6 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven.
(1 Corinthians 5:6-7)
Billy Graham Has Long Been Compromised In His Doctrine And Witness
One of the things I attempt to do here at Apprising Ministries is to follow developing trends within the professing Christian church and expose the growing apostasy within the mainstream evangelical community, Much of it today is actually rooted in the ill-fated Church Growth Movement, which was birthed by an American evangelicalism that never fully renounced its inherent humanism.
A neo-evangelicalism to be a bit more precise. In his 2009 article The Demise of Evangelicalism: Why “neo-evangelicalism” was a monumental mistake Phil Johnson informs us that:
Neo-evangelicalism was a movement among evangelicals whose aim was to make evangelicalism seem more intellectually sophisticated and less polemically combative. The movement was strongly influenced by the early drift of Fuller seminary, led by men who were affiliated with Christianity Today and the National Association of Evangelicals, and driven mainly (I think) by a desire for academic respectability, even at the expense of a clear and consistent testimony. (source)
It should be noted that among notable neo-evangelicals we will find Southern Baptist minister Billy Graham.1 In Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones On Secondary Separation we were reminded that Lloyd-Jones refused to work with Graham because he “would [not] stop having liberals and Roman Catholics on his platform.” You may recall that I’ve mentioned before that, like a lot of people, I had once looked to Billy Graham as a Christian example to be greatly admired.
That is until troubling quotes and questionable associations he’d been making through the years kept coming up in my research. Unfortunately, many people think that Graham’s age is a factor in what’s thought of as later apostasy. You’re about to see, this is not so. In fact, Billy Graham has long exemplified the blurring of important doctrinal distinctives which has become so prevalent within the mainstream of the church visible.
For example, consider that his organization awarded a blatant false prophet who works closely with quasi-modalist and prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes: Word Faith Heretic Cindy Trimm Receives Award From Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Then there’s fellow Southern Baptist, “America’s pastor” Rick Warren, openly embracing a high-ranking Roman Catholic apostate: Rick Warren And His Brother “His Eminence” Timothy Dolan Archbishop Of New York.
As such, I believe the following needs to be offered for your edification. In his video presentation Billy Graham: The Man and His Message my friend Cecil Andrews of Take Heed Ministries points out that Graham started off well in his ministry of the Gospel:
when he appeared on the Christian scene in the late 1940’s he certainly did not, at that stage, compromise on the uniqueness of the Person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in fact in 1948 [Billy Graham] made this statement. He said: “‘the three greatest menaces faced by orthodox Christianity are Communism, Roman Catholicism, and Muhammadism,” which we know is Islam today. The sad thing is that having made that very commendable statement he then subsequently proceeded to retreat on all fronts.
Then, in the clip below Dr. John MacArthur adds the following salient comments concerning the path that ecumenism and inclusivism, into which Graham would get caught up, took to arrive within the evangelical community:
This has certainly leaped from Aristotle to the [Roman] Catholic Church into evangelical Protestantism. Now we have a kind of Protestant viewpoint that says Muslims and Hindus and whoever are going to be in the Body of Christ, in the Kingdom, in Heaven, with salvation whether they ever get a Bible or whether they ever hear the Gospel or whether they ever know about Jesus Christ. The Billy Graham organization affirmed this position is the same as the one articulated in an article in Decision magazine which Billy wrote in 1960, so this is not something new. (4:05-4:36)
Billy Graham Preaching Wider Mercy Heresy And Denying The Protestant Reformation
Next we’ll consider some more examples further illustrating the 1960 Decision article to which MacArthur refers. First, there’s the “Hour of Power” MacArthur quotes from in the above video. Specifically, program #1426 entitled Say “Yes” To Possibility Thinking, which was originally broadcast May 31, 1997. You are about to see Billy Graham tell you that someone can love Christ, and know Christ, and not even be conscious of it. So now we have a salvation by osmosis?
This kind of thing ought to raise some questions, such as, these people “know” someone they’re not even aware of? How can someone love another whom they aren’t conscious that they know? If all of this is true, then why then should we bother preaching the Gospel at all? A transcript follows the Hour of Power video clip below:
Schuller: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?
Graham: I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ. And I don’t think that we’re going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God’s purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name.
And that’s what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.
Schuller: What, 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: This is fantastic. I’m so thrilled to hear you say that. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.
Graham: There is.
We also have the following that sheds more light upon Billy Graham’s sinful ecumenicism:
Oct. 29th 1963 Dr. Graham admitted to the ‘Daily Journal’ of International Falls, Minn., that at a Graham Crusade in San Paulo Brazil the Roman Catholic Bishop stood beside him and blessed the converts as they came forward. Graham said that this illustrated ‘something tremendous, an awakening of reform and revival within Christianity’ was happening. (‘New York Times’ Nov. 9th, 1963).
5th July 1968 in ‘Christianity Today’ Billy spoke of cooperation with apostate Romanism and said, ‘I don’t think we have all to unite and be one big church to do the work of God, but there are areas where we can cooperate‘. (source, emphasis mine)
I offer that this would be news to the Lord’s Reformers like Luther and Calvin, not to mention scores of powerful men of God such as Charles Spurgeon. These all recognized that Rome’s condemnation of God’s Gospel itself will forever separate us from the type of “cooperation” that Graham is talking about, where he has Roman Catholic parishes (they are not churches in a Biblical sense) as part of his gospel crusades.
Billy Graham Has Helped Satan’s Spirit Of Ecumenicism Penetrate Conservative Evangelicalism
As we get set to close this, for now, I’ll give you even a few more examples of Southern Baptist Billy Graham’s evangelical apostasy so you can see for yourself that there’s no doubt as to his man-centered compromise. The following is from a 2005 Christianity Today piece called We Are Brothers:
In 1964, Richard Cardinal Cushing, the renowned [Roman Catholic] archbishop of Boston, shook up the Catholic Church by praising Billy Graham.
Encouraging Catholics to hear the evangelist, Cushing remarked that he would stop worrying about the Catholic Church’s future in America if they had half a dozen men like Graham. [Roman] Catholic and evangelical efforts toward fellowship have largely followed the Cushing-Graham model. (source).
Notice the above references commentary from 1964; and what a sad testimony that apostates would wish there were more ostensibly Protestant evangelicals like Billy Graham who consider the Church of Rome as Christian despite it’s anathema of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In David Scott’s 2005 CT article The Pope We Never Knew we’re told Graham’s compromise goes back at least to his infamous 1957 New York City crusade:
After Graham’s first “communist” crusade in Hungary in 1977, he was invited to the predominately Catholic country of Poland by the tiny Protestant community there, which amounted to less than 1 percent of the population. Just as in his 1957 New York City crusade, Graham wanted to work with as many Catholics as possible. (source)
The following comes from “His Eminence” Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Archbishop of Los Angeles. In a letter concerning Billy Graham’s November 2004 Rose Bowl Crusade dated October 6, 2004 Mahoney clearly reveals more of Graham’s sinful ecumenicism:
My Brother Priests,
A tremendous opportunity for evangelizing and welcoming alienated and nonpracticing Catholics back into full sacramental life [i.e. the Roman Catholic Church] will be presented to us this November.
Mahoney then continues:
These officials [from BGEA] have assured me that, in keeping with Dr. Graham’s belief and policy, there will be no proselytizing [of Roman Catholics], and that anyone identifyiing him or herself as a Catholic will be referred to us for reintegration into the life of the [Roman] Catholic church… Dr. Graham preaches the Gospel with great eloquence and with a true ecumenical spirit,… (source, emphasis mine)
Notice Mahoney informs us that this sending people “for reintegration into” apostate Roman Catholic Churches, with their false gospel, is Graham’s own personal “belief and policy.” Even Tim Challies discussed Billy Graham and Ecumenicism back in 2004 just prior to Graham’s Rose Bowl Crusade mentioned above. The sad fact is, Challies is absolutely right when he says:
Since the early days of his ministry, Graham has worked hand-in-hand with Catholic Churches and has often expressed his belief that Catholics who are faithful to Roman Catholic teachings are saved.
While I certainly believe that Catholics can be saved, those who believe the Church’s doctrine on salvation must be excluded because the doctrine denies that salvation is by faith alone. It is a simple but effective argument that cannot be denied without seriously twisting the words of Scripture, for the Catholic doctrine stands in direct opposition to the truth.
I do not doubt that Graham has impacted many lives and has been used by God to draw many to Himself. However, many of his beliefs stand opposed to Scripture, and we can see evidence of that in his ecumenical beliefs. Unfortunately there is such reverence for Graham within the evangelical churches that to speak of any of his theological problems, even those that are most obvious and most opposed to Scripture, is akin to speaking out against God Himself. (source)
Many times I have demonstrated from official sources of the Roman Catholic Church that Rome has never lifted the anathema she placed upon the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ.2 And as it is written:
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
There’s just no basis for fellowship between the Christian and the Roman Catholic Church. Yet you’ve just seen examples of Billy Graham in fellowship with Roman Catholic priests, refusing to try and convert people from apostate Roman Catholicism, and actually sending them right into Roman Catholic parishes. So you should be able to see that the evidence has been there all along. This has always been Billy Graham’s policy in this area; and he truly has been compromised for many decades.
As I already pointed out, the tragic result for those following Graham’s Reformation-denying example is an inclusivism, which has now slithered its way into the very heart of the mainstream visible church. This cursed ecumenical spirit of compromise has become what I’ve referred to as the Ecumenical Church of Deceit with its Seeker Driven-Purpose Driven sector a la Rick Warren, the Emerging Church “twist to universalism” offered e.g. as the Love Wins mythology of men like Rob Bell, and the selfish self-esteem “whichever way the wind blows” message of Joel Osteen.
This is a very real part of the legacy of Billy Graham. which is vividly illustrated by the recent Christian Post piece Billy Graham Is ‘One of a Kind’ Says Mark Driscoll; Rick Warren, James MacDonald, Bible TV Series Producers Share Sentiment. No, Graham is actually a grandfather of many of his compromised kind. Sadly, he has had an enormous influence within evangelicalism; but Graham’s is not an example to be admired at all. Let us be praying that Billy Graham will publicly repent of his inclusivism and ecumenicism before it’s too late.
And I’m afraid that the devastating effects of this kind of perverted gospel message are only now being brought to light within mainstream evangelicalism by God the Holy Spirit. May the Lord have mercy upon us:
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)
- DR. R.C. SPROUL: IT’S SIN FOR A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN TO REMAIN WITH THE APOSTATE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
- SOUTHERN BAPTISTS ASSIST THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH TO INFILTRATE EVANGELICALISM
- MINDSET OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM PERMEATING EVANGELICALISM