- Billy Graham (born in 1918) has Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous disorder that has already made it impossible for him to drive a car or write by hand. Graham, an ordained Southern Baptist (SBC), heads a $100 million a year evangelistic empire, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) (Graham is now paid $101,250 per year with a $33,750 housing allowance.) The BGEA also operates a 1,500 acre training center, "The Cove," located in Asheville, North Carolina. The Cove was started in 1987 and includes an inn and a Cove camp for youths ages 9-15. Approximately 5-10,000 adults are trained there annually in Graham-style evangelism.
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). 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? Read on and judge for yourself.
- In 1995, Billy Graham's prodigal son Franklin, was named first vice chairman and eventual successor to his father's crusade organization. Billy Graham will remain chairman and head preacher as long as he is able. Franklin wears jeans, boots, denim shirt, and leather jacket. He was a teen rebel who drank, smoked, fought, and led police on high-speed chases. He was kicked out of LeTourneau College. He will continue as director of Samaritan's Purse and World Medical Mission, both social gospel organizations.
Early in June 1996, Franklin Graham, interviewed on CNBC, declared, "[W]hether it's the Roman Catholic Church ... the Orthodox Church ...we'd all agree ... it's Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for sin." That statement was tragically deceptive. Could Franklin, like his father, be unaware that Catholicism and Orthodoxy, while using the same Biblical words as evangelicals, mean something else? Franklin Graham told the Indianapolis Star (6/3/99) that his father's longstanding ecumenical alliance with the Catholic Church and all other denominations, "was one of the smartest things his father ever did." The charismatic Charisma magazine in 10/95 contained a 7-page article on Franklin Graham. They quoted him as saying, "I thank God for the warmth I see within many of the charismatic churches -- their love for the Lord and love for the scriptures. ..." He also said, "Probably (Samaritan's Purse) largest base of support comes from the charismatic community." He has referred to "Mother" Teresa as an "example of the woman God uses" (4/1/99, Calvary Contender).
Franklin Graham is a chip off the old block, and you may be sure that he will compromise as much or more than his father. Look for little change from the current ecumenical stance of the BGEA once Franklin takes over full time -- or worse -- Franklin Graham does not use his father's word, "crusade," but uses the secular seeker-sensitive word "festival" for his meetings. His 5/99 "festival" at the University of Alabama drew 50,000. The 5/13/99 Alabama Baptist listed some Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) performers, and said "contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman had the young people rocking and singing on the coliseum floor. ..." (Source: 6/15/99, Calvary Contender.)
- Norman Vincent Peale was the person who was not only responsible for bringing "Christian" psychology into the professing Church, but he also advocated such New Age and/or occult teachings as visualization, pantheism, human potential, positive confession, positive thinking, etc. Once on the Phil Donahue Show, Peale, a 33rd degree Mason, 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." (Shintoism is an ancient Oriental religion that fuses ancestor worship with mysticism.) He also denied the necessity of believing in the virgin birth.
Peale's false teachings apparently mattered little to Billy Graham. Bible for Today quoted Graham as saying in a speech at a National Council of Churches luncheon on 12/6/66: "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" (Hayes Minnick, BFT Report #565, p. 28). (Maybe Billy meant to say that he could think of no one who had done more evil for the cause of Christ than the Peales?) Graham even once allowed Peale to give the benediction at one of his New York City rallies, and then sent the names of some 400 new "converts" to Peale's Marble Collegiate Church.
- One of Norman Vincent Peale's most "successful" prot�g�s is Robert Schuller. Schuller teaches 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. 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. (See Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, wherein Schuller says, "Jesus knew His worth; His success fed His self-esteem. He suffered the cross to sanctify His self-esteem and He bore the cross to sanctify your self-esteem. The cross will sanctify the ego trip" [cf. Matthew 16:24].)
Yet, Graham endorses this apostate as well, saying: "Robert Schuller is a great man of God, whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop and loose" (cf. John the Baptist's statement when speaking of Jesus in John 1:27!). Graham is also the one who 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" (David Beale, S.B.C. House on the Sand, p. 144). 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).]
- Cooperation with a Graham crusade will automatically necessitate fellowship with those who have denied the cardinal doctrines of the faith. For example, Graham not only has influential unbelievers on his crusade platforms, but has also had, on a regular basis since at least 1972, Catholic counselors counsel with new Roman Catholic "converts," referring these new converts back to their own Catholic churches for follow-up. In fact, Graham won't even hold a crusade in a city unless he is assured of wide denominational support (i.e., ecumenical backing). The issue then is more than the authenticity of Billy Graham's Christianity, but is instead the fact that any involvement whatsoever with Graham and/or his organization means "association for religious purposes with people who hold to another gospel: in some cases a Roman Catholic gospel, in others a modernistic gospel," and in others still, no gospel at all (R.J. Sheehan, C.H. Spurgeon and the Modern Church, pp.97-98). [Graham's habit of referring back to the Catholic Church can even be documented as far back as 1957! In a 9/21/57 interview with the San Francisco News, Graham said, "Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish." (More recently, Graham's 1994 Crusades in Minneapolis and Cleveland: 6,000 respondents at each Crusade referred back to the Catholic Church; Graham's 9/96 Charlotte, NC Crusade: 1,700 respondents referred back to the Catholic Church)]
Over the years, Catholic leaders have learned they have nothing to fear from Billy Graham crusades. They use the Graham crusades to retrieve non-practicing Catholics and even to gain proselytes to Romanism. Graham's call to "receive Christ," or "make the step of faith," or "come to Christ tonight," is general enough to allow Catholic leaders to insert their sacramental gospel into it. And the fact that Graham is working with the Catholic churches and never sounds any warnings about Romanism gives people the idea that he accepts their theology. Catholic priests simply teach the inquirers that they are born again at baptism and repeatedly renewed in Christ through all sorts of religious activities -- the mass, family duties, the rosary, even coming forward at evangelistic rallies (Wilson Ewin, The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham Into the Roman Catholic Church, pp. 38-39):
"For some unexplainable or even mysterious reason, Billy Graham is unable to discern the theological, moral, and spiritual soul of Roman Catholicism. Likewise, he has failed to grasp, or worse still, has chosen to ignore the historical character of the entire Vatican system. Instead, he has chosen to become attracted, impressed, and finally to honor and follow the Holy See. The result has been a tragic failure on his part to understand the difference between the truth of God's Word and the utter blackness of Roman Catholicism" (Ewin, p. 22).
["Early on in my life, I didn't know much about Catholics. But through the years I have made many friends within the Roman Catholic church. In fact, when we hold a crusade in a city now, nearly all the Roman Catholic churches support it. And when we went to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., for the crusade [last year], we saw St. Paul, which is largely Catholic, and Minneapolis, which is largely Lutheran, both supporting the crusade. That wouldn't have happened 25 years ago" (Billy Graham interview with Promise Keepers New Man magazine, March-April 1997).]
- The Billy Graham Crusade held 9/92 in the Portland, Oregon area is an excellent example of Graham's compromise with Rome. The Catholic Sentinel of Oregon (April 24, 1992) contained an article entitled "Counselors Recruited For Billy Graham Crusade." The Sentinel reported that 10,000 counselors were expected to attend the necessary classes, and the Roman Catholic churches had set a goal to supply 6,000 of these. The article also stated, (regarding the "decision makers"): "Those who have been baptized Catholic or express a Catholic preference will be directed to local parishes that are part of the Crusade."
Fellowship with the Catholic Church was not the only worldliness at the Crusade. The 9/13/92 Oregonian said: "Over 7,000 young Christians plugged into their source at the Graham Crusade's Power Surge youth rally Saturday night in the Portland Memorial Coliseum. With the amplifiers turned up, and the lights turned down, the young T-shirt-and-jeans crowd rocked the rafters with songs of praise, lifted up on a pulsating rock beat."
After the Crusade was over, the 9/25/92 Catholic Sentinel had these words of favor for Graham:
"Graham's message is for people to return to God and their churches. ... Graham offered special praise for the Catholic Church, saying, 'We're delighted that the Roman Catholic Church now cooperates with us wherever we go ...'"
- Graham even finds it difficult to take a truly Christian position on moral issues. When in Portland for the aforementioned 9/92 Crusade, Graham had the unique opportunity to declare that homosexuality is sin. He was asked about his position on Oregon's upcoming (11/92) statewide referendum that would declare homosexuality abnormal, and would thereby prohibit government support of it. Rather than giving a clear answer from the Bible, Graham played the politician:
"I find it is emotional, with strong arguments on both sides of the issue. I intend to stay out of national and local politics while here. God loves all people whatever their ethnic or political background or their social orientation. ... Christians take opposing views on many issues ... those on both sides of the issue must love each other. ... I never speak against other groups" (9/22/92, The Statesman Journal).
On the 12/22/94 Larry King Live Show, Graham also said that he believed that homosexuals are born with a tendency toward homosexuality; i.e., in the genes.
Concerning the issue of abortion, a year earlier on ABC's "Good Morning America" (GMA) (9/5/91), Graham, when asked the Christian position on abortion, said: "... there is a Christian position, I think. But I'm not prepared to say what it is." And, again two weeks later on GMA (9/19/91), Graham said: "But there are occasions when abortion is the only alternative" (although he didn't say when it is okay to snuff out innocent, unborn human life). (Reported in the 2/22/93, Christian News.)
In an interview in TV Guide (8/6/94), Graham says, when asked about the issues of abortion and homosexuality:
"I don't get involved in the abortion thing. I agree with the Pope, whom I know well, on abortion. But I just don't take extreme positions. I preach to unite people. There is a great division in the religious community today. God loves homosexual as much as anyone else. I think homosexuality is a sin, but no greater than idolatry and adultery. In my judgment, it's not that big."
- In 1948, Billy Graham was asked: "What do you expect the World Council of Churches (WCC) to do this August when they visit Copenhagen?" He replied: "I believe they are going to nominate the Antichrist!" As early as 1966, however, Graham boasted that he attended the WCC assembly in New Delhi in 1961, and he hoped he would attend the 4th assembly in Uppsala, Sweden in 1968 (which he did). He has attended all but two WCC General Assemblies since!
Graham's collaboration with apostate ecumenical leaders (such as with those in the WCC), his refusal to expose the unscriptural position upon which their search for "Christian unity" is based, and his willingness to cooperate with apostate religious leaders, was demonstrated once again in his reported cordial visit with Konrad Raiser, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. The EPS report said, "Raiser reported that he and Graham had a friendly, informal and wide-ranging conversation. Graham recalled his attendance at the earlier WCC general assemblies and talked about many of his current activities, Raiser said. An assistant to Graham later expressed hope that WCC efforts to develop ties with Graham and other evangelicals would continue, Raised said, and reported that he had invited Graham to visit WCC headquarters in Geneva whenever he could do so."
- The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association held its North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Louisville, Kentucky 6/28/94-7/1/94. It included the participation of more than 40 denominations and organizations as Graham predicted that "a new generation of evangelists is on the horizon." This conference followed the pattern of previous conferences -- it gave a great boost to WCC-NCC denominations, the charismatic movement, and the Roman Catholic Church. In the waning years of his ministry, Graham is giving great emphasis to training the future generation of evangelists to disobey God's Word when it comes to working with those who preach a false gospel .(Original source: Sept/Oct 1993, Foundation magazine.)
- In 1952, and again in 1958, Billy Graham made sound statements concerning the separation from those who teach false doctrine. For example, in 1952 he wrote to Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.: "We have never had a man on our [crusade] committee that denied the virgin birth, the vicarious atonement, or the bodily resurrection." In 1958, Graham stated in Eternity magazine: "If a man blatantly denies the deity of Christ or that Christ has come in the flesh, we are not to even bid him Godspeed. Thus, the Scriptures teach that we are to be separated from those who deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. ... I am to treat him as an Antichrist and an enemy of the cross." Yet, as early as 1963, Graham had United Methodist Bishop, Gerald B. Kennedy, as his Los Angeles Crusade Chairman. Kennedy wrote in one of his books (God's Good News, p. 125): "I believe that the testimony of the New Testament taken as a whole is against the doctrine of the deity of Jesus. ..." Yet Graham said of Kennedy in 1963, "Bishop Kennedy is one of the ten greatest Christian preachers in America."
- Perhaps most dramatic is Graham's change regarding false religions. In 1948, he said: "The three gravest menaces faced by Orthodox Christianity are Communism, Roman Catholicism, and Mohammedanism." By 1973, however, Graham had changed his tune. He said that Communist Mao Tse-Tung's "eight precepts are basically the same as the Ten Commandments," he praised the Roman Catholic mass as a "very beautiful thing" (see later item), and said Mohammed Ali's beliefs in Islam "are something we all could believe."
Even earlier, in 1966, Graham said, "I find myself closer to Catholics than the radical Protestants. I think the Roman Catholic Church today is going through a second Reformation" (5/24/66, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin). According to Graham, this "Reformation" must have been completed by 1978, when he said, "I found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Catholics. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition. I find that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics" (1/78, McCall's Magazine).
- Graham's gospel and Roman Catholicism's gospel are, in reality, no different. In 1978, McCall's Magazine reported Dr. Graham's "updated" understanding of the way of salvation:
"I used to think that pagans in far-off countries were lost -- were going to hell -- if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. ... I believe there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God -- through nature, for instance -- and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying yes to God."
This, of course, is a false gospel (cf. Jn. 14:6) -- and one that condemns the one who preaches it (cf. Jn. 14:6; Gal. 1:8,9)! [It's difficult to know what Graham really believes about hell. One thing for sure, to Graham it's not literal: "The only thing I could say for sure is that hell means separation from God. We are separated from His light, from His fellowship. That is going to hell. When it comes to a literal fire, I don't preach it because I'm not sure about it. When the Scripture uses fire concerning hell, that is possibly an illustration of how terrible it's going to be -- not fire but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched." (11/15/93, Time magazine).
- In 1985, Graham affirmed his belief that those outside of Christ might be saved. Los Angeles reporter David Colker asked Graham: "What about people of other faiths who live good lives but don't profess a belief in Christ?" Graham replied, "I'm going to leave that to the Lord. He'll decide that" (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 7/22/85). While this answer might appear reasonable to those who do not know the Bible, in reality it is a great compromise of the truth. God has already decided what will happen to those who die outside of faith in Jesus Christ. The book of Ephesians describes the condition of such as "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3) and "having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). That is why Christ must be preached. Men without a saving knowledge of Christ are condemned already (John 3:18). There is no mystery or question about this matter, because the Bible has plainly spoken.
In 1993, Graham repeated this philosophy in an interview with David Frost:
"And I think there is that hunger for God and people are living as best they know how according to the light that they have. Well, I think they're in a separate category than people like Hitler and people who have just defied God, and shaken their fists at God. ... I would say that God, being a God of mercy, we have to rest it right there, and say that God is a God of mercy and love, and how it happens, we don't know" (The Charlotte Observer, 2/16/93). [As reported in Evangelicals and Rome, by David Cloud.]
- In 1948, Graham called Roman Catholics "one of the three gravest menaces facing orthodox Christianity." Today, he works arm in arm with them, having become an all-out supporter. He has received numerous Catholic awards, and is one of Pope John Paul II's greatest admirers and boosters, as evidenced by his full support of a 1989 Charismatic plan to award the Pope the "Prince of Peace Prize" (which the Pope subsequently turned down), and by his having referred to the Pope as, "the greatest religious leader of the modern world," and as a "statesman, a pastor, and an evangelist." Here is a brief history of Graham's papal overtures:
1963: Upon the death of Pope John XXIII, Graham said from Bonn, Germany, "I admired Pope John tremendously ... I felt he brought a new era to the world. It is my hope that the Cardinals elect a new Pope who will follow the same line as John. It would be a great tragedy if they chose a man who reacted against John" (2/2/63, Michigan City News-Dispatch; 6/8/63, Chicago Tribune).
1973: Graham recommended Roman Catholic literature in the ecumenical Key '73 meetings held across North America; he especially recommended a biography of the Pope John XXIII containing hundreds of pages of devotion to Mary and the Saints, worship of the host (wafer) at the Mass, and his [the Pope's] trust in the sacraments as the means of salvation. Graham advertised this book as "a classic in devotion" (2/86, The Gospel Standard; Key '73: Congregational Resource Book).
1979: Billy Graham appeared on the Phil Donahue show on 10/11, and in discussing Pope John Paul II's visit to the U.S.A., said: "I think the American people are looking for a leader, a moral and spiritual leader that believes something. And the Pope does. ... Thank God, I've got somebody to quote now with some real authority."
Graham said elsewhere: "The visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States is an event of great significance not only for Roman Catholics, but for all Americans -- as well as the world ... In the short time he has been the Pope, John Paul II has become the moral leader of the world. My prayers and the prayers of countless other Protestants will be with him as he makes his journey (9/27/79, Religious New Service dispatch; quoted in New Neutralism II, p. 40). (Emphasis added.) He also said that John Paul II, "is almost an evangelist because he calls to people to turn to Christ, to turn to Christianity" (The Star, June 26, 1979; reprinted in the Australian Beacon, August 1979, p. 1).
1980: "Since his election, 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 this century ... The Pope came [to America] as a statesman and a pastor, but I believe he also sees himself coming as an evangelist. ... The Pope sought to speak to the spiritual hunger of our age in the same way Christians throughout the centuries have spoken to the spiritual yearnings of every age -- by pointing people to Christ" (Saturday Evening Post, Jan.-Feb. 1980). [In this same article, Graham was quoted as saying, "Recently I learned the word 'Pontiff' comes from the Latin words which originally meant 'bridge builder.' ... Pope John Paul II [is] indeed a bridge builder, and that is something our divided world desperately needs." Historically, "pontiff" does not mean bridge-builder, but refers to the papal title of Pontifex Maximus, which was handed down to the early popes from the high priests of ancient heathen religion in the Roman Empire; "Pontiff" in Italian and Latin means "bridge," and clearly points to the Pope's blasphemous claim that he himself is that bridge between man and God.]
1981: Graham met with Pope John Paul II on 1/13 and was reported in the Religious News Service as saying, "We had a spiritual time," and that the intense conversations lasting about two hours were "very private, intimate conversation. He [the Pope] was extremely warm and interested in our work" (2/6/81 & 7/17/81, Christianity Today).
1984: On coming to Vancouver less than a month after the Pope had been there, Graham commented on the Pope's message: "I'll tell you, that was just about as straight an evangelical address as I've ever heard. It was tremendous. Of course, I'm a great admirer of his. He gives moral guidance in a world that seems to have lost its way" (Foundation, Vol. V, Iss. 5, 1984).
1989: Graham spoke about a meeting with Pope John Paul II: "There was a pause in the conversation; suddenly the Pope's arm shot out and he grabbed the lapels of my coat, he pulled me forward within inches of his own face. He fixed his eyes on me and said, 'Listen Graham, we are brothers'" (6/8/89, Today). Graham said that that was a great happening in his life.
1990: After meeting with the Pope, Graham said that it is particularly evident in the Pope's speeches that his attitudes and decisions, "are based on his great personal spiritual life. ... he bases his work and messages and vision on biblical principles" (Ewin, The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham Into the Roman Catholic Church, 1992, p. N).
1993: At a 7/12 interview by Joan Lunden on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America," Graham said: "I'm delighted the Pope is coming [to Denver for a Catholic youth conference] ... I admire the Pope even though I don't agree with him on everything ..." [The Pope in talks this year insists that he is the infallible "Vicar of Christ." How can anyone who proclaims the one and only true Gospel ever be "delighted" that a counterfeit christ would come with a false gospel to beguile thousands of youth?]
- On 4/21/72, Graham received the Catholic International Franciscan Award for "his contribution to true ecumenism" and "his sincere and authentic ecumenism" (4/22/72, Minneapolis Star). In acknowledging the award, Graham said, "While I am not worthy to touch the shoe laces of St. Francis, yet this same Christ that called Francis in the 13th century also called me to be one of his servants in the 20th century" (2/86, The Gospel Standard).
- Graham was instrumental in paving the way for Vatican ties with President Reagan's decision to appoint an ambassador to the Vatican (Charisma, May, 1984, pp. 101-102). The President asked Graham to help the national security adviser, William P. Clark, to gather responses for establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Christian "leaders" contacted by Graham were Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Melvin (Executive Secretary of the NAE), David Hubbard (then president of Fuller Seminary), and Gilbert Beers (then editor of Christianity Today). A letter to Dr. Graham sent to Mr. Clark was also obtained and quoted Graham as saying, "If anyone can do it and get away with it, it is Mr. Reagan ..."
- On 12/9/79, popular Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen died. Sheen was a Catholic traditionalist who upheld Rome's dogmas. He was a staunch enemy of the New Testament faith. Yet, Graham called Sheen's death:
"a great loss to the nation and both the Catholic and Protestant churches. He broke down walls of prejudice between Catholics and Protestants. ... I mourn his death and look forward to our reunion in heaven" (12/22/79 ,EP News Service).
But Sheen's hope was in Mary, not in Christ's completed atonement. Unless he repented and turned wholly to Christ on his deathbed, there is no reason to believe Sheen will be in heaven (David Cloud, Flirting With Rome, Vol. I: Billy Graham, p. 31). [Of course, why not Fulton Sheen in heaven if Elvis is going to be there? -- In an article in the 4/16/92 issue of USA Today, Graham stated that he "expects to spend eternity with God, the great, and the good -- including Elvis Presley."]
- Graham once said: "It is my opinion that we ought not to contrast the 'nurture of grace' and the 'grace of conversion' as many have tried to do. I am convinced that there are both, and happy is the man who by the nurture of grace is brought to the grace of conversion." Anyone familiar with Roman Catholicism knows that their "nurture of grace" refers to the grace of the seven sacraments. Thus, Graham has both learned and accepted Rome's sacramental grace!
We should not be surprised, then, to learn that Graham also holds to Rome's false gospel of baptismal regeneration! The following quote is from an article written in October of 1961 after Graham gave an interview to Lutheran clergyman Wilfred Bockelman, who was then the associate editor of The Lutheran Standard: (Emphasis added.)
"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 mysteries of God, but I believe a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christians through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that's all right with me" (10/10/61, The Lutheran Standard).
Bockelman said, "One would assume that, as a Baptist, Dr. Graham would be opposed to infant baptism." Bockelman not only found this not to be the case, but that Graham's wife, Ruth, and all their children but the youngest, were baptized as infants. (Reported in the Summer 1991 Dorea, pp. 9-10.)
- Graham has said that the virgin birth of Christ is NOT an essential part of the Christian faith. In an interview with a United Church of Canada publication in 1966 ("Billy Graham Answers 26 Provocative Questions," United Church Observer, July 1, 1966), Graham gave the following reply to a question about the virgin birth of Christ:
Q. Do you think a literal belief in the Virgin birth -- not just as a symbol of the incarnation or of Christ's divinity -- as an historic event is necessary for personal salvation?
A. While I most certainly believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, I do not find anywhere in the New Testament that this particular belief is necessary for personal salvation.
In his zeal to appease the apostates in the United Church of Christ (its current moderator, Bill Phipps, denies that Jesus Christ is God), Graham tells an absolute lie. How would it be possible for a saved person to deny the virgin birth of Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ were not virgin born, He was a sinner; and if He were a sinner, He could not have died for our sins. Further, if Christ were a sinner, and if He were not virgin born, He was a liar for making such claims and the Bible that records those claims is a blatant and wicked lie, and the Bible-believing Christian is a deceived and foolish person whose faith has no authoritative foundation. Therefore, apart from the virgin birth, there is no Gospel and no Salvation and no authoritative Bible. The virgin birth of Christ is "fatal" doctrine, meaning it is crucial for salvation. The entire Gospel stands or falls on the virgin birth (Evangelicals and Rome, by David Cloud).
- A recent interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" television broadcast once again reveals just how far Graham has fallen from the orthodox teaching of Scripture. King interviewed Graham for a full hour on Christmas Day, 1998. During the course of the interview, King questioned Graham about the afterlife soon after Graham had mentioned he was not afraid to die since he knew he would be with God (italics added):
GRAHAM: I'll know Him. He'll know me. He will receive me. I believe the moment that I die, an angel comes and takes my hand and leads me into His presence.
KING: In your body or through a soul?
GRAHAM: Both -- maybe both, because we have been resurrected. Remember, this body's coming back together again. Nothing ever disappears ...
KING: All right. You'll meet Jesus and then what will it be like? What will paradise be like?
GRAHAM: It's going to be like paradise. It'll be the -- everything that you ever wanted for happiness will be there. People say that the Bible teaches there's no sex in Heaven. If sex is necessary for our happiness and fulfillment, it'll be there. And then, if certain other things that we think are pleasurable will -- it'll be there.
Once again, Graham's theology is completely contrary to Scripture. God's Word never teaches that whatever is necessary for physical human happiness will be the believer's lot in heaven. On the contrary, the believer will rejoice in praising God and fulfilling His will, not the desired will of the individual. The believer's physical body, while on the earth, is still wrestling with the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life that are certainly pleasurable to the earthly saint. But heaven will be a place where the believer will fulfill the will of the Savior and honor and glorify Him throughout all eternity. To give the impression that heaven will be a type of hedonistic paradise is dangerous, false theology. (Excerpted and/or adapted from the Jan-Feb 1999, Foundation magazine.)
- Graham also believes that men can be saved apart from the Name of Christ. (Source: 5/31/98 television interview with Robert Schuller, as reported in the May-June 1997, Foundation magazine.):
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. [How can anyone love Christ or know Christ and not be conscious of it (Rom. 8:9,16; 10:14; 1 John 3:24; 4:13; John 3:18)?] 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 [How can this be? (cf. Acts 4:12; Rom 10:13)], 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.
SCHULLER: Well, what I hear you saying, that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?
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: [R.S. trips over his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says] This is fantastic! I'm so thrilled to hear you say that! There's a wideness in God's mercy!
GRAHAM: There is. There definitely is.
What Graham is actually saying here is: "Sinners can be saved by their good works and that a personal relationship to Jesus Christ by being born again is NOT necessary to salvation." This statement also directly agrees with the Roman Catholic universal catechism, page 224; para. 847:
"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience, those too may achieve eternal salvation."
Thus, Roman Catholicism, and Billy Graham, have said that even if you never hear about Christ, you can still be saved by being the best person you can be. This directly contradicts Acts 4:12 which says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Jesus, Himself left no doubt: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
- Graham refuses to defend the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Newsweek magazine, April 26, 1982, examined the debate on the issue of Biblical infallibility. The article noted that Billy Graham is not on the side of inerrancy:
"Billy Graham, for one, clearly is not. 'I believe the Bible is the inspired, authoritative word of God,' Graham says, 'but I don't use the word "inerrant" because it's become a brittle divisive word.'"
Graham avoids controversy at any cost. He knows that Modernists and unbelieving Evangelicals are willing to call the Bible "authoritative and inspired" even while denying that it is the infallible and inerrant Word of God. Graham aligns himself with this unbelieving camp. If the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, who can dogmatically determine which part is and which part is not inerrant? If the Bible is not inerrant, it is not authoritative (Source: Evangelicals and Rome, by David Cloud).
- Never mind that the Catholic sacrament of the Mass is the greatest attack ever on the finished work of Christ (cf. Heb. 10:19-22), Graham thinks the Mass is not only beautiful, but that it is clear in the gospel!:
"This past week I preached in the great Catholic cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mine who was a Catholic, 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. There was a wonderful little priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do" (O Timothy, Vol. 10, Issue 9, 1993, pp. 16-17).
There you have it. Billy Graham kneeling and worshiping the Mass wafer! It evidently matters not to Graham that the Mass destroys the Biblical teaching of Christ's atonement, and thereby, the very Gospel itself.
- In an interview with the Bookstore Journal, Graham again states quite clearly his position on ecumenism, and shows just how far he is willing to twist Scripture in order to support it:
"Another significant thing happened in the early '50s in Boston. [Catholic] Cardinal Cushing ... put 'Bravo Billy' on the front cover [of his magazine]. That made news all over the country. He and I became close, wonderful friends. That was my first real coming to grips with the whole Protestant/Catholic situation. I began to realize that there were Christians everywhere. They might be called modernists, Catholics, or whatever, but they were Christians. Jesus taught, 'By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.' And that love is more important than anything else. I don't think I've ever departed from that realization" (November 1991, Bookstore Journal).
- In 1964, Graham's aide, George Edstrom, wrote: "Mr. Graham has never preached in a Catholic Church, and he does not agree with them in the joining of one church. If you heard this, it is nothing but false rumors." Yet, as early as 1963, one year prior to the above statement, Graham had spoken at the Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.
In 1967, Graham again spoke at Belmont Abbey, at the Institute for Ecumenical Dialogue, receiving his honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (D.H.L.) from them and saying that this was "... a time when Protestants and Catholics could meet together, and greet each other as brothers, whereas ten years ago they could not." Graham said he "knew of no greater honor a North Carolina preacher, reared just a few miles from here, could have than to be presented with this degree. I'm not sure but what this could start me being called 'Father Graham,'" he facetiously added. In this same talk, Graham stated:
"Finally, the way of salvation has not changed. I know how the ending of the book will be. The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation" (11/22/67, The Gastonia Gazette).
Compare this to Graham's statement in 1957, when he branded the Catholic gospel, "a stench in the nostrils of God" (A Prophet With Honor, p. 223).
- In 1968, Graham was in a meeting in San Antonio, Texas. He said that the Roman Church had given "tremendous cooperation" in areas where he had held crusades. He added, "A great part of our support today comes from Catholics. We never hold a crusade without priests and nuns being much in evidence in the audience."
In 1985, the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association and Tyndale House Publishers jointly published What Christians Can Learn from One Another about Evangelizing Adults, which contained a chapter by Billy Graham. The book called for greater cooperation between Protestants and Catholics in so-called evangelism, and also included articles by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Robert Schuller, Bill Bright, Jack Wyrtzen, and others (Flirting With Rome, Vol. I: Billy Graham, p. 31).
- Thirty-four Roman Catholic churches and 300-400 parish volunteers participated in the Graham Evangelistic Association St. Louis Crusade led by Graham associate, Dr. Ralph Bell, September 22-29, 1991. The crusade was co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. (Reported in the 1992 March-April Fundamentalist Digest.) Vincent Heier of the Archdiocese office commented, "Billy Graham has always been very ecumenical ... Billy Graham has not necessarily pushed people into one denomination or another but he's tries to encourage whatever denominations that want to cooperate."
- David Briggs, an Associated Press reporter, wrote concerning the 9/22/91 Billy Graham New York City Crusade that "many of those who answer the call at the end of his crusade have been swayed by techniques such as having the ushers come forward to give the impression there is a groundswell of people committing to Christ." (Reported in The Patriot-News, Religion section, Harrisburg, PA, 9/20/91, p. 1.) The rally was endorsed by Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor who said, "the Billy Graham organization has asked our help in providing people to counsel and to welcome back those who wish to practice their Catholic faith." At the rally, Graham thanked O'Connor and the area archbishops for their support. Graham also expressed appreciation to the Jewish Rabbis in New York. (Graham said: "I want to thank the Jewish Rabbis for having me for lunch. ... About 200 Rabbis gathered and we broke bread together and we talked about the things of God and the things of New York City.") When extending the invitation at the close of his message, Graham invited individuals to "come back to the Lord" by "renewing" their "vows of baptism or confirmation." (Reported in the 1992 March-April Fundamentalist Digest.) [Graham made this same appeal to "reconfirm" at a 1977 Crusade held in the heart of Roman Catholicism at Notre Dame University: "Many of you want to come tonight to reconfirm your confirmation. You want to reconfirm the decision that you made when you joined the church" (Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, pp. 75-76).]
- Graham first preached in Moscow in 1982 when it was still part of the Soviet Union. When Graham returned to Russia for a 10/23/92-10/25/92 rally, he met with Russian Orthodox Church spokesman, Patriarch Alexi II, and issued a joint statement denouncing proselytizing in the former Soviet Union (July-August 1993, Fundamentalist Digest). Graham and Alexi issued the statement in a private meeting at Moscow's historic Danilov Monastery. Graham said:
"I assured him we didn't come here to proselytize, that I have been here a number of times with the Orthodox church as their guest, that I have a great love for the church and believe the people need to go back to their roots and put a great deal of emphasis on Bible study." (Reported in the 12/92 ,Baptist Challenge.) (Emphasis added.)
Street preaching, distribution of Bible tracts and other Gospel literature, and publishing of Bible- related materials by foreign missionaries have also been banned in Russia. The restrictions were pushed by the same Russian Orthodox denomination that Graham has such "a great love" for. Graham voiced his agreement with the new laws, describing tract distribution as an "inappropriate" activity.
- The 1998 animated film on the life of Moses, The Prince of Egypt, was made with input from evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims. The anti-God filmmaker, DreamWorks, taking great care not to offend these religious groups, took considerable liberties with the Biblical account. It pressured an evangelical publisher, working on a children's book tie-in, to eliminate references to God as "he" and some references to God as "Lord" (12/98, What In The World!). To meet politically correct feminist criteria for an acceptable god, it has YHWH saying, "... I am the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah" (12/98, Media Spotlight). Billy Graham, James Dobson, and Jerry Falwell were also consulted, and all praise the movie. (Reported in the 1/15/99, Calvary Contender.)
- Christianity Today reported on Graham's third Pittsburgh Crusade, held from 6/2/93-6/6/93 (previous crusades were held in 1952 and 1968):
"The effort was marked by an ecumenical cooperation that saw 1,050 churches and 65 denominations come together. ... 171,500 persons attended ... 12,515 of them making commitments to Christ. ... [Contributions came] in at $180,000 above the $1.45 million budget. ... the Crusade in largely Roman Catholic Pittsburgh had six Catholics on the [Crusade] Executive Committee. Earlier crusades did not include invitations to Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese officials. This time Graham met with eight bishops and executives from Catholic and Protestant groups" (7/19/93 Christianity Today).
- In 9/93, Graham held a crusade in Columbus, Ohio. In a pre-Crusade television interview, Graham said (speaking of the people of Columbus, Ohio):
"You're too good, you don't need evangelism. ... In fact, that's what kept us from coming [to Columbus] for so long."
A TV news reporter said Graham didn't care what faith you were from, that "the idea is to bring you back to your faith, no matter what it is, and to use the Crusade as a catalyst to bring you back to that faith." Another reporter said: "The Catholic Church ... is taking an active part ... and is inviting its parishioners to attend the crusades" (9/19/93 ,Columbus Dispatch).
Graham, in his final 9/26 sermon to 44,000 people, asked: "Is AIDS a judgment from God? I cannot say for sure, but I think so." Two weeks later he said he didn't mean it. He said: "To say God has judged people with AIDS would be very wrong and very cruel" and "I would like to say that I am very sorry for what I said" (10/10/93, Bloomington Herald-Times). Graham also told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "I don't believe that, and I don't know why I said it."
- In a five-day visit to North Korea in 3/92, Graham preached in one Protestant and one Catholic church (the only two churches permitted to exist in North Korea!). He delivered a message from the Pope, and spoke with government approval. He praised North Korea's Marxist dictator Kim II Sung's call for "reconciliation and peace," and Graham said that he has "learned to appreciate Korea's long struggle to preserve its national sovereignty." On ABC's "Good Morning America" (4/6/92), talking about his trip, Graham said that the people of North Korea seemed "relaxed and happy," noting that they were preparing for Kim's 80th birthday, of whom Graham said was almost like "a grandfather" to his people! Graham said that Kim had given the Graham party "a very lavish luncheon" during which he was "very warm and friendly." But, said Graham, he had no idea why he was invited to North Korea.
"Well, I have an idea," says John Lofton of The Lofton Letter: "Graham is invited to such places as North Korea and the then Communist Soviet Union because he is a Dupe, what Lenin called 'a useful idiot' who can be counted on to not tell it like it is." Graham's trip was obviously of immense propaganda value to atheist North Korea, which recently joined the United Nations, and is now contracting to sell powerful "terror weapons" to Iran. (Reported in the 5/1/92 Calvary Contender and the 2/22/93 Christian News.) [Graham has always seemed to have a higher view of communism than of Scripture. A number of years ago Graham said that "Mao Tse Tung's Eight Precepts are basically the same as the Ten Commandments. In fact, if we can't have the Ten Commandments read in the schools, I'll settle for Mao's Precepts" (Gothardism Evaluated, 1988, p. 16).]
- Graham is a supporter of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation [WCF] (Graham gave the keynote address at the signing ceremony on 6/25/88), an ecumenical amalgamation of professing Christians, humanists, atheists, New Agers, Eastern religionists, etc., whose stated goal is religious tolerance in education, but all the while is promoting a new one world religion. Other "evangelical" signators and/or supporters with Graham were James Dobson, Beverly LaHaye, and Chuck Colson. [WCF no longer exists, but the curriculum has been passed on to a "new" organization, "The First Liberty Institute," an organization headed up by New Ager Dr. Charles C. Haynes. (First Liberty is located at George Mason University, which was originally designated as "national teacher training and outreach center" for the Williamsburg Charter Foundation. Its New Age/One World curriculum, "Living With Our Deepest Differences: Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society," is being offered to the nations' public schools by the National Council on Religion and Public Education, a Liberty Institute organization, and has been accepted by the California State Board of Education.)]
- A 1993 article from the Houston Chronicle quoted Billy Graham's favorable comments about left wing liberal President(s) Bill & Hillary Clinton:
"President Bill Clinton would make a great evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham told U.S. News & World Report in a recent interview. ... Graham said he was impressed with Clinton's charisma and 'with some of the things he believes. ... From a biblical point of view, we should be headed in the direction of goodness and righteousness, away from crime and immorality,' Graham said, 'and towards one's neighbors who are in need. I'm encouraged by the emphasis President Clinton and Hillary are putting on that.'"
Like what? Putting homosexuals in the military or helping to abort your neighbor's baby? Or perhaps Clinton's enthusiasm towards the New World Order? That Graham should have any kind words at all for a couple who represent the antithesis of Biblical "goodness," "righteousness," and "morality" is bad enough, but for Graham to think that the Clintons are emphasizing these virtues exhibits a heretofore unprecedented level of ignorance and/or self-deceit on Graham's part.
Graham attended a 1993 prayer breakfast in which Clinton participated. Senator Kerry read Jn. 3:1-21 (skipping verse 16) and said Christ was speaking of "spiritual renewal" and that "in the spirit of Christ ... Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, Christian" were meeting and "there is renewal ... with a new President and Vice President ..." Billy Graham added, "I do not know a time when we had a more spiritual time than we've had today."
[On the 3/5/98 "Today Show," Graham said about Clinton's sexual escapades: "I forgive him because I know the frailty of human nature and I know how hard it is, and especially a strong vigorous young man like he is -- he has such a tremendous personality. I think the ladies just go wild over him."]
- More evidence of Graham's ecumenism is his statement in U.S. News & World Report (12/19/88):
"World travel and getting to know clergy of all denominations has helped mold me into an ecumenical being. We're separated by theology and, in some instances, culture and race, but all of that means nothing to me anymore."
This should not surprise us in light of the fact that as early as 1958, Graham had reduced the doctrine of verbal inerrancy to the status of mere "theory," and denied that "this particular theory of inspiration" was even essential to Christian orthodoxy, let alone grounds for the breaking of Christian fellowship. (Billy Graham's letter to the editor, 11/58, Eternity magazine, pp. 18-19.)
- A pastor who attended a Billy Graham crusade on September 22, 1990, in Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, reported his experience as follows:
"I have read often of the compromises of Billy Graham, but doubted some of the stories as exaggerated. Now they have been proven, in my eyes, worse than reported. ... My conclusion is that Billy Graham is making men twofold more the child of hell ... The emphasis was on believing in God, with a little commentary on Jesus Christ, but very little. ... We were told that the way to take care of the sin problem is to 'receive Christ, rededicate your life, or renew your confirmation vows, or whatever you call it in your church.' I could hardly believe my ears. What do confirmation vows have to do with salvation? ... No one could have convinced me of the apostasy of Billy Graham any more than my own experience. ... He even had a Rabbi on the platform to show the unity of the religions. ... Not having competent counselors is bad enough, but then to have led them to believe that a church experience is the same as being born again is the height of apostasy. ... Billy has not compromised, he has gone kaput!" (From The Baptist Lighthouse, reprinted in The Perilous Times, March, 1991.)
- During the early-1991 Gulf War with Iraq, Billy Graham was summoned to the White House to pray with and for President George Bush. Graham has said that Bush is the best friend he has in the world outside his own staff, and said that out of the war perhaps "will come a new peace and, as ... stated by the president, a new world order" (2/4/91, Christian News). (Emphasis added.)
- More evidence of Graham conforming to the world was his organization asking for a PG (Parental Guidance) rating for the film, The Prodigal. This request was "so it wouldn't be seen as a goody- two-shoes 'religious' movie" (4/90, Focus on the Family magazine). "Such primary/pragmatic concern for worldly image compromises [any] possible secondary spiritual benefits [the film might have had]" (2/15/91, Calvary Contender).
- In Amsterdam in 1986, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusade at a cost of $21 million, more than 12,000 "Christian" leaders met to plan a strategy for evangelizing the world. Graham openly admitted at the closing press conference that the only way to achieve world evangelism is under the umbrella of ecumenicity. When asked how he could conduct a conference on worldwide evangelism when so many attending groups did not even embrace the same fundamentals of the faith or agree on the definition of the Gospel, Graham responded:
"Evangelism is about the only word we can unite on ... Our methods would be different and there would be debates over even the message sometimes, but there is no debate over the fact that we need to evangelize. ... I think there is an ecumenicity that cannot [be gotten] under any other umbrella."
Thus, Graham has chosen to join in evangelism with those who would debate the very content of the Gospel! (Reported in the July 1991 CIB Bulletin and the March-May 1991 Foundation, p. 13.)
- Billy Graham was named as one of the four Honorary Co-Chairmen of the A.D. 2000 Evangelism organization. (The other three are Luis Palau, Campus Crusade's Bill Bright, and Kyun Chik Han of Korea. Paul Cedar, then head of the Evangelical Free Church, chairs the A.D. 2000 International Coalition of Christian Leaders, which is composed of 200 key leaders from various denominations, national, and local churches.) A.D. 2000 Evangelism is ecumenical, compromising to the core, and even has some New Agers in its ranks (e.g., Jay Gary and Robert Muller), yet many undiscerning or uninformed "believers" are supporting, praising, and participating in it. This unscriptural evangelism movement includes Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Charismatics, Pentecostals, and Protestants of all kinds. It is evident that many have not yet realized the impossibility of evangelizing the world when millions of those participating in that effort preach a false gospel. This makes the A.D. 2000 Evangelism program a curse, not a blessing.
According to the July-August, 1993 Mission Frontiers Bulletin, "These International Coalition leaders share the vision of the A.D. 2000 and Beyond Movement. ["A church for every people and the Gospel for every person by A.D. 2000," is their slogan.] They are 'front line' leaders, implementers, activists, equippers, and/or mobilizers in the ministry of world evangelization. Coalition members give leadership to the involvement of their own constituencies and share spiritual counsel with the various A.D. 2000 boards, committees and resource network leaders. They will seek to rally support and resources of all kinds to see the objectives of the movement fulfilled." (Emphasis added.) Seeking "all kinds" of support simply means that they will utilize whatever group claims to be in agreement with their "objectives" of global evangelization. The problem with such an inclusivist policy, however, is that some of the groups whose support they are trying to enlist embrace many unbiblical beliefs and strange gospels (September-October 1993, Foundation magazine).
- In preparation for an ecumenical evangelistic crusade that was held in Germany in March of 1993, Graham met with leading German governmental and religious officials. Among those with whom he met was Bishop Karl Lehmann, the "highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the country." The purpose of their meeting was "to extend the opportunity for local dioceses to participate in the outreach of the crusade." According to the report, "Bishop Lehmann warmly welcomed Mr. Graham stating, 'One of the key words uniting us today, including Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic alike is 'evangelism.'" (1/93, Decision magazine, p. 19)
[Those who fellowship with Romanism put a stamp of approval -- unwittingly, perhaps, but just as surely -- upon the false gospel preached by their Roman Catholic friends. When Billy Graham 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 apostate [church]. Ecumenical evangelicals break down the walls between truth and error and muddy the waters of gospel work. ..." (Reported in the 7/1/93 ,Calvary Contender, quoting Way of Life Literature).]
- After numerous letters from the editor of Christian News questioning Graham's alleged Masonic affiliations, a staff member of Graham's ministry denied that Graham was ever a Freemason. (In a weakly worded statement, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association "condemned" Freemasonry on the grounds that the church should meet the needs one is trying to satisfy by joining a lodge, that joining a lodge could cause a rift between husband and wife if they had not mutually agreed on the husband's lodge membership, and the requirement to take an oath violates Scripture.) But Graham's ministry also admitted that Graham attended a 33rd degree initiation rite back in 1966. Graham's defenders claim that this is how he became alerted to the dangers of Freemasonry.
But Masons are not in the habit of inviting the curious to its secret ceremonies! Can one then surmise that this was Graham's own initiation ceremony? In doing primary research for his book, The Origins and Teachings of Freemasonry (at the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C.), Dr. Robert A. Morey was told that they keep a file on all 33rd degree Masons. Morey asked if they had a file on Billy Graham. The Librarian said, "Yes. Do you want to see it?" But since he did not feel that it was proper, he said, "No, not at this time" (Robert Morey' letter to the editor, Christian News, 9/14/92).
Fritz Springmeier of Portland, Oregon has written a tract, "Billy Graham and the Bible." He gives evidence of Billy Graham being a 33rd degree Mason who has taken secret oaths in blood. In this tract, Springmeier states, "Billy Graham took part in the initiation rites of Jim Shaw as a 33rd degree Mason. This was before Shaw left the Masons in obedience to Christ" (9/14/92, Christian News).
- William Martin, a sociologist at Rice University, spent five years researching for an authorized biography of Graham (A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story, 1991 -- this was the second authorized biography of Graham, the other being by John Pollock in 1966). Martin characterizes Graham as a "regular guy who can skinny-dip with Lyndon Johnson or flip through Playboy at a barber shop without embarrassment. But he is also an example of clean living." Other observations by Martin include:
(a) Graham's form of Christianity relies upon emotion and a simplistic view of the Bible in favor of a mass-produced approach to gaining converts.
(b) Graham is willing to tread carelessly along the line separating religion and politics in exchange for access to the rich and powerful.
(c) Studies have found that Graham's rallies largely preach to the professing converted, and that many of those who answer the call at the end of his crusades have been swayed by techniques, such as having ushers come forward in order to give the impression that there is a groundswell of people committing to Christ.
(d) Graham has been vilified for his willingness to work in cooperation with mainline Protestants, Catholics, and others of suspect faith.
(e) Graham has publicly endorsed Martin Luther King, a known womanizer and Marxist sympathizer.
(f) Graham's ecumenical achievements include the founding of the neo-evangelical magazine Christianity Today, and the founding of the ecumenical youth organization, Youth for Christ, as well as having been an important cog in the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) since its early days.
- Graham visited the NCC's (National Council of Churches) headquarters in New York City on 8/27/91 and praised the group as follows: "There's no group of people in the world that I would rather be with right now than you all. Because I think of you, I pray for you, and we follow with great interest the things you do. ... I don't speak to too many church assemblies any more because I consider myself as belonging to all the churches. And I love everybody equally and I have no problem in fellowship with anybody who says that Jesus Christ is Lord. This has been a great relief to me to come to that conclusion about twenty-some years ago." (As reported in Foundation, June-August 1991, p. 34.) [At the 1995 NCC convention, NCC General Secretary Joan Brown Campbell read a letter from Graham encouraging the board -- "May God use your efforts to bring about a renewed understanding of the priority of evangelism, and rededication to the practice of biblical evangelism within the churches you serve."]
- For decades Billy Graham has had a love for the Charismatic movement and has supported it. His photo appears on the cover of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship magazine, Voice, for October 1962, after he spoke at their convention that year in Seattle. It was Billy Graham who was instrumental in bringing Oral Roberts into the mainstream of evangelical sympathy. He invited Oral to the World Congress on Evangelism sponsored by Christianity Today magazine in Berlin in late 1966, then spoke at the dedication of Oral Roberts University in April of 1967.
Graham has also appeared on TV specials with Oral Roberts. There has never been a word of protest or warning about Roberts' wild visions, faith healing, and shameless money-raising schemes. At Graham's Amsterdam '83, two of the main speakers were David Yonggi Cho of Korea and Pat Robertson of the USA. Both, of course, are outspoken charismatics (New Neutralism II, p. 30).
Billy Graham's love affair with the Charismatic movement continues today. He sent his greetings and blessing to the hyper-charismatic gathering at the "New Orleans '87 North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization" via a video clip which was introduced with much fanfare and shown on large screens. When asked to send greetings, he should have been honest and said, "How in the world can God bless that mess"! Instead, though, he said this: (Reported in an O Timothy Special Issue, "Charismatic Confusion in Indianapolis.")
"Greetings in the name of the Lord! I would love to be with you today in your great conference. But I am unable to do so because we are involved in a crusade here in Denver, Colorado ... I rejoice with you at the goals of your ... Congress ... And I thank God for the vital role that your movement is having in bringing about a spiritual awakening in this country ... My prayers are with you that your Congress will be greatly blessed of God and used by the Holy Spirit to further the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God bless you all." [!!!]
- A highly influential book promoting the charismatic "Manifest Sons of God" doctrine is Destined For the Throne by Paul E. Billheimer. In a chapter titled, "God's purpose for the Church," regarding the extension of the Godhead, Billheimer wrote: "The Union goes beyond a mere formal, functional or idealistic harmony or rapport. It is an 'organic relationship of personalities'; through the new birth we become bona fide members of the original, cosmic family. ..." Billheimer claims he received his "insights" by personal ministry of the "Holy Spirit." He concludes, "Thus through the new birth-and I speak reverently -- we become the 'next of kin' to the Trinity, a kind of 'extension' of the Godhead." Charismaniacs Jan and Paul Crouch of TBN mailed out hundreds of thousands of this book in 1985 and 1986. Even now they send it out as a fund raiser. The foreword to the book was written by Billy Graham. (Reported in Bold Truth News.)
- Billy Graham has also taken the "low road" with respect to pop psychological gospel being espoused by so many of today's leading "evangelicals." Two examples follow:
(a) Graham endorsed the Life Application Bible (along with Charles Stanley, Howard Hendricks, and D. James Kennedy), a study Bible with study notes in support of self-love and other humanistic concepts (e.g., study note to Rom. 12:3 -- "Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves ... the key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth -- our identity in Christ ..."; and Gen. 1:26 -- "Knowing that we are made in God's image, and thus share many of His characteristics, provides a solid basis for self-worth ... Because we bear God's image, we can feel positive about ourselves ... Knowing you are a person of worth helps you love God ..."). Graham is quoted as saying that, "The Life Application Bible is a great step forward in helping Christians apply the Bible's life-changing message in their lives."
(b) Graham states in his book, Answers to Life's Problems, "... faith in God is very, very important," but apparently not enough -- "God may choose to use an able psychiatrist to help you with some of the problems you are facing ... Therefore, you should not feel that you are wrong in seeking the help of a psychiatrist or trained psychologist if that will help you deal with some deep- seated emotional problems. Seek one who will not discourage your faith in God. Your pastor can perhaps suggest a Christian psychiatrist in your area."
- Eugene Peterson's The Message has swept into Christian bookstores, homes, and churches from coast to coast. In the first four months after its mid-July, 1993 release, 100,000 copies of this "New Testament in contemporary English" were printed by NavPress and 70,000 books were sold. Apparently, most readers were delighted: "The Message is so good it leaves me breathless," wrote popular New Age author Madeleine L'Engle in her endorsement. Billy Graham has also endorsed The Message: "The Message is one of the most dynamic recent versions of the New Testament that I have seen ... Children can easily understand it, and veteran Bible readers will see Christ's words in a fresh light." In fact, Billy Graham even authorized a special edition of The Message to be distributed by his Evangelistic Association -- it contains "... many explanations that I've written to help you understand what the New Testament says."
But The Message teaches a different gospel and a different morality than the Bible (as well as a worldly/warm fuzzy view of life). For example, The Message translates Jesus' statement in John 14:28, "The Father is the goal and purpose of my life," versus the Bible's "... The Father is greater than I." In l Cor. 6:18-20, the words "sexual immorality" are deleted and the words "avoids commitment and intimacy" are added. (One could conclude that "commitment and intimacy," not marriage, set the boundaries for acceptable sex.) In Rom. 1:26-27, the words "God gave them over ..." are deleted and words that qualify homosexuality are added (providing a loophole for committed homosexuals who "love" each other; thus lust becomes the sin, not the choice of a same-sex partner). There are hundreds of examples like these in The Message.
Peterson himself, in his introduction to The Message, says, "This version of the New Testament in a contemporary idiom keeps the language of The Message current and fresh and understandable in the same language in which we do our shopping, talk with our friends, worry about world affairs, and teach our children their table manners ..." This all sounds like an excuse for "dumbing-down" Scripture to match our culture's downward trends. Should we then rewrite God's holy Scriptures to fit our more shallow and worldly communications? And what does it say about a man like Billy Graham when he endorses it as an authentic translation of the Bible rather than as Peterson's personal, politically correct interpretation. (Also endorsing The Message were Warren Wiersbe, J.I. Packer, and Jack Hayford.) [Adapted from "What Kind of Message is THE MESSAGE?, an article by Berit Kjos.]
- Regardless of which of the Bible versions a true Bible-believer might choose to use, all can agree that The Living Bible is not an acceptable "translation." In July 1996 the New Living Translation (NLT) by Tyndale House Publishers came out as a remake of Kenneth Taylor's The Living Bible, which first appeared in a complete Bible in 1971 and which has sold more than 40 million copies. The advertisements tell us that "The New Living Translation provides a wonderful balance of readability and authority. ... due to the careful work of 90 leading Bible scholars, it is accurate to the original Greek and Hebrew text." The cover jacket of the NLT contains enthusiastic recommendations by Billy Graham, Bill Hybels, and Josh McDowell, and was featured positively in the 10/28/96 edition of Christianity Today in an article, "The Living Bible Reborn."
In truth, the NLT is a more worthless version than The Living Bible ever was. It is again a paraphrase, like The Living Bible, but its updating of the language and phrase additions make a mockery of the Word of God.
- Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Billy Graham is a supporter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement. Graham relayed to everyone at the February, 1996, PK Clergy Conference in Atlanta that PK is "the organization that helps the church work," and needs to "tear down the walls that separate us."
- Foundation magazine seems to adequately sum up the case against Billy Graham:
"Fifty years of compromise have increased Billy Graham's popularity but have resulted in a serious loss of spiritual discernment and Scriptural convictions. Fifty years of compromise have brought Billy Graham into close fellowship and cooperation with millions of those who preach a false gospel and teach dangerous, unscriptural doctrines. His refusal to warn about the false gospel preached by the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches is inexcusable and indefensible. His failure to warn about the dangers of the wildfire teachings of charismatic leaders opens the door for millions of believers to be deceived. Fifty years of compromise have even led Billy Graham into joining with leaders of pagan, heathen religions on the basis of a mutual search for world peace" (March- May 1991 Foundation, p. 16).
Unless otherwise noted, the information in this report, and other factual documentation on Billy Graham, can be found in the following sources:
(a) Church League of America. Billy Graham: Performer, Politician, Preacher, Prophet, 1982.
(b) Cloud, David. Flirting With Rome, Vol. 1: Billy Graham, 1992, 48 ppgs.
(c) Dullea, Charles. A Catholic Looks at Billy Graham, 1967.
(d) Dunham, William E. "The Billy Graham Compromise," The Review of the News, 5/8/74.
(e) Ewin, Wilson. The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham Into the Roman Catholic Church, 1992, 23 ppgs.
(f) Hulls, Errol. Billy Graham: The Pastor's Dilemma, 1966.
(g) Pasley, Ian. Billy Graham and the Church of Rome, 19??.
(h) Peterson, F. Paul. The Other Side of Billy Graham and Watergate, 1974.
(i) Pickering, Ernest. Biblical Separation, 1979 (pp. 141-155).
(j) Reynolds, M.H. "Billy Graham, the Pope, and the Bible," Fundamental Evangelistic Association tract, 19??.
(k) Waite, D.A. "Billy Graham's Rapid Change of Principles," Bible For Today, 6 ppgs.