The Charge of Inconsistent Separation: The Matter of Mohler

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The Charge of Inconsistent Separation: The Matter of Mohler

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I don't get the ongoing

I don't get the ongoing obsession some fundamentalist still have with Billy Graham.

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Thanks Greg, excellent

Thanks Greg, excellent article.

Teri Ploski's picture
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Say what you will...

About Billy Graham. But my husband would not be a Christian today if it were not for the influence of a very good friend who was saved after a Billy Graham crusade. 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Teri Ploski wrote: About

Teri Ploski wrote:

About Billy Graham. But my husband would not be a Christian today if it were not for the influence of a very good friend who was saved after a Billy Graham crusade. 

Really? God could not have used anyone, even the rocks, to reach your husband's friend? His hands were tied, and it sure is a good thing He had old Billy hanging around to save His bacon, or He would have lost an eternal soul! In fact, it really wasn't the grace of God at all, was it? It was just the charisma and hard work of ole Billy who landed that fish - and you husband by extension.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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My ordination council in 1998

My ordination council in 1998 asked me whether I would remain about separated from Billy Graham.  At that time, Billy Graham was about 80 and not as involved in the evangelical world as he was in previous decades.  I felt it was an obsolete question.  They should have asked about my principles of separation, instead they obsessed over someone who is passing off the scene.   

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Chip

Chip,

Seriously? 

I think it's fair to remember that through the ministry of Billy Graham - warts and all - some were saved and are now disciples of Christ.  If God can bring good out of Assyria and Babylon's conquests of OT Israel, then God can certainly bless the ministry of Graham. 

I agree with Jonathan Charles - the man is 95 now and has Parkinsons.  Do we really need to remember every bad thing he did every single  time his name gets mentioned?  Or have Fundamentalists just completely forgotten how to move on or forgive?

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"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton

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What?

 

Chip,

 

I do not understand what you are trying to say.  Please explain.  Thanks.

 

Greg Linscott's picture
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Not an irrelevant issue...

Billy Graham is recognized a watershed, even in circles that aren't "ours." See herehere and here, for example. Linking with those who deny the gospel (such as Roman Catholics) to proclaim the gospel in an organized effort is the issue. And though Graham himself may be for all intents passed off the scene, we will still encounter those who implement the same kind of methodological approach- whether we are talking evangelistic crusades, mega-conferences, music festivals, or more along the lines of your rural town's ministerial council. As defensive as some want to get about people who were converted because they heard the gospel through Billy Graham's ministry (and I have no doubt that there are many who can say that- I've met several over the years)- there are also many people who because of his choices have been reinforced in the heresies of Rome and taught to rely on keeping sacraments or other means to guarantee their eternal standing. There have been people who have been led to believe, through Graham, that Jesus as the only way may not be as certain as it is sometimes presented. That is a major problem.

Greg Linscott
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Marshall, MN
http://www.facebook.com/greglinscott

Teri Ploski's picture
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Wow

Just wow.  Now I really DO understand why some of my non-Christian family members have such an incredibly negative view of Christians.  "They will know we are Christians by our love" ... indeed.

God COULD have used whomever he wanted to, but he chose to use Erik, who in turn led my husband to Him, and you dare to criticize that?   I'm speechless. 

Greg Linscott's picture
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Limits of Love

Terri, 

In your immediate case, if this man (Erik) were to divorce his wife and immediately take up with another woman, would it be loving to refrain from condemnation and correction just because he was instrumental in leading your husband to Christ? I expect not.

The hard facts are that Graham, for all the good that his efforts may have accomplished and that God may indeed have used as His truth was proclaimed, Graham has also done a lot of damage to that truth in his words and actions. It is God's truth that must be upheld, not those who happened to be used to deliver it.

Greg Linscott
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Marshall, MN
http://www.facebook.com/greglinscott

Teri Ploski's picture
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Greg

I agree with you, totally, however the way that Mr. Van Emmerik phrased it was just unbelievable ungracious.

I do not doubt that there are many who have been led astray by Dr. Graham's teaching, just has there have been MANY who have become Bible-believing, committed Christians.  Dare I say that the exact same thing can be said in fundamental churches?  I was simply pointing out that you cannot broad-brush condemn all of a man's work without acknowledging that God can use even those who are imperfect. 

When Dr. Graham gets to heaven, I'm sure he will have to answer for the errors he has made, just as all of you who are pastors will have to answer for your errors, and I will have to answer for mine. 

I could go on with example after example after example - three in my own immediate family - of unbelievers who will likely remain that way short of a miracle of God, precisely because of the attitudes expressed by many on this board, however, I will not. What's the point?

Greg Linscott's picture
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Yep.

Teri Ploski wrote:

...unbelievers who will likely remain that way short of a miracle of God...

I'm glad God changes lives, in spite of the obstacles so many of us Christians erect. But we do need to be careful not to appeal to love in such a way where bad ideas and practice cannot be identified, for fear of being seen as hateful or mean. The NT makes clear that there are times that error must be confronted, and not even Peter the apostle was above such scrutiny.

Greg Linscott
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Marshall, MN
http://www.facebook.com/greglinscott

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Teri Ploski wrote:Just wow. 

Teri Ploski wrote:

Just wow.  Now I really DO understand why some of my non-Christian family members have such an incredibly negative view of Christians.  "They will know we are Christians by our love" ... indeed.

God COULD have used whomever he wanted to, but he chose to use Erik, who in turn led my husband to Him, and you dare to criticize that?   I'm speechless. 

Teri (and others),

Let me apologize for taking an ungracious and unnecessarily abrasive approach. I am sorry, and I hope you will forgive me. I was responding to this specifically...

my husband would not be a Christian today if...

I could, and should, have done this more charitably and gracefully. My point was that if your husband is saved today, it is because of God, not any man. He would have still been saved without Billy Graham, and the fact that Graham was involved in the process does not in any way make his traitorous actions against the Gospel in (many) other instances any less despicable. (See Greg Linscott's post just above this one)

 

Wish I would have said that in the first place.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Teri Ploski's picture
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Thank you

No further message.

 

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Thanks

Thanks, Chip.  Appreciated that most recent post.

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"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton

dcbii's picture
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Thankful for Graham

I am also thankful for Billy Graham's ministry, because my father was also saved when he spoke in Saigon during the Vietnam war. Without going into all the problems with Dr. Graham, which many have pointed out, whenever I think of my Dad's salvation, I simply point to this scripture:

Philippians 1:18 wrote:

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

I'm sure Teri feels much the same way.

Dave Barnhart

Jim Welch's picture
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Thoughtful

Thanks Greg for a well written article.  I appreciate you giving some context to Mohler's involvement with the Billy Graham Crusade.

What Mohler has done for the good of the historic Christian faith is incredible by anyone's standard of measurement.

From listening to Mohler, John MacArthur, etc at the Shepherd's Conferences that I have attended, I am pretty sure that these men are not comfortable identifying themselves with any current movement within the larger Body of Christ.  

Again, thanks for a good read.

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Billy Graham obsession....?

A number of the commentators have missed why the BG crusades were such a lightning rod. It wasn't because he wasn't inviting people to trust Christ. It wasn't because people didn't like him personally or didn't want to see people saved. 

It was because of the ethics of the organization and the ecumenism of the crusades. This wasn't just limited to having {insert your favorite liberal leader, false teacher or denomination} on the platform. It also had to do with the fact that these same people would counsel with those who would go forward at the invitations. How would you feel if your loved one went to a Billy Graham crusade and went forward and didn't get saved because the counselor wouldn't tell them how? 

I remember speaking with the late Marv Johnson, who participated in crusades in the Twin Cities area, and him telling me how the leaders of non-evangelical organizations tallied "success" from the crusades in terms of their offerings, and not of anyone being saved. These kind of calculations are often overlooked today. Not trying to pour gas on any fires, just trying to clarify.