Billy Graham and His Friends

Billy Graham and His Friends: A Hidden Agenda
By Cathy Burns
Sharing, 2002, 788 pp.

4 Stars

Billy Graham is widely recognized as “the greatest evangelist of the 20th century,” but the history of Billy Graham is a history of paradoxes. Graham began his ministry as a Baptist fundamentalist, but he and like-minded cohorts, Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, E.J. Carnell, etc., determined they would break from insular fundamentalism and set a new course that would be more open to cooperation with leaders of mainline Protestant denominations and even with Roman Catholics. Graham would eventually seek the cooperation of the local Catholic bishop/s in the planning of his crusades. When Catholics “came forward” at a Graham crusade they were followed-up by Catholic workers who explained that their acceptance of Christ as Savior was just a reaffirmation of the infant baptism and confirmation.

In this thick tome, Cathy Burns examines Graham’s friendly associations with liberal “Protestant” churchmen such as Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, and James Pike. Burns also documents Graham’s very friendly relations with the National Council of Churches and its parent World Council of Churches. The genuine Gospel can’t be found in either apostate organization. Instead there were/are appeals to socialism and interreligious cooperation. Many of the leaders of the NCC and WCC were/are openly sympathetic to Marxism. At his crusades, Graham often had NCC leaders seated prominently on the dais and many were invited to give the opening invocation. Burns also documents Graham’s very positive view of Roman Catholicism.

The author gets into the “conspiracy weeds” at times. As just one example, she points to Graham’s wedding on the evening of Friday, August 13th, 1943, replete with a full moon, as a possible link to Satanism (p. 354). There’s also A LOT of discussion about how many of the NCC and WCC types were linked either directly or indirectly to one-worldism. Yup, I get it. The world is gradually moving towards one government and one religion as the Bible foretells. Overreaches aside, Burns has thoroughly documented the fact that many of Billy Graham’s “friends” were adversaries of the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Yes, Billy Graham was a paradox. While he preached the genuine Gospel at his crusades, he pioneered evangelical ecumenism with Rome and eagerly accommodated apostate churchmen.

18 thoughts on “Billy Graham and His Friends

  1. Another good book review Tom. I found Evangelism Divided very informative, esp on the background and shenanigans of Billy Graham.
    Yes, he “preached the genuine gospel at his crusades” but instead of watering good seeds he contaminated them with ecumenicalism and politics.
    People are so impressed with his alliances in the White House and elsewhere. That’s like Jesus aligning Himself with Herod or Pontius Pilate, or even the Sanhedrin.
    I’m not sure about conspiracy claims, its enough for me that his quest was to build an empire in this world, not in God’s holy Kingdom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth. I’m glad you found “Evangelicalism Divided” informative.

      Yes, so many disturbing characteristics about Graham, including his ecumenism and his quest to be hugely popular and the “spiritual advisor” to a long line of U.S. presidents.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Answering your question about my day: Just finished homeschooling! In the middle of everything we also had our car tow and looked at and was trying to figure out stuff with that today too.
    Good day today! Hope to read some more later on, going on social media now to share our blog’s post. Going to read this too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I imagine the author is writing from a biblical Protestant perspective? Asking since these days there can be all sorts of critics. Since you said it does get conspiratorial I wonder if she’s writing as an IFB background.
    I know there’s some literature on Billy Graham’s compromise with RC but less on mainline liberals that are “Protestants” so this is good. aND MUCH needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, Cathy Burns is writing from a Biblical Protestant perspective. She’s definitely a fundamentalist Christian, although she doesn’t specify her denominational ties. A google search came up with her father’s obituary. He was a minister affiliated with God’s Missionary Church denomination, a fundamentalist Holiness/Methodist/Wesleyan sect.
      Yes, Burns writes extensively on Graham’s compromise with NCC and WCC types and their connections to one-worldism, both the political and religious aspects. The book is almost more about heretical liberal “Protestantism” than it is about Graham.
      Burns does get into the conspiracy weeds a bit, but nowhere near the degree of somebody like Jack Chick.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Jimmy! I truly appreciate your support and encouragement over the years. I fully understand that my subject material is not going to garner support from most evangelicals, bloggers or non-bloggers.

        BTW, I listened to your latest sermon upload – “Christian in an age of active shooter” – while mowing the backlawn this morning. I appreciated the good (and practical) message. This is an issue that’s ramping up as society deteriorates, but church leaders need to guide the sheep through this as you have done in this sermon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the book review Tom, Your last paragraph sum it all up “Yes, Billy Graham was a paradox. While he preached the genuine Gospel at his crusades, he pioneered evangelical ecumenism with Rome and eagerly accommodated apostate churchmen”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Crissy! If Satan was going to steer evangelicalism down the wrong path, it would be predictable that he would use a highly-honored and respected evangelist.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Believers I have talked with about Graham just say… but he preaches the Gospel. Seems they can’t see past that. How can they not see the evil of sending them back to the Catholic Church for discipleship. Pastors honor Graham and turn a blind eye to his ecumenism. I’ve read Graham even sent Jewish people back to their synagogues. He truly was a tool of satan!

    Liked by 1 person

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