Seth Udinski, FISM News
PBS is highlighting the life and influence of the famous American evangelical pastor Billy Graham as part of its documentary series “American Experience.” The special on Graham is set to air on Monday, May 17.
The documentary, directed by Sarah Colt, will explore the life and legacy of Billy Graham, from his humble beginnings as a southern boy who loved baseball, to his conversion to Christ at age 16, and finally to his dynamic preaching ministry throughout the second half of the 20th century. The Lord used Billy Graham to redeem thousands of sinners, both in America and throughout the world. During his ministry it is estimated that Graham preached the gospel to over 200 million people.
Viewers should be advised that this film is produced by PBS and is not depicting Graham’s life from the anchor of a biblical worldview. The documentary will also explore Graham’s political influence and involvement. Graham was wildly influential in the formation of the conservative American identity, and specifically in the alliance of political conservativism with evangelical Christianity.
For this reason it is no guarantee that PBS will celebrate Graham as the faithful man and minister of God that he was. According to Religion News Service, the documentary appears to portray Graham as a complicated religious influencer who, to his credit, maintained a level of moral integrity that his televangelist contemporaries could not, but also capitalized on a convenient political opportunity to make a name for himself. Those of us who understand and appreciate Graham as the faithful servant of God that he was should be cautious and prepared to separate truth from opinion when viewing the documentary.
Billy Graham passed away after 70-plus years of gospel ministry on February 21, 2018, at the age of 99. At his final evangelical crusade in 2005, he said these powerful words:
I have one message: that Jesus Christ came, he died on a cross, he rose again, and he asked us to repent of our sins and receive him by faith as Lord and Savior, and if we do, we have forgiveness of all of our sins.