Billy Graham – You Decide
Nearly 50 years ago, Billy Graham declared, “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings
is...referred to a local clergyman—Protestant, Catholic or Jewish.” (San Francisco News, November 11, 1957) For more than 50 years, Billy has affirmed Roman Catholicism as the true gospel
and has sent Roman Catholics who come forward at his crusades back to the Catholic churches they had left. Billy praised John
Paul II as a preacher of the true gospel (Saturday Evening Post, January/February 1980) and declared that he and the Pope
agreed on almost everything. Yet John Paul II (as does his Church), looked to Mary instead of Christ for salvation. In his
Last Will and Testament of March 6, 1979, he entrusted “that decisive moment [of death] to the Mother of Christ and
of the Church [and] of my hope....” His Apostolic Letter of October 16, 2002, ended thus:
O Blessed Rosary of Mary...our comfort in the hour
of death: yours our final kiss as life ebbs away...the last word from our lips will be your sweet name...O Refuge of Sinners....
Billy Graham has praised Bishop Fulton Sheen as the “greatest communicator of the 20th century,”(
Ad for Sheen Gems: The Best of Fulton J. Sheen video, vol 1-2, quoting Billy Graham)
Though Sheen preached a false gospel, and his hope of heaven was that Mary would let him in because of his 40 pilgrimages
to Marian shrines at Fatima and Lourdes, (The Woman I Love video (Clifton, NJ: Keep the Faith).
Graham expressed his gratitude to Sheen “for his ministry and his focus on Christ.”(
Billy Graham, Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham (HarperSanFrancisco/Zondervan, 1997), 692-93). When Sheen died,
Billy said, “I...look forward to our reunion in heaven.”( Nashua Telegram, December 10, 1979)
We should not be surprised, then, to learn that Graham also holds to Rome's false gospel of baptismal
regeneration! The following quote is from an article written in October of 1961 after Graham did an interview with Lutheran
clergyman Wilfred Bockelman, who was then the associate editor of The Lutheran Standard: (Emphasis added.)
"I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant, particularly if the parents
are Christians and teach their children Christian truths from childhood. 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 Christians through infant
baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that's all right with me" (10/10/61, The Lutheran Standard).
- A recent interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" television
broadcast once again reveals just how far Graham has fallen from the orthodox teaching of Scripture. King interviewed Graham
for a full hour on Christmas Day, 1998. During the course of the interview, King questioned Graham about the afterlife soon
after Graham had mentioned he was not afraid to die since he knew he would be with God (italics added):
GRAHAM: I'll know Him. He'll know me. He will receive me. I believe the moment that I die, an
angel comes and takes my hand and leads me into His presence.
KING: In your body or through a soul?
GRAHAM: Both -- maybe both, because we have been resurrected. Remember, this body's coming back
together again. Nothing ever disappears ...
KING: All right. You'll meet Jesus and then what will it be like? What will paradise be like?
GRAHAM: It's going to be like paradise. It'll be the -- everything that you ever wanted for happiness
will be there. People say that the Bible teaches there's no sex in Heaven. If sex is necessary for our happiness and fulfillment,
it'll be there. And then, if certain other things that we think are pleasurable will -- it'll be there.
Once again, Graham's theology is completely contrary to Scripture. God's Word never teaches that
whatever is necessary for physical human happiness will be the believer's lot in heaven. On the contrary, the believer will
rejoice in praising God and fulfilling His will, not the desired will of the individual. The believer's physical body, while
on the earth, is still wrestling with the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life that are certainly pleasurable to the earthly
saint. But heaven will be a place where the believer will fulfill the will of the Savior and honor and glorify Him throughout
all eternity. To give the impression that heaven will be a type of hedonistic paradise is dangerous, false theology. (Excerpted
and/or adapted from the Jan-Feb 1999, Foundation magazine.)
Graham also believes that
men can be saved apart from the Name of Christ. (Source: 5/31/98 television interview with Robert Schuller, as reported in
the May-June 1997, Foundation magazine.):
SCHULLER: Tell me, what do
you think is the future of Christianity?
GRAHAM: Well, Christianity
and being a true believer -- you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around
the world, outside the Christian groups. 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. [How can anyone love Christ or know Christ and not be conscious of it (Rom.
8:9,16; 10:14; 1 John 3:24; 4:13; John 3:18)?] 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 [How can this be? (cf. Acts 4:12; Rom 10:13)], 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: Well, 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: [R.S. trips over
his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says] This is fantastic! I'm so thrilled to hear you say that! There's a wideness
in God's mercy!
GRAHAM: There is. There definitely
What Graham is actually saying
here is: "Sinners can be saved by their good works and that a personal relationship to Jesus Christ by being born again is
NOT necessary to salvation." This statement also directly agrees with the Roman Catholic universal catechism, page 224; para.
"Those who, through no fault
of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved
by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience, those too may achieve
Thus, Roman Catholicism, and
Billy Graham, have said that even if you never hear about Christ, you can still be saved by being the best person you can
be. This directly contradicts Acts 4:12 which says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Jesus, Himself left no doubt: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
- Graham refuses to defend the Bible as the inerrant
Word of God. Newsweek magazine, April 26, 1982, examined the debate on the issue of Biblical infallibility. The article noted
that Billy Graham is not on the side of inerrancy:
"Billy Graham, for one, clearly is not. 'I believe the Bible is the inspired, authoritative word
of God,' Graham says, 'but I don't use the word "inerrant" because it's become a brittle divisive word.'"
Graham avoids controversy at any cost. He knows that Modernists and unbelieving Evangelicals are
willing to call the Bible "authoritative and inspired" even while denying that it is the infallible and inerrant Word of God.
Graham aligns himself with this unbelieving camp. If the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, who can dogmatically determine
which part is and which part is not inerrant? If the Bible is not inerrant, it is not authoritative (Source: Evangelicals
and Rome, by David Cloud).
- Never mind that the Catholic sacrament of the Mass
is the greatest attack ever on the finished work of Christ (cf. Heb. 10:19-22), Graham thinks the Mass is not only beautiful,
but that it is clear in the gospel!:
"This past week I preached in the great Catholic cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend
of mine who was a Catholic, and they had several Bishops and Archbishops to participate. And as I sat there going through
the funeral Mass, that was a very beautiful thing, and certainly straight and clear in the gospel. There was a wonderful little
priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do" (O Timothy, Vol. 10, Issue 9, 1993, pp. 16-17).
There you have it. Billy Graham kneeling and worshiping the Mass wafer! It evidently matters not
to Graham that the Mass destroys the Biblical teaching of Christ's atonement, and thereby, the very Gospel itself.
Norman Vincent Peale was the person who was not only responsible for bringing "Christian" psychology
into the professing Church, but he also advocated such New Age and/or occult teachings as visualization, pantheism, human
potential, positive confession, positive thinking, etc. Once on the Phil Donahue Show, Peale, a 33rd degree Mason, said, "It's
not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God, I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine." (Shintoism
is an ancient Oriental religion that fuses ancestor worship with mysticism.) He also denied the necessity of believing in
the virgin birth.
Peale's false teachings apparently mattered little to Billy Graham. Bible for Today quoted Graham
as saying in a speech at a National Council of Churches luncheon on 12/6/66: "I don't know anyone who has done more for the
kingdom of God than Norman and Ruth Peale, or have meant any more in my life -- the encouragement they have given me" (Hayes
Minnick, BFT Report #565, p. 28). (Maybe Billy meant to say that he could think of no one who had done more evil for the cause
of Christ than the Peales?) Graham even once allowed Peale to give the benediction at one of his New York City rallies, and
then sent the names of some 400 new "converts" to Peale's Marble Collegiate Church.
One of Norman Vincent Peale's most "successful" protégés is Robert Schuller. Schuller teaches
that there is no need for one to recognize his own personal sin, no need for repentance, and no need for the crucifixion of
self. Concerning the latter point, Schuller teaches just the opposite philosophy -- that self is to be exalted -- which is
nothing less than an outright denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (See Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, wherein Schuller
says, "Jesus knew His worth; His success fed His self-esteem. He suffered the cross to sanctify His self-esteem and He bore
the cross to sanctify your self-esteem. The cross will sanctify the ego trip" [cf. Matthew 16:24].)
Yet, Graham endorses this apostate as well, saying: "Robert Schuller is a great man of God, whose
shoes I am not worthy to stoop and loose" (cf. John the Baptist's statement when speaking of Jesus in John 1:27!). Graham
is also the one who advised Schuller, back in 1969, to start his "Hour of Power" television show. In 1972, Graham made Schuller
a leader in his Anaheim Crusade, saying, "There is no one in all the world I love in Christ more than I do Bob Schuller. ...
He has done some of the greatest things for the Kingdom of God of any man in our generation" (David Beale, S.B.C. House on
the Sand, p. 144). Graham made a personal appearance on Schuller's 1000th anniversary program (aired 4/2/89), relating how
he had encouraged Schuller 20 years earlier when he said, "Bob, why don't you think of telecasting your services." [Graham
spoke at Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in 1985, and the two men came up with a joint definition of "born again" as "a
decision to stop carrying your own luggage" (Paul Harvey's report, 7/15/85).]
Graham even finds it difficult to take a truly Christian position on moral issues. When in Portland
for the 9/92 Crusade, Graham had the unique opportunity to declare that homosexuality is sin. He was asked about his position
on Oregon's upcoming (11/92) statewide referendum that would declare homosexuality abnormal, and would thereby prohibit government
support of it. Rather than giving a clear answer from the Bible, Graham played the politician:
"I find it is emotional, with strong arguments on both sides of the issue. I intend to stay out
of national and local politics while here. God loves all people whatever their ethnic or political background or their social
orientation. ... Christians take opposing views on many issues ... those on both sides of the issue must love each other.
... I never speak against other groups" (9/22/92, The Statesman Journal).
On the 12/22/94 Larry King Live Show, Graham also said that he believed that homosexuals are born
with a tendency toward homosexuality; i.e., in the genes.
Concerning the issue of abortion, a year earlier on ABC's "Good Morning America" (GMA) (9/5/91),
Graham, when asked the Christian position on abortion, said: "... there is a Christian position, I think. But I'm not prepared
to say what it is." And, again two weeks later on GMA (9/19/91), Graham said: "But there are occasions when abortion is the
only alternative" (although he didn't say when it is okay to snuff out innocent, unborn human life). (Reported in the 2/22/93,
In 1985, Graham affirmed his belief that those outside of Christ might be saved. Los Angeles reporter
David Colker asked Graham: "What about people of other faiths who live good lives but don't profess a belief in Christ?" Graham
replied, "I'm going to leave that to the Lord. He'll decide that" (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 7/22/85). While this answer
might appear reasonable to those who do not know the Bible, in reality it is a great compromise of the truth. God has already
decided what will happen to those who die outside of faith in Jesus Christ. The book of Ephesians describes the condition
of such as "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3) and "having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). That is why Christ
must be preached. Men without a saving knowledge of Christ are condemned already (John 3:18). There is no mystery or question
about this matter, because the Bible has plainly spoken.
Graham has said that the virgin birth of Christ is NOT an essential part of the Christian faith.
In an interview with a United Church of Canada publication in 1966 ("Billy Graham Answers 26 Provocative Questions," United
Church Observer, July 1, 1966), Graham gave the following reply to a question about the virgin birth of Christ:
Q. Do you think a literal belief in the Virgin birth -- not just as a symbol
of the incarnation or of Christ's divinity -- as an historic event is necessary for personal salvation?
A. While I most certainly believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin,
I do not find anywhere in the New Testament that this particular belief is necessary for personal salvation.
In his zeal to appease the apostates in the United Church of Christ (its current moderator, Bill
Phipps, denies that Jesus Christ is God), Graham tells an absolute lie. How would it be possible for a saved person to deny
the virgin birth of Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ were not virgin born, He was a sinner; and if He were a sinner, He could
not have died for our sins. Further, if Christ were a sinner, and if He were not virgin born, He was a liar for making such
claims and the Bible that records those claims is a blatant and wicked lie, and the Bible-believing Christian is a deceived
and foolish person whose faith has no authoritative foundation. Therefore, apart from the virgin birth, there is no Gospel
and no Salvation and no authoritative Bible. The virgin birth of Christ is "fatal" doctrine, meaning it is crucial for salvation.
The entire Gospel stands or falls on the virgin birth (Evangelicals and Rome, by David Cloud).
Perhaps most dramatic is Graham's change regarding false religions. In 1948, he said: "The three
gravest menaces faced by Orthodox Christianity are Communism, Roman Catholicism, and Mohammedanism." By 1973, however, Graham
had changed his tune. He said that Communist Mao Tse-Tung's "eight precepts are basically the same as the Ten Commandments,"
he praised the Roman Catholic mass as a "very beautiful thing", and said Mohammed Ali's beliefs in Islam "are something we
all could believe."
Graham's gospel and Roman Catholicism's gospel are, in reality, no different. In 1978, McCall's
Magazine reported Dr. Graham's "updated" understanding of the way of salvation:
"I used to think 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 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."
Foundation magazine seems
to adequately sum up the case against Billy Graham:
"Fifty years of compromise have increased
Billy Graham's popularity but have resulted in a serious loss of spiritual discernment and Scriptural convictions. Fifty years
of compromise have brought Billy Graham into close fellowship and cooperation with millions of those who preach a false gospel
and teach dangerous, unscriptural doctrines. His refusal to warn about the false gospel preached by the Roman Catholic, Orthodox,
and Protestant churches is inexcusable and indefensible. His failure to warn about the dangers of the wildfire teachings of
charismatic leaders opens the door for millions of believers to be deceived. Fifty years of compromise have even led Billy
Graham into joining with leaders of pagan, heathen religions on the basis of a mutual search for world peace" (March- May
1991 Foundation, p. 16).