Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Print Page Billy Graham

Many Christians, including Baptists, are quick to give praise to well known leaders that fly the Christian banner. There is a yoking with leaders that should instead be reproofed for the open anti Biblical actions that they practice.There is often little to no discernment by Christians and churches. Christians and churches cannot be spiritual healthy when yoked with those with unsound doctrine (2 John 10-11). Time and time again the Bible warns us of false teachers within Christian churches (Jude 3, 1 John 4:1). In this post I will show that we should not praise Billy Graham or yoke with his ministry. God may have used to him bring others to Christ but that doesn't give us a free pass when it comes to testing the doctrine of others.

Graham's Yoke with Rome

For many decades Graham has yoked with the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church has a different salvation message than that of the Bible and it also promotes countless of other false doctrines. As early at 1957 Graham was directing new believers to the arms of the Roman Catholic Church. In September 21, 1957 in an interview with the San Francisco News Graham stated:
"Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic or Jewish." 
A decade later Graham received an honorary degree from Belmont Abbey College which is a Roman Catholic school. In 1980 Graham was prasing the doctrines of the pope. He stated in the Saturday Evening Post: 
"Pope John Paul II has emerged as the greatest religious leader of the modern world, and one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of the century".
In 1984 Graham's organization still didn't change their ways. They still were sending new believers into the arms of Catholic Church. In the Vancouver British Columbia crusade the vice-chairman of the organizing committee stated:
"If Catholics step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes".
Just to show you how many young Christians where being steered in the wrong direction one just needs to look at the 1987 Denver crusade. Over 500 individuals were referred to St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church. In 1996 119 Catholic parishes participated in Graham's Minneapolis, Minnesota crusade. Graham's view couldn't be more clear when in 1997 in his autobiography Just As I Am Graham states:

"We were concerned to let the Catholic bishops see that my goal was not to get people to leave their church;"

"My goal, I always made clear, was not to preach against Catholic beliefs or to proselytize people who were already committed to Christ within the Catholic Church."

Graham's Total Lack of Discernment and Sound Doctrine

One has to wonder how Graham, a man who preached very often and read the Bible, could show so little discernment. Here are just a few examples. Just read the transcript from the January 1997 Larry King Live transcript. It speaks for itself.

KING: What do you think of the other [churches] ... like Mormonism? Catholicism? Other faiths within the Christian concept?

GRAHAM: Oh, I think I have a wonderful fellowship with all of them.

KING: You’re comfortable with Salt Lake City. You’re comfortable with the Vatican?

GRAHAM: I am very comfortable with the Vatican. I have been to see the Pope several times. In fact, the night — the day that he was inaugurated, made Pope, I was preaching in his cathedral in Krakow. I was his guest ... [and] when he was over here ... in Columbia, South Carolina ... he invited me on the platform to speak with him. I would give one talk, and he would give the other ... but I was two-thirds of the way to China...

KING: You like this Pope?

GRAHAM: I like him very much. ... He and I agree on almost everything.

Here is another interview from April 2, 2005 on the Larry King Live show where Graham talks about the pope.

KING: “There is no question in your mind that he is with God now?” 
GRAHAM: “Oh, no. There may be a question about my own, but I don't think Cardinal Wojtyla, or the Pope -- I think he’s with the Lord, because he believed. He believed in the cross. That was his focus throughout his ministry, the cross, no matter if you were talking to him from personal issue or an ethical problem, he felt that there was the answer to all of our problems, the cross and the resurrection. And he was a strong believer.”

Billy Graham shows us he didn't have a stable doctrine when he told David Frost in a May 30, 1997 interview:
“I feel I belong to all the churches. I’m equally at home in an Anglican or Baptist or a Brethren Assembly or a Roman Catholic Church.
Graham shows how broad his scope of salvation reaches in an interview with the heretic Robert Schuller in May of 1997.
SCHULLER: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity? 
GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer--you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name.
And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven. 
GRAHAM: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that THEY HAVE NEVER SEEN A BIBLE OR HEARD ABOUT A BIBLE, AND NEVER HEARD OF JESUS, BUT THEY'VE BELIEVED IN THEIR HEARTS THAT THERE WAS A GOD, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.  
SCHULLER: [trips over his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says] I I'm so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.  
GRAHAM: There is. There definitely is.
Finally Graham shouldn't be called a Baptist because of his views on Baptism. Read this 1961 interview with the Lutheran Standard.
“I have some difficulty in accepting the indiscriminate baptism of infants without a careful regard as to whether the parents have any intention of fulfilling the promise they make. But I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant, particularly if the parents are Christians and teach their children Christian Truths from childhood. We cannot fully understand the miracles of God, I believe that a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christian, through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me” (Graham, interview with Wilfred Bockelman, associate editor of the Lutheran Standard, American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Standard, October 10, 1961).

For more information I recommended the free short book Billy Graham's Sad Disobedience by David Cloud.

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