Reeder on church leaders not meeting privately with the other sex: ‘I’ll take the criticism….I learned it from Billy Graham’


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, November 7th, 1918, Billy Graham was born and, a week ago today, Billy Graham turned 99. A survey was done of great preachers, pastors, priests and evangelists over the last 150 years and no one was found to have lived as long as Mr. Graham has. James Kennedy passed away at 76, Adrian Rogers, 74, Jerry Falwell, 73, Billy Sunday, 72, and even Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” passed away at 57. 99 years old?

DR. REEDER: Yeah, it’s amazing. They’re actually using this year to celebrate his 100th birthday so, now that this one is over, this whole year is going to be a 100th year celebration.

Back in the 19th Century, there was a shoe salesman in Chicago who had a young clerk that was working with him that he mustered up the courage to invite him to his Sunday School class. The young clerk went and the young clerk was converted. The shoe salesman’s name was Edward Kimball and the young clerk was a guy named D.L. Moody.

D.L. Moody, everyone knows, became this great preacher, pastor and evangelist. He did some of his evangelistic work in England, where God used him to reclaim, motivate and encourage an English theologian and pastor who also now would become an evangelist. His name was F.B. Meyer.

And F.B. Meyer, then, would have a significant impact back over here in America in the life of a man by the name of Wilbur Chapman. So, if you know of Youth for Christ, Wilbur Chapman was instrumental in that. And then Wilbur Chapman, in his ministry, had an effect on a baseball player who became a great evangelist by the name of Billy Sunday.

And then Billy Sunday had an effect on a man who became a great evangelist by the name of Mordacai Ham. And, when Mordacai Ham began his ministry, at this same time, there was this group of people that would meet at a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina in prayer. My grandfather and his brothers were involved in that movement and they were meeting in prayer, asking God to bring revival to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Through those prayers came the invitation to Mordacai Ham to come, which he did, and a little boy that had been playing in the next room at the dairy farm – that little boy that was in the next room went to the meetings and was converted and his name was Billy Franklin Graham.

And he was converted and he went off to college and became an evangelist and one of his first meetings was back in Charlotte at the invitation of what was my family’s home church, Calvary Independent Presbyterian Church in 1948. And, in those meetings an 18 year old boy with his 18 year old wife went forward, holding their baby boy in their arms and gave their life to Christ. And that was my dad and mom.

My grandfather had been part of bringing in Mordacai Ham where Billy Graham was converted, and now Billy Graham came back to preach in 1948 and then my dad and mom were converted, holding me in their arms. And then, in 1958, he came back and preached again and there I was, having the opportunity to be in that crusade in 1958. And then, in 1998, we brought Billy Graham back and I was now a pastor in Charlotte on the committee that invited Mr. Graham back for what we thought would be one of his closing crusades but he went on to preach for another three or four years after that.

I have a letter here where he would listen to the radio program that you and I do and he complimented the radio program. He said, “The guy that’s speaking is great but, the guy who puts this program together, I’m not sure about him.” So, Tom, I hope you didn’t take that personally.

No, he loved the program and they carried it on the radio station in Montreat and Black Mountain. And the relationship goes on and I was on the committee here in Birmingham where we invited Franklin Graham here to do the crusade so we greatly appreciate the family.

Now, the Billy Graham saga, it overlaps with what we do here in this sense. People will hear us talk about a Christian world and life view with Gospel solutions and we keep driving home that Christians ought to be engaged in the public square because we bring salt and light: salt that restrains sin, and purifies and penetrates and then light that lifts up Christ so that you have both common grace and redeeming grace at work.

Mr. Graham, early on in his ministry, was very much committed to speaking to matters of public policy and being engaged in politics. One of the men that he supported very heavily was Richard Nixon and, when the Watergate fiasco and the tapes and the language of all of that became obvious the way Christians were being manipulated, that became a line of demarcation for Mr. Graham.

And, from then on, instead of, “I’m going to preach the Gospel and be engaged in politics,” from then on, he pulled out completely in the field of politics other than being available pastorally to assist presidents, speak with them, give counsel to them and pray with them, but he no longer would be engaged in political statements or any partisanship.

That reflects the way we do this. We don’t endorse candidates or parties – we just try to speak to issues from a Biblical world and life view – but we’re always emphasizing the real solution is the Gospel solution and that’s what Mr. Graham has long believed.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, we did a program a few months ago on Mike Pence’s “putting a hedge” around his life and around his marriage by not dining with another woman in public or private unless it was his wife. When we were doing that program, I couldn’t help but think of Billy Graham, who also always “put a hedge” around his marriage and he did that back in an era back when we didn’t have the Harvey Weinstein moments of life.

DR. REEDER: We actually call that the “Billy Graham Rule” in the ministry and some people set it aside – I don’t. I embrace it. If you come to Briarwood Presbyterian Church, you will find every pastor’s office has a window that cannot be covered. We have the rule that you cannot have private meetings or public meetings with another person of the opposite sex by yourself and there must be others that are there.

And we’re criticized for it, but we will continue to do it. I’ll take the criticism because the testimony, and the witness, and fleeing temptation and all the things that are so important, not only for the staff, but for myself and for the leaders of Briarwood. I learned it from Mr. Graham and I think that was very encouraging.

Can I, maybe, end with a little bit of a funny story? Billy’s brother, Melvin Graham, helped us secure a property at the church that I had the privilege to pastor. I got to know him and he told me this story.

One time, when they were building The Cove, which is the retreat center that the Billy Graham Association has put together in Asheville – it’s beautiful, a wonderful place – he said, “When we put it together, we set aside a place for Billy and his wife, Ruth, to be buried there.” It’s right outside the chapel.

Melvin said, “Well, Billy,” – you know, that Charlotte accent we all have – and he said, “Well, Billy, you need to lie down and let us see it and see if it fits, Billy.” And so, Mr. Graham, he laid himself down on the plot where it was marked out and, as he laid there, Melvin looked at him and he said, “Billy, how is the view from that place?” and he said, “It’s great. I can see all the way into eternity. Praise God for the glories of a new heavens and a new earth.”

Thank the Lord for Mr. Graham. We’ve been grateful for the time we’ve had him and his principal effective ministries. It’s been wonderful to have a servant of the Lord that I didn’t have to worry about if I was going to read something in the paper about a secret life exposed. I thank God for his transparency, his faithfulness, and his singular commitment to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone and everyone.

Billy broke down the segregation right here in Birmingham when he had his crusade. He insisted, not only freely invite everyone, but there would be open seating and, of course, the City of Birmingham went along with it as well as the clergy. That was repeated and he was very instrumental in knocking down barriers in so many areas, even as he lifted up the name of Jesus in word and deed.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

19 mins ago

Bryant Museum to reopen in time for football season

Just in time for the University of Alabama football season, the Paul W. Bryant Museum is reopening to visitors.

The museum, which closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus, is now Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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“The Bryant Museum staff is excited to reopen, and we invite all Alabama fans to join us as we get ready for another season of Crimson Tide football,” said Ken Gaddy, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum. “With safety being our first concern, we are limiting the number of days we will be open and using a timed ticket system to limit the number of visitors in the exhibit hall.”

A limited number of tickets will be sold every 30 minutes to ensure capacity in the exhibit hall remains at a safe amount. Visitors must secure their tickets online before arriving at the museum. Visitors will also be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while inside the museum.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

2 hours ago

Alabama surge needed in 2020 Census participation

It’s the final week of the 2020 Census, and Alabama is counting on every household to submit its survey by Sept. 30. This quick, easy questionnaire collects information that determines Alabama’s federal representation in the U.S. Congress and funding levels for the next decade.

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Help shape Alabama’s bottom line by completing the 2020 Census in one of three ways:

  1. Online at my2020census.gov.
  2. By phone at 1-844-330-2020.
  3. By traditional paper form you received in the mail.

Any information given in the 2020 Census is strictly protected by federal law.

A reduction in Alabama’s census could have adverse impacts to federally funded public service programs that affect every single resident.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, lawmakers, business owners and other entities will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, clinics, roads and more services for families, older adults and children. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

For information on the 2020 Census, get the facts here.

View the 2020 Census questions and learn why they are asked.

Visit Privacy and Security to read about how the U.S. Census Bureau protects your household information.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 hours ago

Racers coming to Alabama for world’s longest annual paddle race

Paddlers from across the United States will be racing each other down 650 miles of Alabama’s scenic rivers later this month in the Great Alabama 650, the world’s longest annual paddle race.

The second annual Great Alabama 650 begins Sept. 26 on Weiss Lake in Centre. Racers will have 10 days to reach Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay via the core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, the longest river trail in a single state. Laura Gaddy, communications director of the trail, said this year’s race will be different.

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“In 2019, racers with a wide range of skill level and paddling experience competed in the Great Alabama 650, but just three boats made it to the finish line,” Gaddy said. “Even advanced paddlers had to drop out of the race before finishing, underscoring that this race is best suited for paddlers with a proven record. Therefore, this year we limited registration to paddlers who have competed in previous races. As a result, this year’s class of entrants is even more competitive than the inaugural class.”

Paddlers compete in nation’s longest state river trail from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The field features 16 racers, including 2019 overall winner Bobby Johnson, as well as female solo winner Sallie O’Donnell and Alabama native Ryan Gillikin. Johnson covered more than 85 miles per day to finish the race in seven days, 8 hours, 1 minute and 55 seconds.

“Several of our racers have not only completed some of the toughest paddle races in the world, they have won them,” Gaddy said. “Some are or have been professional paddlers. Others have represented the United States in paddling competitions abroad.”

Alabama’s diverse habitats are on full display during the race as competitors experience rushing whitewater, ambling river delta and everything in between. The course includes portages around several Alabama Power dams.

“The Great Alabama 650 elevates our state to the international stage and points to the 600-plus-mile Alabama Scenic River Trail as one of the premiere paddle destinations in the United States,” Gaddy said. “Even the most competitive athletes can be encumbered by the unpredictable challenges presented by the natural world. This is a race to watch.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced race organizers to restrict portages to race staff, crews and racers. Gaddy said there are still plenty of ways for fans to cheer on the racers.

“There are several ways to track the progress of the competitors without leaving your home,” Gaddy said. “Race updates are reported on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, and viewers can visit AL650.com to see our live map, which is updated at least every 2 minutes.”

Viewers can also track the race on social media using the race hashtag #AL650, which may link viewers to behind-the-scene photos posted by racers and their crew members.

“Last year several people with a waterfront property also stood out on their piers to cheer the racers,” Gaddy said. “Some even made signs. When the racers made it to the finish line, they said that the support they received from these spectators helped them to keep going when the race got tough.”

The race, which is sponsored this year by Cahaba BrewingMustang SurvivalMammoth Clothing and Alabama Power, begins Sept. 26 on Weiss Lake in Centre. The prize purse will be awarded across three categories: Male Solo, Female Solo and Team. To follow the progress of the competition or to learn more, visit al650.com.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Nick Saban: Time for Crimson Tide to flip switch from practice to game mode

Alabama coach Nick Saban said his Crimson Tide football team is showing the right effort and intensity in practice, but it’s time to flip the switch and start finishing plays like they would in a game.

“We haven’t played a game in a long time,” Saban said. “We’ve got to get out of practice mode and make sure we’re practicing to develop the habits that are gonna become a part of our DNA as competitors in terms of how we play in a game.”

Alabama opens the season on the road against Missouri at 6 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Nick Saban: Crimson Tide focuses on finishing as season kickoff approaches from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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7 hours ago

College football picks — SEC week 1 and more

The Season of Sankey officially gets underway today. The SEC takes the field for the first time this fall as a result of conference commissioner Greg Sankey’s well-planned approach to playing football amid COVID-19 conditions.

During the last two weeks, a parade of conferences have backtracked on plans to cancel their seasons and put in place schedules set to kick off beginning next month. If only they had followed one simple rule: be more like Sankey.

No doubt the season will be unusual. Expect the unexpected. And, as always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are a few picks.

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THE BASICS

No. 2 Alabama (-29) at Missouri: The Crimson Tide have the fewest non-COVID questions of any team in the country. They also have the most talented roster. Missouri will have a tough time scoring while Nick Saban gets to pick his team’s score.

The pick: Alabama 41, Missouri 9

No. 4 Georgia (-28) at Arkansas: Not a lot of intrigue here, either. The D’Wan Mathis era begins. Georgia wins. Maybe the only real question is: how will Kirby Smart handle dipping and wearing a mask at the same time?

The pick: Georgia 34, Arkansas 7

No. 5 Florida (-14) at Ole Miss: Everyone loves Lane. We get it. But there is a difference in these rosters. Through rain, sleet or snow — or direct deposit — Kiffin will recruit better talent to Oxford in the coming years. Right now, Florida is a markedly better team top-to-bottom.

The pick: Florida 52, Ole Miss 20

No. 8 Auburn (-6.5) at Kentucky: Everyone and their momma is taking Kentucky and the points in this game, not to mention the number of people picking the outright upset. Is it bowl game fatigue? Is it Auburn’s losses on the defensive line? We don’t know. What we do know is that Chad Morris may be the best offensive coordinator in the country if Gus Malzahn lets him cook.

The pick: Auburn 35, Kentucky 24

BUYER BEWARE

No. 16 Tennessee (-3.5) at South Carolina: This is a “the barely proven head coach got a raise the week before playing the first game” pick. Plus, South Carolina finally has some actual structure on offense with the addition of Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator and a serviceable starter at quarterback in Collin Hill.

The pick: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 16

West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State (-6.5): This pick breaks two important rules: 1) don’t make a pick because of a coach, and 2) be very wary of the heavily public side. Neal Brown is a rising star. Mike Gundy is something other than that. Neither team has played a game that matters yet, but they looked very different in their respective first weeks. Let’s join the crowd.

The pick: West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21

BONUS

Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU (-16.5): How can we not make a pick in the first-ever SEC game coached by two non-English speakers? All offseason we have heard people ponder about whether Mike Leach’s system will work in the SEC. Any system will work if you have good enough players. The Bulldogs currently do not. On the other hand, one can only imagine the carnage in Baton Rouge post-national championship. At least Coach O gave us this gem.

The pick: LSU 33, Mississippi State 16

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia