Statement of Faith
We adhere to the traditional creeds of the Christian Church.
What Happened Because Billy Graham Believed the Bible
(adapted from Your Journey with God by Wellington Boone)
|Millions of people who knew and loved Billy Graham as an evangelist before his homegoing might never suspect that he had a great personal trial to resolve in prayer before he could publicly state that the Bible is true. As a young evangelist, before Billy became famous, he had to decide if he would stand on the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Would he lose his new popularity as a young evangelist? Would the secular media ridicule him if he affirmed that the Bible is true? People around him were pressuring him to compromise, even close friends. They said he was foolish. We know from history that he made the right choice, but how it happened is a fascinating story. (Continued below.)|
Traditional Creeds of the Church
Apostles’ Creed (1st century A.D. and following years)
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”
Nicene Creed (c. 325 A.D.)
The Nicene Creed is the most universal Christian creed and is used by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican Communion, and many other Protestant denominations. The name is derived from the ecumenical Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. In the 6th century the words “and the Son” (Latin term is “Filioque”) were added (third paragraph) to read “the Holy Spirit . . . proceedeth from the Father and the Son.”
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
“And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Athanasian Creed (c. 500 A.D.) (Excerpt)
The Athanasian Creed stresses the deity and equality of the Three Persons of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and includes warnings of eternal judgment for those who deny the truth. It is widely accepted by many Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant churches but is used less often today than the Nicene Creed.
“Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.
It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also
faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.
For this is the true faith that we believe and confess:
That our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is both God and man.
He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father,
and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother —
existing fully as God, and fully as man with a
rational soul and a human body;
equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.
Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.”
The Inerrancy of the Bible
A biographer’s account of what happened in Billy Graham’s test of faith
Billy Graham had to face God alone with his doubts, as we all do. At the time of this challenge to his faith, Billy was at the Forest Home Christian Conference Center in the mountains near Los Angeles. A close friend who had worked with him in Young Life said that Billy’s position on inerrancy was “intellectual suicide.” He pounded Billy with relentless challenges about passages in the Bible that he said could not possibly be true. One of Billy Graham’s biographers, Rev. Dr. John Pollock, wrote in The Billy Graham Story this account of what happened next:
“Billy was deeply disturbed and hurt. After supper, instead of attending evening service, he retired to his log cabin and read again the Bible passages concerning its authority. He recalled someone saying that the prophets used such phrases as ‘the Word of the Lord came’ or ‘thus saith the Lord’ more than two thousand times. He meditated on the attitude of Christ: ‘He loved the Scriptures, quoted from them constantly, and never once intimated that they might be wrong.’
“Billy went out in the forest and wandered up the mountain, praying as he walked, ‘Lord, what shall I do? What shall be the direction of my life?’ He knew he had reached a crisis. He saw that intellect alone could not resolve the question of authority. He must go beyond intellect. He thought of the faith used constantly in daily life: Was it only in things of the Spirit that faith was wrong?
“‘So I went back and I got my Bible, and I went out in the moonlight. And I got to a stump and put the Bible on the stump, and I knelt down, and I said, “Oh, God; I cannot prove certain things, I cannot answer some of the questions Chuck is raising, but I accept this Book by faith as the Word of God.”’”
Breakthrough for Billy Graham in the press followed his recommitment to the Bible
Six weeks after this crucial decision, Billy Graham broke through into national prominence in 1949 when the success of his Los Angeles crusade provoked publisher William Randolph Hearst to tell his editors, “Puff Graham.” In other words, this Graham guy will help us sell papers. Give him plenty of inches in our newspapers. Wire services and then national publications picked up the stories on Graham’s crusade, and his life and ministry were never small again. Instead of causing him to be ridiculed, as his critics suggested, his position on the truth of the Bible caused him to achieve worldwide honor. He became one of the most respected men in the world, known as someone you could count on. He never wavered from his positions that you must be saved through Jesus Christ and that the Bible is true.
Others who stood with Billy Graham
Dr. Jay Grimstead, founder of Coalition on Revival (shown here with his wife Donna), took a stand with Billy Graham and a prestigious group of other theologians who agreed to come out openly and say that the Bible is absolutely true. You can find vital primary source documents of sound Christian doctrine that Billy Graham and other theologians signed on Dr. Grimstead’s website . He and other leading pastors and theologians formed the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy and Billy Graham gave them the funding. The principles they formulated restored the Church of the 20th Century to a sound biblical foundation.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the product of Holy Men of old who spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The New Covenant as recorded is the New Testament. We accept it as infallible. (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21)
Our God is one, but manifested in three Persons-The Father, The Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. (1 John 5:7; Philippians 2:6; Matthew 3:16-17)
God the Father, the Source of the Word (Logos) and the Begetter. (John 1:14; 14:28; 16:28)
Jesus is the Son of God. He is one with the Father, the Word in flesh, the one begotten, and has existed with the Father from the beginning. (John 1:1; 1:14; 1:18; 10:30)
The Holy Spirit proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son and is eternal. (John 15:26-27)
Man, His Fall and Redemption
Man is a created being, made in the image and likeness of God, but through Adam’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was manifested to destroy the work of the devil and gave his life, shedding his blood to redeem and restore man back to God. (Genesis 1:26; Romans 3:9-11, 23; 5:6-12; Galatians 3:13-14; 1 John 3:8)
Eternal Life and the New Birth
Man’s first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that works repentance. The new birth is necessary for all men, and when fulfilled produces eternal life. (John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 7:10; 1 John 5:12)
Baptism in water by immersion is a direct command of our Lord, and is for believers only. The ordinance is symbolic of the Christian’s identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; Acts 2:38, 8:36-39) The following recommendation regarding the Water Baptismal formula is adopted: “On confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and by His authority, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Amen.”
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to those who are believers. In this dispensation, it is received subsequent to the new birth. This experience is accompanied by the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit Himself gives utterance. The Holy Spirit baptism is the empowerment to live a godly life through surrender to Christ. (Matthew 3:11; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; Acts 19:1-7; Acts 2:4)
The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the doctrine of sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation. (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12-14; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
Healing is for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith and laying on of hands. It is provided for in the atonement of Christ and it is the privilege of every member of the Church today. (Mark 16:18; James 5:14-20; 1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4-5)
Resurrection of the Just and the Return of Our Lord
The coming of Jesus is imminent. When he comes, “the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Acts 1:11)
Hell and Eternal Retribution
The one who physically dies in his sin without Christ is hopelessly and eternally lost in the lake of fire and therefore has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel or for repentance. The lake of fire is literal. The terms “eternal” and “everlasting” used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned carries the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in describing the duration of joy and ecstasy of the saints in the presence of God. (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 19-20; Hebrews 6:1-2)
Communion-The Lord’s Supper
We partake of the Lord’s Supper to show the Lord’s death until he comes. The bread symbolizes the Lord’s broken body. The cup represents the new covenant in His Blood, which provides for us forgiveness and a relationship with God. We judge ourselves and realize that this represents our salvation and we receive it. If we receive it unworthily, without giving it honor as the emblem of our salvation, we are guilty of the body and blood of our Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:23-31; Isaiah 53:5; Hebrews 9:22)
Laying on of Hands
The Laying on of hands is a simple belief that power or anointing or another necessary quality can be transmitted by one person touching another. Laying on of hands was practiced by the Levitical Priesthood. Jesus practices it in Mark 10:13-16 as a blessing. It is our grounds for baby dedications rather than infant baptism. Scripture provides examples of laying on of hands for healing, to confer office, to receive the Holy Ghost, to believe words spoken, to receive and cultivate the anointing, for ordination and to consecrate and receive ministry tools. (Mark 5:22-23, 28-31, 41; Acts 6:2-6, 8:16-18, 19:11-12, 28:8; 1 Timothy 4:14)
"Now, more than ever, the church needs servant leaders who understand the power of humility. I join with Wellington Boone in his prayer that God would not let this generation pass without bringing his visitation to us."
- Gordon Robertson, Co-host of The 700 Club
This devotional will show you how to look at life from a hope perspective. It will develop qualities of Christ-like hope to make you strong and help you to create an environment of hope for yourself and those around you.