Ecumenical memorial services were held worldwide, with one in London's Westminster Cathedral drawing 2000 Roman Catholics and "Protestants." It was ‘ecumenical in tone, honouring a Pope who spent his 26 years in office extending the hand of God to other faiths."[iv] Note that? The article did not say, "extending his own hand" to other religions, but "extending the hand of God"!
Still, as I said, we expect the religious leaders of Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism, Pentecostalism, and other institutions to praise the pope. But what a huge spiritual tragedy when we see so-called Evangelicals doing so as well! As noted by Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service, "Whether up close or from a distance, Protestant leaders of a variety of stripes recalled the pope's efforts on topics of mutual agreement and credit him with a legacy that advanced ecumenism. Mainline and evangelical, white and black, [they] noted their ties to the world's most famous Catholic."[v]
Here are the statements of a number of men, falsely upheld as "Evangelicals", made after John Paul II's demise:
Billy Graham said: "Pope John Paul II was unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years. His extraordinary gifts, his strong Catholic faith, and his experience of human tyranny and suffering in his native Poland all shaped him, and yet he was respected by men and women from every conceivable background across the world. He was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone." Graham added: "His courage and perseverance in the face of advancing age and illness were an inspiration to millions – including me."[vi]
Graham also said of this pope: "It was my privilege to meet with him at the Vatican on various occasions, and I will always remember his personal warmth to me and his deep interest in our ministry. In his own way, he saw himself as an evangelist".[vii]
Billy Graham has for decades been speaking well of Roman Catholicism, refusing to condemn it as a false religion. As far back as 1979, for example, he said, "I think the American people are looking for a leader, a moral and spiritual leader that believes something. And the Pope does…. Thank God, I've got somebody to quote now with some real authority."[viii] One would think that a supposed "Evangelical" like Billy Graham would be content to quote the Lord Jesus Christ, for "never man spake like this man" (Jn.7:46), and none has greater authority than He; but no, Graham chose rather to let Antichrist be his authority! In 1980, Graham said: "Pope John Paul II has emerged as the greatest religious leader of the modern world, and one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century". Graham's ecumenism, compromise, heresies, etc., have all been well documented.[ix] And yet millions of gullible, biblically illiterate Protestants flock to hear him preach. Graham recommends that Roman Catholics who "come forward" at his Arminian "altar calls" return to Rome afterwards. He himself has taught a number of Roman Catholic doctrines. And yet he is a Baptist, held up by millions as the greatest Christian of our times! Indeed, he is to ecumenical, Arminian "Protestantism" what John Paul II was to Romanism. In many circles he is the Protestant equivalent of the pope. The truth, however, is that Graham is as spiritually blind as any Roman Catholic.
Years ago, when I preached the series of messages entitled Billy Graham: Serving the Papal Antichrist, I pointed out that this pope had said that he and Graham were "brothers." On April 2 this year (2005), Billy Graham was interviewed by talk show host Larry King. King asked: "Did he [John Paul II] tell you once that you and he were brothers?" And Graham replied: "That's correct. He certainly did. He held my hand the first time that I met him…. when he was elevated to the papacy, I was preaching in his cathedral in Krakow that very day. And we had thousands of people in the streets. And watching the television today of Krakow has brought back many memories." King then said: "You said that he was an Evangelist." And Graham replied: "He was, indeed. He traveled throughout the world to bring his Christian message to the world. And we see tonight the outpouring from the world that he touched. And I think he touched almost everybody in the whole world." Graham also said in this interview: "He suffered as much as anybody you could ever imagine…. And through it all, he taught us how to suffer. And I think in recent days he's taught us how to die."
The quotations given above are sufficient to prove that Billy Graham, the world's most famous "Protestant evangelist", is truly a blind leader of the blind. But then came this statement of his, which clinches it (if clinching was still needed after such statements as those above!): Larry King asked him, "There is no question in your mind that he is with God now?" And Graham replied: "Oh, no. There may be a question about my own, but I don't think Cardinal Wojtyla, or the Pope – I think he's with the Lord, because he believed. He believed in the cross. That was his focus throughout his ministry, the cross, no matter if you were talking to him from personal issue or an ethical problem, he felt that there was the answer to all of our problems, the cross and the resurrection. And he was a strong believer."[x]
Roman Catholics are not yet even saying that this pope is in heaven! – for until and if he is declared a "saint" of Rome, as far as they know he is in purgatory! – that mythical place where all good Papists go when they die, according to them. Billy Graham is certain that he is in heaven! The Bible, however, calls the popes of Rome "the man of sin and son of perdition", in 2 Thess.2:3,4. Like Judas, also called "the son of perdition" in Scripture, the popes go to hell when they die, not heaven, for they are not Christians – each and every pope is the Antichrist foretold in God's Word!
And yes, Mr Graham, John Paul II "believed in the cross"; but – which one? He believed, not in the atoning death of Christ on the cross for all His elect, but in the Roman Catholic cross! He believed in the crucifix, in the image on the crucifix, and in praying to that image!