Key Doctrinal Questions: Ministers and Respect of Persons?  


Reference Page including the following items:



Dr. Billy and his Example of having Respect of Persons - which has troubled the peoples during the Twentieth century, and continues to do so during the Twenty First Century (the century of the triumphant return of Christ Jesus, and the commencement of his Millennial Reign).

Some persons (even many) may take issue (even strenuously) with my featuring, focusing on, or "picking on" Dr. Billy Graham on this page, on Key Doctrinal Questions: What of the New Evangelism?, and on Key Doctrinal Questions: Is Sin a Big Deal: Is Salvation?, but I am compelled to do so for the following reasons: Dr. Graham has been at the forefront of evangelism in the United States of America and around the world for the past half century; he has been at the head of leadership/training/equipping of evangelists; he is synonymous with "modern evangelism," "mass evangelism," and "televangelism"; he is viewed as unassailable, above reproach, and of course utterly undeserving of rebuke or correction; and therefore, if he has erred and led others into error, it is needful to reference him with regard to the most glaring errors he is proudly associated with: the dumbing down of Holy Scripture/The Holy Bible; the oversimplifying of the salvation message; the extreme understatement of the alternative to salvation, i.e., eternal damnation, suffering, and torment in the lake of fire and brimstone, created for the punishment of Satan and his demons.  The specific matter of the sloppy agape salvation message relative to sexual sin is addressed on Key Doctrinal Questions: Is Sin a Big Deal: Is Salvation? 

I do not question whether Billy Graham has sought to serve the Lord for lo these many decades, has worked energetically for long duration, and has kept himself from sexual immorality, lust, greed, and avarice; but while he has enjoyed "sacred cow" status amongst Christians in America and abroad, there is reason to take issue with some, even much, of what has gone forth and resulted from the Billy Graham Crusades and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, at least during recent decades.*  I admit I am "picking on" Billy Graham, and am so doing because he has been the leader of the New Evangelism for so very long, and has been emulated and imitated by other evangelists, I believe ruinously.

* Some in the media have made comments to the effect that Billy Graham has mellowed over the years; but any number of fans and admirers of Dr. Billy Graham have stated that he is the same as he was in the beginning, and that his message is the same as it has always been.


What the Lord has to say regarding the Respect of persons [not an exhaustive listing]

From the Old Testament

Lev. 19:15  

"Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour." 

2 Chr. 19:6-7 

"And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.  Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."

Ps. 40:4 

"Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust; and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."

Ps. 138:6 

"Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off."

Prov. 24:23-24 

"These things also belong to the wise.  It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.  He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:"

Prov. 28:21 

"To have respect of persons is not good: ...."

And from the New Testament

Acts 10:34-35

"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

Rom. 2:11-13 

"For there is no respect of persons with God.  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.)...."

Eph. 6:9 

"And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."

Col. 3:25 

"But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."

James 2:1 

"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."

1 Peter 1:17 

"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"

Jude vs. 16

"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." 

.  Additionally, while the term "respect of persons" is not included within the scriptures that the Lord Jesus Christ uttered stating that 'any who were ashamed of Him and of His words in this adulterous and sinful generation, He would be ashamed of when He returned; and that any who denied Him would be denied by Him upon His return'; it is clear that the respect of persons is pivotally involved in these sins of being ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ and ashamed of His words; as it is directly involved with denying Him.


By way of one of many examples from scripture of the way Jesus used his "access," his "influence," his "fame," his "renown"...the following passages from the Gospel according to Luke are cited.

Luke11:37-54

And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.  And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?  But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.  Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.

Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.

Luke12:1-12

In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.  Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.  And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.


.  Now tell me honestly, in your wildest imagination can you imagine Dr. Billy Graham addressing a host as Jesus routinely addressed unrighteous, hypocritical Pharisees, scribes, and rulers who hosted him?  Jesus' bold, abrasive, disrespectful confrontation of hosts resulted in his being attacked by the hosts and those of their ilk. 

Of Dr. Billy Graham's myriad utterly reprehensible gross failures are the following: seemingly endorsing pornography and pornographer by giving an interview to Playboy magazine; never speaking out against the evil of induced abortion/elective abortion/legalized abortion, and infanticide (until, and except for, one exceedingly belated and very carefully well-publicized remark that he felt "partial-birth abortion" was wrong); never speaking out against embryological "research" (i.e., destruction of baby embryos and extracting portions for medical procedures on adults suffering from various diseases), fetal harvesting...euthanasia, "physician-assisted suicide," nor most monstrous so-called "mercy killings" typically carried out on young women who have not sufficiently recovered from accidents and even violent attacks!; never speaking out against the sodomite activist agenda in the USofA; refusing to decry the continued brutal persecution, imprisonment, and torture...of Christian pastors, ministers, and believers in the former Soviet Union, including Russia, the Eastern European regimes, Cuba...refusing to decry the continued brutal persecution, imprisonment, and torture...of Christian pastors, ministers, and believers in Communist Blood Red China, Vietnam, and most monstrously of all the Grahams' (including Mrs. Graham's) part in vocally endorsing and thus strengthening the hands of such heinously murderous Communist Dictators as the Kims of North Korea, who have waged utter war to annihilate Christians throughout the land that the Kims have enslaved (thanks to Mao ze dong/Mao tse tung, FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and of course "born-again" Jimmy Carter...).  Dr. Graham has failed to speak out against the genocidal war against Christians waged by muslims and marxists in African countries, chiefly in Sudan, but also in Ethiopia, Somalia...Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone.  Dr. Graham has failed to speak out against the murderous persecution of Christians in muslim tyrannized countries of the middle east.  Dr. Graham's failures to use his access to, and rapport with, Presidents, national political leaders, and world leaders, to condemn the government-endorsed/facilitated/rewarded evils against God's people and unsaved peoples in these lands are outrageous and I believe inexcusable.

Billy's teachings and statements are at odds with the teachings and statements of the Saviour and Lord he professes to serve, that is a big deal with God!

God has testified in His Holy Word that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Has God, contrary to His Holy Word, changed and made His Holy Word of no effect?  Has God become a liar?  It is written, "Let every man be a liar (presumably including Billy Graham), but let God be TRUE."  So whom should we believe? Billy or God?!

Dr. Graham, my Saviour is not the Saviour you preach, nor your Gospel the Gospel I preach, because the Gospel of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ says, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him {he that caused the little one to stumble}, that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."  Matthew 18:6 

Can such glaring failures be rationalized and even "justified"?  Yes, at least they have been.  And in truth, excuses can always be offered, rationalizations can always be made, but not reasons given that will satisfy God.

What kind of rationalizations are given?  He is just trying to reach the lost?  He does not want to offend anyone and thereby hinder them from coming to God.  Who is he to judge?  If he speaks out against this persecution of Christians and especially Ministers,  then he will not be granted access to come and preach to the vast multitudes, and thus they will die unsaved....

Endless excuses, and all in the name of enabling him to do God's Work.

Please note: when Billy Graham proceeds with "his ministry" without confronting evil, he does so calmly, coolly, deliberately, with the advantage of how many decades of 'wisdom,' in position as God's spokesman to the world.  Yet rather than being criticized, he is treated as the sacred cow of Evangelical Christianity, the icon that no one dare rebuke lest they be condemned (errantly) for "touching the Lord's anointed."

But the Righteous Judge is no fool, nor fount of tolerance for disobedience.  You started well Dr. Graham, God grant that you may recover and finish well too.

Oh well, very soon it will be Franklin's (William Franklin Graham III) turn to abdicate his God-given responsibility to speak God's Word on God's behalf to the lost, i.e., to sinners, to professing christians, to the media elites, and to world rulers.

What do I attribute Billy Graham's ruinous failures to, I can only surmise that the three big F's got to the good Doctor  (i.e., flattery, fame, and fortune), and subverted him in his calling, with the result that vast multitudes would fail to be soundly converted and would fail to enter eternal life, multitudes of professing christians would fail to resist evil and thus fail to have the impact for God in this life that they should have had, and multitudes of others would continue to suffer under anti-god, anti-christ, anti-christian regimes (and not only in marxist/communist, fascist, and Islamist totalitarian states!).

Is Dr. Billy Graham alone in advancing such waywardness as this, heavens no, but who else among Protestant Christian Leaders is regularly viewed as being in the same company or as being on the same level as the 'Pope' amongst Christians world-wide; additionally who is such a stellar senior statesman of Christian ministry?

[Billy seemingly started very well, long ago, he has had a 'great' career, and a truly wonderful life...but as for finishing his course well, that's another matter altogether, and as for what his place will be in the Kingdom of GOD, I believe that honestly is an open question.  And while Dr. Billy Graham may have started well, the same cannot be said of Franklin, but it is said that God's call is on his life too, and that he has responded and is serving the Lord.  If so, hopefully he will finish very well, and hopefully there will be a very large Graham family gathering in Heaven, and hopefully there will be vast multitudes of saints whom the Grahams had a hand in helping find the way to Heaven.  We can and should pray so; please agree with me in prayer that it will be so.]


Ezekiel 44:10 & 12-13

And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.  Because they ministered unto them before their idols and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity.  And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed.

Ezekiel 44:15-16 & 23-24

But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:  They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.

And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.  And in controversy they shall stand in judgment: and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.


Malachi 2:4-9

And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.  My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.  The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.  Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

Malachi 2:11,12

Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.  The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 2:16,17

For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away; for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts; therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.  Ye have wearied the LORD with your words.  Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him?  When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

John Wesley said, "I set myself on fire, and the people come to see me burn."

(Is this talking about a buddhist monk torching himself?  No!  This is John Wesley's description of how God mightily used him to win vast multitudes to eternal life by the empowerment of God's Holy Spirit and the faithful preaching of the Holy Word of God.)

Dr. Billy and the New Evangelism, versus the old-fashioned, faithful, Biblical Evangelism of 'yesteryear' (as practiced sacrificially & enduringly fruitfully by George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, John Wesley, Peter Cartwright...Charles Finney, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Haddon Spurgeon...Leonard Ravenhill...& ever so poorly by yours truly).   Regrettably, I have not yet received the pentecostal enduement of Holy Spirit anointing that is requisite for truly great works, or any great works, to proceed, but by the grace of God, I one day will (usually the only people around me are doing something other than cheering, clapping, applauding and approving, e.g., more likely sneering, jeering, leering, laughing, yelling, and making a tumult).


Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, "The kiss of outward profession is very cheap and easy, but the practical cleaving to the Lord, which must show itself in holy decision for truth and holiness, is not so small a matter." [Amen & Amen]  


 

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