When a Hero Falls

In 2 Chronicles 26, we have an overview of King Uzziah’s life. Uzziah took the throne at only 16 years of age and reigned for 52 years. During those years, the Bible says that he did “right in the sight of the LORD.” King Uzziah had put together a wonderful kingship and had made wise and proper decisions.In the latter part of Uzziah’s reign as King, he made a very costly mistake. King Uzziah went into the Temple to burn incense before the alter of Incense unto the LORD. This may not seem like a very bad thing to do, but it was well known in Uzziah’s day that only the sons of Aaron were consecrated to perform such acts of worship. Therefore, the High Priest and other Priests confronted Uzziah for his sin, but he did not repent. The King was smitten with Leprosy and died in a miserable state of a leper rather than the privileged class of King. When the people buried Uzziah, they said these words, “He is a leper.” Rather than being remembered for a kingship that was right in the sight of the LORD, Uzziah was remembered as a leper!The lesson to learn from such a mistake is to finish strong! Don’t give up in the latter years of life as you become tired and well worn. The Christian life can be tiresome, it can be difficult, but we must press on toward the finish line for the glory of God.In an interview with Newsweek magazine [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14204483/page/6/] which will hit the stands on August 16th 2006, Billy Graham [a personal hero for years] makes some very troubling statements. Rather than finishing strong, it seems that Billy Graham is drifting off course completely! I imagine that many people’s hearts were broken when Uzziah [a good King] fell right before their eyes. My heart breaks for one of my all time heroes as he seems confused and removed from true Christian standards.The following quotations are taken from: Newsweek Magazine’s article Pilgrim’s Progress which is scheduled to appear on stands August 16th 2006.

Billy Graham Reconsiders The Accuracy of Holy Scripture

Graham spends hours now with his Bible, at once savoring and reconsidering old stories and old lessons. While he believes Scripture is the inspired, authoritative word of God, he does not read the Bible as though it were a collection of Associated Press bulletins straightforwardly reporting on events in the ancient Middle East. “I’m not a literalist in the sense that every single jot and tittle is from the Lord,” Graham says. “This is a little difference in my thinking through the years.” He has, then, moved from seeing every word of Scripture as literally accurate to believing that parts of the Bible are figurative-a journey that began in 1949, when a friend challenged his belief in inerrancy during a conference in southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains. Troubled, Graham wandered into the woods one night, put his Bible on a stump and said, “Lord, I don’t understand all that is in this book, I can’t explain it all, but I accept it by faith as your divine word Now, more than half a century later, he is far from questioning the fundamentals of the faith. He is not saying Jesus is just another lifestyle choice, nor is he backtracking on essentials such as the Incarnation or the Atonement. But he is arguing that the Bible is open to interpretation, and fair-minded Christians may disagree or come to different conclusions about specific points..”

How can Billy Graham question the Scriptures that he has held so high for so many years? 2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [God Breathed]….” The error of this reconsideration is that it removes Billy Graham’s theology far from conservative theology, and in fact, far from true theology! Is the Bible open for “interpretation” or is it sealed with a true and genuine meaning? By claiming that the Bible is simply open for interpretation, we run the risk of denying the sufficiency of Scripture along with making the Bible say anything we desire it to say. This is what the liberal gay agenda seeks to do with the Bible. The gay priests take the Bible and preach that their lifestyle is completely acceptable before God.

Billy Graham Reconsiders The Exclusivity of Jesus Christ

A unifying theme of Graham’s new thinking is humility. He is sure and certain of his faith in Jesus as the way to salvation. When asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or secular people, though, Graham says: “Those are decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won’t … I don’t want to speculate about all that. I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have.” Such an ecumenical spirit may upset some Christian hard-liners, but in Graham’s view, only God knows who is going to be saved: “As an evangelist for more than six decades, Mr. Graham has faithfully proclaimed the Bible’s Gospel message that Jesus is the only way to Heaven,” says Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross. “However, salvation is the work of Almighty God, and only he knows what is in each human heart.”

This sounds very similar to the Joel Osteen interview on Larry King Live in June of 2005. Billy Graham seems to leave a door open to other ways of salvation outside of Christ Jesus. Graham says, “I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have.” How could Billy Graham make such a statement? Doesn’t John 14:6 clearly teach that Christ is the only way to salvation? Doesn’t Romans 1:18 clearly teach that the wrath of God is settled against all ungodliness and upon those who suppress the truth? That would include “good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and secular people” who reject Christ Jesus!In Conclusion:As Billy Graham awakes in the lonely night hours, he often recites the 23 Psalm. It is my prayer that Billy Graham returns to genuine Christian standards in his theology before he steps off into eternity. With all of Billy Graham’s rethinking and reconsidering, I pray that he rethinks his stance on the exclusivity of Christ Jesus. It is my prayer that Billy Graham is remembered for preaching Christ Jesus and for his wonderful legacy of gospel ministry, but if things continue on this present course, Billy Graham will suffer the same plague as King Uzziah. Uzziah’s plague was not Leprosy. It was the denigration of his legacy through one sinful action. God spare Billy Graham!Rev. Josh Buice