THE Rev. Billy Graham told graduates at a theological seminary last Saturday that Christians are becoming ``a despised minority'' in a time when millions of people are alienated from religion.
``There's a great diversity of belief and unbelief in our country,'' the Rev. Mr. Graham said at the 104th commencement of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Wenham, Mass. ``We're rapidly becoming a moral-less society,'' Graham told the 150 graduates and 1,400 guests. ``Millions of people are disillusioned or antagonistic to religion of any kind. Those of us who are Christian are becoming a despised minority.''
Graham is a past chairman of the board of directors of the evangelical seminary, which was created by the merger of Gordon Divinity School and the Conwell School of Theology. He received a doctorate of theology. ``It's a time of great upheaval in the world,'' Graham said. ``We live in a time of great contradiction and great conflicts, and these will probably become sharper.''
Graham specifically mentioned the civil war in Rwanda, as well as domestic political and social upheaval. Still, he said, ``I would not like to be alive at any other time in human history. It's a wonderful time to start your lives.'' Bay State Baptists oppose gambling
MASSACHUSETTS Baptists voted overwhelmingly Saturday to oppose the expansion of government-sponsored gambling.
``Up until recently the gaming industry was really controlling all of the information and making it seem like the easy answer to the state's problems. It's really more difficult than that,'' says Linda Spoolstra, executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts. Of the meeting's voting delegates at the churches' annual meeting, 163 voted in favor of the antigambling resolution. Eleven opposed it.
The resolution charges that ``the state is in danger of becoming addicted to gambling'' and is ``enticing the citizenry to become addictive gamblers.'' It calls on Gov. William Weld (R) and legislators to ``gradually wean the budget from dependence on gambling as a source of revenue.'' The resolution also condemns existing lottery games and other forms of gambling.
Governor Weld has proposed increasing state revenues by building three floating casinos and by putting slot machines and other electronic gaming devices at race tracks.
But the governor's plan and other proposals to expand gambling are not expected to move forward in the legislature.