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Billy Graham & His Friends



by Dr. Cathy Burns

As far back as 1955 Dr. James E. Bennet and Rev. Jack Wyrtzen met with Billy Graham. Graham told them “that if some minister, who was a modernist, sent 50 of his people to Graham’s meetings, and they were saved, he (Billy) would not tell them not to return to that modernistic church, because it would be unfair to the pastor!”283
The Bible says that we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). We are not to invite them on our platforms and praise them as “deeply committed believers” when they don’t even believe (much less obey) the Bible.
A letter from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (written by W H. Martindale) dated February 29, 1968 stated: “Mr. Graham, under no conditions, suggests affiliating with those who are, in their doctrines, contrary to the Scriptures.”284 Yet 11 years prior to this letter, Graham had had Norman Vincent Peale on his platform. Peale had written 46 books, the first one published in 1937.285 His book, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ had already been in print for several years so his viewpoint was well-known.286
It should also be mentioned that the committee for the 1957 New York Crusade was made up of about 120 modernists and unbelievers compared to about 20 fundamentalists. The Executive Committee was comprised of about 15 modernists and only 5 fundamentalists.287 Many of those on the committees denied the virgin birth, bodily resurrection of Christ, a literal heaven and a literal hell, the inspiration of Scripture, etc. The sad part is that those who went forward at this meeting were turned over to these modernist churches. After all, Graham usually only gives decision cards to those who participate in his meetings. (One exception was in the 1970s when Graham turned over decision cards to a Catholic diocese who had no official involvement in the crusade.)288 Therefore, all the fundamentalists who do not participate do not get any of the names. In other words, Graham’s crusades only end up helping the liberal and unscriptural churches to prosper and grow. Can this be pleasing to God?
Graeme Keith, chairman of the Carolinas Billy Graham Crusade Committee, is quoted in the Charlotte Observer (March 1, 1996) as saying: “We have Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other denominations represented on the committee….Our goal is to make it the finest crusade Dr. Graham has ever conducted.” Graham has even gone further afield on occasion. At his 1966 World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, who is head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, was featured. The Coptic Church is a blend of Christianity, Judaism, animism and paganism.”289
I have a copy of a letter that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association sent to an inquirer in 1968. Rev. W H. Martindale, writing for Billy Graham, stated: “There are many aspects of the Christian life that Mr. Graham does not touch upon because he does not believe that they are the duty and responsibility of the evangelist. Mr. Graham believes that we are saved through the blood of Christ, however, this aspect of Christian doctrine he does not emphasize in his messages. This is the duty and prerogative of the pastors. Every effort is made to see that the inquirers are oriented in a Bible preaching church.”290 The last sentence simply IS NOT TRUE! The inquirers ARE NOT sent to Bible-believing churches in most cases. “Cases are documented to show that some ministers have actually gone forward at the invitation and then into the counselor’s room and their cards have been sent to liberal churches in their community which they, the ministers, have opposed from their own pulpits.”291 For example, in Graham’s 1952 Pittsburgh crusade, the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph reported that Graham said: “Many of the people who reach a decision for 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 our campaigns. This happened both in Boston and Washington. After all, one of our prime purposes is to help the churches in a community. If after we move on, the local (sic) churches do not feel the efforts of these meetings in increased membership and attendance, then our crusade would have to be considered a failure.”292 [Emphasis in the original.]
Did you notice that Graham was only interested in a church’s increased membership-but nothing was said about a person receiving Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior. This is what is important-not church membership! Church membership could increase a 1000-fold but if people are not being saved, then all is in vain. Graham also gave a boost to the Catholic Church (in 1952) when he added that he “hoped to hear Bishop Fulton J. Sheen at one of the masses at St. Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow.”293 [Emphasis in the original.]
“In 1968, Graham was in a meeting in San Antonio, Texas. He said that the Roman Church had given “tremendous cooperation” in areas where he had held crusades. He added, “A great part of our support today comes from Catholics. We never hold a crusade without priests and nuns being much in evidence in the audience.”294
By 1973 nuns were singing in the choir at Graham’s crusades.295 Continuing on with Graham’s ecumenical outlook, the June 10, 1966 issue of ‘Time’ said that volunteers “will tactfully receive those stepping forward to make a decision for Christ, [and] steer them to the nearest church of their chosen denomination….”296
In Poland in 1978, “Graham taught nuns and priests how to evangelize. A picture taken at the famous Polish Shrine of the Black Madonna shows Graham welcoming pilgrims to the worship of their Virgin.”297

In 1983, The Florida Catholic reported that 600 people were turned over to the Catholic Church from the Orlando crusade.298 “On the evening of June 9, 1982, the names of 2100 inquirers were given to priests at Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts.”299 During the June 1992 Crusade in Philadelphia,”approximately 1,200 Catholics in the Archdiocese and about 700 Catholics from elsewhere took steps…in response to Dr. Graham’s ‘altar calls.’” The individuals…were referred to about 250 parishes, said sister Josephine Kase, I. H. M., Assistant Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.”300

In 1987 at the Denver crusade, 500 individuals were referred to the St. Thomas Moore Roman Catholic Church from just one service!301 One Catholic who went forward at this meeting didn’t know how to express his feelings but the Catholic counselor, Donald Willette, was there to help out. He said: “Catholics have trouble with the expression ‘Born again.’ “…I try to help people understand what this experience means, in light of the teaching of the [Catholic] Church.”302 So, even if Graham were definitely preaching the true Gospel of Christ, by allowing his sermon to be “reinterpreted” by the counselors, would negate all the good that would have been done. The “reinterpretation” is done in light of the Catholic Church’s teaching-not in accordance with the Scriptures.
“A Catholic nun, Macrina Scott, director of the Catholic Biblical School in Denver, says she trained about 80 counselors and Bible teachers to assist Billy Graham’s Rocky Mountain Crusade last July [l987].303
“By September 1992, the Catholic diocese of Portland, Oregon, had set a goal to supply 6,000 of the 10,000 counselors needed for the Graham crusade. All Catholics responding to the altar call were channeled to Catholic churches.”304
Surprisingly, around 1993 a retired missionary wrote to Graham’s organization asking if he was sending new converts back to the Catholic Church. T. W. Wilson (who died on May 25, 2001)305, a member of the Graham team, responded: “I do not know where you got your information-but I’m sure you have been misinformed.” Isn’t it amazing how they are still trying to conceal this plain fact?
“At the 1996 Charlotte Crusade held by Evangelist Billy Graham, the decision cards of 1700 Catholic responders to his invitation to commit their lives to Christ were given to the local Catholic Diocese for follow up.”306 The Catholic priests do not believe in salvation by faith. They teach that salvation is obtained through infant baptism. “Catholic teaching states that anyone who claims to have the assurance of salvation through God’s power or mercy has committed the sin of presumption.307 According to the Catholic paper, ‘Our Sunday Visitor,’ we are told that “Presumption is a sin against hope. It is a rash confidence of obtaining eternal salvation….A person who says that he or she is assured of salvation is presuming….”308 This is in direct contradiction to God’s Word: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:13). I John 2:5 says: “But whoso keepeth His word, in Him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.”
“Converts” are also turned over to the Jewish synagogues. The Rabbis do not believe in Jesus. Other inquirers are sent back to the liberal Protestant ministers (like New Ager and Mason, Norman Vincent Peale) who deny the atonement of Jesus Christ and the literal meaning of the Scriptures. Since the Bible clearly teaches that we are only saved through the blood of Christ and His atonement and Graham “does not emphasize” this doctrine, how many of these inquirers are actually being saved? Notice that Martindale also says that this doctrine (as well as others) is the prerogative of the pastors, yet these individuals are not being sent back to churches (in most cases) where the pastor, priest, or rabbi will teach this doctrine. This is spiritual suicide for these people.
The book, “Billy Graham and His Friends” can be ordered from www.wrwpublications.com


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