jerry Falwell

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell expressed his prayers for Graham’s family on social media.

“The Christian faith has lost its greatest orator of the last century who gave hope to billions that, even [though] we are all sinners, there is hope & eternal life thru faith in Jesus Christ,” Falwell said. 

THE ONE THING BILLY GRAHAM WOULD WANT US TO REMEMBER

Cardinal Dolan

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said his family had “respect and admiration” for Graham, despite a difference in religious beliefs.

“There was no question that the Dolans were a Catholic family, firm in our faith, but in our household there was always respect and admiration for Billy Graham and the work he was doing to bring people to God.” 

Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said Graham was “an exemplar to generation upon generation of modern Christians.”

“When it comes to a living and lasting influence upon the worldwide church he can have few equals: for he introduced person after person to Jesus Christ,” said the archbishop, the leader of the Church of England.

“Now he is face to face with Jesus Christ, his saviour and ours. It is the meeting he has been looking forward to for the whole of his life.”

– Archbishop of Canterbury

“The debt owed by the global church to him is immeasurable and inexpressible,” Welby continued. “Personally I am profoundly grateful to God for the life and ministry of this good and faithful servant of the gospel; by his example he challenged all Christians to imitate how he lived and what he did.”

“He was one who met presidents and preachers, monarchs and musicians, the poor and the rich, the young and the old, face to face. Yet now he is face to face with Jesus Christ, his saviour and ours. It is the meeting he has been looking forward to for the whole of his life.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.



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Christian Eriksen may not play football professionally again, says sports cardiologist | World News

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Danish footballer Christian Eriksen is unlikely to play professionally again after suffering what was reported to be a cardiac arrest, a leading sports cardiologist has said.

The midfielder collapsed on the pitch during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland and had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital.

Eriksen, 29, was in a stable condition on Saturday night but it has not yet been publicly confirmed what was behind his illness.

Professor Sanjay Sharma is professor of sports cardiology at St George’s University in London and worked with Eriksen during his time at Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: “Clearly something went terribly wrong.

“But they managed to get him back, the question is what happened? And why did it happen?

“This guy had normal tests all the way up to 2019 so how do you explain this cardiac arrest?”

UK football bodies were likely to be “very strict” about allowing Eriksen to play again, he added.

“His cardiac arrest has rocked the entire nation today and that’s what happens. It’s not just them that it affects, it’s the psyche of so many people.

“The good news is he will live, the bad news is he was coming to the end of his career, so would he play another professional football game? That I can’t say.

“In the UK he wouldn’t play. We’d be very strict about it.”

Prof Sharma chairs the FA’s expert cardiac consensus group and is a consultant for charity Cardiac Risk In The Young.

He said the causes of Eriksen’s cardiac arrest could include an unidentified health condition or a high temperature, but reports that the footballer was awake in hospital were “a very good sign”.

“The fact he’s stable and awake, his outlook is going to be very good,” he told the PA news agency.

“I don’t know whether he’ll ever play football again.

“Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again?

“The answer is no.”

Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba experienced a similar collapse after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match against Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012.

He had hoped to resume his career but retired from professional football five months later on medical advice.

One of his doctors, Sam Mohiddin, told the BBC: “The cardiac arrest is a moment of extreme peril.

“If you don’t get someone out of cardiac arrest things are over. You will not survive.

“The ongoing risk to an individual to an extent depends on the precise cause of that cardiac arrest.”

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G7 summit: Sir David Attenborough to tell G7 leaders they face biggest climate change decisions ‘in human history’ | Politics News

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Sir David Attenborough will warn G7 leaders the decisions they make this decade are “the most important in human history” as he urges them to take action on climate change.

The 95-year-old environmentalist will address the heads of the world’s leading democracies at their summit in Carbis Bay on Sunday.

During their final day of discussions, Sir David will call on them to take steps to secure the future of the planet which he says may be on the “verge of destabilising’.

David Attenborough attends a conference about the COP26 UN Climate Summit, in London
Image:
Sir David will address G7 leaders on the final day of their summit

It comes after various climate groups staged protests across Cornwall to lobby G7 leaders on environmental issues this weekend.

In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red arrows fly over Cornwall for G7 summit

And the G7 is also expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance to $100bn (£70bn) a year to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and support sustainable growth.

More on David Attenborough

Ahead of his address to world leaders, Sir David said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly is plain to see.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
On Sunday, G7 leaders will again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

“But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

The G7 is also set to endorse an agreement on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, including a target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the summit to launch a £500m fund to support countries, including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states, to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.

“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people,” he said.

Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives
Image:
Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system.

“The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

For their final day of discussions on Sunday, G7 leaders will once again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What is the G7?

On Saturday night, the leaders enjoyed a beach BBQ in Carbis Bay and witnessed a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Critics questioned the display by nine aerobatic jet aircraft amid the summit’s focus on climate change.

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G7 summit: Sir David Attenborough to tell world leaders their decisions are ‘most important in human history’ | Politics News

Published

on

Sir David Attenborough will warn G7 leaders the decisions they make this decade are “the most important in human history” as he urges them to take action on climate change.

The 95-year-old environmentalist will address the heads of the world’s leading democracies at their summit in Carbis Bay on Sunday.

During their final day of discussions, Sir David will call on them to take steps to secure the future of the planet.

It comes after various climate groups staged protests across Cornwall to lobby G7 leaders on environmental issues this weekend.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red arrows fly over Cornwall for G7 summit

In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.

And the G7 is also expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance to $100bn (£70bn) a year to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and support sustainable growth.

More on David Attenborough

Ahead of his address to world leaders, Sir David said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly is plain to see.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
On Sunday, G7 leaders will again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

“But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

The G7 is also set to endorse an agreement on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, including a target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the summit to launch a £500m fund to support countries, including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states, to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.

“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people,” he said.

Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives
Image:
Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system.

“The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

For their final day of discussions on Sunday, G7 leaders will once again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What is the G7?

On Saturday night, the leaders enjoyed a beach BBQ in Carbis Bay and witnessed a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Critics questioned the display by nine aerobatic jet aircraft amid the summit’s focus on climate change.

Source link

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