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Billy Graham, a Blind Leader and False Teacher
WILLIAM FRANKLIN GRAHAM, JR., was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 7, 1918. He entered the ministry in 1943 and soon thereafter began conducting evangelistic Crusades. In 1950, he founded The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which has sponsored Crusades and produced radio and television programs as well as films. Dr. Graham is the author of more than a dozen books. He and his wife, Ruth, live in Montreat, N. C.; they have five children and nineteen grandchildren. (from the inside back dust jacket of Graham's autobiography, Just As I Am, copyright 1997)
I. His Enmity With God
Graham has "reached more than 200 million people in person, and millions more have heard him on radio, television, and film" (ibid., inside front dust jacket). Graham is "Hailed as the world's preacher" (ibid.) and "one of the world's most beloved and respected leaders" (ibid., inside back dust jacket). If Graham was a man of God, the world would not love him so.
The Bible teaches that those who are Christ's will be hated by the world (1 John 3:13; 2 Timothy 3:12; John 17:14). But Graham is of the world (1 John 4:5; 5:19), and therefore "beloved and respected." Jesus said to his disciples,
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19)
Billy Graham is not hated by the world, but rather, by the admission of his own book, he is "beloved and respected" by the world, and "Hailed as the world's preacher." This alone is a mark of a false teacher. As Luke 6:26 says,
Woe to you when men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets (Majority text).
Mr. Graham is not a false prophet (because he is not a prophet), but he is a false teacher. He is not a real Christian, but a false one, and is an enemy of God (James 4:4). This was illustrated in an interview with Larry King on 6-16-05:
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: 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.
(http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/16/lkl.01.html, hard copy and video on file; transcript is not completely accurate. See video for exact wording. Words above are taken from the video itself.)
Graham doesn't judge them, because he is not a spiritual man (1 Corinthians 2:15) and he does not believe Jesus Christ who said,
No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6).
Also, Graham's friendship with people of false religions (Mormons, Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists), also reveals Graham's Satanic connection, as James 4:4 says,
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (see also 2 Chronicles 19:2; Psalm 15:4; 31:6)
Graham has made himself an enemy of God and is therefore at enmity with Him.
Immediately after Graham's statement above, Larry King asks,
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?
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.
Graham says, "that's not my calling," because he does not believe the gospel; that is, that you will indeed go to hell and suffer eternal torment if you do not receive Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:8).
II. HIS ABORTIONS
Graham believes in the killing of babies. In The Billy Graham Christian Worker's Handbook (copyright 1997 edition) it says,
Billy Graham writes: "We should accept abortion in these cases: rape or incest or if the delivery of the child is a threat to a mother's life." (p. 19, bold added, hard copy on file, see also BGEA's email concerning this statement)
In the 1996 copyright revised 2001 edition it says,
Even sincere Christians may differ on whether or not abortion is ever justified, especially in difficult situations such as rape or incest, or when tests reveal that the unborn child has severe abnormalities. (The Billy Graham Christian Worker's Handbook, p. 21)
This is absolutely horrid! God says, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). Killing an unborn child is murder no matter how the child was conceived (rape or incest) or what abnormalities he or she may have (see Exodus 21:22-23 "life for life"). The Lord makes the mute, the deaf, and the blind (Exodus 4:11), and it is cruel hatred and murder to kill them.
III. HIS FALSE GOD
In Graham's book, Facing Death And The Life After (copyright 1987), Graham writes,
"Many people are deceived by Satan into thinking that God is a vengeful taskmaster, ready to send to hell all those who offend Him. They can see no hope. True, God does hate sin, but He loves the sinner." (p. 217, bold added)
What Graham calls Satanic, is actually the teaching of the Bible! The God of the Bible is "a vengeful taskmaster, ready to send to hell all those who offend Him." Please note Matthew 24:45-51 and Psalm 50:22-23.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:45-51)
Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:22-23; please see also Matthew 22:1-14 & Revelation 19:7-9; Luke 13:23-27; 1 Peter 4:17-18)
Please note also Romans 12:19 which says, "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." (See also Deuteronomy 32:39-41; Psalm 94:1; Isaiah 1:24; Nahum 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 10:30; Jude 7.)
The God of the Bible is indeed "ready to send to hell all those who offend Him." Please note Matthew 5:22.
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. (See also Psalm 7:11-13.)
A similar example of Graham's false god (not the God of the Bible) can be found in his book, Answers To Life's Problems (copyright 1988). On page 130, a wicked person asks,
I know God is mad at me because of the way I have been living. How can I get him back on my side? My life is on a deadend road unless I change, I know, but how can I win God's approval when I have so many bad things against me?
Part of Graham's answer is, "God is on your side. God is not mad at you, but at your sin." (p. 131) The god Graham describes here is not the God of the Bible! For the God of the Bible says, "God is angry with the wicked every day." (Psalm 7:11; see also Psalm 5:5-6; 11:5-6; Ephesians 2:1-3, "children of wrath")
IV. HIS FALSE GOSPEL
In Graham's book, Unto the Hills (copyright 1986), Graham writes,
Man has two great spiritual needs. One is forgiveness. The other is for goodness. Consciously or unconsciously, his inner being longs for both. (p. 234)
It is a lie to say that man "longs" for "goodness", because Scripture says, "An evil man seeks only rebellion;" (Proverbs 17:11), and "The soul of the wicked desires evil;" (Proverbs 21:10). Graham's statement above is the exact opposite of Paul's gospel in Romans 3:11-12 which says, "There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." To long for goodness would be doing something which is good. Men without God do no good (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:12).
In Graham's book, Answers To Life's Problems, on page 62 Graham writes,
Inside each one of us there is a hunger for God. We may not recognize it, but each of us senses emptiness and a hunger for something. I suspect that your son has been looking for something to fill that spiritual void in his life, and if he has found Christ his spiritual emptiness has been met.
Wicked men do not "hunger for God" (see Psalm 10:3-4)! There is no spiritual emptiness to fill! Scripture never speaks of any such "spiritual void" or "emptiness." Instead, it says that, "they are filled with all unrighteousness" (Romans 1:29), and their hearts "are full of evil" (Ecclesiastes 9:3). Ephesians 2:2 says of those who do not know Christ that "the prince of the power of the air" is the spirit who "now works in the sons of disobedience." In other words, an evil spirit works in those who are without Christ. There is no emptiness. There is a wicked spirit there doing his evil work.
Graham's gospel is just the opposite of God's. God's gospel describes man as utterly lost with no desire for God whatsoever (apart from the work of God, John 6:44; Romans 1:16-32; 3:10-18). Graham's gospel describes man as one who actually hungers for God, which flatters the sinner (Romans 16:18) and is a lie.
Another example of this can be found on page 220-221 in Answers To Life's Problems where Graham responds to a person who says they "feel empty inside".
. . . when we leave God out of our lives, it leaves a blank or empty space that nothing can fully fill. No matter how hard we try or what means we use - material possessions, money, pleasure, drugs, or whatever - the emptiness is still there.
Scripture says no such thing.
In Graham's book, The Challenge, Sermons From Madison Square Garden (copyright 1969), Graham says,
You see, all of us are really on a quest for truth. What is the truth about myself? Where did I come from? Why in the world did God ever put us on this planet, if there is a God? Some ask. And where are we going? Is there a life after death? I'm searching for answers. All of us are, consciously or unconsciously. We ask ourselves these questions. "What is truth?" The same question Pilate asked two thousand years ago.
And that's why a lot of these kids are taking LSD and mind-expansion psychedelic drugs. They're trying to find some experiences that will lead them into some sort of a spiritual truth. (p. 93, bold added)
Graham lies when he says, "all of us are really on a quest for truth." Romans chapter one says just the opposite. Speaking of mankind, Paul says that they "exchanged the truth of God for the lie" (Romans 1:25). Men reject the truth, and are not on a quest for it (John 3:19-21)!
Also, in the bold section above, Graham turns a "quest for the truth" (which is good) into something which results in evil doing! This is not only unbiblical (Romans 1:18, "who suppress the truth"), it is the exact opposite of the Word of God. The reason men do evil is because they have rejected the truth, and God has given them a debased mind to do evil (please see Romans 1:28-32).
Consistent with Graham's denial of Romans chapter one, is his statement at the memorial service for the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma bombing. In Just As I Am Graham records,
I spoke also to the assembled crowd - one of the most difficult things I have done in my life - telling them frankly that I did not understand why God allowed things like this to happen. Our knowledge is limited, I pointed out, and there are some things we will never understand this side of eternity. I reminded them, however, that even though we do not understand, God does not change. He is still the God of love and mercy; and in the midst of our sorrow and pain, we can turn to Him in faith and trust. (p. 654)
Indeed, God is a God of love and mercy, but He is also a God of wrath. The reason Graham "did not understand why God allowed things like this to happen", is because Graham does not believe the Bible. Romans 1:18 gives the reason "things like this happen." "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." (Romans 1:18). God is angry (Psalm 7:11) and He kills the ungodly (Deuteronomy 32:39-41; 1 Samuel 2:6; Luke 12:4-5), as Luke 13:1-3 exemplifies.
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
In Luke 13:1-3, God killed those people (Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6; Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:37-38; Amos 3:6; Romans 1:18), and Christ warns those still living, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Instead of being like Christ and giving that assembled crowd in Oklahoma a similar warning, Graham speaks great swelling words of emptiness (2 Peter 2:18), scratches their ears (2 Timothy 4:3), and says that he "did not understand why God allowed things like this to happen." What foolishness! God not only "allowed" this Oklahoma bombing to happen, He caused it to happen (Romans 11:36; 1:18)! Graham had a perfect opportunity to preach the true gospel to these people and call them to true repentance, but instead, Graham gave them nothing for their souls. He left them just as dry as they came, because he himself is a "well without water" (2 Peter 2:17).
Another example of Graham's false gospel can be found on page 228 of Answers To Life's Problems. Here, Graham's falsehood is manifested by the fact that Graham does not believe Christ is enough to save a person from the power of the sin of homosexuality (contrary, of course, to John 8:31-36).
I am a homosexual. I have tried to conquer it and have prayed to God time after time, but nothing changes. I desperately want to deal with it, but I don't know what to do. Please help me.
Graham says that homosexuality is wrong, and then writes,
There are steps that are crucial for you to follow if you are ever to conquer this. First, if you have never asked Christ to come into your life I urge you to do so without delay. . . .
Then get help from others for your problem. Don't be afraid to seek help or to share your problem in confidence with someone you can trust who also can help you. There may be many complex reasons for your homosexual tendencies, and a skilled pastor can probably point you to a Christian psychologist or psychiatrist who has had experience in dealing with others who have been in your situation. Such a person can help you understand yourself and why you have become the person you are, and will also help you - both emotionally and spiritually - to leave your old way of living and become the person Christ wants you to be. (p. 228-229)
Graham's answer is filled with psychology (the wisdom of the world, 1 Corinthians 1:20). With Graham's "Then get help from others . . ." he denies the power of the Savior (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Also, he speaks of the "many complex reasons" for this person's "homosexual tendencies". Scripture gives one simple reason for homosexual tendencies - a rejection of God (Romans 1:18-27). Homosexuality is not a complex issue. Finally, Graham's advice to see a psychologist or psychiatrist is antichrist counsel (see Colossians 2:8-10 & 2 John 7).
V. His False Teaching On Suicide
Graham is asked,
My cousin had very serious emotional problems most of her life, and finally they overwhelmed her and she committed suicide. I firmly believe she was a Christian, but did she lose her salvation by doing this? Is suicide the unpardonable sin? - Mrs. W.L.
In the third paragraph of Graham's answer he says,
Suicide is always a tragedy - but in itself it is not the unpardonable sin. The only sin God cannot pardon is the sin of rejecting Him. God knew your cousin's heart, and He also knows that mental illness sometimes clouds a person's judgment so much that they aren't fully responsible for their actions. (www.billygraham.org/MyAnswer_Article.asp?ArticleID=1861, hard copy on file)
In other words, it's possible she went to heaven, according to Graham.
In Answers To Life's Problems the question is asked,
A friend told us you said in a column that God would not save a person who committed suicide, no matter what the circumstances were. Our son suffered from a terrible mental problem for years and eventually committed suicide, although I really believe he knew God. What is the basis of your position? (p. 207)
Graham responds with, "This is not my position," and goes on to explain his position. After declaring suicide is wrong, he writes,
But there also are situations when a person may not understand what he is doing because of mental disability, as in the case of your son.
Graham then quotes Psalm 103:13-14 and Romans 8:38-39 wrongly applying these verses to their wicked son, and at the end of his response, Graham concludes,
But take comfort in God's grace as you remember your son - and seek to live for Christ every day. (p. 208)
Here Graham turns the grace of God into lewdness (Jude 4). First of all, no one with such a deranged mind knows God (Isaiah 26:3; Romans 1:28; 2 Timothy 1:7). Secondly, people who commit suicide, by their actions, reveal they are among the ungodly who reject Christ (1 John 2:4), are without hope (Ephesians 2:12), and even if they at some point were in the faith, their suicidal actions reveal they did not continue in the faith and were moved away from the hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:23). Hell is the fate for all such people, because, if even they are not to be considered murderers, although they have murdered themselves, they are certainly unbelieving (Revelation 21:8).
Therefore, there is no grace, but only hell for such people. Thus, there is no "comfort in God's grace as you remember your son" as Graham claims. [For more on suicide, see also our reports on MacArthur, Stanley, Smith, Hayford, Catholicism, McGee)
VI. HIS FALSE TEACHING ON HELL
In Graham's book, Facing Death And The Life After, Graham wrote, "Even some theologians chose to reject the Bible's clear teaching on hell." (p. 34). Graham himself rejects "the Bible's clear teaching on hell."
Scripture is not unclear about the fact that Hell is a place of fiery torment (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:43-48; Matthew 3:12; 5:22; 13:40-42, 49-50; 18:8-9; 25:41; Luke 16: 19-31; John 15:6; Revelation 14:10; 19:20; 20:10, 14-15; 21:8). Yet, Mr. Graham denies this truth. In an interview with Time Magazine (November 15, 1993), Mr. Graham said this about hell:
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 be 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. (p. 74, bold added)
First of all, Scripture never depicts or describes hell as "a thirst for God". In fact, the ungodly man (one who goes to hell) "does not seek God" (Psalm 10:4; 14:2; Romans 3:11); "God is in none of his thoughts" (Psalm 10:4). Secondly, Graham denies hell fire by saying it is "not fire." Yet, Scripture is very clear about the fire of hell. In fact, the rich man in "Hades" in Luke 16:24 said, "I am tormented in this flame."
Now, lest someone argue that Time Magazine misrepresented Graham's beliefs, please note that twenty four years prior Graham preached this same kind of deceit at his 1969 Crusade in New York City. In Graham's book, The Challenge, Sermons from Madison Square Garden, Graham says,
Whatever Hell may be, and there are many mysteries, and I don't intend to solve them all - whatever Hell may mean, it is separation from God.
Now there are three words that Jesus used constantly to describe it. One is called "Fire." Now we know that God has a fire that burns and doesn't consume like the burning bush that Moses experienced. We know that James said, 'The tongue is set on fire of hell." We know that that wasn't combustion - that actual literal fire isn't down in your throat and in your tongue. It is symbolic language. And theologians through the centuries have argued and debated over what fire means.
The Bible said, "For our God is a consuming fire."
Jesus told the story about the rich man who went to Hell and he asked that Lazarus may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue.
Could it be that the fire Jesus talked about is an eternal search for God that is never quenched? Is that what it means? That, indeed, would be hell. To be away from God forever, separated from His Presence. (p. 74-75, italics in original)
The ungodly couldn't care less about being separated from God (Psalm 10:3-4; 14:2-3; Romans 1:28; 3:10-18), and thus being "separated from God" and having an unquenchable "thirst" or "search for God" is no concern to the wicked. This kind of preaching removes the truth that people need to hear (i.e., hell is a place of fiery torment, e.g. Revelation 14:10; 20:10). Graham's falsehood helps remove any true fear of God (Luke 12:4-5). In fact, Time magazine well illustrated Graham's basic message on hell in the above mentioned article. They wrote (regarding his beliefs), "A heaven of powerful spirits, a hell that may be fire-free." (p. 74). A fire-free hell? This is completely the opposite of the teaching of the word of God!
VII. HIS FALSE ADDITIONS
Proverbs 30:5-6 says, "Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar." Graham adds to the word of God. In Facing Death And The Life After, Graham promotes the damning doctrine of "faith in yourself". On page 148 Graham writes,
"Humphrey's remarks on the floor of the Senate express so beautifully the qualities that make for a dignified, graceful death. He said, 'The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love, and over this land I have sensed it. Doctors, chemicals, radiation, pills, nurses, therapists are all very, very helpful. But without faith in yourself and your own ability to overcome your own difficulties, faith in divine providence, and without the friendship and kindness and generosity of friends, there is no healing." (bold added)
Scripture says, "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool." (Proverbs 28:26), and "Cursed is the man who trusts in man" (Jeremiah 17:5).
In Graham's book, Unto the Hills, on page 10 Graham writes,
To paraphrase the Bible, what shall it profit a man (or a woman) who gains the whole world but loses his or her own family?
This does not "paraphrase the Bible", this perverts the Bible (Mark 8:36).
Another lie in this same book can be found on page 208 where Graham writes, "Jesus told us to fear Satan." You will never find that in holy writ!
Another example of adding to the Word of God can be found in his book entitled, Facing Death And The Life After. On page 215 Graham writes,
What Right Have You to Enter Heaven? Every man and woman who has ever lived will have to answer that question.
Scripture never says this! Likewise, on page 230 (same book) Graham writes,
God did not invent denominations, man did. When we go to His home, He will invite us in, but will not ask us for our church or Sunday school credentials. Only one question will be asked: "What did you do on earth with My Son, Jesus?" It will make no difference whether we were Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile. What matters is whether we believe in Him or reject Him. (bold added)
Scripture never says any such question will be asked. In fact, as an example, in Matthew 25:31-46 the people judged are told what's up, not asked!
VIII. HIS CATHOLICISM
Graham's fellowship (Ephesians 5:11) with the unholy Catholic church, according to Graham, started early in his career as an "evangelist". In Just As I Am, in the context of organizing a crusade in the winter of 1950 Graham recalls,
"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." (p. 163, bold added)
This should have been Graham's goal "to get people to leave their church", because their church is leading them to hell! Catholicism is a false religion with a false Christ and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-5). Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and if someone comes to the Truth (1 Timothy 2:4), they will no longer be involved with idolatry (i.e., false religion, e.g. 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). From the above quote, it is evident that Graham believes you can be a Catholic and be saved at the same time. This lie is further illustrated on page 357 of this same book.
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.
It is hypocrisy and serious wickedness to claim to be a preacher of Scripture, and yet not "preach against Catholic beliefs" (Ephesians 5:11). Also, there is no such thing as a person who is "already committed to Christ within the Catholic Church," just as there is no such thing as a person who is already committed to Christ within the Satanic Church, or the Mormon Church, or the Jehovah Witness Church, or the Buddhist religion, or Muslim faith. You cannot love the Truth (Christ, John 14:6) and continue to love and practice a lie (Revelation 22:15).
Graham should be warning against the danger of Catholicism (i.e., Catholics go to hell), but since he is a hireling (John 10:11-13), he gives no such declaration. On page 368 of this same book Graham writes,
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. . . . (brackets in original)
On page 482 Graham writes (in the context of a trip to Poland),
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.
Contrary to the Psalmist who said, "I have hated those who have regarded useless idols;" (Psalm 31:6), Graham describes a cordial, warm, and a "special affinity" with Catholic leadership. On page 692 of Just As I Am Graham recounts,
One whom I have yet to mention - and with whom I felt a special affinity - was Roman Catholic preacher Bishop Fulton L. Sheen.
Later Graham writes of the first time he met Mr. Sheen.
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. (p. 692-693)
His "cordial" and "warm" relationship with the pope is described in this same book on page 488-489 where Graham recalls his first visit with the head of one of the largest false religions in the world.
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.
On page 599, Graham further describes his relationship with this wicked man.
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.
IX. HIS ECUMENISM
Linked with Graham's sympathy for Catholicism is his blatant disregard for Jude 3 which says, "contend for the faith." Instead of joining those who are not faithful to the Word of God (as Graham does), Bible believers should "withdraw" from those who do "not consent to wholesome words" (1 Timothy 6:3-5), "turn away" from those who hold to a "form of godliness but [deny] its power" (2 Timothy 3:1-5), and "note those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which [they] have learned and avoid them" (Romans 16:17). But, Graham has no due regard for such verses.
My own position was that we should be willing to work with all who were willing to work with us. Our message was clear, and if someone with a radically different theological view somehow decided to join with us in a Crusade that proclaimed Christ as the way of salvation, he or she was the one who was compromising personal convictions, not we. (Just As I Am, p. 303-304)
Conversely, Scripture says,
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:20-22; see also 2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
Graham's ecumenism reaches so far that he embraces Norman Vincent Peale as "a deeply committed believer."
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. (Just As I Am, p. 315)
What a lie! Mr. Peale is to be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 16:22). He teaches the false gospel of "the power of positive thinking", not the true gospel of Christ (which is the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16). Instead of warning people of Peale's false gospel that damns (because the trust is placed on man, Jeremiah 17:5, and his ability to think positively rather than simply on Christ and Him alone, 2 Corinthians 11:3), Graham calls him "a deeply committed believer" which only helps to spread Mr. Peale's deceit.
Mr. Graham is so ecumenical, he is more ecumenical (and concerned about being politically correct) than former presidents Richard Nixon and George Bush!
In early December, I left to spend the Christmas holidays visiting our troops in Vietnam. I got back just in time for the inauguration. Nixon wanted me to do all the prayers at the swearing-in ceremony, but I objected.
"Dick, you've got to have all faiths represented, or you're going to have trouble."
"No, I just want you," he insisted.
Eventually, Nixon gave in to the ecumenical idea, . . . (Just As I Am, p. 450)
At his inauguration in 1989, George Bush invited me to lead the various prayers during the public ceremony. I protested at first, pointing out that it was customary to have a clergy from other traditions participate also (often a Jewish rabbi, a Catholic priest, and perhaps an Orthodox leader). He remained adamant, however, saying he felt more comfortable with me; besides, he added, he didn't want people to think he was just trying to play politics by having representatives of different faiths. (ibid., p. 592)
X. HIS LEWDNESS (Jude 4)
Graham turns the grace of God into lewdness by propagating that Catholics are saved, and people like Norman Vincent Peale are men of God. To call the wicked righteous, as Graham does, perverts the grace of God (Jude 4), denies Christ (the Word of God, Revelation 19:13; Jude 4; Titus 1:16), and denies the power of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5). A further example of this can be found in Graham's book, Facing Death And The Life After, where Graham writes of former President Lyndon B. Johnson,
Though in many ways he was a rough man, and a complex man, down deep in his heart he loved God. (p. 199)
That is a lie (e.g. see PBS Home Video, LBJ, a biography)! Johnson was not a godly man (i.e., one who loved God). Proverbs 14:2 says, "He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse [i.e., ungodly] in his ways despises Him."
In Just As I Am, Graham writes of President Bill Clinton,
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. (p. 656, entire paragraph quoted).
No one who promotes the killing of unborn children, as Clinton did during his presidency (even partially born children), desires "to serve God and do His will" (Proverbs 17:11; 21:10)! Graham is a liar (on behalf of himself, and others, 1 John 2:4) .
XI. HIS ESSENTIALS
Graham follows the common lie that,
There are things about the Christian faith which are essential; there are others which are important in varying degrees but which have no bearing on one's personal salvation. (Answers To Life's Problems, p. 113-114)
If we agree on the things about which the Bible is very clear, we can agree to disagree on many minor points. (ibid., 114)
Scripture does not teach this, but rather, just the opposite. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) Please also note the following verses:
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:21-22)
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth . . . (1 Peter 1:22)
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Matthew 7:24-27; "these sayings of Mine" - Matthew 5:3-7:23)
If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:47)
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; (John 14:23-24)
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6; see also Jude 3; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Romans 16:17-18; 1 Timothy 1:3; 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5)
In Graham's "essential" teaching, Graham helps people "not receive the love of the truth [John 14:6], that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
XII. HIS FAMILY HYPOCRISY
In Graham's book, Unto the Hills, Graham writes, "No one is truly a success in God's eyes if his family is a mess." Graham's family was a mess, by his own admission. In Just As I Am, Graham writes about his family at home while he was away preaching.
"It sounds angelic. But the girl's theme song around the house, day in and day out, was 'Mama, get Franklin!' On Valentine's Day that year, she wrote the following item in her journal:
Four full-blooded little Grahams. I feel this A.M. it's gotten quite beyond me. They fight, they yell, they answer back. Breakfast is dreadful. Franklin woke me at 4:15 thinking it was time to get up . . . . And when I did get up at 6:15, so did Anne and Franklin, and fought during the time I have with the Lord alone. Now they've gone off to school looking nice enough (for once) and with a good breakfast but with the scrappiest of family prayers. Only a longer blessing and their last two weeks' Bible verses yelled each above the other. Grumbling, interrupting, slurring one another, impudent to me. So now they're off, I'm in bed with my Bible thinking it through - or rather, trying to.
What I missed! And what Ruth missed by not having me to help her." (p. 704, ellipsis in original)
Graham considers himself a pastor (Just As I Am, p. 507), but he was, and still is, disqualified (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
. . . one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?) (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
. . . holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (Titus 1:9)
a true church, P. O. Box 130, Moodys, OK 74444