Graham's Tragic Romeward Run
By Ian Paisley
I never thought, when I came to this road forty-seven years ago, that the Ulster Temple down the road would be having beamed into it a Mission of Billy Graham which is sponsored by the Roman Catholic churches of Germany. I never thought that would happen. ...
I will get no laurels for preaching this sermon. I do not expect any. I do not think anybody thinks that Ian Paisley is looking for laurels, for I am not, and if I was I would be greatly disappointed. It is my business to be one thing--faithful; that is my business; and as long as I occupy this pulpit and please God, who ever comes after me to succeed me I trust he will be faithful. And if this pulpit does not maintain a faithful witness I pray what Spurgeon prayed: "God, blast it and burn the building and let it be ashes, a testimony that it departed from the truths for which it was built and which I proclaim with fearlessness and faithfulness."
A sad story
Billy Graham ... it is a sad story. Every time I think of it my heart breaks, that he that "thinketh that he standeth, take heed lest he fall." I remember meeting Billy Graham in a great Mission that he conducted in this city in the old Wellington Hall. They needed to have two seatings of the hall every night. He told the congregation that he went home to pray, and he prayed all night and preached during the day, and he preached with power; the anointing of God was upon him.
Billy Graham, for a time, went to Bob Jones University, then he transferred to Trinity College in Florida.
He had differences with the university, but those differences he made up, and he got into the stream of the Fundamentalist movement. W.B. Riley, who was one of the great stalwarts of the Fundamentalist movement in the Northern Convention, he was the man that raised the standard of truth in the Northern Convention. He founded the North Western School, and when he looked for a successor, he appointed Billy Graham as his successor, as President of the North Western School. He said he appointed Graham because he was a Fundamentalist opposed to Modernism and Romanism and Communism.
Billy Graham entered the evangelistic field, and when he entered the evangelistic field he became caught up in the eulogies of the Press; he became caught up in the good standing he started to have in the religious world.
Prophet turns popular
When a prophet ceases to be stoned he ceases to be a prophet, and when the prophet ceases to be opposed he has lost his cutting edge. When Billy Graham decided that he would break the rule he first had, he would bring modernistic preaching on to his committee, he would cooperate with the Church of Rome and bring priests on to his sponsoring committee, and he would forget about the line of separation and he would send Jews back to the synagogue when they were converted through him. He would send Roman Catholics back to the Roman Catholic Church. Those that came out of denominations riddled with apostasy, he would send back to those churches.
Of course, when he did that he was on the wrong road, and he has been going farther and farther and farther away from truth, but he has taken with him a whole lot of people whose only excuse is, "He preaches the Gospel." I want to say from this pulpit he does not preach the Gospel. We are going to examine the gospel he preaches.
The gospel according to Billy Graham
"What gospel, Billy Graham, do you preach?"
Let us hear his own statement that he himself said about the gospel that he preached. The Roman Catholic Church has a great college--I have been at it--it is known as the Belmont Abbey College, a well-known academic institution of the Church of Rome in North Carolina, and known throughout all the United States. They asked Graham to come that they might present him with an honorary doctorate. Graham accepted the invitation, and he went to the school. The Gastonian Gazette of November 22, 1967, reported in full what he said. Dr. Graham, what gospel do you preach? Here is his answer:
"The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way of salvation."
What gospel built Belmont Abbey Roman Catholic college? What gospel built it? That is the question we need to apply ourselves to. Billy Graham's pilgrimage to Rome. Let me mark for you the milestones.
In 1952, I quote from the Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph of September 6:
"Many of the people who reach a decision for Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic church."
1957, San Francisco News, November 11: "Even if the penitents are non-Protestant they are referred to the church of their choice." San Francisco is a heavily concentrated Roman Catholic city. "Anyone who makes a decision at our meeting is seen later and referred to a local clergyman--Protestant, Catholic or Jewish."
Could you imagine the Apostle Paul sending his converts to the synagogue; could you? But if the Apostle Paul had worked Graham's gospel he would have sat down and written to the Rabbi and said, "Mr. So and So got converted tonight in my meeting; I am sending him back to the synagogue." We read that Paul separated the brethren, he wrote the words: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing."
Billy Graham on the Romeward road
1963: "I admire Pope John [XXIII] tremendously. I felt he brought a new era to the world" Chicago Tribune, June 8, 1963).
1966: "I find myself closer to Catholics than the radical Protestants. I think the Roman Catholic Church today is going through a second Reformation" (Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, May 24, 1966).
1977: In Manila, the Philippines, Graham said, "We have received wondrous support from the Catholic Church" (Christianity Today, Dec. 30, 1977).
1978: "I found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Catholics." What do you think of that? He says, "We only differ on some matters of later church tradition. I find that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics" (McCall's, Jan. 1978).
In Poland in 1978 Graham praised the greatness of Pope John the XXIII's successor, Pope Paul VI, and he said, "I praise the greatness of the present Pope Paul VI."
In 1980 he wrote an article which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post (Jan.-Feb. 1980). He said: "Pope John Paul II is one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century. He is an evangelist." You did not know the Pope was an evangelist. Well, Billy Graham tells you he is an evangelist. He says: "He has sought to speak to the spiritual hunger of our age in the same way Christians throughout the centuries have spoken to the spiritual yearning of every age." And how has he done it? Billy Graham says he has done it by pointing people to Christ. The Pope is a great evangelist who points people to Christ!
In 1981 Billy Graham had a long meeting with the Pope. He said: "It was very private. It was very intimate." He said, "The Pope was extremely warm and interested in our work."
The Pope's brother
In 1989 Graham spoke further in the Today newspaper of June 8, and he said this about the Pope: "There was a pause in the conversation, suddenly the Pope's arm shot out and he grabbed the lapels of my coat, he pulled me forward within inches of his own face. He fixed his eye on me and said, `Listen, Graham, we are brothers.'" We are brothers! Graham said that was a great happening in his life, when the Pope took him by the lapels, pulled him into his cheek and said, "We are brothers."
When Billy Graham was in England, he had a Mission which also had its message beamed into Northern Ireland, and I raised the matter of the attitude of the Church of Rome.
The Billy Graham Organization is a lying organization. It tells absolute lies. If it knows you are a Fundamentalist it will write you a letter and say, "Billy Graham is a Fundamentalist and has nothing to do with the Church of Rome."
I have a letter there which we issued at the time, a photostat copy of a letter sent out by the Billy Graham Organization in which they said, "Graham has nothing to do with Rome; he is a fundamentalist preacher."
I have another letter in the same page in which Cardinal Hume thanks Billy Graham for sending him 2,100 converts, and he says that Billy Graham confirmed them in the Roman Catholic faith. When they were beaming the Billy Graham meetings in London in 1989 out to the satellite services, they did not beam the last week, because the last week Billy Graham brought Cardinal Hume to the meeting and had him sitting on the platform, and he paid a eulogy to a good Protestant, and he wrote to the Cardinal, and I have reproduced it in this paper.
Of course, Billy Graham had already said that he preaches the same gospel as the Roman Catholic church.
The gospel according to Rome
Let us examine the gospel of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church denies the full and final authority of Scripture. My Gospel is "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). That is my Gospel. This Book is the full and final authority. Hear the Second Vatican Council: "The Church does not draw her certainty about revealed truth from the Holy Scriptures alone. Hence, both Scriptures and tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence."
"I preach the gospel of Rome," says Graham, "the gospel that built this great college," but the gospel of Rome denies the authority, the verbal inspiration and eternal truthfulness of this Book and elevates Roman tradition into the same plane.
"Paul, do you preach the gospel of Rome?" and Paul replies, "Beware lest any man spoil you after the traditions of men" (Colossians 2:8). The Gospel of the Bible is the Gospel of the sole authority of the Word of God, and that is where this church stands, and that is where all Gospel preachers must stand, and Graham has departed from the authority of God's Word. When you depart from the authority of God's Word, which is a light to our footsteps and a lamp to our path, you go into darkness, and that is where Graham is today; he is in darkness.
How can he stand on a platform with President Clinton who marched into Washington for his inauguration ceremony officially accompanied with practicing homosexuals and lesbians. Graham turned and said that the Lord would be with him. The Lord is not with those that practice sodomy, and Billy Graham, and let me say it, Billy Graham has identified himself with a man who is out to change the rules of the United States Army so that practicing sodomites can live in the dormitories. It is no wonder the American mothers are up in arms. Would you like to send your son into an army barracks where homosexuality is practiced?
Billy Graham was there eulogizing that man, and when he did that he took part in the act of sodomy; he was identifying himself with Sodom's sins, and the curse of Sodom will be upon him. Let us be absolutely straight about this matter. If people run with the devil's crowd they cannot have God's blessing.
Graham thinks Mass is "beautiful"
Graham said, "This past week I preached in the great Catholic Cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mine who was a Catholic, and they had several Bishops and Archbishops to participate, and as I sat there going through the funeral Mass that was a very beautiful thing, and certainly straight and clear in the gospel." That was Billy Graham at the Mass, and he went on to say, "There was a wonderful little priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do." So Billy Graham was kneeling before the Mass wafer, and he said it is clear in the gospel and that the Mass ceremony was a very beautiful thing.
The Mass is the greatest attack on the finished work of Christ, yet Graham says, "That is the gospel I preach ... it is clear in the gospel." That is the man that is beaming into the Ulster Temple; and beaming into the First Presbyterian Church, Bangor; and in the War Memorial Hall, Carrickfergus; and in Lisburn, Seymour Street Methodist Church; Omagh, in the Library; Markethill, in the Presbyterian Church; Aughnacloy in the Church Halls; also in Letterkenny, Sligo and Tallaght--beaming in the message of this man that says the Mass is clear in the gospel.
What the Bible says
You know what the Bible tells me? The Bible says, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter in by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:19-22).
Billy Graham kneeling and worshiping the Mass wafer.
Billy Graham saying the Mass is the gospel straight and plain. Billy Graham saying in Belmont Abbey College, "I preach the gospel that built this school." This is the gospel of Rome; this is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Graham is preaching, and cannot be.
The worship of Mary
Let me say something about this Pope whom Graham rejoiced with, this Pope who called him "brother."
What does this Pope say? I quote him. He says he invites all men and women in the world to "turn with me to the Immaculate heart of Mary, the Mother of Jesus in whom is effected the reconciliation of God with humanity."
That is the most blasphemous statement that the present Pope has made: "You do not turn to Christ; you turn to the Immaculate heart of Mary." Mary does not have a sinless heart. Mary has to be saved. She said, "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." After Christ was born she went through the Mosaic ceremony for purification. If she was sinless she did not need to be purified. "The Immaculate heart of Mary." Did the immaculate heart of Mary affect our reconciliation to God? No, sir, it was the heart of Christ broken on the Cross, and the shedding of His blood that reconciled us to God. Yet this is Graham's "brother," and this is the gospel that Billy Graham says he preaches. He rejoices in London that he can send back to Rome 2,100 people who have been confirmed in the Catholic faith.
This is happening in this very city of ours that was known for its strong contention for the faith. There are few voices raised, and there will be few voices raised, because Rome will increase and increase.
I want to say from this pulpit today, the martyr fires will burn again, and what your preacher is preaching some day very soon will be a crime against the law. Some day very soon you will have to make a choice either for death or life if you are going to stand up for the Bible. This is no easy day; this is a day of darkness and a day of apostasy.
Dr. Graham sends his people back to the Church of Rome. He says that within twenty-four hours the church that they belong to will receive a nice letter from them giving the name and address and asking them to take care of them. Any man that would rejoice in the fact that he sent 2,100 converts to Rome in one mission will have to answer at the great Bar of God. He preaches another Jesus; he preaches another spirit; he preaches another gospel. The gospel of Rome is another spirit and another gospel.
Graham, an angel of light???
Paul said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven..." I tell you if an angel from Heaven appeared at the city hall and preached another gospel, this city would turn almost entirely to that angel. Do you know that? Billy Graham comes as an angel of light, and people say, "Is he not so gracious? Is he not so kind? Is he not a lovely man" Satan can be transformed into an angel of light.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
I know that this is unpalatable to many people, but I too have to meet my God. I too have to stand at the Judgment Bar, and when Christ sets His eyes on me, He will say, "A false gospel; the gospel of Antichrist; the gospel preached by a man who embraced the Pope and delights that the Pope was his brother, yet that Pope was another christ--what did you do about it?"
"Oh, I did not want to offend anybody; I did not want to take an unpopular road; I did not want to be a sore thumb sticking out in the religious body politic, Lord."
The reproach of the Cross
Do you think the reproach of the Cross is finished? No, there is a reproach in standing for Jesus Christ, and I am glad that God gave me one thing which can never be taken from me, that He gave me the great privilege on a world platform at Strasbourg to declare to the whole world with the film cameras on me that the Pope was not my brother; he was the Antichrist and the enemy of the Savior. That was the finest hour that I will ever have.
You say, "Preacher, you have had great hours winning souls to the Lord." Yes, but in Strasbourg I was standing up for my Blessed Savior when nobody else would stand up for Him, and when the whole world had gone whoring after the Antichrist. Thank God that He gave me the grace (I am not strong; people say, "You are very strong"; no, I am not, but I tell you, when the Holy Spirit gets hold of me I am strong) and on that day I was weak and there was nothing in me, but God filled me with His Spirit, and as I stood there I felt--as I was battered--I felt the presence of God. Who was battering me? Otto Hatsburgh--Otto Hatsburgh who was specially invited to be a prominent member of the committee that arranged the Graham Mission in Germany. Otto Hatsburgh, who is an outrageous, bigoted papist who could not even allow a Protestant preacher to make his protest. He tore at my coat pocket and yelled at me like a fiend. Of course, his great ancestor issued the writ for the killing of Martin Luther, so that is the line he comes from, but he is a sponsor of this Graham committee. Another sponsor of this committee is the Baptist preacher who has just written a book co-authored with a Roman Catholic bishop. Do you know the name of the book? Witnessing for Jesus.
A Baptist preacher and a Roman Catholic bishop writing a book Witnessing for Jesus, and they are the people Graham wants on his sponsorship committee. In Europe there has only been one religious body, the evangelicals of France, who have stood up and have refused to take any part in it. I am glad the Free Presbyterians in Germany have taken a strong militant stand against the visit of Graham to that land.
There may be someone in this meeting today and you are not a Christian. I want to ask you the question, "What is a Christian?" A Christian is a person who has a relationship with God only on the basis of the blood- shedding of Jesus Christ.
I wrote a book just before I went into prison the second time; it was the first book ever written about Graham's relationship to Rome; and it was written back in 1970--almost twenty-three years ago. In that book I produced a letter from Graham on his own notepaper by his Association--The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graham was asked why he did not emphasize the Blood in his preaching as the only ground for salvation. This is what the Graham Association said: "There are many aspects of the Christian life that Mr. Graham does not touch upon, because he does not believe they are the duty and responsibility of the evangelist." They make it clear that one of these subjects is the Blood.
They give this reason: "Mr. Graham believes we are saved through the Blood of Christ; however this aspect of Christian doctrine he does not emphasize in his message. This is the duty and prerogative of the pastors."
My friend, if you have not a Gospel of Blood you have no Gospel at all. A Christian--let me repeat it--a Christian is a person who has a relationship with God only through Christ as Mediator and the shedding of Christ's Blood. "...without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). But Dr. Graham says he does not emphasize this aspect. If he does not emphasize that aspect his gospel is bloodless, powerless, and a gospel of deception, and not a gospel of truth.
Saved only through the Blood
If you in this meeting this morning and you are not saved, you have got to have a relationship with God through the shedding of the Savior's Blood.
"...the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
Venture on Him, Venture fully,
Let no other trust intrude,
None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
Can do helpless sinners good.
If you have not His Blood and His righteousness you are a lost soul. How do you become a Christian? By baptism? No! The Bible says baptism is "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh" (1 Peter 3:21). By works? No, "not of works of righteousness that we have done" (Titus 3:5).
Well, how am I saved? I am saved by believing on, throwing myself for time and eternity on Christ and Christ alone.
No other hope, no other plea.
He took my place and died for me.
O, Blessed Lamb of Calvary.
You shed your Blood for me!
You have to rest only on that precious Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).
Oh, receive Him, believe on His name. Trust not the gospel of Rome; trust not the gospel of Billy Graham; trust not the gospel of any church or any party. Trust only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for that alone is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.
[From O Timothy magazine, Volume 10, Issue 9, 1993. All rights reserved. O Timothy is a monthly magazine.]
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