Throwback Thursday: Billy Graham – Part 1

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 19, 2016 and has been revised.

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Billy Graham (d. 2018) is widely revered as the greatest evangelist of the last 100 years. No individual did more to spread the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone in that span. But my experience with Graham was quite different.

I left Roman Catholicism and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1983. What joy it was to have my sins forgiven and to walk in fellowship with the Lord! I had watched several of Graham’s crusades as a Catholic. Perhaps the televised crusades had softened my heart on my journey to the Lord, but I don’t recall them having made a direct impact. But as a new Christian, I was thrilled to be able to stand with such a famous and revered figure as Billy Graham in declaring the Good News! of Jesus Christ.

However, several months after accepting Christ, I came across some information that was critical of Graham. I learned that his crusades were planned in cooperation with local Roman Catholic clergy. Huh? When Catholics came forward at Graham’s invitation to accept Christ, they were referred to Catholic workers and eventually sent back to Catholic parishes. Catholics were told that coming forward at a Graham crusade was simply a recommitment to their sacramental baptism and confirmation. Catholicism talks about “faith” and “grace,” but their bottom line is a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

I was shocked by Graham’s betrayal of the Gospel. What was he thinking? I had “swam across the Tiber,” AWAY from Rome’s false gospel, to the Gospel of grace only to find evangelicalism’s favorite son encouraging Catholics to remain in error and convincing other evangelicals to embrace Rome as a genuine Christian church. How could this have happened?

I’m currently reading a book titled, “Evangelicalism Divided,” by Iain Murray, a former associate of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, which offers some explanations for why Graham and other-like minded evangelicals accommodated and compromised with doctrinal error in the pursuit of “results” and popularity and how that eventually led to the betrayal of the Gospel. I’ll be reviewing that book as the second part of this post.

Graham is so highly esteemed by evangelicals that few will tolerate any kind of criticism of him. In our post-modern age of tolerance and niceness, any kind of negative appraisal is widely frowned upon, even if an individual is leading millions into gross doctrinal error.

I’m not going to expend a great amount of effort writing about Protestantism’s “saint,” however, if you’ve hung with me this far, I would strongly encourage you to watch the attached 1:30-minute video clip in which Dr. Graham was interviewed by positivist gospel preacher, Robert Schuller. In the interview, Graham states that people of all religions will be saved; a universalist belief. Since Graham stated that belief in Jesus Christ and the Gospel wasn’t important to salvation, it’s understandable why he had no qualms with Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

Brothers and sisters, be careful who you follow. They may not be all they appear to be. If the world esteems them highly, that may be your first clue.

“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— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 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. 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

“For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15

24 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Billy Graham – Part 1

  1. That video is very agitating! Halfway through I said, “Stop! Thats a lie!”
    The crux of apostasy is ecumenicalism and Billy Graham was a forerunner.
    I pray for true believers to dig deeper in the word, stand closer with each other, and be discerning.
    Jesus said “the road is narrow” “few find it”!
    Press on brother.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth. Most evangelicals are not aware of how Graham paved the way for ecumenism. They wouldn’t care because they’ve been inculcated with the ecumenical lie over the past 50 years. It’s disconcerting that even pastors who believe in and follow Biblical separation acclaim Graham.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. One pastor praised Graham from the pulpit shortly after we spoke to him at length about Graham’s ecumenism. I believe the desire for financial benefit and popularity kept this pastor from saying anything negative about Graham. Those in the pew have made a “Protestant Pope” out of their pastors. Discernment is so lacking these days. This song comes to mind…

        “Dare to be a Daniel
        Dare to stand alone
        Dare to have a purpose firm
        Dare to make it known” 🎶

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, David. You’re right. There’s absolutely no Biblical support for Graham’s semi-Universalism. His incremental accommodations and compromises eventually led to betrayal of the Gospel.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have done more than 1 post on Billy Graham myself, Tom. And I have posted the same video that you have here. And I have done research and discovered the same thing you have about Catholics being sent back to their churches. All that you have written here is true.
    Watching some of Billy’s many sermons, it is difficult for me to imagine that he made such a huge error in judgment. So many of his sermons were straightforward and uncompromising. Yet, we cannot ignore such an error. I suppose it is a humbling lesson for all Christians that none of us are immune to succumbing to the popular thoughts of the day.
    I know of people who wouldn’t be protestant Christians if it hadn’t been for Billy Graham so there is no question that the Holy Spirit worked through his Biblical words. At the same time, this information needs to be known by all as a warning. It doesn’t matter who you are, God’s truths never change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Chris. Yup, Billy Graham was a walking contradiction. Giving out the clear Gospel in some settings and compromising and even betraying the Gospel in other settings. I’m currently reading a book on Billy’s close relationships with scores of Bible-denying liberal Protestant churchmen.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t want to overstate the case, but if I were Satan and I wanted to really mess up the evangelical church in regards to ecumenism, Billy Graham would be my man.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Most people who love Billy Graham have no clue about the information in this post.
        But your point is not overstated when it comes to ecumenism. If I was a Catholic trying to bring in Protestants, I would use Mr. Graham’s history.
        That probably will not happen though as the Catholic church views itself and the one and only true church. Do I have that right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So why all the beating around the bush? They should make this very clear and, instead of trying to lure protestants in little by little (I’ll admit probably the best tactic), they need to make it known that the rest of us are going to hell or purgatory. I suppose something like that would hurt the bottom line which is very important to the Catholic elite. So, I guess we have to deal with things the way they are: very, very fallacious.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The RCC is very strange in that it claims to be the one true church and that everyone must be baptized into it (and continue to adhere to its tenets) to be saved while incongruously granting that all non-Catholic religionists and even atheists can also possibly be saved if they’re good.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s been so much information about the problem of Graham online but yet sadly so few it seems know about his ecumenicalism; I suspect many “Evangelicsls” don’t care; the cult of niceness can be a bigger following than Scripture these days I think

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: I suspect many “Evangelicsls” don’t care

      Yup, evangelicalism is so compromised with regards to ecumenism that they view Graham’s pioneering efforts as laudable.

      Liked by 2 people

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