Billy Graham Had a Runny Nose

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. 
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (Heb. 13.7).

There’s a scene in Robert Duvall’s film The Apostle where the renegade evangelist, Sonny Dewey, comes upon a boat blessing ceremony on the river. “You do it your way, I’ll do it mine,” Sonny allows, acknowledging the efforts of the presiding priest, “but we get it done, don’t we?”

It’s a fairly sophisticated ecumenical observation, and it came to mind when an oversized ad in the Family Christian Bookstore window caught my eye last year. It was Billy Graham, the king of the altar call, all silver-haired and looking distinguished as ever. And he had a new book!

At least, there was a new book with his name on it, and it had in fact already come to my attention because of a story by Kenneth Woodward in the Wall Street Journal. Woodward argued that Graham himself had little to do with the book, and that the Billy Graham machine was largely responsible for cranking it out. Woodward went on to suggest that the machine ought to consider giving the nonagenarian and his legacy a break.

Perhaps.

I grew up on Billy Graham’s preaching and Christian vision, and he was my childhood hero. I never made it to one of his famous crusades, but I remember watching them on TV with my family—even running to my room during an on-the-air altar call to re-dedicate my life to Christ on at least one occasion.

That was back when I was memorizing Bible verses with the Navigators and gobbling up books from InterVarsity Press about apologetics and evangelization. There were youth groups and Sunday school, summer camps and work trips, quiet times and discipleship meetings. And Billy Graham? He was the Evangelical standard-bearer, a key role model for carrying out the Great Commission and spreading the Good News.

Graham was knowledgeable and learned, but he never came across as arrogant or pretentious. His preaching was passionate and persuasive, yet devoid of the scaremongering hellfire that characterized other popular evangelists of his time. Although Graham routinely counseled U.S. presidents and his televised crusades made him a media superstar, Graham nonetheless gave you the impression that he was a regular Joe—that he was approachable and normal and downright human.

So, I wanted to be like Billy Graham—what young Evangelical wouldn’t? How to accomplish that was the question.

Rather, the real question was: Are you kidding me? Graham appeared to be a normal human being, but there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that he was still somehow different and, thus, in an altogether foreign realm as far as life trajectories went. Consequently, the famous evangelist represented a goal that was both admirable and yet unattainable—and therefore quite safe.

Fast-forward a decade or so, and you’ll find me as a freshman at Wheaton College in Illinois—Graham’s alma mater. I didn’t go there just because of the Graham connection, but it was certainly a factor, and when I heard that Graham would be coming to visit Wheaton that semester, I was thrilled.

He was coming to dedicate Wheaton’s spanking new graduate school and center for evangelization that was to be named in his honor: The Billy Graham Center. I marked the date on my calendar, and I eagerly anticipated the day I’d get to see this larger than life paragon of the Faith up close for the first time.

The day arrived—it was cold and windy. I bundled up and headed down to the Center for the dedication ceremony. There was a crowd already gathered before the dais, and I wormed my way to the front, rationalizing that my past history of Graham enthusiasm justified a bit of jostling and rude behavior.

No matter—I was there! Maybe 20 feet from the great man—him, sitting up on the platform with the other honored guests; me, down below at the edge of the horde and gazing up at the podium. Impatiently, I waited out the string of introductions and mini-speeches, and then the moment I’d been waiting for: Billy Graham stepped up to the mike to speak—right there, just above me! I could’ve reached out and touched his shoe!

Then, I noticed something: Billy Graham had a runny nose.

“Billy Graham—a runny nose?” (Pause.) “Heck, even I get a runny nose from time to time.” I watched with curiosity as Graham reach for his handkerchief. “Why,” (wait for it) “that means,” (wait…) “that means that … Billy Graham isn’t all that different from me!”

Simple, I know—painfully obvious even. But recall that I was just a young undergraduate at the time, and up to that point (believe it or not), it had just never occurred to me that superstars and larger than life heroes—even the Evangelical Christian ones—were, well, human. Mortal. Ordinary folks that catch cold like everyone else.

It was a revelation, yes, and a challenge: If God could accomplish so much through an ordinary, cold-catching mortal like Billy Graham, what might he accomplish through me? And, more to the point, what’s holding him up?

Fast-forward once again to the present day. Billy Graham is back in the news because of Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s Oscar nominated film that tells the story of Louis Zamperini—the Olympic runner, World War II hero, and internment camp survivor. Sadly, the movie downplays Zamperini’s faith, and, as Grant Wacker pointed out, it totally bypasses his watershed conversion at a post-war Graham revival in Los Angeles.

In the movie “Unbroken,” Billy Graham goes unmentioned, and Zamperini’s redemption narrative is largely reduced to a few title cards flashed before the closing credits. Yet Zamperini himself believed that the religious event was the pivotal moment of his long journey.

Zamperini was raised a Catholic, and it would’ve been all the more glorious if his adult conversion had brought him back to the Sacraments. Even so, it’s clear that Zamperini totally surrendered himself to God’s grace, and that grace had a field day in and through his life. He gave up his heavy drinking, sought to forgive his Japanese captors, and, most significantly, ended up devoting his life to telling others about the Lord—the most sure sign of an authentic interior about-face.

“The Church wants to preach the Gospel together with all who believe in Christ,” wrote Pope St. John Paul II. “It wants to point out to all the path to eternal salvation.” Note the Holy Father’s double emphasis on the word “all” there: All need to hear about the Gospel, and, consequently, all need to preach it—it’s a team effort! That means clergy and religious doing the preaching, as well as businessmen, homemakers, and students. Both young and old are called, as are both the educated and the illiterate. What’s more, the mission includes every kind of Christian, Catholic and otherwise, and even those who might be struggling in their faith or moral life. “All who believe in Christ,” St. John Paul wrote, not “all who believe in Christ and meet a certain minimal standard of virtue and piety.”

That brings me back to The Apostle. The central character, Sonny, is an imperfect ambassador of Jesus if there ever was one. Among other things, he has a drinking problem and anger issues, and he ends up beating a man into a coma. Instead of turning himself in, he goes on the lam and creates a new life for himself in another state under a pseudonym—not exactly a poster child for Gospel living by any stretch.

As depicted in the movie, however, the flawed Sonny somehow still draws others to Jesus—even as the ending credits roll and we see Sonny the convict leading his fellow prisoners in a spiritual chant as they clear the highway of brush. In this, is he so different from St. Paul, himself a murderer and a leading persecutor of the first followers of The Way? There wasn’t a whole lot of distance between Paul’s acquiescence at the stoning of St. Stephen and his first attempts at testifying to Jesus, and he went on to become the greatest evangelist ever. “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (cf. I Cor 9:16) was his motto, in season and out of season. It ought to be ours.

Don’t worry that you don’t know enough or that you think you’re not holy enough or that you might get something wrong. Preach the Gospel with your words as best you can, and strive to bring your life into line with those words. Tell others about Jesus with your voice, and at the same time coax your actions and choices along to follow suit. Do it even if you’re a rotten sinner. Do it even if you’ve got a runny nose or you’re ninety-some-odd years old.

Do it anyway—don’t wait. “In every way, whether in pretense or in truth,” St. Paul wrote the Philippians, “Christ is proclaimed.”  And when Christ is proclaimed, regardless of how, good things happen.

Editor’s note: This essay first appeared February 15, 2015 on the author’s blog God Haunted Lunatic and is reprinted with permission. (Photo credit: Billy Graham Evangelical Association.)

Richard Becker

By

Richard Becker is a husband, father of seven, nursing instructor, and religious educator. He blogs regularly at God-Haunted Lunatic.

  • lifeknight

    Evangelizing can be “active” as in openly proclaiming Christ; or “passive” by living it. We are called to do both. I am more interested in the author’s moment of conversion. It is common to note the deeply held faith of those who are not cradle Catholics…….I am married to one! Please write about that some time!

  • ForChristAlone

    If someone were to ask any Christian the reason for his hope, what would he answer? That we must have an answer to this question is without doubt as St. Peter tells us. That answer is our evangelization.

  • littleeif

    From my days as a small Catholic altar boy I can remember huddling under the covers with a transistor radio listening to Protestant preachers. It has been a life long preoccupation. I wish I had enthusiasm instead of misgivings to share about Billy Graham, his genre and his ilk.

    The altar call is easy as compared to the Communion rail. Billy Graham has a great advantage over Fulton Sheen. But the souls who make the altar call will believe they have found a superior to the Eucharist, and that is the shame of it. That he leads men to a lifestyle beyond the hedonist is to Billy Graham’s credit, but that he leads them away from the truth in a most appealing and convicted way is his disgrace.

    I confess, evangelization and the “new evangelization” seem to me someone else’s work, perhaps more something to keep idle theologians busy or that to which someone listens when a little boy falling asleep. When I consider the manner in which Protestant evangelization has in many ways cheapened the Christian “brand”, the sheer diversity of heresy and the manner in which most of it comprises an attack on that which I believe, I ask myself, “Evangelize for what? What happens later once the altar call is made?” I for, my part, find the governance of myself a full time job with no time to spare for preaching.

    Your article gave rise to these and many more thoughts and memories as regards Billy Graham. After a life time of paying attention to what he and those like him preach, I cannot in the end share your nostalgia for him.

    • Buzz

      Remember, you don’t have to preach the gospel in words. Who was it who said, ‘Preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words’? I think that when you say that the ‘governance of yourself’ is a ‘full-time job’ you are close to doing that. Walking the walk often says more than talking the talk – and is often more convincing.

      I know a young man who is engaged to be married to a lovely young Catholic girl (she glows with a kind of inner beauty that comes from her deep faith). He told me that he noticed her in the communion line. A handicapped person was trying to go forward to receive communion, and she stepped out of line to help that person. He saw such gentleness and sweetness in her behavior as she helped that disabled person, that he thought, ‘That girl must be an angel.’ They are heading toward what looks to be a blessed and holy Catholic marriage and family. That’s what ‘walking the walk’ can lead to – and who knows but that they may raise up great saints from their children or descendants?

      This Lent, especially, I’m becoming more and more convinced that it all (i.e., the Gospel) comes down to love. We were made in the image of Love; we live in relationship (like it or not) and those relationships are meant to be relationships of love. ‘Love thy neighbor’ and ‘love God’ – and that will preach more than you will realize this side of the Last Judgment. You may already have touched many hearts and even converted some people without having any idea of it, simply because others see you ‘governing yourself’ with grace. Not all are called to preach, but all were made by Love, for love, and to love.

    • Steve Frank

      However imperfect his tradition may be in your opinion, at least Billy Graham takes evangelization seriously. That’s more than can be said for most of the post Vatican II Catholic Church which for the most part doesn’t even believe evangelization is necessary anymore (if defined as actually converting someone to Christianity). Clearly, Billy Graham was able to give Louis Zamperini something Catholicism as he knew it did not. I’m not trying to attack the Catholic Church. I grew up with one foot in Catholicism and the other in Evangelicalism. Each tradition has it’s strengths and weaknesses in my opinion. Evangelization is not one of the Catholic Church’s strengths anymore, maybe it used to be but not in my lifetime.

      • “Billy Graham was able to give Louis Zamperini something Catholicism as he knew it did not.”

        The one thing is didn’t give him was the Holy Eucharist and that is an imperative according to John 6.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          DE, no, Billy Graham is a friend of Catholicism. Rev. Graham was a great admirer (& personal friend) of both staunchly Catholic Bishop Fulton Sheen (New York) & St. John Paul II. Rev. Graham has been attacked by many Protestants for his friendliness towards Catholicism. In his Crusades across nations & USA, he would invite Catholic bishops and priests to the organizing committees (making some Protestants furious). Billy insisted that faithful Catholics would not be converted away from the Catholic Church in his Crusades but would simply be invited to Christ (something all should do, again & again & again, whether Catholic or Protestant or Eastern Orthodox). DE, It’s a sin to smear a holy man. Billy Graham is not Anti-Catholic, he’s a friend of Catholics & our Church. He is ignorant of the Eucharist & many things that unite us more deeply to Christ, but Billy has not attacked those things. He simply invites people to Christ. Ignorance (lack of proper knowledge- because no one fully taught us better the things of God or because no one bother to teach us the things of God) should not be used against people. Some of us faithful Catholics were ignorant once. What if God & our life teachers had been impatient with our ignorance (lack of proper knowledge) & given up?

          • ForChristAlone

            He was not attacking Billy Graham. He was simply stating a fact – Billy Graham could not give Zamperini the Eucharist.

            For my money, take away the Eucharist from me, you might as well kill me. That’s my big beef with Protestants who go on mission to Catholic countries and “evangelize” them out of the Catholic Church. It means those people will no longer have the Eucharist (as in John 6).

            • Catholic pilgrim

              Then, Let’s pray for Billy Graham’s full union with Christ’s Church. He’s 96- there’s still time. Yes, we have many Anti-Catholic Protestants, but Billy Graham is not one of them- let’s not lump them together. Like I said, in his Crusades (across USA & nations), Billy’d invite & welcome area Catholic bishops & priests to the Crusade organizing committees (much to the ire of Anti-Catholic Protestants). All Billy Graham simply did was to invite everybody (Pagan/Atheist, Protestant, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox) to Christ. This is beyond noble. Our duty as Catholics is to draw them deeper to Christ in Baptism and Eucharist. Billy Graham’s preaching is a good start (or invitation, if you will) in Christian journey (even for Catholics) but we must go deeper in Christ while not diminishing God’s holy men & women (like Billy). St. Paul: God/Love is PATIENT & kind & rejoices in Truth. Our only options are to be patient & pray for Rev. Graham’s full union with Catholic Church & reach out to him.
              PS- Billy’s son is a different story. Franklin Graham said Mormonism was not Christian but then he said it was indeed Christian only to get people to vote for Mormon Romney. That’s a problem. To lie and say Mormons are Christians (when their Baptisms are Non-Trinitarian & follow the dictates of Prophet Joe Smith).

              • ForChristAlone

                Please do not interpret what I said about protestants evangelizing Catholics out of the Church as lumping Graham among them. I should have been clearer. I happen to have great respect for him as a Christian and preacherman and don’t believe he’d stoop so low as to do this. I especially like hearing George Beverly Shea sing “How Great Thou Art.”

            • And for me, confession as well. Without it, and the graces it confers to peer into that fetid and putrid thing my soul would be without it, you might as well stop the mail carrier and say here’s a package bound for hell.

              • reddog44

                So you do not believe in Jesus?

                • That’s stupid question, even for an invasive species.

                  • reddog44

                    So the answer is NO?

                    • I’m done here.

                    • Bob

                      You dont accept the teachings from Christ on the Eucharist? So as in John 6:66 you have chosen not to follow Him anymore?
                      So therefore…..you do not believe in Jesus?

                    • reddog44

                      I see you act as a judge, which Jesus also warned against. How do you know I do not accept Christ’s teaching, I probably accept more than you do? As I mentioned earlier you speak as a Pharisee, and do more to prove that the Reformation was necessary and inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Reddog44: “so do you not believe in Jesus?”

                      I guess you don’t remember your own posts?

                      Bob is right, but you didn’t answer his question. Have you rejected the teaching of Christ on the Eucharist?

                    • reddog44

                      You “fundies” have a way of twisting a question so you don’t have to answer. I believe in Jesus as Son of God, son of man. He died on the cross for my sins, and I am justified by what He accomplished. Hope you and Bob can say the same thing?

                    • Having an answer a cynical intruder axiomatically will not accept, is still an answer.

                      You still never answered how Luther is right, when he proposed marriage to be a civil contract to be regulated by the state.

                      You are no different than the homosexual trolls who come here, somewhere inside you-your rebellion disquiets your conscience and you seek to kill it, by arguing with us.

                      Go be with your own, if there is such a group and they can stomach you.

                    • reddog44

                      Why do you have such evil thoughts and words?

                    • Go away, Satan.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Noooooo answer!

                      Question for ya reddog. Let’s say the Catholic Church never gave the world the bible. No Gospels were written, no epistles penned:

                      How would we know about Jesus’ life and teachings?

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      You make it sound as though the so-called roman catholic church is some kind of necessity for Almighty God,ObjectiveTruth. Is it? Answer your own ill-informed question: How WAS Christ’s Life and Teachings propogated before the formulation of your institution? After all,the great Apostle Paul certainly didn’t need it and wasn’t bound by its supposed dictates(How could he be,roman catholicism hadn’t been invented yet.)—As for that tiresome canard,…”the Catholic Church gave the world the Bible”…blah,blah,blah…give it a rest,why don’t you? Once again,class: The Scriptures that Jesus, Paul, Peter, and all the other disciples / apostles preached,taught, and lived by did NOT come from the non-existent roman catholic church,PERIOD! Unless it can be proven somehow that the Scriptures Paul,James(The Ethiopian eunuch),Peter,et.al.preached and taught from were NOT sufficient to reveal Christ as Lord and Saviour,that tiresome claim of some”council”determining
                      the correct Scriptures is utterly bogus.At best it could be said that the “Johnny-come-lately”council discovered what Christians were already believing to be saved for centuries,and Almighty God condescended to use them to compile the relevant texts together in a cohesive canon.Now THAT I’m willing to concede,but the concept of necessity is NEVER attached to the attributes of The Omnipotent Triune God . Mull and reflect,ObjectiveTruth.—PEACE IN CHRIST.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      OK. You could have just answered “I don’t know” to my question instead of typing up this incoherent tirade.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Still no answer….!

            • reddog44

              If the Eucharist is so life-changing, you have a very legalistic attitude much as the Pharisees in Jesus day. I fail to see the transforming power you claim it has. Does charity and love for your brothers & sisters not come with the Eucharist?

              I forgive your unkind comments and accept you as a fellow believer.

              • “I fail to see the transforming power you claim it has.”

                He might be like you without it. Trolling protestant sites, being antagonistic for its own sake.

                In any case, who appointed you judge?

                • reddog44

                  Antagonistic, is that what you call dialogue? I see you have no heart for ecumenism?

                  You know it is fundamentalist Catholics like you who will guarantee the survival of Protestants. Keep it up.

                  • “If the Eucharist is so life-changing, you have a very legalistic attitude much as the Pharisees in Jesus day. I fail to see the transforming power you claim it has. Does charity and love for your brothers & sisters not come with the Eucharist?

                    I forgive your unkind comments and accept you as a fellow believer.”
                    That’s antagonism not dialogue.

                  • Why are you here? Read the masthead, and be with your own kind.

                    • reddog44

                      I beg to differ, this thread has a few. “Fundamentalists” exist everywhere.

                    • You beg to differ about what you do not understand.
                      You are a fundamentalist, who reminds me of the epistemic nightmare that exists among those who can tolerate any creed so long as it incorporates opposition to Rome.

                    • reddog44

                      Well after all: ” The Catholic Church is steeped in error and beyond correction” The Reformation cry of the 16th century may have some credence by indication of some posted comments.

                    • They’re not my comments. However, even if I thought the Church was steeped in error, I wouldn’t jump from the frying pan to the fire.
                      So other than to be hateful and spiteful, why are you here? Have you been ejected from Protestant sites for bad manners and boorish behavior? Wouldn’t Lutherquest be more to your liking?

                    • MarcAlcan

                      You mean the Protestant deformation? It is you know : a deformation. But yes, it is an evil that God allowed.

                  • Bob

                    “fundamentalist Catholics?” huh….??

              • Bob

                He’s not being unkind. He’s speaking Truth. One of the graces and fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist is to speak with courage, sometimes bluntly. In John 6, the disciples were offended when Christ spoke strongly and bluntly to “eat His flesh.” It’s you who’s acting like a petulent twelve year old school girl making childish accusations . Grow up. The only way you’re defending your position is to try and low blow the other person.

              • MarcAlcan

                You are not aware of it and may only realize it the other side of eternity – but all the graces that you receive – they come from the Eucharist.

                It is like the eternal spring where men draw water from. The water comes to you from buckets but what you do not realize is that that water originally came from the eternal spring.

            • Bob

              Think about it: What if someone told you from this day forward you could never receive the Eucharist again? It would be like someone gutted and mounted our Christianity like a harvested deer during hunting season. No life inside of you. Our Protestant friends dont know what they are missing, and we must tell them the “cause of our joy!”

              • MarcAlcan

                Yes! And that is precisely where Protestants put us to shame. They are out there (with the little that they have) converting people to Christ and yet here we are with all our treasures (the Eucharist, sacraments, Blessed Mother)- couldn’t be bothered.
                And THAT is a real shame.

                More to the point: we can’t even re-convert our own who have left the Church because maybe we don’t believe in our faith all that passionately either.

          • Did you actually see-or merely imagine-an attack against Billy Graham there, before you launched your calumny against me?

            • Catholic pilgrim

              It seemed both you littleelf were in agreement. (You, Martha, & Rufus hit likes on his post.)

              • I have misgivings about what and how Mr. Graham preaches, explained below.

                However, I know of nothing to indict the man for his personal conduct, and I can say a man who refuses to subject himself to even the temptations of the flesh as he did is honorable.

                Zeal is not a one-dimensional scalar, rather it is a vector, with direction and magnitude. His zeal may be great, but it doesn’t point to true North. God will decide if it was close enough.

                • Catholic pilgrim

                  Sorry, I might have reacted too strongly on different viewpoints. Maybe because the personal witness & preaching of Billy Graham has been a blessing to my own Christian journey. Undoubtedly, the Eucharist is the source & summit of all our Christian faith, but to get there one must be (constantly) invited to come back to Christ & leave behind my pettiness. My human memory is very finite. Though God never forgets me, how often do I forget God, His love, & all the good He does? My memory is weak & fails so often. In my past, listening to Billy has helped me come back to God & return to the source & summit of our Faith (Eucharist).

                • MarcAlcan

                  Well I must say that when Pope Francis was going around with “who am I judge”, Billy Graham’s son was unequivocal about homosexuality.
                  At that point I thought he was more Catholic than the Pope.

          • Seamrog

            This was a very nice post.

            There is a confidence in Billy Graham’s eyes that is absent in more than a few of our priests.

            There is a station on my TV here that often plays his old crusades, and inevitably I watch them. They are compelling, his preaching is bold and unrelenting, and he remains a gentle face of Jesus.

            I truly do wish he was Catholic, but I think he introduced redemptive mercy to many who would have never accepted any preaching from a Catholic.

            The biggest concern for me was usually the absence of the sacrament of reconciliation (one can be ‘saved’ one day and by his own actions condemned the next). When I watch these old crusades, and see all the hungry souls coming to the front for the alter call, I do trust greatly that I am not the judge of these souls, and that God’s mercy extends beyond my ability to comprehend it.

            God bless Billy Graham, and his efforts.

            • Objectivetruth

              “There is a confidence in Billy Graham’s eyes that is absent in more than a few of our priests.”

              I see that in a lot of Protestant preachers. It’s because they believe that by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, they are 100% guaranteed heaven. No matter what. No purgatory, whether I repent from my sins or not is not a deal breaker. I remember Tammy Faye Baker before her death saying she was at peace because she was absolutely, positively going to heaven.

              But they both deny Christ in the Eucharist. They have told Christ no, I do not believe in your one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

              Guaranteed heaven?

              This is why we pray for the dead.

              • LarryCicero

                Malachi 2:7 -the priests lips should preserve wisdom. As a teacher of the faith, my priest one noted the obligation they have to teach the truths, to form the people in their faith, particularly the children preparing for confirmation, and that he would be held to account at a higher standard. Protestant ministers are not teaching the complete truth when they teach them assurance, they ignore the sin of presumption.

              • reddog44

                Another one who acts as a judge instead of witness. The Church does not save you, Jesus does. How do you know she “denied” Christ?

                • MarcAlcan

                  But Christ chose to save us through the Church. Otherwise, why build one at all? Why establish one with the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail? If the Church is not necessary, then you are saying that God creates useless things for no purpose or reason.

                  • Laurence Charles Ringo

                    Who told you that, MarcAlcan? Almighty God has ALWAYS been Saviour;there is no given institutional”church”He has EVER needed to be what He already is.You give the grossly erroneous impression that your church is some kind of actual necessity for the saving of souls.Sorry,but the Scriptures most emphatically DO NOT teach that concept.ALL baptized Christians everywhere comprise the blood-bought Body of Christ;we are the SAVED,NOT THE SAVIOUR.Peter stated it clearly in Acts 4 : 12;we are saved to BE the Church,and Our Saviour’s Name is JESUS CHRIST,NOT”church”—God bless.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      Jesus did. Or do you not read the Bible?

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      Jesus did what, MarcAlcan? Please,don’t try to catch us up in disjointed incoherenc, O.K?

                    • MarcAlcan

                      Jesus did what, MarcAlcan?

                      Establish a Church.
                      Or is that one more thing that you gutted out of the Bible? No wonder your theology is so incoherent.
                      Or maybe it is in your Bible but you just don’t know how to read. There’s a solution for that. Plenty of schools around.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      Who told you that, MarcAlcan?

                      Well God, duh? Or do you not believe that the Bible is His revelation?

            • Laurence Charles Ringo

              Hmm…So when YOU say…”one can be ‘saved’one day and by his own actions condemned the next”…,in what way are you NOT being a judge of souls,Seamrog?

              • Seamrog

                What a silly comment this is.

                Have you never read a bible?

                Jesus clearly tells us what will send us to hell.

                Ignore it at your peril.

                • Laurence Charles Ringo

                  Sure,Seamrog.I read the Scriptures every day,have done so for over 25 years,so I’m well aware of what My Saviour said.I’m simply rejecting YOUR interpretation of what YOU claim He said,and I am perfectly free to do that.Perhaps you might want to mull over and reflect on Proverbs 3 : 5-6,Seamrog.That is my go-to verse for ALL my dealings with, and approaches to ALL my Father God teaches me; that way,I don’t have to rely on any weak,fallible, sinful human being’s presumed interpretations of Holy Writ.After all,isn’t that what the Saviour taught the disciples,and subsequently us,in the Johannine Discourse? ( John chapters 14-17.)—GOD BLESS YOU.

                  • Seamrog

                    You are misguided and your comments here are disingenuous.

                    Your bitterness towards the Catholic Church and her bold proclamation that she is the One True Church founded by Jesus is front and center on your forehead.

                    It has clouded your vision and sullied your motives.

                    I shake the dust from my sandals on your doorstep.

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      So be it,Seamrog.I hold no bitterness towards your church;I would assume that that would characterize some ex-catholic grievously wounded by the church,say,a victim of one of your pedophile priests.I have,and obviously still am,been studying this religious system for over 25 years trying to understand it supposed appeal and mainly out of curiosity.So far,I don’t see the appeal;your church literally has nothing appealing to me. I know,and have known and loved many wonderful people who adhere to the Catholic faith;on the whole,we agree to disagree and still love one another as Our Saviour commands.So,that’s where I stand,Seamrog I bear no animus towards catholicism; I’ve been a born-again, blood-bought, Spirit-filled child/servant of Almighty God for almost 40 years,born-again October 6,1976 at 2:00 o’clock in the morning(I can remember the experience as though it happened yesterday;in fact,St.Cyprian described the born-again experience almost perfectly.),so,there’s NOTHING I’m missing,Seamrog.As I said on another site,I don’t consider roman catholicism the be-alland end-all of the Christian faith,and I don’t have to.I revel in the freedom I have IN CHRIST,and I am eternally grateful I don’t have to submit to ANY man-centered yoke of bondage—ONLY MY SAVIOUR’S. (Galatians 5 :1:;Matthew 11:28-30.)-So,I bid you adieu, and God bless you.

                    • Seamrog

                      Not only are you a coward, you are a liar – these are your words:

                      “you literally have NO argument that you can advance that will transform your bogus, contrived, man-centered institution into a legitimate ecclesiastical construct in my eyes.Your “church”has been erected on dubious translations,quasi-political coercion(You can thank Constantine for that.),selective pseudo – theological manuevering,and arrogance unmatched in human history”

                      You come to an orthodox Catholic website to stir derision and division. You slander our faith out of spite and bitterness.

                      What a vile mess you are.

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      And there it is—the REAL catholic comes roaring out,spewing hatred and venom.Wow.What an astonishing thing to see,and sad,too.I notice you made no attempt to refute my contentions inre your religious system…why was that,Seamrog? As I said,Ive been studying roman catholicism for over 25 years,and instead of…”loyally submitting my will and intellect to some supposed ecclesiastical masters(i.e,the so-called”magisterium”),I simply excercised God-given discernment and intelligence to get to the truth about your religious system.Would you be surprised to know that most of what I’ve learned about catholicism I’ve learned from Catholic scholars and historians?( along with some disinterested secular scholars as well. ) The covers are off,Seamrog;deal with it.No longer can your church,bully,hoodwink,coerce and intimidate people into accepting its dictates.No longer does anyone have to fear being murdered by fire if they don’t toe the catholic party line! You want to call me a liar,that’s fine,Seamrog…I’m VERY thick-skinned,and I invite you to disprove,as Luther said…”by Scripture and reason”…ANYTHING I’ve said inre your church on ANY site.If you don’t feel up to the challenge,it’s allright; perhaps you shouldn’t try,since you seem to get pretty upset.So…the ball’s in your court my friend.Otherwise,take a deep breath; if you are secure in what you think is true,nothing I nor anyone else says will shake you,right?-Au Revoir,and PEACE IN CHRIST.

                    • Bob

                      Seamrog is 100% correct, Larry.

                      Seriously, you’re spending a lot of time on a Catholic website. And you are seriously attacking the Church with a chip on your shoulder.

                      This all seems a personal grievance, on your end. It seems you’re here to just pick a fight.

                      You have anonymity here…..what is it? Anything you’d like to air?

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      Let’s get it straight,Bob—I’ve written NOTHING on any site that I wouldn’t repeat to any catholics’c face. (I hope that I wouldn’t be rude and obnoxious,although I admit I’m no diplomat!).At any rar

                    • MarcAlcan

                      Let’s get it straight,Bob—I’ve written NOTHING on any site that I wouldn’t repeat to any catholics’c face.

                      Only because you are that dumb you think that the lie is the truth.
                      You know what is sad about that? That you actually believe it.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      And there it is—the REAL catholic comes roaring out,spewing hatred and venom

                      You mean like you very often do?

                      As I said,Ive been studying roman catholicism for over 25 years,

                      And still as dumb about it as when you started. You’ve got to try a different method cause clearly the one your using ain’t working.

                      Would you be surprised to know that most of what I’ve learned about catholicism I’ve learned from Catholic scholars and historians?

                      Indeed I would be surprised because they all seem to come out of the stupid Loraine Boettner’s book or the pathetic Jack Chick. I suppose that is what you call “scholarly”.

                    • your church;I would assume that that would characterize some ex-catholic grievously wounded by the church,say,a victim of one of your pedophile priests.
                      Be gone, Satan.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      I have,and obviously still am,been studying this religious system for over 25 years trying to understand it supposed appeal and mainly out of curiosity.

                      And still you are that ignorant of the Catholic faith? Well that says a lot about you.
                      If you had not claimed to be so well studied your ignorance would not seem as bad.

                  • Calculus in the hands of a kindergarten kid.

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            You stay on this site long enough,Catholic Pilgrim,a one thing will become clear: people like DE -173 have absolutely no problem with mocking,ridiculing,and smearing the so-called ” separated brethren “. (And sisters.).—Stay tuned!

            • You mock yourself. You came under false pretenses, you invade a community dedicated to what you despise, you argue incessantly for the sole purpose of agitation. You accuse others of what you engage in with abandon.

              Go be with your own kind, if there is such a group, and they will have you. I know that you think that you think that if you argue with enough ferocity, you will inspire the hate in us, to justify your own.

              Here’s the problem, we regard you as toxic and unpleasant, but pitiable and pathetic, but being pitiable and pathetic isn’t going to immunize you or your posts from criticism or earn you respect.

        • Bob

          SPOT……ON!
          I know many Protestants that love Jesus, but ignore the Truths in John 6. Why? When you ask a bible totin’ evangelical if they believe Christ healed the sick, walked on water, raised the dead, resurrected Himself, and was God…..they say “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! I fully believe that!” But when you ask them if Christ gave us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, they blink and say “Errr….I can’t believe that!”
          The Eucharist is truly Jesus. To live a good, Christian life and to not also take that leap of faith (especially after Christ’s strong exhortations to eat His flesh) is to tell Christ “no.”
          Everything flows from the Eucharist. With love, let us tell our Protestant friends this Truth. Ecumenism doesnt meet half way on the Eucharist, but stands tall and firm on it.

          • Judas Iscariot had a hard time with it as well.

            • Laurence Charles Ringo

              Why don’t you spell out EXACTLY what it is you’re saying with your “Judas Iscariot” comment,DE-173? I for one can’t wait to hear your insights.

              • You suppose I consider you a bona fide inquirer rather than an imposter and invader?

        • TruthWFree

          I believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, but why does it have to be a priest that prays over the bread and wine as a Holy offering that becomes the Body and Blood of Christ? It would seem to me that anyone who believes can celebrate that in a gathering of Christ followers. When did priests come into being? Was Saint Paul a priest? Yes, I have read that the early Christians treated the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ. But really, isn’t believing with all your heart and soul that Christ is your Lord and Savior what is important? Isn’t that the same as Eating his flesh and drinking his blood and do you really think that Jesus will say…”You did not eat my flesh and drink my blood so off the Hell you go? I don’t think so. Also, Christ said call no one father except your Father in Heaven. Why do we call priest’s Father?

          • Another invader.

            http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/how-can-we-respond-to-the-call-no-man-father-question

            What exactly do you think Christ meant by this if you wish to be so literal.

            Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

            • TruthWFree

              As i said, I’ll leave the judging up to God and Jesus Christ. Could it be that by his Spiritual immersion in preaching the Gospels, that Graham is figuratively eating and drinking the substance of Christ? I am still a Catholic for the very reason of the Eucharist…because i believe it to be the body and blood of Christ (Martin Luther did too from what I read).. I just believe that anyone who believes the Jesus Christ is Son of God and died for our eternal salvation, that Christ would condemn Him for never receiving the Eucharist. Also, why is it only a priest can consecrate the bread and wine? Christ said, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am also there. So why could not two or three gather to praise God in Jesus name and offer up the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ? He said, “Do this in memory of me.” Don’t believe it he said it had to be a priest of His Church. I don’t know the answer but I cannot believe a believing Christian would not have eternal life in Christ because of never receiving the Eucharist. I see more of the Holy Spirit in the preaching of people like Graham than most Priests and many many Catholics. Let me ask you, “do you preach the Gospel? To Muslims? To Atheists? That was Christ’s great commission, remember? And how about in Matthew where he asks, when did you feed me when I was hungry, or cloth me when I was naked? I do recall that many fell away from Christ with those words of eating my flesh, because He asked the apostles, “will you also leave me?” I guess one has to live by what he believes on that, but I’ll leave it up to Jesus Christ on the judgement as I said in the beginning.

              • When you start preaching the Gospel, instead your personal counterfeit, then you can question me.

          • MarcAlcan

            But really, isn’t believing with all your heart and soul that Christ is your Lord and Savior what is important?

            You can answer that yourself.
            What does the Bible say? Read John 6.

            • TruthWFree

              I guess we’ll find out one day if Christ damns people that had not eaten His Body and Blood but yet preached the Gospel and brought many from the darkness they were in to Light of Christ. Conversely, if all a Christian does is go to church on Sunday and then receive the Body and Blood, but does nothing else to further Christ’s church in bringing more souls to salvation as He (Jesus) commanded, which person is really doing His will? The Church as I see it are all who believe that He is the Son of God, showed us how to live with love for one another, died for our sins and rose again overcoming death for our eternal salvation. Is there any written evidence that St. Paul participated in a prayer gathering where he or someone else consecrated the Bread and Wine? I don’t think so, but likely he did, but it was not emphasized. Paul has significantly more writings than Peter. Peter may have instituted a worship service like the Mass offering up the bread and wine but there is no hard evidence of that. In support of your argument, Justin Martyr writes in the 150’s per page 40 of the Story of Christianity that “None is allowed to share unless he believes the things we teach are true, and has been washed with the waters that bring the remission of sins and give a second birth, and lives as Christ ordered us to live. For we do not receive them as ordinary bread and ordinary wine, but as Jesus Christ our Savior”. Earlier he talks about the reading of the “memoirs of the Apostles” and then bread and wine, mixed with water, are brought to the president (not the priest, I assume that is a proper translation), who offers up praise to the Father of the Universe through the name of the Son and Holy Spirit and gives thanks “for our being deemed worthy to receive these things at his hands”. This Justin Martyr writing appears to support a Mass like worship service in the 150’s AD. I believe that Protestants can celebrate communion also. I have been to Bible Churches where they offer Communion. I do not know if they believe they are eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Christ. I cannot accept that everything has to come under the umbrella of the Pope. Reading of Catholic Church history indicates a number of Popes were bad actors. I have a hard time believing Christ would want us to follow the lead of some of those Popes. St. Paul was critical of St, Peter as documented in ACTS when he felt Peter was acting inappropriately. As I said in some earlier comments here, I do not agree with Pope Francis reaching out to Islam. Muslims yes. He should be preaching the Gospel to them as Christ is the Only Way to the Father. Instead he gives the appearance that Islam has credibility. I got into an argument with a priest who said we all worship the same God. Since the allah god of the Quran denies Jesus’ divinity and that Jesus did not die on the cross and that the teachings of hate and violence against Jesus’ followers and all non Muslims are 180 degrees opposite Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness, I have come to the conclusion that the allah god of the Quran is Satan…or Muhammad made it all up (the allah god also states that he has no sons). Islam’s teachings are a recipe for eternal fighting or until the world becomes Muslim (and in my opinion then they fight over who is the proper Muslim…Sunni versus Shia)(Sounds a little like the Protestant/Catholic differences here?). So why doesn’t this Pope have enough discernment to know that about Islam? John Paul before him kissed the Quran when it was given to him as a gift by a Muslim Imam. The thread here is fairly critical of Graham for not being Catholic, but what about these Papal outreaches to a religion that is anti Christ? To me its like castigating a brother and giving credence to a sworn enemy…and i don’t interpret “love your enemy” in a way that would prohibit one from speaking the truth about their religion, Islam (as Benedict did…weakly). To truly love Muslims we should be preaching the Gospel to them that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to the Father. You do agree with that (only way to the Father), do you not? Could the Pope’s pandering to Islam possibly make some weak individuals think that Islam is an alternative way to Heaven? I have read of Catholics converting to Islam. Those Catholics surely received the Body and Blood of Christ before they went to Islam. Why did they have such weak faith in Christ with all the Church teachings? I shudder to think of their eternal damnation, but I guess I am judging.

              • MarcAlcan

                This is your second reply to my email and still you have not addressed my question.

                It would be good if you could actually address my questions and the points I raised.

                So here it is a third time:

                If all that matters is that we believe He is Lord and saviour, then why establish a Church? Why establish the Eucharist at all? I mean, because of that teaching, so many who were gaga over Him left. Wouldn’t it have been better if He had just kept quiet and not mentioned that eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood and kept those disciples. Mind you, those who left were not your ordinary sticky beak. These are disciples who have been following him around.

                One more thing. If Christ is God, then these things that He did – establishing the Church, establishing the Eucharist, choosing only men – these are choices of God, acts of God – God’s explicit will. You can’t mess around with that.
                In summary, if all the other things He did are not necessary then God lies and does useless things

            • TruthWFree

              By the way, I’ve read the entire New Testament at least 10 times in the last 10 years and have read the entire Bible twice. I also went through the four Gospels and took each verse and categorized it by subject and sub subjects like “Healing” and sub “Blind Man” or “Miracle” sub “Storm”, and then sorted the work on an excel spreadsheet, so I guess the Holy Spirit is driving me in this effort…hopefully, I pray.

              One other comment, in Santa Claus, Indiana at St. Nicholas Church, we had a Nun, Sister Terrance, who ran the Parrish. She did not offer Mass, but she was a most Christ like person and there was much love in that Parrish. I usually sat next to her sister, Elaine, also a Nun (20 years Terrance’s elder), because i told her I figured she had found the “pearl in the field”. I also believe that the pedophile scandal might have been avoided if priests could marry. It is my understanding that St. Ambrose in the 300’s was against priests marrying because of a concern for creating family dynasties, so that may be when celibacy started for priests.

              • MarcAlcan

                What you wrote there is good but it did not in any way address my point.

                I wasn’t asking you whether you’ve read the Bible or not. Nor was I asking you about anyone’s personal experience.

                So to get back on track:

                You wrote that believing with all your heart and soul that Christ is your Lord and Savior is what is important.
                .

                So I asked you:

                If all that matters is that we believe He is Lord and saviour, then why establish a Church? Why establish the Eucharist at all? I mean, because of that teaching, so many who were gaga over Him left. Wouldn’t it have been better if He had just kept quiet and not mentioned that eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood and kept those disciples. Mind you, those who left were not your ordinary sticky beak. These are disciples who have been following him around.

                One more thing. If Christ is God, then these things that He did – establishing the Church, establishing the Eucharist, choosing only men – these are choices of God, acts of God – God’s explicit will. You can’t mess around with that.

      • littleeif

        Evangelization is not an end in itself.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      No, Billy Graham is a friend of Catholicism. Rev. Graham was a great admirer (& personal friend) of both staunchly Catholic Bishop Fulton Sheen (New York) & St. John Paul II. Rev. Graham has been attacked by countless Protestants for his friendliness towards Catholicism. In his Crusades across cities, he would invite Catholic bishops and priest to the organizing committee (making some Protestants furious). Billy insisted that faithful Catholics would not be converted away from the Catholic Church in his Crusades but would be simply invited to Christ (something all should do, again & again, whether Catholic or Protestant or Eastern Orthodox). It’s a sin to smear a holy man.

      • littleeif

        That Billy Graham can inspire such sentiments speaks to his persuasive ability. But again, I ask, evangelize to what end? Do you believe a profession of faith the one work required of us? Do you believe in sola scriptura? And which of the seven sacraments does Mr. Graham endorse besides Baptism?

        I am not a critic of Billy Graham. Neither am I disciple, nor do I believe his theology correct. Nor do I believe he is a holy man. Nor do I think accurately depicting his theology as opposed to Catholic theology is calumny. He is a friend to Catholics only in the sense the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

        We are in the comfortable position of being able to forget that for the first hundred years this country was colonized, the ability to reside in most places, to own land or hold office depended upon swearing an oath of denial of Transubstantiation. We can forget that as recently as the ’50s and ’60s every effort was made to strangle Catholic education on Church / State grounds. That there was a Catholic glass ceiling in employment.

        To one so inured, Billy Graham might indeed seem holy. To his credit he was implicated in none of that.

        • accelerator

          “I am not a critic of [Francis]. Neither am I disciple, nor do I believe his theology correct. Nor do I believe he is a holy man. Nor do I think accurately depicting his theology as opposed to Catholic theology is calumny. He is a friend to Catholics only in the sense the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

        • TruthWFree

          “He is a friend to Catholics only in the sense the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” You are sick person if you believe that about Graham. Do you recall in the Gospels where the Apostles told Christ that they saw someone preaching in His name and asked if they should stop him. Christ said No! Anyone who is for me cannot be against me. (Paraphrase) All this “my religion is the only way” to me is the work of the devil trying to cause discord in Christ’s Church (those who believe in him and the Gospel message). Is this the kind of thought that the leadership of the Catholic Church has taken us, that no one else can preach the Gospel. That is a shame and a scandal for non Christians to point at and fall away from possibly following Christ. My reading of history is that the divisions with the Eastern Church and the Protestant Reformation could have been avoided by more Christ like behavior by our leaders. Let’s let God and Jesus Christ make the call on who is rightly following Him…He will anyway.

          • John Flaherty

            Have you come across any Catholic persons attempting to physically bar Billy Graham from preaching? If not, then I have no idea what you’re howling about.
            All this “my religion is the only way” comes about because, well, what else CAN we say? We cannot agree with Mr. Graham ultimately, he does not believe what we believe about Christ.
            I agree that the devil may be trying to cause discord; ever has it been so, even since before Christ was born. We cannot expect Catholics to solve a problem of unity if Protestants do not believe a problem exists in the same way.

            • TruthWFree

              “We cannot agree with Mr. Graham ultimately, he does not believe what we believe about Christ.” John, what is it that we Catholics believe about Christ that Graham does not?

              • John Flaherty

                For one thing, he does not appear to believe in the Eucharist as the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, nor does he believe that a priest can offer absolution. His statements and actions reveal a belief in more of a man-made religion, not something given by the Trinity.
                He also does not appear to believe that Mary has any particular special role in salvation, even though there’ve been various apparitions throughout history to demonstrate otherwise.

                These obviously are not things that Catholics have done very well at teaching about in the last 50 years either, but that doesn’t mean that we can agree with Graham.

                • TruthWFree

                  I guess you can say that I am more open to accept fellow Christians who believe in Christ as brothers and sisters in Christ than you are. No further discussion is necessary.

                  • Does this mean you’ll be imposing yourself elsewhere?

                    • TruthWFree

                      Let me make another attempt to understand your position on John 6:53. If you were sitting in judgement for Jesus Christ, anyone who did not eat of the Eucharist offered at Mass and consecrated by a priest of the Catholic Church would go to Hell based on your literal interpretation of John 6:53 (“not have life within you”)? That would include Billy Graham and all who are born into Protestant churches who consider the communion only a memorial to Christ’s statement at the Last Supper when He said “do this in memory of me”…correct?… or am I misunderstanding you? And it would also include most of the founders of this country like George Washington and also Abraham Lincoln who were not Catholic. If this is your position and if this is to be taken literally as you do and not allegorically or figuratively, then you should have more of an issue with Pope Francis than with me. To get a Muslim to even admit Jesus Christ’s divinity would be to discount his allah god’s statements in the Quran, much less become Catholic and join the Catholic Church, and receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. So isn’t Pope Francis wasting his time pandering to the Muslims? He certainly is not telling them (Muslims) that Jesus Christ is the Only way to the Father (much less that they have to receive the Eucharist as the body and Blood of Christ) and the appearance of his actions is that Islam is a sister Abrahamic religion or faith and that it has creedence as a faith. I find priests and lay Catholic who believe we worship the same God so maybe Francis feels that way too? Hard to tell.
                      Are they (Protestants) damned or not damned? If not, why don’t you welcome them as brothers and sisters in Christ?

                    • I don’t damn anybody. That’s not my call. I take the Lord as his word.
                      Go be with your own kind, if there is such a group, and they’ll have you.

                  • John Flaherty

                    Mostly that means that you’re peeved that anyone would dare critique Mr. Graham’s views on almost anything, that we ought not admit that he doesn’t believe the same things as Catholics. We ought to “accept” him exactly as he is.
                    Ironically, that’s precisely the attitude that has induced the free-fall of Catholic faith, especially in the US and Europe.
                    When we quit having any meaningful rules, people quit caring about having faith.
                    Billy Graham strikes me as a very nice, very personable guy. I still will not rely on his interpretation of faith to pave my way toward heaven.

          • littleeif

            You begin your response with an uncharitable ad hominem and then proceed from there to make professions about Christianity! My “sickness” is that I have accepted the Catholic faith. I bear Billy Graham no ill will, but as a Catholic I could never follow where he leads, away from the Sacraments and the Magisterium of the Church. He protests these – that’s why he is a Protestant! If you don’t read that from history, you need to go back to the books.

            • TruthWFree

              Sorry if I was uncharitable but the enemy of my enemy statement just appeared to me to be ill will.

              • littleeif

                No problem! Our beliefs should be held with intensity. I respect and love any man of faith and considering my own ills find myself, as a man, an inferior. But my faith is not in myself or in any man but in the King of men. In the Catholic Church, the Lord God offers me his own flesh as a remedy for the failings of my flesh and the waning of my spirit. Would that I and my Catholic brothers fully experienced that with the intensity and conviction Billy Graham rejects it!

      • AnneM040359

        My late paternal grandmother loved the Rev. Billy Graham when he preached. What it all comes down to is that we will ALL have to make a decision for Christ to FOLLOW HIM. Lent is a good time for that.

      • John Flaherty

        If Billy Graham is such a friend to Catholic faith, …why doesn’t he become Catholic, himself?
        Many seem these days to be determined to declare that because someone is friendly to Catholics and seems to be preaching the Gospel in a way that at least causes many to pay attention, that we ought to laud the person in question. The more I learn of life and faith, the more I’m forced to disagree with that idea.

        My family had occasion to visit a Methodist church not long ago; before the service, we had gathered in the sanctuary to determine if we needed to offer any further help for the service. When I commented about how the church was beautiful, Dad commented about how it was sad that a place like this…didn’t actually celebrate anything. Given that the Methodist faith doesn’t offer a valid Eucharist, I had little choice but to agree.

        Billy Graham and others may be great preachers, but if they don’t have the fullness of revealed Truth, the message they offer will be severely compromised. However well-intentioned they may be, they may still lead others into sin, if only by omission.

        I would be thrilled to see Billy–or Franklin–convert to Catholic faith, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.
        Let’s pray for their salvation every bit as much as for anyone else.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Wow…I consider it incredibly arrogant on your part to assume that Rev.Graham in particular and Protestants in general are NOT saved because they’re NOT catholics,Mr.Flaherty.I was wondering just the other day whether or not the overweening hubris of Boniface VIII’S”UNAM SANCTUM”stilled plagued the catholic church and…Voila! Here it is in all its arrogant,faux”glory”.Wow,again! You catholics simply don’t get it, do you? I’ve said it before,and I’m going to keep saying it: Your bogus, contrived, man-centered, pseudo – theological,quasi-political institution known as the roman catholic church is NO ONE’S GOD,SAVIOUR, OR JUDGE,your strained interpretations of Scripture notwithstanding.Almighty God didn’t die and leave your invented so-called ” church” in charge,although you have stroved mightily to lord it over mankind every since you committed “spiritual adultery”and married the State in the person of Constantine the Great.Get it through your head, Mr.Flaherty:catholicism is NOT the be-all and end-all of The Christian faith,and Our Saviour didn’t start and stop being Saviour at John chapter 6.

          • John Flaherty

            Mr. Ringo, I did not state that Billy Graham or any Protestant cannot be saved. I did say that I felt that people who do not live Catholic lives place their souls at far greater risk of damnation. I do not believe I can state otherwise in good conscience because I do not believe Protestant communities offer the fullness of revealed Truth. I understand that rankles, but I’d rather suffer your anger now that fail to tell the Truth as best I know it.

            I think an honest review of history demonstrates that Christ began what we now know as the Catholic Church and that Protestant communities began in rebellion against the Church’s authority around the time of Luther, Calvin, and others.

            I’m saddened to hear that you consider these ideas abominable, but I can’t help you if you refuse to admit to possible error.

            I am curious though: Why are you peeved that people would offer a Catholic viewpoint on a Catholic website?

            • Laurence Charles Ringo

              I don’t mind the roman catholic “viewpoint “,Mr.Flaherty;what I DO mind is when catholics on these sites presume to know more about Protestantism than they actually do,such as yourself.The issue of who you and those of your ilk has The Truth has already been settled by Scripture; what catholics perceive to call”truth”frankly isn’t really my concern.I simply find myself continually baffled as to why catholics presume to judge where non-catholic Christians stand before the Face of Almighty God.You twist yourselves into pretzels trying to avoid judging whether Protestants are saved according to roman catholic dogma,then proceed to judge us anyway! Seriously,Mr.Flaherty,such matters are best left up to Almighty God,don’t you think? As far as some so-called”Protestant” rebellion goes,didn’t one of your own own popes admit that your church had as much culpability for the Reformation as the Reformers?So…the fact is Mr.Flaherty,since this is a supposed “Catholic”forum,more or less,stop attacking the faith of those you condescendingly label ” separated brethren”(and sisters.),and you wouldn’t have any trouble with individuals such as myself.In short,read Romans chapter

              • John Flaherty

                Reading through your comments, Mr. Ringo, I find I’m inclined to ask: What do you want from me or others?
                Just for you, I glanced through Romans 14; it’s basically about fraternal correction.
                I find it quite odd that you’d be so concerned about that when we’re here on a Catholic website, offering fraternal correction.

                I don’t think you would expect Catholic correction to be accepted very well on a Protestant web site, so I can’t imagine that you should be shocked or angered that a Catholic web site offers correction based on Catholic teaching.
                I’m not going to convert to Protestant faith merely because you tell me you think Catholicism to be the whore of Babylon, or whatever other charge you might level.

                I don’t know whether to laugh, groan, or cry about your comment regarding how Catholics purport to know Protestant though. I don’t pretend to know particulars as taught by Wesley or anyone else; I DO know that as I progressed through my teens, 20’s, and early 30’s, I’ve been shocked many times by what all I didn’t learn about Catholic faith. All too well have many raised concerns about the free-fall of the Church after Vatican II, though Vatican II didn’t authorize most anything of what has gone badly wrong.

                I have also been stunned on several occasions by what Protestants did not know about faith. I had thought at a younger age that Protestants must know quite a lot, simply because they could hurl Bible verses like nobody’s business. Only later, when I realized that such verses were almost ALL they knew, did I realize just how little Protestant faith really offers.
                In all honesty, I’ve been slightly terrified by what many who aren’t Catholic haven’t been taught.

                As for the struggles of the various Reformation Era popes and others, I am inclined to ask: What about them?
                If you’ll remember, Christ, Himself, told Peter that Peter wojld deny Him three times, which Peter thought surely couldn’t happen. Our respective bibles tell us that Peter ultimately did precisely that.
                If Peter can fall, but still be appointed as the earliest Church Father who should correct and strengthen the others, why should I be shocked that a successor of Peter would fall? We’re still human, after all.

                If you don’t like the term “separated brethren”, would you prefer that we merely brand you as heretics, almost guaranteed to be headed for Hell?
                I can’t imagine what else to call you.
                I don’t believe you have the benefit of the whole of Christ’s Truth.
                I’d say “separated brethren” is the least inflammatory of terms that we might use.

          • I consider it incredibly arrogant on your part to continue trolling a website dedicated to what you oppose.

        • TruthWFree

          Because Graham and his son Franklin can say things like Muslims can and should come to Christ rather than the Islamic catering coming out of this Pope’s mouth and the thinking by some that we all worship the same God…we don’t. BTW, I am Catholic and I think this Pope is trying to lead us astray…on Islam and on gay marriages and such. He also has no business in getting involved in the global warming fraud. He should be preaching the Gospel like the Grahams.

          • John Flaherty

            I, too, am none too thrilled with Pope Francis. As you say, he seems to be all too interested in focusing on comparatively less relevant concerns. He seems to me to make the same mistake as John Paul II; he doesn’t seem willing to provoke his bishops and cardinals to preach the Gospel with guts to their flocks.
            It’s a sad state for the Church.

            • TruthWFree

              Thanks John, Although raised Catholic, I have come to believe that anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God and died on the cross and rose again for our salvation is a brother or sister in Christ to me. I have studied Catholic Church history and we have had some doozies as Pope. Man is fallible and the only thing the Pope claims infallibility on are things like the Immaculate Conception of Mary. I don’t necessarily need that for my faith in Christ. I have become a Bible reader and my faith has increased substantially. The Pope at the time of Luther was corrupt and was the reason we got the Protestant Reformation, which was good in that it got us back to the Gospels, but divided us among denominations and petty differences. The Eastern Church split over a power struggle with Rome almost a 1000 years ago. None of this would have happened if Christ was truly in the hearts of our leaders.

              • “The Pope at the time of Luther was corrupt and was the reason we got the Protestant Reformation”

                And Luther wasn’t corrupt? Please. Luther was the father of the final solution and the open rebellion of Reinhold Marx.

                • TruthWFree

                  So it’s okay that the Pope was corrupt because Luther was? That’s poor logic for a Christian. I think that Francis himself has shown us that we can disagree with the Pope and not be condemned to Hell…heck we could be made Pope. He is a man just like us and susceptible to corruption. I fear what Francis is doing to the Church, especially turning a blind eye to the evils of Islam. I expect the antichrist to come from Islam because its teachings ARE anti Christ…and Francis seems oblivious of Islam’s true nature.

                  • “So it’s okay that the Pope was corrupt because Luther was? That’s poor logic for a Christian. Luther’s grievance against the selling of indulgences was a valid grievance.”
                    No, I never said it was ok for a Pope to be corrupt. Then again, I don’t know he was corrupt. He may have been more inept than corrupt. On the other hand, no matter what the issue, Lutherdolaters inevitably scream “sale of indulgences” .
                    Even if I were to grant for the sake of argument, that Luther’s grievance was valid-rebelling was not. His financing by temporal powers made him corrupt. Additionally, You still have to explain Luther’s vile anti-Semitism, and his assertion that Marriage was a civil contract. You have to explain the contraScriptural novelty of Sola Fide, and the fractiousness of the application of Sola Scriptura.
                    I have no use for Luther, the cult that slavishly follows him as impeccable and infallible. Like your friend, Ringo, I think you should go and be with your own kind.

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      I was sure I had made it clear, DE -173, that (1),no one has to explain anything to you,since the issues you raised are irrelevant to the ongoing conversation,and, (2),who are YOU to claim that Luther’s repudiation of the roman catholic church’s corruption wasn’t valid? That’s your opinion,frankly—so what? Further,I would contend that Luther’s unfortunate anti-Semitism was the residual effects of catholicism,given the long,contentious,and not infrequent brutal interaction YOUR church had with the Jews;didn’t one of your popes recently apologize for your church’s actions throughout the centuries in that regard? Yes.So save the faux outrage;it won’t fly,DE -173.You keep bringing up Luther and the Reformers as though they were someone’s “god”or “saviour”.Newsflash: They were simply vessels of clay used of Almighty God to break the oppressive,coercive yoke of bondage perpretrated by the bogus, contrived, man-centered institution known as the roman catholic church,simply put—AND I FOR ONE THANK GOD FOR RAISING UP LUTHER,despite his flaws and shortcomings.After all,your priests can be sinful and yet conduct your mass,no? Mull.

                    • This is not a conservation. This is site dedicated to “the faithful Catholic laity”. Your deception and persistent hostility reveals you as an invader.

                      As such, you should expect to be upset. I don’t troll Protestant sites, and I know of no Catholic posters here who do. We don’t impose on others, we were taught manners.

                      The longer you persist in making post after post with contrived indignities, the more you reveal yourself as a bad-faith actor or a pedestrian bigot.

                      Once again, go be with your own kind, if there is such a thing, and they can tolerate you.

                    • Laurence Charles Ringo

                      Wow.You know what’s sad,DE -173? You speak of “deception”and “contrivance”,and yet I’m still waiting for you to refute by clear historical or ecclesiastical evidence ANYTHING I’ve presented as bona-fide facts concerning your church’s history and activities, especially activities that were blatantly NOT like any true church presumably founded by Our Saviour would engage in.BECAUSE YOU CANNOT DO SO,and you KNOW IT.So you resort to juvenile name-calling and insults to attempt to cover your inadequacies.As I told another poster on this site,don’t presume you have any actual knowledge of Protestantism and/or the Protestant faith,and mostly won’t hear from me.No one is forcing you or anyone else to read any post on this site;you log on because http://m.video.christianpost.com/acclaimed-christian-rock-band-10th-avenue-north-shares-how-human-trafficking-inspired-latest-album-6462/ you want to,as do I,and when my faith is mocked ridiculed,and attacked,especially by those who are supposed to be my brothers and sisters in Christ(According to YOUR CATECHISM.),I will respond. I don’t have to get upset with you or anyone else ,because on the whole,I know what I’m talking about.Your church’s history testifies against it better than I EVER could,and if want to hide your head in the ecclesiastical sand,so be it.I could care less that you want to view the site as a safe place for you and your ilk to engage in a continuous orgy of self-congratulatory spin and hubris,constantly judging who’s in or out according to YOUR interpretation of this dogma or that doctrine;have at it.Since you’re NOT GOD,you’re just blowing smoke up each other’s rear ends as far as I’m concerned.I bear no malice or ill will towards anyone on this site or any other.But when you or anyone else viciously attack,belittle,or,ridicule the faith of the facetiously labeled”separated brethren”(or sisters),You WILL be answered.You claim that I’ve deceived and contrived,DE -173: PROVE IT.

                    • 1.) Let me remind you of your inquiry “what’s sola scriptura”.
                      2.) Still waiting for the answer to the question of how Luther got it right with regard to marriage.

                    • TruthWFree

                      The Pope was corrupt. He should have stopped the money grubbing if he wasn’t. I for one believe if our leaders are doing bad things feel we need to call them out on it. Are you happy with the pedophile priest cover up and the way it was not handled? If you read ACTS you will find that Saint Paul took on Peter for acting different among the Jewish Christians than he did among the Gentile Christians. Also Paul talks about a man living with his father’s wife and that he should be driven from the group. The Pope did not act as a Christian back there and the Church suffered. Luther was right on the corrupt action of selling indulgences. Assailing his character on other matters does not change that fact. Yes, I am aware that Hitler used some of Luther’s writing to support his hatred of the Jews, or so I’ve read, but do not know the specifics, do you? Christ told us his command was love one another as I have loved you. I don’t see much Christian love in your response to me. As the Pharisees did, you seem to be hanging on to precepts rather than having a “Christian” heart with your Christian brothers.

                    • Before you lecture anybody on love, ask yourself- how do you exhibit love by trolling and defacing? Hypocrite.

                    • John Flaherty

                      I don’t see where DE offered much in the way that lacked love. Protestants that I have ever met have expected people to believe in and live by “precepts” every bit as much as Catholics do.

                      If I’m not happy with the way that priestly sex abuse was handled, I think even more poorly of the attitudes that have arisen since, essentially declaring that priestly sex abuse justifies bashing the entire faith AND anyone who defends it.

                • TruthWFree

                  Just looked it up…Pope Alexander VI, (1492-1503). was the father of ten illegitimate children in the Vatican…the Pope two Pope’s before Leo X (1513-1521), who was the Pope in Luther’s time and Leo was corrupt also in the selling of indulgences and spending little time in church matters (The Story of Christianity, pages 125 and 126). I have read that Luther would have been burned at the stake if he had agreed to come to Rome (page 134 of the same book, authored by a priest (Michael Collins) and a Protestant publisher Matthew Price).

                  • How the hell do you know how much time a Pope who lived five centuries ago spent on “church matters” ?
                    In any case, are you seriously going to attempt to defend the reputation of a man who violated his own oath of celibacy by asserting that a Pope (who was dead by the time Luther was a priest) violated his oath of celibacy?
                    If you are going to troll, at least learn to present an argument with some coherence and relevance=if you can.
                    Popes are not impeccable. Each and every one is a sinner. Some have sinned scandalously.
                    Now let’s talk about your boy and his sins, and the consequences of his position. If you don’t want to address Luther’s position on marriage, fine that’s undertandable, but stop vandalizing the site.

                    • TruthWFree

                      I gave you the reference. You may be a Catholic but you are not acting like a Christian. This entire article was about Billy Graham and I am ashamed of the people on here disparaging the man because he is not Catholic. He is for sure a good Christian man and has done more for faith in Christ and preaching the Gospel than all the people commenting on this article…and then some. You folks seem to have more problems with non Catholic Christians than you do with the Pope cozying up to Satan’s religion, Islam. That is scary.

                    • So in other words, you don’t have an answer for the obvious question as to how you know how a man who lived 500 years ago spent his time and of course lacking any answer, you launch into a sanctimonious tirade.
                      If you’d read, I said I thought that a man that took great pains to avoid the temptations of the flesh was honorable. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he’s says.
                      “You folks”? “you folks”? Bigot.
                      Once again. Go be among your own, if there is such a group and they can abide you.

                    • TruthWFree

                      I gave you the reference. The Story of Christianity on page 126 states that Leo X “spent much of his time hunting, ignoring important business of the church-most notably the pressing need for reform”. A Catholic priest, Michael Collins, was a co-author of that book. If I’m a bigot, please look in the mirror. If what I am saying is causing you to have hard feelings and hate against me, then I apologize. I do not want to cause you to sin. I for one have to question actions that are not in keeping with the love and forgiveness taught by Christ, his primary commandment, “love one another as I have loved you.”

                    • I said how do you KNOW, not where did you read it.

                      Once again, go be with your own kind, if there’s is such a group, and they’ll have you. Go, go in peace, but go.

                    • John Flaherty

                      Really??
                      Frankly, I’m shocked by your contempt for those who dare to remind you of how Billy Graham isn’t perfect. However charismatic and personable Mr. Graham may be, he cannot absolve my sins nor provide me the Body and Blood of Christ.

                      Only an ordained Catholic priest can do that.

                      I also find it remarkable how you proclaim Mr. Graham to be a good, Christian man–I don’t believe anyone has said he wasn’t, even though we all should acknowledge that none of us can actually judge a man’s soul.
                      If we’re critical of Mr. Graham, it’s precisely because we would love to see him renounce the false ideas that he has offered.
                      If a pope may be a fallen man at times, Billy Graham is not any better by virtue of being a Protestant.

                    • TruthWFree

                      Never said Graham is perfect. We are all sinners. Graham would be the first to admit that.

                      “Only an ordained Catholic priest can do that.” Have you ever gone to confession and had the priest tell you your sins are not forgiven? I think that repentance in one’s heart is what is important. Would you be forgiven if the penitent priest was a pedophile? Also, can a pedophile priest consecrate the Eucharist? The thought repulses me. I know that Christ tells Peter “whose sins you hold bound are held bound”, but did that really pass on only to Catholic priests regardless of their sinfulness? Who was made the first Catholic priest? Was it St. Peter who ordained the First Catholic priest?..or a later Pope?…or did the first Christians confess their sins to one another?

                    • TruthWFree

                      “If we’re critical of Mr. Graham, it’s precisely because we would love to see him renounce the false ideas that he has offered.” What are these false ideas?

              • John Flaherty

                That’s a very dense paragraph, TruthWFree. Probably the best advice I can give would be to contemplate why you struggle with various doctrines about Mary, seeking some one-to-one help from someone in your area, if possible.

                I’m not at all sure what to say about the difficulties with Islam. If Pope Francis didn’t think well of Pope Benedict’s speech in Regensburg, I’ve heard quite a lot of commentary from those better versed in that subject than I who comment that Benedict’s challenge to Islam needed to be made.

                • TruthWFree

                  John, I do not “struggle with the various doctrines about Mary”. Mary was the mother of Jesus chosen by God and a woman all people should look up to, especially all Christians. I pray the Rosary a lot and the final Glorious Mystery is Mary is Crowned Queen of Heaven. If the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist (Christ’s words about John while John was still alive), how much greater in Heaven would be the woman that was the vessel for God to come into the world? So no, I do not struggle regarding doctrines on Mary. I believe in Christ’s teachings in the Gospels, that He is One with the Father and the ONLY way to the Father. On Benedict, Benedict quoted a statement made by a 14th century Byzantine Emperor, Manuel II Palaiologos, who said, “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Benedict was criticised by Bishop Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis, for making the statement or repeating the TRUE “slander” against Muhammad (Of course the Muslims started killing priests and Nuns over the statement.). Bergoglio (now Francis) said, “These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last twenty years”. Since Islam, founded by Muhammad 610 years after Christ (supposedly his revelations came from his allah god via the angel Gabriel), denies Christ’s divinity and His death on the cross, I consider Islam Satan revealed unless Muhammad just made it up so he could claim to be the final prophet. One cannot follow the Son of God and still claim to be the final prophet, could he? At any rate, addressing Francis/Bergoglio’s statement. I for one do not want our spiritual leader to reach out to what I believe to be Satan’s religion. Preach the Gospels to Muslims that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to the Father, but tell the truth about Islam’s hate filled teachings which are 180 degrees opposite Christ’s teachings of love and forgiveness in the Gospels. The people on this article seem to have more problems with Billy Graham’s non Catholicism than Francis reaching out to a religion that is basically anti Christ. Quran Sura 9-29 says to fight the People of the Book (Bible, Christians and Jews) until they are subdued. I for one believe that getting the TRUTH out on Islam and preaching the Gospel to good people who are Muslims born into Islam is far more important than trying to get Protestant Christians, who believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, to become Catholic.
                  Here’s the link: Christians.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/9931030/Pope-Francis-run-in-with-Benedict-XVI-over-the-Prophet-Mohammed.html

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Bishop Fulton Sheen and Billy Graham once shared a train compartment for three hours. Pure serendipity. Sheen assures us they didn’t argue – they swapped stories about their ridiculous fame and had a lot of laughs.

    Graham was smart about one thing. He made an ironclad rule to NEVER be alone with any female with the door closed who wasn’t immediate family.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      Billy Graham will be remembered (in history when he dies & in the Last Day of Judgement when all things are accounted) as a friend of Catholics & the Catholic Church. He was an admirer of both NY Bishop (Blessed) Fulton Sheen and Pope (Saint) John Paul II. In his Crusades across USA & nations, he would invite Catholic bishops & priests to the organizing committees (this would make many of his fellow Anti-Catholic Protestants furious). May God bless Rev. Billy Graham. All he simply did was invite EVERYBODY (whether Pagan/Atheist, Protestant, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox) to come to Christ. That is a noble thing. We must come to Christ again & again & again (this is a Lenten lesson).

  • hombre111

    Really, really good. Made me thank God for the brothers and sisters who go with me to the penitentiary, and the prisoners who lead other prisoners in Rosary and Bible groups. Also, I was at the Cathedral when the leaders of different ministries had a “ministry fair” in the reception room. The place was jammed with tables. I did not realize that so many were doing so much.

  • jacobhalo

    The best preacher today is Charles Stanley. He doesn’t pull punches. He preaches they way Catholic clerics preached pre-Vatican II, before they become mush mouths.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      So sad he & his wife divorced. But it’s good witness that he at least did not remarry (unlike so many). It’s morally grave & sinful to divorce and re-marry (Charles Stanley so far has refused to do so).

    • Let me get this straight:

      Before Vatican II, Catholics were Baptists.
      PHO Alert, PHO alert. (maybe I’ll have to change my acronym from Pseudo Hyper Orthodox to Protestant Hiding Out).

      • accelerator

        LEt me get this straight, JPII and Francis share the same theology with preconciiar Popes. And Vatican II changed no doctrine. Now who is smoking crack?

        • The answer is the guy that wrote this:

          “He preaches they way Catholic clerics preached pre-Vatican II”

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    Who do you think brings more people to repentance and to Christ: Billy Graham or Cardinal Dolan? The answer is clear. The Billy Grahams of the world are so successful (and God bless them) because the Catholic Church is populated with Cardinal Dolans.

    • This is a truly vexing post all the more so because of the poster’s frequent insistence that Catholicism isn’t Catholic enough.
      Does Billy Graham really bring people to true repentance or to an impersonal saccharine counterfeit?
      I know plenty of Protestants who marry, divorce and remarry, shop on Sunday, engage in workplace intrigue and exhibit all of the foibles and weaknesses Catholics do, (some while thinking temperance is the sole virtue) but because of Sola Fide and their “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior” (as much an extra-biblical novelty as the rapture) they are assured that they are “saved”, as though Philippians 2:12 didn’t exist and with full assuredness that Catholics are Maridolaters bound for hell.
      Whatever the weaknesses of some conspicuous prelates, that neither you or I spare from the lashings of our keyboards, you’ve forgotten something. Tens of thousands of good priests, saying Mass and giving us the Holy Eucharist, counseling the distraught, visiting the sick and dying. It was the sight of Parish priests constantly in the hospital, not my persuasion that caused my wife to go through RCIA. It is they, not Cardinals and Bishops that are the infantry of salvation and the arsenal of orthodoxy.
      If you buy the idea that repentance is a singular and indefeasible event, that the Gospel is a rousing speech and soaring oratory delivered in stadiums and over the electronic airwaves, rather than a life long process of learning to keep distracted eyes on the curveballs and nasty wicked sliders that our flesh and the world offers us-well then yes.
      On the other hand, if the Novus Ordo Mass is so deficient, then how can one accept a revival meeting as efficacious?
      o

      • reddog44

        No church is perfect including born-agains,as sin effects all Christians. What is needed more than anything, is Christian charity, not innobel boasting about the superiority of one religion. Both Billy Graham and faithful priests represent true Christianity.

        • “Both Billy Graham and faithful priests represent true Christianity.”
          Truth is more than zeal. Christ asked more of his Apostles than preaching. It’s wonderful that he convinces people that Christ was Divine and of His death and resurrection, but then what. Here’s where the core error of solafideism provides an aborted Christianity, where intellectual assent is the end, not the beginning, sufficient rather necessary.
          It’s very easy to watch a rousing speech and say I believe, especially when its on TV and say “I’m saved”. Well, it’s easy until you take Matthew 7:21 to heart.
          My initial post wasn’t an exercise in “innobl

          • reddog44

            I think when you are referring to feeding the Hungary, shelter, yes these are important traits that christians should be involved in. However, that is not the key point of salvation history. The need for a penalty to be paid for the sins of mankind. God’s chosen people could not achieve this by doing good deeds and offering sacrifices. God had to go to the cross in the body of Jesus to make the perfect sacrifice for us.

            This Jesus, whom Billy Graham preaches points us to Him whom died for all humankind as the way to holiness. We need to believe, ( trust) in Jesus for salvation. A key step in the way to heaven. And, YES, good works must follow.

            I agree there is only one true church.

            • Hungary is a sovereign nation.

              • reddog44

                Why are you so hateful and spiteful?

                • Hungary IS a sovereign nation. Really. Google it.

                  “You know it is fundamentalist Catholics like you who will guarantee the survival of Protestants. Keep it up.”

                  Why are you so hateful and spiteful?

                • Jamodus

                  in the light of this doctrine of the Church what then should be the attitude of faithful Catholics?
                  Should they treat all non-Catholics with contempt; and look on them as destined for the fires of Hell?
                  read more:
                  http://www.popeleo13.com/pope/2015/02/24/category-archive-message-board-264-extra-ecclessiam-nulla-salus-1/

                  • Laurence Charles Ringo

                    Not according to the Catechism,Jamodus. (And thank you for pointing out the unrelenting hatred and contempt poured out onto the faith of the so-called “separated brethren(and sisters) on these sites; I would hate to think that these are examples of Catholic evangelism!)-But,I.digress.Here’s what the Catechism says:…”All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church”… [ The Catechism of the Catholic Church,”The Profession of Faith”,page 235,section 818 ] –To read some of these posts,you would think that NO catholic actually believes that.No,Protestants don’t think who The Saviour is began and ends at John . chapter

                  • reddog44

                    If Catholics are to try to “convert” outsiders, they need to exhibit the fruits of the spirit. A few on this thread are very abrasive and have counter effect in showing the ove of Christ. They in effect, have the opposite effect and provide ammunition for a more loving Prostant view of Christianity.

        • Michael.s

          So true. Therefore, Jesus and Paul were wrong in their proclamations and appeals to perfection and the power to be free from sin…..Having been an evangelical for twenty years before returning to the Catholic Church and in touch with numerous evangelical friends of longstanding, the underlying dominant religious philosophy has shifted such that the focus has not become “we are all sinners” or more commonly, “we are broken” suggesting we are beyond fixing. Whereas, I never hear in both CC and via my evangelical friends a discussion on ways to become perfect which is the dominant religious philosophy in Christianity for centuries. But, who am I to judge….

          • michael.s

            edit…. “the focus has now become….

          • reddog44

            Somehow I am missing your point about “perfection”
            If you are referring to perfection being the dominant or key doctrine of Christianity for centuries, I would disagree with that statement as the key point was the sinfulness of humanity and it’s need for a saviour. Jesus fulfilled that void by becoming sin for us, paying our debt. “Perfection” is not humanly possible outside of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “Perfection” is only attainable through Jesus, not by human efforts.

        • John Flaherty

          “Both Billy Graham and faithful priests represent true Christianity.”

          I regret that I’m compelled to proclaim that to be a statement of heresy. There is most accurately only one “true” Christianity, and it’s not the Protestant beliefs that Graham offers.

          If we’re looking for modern heroes, we ought to be looking at someone like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who’s mentioned in the article.

          • reddog44

            You will be in for a big surprise when you get to heaven and see the people Graham has pointed to heaven. You may even miss some evil priests?

            • How is it Catholic priests go to hell if all that is necessary for salvation is faith? Luther said “sin and sin boldly”.

        • Bob

          There is only one Church. The Catholic Church. In Matthew 16, Christ says to Cephas “I will build my Church (singular)” not “I will build my Churches (plural)”

    • Objectivetruth

      Billy Graham is a good man, no doubt. And loves Jesus. But is that enough?

      But if you were to ask him if the holy Eucharist were truly the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, he would tell you “No.” Think much about that fact. The Eucharist is “our source and summit.” The Eucharist is the most incredible daily miracle, and where Christ told us to find Him. But as with the followers in John 6:66, Graham says “nope”, to the Eucharist, and that day stopped following Christ.

      • LarryCicero

        I went to a mega-church one time for my wife’s boss/friend who was being rebaptised with her husband and joining that church. Great preaching and trendy music does not lead one to the truth. They kept welcoming everyone to the house of the lord, and I kept asking my wife, where’s the host? :>)

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        Do you seriously believe that the majority of Catholic priests today would acknowledge that the Eucharist is truly “the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ” ? If so, why do they act like entertainers or talk-show hosts (or even clowns) during Mass? In addition to my own personal experiences, I have heard many stories from catechetics students who leave to do parish work, only to discover that their pastor is essentialy a Unitarian, instead of a Catholic. I think that is pretty much the norm these days.

        • Objectivetruth

          Where’d I reference what the “Majority of Catholic priests” would acknowledge?

          The Church teaches the Real Prescence. Billy Graham does not.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      I think some people (below) are reading too much into my comment. Protestant Christianity is always woefully defective. But is it worse than what is served up by the American Catholic Church? I would argue that demonstrably it is not. All sociological studies report that Catholics in America contracept, divorce, and abort at least as much as Protestants. And in my opinion, this DOES include Catholics who attend Mass on at least a semi-regular basis. A personal anecdote: My wife and I once belonged to a large, modern parish in the Midwest (the only one in our town at that time) with ghastly liturgies and bad pastors, but all totally normal by today’s standards. And guess what? When our fourth child was born, we had the LARGEST family in the entire parish of some 2,500 people. This IS Catholicism in America, folks. That is why Catholics vote as a rule for pro-abortion candidates and approve of same-sex “marriage.” The Church is in ruins… I would prefer that my separated brethren enter the Catholic Church, but only if they can do so through a real pastor, a real parish, a real Mass…. you know what I mean. I personally would NEVER tell a Protestant friend, a believing Christian, to enroll in RCIA through a parish in the average American diocese.

      • Craig Roberts

        Wow. That’s harsh. And true I’m afraid. But if you beleive in the power of the sacraments, none of it matters. The Holy Spirit works through the sacraments in mysterious ways that are completely hidden from the senses. Catholics know that Christ is the supernatural power that moves through all those lame liturgies with their lame preaching and lame singing. Not some high (naturally) powered preacher, performance, or singers.
        Thank God for sending His Son to heal the lame!

      • “I personally would NEVER tell a Protestant friend, a believing Christian, to enroll in RCIA through a parish in the average American diocese.”

        I think I am in an “average” American Diocese. My wife went through RCIA in this diocese.

        If somebody sees that in spite of all the horrible diseases among the patients, the hospital of the Church, with its leaky faucets and drafty windows and flickering lights-has good doctors and nurses-and wants to be make the journey to get away from those facilities with problems with their floors and foundations, then who are we to stop them?

        I know LOTS of converts besides my wife, who converted in a variety of Dioceses. Surely one or two was “average”. Each one puts cradle Catholics to shame. One has four children (despite marrying at age 29), the other just had their fourth and fifth – despite being given personalized RCIA in recognition of a then upcoming military deployment.

        Converts offer us much, and to do anything to dissuade them is awful.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          All very good points. My remarks were incautious. Peace.

  • RACHEL VALENCIA

    BILLY GRAHAM is PROTESTANT, THAT is ALL I NEED TO KNOW, he needs to come BACK to the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC , FAITH and BRING HIS FLOCK with him!

    • Seamrog

      I’m sure this comment would sway him.

      • He won’t be reading it, and he really doesn’t have a flock, in the way the pastor of a brick and mortar Church does.

  • Craig Roberts

    Billy Graham sounds like a swell guy. But at the end of the day, how many sins did he absolve? How many Holy Living Sacrafices did he make to God? How many lambs did he feed with the bread of life? If Catholics have one glaring weakness it is their lack of appreciation for what their own priests accomplish ‘in persona Christi’.

    Billy Graham is a cheerleader, not a shepherd.

  • David Naas

    Thank you for mention of The Apostle, a most underrated movie.
    Hollywood did not, and can not understand such a film, which is not triumphalist, which shows Christians as they are, warts and halos all the same, which has as cast, real live Holiness ministers and congregants being themselves WITHOUT SHAME, as Hollywood thinks they ought to have…
    Messy thing, Christianity. Real to life, too.

  • ginanakagawa

    Another thought provoking article, Mr. Becker. My father was named Richard Becker. When I read your posts, it is as if he were speaking to me. Thank you.

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