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Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by JM, Feb 19, 2011.
When I heard him say to Robert Schueller, during an interview, comments that opened doubt to the exclusivity of Christ, it revealed his true colors. Sad, sad,sad.
This video is pretty silly. I doubt Grahm would ever say that it is walking down to the platform that saves you but your faith. This is the type of super-calvinist muck throwing that we don't need.
How is the video silly? I can tell you that I personally examined a variety of sources on this topic and the video is articulating Billy Graham's heresy as he has publicly said on Larry King among other sources. This is not mud slinging, but this is a good example of contenting of the faith that was once given to the saints. How can he say in one breath come to Christ to be saved, but then that all will be saved even those who have never heard the gospel?
In all fairness to brother. Graham, I believe he was very solidly Christian in his early years, but towards the end of his life has begun saying some rather goofy things. Is Graham an Arminian? Yes. A revivalist? Yes. Has God used him to bring in the harvest? Yes. Does God increase His flock through heretics? No.
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I am also reminded of Dr. MacArthur's story of his mentor Dr. Feinberg. No one would doubt the validity of Dr. Feinberg's salvation or accuse him of being a heretic. MacArthur tells the story of how Dr. Feinberg developed alzheimers later in life and for whatever reason he completely forgot that he was a Christian. He went back to being a devout Jew. Similarly my grandma has reverted back to Catholicism because of her alzheimers. Are we to say that because of something heretical Dr. Feinberg said or did later in life now makes him a complete heretic and as such bound for hell? I think not.
Dr. Graham is very old and I do not think his mind is all there anymore. In his old age he has said some heretical things, but in my mind this does not make him a heretic and bound for hell.
I don't think you can simply attribute old age to his arminian positions. From a rationalistic point of view what he has been saying has been embraced by other heretics(Such as Robert Shueller) and it's not like he has forgotten who Christ is. I think he has just changed his position and I don't think Dr. McMahon would be bringing it up as he does if he thought there was mental defect involved. I'm not passing judgment on him, but against his teaching as being unbiblical and anti-Christian.
I agree that he was Arminian his whole life and a revivalist as well. I was referring more towards Dr. Graham's statements doubting the exclusivity of Christ. In my opinion, the former is not grounds to be labeled a heretic, the latter is. I equate the latter to old age and mental defect. Dr. Graham is 80 years old in that interview with Schuler. I find it interesting that with all of the Billy Graham crusade audio and video available nothing is brought up about his views on the exclusivity of Christ until he is 80 years old. Somehow this one interview with Schuler (and a few subsequent interviews later) trumps the previous 50+ years of ministry.
It should also be noted that as early as 2000, Dr. Graham had to have brain surgery to drain excess fluid. I am not sure how long the excess had been building, but in my mind it is not that much of a stretch to see that his mental capacity could be affected.
I pray that Christendom does not throw me under the bus for something I say when I am 80.
Some of Billy Graham's teachings and methods do indeed need to be challenged. Too bad this video failed to do so with the sort of humble and respectful style of confrontation Graham himself got so right.
No one is denying that Graham said these things. I am simply pointing out that the first statement is when he is 80 and in the second he is 87 (it should also be noted that by this time he is being treated for fluid on the brain, parkinsons, and prostate cancer. Obviously his health is not top notch which will affect mental capacity). Is Dr. Graham wrong for saying these things? Absolutely. Should Dr. Graham be labeled a heretic? Absolutely not.
Iain Murray rather than Iain Murphy "Evangelicalism Divided" (Banner of Truth).
I never liked Billy Graham's Arminianism, altar calls, associations with the Papacy, etc.
An old man with his grey cells deteriorating may say many things in the wrong way.
I am going to echo Boliver here. Graham is incredibly old and is obviously not totally of a sound mind. As "influential" as he is I pray that the Lord takes him soon. I very much believe he is a Christian and has been very much used of God in the past. You can not deny that what he did was incredibly effective. To bash a man in his very old age and limited mental/physical capacity who has done so much for the church is rather sad.
This is all I have know of Billy Graham. Did he say the opposite in his younger years?
Scripture commands us Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 1 Chronicles 16v22 and also reminds us How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. Romans 10v15.16
Unfortunately the history of the Christian church is shrewn with instances of where biblical compromise and lack of discernment amongst Christians has blighted the progress of the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
However sadly it would appear that Dr McMahon is not alone in highlighting that things are far from well regarding Billy Graham's ministry over the last fifty years and it is with no pleasure that one has to acknowledge this.
Can I suggest that we google BILLY GRAHAM COMPROMISE and see things for ourselves.
When we are ministering to men and womens souls and their eternal salvation - it beholds us to do so with the utmost of holy reverence, godly fear and due diligence.
Here are some other quotes from the Larry King interview.
This shows that his mental capacity is not there. He forgot he had a fourth brain surgery.
Yeah that makes sense.
Nigerian, Nicene same thing.
So we can see that Dr. Graham says some very good things in that interview, but also some things that shows he is easily confused.
CNN.com - Transcripts
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Are you saying that throughout his entire life he advocated an inclusive view of Christ and a somewhat pluralistic view of salvation?
A similar thing happened to David Chilton. After some serious health problems some less-than-orthodox folks got a hold of his intellect and that in turn led him to say some pretty wacky things towards the end of his life.
No. I was asking what he views were when he was younger.
Yes. (see at about 10:00 into the video)
He was Arminian his entire life. His pluralistic possibilities only occur after he is 80.
The bar for calling someone a heretic should be very high.
There is a difference between minor error, gross error and heresy.
I believe Calvinists often throw out the H-Bomb way too often.
Many Calvinists believe that God can save some without personnel faith and knowledge in Christ (infants and the mentally deficient). Therefore, Graham's words ought to be taken in the light of charity and dismissed as error when appropriate, but should not necessarily be used (as nauseum) to prove him as a heretic.
Several of the folks I know who are the most ascerbic and condemning towards Graham are also the laziest in personal evangelism such that I would rather have Graham over them any day.
It is wise to be extremely charitable in all this.
Both in light of our calling to regard highly those in the household of faith, and in light of the incredible amount of good fruit borne through the life of this individual.
This does not mean he is right in everything, it doesn't mean that he will not be judged in light of a higher standard as a leader, or that he is not having limitations that are affecting him in the latter part of his life.
Nor ought we overuse the word, "heretic."
He can still be engaged through his ministry association, through that of his son's on points of doctrine- as well as be thanked for what he has done.
It would indeed be most sobering to see someone fall away greatly at the end of their life, after having run a good race, fought a good fight, and then to give in at the end, or prove out that what seemed to be never was.
And it behooves us all to be most careful in making that assessment, particularly the latter.
I truly believe that some of you are being way too lenient with Billy graham. The fact that he did altar calls even in his earlier years should be a sign of the weakness of his preaching and his lack of understanding the sovereignty of God. With the lack of understanding the sovreignty of God he misses the point of the Gospel as a whole. I think the history of the council of Dort should be seen in light of this conversation.
Iain Murray's book "Evangelicalism Divided" was mention earlier on the thread. It is a stupendous analysis of the evangelical leaders in Britain shacking up with liberals who denied the most basic fundamentals of Christianity. It includes a careful treatment of Billy Graham, without malice, and back when Graham was in full possession of his mental facilities. The issues with Graham are extremely serious, far more than just being Arminian. You might want to read that book.
listen to those older than you... they have something called life experience.
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Dort's theology was 100% right, but it was not right to condemn arminians as heretics in the same sense (if it was) as pelegians and donatists. It was clearly not right to execute arminians and put them in prison. Exile... that's another story
There are a lot of things I like about the PuritanBoard, but this thread represents the thing I dislike the most: the periodic bashing of those who are either non-reformed or just not reformed enough.
Look, we get it. Billy Graham is not reformed. He is no theologian and has never claimed to be. His view of salvation and the sovereignty of God is and has been faulty.
So can we just give it a rest? Of what benefit is this thread?
For all the talk about the importance of the 9th Commandment on the PB, there seems to be no restriction on use of the word Heretic.
For all of his faults, Billy Graham has been an incredibly powerful tool in the hands of God. Despite all of his errors in theology, Billy Graham has preached Christ to more people than any of us could ever dream.
He's a flawed man--no doubt about it. But do we really need to keep harping on it?
Daniel, I would respectfully argue that it is precisely because of his great fame and continuing influence that what Rev. Graham says is indeed relevant, and merits discussion. As such, his errors should be pointed out and refuted. Yet there is certainly a right and wrong way to do this.
Personally I am not among those who would attach the label "heretic" to him, especially given the way that term is often intended. I, for one, first heard the gospel under a system very similar to what Rev. Graham operates under. Despite its many, many flaws, in his sovereignty the Holy Spirit graciously still used that message to open my eyes "unto salvation." I will always thank God for that. I am also very thankful that ever since then God has graciously been leading me from "truth to truth" in my spiritual journey.
It's relevant in terms of his fame, but it's not relevant in terms of timeliness. This is not new news. The same objections are being raised over something he said many years ago. I'm not sure if the purpose of this thread is for all of those who are new to the PB and weren't around for the last Billy Graham bashing or if it's kind of a semi-annual thing when there aren't enough current figures to bash.
I want to make it clear I'm not arguing against criticism. I'm just against criticizing the same thing over and over when it's not even timely. Billy Graham is a punching bag on the PB. That brings me pause. The Lord (in His perfect will) chose to use Billy Graham as an instrument to bring many people to Christ (including a lot in my family). A little more grace is deserving, I would think.
I think Graham's theology needs to be put under a microscope, not if he is or is not a true Christian, only God knows that. If the theology that he is and has been promoting is in contradiction to the Holy Scriptures then we must fight against that teaching. I do think someone needs to confront him on these issues, but from listening to him speak even in his 80's I do not sense irrationality in his responses, but compromise. Given the fact that Robert Schuller's face lights up when he speaks of Universal Salvation speaks all for itself.