Monday, October 01, 2007
BILLY GRAHAM'S STRANGE FIRE
And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD.
“I fully adhere to the fundamental tenets of Christian faith for myself and my ministry. But, as an American, I respect other paths to God–and, as a Christian, I am called on to love them”
(“Our Task Is to Do All We Can, Not to Sit and Wait,” Parade Magazine, Oct. 20, 1996, p. 4).
“Each time a President has asked me to lead the Inaugural prayer, I have argued that I should not do it alone, that leaders of other religions should be there too....We are all brothers and sisters in our hearts. We ought to love each other.” What about other Christian leaders who do not share this view? “Well, I don’t agree with them”
(ibid., p. 5).
At San Francisco Crusade, 1997 Billy Graham stated: “There are other sins. Why do we jump on that sin [homosexuality] as though it’s the greatest sin?...What I want to preach about in San Francisco is the love of God. People need to know that God loves them no matter what their ethnic background or sexual orientation. I have so many gay friends, and we remain friends”
(“Graham Welcomes Gays at San Francisco,” Christian News, Oct. 20, 1997, p. 7).
There are those who think that Billy Graham is the next best thing to God here on earth but his theology stinks and is full of errors including his acceptance of Gays.
In his autobiography Just As I Am," Graham talks more about the people he knew than about Jesus Christ. Graham does make a few theological comments but they seem more from hell than heaven including:
“The heart of the problem for men like Bob Jones, Carl McIntire, and John R. Rice was the sponsorship of the Crusade  by the Protestant Council of New York. The council, they contended, included many churches and clergy who were theologically liberal and who denied some of the most important elements of the biblical message. It was not the first time some of them had raised their objections to my growing ecumenism, of course, but the New York Crusade marked their final break with our work”
(Just As I Am, pp. 302-03).
“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”
(ibid., p. 357).
“Ken [Strachan of the Latin American Mission] held the same view I did: that there needed to be a coming together in some way and some form between Catholics and Protestants”
“During the past ten years my concept of the church has taken on greater dimension....I an now aware that the family of God contains people of various ethnological, cultural, class, and denominational differences”
(“What Ten Years Have Taught Me,” Christian Century, Feb. 17, 1960, p. 188).
“I am far more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than I once was. My contact with Catholic, Lutheran, and other leaders...has helped me, hopefully, to move in the right direction”
(“I Can’t Play God Any More,” McCall’s, Jan. 1978, p. 158).
“I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant....We cannot fully understand the mysteries of God, but I believe a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christian, through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me”
(“A Lutheran Looks at Billy Graham,” Oct. 10, 1961, p. 12).
“I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost–were going to hell–if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God–through nature, for instance–and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying ‘yes’ to God”
(“I Cant’ Play God Any More,” McCall’s, Jan. 1978, p. 156).
“I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance....We only differ on some matters of later church tradition”
(ibid., p. 158).
Terry Mattingly to Graham: “Is the pope an evangelical?” Graham: “This one is”
(“Billy, Catholics, and Evangelicals–A Flashback,” Current Thoughts and Trends, Jan. 1995, p. 24).
“We can talk to one another as Christian brothers”
(“Catholics Laud ‘Dr. Graham’,” Christianity Today, Dec. 8, 1967, p. 41).
Graham upon receiving an honorary doctorate from Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey: “The gospel has built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation”
(“Belmont Abbey Confers Honorary Degree,” The Gastonia Gazette, Wed., Nov. 22, 1967).
“There’s no group of people in the world I’d rather be with right now than you” [the National Council of Churches staff members]. I think of you, I pray for you [and] follow with great interest the things you do”
(“The Graham Touch: Salvation and Unity,” The American Baptist, Jan./Feb. 1992, p. 11).
“When I hear the Pope plead, ‘Come to Christ, come to Christ,’ he sounds like me when I invite people at the end of my services to come forward and make a decision for Christ”
(“The Split-Up of Evangelicals,” Newsweek, April 26, 1982, p. 89).
Speaking to Hispanics and Roman Catholics at the San Antonio Crusade (1997), with special reference to Archbishop Patrick Flores: “The Devil has separated us, and a crusade like this is used of God to bring people of all denominations together. We need one another”
(“Latino Catholics Boost Graham Crusade Attendance,” Christianity Today, May 19, 1997, p. 51).
In an interview with Robert Schuller, Graham speaks: “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.... He’s [God] 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 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: “I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.” Graham: “There is. There is”
(“Graham Believes Men Can Be Saved Apart from Name of Christ,” Christian News, Oct. 20, 1997, p. 15).