February 22, 2011
Glenn Beck Meets with Billy Graham
Conservative radio and television host Glenn Beck met with evangelist Billy Graham last week, Beck said on his show.
"Just spent 3 amazing hours with Billy Graham at his mountain top home in SC. His son Franklin joined my wife and me for a talk and prayer," Beck tweeted on February 19. "I will share some of my visit with Billy Graham on radio Monday. Side note: I expect tweet hate for me, I cannot understand BG hatred. Sad," he said in a separate update.
A spokesperson for Graham said in an e-mail that it was a private, personal meeting (not an interview) arranged by a family member. Graham lives in North Carolina.
Beck is a Mormon and has received mixed reactions among some evangelicals. James Dobson, Richard Land, Jerry Falwell Jr., and other evangelicals followed Glenn Beck's call for national renewal in August 2010. Some, however, expressed concern about his Mormon faith while others disagreed with his call to "leave your church" if it promotes social justice.
Beck had wanted to meet with Graham before his "Restoring Honor" rally, a round-up on his website states.
According to Glenn, Billy Graham was probably the only other person who had tried to do something on the scale of what Glenn was hoping to accomplish. However, according to Glenn Rev. Graham and his team did not feel that "the time was right."
"Two weeks ago as I have been struggling with some ideas and some things that I am working on for the future and I am trying to get clarity again, I thought of Billy Graham. When the phone range and they said the Reverend feels it's time to meet, I met with him. We had an hour scheduled. It lasted three hours," Glenn said.
"He is a very clear individual. He's slowed down quite a bit," Beck said on the site. "But he is of sound mind and a man of great peace."
Beck gave his impressions saying, "These are not his views but mine."
"My message to you is we must come together. Evil has -- the left has stood -- is standing now with profound and clear evil and they've connected from evil all the way to the average Democrat and everything in between."
"And we are sitting here arguing with each other over, well, how do you mean that exactly? Well, what exactly do you believe in religion, et cetera, et cetera? While none of us can sacrifice what we believe as an individual, we must stand together with those who believe in God and that God endows each individual with the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Graham, who is 92 and has trouble hearing and seeing, makes rare public appearances and does few interviews. A few weeks ago, Christianity Today posted an interview where Graham suggested he wishes he had stayed out of politics.
In other Mormon-evangelical relations, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) announced it will hold its next board meeting in Park City and Salt Lake City on March 10. The NAE leaders will meet with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert at the governor's mansion and will also meet a leader from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
“We hope this time of dialogue with LDS leaders will deepen our understanding of the Mormon faith and contribute to the ongoing work of evangelicals in Utah,” said Leith Anderson, president of NAE. “For the sake of Christ and his kingdom, we seek to represent biblical evangelicalism to those who wouldn’t hear or know. We also look for common ground on issues where we can work together.”