Billy Graham’s Man Of The Century
Roman Catholic militancy does not end. Two big books have just appeared, written by leading Catholic teachers. One is titled “Not by Faith Alone – The Biblical Evidence for the Doctrine of Justification” by Robert Sungenis. It is 774 pages in length, costs 25 dollars and is published by Queenship Publishing Company of Santa Barbara, California. The companion volume is entitled “Not by Scripture Alone – a Catholic Critique of the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura,” and it is also written by Robert Sungenis, and is 630 pages in length and costs 20 dollars. Both books have Rome’s Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.
On the cover of the latter book we read, “As never before, the Catholic Church has been called upon to be the defender of Scripture and preserver of truth in modern times. ‘Not by Scripture Alone’ will set the biblical and historical record straight. But more important, as you learn the real truth about Scripture, Tradition, and the Church, this book will offer youth the means to come to a very deep relationship with God and know how best to glorify him on this earth.” Wording on the cover of the other book makes identical claims.
Elisabeth Elliot’s brother, Thomas Howard, who has become a zealous Roman Catholic, commends these books: “This is a major document, noteworthy for its clarity, its exhaustive coverage of the topic, and its punctilious scholarship.”
These books commend the unreconstructed teachings of the Council of Trent. The present pope is equally zealous in advocating them at any and every opportunity. In his address to the General Audience on January 12, 2000, Pope John Paul II declared that God the Father “desired Mary’s presence in salvation history” and while her role in salvation is subordinate to Christ’s, she nonetheless possesses a mediating role in mankind’s “journey to the Father.” While stressing that her mediating role is neither greater to nor even parallel to Christ’s mediation for men, the pope declared that “Mary’s unique place is owed to the merits of Christ.” According to the pope, “Mary’s mediation … is essentially directed to bringing us into a more intimate and profound encounter with Christ.”
The pope believes that because Mary served as the human instrument to bring Christ to the world and because she “encourages the Church and believers always to fulfil the Father’s will revealed to us by Christ” that she is worthy to be exalted as a link between fallen man and the Heavenly Father (the speech was transcribed in the January 19, 2000, issue of “L’Osservatoire Romano”, the official Vatican newspaper).
So Billy Graham has made his selection of “Man of the Century.” The whole concept of such a choice repels us. How little we know of the true men and women of God who lived and died during the last hundred years. Who would be the Christian who made the most inspirational contribution to the church during this time? Would it be Jim Elliot? J. Gresham Machen? Mehdi Didaj? Cornelius Van Til? Martyn Lloyd-Jones? Francis Schaeffer? What folly to even think like that! Who was selected by Billy Graham? Maybe some unknown faithful missionary servant who spent fifty years loving and serving the people of God, stretching out his or her hands to a scorning generation, unknown to us but regularly prayed for by Billy and Ruth?
Not at all. That is not remotely the sort of person chosen. It is the pope! That is, Pope John Paul II. He was the person chosen as “The Man of the Century” by that famous old American evangelist, Billy Graham, who has known all the American presidents in the last fifty years and in his autobiography shows us the photographs of himself standing alongside each of them. He gives his reasons for choosing the pope:- “I admire his courage, determination, intellectual abilities and his understanding of Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox differences and his attempt at some form of reconciliation.” That is how religious men, who live unnaturally under the spotlight of the world’s media, judge one other – they are “The Men of the Century”. They have come to believe their own spin. “For men to search their own glory is not glory” (Proverbs 25:27).
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