Sunday, March 04, 2018

Steve Lawson Endorses Billy Graham As A Christian And Mentor: ignore that little "five minute" heresy he proclaimed with Schuller

2Jn 1:10  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11  for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 
Such a man who greets, not to mention shares the pulpit with, or calls "brother" a false teacher now becomes guilty of the false teacher's wickedness. It's spiritual whoring, as Scripture labels it.
Steve Lawson, a professor of The Master's Seminary, head of One Passion Ministries, and roving elder, wrote a tribute to Billy Graham last week. I  chose some concerning excerpts and put his quotes below in italics and my response is in non-italics. My concerns and issues about Billy Graham I've dealt with here including his quotes of calling Rome's pope a born again Christian and evangelist and his inclusivism of those outside of Christ as if they are inside Christ. For the sake of immediacy I'll post the video I have in that article over here:

Also this helpful 15 minute broadcast where the host  David DiCani plays an interview with Bob Jones III  about his grandfather's warnings to Graham and the necessity to separate from Graham as the result of Graham's refusal to heed sound warnings. Additionally we hear his interview with Robert Schuller the great Universalist:
It's important to bring it to mind now that he's dead because the biblical Christian cannot think this man was of Christ and therefore praise him. Rather they should mourn his death because he was a false teacher. Verses to keep in mind that repudiate his false views (I share more verses in the article I linked to above):
Rom 10:13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
Act 4:11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved
Co 15:1  Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5  and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 
Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 
In 1989 I was pastoring The Bible Church of Little Rock when our city hosted a week-long Billy Graham crusade. The call went out for local pastors to participate as volunteers, and I was asked to be the chairman of counseling and follow-up. In this role I oversaw the training of 3,000 counselors, and then was responsible for the follow-up after the crusade for those who committed their lives to Jesus Christ.
My mission was to ensure that everyone who responded to the sermon by Mr. Graham and came forward was personally contacted by a local pastor the very next day. 
Did Lawson help steer some of them to the Roman Catholic Church? That is a fact of what they did at his crusades.
So began my partnership with the Billy Graham organization. At their next American crusade in New York, they asked if I would do there what I did in Little Rock. They flew me there to speak to 800 pastors and church leaders, and help them understand the critical components of evangelism in the local church. I trained them on how to earnestly share the gospel, how to answer objections, and how to urge a person to follow Christ....God was using me to help prepare and motivate many hundreds of people to share the gospel. 
Pride in numbers as if that's any indication of one's validity of ministry or of Truth is of the flesh. 
I was often privileged to sit on the platform behind Dr. Graham as he would preach. When he would step out of the pulpit after the invitation, I would step into the pulpit and oversee the response to the altar call
This is nothing more than celebrity Evangelicalism. And this isn't of Christ. Alter calls don't exist in Scripture. There's no temple and thus no alter. There's no "alter call" or "invitation" done in Scripture either. The declaration of the Gospel and call to repent was given, but no walking down the aisle, begging for people to make a "decision for Christ" or anything else.  Just the guilt of sin laid at the feet of the people and the biblical Gospel given, with the command to repent of their sins and turn to Christ Jesus.
Eventually, I did my doctoral dissertation at Reformed Theological Seminary on the evangelistic counseling and follow-up models of the Billy Graham crusades. What many people don’t realize is that the efforts start a year before the crusade itself as local pastors and volunteers go through twelve months of training and preparation. 
Attaching one's self to celebrity Christians is a sure way to commit the sin of partiality because Lawson excuses Graham's spiritual harlotry as shown below. I find that these crusades, if it took as much work as he says it did, was distracting the elders from caring for their sheep in order to have a stage with a celebrity. 
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.
Actually, Graham was a compromiser from the 1950's onward. That's what Bob Jones and Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones warned Graham about but he dismissed them, so they separated from him (this also reveals pride, arrogance, a love for popularity, and pragmatism.)Lawson's evaluation and stamp of approval on the man is superficial and not based on facts but emotions and personal investment. In other words, he's committing the sin of partiality.  
He's also judging Graham on personal connections and advancement not according to Scripture and facts.  This is what James White did with his imam Yasir Qadhi. Just because Qadhi didn't personally call James White a blasphemer or filthy, that doesn't mean that Qadhi doesn't hold that non-Muslims, particularly Jews and Christians are filthy and blasphemers. It's like saying "I didn't hear Benny Hinn deny the biblical Trinity" even though he did (he said each person in the Trinity has a trinity). It's what Graham himself did with John Paul 2. Just because "you" didn't hear it (whether it was directed at "you" or not) doesn't mean that your pope/teacher/imam/celebrity evangelical didn't say it or doesn't believe it. Personal experience doesn't determine the reality of a false teacher; Scripture bearing upon what the man or woman has indeed taught, does, whether you like it or not, whether you heard it or not.

This also leads to the notion of a little leaven is acceptable (part of the doctrinal triage mentality--also known as reductionism which is what the Pharisees were condemned for by Jesus in Matt. 5,15, and 23. Billy Graham repeatedly embraced not only liberals (as Bob Jones and Martin Lloy-Jones attested to), but regularly embraced the Roman Catholic Church. Not only did he find a kindred spirit in Pope John Paul 2, but also in Cardinal Roger Mahoney (see the photo above). At his funeral, there were Vatican representatives sitting in the front. 
Even if the Billy Graham of 1997 when he gave that interview with Robert Schuller, was a different one than from the one ten years prior that Lawson allegedly knew, we're talking 21 years ago. 21 years to have repented just as publicly as he made that statement (and it was a full statement). 21 years to write a book about his repentance from the damnable doctrine of inclusivism and go on King's show etc to speak about his repentance. There was nothing wrong with Graham's mind. This was a spiritual issue and Lawson missed it, even  while others saw it for decades before and since then.  Even with his seminary degrees and hobnobbing with celebrity teachers and writing books and going on speaking tours and teaching at seminaries and churches. He missed it. And he missed warning his sheep of the actual danger of Graham. I might bring to mind also that Billy Graham told Mormon political commentator talk show host Glenn Beck that he was a Christian. God doesn't divide a man from his sin or his doctrine. Neither can we. A false teacher isn't a "good" person or has "some truth" we can learn from. We can't be friends with them. We must judge, reject, and separate from such a person (Rom. 16:17-18; Titus 3:9).
To reduce the wicked doctrine of inclusivism down to just an issue of timing-- "five minutes"-- is to have a low view of God's holy standard. That's akin to saying a 5 minute sexual encounter outside of an elder's marriage shouldn't have any bearing on the man, his character, or his qualification to lead. That's actually saying a little leaven IS in fact, ok; that it doesn't affect others.  But Jesus repeatedly taught, as did His apostle Paul, that a "little" leaven leavens the whole loaf. They also taught that a true biblical teacher is held to a stricter judgement and prove fidelity to the sound doctrines of Scripture. 
Jas 3:1  Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. 
Once again we have another man who seems to have a low view of Scripture and God's standard in order to preserve the empire and reputation of a man that gave his career a huge boost. Personal attachment and loyalty trumps biblical judgment of a false teacher. 
Calling  an apostate (at best), a false teacher, a false leader, like Billy Graham as a brother in Christ is to also include his repeated inclusivism which necessarily means his dismissal of several sound doctrines (Rome cannot be reconciled with the Bible on any level--that's Christianity 101). It's to not shield the vulnerable sheep from accepting what that leader accepts. It's infidelity to Christ, His word, and His children. It is dereliction of duty.
And if nothing else, that the world literally applauds and loves Billy Graham, that should prove he is not of Christ:

Luk 6:26  "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way
Joh 15:19  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20  "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 

Jas 4:4  You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

A true godly person will face persecution, and Graham did not.  That's another indication he was not of Christ.

Let us not commit the sin of favoritism. Let us not be seduced by celebrity Evangelicals. Let not our attachments cause us to be disloyal to the King of kings.
1Ti 4:16  Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 
1Ti 1:3  As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4  nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 


lyn said...

It seems the 'Christian' world has gone 'ga-ga' over Graham, multitudes are defending him and lashing out at those who speak truth against him, including Jim McClarty -

This is all part of the end time deception and delusion. We both know, as all who have discernment know, Graham was instrumental in building the one world church leading back to Rome. May God hold fast to us as this insanity grows.

lyn said...

Lawson has drunk the Kool-Aid, like so many others. I am grateful I do NOT listen to his preaching! So, preaching the accursed, works-based gospel that calls the unregenerate to 'make a decision' for Jesus makes Graham an extraordinary person in Lawson's book? The downgrade continues.

If you get a chance, contact Ralph Ovadal's church - request a pamphlet written by Rev. Ian Brown called 'Billy Graham, custodian of the faith or figure of compromise?' you will not be disappointed.

Denise said...

Thanks Lyn. Yeah Lawson has a personal attachment to Graham so he will excuse Graham's false teaching, reducing it to a mere "5 minute" oopsie. His loyalty to Graham (which propelled him to fame I guess), eclipses his loyalty to Christ and HIS sheep, and instead has blinded him to the truth. The unrepentant sin of partiality is NOT overlooked by God. These men are partaking of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. They are spiritual harlots, let's just be honest and use the Word's own description. He's a lecturer not a pastor. And lecturers are a dime a dozen, mindlessly vomiting back up the poison they ingested and then dare to tell us we should eat it. Yeah. No.