He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Friday, June 09, 2006 

Pro-Choicer, Protesters, & Praised Evangelist

Grief...I try & hold out hope that the Southern Baptist Convention will be less of a circus-like, man-centered institution, but this article makes me think I may be spending next week in Greensboro in tears.

Condoleeza Rice is going to address us on Wednesday: "'[we] will be encouraged by Secretary Rice's personal journey of faith,' convention President Bobby Welch said." I wonder if she'll explain to us why she's pro-choice...oh wait, you didn't know that did you, because she's Republican, so naturally, she would be a die hard evangelical, doing all to the glory of God. No, Republicans are still politicians, and I put no hope in them, nor do I care to hear an address from one who misses the fundamental fact that murder is wrong, and takes no action but rather endorses the act of murdering CHOICELESS children. It would not surprise me if her motiviation is mainly political, seeing the gathering as a way to stroke a *16 million member organization (*16 million is a dishonest number, but is still used as the list number) who equates the Republican party as God's party.

Then there's the homo-hater Fred Phelps notorious for his soldier funeral protests and his website godhatesfags.com which is quite naturally the church he pastor's website - why not? Well, this joker plans to be there to protest the unveiling of the Billy Graham statue as the "grand closing" of the conference. You know, this guy, Phelps, isn't even worth commenting on.
However, this led leaders of the SBC to comment on Graham:
"'I can't imagine anybody that's against Billy Graham,' said Larry Doyle, executive director of the Piedmont Baptist Association, which provides volunteers and support to the 16 million-member convention."

I can. Before I even paste this, let me say from the little I know, I believe that Billy Graham (only as an instrument & by the power of the Holy Spirit) has truly led many to salvation in Christ - however, Southern Baptists are so blindly loyal to evangelists and evangelism that they take no time for discernment or to even check methods and means against Scripture. Does anyone realize this is what Graham believes?:

Television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller. Part 1, an approximately 7-minute-long broadcast in Southern California on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The following is an exact transcript* of an excerpt close to the end of this broadcast.


Schuller: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?

Graham: Well, Christianity and being a true believer--you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven.

Schuller: What, what I hear you saying that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?

Graham: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.
rest of the transcript here

That flies in the face of the very words of Jesus: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" -John 14:6, and so much other Scripture.

I recently read from John Piper, something I wish I could put in the hands of every Southern Baptist pastor and member:

"In every age there is a kind of person who tries to minimize the importance of truth-defining and truth-defending controversy by saying that prayer, worship, evangelism, missions, and dependence on the Holy Spirit are more important. Who has not heard such rejoinders to controversy: 'Let’s stop arguing about the
gospel and get out there and share it with a dying world.' Or: 'Prayer is more powerful than argument.' Or: 'We should rely on the Holy Spirit and not on our reasoning.' Or: 'God wants to be worshiped, not discussed
.' I love the passion for faith and prayer and evangelism and worship behind those statements. But when they are used to belittle gospel-defining, gospel-defending controversy they bite the
hand that feeds them
. Christ-exalting prayer will not survive in an atmosphere where the preservation and explanation and vindication of the teaching of the Bible about the prayer-hearing God are devalued. Evangelism and world missions must feed on
the solid food of well-grounded, unambiguous, rich gospel truth in order to sustain courage and confidence in the face of afflictions and false religions. And corporate worship will be diluted with cultural substitutes where the deep, clear, biblical contours of God’s glory are not seen and guarded from ever-encroaching
error."

Amen, amen, amen, amen. The reason Billy Graham is inclusivistic, Condy Rice is pro-murder, and Phelps is in need of checking into the phunny farm, is because they don't understand doctrine. I don't understand all doctrine, it is not me here saying that I'm better than these 3...I simply say, "God, continue to reveal Yourself to me through Your Word more clearly, more and more, that I may know You more and more, and not grieve You in ignorance, arrogance, and laziness." I know that anything I know is only by GOd's grace, so again, I'm not picking at these people for my own sake, but to say as Piper, how very important doctrine is.

More than anything, I am saying that you cannot put your hope and faith in pastors, politicians, or evangelists, but only Christ Who satisfies, saves, and sanctifies. I guess my thoughts are that I wish Southern Baptists gave as much lip service and praise about the truth about Christ/God (doctrine) as they do to Republican politicians, and all means messaged evangelists, and put more hope in the working of the Holy Spirit against the methods of mans and the politics of programs and conventions. I'm not saying conventions and programs are wrong, just wished they included the rock and root of unwavering doctrine.

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