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.

12 mins ago

State Sen. Whatley predicts Auburn, Alabama football ‘will go on as originally planned’ despite COVID-19 spike

With 37 days to go until Auburn and Alabama both kick off the 2021 football season, COVID-19 is creeping back into the picture of everyday American life.

However, State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn), whose district includes Auburn University and an economy that relies in some part on the annual football season, said he was not expecting any disruptions resulting from COVID-19.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5, Whatley said he expected all of Alabama’s Division I colleges to play as planned and touted the vaccine passport ban passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this year.

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“Back to Senator Orr’s bill that I supported, I think that one puts it into perspective — you know, you can’t do that,” he said. “You can’t require a vaccine passport. And I think that the football will go on as originally planned. Auburn and Alabama said they are both planning on full open tailgating and full open football season. I’m looking forward to that and I’m looking forward to that economic boost that will hit Lee County, hit East Alabama, hit the whole state of Alabama once you pour in all the colleges and universities that play Division I football.”

Whatley also predicted it was a “foregone conclusion” Auburn would go 12-0, play for the SEC Championship and play in the college football playoff on the way to winning the national championship under new head football coach Bryan Harsin.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

13 hours ago

Birmingham-Southern College to impose fee on unvaccinated students

Unless students of Birmingham-Southern College are vaccinated against COVID-19, those who attend the private liberal arts school will be forced to pay a $500 fee “to offset continual weekly antigen testing and quarantining.”

In an email sent to students, the college announced its pandemic protocols for those returning to campus for the fall semester. In what appears to be an effort to encourage students to receive the vaccine, BSC told students it will levy a monetary charge against those who are unvaccinated. The school cited the need for funding to be applied toward COVID-related mitigation measures as a reason for the charge.

The email reads in part, “Due to the lack of federal funds for pandemic precautions this term, all students will initially be charged $500 for the fall term to offset continual weekly antigen testing and quarantining. Students who are fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of fall term will receive an immediate $500 rebate.”

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The college announced in the email that it has also set separate move-in dates for vaccinated and unvaccinated students.

The College Republican Federation of Alabama (CRFA) has condemned the move as discriminatory against students who have chosen not to receive the vaccine.

“The College Republican Federation of Alabama condemns this obvious attack on students who are not vaccinated,” says CRFA chairman Clint Reid. “While vaccines are an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 we are still a free society where one should not be held at ransom to the tune of $500 if they do not feel the vaccine is the best course of action for them. We call on Birmingham-Southern College to drop this outrageous fee.”

The college’s email goes on to direct students who have been immunized against the virus to complete a “Vaccination Report Form.” BSC stated that the school’s goal is to achieve an 85% vaccination rate among students, faculty and staff.

Portion of the email sent to BSC students as follows obtained by Yellowhammer News: 

Birmingham-Southern College did not respond to a request for comment. Yellowhammer News has inquired with the Attorney General’s Office regarding the legality of BSC’s guidelines and will provide updates accordingly.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

14 hours ago

Tim James: A house divided against itself cannot stand

Last week the discussion of COVID vaccination burst into the news and ripped the scab right off the wound exposing the divide among Alabamians about whether to vaccinate or not. We all know there can be tense moments among friends and family when the vaccine topic comes up especially when there are differing opinions in the room.

Well, last week the discussion hit a fever pitch on a grand scale and landed on the front pages of the national news outlets. According to news reports, in Alabama, there are about 2.5 to 3 million people that have CHOSEN NOT to take the vaccine out of the state’s population of 5.1 million. Approximately 60% of all Alabamians have made this their personal health choice.

I am writing this letter today to express my distaste for those bent on shaming people in which they disagree on the vaccine issue. They divide Alabamians into two classes: the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. The media’s contempt is in overdrive for anyone that dares to disagree and not blindly follow the government directives. So, they shame by spewing their poison proclaiming the unvaccinated are the problem. Their assertion of “Blame” by extension means the unvaccinated are responsible for the spread of COVID. If you want to blame someone or something, blame the virus and the makers of it. As everybody knows, it was not the bats.

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The problem is not the unvaccinated, but rather those spawning division among the population. It’s the BLAME GAME.

They shake their fingers in the face of millions of Alabama citizens for refusing to take the vaccine and are beside themselves when everyone does not fall in line like sheep. I guess the unvaccinated are the “New Deplorables.”

I’ve listened to their shaming long enough and felt it was time to stand up for millions of Alabamians that have made their decision, over the many months, NOT to take the vaccine. I fall into this category; however, like most families I have family members that have chosen TO take the vaccine. Alabamians know full well what is going on in their communities, local hospitals, nursing homes and churches. They are not ignorant to the medical realities and associated risks. Neither are they reckless or selfish.

Every unvaccinated person has considered whether to take the vaccine for months. They have discussed the matter with others, prayed about it and even may have tolled back and forth on the decision. In the end, their “call” was to not take the vaccine for their own personal reasons. I can’t help but wonder why so many vaccinated people lecture everyone else when they themselves have marginal health risk as they are the vaccinated class.

Has it occurred to them that their shaming is certain to follow children into the classroom in the form of bullying? Do they care about young women in childbearing years who are rightfully cautious about what goes into their bodies? It’s ironic that people that CHOOSE NOT to take the vaccine are labeled dissenters even though they are the majority in Alabama and cross all races and political lines.

Going forward I want to encourage people to take a deep breath and stand back from the situation. COVID, of course can be lethal, but at the same time the odds of fatality are extremely low. This is one of those times when we must not succumb to fear. Fear is the root from which anxiety and worry bud.

Fear is a weapon used to manipulate the public, and the press is its enabler. The Lord speaks to the issue of fear through the Apostle Paul. “For God hath not given a spirit of fear but of power and sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7

I also would like to take this opportunity to say something about Governor Ivey’s statement last week concerning unvaccinated Alabamians. She said, “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

The unvaccinated people represent approximately 60% of the population in our state. The Governor’s comments triggered uncontrollable elation and gaiety from politicians and news anchors at CNN, NBC and others. As one could expect, President Biden and Dr. Fauci were ecstatic at Alabamians being scolded by their Governor over this issue. I believe the Governor’s comments were off-base. I also believe she likely misspoke in the heat of the moment; something any of us could do. As we navigate forward, we need to lower the tone and not take the bait of those whose goal is to sow seeds of division amongst Alabamians.

I have a message for the American press corps concerning their hysterical, fear-based coverage of the pandemic.

It’s a quote from Edward R. Murrow, the great broadcast journalist during the first half of the 20th century.

He effectively warned his fellow journalists what would happen if the free press became compromised. He wrote: “No one can terrorize a whole nation unless we are his accomplices.”

Tim James, the son of former Gov. Fob James, is a Greenville, Alabama businessman. He was a 2010 GOP candidate for governor.

14 hours ago

Regions names Jason Isbell senior vice president of state government affairs and economic development

Regions Bank has tapped one of the state’s foremost experts on banking law and government affairs to serve as senior vice president of state government affairs and economic development.

Jason Isbell comes to the Birmingham-based bank brandishing nearly two decades of legal and government affairs experience in the public and private sectors.

Elizabeth Taylor, head of government affairs and economic development for Regions, highlighted Isbell’s depth of knowledge and relationships throughout the industry.

“Regions Bank has a strong history of working with government leaders and other stakeholder groups on issues impacting our associates, customers and communities,” Taylor said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “Jason Isbell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on a variety of financial services matters to this role. His work building relationships and navigating a myriad of legislative issues will serve us well. We look forward to his service advancing economic development opportunities that move our communities forward while also building on the strong relationships we have in the areas Regions serves.”

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Isbell most recently worked with Maynard Cooper & Gale where he represented a wide array of clients, including Regions, as an attorney and lobbyist in the firm’s Government Solutions Group.

Prior to his time at Maynard Cooper, he held the position of vice president for legal and governmental affairs at the Alabama Bankers Association (ABA). Isbell was charged with implementing ABA’s legislative and regulatory agendas at both the state and federal levels. He honed his skills in public policy during his 11 years in state government, first as a fiscal analyst for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office and then as general counsel to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Isbell is a member of the Faulkner University board of trustees and is a graduate of the school’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

Regions Financial Corporation recently reported $748 million in second quarter earnings. The company cited strategic decisions in high-growth areas, such as Florida, Texas and Tennessee, as contributing to those earnings.

Isbell noted the momentum of the bank’s growth and influence throughout its footprint as he prepares for this new endeavor.

“I’m excited to represent an institution with such a rich history and stellar reputation,” he told Yellowhammer News. “Regions Bank is poised to continue making a positive impact on communities in Alabama and beyond. I’m grateful for this opportunity and look forward to being part of the Regions team.”

Isbell is set to officially join the bank in mid-August.

RELATED: Joia M. Johnson appointed to Regions board of directors

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

15 hours ago

State Rep. Wes Allen: Biden administration’s mixed message on COVID shows he doesn’t put Americans first

The Biden administration is issuing warnings to Americans regarding the increasing number of COVID cases across the country. Calls for a return to mask-wearing and social distancing are becoming more frequent from the President and his advisors.

Businesses, large and small, fear the possibility of mandated shutdowns that plagued our nation last year. Parents are wondering if they will be forced to face the inadequacies and challenges of remote schooling again. These are all worries that are being forced upon law-abiding, tax-paying Americans by the Biden administration.

But it goes further. Our northern border with Canada remains closed to non-essential travel for fear of spreading the virus. Biden and his team cited concerns over the Delta variant as the reason for banning travel from 26 nations including most of Europe, South Africa and Brazil.

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This all seems like a concerned President who is trying to save our nation from the death and damage of a pandemic. But a closer look at Biden’s policies proves that his concern is not for Americans and he has little to no desire to stop the spread of COVID from coming across our border.

His policy that allows thousands of illegal immigrants to move freely across our southern border and into our towns, neighborhoods, restaurants and schools without any regard for their immigration status or their COVID test results prove that the Biden administration doesn’t care about America or Americans. Is the health of Americans, the success of our economy and the fate of our schools and health care system of any concern to this President or his advisors?

I think not.

State Rep. Wes Allen is a Republican candidate for Alabama Secretary of State.