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“New Neutralism Ch 4 -6”
by John Ashbrook   
January 13th, 2009


THE NEW NEUTRALISM - Fuller Seminary - Exhibit A -

Let us go back to the press release of Dr. Ockenga, issued December 8, 1957. In that press release he outlined the organizational front which was poised to assure the bright future of new evangelicalism. We have already given time to the first two facets of that front - the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Fellowship. I have chosen to pass over the third aspect of that front which has to do with the apologetic literature of new evangelicalism. An examination of this literature would be out of the scope of this book. This chapter will deal with the fourth aspect of the organizational front. Dr. Ockenga stated it thus:

...fourth, there is the existence of Fuller Theological Seminary and other evangelical seminaries which are fully committed to orthodox Christianity and a resultant social philosophy...

If I understand Dr. Ockenga’s mind aright, Fuller Theological Seminary was Exhibit A, the piece de resistance, of new evangelicalism. The school was carefully premeditated to represent the new ideology The school had the prestige of Dr. Charles E. Fuller's nationally respected name. The school had the pledge of funds to secure its future. The school had the privilege of writing faculty names on a clean sheet - choosing the best authority in each field. No other seminary that I can recall ever had such a start.

In the 1947-1948 school year, I was a student at Wheaton College. The coming fall would also see my own entrance into seminary. I was praying, reading seminary catalogs and listening with interest to every discussion of seminaries. After supper in Williston Hall, seminary-bound young men tarried for discussion about the new school. Humanly speaking, Fuller seemed to be the institution with everything to offer - a new position, a prestigious faculty, a certain future. The prospect was glorious, but the end result was far different. There is no better illustration of the destructive course of neutralism than the history of Fuller Theological Seminary

Professors with Hat in Hand
One of the first battles of neutralism concerned the admission of Fuller Theological Seminary professors to the Los Angeles Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church. U.S.A. This arose out of the ethos of neutralism. Since they came from professed fundamentalist backgrounds, as the early Fuller professors did, they knew the apostasy of the Presbyterian Church. Yet, in true neutralist style, they wanted to have one foot in fundamentalism and the other in apostasy They desired to make certain that the door was open for Fuller Seminary graduates to enter the ranks of the U.S.A. Presbyterian Church, so that it might be reformed from within. If you recall Dr. Ockenga’s "re" statement, quoted some pages earlier, it included "the recapture of denominational leadership." This was to be done by infiltration, the offensive tactic of neutralism. Consequently various Fuller Theological Seminary professors of Presbyterian background applied to the Presbytery for admission or transfer of papers from other presbyteries. Among these were Dr. Gleason Archer, Dr. Wilbur M. Smith, Dr. Everett F. Harrison, Dr. Bela Vasady, and Dr. William LaSor. The latter two men had impeccable credentials for the approval of apostasy. Bela Vasady a Hungarian, had a record of ecumenical participation in Europe and was a founder of the World Council of Churches. William LaSor had proven his denominational loyalty by serving on the judicial Commission of Presbytery which suspended Carl McIntire from the ministry for his continuation on the Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions. Despite these credentials, the Los Angeles Presbytery would have none of the Fuller professors.

Standing in the Snow
There was no snow in Los Angeles, but reading about the confrontation reminds me of the tenth century showdown at Canossa when Pope Gregory VII kept Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, standing in the snow in a penitent's garb for three days before granting him audience to ask Papas forgiveness. The Los Angeles Presbytery acted the part of Gregory, and the Fuller professors played Henry. However, the play was not a three-day drama. It lasted from 1948 until 1965. By that time the Presbyterian Church had seen that neutralism was no threat to the apostasy and could be counted on to swell the ranks without serious threat.

One of the most blasphemous ecumenicists in the Presbyterian Church was then pastor at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake was one of the five-star apostates in Presbyterianism. He was to become the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian General Assembly. He was to be the main author of the apostate Confession of 1967 which replaced the Westminster Confession of Faith. He was to be the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. He was a notable apologist for Russia. He was co-conspirator, with the unbelieving Episcopal Bishop James Pike, of the Blake-Pike church merger proposals. It was this declared apostate who championed the cause and helped obtain acceptance for the Fuller professors. It demonstrates again that the neutralism of new evangelicalism is always closer to apostasy than to fundamentalism.

The next defection of neutralism at Fuller concerned the biblical doctrine of inerrancy. Dr. Ockenga, in his "re" statement, had said that there needed to be "the restatement of Christian theology in accordance with the need of the time..." I doubt if he ever dreamed that the first doctrine to be restated would be the most essential of all, the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture.

The original statement of faith of Fuller Theological Seminary which was worked out by the faculty and adopted by the faculty and the Board of Trustees, read as follows:

The books which form the canon of the Old and New Testaments as originally given are plenarily inspired and free from all error in the whole and in the part.

A fundamentalist could subscribe to that. The words "free from all error in the whole and in the part," state the truth of inerrancy This was 1949.

In 1972, alter 23 years of internal combat, the words " from all error in the whole and in the part" were removed from the doctrinal statement. Between these years there were faculty members who signed the statement tongue-in-cheek and faculty members who openly warred against inerrancy. Daniel Fuller, son of the founder, led the battle against inerrancy. Because of the scholar-worship of new evangelicalism, he had been trained in Princeton Seminary and later in Switzerland under Karl Barth. Barth's neo-orthodox view of scripture triumphed over the historic view. Again, new evangelicalism was demonstrated to be much closer to apostasy than to fundamentalism.

A Clause of Calamity
What does it mean in practical results when a theological seminary eliminates a clause in its doctrinal statement? Let me quote from page 246 of Marsden's Reforming Fundamentalism, as he summarizes the results of a Fuller alumni survey:

Three fourths of the students coming to Fuller in its earliest days, graduating classes of 1950 to 1952, came with a solid belief in inerrancy. At the time they left Fuller about 60 percent of them still remained firm in this view, while almost all of the rest held something like a limited inerrancy view. By the 1960s, on the other hand, limited inerrancy was the overwhelmingly dominant, though not undisputed, view. Less than half the students entering Fuller held to strict inerrancy and only about one-fourth left with the view intact.

Later on page 268 he says:

Predictably, commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture continued to drop, so that by 1982 only about 15 percent of students held that view.

Neutralism produced very real and very tragic results. Dr. Harold Lindsell, who resigned from the Fuller faculty speaks prophetically in his book, Battle for the Bible on pages 120, 121:

Down the road, whether it takes five or fifty years, any institution that departs from belief in an inerrant Scripture will likewise depart from other fundamentals of the faith and at last cease to be evangelical in the historic meaning of that term.

No cause is closer to the fundamentalist heart than that of missions. We rejoice in the call of our young people to the field. We set before them the examples of William Carey Hudson Taylor. David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, Adoniram Judson and Jonathan Goforth. No fundamental church is complete without missionary prayer, a missionary map, prayer letters and furlough reports. Missionaries from fundamental churches have entered new areas, learned strange languages, won and baptized converts, organized churches and taught new believers. Certainly even Fuller Theological Seminary would have no conflict with that.

At this point, enter Donald McGavran. In 1965, when he was contacted by Fuller, McGavran was a Disciples of Christ minister operating a program he called the Institute for Church Growth, at a Disciples of Christ college. He was encouraged to merge his operation with Fuller Seminary in what became the School of World Mission and Institute for Church Growth. McGavran was to produce a dramatic change in missionary thinking at Fuller.

Early Mass Evangelism
Before we get to that change, let me recall a character from medieval church history.  Vladimir was a pagan prince who decided that his dominions should have an official religion. He sent his servants to look over various religions to see what was available. The group sent to Constantinople made a strong case for what they saw there. Consequently Vladimir the missionary ordered the mass baptism of the Russian people into Russian Orthodoxy. The consequences of his action still survive. When people, at the end of a sword, are faced with baptism or death, they usually come up with the right answer. Donald McGavran's philosophy of missions was not quite the same, but there were similarities. As you read the following paragraph from Marsden's Reforming Fundamentalism, pg. 241, you will see the parallel:

In McGavran's view, then, missionaries should concentrate on `discipling' whole peoples. In contrast to traditional evangelical concepts, such discipling did not involve leading each church member to a documentable conversion experience. Rather, more in tune with the open-church tendencies of twentieth-century liberal Christians or the methods of Christian advance in the early middle ages, all the missionary should require for `discipling' a people was that they collectively agree to abandon their old religion, to identify with Christ, and to claim the Bible as their authority and the church as their institution. The evangelical aversion to 'mass produced' conversions and the demands for `solid foundations' of Christian maturity as a precondition for admitting individuals to church membership were, in McGavran's view, the standards of `ice-age missions.'

Corporate Salvation?
On Paul's missionary journeys the gospel was preached to Jew and Gentile. The Holy Spirit brought certain individuals under conviction. Those individuals confessed their sins and cried out to Christ. Individual baptisms followed. Those individuals became the foundation of a local church, and elders were chosen in each individual church.

I am certain that you did not miss the word, "individual," in that paragraph. True missionary work, from Bible days to Fuller Seminary, had always meant leading individuals "to a documentable conversion experience:" The new mission theory would not be individual, but corporate. It would only require heathen cultural groups to (1) "collectively agree to abandon their old religion"; (2) "to identify with Christ"; (3) "to claim the Bible as their authority"; (4) to claim "the church as their institution". This would allow whole cultural groups to be counted Christian. It would use the services of anthropologists, computers and demographics. It could make common cause with apostate missions, which already thought this way. It would make missions of the past obsolete. Oh yes, it seems hard to fit, "Ye must be born again," into this scheme.

Did this new approach catch on? Every fundamental pastor receives a constant flow of folders advertising seminars on missions and church growth. If you study them you will see that most of them are built on McGavran's model from the School of World Mission and Institute for Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary

In a previous chapter about the National Association of Evangelicals, I pointed out that the second hump of compromise on the N.A.E. camel was compromise with charismatics. The neutralist, because he is a neutralist, cannot protect himself from the doctrinal aberrations between which he stands. That has been a part of Fuller Theological Seminary.

Mr. Pentecost
Evidence for this statement is the David du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality This two million-dollar facility opened on the Fuller Campus in 1986. CHARISMA Magazine, in its April 1985 issue, rejoiced that "Fuller Seminary made a bold move by embracing `Mr. Pentecost,' Dr. David J. du Plessis, by creating the du Plessis Center." The center was placed under the leadership of Dr. Russell Spittler, Associate Dean of the School of Theology and an Assemblies of God minister.

David J. du Plessis was a Pentecostal minister from South Africa who became a worldwide gadfly for the cause of making the charismatic movement known and accepted in every place. He was secretary of the Pentecostal World Congress. He was befriended by the well-known ecumenicist, Dr. John A. Mackay, late president of Princeton Theological Seminary and allowed to speak at the seminary His appearances took him from the Vatican to the World Council of Churches. He was a frequent speaker at the Faith and Order Conference of the World Council of Churches. As an extraordinary ambassador for pentecostalism in ecumenical circles, he earned his honorary title of "Mr. Pentecost:"

Even after studying new evangelicalism for a number of years, it is hard to grasp the giant step taken by Fuller in moving from the careful Calvinism of Harold Ockenga to the recurring revelations of David du Plessis. The new evangelicals, who could not stomach fundamentalists, had no trouble with charismatic ecumenicists.

Following this trend, a new course was added to the catalog at Fuller in 1982. The course was titled, "Signs. Wonders and Church Growth," and was taught by Dr. C. Peter Wagner in conjunction with his friend, John Wimber, a local charismatic pastor. The course discussed "signs and wonders" in churches today. It moved a step further by having "how to' sessions designed to teach students to perform signs, wonders and healings as aids to church growth.

Foundation Magazine, Volume IV Issue III for 1983 quoted a doctoral candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary who gave testimony at the Billy Graham Conference on Itinerant Evangelism in Amsterdam in the following words:

l am at the moment finishing my doctorate program at Fuller Theological Seminary When I contemplated entering Fuller Seminary there were many voices. Some of them said, ‘Are you going to a liberal, non-charismatic, non-pentecostal seminary?’ However, I felt it was the will of the Lord and I went in and walked on the campus, praying that God would send His Spirit upon the campus, and the last two years some phenomenal things have taken place in Fuller Seminary. They, have now started offering a course called 'Signs, Wonders and Church Growth.' This course has the largest attendance in the history of Fuller Seminary. The president, David Hubbard, normally draws 150 students and that's very high. But this particular course drew 350 students and there were so many that there was hardly any room to accommodate all of them. What is unique and so extraordinary that is happening at Fuller is the genuineness, the spontaneity of the power of God. The two professors who teach this course are Peter Wagner and John Wimber John has a church of 5,000. He comes to class and after 2-3 hours of lectures, he says, 'Relax. Don't close your ears. Don't get religious. But see what God is doing.' And, in a few minutes the Holy Spirit starts working. Psychology students, theology students - they all come under the power of God and they start shaking. I have never seen such genuine shaking in all my life. And some of them come under the power of God - they fall down without anybody pushing them and they are slain in the Spirit, they speak in tongues, people are getting healed and I have never seen so many manifestations of the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom as I saw in Fuller Seminary last year.

Another item from Foundation, July-August, 1990, indicates that Fuller professors C. Peter Wagner and George Kraft were key figures at the Catholic/Charismatic Indianapolis '90 Conference in Indiana. Their seminars reportedly drew the largest crowds of any offered. Kraft said the following:

Our healing course at Fuller continues and we'll be adding one on Power Encounter this year... My wife teaches at BIOLA University Talbot Seminary is part of that complex (and) has a course on Spiritual Warfare.

What begins at Fuller spills over in other places. Dr. C. Peter Wagner gets added national exposure by conducting church growth conferences. The New England Church Life for May, 1988 contained an article about one of these church growth conferences being held on the Gordon College Campus, co-sponsored by the Evangelistic Association of New England and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

According to the World Evangelization Information Service for March 10, 1981, as quoted in Foundation, March/April 1981, Dr. C. Peter Wagner made the following statement to the Council on Evangelism of the United Methodist Church: `As an outsider, I don't know of any other denomination which has done so much to restore evangelism. If I were a United Methodist, I would have a sense of optimism about my church." The United Methodist Church has been perhaps the leading denomination in liberalism. The evangelism which it has restored is certainly not the "Ye must be born again" of the Bible.

According to Marsden's Reforming Fundamentalism, p. 269: "In 1982, an astounding 44 percent of Fuller theology students said they considered themselves `a pentecostal or charismatic Christian,' and 43 percent said they have spoken in tongues."

Three Streams
Dr. Richard Lovelace, who is himself a new evangelical, professor of Church History at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, wrote an article for CHARISMA, September, 1984. His article was titled, "Three Streams, One River?" He wrote:

And Fuller's program, at the moment, is a 'mixing bowl' into which the three streams are flowing. There is significant Catholic input in the seminary's program of spiritual formation. In the course on 'Signs, Wonders and Church Growth, 'taught by C. Peter Wagner and John Wimber has injected a significant charismatic dimension in the School of World Missions.

The third stream, not specifically mentioned in the quote, is the stream of new evangelicalism. Lovelace's comments do not represent the criticism of a fundamentalist but the commendation of a new evangelical.

We have already seen that new evangelicalism was to have a concern for social involvement which fundamentalism supposedly lacked. Many pages could be written about the seminary's efforts in this direction. It has decried racism on its campus, sent a representative to march at Selma, crusaded for women's rights, opened all of its degrees to women and spoken sympathetically about homosexuals. In 1975 Professor Paul K. Jewett published a book, Man as Male and Female. The purpose of the book was to establish the equality of men and women. Some of his statements were in conflict with the Scriptural statements of the Apostle Paul. Jewett argued that Paul was simply mistaken. On the one hand, his conclusion shows the extremity of his position on equality On the other, it shows the bankruptcy of his position on inspiration.

Dr. Lewis B. Smedes, Professor of Ethics at Fuller Seminary, wrote an article in the August, 1978, Reformed Journal, on the subject of ordaining homosexuals. He wrote the following:

The data coming from psychology may tell us more about what homosexuality is than the Bible tells us. Any sophomore today is likely to know more about homosexuality than Paul knew.

What did Paul know about homosexuality without the benefit of Freud or Kinsey? Romans 1 shows that, by the inspiration of God, he knew that homosexuality was the ultimate sin of a sin-sick society, that it was "uncleanness" in God's eyes, that it was a "vile affection," and that it would receive the judgment of God. Paul may not have understood it psychologically, but he knew the will of God on the matter, and that is what we need to know to have a right attitude toward the sin.

There you have the story of Fuller Theological Seminary Exhibit A of new evangelicalism. It abounds with Dr. Ockenga’s "re's." Its professors were readmitted to the denominations of apostasy; the doctrine of inspiration was emasculated by restatement; the concept of missions was reshaped from individual salvation to corporate amalgamation; respectability was bestowed on the excesses of charismaticism and Bible doctrines were reshaped to make rapprochement with current social theory. Fuller Theological Seminary is Exhibit A, a warning to all who consider walking the new evangelical road.

No king ever began his reign with more promise than King Saul. He stood head and shoulders above his countrymen. God gave him a unique spiritual experience of prophesying. His humility was demonstrated by his hiding at his own coronation. However, there was one chink in his armor - his self-willed rebellion. Because of that fatal flaw, David was forced to opine over him, "How are the mighty fallen!"

No seminary ever began with more promise than Fuller. It had the prestige of a great name, the pledge of adequate funds and the privilege of a hand-picked faculty However, there was one chink in its armor-the faulty premises of the new neutralism "How are the mighty fallen!"



THE NEW NEUTRALISM  -  Billy Graham 1 - The Mouthpiece of New Evangelicalism

Let's go back to Dr. Ockenga. By this time that may be getting rather boring, for we have done it in every chapter. In his press release of December 8, 1957, Dr. Ockenga outlined the "organizational front" which would win the respect of liberalism and defeat the grungy forces of fundamentalism. This chapter will deal with the sixth aspect of the organizational front. That aspect is not a school or a movement, but a person. Dr. Ockenga phrased it thus:

... sixth, there is the appearance of an evangelist, Billy Graham, who on the mass level is the spokesman of the convictions and ideals of the New Evangelicalism.

I have frequently disagreed with Dr. Ockenga in his convictions, but I cannot disagree with his statement identifying Billy Graham as the mouthpiece of new evangelicalism on the mass level.

Billy by a Nose
The two most recognizable religious figures of the last forty years have been Billy Graham and Pope John Paul II. At times there have been short challenges from men such as Oral Roberts and Jerry Falwell, but coming down the stretch all the contenders have fallen behind. My guess would be that it is Billy Graham by a nose over John Paul as the world's best known religious figure. Graham has been invited to the White House more than any other clergyman in recent history. He has been confidante, advisor, dinner guest or golf partner for all the U.S. Presidents from Harry Truman to George Bush - a record that even the Pope cannot match. When the media seek religious opinions on the issues of the day, Billy Graham is never missed.

Every fundamental pastor has faced the fame of Billy Graham. Newcomers attracted to the church ask the pastor, "What do you think of Billy Graham?" Woe to the pastor who has a negative hint in his answer. If he dares to question the famous evangelist's associations, positions or policies, he is immediately dismissed as unloving and non-evangelistic. Many fundamental churches would be twice their size if they only went along with Billy Graham. Graham's conduct has become the popular norm for evangelicalism, more valued than what the Bible says.

I do not want to belabor what everyone already knows about Billy Graham. When he burst upon the national scene in the late 1940's he held positions which would have been shared by Bible believers in every denomination. He believed in an inerrant Scripture, the lost condition of all men, the necessity of salvation through the blood of Christ and the eternal destiny of man in either heaven or hell. He would have shared a desire to be separate from the world, a hatred for the liberalism which had robbed modernistic churches of the gospel, a clear perception of Roman Catholicism as a false religious system, a non-charismatic orientation and a recognition of atheistic communism as one of the shrewdest works of the devil.

It would be my observation that, in every one of these areas, Billy Graham has moved from orthodoxy to accommodation. The neutralist penchant to be accepted by the world has led to an accommodation to the world's view in every area.

Salvation without the Savior?
for January 1978 carried a five-page interview and story on Billy Graham titled, "I Can't Play God Any More." The theme of the article was to show that Graham no longer held to his dogmatic (Biblical) convictions of the past. For instance, Graham is quoted as saying:

I used to believe 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.

That statement makes one recall that Jesus said, "I am the way... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) The words of Peter also come to mind:

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:I2)

The Bible believer immediately recognizes that here is a broad accommodation to the thinking of the natural man's belief that Jesus Christ is not the only way.

Graham is also quoted in the same article as saying:

I believe that 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.

This matter is explicitly dealt with in Romans 1 where God explains that man should see God in the creation about him. However, Romans explains that because of man's depraved heart, he does not give that glory to God, but to images made like men, birds, beasts and creeping things. Men like to believe that there are "plenty of other opportunities," but God simply says to go and give the gospel to every creature.

What not to do at the Synagogue
In the same article Graham explains another accommodation made to the Jewish community The article states as follows:

Graham once believed that Jews, too, were lost if they did not convert to Christianity. Today Graham is willing to leave that up to God... Billy is particularly opposed to evangelical groups such as Jews for Jesus' who have made Jews the special target of their proselytizing efforts... 'If a person wants to convert to Christianity, that is his own freewill decision,' Billy declares... I would never go after someone just because he is a Jew, which is why I have never supported the Jewish missions.

Peter and Paul were never ready to make such an accommodation. It was to a Jewish audience that Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." It was Paul's custom in almost every city on his missionary journeys to go straight to the synagogue that he might preach the gospel to his brethren, the Jews. It was to a Jewish audience that Paul preached the following:

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Scripture obviously teaches that Judaism is not enough. Men must come to Christ. Obviously Peter and Paul did not receive honors from the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith and the National Conference of Christians and Jews as Billy Graham has done.

Church Tradition
I will have more to say later on about Billy's accommodation to Roman Catholicism. However, in the McCall's article Graham stated:

l am far more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than I once was. My contact with Catholic, Lutheran and other leaders - people far removed from my own Southern Baptist tradition - has helped me, hopefully, to move in the right direction. I've found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance. They believe in the Virgin Birth, and so do I. They believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and the coming judgment of God, and so do I. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition.

This is high sounding dialogue. It makes the reformation seem like a mistake. That "later church tradition" adds a pope, the hokus pokus of the mass and the necessity of works for salvation. It obscures the fact that salvation is by grace alone and not by works of righteousness which we have done. It is true that Christianity shares certain points of doctrine with many of the "isms," but that does not mean that we identify with those who deny the essence of salvation through a crucified Savior.

Christianity Today for May 21, 1982 reported on a visit of Graham to apostate Harvard University where he received a very good reaction from the students. Reporter Tom Minnery said the following:

In fact, if there was a reason for Graham's success with the Harvard students, it was his forthright admission that he does not have all the answers, and for his gentle approach to the Gospel, minus the fire and damnation.

The reporter further explained that Graham said he is still on a personal pilgrimage and "the more I learn, the less dogmatic I become on some topics." Probably all of us need to be less dogmatic about our personal feelings, but God never gives us the privilege of being less dogmatic about doctrine. What God says is true, and we dare not accommodate it to what the world thinks.

A Religious News Service dispatch from Urbana, Illinois, about 1976 read as follows:

Billy Graham, the evangelist, urged here that evangelicals 'accept unity in diversity' and avoid divisiveness over such matters as Biblical inerrancy, charismatic phenomena, and political activism.

An inerrant Biblical authority is the bedrock of faith. When men stray from that authority they soon have no authority at all.

Endorsing Oral
To the best of my knowledge Graham is non-charismatic himself. However, by taking a neutralist stand on the charismatic issue, he signals to all his followers that the excesses of the charismatic movement are perfectly normal for the believer. He has appeared on TV specials with Oral Roberts and on the campus of Oral's university There has never been a word of protest or warning about Roberts' wild visions, faith healing and shameless money-raising schemes. At Graham's International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists, commonly called Amsterdam '83, two of the main speakers were Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho of Korea and Dr. Pat Robertson of the U.S.A. Both, of course, are out spoken charismatics. Obviously they see no need to warn young evangelists about the dangers of charismatism.

Catering to Kathryn
The Billy Graham Center on the campus of Wheaton College is an extension of Billy's ministry When it was revealed in 1977 that the Graham organization had amassed $23,000.000 in holdings, one of the reasons given was that some of the money would be used for the center on the Wheaton Campus. The fall 1987 edition of In Form (Bulletin of Wheaton College) advertised that there would be a month-long exhibit at the Billy Graham Center titled, "Ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman Exhibit." Kathryn Kuhlman was a self-proclaimed prophetess, charismatic, and healer in the Aimee Semple McPherson mold. Her prime territory for ministry was in the area of western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio where I have spent my ministry Since I have observed her unscriptural excesses firsthand I found it hard to believe that some Bible believers would honor her ministry. Again we see the neutralist principle of accommodation to please all men.

A Shoehorn for Elvis
When anyone begins to accommodate all the people of the world, open worldliness must follow. Even so, it was shocking to read in the newspapers that Graham expected to see Elvis Presley in heaven. The San Francisco Chronicle for October 8, 1977, quoted an Associated Press dispatch from Charlotte as follows:

Evangelist Billy Graham says he thinks he will see Elvis Presley in heaven and is pretty sure' he will die within the next ten years. I never met him (Presley) but l believe I will see him in heaven because Elvis Presley was very deeply religious, especially in the last two or three years' Graham said.

Shoehorning Elvis into heaven seems to be a rather tough assignment, especially since it is predicated on being "very deeply religious" instead of repenting of sin and casting all on Jesus Christ.

More such unbelievable worldliness came out of Amsterdam '83. Foundation Magazine, Vol. IV, Issue IV, 1983 gave quotations from the Rev. Michael Green, an Englishman, who was both a main speaker and a workshop leader:

Don't talk about new birth, talk about liberation... Identify with and befriend secular society. Become one with them. Read their materials. Get out of our Christian ghetto mentality...' Green criticized the evangelist who 'never reads a modern novel... who never goes to a modern play or sees a thoughtful modern film.'

He then went on to advise the evangelists to attend the world's movies. This is standard new evangelical thinking. Christianity Today has a movie column like the secular papers where it reviews current films. When Billy Graham attended Wheaton College in the early 1940's every student was required to sign a pledge not to attend the movies. It is also standard new evangelical procedure to water down the wording of the Bible to appease modern man. To eliminate the new birth and the blood and hell to please man is to betray the God who saved us.

A Star on the Sidewalk
Hollywood has been the fountainhead of the filthy motion picture industry. On October 14, 1989 our local paper, The News-Herald, carried the following story:

The worlds best-known evangelist tomorrow will have his name and the likeness of an old-fashioned radio microphone engraved on the 1900th star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Apparently, this dubious honor by the most worldly of the world bothered Billy a bit, for the story continues as follows:

I'm not sure a clergyman belongs in that group of entertainers, 'Graham said sheepishly, noting that his star will be near those honoring Wayne Newton, Buster Crabbe, John Travolta, Judy Holliday, Julie Andrews, Olivia Newton-John and Greta Garbo... A star was offered to me 30 years ago, ' he said, 'and I said, No then. But I've changed my views.'

I do not know all of the celebrities mentioned in the above quote, but I do know that they were stars of worldliness and not of godliness. On first thought it would seem surprising that the Hollywood crowd would want a preacher's star in its crown. The newspaper went on to quote on that:

I doubt there is anyone in Hollywood who has been seen, heard or enjoyed by more people than Billy Graham,' said Johnny Grant, Hollywood's honorary mayor and chairman of the Walk of Fame Committee. Grant said that the committee voted unanimously to give Graham the honor after he was nominated last year by friends who paid the $4,800 fee.'

That is the way the accommodation game is played. I won't protest your filth if you don't protest my star.

A Love Fest with Apostates
There is another area of accommodation which cries to be mentioned here - that is Billy Graham's relationship to the apostate National and World Councils of Churches. These two organizations are the official organizations of apostasy on national and world levels. While there are born again believers in some of the churches, they are surely not evident in the leadership. If the command of God to "Come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord" applies to any two groups at all, they are surely these two groups. However, since Dr. Graham accepted apostates on the crusade level and shared his platform with them, he cannot refuse fellowship with them on an organizational level. There is enough evidence in this area that it would take a doctoral thesis to collect and analyze it. In an effort to be brief I will quote only Graham's own words about it.

Shortly after Amsterdam '83, a World Council of Churches Assembly took place on the campus of the University of British Columbia at Vancouver. Billy Graham had been invited by Dr. Philip Potter, the General Secretary of the Council, to attend and speak. Foundation Magazine Volume IV, Issue IV for 1983 records that he was unable to attend and sent the following syrupy telegram to his apostate friends:

Dear Philip: 
Your gracious and generous invitation to speak twice in Vancouver was deeply appreciated. Thank you for seeing my representatives, Dr. Smyth and Dr. Haraszti. They impressed me with the importance of the opportunities which you offered me and also conveyed your personal greetings. I have tried to juggle my schedule, but it is just too heavy at this late date for me to make the drastic changes that would be necessary for me to be in Vancouver This will be only the second general assembly of the WCC that I have had to miss. I will certainly miss seeing you and many other old friends and fellowshipping with those from all over the world. We have had 4,000 delegates coming to Amsterdam and have had to turn away 2,000 applications. There seems to be a growing grass roots desire for renewal within the church and emphasis on evangelism and service. It is my prayer that Vancouver and Amsterdam will both experience pentecostal blessings that could possibly bring about the extension of the kingdom of God, in a world so filled with danger May God grant you personally his wisdom as you lead this Sixth Assembly. Signed, Billy Graham.

Instead of sending such a telegram Dr. Graham would have done well to have sent the words of a faithful prophet addressed to another apostate in I Kings 13: "I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord..." Those words were less syrupy but far more pleasing in God's sight. Most prophetic scholars would agree that the WCC is busy building a church for the kingdom of Antichrist, not the kingdom of God.

The Christian News for September 9, 1991 reported that Billy Graham visited the National Council of Churches Interchurch Center in New York and met privately with National Council of Churches General Secretary Rev. Joan Campbell. On this occasion he said that he had "no problem in fellowshipping with anybody who calls Jesus Christ Lord:" That sounds pious and Scriptural until one realizes most National Council of Churches personnel will say, "Jesus is Lord," without believing in His deity

From Orthodoxy to Accommodation
Early in this chapter I suggested that Billy Graham had made a pilgrimage from orthodoxy to accommodation. We have seen accommodation of the gospel to the views of the unsaved man, accommodation to the Christ-rejecting Jewish community, accommodation to Roman Catholicism, accommodation to intellectualism at Harvard, accommodation on the issue of inerrancy, accommodation to the wild extremes of charismaticism, accommodation to worldliness, accommodation to the cesspool of Hollywood, accommodation to the primary organizations of apostasy. How can this be explained? Would not any professed servant of the Lord be embarrassed by such accommodation?

Any young pastor faces a decision early in his ministry Is he to fix his eye on the Christ for whom he ministers, or the crowd to whom he ministers? A faithful pastor will come to the conclusion that he must fix his eye on Christ, not the crowd. It is a serious charge, but the evidence in this chapter would seem to show that Billy Graham has fixed his eye on the other alternative. He has chosen to accommodate the crowd.




THE NEW NEUTRALISM  - Billy Graham 2 - Catholic Connection -

As I picked up the Lake County News Herald for February 9, 1984 my eye was arrested by a headline which stated: "Graham's Help on Vatican Ties." The article proved to be an Associated Press release which said:

A spokesman for Billy Graham confirms that the evangelist played a behind the scenes role in President Reagan's decision to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Early in 1983, Graham was asked by the president and adviser William Clark to make informal, private inquiries among evangelical Protestant leaders about likely response to such an action, said Donald Baily, media director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis.

A copy of the seven-page letter that the Baptist evangelist sent to Clark was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, which quoted Graham as saying 'If anyone can do it and get away with it, it is Mr. Reagan.'

Generally moderate evangelicals were described by Graham as presenting few problems, especially if the point were made that the Pope was being recognized as a political head and not in his religious capacity.


Since the birth of new evangelicalism in 1948, fundamentalists and new evangelicals had not agreed on many things. But, both groups had always stood in opposition to formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican. In reacting to the President's request, Mr. Graham might have become a spokesman for millions of Bible-believers by expressing solid opposition to Mr. Reagan's proposed move. Instead, he chose to be an accomplice in a national crime. How did it happen that Mr. Moderate Evangelical was willing to encourage the President to compromise the principle of separation of church and state by establishing diplomatic relations with the head of a church?

The Course of Compromise
Some years ago I heard a preacher say that "compromise always takes a man further than he intends to go." (If I could remember who the preacher was I would be glad to give him credit.) Billy Graham is a good example of that statement. I have to believe that he never intended to make the compromises with Roman Catholicism which he has today

"No" in 1950
In 1950 Dr. Robert Ketcham of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches came across a newspaper article indicating that Graham expected Catholics and Jews to cooperate in a revival in Oregon and another which reported that Graham had turned over decision cards to Roman Catholic churches. Ketcham promptly sent a letter of inquiry to Billy himself. His letter brought him a strong rebuke from Graham's executive secretary Jerry Bevan. Part of Bevan's reply was as follows:

For example, you asked if Billy Graham had invited Roman Catholics and Jews to cooperate in the evangelistic meetings. Such a thought, even if the reporter did suggest it as having come from Mr. Graham, seems ridiculous to me Surely you must know that it is not true... Further, that you should give any credence to the idea that Mr. Graham would ever turn over any decision cards to the Roman Catholic Church seems inconceivable.

Miasma in Milwaukee
What Jerry Bevan termed "inconceivable" in 1950 has become standard practice in every Graham crusade for the past dozen years or more. In September of 1979, The Christian Courier of Milwaukee, Wisconsin published the following report on the recent Milwaukee Crusade:

Sister Maureen Hopkins, Director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Milwaukee Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and a liaison member of the Crusade committee, reported that 120 people have volunteered within the Catholic community to help her with the task of contacting each of the 3500 inquiries. Sr. Maureen received the names and telephone numbers from the Crusade Committee, based upon the inquirer's indication of having a Catholic background on his inquiry card... All 3500 were immediately invited to a Eucharistic celebration which was held on August 16 at St. Theresa's Church in Milwaukee. The mass was attended by more than 400 people. The primary purpose for the mass was to remind the inquirers that their commitments to Christ should be nurtured within the sacramental framework of the church.

Christianity Today for September 7, 1979 pointed out that Graham had sent a team member almost a year before the Crusade to conduct a seminar on the working of the Crusade for Milwaukee priests and lay workers. It is a tragedy that 3500 decision cards were turned over to the Roman Catholic Church, but, it is a worse tragedy when you realize that it did not "happen." It was planned by the world's best known evangelist.

Ecumenism in England
Ten years later Billy Graham went to London for his Mission '89 Crusade. Foundation Magazine for November-December 1989 carried the following quotation from Cardinal Basil Hume, written in April of 1989, two months before the Crusade:

We are, as the Catholic Church in this country, working as closely as we can with Billy Graham in his Mission '89... The view I take is that I believe the grace of God is at work in the Mission and, if it helps people return to their own churches, then that is good.

Rev. Michael Seed, Ecumenical Advisor to Cardinal Hume, wrote further in recruiting Catholics to take part in the Billy Graham Group Leaders Training Courses:

The idea behind this is that those who come forward for counseling during a Mission evening in June, if they are Roman Catholic, will be directed to a Roman Catholic 'nurture-group' under Roman Catholic counselors in their home area. If certain people present themselves for counseling at a Mission and have no church roots at all then they are asked 'which church brought you' and asked to contact that church...

The Cardinal has already sent greeting to Dr Graham and will be meeting Dr Graham before the Mission. We know Dr Graham to be a truly ecumenical evangelist.

Later on in July, 1989 the Rev. Seed wrote the following:

Dr Graham called on Cardinal Hume the day before his Mission on June 13th and the Cardinal attended with myself the Mission at Earls Court on Monday, June 26th...

Some 2100 Catholics 'went forward' at Missions evenings in London which was excellent - from nearly all our Parishes in Westminster... Billy Graham has helped our Church greatly and many have 'renewed' their faith under his great ministry.

Consigning Babes to Darkness
I presume that Dr. Graham's organization would consider this a triumph of evangelism. To any Bible believer it is a great triumph of compromise. It seems fair to assume that those Catholic people chose to attend a Protestant crusade because their hearts were hungry.  They were not satisfied with the mass, the intercession of Mary and the good works of being faithful Catholics. Catholicism had not satisfied their hearts. I assume that they heard the Bible message that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ and that it is found there because he finished the work of salvation on the cross with his own blood. Salvation therefore, is all of God and all of grace without the necessity of the mass, Mary, the priest, or good works. If they cast their anchor of faith in this Bible message, they became new babes in Christ. How criminal to turn new babes back to the care of those who had kept them in the bondage of darkness up to that hour! As stated earlier, compromise always takes a man further than he intends to go.

Evidence could be collected from newspapers reporting the Graham crusade converts and listing thousands of cards returned to Catholic churches. Let me give one more bit of clear evidence:

Billy Graham held his Capitol District Crusade, April 22-29 at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany New York. According to Foundation for January-February 1990, the organ of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany The Evangelist, for November 2, 1989, the following occurred:

About 20,000 persons are busy making ready for Billy Graham's 1990 Capitol District Crusade, including representatives from 18 Protestant denominations in the area and a delegation of top Catholic officials appointed by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard.

The Graham Crusade, scheduled for April 22-29 at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, comes in response to a request made by Bishop Hubbard and other religious leaders, who three years ago formally invited the world renowned evangelist to preach here. 'There are nine Catholics on the 5O person executive committee set up to direct the Crusade... Diocesan officials view the Graham Crusade as 'a tool for evangelization, 'explained an executive committee member, Rev. James Kane, director of the diocesan ecumenical commission...

As for the specific dogmatic content of Mr. Graham's sermons. Father Kane .said, 'there is nothing that Catholics should feel uncomfortable with or be leery of. He said the evangelist's emphasis on the Gospel and on the importance of the individual's personal relationship with Christ is consistent with Catholic teaching.

'However' he added, 'we would, of course, emphasize the importance of the Eucharist and the Mass, the sacraments, and the importance of the structure and organization of the Church and its bishops and the pope.'

Smiling Cardinals
Compromise always takes a man further than he wants to go. This is the present pattern. We have a crusade invited to town by the Catholic Bishop, a crusade with Catholic members on the executive committee, a crusade with Catholic counselors guiding inquirers and a crusade which turns over thousands of contacts to the Roman Catholic Church. Why would the Catholic authorities join forces with a Protestant evangelist? If you read the quotations carefully you read that "Billy Graham has helped our church greatly." You read that, in Graham's preaching, "there is nothing that Catholics should feel uncomfortable with or be leery of." You read that the local priests view the crusade as "a tool for evangelization." Compromise always waters down the message. In Dr. Graham's early crusades Catholics got saved, forsook the fellowship of the Roman Church and moved to churches where they were taught the truth. No more. Everyone from the priest to the cardinal smiles happily as converts return to the mother church "renewed."

Move Two Spaces
In my boyhood one of the favorite games we children played was called, "Uncle Wiggly" Uncle Wiggly was an elderly rabbit who moved from the word, "Go," to the safety of his rabbit hole. There were many dangers along the way. To a child it was a thrilling game. To an adult it was a tedious maze of small steps from "Go" to "Home." How did Billy Graham get from his "No" of 1950 in regard to Catholicism to his "Yes" of 1990? The answer is by a maze of small steps, or compromises.

The year 1957 saw the infamous New York Crusade, sponsored by the Protestant Council of New York. The New York Times carried an electrifying statement of Dr. Graham's: "If the Pope asked me to preach the Gospel in the Vatican I would go." A few days before the New York Crusade opened, a Catholic paper published an article warning Catholics to stay away from the Crusade. The cozy relationship had not yet developed. This prompted Billy to speak these weakening words as reported in Newsweek for May 6, 1957:

I have many friends among Catholic priests, and a number of New York Catholic leaders have written me stating that they believe New York needs a spiritual awakening, and have promised me their prayers and interest even though they could not officially support the meetings. The Catholic Church has always been as friendly and as tolerant as their church law will allow them toward our crusades.

I recall an evangelist of yesteryear, Martin Luther by name, who had great meetings on the subject of justification by faith. It seems that the Pope and his cohorts failed to demonstrate their friendly tolerant interest and prayers.

Also in 1957. the San Francisco News for September 21, 1957 quoted a private interview with Dr. Graham in which he stated that "Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant. Catholic or Jewish."

Billy and the Archbishop
New warmth sprang into this strange relationship in 1964 when Graham spent forty-five minutes with Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston. Cushing stated that he was 100% for Billy. The Cleveland Plain Dealer for October 8, 1964 reported Cushing's words:

l have never known a religious crusade that was more effective than Dr Graham's. I have never heard the slightest criticism of anything he has ever said from a Catholic source.

Graham returned the favor by saying: "I feel much closer to Roman Catholic tradition than to some of the more liberal Protestants."

Some Matters of Tradition
I wonder if Billy stopped to think that "Catholic tradition" includes the mass, purgatory veneration of saints, the apocrypha, the immaculate conception, the celibacy of the priests and the confessional. Graham followers would be quick to remind me that "He didn't mean those:" I know he didn't. He was using the popular communist and National Council of Churches technique of dialogue, which emphasizes only the places you agree and compromises the rest. Graham readily admitted this in an article in Eternity for November, 1958 when he said as follows:

I do not believe that the ground of our fellowship is to be the inerrancy of the Scriptures but, rather, the ground of our fellowship is to be the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you see what that means? It clearly states that Graham will fellowship with Catholics on the basis of the deity of Jesus Christ; and, by choosing that as the basis, he will exclude all that the inerrant Scriptures say about Catholic heresies, past and present. That is a pious sounding sentence which is really devious, devilish, cleverness. Graham defends compromise with a Bible doctrine while he sweeps away contention about deliberate disobedience to the Word of God.

I cannot help but wonder if Billy Graham has forgotten the Council of Trent. That council opposed every fundamental doctrine of the Reformation. It placed Scripture and tradition on equal footing and made it possible to drag in medieval rubbish with the same veneration as John 3:16. It affirmed transubstantiation and the mass. It taught that justification is by faith and works. It insisted upon the seven sacraments of Rome and put the imprimatur on purgatory and the selling of indulgences. In short, it established as official Roman Catholic truth all that Bible-believing Christians oppose. Can you lightly dismiss all of this heresy as "some matters of later church tradition"? Billy may not have strained at a gnat, but he certainly swallowed the camel.

"Christian Brothers"
Then there was the step taken on November 21, 1967. That was the night that a Catholic college, Belmont Abbey in North Carolina, doctored Mr. Graham with an honorary degree. For centuries colleges have attracted friends and built loyalty by conferring honorary sheepskins. However, Roman Catholic institutions have been notably parsimonious about skinning sheep in honor of those who preach salvation by grace. Graham spoke about the shaking in the world today and stated, "One good thing has come out of this religious shaking. We can meet and talk together as Christian brothers. We could not do this ten years ago:" Thus, in an almost casual way, he accepted the assembled priests, nuns and Catholic layfolk as "Christian brothers" In commenting on things which have not changed, Graham made this unbelievable statement, as reported by the Gastonia Gazette for November 22, 1967:

Finally, the way of salvation has not changed. I know how the ending of the book will be. The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation.

Does Billy Graham really not know the difference between the gospel of God's grace which saves souls and the Roman system which built Belmont Abbey College and peopled it with priests? Either he is ignorant of the difference, or else he is willing to sell the truth for the pottage of ecumenical popularity

Bishop Sheen and Mother Teresa
In 1977 Dr. Graham took several giant steps on the way from "No' to "Yes" by holding a crusade on the campus of Notre Dame University. Christianity Today, which sits on the stool in Graham's corner, reported in its issue for June 3, 1977:

Would Billy Graham conduct a crusade at the Vatican? If a place were made available and Christian leaders in Rome wanted him to, he might.

No campaign in Catholicism's capital is on the evangelist's calendar now, but his five day crusade last month on the Notre Dame University Campus proved he is not afraid to go deep into Roman Catholic territory. It also showed that many elements in the once hostile Catholic community are now receptive to Graham's type of ministry.

Later in the same article Christianity Today said the following:

Graham's sermons were of the type that audiences around the world have heard, with only a few more references to such Catholics as Bishop Fulton Sheen and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Bishop Sheen was an impressive speaker and Mother Teresa is a compassionate woman. However, are they proper illustrations when preaching the gospel of grace? Apparently to Graham, with a Catholic audience the end justifies the means.

The Price of Peace
What has made the

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