Billy Graham on Vinyl, Part 1: “God’s Delinquent”

March 28, 2014


Given my natural interest in old things, I figure I should have been born around 1952. That way, at 14 years old—the most formative time in life to discover great music—I could have walked into a record store on May 16, 1966, and purchased two of the best albums ever made, both of which were released that day: Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. And I could have easily gotten them both in mono—the way they were meant to be heard!

Ahh… That would have been a perfect day!

Nevertheless, the great thing about being a vinyl junkie is that records—at least since Columbia Records introduced the LP in 1948—are surprisingly durable. Which brings me to today’s subject…

Vintage Billy Graham sermons on vinyl!

I bet there are at least three people out there who are as excited about this as I am!


Detail from the back cover.

Consider this a new series on my blog. In addition to today’s sermon, I have five more in the hopper. (And, if eBay cooperates, maybe even more on the way!)

Today’s sermon is “God’s Delinquent,” which comes from Side 1 of Word Records W-6114-LP, circa 1964.

The sermon, as Graham says at the beginning, is aimed at young people and their parents. It’s about Samson, whose story is found in Judges 13-16. It includes several topical references (as all good sermons do), so it’s well past its expiration date. And Graham’s oratorical style—which is GREAT, by the way—isn’t congruent with contemporary styles of preaching (but that’s our problem). But if you can look past that, the message still rings true.

Am I the only one surprised by the frank manner with which Graham discusses young people’s “problem with sex”—even the fact that he uses the word “sex” in a 1964 sermon surprises me. (Eat your heart out, Mark Driscoll!)

I especially like this part:

And there comes a time when a young person has to make up his own mind. When you come to give your life to Christ, you can’t go on your parents’ religion. There are a lot of people who are resting on Mother’s faith or Dad’s faith. No, it’s got to be a faith of your own! You see a lot of us tonight have been reared with religious backgrounds, but you never really come to know Christ for yourself. There isn’t the joy and the peace and the satisfaction and the assurance in your own life. You haven’t really come to him yourself. You haven’t had the experience of Christ in you. That’s what you need.

I heard about some people down in the south that had told everybody that they were going to New York City, and while they were in New York city as tourists they were going to see My Fair Lady when it was on in New York. And they went and to their amazement when they got there they couldn’t get tickets,  it was packed out. And they were going to be there four days and every show was packed. And they wondered how in the world they were going to go back to their little town in the south and tell everybody they didn’t get to see My Fair Lady.

So, they stood in front of the theater one afternoon and saw people coming out after the matinee. And they saw that people were throwing tickets away—half tickets. So they got an idea. They went over and they bought for a dollar a program, My Fair Lady. Then they reached in the gutter and got some tickets, put them in their pockets and went home singing and humming “I Could Have Danced All Night.” “On the Street Where She Lives.”

They had the tickets to show. They had the program. They knew the songs. They had everything, except they hadn’t been to see My Fair Lady.

And that’s the way with a lot of you: You’ve got the language. You’ve got the looks. You can sing the songs. You can quote the verses. You’ve got everything except you yourself haven’t been to the cross… and known Christ for yourself.

To listen, click on the media player above or right-click on this link to download .mp3 file.

2 Responses to “Billy Graham on Vinyl, Part 1: “God’s Delinquent””

  1. Lauren Says:

    Thanks Brent, this is great. Good timing as I am leading our Confirmation retreat in two weeks and wanted a “personal relationship with Jesus” talk.

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