Why do so Many Protestant Christians hate Billy Graham

This isn’t a knock on protestants my wife is Nazarene Protestant along with my in laws and my best friend is Non Denominational Protestant. Two of my siblings although I’m not sure how religious they are if at all there mother is Baptist and I gather are non denominational. Really I’m not to sure about my eldest brother my sister might practice more. I read Protestant books John Eckardt is a favorite so there you go that’s where I stand I’m a Catholic but I am very Eucamincial.

Now to the point.
A simple Internet Search of Billy Graham will produce websites mostly having to do with how he has fallen from grace is secretly Catholic basically a lot of inflammatory comments on the man.
I could understand harsh opinions of him in that he has stated he doesn’t believe in a literal hell or that he believes non Christians can go to heaven. Those would be understandable disagreement’s.
I guess I just thought that the comments regarding him as being Catholic or unchristian because he befriended Fulton Sheen, John Paul 2nd and Mother Teressa were kinda odd.
He basically felt that although some Christians such as Catholics, Orthodox Christians Lutherans and Anglicans had different traditions and history they believe in many if not all the core basics that identify us as Christians. He told Catholics that wanted to Convert to Protestantism to go back to their Churches and this caused alarm. Ive noticed many of the individuals who have dedicated a whole website or web page to bashing him generaly are fundamentalist and in some cases have whole ministries against Christians that Are Catholic. This Criticism and judgement would also include Orthodox Christians, Lutherans and Anglicans by association of traditions. It’s always boggled my mind that a people who believe so firmly in once saved always saved and no loss of salvation could even remotely say some of the other Christians listed are not saved. If belief in Christ alone guarantees Salvation and Grace alone is how one is saved than by this doctrine all Christians are saved not just Protestants. Usually people will say but they weren’t born again. How can one pass such judgement? How do you know one is not born again? From what I understand born again means having an epiphany in Jesus christ and choosing to follow Christ yourself as individual. It is a personal choice not one your family can make for you. Ive also heard it is an immense emotional break down of truly being sorry for ones sins and truly living a Christ like life. I think anyone who desires to truly follow Christ will go through these steps. Although I do not believe in the OSAS Doctrine I have gone through these trials and tribulations and have had these experiences.

I feel the way about Protestants very much the way Billy Graham feels towards traditional Christians. I never have felt any animosity towards them or felt they did not have salvation or that they were unchristian. I have felt that Christians who use hate and fear are in some ways Unchristian in their Teachings and it saddens me that so many ministries teach hate.
With that said what is the deal with so much hate Towards Billy Graham?:shrug:

Everybody has an opinion about another. Only Christ will judge Billy Graham. If a person doesn’t like Billy Graham they can change the channel and not buy his books. I don’t think we should sit here and make judgments about a person none of us personally know. :eek:

I Agree

As a Catholic I actually like Billy Graham.

I had quite an ordeal with Christianity that lasted for years due to my OWN personal protestant baggage. In the Bible Belt [Georgia] some of the denominations are quite free with their opinions. I had latched onto some of these messages and used them as an excuse to take a long term sabbatical, not from God, but from Christianity. During this period, Billy Graham was just a part of what I called the “tent revival crowd.”

It was not until I bought a house in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, next to the most wonderful neighbors I have ever had, that I began to heal. They were devout Baptists, the wife was the prayer director for a north side Atlanta Baptist Mega-Church. But talk about extolling the virtues of Christianity, living the life of a devout Christian inside and outside the pews… well they were it.

The icy distaste for the Georgia fundamentalists, evangelists, and the emptiness I felt towards Christianity as a whole began to melt. We have lived next to them for six years, and have had many conversations. They were instrumental in my coming back to the Church. When at last I told them that I was converting from the Episcopal /Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism, the wife was overjoyed for me! [The husband thought I should go with them to their church!:eek:]

I found a RC Church that I am overjoyed with. Pope Francis helped too. When people hear that now, they think it is because newcomers think he is relaxing core doctrines, I never thought that. What I appreciated were some of his Jesuit principles, being elevated to the chair of St Peter!

In a sense, you could say that I was born again. The truth is though, is that I was brought back, but this time to what I feel to be the right church, the right priests and yes, the right doctrine. I didn’t wander for 40 years, but it sure felt like it.

Now I have no problem with Billy Graham. Truthfully, I don’t know a great deal about him, just a little more than what was presented here. He is loyal to his congregation, Christ and God. I am not sure how he feels about the Mother of Heaven, but I hope there is something there in his heart for her. In the South BG is revered as a great leader. I think he is a good man with a big heart!

I have compiled some of Billy Graham’s preachings in the Youtube and I thought I like the man. I used some of his ideas (paying lip service; you may be thinking of your lunch now) and I thought his style is awesome.

The only Protestants that hate Billy Graham are fundamentalists. This falling out dates back decades. Graham attended Bob Jones University and at one time was friends with Bob Jones Sr.

I think it is a matter of truly either/or; if you are a protestant you either love 'im or “hate” 'im. Honestly, much of the issues I’ve heard brought up in protestant circles have happened in the last ten years or so. Part of the problem, from my perspective, is thinking that Billy is something other than an evangelist. He’s not. That’s his calling; he evangelizes. When I see problems is when protestants expect him to be a teaching theologian and pick apart his words for any way to attack his “teachings.”


Your post reminded me of when the movie about Gandhi came out.  There were a lot of Christians up in arms then too.

Yes, I remember that. All nonsense, of course. Truth is truth no matter who speaks it. I don’t know why some folks can see that. :shrug:

Billy Graham isn’t the only one who has fallen out of favor with fundamentalists. Pat Boone was soundly and roundly bashed for claiming to be friends with rock and roll singers with whom he is friends. That created quite the storm of hate and condemnation, as well.

Conversely, when Elvis died many fundamentalists were eager to claim him as their own and were convinced he had to be in heaven because he had put out Gospel records. :stuck_out_tongue:

People who cling to ideologies, instead of truth and love, have to pick apart anyone who challenges their comfort zones–be they political ideologues or religious ones. I’ve never seen it to fail. :rolleyes:

They don’t hate him!

Actually, it depends on what kind of Protestant you are. And please, please, keep in mind that these are generalizations! There are always exceptions!

Evangelical Protestants, for the most part, LOVE Billy Graham! He epitomizes the Evangelical movement, which is to fulfill the Great Commission and preach the Gospel to all the world. Many of us got involved with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and donated money so that Rev. Graham could continue to do his crusades and all the other outreaches. In this way, we all participated in fulfilling the Great Commission, and that’s what Evangelical Protestants do! That’s why we’re all here!

There are some Evangelical Protestants who are suspicious of Billy Graham because he was close friends with President Nixon, who turned out to be a ratfink. Christians wonder how Billy Graham could have been fooled by Pres. Nixon, and they think that his willingness to ignore (or totally miss) Pres. Nixon’s obvious faults indicates that Billy Graham is wishy-washy and tolerant of sins. However, after Pres. Nixon resigned, Billy Graham made a public announcement that he would no longer be “the spiritual advisor to the U.S. President.” He freely admitted that he had been fooled, and that he felt it was best for him to stay away from a close association with the President in the future. I think this was wise decision on his part.

Fundamentalist Protestants agree with Billy Graham’s preaching of the Gospel, but they don’t trust him because they see him as “liberal” theologically and politically. They disagree with his willingness to be friends with popes, rulers of different countries, American politicians from all parties, entertainers (Johnny Cash, Ethel Waters), etc. Many Fundamentalist denominations are “separatists” who try to avoid mixing with anyone outside of their own fellowship, and they are suspicious of Rev. Graham because he mixes with so many people who are obviously NOT Christians, at least, in their opinion. They think that his willingness to associate with “outsiders” indicates a weak theology.

Mainline Protestants are most likely to dislike Billy Graham, although it would never do to say that they “hate” him. Mainline Protestants believe in “love for all mankind,” and they would never use such as strong word as “hate” about a fellow human being, other than anti-abortionists, of course! But they don’t like Billy Graham because he preaches the Christian Gospel from the Bible–Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and The Life, and we must believe in Him to get to heaven, instead of telling everyone that “we will all make it to heaven in the end” and that “all religions are equal.” A lot of Mainline Protestant denominations have abandoned orthodox Christianity in favor of a mushy “all things are good” inclusive (code word for “welcome, all practicing homosexuals!”) approach to life. So they don’t like Rev. Graham because he preaches what they consider to be an “oppressive, white, Eurocentric, homophobic, obsolete religion.”

Non-denominational Protestants vary in their reaction to Rev. Graham, although most love him! Most non-denominational Protestants tend to be Evangelical Protestant.

The Internet makes loud minorities seem larger than they are. The Graham-haters are not that numerous, actually, but they are very loud.

I have some reservations about him, myself, but not for his ecumenism. I think that he’s had an extremely good effect on Catholics and mainline Protestants, but in the context of his own theology his evangelistic approach can be quite harmful. (What I mean by this is that if you believe that you are eternally saved, no matter what, just because you went forward at a Graham crusade and “accepted Jesus,” then this could do you some serious spiritual harm.) I also find him too much of a showman. But then, I have a rather extreme aversion to showmanship–I even had some problems with JPII in this regard, and sometimes I find the present Pope’s ostentatious acts of humility a bit grating, even as I also find them charming and understand the message he’s trying to convey.

By and large, I respect Graham precisely for the reasons the fundamentalists hate him. He did more than any other single individual to make evangelicalism more open and ecumenical.


[quote=Contarini] Quote:

The Internet makes loud minorities seem larger than they are. The Graham-haters are not that numerous, actually, but they are very loud.


If you recognize a name or a person has a TV ministry there will be a website a first page google search away telling you what s wrong with him and his theology

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I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly heard, before now, about people hating Graham because he is ecumenical-minded, but it mostly definitely does not surprise me.

I recall a conversation, about 13 years ago, with a Catholic friend of mind, in which it came up that I was involved in ecumenism. His question was “So, you’re just trying to get them to become Catholic, right?” (or words to that effect). And this is someone who’s *moderately *conservative, so I can only imagine how enraged hyper-conservative Fundamentalists would be against anyone daring to be ecumenical.

I see Graham like Chip Ingram. I do not agree with a lot of his theology, but I love to listen to Mr. Ingram. His love for God and fellow man shines through the message he is giving. He fights the fight and I can respect that. My father, a fundamentalist Southern Baptist, love Mr. Graham! At one time, whatever Mr. Graham spoke was “law” in our house. lol

I may not agree with them but I do respect their desire to love and serve God to the best of their ability!

Why do so many “hate” him? I believe hate is a bit harsh when it comes to a man serving God. lol Many disagree with him and you makes others think and examine their lives. That is not always fun! lol


If he hadn’t recorded and re-popularised Amazing Grace, along with the Scottish Band that also revived it across the Atlantic, it wouldn’t be one of the most popular Hymns in the world. Best sung in an “Elvis voice”!!!

When I pass away, They’re playing Elvis in a Catholic Church!

God gave him Talent… and he used it…

A good man, with some terrible eating habits. Hopefully he’s in heaven…

Elvis was the man.

Is! Elvis is the man.

We’re just not sure exactly where he is at the moment.



I think the issue is that Billy Graham is eucminical and some people take issue with that.
There was a movie called Joshua based on a book or a series of books never read them.
It apparently got quite a bit of criticism. It had a sort of reincarnated Jesus going to various denominations and some took issue the Jesus Character doesn’t try to convert anyone to Catholicism. It was a hallmark movie so it was a feel good movie and I still enjoy it today.
Billy Graham like the Movie Joshua gives a message that although some of us are separated by traditions we are still all connected in Christ. I think that is part of Billy Grahams message and that was the message the movie I mention was. I have had more good experience and life touching moments around other Christians than really any negative experience. I think of really only one bad experience and I had to guard a Presbyterian Church.

I enjoyed his singing, too , and he did love Gospel music–he was brought up on it, but he wasn’t a saint, poor man. He couldn’t leave the women alone. Mind, he didn’t go after other men’s wives and he always encouraged young girls to be good–if they were already good. But, if a girl was willing to have sex with him, so was he. He probably was a sex addict. That’s something a good many Evangelicals were willing to overlook or pretend wasn’t the case. I too hope he’s in heaven. If he was addicted to sex, he’d have some culpability. And his weight gain was due to an congenital issue with his colon that for which an operation was extremely risky at the time. He opted not to have it, but in so doing he shortened his life by many years. I think his story is a sad one for all the fame he achieved. May he and all the faithfully departed rest in peace. :crossrc:

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