Years ago, Billy Graham was respected for a personal rule he held that has become known as the Billy Graham rule. The popular Evangelical preacher would not allow himself to be alone with a woman who was not his wife. It used to be seen as honorable. Now, when people like the vice president or a Mississippi gubernatorial candidate try to follow the same rule for themselves, it’s sharply criticized as insulting, demeaning toward women, and downright silly.
What are we to make of the Billy Graham rule? Is it still a good idea, or has it run its course and seen better days?
Like most things, I think this issue deserves to be treated as a complex one. There are multiple sides to consider, and the Bible gives good guidance in determining what to make of things like the Billy Graham rule.
So what are we to make of the Billy Graham rule? I haven’t covered all of them, but there are multiple sides to this issue. On the one hand, we don’t ever want policies to reflect a sinful, exclusive mind-set. God knows if that’s in a person’s heart. On the other hand, if a male public figure sets personal boundaries for himself, guided by the Word of God, in order to uphold purity and avoid any wrong impressions, that sounds pretty honorable.
Don’t you think?
Kurt Wetzel is one of the pastors at Cross of Christ Church, serving the Treasure Valley in Idaho. He and his wife, Stephanie, love the precious time they get alone. They also love the precious time they have with their four children and the community they keep reaching with Jesus’ love.
For more encouragement from Pastor Wetzel and other Time of Grace writers, sign up here to receive email notifications of new blog posts.