From The Pastor's Study

May 9, 2001


At the prayer meeting of the Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Pine Bush, NY tonight May 9, 2001, I made reference to remarks of the Reverend Billy Graham made in recent years in which he has sounded more like a Unitarian Universalist than like an evangelical Christian. The looks of surprise and amazement and near unbelief at the idea of the Reverend Graham saying such things led me to believe it wise to supply you with the quotes.

Here are but a few:

"I used to think 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. I believe 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."
[1/78 McCall's Magazine]

"And I think there is that hunger for God and people are living as best they know how according to the light that they have. Well, I think they're in a separate category than people like Hitler and people who have just defied God, and shaken their fists at God. . I would say that God, being a God of mercy, we have to rest it right there, and say that God is a God of mercy and love, and how it happens, we don't know"
[1993 interview with David Frost quoted in The Charlotte Observer, Feb. 16, 1993]

[Television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller. Part I, an approximately 7-minute-long broadcast in Southern California on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The following is an exact transcript of an excerpt close to the end of this broadcast.]

Graham: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never even seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.

Schuller: [R.S. trips over his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says] I'm so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.

Graham: There is. There definitely is.

This is pretty sad indeed, but even worse is the fact that the mainstream evangelical leaders have been silent about these clearly unevangelical sentiments.
It is an evidence of the doctrinal dearth that characterizes much of todays evangelical witness.

I don't think this delegitimizes Billy Graham's Christian testimony. I wouldn't question his standing in grace nor the godly walk he has exemplified over many years. But to view him as a trusted guide and teacher, a kind of Protestant Pope as the media would view him is clearly misguided. As the years go on the Reverend Graham's statements stray more and more from the Billy Graham of the late 40's and early 50's whose ministry was decidedly Biblical and faithful to most of the Evangelical witness.

If a Billy Graham could so stray so far from the truth, it should warn each of us to be sober, to be vigilant for truly our adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, whom resist steadfastly in the faith.

Your Servant for Jesus Sake,

Pastor Gordon


  Red Mills Road, Pine Bush, New York