Billy Graham’s Compromised Crusade Connections

Billy Graham, now the evangelist of the liberal ecumenical movement, is, as might be expected, as thick as thieves with the modernists. Some would say he has, as a great star, declined a long way. Back in 1949, when he was editor of The Pilot, magazine of Northwestern Schools, an ad appeared in the publication, offering for sale a book by the unitarianized Harry Emerson Fosdick. This is the man who said, “I do not believe in the virgin birth, or in that old fashioned substitutionary doctrine of the atonement; and I do not know any intelligent minister who does.” Was Fosdick unaware of Graham’s existence then, or did he regard him as unintelligent? But the next issue of the magazine carried the editor’s apology in the words, “I am sorry for this advertisement having appeared, because we do not condone nor have fellowship with any form of modernism. . . Dr. Fosdick’s position is well known as that of an extreme modernist.” In 1951, Billy said in a letter, “I have never been nor will I ever be in favor of a modernist being on the (Graham crusade) committee, or in any way having fellowship in these meetings.” In 1952, Billy wrote “fundamentalist” Dr. John R. Rice, “. . . we have never had a modernist on our Executive Committee.” In 1955, Billy told Rice in Scotland, “I have promised God that I will never have on my committee working in an active way in any of my campaigns men who do not believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible—these men will never be on my committee. I have promised God.” 

Now all the world is witness to Billy’s “I have promised God.” In 1948 Billy had been asked, “What do you expect the World Council of Churches to do this August when you visit Copenhagen?” He answered as though knowing which way the wind was blowing, “I believe they are going to nominate the Antichrist.” But in the light of that promise it is interesting to note that in 1961, himself at the World Council of Churches in New Delhi he said of it, “This assembly could be another Pentecost.” Was this not also uttered with eye upon the wind direction? 

It was only a year at the most, after that promise that men were on his committee like Henry Van Dusen of Union Theological Seminary, and John Sutherland Bonnell. The latter had said, in Look magazine, 1954, “We do not think it is any longer necessary for Presbyterian ministers to confirm their faith in the virgin birth.” In 1957 Billy’s leading committee members of the New York crusade were Robert J. McCracken and none other than Harry Emerson Fosdick. For the San Fransisco crusade, Billy had Bishop James A. Pike, surpliced atheist turned spiritist. The 1963 Los Angeles campaign was headed by Bishop Gerald Kennedy of the Methodist Church. Other National Council of Churches liberals worked on the committee under Bishop Kennedy, men with communist-front connections who marched in Washington, such as Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin. Bishop Kennedy has belonged to ten communist-front organizations. He, not surprisingly, has repudiated every doctrine of the Christian faith. Yet, surprisingly, Billy said of him, “Bishop Kennedy is one of the ten greatest Christian preachers in America.” By whose or what standard of judgment, we ask? Apparently this Kennedy has gone through many “conversion” experiences, for he said, “My Christian experience has led me from fundamentalism to liberalism, through neo-orthodoxy, and home again to what for want of a better term, I shall call Wesleyanism.” The latter term is a modern euphemism for semi-Pelagianism. Men of this stripe Billy does not hesitate to use to front him in his campaigns, and, it goes without saying, they use him. In 1957 a representative of the modernist Protestant Council of Churches said, “The (modern ecumenical) church will be greatly strengthened as a result of the Graham crusade.” Later, this same speaker reported that the Council of Churches increased from some 1700 local churches to some 3000, the liberals nearly doubling as a result of the Graham crusade. Billy at his crusades has the most prominent modernists to lead in prayer, men such as Norman Vincent Peale, Martin Luther King and James A. Pike. He eulogized E. Stanley Jones as “my good friend and trusted adviser.” These men are all enemies to the Reformed faith, evolutionists, denying the triune God, the infallible scripture and the particular atonement. 

In South America, “a Roman Catholic bishop in a benighted country stood on the platform and made the sign of the cross over the converts as they came forward.” Cardinal Cushing of Boston said to Billy, “I am glad to have Catholics go to hear you preach because you make better Catholics out of them.” In 1967 Graham received an honorary degree from a Romanist college, Belmont Abbey. Responding to the “honor” (bait!) Graham said, “I’m not sure but what this could start tie being called ‘Father Graham’.” This reveals a slight sign of vanity. In a more serious vein he also said, “. . . The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here is still the way to salvation.” We cannot believe that either “gospel” comes close to salvation. At the Abbey he also said, “that the ecumenical council and the reforms started by the late Pope John have brought a new dialogue, and a new understanding that might bring a great Christian revolution.” Over 450 years ago it was reformationfrom Rome to the truth of Scripture. Now it is revolutionwith Rome against misunderstanding. Conclusion: the Reformation came about as the result of the Reformers’ misunderstanding. His inclusivistic ecumenical spirit is revealed when he added, “What is happening in the ecumenical revolution is of interest to people all around the world—to Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Buddhists.” It is also known that when the cardinals of the Roman hierarchy were convening to choose a new pope, that Billy prayed that the cardinals might be guided by the Holy Spirit in the choice they would make. So Graham has widened his crusade platform to take in Rome; and, it would seem, also Buddhism and Jewry. In US News and World Report, Sept. 27, 1957, Billy was asked if he received financial support from all three groups—Protestants, Catholics and Jews. He replied, “Yes, we did. In fact, one of the largest checks that we received came from a Jewish businessman in New York City.” After all, wealthy industrialists have been on his committees. But then let true Christians put their money only to the cause of the true church. Let the Catholics, modernists, Jews and Buddhists support Billy Graham. Let the dead bury their own dead. 

Though we keep calling him Billy, we must remember he is not merely “Rev.” Billy, but Dr. Billy Graham. Bob Jones University (where any and all documentation for this article may be obtained) claims to have conferred, not an earned degree, but an honorary degree on Billy. The newspapers have come out with many shocking things about Dr. Graham, one report stating that non-Protestant converts “are referred to the church of their choice.” This has been confirmed by some who “went forward” and found it to be so by experience. However, Walter Smyth of the Graham staff denied the above newspaper statement. “False,” he said, “Billy Graham has never at any time in history given cards to the Catholics.” Call attention to certain strange newspaper reports and ask why they have not been later corrected in the press and Billy’s staff members will often reply with as feeble a defense as Walt Smyth’s, “If we answered our critics we would have no time for anything.” There are times when critics must be answered, for the honor of God is at times at stake. Jesus alone is proof of that. But the newspapers have quoted Graham as replying, “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic or Jewish.” Billy is still busy building the Babel tower of the false ecumenical church. If not a red carpet, then a sawdust trail he lays to Rome, toward which the ecumenical mob is moving. Says he, “Many of the people who reach a decision on Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic Church and we have received recommendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their church following our campaigns. This happened both in Boston and in Washington. After all, one of our prime purposes is to help the churches in a community. If after we move on, the local churches do not feel the effects of these meetings in increased membership and attendance, then our crusade would have to be considered a failure.”‘ So Graham regards the Romish church as the true church. He is simply an indirect agent and servant of the Roman Catholic Church. But undoubtedly Billy has made little or no impression on the Jews as far as “decisions” are concerned, for in the most Jewish city in the world, New York City, the boost he gave the religious bodies was not to the synagogues (which do not need it, if you listen to the rabbis at the Congress on Evangelism), but to the churches of the modernist councils.

It is too bad, but people do not think. If they did, we could expect them to see that the religion of Jesus, of the apostles, of the early church fathers, of Augustine and of the Reformers do form but one line of divine truth, and that what Graham and his followers hold is but a cheap, crooked counterfeit of that line. His pathetic apologists will say that Billy does not preach the whole counsel of God, that there are many doctrinal themes of the Christian faith he never mentions “because he does not believe that they are the duty and responsibility of the evangelist.” Pastors have the duty of taking up the fundamentals and the essentials of the faith. Evangelists, however, are to present the rudiments of the faith “to get people saved.” Continually you hear Billy say, as he waves a Bible in the air, “the Bible says,” a now hackneyed expression with him. But there are many rock-bottom bits of the Gospel drill lacking in Billy’s grind—the Atonement, for example. The reason for this is, as a counselor of his association will tell you, that “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.” That is left to the pastors! Billy Grahambelieves we are saved by the blood of Christ, but he doesn’t preach it! At least, he doesn’t emphasize it. Billy’s emphasis is not on the Cross! The offence of the Cross is made to cease! Imagine! an evangelist without emphasis on the blood of Christ. There you have a preacher who has nothing to preach. But so it is with the false prophets of this century. Their emphasis is on the scarlet-carpeted road to Rome, on the social gospel, a perverted gospel, which is no gospel. The axe is laid to the roots!