BILLY GRAHAM’S ECUMENICAL GOSPEL A TWO-EDGED SWORD (Friday Church News Notes, March 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and some of my earliest memories are hearing Billy Graham preach on radio and television. He was upheld as a spiritual hero by everyone I knew. It has been said that Graham preached the gospel to more people than any person in church history, but his great ecumenical compromise (working with and supporting every type of church) was a two-edged sword that probably sent more people to hell than to heaven. Consider my wife’s conversion. When she was a teenager, she and her mother heard Graham preach on television when they were living in Alaska. That led them to attend church where they were eventually saved. But in a significant way, it was in spite of Graham that they were saved, because he taught people to go to “the church of your choice.” He did not carefully distinguish between churches. When my wife’s mother decided to go to church the following Sunday, she intended to go to a Methodist church which probably did not preach a clear gospel at that time and place. She was under the impression that “all churches are the same,” and Billy Graham had said nothing in his message or invitation to indicate that her thinking was wrong. The only reason she ended up in a Baptist church where a plain gospel was preached was because the Lord graciously intervened. It was winter, and she couldn’t get up the icy hill to the Methodist church, so she went to the Baptist church instead, not because of Billy Graham but in spite of him. This is why Billy Graham was called “Mr. Facing Two Ways.” His ecumenical gospel saved some and damned more. As we document extensively in the book Billy Graham’s Sad Disobedience (available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org), he turned multitudes of seekers over to Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and modernistic Protestant churches. Contrariwise, the apostle Paul did not merely preach “a positive gospel”; he preached the true gospel and also exposed false gospels. He said, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Strong language and godly language. Paul plainly identified the Galatian heretics as those who were cursed. Like His Master, Paul did not warn of error in vague generalities.
BILLY GRAHAM AND CHRISTIAN ROCK (Friday Church News Notes, March 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - Billy Graham had a huge influence on the spread of Christian rock music. Before I was saved, I lived and breathed rock & roll music, and I know for a fact that there is nothing godly in rock music, and I am talking the music and not the lyrics or words. Secular rockers know and readily admit that their music is largely about sex, and such music can never be redeemed for the worship of a thrice holy God. “Christian rock” is confusion. It is apostasy. It is deception. It is wickedness. Following are just a couple of the many quotes we could give along this line: Gene Simmons of KISS said, “That’s what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, THE BEAT!” (Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987). Jimi Hendrix said, “Perhaps [my music] is sexy ... but what music with a BIG BEAT isn’t?” (David Henderson, ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix. p. 117). Tina Turner said, “Rock and roll is fun, it’s full of energy ... It’s naughty” (Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum). Luke Campbell of 2 Live Crew said, “The sex is definitely in the music, and sex is in ALL ASPECTS in the music.” Observe that these quotes refer to rock’s rhythm rather than to the lyrics. These rock & roll experts are saying that the sexuality is in the rock rhythm. Yet Billy Graham was so lacking in spiritual discernment and so controlled by pragmatism that he used rock to draw crowds of young people. When Graham died, he was applauded by Christian rockers of every stripe (“In Memory of Billy Graham,” www.classicchristianrockzine.com). I don’t know of even one Christian rocker who warned of Graham’s great compromise, because they are one spirit with him in one world church building. Christianity Today’s obituary documented Graham’s role in popularizing Christian rock as follows: “In the 1990s he reengineered the formula for his ‘crusades’ (later called ‘missions’ out of deference to Muslims and others offended by the connotation). His standard ‘youth night’ was revolutionized into a ‘Concert for the Next Generation,’ with Christian rock, rap, and hip-hop artists headlining the event, followed by Graham preaching. This format drew record numbers of young people who cheered the bands and then, amazingly, listened carefully to the octogenarian evangelist” (Marshall Shelley, “Evangelist Billy Graham Has Died: America’s Pastor Shaped Modern Evangelicalism,” Christianity Today, Feb. 2018). For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, this is a very loud warning about a deep level of spiritual compromise. A person’s view of Billy Graham tells a lot. He was Mr. Ecumenism, Mr. One World Church, and those who love him are part of that “church,” though most are ignorant of the fact. It is an issue of spiritual discernment or the lack thereof. An individual that has the spirit of Psalm 119:128 and Jude 3 cannot be a part of any type of ecumenism. Loving all of the truth and hating error and fighting for the faith once delivered to the saints is the very opposite of what Billy Graham stood for. Billy Graham talked about the truth, but he had no passion to fight for it. That is not biblical Christianity. Biblical prophets and preachers are warriors. “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128). “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
THIRD TEMPLE GROUP ISSUES COIN FEATURING IMAGE OF TRUMP (Friday Church News Notes, March 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The Temple in Zion (Hamikdah Betzion) organization is issuing a half shekel temple tax coin featuring the images of Persian King Cyrus and U.S. President Donald Trump on one side and the Third Temple on the other. This is in recognition of Trump’s support for Israel and his public recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Currently there is no Jewish temple, of course, but the Temple in Zion is one of the groups preparing for the building of the Third Temple. Others are the Temple Institute, the Temple Mount Faithful, and Women for the Temple (who are practicing to bake bread and to dye and weave priests’ vestments, among other things). In 538 BC, Cyrus issued a proclamation ordering the rebuilding of the Second Temple. The Temple in Zion and associated groups hope that President Trump will institute the building of the Third Temple. Hillel Weiss, chairman of the group, says, “The Trump Declaration must continue with a declaration of the role of the Jews in establishing the Temple in its place. Only then will President Trump’s international ambitions come true in the Middle East” (“Israeli Group Issues Temple Tax Coin,” Israel Today, Feb. 26, 2018). Revelation 11 describes the measuring of the Third Temple in the time when the Two Witnesses prophesy in Jerusalem during the first half of the Antichrist’s reign.
CONCLUSION: The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).
Distributed by Way of Life Literature., publisher of Bible Study Materials and reports for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY (REPORTS AND FRIDAY NEWS) IS NOT DEVOTIONAL. IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.
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The Way of Life Literature preaching and publishing ministry is based at Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.
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