In February 2018, Billy Graham passed away. During his life, Graham received innumerable accolades from not only the Roman Catholic Pope, but also from many leading bastions from various liberal denominations that ascribed Christianity to their professed faith convictions. And now in death, Graham is lauded by politicians, presidents, notable Arminian pastors, and even from leading Calvinistic stalwarts like Dr. Steven Lawson who published an article titled, “Three Lessons From the Extraordinary Life of Billy Graham.”
In this article, Dr. Lawson lauded Graham by calling him an “extraordinary figure,” and said that Graham impacted his life by teaching him: the centrality of prayer, the power of humility, and to always be saying “The Bible says.” I carry those three lessons with me to this very day.
Lawson also explained that his doctoral dissertation at the Reformed Theological Seminary was on the evangelistic counseling and follow-up models of the Billy Graham crusade, and how he once held a partnership with the Billy Graham organization. This eventually ceased [emphasis added]:
I eventually left my work with the Graham organization—partially as a response to the interview he gave with Robert Schuler, where he seemed to indicate it was possible for someone to be saved apart from hearing about Christ. But let me be clear—the Billy Graham I knew did not believe that. For all his years of ministry, a banner hung behind the pulpit that said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).” He preached the gospel, and he called others to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s possible that interview can be blamed on his declining health, or that he was beginning a mental decline. Either way, his entire life and body of work should not be measured (or negated) by those five minutes.
There are serious implications for assuming that Billy Graham’s body of work is only measured or negated by those five minutes with Robert Schuler. Dr. Lawson’s idea that Graham’s comments to Schuler were due to possible health or mental decline basically smacks of subjectivity, prejudice, and begging the question. For a doctor and most importantly, a watchman, Dr. Lawson failed to realize that Graham’s assertions with Robert Schuler were not an isolated incident that would warrant the charge of heresy against Graham. There are many, many, and many more. Dr. Lawson, of all people, should know this. After all, he once held a partnership with the Billy Graham organization, and his dissertation was on Graham’s evangelistic counseling and follow-up models. I am not accusing Dr. Lawson of knowingly being aware of all of Graham’s theological treachery. But I am praying that Dr. Lawson would repent and make redactions to his article so young men do not commemorate the life of a known heretic. I will provide several reason why below.
As a result of Dr. Lawson’s public eulogy of Billy Graham, there has been a proliferation of young Calvinists that have emulated Lawson by espousing their ardor towards Graham—without even taking the time to research how detrimental and wicked Graham’s theological affirmations were. Even though it has been several months since Graham died, the internet is still saturated with young Calvinists that are still quoting Graham and eulogizing him the same way Lawson did. Take the time to examine the videos and articles below to see why this practice must cease and desist:
Billy Graham Approved of Abortion
Billy Graham Proclaimed a False Gospel
Billy Graham on Islam:
“I think Islam is misunderstood, too, because Muhammad had a great respect for Jesus, and he called Jesus the greatest of the prophets except for himself. And I think that we’re closer to Islam than we really think we are.”
Christian Broadcasting Network:
Billy Graham said that Pope John Paul II was "Most Influential Voice" in 100 Years, and referred to Pope John Paul II as his brother. After the Pope's death, Graham stated [emphasis added]: "I think he's with the Lord, because he believed. He believed in the Cross. That was his focus throughout his ministry, the Cross, no matter if you were talking to him from personal issue or an ethical problem, he felt that there was the answer to all of our problems, the cross and the resurrection. And he was a strong believer."
As early as the 1957 New York crusade, Graham explained that his strategy did not involve recruiting people out of their religious families [emphasis added]: “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish.”