Today, Nov. 7, birthday boy Billy Graham turns 93 years old, and the aged preacher’s years in the limelight have been remarkedly free of any hint of sexual allegation the likes that Justin Bieber is dealing with right now. But there’s a good reason for that despite Graham’s stellar character, and it might pay the Biebs to learn why that is the case.
Before Graham became a household word for his faith, he wisely surrounded himself with men who would hold him accountable — and who would watch his back, so to speak, when it came to fawning women.
Like Justin Bieber, Billy Graham used to attract a crowd of eager onlookers and females fascinated with the colorful preacher who seemed to break with tradition. The fact he was married to Ruth McCue Bell in 1943 didn’t stop the interest.
But Billy did one thing Justin may not have done: Billy never allowed a female to have an opportunity to be alone with him without one of his fellow male spiritual supporters being present.
In Graham’s autobiography Just As I Am, he talks about his need and desire to limit any possibility that a scandal could ever happen in his Christian ministry — or even appear to be a possibility. When he was out in the public, he made sure one of his fellow male ministry workers was always with him, such as Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea or T.W. — and if they were not with him his wife Ruth was present.
Justin Bieber is now the young charismatic Christian male making headlines. And he has already experienced an allegation sexual in nature. And although he isn’t a preacher, the young pop teen heartthrob can still benefit from trying to follow Billy Graham’s example in the future, by surrounding himself on concert tours with a group of people who will protect him from compromising situations — and women wanting to put him in those types of situations.
Billy Graham knew his Christian witness was at stake when he was touring, and that it only took the appearance of a problem to generate suspicion and talk. So he took precautions against any hint of impropriety in this manner.
Justin Bieber is a young man with female fans throwing themselves at him day and night. His only way to avoid future allegations like the recent one from Mariah Yeates — besides suing her — is to make it his new concert requirement that no fan enjoy a moment with him unless he has someone present.
That someone would need to be recognized in the public as having a good reputation, like Billy Graham’s friends, in case an allegation is ever made again. And then it will be a lot less likely that Justin Bieber will have to take a DNA test, as the Chicago Sun Times has said he is going to do, in order to prove he is not his accuser’s baby’s father.
Sources: Chicago Sun Times, “Just As I Am”