[Dave Hunt, The Cult Explosion, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene OR 1980]:

[P. 6]:

"Jesus gave another sign, however, that has received little attention by writers and preachers. When His disciples asked him, "What will be the sign of your coming?" the first words of His reply were, "Watch out that no one deceives you!" He then went on to explain that His second coming would be preceded by a period of religious revival that would be characterized by great deception." (Matt. 24:4; Matt. 24:4,5,11, 24)

[P. 254]:

"It is possible, according to what Jesus said, for a person to use Christ’s name and even to perform seeming miracles and many good deeds, yet to not really belong to Christ." (Matt. 7:22-23)'''

[From: tom winkelman To: Bob Evans Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 1:09 AM]:

Subject: ImpressedBob, was I impressed tonight by your "good friend" BG.

"Yep! The Wife was channel surfing and hit TBN. We discovered some type of massive meeting was taking place where a father was tearfully telling about his son who had been shot 5 times at age 24. I could understand his heart-wrenching story that he identified one key fact concerning his son. The son was saved, and the father had the absolute assurance of that based on the verses he then quoted.

He stressed Eph. 2:8-9 and that salvation/eternal life is a gift that involves no righteous deeds or good works but is based on faith in Christ and His death as your sin payment. The dead son apparently was had been trying to buy cocaine and was living in the rougher side of life. It was clear that the father knew if salvation depended upon anything else, his son now was in hell! The father very lamely wound up by suggesting everyone listening should do what was going to be asked of them to do for salvation. I immediately suspected he knew that what he had so emphatically said about salvation was not going to be the same message presented in a few minutes! My attention had been captured.

About that time my dear Wife asked if I wanted to listen to it. I had already noticed the small identifying words on the bottom of the screen "Sure, I want to hear BG."Besides, I thought, I needed to evaluate my old impressions. Were they correct? If BG followed the format the father had just given, perhaps I had been wrong.


But before I launch into my evaluation of the BG Crusade that was broadcast the evening of Jan. 5th 2003 and his salvation message, there are several things I must mention. My intention in giving and allowing this evaluation to be posted is not to attack or belittle anyone. Instead it is to point out critical flaws in a modern evangelistic theology and to call for a correcting of this (see Acts 18:24-28 where Apollos was shown flaws in his "gospel" message that he was preaching). What does the Word of God state and is it being followed? If a different "gospel" being given out, then Christian Leaders have a responsibility to give the warning.

In researching those questions I found some shocking facts that not only confirmed my impressions but showed a series of far reaching flaws connected to some scholars known as the Oxford group and the AA! The so-called salvation message of BG follows the very same salvation presentation as the Unity School of Christian Science and other cults!

We as Believers, have a God-given responsibility to determine the Gospel message and to expose false teachers who have crept into the Church. These people are found not outside the confines of the local true Church of Christ but within it just as Paul and others warned in their inspired epistles. The warnings point out that the local churches are all too willing and eager to accept those false teachers.

[2 Peter 2:1-2]:

(v. 1) "But there were also false prophets AMONG THE PEOPLE, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.

(v. 2) Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute

[2 Timothy 4:3-5]:

(v. 3) "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

(v. 4) They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

(v. 5) But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

[Matt. 7:15-23]:

(v. 15) "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

(v. 16) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

(v. 17) Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

(v. 18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

(v. 19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

(v. 20) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

(v. 21) Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

(v. 22) Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'

(v. 23) Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "

[Matt. 24:10-12]:

(v. 10) "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,

(v. 11) and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,"

[Matt. 24:24-25]:

(v. 24) For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

(v. 25) See, I have told you ahead of time."

[Acts 13:6-11]:

(v. 6) "They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,

(v. 7) who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.

(v. 8) But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.

(v. 9) Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,

(v. 10) 'You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?

(v. 11) Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.' "

[2 Cor. 11:3-4]:

(v. 3) "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

(v. 4) For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough."

[2 Cor. 11:12-15]:

And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

[2 Cor. 11:26]:

I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.

[Gal. 2:4]:

This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.

[1 Timothy 1:3-4]:

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith.

[1 Timothy 6:3-5]:

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

[1 John 4:1]:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

[Rev. 2:2]:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.


Personally, I do have a bias. I was saved in 1971 when I suddenly realized why Christ had died and believed in that alone. A strange internal spiritual change did happen to me following having believed in Christ alone as my Savior. I was spiritually born again. The main change was a gradual growing desire to read the Bible and that it then made sense. However, 5 years earlier I had done the required "commit your life" just as had been presented by another BG TV Crusade message at that time, and was totally assured that I was going to heaven. However, I was still hell bound but convinced I wasn’t! I was definitely not spiritually born again. I shudder to think of how close I came to spending eternity in hell because of a deceiving "gospel" message!

According to John 3:1-18 the only condition to be born again is to believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ. In verse 14 a strange illustration is brought to mind. Those dying from the snake bite had to only look upon the serpent God had Moses place upon a pole to be completely cured! In similar manner, to be cured from the "sin death" one only has to believe (look to Christ on the cross) in the Christ of the Cross and failing to do so means that person is still condemned (Verse 18). The Hebrew people did not "commit" their lives or surrender them in order to receive the cure from their snake bites. They had to believe it.

Quote from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980

On page 103 Hunt relates the story of a 11 year old, June Kramer, who went forward at a B?G Crusade then as a teen finally left home searching for answers. She attempted to find them in TM and eastern mysticism, why? Was she saved by BG’s message? Not likely!

P. 104 June says, "My sister tried to share with me about who Jesus Christ really was…and that He had come to earth to die for my sins. This no longer made sense to me…"

You may be thinking "But that Tom Winkelman’s experience is abnormal. Most of those committing their lives to Christ are truly saved provided they are sincere." I was as sincere as anyone could be when almost paralyzed by the thought of spending eternity in hell. However, it is possible a few truly are saved provided the counseling correctly uses Bible verses and keeps the focus on believing in Christ as their sin sacrifice. That by the way was true in Bob Evans salvation experience.

But there IS NOT A SINGLE BIBLE VERSE that uses the phrase "commit your life" "surrender it to Christ" or even that concept in connection with receiving eternal life. This is clearly NOT a Biblical gospel message. It is NOT based on any CLEAR Bible teaching concerning salvation.We ask every reader to study the following Scriptures and then compare their commands to the practices of Dr. Billy Graham.

The following by BG shows that he also knew and acknowledged the problem that many had failed to truly trust Christ’s death for their salvation but he either failed to understand the implications or choose to ignore that it was the result of a flawed and perhaps even false salvation message. He knew of the same problem that I had in being deceived by his message."Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997

Page 245 "Peter Schneider of the Berlin YMCA…organized a series of meetings…to help those who had made a commitment to Christ. Many of them, he later discovered were unclear about the meaning of the Invitation. The idea of making a personal decision or commitment to Christ was foreign to their background in the Lutheran state church, but large numbers were brought to a full commitment during the follow-up process."

Let me clarify why those seeking salvation needed to be educated in the meaning and purpose of making a commitment. They could not understand that to be born again (to have eternal life) a person must only believe in Christ as having paid the penalty for his sins. Committing of the life to Christ did not mean the same thing to them as believing in Christ alone as Savior, and it was understood as living your life under the control of Christ according to the lifestyle commanded in the Gospels and Epistles. Evidently salvation by commitment is to be known as having either a partial or full commitment with only the full commitment bring salvation. The Bible never even hints at such nonsense!

In fact the following passage shows that commitment to Christ was something that is not part of the salvation gospel at all and was something that came later. Paul wrote as if he was surprised when the Macedonian churches did it. This was an entire region of churches made up of true believers and it was only when they understood the need to help their brothers and sisters in Christ that they gave themselves to Christ. This clearly was not a condition for their salvation. They were already saved.

[2 Cor. 8:1-5]

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.

Committing or surrendering one’s life to Christ may sound good spiritually but it is just acquiring a religious bent similar to the Pharisees who Jesus continually proved were not believers. Remember that John 3:1-18, the comprehensive passage on born again, was directed to a religious Nicodemus a Pharisee. (John 3:1 "Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.")

A person can become committed to most anything or any type group and that is similar to what they do when told to make a commitment to Christ. They have only made a human commitment (or decision) to a group/to a Person/to a Christian lifestyle with no saving qualities involved as detailed by John 3:1-18! Nicodemus was committed to obeying God also that he might gain eternal life in a very similar fashion.

The question one must ask of BG and anyone following his leading is why not just use the exact words the Bible uses, such as Believed, Saved, Faith instead? That was good enough for God and those are the words He wrote to us concerning salvation. Who is more knowledgeable on salvation, BG or God’s Bible? Why substitute a complete different set of words (unless the intent is to confuse)? Or is it possible that using the words commit, surrender, and make a decision are more likely to be acceptable to a larger audience both liberal and those including human works? Not only was it completely true in my salvation experience that I was only making a commitment to live according to a vague image I had of Christianity (Christian Code Of Conduct) to attain heaven, but numerous times I have discovered people who truly felt they were born again and heaven bound because of having made an identical "commitment" or "decision." Yet they would go totally blank when asked why Christ had died! In other words, many have been influenced religiously by the same type of message (or even an experience) as I was but are still lost, although they sincerely think they are saved. Some are active in churches and look upon their activities as proof of their salvation, failing to understand that they have never been born again according to John 3.



The principle God has set forth concerning someone who has an incorrect idea about any matter is to go to them first in love and deal with that issue (Matt. 18:15-16). Shortly after I was saved, In a letter to the BGEA I pointed out the danger and problems with the salvation plan BG was giving out. The reply I received basically said it was absolutely correct and it "saved" people. Through the years I know of many people who have also tried to draw BGEA’s attention to their non-biblical salvation message all to no avail. Just lately Bob Evans also contacted them and has that exchange posted above.

[Martin & Deidre Bobgan also posted this same attitude on their Website concerning the same topic. www.psychoheresy-aware.orgPsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, 4137 Primavera Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110, Jan. 16, 2003]:

"In PsychoHeresy we say: "In this book we name people in reference to what they have taught or written. However, we want to make it clear that while we are critical of their promotion and use of psychological theories and techniques, we are not questioning their faith."

[They continue to explain how faith is defined and that under that definition, they can’t state if those they name are saved or not.]

'''The dictionary defines faith as "the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved." What we had in mind when we used the word faith was the individual’s salvation, conversion, or new birth.

Since I also accept that definition of both faith and believe which also means it is something a person cannot see in another, it is extremely hard to determine if a person is saved. Thus we are dependent upon their words to evaluate their salvation. If their words show that they are trusting in something they have done instead of trusting only in what Christ has done on the cross, it is safe to assume they are not saved. Far too many are exactly as I was, trusting their "commitment," "decision," or "surrender" and having no idea of why Christ had died on the cross! They are exactly in the same spiritual condition as Nicodemus, lost religious Pharisees!'''

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 251 "Deception in various forms, from allegedly new revelations that contradict Scripture to elaborate and sophisticated brainwashing, is the stock trade of the cults, as it has always been in the occult world. And just as Jesus predicted, men and governments seem amazingly vulnerable to religious deception in our generation. There was one particular deception, however, that Christ singled out for special comment: "Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many."

What most people have overlooked in that verse is that in the original Greek there was no capitals or punctuation. The word translated Christ could just as easily been translated anointed which then would read, ""Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am anointed’ and will deceive many."


Lack of follow-up is often cited as the reason so many people making "decisions" never end up in a church or truly serving God. One study suggested that less than 5% of all those making the decision are still in any type of church one year later. Yet it is much more likely they have never been born again! BGEA has tried to correct that perceived lack of follow-up by various means but never once considered that the fault may lay in the message and what BG believes is the Gospel!

Note: The above statistic came from a book called "Billy Graham: Pastor’s Dilemma." Due to my having lived 6 years in an extremely moldy house and my Wife becoming allergic to even the slight hint of mold, all the books we had in that house including that one had to be destroyed.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997];

Page 323 "Sadly, many churches failed to reach out to new converts and help them in their newfound faith. Robert Ferm found that at least 75 percent of the converts had received no personal contact from a church – nothing more than a letter or phone call, it that. And yet remarkably, the majority of them were still continuing in their faith."


Another flaw is shown by the need to repeat the "committing the life" or making a "decision" for salvation. Typically when the stress is on anything other than faith (believing) alone, grace alone, in Christ alone, the person will sooner or later fail to perform according to image they hold of what they agreed to perform. Therefore, sooner or later the person must make another and another and another commitment to Christ as supreme ruler over their life. Stories abound of loved ones that "go forward" and fall away only to do it again and again. Those worrying about the loved one "pray" that each new commitment will "take." Amazingly the message is never seen as the problem!

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 157 "Thousands more already Christians, had come forward to register various fresh commitments to the Lord."

In my case, I believed that having once "done the thing" my future in heaven was sealed and guaranteed. I no longer saw myself as a lost sinner doomed to hell! I would listen to BG and read his Decision magazine internally agreeing wholeheartedly with every word but having no understanding of Scripture or love for it. Yes, BG does present the commitment to Christ as a one-time affair and claims a type of eternal security based on that. However, because of the human works element included it is a completely false assurance just as mine was. Eternal security is only true for those who adhere to salvation totally apart from all human works or acts and based solely by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.


His own testimony of his conversion reflects that flawed salvation method. For BG to later claim a person is saved by faith alone would be to denounce that experience he had as a teen. However, it is very unlikely that he has had the true born again experience as I did later on! There is nothing to indicate that he ever came to a place where he trusted Christ’s death & salvation as a gift and that alone for his receiving of eternal life. Please note that all the wonderful works done, the prayers, and all other spiritual relationships are not indicators of having trusted in Christ rather than one’s own commitment.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 29 "As a teenager, what I needed to know for certain was that I was right with God…In a word I was spiritually dead…"

Perhaps it would be well to point out that the phrase "right with God" carries implied meanings of a person needing to humanly do something, a type of righteous work that will put him or her right with God. All too many "evangelists" preach the reforming of the life where the lost person has turned from sin thinking that cleaning up their life was instrumental in putting them right with God. Reformation is understood as regeneration and being born again.

Page 29 cont. "And then it happened, sometime around my sixteenth birthday. On that night, Dr. Ham finished preaching and gave the Invitation to accept Christ…..I responded. I walked down to the front… a tailor named J. D. Prevatt who was a friend of our family with a deep love for souls, stepped up beside me…"

Page 30 "My tailor friend helped me to understand what I had to do to become a genuine Christian. The key word was do….I had heard the message and I felt the inner compulsion to go forward. Now came the time to commit myself to Christ. Intellectually, I accepted Christ to the extent that I acknowledged what I knew about Him to be true. That was mental assent. Emotionally, I felt that I wanted to love Him in return for His loving me. But the final issue was whether I would turn myself over to His rule in my life…..I believe that that was the moment I made my real commitment to Jesus."

[Pages 11-20 999]:

Page 52 "…in Charlotte nearly four years before, standing in the sawdust shavings of Mordecia Ham’s tabernacle. There I did what I felt I should do: commit my eternal destiny to the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ."

We need to ask, based on BG’s own testimony, did he assign his salvation to the grace of God and nothing else? The last phrase sounds like it comes close to doing exactly that and if he had continued to always use that phrase, we could assume it was true. However, it appears that BG is gifted in a double talk system that makes those who think salvation includes works will agree with him as he also attempts to do with those who know salvation is not by works. However, notice that the rest of his testimony concerning his salvation experience does not lend support to his believing in Christ’s finished work on the cross alone for his salvation.



BG and his team choose from the very first to garner support and involvement from as many churches as possible. Would that influence his message? Likely that desire was a motivating factor in choosing a salvation phrase that was acceptable to a vast majority in the religious structures. Or did he naturally gravitate toward people and churches that would accept his message? Was he more comfortable among lost religious Pharisee type people because of a kinship he felt? However, BG was NOT the creator of the phrases he used.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 301 "My goal was to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it was presented in the Bible and to call men and women to commit their lives to Him."


While it should not be necessary to point out that the gospel of Christ never once is presented in the Bible as including a commitment of the life for salvation. The gospel of Christ (I Cor. 15:3-4) simply states Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again." Salvation by believing that, preserves and is in complete agreement with I Cor. 15:3-4 as well as other verses speaking of eternal life.

The two concepts, Gospel of Christ and commitment of the life, actually have no relationship to each other in a salvation context. (See above quote of 2 Cor. 8:5) But when BG mentions them together, he tries to make them one and the same. They aren’t. Yet the merging of the opposing concepts found an acceptance and support among most churches. From his biography it appears that his message of salvation by commitment dates back to his own salvation experience.

And that message was exactly one that most churches would agree with. The fundamental and evangelical churches saw only the results that appeared as if large numbers were getting saved and based on that they closed their eyes to the message being given. The other churches understood the message as fitting within their salvation theology and enjoyed his massive courtship of them.

Page 125 (1947 Augusta) "…we followed several principles in Augusta that would become the established pattern for our work in later years. The first was to work for as broad church involvement as possible… I had attended the founding session of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam. Christianity was taking on a new worldwide dimension for me…I was concerned that some extreme theological liberals… had been given prominence. Nevertheless I was impressed by the spiritual depth and commitment of many of the participants. ..Furthermore, at the local level in a city such as Augusta, I could see a great advantage in a united effort that brought all the churches together around the preaching of the Gospel"

Page 129 "We were determined to cooperate with all who would cooperate with us in the public proclamation of the Gospel…"

Page 161 "Heartening to us was the response of the Roman Catholic Church… "BRAVO BILLY" read the editorial headline in the Pilot the official newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese. "We are not amused by his critics, some unfortunately among Protestant cloth."

Page 163 "He (Willis Haymaker) would also call on the local Catholic bishop or other clerics to acquaint them with Crusade plans and invite them to the meetings…we were concerned to let the Catholic bishops see that my goal was not to get people to leave their church; rather, I wanted them to commit their lives to Christ."

Page 273 "Ours was the largest Protestant-sponsored meeting in the history of the Philippines…We later learned that 30 percent of those who had committed themselves to Christ that day were Catholics. …we – Protestants and Catholics – were slowly growing in our understanding of each other and of our mutual commitment to those teachings we hold in common."

Page 290 "I wrote to Mr. Pew on April 13, 1955: "These campaigns that thrill and excite…must be followed through with a periodical." We wanted to appeal to all kinds of people." (He was speaking of Christianity Today).

Page 299 "Jack Wyrtzen…had been urging me for years to come to New York. This (1957) invitation, however, was different, since it represented a much broader base of church support than the previous ones had."

Page 301 "Opposition also came from a few in the Roman Catholic and Jewish communities, although I made it clear I was not going to New York to speak against other traditions or to proselytize people away from them."

Page 302 "Many Catholics did come to the meetings (in New York in 1957), a good number stepping forward to personally commit their lives to Christ."

[Quote from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

p. 248 "At a recent ecumenical gathering in a Southern California Lutheran Church, after declaring that all religions are one…."

Hunt was writing about the idea of pure consciousness which is connected to the manipulation by spirits.


Are we known by the company that we keep? The Bible does point that truth out (See verses at the end of this article and the various links). Now in all fairness to BG, a Believer must follow Jesus’ example in going to those who are lost. There is no gain if all the saved associate only with the saved. Yet, if a person claiming to know salvation is continually found in the company of those with a false theology and is more comfortable with them, then might not one assume there is something not right spiritually with that person?

The following was in an email from Bob Evans. Compare how Montgomery handled Bishop Pike with Billy Graham’s treatment of him.

[From : "Bob Evans" Date : Thu, 6 Feb 2003 23:53:30 -0500, Got this off a discussion board]:

'''In his 1959 San Francisco Crusade, Graham honored the notorious liberal Bishop James A. Pike by having him lead in prayer. Graham had attended Pike's consecration at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral on May 15, 1958 (William Stringfellow and Anthony Towne, The Death and Life of Bishop Pike, p. 306). Pike would also have been involved in Graham's 1957 New York Crusade, as he was the dean of the extremely modernistic Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York from 1952 to 1958. Yet, Pike was a rank, unbelieving Modernist, a drunkard, an adulterer. He denied the Trinity and refused to state the traditional benediction, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen!" He abbreviated this to "In the name of God, Amen!"

Three times Pike was brought up on heresy charges in the Episcopal Church. In an article in Look magazine Pike stated that he did not believe the fundamentals of the faith. In a pastoral letter that was to be read in all the Episcopal Churches of his diocese, Pike stated that "religious myth is one of the avenues of faith and has an important place in the communication of the Gospel." He spoke of the "myth of the Garden of Eden." He said, "The virgin birth... is a myth which churchmen should be free to accept or reject."

In an article in Christian Century, Dec. 21, 1960, Pike declared that he no longer believed the doctrines stated in the Apostles' Creed. The same month that article appeared Graham again joined Pike at his Grace Cathedral for a Christian Men's Assembly sponsored by the National Council of Churches.

Three times Pike was picked up by San Francisco police while he was wandering around in a drunken, confused state late at night. He spent four years in intensive psychoanalysis. Pike was twice divorced, thrice married, and had at least three mistresses. One of his mistresses committed suicide; one of his daughters attempted suicide. His eldest son committed suicide in 1966 at age 20 (associated with his homosexuality), and Pike got deeply involved in the occult in an attempt to communicate with the deceased. Three years later Pike died from a 70-foot fall in a remote canyon in the Israeli desert near the Dead Sea. His maggot infested body was found five days later. The 56-year-old theologian had gotten lost in the desert while on an extended honeymoon with his 31-year-old third wife. A biography about Pike noted that "never before in the history of the Episcopal Church had a Solemn Requiem Mass been offered for a bishop in the presence of three surviving wives" (The Death and Life of Bishop Pike, p. 202).

JOHN WARWICK MONTGOMERY is Professor of Law and Humanities at the University of Luton, England, and Director of its Human Rights Centre. He annually conducts the University's International Seminar in Jurisprudence and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

Professor Montgomery holds eight earned degrees besides, the LL.B.: the A.B. with distinction in Philosophy (Cornell University; Phi Beta Kappa), B.L.S. and M.A. (University of California at Berkeley), B.D. and S.T.M. (Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio), M. Phil. in Law (University of Essex, England), Ph.D. (University of Chicago), and the Doctorat d'Universite from Strasbourg, France. Before moving to the United Kingdom, he served on the faculty of the University of Chicago and was Chairman of the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

Dr. Montgomery is author of over one hundred scholarly journal articles and more than forty books in English, French, Spanish and German. He is internationally regarded both as a theologian (his debates with the late Bishop James Pike, death-of-God advocate Thomas Altizer, and situation-ethicist Joseph Fletcher are historic) and as a lawyer (barrister-at-law of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn, England; member of the California, Virginia, Washington State, and District of Columbia Bars and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States).

He is one of only six persons to have received the Diploma of the International Institute of Human Rights cum laude, and was the Institute's Director of Studies from 1979 to 1981.

John W. Montgomery actions with Bishop Pike were different as seen from the book " The Strader Affair." Chapter 21

"For false Christ's and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)

In the early Seventies, during the "God is dead" movement, Dr. John W. Montgomery came into prominence. He was and is a renowned Biblical scholar with numerous degrees and an obvious brilliant mind, and a "who's who" in America at that time. He was invited to openly debate Bishop Pike, on a Chicago University Campus, which was televised. He literally tore the Bishop's theology apart.

Amazing! Dr. Montgomery, a brilliant Christian man of unusual intelligence and knowledge of the Bible, matched by few in our lifetime, was vicious and even to the point of cruel, when he debated Bishop Pike in an open forum. Later, Montgomery was credited with founding Noah's ark in Turkey and wrote a book about his exploits.

His critics were upset and protested at how he destroyed Bishop Pike during the debate. Even though God's word states that they should be destroyed: 2 Peter 2:1

I was to have the privilege of meeting Dr. John Montgomery when he came to our university for a week of Evangelism. It was sponsored by the university's Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship club where I was on the executive committee. I personally asked John the following question, "As a Christian how could you do what you did to Bishop Pike?" He answered, "Easily, and I would gladly do it again to anyone who was a false prophet and had hurt and deceived so many people."

Well, these are my sentiments exactly about deceived Jim Bakker, Henry J. Lyons and Billy Graham who called themselves--a Man of God.

Modernists and apostates with whom Billy Graham has fellowshipped, and used in his crusades:

Henry Van Dusen Union Theological Seminary

Bishop James Pike, episcopal bishop

John Sutherland Bonnell

Robert McCracken, Minister of Riverside Church, New York

Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury

Dr. Fred Townley Lord, British Methodist

Dr. Bertram Simpson, Bishop of Southwark

Dr. E.A. Payne, General Secretary of British Baptist Union

Bishop Gerald Kennedy, Methodist

Dr. Jesse Baird

Dr. Stanley E. Jones

Dr. Martin Luther King, Modernist in theology.

* by Ned Graham. '''

[Dave Hunt mentioned Bishop Pike’s involvement with the occult: Quote from "The Cult Explosion" by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 117 "One of the first things the alleged spirit of Jim Pike said to his famous, father Bishop Pike, in a London séance was that God is not personal but a force."

I found the following article and want to point out that when a person states he feels closer to Catholic leaders and in agreement with Catholic theology there is a difference in how that person will be understanding what is needed for salvation and how he presents salvation. Catholics also believe in the cross of Christ and His sacrifice but to receive salvation is a faith plus a human works system. The Catholic salvation emphasis is upon a human works system as the operational concept.


[From Web Site: (probably found in Dec. 1998) by Andy Neckar. Below are some of the testimonies of some of these people as posted by "Religion Today"]:

''' "He [Graham] is the person who gave the introduction, who extended the invitation, who offered the challenge that has completely changed my life."

Being affected-influenced-moved-touched-impressed, by Graham's ministry and his dedication and commitment is NOT the power of God unto salvation. It is the power of righteous behavior, (morality) and the creation of a desire to "change society".

On the last night of a Boston crusade in 1964, a woman had decided she would ask Jesus Christ to be her Savior. However, she arrived at Boston Garden late, and security guards were turning people away because there was no more room. Panicked, but undaunted, she climbed a fire escape, lowered herself through a skylight and landed next to a security guard.

"The guard said to me, 'Honey, if you want to hear Billy Graham, then go sit down on the stairs and listen to what he has to say,'" the woman recounted. "When the invitation came, I walked down the aisle." Notice PLEASE-This woman thinks she cannot "get saved" unless she is inside where Graham is preaching. In her mind, AND HEART she believes that she must WALK THE ISLE at Graham's INVITATION. Walking an isle at the invitation of man is NOT the power of God unto salvation.

It is reported that over the last 50 years, his message, and his testimony have remained constant.

"I would describe his message as being an old, old story and he doesn't ever veer from it," said daughter Anne Graham Lotz.

The Gastonian Gazette of November 22, 1967, reported on Graham when he went to Belmont Abbey Roman Catholic College in NC. When asked, 'what gospel do you preach, he answered, "The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way of salvation."

Graham says,"Many of the people who reach a decision for Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic church." (Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph of September 6, 1952)

He says, "Even if the penitents are non-Protestant they are referred to the church of their choice. "Anyone who makes a decision at our meeting is seen later and referred to a local clergyman--Protestant, Catholic or Jewish." (San Francisco News, November 11 1957)

Billy Graham:

1966: "I find myself closer to Catholics than the radical Protestants. I think the Roman Catholic Church today is going through a second Reformation" (Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, May 24, 1966).

1977: In Manila, the Philippines, Graham said, "We have received wondrous support from the Catholic Church" (Christianity Today, Dec. 30, 1977).

1978: "I found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Catholics. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition. I find that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics" (McCall's, Jan. 1978). In Poland in 1978 Graham praised the greatness of Pope John the XXIII's successor, Pope Paul VI, and he said, "I praise the greatness of the present Pope Paul VI."

In 1980 he wrote an article which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post (Jan.-Feb. 1980). He said: "Pope John Paul II is one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century. He is an evangelist. He has sought to speak to the spiritual hunger of our age in the same way Christians throughout the centuries have spoken to the spiritual yearning of every age." And how has he done it? Billy Graham says he has done it by pointing people to Christ.

In 1989 Graham spoke further in the Today newspaper of June 8, and he said this about the Pope: "He fixed his eye on me and said,'Listen, Graham, we are brothers.'

"We are brothers!" Graham said that was a great happening in his life, when the Pope took him by the lapels, pulled him into his cheek and said, "We are brothers."

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 250 "Jim Jones….not only did he deceive ordinary people, but government officials from the Mayor of San Francisco on up to the highest federal levels treated this deceiver with respect, catered to him, cultivated his friendship as a man who could swing a lot of votes in an election."


However, Billy Graham has CHANGED HIS TUNE. (message). Now he says, "I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost--were going to hell--if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that." (McCall's - January, 1978)

Graham once believed that Jews, too, were lost if they did not convert to Christianity. Today Graham is willing to leave that up to God. Billy is particularly opposed to evangelical groups such as `Jews for Jesus' who have made Jews the special target of their proselytizing efforts. Billy declares, "If a person wants to convert to Christianity, that is his own freewill decision," He says, "I would never go after someone just because he is a Jew, which is why I have never supported the Jewish missions."


The committing of the life to Christ satisfies churches that have works salvation gospels. Most often it is some of those churches that hold evangelistic meetings over and over bringing in evangelists who generally misuse Scripture and equate salvation/conversion with turning from sinning and reformation of the life as spiritually being born again. This evangelistic gospel flaw enveloped BG almost from the beginning of his career.

By presenting salvation as having the primary requirement of first turning from your sins and then the committing of your life to Christ, it was a "gospel" acceptable to those churches with works oriented salvation doctrines. Never in the history of the Christianity has a salvation message of through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone been widely accepted, and generally those standing firm in that doctrine have not been supported by mainline churches such as the Catholics, Lutherans, and those in Pentecostal circles. The Roman Catholic canon instituted at the Council of Trent where a curse and condemnation is pronounced on all who say salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone without human works, has never been changed or renounced. Thus, for those churches to support BG, the phrases commit your life and surrender your life to Christ are understood as including human works!

Churches that falsely teach that certain human works such as water baptism, confirmation, taking of communion, tithing, hearing the Scriptures, and living an obedient lifestyle, (etc) could fully support evangelistic crusades that preach salvation by commitment to Christ. It is because some of those churches also either teach or imply that they (that Church) speaks for Christ on earth and to be saved one must obey the Church doctrines as obeying Christ. Thus, to commit your life to Christ or to surrender it to Christ means making a vow to obey His representative on earth, their church. Salvation (according to them) is by obedience to Christ’s commands as presented by them.

[Quote from The Cult Explosion, by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 71 "Psychology is indeed "the cult of self worship." Salvation always centers in Self: self-confidence, self-potential, self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-love, self-image,…"

A strange factor in the commitment salvation message is the psychological connection that is made with the self-saving belief within most people. They hold the belief that they indeed are capable of performing the necessary conditions to meet God’s standards for salvation. To commit ones life to Christ falls within the realm of that belief of your abilities. Hidden under my so-called gaining of salvation by doing what BG said was required, was my self-assurance of being able to do whatever God might call for me to do. BG’s message connects with that hidden self-confidence factor most people have. Remember that it is WITHIN the local church that the FALSE TEACHERS are found.


[Pages 21-30 999]

[Quotes from "The Cult Explosion", by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 57 "Mormons (claim)…there is some truth in all religions."

P. 78 "Free Masonry … boasts in its ‘universality…at its altar men of all religions may kneel; to its creed, disciples of every faith may subscribe’….for those within its walls, a system of good works, which, if followed faithfully, will earn eternal life for the loyal member."

P. 179 "The cult may claim to embrace all religions…."

P. 244 "Dr. James Fadiman of Stanford University…is saying that the prevailing trend…is away from fundamentalism and toward ecumenism and syncretism."



The Meaning of receive: The greatest hurt done to the Gospel of grace (that Christ died for sins, was buried and rose from the dead, I Cor. 15:3-4), is when Bible believing and Bible following Churches and preachers give support to a false and tainted salvation message such as BG preached. Those false teachers and preachers need to be corrected if possible or if uncorrectable, then exposed and shunned like a plague and blight they are.

Sadly enough, most of the "official" salvation message sounds correct and even a part of it is correct. The following has been carefully edited without changing the meaning to focus on the 2 questionable aspects found in it. Italics have been added to draw attention to questionable statements. The emphasis is upon 2 things in this message: (1) You must believe and receive, (2) That is "making a commitment to Christ."

Jan. 10, 2003 Found on BGEA Web Site: How to Become a Christian

You can know for sure what will become of you after you die.

But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you willingly accept it. God requires an individual response from you.

Sin Has a Penalty --Romans 6:23 (NIV)

If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will be separated from our holy God for all eternity.

Salvation Is a Free Gift --Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

The word grace means "undeserved favor." It means God is offering you something you could never provide for yourself: forgiveness of sins and eternal life, God's gift to you is free. You do not have to work for a gift. All you have to do is joyfully receive it, Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you!

Christ Is at Your Heart's Door --Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

Jesus Christ wants to have a personal relationship with you. Picture, if you will, Jesus Christ standing at the door of your heart (the door of your emotions, intellect and will). Invite Him in; He is waiting for you to receive Him into your heart and life.

You Must Receive Him --John 1:12 (NIV)

When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God, and have the privilege of talking to Him in prayer at any time about anything. The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ.

If you are making this commitment to Christ today, please let us know.

The concept of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving Him, and commitment to Him contain a erroneous image of what must be done for salvation. First BG carefully redefines BELIEVING as meaning something more closely understood as "to obey." This holds true of his definition of the word "faith." Whereas, the Biblical meaning is exactly what all dictionaries also say believe means, to accept something as true, such as the promise of God. Note the definition of faith that was already quoted is not the one assigned to the word faith by BG. Nor is it the one that has been culturally accepted universally by societies.

To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is NOT the same in meaning as COMMIT YOUR LIFE TO HIM.

Second, receiving Him is presented as accomplished by some type of human activity, such as going forward, saying "the prayer", or "asking Him into your heart." How could doing any of those things literally be the spiritual "receiving of Christ?" And even more importantly, how could committing one’s life to Christ be the method of you receiving Him? It isn’t!

However, the Bible consistently equates believing in Christ as Savior as having received Him (and eternal life). And only one verse is the proof text (John 1:12) for the receiving methods mentioned above but that verse clearly makes the receiving of Christ as done by believing.

Third, "commitment of your life to Christ" is viewed as the means of receiving Him "into your life." Believing in Him is falsely presented as different from receiving Christ. Believing is presented as only one part of gaining salvation and that one may believe but still be lost if he has not RECEIVED Christ! Yet, John. 1:12 does show that receiving Christ is only by believing.

Again, that phrase "commitment of your life to Christ" (and others including receive Christ into your heart ) is never found in any verse that has the topic of eternal life or spiritual salvation. Revelations 3:20 is written to a group of saved people who are doing "church" according to their own ideas instead of following Christ Himself.

Isn’t that exactly what BG following Churches that use his non-Biblical salvation phrases doing today? Would God approve of using His words in a twisted fashion contrary to the meaning and context He gave them? Would He approve of twisting His words to support a twisted salvation message? A key mark of a cult is twisting Bible verses and their meanings.

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 115 "With the question "Did God really say….?" the serpent challenged the authority and integrity of the One who had revealed Himself to Eve as her Creator….?The serpents argument seemed logical."

P. 127 "Most cults challenge the authority and accuracy of the Bible in an attempt to prove …that it doesn’t say what Christians have generally believed it to say."

P. 182 "…forgiveness and eternal life are offered to everyone who will believe and receive this free gift of God’s grace. [But] Every cult has its own false gospel that denies the true gospel."

P. 186 "Satan has tremendous powers at his disposal, and he is able to do some impressive things….Far from overcoming the effects of sin, the evil in Satan only adds to them. Some superficial "good" may seem to result, leading people to say, "But anything so good couldn’t come from Satan!" In time, however his mask of "good" always slips, and the hideous reality underneath is exposed."


One group of "Christians" holds that it doesn’t matter if the salvation message is NOT strictly Biblical. It is their belief that the Holy Spirit will take even a false or mixed up one and use it to bring people to a saving understanding of Christ. Thus, they can support BGEA based on a faulty deliberate approach because that belief allows them to accept what they know to be an unbiblical salvation message.

Also found in that group or closely related to that mind-set is the group that feel the visible results at BG’s Crusades are proof God is in what is going on and that it is His work. Let me just say that what is God’s work can never be judged based on what is seen but first must be judged using true and careful analysis adhering to strict Bible principles. Is commit your life what Bible verses dealing with the topic of eternal life set forth as the requirement? NO! Not a single verse gives such a requirement! To blindly think the "fruit" of those massive Crusades are proof of God’s approval and working is see a structure created with out a true foundation.

[If numbers were any indication of God's Working then there are many other religious endeavors such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormanism, Seventh Day Adventism that show successful numbers too. Is God working in all of them??]

Even in the face of having no Biblical support from verses dealing specifically with eternal life and salvation, BG consistently uses the concept of "commitment of life" and the "surrender of your life" as the means of gaining eternal life and salvation. Almost exclusively BG uses those phrases in reference to both his own conversion (already quoted) and that of others. He seldom will refer to a person as getting saved or having believed on the Lord Jesus.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham, Zondervan-Harper, San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 321 "One night a plainly dressed woman stood in the inquiry room with tears running down her cheeks as she asked Christ to come into her life."

Page 103 (1946, Oct. Bradford, England) "When I invited them to receive Christ after my sermon on the rich young ruler, 23 came forward…"

Page 148 "..the rugged cowboy (Stuart Hamblen) gave his life to Christ in a childlike act of faith. He came forward in the next service."

Page 154 "…so I simply gave a brief explanation of the Gospel and an Invitation to receive Christ, and people came forward."

Page 163 "…we were concerned to let the Catholic bishops see that my goal was not to get people to leave their church; rather, I wanted them to commit their lives to Christ."

Page 228 "One night at Harringay she (Joan Winmill) gave her life to Christ and she was transformed."

Page 241 "At the end of the message, I asked those who wanted to commit their lives to Christ to wave their handkerchiefs."

Page 253 "But my words had crystallized the commitment of his (the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Hugh Wiley)…"

Page 273 "Ours was the largest Protestant-sponsored meeting in the history of the Philippines…We later learned that 30 percent of those who had committed themselves to Christ that day were Catholics."

Page 302 "Many Catholics did come to the meetings (in New York in 1957), a good number stepping forward to personally commit their lives to Christ."

Page 321 "One night a plainly dressed woman stood in the inquiry room with tears running down her cheeks as she asked Christ to come into her life."

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 81 "Failure to define terms carefully has caused many an evangelical Christian to imagine that he has led someone to receive Christ, whereas the entire conversation has actually been one unbroken misunderstanding from beginning to end."



I already noted that there have been several instances that I personally know of where BG was made aware of his flawed salvation message and his response was that he was correct. In his biography he told how he developed an attitude toward any criticism. At first he did agonize over the criticism and then reached a conclusion that his understanding of Scripture was correct.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 166 "But I had come to realize that there was absolutely no need to apologize for the Gospel of Jesus Christ…"

Page 302 "Much more painful to me, however, was the opposition from some of the leading fundamentalists….The heart of the problem for men like Bob Jones, Carl McIntire, and John R. Rice was the sponsorship of the Crusade by the Protestant Council of New York. It was not the first time some of them had raised their objections to my growing ecumenism…"

Page 303 "I studied and prayed over their criticisms, wanting to accept their indictments if they were right. But I came to the firm conclusion that they were not….In addition, my study of the major evangelists in history also showed me that the issue was not new; every one of them --- from Whitefield and Wesley to Moody and Sunday --- had to contend with similar criticisms, both from the left and from the right…"

BG appealed to the record of past evangelists also as supporting his right to ignore any criticism. The sad part is that Bob Jones, Carl McIntire, and John R. Rice and other fundamental church leaders failed to make him aware of the non-biblical salvation method he was presenting. They should have stood against him on those grounds instead of his ecumenicalism.

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 129 "…cult leaders have tried to justify their contradiction of historical biblical Christianity….3) by insisting that they alone have the insight from God to properly interpret the Bible."

P. 140 "The greatest challenge to Christianity today is not atheism but false religion. Those deceived by the serpent still echo his words: "Did God really say…..that?"

Gen. 3:4 "You will not surely die," said the serpent to the woman.



While some attempt to claim those phrases carry the same meaning as believe and faith it simply is not true in the literal meaning of the words. They claim that to believe means to totally and without any conditions or reservations to place your spiritual salvation in Christ, thus you have "made a commitment to Christ" or "surrendered your life to Him." The question for those people is, why not just use the words God gave which are clear in meaning?

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 128 "Not every cult attacks the Bible so blatantly. Many profess to follow the Scriptures, but the cult leader…becomes the final authority rather than the Bible….Thus any prophet who claimed to be sent by God could always be tested against what earlier prophets had said…He (God) wouldn’t say one thing about Himself today and make a contradictory statement tomorrow, because He doesn’t change….nor could the basic principles upon which salvation is based ever change."

P.129 "…If it contradicts or destroys what God had already said, then it must be rejected as false by the people of God."



Then the question remains, why would BG use phrases that connect to a person getting the image that salvation is a matter of living out a life in obedience to Christ to acquire eternal life (earned by works) while still knowing most salvation verses state it is not of works and is a free gift? Personally, I think it is because deep down BG does believe his own salvation is dependent upon his commitment of his life as some means of gaining salvation by what he had done. A modified form of works-salvation which he could claim was not.


In the Systematic Theology written by L.S. Chafer who founded Dallas Theological Seminary and was the president of it for many years it is pointed that the Oxford Group began as a group of mostly liberal and a few fundamentalist theological scholars joining together after WW I to find a solution to the lack of peace found globally.

They determined that those who were totally committed to the commands of Christ seemed to be the true peace-makers of all societies and to be the examples of moral lives. Having discovered the ideal, they concluded that the message of salvation was surrender to Christ. The few fundamentalists in the Group compromised and went along with that concept because the liberals were offended at the image of Christ’s shed blood having any saving properties. Thus, they began teaching that to be a Christian meant you had surrendered your life.

L.S. Chafer soundly denounced that form of salvation as one of works and having nothing to do with God’s saving grace. He had harsh condemnation for each of those in the Oxford Group. Chafer went on to warn that their false message would spread.

Note: I cannot give the Volume number or further data on the above due to my having lived 6 years in an extremely moldy house and my wife becoming allergic to even the slight hint of mold, all the books we had in that house including Chafer’s had to be destroyed.

The Oxford Group made the surrendered life a goal for everyone and saw it not only as the critical life-changing instrument but as the means to bring the Kingdom of God to reality on earth. The hope of the world was found in that message. They felt that the church was the means to accomplish the Kingdom of God as both a spiritual one and a physical one. Man would bring it to fruition by reformation of the world culture. This is similar to the amillennium prophecy stance of the Roman Catholic Church. Some have claimed that BG has that same amillennium approach to prophecy and does not accept the dispensational view of this age ending with the following sequence of events, the rapture of the believers, the 7 year tribulation, the judgment of the nations and the living lost, and the 1.000 year rule of Christ on earth.


The following came from a website: Alcoholics Anonymous and Its Real Oxford Group Connection, by Dick B.,

Jan. 16, 2003

Dick B. is an active, recovered member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.


To mention just a part of their contribution, these sources from the 1800's contributed a widely known flow of ideas, including….. The "art" of life-changing involved in the well-known principles of "Confidence," "Confession," "Conviction," "Conversion," and "Continuance."

You can hear these principles, in one form or another, on any Billy Graham Crusade, in A.A.'s last three steps …Accepting Jesus Christ as one's Lord and Savior–a much discarded, but primary element in early practices.


Soul Surgery: In my judgment, the first "real" Oxford Group book was Soul-Surgery, published in 1919…. It set forth a life-changing program–the so-called Five C's–that Frank Buchman called "God's art" for cutting out sin and "opening the way" to a relationship with God. In Confidence, Confess it, become Convicted of it. Get rid of it by Conversion–an experience of God. And Continue the changed life. All of these ideas directly influenced Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps. In sum, Frank Buchman and Sam Shoemaker and Bill Wilson never claimed to have invented the foregoing principles that found their way to early A.A.

[A Survey of the Oxford Group Movement (William L Carrington) Oxford Group Pamphlet ( Jan. 16, 2003]:

(Quotes from that pamphlet)

Page 4-5

The Oxford Croup is a great company of people from 50 nations who, from a living experience believe that God has a plan for the world and are prepared to put into practice... They are held together by the spiritual kind of a common self-surrender to Christ and a common determination to win the world for His allegiance.

Therefore, we need firstly to be living in surrender of lives pages 6-7

Thirdly, that every vital Christian should try to be used by God to change other people's lives to God’s plan. The Oxford Group method deals with all these requirements.


The one essential before one can belong to the Group is willingness to surrender one’s life to God’s will, that is, to regard everything – time, talents, possessions. opportunities – as held in Stewardship to be used in the Service of God, rather than of self. "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the Will of my Father."

If on the other hand he surrenders all his talents to the master conductor to be used, he doesn’t lose his skill or his soul, they are probably improved by the experience. He may lose few bad habits that do not contribute to the general good.

Surrender is not a single act but a daily act deepening as time goes on – cloaking for more of myself to give. and more of Christ to give it to. It is an attempt to make my will gradually become more and more identical with God's Will, If this is not the case there will be conflicts in the will.

Last page

Plan and bringing in the Kingdom of God NOW. The challenge is urgent and pressing. The world is sick and needs the real help at ordinary men and women as never before. As was said recently at the Royal Albert Hall, "We are either part of the disease or part of the cure." Can anyone with any vision of the urgent need go on living a self-centered life, realizing that the world is a poorer place, and civilization nearer to destruction, because of his failure to adept the challenge?

I believe that it will be the destiny of the Oxford Group to bind together all Christian fellowships which are limited by Country, Class, Creed, or Sex. To do this the Oxford Group must be enough in its outlook, broad enough in its principles, and humble enough in its approach, to be able to be used by God to bring about a United Spiritual Front in the World. To my knowledge it is the only Christian fellowship with no limitations of Creed, Class. Country, Color, or Sex, where all one in Christ.

[For Doubters Only How I was Changed (by Andrew Roddan) (Quotes from an Oxford Group Pamphlet)]

Jan. 16, 2003

'''The door of the den opened, and in came one of my boys, we have four and three girls in our family. I did not pay much attention co him until he said, "Well, Dad, I have made a full surrender of my life to Christ, and I am going in for the ministry." '''

A young business man from Vancouver told of how he had wasted his time and substance, lied to his father, and now felt the thrill of a full surrender to Christ. Parents told of the change in their borneo since they had made the full surrender.

Husbands and wives told how their home relations had been at the breaking point, and now for the first time in their experience they had been absolutely honest, and had been guided to share with, and not swear at, each other; they were so happy that they wanted to witness to the good news.

Pages 31-40 999

THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED. My old self died within me. I completely and fully surrendered every area of my life. I realized now as never before that the cost of absolute freedom was based on absolute surrender. I realized the meaning in a fuller measure of absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love.

I WAS CHANGED, I saw as never before the possibility of a life absolutely surrendered to God. The sovereignty of God linked up with the free will of man, in a new and living way for the needs of this modem world. Moral and spiritual determinism for economic determinism.

Every cult has its testimonies of change and salvation that was attained through the "gospel" message it preached. Thus, no matter how many testimonies nor how impressive they might be the final standard is the gospel given in Scripture.

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 182 "…forgiveness and eternal life are offered to everyone who will believe and receive this free gift of God’s grace. [But] Every cult has its own false gospel that denies the true gospel."


[The Following Is Condensed quotes from JOTGES, Autumn 1988 —Volume 1:1: THE TERMS OF SALVATION by LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER]:

"The Terms of Salvation" originally appeared as the last segment of a series entitled "The Saving Work of the Triune God," published in Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 107 (Oct.-Dec. 1950): 389-416. Dr. Chafer (1871-1952) was the co-founder, first president, and professor of theology at Dallas Theological Seminary from 1924 until his death.

"IV. Believe and Surrender to God

1. The Incapacity of the Unsaved

….As all this is true, it follows that to impose a need to surrender the life to God as an added condition of salvation is most unreasonable. God's call to the unsaved is never said to be unto the Lordship of Christ; it is unto His saving grace.

The error of imposing Christ's Lordship upon the unsaved is disastrous even though they are not able intelligently to resent it or to remind the preacher of the fact that he, in calling upon them to dedicate their lives, is demanding of them what they have no ability to produce.

A destructive heresy was formerly abroad under the name The Oxford Movement, which specializes in this blasting error; except that the promoters of the Movement omit altogether the idea of believing on Christ for salvation and promote exclusively the obligation of surrender to God. They substitute consecration for conversion, faithfulness for faith, and beauty of daily life for believing unto eternal life.

…the plan of this Movement is to ignore the need of Christ's death as the ground of regeneration and forgiveness, and to promote the wretched heresy that it matters nothing what one believes respecting the Saviorhood of Christ if only the daily life is dedicated to God's service.

A pseudo self-dedication to God is a rare bit of religion with which the unsaved may conjure. The tragedy is that out of such a delusion those who embrace it are likely never to be delivered by a true faith in Christ as Savior. No more complete example could be found today of "the blind leading the blind" than what this Movement presents.

2. What Is Involved What more could God expect than that the creatures of His hand should by supposed surrender be attempting to be obedient to Him? In such idealism the darkened mind of the unsaved, no doubt, sees dimly some possible advantage in submitting their lives to the guidance of a Supreme Being—of whom they really know nothing.

Such notions are only human adjustments to God and resemble in no way the terms of divine adjustment, which first condemns man and rejects all his supposed merit, and then offers a perfect and eternal salvation to the helpless sinner on no other terms than that he believe on Christ as his Savior.

3. The Preacher's Responsibility

It is the preacher's responsibility, not only to preserve his message to the unsaved from being distorted by issues other than that of simple faith in Christ…

If the importance of attention to this wide difference between the saved and the unsaved is not appreciated and respected by the preacher, the fault is nearly unpardonable since the results may easily hinder the salvation of many souls.


Multitudes of unsaved people have been diverted from the one question of their acceptance of Christ as Savior to other questions regarding amusements and unchristian ways of living.

His (the unsaved) problem is not one of giving up what in his unsaved state seems normal to him; it is a problem of receiving the Savior with all His salvation.


The Bible never makes surrender to God, His laws, or a lifestyle of obedience to Him a condition for receiving His gift of eternal (salvation). There is difference between a gift which has no conditions involving earning it and a reward which has conditions to receive it. Eternal life/salvation has only the condition of believing that the Lord Jesus Christ totally paid for your sins by His death on the cross. Commitment or surrender of your life to Christ contains the sly concept of a condition attached to salvation.

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 49 "Ed Decker…for 19 years an enthusiastic member of the Mormon Church…tells it: that if I lived a life of righteousness according to the law He had given, then I too could become a God and be given many celestial wives and procreate spiritual children.."

P. 52 "…Brad Green received similar revelations (to Mormon, Hindu, Shakti, Hare Krishna, and others)…apparently from the same source that has inspired this idea down through the centuries. He describes one experience: I saw that if I just surrendered myself…I would enter into a sort of cosmic orgasm with the universe."

P.53 "The Watchtower Society has said "God requires …obedience, honor, and respect…not only to the living God himself, but to his wifely organization as well."

P. 54 "Moon’s followers around the world repeat a pledge…I will fulfill our Father’s will and the responsibility given me. I will become a dutiful son and a child of goodness to attend our Father forever…"

P. 60 "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh of India demands absolute surrender from his followers."

P. 75 "…Jim Anderson discovered that Unity offered "godhood" in much the same way as TM, Rosicrucianism, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Christian Science, witchcraft, Science of the Mind, or any of the numerous other mind-science cult. Though the terminology each uses is outwardly different, the underlying objectives of God-realization and salvation through self-effort – and the consequent rejection of Christ’s sacrifice for all human sin – are common to almost all cults, as they are to all occult systems."

P. 77 "For the Mormons, exaltation…does not come by grace, but must be earned entirely by one’s own efforts. The price the Mormon pays involves not only living a good life according to the standards of his church; it also involves considerable time spent in rituals…"

P. 78 "Free Masonry, like every other religious cult… boasts in its ‘….for those within its walls, a system of good works, which, if followed faithfully, will earn eternal life for the loyal member’."

P. 79 "Free Masonry teaches that salvation can be earned through following the Masonic rites and a life of good works….Though Masonry claims to be based upon the Bible, it is an esoteric system for earning one’s own salvation, which directly opposes the biblical concept of grace."

P. 79 "…thus guided by…masonry, they may…[live] in hope of being accepted by the Most High, as successful candidates for admission into the Grand Lodge above." (intro to the Masonic Bible). "Similarly, in Mormonism, good deeds and secret temple rites earn "exaltation" to Godhood."

P. 86 "Like the Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses also present to the world an outward appearance of devoutness and righteous living. Sincere Witnesses do their best to live moral lives, in the belief that salvation depends upon their own good deeds and obedience to the Watchtower Society. ...Witnesses, like other cult members, believe that the threat of losing God’s favor if one doesn’t measure up provides the best motivation for moral living."

P. 116 Brad Green in speaking of his mystical experiences, "I had to surrender my whole being to a Force that was rising up inside me."

P. 130 "In joining a cult, reason is surrendered to feelings, and objectivity is exchanged for subjective experiences."

P. 148 "Though a professing Christian, Greg Jordan …Greg had just enough religion to make himself miserable…Unfortunately, he choose to give himself fully to Satan."

P. 178 "The Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and other cults teach that Christ’s death only paid for Adam’s sin, and that it gave us all a second chance."

P. 211 "From his years in the Worldwide Church of God, Keith Hunter recalls, ‘The Worldwide Church of God is basically a church of rules and legalism. ..First of all, they believe in the Ten Commandments as the supreme law of God, and they teach that one must keep those laws literally to be saved.’"

P. 213 "Ed Gruss….continues his story: ‘As a Jehovah Witness, I could never say for sure that I had eternal life. I could say that I hoped I would eventually gain it as a reward for what I was doing. The whole thing depended upon me.’…"

P. 213 "Bob Witte shares this fact out of his own experience: ‘After many years in the Mormon Church of trying to earn my own salvation, I had a problem with spiritual depression.’"

P. 215 "The Jesus presented by the cults is not really the Savior of sinners, no matter how they may honor Him in other ways. It is true that some cults call Jesus the Savior and even say that He died for us on the cross, but His death is never sufficient -–there is always something else that we must do to earn our own salvation."

P. 215 "The person who tries to earn his own salvation makes another basic error: he confuses fruit and works….Serving Christ will not earn eternal life for us."

P. 216 "…Acceptable good works come only through a new birth, after which we begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit. ..The good works he does are not to earn salvation, but are produced by Christ living in him."

P. 217 Dennis Adams tells this, "As a Jehovah Witness, I was doing everything I possibly could to gain eternal life, and I hoped I would have it someday, but I could not be sure."


I mentioned in the beginning of this article there was a father who presented salvation as by faith which may cause some to be thinking, "Ah, but BG DOES give out salvation by faith in Christ and His death." Yes, it does seem that way and he does sometimes even quote a verse that says those who believe have eternal life. But the question is how does BG define the meaning of faith? The meaning he gives to faith/believe/trust is obedience not the age-old definition of accepting a given premise as true.

Page 204 "I sensed he (Dwight Eisenhower) was reassured by that most misunderstood message: salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone, and not by anything we can do for ourselves."

Personally, I do not see any way that this statement of BG’s can be reconciled with his other stance that salvation is by commitment or surrender (works), if that the last part of the statement is understood in a literal logical common usage concept. However, it is qualified by the introduction phrase that it is the most misunderstood message! He means that what you just read quoted from Eph. 2:8-9 does NOT mean what it appears to say when understood in a literal logical common language usage! Remember that in his own testimony BG stressed salvation needed the word "do."

The simple literal meaning of Eph. 2:8-9 is changed this way: Without works a person is not saved but those saving works are not human works. Instead they are the necessary result of a life of devotion and dedication to Christ. Faith is both the trust in Christ and the obedience to Him in that devotion to Him. Grace is the unmerited favor from God which allows such a salvation and empowers the person in his/her life of devotion. Thus, the verses can then be summarized as "committing your life to Christ." A very false twisting of the meanings.

However, You are probably thinking "all that sounds fine but where is Winkelman’s proof?" Let’s consider some quotes taken from a book by BG. What has he said and what does he mean by the phrase "commit your life to Christ?" What does he believe (accepts as true) saves a person?

The following is an exchange BG had with a lost person and what he told him.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan-Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 332: "Then will you receive Christ and begin to follow Him?" He paused for a moment. "No I can’t, because I find that’s not my problem. My real problem is that I don’t want to live up to the standard that Jesus demands."

He thought his problem was an intellectual one, but in reality, as with so many other people, his problem was one of the will. Before he left, Cliff and I prayed for him, but we never knew if he ever came to Christ."

Page 336 "I have never ceased to be thrilled at the transformation that comes when a person opens his or her life to Jesus Christ."

The man’s problem was not "one of the will" but one of thinking his works of living up to Jesus’ demands would save him. BG agreed with the man! Are you saved by living according to Jesus’ demands or by what He did in paying the penalty for your sins and believing that it is true?

Living up to Jesus’ demands or the surrender of one’s life to Christ was the exact salvation message promoted by the Oxford Group! It is a basic agreement of doing a set type of lifestyle for the reward of eternal life.

Please note that there was absolutely nothing in that account that matches the Bible requirement found in John 3:1-18. But it is exactly the image that I had during the period between 1967 and 1971 when I thought I was saved yet wasn’t. My commitment to serve was what I thought had saved me. But I was a deluded lost person.

BG gives another account of his successful witnessing to another lost man:

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 317 "I challenged him further: "God loves you and has a purpose and plan for your life, but you must surrender your life to Him." In response Mel did surrender his life to Christ…."

VIII) BG Truly Believes His Message Saves

Did he purposely use a phrase that carried various implied meaning to various listeners, either knowingly or unknowingly? Actually BG is a sincere person without guile who strongly believes he is correct and because of his experiences that support his salvation belief, uses that bias to interpret the Bible accordingly.

["Just As I Am" (The Autobiography of Billy Graham) By Billy Graham; Zondervan- Harper; San Francisco, 1997]:

Page 53 "Many people responded to my preaching by confessing faith in Christ and being converted….

Page 88 "That first Saturday night – May 27, 1944 – proclaiming the Gospel live before a large crowd (the auditorium was nearly full), I was tense, very tense, but I found I had great liberty in speaking. When 40 came forward to receive Christ, it was one of the most humbling and spiritually encouraging moments of my life up to that time."

Page 103 (1946, Oct. Bradford, England) "When I invited them to receive Christ after my sermon on the rich young ruler, 23 came forward for counseling and prayer…"

While those phrases "receiving Christ" may sound like a Biblical term in actuality the mechanics of how this is accomplished can be defined many ways. Biblically it is done by believing on Christ as the One who paid your sin penalty and who saves you.

Page 305 "Another was through the comment of a student, who brought home to me in a fresh way the need for absolute clarity in presenting the Gospel message: "Mr. Graham, we hear a lot about what Christ has done for us, the value of religion, and what personal salvation is. But nobody tells us how to find Christ."… I was more determined than ever to make that clear."

BG during the sermon that I heard on Sunday Jan. 5, 2003 explained another facet of the receiving. He presented the mechanics of receiving Christ as the lost person going forward since that is how publicly confessing Christ is done and that there was something that was a part of getting saved involved in going forward at his Crusade. Therefore according to his concepts both confessing Christ and receiving Him refers to going forward at a Crusade.

Next BG stressed salvation involved turning from your sins (sometimes this is modified to "be willing to turn") followed by committing your life to Christ.


After a Crusade message when BG did not mention the cross and was confronted, he then was careful to always include it. However, he did not assume that salvation actually came only by believing in that sacrifice for your sins. His use of the word "commitment" shows that he understood it as pertaining to an action you set yourself to do and not simply a substitute for believing.

Page 243 "In 1953…after the meeting….he (John Bolten) confronted me. "You didn’t speak about the Cross….You must preach the Cross…You must preach about the blood that was shed for us there."….I knew he was right…I made a commitment never to preach again without being sure that the Gospel was as complete and clear as possible, centering on Christ’s sacrificial death for our sins on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead for our salvation."

As I heard in his message that Sunday night, the mention of the cross had no true connection with your personal salvation. It had a more generic spiritual value that needed to be mentioned since Paul said he preached Christ and Him crucified.

So yes, BG did mention the cross....once. However, any person listening would never have made the connection between it and any impact with one’s salvation. The cross literally had nothing to do with how to be saved, that is, how to actually "receive Christ." It was no wonder that when I asked those thinking they were saved by having "went forward" or having "committed their life" the simple question of why did Christ die, I would get a complete blank look on their faces.

In truth, the message I heard did not center on Christ’s death for our sins. It centered on living according to Jesus’ demands and turning from your sins. That is the theme most who think they were saved by BG’s message always remember.

Any English major or philosophy student would immediately see the huge gap between the theme of sin requiring Christ’s blood and thereby His death, and the message of salvation by commitment. There is no common thread or connecting link. Christ’s death was the total and complete sacrifice paying the penalty for one’s sins. To understand that and to believe it, brings the gift of eternal life. That is what God’s Word states. Every part of that connects and links together with believing meaning to accept it as true. It fulfills the requirement that salvation is not by any type of human deeds or works.

BG thought that mentioning Christ’s death and His shed blood at the same time with commitment as bringing salvation made a connecting link or common thread. It didn’t! That lack of a common link also showed up when so many of his converts had no knowledge of why Christ died. I also had no idea of the purpose of Christ crucified! Why? Because committing your life has nothing to do with His death. Salvation by commitment of your life to Christ is not but a human works based method for attempting to gain salvation.


Often the experience of having made "the decision" or done the "commitment" is the event remembered and looked at as when that person was saved. It is a crisis type experience in your life that is firmly fixed in the memory. However, since the Bible in John 3 clearly conditions to be spiritually born again upon believing alone the entire realm of getting someone to physically in some manner DO something for a spiritual experience is false. Experiences are not what saves a person.

Then the concept of receiving Christ by either surrender of your life or the commitment of your life to Christ instead of simply believing in Him as your substitute and the one who paid your sin penalty, creates a human experience that appears to be the true spiritual born again one but is not.

Just as in my case, I lacked the inner spiritual life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I remembered the time and the experience which was impressed upon me as a drastic time having done the required thing to obtain eternal life. I felt a form of relief and peace. And from that point on other Christians accepted that I was saved. They no longer put any pressure on me concerning "getting right with God."

I would like to point out that often "peace" is not an indicator that a person has been born again spiritually. Quite often when a person is contemplating suicide, once they have totally mentally settled the time, place, and means they will feel a peace and those around them will assume the person has decided against it. It is a psychological peace from having set the direction of their life. They no longer are experiencing unease and turmoil from their pressing problems. This is the exact same type of peace is attained by making a commitment.

Commitment to Christ may bring a psychological peace coming from adopting a new set of life rules that will put the responsibility upon Christ’s rules as they are understood. And yes, following God’s rules of life will bring that person a better life. Guaranteed! But it is still a works based salvation plan with a human created experience to make it appear a genuine born again event.

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 186 "A state of expectancy is generated that is mistaken for biblical faith, but which has been created by the charisma of the pastor and is more often rooted in the contagious effects of crowd hysteria than in a quiet confidence in the living God. Some of the more discerning leaders recognize what is happening, but justify it all as the use of God-given methods or obedience to spiritual laws that God has revealed to them. Learning to activate these spiritual laws through a "positive attitude" is the mind game many Christians play." BG Quotes Verses Next I was impressed that BG quoted some verses. The key verse was Isaiah 53:6 and used to show men are lost sinners. He also used Romans 6:23 but only the phrase "For the wages of sin is death." The remainder of the verse ["but the gift of God is eternal life] was ignored, most likely because it didn't support his theology that salvation was by commitment of your life. The logic from that quoted phrase is that since sin brings death then to stop sinning will bring life. Thus, "turn from your sin" as part of getting saved could be included in his "gospel." Typically to stopping doing something is the reformation of one’s life which people often do. It is a human endeavor. That has nothing to do with spiritual rebirth done amazingly by God alone.

Pages 41-50 999

However, reformation of your life completely fits the commitment concept where salvation does rest upon the person and his/her behavior. Changed behavior or reformation is the second foundational stone for BG’s born again theology.

Was quoting part of some verses and all of other selected ones enough to qualify as using God’s Word? Not when it is misused and slightly twisted to support a works based salvation plan!

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1980]:

P. 139 "For the cultist, salvation comes not through the person of the Savior who died for our sins, but by being initiated into the cult’s particular brand of "truth" and by following its esoteric revelations and exclusive interpretations of Scripture."


My next question is this, "Isn’t the Gospel meant to be Good News and what better news is there then to be told the rest of Romans 6:23, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord?"

On the other hand, is it Good News to be told you can go to heaven if you surrender or commit your life to Christ after having turned from your sins? In fact, who truly needs a Savior when they have done that? They literally have attained the perfection similar to Christ’s! At least in your own mind and for only a time unless you can keep fooling yourself!


BG gave several life characteristics that were meant to attract anyone with any troubles in their lives. These included peace, happiness, joy and the relief from mind-agitating problems. The other key attraction was that you could go to heaven.

He said repent was to change your life and ways as well as being sorry for it and your sin. (No verse quoted now). In fact, there is no verse used in context that makes turning from your sins a condition of salvation.

[Note: repent = "metanoia" relative to salvation means to change your mind from not believing to believing in Christ as Savior, i.e., faith alone in Christ alone, (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 26:20)]

That day in 1966 I was absolutely willing to DO whatever I had to do that I might be assured of going to heaven. Whether it meant having to go out to some jungle as one of those oddball missionaries or something else. It was an exchange of my future earthly freedom for an eternity in paradise. It was a commitment to obey and serve in exchange for eternal life.


The next things BG said captured up attention more fully, just as I was considering a quick trip after some hot chocolate. BG went on to say that you must come to the front to prove publicly you have totally given your life and every part of it to Jesus. "To commit your life" meant exactly what the words mean, that Christ will now rule you 100% and all of you will be given to that! (No verses quoted here). This is the same meaning he consistently has given to the phrase in his books. It is a works based salvation.

BG carefully mixed through-out the message an implied eternity of life in hell, lack of going to heaven, and the life of turmoil, as compared to the promise of peace, joy, love, and happiness now if you would immediately commit your life to Christ.

The last part of his message was "asking Jesus into your heart and life." It was impressive how he could mix even that in and still keep the thought flow to "commit your life" without breaking his rapport. Apparently he included that concept since it too has become a popular phrase thought to bring salvation to those repeating a ritual set of words.

The change from his few verses quoted early in the message to none once he started on committing your life to be saved was impressive. Not a single verse was quoted nor could he find one in the entire Bible that would suggest salvation was by such a moral code or vow attempt. Why, I asked myself, had I ever thought his messages were divinely inspired?

I was reminded of a Pentecostal Preacher several years ago that I heard. I quickly had jotted down all the details such as who and when the comment was made, but of course that paper too contained mold spores. That famous Pentecostal Preacher on TBN TV network had said "Where would BG be if he used the Bible?" He was exactly correct! What still amazed me is that some preachers do know that but still support BG!

Imagine my utter astonishment at hearing a preacher confirm that God’s Word didn’t need to be used during a salvation message and that the results would be much better when it wasn’t. I doubted that even a whole pot of hot chocolate would soothe my upset spiritual nerves and the pain I was feeling coming from the indwelling Holy Spirit.

We must conclude that the aim of a message presenting salvation as attained by surrendering or committing your life to Christ is just another way to cleverly disguise a works salvation method and market it to both fundamental Christians and lost people who already believe in the same.

The marketing system of the public huge crusades with the appearance of many coming forward "to receive Christ" gave an appearance of God working in a massive manner.

Yet almost universally the indepth examination of the message compared first with the Scriptures that in context speak of receiving the Gift of eternal life clearly show a radial departure from God’s salvation plan by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Secondly the indepth examination reveals a further flaw in the fruit produced. Those too often attributing their salvation to this message and altar call show their trust is in having done the required thing and not in Christ’s finished work on the cross. They are more likely to be totally ignorant of the purpose of His death and its total connection to salvation. And finally they also show a lack of having been spiritually born again either by failing in attempts to live by the Christian Code (church attendance, Bible reading, etc), or by having religion lived out by the assumed Christian Code.

But before looking at that message’s similarity with a cultic salvation let me state that a key problem that has grown, perhaps because of BG’s message, is something now known as LORDSHIP SALVATION. Basically that theology does not accept salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone without human works. It skips or leaves out salvation by such and starts with making a vow or commitment to serve Christ.

The Bible presents salvation as God’s Gift and then AFTER the lost person has received it (been born again spiritually), he is called to serve God. He is over and over admonished both on how to live as God’s child and to totally serve Christ. NOT TO BE SAVED but because he IS NOW SAVED. BG’s message confuses both issues and presents salvation as attained by serving which is Biblically false! It is placing the cart before the horse so to speak.


Having already proved that the message is both contrary to God’s Word and is nothing but a disguised form of a WORKS SALVATION, it come as no surprise to discover the identical message found in various cults. The Islamic salvation method is by carefully living out the 5 pillars that are nothing more than a series of human works. The Mormon salvation plan is based on human works. Jehovah Witnesses have a method of earned salvation. And the list could go on and on. Every belief system that exists is either works based or by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone apart from all human works. The common natural man approach is to think doing the right things will cause God to award eternal life.

Yet the greatest danger of deception is when a works mixed salvation message sneaks into the Body Of Christ. Many Scripture warning are given concerning this happening. Over and over it is the FALSE TEACHERS that have crept into the Body of Christ that are the real threat not the cult outside that writes their own sacred book or teaches something in opposition to the Bible. Yet, it is that band of False teachers that is mostly ignored and even accepted today! Preachers do not seem able to discern what is truth or false and are willing to accept anything and anyone who comes in the name of Christ. The New Testament does not teach that position!

[The following is taken from articles by Martin & Deidre Bobgan at their Web Site on Jan. 16, 2003.]:

"Alcoholics Anonymous follows the Oxford Group’s theology and skips salvation by faith alone in favor of the same commitment plan that later would be the popular message of BG. Notice that relief was gained from committment and the uncanny similarity to BG’s commitment messages. Turning one’s life over to another’s rule and code of conduct can and does bring peace and relief but not spiritual salvation. Also notice the use of the word "decision" and what it was made concerning. This is similar in structure to BG’s usage.

[The following are quotes, for the entire articles please visit their web sites PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, 4137 Primavera Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110 by Martin & Deidre Bobgan]:

"12 Steps to Another Gospel?

Part One

Twelve-Step programs originated with Alcoholics Anonymous. ….now many leading Christians are promoting various Twelve-Step programs.

Alcoholics Anonymous Religion.

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, originally written by Bill Wilson, came from his own personal experience and world view. Step One, "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable," expresses the relief he experienced when his doctor convinced him that his heavy drinking was caused by an "allergy" over which he was powerless. Thus, when Wilson completed his drying out treatment, he thought his problem was solved. He had been relieved of guilt for moral failure and had been diagnosed as having a disease. The cure was simple. Just don’t take another drink. During this bleak time Wilson received a phone call from an "old drinking buddy," Ebby Thatcher. When Wilson asked him why he wasn’t drinking and why he seemed so different, Thatcher replied, "I’ve got religion." He told Wilson that when he had prayed God had released him from the desire to drink and filled him with "peace of mind and happiness of a kind he had not known for years."1

Wilson’s Conversion.

Wilson’s religious experience occurred at the hospital. Because Wilson believed he was helplessly afflicted by a dread disease, he cried out to God as a helpless victim, not as a sinner. He had already been absolved from guilt through the doctor’s allergy theory. Thus he approached God from the helpless stance of a victim, suffering the agony of his affliction, and commanded God to show Himself.

The experience had a profound effect on Wilson. From that point on he believed in the existence of God and he stopped drinking alcohol. Thus, Steps Two and Three read: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity," and "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."5 (Emphasis in original.)

While this experience included God as Bill Wilson understood him, there is no mention of faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ and salvation from sin based upon Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Most people assume that the founders of Alcoholics’ Anonymous were Christians. After all, Wilson talks about God, prayer, and morality. On the other hand, Jesus Christ as Savior is absent from his spiritual experience. There is no mention of Jesus Christ providing the only way of salvation through paying the price for Bill Wilson’s sin. Wilson’s faith system was not based on Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

12 Steps to Another Gospel?

Part Two

The Higher Power and the Occult.

Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, the co-founders of AA,…practiced spiritualism and …conversing with the dead. It is interesting to note that in 1938, between the séances at the Smiths’ and Wilson receiving messages while in a prone position in the 40s, Wilson wrote the AA Twelve Steps. He was lying in bed thinking. The official AA biography of Wilson describes it this way:

As he started to write, he asked for guidance. The words began tumbling out with astonishing speed. He completed the first draft in about half an hour, then kept on writing until he felt he should stop and review what he had written. Numbering the new steps, he found that they added up to twelve—a symbolic number; he thought of the Twelve apostles, and soon became convinced that the Society should have twelve steps.5

Many Ways to God?

Wilson’s interest in spiritual matters was all-inclusive, all except faith in Jesus as the only way. Wilson did not want to attach AA to any one faith. The official AA biography of Wilson declares:

He felt A.A.’s usefulness was worldwide, and contained spiritual principles that members of any and every religion could accept, including the Eastern religions.8 (Emphasis added.)

The Wide Gateway of AA.

However, he met with opposition from those who were close to him in the AA movement. Thus he changed the wording of Step Two: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." Wilson believed that those concessions regarding references to God were:

. . . the great contribution of our atheists and agnostics. They had widened our gateway so that all who suffer might pass through, regardless of their belief or lack of belief.11 (Italics his, bold added.)

And indeed the gate is wide. The "Power greater than ourselves" can be anybody or anything that seems greater than the person who takes Step Two.

All Twelve Step programs violate the declarations of the Reformation: Only Scripture; Only Christ; Only Grace; Only Faith; and Glory to God Only. Instead they offer another power, another gospel, another savior, another source, another fellowship, another tradition, another evangelism, and another god.

Notes for "Twelve Steps to Another Gospel?"

1 Pass It On: The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1984, pp. 156, 275.

2 Ibid., p. 275.

3 Ibid., p. 278.

4 Ibid., pp. 278-279.

5 Ibid., p. 198.

6 Ibid., p. 280.

7 Ibid., p. 281.

8 Ibid., p. 283.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid., p. 198.

11 Ibid., p. 199. Philip Yancey "Addicted" to the Recovery Movement?

Part One

Well-known author Philip Yancey presents his position regarding alcoholics and the recovery movement in "Lessons from Rock Bottom" (Christianity Today, Vol. 44, No. 8).

Natural Theologies

Yancey says, "If I were writing a natural theology today, I think I would start with recovering alcoholics." Thus Yancey builds on this faulty foundation of natural theology by equating fallen, sinful man ("recovering alcoholics") to "the wonders of nature." Just as natural theology does not show the way of salvation, natural theology cannot give any information about the new life in Christ or about sanctification or Christian growth. At best, "recovering alcoholics" and organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous are limited to helping the old nature or flesh. (Eph. 4:24).

Therefore it is pointless for Christians to attempt to improve their psyche (soul) through Alcoholics Anonymous or to look to the "recovering alcoholics" for how to live.

Spiritual Program Begun by Christians?

Yancey refers to a "spiritual program" and "a couple of Christian alcoholics." He says, "It staggers me that psychiatrists, pharmacologists, and scientific reductionists cannot improve on a spiritual program devised by a couple of Christian alcoholics 60 years ago." The "spiritual program" to which he refers is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and the "couple of Christian alcoholics" were Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, the cofounders. Yancey believes that while many have tried, they "cannot improve on" the AA program.

The Effectiveness of AA

In a book about treatment of addictive behaviors, William Miller and Reid Hester present a chapter titled "The Effectiveness of Alcoholism Treatment: What Research Reveals." They say:

In spite of the fact that it inspires nearly universal acclaim and enthusiasm among alcoholism treatment personnel in the United States, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) wholly lacks experimental support for its efficacy.1

Only two studies have employed random assignment and adequate controls to compare the efficacy of AA versus no intervention or alternative interventions. Brandsma et al (1980) found no differences at 12-month follow-up between AA and no treatment, and at 3-month follow-up those assigned to AA were found to be significantly more likely to be binge drinking, relative to controls or those assigned to other interventions (based on unverified self-reports). Ditman and Crawford (1966) assigned court mandated "alcohol addicts" to AA, clinic treatment, or no treatment (probation only). Based on records of rearrest, 31% of AA clients and 32% of clinic-treated clients were judged successful, as compared with 44% success in the untreated group (Ditman, Crawford, Forgy, Moskowitz, & MacAndrew, 1967).2 (Emphasis theirs.)

This is their concluding statement concerning AA:

To be sure, these studies (like most any research) can be criticized for methodological weaknesses, and as always "further research is needed." Given the absence of a single controlled evaluation supporting the effectiveness of AA and the presence of these negative findings, however, we must conclude that at the present time the alleged effectiveness of AA remains unproved.4 (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Stanton Peele, health researcher at Mathematica Policy Research and author of Diseasing of America: Addiction Treatment Out of Control, says:

Several studies have shown that those who quit drinking via AA actually have higher relapse rates than those who quit on their own.5 (Emphasis added.)

The Harvard Mental Health Letter has a special report on alcoholism, which says:

Because alcoholism, like all addictions, is a disorder of motivation, a full commitment to change is not only a cause of recovery but often the largest part of recovery itself. In a sense, all addiction treatments are ways of improving motivation. . . .

The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse sponsored a nationwide study called Project Match… The experiment, which lasted eight years and recruited more than 1,600 patients, was one of the largest clinical studies ever conducted. One-third of the participants were given a session of cognitive-behavioral therapy once a week for three months. One-third received 12-step facilitation (to prepare them for AA), also one session a week for three months. The last group received motivational enhancement therapy in four sessions over a three-month period. . . .

Controversy is sure to continue, but one implication of Project Match is that for many alcoholics, brief treatments are just as good as lengthier ones.6

The Harvard Mental Health Letter, in response to the question of which treatments are most effective, answers, "no one knows." This is in contrast to Yancey’s statement that AA cannot be improved on.

PAL V9N3 (May-June 2001)

1William Miller and Reid Hester, "The Effectiveness of Alcoholism Treatment: What Research Reveals." Treating Addictive Behaviors: Processes of Change. W. R. Miller and N. Heather, Eds. New York: Plenum Press, 1986, p. 135.

2Ibid., p. 136.



5Stanton Peele, "Mr. Peele Responds." Reason, May 1990, p. 12.

6 The Harvard Mental Health Letter, Vol. 16, No. 12, pp. 1-4

Philip Yancey "Addicted" to the Recovery Movement?

Part Two of a Three-Part Series

Philip Yancey "Addicted" to the Recovery Movement?

In his article titled "Lessons from Rock Bottom" (Christianity Today, Vol. 44, No. 8), Philip Yancey contends that Christians have much to learn from the natural theologies of alcoholics and the recovery movement. He sees them as friendly allies rather than other religions.

Helplessness and a Higher Power


"As an alcoholic once told me, "I have to publicly declare ‘I am an alcoholic’ whenever I introduce myself at group. It is a statement of failure, of helplessness, and surrender." . . . the alcoholic must recognize individual helplessness and fall back in the arms of the Higher Power. "First of all, we had to quit playing God," concluded the founders of AA; and then allow God himself to "play God" in the addict’s life, which involves daily, even moment-by-moment, surrender.

Step One

Step One is a dangerous counterfeit for both Christians and non-Christians. It serves as a substitute for acknowledging one’s own depravity, sinful acts, and utter lostness apart from Jesus Christ, the only savior, and the only way to forgiveness (relief of true guilt).

Step One is too broad a step and misses the mark. Instead of leading directly to Jesus as the way to salvation and eternal life, it leads anywhere that might please the self.

When the Holy Spirit reveals a person’s condition of total depravity and convicts him of sin, that person realizes he is undone and needs a Savior.

While a person may gain temporary advantage through various programs that offer something else besides Jesus Christ and Him crucified, there will be dreadful loss in the long run.

Step Two

Step Two: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Twelve-Step programs are in essence New Age religions and archetypical precursors of a one-world religion…. each group holds a common goal, centered in saving self. When self is god, one is left to a life-long religion of works, because one must be continually saving self.

1Pass It On. The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 1952, 1953, 1981, pp. 156, 275.

2Ibid., p. 276.

3Ibid., p. 275.

4Ibid., p. 278.

5Ibid., pp. 278-279.

6Ibid., p. 198.

7Ibid., p. 281.

8Ibid., p. 283.

9Ibid. PAL V9N4 (July-August 2001)

Pages 51-55 999

It was out of the Oxford Group and the following AA that BG’s salvation message has its roots, not the simple Bible one found in John 3:16.

Every book on cults will include a section that exposes and denounces Christian Science as a cult. However few understand the salvation method presented by Christian Science is one of SURRENDER or COMMITMENT to Christ almost identical in wording to BG’s message!

The page 111 quote is also identical in the belief that man will usher in the kingdom age which is held by the Catholic Church and very similar to BG’s understanding of prophecy.

[Quotes From A Unity School Of Christianity Book, Charles Fillmore; "MYSTERIES OF GENESIS"; first printed 1936 but revised 1959 Unity School Of Christianity, Lee’s Summit, MO]:

P. 5 "Those who seek to know this Lord and His manifestation, Jesus Christ, receive a certain spiritual quickening that opens the inner eye of the soul and they see beyond the land of shadows into the world of Spirit."

P. 30 "Under the direction of the Christ, a new body is constructed by the thinking faculty in man…he feels a stirring within him of this body of the indwelling Spirit or Christ."

P. 39 "Death is the result of this separation from God. Jesus restored the broken life current between God and man and so became the "Savior" for those who follow Him."

P. 43 "Man fell because he did not keep his mind on the source of life. He departed from spiritual consciousness and saw both good and evil."

P. 48 "If he follows God’s way, which is to know the good first, last, and always, his mind will become so charged with good that evil will be to him totally unreal."

P. 58 & 59 "Making sacrifices unto Jehovah is symbolic of a refining process that is constantly going on in consciousness."

P. 59 "We are taught that a time will finally come when the whole universe will be resolved back into its original essence in God."

P. 71 "Those who enter into this process of spiritual evolution, it is what Jesus called the regeneration, are prepared for the reception of these divine new ideas, and instead of resisting they say Jesus, "Not my will, but thine, be done." This attitude opens the way for easy advent into their consciousness of God ideas and leads… In this way the sense consciousness is being transformed or lifted up, and the new man appears while the old man is sloughed off. This is crucifixion."

P. 84 "The altar in this case represents an abiding resolution of the spiritual-minded on {Noah} who makes a covenant with the Lord to continue to "sacrifice" his sensations or transmute them on the spiritual plane.

P. 85-86 "Once the consciousness has been cleansed and man has awakened to his spiritual nature, he is saved through obedience to divine law…"

P. 111 (Concerning the Tower Of Babel as used to show what is coming): "After breaking up of the materially founded governments, the spiritually wise will get together and form a federation based on the principles laid down by Jesus Christ, and we shall then enter into that universal peace and security called the millennium. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come." The prophecies of Jesus, as set forth symbolically in Matthew 24, undoubtedly point to their fulfillment at this time, and the "tribulations" there recited are upon us. But we need not be fearful or troubled if we are depending upon God (mind) to take care of us….’but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."

P. 124 "When man reaches a certain point in his spiritual development he realizes that he must let go of everything that retards his progress."

P. 133, 134 "By sowing according to belief in the flesh we reap corruption of the flesh, but by sowing according to the Spirit we reap eternal life."

P. 139 "The promise of salvation is for everyone. But man must attain it…..Thousands of persons in this age and day have attained a state of mind in which they commune regularly with Christ." (The book stated that it is study of lessons, paying attention, following Jesus, perhaps pray all night, and be faithful.)

P. 178 "…we are willing to give up all our material pleasures if such be the instruction of the inner guide. This giving up is symbolized by the sacrifices so often referred to in the history of the Children of Israel."

P. 183 "The story of the near sacrifice of Isaac illustrates the truth that we must be willing to give up the pleasures of sense without question…."

P. 184 "In regeneration man must be willing to sacrifice his greatest pleasure in life (Isaac). But when he has given up willingly, made the spiritual surrender, he finds that it is not the joy of life that he sacrifices but only the sensuous aspect of it."

Other cults also follow the same salvation plan of surrender your life or commit it to Christ. That very message is occultic!

I conclude by saying that my old impressions of BG and his false salvation message was correct. His message has not changed and is still deluding people. It is still a dangerous deceptive message and the terms he used are more common place in the true evangelical churches then ever before. They are viewed as the gospel truth by many and many believe they have eternal life based on living out those commands! And yes, since the underlying foundation is a life lived out in obedience and service to Christ, as found in the Bible commands, therefore BG’s life does reflect and exemplify what God wants all of His Children to live out. It is not to be saved but since they are saved and to receive rewards of serving well done. Eternal life is not a reward but a gift.

[Quotes from The Cult Explosion by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene OR, 1980]:

P. 239 "All cults, secular and religious, no matter what their other differences, are allied together in one vast, long-standing assault on the integrity of the Bible and the reality of the God and Christ of the Bible. This attack may take various forms….Mary Baker Eddy’s reinterpretation that rejects the plain language of Scripture,… Watchtower Society’s own translation of the Bible that deliberately changes meanings to support their peculiar beliefs."

The following verses support some of the above:

[Ephesians 5:11]:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

[Corinthians 6:14-18]:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

[2 John 1:9-11]:

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

[2 Thessalonians 3:6]:

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."

[Hosea 4:17]:

"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone."

[1 Timothy 6:3-5]:

"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

[Romans 16:17]:

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

[Revelation 18:4]:

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

[Matthew 7:15-16]:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

[2 Chronicles 19:2]:

"And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. THESE ARE THE COMMANDS OF GOD!"