NEWS BRIEF: "Graham Believes Men Can Be Saved Apart From Name Of Christ", by Robert E. Kofahl, Ph.D., television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller, on May 31, 1997. The following segment is an exact transcript of an excerpt close to the end of the broadcast. Reported by The Christian News, October 20, 1997, page 15.
"SCHULLER: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?
GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer -- you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ ... I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ, because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven."
"SCHULLER: What, what I hear you saying, that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?
GRAHAM: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived."
"SCHULLER: [R.S. trips over his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says] I'm so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.
This is the end of the pertinent segment from the May 31, 1997, TV interview. Before we go on to the pertinent segment of the June 8, 1997, segment, let us pause to review some of the terrible events we have just heard Reverend Graham say. We will requote segments of Graham's statements, and then look to see what the Bible has to say.
Dr. Graham: " I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ"
The Apostle Paul provides the most definitive refutation to this false statement by Dr. Graham. " For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" [Romans 10:13-15]When Paul says that "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved", he is correctly implying that a person cannot be saved apart from the name and Person of Jesus Christ. This is why the Christian Church has placed such an emphasis on sending missionaries to foreign lands where the Gospel has not been heard. The Apostle Paul then continues to elaborate on this terrible truth. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?"
When Dr. Graham asserts that people can be saved even though they know not the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, he is repeating the lie -- the false doctrine of the New Age Religion -- and of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as of Liberal "Christians" like Dr. Schuller. This statement is quite a departure from traditional Southern Baptist teaching; but, it does fit in nicely with today's burgeoning Ecumenical theology, as they state that there are many roads to Heaven, and it does not really matter what you believe as long as you are "sincere".