William Franklin Graham Jr. was an American evangelist, a prominent evangelical Christian figure, an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well-known internationally in the late 1940s. One of his biographers has placed him "among the most influential Christian leaders" of the 20th century; as a preacher, he held large indoor and outdoor rallies with sermons broadcast on radio and television. In his six decades of television, Graham hosted annual "Crusades", evangelistic campaigns, which ran from 1947 until his retirement in 2005, he hosted the radio show Hour of Decision from 1950 to 1954. He repudiated racial segregation and insisted on racial integration for his revivals and crusades, starting in 1953. In addition to his religious aims, he helped shape the worldview of a huge number of people who came from different backgrounds, leading them to find a relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints. According to his website, Graham preached to live audiences of 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission.
Graham was a spiritual adviser to U. S. presidents and provided spiritual counsel for every president from the 33rd, Harry S. Truman, to the 44th, Barack Obama, he was close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, he was lifelong friends with another televangelist, the founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller, whom Graham talked into starting his own television ministry. Graham operated a variety of media and publishing outlets. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior". Graham's evangelism was appreciated by mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations as he encouraged new converts to become members of these Churches; as of 2008, Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion. One special televised broadcast in 1996 alone may have reached a television audience of as many as 2.5 billion people worldwide.
Because of his crusades, Graham preached the gospel to more people in person than anyone in the history of Christianity. Graham was on Gallup's list of most admired men and women 61 times, more than any man or woman in history. Grant Wacker writes that by the mid-1960s, he had become the "Great Legitimator": "By his presence conferred status on presidents, acceptability on wars, shame on racial prejudice, desirability on decency, dishonor on indecency, prestige on civic events". William Franklin Graham Jr. was born on November 7, 1918, in the downstairs bedroom of a farmhouse near Charlotte, North Carolina. He was of Scots-Irish descent and was the eldest of four children born to Morrow and William Franklin Graham Sr. a dairy farmer. Graham was raised on a family dairy farm with his two younger sisters, Catherine Morrow and Jean and a younger brother, Melvin Thomas; when he was eight years old in 1927, the family moved about 75 yards from their white frame house to a newly built red brick home.
He was raised by his parents in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Graham attended the Sharon Grammar School, he started to read books from an early age and loved to read novels for boys Tarzan. Like Tarzan, he would hang on the trees and gave the popular Tarzan yell, scaring both horses and drivers. According to his father, that yelling had led him to become a minister; when he was fourteen in 1933, Prohibition ended in December, Graham's father forced him and his sister, Katherine, to drink beer until they got sick. This created such an aversion that Graham and his sister avoided alcohol and drugs for the rest of their lives. Graham had been turned down for membership in a local youth group for being "too worldly" when Albert McMakin, who worked on the Graham farm, persuaded him to go and see the evangelist Mordecai Ham. According to his autobiography, Graham was converted in 1934, at age 16 during a series of revival meetings in Charlotte led by Ham. After graduating from Sharon High School in May 1936, Graham attended Bob Jones College located in Cleveland, Tennessee.
After one semester, he found it too legalistic in rules. At this time he was inspired by Pastor Charley Young from Eastport Bible Church, he was expelled, but Bob Jones Sr. warned him not to throw his life away: "At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks... You have a voice. God can use that voice of yours, he can use it mightily."In 1937 Graham transferred to the Florida Bible Institute in Temple Terrace, near Tampa. He preached his first sermon that year at Bostwick Baptist Church near Palatka, while still a student. In his autobiography, Graham wrote of receiving his "calling on the 18th green of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club", adjacent to the Institute campus. Reverend Billy Graham Memorial Park was established on the Hillsborough River, directly east of the 18th green and across from where Graham paddled a canoe to a small island in the river, where he would practice preaching to the birds and cypress stumps. In 1939, Graham was ordained by a group of Southern Baptist clergymen at Peniel Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida.
In 1943, Graham graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, with a degree in anthropology. During his time at Wheaton, Graham decided to accept the Bible as the infallible word of God
Arminianism is a branch of Protestantism based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants. His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, but they were distinct from particular teachings of Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, other Protestant Reformers. Jacobus Arminius was a student of Theodore Beza at the Theological University of Geneva. Arminianism is known to some as a soteriological diversification of Protestant Calvinist Christianity. Dutch Arminianism was articulated in the Remonstrance, a theological statement signed by 45 ministers and submitted to the States General of the Netherlands; the Synod of Dort was called by the States General to consider the Five Articles of Remonstrance. These articles asserted; those who signed this remonstrance and others who supported its theology have since been known as Remonstrants."Many Christian denominations have been influenced by Arminian views on the will of man being freed by Grace prior to regeneration, notably the Baptists in the 16th century, the Methodists in the 18th century and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 19th century.
Some falsely assert that Universalists and Unitarians in the 18th and 19th centuries were theologically linked with Arminianism. Denominations such as the Anabaptists and other groups prior to the Reformation have affirmed that each person may choose the contingent response of either resisting God's grace or yielding to it; the original beliefs of Jacobus Arminius himself are defined as Arminianism, but more broadly, the term may embrace the teachings of Hugo Grotius, John Wesley, others as well. Classical Arminianism, to which Arminius is the main contributor, Wesleyan Arminianism, to which John Wesley is the main contributor, are the two main schools of thought. Wesleyan Arminianism is identical with Methodism; some schools of thought, notably semipelagianism—which teaches that the first step of Salvation is by human will—are confused as being Arminian in nature. But classical Arminianism holds that the first step of Salvation is the grace of God; the Council of Orange condemned semi-Pelagian thought, is accepted by some as a document which can be understood as teaching a doctrine between Augustinian thought and semi-Pelagian thought, relegating Arminianism to the orthodoxy of the early Church fathers.
The two systems of Calvinism and Arminianism share both history and many doctrines, the history of Christian theology. Arminianism is related to Calvinism historically. However, because of their differences over the doctrines of divine predestination and election, many people view these schools of thought as opposed to each other; the distinction is whether God allows His desire to save all to be resisted by an individual's will or if God's grace is irresistible and limited to only some. Put another way, is God's sovereignty shown, in part, through His allowance of free decisions? Some Calvinists assert that the Arminian perspective presents a synergistic system of Salvation and therefore is not only by Grace, while Arminians reject this conclusion. Many consider the theological differences to be crucial differences in doctrine, while others find them to be minor. Jacobus Arminius was a Dutch theologian in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, he was taught by Theodore Beza, Calvin's hand-picked successor, but after examination of the scriptures, he rejected his teacher's theology that it is God who unconditionally elects some for salvation.
Instead Arminius proposed that the election of God was of believers, thereby making it conditional on faith. Arminius's views were challenged by the Dutch Calvinists Franciscus Gomarus, but Arminius died before a national synod could occur. Arminius's followers, not wanting to adopt their leader's name, called themselves the Remonstrants; when Arminius died before he could satisfy Holland's State General's request for a 14-page paper outlining his views, the Remonstrants replied in his stead crafting the Five articles of Remonstrance. After some political maneuvering, the Dutch Calvinists were able to convince Prince Maurice of Nassau to deal with the situation. Maurice systematically removed Arminian magistrates from office and called a national synod at Dordrecht; this Synod of Dort was open to Dutch Calvinists with Calvinist representatives from other countries, in 1618 published a condemnation of Arminius an
Baptism with the Holy Spirit
In Christian theology, baptism with the Holy Spirit or baptism with the Holy Ghost, is distinguished from baptism with water. It is associated with incorporation into the Christian Church, the bestowal of spiritual gifts, empowerment for Christian ministry; the term baptism with the Holy Spirit originates in the New Testament, all Christian traditions accept it as a theological concept. Different Christian denominations and traditions have interpreted its meaning in a variety of ways due to differences in the doctrines of salvation and ecclesiology; as a result, Spirit baptism has been variously defined as part of the sacraments of initiation into the church, as being synonymous with regeneration, as being synonymous with Christian perfection, or as being a second work of grace that empowers a person for Christian life and service. Before the emergence of the holiness movement in the mid-19th century and Pentecostalism in the early 20th century, most denominations believed that Christians received the baptism with the Holy Spirit either upon conversion and regeneration or through rites of Christian initiation, such as water baptism and confirmation.
Since the growth and spread of Pentecostal and charismatic churches, the belief that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is an experience distinct from Christian initiation has come into increasing prominence. In Christian theology, the work of the Holy Spirit under the Old Covenant is viewed as less extensive than that under the New Covenant inaugurated on the day of Pentecost; the Spirit was restricted to certain chosen individuals, such as high prophets. Termed the “spirit of prophecy” in rabbinic writings, the Holy Spirit was associated with prophecy and divine inspiration, it was anticipated that in the future messianic age God would pour out his spirit upon all of Israel, which would become a nation of prophets. While the exact phrase "baptism with the Holy Spirit" is not found in the New Testament, two forms of the phrase are found in the canonical gospels using the verb "baptize", from the Greek word baptizein meaning to "immerse" or "plunge"; the baptism was spoken about by John the Baptist, who contrasted his water baptism for the forgiveness of sins with the baptism of Jesus.
In Mark 1 and John 1, the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus "will baptize in Holy Spirit". Jesus is considered the first person to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit anointed him with power. Afterward, Jesus began his ministry and displayed his power by casting out demons, healing the sick, teaching with authority; the phrase "baptized in the Holy Spirit" occurs two times in Acts of the Apostles, first in Acts 1:4–5 and second in Acts 11:16. Other terminology is used in Acts to indicate Spirit baptism, such as "filled". "Baptized in the Spirit" indicates an outward immersion into the reality of the Holy Spirit, while "filled with the Spirit" suggests an internal diffusion. Both terms speak to the totality of receiving the Spirit; the baptism with the Holy Spirit is described in various places as the Spirit "poured out upon", "falling upon", "coming upon" people. To "pour out" suggests abundance and reflects John 3:34, "God gives the Spirit without limit". Another expression, "come upon" is related to a statement by Jesus in Luke 24:49, "I am sending the promise of my Father upon you.
But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high". The language of "come on" and "clothed with" suggest possession by and endowment with the Holy Spirit; the narrative of Acts begins after Jesus' resurrection. The resurrected Jesus directed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism in the Holy Spirit and promised, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, to the end of the earth". After his ascension, he was given authority to pour out the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, the messianic expectations found in early Judaism were fulfilled on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts; the Christian community was gathered together in Jerusalem when a sound from heaven like rushing wind was heard and tongues like tongues of flame rested on everyone. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues, miraculously praising God in foreign languages. A crowd gathered and was addressed by the Apostle Peter who stated that the occurrence was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2, "And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy".
He explained how the Spirit came to be poured out, recounting Jesus’ ministry and passion and proclaiming his resurrection and enthronement at the right hand of God. In response, the crowd asked Peter, he responded that they should repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter finished his speech stating that the promise "is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself". Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs elsewhere in Acts; the gospel had been proclaimed in Samaria and the apostles Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem. The new believers had been baptized in water; the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit when John laid their hands on them. The Apostle Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit when Ananias of Damascus laid hands on him, afterwards Paul was baptized with water. In Acts, Peter preached the gospel to the household of Cornel
Charles Grandison Finney
Charles Grandison Finney was an American Presbyterian minister and leader in the Second Great Awakening in the United States. He has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism. Finney was best known as an innovative revivalist during the period 1825–1835 in upstate New York and Manhattan, an opponent of Old School Presbyterian theology, an advocate of Christian perfectionism, a religious writer. Together with several other evangelical leaders, his religious views led him to promote social reforms, such as abolition of slavery and equal education for women and African Americans. From 1835 he taught at Oberlin College of Ohio, which accepted students without regard to race or sex, he served as its second president from 1851 to 1866, during which its faculty and students were activists for abolition, the Underground Railroad, universal education. Born in Warren, Connecticut, in 1792, Finney was the youngest of nine children; the son of farmers who moved to the upstate frontier of Jefferson County, New York after the American Revolutionary War, Finney never attended college.
His leadership abilities, musical skill, six-foot three-inch stature, piercing eyes gained him recognition in his community. He and his family attended the Baptist church in Henderson, New York, where the preacher led emotional, revival-style meetings. Both the Baptists and Methodists displayed fervor through the early nineteenth century, he "read the law", studying as an apprentice to become a lawyer under Benjamin Wright, but after a dramatic conversion experience and baptism into the Holy Spirit in Adams, he gave up legal practice to preach the gospel. In 1821, Finney started studies at age 29 under George Washington Gale, to become a licensed minister in the Presbyterian Church, he had many misgivings about the fundamental doctrines taught in that denomination. He moved to New York City in 1832, where he was minister of the Chatham Street Chapel and introduced some of the revivalist fervor of upstate to his urban congregations, he founded and preached at the Broadway Tabernacle. In 1835, he became the professor of systematic theology at the newly formed Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
Finney was active as a revivalist from 1825 to 1835, in Jefferson County and for a few years in Manhattan. In 1830-31, he led a revival in Rochester, New York, noted as inspiring other revivals of the Second Great Awakening. A leading pastor in New York, converted in the Rochester meetings gave the following account of the effects of Finney's meetings in that city: "The whole community was stirred. Religion was the topic of conversation in the house, in the office and on the street; the only theater in the city was converted into a livery stable. Grog shops were closed; these included having women pray out loud in public meetings of mixed sexes. He was known for his extemporaneous preaching. In addition to becoming a popular Christian evangelist, Finney was involved with social reforms the abolitionist movement; the movement was supported by the Northern and Midwestern Baptists and Methodists with Finney denouncing slavery from the pulpit. In 1835, he moved to the free state of Ohio. After more than a decade, he was selected as its second president, serving from 1851 to 1866.
Oberlin was the first American college to accept women and blacks as students in addition to white men. From its early years, its faculty and students were active in the abolitionist movement, they participated together with people of the town in biracial efforts to help fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad, as well as to resist the Fugitive Slave Act. Many slaves escaped to Ohio across the Ohio River from Kentucky, making the state a critical area for their passage to freedom. Finney married three times. In 1824, he married Lydia Root Andrews while living in Jefferson County, they had six children together. In 1848, a year after Lydia's death, he married Elizabeth Ford Atkinson in Ohio. In 1865 he married Rebecca Allen Rayl in Ohio; each of Finney's three wives accompanied him on his revival tours and joined him in his evangelistic efforts. Finney's great-grandson named Charles Grandison Finney, became a famous author; as a young man Finney was a third-degree Master Mason, but after his conversion, he dropped the group as antithetical to Christianity.
He was active in Anti-Masonic movements. Finney was a primary influence on the "revival" style of evangelism which emerged in the 19th century. Though coming from a Calvinistic background, Finney rejected tenets of "Old Divinity" Calvinism, which he felt were unbiblical and counter to evangelism and Christian mission. Finney's theology is difficult to classify. In his masterwork, Religious Revivals, he emphasizes the involvement of a person's will in salvation, he did not make clear whether he believed the will was free to repent or not repent, or whether he viewed God as inclining the will irresistibly. (The latter is part of Calvinist doctrine, in which the will of an elect individual is changed by God so that he or she desires to repent, thus repenting with his o
Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of De doctrina Christiana and Confessions. According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith". In his youth he was drawn to Manichaeism and to neoplatonism. After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory; when the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City.
His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople identified with Augustine's On the Trinity. Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church, he is the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Protestant Reformers and Martin Luther in particular, held Augustine in preeminence among early Church Fathers. Luther himself was, from 1505 to 1521, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites. In the East, his teachings are more disputed, were notably attacked by John Romanides.
But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant approbation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky. The most controversial doctrine associated with him, the filioque, was rejected by the Orthodox Church. Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, predestination. Though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, has had influence on some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Saint Gregory Palamas. In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: " impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated. Augustine of Hippo known as Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, is known by various cognomens throughout the Christian world across its many denominations including Blessed Augustine, the Doctor of Grace Hippo Regius, where Augustine was the bishop, was in modern-day Annaba, Algeria. Augustine was born in the year 354 AD in the municipium of Thagaste in the Roman province of Numidia.
His mother, Monica or Monnica, was a devout Christian. Augustine considered the father like a stranger. Scholars agree that Augustine and his family were Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, but that they were Romanized, speaking only Latin at home as a matter of pride and dignity. In his writings, Augustine leaves some information as to the consciousness of his African heritage. For example, he refers to Apuleius as "the most notorious of us Africans," to Ponticianus as "a country man of ours, insofar as being African," and to Faustus of Mileve as "an African Gentleman". Augustine's family name, suggests that his father's ancestors were freedmen of the gens Aurelia given full Roman citizenship by the Edict of Caracalla in 212. Augustine's family had been Roman, for at least a century when he was born, it is assumed that his mother, was of Berber origin, on the basis of her name, but as his family were honestiores, an upper class of citizens known as honorable men, Augustine's first language is to have been Latin.
At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus, a small Numidian city about 19 miles south of Thagaste. There he became familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan practices, his first insight into the nature of sin occurred when he and a number of friends stole fruit they did not want from a neighborhood garden. He tells this story in The Confessions, he remembers that he did not steal the fruit because he was hungry, but because "it was not permitted." His nature, he says, was flawed.'It was foul, I loved it. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself." From this incident he concluded the human person is inclined to sin, in need of the grace of Christ. At the age of 17, through the generosity of his fellow citizen Romanianus, Augustine went to Carthage to continue his education in rhetoric, though it was above the financial means of his family. In spite of the good warnings of his mother, as a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lif
William Franklin Graham III is a Christian evangelist and missionary. Graham engages in Christian revival tours and political commentary, he is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization. Graham became a "committed Christian" in 1974 and was ordained in 1982, has since become a public speaker and author, he is known for being a son of the American evangelist Billy Graham. William Franklin Graham III was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on July 14, 1952, to evangelist Billy Graham and Ruth Graham, he is the fourth of their five children. As a teenager, Graham attended The Stony Brook School, a Christian private school on Long Island, New York, but was expelled, he finished high school in North Carolina. In 1970, Graham attended LeTourneau College in Longview and was expelled from the school for keeping a female classmate out past curfew. In 1974, he graduated from Montreat-Anderson College, now Montreat College, with an A.
S. and in 1978 from Appalachian State University with a B. A. In 1974, the 22-year-old had a conversion experience committing himself to Jesus Christ in a hotel room while on a trip to the Middle East, including Lebanon and ending in Jerusalem, he was ordained in 1982 by the Grace Community Church in Arizona. He married Jane Austin Cunningham of Smithfield, North Carolina, in 1974, they have four children: William Franklin Graham IV, born in 1975, Roy Austin Graham, Edward Bell Graham and Jane Austin Graham Lynch. Lynch is now married to former National Football League safety Corey Lynch. Graham and his wife have eleven grandchildren; as a young man, Graham was mentored by two senior members of the Billy Graham Team. These men worked alongside Billy Graham and had a desire to positively affect the life and ministry of the eldest son of their longtime friend and colleague. Graham began conducting events for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989 and became the CEO in 2000 and its president in 2002.
Each year, he conducts at least five Graham Festivals around the world as an evangelist associated with the BGEA. Since 1989, he has preached to more than three million people in 126 evangelistic events. On January 23, 1990, Graham was a guest on 100 Huntley Street. Graham went to Hong Kong from November 29 to December 2, 2007, to host the Hong Kong Franklin Graham Festival, the first major evangelistic rally in Hong Kong since its 1997 transfer of sovereignty, which drew more than 250,000 attendees. Graham spoke at the 1999 Columbine High School memorial, he gave the opening prayer at the 2001 inauguration of George W. Bush. Shortly after identifying himself as having "become a Christian" in 1974, Graham joined Bob Pierce, founder of Samaritan's Purse, on a six-week mission to Asia, it was during this trip. In 1979, after the death of Pierce, he became the president of Samaritan's Purse. Graham now serves as the organization's CEO, heads efforts on behalf of the organization in more than 100 countries, including programs such as Operation Christmas Child and the "Children's Heart Project".
Samaritan's Purse reported gross receipts of $414,031,085 during the 2010 federal tax year. According to 2014 data, Graham is the highest paid Samaritan's Purse employee at $622,252 annually and leads other charities in compensation; the preacher gave up a salary at the evangelistic association during the late economic downturn, but the leaders urged him to accept compensation again and he now receives increased retirement contributions as well as a regular salary. The evangelistic association reported 2013 revenues as $106.5 million and 2014 as $112,893,788. Franklin Graham drew scrutiny in 2009 for drawing a full-time salary from Samaritan's Purse, while receiving a full-time salary from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; this was called into question after his 2008 compensation from both organizations totaled $1.2 million. Some experts on non-profits have questioned whether one person can perform two full-time jobs leading organizations that employ hundreds and spend hundreds of millions around the world.
In response to the questions about his compensation, Graham decided to give up his salary from BGEA, stating his calling to the ministry "was never based on compensation." He had contributions to his retirement plans suspended until the economy bounced back. However, Graham was again criticized in 2015 when it was revealed he had again taken up his salary from BGEA, that his annual compensation was higher than that of the CEO's of similar but much larger non-profit organisations Graham, a supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, came under criticism for comments he made about Islam in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks when he referred to Islam as "a evil and wicked religion." Further criticism came on April 2003, when he preached at a Good Friday service at the Pentagon. Graham has made controversial remarks against Islam saying "True Islam cannot be practiced in this country," to CNN's Campbell Brown in December 2009. "You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries."
On April 22, 2010 after objections from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and the Muslim group Council on American–Islamic Relations, the Pentagon rescinded his invitation from the Christian conservative National Day o
In Christianity, evangelism is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching of the Gospel with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians who specialize in evangelism are known as evangelists, whether they are in their home communities or living as missionaries in the field, although some Christian traditions refer to such people as missionaries in either case; some Christian traditions consider evangelists to be in a leadership position. Christian groups who encourage evangelism are sometimes known as evangelist; the scriptures do not use the word evangelism, but evangelist is used in Acts 21:8, Ephesians 4:11, 2 Timothy 4:5. The word evangelist comes from the Koine Greek word εὐαγγέλιον via Latinised evangelium as used in the canonical titles of the Four Gospels, authored by Matthew, Mark and John; the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον meant a reward given to the messenger for good news and "good news" itself. The verb form of euangelion, occurs in older Greek literature outside the New Testament, making its meaning more difficult to ascertain.
Parallel texts of the Gospels of Luke and Mark reveal a synonymous relationship between the verb euangelizo and a Greek verb kerusso, which means "to proclaim". Some Christians distinguish between evangelism and proselytism, the latter viewed as unethical because it is taken to involve the abuse of people's freedom and the distortion of the gospel of grace by means of coercion, deception and exploitation; the term "proselytize" might be used when one group does not approve of the missional activities of another when one group is losing members to another group. Different denominations follow different theological interpretations which reflect upon the point of, doing the actual conversion, whether the evangelist or the Holy Spirit or both. Calvinists, among other Christian denominations, believe the soul is converted salutary to Christ only if the Holy Spirit is effective in the act. Catholic missionary work in Russia is seen as evangelism, not proselytism. Archbishop Kondrusiewicz stated, "that proselytism is unacceptable and cannot constitute a strategy for the development of our structures either in Russia or in any other country in the world".
Regarding claims by the Orthodox church that spreading the faith and receiving converts amounts to proselytism, the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document called "Doctrinal Note on some Aspects of Evangelization" which states that evangelism is "an inalienable right and duty, an expression of religious liberty...", added, "The incorporation of new members into the Church is not the expansion of a power group, but rather entrance into the network of friendship with Christ which connects heaven and earth, different continents and age. It is entrance into the gift of communion with Christ...." In recent history, certain Bible passages have been used to promote evangelism. William Carey, in a book entitled,'An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens' popularised a quotation, according to the Bible, during his last days on earth Jesus commanded his eleven disciples as follows: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And I am with you always, to the end of the age. However, recent scholarship by Chris Wright and others has suggested that such activity is promoted by the entire Bible, or at least the wider term'mission', although the meaning of the word'mission' and its relationship to'evangelism' is disputed amongst Christians. Breaking from tradition and going beyond television and radio a wide range of methods have been developed to reach people not inclined to attend traditional events in churches or revival meetings. Dramas such as Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames have gained enormous popularity since the 1980s; these dramas depict fictional characters who die and learn whether they will go to heaven or hell. The child evangelism movement is a Christian evangelism movement that originated in the 20th century, it focuses on the 4/14 Window which centers on evangelizing children between the ages of 4 and 14 years old. Beginning in the 1970s, a group of Christian athletes known as The Power Team spawned an entire genre of Christian entertainment based on strong-man exploits mixed with a Christian message and accompanied by an opportunity to respond with a prayer for salvation.
Other entertainment-based Christian evangelism events include live theater and music. The Christian music industry has played a significant role in modern evangelism. Rock concerts in which the artist exhort non-believing attendees to pray a prayer for salvation have become common, just as common are concerts that are focused on activity not on prayer and conversion, thus forming an environment, not driven by conversion, but instead relaying of a message. Evangelists such as Reinhard Bonnke conduct mass evangelistic crusades around the world. Hundreds of church denominations and organizations participate in an evangelism movement known as the Billion Soul Harvest, a comprehensive initiative to convert a billion people to Christianity. New opportunities for evangelization have been provided in recen