Christianity for the Rest of Us

Christianity for the Rest of Us

Beck and Billy Graham: Stealing the Blessing

Glenn Beck met with Billy Graham on February 19.  

Beck is a Mormon, and a self-made
leader in the re-emergent Religious Right and Tea Party movements, and Graham
is a Baptist evangelist, long-time esteemed leader of American
evangelicalism.  An unlikely pair.  Yet, in the last Gallup poll for “most
admired man” Beck and Graham tied in the top 10, behind Barack Obama, George
W. Bush, and Nelson Mandela. For almost a year, Beck has tried to meet Graham,
who turned down the request.  But,
suddenly, this past weekend, Graham’s people arranged a meeting.


Beck broke news of the meeting on Twitter and followed up with a 25 minute report on his radio show on Tuesday. According to Beck, the scheduled sixty-minute meeting
extended to three hours during which time the two men prayed together and
discussed the current state of global affairs, politics, and faith.

Beck said that Graham is practically blind and is hard
of hearing.  Yet, according to
Beck, they spoke of the “darkness” in the world and more difficult times
ahead.  Beck claimed that he and
Graham shared concerns for being “prepared” morally, spiritually, and physically
for the coming tribulation.  Beck
implied that Graham agreed with his assessment that “the Left has given itself
over to Evil” by aligning itself with communists and dictators and “regular
Democratic voters.”  


Beck also implied that Billy Graham approved of his
leadership in the realm of religion and politics. Beck claimed that Graham said
that whoever “stands up” on the side of the “light” forms the righteous
community, and that all who resist the “darkness” are on the side of
truth.  Beck admitted that
theological differences separated the two, but further insisted that such
differences are miniscule against the threat of evil.  We need to “stand up” together, Beck insisted.  

Although such a report might seem benign, Beck’s meeting
with Graham and Beck’s description of it amounts to a sort of
theological dog-whistle for those in the conservative religious-political
community.  In his meandering way,
Glenn Beck implied that Billy Graham has given his blessing to Beck as his
heir, the One to lead the Troops of Light against the Demons of Darkness in the
upcoming tribulation.  According to
Beck, the Baptist Graham passed his mantle onto the Mormon Beck as the
spiritual and political leader of the next Great American Awakening.  Never mind that Graham has never been an
apocalyptic preacher, it is unimaginable that he said Democratic
voters have given into evil, and unlikely that he understands Mormonism as theological equal to evangelicalism.  Yet Beck
coyly implied that the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham gave his imprimatur to a union
between the old evangelical right and the new right-wing Mormon activism.  In the process, he by-passed a younger
generation of evangelical leaders, many of whom have become openly hostile to
the Religious Right in general and Beck in particular.  


Not being a conservative evangelical, I am not entirely sure
what evangelicals will make of this. 
There is, however, a very similar story in the Bible:

Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his
elder son Esau and said to him, ‘My son'; and he answered, ‘Here I am.’ He
said, ‘See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your
weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for
me. Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat,
so that I may bless you before I die.’


Esau prepared the meal for his father, his younger brother Jacob schemed to
usurp the blessing by disguising himself as Esau:

 So Jacob went in to his father, and said, ‘My father'; and
he said, ‘Here I am; who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau
your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so
that you may bless me.’ But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found
it so quickly, my son?’ He answered, ‘Because the Lord your God granted me
success.’ Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to
know whether you are really my son Esau or not.’ So Jacob went up to his father
Isaac, who felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are
the hands of Esau.’ He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like
his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. He said, ‘Are you really my son
Esau?’ He answered, ‘I am.’ Then he said, ‘Bring it to me, that I may eat of my
son’s game and bless you.’ So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought
him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘Come near and kiss
me, my son.’ So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his
garments, and blessed him, and said,?’Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell
of a field that the Lord has blessed. ?May God give you of the dew of heaven, and
of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. ?Let peoples serve
you, and nations bow down to you.? Be lord over your brothers, and may your
mother’s sons bow down to you.? Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed
be everyone who blesses you!

To Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and the familiar Religious
Right leaders, you need to go check on Billy Graham.  Glenn Beck’s no patriarch of Israel, but I think he might just have made off with your

Comments read comments(21)
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posted February 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Wonder how he squares this with what he said in a recent interview with Christianity Today?
I also would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.

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Paul S. Fraser

posted February 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Diana, I deeply appreciate your speaking for the rest of us, as Glenn Beck does not speak for my understanding of Christianity, and I sincerely doubt that he spoke for The Reverend Mr. Graham’s either. I love your Biblical analogy and I hope that many people will read it carefully and call Mr. Beck to account for his deception and hypocrisy.

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YoBruceur Name

posted February 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Thank you so much for this sane commentary on Beck’s meeting with Rev. Graham.

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posted February 23, 2011 at 7:23 am

I truly agree with your comments, Mr. Beck, excuse my use of the word, is an idiot. and the truly sad part is that non believers stand back and point at Mr. beck and say see how those Christians are.
Well let me say that 90% of all Christians are not like that, we believe that Jesus laid down the most important law, “Love God with all your Heart, Soul and Might and Love your Neighbor as yourself.” 90% of us don’t protest in front of funerals, or get on television shows and drag everyone else down, we lead by example and not with our mouths.
Mr. Beck God tells me I must love you so I do, but in that Love I wish that you will see what you are doing, and dragging a man like the great Mr. Graham into you delusion of grandeur truly shows you are lost.
The leadership role that Mr. Graham has in the Christian movement today was earned by him, not handed down or passed on. Mr. Beck how will you receive yours?

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posted February 23, 2011 at 7:52 am

I am So glad you clarified this for us.At first as I was reading I was like””WHAT””. But you stated it well at the end of your narrative.Billy Graham is truly a wonderful and great man.Full of love and compassion for his fellow man.Christian and Non Christian.I however agree with you. Mr beck was under some sort of a delusion if he thinks Brother Graham “passed the mantle” to him. I guess he was having kool aid before he met with Mr Graham.And yes Pat,James,all religious leaders please do check on Mr Graham. Seems there’s a fox in the hen house.God Bless Mr Graham our Religious leaders and the peole that write articles such as this one.Thank you so much…God Bless All!

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posted February 24, 2011 at 1:29 am

Seems like Mr. Beck is setting himself up as a false profhet.
(far fetched?)

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posted February 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Mr. Beck has always frightened me.

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posted February 26, 2011 at 4:07 am

Glenn Beck scares me.
Back when he was on CNN’s Headline News, he seemed fairly sane & sound. When he moved to FOX, he becomes the equivalent of The Mad Prophet from ” Network “.

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brenda davis

posted February 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm

your comment “Graham has never been an apocalyptic preacher”
have you read Grahams book Storm Warning ?
as you say, you are not a conservation evangelical and you therefore
just don’t get it

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TB Much

posted February 28, 2011 at 5:08 am

I suspect Beck is up to no-good, after observing an individual as I have with Beck, this made evidently suffers from some delusional disease and I might add, all those that rate him highly suffer from the same.

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TB Much

posted February 28, 2011 at 5:10 am

should have been this man ..

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Mark Fin

posted March 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

Beck is Esau, Jacob is greedy, evil, and was up to no good! Hmm, you think you may take a looksee in the mirror. Use a dictionary of what selfcentered and greed is before you twist the good book for your greedy wants and needs. SO Coy u r !

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Jonathan Swift

posted March 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Anyone who wants to question the validity of this article by Diana Butler Bass can easily find a video Glenn Beck’s comments about the meeting with Billy Graham on the Internet. Pat Robertson, James Dobson and similar believing folks would have no problem with what Glenn Beck said which did not resemble the above truth-impaired article.

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Eoin Giller

posted March 30, 2011 at 12:11 am

Way to go Brenda. You have insight and knowledge! As an Aussie Theologian living in America, for now, I feel greatly concerned for American Christianity. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer [who was martyred by Hitler in 1945 for helping maintain Biblical Christianity the German underground Church] observed in 1929 in letter to a relative in Germany from New York while Studying at Union Theological Seminary: American Christianity poses more danger to true Christianity than any other threat. I can see this reflected in the blogger’s article, and most of the following comments. However, may God have mercy on us all. Bonhoeffer has been claimed as a Liberal by many in the American Church. A little problem here, liberals don’t die for their faith, do they?

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Ken F

posted April 2, 2011 at 9:21 am

I don’t see any of what you claim you see in Glenn Beck. I’m a scientist and have been a Christian since the last day of the Battle of Midway. I think you need to become acquainted with Beck’s entire system of belief, which includes Mormonism. I do not believe that Mormonism is particularly Christian faith either. Nor is it often close to becoming that. Listen to Beck with both eyes open, but also take to heart his very sound advice, “Don’t just believe anybody, especially me. Do your own homework. Here are some resources.” Very scientific and hardly what you’d expect from a typical Mormon.

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posted April 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm

to mr beck whom i know nothing much about boo grow up some don,t be so muniplitive. and to the great MRGRAHAM I WOULD LIKE TO SAY BLESS YOU i was raised up listening to u on tv and was glad toseethat u have still got such a strong group of followers u r a freart and mighty man of GOD…i comend u and as for my part i think u passed ur mantle onto ur son. but being a lady myself im gonna stay out of yalls arguments unless invited in. thanks for all ur many mighty prayers and this most recent 1 on the rest of the story once again u amaze me ,may GOD continue to richly bless u and urs MR GRAHAM for such a stedfast and wonderful prayerwarrior and i join u in say my god bless america and hope we get back to becoming more prayerfull and less politicall urs in christ me.

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Eoin Giller

posted April 13, 2011 at 12:15 am

Should you reread these blog comments: Ken F.:

You hit the proverbial nail on the head. Mr. Beck was redeemed by Jesus Christ from alcoholism prior to meeting his wife. As a Latter-day Saint, she insisted he become a member prior to marrying him. He never did adjust his foundational beliefs in the Person, power, and redeeming nature of Christ’s life, death, and resurrected heavenly ministry–consult the book of Hebrews for more insight on this matter.

Mr. Beck is a self-educated man with profound insight into orthodox Christianity, Judaism, current world events and the history of America–especially in regard to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. It is a shame that the Billionaire Neo-Marxist Mr. Soros has succeeded in his smear campaign against Beck. He employed 96 people to work the media and the internet against Beck.

Just a footnote: When I was a Church Growth consultant in the nineties, An Indian retired member of Parliament from New Delhi asked me to meet with one of the seventy from Utah. The M.P. liked Mormonism and considered I was not a prejudiced Christian–and I truly pray she is right! As a result, we met with the Mormon leader. He had responsibility for Mormon Missions. The gentleman told me their door-to-door mission strategy was no longer effective; but, it was kept in place more to retain their youth (those of you who have insight will get it). He did ask me for some ideas about missions.

Thus, I suggested that the Mormon Church should place more emphasis on the Bible: and, without dropping the writings of Smith and Young, progressively background them so that over a few years the Bible would become the Latter-day Saints’ supreme authority in matters of doctrine and practice. This appears to be happening.

One of Dr. George Barna’s recent analytical surveys of Christianity and the World, provided the astounding information that the Latter-day Saint spends (on average) a little over 30 minutes a day, praying and studying the Bible. I’m not going further down the list of the denominational people groups. Sad to tell, the “average” American pastor spends ten minutes a day in personal prayer and Bible Study. We need a Godly revival in America. Let us pray for a renewed outpouring of His Holy Spirit.

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Rosalie Louie

posted April 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I have learned alot from Glen Beck and he loves the Lord his country and his family. Now if that is a crime or unGodly then where all in trouble. He is warning about what is coming and he is right on. Read your Bible. I dont beleive in the Morman teachings but its to bad christains didnt live there faith the way alot of them do.The Holy Spirit is the one who decerns the truth. May God Bless this country and Israel We are in the last days . Im 70 years old and all i can say is come quickly Lord Jesus. Bless you all.

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posted May 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

Going on radio and making all the noise shows there is a hidden motive behind his intention to meet Billy all this while.

Mr beck, you don’t earn respect this way. You earn it through sincere commitment to the cause of CHRIST on this earth.

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