Rev. Billy Graham
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
P.O. Box 779
Minneapolis, MN 55440
Dear Billy Graham,
I am writing this letter to you to ask you to respond to a number of statements you have made, some very recently, that are of concern to the body of Christ. This letter is being sent to you at BGEA and will also be posted publicly on our web site in the hope that you will respond to the public statements you have made. We will also post your reply to this letter if you choose to do so.
For your information, we have been following BGEA and Rev. Billy Graham for some time and have noticed a slide into ecumenism and compromise. I was a fervent supporter of BGEA, having been the coordinator for BGEA activities on Guam for some years. I decided to no longer support BGEA activities when I discovered the policy of sending Catholics who had made a profession of faith back to the Roman Catholic Church to be discipled. Christians are called not only to evangelize but to make disciples of all nations. We believe that to preach the gospel of grace and then send professing believers back to a religion that clearly teaches works salvation is to disobey the will of God revealed in His Word.
I believe that our web site represents many of the best discernment ministries today, and you can be assured that the many people who visit our site as well as others will be looking closely at your reply to the following issues.
(1) The Alpha News Online, No. 3, March-July 2000 alleges that Rev. Billy Graham wrote to them and invited Nicky Gumbel of Holy Trinity Brompton church in England to come to Amsterdam 2000 to do a workshop on the Alpha Course. They quote Rev. Billy Graham as saying in a letter to them:
Billy Graham has invited Alpha leader Nicky Gumbel to speak at a major conference he is organising in Amsterdam, Netherlands, this July. Mr Gumbel has been asked to speak at a workshop on the Alpha course at the conference, to be attended by 10,000 evangelists from around the world. Mr Graham wrote, “Your experience and expertise as a leader will be a great asset to the conference, and participants will gain invaluable knowledge and insight from the content of the workshop.”Questions for Rev. Billy Graham: Did Rev. Billy Graham write this to Nick Gumbel? Did Nicky Gumbel do a workshop on the Alpha Course at Amsterdam 2000?
(2) Perhaps Rev. Billy Graham is not aware that the Alpha Course originated at the Holy Trinity Brompton church, which is one of the original Toronto "Blessing" churches in England. Not only that but Steve Hill brought the Toronto "anointing" directly from Holy Trinity Brompton where he was "slain in the spirit" by Sandy Millar to Brownsville AoG in Pensacola, FL, thereby starting the Pensacola "Outpouring".
Questions for Rev. Billy Graham: Does Rev. Billy Graham's apparent tacit endorsement of Alpha Course now include endorsement of the Toronto "Blessing" and Brownsville "Revival" movements?
The Alpha Course teaches the fundamentals of the Toronto "Blessing" movement. Chris Hand has written the following synopsis:
1. The God of Alpha is not the God of the Bible. ... it does not present us with the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible. ... It simply fails to tell us anything we need to know about God.We suggest that Rev. Billy Graham read these and many other apologetics that have found the Alpha Course to be teaching unbiblical and even heretical doctrines.
2. The plight of man in Alpha is not as serious as in the Bible. ... Alpha does not use strong terms and leaves us rather unclear about where we stand. As one follows its argument, sin is more to be seen in the way we have ‘messed up our lives.’... For all the gravity of sin, Alpha never allows us to feel too bad about ourselves. It never permits us to see ourselves in God’s sight. That is a big omission.
3. The Jesus Christ of Alpha is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. ... despite having part of the course title ‘Why did Jesus die?’, it is unable in the final analysis to answer this question. ...
4. The love of God in Alpha is not the love of God of the Bible. ... The God of the Bible is love but it is love that is seen in His willingness to save sinners. ... without the context of God’s holiness and absolute perfection, the meaning of love is lost to us. ...
5. The Holy Spirit of Alpha is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible. ... Alpha’s ‘Spirit’ appears to work in ways that lie outside the confines of Scripture. Whoever it is that people are ‘introduced’ to at the Alpha Weekend, it is not the Holy Spirit. But whoever this mysterious guest is, he is equally at home with the ecstatic gatherings of New Age enthusiasts and non-Christian religions alike.
6. Conversions in Alpha are not like the conversions in the Bible. ... More often than not it is an emotional experience about the love of God but without any understanding of holiness or the need to be saved from our sins. ... For all its efforts, Alpha does not help us to know God. It does not describe the true and living God for us. It does not diagnose man’s condition accurately enough. ... it is unable to supply us with the ‘good news’.” (The Christian Research Network Journal, Spring 1998
Of The Alpha Course (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/alpha.html)
The Alpha Course by Chris Hand (http://www.banner.org.uk/misc/alpha.html)
The Alpha Course - Final Answer Or Fatal Attraction? by G. Richard Fisher (http://www.pfo.org/alpha-cr.htm)
Alpha Course - Part 1 by Neil Richardson (http://www.powerup.com.au/~shaneph/the_alpha_course_part_i.htm)
Alpha Course - Part 2 by Neil Richardson (http://www.powerup.com.au/~shaneph/the_alpha_course_part_ii.htm)
Nicky Gumble Unmasked - Part 1 by Neil Richardson (http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/van1997/alpha1_97.html)
Nicky Gumble Unmasked - Part 2 by Neil Richardson (http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/van1998/alpha2_98.html)
Dialiectic, Praxis and the Alpha Course by Wendy Howard (http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Books_D/Alpha_diapraxis.htm)
The Alpha Course - Friend Or Foe? by Wendy Howard (http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Books_D/alpha_expose.htm)
Observations On The Alpha Course by Alan Morrison (http://diakrisis.org/alpha_course.htm)
(3) In an interview Rev. Billy Graham did with Rev. Robert Schuller on May 31, 1997 on his "Hour of Power" TV broadcast called "Say 'Yes' To Possibility Thinking." (Program #1426) Rev. Billy Graham states the following:
Graham: Well, Christianity and being a true believer-you know, I think there’s the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ. And I don’t think that we’re going to see great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God’s purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that’s what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body ofQuestions for Rev. Billy Graham: Does Rev. Billy Graham still believe that Jesus is "the Way and the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6)? If so why would he state that people just need to "know in their hearts that they need something" and they will "be with us in heaven"? Does Rev. Billy Graham still believe that "salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) If so, why does he state that they "never knew Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God ..." if there is no other name by which men can be saved?
Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.
Schuller: What, what I hear you saying that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?
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 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.
(4) BGEA and Rev. Billy Graham have been sending Catholics who profess faith in Jesus Christ back to the Roman Catholic Church to be discipled. Here is just some of the evidence of this practice by BGEA:
The evidence (that the BGEA has turned "converts" over the the Roman Catholic Church for discipling") is overwhelming. We have documented this extensively in our 300-page book Evangelicals and Rome, available from Way of Life Literature (1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277; publication target date April 1999). (See also the articles "Graham and Rome" in the Evangelical section of the End Times Apostasy Database at the Way of Life web site.) As early as Sept. 21, 1957, Graham said in an interview with the San Francisco News, "Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish." In 1983, The Florida Catholic (Sept. 2, 1983) reported of the Orlando crusade: "Names of Catholics who had made decisions for Christ were provided at that meeting by Rick Marshall of the Graham organization." The report said the names of 600 people had been turned over to the Catholic Church. In 1984, at the Vancouver, British Columbia crusade, the vice-chairman of the organizing committee, David Cline of Bringhouse United Church, said, "If Catholic 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). In 1987 a Catholic priest, Donald Willette of St. Jude's Church, was a supervisor of the 6,600 counselors for the 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). In 1989, Michael Seed, Ecumenical Advisor to (Catholic) Cardinal Hume, said of Graham's London crusade: "Those who come forward for counseling during a Mission evening in June, if they are Roman Catholic, will be directed to a Roman Catholic 'nurture-group' under Roman Catholic counselors in their home area" (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II, p. 35). By September 1992, the Catholic archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, had set a goal to supply 6,000 of the 10,000 counselors needed for the Graham crusade. All Catholics responding to the altar call were channeled to Catholic churches. These are just a few examples of the hundreds that could be given. (March 16, 1999, David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 1701 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277)Questions for Rev. Billy Graham: Does Rev. Billy Graham endorse the practice of sending Catholics who profess faith in Christ back to the Roman Catholic Church for discipling? Does this not, in effect, negate the command of God to "therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20)? Would it be wise to send a reformed drunk back the bar he used to hang out at and tell him he must live there? In the same sense is it wise to tell a new believer to go back to the "works salvation" of the Roman Catholic church after he has been delivered by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
To see what the current Roman Catholic Catechism teaches, and to understand that they still teach heresy in many forms, please read the following article:
Inside the Catholic Catechism by Tom Weaver (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/cat-ndx.html)
In conclusion, we would appreciate an answer to these questions, not
because we are important but because the issues raised are very important
to the spiritual health of the body of Christ. We are not coming
at these issues from personal opinions but by comparing them to the Word
of God because we are always striving to be like the Bereans who "were
of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message
with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what
Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11). Though we have had respect for
the preaching of the Gospel that Rev. Billy Graham has done in the past,
it is his present apparent doctrinal positions we are concerned about.
We can never forget great men like Solomon whose great achievements were
marred in the end by compromise with the world. It is our prayer
that Rev. Billy Graham will make a public statement retracting the statements
and actions we have detailed above and go on with the preaching of "the
Way, the Truth and the Life" who is Jesus Christ the Lord.
Deception In The Church