Monday, October 21, 2013

A close look at "My Hope America with Billy Graham", decisional regeneration, and relationship evangelism (Part 2/2)

The other day I wrote about the upcoming movie release by Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). The movie's release is to coincide with the 95th birthday of the well-known evangelist, on November 7. Up until that time, the internet, churches, and publications will heavily tout this movie, called "My Hope America with Billy Graham."

Readers of this blog know that there are three spheres under which I write: encouragement, prophecy, and discernment. Under the discernment banner, the other day I examined Billy Graham's teachings and doctrine, compared it the bible, and showed that given the things Graham teaches and believes, he cannot be of the faith. He fails on one of the primary essentials (Jesus as the exclusive way to heaven, AKA the Gospel) and he fails on many other secondary essential issues. The sum total of the first part was to show that even, or especially, popular men can be and could be one of the prophesied wolves bringing false doctrine. (Matthew 7:15, 2 Peter 2:1). Please read that piece for the details and the biblical support.

Though I personally believe that Graham along with a couple of others have done more to damage the faith than to honor it, I'd said that I hadn't written about Graham but instead have focused on the falsity of others because Graham is no longer active. However, it seems that Graham has produced one final religious/theological/social effort and is using the last vestige of his reputation and means before he dies (his words) to spread it as widely as possible. That effort is the movie of which I'll speak today. It is called My Hope America.

The movie is an evangelistic effort in which people call friends neighbors, co-workers, and invite them to "meet Jesus" at a party, as Matthew had after his conversion. (Matthew 9).

I agree

There are several premises the video is produced under which I agree. First, their premise that there should be urgency to witness is biblical and appropriate. We need that prompting here in America, especially where wealth dampens urgency and technological distractions sidetrack us from personal relationships within which we share Christ.

The My Hope DVD has been sent to 157 countries already, such as Uruguay, Malawi, etc. It is now being promoted in America. Thus, the My Hope people have identified America as a country in need of missionaries & evangelists. I agree with this also. America has become more and more apostate. It is surely an irony that the nation which once sent more missionaries into the lost nations of the world has become lost herself and needs others to come here. It's true and the people of this nation need the Gospel as much or more than many other countries on each day that passes.

The Movie's Claims

In the promotional video, the listener hears pastors tell the BGEA video folks that they "have been praying for a way to mobilize their people into evangelism", and we're told that pastors are saying, "we've been looking for an opportunity to get our folks involved in personal evangelism and I believe this is it."

We're told that pastors are saying the video strategy is "bringing churches together as never before", that it is going to "heal our land", and "it is going to put everyone at peace." We're told by BGEA folks that "We've seen God use this strategy of the My Hope project in Latin America, in Asia, in Africa, Europe..." We see the BGEA folks say that "Each country gets the benefit of people working together towards a common goal in Jesus Christ. And that can change history in a country."

Those are extraordinary claims and stupendous statements. Aside from being overtly slick and promotional, these claims also seem to be results-oriented. I'll speak to the results-oriented approach below when I speak of decisional regeneration.

Taking a hard look at the evangelistic efforts of Mr Graham and his methods, let's focus on two of them associated with this video: Relationship Evangelism and Decisional Regeneration.

1. Relationship Evangelism

Forty-six seconds into the promotional video, the listener hears, "My Hope is Billy Graham's call to relationship evangelism in America". There are many scenes of people sitting around a table, or on the floor, or on couches and chairs, watching the various My Hope videos from the BGEA. The listener hears that Matthew was a relationship evangelist, whereupon he met Jesus, was converted, and wanted to share Jesus with as many people as possible and thus hosted a party in his home. (Matthew 9:10-13). The listener is urged to host a party or gathering and invite friends, family, neighbors, co-workers with the goal of sharing Christ as Matthew had.

I completely agree that as Christians we should operate within the spheres into which the Holy Spirit has set us, and witness for Christ using every means and method. Cold sharing, street preaching, friendship sharing, and using our lives of obedience and submission are several ways to share the Gospel with the lost and dying world of our individual spheres. I have no quarrel with that. Hosting a gathering in your home with weak brethren, non-believers, and mature brethren is good. It is proper. It is one way we use the strength of relationships, along with relating the truth of the Gospel to folks on church, in our community, clubs, and family homes.

These different evangelistic methods are variously called servant evangelism, (Galatians 6:10); lifestyle evangelism (Acts 5:13, 20); and friendship evangelism (or relationship evangelism). We should speak personally to friends, neighbors and co-workers. This is the type of evangelism Philip demonstrates in John 1:45-46. The woman at the well went back into town and told her friends. They asked Jesus to stay for two days and He taught them, and many believed.

So is there a problem with the evangelistic approach the BGEA folks are using, hosting "Matthew Parties" with an intent to share Jesus? There could be. As with anything, this 'strategy' dwells close to a line of subtlety where it can go off the rails quickly. Note the main DVD synopsis that personal testimonies will be told:

"as they share the common thread that led them to true happiness."

Happiness?

Scott Boren authored a piece at Christian Leaders called "Does Relationship Evangelism Miss the Point?" He was talking about what have become known as "Matthew Parties." He used an interesting quote from the book, The Relational Pastor by Andrew Root

However, he is not challenging the reality that the Gospel most easily spreads across relational lines. Nor is he saying that abundant life is not found in Jesus. He's actually pointing out the fact that if we are going to have loving relationships we need to relate to neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends in a such a way that we actually encounter them in the relationships instead of using the relationship to get something from them. If we are trying to get them to line up with our beliefs and ideals and are not demonstrating the Gospel. We are peddling it.

The entire piece is good and gives food for thought. When sharing Jesus is not an embedded lifestyle, but a strategy comes along that already has a faddish term associated with it ("Matthew Party"), and the folks we invite know that it is part of a promotional activity, they feel used. And we are using them. It is peddling Jesus rather than simply sharing the Gospel. There is a difference between natural, organic, sincere evangelistic effort, and jumping on an artificially promoted Matthew Party bandwagon.

For another view of relationship evangelism, street Preacher Tony Miano wrote in his piece, ""Friendship Evangelism Is Neither Friendship Nor Evangelism"
"Let make it very clear that Christians are called by the Word of God to be both friendly and relational. "If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3)

But Miano goes on to warn of the line that is easily crossed in relationship evangelism, of the danger of backing off in relationship evangelism by not sharing Christ but simply living a perceptible life in front of believers:

"Part of the evidence that "Friendship Evangelism" is not evangelistic is that the practice makes the Christian known but it all-too-often fails to make Christ known."

So though on the surface, the BGEA strategy of relationship evangelism does have roots in the bible, the  use of it as a strategy and a method can come across as too slick and faddish to the non-believer, they could well wind up feeling used. Secondly it is the Gospel that saves, not the friendship, and third, it leaves room for the Christian to back off in sharing Jesus but yet making the friend feel safely Christian.

Ultimately, what Relationship Evangelism is, is simply discipling.

2. Decisional Regeneration

Decisional regeneration is another thing like Relationship evangelism, which is not completely false but is fraught with subtle dangers which can quickly push one over the edge into false territory. The term means that a person becomes a Christian by deciding to become a Christian. They make a decision that they want Christ to be the Lord of their lives, or they decide to come forward at an evangelistic crusade or church service and decide to become a believer.

The work of salvation is completely in the hands of God. The believer is dead in his trespasses and sins, (Ephesians 2:1). A dead person cannot "decide" to become alive. It is the work of God who makes us alive (Ephesians 2:4).

However we are called to repent, and this is a conscious act of man. Repent means to take a 180 degree turn from the way we were, which was sinful, and to proclaim sorrow for our sins and go the way of holiness. It is perhaps here where the decision comes in.

Man is saved by Jesus but he is always responsible for his sins. Where that ground meets between sovereignty and responsibility is the gray line in decisional regeneration.

However at many churches and especially at Billy Graham crusades, "making a decision for Christ" easily becomes much more shallow. The practice is actually foreign to the scriptures, as Pastor Tim Challies explains here. The invention of the decision for Christ, combined with the altar call, is

"generally attributed to evangelist Charles Finney who lived from 1792 to 1875. He emphasized the need for a decision, usually made by “coming forward” to approach the altar. Becoming a believer became synonymous with making a decision and proving that decision by taking physical action. It is important to note that this system is entirely foreign to the Scriptures."

Paul Washer speaks against the dangers of decisional regeneration often. Here, Todd Shaffer summarizes one of Washer's sermons on the topic:

"Washer rails against how Evangelicals are so quick to proclaim people ‘believers’.  One of the most damnable practices in the church is when a person doubts their salvation, they are usually taken back to that day when they “made a decision” for Christ and “asked Jesus into their hearts”, neither of which are statements found in Scripture (apart from a poor hermeneutic).  We are often guilty of giving people a false assurance that is based more on the ‘sincerity’ of their decision than on the presence of a transformed life."

And that is the danger: false assurance. Many people who come forward at a crusade or a Matthew Party having decided for Christ do so many times on a shallow Gospel presentation, or an incomplete Gospel presentation, or decide for a Christ who doesn't exist, just because they are promised "happiness."

In his talk about Billy Graham Cecil Andrews was speaking about the fifty year anniversary of the London Harringay Crusade. Andrews, who is from the UK,  said that despite many "decisions for Christ" at that monumental Graham crusade at Harringay stadium, by the time five decades had passed, there was virtually no effect remaining. The people who had been there fifty years before deciding for Christ before were not thriving Christians by any stretch, and it was plain to the interviewers that the "decisions" were vaporous emotional responses and not a lasting spiritual regeneration.

Relational Evangelism at a Matthew Party is a fad

I am not a fan of fads. Christian fads come and go with depressing regularity. Prayer of Jabez rugs, WWJD bracelets, Love Dares, Courageous Resolutions, Promise Keepers, Quiverfull, Daniel Fast, Prayer Circles, Parable of the Talents Challenge, and now Matthew Parties. If the thing has a name it is a sure bet it's a fad. If the thing is mindlessly replicated from house to house and church to church, it's a fad.

The bible says, "And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." (2 Peter 2:3). The KJV says 'they will make merchandise of you.' The word 'exploit' in the verse comes from the Greek word that we know today as emporium, or mall. Strong's defines it as, "I travel as a merchant, engage in trade; I traffic in, make gain or business of."

Now, the film is free, the associated bonus programs are free, you can watch them online for free or order them for free. The training is free and the support materials are free. That is wonderful. I am all for that. The My Hope Matthew Party is still a fad and it's still merchandise. Here's why:

The BGEA promotes the strategy of decisional regeneration and it focuses on results. This is the prophesied 'merchandising' part, even though no money passes hands. It is touted to be man-centered and results-oriented. In one of the promotional videos, it is stated that viewers of the My Hope DVD in other countries have "since 2002, 'made average of 2 decisions for Christ per home." Is that like "2 out of 3 dentists say..."?

The video is touted as a "unique opportunity" to witness for Christ where pastors have been "praying for a way to mobilize their people into evangelism"? Praying for a way, unlike the way the bible shows us? and we're told that pastors are saying, "we've been looking for an opportunity to get our folks involved in personal evangelism and I believe this is it." What if this 'opportunity' hadn't come along? Would these pastors not be able to get their folks into personal evangelism? But you see, that is the results-oriented, merchandising language. The BGEA promotional video makes it sound like this is the only strategy and we better pick up on it fast. Is that like "operators are standing by"?

This is where the decisional regeneration method falters. It leaves the work of sovereign Holy Spirit of  regenerating hearts to the men behind production monitors counting how many decisions for Christ happened in a certain segment of the country.

"Decisions" often lead to False Assurance

Tim Challies explains,

"Finney’s legacy in church history is largely one of failure, of creating masses of people who believed they were Christians, but most of whom showed no evidence. They were assured by their decision which they could always regard as a milestone in their lives, but while they had raised their hand, they had never turned to Christ. Why had they not done this? Because the Spirit had not done any work in them and they were, thus, unregenerate. They had attempted to make themselves believers, a task which can only be done by God."

And that was the legacy of the Harringay Crusade in 1954 and it is my worry and fear that the masses of homes where people are artificially invited to a My Hope Matthew Party will 'decide for Christ' based on peer pressure, or emotion, or because they were grateful for the food, or any other reason except that the Holy Spirit had opened their eyes to their need for a Savior. False assurance is worse than being unregenerate, in my opinion. Read this verse, and you can vividly see the myriads of unregenerate false Christians pleading with Jesus:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

You can just hear them say "I went forward at the altar call! I decided! I saw the Graham DVD! I signed a card! They told me I was in the family of God!" But no...Jesus never knew them.

I'm NOT saying that all people who have ever done those things are lost. I AM saying that the decisional regeneration method combined with fad Matthew Parties and promoted as a strategy that WILL get results is dangerous and shallow. The movie people promote it with terms such as I mentioned above, It is going to "heal our land", and "it is going to put everyone at peace." These claims are biblically false. When combined with the results-oriented statements such as people have "made average of 2 decisions for Christ per home" then what you've got is a gross misrepresentation of the Holy Spirit and not the praise due for a miracle of reconciliation by a holy, sovereign God.

The Christian Post touts this event as perhaps the biggest evangelistic event in history. Keep in mind it is created by a man who believes Muslims who don't know Jesus are in the family of God, who believes that Roman Catholic Pope John Paul was the greatest evangelist ever, who makes a plea to thousands of people at his crusades to 'decide for Christ' but sends them to Catholic priests and Jewish rabbis for counseling, and put together a DVD which is a tactic, a strategy, and a passing fad of Matthew Parties.

John MacArthur spoke to these issues in his sermon The Lordship Controversy:

"A subtle shift in emphasis over the past hundred years or so has gradually eroded the way evangelicals understand and present the gospel. Preaching and witnessing have changed. The message we're hearing is less challenging, more comforting. But is it the truth?

Just as the My Hope DVD promised lands will be healed and true happiness will be found. Decisional regeneration is shallow and leads to false assurance much of the time. Continuing with the MacArthur segment:

"Listen to the typical gospel presentation nowadays. You'll hear sinners entreated with words like, "accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior"; "ask Jesus into your heart"; "invite Christ into your life"; or "make a decision for Christ." You may be so accustomed to hearing those phrases that it will surprise you to learn that none of them is based on biblical terminology."

All of those are strategies you hear Billy Graham use and will find on the My Hope DVD. Continuing again:

"They are the products of a diluted gospel. It is not the gospel according to Jesus. The gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus' message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteous­ness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God's righteous­ness. It was in every sense good news, yet it was anything but easy-believism.Our Lord's words about eternal life were invariably accompa­nied by warnings to those who might be tempted to take salvation lightly. He taught that the cost of following Him is high, that the way is narrow and few find it. He said many who call Him Lord will be forbidden from entering the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matthew 7:13-23)."

Far from enjoying tacos at a Matthew Party and then making a decision to accept Jesus into your heart in order to experience true happiness (Billy Graham method), true faith is described in the Beatitudes, (Matthew 5:3-12).

Faith's foundational characteristic is humility--a poverty of spirit, a brokenness that acknowledges spiritual bankruptcy. Genuine believers see themselves as sinners; they know they have nothing to offer God that will buy His favor. That is why they mourn (v. 4), with the sorrow that accompa­nies true repentance. It crushes the believer into meekness (v. 5). He hungers and thirsts for righteous­ness (v. 6). As the Lord satisfies that hunger, He makes the believing one merciful (v. 6), pure in heart (v. 7), and a peacemaker (v. 9). The believer is ultimately persecuted and reviled for righ­teousness' sake (v. 10). ... Those who cling to the memory of a one-time decision of "faith" but lack any evidence of the outworking of faith had better heed the clear and solemn warning of Scripture: "He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). (source)


"My Hope America" with Billy Graham (Part 1/2)

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Here is some more information on all the topics I've covered in this blog entry

Got Questions: Decisions for Christ

Got Questions: Easy believism

Got Questions: Asking Jesus into your heart

The Difference In Making (A Decision) For Christ vs (A True Conversion) 8-min video

Paul Washer: "The Sinner's Prayer" (3-min video)

Tin Challies: Decisional Regeneration

13 comments:

  1. Yes. Elizabeth, YES and AMEN to this post. With a perfect balance of grace and truth, the Lord led you to express a very well thought out review of this newest - and likely final - "evangelistic crusade" of Graham.

    Individual points I'd like to comment on (I will try to be brief):

    "So though on the surface, the BGEA strategy of relationship evangelism does have roots in the bible, the use of it as a strategy and a method can come across as too slick and faddish to the non-believer, they could well wind up feeling used."

    Yes. Matthew didn't use his friendships as a strategy, he genuinely wanted them to be reconciled to God as he was, according to the truth he received, that is, through Christ. Thank you for not knocking "relationship evangelism" as many do, because it is Biblical, and that is how I got saved.

    "Man is saved by Jesus but he is always responsible for his sins. Where that ground meets between sovereignty and responsibility is the gray line in decisional regeneration.
    However at many churches and especially at Billy Graham crusades, "making a decision for Christ" easily becomes much more shallow. The practice is actually foreign to the scriptures..."

    Yes, regeneration cannot be manipulated, and that is what I fear happens more often than not at many of these crusades. Our job is to simply to speak the truth in love, and pray, while living a life "worthy of the calling we received".

    "I AM saying that the decisional regeneration method combined with fad Matthew Parties and promoted as a strategy that WILL get results is dangerous and shallow."

    YES!

    "The BGEA promotes the strategy of decisional regeneration and it focuses on results. This is the prophesied 'merchandising' part, even though no money passes hands. It is touted to be man-centered and results-oriented. In one of the promotional videos, it is stated that viewers of the My Hope DVD in other countries have "since 2002, 'made average of 2 decisions for Christ per home." "

    Yes! I heard the promo and those comments, and thought to myself "but wait, there's more, if you call within the next 5 minutes, we'll throw in a bonus..." Ugh.

    Sadly Christians who share the Gospel but don't see salvations (myself included) get tempted to think "what did I do wrong?", and then get tempted to try other ways to "reel 'em in", which can end up resulting in that emotional/decisional claptrap and a bunch of false conversions.

    Graham - for what it's worth - have people been saved through his ministry? I believe yes. Have there been serious concerns with his beliefs, not just recently, but over decades? Sadly yes. What does that mean? As I said in the other post, I do hope he is truly saved, and will just have a loss of rewards. The other alternative is heartbreaking. That "many" have come to faith from his efforts does not negate his wrong beliefs. (Of course, as Andrews pointed out, "many" of the decisions haven't born any real fruit...)

    May the Lord help all of us in these confusing times.

    Thanks for this well done post, Elizabeth, and for your patience with my comment!

    -Carolyn

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    1. Thanks for thinking so deeply about the issue and responding so perceptively. I'm blessed to receive comments like yours. :)

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  2. Stated,

    "...We are often guilty of giving people a false assurance that is based more on the ‘sincerity’ of their decision than on the presence of a transformed life."

    The salvation of mankind

    "...has in our time fallen into evil company and been interpreted by many in such manner as actually to bar men from the knowledge of God. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be received without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is saved but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little." A.W. Tozer

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    1. thanks for the Tozer quote, it fits perfectly.

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  3. Stated,

    "...We are often guilty of giving people a false assurance that is based more on the ‘sincerity’ of their decision than on the presence of a transformed life."

    The salvation of mankind

    "...has in our time fallen into evil company and been interpreted by many in such manner as actually to bar men from the knowledge of God. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the adamic ego. Christ may be received without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is saved but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little." A.W. Tozer

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  4. http://www.gospelway.com/morality/slander.php

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    1. Anonymous,

      1. It's not slander when it is true.

      2. As "Let Us Reason Ministries says, "Loyalty is a good thing if it is for the right purpose and for truth. One certainly does not want to be loyal and find they have pledged their allegiance to something that is false."

      “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:150

      As John MacArthur said in his essay "How to Treat False teachers"
      "Paul speaks of the necessity of stopping false teachers in verses 3-11. Stopping them demands an understanding of four things: their error, their goal, their motive, and their result." "False teachers are not to be dealt with lightly, especially if you understand their error. Inevitably their error is a blow at the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. That is not a trifling matter."

      Titus 1:11- their mouths must be stopped.

      By my reckoning, you leave the sheep to the wolves so as not to hurt the wolf's feelings. And in so doing, you besmirch the holy and spotless name of Jesus. Decide whose side you are on, the side of truth and proclaiming it courageously, or error in the name of a false humility.

      Delete
  5. God is love and God is lightNovember 11, 2013 at 4:44 AM

    Why are you against every evangelical and prominent preacher in America? What do you consider to be sound doctrine? Do you not believe in the the power of the blood of the lamb and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Revelation 12:11" And they have conquered him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." Do you believe that Jesus Christ performed miracles and healing and then once he died and arose again on the 3rd day, just so that we would be left on earth to suffer. Once you give your life to Christ and repent and are born again and receive the free gift of salvation does that mean we should live as powerless Christians. Why are you against preachers that preach that we should pray and ask for forgiveness? And why do you believe it is wrong to be healed and prosper while on Earth. In the book of Hebrews one learns how powerful the principle of faith is especially with examples from the old testament. So can a Christian not have faith in Jesus Christ for healing and to live an abundant life??

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    1. Am I against "every" prominent evangelical and prominent preacher in America? No. Just the false ones.

      "Do you not believe in the the power of the blood of the lamb and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?" Yes. I do.

      "Do you believe that Jesus Christ performed miracles and healing and then once he died and arose again on the 3rd day, just so that we would be left on earth to suffer?" Yes. As for suffering, Jesus said that we would be hated, persecuted, have trouble, and more (John 16:33; John 15:18). I recommend you read this blog's weekly essays from Foxe's Book of Martyrs, called "Sunday Martyr Moment." Then get back to me about lives of ease.

      "Once you give your life to Christ and repent and are born again and receive the free gift of salvation does that mean we should live as powerless Christians?" I really don't understand how you connect powerlessness with the fact that there are false teachers in the world. Or powerlessness in general.

      "Why are you against preachers that preach that we should pray and ask for forgiveness?" I am against false preachers. God does not hear the prayers of the false or those who do not ask in His name according to His will, or who are offering polluted service to Him (James 4:3; Malachi 1:6-10; James 1:6-7)

      "And why do you believe it is wrong to be healed and prosper while on Earth." I do not believe it is wrong to be healed and prosper while on earth. Let's define "abundant life." It does not mean Christians can or should expect financial gain, ease, promotions, or a great parking space at the mall. God providentially orders our steps and works all to the good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28). However, read this:

      "Before we begin to have visions of lavish homes, expensive cars, worldwide cruises, and more money than we know what to do with, we need to pause and think about what Jesus teaches regarding this abundant life. The Bible tells us that wealth, prestige, position, and power in this world are not God's priorities for us (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). In terms of economic, academic, and social status, most Christians do not come from the privileged classes. Clearly, then, abundant life does not consist of an abundance of material things. If that were the case, Jesus would have been the wealthiest of men. But just the opposite is true (Matthew 8:20).

      Read more here on what the abundant life actually means: http://www.gotquestions.org/absolute-truth.html#ixzz2kKbZvxl3

      So here are questions for you:
      1. None of your questions have to do with the topic. Why did you ask them here?
      2. What do you think of a teacher who says Jesus is only one of many ways to heaven? Is that biblical?
      3. Why is your focus on "healing" and "prosperity" and you do not mention sin, justification, holiness, redemption or service?
      4. The DVD promises 'lands will be healed,' so do you believe that our efforts in this era will heal them? What does it mean to you that 'lands will be healed? Is any land healed now? Even Israel, God's chosen land?
      5. Did you read the entire essay, both parts, and/or any of the provided links?


      http://www.gotquestions.org/abundant-life.html

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  6. Do some research and take a look at the dark side of Billy Grahm and his Billy Grahm Evangelistic Association. One word: FREE MASONRY. Billy has sold out. That is why that all that comes out comes out of these is a mixture of "truth and lies", the devil's own device.

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    1. I agree, people should examine Mr Graham more closely, but he gets a pass because he's well, Billy Graham. He is an ecumenical, liberal compromiser whose stand on biblical truth is as holey as Swiss cheese. His views are not consistent with the bible's and unfortunately I believe he is an example of one who will be crying "Lord, Lord, did I not do many great works in your name?" Mt 7:22

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  7. I feel sorry for anyone who can say damaging things re: Billy Graham. He will go down in world history beside the apostle Paul as the greatest man of God that ever lived. Perhaps God will be merciful with you on the day of judgement, but I don't know, now that you have touched the Lord's anointed. Your jealousy will eat you up. Ask for forgiveness now.

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    1. Bonnie, I say this with sadness and respect, but I feel sorry for anyone who has an idol so great that they respond not biblically, not even inquiringly, but with heat and attacks. Billy Graham does not promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ when He tells millions in an interview (several times in several interviews over different decades) that anyone can go to heaven not only thru Jesus.

      As far as not touching God's anointed, that also is a misapplication of what the verse is REALLY saying. If we were not to 'touch God's anointed' i.e. never examine their teachings, or never warn anyone about false teachings done in the name Jesus, then Acts 11:17 would be at odds with the verse you misquoted (1 Chron 16:22) and also with 1 John and most of Paul's writings as well as the statement from Jesus that we will know the wolves by their fruit. Do you think no false teacher ever comes? Do you believe the popularity or longevity of Graham excuses him from the possibility of having taught wrong things? Do you disbelieve the verse that warns us satan's ministers come in garments of light? O, you are destroyed for lack of knowledge!

      You obviously love Billy Graham. How much do you love *Jesus*, that you are willing to open your mind to looking into these things?

      Graham certainly has his reward on this earth, with accolades, University degrees conferred, acclaim and popularity, but you will find if you look honestly at his words, he declares a different Jesus and a distorted gospel. He calls Mormons and Catholics brothers, and idolizes the Pope as a great evangelist. If that alone doesn't tell you something, then nothing I can say within this small space will educate you sufficiently.

      Your trite and frankly stupid remark about jealousy is indicative of someone with little to no biblical knowledge searching for mud to sling in your anger. It is the same as two kids in a sandbox and when one does something to anger the other, in fury but a loss for words, the aggrieved one finally sputters out, "You poopyhead!'

      No, Billy Graham will not "go down in world history beside the apostle Paul as the greatest man of God that ever lived," because Jesus already reserved that spot for John The Baptist.

      "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist" Matthew 11:11a

      Search your heart, bonnie. You have an idol. It will be judged on His Day.

      Delete

Jesus, bread of life (Chris Powers animation underway)

Chris Powers, artist, illustrator, and animator, is hard at work creating a new animation. Here, he share with you a few screenshots from t...