Billy Graham Evangelistic Association joins vast R2K-wing conspiracy...

First, Mitt Romney, the official presidential candidate of the Republican party visited Billy Graham. Then it was reported that after the meeting "the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed language from its website referring to Mormonism as a cult." 

One might be tempted to think that the BGEA had caved in, changing their tune because of political pressure. But oh no. That's not what happened. Quite the opposite. Ken Barun, chief of staff for BGEA, explained, "We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign." 

Ah, yes. We forgot the 1 Hesitations 2:23 command, "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, don't mention the war." 

It's remarkable isn't it? You can talk about whatever you want. You can declare God's truth on any topic, any time, except... when that particular topic actually becomes apropos to something. As long as nobody cares about the topic it's all good. But as soon as that topic starts getting addressed by newspapers, and people are talking about it over coffee, Christians (or pastors, or elders--I can't keep track of these things) must not speak about it. And if it ever gets incorporated into the platform of a political party, you may never speak about it again because it has become *gasp* politicized beyond any hope of recovery!

This conspiracy to muzzle Christians must stop. Neither the Republican party nor the Democratic party; not The New York Times or Huffington Post; not the Supreme Court or any POTUS administration; no Senator or Congressman; no political candidate or celebrity; none of these should be allowed to determine what Christians may preach and teach about. Yet all of them have the capability of politicizing a topic. 

If anybody wonders what the R2K camp is working to achieve, here's a perfect example. The BGEA used to speak clearly about the danger to souls involved in the heretical cult of Mormonism. Then Mormonism gained visibility within our culture. Then BGEA gagged themselves.

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have two children, Tate and Eliza Jane. Joseph graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. Joseph serves as pastor of Clearnote Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Comments

Your dad's maxim that an organization always becomes the thing it was founded to reform comes to mind.The bgea leadership sounds as slippery as mormon theology.

Very disappointing, but not surprising, especially given his conversation with Robert Schuller years back.

I'm reading Revival and Revivalism by Ian Murray. It shows why theology matters.  It isn't something we just study and discuss, but is lived.

American evangelicalism has for over a hundred years been long on an abbreviated theology; one which follows essentials and ignores the entirety of scripture. The problem is the BGEA is now ignoring essentials.

Agreed, Deb. That's a wonderful book that everybody should read. So helpful.

-Joseph

Talked about this post with one of my sons this morning. He triggered the thought that this is not an example of radical two kingdoms separation. It is rather covert political action masquerading as separation. It lacks honesty about motivations and intentions. Have to keep candidate A from getting elected, despite who candidate B might be. See also franklin Graham's thoughts on Mitt Romney's religion.  http://tinyurl.com/8ncrhs2

Joseph, your ability to use Fawlty Towers to advance right theology is not lost on me.

To that I offer this thought: "Don't mind him, he's from Barcelona."*

Mr. Graham has never made a point to stand for right theology.  The only surprise I find this brings is that his "evangelistic" group had not been more proactive in abstaining from preaching the Gospel.  I long ago stopped paying attention to what he says and started encouraging others to do the same.

*disclaimer, Billy Graham is not actually from Barcelona and you should watch more Fawlty Towers.

Or is it Basel and Cleese?

Anywho, during the second presidential debate, the wife and I were shell-shocked when the penguin on top of our television set exploded. We didn't lose a second high-stepping it out of there... 

Dear Mark,

Of course it's not an example of R2K separation. Except, it is. That's the whole point.

Get it?

-Joseph

Well I never have watched much British comedy, so subtlety isn't always glaringly obvious to me. But yes, I got your point and appreciated it. It's just that the irony of their political involvement made me smile ruefully.

This is nothing really new for Billy Graham. As Iain Murray points out in another must-read book, "Evangelicalism Divided", Graham was making deals with Theological Liberals back in the 1960's. He started toning himself down when he started catching the ear of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

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