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What would you have done in 1957?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John of Japan, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Excellent! Wonderful!! A Billy Graham defender other than Golden Dragon who is actually willing to research and to check out the facts. I applaud you from the heart, StraightAndNarrow! And thank you for your gracious rebuke of me. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Col. 4:6) [​IMG]

    I put forth a genuine historical predicament at the beginning of this thread, the basic facts of which are agreed to by all current church historians, the facts of which were then scornfully rejected by some critics on the thread. Hey, I don't care if you agree with me, I wanted to DEBATE!! Yet no matter how many facts I present and quotes from authorities, much of what I am getting is simply argument, not debate.

    Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I don't have to ask myself "whether this man was or was not from God and has been a great voice for the gospel in our times." I BELIEVE ALL OF THAT!!! That is not AT ALL the point of the thread. The point is, did Graham make a mistake of judgement in 1957, or did he not?

    I have been to the Billy Graham archives on the Wheaton College website. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. You've done a service to this thread.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill New Member

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    Dear GB93433, thanks for the site. I have read that before a couple of times but it is always refreshment for the soul to read it again.
     
  3. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    I have those sermons on tape and listen to them once in awhile. It is always good for me to hear those words preached about 50 years ago.

    Many years ago when I was young I had the privilege of meeting his wife and meeting a number of others who were discipled by him. I was told that he was very serious but also had quite a sense of humor.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    This is quite one-sided, gb93433. Would you be willing to give us exact quotes, please? And can you tell us exactly what some of the "mud slinging that were lies" was?

    The truth is, Fundamentalism in that day produced many, many growing churches (as it does now). In the '70's, while I went to college I went to Southside Baptist in Greenville, SC (about 2000 members at the time and growing) and Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN (about 6000 members at the time). My home church became Franklin Rd. Baptist in Murfreesboro, TN, a country church that reached 1200 in attendance while I was there.

    In the meantime, I have read that attendance is decreasing in the main-line liberal denominations, and that in 2005 the world-wide evangelical missionary is decreasing due to the post-war missionaries retiring, and the only segment of the evangelical missions force that is increasing is the independent Baptist movement. "Lifeless and dead churches?" I think not. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    John of Japan wrote,

    Why can't you take “no” for an answer! How many times do we have to tell you that Billy Graham did NOT make a wrong decision in 1957 and that history has more than abundantly proven that he did not?

    You say that you want to debate this issue, but when we challenge you to post some evidence that Billy Graham made a wrong decision in 1957, all you do is reword your question.

    Did John R. Rice make extremely serious errors in judgment in his interpretations of the Bible? Yes he did. Are very many people in hell today because of those errors in judgment—undoubtedly there are! Is it my job to judge John R. Rice? No, it is not. WE can discuss the mistakes that have been made in the history of the church without personalizing them and dragging men of God into the gutter in the process.

    Is it appropriate for Christians to work together when the Holy Spirit brings them together? Yes, it is.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    ... and he wonders why some men of God would rather associate with God-fearing liberals than with arrogant, nasty, and outright mean fundamentalists?

    :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Forgive me. I failed in what I am making my motto for this forum: "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Col 4:6)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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  8. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    I would love to be able to give you an exact quote but my copy of the book is in storage. He did not say what the lies were, other than to state they were fabrications.

    Certainly my experience has been somewhat different than yours. Most of the time I have lived in areas where there were few Christians. So the churches that grow are evengelical and share their faith.

    For awhile I did attend an IFB church in Memphis and it was an excellent church. They were loving, evangelistic and giving. I was made to feel very welcome. But on the west coast in the area where I am from the IFB and KJVO churches are not growing. It is mostly the evangelistic non-denominational churches which are growing. People there want nothing t dso with Politics. They want to be able to go to church and do the work God has called them to do.

    [ October 25, 2005, 02:22 AM: Message edited by: gb93433 ]
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    You know, I'm going to agree with you here. In my experience, and Biblically I believe, what matters about real church growth is not the label, music, etc., but the attitude and Scriptural obedience of the church both to the Great Commission and the teachings of the Bible about how to do it.

    I have preached in the States AND in Japan in equally dead Fundamental Baptist churches (with the KJV and all the trimmins) and other types of churches (with worship teams and all the trimmins) that were dead as a doornail. Likewise I've preached in both independent Baptist and Southern Baptist churches that were alive and growing. To God be all the glory!

    Of course I still think a stand against those who would attack the Bible and take away the deity of Christ is important in any kind of church.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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  11. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

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    Dr. Ernest Pickering, National Executive Secretary of the Independent Fundamentalist Churches of America, wrote a pamplet crtitizing Billy Graham because he:

    1) Endorced the Revised Standard Version of the Bible,

    2) Spoke in favor of the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program,

    3) Refused to allow his crusades to be financed only by fundamentalists,

    4) Sought to get broad participation by Christian churches in the area for an upcoming crusade,

    5) Said, "I intend to go anywhere sponsored by anybody, to preach the gospel of Christ, if there are no strings attached to my message. I am sponsored by civic clubs, universities, ministerial associations, and councils of churches all over the world. I intend to continue."


    Personally, I support all of the actions that the Fundamentalists opposed. What about you John?
     
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  12. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    John of Japan wrote,

    I have been surrounded by liberals all of my Christian life and not one single one of them has caused me or any of my friends or colleagues in the very slightest way to doubt any of our conservative views. Most unfortunately, however, I have had all too many contacts with fundamentalists who believe such utter nonsense as a strictly literal interpretation of Gen. 6 -11. And I must say, when I spend any large amount of time among such foolish people, I feel somewhat foolish myself for being a Christian, and I get away from them so that I can recover.

    I have never met anyone personally who has had their faith shaken by liberal theology, but I do not question that such a shaking does occasionally occur, at least briefly, but I have personally met countless persons who could not accept the possibility of the veracity of the Christian gospel for the very reason that they associate it with fundamentalist views of Genesis. If there is a devastating plague threatening the truth of the gospel today, it is most surely radical fundamentalism.

    Do I believe that Billy Graham made an error in judgment in working with fundamentalist Christians? No, not at all. He was a man of God who very sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and he obeyed that voice. Back in the days when I was the senior pastor of an interdenominational church, the majority of my associate pastors were fundamentalists, but they were not allowed to teach their ridiculous nonsense about Noah’s Ark, or any other gross absurdities that make a mockery of the Bible, God, and the gospel message. And Billy Graham never allowed a liberal to use his podium to propagate ultraliberal views such as denying the deity of Christ.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Right here on this message board I have debated with several fundamentalists who deny the imputation of Adam’s sin and yet insist that a literal interpretation of the Genesis account of Adam is integral to the gospel message. What an absolutely ludicrous inconsistency. The imputation of Adam’s sin is integral to the gospel message and every conservative evangelical should know that for a fact.

    Right here on this message board I have debated with several fundamentalists who vehemently deny the efficacy of the atonement of Christ in freeing believers from the bondage of sin. The atonement of Christ is efficacious is freeing believers from the bondage of sin, and that fact has always been a central part of my message when I preach.

    Some years ago, I was visiting with the chairman of the department of religion at a fundamentalist Christian university. I had gone to see him because the library of his university had two copies of Tholuck’s commentary on Romans that had not been checked out for many years, and one of them was falling apart and I wanted to rescue it from being discarded and to incorporate into my personal library. I told this gentleman about the volume that was falling apart and asked him if he could get it for me. He told me that Tholuck’s commentary was of no value theologically and he called the head librarian of the university and asked her to give the falling apart copy to me. She absolutely refused and told him that she was going to have it rebound. I asked chairman of the department of religion why he did believed that Tholuck’s commentary was of no value even though it espoused the theology of his university. He totally surprised me by telling me that he believed that his university was theologically behind the times and that conservative evangelicals had their head in the sand. I asked him about a conservative evangelical commentary in my personal library that he himself had written, and he told me that he wrote what the publisher paid him to write, but that he personally did not believe what he wrote.

    About two years later, a friend came to see me. He told me that he had been stranded on the highway and that he had been standing in the rain for about an hour trying to hitch a ride when a fine Christian gentleman stopped and picked him up. He told me that the man told him that he and I had gotten into a conversation about me two years ago and that we had a very pleasant conversation. My friend was very much impressed by the exceptionally fine Christian character of this chairman of the department of religion at the university, so, of course, I told him nothing about this man’s theological views. This professor loved God, he loved the Bible, and he loved others because the Spirit of Christ was indwelling his very being, but he held to a liberal view on several matters because he believed that the Biblical evidence supported his liberal views rather than the conservative views of his university.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Many years have passed since my conversation with this chairman of the department of religion at that particular university, and during those years the university has gradually but surely changed its theological perspective, but I know a number of the students at the university and they do not see this to be a problem nor is it a challenge to their faith. They, themselves, are conservative evangelicals who have a thirst for knowledge and they don’t want to get all of that knowledge from one point of view. Ironically enough, the man in charge of the religious services in the chapel on that university campus does not allow any of the professors in the department of religion to preach there, giving the students a look at the Bible from two very different perspectives and giving them the option to choose their own perspective.

    I have about 4,000 volumes in my persona library, and only 15 – 20 of them are written by ultraliberals, and some of these books are, from my point of view, absolutely disgusting. I am a Conservative Baptist and I hold to the statement of faith of my denomination, but I am a little less conservative on some issues and a little more conservative on other. When it comes to the efficacy and the reality of the atonement of Christ, I am ultraconservative. When it comes to the interpretation of Genesis 1 – 11, I am a simi-conservative moderate. My conservative colleagues believe that I am a bit too liberal, and my liberal colleagues believe that I am a bit too conservative, but we are all serving our savior in harmony because we love Him, and we love one another.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Ouch! This seat suddenly got hotter!! [​IMG]

    First of all, let me say that Ernest Pickering was a truly godly man, a scholar and a gentleman with an irreproachable life. C4K knew him, too, and can vouch for this. He did great good for the Lord, including late in his career when he became involved as deputation director for a mission board.

    Now concerning his criticisms, I will answer them in the context of a 1957 pastor, concerned about his people.

    (1) This would not be grounds for breaking fellowship with Graham to me. However, in 1957 many thought the RSV to be a bad translation in particular because of its translation of "almah" as "young woman" rather than "virgin" in Is. 7:14. I would oppose the version in my church, but I would not use this to criticize Graham from the pulpit.

    (2) I would not be able to contribute to the Cooperative Program because of some of the places the money was used. But I would not use this to criticize Graham from the pulpit. Boy is this a live one. If someone wants to interact with me on this, please start another thread, because there is a ton of history here--including why there are 1000s of IFB churches in the South now.

    (3) This is part of the whole discussion of Graham insisting on having liberals on his campaign committees. I would oppose this openly.

    (4) Same as (3)

    (5) Same as (3) and (4). Example: in his first Japan Crusade, he had the "Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan" participate. This is the group that resulted out of the government control of religion during WW2. Long story, but they compromised seriously in worshipping the Emperor before every service during the war. The Holiness churches and pastors refused to do this, and suffered greatly during the war while the "Kyodan" people had it easy. Once again, please start a new thread if you want to interact with me on this.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

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    Ouch! This seat suddenly got hotter!! [​IMG]

    Now concerning his criticisms, I will answer them in the context of a 1957 pastor, concerned about his people.

    (3) This is part of the whole discussion of Graham insisting on having liberals on his campaign committees. I would oppose this openly.

    (4) Same as (3)


    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Let's focus on #3 and #4 for the moment. Is it fair to say that since you believe that only fundamentalists should have supported Billy Graham's crusade then only fundamentalists are really Christians ans all other churches including the mainstream Baptist, Methodist, Presbaterian, etc. churches are filled with the lost? If not, why wouldn't you say this?
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    One of my professors at SWBTS told me that the publisher of something he had written for them had changed his words to completely change the meaning of what he wrote. The publisher was Broadman. It got to the point where few professors ta SWBTS would write for them because of such lack of integrity. Two professors told me that personally. Another professor, Leon McBeth was asked to write a boo on women in Baptist life. It was published for a short time and then pulled from the shelf and killed. So he sought another publisher. McBeth was asked to write the book. So much for conservative resurgence. HBU in Houston while I was there regularly published the horoscope each week in their school paper. Reminds me of the fact that not all, but so many liberals and fundamentalists lie in the same bed. Just on opposite ends. I find there to be people in all walks of life who simply are dishonest and lack integrity. The name liberal or fundamentalist hardly has any real meaning today.
     
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  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    No, it would absolutely not be fair to say this. It would be a gross mis-representation of my position.

    In the first place, I never EVER said that only Fundamentalists should have supported Graham's crusade. I don't believe that, nor did the Fundamentalists of 1957. What I did say is that liberals should not have been invited to join the campaign committee.

    There were many conservative evangelicals who did not want to be called Fundamentalists. Presbyterian theologian G. Gresham Machen comes to mind. There were even Bible believers who did not want to be called evangelical, but were nevertheless not liberals.

    Billy Graham himself had abandoned the term Fundamentalist, though he was (and is) a Bible-believing Christian, so it would be bizarre to say only Fundamentalists should support his campaign. Many, including Graham, were identifying themselves as "New (or Neo-) Evangelicals," and they were Bible-believing, conservative Christians.

    The truth is, Graham was not the first to unify conservative Christians from many groups. All mass evangelists, from Jonathan Edwards through Finney, Moody, Sunday, R. A. Torrey, "Gypsy" Smith, John R. Rice, Jones (both Sam and Bob) and Graham, had a wide range of cooperating churches. Rice, a Baptist, even had old-line Pentecostals (remember that this was before the Charismatic movement) join him for city-wide crusades. He would tell them that he would not talk about baptism if they would not talk about talk about tongues, and they would all try together to see people saved.

    Graham's innovation in 1957 (I will say it again) was that he insisted that liberals be included on the crusade committee. Here once again is the quote from a Graham defender I put on at the very beginning. "Billy Graham's evangelistic work is 'cooperative evangelism.' He has shown a desire to work with ministers of varying theological stripe, whether liberal or conservative. In his city-wide campaigns, he prefers that the invitation and planning be done by a group representing the various positions of the theological spectrum." (The New Evangelical Theology, Millard Erickson, p. 37)
     
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