Franklin Graham Festival - Steps to Peace With God


#1

The Franklin Graham Festival came to my city in the fall. It was great seeing all of God’s people working side by side in this event, serving and worshiping God together. God was there, and the Holy Spirit was at work.

As a counsellor, I went to 5 weeks of classes. There were protestants and Catholics involved in these classes. They dealt with all the important basic beliefs we all cherish. We were trained to share with people that come forward at the event how they can have peace with God, going through a booklet like this: billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp They also provided other reading materials, and small group study material to work with people that make decisions to follow Christ.

We had an an amazing time singing praises to our Lord, together as 14000 Christians each of the 3 nights, from over 200 participating church communities. Too bad our city didn’t have a bigger arena as people were turned away. I don’t know the official numbers, but there were hundreds of commitments each night. I had the privilege of sharing and praying with two 12 year old boys who made 1st time commitments to Jeus, and with a mid-40’s man who made a re-commitment to renew his faith.

One of my best memories of the event was being in the areana, and everyone singing “All God’s People singing Glory Glory Glory, glory, hallelujah He reigns” - knowing that members from all God’s churches were singing this together. :slight_smile:

Our differences seem small when we realize that we can agree on the steps needed to find peace with God. Some of the details that divide don’t seem so big in comparison. If we can agree on how to have peace with God, why don’t we just stop there and work together to reach the world with this message?

God bless,


#2

Step 4-

Invite Jesus to come in and control your life

This contradicts Step one:

God does not force anyone to love him

:shrug: :confused:


#3

It sounds like a surrender of one’s own will to the will of God. I don’t see anything wrong with this.


#4

The Sacraments can never be seen as a “little” difference. If people are rejecting the Sacraments and the Church then all that “good feeling of peace” is false.


#5

Several of my friends from my parish volunteered at the last Billy Graham Crusade in Cleveland. He encouraged people who made a decision for Christ or to return to Christ to find a church. For those who were Catholic, they were encouraged to find a Catholic Church. My friends said that there were quite a few people who came back to my parish as a result.


#6

It’s nice that protestants and catholics can get along. But it’s too bad that this seems only to work as long as the catholics remain silent on the points of difference between the two, and aquiesce to the truncated protestant view of Christianity. I’m not sure how one finds true peace with God outside of the church he founded. And I believe that means more than telling someone to “go to church now.” Just a thought.


#7

I absolutely agree. However, I’ve known people who found true peace with God outside the Catholic Church, or at least people who, when I knew them, seemed to be very at peace with God. Now I see lives as processes that are in motion, so when we see someone in a moment of time, and then never see them again, our memories are fixed, but they go on changing in their processes. I sometimes wonder about the Protestant brothers of mine from 20-some years ago who thought I was going insane, wanting to become a Catholic, whom I haven’t seen since around 15 years ago. Could be, some of them are now Catholic.

That’s how I look at the Graham crusade. I think they’re doing a good work bringing unchurched people into a place where God can work on them through the people who love Him. But I don’t think it is worthwhile for Catholics to act Protestant, just so we don’t offend someone. People need to hear the full Gospel. The saving moment at a crusade is only a beginning… after that these people need to hear the nuts and bolts of Christian living, and if Catholics don’t teach what they know, then these people may someday end up in a cult.


#8

I would guess that 90+% those who make a “decision for Christ” at a Billy Graham meeting are baptized persons not those who have never heard of Christ or ever been to church in their lives. Fundamentally, what the BG Crusades do is reawaken faith that was engendered in baptism not bring people to Christ as if he were a total alien to them. And this awakening is not salvation–it is only that, an awakening to faith. Actions of the will to serve God have to follow this as wel as a return to the sacraments.


#9

We had an an amazing time singing praises to our Lord, together as 14000 Christians each of the 3 nights, from over 200 participating church communities.

It would seem that you are correct. The Crusade was to already churched people, or primarily so.


#10

Ooops, no I wrote that wrong. Threre were 14000 people in attendance each night. Many of them were from 200 participating church communities.

No… he wasn’t just preaching to the choir. :rolleyes:


#11

Hi again,

I found this article giving a rational for the decision for some of the Catholic Churches’ involvement in this festival.

archeparchy.ca/documents/Melo%20Backgrounder%20Franklin%20Graham%20Festival–English.pdf

I am thankful that some of our leaders are taking these steps towards greater unity. I pray for more opportunites to work side by side with Christ followers from a variety of traditions… the more we see each other loving Jesus, following Him and serving Him, the more we will recognize each others as brothers and sisters.

In Christ,


#12

While I agree that the sacraments are more than just a LITTLE difference…that doesn’t make the “good feeling of peace false” far from it.

Read the CCC paragraph 838…these protestants are equally our Christian brethern.

I had the very distinct pleasure of listening to Franklin Graham give a talk to a US Army Chaplain’s Conference that had about 200 attendees Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim…he’s a marvelous and moving speaker, he didn’t apologize for being a Christian though he didn’t insult the Jews or Muslims…I was also able to speak with him for several minutes afterwards…
This man is clearly doing God’s work…and if he can reach out to the unchurch and get them into a Protestant Church…well more power to him…if he can get Catholics back in the pews…that’s even better.


#13

Well put.

I get a little tired of people being discouraging about the Graham’s. Catholics sometimes seem offended because he not performing mass and some Protestants absolutely hate him because he isn’t anti-Catholic.

Was JPII wrong when he declared to Billy “we are brothers”?


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