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  • « Images of the Savior (27 -- The Institution of the Aaronic Priesthood) | Main | Free Will in Philemon 1:14 »

    Billy Graham - 50 years ago

    Church History did not start with Billy Graham but as this video of a sermon on "the Great Judgment" 50 years ago shows, God certainly used him mightily both at home and abroad, as the simple Gospel thundered from his lips.

    Steve Camp wrote on his blog: My father worked with Billy in the early days and helped launch his ministry in radio around the country. This is the evangelist/Bible preacher I so appreciate. My friend, the late Stephen Olford, told me once of his early encounter with Billy before the Lord granted him a wider audience to preach to. He said that Billy's preaching was average, his understanding of biblical truths ordinary, and the results almost nonexistent. But they embarked together on a journey spiritually over the next several weeks of confession of and repentance of sin; and a concentrated study of God's Word and long seasons of prayer.

    I will never forget what Dr. Olford then said to me, "Steve, for reasons known only to heaven, the next time Billy preached the Holy Spirit was at work; people came and filled the churches; and before the end of the sermon could even be concluded, they were streaming down the aisles in repentance of their sins to receive and follow the Lord Jesus Christ."

    How I treasured hearing this message this evening and I pray it will encourage your soul as well. Oh for THAT Dr. Graham to be duplicated once again in today's young men of God seeking to serve the Lord Jesus! There was never the mark in those crusades of the sooty ordure of the culturally driven preachers like there is today. On the contrary: the Word preached faithfully and the gospel presented clearly.

    True biblical ministry is not defined by the times, but by the truth of God's Word. It was enough then... and it should be enough in ministry today as well.

    Amen? Amen!

    Posted by John Samson on October 11, 2008 12:50 AM


    I don't want to be the bear here, and yet Billy also compromised heavily, according to well-respected teachers and pastors throughout evangelicalism, to collaborate with theological modernists and liberals so far removed from orthodoxy as to deny essentials of the faith (high & modernist angelicans, for example) so that he helped fill the pews of cults, Catholics, Anglicans, etc. because of that ecumenism: some close to him described it woefully as these people who despised him used him to do this; others were more discerning and have warned for years that his understanding of even gospel basics (like that Jesus washes sin away by His blood, not covers it as Billy would preach) were more than deficient.

    Billy wasn't so thunderous as mixed, and it is tragic, and has shown in the later years as he gradually gave way to liberalism himself, telling of his comfort with "brothers" in Catholic services; denying Christ on Larry King and on Robert Schuller's hour of power; but anyone who dared bringing these up was booed as overly judgmental critical spirits who were attacking a Christian brother...even though few were averse to men doing the same for deniers of Christ like Joel Olsteen.

    More than anything regarding Billy Graham, I think, he needs prayer that he actually be found in the faith, and not deceived. In preaching some came to believe, many fell away, and unbelieving "Christians" with whom he desired to cooperate to draw bigger crowds filled their pews: sending the flock to the slaughter among doctrinal and theological wolves.

    No offense, but I don't celebrate the man's overall work: I grieve over it as a sad mixture, for which we'll feel reverberating effects, especially for the poor example of cooperating with pseudobrethren "in the name of Christ", against scripture command, for years and years to come: while men all along, undiscerningly, praise the man, and not THE MAN, the Person, proclaimed in the message.

    Emotional "responses" and "decisions", effected through crowd-dynamics and the pressure of "walk the aisle to show" tactics, are not valid measurements of real power or effect of a ministry, or its value. I'm afraid Billy did what Charles Finney did, preaching waterily (increasingly over the years) and using "the right means" rather than leaving it to God, except whereas Finney produced a tiny "burnt over district", Graham did it world wide.

    This is not something to celebrate, it is a tragedy.


    I sense the need to be fair, balanced and political in this post on Billy Graham. Graham indeed gave up orthodoxy later in life as the last poster mentioned. I think this quote sums it up.

    "I fully adhere to the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith for myself... but as an American, I respect other paths to God."

    I agree with the comments especially the one in Nathan post what a sad statement by one supposedly being a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ

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