Roman Catholicism - Ecumenism - Continued 2

On January 13, 1981, Graham had his first audience with a Roman Pope. The Religious News Service reported that, "Pope John Paul II was closeted for almost two hours with the Rev. Billy Graham, the worlds best-known Protestant evangelist."

Billy Graham gave the following account: "I spent about a half-hour with the Pope in very private, intimate conversation. He was extremely warm and interested in our work. We discussed the Christian faith, both our agreements and some of our differences. When I was at the Vatican, I spoke at a vesper service at the North American College, which is a seminary for students from North America. I understand I was the first Protestant to speak there. It was a very inspirational and Christocentric service, with much contemporary music" (Christianity Today, July 17, 1981).

Graham gave the Pope a wooden carving of a shepherd with his sheep, thus symbolically fortifying the false papal claim to be the shepherd of all Christians.

In July 1981, Graham’s Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization held a four-day American Festival of Evangelism in Kansas City, Missouri. Wilson Ewin gives the following report on the ecumenical aspects of that meeting:

Instead of presenting the need of Roman Catholics for evangelism and how to do this, the meetings stressed unity and cooperation with Roman Catholicism. The festival emphasized that Lausanne Committee participants no longer believe in the evangelism of Roman Catholics. Instead, they believe in Roman Catholicism’s own evangelization to produce Roman Catholics for the strengthening of the papacy. This was shown through the fact that several Roman Catholic workshops were included in the Festival. Evangelicals were shown how to become and how to make good Roman Catholics.

Reporting on the work by Roman Catholics at the Festival, the American Catholic Charismatics’ own New Covenant magazine, October 1981, stated, ‘Fr. Glenn C. Smith, evangelization officer for the diocese of Rockford, Illinois, told how Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cary, Illinois, grew from 1,000 to 6,000 members in 10 years because of persistent efforts. Every Easter some 100 joined the church ... Fr. Kenneth Boyack, a Paulist priest from Greensboro, North Carolina, said that plans to organize evangelism offices in dioceses and evangelism committees in parishes should provide a much greater number of converts by 1990.’

... the Lausanne Committee’s American Festival placed a stamp of absolute acceptance upon authentic, medieval and historic Roman Catholicism. By association and official participation in the Kansas City Festival, 150 Religious denominations and organizations have proclaimed their willingness to cooperate with and accept Roman Catholicism (Wilson Ewin, Charismatic Control).

Graham prepared for the spring 1982 New England campaign by visiting Boston’s Cardinal Medeiros, who reported the March meeting to be "a discussion of mutual interest and concerns." A strategy consultation followed on May 25, the Cardinal said, "I was delighted to receive Dr. Graham and a few of his colleagues into my home for dinner" (The Pilot, May 28, 1982). Priest Conley, Coordinator of Communications for the Archdiocese stated, "The Crusade’s purpose is not proselytizing--or sheep stealing ... 100 Priests, religious and laity are being trained to facilitate the full reconciliation to the Church [Of Rome] of those men and women who will have been moved by Dr. Graham’s preaching" (The Pilot, May 11, 1982).

At the Orlando, Florida Crusade, in 1983, 150 Catholic lay people were trained to assist in the follow-up of Catholics who made "decisions." The Florida Catholic, Sept. 2, 1983, published in Orlando, Florida, revealed this information, stating that the Catholic lay people had been specially trained by a member of the Billy Graham Team, Mr. Rick Marshall, who explained the format of a special Graham Bible Study booklet which he encouraged them to use in their follow-up. Mr. Marshall was quoted as saying, "The study was presented topically, not doctrinally and therefore would not conflict with the theology of a given church." It was reported that "Names of Catholics who had made decisions for Christ were provided at that meeting by Rick Marshall of the Graham organization." The names of more than 600 people who had came forward during the altar call were given by the Graham team to Roman Catholic churches for follow-up. This was reported in The Florida Catholic, a publication of the Roman Catholic Church.

"About 180,000 persons attended the Crusade and some 600 of the Catholics who attended went forward for Dr. Graham’s altar call and were counseled about their commitment to the Lord. ... Although the Orlando diocese was not a sponsor of the eight-day event, some 150 Catholic people and educators rallied to an April 20 meeting at St. James Cathedral offering their services in the follow-up. Names of Catholics who had made decisions for Christ were provided at that meeting by Rick Marshall of the Graham organization" (The Florida Catholic, Sept. 2, 1982).

When Graham came to Vancouver (October 14-21, 1984), less than a month after the Pope had been there, Graham made this statement about the Pope's message in Vancouver, B.C: "I'll tell you, that was just about as straight an evangelical address as I've ever heard. It was tremendous. Of course, I'm a great admirer of his. He gives moral guidance in a world that seems to have lost its way" (Foundation magazine, Vol. V, Issue 5, 1984). At the Vancouver, British Columbia crusade, the vice-chairman of the organizing committee, David Cline of Bringhouse United Church, said, "If Catholics step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes" (Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5, 1984).

When Graham preached in Hungary. Christianity Today, Nov. 22, 1985, noted that leaders from many denominations sat on the platform with Graham. In Budapest Cardinal Laszlo Lekai, primate of the Roman Catholic Church, was seated on the platform. In Pecs, Catholic Bishop Jozsef Cserhati co-hosted Graham and introduced him to the crowd. Weeks earlier, he had sent letters to be read in all the Catholic churches in the area, urging parishioners to attend the Graham rally. Catholic and Protestant clergy worked together, and both Catholic and Protestant choirs sang at the meeting. Graham’s visit was sponsored jointly by the Baptist Union and an alliance that included Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, and Methodists. The meetings were said to be the most ecumenical ones ever held in Hungary (National Christian Council Review, National Christian Council of India, May 1986).

In Amsterdam in 1986, billed as a "school for evangelists" and sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, more than 12,000 Christian leaders met to plan a strategy for evangelizing the world. When asked how he could conduct a conference on worldwide evangelism when so many attending groups did not even embrace the same fundamentals of the faith or agree on the definition of the Gospel, Graham responded: "Evangelism is about the only word we can unite on ... Our methods would be different and there would be debates over even the message sometimes, but there is no debate over the fact that we need to evangelize. ... I think there is an ecumenicity that cannot [be gotten] under any other umbrella." Thus, revealing his ecumenical approach to worldwide evangelism, where all the churches must be willing to join in evangelism with those who would debate the very content of the Gospel. (Reported in the July 1991 CIB Bulletin and the March-May 1991 Foundation, p. 13.)

A Catholic priest, Donald Willette of St. Jude's Church, was a supervisor of the 6,600 counselors for the 1987 Denver crusade. Willette reported that from one service alone 500 cards of individuals were referred to St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Englewood, a suburb of Denver (Wilson Ewin, Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990s).

Billy Graham stated in U.S. News & World Report (19 Dec 1988): "World travel and getting to know clergy of all denominations has helped mold me into an ecumenical being. We're separated by theology and, in some instances, culture and race, but all of that means nothing to me anymore."

In 1989, Graham spoke about a meeting he had with Pope John Paul II "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 eyes on me and said, 'Listen Graham, we are brothers" (6/8/89 Today). Graham said that that was a great happening in his life.

A pastor who attended a Billy Graham crusade on September 22, 1990, in Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, reported his experience as follows:

"I have read often of the compromises of Billy Graham, but doubted some of the stories as exaggerated. Now they have been proven, in my eyes, worse than reported. ... My conclusion is that Billy Graham is making men twofold more the child of hell ... The emphasis was on believing in God, with a little commentary on Jesus Christ, but very little. ... We were told that the way to take care of the sin problem is to 'receive Christ, rededicate your life, or renew your confirmation vows, or whatever you call it in your church.' I could hardly believe my ears. What do confirmation vows have to do with salvation? ... No one could have convinced me of the apostasy of Billy Graham any more than my own experience. ... He even had a Rabbi on the platform to show the unity of the religions. ... Not having competent counselors is bad enough, but then to have led them to believe that a church experience is the same as being born again is the height of apostasy. ... Billy has not compromised, he has gone caput!" (From The Baptist Lighthouse, reprinted in The Perilous Times, March, 1991.)

Concerning the 22 Sept 1991, Billy Graham New York City Crusade, David Briggs, an Associated Press reporter, wrote that "many of those who answer the call at the end of his crusade have been swayed by techniques such as having the ushers come forward to give the impression there is a groundswell of people committing to Christ." (Reported in The Patriot-News, Religion section, Harrisburg, PA, 20 Sept 1991, p. 1.) The rally was endorsed by Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor who said, "the Billy Graham organization has asked our help in providing people to counsel and to welcome back those who wish to practice their Catholic faith." At the rally, Graham thanked O'Connor and the area archbishops for their support. Graham also expressed appreciation to the Jewish Rabbis in New York. (Graham said: "I want to thank the Jewish Rabbis for having me for lunch. About 200 Rabbis gathered and we broke bread together and we talked about the things of God and the things of New York City.") When extending the invitation at the close of his message, Graham invited individuals to "come back to the Lord" by "renewing" their "vows of baptism or confirmation." (Reported in the 1992 March-April Fundamentalist Digest.)

In an interview with the Bookstore Journal, Graham states quite clearly his position on ecumenism, twisting Scripture in order to support it:

"Another significant thing happened in the early '50s in Boston. [Catholic] Cardinal Cushing ... put 'Bravo Billy' on the front cover [of his magazine]. That made news all over the country. He and I became close, wonderful friends. That was my first real coming to grips with the whole Protestant/Catholic situation. I began to realize that there were Christians everywhere. They might be called modernists, Catholics, or whatever, but they were Christians. Jesus taught, 'By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.' And that love is more important than anything else. I don't think I've ever departed from that realization" (November 1991 Bookstore Journal).

Biblical love demands separation from, not fellowship with those who preach another gospel.

"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed. For he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds" (II John vs 10-11).

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a beautiful serpent, twisted Gods words and beguiled Eve with his extra biblical revelation, "Ye shall be as gods", moved her focus off Gods sound doctrine, and shifted it towards his popular message and promises about eating from the tree of Knowledg