[ Out of editor Jerry C. Brewer's file drawer of clippings:
Biblically sound insight from 40 to 50 years ago... ]
It is customary for those who live in Rome to do as Rome does.
Nonconformists are usually unpopular. Our American heritage, however,
allows the right to disagree. The Scriptures advise that men prove all
things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21). The Bible demands
investigation of religious claims. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but
prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are
gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). We have investigated. We have heard
Mr. Graham personally and through medium. We have read his writings
extensively. We conclude with proof forthcoming that he does not preach the
Gospel that Christ commanded the apostles to preach.
Through a perversion of Jesus teaching concerning judging, some have concluded that opposition to any doctrine is wrong. Jesus said, Judge righteous judgment (John 7:24) and taught that we shall know false teachers by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-20). Any thinking person exercises his judgment, and anyone with conviction speaks it. Mr. Graham opposes many doctrines in his book, Peace With God, more than once calling names of exponents of error.
Our opposition to the Graham crusade is not through preference but from conviction. We shall not reflect upon any person, but shall expose false doctrine. We distinguish between tenets and men. We simply urge a comparison of Mr. Grahams teachings with Bible teaching. Our quotations are from his book, Peace With God, his newspaper column, My Answer; and the text of the sermons of his Nashville Crusade (1954), printed by The Nashville Banner, Nashville, Tenn.
Graham vs. The Bible
Mr. Graham: Consequently Cain and Abel were infected with the death-dealing disease of sin, which they inherited from their parents and which has been passed on to every generation since. We are all sinners by inheritance... (Peace With God, pp.42-43).
The Bible: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him (Ezek. 18:20).
Mr. Graham: Now the Bible says we are all born in sin. Every person that has ever been born is born in sin. (Nashville Sermons, pp. 9,17).
The Bible: Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:2-3).
Mr. Graham: Conversion can take many different forms. The way it is accomplished depends largely upon the individualhis temperament, his emotional balance, his environment, and his previous conditioning and the way of life (Peace With God, p.110).
The Bible: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13).
Mr. Graham: Being born again is altogether a work of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that you can do to obtain this new birth...In other words, there is nothing you can do about it...The new birth is wholly foreign to our will (Peace With God, p.146).
The Bible: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). "Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit...Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by word of God..." (1 Pet. 1:22-23).
Mr. Graham: ...The moment we sin and turn by faith to Jesus Christ we are born again (Peace With God, p.147).
The Bible: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).
Mr. Graham: It is true that thousands of Christians do not know the exact day or hour that they came to know Christ. Their faith and life testify that consciously or unconsciously they have been converted to Christ (Peace With God, p.155).
The Bible: "And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him, And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more! and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:38-39).
Mr. Graham: You say, But Billy, what shall I do? Repent, believe, surrender, you can do it tonight before you leave this stadium...and you will be reconciled to God (Nashville Sermons, p.31).
The Bible: "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:37-38).
Mr. Graham: ...Those who surrender their lives to Him and receive Him into their hearts. It is this act that makes you a Christian (My Answer, 9/15/1955).
The Bible: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21).
Mr. Graham: Paul says that a man is justified before God by faith alone... (My Answer, 9/14/1956).
The Bible: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:26-27). "...Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).
Mr. Graham: Actually, repentance cannot take place unless first there is a movement of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind (Peace With God, p.123).
The Bible: "I Tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Note: Whose fault is it if man does not receive the direct operation of the Holy Spirit and is lost?
Mr. Graham: No man can ever be saved unless the Holy Spirit in supernatural, penetrating power comes and works upon your heart. You cant come to Christ any time you want to, you can only come when the Spirit of God is drawing and pulling and wooing (Nashville Sermons, pp.18-20).
The Bible: "And the Spirit and the bride say come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come, And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17). Note: coming to God is conditioned only on mans will. God is always willing.
Mr. Graham: In that day our long and ardent prayer, Thy kingdom come, shall be answered at last. It may well be true now that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Peace With God, pp.240,239).
The Bible: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Col. 1:13). Note: The Kingdom had already come. Jesus statement quoted above by Mr. Graham was spoken by Jesus of His generation on earth and was true! See Matt. 24:34.
Mr. Graham: But after the judgment this time will come the cleansing of the earth... (Nashville Sermons p.28).
The Bible: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
Mr. Graham: The New Testament teaches that while there is actually only one church, there can be any number of local churches formed into various denominations and societies or councils. These local churches and denominational groups may be divided along national and theological lines, or according to the temperament of their members. However, the New Testament teaches that even though there may be many cleavages and divisions within the structure of the church, yet we have only one Lord (Peace With God, p.190).
The Bible: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all..." (Eph. 4:4-6). "And He is the head of the body the church..." (Col. 1:18). Note: The body of Christ is the church, and the same passage that says there is one Lord says there is one body. There is no New Testament passage that even hints of a justification of division which Mr. Graham claims above!
Mr. Graham: Whenever anyone points a critical finger and demands to know why there have to be so many different churches all serving the same God, I am always tempted to point out how many different styles of hats to be designed for both American men and women (Peace With God, p.193).
The Bible: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:20-21). "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment...Is Christ divided" (1 Cor. 1:10,13)?
Our plea is that men try the spirits whether they be of God. Burying our heads in the sand will not erase error that is being taught and believed. The very principles underlying such man-centered publicity, or such aloofness from controversial issues that involve mens souls, are foreign to New Testament Christianity. We desire open discussion of religious differences. We realize that Mr. Graham has a crowded schedule; but in view of eternal consequences, we respectfully invite an open discussion of his doctrines any time he can arrange such. Years pass quickly, eternity more slowly. In the interest of souls Come now, and let us reason together.