Belief Beat

Aside from the Roe v. Wade anniversary — featuring a huge anti-abortion crowd at the March for Life in Washington — the top two religion newsmakers today each concerns an elderly white male Christian leader with an unexpected message: Pope Benedict (age: 83) issued some cautionary advice about social networking — YouTube, Facebook, blogging, etc. — while the Rev. Billy Graham (age: 92) reflected on the past in an interview with Christianity Today, including what he should have done differently:

I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less. I wouldn’t have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn’t really need to do — weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything.

I also would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.

Politics Daily and USA Today have more on the Billy Graham interview, and you can check out the AP and Reuters for more on the pope’s message for the Catholic Church’s World Day of Social Communications:

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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