"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| NEWSWEEK COVER: Billy Graham in Twilight|
Evangelist Rev. Billy Graham on His View of The Bible: 'I'm Not a Literalist in The Sense That Every Single Jot and Tittle is From The Lord. This is a Little Difference in My Thinking Through The Years'
On Whether Heaven Will be Open to All Good People: 'It Would be Foolish for Me to Speculate on Who Will be There ... I Believe The Love of God is Absolute. He Said He Gave His Son For The Whole World, and I Think He Loves Everybody Regardless of What Label They Have.'
EW YORK, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- As Evangelical minister's Rev. Billy Graham's days dwindle, the man whose heyday was consumed with preaching and with presidents is increasingly reflective. Graham spends hours now with his Bible, at once savoring and reconsidering old stories and old lessons. "I'm not a literalist in the sense that every single jot and tittle is from the Lord," Graham says in the current issue of Newsweek. "This is a little difference in my thinking through the years. There are things that I just don't understand." He is not questioning the Incarnation or the Atonement, but is arguing that the Bible is open to interpretation, and fair-minded Christians may disagree or come to different conclusions about specific points. As part of Newsweek's August 14 cover story, "Billy Graham In Twilight" (on newsstands Monday, August 7), in a series of candid, in-depth, exclusive interviews, Managing Editor Jon Meacham speaks to Graham, who reflects on his new way of thinking, the state of the world, the Bible and on the prospect of death.
A unifying theme of Graham's new thinking now is humility. He is sure and certain of his faith in Jesus as the way to salvation, but when asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or secular people, Graham says: "Those are decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won't ... I don't want to speculate about all that. I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have."
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2006/8/8 2:01||Profile|
| Re: NEWSWEEK COVER: Billy Graham in Twilight|
Sad. Really sad. He seems to have bowed to popular secular opinion. I guess most people will say don't judge him, just pray for him.
If he believes, contrary to what Jesus himself said, about not one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled, and also that heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away, then he has changed what scripture says in favour of his own beliefs. So, who do we listen to, him or the Bible?
Basically, he is also saying heaven is open to false religion, cults, witches or any other group because God is a God of love.
Maybe I missed something in the Bible, but think I read that God is a God of judgment, wrath, is angry with the wicked every day, will judge the world in righteousness etc.
For someone who has spent over 60 years supposedly preaching the gospel, he now sounds confused and uncertain about what to believe. God help him, and us, to believe His word, and not to believe the world, the flesh and the devil. God bless.
| 2006/8/8 7:33||Profile|
enid, I agree with you. That´s why we are to trust in the Word of God and not in men!
| 2006/8/8 9:42||Profile|
This is really sad. Being from the South and raised Southern Baptist Billy Graham was "the man" it's sad to see him veer from his beaten path in his twilight years. Even thought I was raised Southern Baptist I was not saved until my adult years, but at any time I would have told you that Jesus is the only way and Billy Graham is 100% behind me in that statement. I am really disappointed to see him at this point so late in life.
| 2006/8/8 11:13||Profile|
I remember a WWII recording of Graham preaching to a stadium filled with sailors heading off to war. He was filled with a clear view of eternity, and an urgent love for souls.
A unifying theme of Graham's new thinking now is humility.
As with all post-modernism, including post-modern Christianity, uncertainty is equated with humility, while certainty is viewed as arrogance. The western church is becoming secular, deist, and even agnostic. The Great Comission has become hazy because we feel we must first and foremost be 'culturally relevant' to post-modernism. We worldy American Christians are forgetting how to preach the Gospel out of season.
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Pray for us poor confused emergent 'culturally relevant' Americans, you blessed saints from around the world. In a way Graham is a metaphor for American Christianity. Have mercy on him for his prior faithfulness, and pray for a return to things of eternal relevance.
| 2006/8/8 11:43||Profile|
Here are some quotes from the entire article:
But more recent years have given him something he had little of in his decades of global evangelism: time to think both more deeply and more broadly. As he has grown older, Graham has come to an appreciation of complexity and a gentleness of spirit that sets him apart from many other high-profile figures in America's popular religious milieuincluding, judging from their public remarks, his own son Franklin Graham, and men such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
Others relish the battlefield; Graham now prizes peace. He is a man of unwavering faith who refuses to be judgmental; a steady social conservative in private who actually does hate the sin but loves the sinner; a resolute Christian who declines to render absolute verdicts about who will get into heaven and who will not; a man concerned about traditional moralityhe is still slightly embarrassed that he kissed "two or three girls" before he kissed his wifewho will not be dragged into what he calls the "hot-button issues" of the hour. Graham's tranquil voice, though growing fainter, has rarely been more relevant.
Debates over the exact meaning of the word "day" in Genesis (Graham says it is figurative; on the other hand, he thinks Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale) or whether the "Red Sea" is better translated as "sea of reeds"which takes Moses' miracle out of the realm of Cecil B. DeMilleor the actual size of ancient armies in a given battle may seem picayune to some. For many conservative believers, however, questioning any word of the Bible can cast doubt on all Scripture. Graham's position, then, while hardly liberal, is more moderate than that of his strictest fellow Christians.
In perhaps his most celebrated remark, [b]Franklin [Graham] has referred to Islam as "a very evil and wicked religion," and declines to back down.[/b] "After 9/11, there were a lot of things being said about how the God of Islam and the God of the Christian faith were one and the same, but that's simply not true ... ," Franklin told NEWSWEEK. "The God that I worship does not require me to kill other people. The God that I worship tells me I am to love my enemy, to give him food when he's hungry and water when he's thirsty." Asked whether he thinks such observations are helpful, the younger Graham said: "It's not the calling of my life to preach against Islam. You're a reporter; you ask me, and I answer the question. I don't go on television or into stadiums and make Islam or gay marriage or the right to life my theme. But in the work that I do I come up against belief systems all over the world. I see much of the damage that is done in the name of religion. In the Balkans, Milosevic would have Orthodox priests bless the troops before they would rape and kill. Man's heart is evil and wicked until it is changed by Christ."
[b]Asked about his son's use of the phrase "evil and wicked" in reference to Islam, Graham says: "I would not say Islam is wicked and evil ... I have a lot of friends who are Islamic.[/b] There are many wonderful people among them. I have a great love for them. I have spoken at Islamic meetings, in Nigeria and in different parts of the world." The father's view, then, is different from the son's. "I'm sure there are many things that he and I are not in total agreement about," Graham says. "I'm an old man, he's a young man in the prime of life." Anne Graham Lotz, after expressing her deep respect for her brother's life and work, said: "When Daddy was my brother's age, he was saying some pretty strong things, too, so you have to remember that experience and the living of a life can soften your perspective."
| 2006/8/8 13:54||Profile|
| Re: Make It Plain Bro Mike!!! ...|
- Man bro Mike these words have just blessed my soul, and just about made me shout right here in the workplace -
"As with all post-modernism, including post-modern Christianity, uncertainty is equated with humility, while certainty is viewed as arrogance."
- My God, my God, my God, bro you have no idea what a blessing these words are ... Thank You Jesus! -
"The western church is becoming secular, deist, and even agnostic. The Great Comission has become hazy because we feel we must first and foremost be 'culturally relevant' to post-modernism. We worldy American Christians are forgetting how to preach the Gospel out of season.
- OUCH! ... This is the same message from the book "Prophetic Untimliness" ... See this is what i'm talking about when i say when i sit under a sermon and my toes don't get stomped on then what's the point of the sermon? ... The truth hurts, but when its of our Lord convicting us to repentance and a return to first love and works - then that's some good hurt! -
"Pray for us poor confused emergent 'culturally relevant' Americans, you blessed saints from around the world."
- Aaaaaaaaa-men ... Tho i'm "certain" our Lord will soon clear up our confusion!
| 2006/8/8 15:16||Profile|
- Aaaaaaaaa-men ... Tho i'm "certain" our Lord will soon clear up our confusion!
How wonderful Rhaman....not looking forward to any hard times...but looking forward to seeing how God divides the light from the darkness in fellowship. All this grayness in the church is suffocating. Worse yet, I have grayness in my heart, and I long to have the light divided from the darkness there as well. I think when the Lord brings His sword into the Church, it's not to divide people, but to cut the world out of our hearts, which is why I understand your sentiment here...
when i sit under a sermon and my toes don't get stomped on then what's the point of the sermon?
Your comment reminds me of something I said a few weeks ago in a thread Jesse started.
",... as I grow tired of my tolerance for sin and loveless ness, (and tired of hiding it from you) I want to let go of the world... I'm talking about the world that is quite comfortable in our churches...the ambition to be great and be heard, to dominate one another. The world in our churches keeps people from entering the kingdom of heaven
making even christians twice the sons of hell because they no longer see their need for the gospel.
So I welcome the convictors and hard preachers. Spare not my soul to tolerate sin! Spare not the rod...I will not die. Invite the sons of thunder back into the congregation and eject the sons of therapy. Unless a 'church member' be born again they are damned. Indeed, how great is the condemnation for those who hear the gospel daily (without response)...perhaps there is no greater devil then the one who knows the words but, because of unbelief, uses his confession to deceive others. They do not believe Christ gives a New Heart, so they try to whitewash themselves and numb their conscience against lust, greed, and idolatry."
(edit: Amen to Franklin's insistence..."Man's heart is evil and wicked until it is changed by Christ.")
I feel the urgency of this more today then I did a few weeks ago. It seems many of our established leaders, including Dr. Graham, are unwittingly soothing us when they should be disturbing us.
I'm a typical Christian RNG (really nice guy ;-) ), looking to fit in with the crowd... but I believe in order to speak plainly with love in these last days, Heaven is going to be moving through many of us RNG's like a wind tunnel!(edit: mainly to root us out...)
| 2006/8/8 20:11||Profile|
| Re: what was NOT in the message|
Really sad. He seems to have bowed to popular secular opinion. I guess most people will say don't judge him.
Certainly, he deserves respect, but thats not the same thing as agreement. Apparently he himself admitted that only about 5% of those who came forward to be saved really were. Now, if that was true (and only God knows) than that is immensely serious. That means that 95% of his followers are hell-bound and believe they are heaven-bound! That thought alone takes my breath away.
I can hear some strong objections to my accusations, but still, I feel that for many years he has been preaching a gospel of easy-believism - thats not to say that the Spirit did not use his words to bring genuine conviction in many-a heart. After all, God works in spite of people.
I believe this problem we are suddenly seeing has been a very, very long one. Only for many years nothing seemed wrong because our churches have had the same blind spots.
Really, to be fair to Graham, I feel that it is not so much his actual messages or his good moral life that are faulty. Its the part of the gospel message that was missing.
Someone said: Its not whats in a book that is dangerous, its whats NOT in the book. That applies here. The danger has been what was NOT in Grahams message.
I believe that he failed to teach the high cost of following Christ, and the radical separation from the world and its ways of thinking. On the contrary, Jesus made that very clear. Jesus did not offer salvation to anyone who wanted to compromise.
Christ said He who is not for me is against me.
Paul said, If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
You cant have the best of both worlds. You can't have a foot on each side.
| 2006/8/8 21:00||Profile|
This message was preached by Billy Graham in 1957, very powerful and no compromising, maybe many would no believe it, but it is such strong message!
I don't know about his state today, but if the messages that today are preached were like this, we would be much better spiritualy, instead this miserable situation that is in church generaly today.
| 2006/8/9 5:04||Profile|