I am a Christian, but I am not a fan of Billy Graham. In fact, I would have considered it a magnanimous mercy if God had cut Graham’s life short as soon as his Jesus career began. This is another way of saying that I consider his worldwide ministry and the message he so religiously promulgated to be both a sign and instrument of the intention of God to turn His hand of judgment to these post-modern generations – generations, particularly in western “Christianized” cultures, whose egregious rebellion against Gospel light has so long stuck its finger in God’s eye as to virtually insist upon judgment from above!
Far from viewing Billy Graham as a true evangelist, I can, upon his own testimony and beliefs, consider him no more than an agent, albeit maybe unknowingly, of the Devil. Billy Graham was a heretic. Billy Graham was apostate. These are stout words and no trivial accusations! Yes, but the business Graham was about in his ministry, so-called, was shocking. Of course, I speak not of his charitable works, which were great, or of his humanitarian demeanor, which seems to be widely known, or of his upstanding moral character, which was apparently uncontested, or of his deftness and sagacity as a world leader (which he became in his capacity). He clearly had a gift for diplomacy.
I speak, rather, of the fact that for all he was or did, he forever presented himself to the world first as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as such, Billy Graham was and still is a representative to the world of the teachings of Christ. What an opportunity! What a responsibility! But what did he teach? Ah! Here is where the real issue lay. Others may attack his policy or his organization or his ecumenical associations or his high-level friendships or other such things. But the most destructive feature of Billy Graham was his willingness to depart from the Word of God, in the name of God! In short, the damning issue is doctrine.
Jesus said, “the truth shall make you free.” (Jn.8:32) And in case you aren’t sure what that is, He called it, vs.31, “my word”; and later on clarified it still more with that majestic declaration, “I am the TRUTH!” (Jn.14:6) The deadly thing about a false prophet, though, is that they preach a mixture of truth and error. By the truth they bait the hook, and by the error they sink it in the heart. Graham said true things like “the way to the Father is through the cross.” Things like, “there is forgiveness with God for every sin.” Things like, “through the cross of Christ is the only way to heaven” and “God is love.” “There is peace and joy and comfort like you have never known in being reconciled to God.” But he sunk the Devil’s hook in countless thousands of hearts by preaching lies, as well.
He offered a salvation that Jesus didn’t proffer from a Christ that God didn’t send on an errand that the Father didn’t approve! Jesus never taught a salvation apart from repentance (see Mk.1:14-15). He never came to die for those He wouldn’t finally save (see Jn.10:28, Heb.10:14, Heb.12:2a). And the Father didn’t send His Son to make a losing attempt at saving the world! (Jn.6:39) But for decades Mr. Graham presented a God to the world whose love was so great as to make Him blind to lives of sin – a God whose only hope and deepest desire was to save every last man and woman on the earth and whose Father encouraged His Son to die to pay for the sins of a world of rebels God himself surely knew would never “accept” Christ.
This is a false gospel! These are lies. And what is more, Graham’s false gospel ran in step with his worldly success to the point that very early on, he began to distance himself from the already too liberal doctrines of his early conservative associations in favor of greater “evangelical success”, until soon his “gospel” was so watered down as to be not at all distinguishable from the apostate doctrine of the Universalists or the wider-mercy ecumenism and salvation by moral living so palatable to the Pope of Rome. He speaks for himself in these two now-famous interviews. Asked, in 1997, in an interview by Rev. Robert Schuller on the “Hour of Power” program, what he thought of the future of Christianity, Graham said, “I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ … that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven … 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.”
A salvation by something other than a relationship with Christ? Is that what the Bible meant when it said “there is none other name under heaven … whereby we must be saved!” (Acts.4:12) Or maybe Paul didn’t hear the question when asked what the jailor must do to be saved? He might have said, “Really nothing much, my friend! It’s covered. I can tell you about Jesus, but you can be saved without even knowing Him if you just try to live better than your neighbors.” (see Gal.2:16)
Asked in an interview with Larry King, in 2005, whether God loved Satan, Graham responded, “Well, he created him as Lucifer. In the 22nd of Ezekiel, it tells us about it, and He must love him, but the end of Satan is hell. Hell was created for the devil and his angels, or his demons, not for men.” Flatly contradicting the Bible’s teaching on hell? (see the entire book of Jude, etc.) But, of course, if the hell of the Bible is abandoned then the Savior of the Bible can be renovated, as well!
Then King asked, “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…” To which the placating tongue of a hireling preacher replied simply, “That's in God's hands. I can't be the judge.” King continued, “How do you feel when you see a lot of these strong Christian leaders go on television and say, you are condemned, you will live in hell if you do not accept Jesus Christ, and they are forceful and judgmental?” Said Graham, “Well, they have a right to say that, and they are true to a certain extent, but I don't -- that's not my calling. My calling is to preach the love of God and the forgiveness of God and the fact that He does forgive us. That's what the cross is all about, what the resurrection is all about, that's the gospel.”
But, Mr. Graham, I would admonish you that a preacher’s calling has only ever looked like this: Go and teach them “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Mt.28:20) And what did Christ command? Turn from your sin and believe the words of God and be baptized and obey the commandments of God until the day you die; do not forsake assembling together in local churches, and, above all, love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind! This is far different from walking to the front of a service, agreeing that Jesus is real and that God wants us to be saved, and trying to be “good people” from thereon out. Billy Graham spent decades misleading the world with a half-gospel, a false gospel, a gospel to give men and women false hope and a prop for soul-condemning self-righteousness of Pharisaical proportions. Salvation, thanks to decades of crusades, ceased to be a life event and became for millions simply an event in life.
Billy claimed to be a Shepherd, but I fear Billy only herded goats. By Larry King’s count in 2005, some 12 years before Graham’s death, he had preached in 185 countries to over 210 million people. If he had no other influence by printed materials, etc. how many poor souls may his “gospel” have deluded in his long life? Really, how can a Christian be a fan of Billy Graham?
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