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Section 10...  Ecumenism

 

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Billy-Graham
 

Billy Graham

Carol Brooks

William Franklin Graham, Jr. born on November 7, 1918, an ordained Southern Baptist and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), has often been considered the best known, best loved and most influential evangelical for the approximately 50 years he has been in the public forum. For many of those years he has remained, according to polls, one of the 10 most admired men in the United States.   Billy Graham has been a spiritual adviser to several U.S. presidents, with George W. Bush crediting the Reverend for helping him with his personal conversion. A June 1999 Time Magazine article called him our leading religious revivalist for almost exactly 50 years and said he “served as the nation's spiritual counselor”. Adding...

    “Eisenhower and Kennedy began the tradition of consulting the evangelist, but Johnson, Nixon and Ford intensified the fashion that concluded with Bush's naming him "America's pastor."” [1]

There is little doubt as to Graham’s far-reaching influence...

    “Graham's magazine, Decision, reaches 1.7 million people, his column appears in more than 100 newspapers, his radio program is on 700 stations worldwide, and several of his books have been best-sellers. (Angels, published in 1975, sold one million copies in just 90 days.) Graham has reportedly preached to over 200 million people and once claimed that precisely 2,874,082 of them have stepped forward to "accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior" (11/15/93, Time magazine)”. [2]

In the above mentioned article, Time Magazine made the following statement which admirably sums up one aspect of the life and ministry of the most renowned evangelist of them all, a side that is all too often lacking in today’s so called Christian leaders.. .

    “… there have been no scandals, financial or sexual, to darken Graham's mission. His sincerity, transparent and convincing, cannot be denied. He is an icon essential to a country in which, for two centuries now, religion has been not the opiate but the poetry of the people.  [1]

However Billy Graham is not getting any younger and has been plagued by several health problems. He has all but retired. At the age of 87 and in poor health, Billy Graham no longer appears in public. He and his wife, Ruth, have retired to their house a small mountain in Montreat, N.C, which they have lived in for 50 years where he, according to his daughter Anne Graham Lotz, spends his days

    “talking to his friends, reading newspapers, seeing visitors almost every day, and spending time with his wife, Ruth, and family”. [3]

His last crusade, in June  2005, in New York city was attended by a reported 250,000 people over three days, which was the first time I sat up and really paid any real attention to Billy Graham. I have obviously been aware of him for many years.  I had read a couple of his books, heard him on television once or twice and was aware that he was about to conduct his last crusade. But He had never really made any serious inroads into my consciousness until the day that Bill and Hillary shared the podium with him in New York, at what was supposed to be his last Christian Crusade. (I do not share others enthusiasm for the word, which carries unpleasant connotations).

According to an August 2005 article in the New Yorker, Graham acknowledged his ‘special guests’ by saying  ...

    "They're a great couple," and then recalled a remark he'd once made about the Clintons when they were in the White House. "I felt when he left the Presidency he should be an evangelist, because he has all the gifts--and he'd leave his wife to run the country." At which Hillary reportedly turned to her husband and slapped him a high five. [4]

Bill and Hilary Clinton? Was he kidding or was I hearing things? Since this is not meant to be a critique of the Clintons, I will forgo the sordid details. Suffice to say Bill Clinton dragged the Presidency to its lowest level since Watergate, abusing his position as president, lying countless times, perjuring himself under oath, betraying his wife and disgracing his office. Not exactly the epitome of a fine upstanding citizen, leave alone living up the holiness Christians are called to.

Graham Paul CrouchI began to do a little digging and one of the first articles I read about the Crusade on the Fox News site, said…

    “Religious experts say Graham has garnered such a following and made such a mark on the world in large part because he managed to reach out not only to other, non-Evangelical Christians but also to people of different faiths. He's a person who transcends the categories we try to inflict on people in theology," said Harvey Cox, a professor of divinity at Harvard University. "Certainly he belongs within the Evangelical camp, but he's an exemplary Christian figure as a statesman. He has never been exclusivist in his views."

    In fact, he's always made a point of including Christians of all denominations in the planning of his mass events, in spite of harsh criticism by some of his colleagues for doing it. And because of his ability to cross over lines that divide, New York is a particularly fitting place for his last crusade.

    "Here in New York, not only is there a mixture of ethnic backgrounds, but a mixture of problems," Graham said this week. "But I think in this country we are still together as Americans. We're proud of that. Thank God we have the freedoms we do. Thank God for all these people."” [5]

In the years that it has taken to build this site I have been disappointed many many times with the discovery that many Christian leaders who I once looked up to, actually had feet of clay. And please.. before you write me, loudly asserting that “no one is perfect”. I already know this.. But I hope it is not too much to ask of a church leader that they believe and teach sound doctrine.  At least regarding the primary doctrines that have much bearing on salvation. [See Salvation]

But not Billy Graham! Surely America’s most famous preacher could not be crossing over lines that divide.  Surely Fox News was just being Fox News and I could discount much of what they said… However in an article entitled Pilgrim’s Progress (in the August 14, 2006 issue of Newsweek) Billy Graham made these rather damning statements on Page 2 and 3 respectively...

    "There are many things that I don't understand," he says. He does not believe that Christians need to take every verse of the Bible literally; "sincere Christians," he says, "can disagree about the details of Scripture and theology—absolutely."

    "I'm not a literalist in the sense that every single jot and tittle is from the Lord," Graham says. "This is a little difference in my thinking through the years." He has, then, moved from seeing every word of Scripture as literally accurate to believing that parts of the Bible are figurative—a journey that began in 1949, when a friend challenged his belief in inerrancy during a conference in southern California's San Bernardino Mountains.

See  Inspiration of the Bible

A discordant note was beginning to sound, which this section of the article on Page 5 did nothing to quiet…

    "A unifying theme of Graham's new thinking is humility. He is sure and certain of his faith in Jesus as the way to salvation. When asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or secular people, though, Graham says: "Those are decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won't ... I don't want to speculate about all that. I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have." Such an ecumenical spirit may upset some Christian hard-liners, but in Graham's view, only God knows who is going to be saved: "As an evangelist for more than six decades, Mr. Graham has faithfully proclaimed the Bible's Gospel message that Jesus is the only way to Heaven," says Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross. "However, salvation is the work of Almighty God, and only he knows what is in each human heart." [6].

But what is really alarming  is that the comments in the Newsweek article do not seem to be a a temporary aberration, the result, perhaps, of a mind clouded by age and illness, but rather represent a long standing view. Over 25 years ago Billy Graham was quoted as saying..

     “I used to believe that pagans in far countries were lost if they did not have the gospel of Christ preached to them.. I no longer believe that.” [7].

Just as his liking for the Clintons was reflected in early 1997 in his book Just As I Am.

    “The previous day, President Clinton called and asked me to stop by the White House. We ended up spending much of the afternoon together, talking not only about the past and current events, but also about the Bible and what it says about God's plan for our lives. It was a warm fellowship with a man who has not always won the approval of his fellow Christians but who has in his heart a desire to serve God and do His will”. (Page 656).

USA Today had this to say

    Today, as many fundamentalists and traditionalists refuse to share podiums with people who don't share their exact vision of salvation, Graham opens his events to Christians of every stripe. More than 1,300 Protestant and Catholic churches are sponsoring the June 24-26 event in Flushing Meadow. [8].

I am afraid that I am one of those fundamentalists who take the instructions in the Word of God seriously and wish so called ‘Christian’ leaders would do so as well. As I type, the name Rick Warren springs to mind, being one of those so called Christians who shares podiums with and endorses books by seemingly anyone, without regard to their beliefs. But there again I should not be surprised as Warren’s theology itself falls short in any number of areas. Since I do not wish to digress from the topic at hand I invite the reader to See This Page on Warren

Turning to the Christian sites I read the following statement which admirably sums up the questions that were now rearing their ugly heads...

    “Former President Bush called Graham "America's pastor." Harry Truman called him a "counterfeit" and publicity seeker. Pat Boone considers him "the greatest man since Jesus." Still another says Graham "has done more harm to the cause of Christ than any other living man."” Who's correct?” [9]
     

So the question to be asked is
Has he done untold good or untold harm to the cause of Christ than any other living man?
 

Consider the seriousness of the article. Newsweek is one of the most widely read news magazines in the world and will draw more attention than all the one-liners buried on page 26 of a Christian magazine put together.

And how should we judge the speaker?

    “..as conservative evangelicals, we must be consistent in our criticism of those who error from biblical truth. Were the comments Graham made to come from the mouths of a confessing liberal, we would unequivocally denounce those statements without apology. Yet for some reason when someone of such high repute (and I sincerely mean that – Graham is one of the most well-respected and honorable men no doubt), we tend to let them say whatever they want without public criticism. This is a tragic but truthful reality. We must be honest, transparent, and up front, even when it means admonishing someone much holier than I/we would ever be”.  [10]
     

The Connections..

Peale and Schuller
Two of Billy Graham’s endorsements concern me very much. And again, since this is not a critique of these two men, I have kept the details to a minimum. But it has to be said that they are probably two of the most apostate men in the ‘Christian’ world.

1) Norman Vincent Peale
Billy Graham has been quoted as saying

    "I don't know anyone who has done more for the kingdom of God than Norman and Ruth Peale, or have meant any more in my life -- the encouragement they have given me" [11].

    Another day we had lunch with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and his wife, Ruth; his preaching on 'the power of positive thinking' had made him familiar to millions. Mrs. Peale did a magnificent job heading up the women's prayer groups for the Crusade, and Dr. Peale was warmly supportive of the meetings. Although our emphasis in preaching differed, I found him a deeply committed believer with a genuine concern that men and women give their lives to Christ. [12]

Yet in a television interview with Phil Donahue in 1984, Peale said:

    "It's not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine...I've been to Shinto shrines; and God is everywhere."

 An amazing statement from a man Billy Graham calls “a deeply committed believer”. I have no idea what Peale’s Bible says. but mine quite definitely has Jesus making the statement

    "...Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Following are a few points from varied sources.

    “Peale called the virgin birth `some theological idea' of no importance to salvation [13].

    On March 28, 1980, Dr. Peale was the featured speaker at an 85th birthday dinner honoring Mormon prophet speaker Spencer W. Kimball. The official Mormon newspaper reported that Brigham Young University bestowed an honorary degree on Dr. Peale [Church News, February 9, 1980, p. 11].

    Included on the same page was a transcription of a radio address Peale made on April 27, 1975, when Dr. Peale "received a blessing" from Prophet Kimball. In this radio address Peale said that he had been struggling with a difficulty for several weeks. While speaking in Salt Lake City he was invited "to be received by the President of the Church." After lauding the "righteous" Mormon church, Peale said, "I met with these men of God... these three dedicated Christian leaders (Mormon first presidency) I felt he [Kimball] was so spiritual." Peale then related how the three leaders laid hands on him and prayed. Peale stated "Sir, He is here, I feel His presence," (emphasis mine). [14]

    Although the name Norman Vincent Peale is known to much of the world thanks to his best selling book The Power of Positive Thinking and the ever popular Guideposts magazine, it is unlikely that many people have really delved into Peale’s beliefs. He was the father of the positive-thinking, self-esteem gospel, an unholy mixture of humanistic psychology, eastern religion, and the Bible that has almost taken over the Christian world and has even made deep inroads into fundamentalist churches. Peale believed that man has the ability to tap into a higher power within himself, to accomplish whatever he desires by learning how to visualize it into reality.

    He was also a 33rd degree Mason who rejected the Christian doctrine of sin, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and justification by faith alone in the merits of Christ, whose theology had little to do with Christianity, because it had little to do with sin and redemption. Instead he believed that human beings are saved by developing their inner potential.

    In fact Peale’s entire theology came from occult sources.. He actually “credits his theology of positive thinking to Ernest Holmes, founder of New Age/Occult Church of Religious Science”, saying on the back cover of Holmes’ book... Science of Mind, sometimes known as one of the greatest New Thought books ever written

      ”I believe God was in this man, Ernest Holmes. He was in tune with the Infinite.”

[See Roots of Evil and Article On Norman Vincent Peale]
 

2) Robert Schuller
An endorsement of Robert Schuller by Billy Graham appears on the back cover of Robert Schuller's 1985 edition of Self-Esteem: The New Reformation (first published in 1982) along with the endorsement of W. Clement Stone who is on Schuller's international board of directors. Billy Graham also

    “…advised Schuller, back in 1969, to start his "Hour of Power" television show. In 1972, Graham made Schuller a leader in his Anaheim Crusade, saying, "There is no one in all the world I love in Christ more than I do Bob Schuller. ... He has done some of the greatest things for the Kingdom of God of any man in our generation" [16].

Graham made a personal appearance on Schuller's 1000th anniversary program (aired 4/2/89), relating how he had encouraged Schuller 20 years earlier when he said,

    "Bob, why don't you think of telecasting your services."

[Graham spoke at Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in 1985, and the two men came up with a joint definition of "born again" as "a decision to stop carrying your own luggage" (Paul Harvey's report, 7/15/85).]” [17]

Schuller reinterprets the doctrines of the Word of God to conform with his self-esteem philosophy. His Christ is a Jesus who provides men with self-esteem. Schuller's gospel is the replacement of negative self concepts with positive ones. To Schuller, sin is merely the lack of self-esteem. To Schuller, the greatest evil is to call men sinners in a Biblical fashion and thereby injure their self-esteem. Schuller is a universalist who believes that all people are the children of God. His goal is to help each person understand and enjoy this "fact." Bottom line, Schuller's message is that there is no need for one to recognize his own personal sin, no need for repentance, and no need for the crucifixion of self. In fact, concerning the latter point, Schuller teaches just the opposite philosophy -- that self is to be exalted -- which is nothing less than an outright denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: [17] [See Repentance.. The Missing Message]

Schuller's Crystal Cathedral has hosted workshops for A Course In Miracles, a blatantly New Age human-potential course along with other New Age teachers, some on his Hour of Power television program. As recently as 2003 he plugged psychiatrist Jerry Jampolsky as having ‘found’ God, Neglecting to mention that Jampolsky found "God" through A Course In Miracles, or that  Jampolsky's book, Love is Letting Go of Fear, is completely based on the teachings of A Course In Miracles. On the dedication page of his book he thanks the authors of A Course In Miracles stating that his book was based on their work.

[See Roots of Evil and  Article on Robert Schuller]
 

The Catholic Connection
This site has an large section on Catholicism. Few people to day are willing to go as far as to classify Catholicism as a cult but when the word cult is defined, Catholicism fits the bill.. perfectly. [See A Cult is a Cult]

Yet Billy Graham had this to say:

    “I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance....We only differ on some matters of later church tradition” [18].

And

    “This past week I preached in a great Catholic Cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mind who was a Catholic [publisher James Strohn Copley], and they had several bishops and archbishops to participate, and as I sat there going through the funeral Mass, that was a very beautiful thing and certainly straight and clear in the gospel, I believe, there was a wonderful little priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do.” [19].

Most people do not seem to realize that the Church teaches that the Mass is a real and true sacrifice, that a prime function of the Catholic priesthood is to offer sacrifice, that an altar is a place of sacrifice, and that the word host is from the Latin word hostia, meaning sacrificial victim. All of which was reiterated by Vatican II. (See The Catholic Mass)

    “Hence the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, is at the same time and inseparably: a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated; a memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said ‘do this in memory of me’ (Lk. 22:19) … In the Mass, therefore, the sacrifice and sacred meal belong to the same mystery, so much so that they are linked by the closest bond. For in the sacrifice of the Mass Our Lord is immolated when ‘he begins to be present sacramentally as the spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine.’ … For in it Christ perpetuates in an unbloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross, offering himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests” [20]

Billy Graham has put a stamp of approval on the false gospel preached by the Roman Catholic church.  When he

     “..includes Catholics in his evangelistic crusades and sends inquirers to Catholic churches, those looking on are made to think that Roman Catholicism must be true Christianity. When evangelical leaders fellowship with Rome, a climate is created whereby it is very difficult to preach that Catholics need to be saved and leave their false “church.” Ecumenical evangelicals break down the walls between truth and error and muddy the waters of gospel work” [9]


Just As I Am
Billy Graham’s autobiography, "Just As I Am," (Harper San Francisco. April 30, 1997) published in 1997, achieved a "triple crown," appearing simultaneously on the three top best-seller lists in one week. The Editorial Review of Just as I am on Amazon.com says this..

    “In this memoir, Graham looks back at age 78 on his lifetime of personal relationships, ministry, leadership, and experiences. He chronicles such events and stories as his boyhood in North Carolina, his first steps in ministry, details of evangelistic trips and revivals, and meetings with world and local leaders. There are 35 pages of photos, four pages outlining all his crusades from 1947 to 1996, a list of all his books, and a 15-page index of names and places. Graham concludes his memoir with a look at the lessons he has learned in the course of his work. His honesty in describing the toll that his travels placed on his family and his ready willingness to credit the many who added to his journey make this both a heartwarming and memorable reflection….” Leroy Hommerding, Citrus Cty. Lib. System, Beverly Hills, Fla.

All of which I am sure are true, however Just as I Am also contains some exceptionally unsettling statements.

For example

    "He [Willis Haymaker*] would also call on the local Catholic bishop or other clerics to acquaint them with Crusade plans and invite them to the meetings; they would usually appoint a priest to attend and report back. This was years before Vatican II's openness to Protestants, but we were concerned to let the Catholic bishops see that my goal was not to get people to leave their church; rather, I wanted them to commit their lives to Christ." (Page 163, emphasis added)

*Willis Haymaker was the front man who would go into cities and make all the arrangements necessary to for the crusades.

    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. Rather, it was to proclaim the Gospel to all those who had never truly committed their lives to Christ. (Page 357) (emphasis added)

    I was grateful for the statement one U.S. Catholic newspaper made as it reviewed our first South American trip: 'Never once, at least in our memory, has [Billy Graham] attacked the Catholic Church. . . . (Page 368. Parenthesis in original)

    We also suspected, with some justification, that some of the hard-line Communist officials hoped to use an American Protestant evangelist to weaken the strong authority of the Roman Catholic Church. If so, it was a naive hope; I would not have done or said anything that might be taken as anti-Catholic. (Page 482. Referring to a Trip to Poland). (emphasis added)

In a January 1997 interview with Midwest Today, (January 1997) called A Conversation With Billy Graham one question and answer was ..

    Q. You talked about emphasizing more the love and mercy of God in the later years of your ministry. Can you tell us a little bit about how that applies to people of other faiths?

    A. Well, you know when I was growing up and after I came to Christ in the beginning of my life and went to school, I didn't know much about Catholics; I didn't know much about Lutherans; and people who were more ritualistic in their worship.

    Through the years I have been thrown [together] with them and have a great many friends in the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, when we go to a city now nearly all of the Roman Catholic churches support it. When we went to Minneapolis for the crusade -- St. Paul, which is next door joined with Minneapolis, it 's largely Catholic and Minneapolis is largely Lutheran -- they all supported the crusade, which wouldn't have happened 25 years ago. But it does today.

    The same is true with the Eastern Orthodox churches, because when I went to Russia, long before Communism fell, I was the guest of the Orthodox church. [20B]

Bishop Fulton L. Sheen
In Billy Graham’s words

    “One whom I have yet to mention - and with whom I felt a special affinity - was Roman Catholic preacher Bishop Fulton L. Sheen”. [21].

In regard to the first time Billy Graham met the Bishop (on a train from Washington to New York) he said ..

    “I was in my pajamas, but I was delighted to see him and invited him in. We talked about our ministries and our common commitment to evangelism, and I told him how grateful I was for his ministry and his focus on Christ”. [22] (Emphasis Added)

In Fulton Sheen’s  book Treasure in Clay, he said that one of his spiritual secrets was to offer Mass every Saturday “in honor of the Blessed Mother to solicit her protection of my priesthood.” Sheen devoted an entire chapter of his biography to Mary, “The Woman I Love.” He said,

    “When I was ordained, I took a resolution to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist every Saturday to the Blessed Mother ... All this makes me very certain that when I go before the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will say to me in His Mercy: ‘I heard My Mother speak of you.’ During my life I have made about thirty pilgrimages to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and about ten to her shrine in Fatima” [23].

Pope John Paul
Graham narrates his first visit with the pope describing their relationship as cordial.Graham Pope

    “When we left Hungary, we set off on a brief trip to the Vatican. Years before, I had visited the city-state as a tourist, but on this trip I was to be received by Pope John Paul II, my first visit with a pope. As I was ushered into his quarters, Pope John Paul II greeted me, and we shook hands warmly. I found him extremely cordial and very interested in our ministry, especially in his homeland. After only a few minutes, I felt as if we had known each other for many years.

    He also expressed great delight at the small gift I had brought him, a woodcarving of a shepherd with his sheep, done by a North Carolina craftsman. We recalled together Jesus' words in John 10:14,16. . . . In turn the pope gave me a medallion commemorating his papacy and several magnificently bound volumes”. [24]

And further

    “I was asked by Pope John Paul II to participate with him during that same time period in an unprecedented ecumenical service of worship during his visit to Colombia, South Carolina. It was not to be a Mass but a service of Scripture, prayer, and preaching. I was to speak on the subject of the family”.

    “I was looking forward to that event, especially since the pope and I had a cordial relationship”

In the above mentioned interview with Midwest Today, (in January 1997) called A Conversation With Billy Graham he was asked

    Q. You've had an audience with Pope John Paul II?

    A. The first time I dined with him, we were sitting across the table, and he reached out and touched my hand and said, "We are brothers."

So whatever happened to “contending for the faith”??
 

Billy Graham Believes The Late Pope John Paul Went To Heaven

    Billy Graham said the late Pope was “the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world in the last 100 years.”

    Larry 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.” [25] [Also See Death of A Pope]

In the words of David Cloud

    “This is a most amazing statement by the man who is considered the world’s foremost evangelist. Graham expresses less than certainty about his own salvation but complete certainty about the Pope’s, even though he preached a false gospel of grace mixed with works and sacraments and put his trust in Mary as his intercessor. Graham should know that John Paul II did not believe in the cross in any scriptural sense. Rather he believed in the cross PLUS baptism PLUS the mass PLUS confession to a priest PLUS the saints, and above all PLUS Mary. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Romans 11:6). “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Gal. 1:6)”. [26]

In view of the above comments it is hardly surprising that Billy Graham’s meetings and crusades were not only endorsed and partially sponsored by Catholic Churches but that the names of hundred of converts were turned over to Catholic churches. This has been extensively documented by Way of Life Literature, and shows an enduring pattern over many years.. Some examples are

    Sept. 21, 1957, Graham said in an interview with the San Francisco News, “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish.

    In 1983, The Florida Catholic (Sept. 2, 1983) reported of the Orlando crusade: “Names of Catholics who had made decisions for Christ were provided at that meeting by Rick Marshall of the Graham organization.” The report said the names of 600 people had been turned over to the Catholic Church.

    In 1984, at the Vancouver, British Columbia crusade, the vice-chairman of the organizing committee, David Cline of Bringhouse United Church, said, “If Catholic step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes” (Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5, 1984).

    In 1987 a Catholic priest, Donald Willette of St. Jude’s Church, was a supervisor of the counselors for the Denver crusade. Willette reported that from one service alone 500 cards of individuals were referred to St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Englewood, a suburb of Denver (Wilson Ewin, Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990s).

    In 1989, Michael Seed, Ecumenical Advisor to (Catholic) Cardinal Hume, said of Graham’s London crusade: “Those who come forward for counseling during a Mission evening in June, if they are Roman Catholic, will be directed to a Roman Catholic ‘nurture-group’ under Roman Catholic counselors in their home area” (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II, p. 35).

    By September 1992, the Catholic archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, had set a goal to supply many of counselors needed for the Graham crusade. All Catholics responding to the altar call were channeled to Catholic churches.

    June 27-30, 2002: Billy Graham’s crusade in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 27-30, 2002, included full participation of the Roman Catholic Church. In preparation for the crusade, five Catholic parishes -- Our Lady of Lourdes in Westwood, Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenhills, Our Lady of the Rosary and Guardian Angels in Cincinnati, and Trinity Center in Dayton -- presented week-long courses to prepare Catholic counselors to deal with those who came forward in response to Graham’s invitations. According to Curtis Kneblik, assistant director of evangelization for the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Dayton, invitations were sent out to 9,000 Catholics to request their participation in this training, and hundreds responded. Priest Charles Bowes told his parish that the Graham mission was a “golden opportunity to evangelize Catholics and to help our parish…” (The Catholic Telegraph, May 10, 2002).

    November 2004 : The Billy Graham organization preparing for the November 2004 crusade in Los Angeles, California, promised the Roman Catholic archdiocese that Catholics will not be “proselytized.” A letter from Cardinal Roger Mahony, dated October 6, 2004, and posted at the archdiocese web site, stated: “When the Crusade was held in other locations, many Catholics responded to Dr. Graham’s message and came forward for Christ. Crusade officials expect the same for the Los Angeles area. These officials have assured me that, IN KEEPING WITH DR. GRAHAM’S BELIEF AND POLICY, THERE WILL BE NO PROSELYTIZING, AND THAT ANYONE IDENTIFYING HIM OR HERSELF AS CATHOLIC WILL BE REFERRED TO US for reintegration into the life of the Catholic Church. We must be ready to welcome them.” [27]
     

The Mormons
In a January 1997 interview with Larry King, Graham said that he has wonderful fellowship with Rome, is comfortable with the Vatican, and agrees with the Pope on almost everything. (All Emphasis Added)

    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.

In an interview with Larry King on June 16th 2005, King asked.. [28]

    KING: Are you forgiving of the infirmities of other people?
    GRAHAM: Absolutely. I am. I mean, I . . .

    KING: Isn't that hard?
    GRAHAM: . . . try to forgive. I never hold a grudge. In fact, many people say that I never get angry. I don't think I get angry. But maybe I do sometimes, but I keep it. I don't explode to anybody.

    KING: Do you feel the same about other faiths?
    GRAHAM: Absolutely.

    KING: Buddhism?
    GRAHAM: I love them all, and welcome them all, and love to be with them, and friends with all of them. For example, I just talked to a man in New York City, he was a Mormon.

    KING: My father-in-law.
    GRAHAM: Your father-in-law. And I've loved the Mormons for years, and yet there is a big divide between the Mormons and some of the other groups. But I have great friends among the Mormons. And the same among the Catholics. Of course, I loved Pope John Paul II and watched the whole process of his suffering, his dying and the tremendous -- my daughter went to represent me . . .

    KING: I know. You were on with us the night he died.
    GRAHAM: That's right. Thank you.

    KING: But what about those faiths -- the Mormons and the others that you mentioned -- believe in Christ. They believe they will meet Christ. What about those like the Jews, the Muslims, who don't believe as you believe.
    GRAHAM: That's in God's hands. I can't be their judge.

    KING: You don't judge them?
    GRAHAM: No. No, I don't say you're going to hell, and you're, oh, I don't.
     

 (See Christian Exclusivism Explained and Defended)

     

Homosexuality
At San Francisco Crusade, 1997 Billy Graham stated:

    “There are other sins. Why do we jump on that sin [homosexuality] as though it’s the greatest sin?...What I want to preach about in San Francisco is the love of God. People need to know that God loves them no matter what their ethnic background or sexual orientation. I have so many gay friends, and we remain friends” [29]

While it is absolutely true at homosexuality is not the “greatest sin”, it is equally true that there are umpteen Biblical passages against homosexuality, starting with Leviticus 18:22. To claim one has gay friends and do nothing to try and save them is not being a friend. It is condoning behaviour which the Bible says is unacceptable, a sin that will commit the doer to hell. [See Section on Homosexuality


Baptism
In an interview with Patricia Rice of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on October 10, 1999, Billy Graham said..

    “Baptism is very important because Jesus taught that we are to believe and to be baptized. But that is up to the individual and the church that they feel led to go to. The churches have different teachings on that. I know that in the Lutheran or the Episcopal or Catholic Church it is a very strong point, and in the Baptist church. But there are some churches that would not insist on baptism. So, I give them the freedom to teach what they want. I am not a professor. I am not a theologian. I’m a simple proclaimer. … I’m announcing the news that God loves you and that you can be forgiven of your sins. And you can go to heaven. My job from God is not to do all these other things. … I am not a pastor of a church. That’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to preach the gospel to everyone and let them choose their own church, whether it is Catholic or Protestant or orthodox or whatever it is”.

Also

    “I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant....We cannot fully understand the mysteries of God, but I believe 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” [30]. [See Baptism]


The Alpha Course
An article which appeared originally in International Alpha New s(March 2000 but is now in the Alpha archives is entitled [31]

    “Billy Graham has invited Alpha leader Nicky Gumbel to speak at a major conference he is organising in Amsterdam, Netherlands, this July”.

And goes on to say

    “Mr Gumbel has been asked to speak at a workshop on the Alpha course at the conference, to be attended by 10,000 evangelists from around the world. Mr Graham wrote, “Your experience and expertise as a leader will be a great asset to the conference, and participants will gain invaluable knowledge and insight from the content of the workshop.”” [See The Alpha Course]


America
“…asked whether God has forsaken America, Graham's answer is fast and firm: "Noooo!" His reply stands on faith.

    "The Lord said, 'I will never forsake you.' No matter how sinful we are, how bad we are, God loves us. At least from my point of view, I believe he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us because he loves us and he doesn't have any termination to that love." [32].

The promise in Hebrews of never forsaking us is sandwiched between being content with the things we have and not fearing what man can do to us. It is in the larger context of an exhortation to Christian and can not possibly apply to an apostate nation that America has become. On the contrary The Bible teaches that when a nation under judgment refuses to repent, it will ultimately reach a point where God will deliver it from judgment to wrath. From discipline to doom. [See Section Our Country Our Children]


The Templeton Prize
Billy Graham was awarded and accepted the Templeton prize in 1982 (Bill Bright won it in 1996 and Charles Colson in 1993), Sir John Templeton, after whom the award is named, happens to serve on the Parliament of World Religion's Board of Trustees and has been closely linked to the Rockefeller family fortune. Along with being the donor of the Templeton Prize, Sir John established The Templeton Foundation in 1987. The foundation serves as an umbrella for a wide assortment of interfaith activities, currently funding more than 150 projects, studies, award programs and publications worldwide. (John Templeton Foundation, "General Information" [33].

 The first Templeton Prize, awarded in 1973, went to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. 34 Recipients since that time have included Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India and Oxford Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics (1975); Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens, Archbishop of Malines-Brussles and a pioneer in the Charismatic Renewal Movement (1976); Nikkyo Niwano, A Japanese Buddhist leader (1979); Rev. Professor Stanley L. Jaki, a Benedictine monk and Professor of Astrophysics at Seton Hall University (1987); Dr. Inamullah Khan, Founder and Secretary-General of the Modern World Muslim Congress and a Vice President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association [see WCPA letterhead, Exhibit O-1 in Chapter 7], (1988); Baba Amte, a wealthy Hindu lawyer/humanitarian (1990); The Rt. Hon. Lord Jakobovits, former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth (1991); and Pandurang Shastri Athavale, founder and leader of the Bhagavad Gita-based self-study known as Swadhayaya - which incorporates self-worship (1997).

See More on John Templeton and The Templeton Award
 


Amsterdam
While I am no fan of John MacArthur, he rightly asks the question

     “How can you have the Amsterdam meeting over there; that great convocation of evangelists sponsored by the Billy Graham organization; the opening prayer was by a Roman Catholic and one of the messages by [the] Archbishop of Canterbury who denies that Jesus rose from the dead? How do you embrace all of that and call it Christianity?”

    “George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, is another example of the ecumenical confusion at Amsterdam 2000. Carey is the head of the Anglican and Episcopal churches, and as such he is in close fellowship with every sort of heresy and moral abomination. There are thousands of homosexual Anglicans, many of whom boldly march in public to demand their "rights." There are many homosexual "clergy" within the Anglican denominations. Many Anglican clergy deny and question the virgin birth, vicarious atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Carey has no business speaking to a group of evangelists who claim to be faithful to the Bible, yet he was one of the key speakers at Amsterdam. It is not surprising that Carey said that he recognizes "all Trinitarian bodies of Christ are legitimate expressions of Christ’s body." That means that he believes the Roman Catholic Church is a true church of Jesus Christ. He went on to say that Evangelicals and Catholics, "have so much in common," and he encouraged ecumenical dialogue. To the contrary, the Apostle Paul said that all who preach a false gospel are cursed of God (Galatians 1), and this is true regardless of whether or not they believe in the doctrine of the Trinity”. [34]

The Doctrine of the Trinity
The doctrine of the trinity is one of mainstream Christianity's most universally accepted and hallowed doctrines held sacrosanct by Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox believers alike. From about the 4th century AD, the standard position of the church is that the trinity is only one God, who exists as three distinct, but equal, Persons. Although most people cannot wrap their heads around, much less explain, the concept of the trinity, the vast majority of Christians believe it to be an unassailable and inviolable doctrine that comes straight from the pages of Scripture itself. But is this true? When non-Christians hold to the beliefs they may have held from their childhood, we urge them to examine the evidence for themselves. Yet Christians rarely seem to take their own advice, seemingly unwilling to even consider that any of the doctrines they have unquestioningly accepted may not conform to what the Bible teaches. Pl note that challenging the doctrine of the Trinity does not mean challenging the Divinity of Christ and it does not mean challenging the Divinity of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament abounds with much proof of the deity of Jesus Christ, and Acts 5:3-4 is more than enough to clinch the issue of the Holy Spirit being God. Although the Bible definitively points to a plurality in the Godhead, there is absolutely no evidence that the Holy Spirit is the 'third person of the trinity'... a co-equal member of the Godhead.

    Conclusion:
    “I applaud Graham for his integrity through the years, his passion to preach, and his humility which has exuded from his interactions with other people. By far, he is one of the most respected men in the world. Yet, all that does not excuse him from his recent comments nor does it eclipse the glaring problems with his theology and methodology. I know it sounds like I am coming down hard, but I believe there are certain issues and certain times when it is necessary. As I have stated, my admiration for him on the areas I mentioned still stand while I strongly disagree with him on some of the most essential, non-negotiable matters of the Christian faith. This is one case where moderation simple won’t stand”. [35]

    I could not have said it better myself, however the above statement does not go far enough. Billy Graham has often been pointed to as one of the leading influences on the New Ecumenism…  Which is a sad commentary on America’s Pastor”.


    End Notes
    [1] http://www.time.com/time/time100/heroes/profile/graham01.html

    [2] http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/graham/general.htm

    [3] http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/11/earlyshow/living/main770774_page2.shtml

    [4] The Big Tent Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, and the transformation of American evangelicalism. by Peter J. Boyer.
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/08/22/050822fa_fact_boyer

    [5]Catherine Donaldson-Evans. Billy Graham Holding Last Event In The U.S
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,160557,00.html

    [6] Pilgrim’s Progress. August 14, 2006 Newsweek Online

    [7] I Cant’ Play God Any More. McCall’s, January, 1978

    [8] Cathy Lynn Grossman . The gospel of Billy Graham: Inclusion

    [9] http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/graham/general.htm

    [10] Timmy Brister. Moore About Billy Graham.
    http://timmybrister.com/2006/08/29/moore-about-billy-graham/

    [11] speech at a National Council of Churches luncheon on 12/6/66 quoted by Bible for Today (Hayes Minnick, BFT Report #565, p. 28)

    [12] Billy Graham’s autobiography Just As I Am, Page 315

    [13] Family Weekly, April 15, 1984, Cover Story

    [14] http://www.watchman.org/reltop/peale.htm

    [15] http://www.watchman.org/reltop/peale.htm

    [16] David Beale, S.B.C. House on the Sand, p. 144

    [17] http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/graham/general.htm

    [18] I Cant’ Play God Any More,” McCall’s, Jan. 1978. p. 158

    [19] Billy Graham, Church League of America, p. 84. October 21, 1973

    [20] Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Introduction, C 1,2, p. 108. Cited In Billy Graham And Rome - PART 6 By David Cloud. Way Of Life. http://www.wayoflife.org/database/grahamandrome.html

    [20B] http://www.midtod.com/9612/billygraham.phtml

    [21] Billy Graham’s autobiography Just As I Am. Page 692

    [22] Billy Graham’s autobiography Just As I Am. Pages 692-693

    [23] Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay, p. 317. Quoted in Billy Graham And Rome - Part 2. Way of Life Literature

    [24] Just As I Am Pages 488-489

    [25] Larry King Live aired April 2, 2005

    [26] David W. Cloud. http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fbns/fbns15.html

    [27] Billy Graham's Disobedience To The Word Of God. http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fbns/fbns15.html

    [28] http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/fbns/fbns15.html

    [29] “Graham Welcomes Gays at San Francisco,” Christian News, Oct. 20, 1997, p. 7

    [30] A Lutheran Looks at Billy Graham, Oct. 10, 1961, p. 12

    [31] http://alpha.org/runningacourse/news/2000/03/billygraham.htm

    [32] USA Today.. The gospel of Billy Graham: Inclusion. Cathy Lynn Grossman

    [33] http://www.templeton.org/about.asp#4 [accessed September 16, 1998

    [34] Ecumenical Confusion And Deception At Graham Conference.
    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/ecumenicalconfusion.htm

    [35] Timmy Brister. The Billy Graham School of Ecumenism. http://timmybrister.com

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