Why does the world love Billy Graham?

Gallup: Billy Graham Among 10 Most Admired Men in World--for 58th Time
Ninety-six-year-old pastor Billy Graham, arguably the most influential Christian preacher of the last 60 years, was ranked No. 4 in Gallup’s Most Admired Man List for 2014, the survey group reported, adding that Billy Graham has been in its top ten list 58 times between 1946 and 2014, the most appearances of any man in the world since Gallup started the survey.
What comes to mind when I read this are several things.

1. He is not a Christian, that's why the world loves him. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own;but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you." (John 15:19)

2. The mark of popularity is a curse and a warning. "Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets." (Luke 6:26)
“Woe unto you; that is, it would be a bad sign that you were not faithful to your trust, and to the souls of men, if you preached so as that nobody would be disgusted; for your business is to tell people of their faults, and, if you do that as you ought, you will get that ill will which never speaks well.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume

3. Lauding a man as Christian who denies the exclusivity of Christ as sole entry to heaven, exalts Mary beyond her place, partners with Catholics, sends seekers to counselors of false religions, fails to preach the whole counsel of God, and gives credence to evolution, brings to mind Hosea 4:6, "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge."

Though this isn't in the bible, I thought of the old saying from poet Thomas Gray: "all that glitters is not gold".


Further Reading

Exposing the False Teachers: Galatians 5 exegesis & commentary
In his exposure of these false teachers, Paul gives us six identifying marks that can guide us to discern the presence of "wolves in sheep's clothing" in our midst today


  1. Look who is on the list with him-- our "president," Oprah, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Vlad Putin. The list is a whos how of demons.

    I, personally have bigger problems with Osteen, Meyers, Dollar and others. Old Bill didn't really bother me that much.

    1. The sad hopefulness is that the fact that he has preached Biblical messages and actually preached the Gospel before, which I hear on radio and assume is in many other media, would hopefully educate sinners and that they would then be led by the Spirit to a fully God-honoring ministry afterward.

      I was a 'creation convert.' But the first introduction I gained was Ron Wyatt (a fraud at the very least; if he's well-intentioned then he's simply deluded), and it was upon searching for more info that I found an article on Answers in Genesis entitled "arguments creationists should avoid" or something similar. Subsequent to encountering their materials, I came to a fuller knowledge of the truth and somewhere in the process I know I gained the assurance of salvation.

      But this is no credit to Ron Wyatt. And what bothers me about Billy Graham actually having Gospel broadcasts that can preach to people is that this could make them think he's a good guy, and then they would absorb his unBiblical teachings as well.

      My mind goes back to the demon-possessed girl in Acts. All we are told was that it made her go behind Paul for days, saying "these men are preaching the truth about God!" (paraphrased). But it vexed Paul. The only explanation I see is that it DOES matter who tells you the truth. The only motivation for someone who does not belong to Christ to tell you the Gospel is if they hope to gain your trust and deceive you into following them, so that they can give you 'doctrines of demons.'

      It seems to be a matter of influence. Billy Graham *preaching the Gospel* is not the problem. **Billy Graham** preaching the Gospel is the problem. Because it gives him influence over others to the point where his false doctrines can gain a foothold.

  2. As slippery as Billy Graham attempts to be, there is no doubt that he supports abortion under certain circumstances. He believes the way you are conceived determines your right to survive. Some of the other areas that Billy Graham deviates from Scripture are his public record supporting homosexuality, abortion and his disbelief in a literal hell. And his relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and their doctrine of "Universalism" is supported by his own mouth on many published interviews and videos.

    There are hundreds of thousands of people who feel betrayed and deceived by Mr. Graham. The damage he has done over his many years in "ministry" is too painful to even think about. But as much time as the Bible spends (especially in the NT) warning us against false teachers, prophets and ravenous wolves dressed in sheep's clothing we shouldn't be surprised. It is however, scary as literal Hell that one of those we were so seriously warned about could actually reach the pinnacle of the “evangelical world”.

    It just serves as a reminder that God only compared us to one animal in the Bible and that was a sheep. Isaiah 53:6 * "All we like sheep have gone astray". I don't know what you know about sheep but since God compared us to one I did a study. What I discovered would fill several books but here are just a few things sheep do that are beyond stupid or are just ridiculous natural behaviors. You can lay a sheep on its back and it will just lie there indefinitely. The shepherds have crooks on their staffs because you can lead a sheep dying of thirst to running water and they will not drink. The shepherd has to use the crook on his staff to dunk their heads in the water. Sheep go to the highest possible elevation during a storm. Sheep require 24 hour a day supervision. Sheep are lead, not driven. Is it any wonder God chose to compare us to a sheep? And our Shepherd is Christ Jesus who "leads" those in His flock and His flock knows His voice and follows.

    The saddest part to me is that people are still defending Graham even in the light of overwhelming evidence supporting his heretical teachings over several decades. Although Mr. Graham is a serious problem he also is a true indicator of how far even true believers have slipped in their discernment and willingness to expose error. Just like sheep we have run for the “hills” when confronted by both secular society and false doctrines now running rampant in the liberal mainline denominations. And this applies as well to the absolutely phenomenal growth of all the New Age, Charismatic, seeker friendly, purpose driven not Christ lead, Bible optional, entertainment first, postmodern, relativistic, pragmatic, scripture twisting, pop psychology, free coffee shop and false teaching mega churches. Check out their leaders and you will find many just as popular as Graham was and even more heretical.

    The list is too long to post but just check out the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and the many other “Christian” television networks who are on 24 & 7, 365 attempting to make you rich by giving THEM your money. Baaaaaaa!

    1. You pretty much covered it all! My mother loved Billy Graham! And she loved an evangelical Christian radio preacher-John DeBrine, and listened to his broadcast faithfully, as did I, until he promoted John Hagee. When I questioned him through email about his choice, he became very offended that I would question his choice and defended the man. Then he told me that if he was wrong, then he would deal with it at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
      Whenever anyone is questioned, in my opinion, as to their being true teachers of the Word, they accuse you of attacking them and this person wrongly.
      I have become so skeptical of attending church over the past few years because of the overwhelming amount of false teaching I have observed, that I am no longer a member of any local church in my area. I am concerned about the younger generations and whether or not they will ever hear the truth of the Gospel and be saved. I guess that is why Jesus asked if He would find faith in the last days.(my paraphrase)

  3. Elizabeth, I hear people refer to Billy Graham frequently~as if it's a given that he is legit, the way people refer to Mother Teresa, for instance. The more I study Scripture and listen to solid teaching, the easier it becomes to discern what is true or not.
    What about Operation Shoebox Child? Seems like everyone is doing it. Is it better to avoid supporting offshoots of Graham like that? How far do we go in distancing ourselves from false teachers?
    Gates, that was great stuff about the sheep. Thank you!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      That's a great question about how far to go in distancing from false teachers. The Christmas Shoebox is a project of Samaritan's Purse, run by Franklin Graham, Billy's son, and is currently CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

      I don't automatically indict the children of the false teachers but if a child is raised in an environment learning false doctrines, then the outlook is not good. Like Beth Moore's daughters, or Shauna Niequist (daughter of charismatic Bil Hybels) or Franklin Graham, it seems they have adopted their parents' doctrines.

      Unfortunately, Franklin Graham has the same ecumenical bent as his dad. At a recent Crusade (Franklin doesn't like the term "Crusade" and calls them "Festivals") it was reported that Franklin sends seekers who come forward to the Catholic church. As a matter of fact, they deliberately sited the Festival in that particular location BECAUSE there was a church next door. That it was Catholic church didn't matter. To Franklin, the RCC is part of Christianity. The Bishop of the city was invited to the stage and gave the opening prayer. I wrote about it in detail here


      In addition, the name Samaritan's Purse comes from the parable Jesus taught in the bible, but according to the website's explanation, their understanding of the parable is the superficial one, not the deep, and correct, one. You can read it their About Us here

      and then go to John MacArthur's wonderful explanation of the parable here

      The Most Misunderstood Parable

      Now it is a great thing that they are helping the poor and oppressed. I love their heart for this ministry, and they do many good things. But I have to wonder, when their website says that what comes out of the shoebox is eternal, exactly WHICH eternity are they sharing? What do the biblical materials *say* that they put into the boxes? What kind of churches are they planting, if they come from the ecumenical tradition from both generations of the Grahams?

      It's up to each person to decide how far to go. in supporting or partnering with the Samaritan's Purse organization. But those are a few facts to get you started on the fact finding mission. And always pray

  4. Anyone ever read ES William
    Ecumenism: Another Gospel Lausanne's Road to Rome
    Btw God does work in strange ways at times.

    Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
    We can't count on this applying in all situations, but does raise caution.

    Mar 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
    Mar 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
    Mar 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part. KJV

    It's also interesting to read through the rest of the chapter.
    For our part it's good to just keep sharing the whole truth of God's word.
    And His word speaks pretty strongly at times....As it does repeatedly here....
    Mar 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
    Mar 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

  5. If you listen to Graham in an interview, his answers contain "I believe" rather than "the Bible says." That's a bad indicator. Also, look at who he associates himself with...seeing him with the pope is enough for me. When politicians and other religious leaders love a man, beware. Something smells "false-y."

  6. I was prompted by the Holy Spirit not to go. Many things are making sense now, as to why. The "IF" part was just not making sense. Anything that leaves room for interpretation to be used for the sake of unbelievers is still inflamed with some kind of deception and trickery. It could have been named much more God honoring, even though the message underlying these gatherings itself, are what are dishonoring and misleading as well. ("Since God is true.." or "Since you are seeking God." would have been a potential title and then I still would have thought this is an evangelical event) Now I understand why God has given me these verses for the past 12 months. Read and take in. Prov. 19:2 Desire without knowledge is not good-- how much more will hasty feet miss the way!" God has been telling me how I receive discernment by His power and what to do with it, when received: 1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart." and 1 Tim 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." Sincere faith FINDS Truth and rejects false teachers, while loving fervently, for the purpose of reconciliation Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." While we don't like the idea of inflicting a wound on a friend, it is biblical and is better than perishing in hell. It is time for more prayer that the women of this generation are not hugged into hell/deception but loved with God's fervent love, which includes rejecting that which is not of the Lord. Blessings, ~J.


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