I watched the funeral of Mrs Billy (Ruth)Graham today. I was suprised to learn she was a life long Presbyterian. Her pastor, a Presbyterian, gave the eulogy and talked about being called to the Graham home in January because she was not expected to live. He brought communion and prayed at her bedside with the family. So what are the big or obvious differences in their theology; Baptist and Presbyterian?
According to the article I read today, Mrs. Graham refused to be baptised by immersion (a rebaptism I would assume, since this wouldn’t have come up until she married Mr. Graham). Her parents were Presbyterian missionaries, and she had obviously been taught that immersion was not the only form of baptism…
Baptist-no infant baptism-baptism and communion are ordinances not sacraments
Presbyterian-infant baptism-baptism and communion are sacraments
She probably softened her husband’s heart. He was not very ecumenical as a young man.
Many a wanna-be hates him for it too.
Presbyterians are Calvinists, and Billy Graham never struck me as such, so I would imagine their differences were pretty signifigant.
They are traditionally Calvinist, but that doesn’t mean that Ruth herself was one; or, if she was, that she remained one for all of her life.
Although a pastor has an obligation to believe and teach what his church stands for, (or else relinquish his ordination credentials), a lay member is obligated only to be polite and to refrain from saying and teaching things that would hurt the unity of the church.
Most churches are peppered with people who differ from the majority on one issue or another.
A lot of modern Presbyterians are far away from their Calvinist Roots and no longer teach double predestination and such. But churchs that have Reformed in their title still do. The relationship between the Grahams helped Billy Graham be a lot more ecunemical in my opinoin than many of his fellow evangelist so much so that he worked with catholic in his ministry instead of trying to reconvert them to protestantism he returned them to their catholic churchs with a new commitment to their faith which can be a good thing.