Part of the problem LCG has with its magazine is that it tries to appear mainline Christian in order to attract new readers. It is still running Rod Meredith's error-laden series on the Protestant Reformation and a second article on how violent some of the Protestant reformers were. It has its regular monthly article detailing some issue going on in Canada. It has an article on abortion and one on the National Health Services (NHS) of the United Kingdom. and then closes it out with another slam against anyone who claims to be a Christian who is outside the Church of God realm.
Then there is Gerald Weston's "personal message" about the so-called Christian, Billy Graham.
Death of “America’s Pastor”
"Billy Graham has been called America’s we not evaluate that separately, analytically, against Pastor. He was a religious giant in America Scripture and without emotion? According to an ABC News report, he preached to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories through his “Billy Graham Crusades.” His largest crusade drew one million people in Seoul, South Korea."
Graham’s message has been summed up as, “God loves you and Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty for your sins.” He spoke of a coming Day of Judgment and the need to make a decision for Christ. His message was not different from many evangelical preachers, but he took his campaigns to new levels. Advance planning called upon churches to bring out the crowds when he came into town. They were always well-organized events, including reports of “seeding the audiences” with “repentant sinners” when the altar call came at the end. Hundreds and thousands were moved to walk down the aisle to the plaintive hymn, “Just As I Am.”
As already noted, to all outward appearances Billy Graham lived a moral life, avoiding excesses, and living modestly with his wife and five children. We would all do well to follow that standard! However, when it comes to his evangelical message, should we not evaluate that separately, analytically, against Scripture and without emotion? Is it wrong to ask, “Is the message of the evangelical movement complete, or is something missing?” Is that question off-limits?At this point, Weston enters into typical Armstrongite smear tactics against those so-called Christians, much like Bob Thiel does. Weston claims Billy Graham preaches a false gospel about Christ and not the Kingdom of God as Weston thinks he does.
But, let us examine the exact nature of the Gospel that Jesus proclaimed. “Gospel” is a word thrown about loosely in religious and non-religious circles. We hear of “gospel music” and “gospel preaching,” but what, according to the Bible, IS the Gospel? Many think they know, but do they? The word gospel simply means “good news.” What IS that good news?
Many evangelicals rightly understand that a man named Jesus was, in a special way, begotten by God. He truly was the Son of God! The facts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection ARE good news! So also is the fact that He lived a perfect life and died to pay the penalty for our sins. But much is often missing from the evangelical message. While sin is referred to, it is rarely defined, and when it is defined, does it match the Bible’s inspired definition? Many assume they know what it is. Drunkenness and adultery are sin in the minds of most, but there are other behaviors that remain controversial: dancing, card-playing, having a glass of wine. What about going to movies, or viewing violent sports (American football or boxing)? What about days of celebration: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day? Is Sunday the day commanded in Scripture as the day for rest and worship, or is it Saturday? Are all days “holy time,” and therefore there is no difference? Is the question left to each individual to decide, and can you choose a convenient day of worship?No other church on the face of the earth today thinks they know more about God, Jesus and SIN than do some of the Armstrongite churches, particularly the self-righteous splinter groups who think they have attained "pure Christianity." Yet, it is also quite obvious that no other church on earth knows so little about the
“What Gospel did Jesus preach for the three-and-one-half years prior to His death, burial and resurrection?” A careful reading of the New Testament clarifies. The book of Mark starts in verse 1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” and explains in verses 14 and 15, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”
What Is the Reward of the Saved?
Many assume the reward of the saved and inheriting the Kingdom of God means going to heaven right after death, but is this what the Bible teaches? It can seem that way on the surface, but a careful reading of the Scripture reveals heaven is NOT the reward of the saved, and that we are not changed immediately upon death! Jesus made two statements that appear contradictory, but are not. In what are called the beatitudes (beautiful attitudes) in the heart of His message, He declared, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”Seriously? Weston talks about the beatitudes when he ignores everything else about Jesus. He talks about the beatitudes when his ministry treats people like shit! Seriously? Are we expected to believe that the "poor in spirit and the meek" are those in Charlotte? Well of course they are! Everyone else is consumed by sin, but not the boys in Charlotte! Weston's lip service to Billy Graham quickly eroded away into sin, the FAVORITE topic of the Church of God.
A further question that we should ask is when do the saved receive their reward? The Apostle Paul explains that the dead in Christ will be resurrected at the sound of the “last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52). Compare this with Matthew 24:31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17. Note that Paul likens death to sleep, as Jesus does in John 11:11–14. Note also that the sister of Lazarus understood that the awakening from death would come “in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:23–24).
What is sin? What is the true Gospel Jesus Christ taught? What is the reward of the saved? These are only three of many questions we should ask when seeking the truth. Real Christianity is more than an academic exercise. How we live is all-important. No matter how beautiful the hymn may be, each of us cannot remain “just as I am” and please our Creator. We must know what sin is and repent of it. We must accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We must also understand, believe, and act on the good news that Jesus proclaimed for three-and-a-half years prior to His death, burial and resurrection.That last paragraph shows how little Weston knows about the man he claims to follow. He
So who really is worse off right now? Billy Graham or self-righteous Gerald Weston?