Billy Graham, the great American evangelist passed away on Tuesday. His 70 year ministry is practically unmatched in history, especially as he served as the preacher to a nation in severe decline. His prophetic voice called Americans to repentance and faith in Christ, more than any others. We trace his roots from the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, consider his impact on the nation, and the integrity and trajectory of his life. We end the program by asking why American Christianity is so weak? What happened? How did we lose a God-centeredness in the doctrine of salvation and life? Could Graham have contributed to some of these weaknesses? Here is a careful and balanced summary of Billy Graham's contributions to the church and the world, as well as his soteriology.
Overcomer? Not! Was Billy Graham an overcomer? According to the biblical definition, no. Paul worried that his flock could be overcomers, while he himself could make shipwreck of his Christian life; an apostle whom Jesus handpicked. If there could've been a condition of once saved, always saved, I think Paul would've met it. I stopped listening to Billy Graham when I heard him say,Don't leave here today without knowing you've taken care of this;then you won't have to worry. Don't worry about your friends, they'll wait for you! it'll only take 5 minutes! He supported Pope Francis who said, shortly after being nominated, " It is not necessary to believe in Jesus to get to Heaven. Just continue doing good". Most Orthodox Catholics think he's a heretic, but Graham approved! I believe he did start out running well; but desire of worldy gain took over;So he said what people wanted to hear and got famous. Lloyd Jones said after hearing him,I don't see the Holy Spirit, only charisma. The churches in the host cities of his events saw no rise in church attendance, and why would they? It only takes 5 minutes! Graham said himself, he would be surprised if 4% of those altar calls were real converts, (yet 100% believed they were saved, and Graham's ministry pocketed the $$).If that isn't shipwreck, what is?
Benjamin Formerly Mephibosheth (3/30/2018)
from The King's Table
Pastor Swanson perhaps a Part 2 is in order.
This is a surprise It seems there are a lot of good things which can be said about Billy Graham but how much leaven does it take to spoil the whole lump? It seems he taught that doctrine is not important and that we can ignore Bible teaching if we want but God says: Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (II John 1:9)
I have often listened to you K.S., have bought some of your books and have passed on links to your audio for a long time now and can hardly believe that the person I thought was a steadfast bastion of truth has folded and can eulogise a heretic - a destroyer.
Does it not set alarm bells ringing when you hear everyone speaking well of him? Does it not bring to mind the warning from Jesus: Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26) ? - and what about Paul's warning re "another gospel" and what about his warning re false teachers and his warning about Satan's ministers being transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works?
nancy bryson (2/25/2018)
'A Careful and Balanced Summary'? I agree with most of the other commenters that Billy Graham was an ecumenist. Additionally, Mr. Graham seemed not to acknowledge the persecution of Christians in 20th century China and Russia. Sadly, his trajectory was downward, not upward, through the course of his lifetime. Greg Miller (also on SermonAudio) has a well-researched message on Mr. Graham.
Hmm I am glad to see posts of people who see Mr. Graham's false teaching for what it was. I agree and just realized that he was the biggest problem of Evangelcalism and the father or front man for ecumenism in US. He was a superstar and had stadiums full and many people coming forward to ask Jesus into their hearts. That is why he is propped up. He taught easy believe-ism. He said Pope John Paul II is with The Lord. Ms. Brenda the broadcast paid tribute to an Ecumenist who claimed people could die and go to heaven without hearing the gospel. That means that preachers aren't needed and Pastors should give up the ministry and do something else since they are not needed. Why did Mr. Graham "preach" if it wasn't necessary? Why do mission work? Why jeopardize your life and health in remote areas when the folks will get to heaven anyway? Acts chapter 10 says how will they be saved without a preacher? Paul wasted his time being beat and put in prison if the pagan Romans through light if creation would be saved whether they were conscious of it or not. By default everyone gets to heaven at the end of the day. We are a celebrity drunk culture. Mr. Graham was a religious celebrity who by default of his universalism taught there are many roads to heaven.
Ineteresting but I echo the above comment as Billy Graham is possibly the main cause of the evangelical downgrade into ecumenical easy believism when you look at churches that followed the BG model from the 70's and look at the same today. BG claims that the Pope (the Antichrist according to our Reformed confessions) was a great evangelist and in heaven...REALLY? BG used men like pop star Cliff Richard-a convert in his campaigns. Cliff lives with a male former RC and believes JW's go to heaven??? It isn't hard to see where the BG influence fits when 'converts' are sent back to Rome and then even the famous convert friends like Cliff are rank ecumenists from day one. We shouldn't whitewash ecumenists, but expose how dangerous their influence is. Evangelical America today is in such a state because of the BG model. Think about it. Easy believism and ecumenism. Weak semi-pelagianism and arminianism that Arminius himself would be ashamed to own. This is looking from the outside in, from UK, at the Evangelical goldfish bowl of America where certain fish seem to be floating on the top of the water rather than swimming. Is it poison in the fishfood? Or are they plastic fish, that look like real fish ... from a distance?? Plastic fish never swim against the tide of ecumenism/apostasy.
Lack of Discernment I am sad to see this lack of discernment from Mr. Swanson. Mr. Graham was manifestly no friend of the truth or the gospel.
Great Sermon! Actually, this was a careful critique of Graham's doctrine of salvation in the second half of the program, contrasting Graham's writings with Scripture. Refreshing to find love that hopes all things, carefulness, and respectfulness like this, especially on the passing of this evangelical leader.
Great Sermon! I must say that I have profited to some extent from the Generations ministry. This, however is a very weak point in this ministry. As far back as 1978 Billy Graham stated that he used to believe that pagans in a far away nation would perish if they didn't hear the gospel, and he no longer believes that. That was 40 years ago that he said that. Later, of course he reiterated that sentiment on the Robert Schuler Show and the Larry King Show. Graham's open fellowship with, promotion of, and bidding "God speed" to the likes of heretics like John Bonnell, Archbishop Micheal Ramsey, Norman Vincent Peale and the Pope does not seem to bother the folks at Generations Radio one iota. And Billy Graham, persecuted?? The same Billy Graham that was puff pieced to death by all of the publications owned by William Randolph Hearst at the beginning of his "crusades" back in the 1950's?? That is hardly the case..
The world loved Billy Graham because he was so "tolerant." It broke my heart to find out that he had passed because for years I had been praying that he would publicly repent of his ecumenical unfaithfulness to the very Word he preached. He didn't. Sorry, but I am not confident that he is with the Lord, no matter what anyone else says, including Kevin Swanson.
Great Sermon! Allie, your comments are spot on. The podcast does not provide an accurate accounting of Mr. Graham for his false message of works and not grace as the basis of our salvation, his being in bed with the church of Rome and many of the other heresies he actively promoted. God, alone, knows where the soul of Mr. Graham is. However, his teaching has and to this day continues to help lead many people into perdition.
Unmasked Thank you for unmasking yourself with this I will be sure to avoid your shows
Great Sermon! Mr. Graham was blameless regarding his marriage and charity monies. His message started off sound, but did not continue in sound doctrine. The quotes and clips used were early in his ministry. A complete picture (other than the 2012 one about abortion) would have included his comments to Larry King and Norman Vincent Peale on universal salvation. Also, noting his ecumenism with Rome. He also on the Today show with Katie Couric played down President Clinton affair with Ms. Lewinsky. I will not say confidently he is with Christ. God knows and I will leave it there and keep care for my own calling and election as told in Peter. You guys are balanced pretty much when you speak of people and when I check are honest. The podcast was silent on heresies of salvation apart from hearing the gospel and did not give a full picture of his ministry. Very disappointed. To say Mr. Graham was persecuted for his teachings falsely was not true. He should have been called out and not regarded once he started preaching and speaking falsely about the way of salvation. God may have saved many from his accurate teachings in the past, but how many souls lost because of his teaching of salvation apart from the gospel? God knows. Very discouraged with this broadcast.
Kevin Swanson has served as elder and pastor of Reformation Church, OPC since its inception. Kevin was raised on the mission field in Japan in the 1960's and 1970's. Together with his wife Brenda, they are bringing up five children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord....