Response to Billy Graham

by Clifford Crain

Submitted: to Syracuse Post Standard, November 14, 2002
Note: The original Billy Graham piece that this article refers to can be read: here.   
To the editor:

 Rev. Billy Graham, in his daily column appearing in the November 12 Post Standard, asserts that “when we leave God out of our lives and try to run them on our own, we will always—without exception—fall short of lasting happiness and peace.” No atheist has ever lived who was happy? Rev. Graham does not cite any evidence to support his assertion. He is trying to tie happiness to religion, when in fact no linkage to that effect can be proven. There are certainly some atheists who lead happy lives, just as there are some people who believe in God who are miserable.

I hope readers will decide on the truth of what Rev. Graham says based on their own thinking and experience and not on Rev. Graham’s authority or church tradition. Since I can cite examples of happy
atheists, I can prove that Rev. Graham’s blanket assertion is false.

                      CLIFFORD H. CRAIN, JR.

                      Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
                      P.O. Box 779
                      Minneapolis, MN 55440

Printed in the Nov 12th Post Standard:

Dear Rev. Graham: I've messed up my life so badly that I can't even begin to hope God will forgive me. I left my first wife, although I had no real reason to, and have been in and out of several marriages since, but nothing has ever gone right and I'm miserable. Why can't I ever get my life together?--R.B.

Dear R. B.: When we leave God out of our lives and try to run them on our own, we will always--without exception--fall short of lasting happiness and peace. The Bible warns, "But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest . . . 'There is no peace,' says my God, 'for the wicked'" (Isaiah 57:20-21).

That is why the most important thing you can do is turn to God and put your life in his hands. Without him you will continue to seek happiness and stability all your life--but will never find them. But Jesus offers you another path--the path of forgiveness and peace and new life. His promise is for you: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives" (John 14:27).

Don't stay on your present path any longer. Instead, by faith commit yourself to Christ, asking him to come into your life and begin to change you from within. And listen: he will, because God loves you, and no matter what you have done, he stands ready to forgive you and help you. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Why delay any longer? No, you can't change the past--but with God's help, you can change the future.