Billy Graham (Nov 7, 1918 to present)

Commentators comments in italic (http://tonyclark.org/ham.html) and my comments in bold:

William “Billy” H. Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, 1918 . Graham’s father, Frank Graham was raised in a strong Methodist tradition, and was experientially saved as an eighteen year-old in 1908. Graham describes his father: “My father had been reared as a Methodist, in the best old mourner’s-bench revivalist tradition.” Graham’s mother, Morrow Graham was a devout Presbyterian, but unlike his father, it is unknown as to whether she had experiential salvation. In the year 1934, at about the age of sixteen, Billy Graham started attending the famous Ham revival in Charlotte. Ham attended the meeting for several days until it so happened that Graham felt compelled to go forward and accept Christ. Here are a few excerpts from Graham’s testimony of when he accepted Christ at the meeting:

“And then it happened, sometime around my sixteenth birthday. On that night, Dr. Ham finished preaching (Preaching what?) and gave the Invitation to accept Christ…” (Conversion is the will of God and not the will of a man, whether the preacher or the hearer).

“On the last verse of that second song, I responded. I walked down to the platform, feeling as if I had lead weights attached to my feet, and stood in the space before the platform…”.

“My heart sank when I looked over at the lady standing next to me with tears running down her cheeks. I was not crying. I did not feel any special emotion of any kind just then. Maybe, I thought, I was not supposed to be there. Maybe my good intentions to be a real Christian wouldn’t last. Wondering if I was just making a fool of myself, I almost turned around and went back to my seat…”

As Graham stood at the platform, J.D. Prevatt, a friend of the family’s, testified to Graham and guided Graham to pray.

“He prayed for me and guided me to pray. I had heard the message (What message?), and I had felt the inner compulsion to go forward. Now came the moment to commit myself to Christ…” (The language here is as if it was the will of a man to be converted.)

Graham leaves us with a picture of him kneeling in prayer, but he never relates experiencing a feeling of joy and peace that is associated with experiential salvation. The next thing he tells us is:

“I checked ‘Recommitment’ on the card I filled out.” (This means nothing spiritually.)

He continues and says,

“No bells went off inside me. No signs flashed across the tabernacle ceiling. (Beloved, these are the descriptions of conversion from someone who does not know what conversion is. When I was converted there were no bells or lights, and to say describe the moment of conversion as this is to ridicule the grace of God.) No physical palpitations made me tremble. (Upon conversion the flesh is affected, but what is most significant is the acceptance of the one true gospel. Look at Paul’s conversion as an example. One moment there is unbelief, and the next moment the faith of Yeshua. That which I could not accept, in a moment in time, was accepted by grace and the will of God.) I wondered again if I was a hypocrite, not to be weeping or something. I simply felt at peace.” (Compare this conversion with the conversion of Paul. Compare all our conversions to the conversion of Paul, that grace would be grace. The will of man is not apart of conversion.)

Strictly speaking, Graham did have a “time and place” salvation. (Billy Graham heard a preacher preaching  a message I do not know. Was the true grace of God given by the will of God? I do not know.) However, his testimony lacks of a true experiential conversion. He mentions how that he felt out of place when he saw people around him weeping and mourning. Even after he was “converted,” Graham had doubts about the sincerity of his experience. It is the opinion of the author that Graham did not have a true experience of salvation, but instead that he was deceived by the evangelical efforts of Mordecai F. Ham, Jr. (There is no evidence of God making choice, whether it never happened, or never was rightly understood.)

After a few years, Graham began an evangelical mission of his own. Graham was ordained as a Baptist minister in a Southern Baptist Church in 1939. After being a pastor for about five years, Graham began his evangelical crusades in the year 1944. Graham’s crusades were unbelievably productive. Graham’s preaching style and amount of converts brought him world-wide fame. In fact, he has preached in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia — all of the inhabited continents (Graham 866-869). In response to Graham’s incredible success, the entire Southern Baptist Convention has transformed. (And from his ministry and its falsehood that people can make a “decision for Christ” there is no evidence of the grace of God. His doctrine is false in many ways, for how can right doctrine come forth from one who knows not the true grace of God.)

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