CBN News Takes Martin Luther King holiday to remember Billy Graham? It's not just us, right? Let's not even talk about the whole White Savior thing. Let's talk about why it's a problem, How it breaks the church, and how to fix it.
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this is Dr Martin Luther King he's an icon of the Civil Rights Movement so much so that he has a national holiday in remembrance of him so what does CBN News do they write an article celebrating Billy Graham and his contribution to breaking down racial barriers through the gospel that's a problem we're going to talk about why and how it breaks the church this is Church's lame so hey there Scott I've got this weird problem with this article I found and it's this really strange little piece by CBN of course it's by CBN contributor there's no actual name so their their release tending behind this one yeah it was released on Monday on Martin Luther King Jr Day right um and it was in this article is all about how Billy Graham was was really a really big help to Martin Luther King's Ministry oh you know and that is like the Civil Rights Movement so like I'm sure you can kind of pick up like immediately where my problem is I think yeah of course it's because like it's Martin Luther King day so let's talk about how a white guy helped him out so much in his in his you know mission for civil rights uh more than that it's like Billy Graham had you know is and was criticized for being very milk toast when it came to civil rights right like he was hyper focused on his his Crusades as he'd like to call them just these are Evangelistic events for anybody who doesn't know of course right um and and Billy Graham did you know integrate these events you know he was happy to have people from all races at his events sure but that's not really furthering civil rights as much as it is like you know doing something to help race relations in like the most minimal way possible yeah I think it's hard to um equate selling more tickets to your event to being a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement yeah and I think the worst maybe you know egregious is a better word um is that this this article ends with a quote from Dr King saying that you know if you know that that Billy Graham um had given him help in his work and that he didn't think his work at that at that time would have been as successful now this was after Martin Luther King spoke at a crusade in 1957 right now if if you look up when Martin Luther King died you can't help but notice that he died like 10 11 years after he made this statement yeah so it really feels like this disembodied quote at the end of this article is it's going to lead somebody to think that like you know Billy Graham had some kind of actual effect on the bulk of Martin Luther King's work yeah content way out of context and in that and that just really vexed me to see that yeah do you think I'm just getting too silly about that to nitpicky no absolutely not um there will always be a blindness in the American uh White Evangelical Community they will always find a way to take credit for something like like being a major force in the Civil Rights Movement say without also acknowledging there would be no need for a civil rights movement if not for white evangelicals you know what I mean you know what I mean yeah and that's I mean that's kind of like you know you know my point is like like point one about like how does this break the church is that like like the church um in general and you know the Evangelical Church in the United States has had a long and asserted relationship with you know uh black and indigenous people of color right and you know like paternalism white supremacy all that kind of good stuff like it's it's it's at the top of it right like and also like this history is not exactly in the past right exactly
so like okay can you think of any obvious examples of how this is still an ongoing issue oh well certainly I mean we look at the way that we still currently treat uh the people on our Southern border right and by the way there's not there's a little bit more than a there's more words is hard words words there's more than a little bit of looking down our noses to the people to our Northern borders okay but we still there's still clearly uh race problems between um Americans and our black brothers and sisters in the country I don't know that anybody who's talking in good faith would deny that race relations between um white evangelicals and all other races has always been problematic right and like and even if if Billy Graham had been like at the Forefront of the Civil Rights Movement which he was not right just for anybody who needs that said to them I mean maybe somebody's listening there from you know Australia they don't know American Civil Rights history that well even if he was at the Forefront it you know Monday was Martin Luther King Jr day right why are we talking about anybody but Martin Luther King Jr like like I would be annoyed if on that day people started going on about Fred Hampton or Malcolm X Angela Davis Mark all lives matter all people matter me too don't forget about me Mark it's all about me I'm gonna forget about you just because you said just because you said that exactly right which is the response these are people who were like major names in civil rights yeah and it would be weird to have people talk about their contributions to Martin Luther King's you know work it's like it's a day not specifically about civil rights it's about the work it's about the works of this one civil rights worker yeah so I mean I'm not just picking on on Billy Graham here right but of course he was more part of the problem than he was a solution yeah right really quick so for all you people who are already at your keyboards how dare you talk this way about Billy Graham Billy Graham love him clearly an important figure in in the American Church all were saying is that on Martin Luther King Day Martin Luther King Jr day there's no need to try to supplant Martin Luther King Jr with anybody else right it's a day that has a meaning and it's it's an important meaning and there's no reason to try to obfuscate that or to minimize it yeah and like if somebody were to release this article in I don't know June right I would have had no specific opinion about it other than that they're more or less trying to like blow up Billy Graham's work into something that wasn't yeah you know but it's like You released it on the day yeah I mean that that was just very silly to me and and to me like that is a thing that reinforces or at least it can lead to reinforcing you know attitudes about Christianity being you know like the white man's religion yeah you know or something like that or just that view that that white evangelicals are just you know bigoted and racist you know and and that's not not just because of like you know recent political trends that would make us believe that sort of thing but like this is a concrete thing you can do to make people think you're racist is trying to steal light from you know a a civil rights worker on the day meant to celebrate him right and I don't know about you but I feel like this is not the only article I've read this particular year that really tried to send that message of we shouldn't make it big as of deal we shouldn't make as big of a deal about Martin Luther King Jr as we do and he's not as important to American history as we make him this recent wave of Christian nationalism has brought unintended consequences such as uh with MLK but I also feel like I see the same kind of things happening with uh why do we make as big a deal about this uh Jewish holiday or this African holiday or why do we make a big deal about um Pride day you know like there's this real effort to stifle anything that is not is not white and Christian quite frankly I mean at the end of the day I don't know how many times you've heard recently but I mean I know in my life I've heard numerous times like you know like why is there Black History Month there's no White History Month yeah and it was like um well the problem is that every month is White History Month right it's like they did this special thing um because of the glaring omissions yeah uh you know the contributions of African-Americans to American culture yeah it's interesting that it happens in the church because the church mission in terms of messaging the messaging is to talk about this Middle Eastern guy you know what I mean uh yeah that live that lived a very um I hate the word very it's the worst word to use to describe anything ever right he he lived this um remarkable life did amazing some would say miraculous things um lived and literally died for his faith and instead of that message we find a thousand other messages that make us feel better about ourselves instead of keeping our messaging on point and actually talking about the thing that we were designed to talk about yeah and I mean and to an extent you know it's like it's it's difficult to talk about Jesus without talking about Justice and you can't talk about Justice in a biblical sense without talking about all forms of Justice exactly yes like the Bible doesn't you know make any of these delineations in fact like it's it's all clearly all wrapped up together yeah you know and I think that you know looking at how do we fix this yeah I mean to me like it's it's it's pretty obvious it's like one we should never lose sight of like when we're talking about something like Martin Luther King like on a day meant to celebrate you know him and his work you know like we don't talk about Martin Luther King Jr day on Christmas right you know and we do we do that for a reason you know because like we we we're we're there to honor somebody in particular so we should continue to honor that person um because that is how we spread the gospel by being supportive and aware of issues of civil uh you know civil rights because when we have a church that you know people can view us as being just a bunch of white racists because of garbage like this CBN contributor wrote I wish the person put their name on there so I could yell at them whoever wrote that act and what they they said do not put my name on this I'm writing this because somebody signs my paycheck and that paycheck's in Peril if I don't write this and I drew the Short Straw and I got the assignment so I'll write it but whoever wrote it knew better and said no don't put my name on this byline any contribution that you know white people have made through civil rights yeah um we should not try to blow it out of proportion from what they actually did like Billy Graham did very little to contribute to the Civil Rights Movement overall he was really really hyper focused on evangelism that was his thing he was an evangelist yes now I'm not going to go out of my way to fault him for that you know but it's like unless he was there and like a side by side with Martin Luther King I'm not going to try to do anything to make it sound like he is in any way shape or form on that same level yeah um the only thing the only thing I have to say um in terms of fixing the problem I think it's a very um American thing to see everything as capitalism as a zero-sum game there are winners and there are losers right there are people at the top there are people at the bottom there are people who finish the race and they're people who lose the race we're very binary people by Nature yeah and that's you know that's part of the way just we kind of make sense to the world being Jesus followers is not a zero-sum Pursuit
365 days in the week there are plenty of days on the calendar year to honor everybody and so right this this thing that we do that Ministry is more the better metaphor than competitions and winning and losing is that the rising Waters raises all boats everybody gets elevated when we follow Jesus everybody wins everybody finds purpose and meaning and hope in life when we chase after Jesus everybody nobody gets left behind except for maybe Kirk Cameron except for baby that's good so good man I hate it when you're that on point ah you open the door I walked through it that does all that happened nothing to see here I set it up you you spike it down that's what I'm talking about
we are churches lame and uh Mark and I we do the show because we believe that church leaders do crazy stuff that looks bad in the news and causes The credibility problem in the public in general and we sit here and we talk about it and make it known and maybe how to fix it if you um would like to contribute to the conversation if you particularly have some interesting insights in that part of history of the end of the relationship between Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr we'd love to hear it so throw those down in the comments and do all those other things you know hit the thumbs up and like And subscribe and all those things and if you're a podcast listener let me say let me apologize to you because we've been having some technical difficulties that have forced me to move the podcast hosting so thanks for sticking with us and by all means feel free to send us an email churcheslane podcast gmail.com and please don't forget to subscribe in apple podcast I don't know should I Benedictus or not I don't know you can you can you can Benedict my brains are not stuff go in peace and serve the Lord if you got something out of this episode would you consider clicking the super thanks button and if you want to see more content just like this click on the hypocrite much playlist