The Pastor's Study
QUESTIONS AND EYEBROWS RAISED
AT PRAYER MEETING - ANSWERED
At the prayer meeting of the Grace Reformed
Baptist Church of Pine Bush, NY tonight May 9, 2001, I made reference
to remarks of the Reverend Billy Graham made in recent years
in which he has sounded more like a Unitarian Universalist than
like an evangelical Christian. The looks of surprise and amazement
and near unbelief at the idea of the Reverend Graham saying such
things led me to believe it wise to supply you with the quotes.
Here are but a few:
"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."
[1/78 McCall's Magazine]
"And I think there is that hunger
for God and people are living as best they know how according
to the light that they have. Well, I think they're in a separate
category than people like Hitler and people who have just defied
God, and shaken their fists at God. . I would say that God, being
a God of mercy, we have to rest it right there, and say that
God is a God of mercy and love, and how it happens, we don't
[1993 interview with David Frost quoted in The Charlotte Observer,
Feb. 16, 1993]
[Television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller.
Part I, an approximately 7-minute-long broadcast in Southern
California on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The following is an exact
transcript of an excerpt close to the end of this broadcast.]
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 even 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] I'm so thrilled to hear you
say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.
Graham: There is. There definitely is.
This is pretty sad indeed, but even worse
is the fact that the mainstream evangelical leaders have been
silent about these clearly unevangelical sentiments.
It is an evidence of the doctrinal dearth that characterizes
much of todays evangelical witness.
I don't think this delegitimizes Billy Graham's Christian testimony.
I wouldn't question his standing in grace nor the godly walk
he has exemplified over many years. But to view him as a trusted
guide and teacher, a kind of Protestant Pope as the media would
view him is clearly misguided. As the years go on the Reverend
Graham's statements stray more and more from the Billy Graham
of the late 40's and early 50's whose ministry was decidedly
Biblical and faithful to most of the Evangelical witness.
If a Billy Graham could so stray so far from the truth, it should
warn each of us to be sober, to be vigilant for truly our adversary
the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,
whom resist steadfastly in the faith.
Your Servant for Jesus Sake,