Billy Graham – A Tarnished Legacy

This week, the most famous pastor in the world passed away. He preached to millions throughout his lifetime with untold numbers making a profession of faith through his ‘Crusades’.

We are, of course, referring to Billy Graham, and many gushing tributes have been paid to this undoubtedly tremendously gifted and eloquent gospel preacher.

We in no way whatsoever wish to minimise the mighty work Billy Graham was used at one time by God to perform, but there can be no question either that Billy Graham was a compromiser with Rome and other false religion and also did great damage to evangelical Reformed Protestantism, both in America and further afield.

Of particular concern was his cosy relationship with Rome and indeed, at many of his ‘Crusades’ when Roman Catholics came forward, Billy Graham and his team referred them back to their local Roman Catholic Church. These were people seeking the truth of God’s marvellous and free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) but instead they were instructed to return to the idolatry and deceit of the Roman Catholic Church.

Here are just a couple of examples of Billy Graham’s compromise with Rome.

In 1952 – “Many of the people who have reached a decision on Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic church and we have received commendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their church following one of our campaigns.” Graham, September 1952, Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph

In 1958 – Official follow-up of San Francisco crusade reported that of the 1300 Catholics who came forward, “practically all remained Catholic, continued to pray to Mary, go to Mass, and confess to a priest.” –Oakland Tribune, Dec. 17, 1958

In 1962 – Sao Paulo Brazil, Catholic bishop stood beside Graham and welcomed inquirers

In 1963 – Upon death of Pope John XXIII Graham stated: “I admire Pope John tremendously. I felt he brought a new era to the world. It is my hope that the Cardinals elect a new Pope who will follow the same line as John. It would be a great tragedy if they chose a man who reacted against John, who re-erected the walls.”

In 1967 – Graham was awarded an honorary degree from Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey College. He said: “The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation” – Gastonia Gazette, Gastonia, NC, Nov. 22, 1967

In 1979 – A special Catholic mass was conducted following Graham’s crusade in Milwaukee as part of the follow-up for 3,500 Catholics who came forward during the meetings.

In 1984 – Vancouver, British Columbia, crusade vice-chairman David Cline stated: “If Catholics step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes.” — Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5, 1984

In 1989 – 2,100 Catholics who came forward during London, England crusades were referred to Catholic churches

In the examples above, you can see thousands of Catholics being pointed back to paganism; what a difference could have been made had those poor lost souls been directed to Christ, rather than “that man of sin, and son of perdition”, the Pope, who sets himself up in that position.

Billy Graham has received commendation from all quarters after his death, and one might say that’s a great thing to have been so highly thought of.

But how often are God’s servants almost universally popular? Especially in a world today where Biblical standards are being discarded and trampled underfoot.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, we are told in Isaiah 53:3, did not enjoy any such popularity. It says: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

Jesus told his followers to expect to be hated for His sake. John 15:18-19 says: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

To be so thought of by the world is considered a blessing. Matthew 5:11-12 says: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you , and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

As we mentioned in our article a couple of days ago on ‘Rev’ Lesley Carroll, there is a problem with mingled seed. Deuteronomy 22:9 says: “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.”

The Evangelical Alliance paid a fulsome tribute to Billy Graham and made this interesting comment: “…one could not help but be impacted by his… commitment to the truth of the gospel…”

We fear that referring Catholics back to priestcraft when they are coming forward for help for their souls rather undermines that comment.

Other tributes have been paid by the likes of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, an arch-apostate, and senior figures in the Presbyterian Church, whose stance on Rome and false religion leaves a lot to be desired.

As we have said, Billy Graham was a major and significant figure and was at one time used by God to see sinners saved. However, his descent into compromise was greatly disappointing to those who hold the Bible dear.

His admittedly very inspiring quote about his death on earth just heralding a change of address to heaven is true, we have no doubt about it, but how many more could have been helped to join him there had he encouraged them to leave the church of Rome?

2 Corinthians 6:17: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you.”

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2 thoughts on “Billy Graham – A Tarnished Legacy”

  1. It doesn’t take a doctorate in comparative theology to understand that Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit is not the same as the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. How did Graham not see this even when faithful men of God pleaded with him not to go down the path of ecumenism? Graham was blinded by dark spiritual forces. It makes me wonder if he genuinely understood the Gospel himself?

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