Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
From “The Billy Graham Library” August 1, 2012
We have just unveiled a new exhibit at the Billy Graham Library called “Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador to World Leaders.” It showcases Billy Graham’s relationships with United States presidents, as well as other heads of state and world leaders.
“When a President of the United States wept in my presence, or knelt with me to pray, or privately unburdened his concerns about his family,” Billy Graham once said, “I was not thinking about his political philosophy or his personality, but about his need for God’s help.”…
In the exhibit, informative panels share intimate stories of Billy Graham’s meetings with U.S. presidents, from President Truman to President Obama, in addition to encounters with world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sir Winston Churchill and more.
Billy Graham was proclaimed “God’s Ambassador to World Leaders” by none other than his own Library. Graham became an instant celebrity in 1949 when publisher William Randolph Hearst told his minions to “puff” Graham. Just like today, the press helped make celebrities out of false gospel teachers.
Billy Graham taught, like so many today, the false gospel of Lordship “salvation,” which at its core is salvation by man’s works. Please see below for more information:
I find it incredibly hard to believe that God would have led Presidents and other world leaders to the spiritual deception that Billy Graham taught. In my view, that was no more of God than the other people who have taught false gospels to world leaders over the centuries, including those now claiming to influence leaders in the name of Christ. I don’t think it was any more of God than horoscopes, extraterrestrials or many of the “keep the faith” pieces we see in various media today.
Spiritual wickedness abounds in our world today, just as it always has. Sometimes, naive nostalgic views aid and abet deception.
A good example is the view that the United States used to be a “Christian nation” at some point in the past. This view is highly-speculative and likely dangerous. It has no scriptural basis and it ignores a lot of history. It also may unwittingly lead people into deception.
(A better way to describe our historical religious freedom in America, which is under attack, comes from frequent Expreacherman commenter Keith, who wrote in part: This nation was founded on the principle of religious freedom, which provides a climate in which the biblical Gospel can go forth unhindered to be freely accepted or rejected by its citizens as well as exported to other nations.)
First, a recent (70 year) historical look-back. This period is an illustrative example only, as it happens to correspond to the beginning of Billy Graham’s self-proclaimed “ambassadorship.”
Matthew 7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The above verse does not expressly rule out that there may be times and places in which more than a few find it. But, it does not say “except in the United States of America up until about the 1950s.”
In 1950, according to Gallup, 25% of Americans identified as Roman Catholic, 66% as Protestant, 4% as Jewish, 3% as other religions, and 2% as unaffiliated. We can’t know how many people in 1950 possessed eternal life any more than we can know that today. However, we know that the Roman Catholic and protestant religions have been doctrinally compromised for a very long time. Church affiliation was more socially mandated in 1950 than it is today. It is likely that many of their adherents never believed the gospel. False gospels had no more power to save people in 1950 than they do today. Even though fewer people identify as Christians now than back then, it does not mean that a higher proportion of people in 195o were actually Christians.
The fact that US presidents starting with Harry Truman consulted with Billy Graham reveals that either they did not recognize Graham’s error, or they did it for political purposes.
In addition to the highly-speculative description of the US as a “Christian nation” in the 1950s or any other era, such references may unwittingly deceive people in the here and now.
First, such references may cause people to look back to the false religious leaders of bygone eras, such as Billy Graham, and lend them unwarranted credibility. Some might mistakenly think that if the nation was Christian in the past, then its religious leaders must have taught the true gospel. This could lead to comparing the doctrine taught by current preachers to that taught by false preachers from other eras rather than to the word of God.
Second, people may incorrectly assume that their false church traditions only recently became that way. We know this isn’t true. Much of so-called “church history” is likely no more credible than what we are presented with today.
Third, people may be misled to think that anything claiming the name of Christ is good, resulting in false unity.
Last, people may be misled into thinking that the false doctrine of dominionism, which often attends the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” actually “worked” once upon a time when we had a Christian majority in this country.
For Christians, the defense against spiritual wickedness in high places is the full armor of God (see Ephesians 6:11-20). This guards a believer from the wiles of the devil including unwittingly helping the devil with his deception of others.
Please remember to pray for our leaders, including their protection from spiritual wickedness in high places.
If you would like to know how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL