Whether in Pretense or in Truth, Christ is Proclaimed

Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;  the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. –Philippians 1:15–18 (NASB)

I came across this video about nine years ago. At that time, I was in the mood for pointing out heretics who wandered around the modern church as if they belonged there. So, when I saw this video, it was easy to identify what Billy Graham says as heretical. There are, of course, two sides to every story. I could point you to thousands of videos (like this one) where Graham proclaims the true gospel.

So, while the nation mourns his death and recognizes the impact he has had on our culture, it behooves us to remember (and I think Graham would appreciate this) that Billy Graham was just a man . . . an imperfect man who may have strayed in his old age . . . but a man through whom God called lost sheep into the kingdom.

Billy Graham and I would have disagreed on many issues. It would have been difficult for us to find much common ground, but that does not change the fact that God most certainly used him to further God’s kingdom. Because of that, I choose to agree with the Apostle Paul and rejoice any time Christ is proclaimed . . . even if the one proclaiming him does so in ways and for reasons that I cannot accept.

There are countless preachers out there who proclaim Christ for selfish motives, out of envy and strife, and in pretense. What then I am to make of them? The bottom line . . . if Christ is proclaimed, in this I will rejoice.

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