Too much Billy Graham?

Apparently, according to the LAT, that was Billy Graham’s reply when asked for his opinion about a new museum about — Billy Graham.

I totally see where he’s coming from, though. Billy Graham is, without a doubt, an evangelist’s evangelist — the best of the best at what he does, which is to spread the message of Jesus. And when your life has been dedicated to spreading that message, be it in the darkest, most remote corners of the world or behind the most iron of curtains in communist countries, you don’t want that message to get garbled.

But the nature of most people, especially Americans, is to get caught up in the messenger and to misplace the message. Presentation, presentation, presentation — I remember that’s one of the first things my sister urged me to always remember when I began working outside my mom’s business. It’s amazing that Billy Graham has led so many people to be saved. It’s even more amazing to me that he realizes this less than savory human trait of idolizing the messenger and didn’t really care for a museum about him and was only convinced to give it his blessing when his son said it would be a perpetual way to get people saved.

With Graham, at 88, in failing health, his family and friends have struggled to find an appropriate way to commemorate and carry on his work. A humble man who never saw a need to upgrade his cheap suits or his modest mountaintop home, Graham at first shrank from the idea of turning his life story into a tourist attraction.

Only when he was convinced that the project would serve as a perpetual crusade — a tribute not to him but to Jesus Christ — did Graham give it his blessing.

“The last thing my father wanted was to have a monument to himself,” Franklin Graham said.

The Billy Graham Library is intensely focused on the Gospel, with dozens of video clips of Graham quoting Scripture. But the $27-million museum also boasts a splash of Disney, and that’s troubled some of Graham’s admirers.

I’m not sure if that museum will really do the trick. If anything, I think books and memoirs will do the trick more than a museum, but then I am a book lover. Plus, I’m a little bit like the other guy quoted in the article — I would love to know what he has said or done to influence our past presidents and other powerful people. He really is an amazing man, but at least I know why. It’s sad that not everyone does.