A lot has happened in the past few days:
1. A devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck right in the heart of Papua New Guinea on Sunday causing massive devastation and killing over 30 people. Sadly, the death toll is expected to rise as many more are injured and still others missing. The quake triggered staggeringly massive landslides:
2. President Trump has won two important court battles. In Jennings v. Rodriguez on Tuesday, the Supreme Court reversed a 9th Circuit ruling in a 5-3 decision that allows non-citizen immigrants to be detained indefinitely. And in California, Hispanic U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled that environmental rules can be waived allowing Trump’s border wall plans to proceed.
3. On Wednesday, the body of Billy Graham was laid in honor in the U.S. Capitol Building Rotunda. He was only the fourth private citizen to ever lie in honor at the Capitol, and the first since Rosa Parks in 2005. I don’t think Graham was a perfect man (as obviously none of us are) and neither do I think his theology was perfect (as none of ours is), but I believe that he understood the gospel and a lot of those coming out of the woodwork now against him, I think, at least in some instances, are misconstruing what he believed and taught. You can make anyone sound like a heretic by selectively taking a few sentences out of context, but I’m interested in what someone consistently taught over a lifetime. Graham categorically denied the false accusation of universalism (see here) and while I personally disagree with some of his teachings and methods, universalismand inclusivism are not the same thing.
Universalism (not to be confused with Universal Reconciliation “U.R.”) teaches that there are many paths to God and that Jesus is not the only way. Universalism is a pagan, false, and heretical belief. Inclusivism emphatically teaches that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and it upholds historic Christian beliefs, however, it teaches that Jesus will save even some who had never heard of the gospel (still only because of His atoning death on the Cross). 1 Peter 3:18–20 and Romans 2:1–16 are often offered in defense of inclusivism and it appears that Graham may have been open to this belief, however, in his 2013 book co-authored with his son Franklin, he seemed to be much more exclusivist in his leanings.
It is important to challenge heresy and defend God’s Word, but it is also important to understand what it is you’re attacking or else you might be guilty of bearing false witness and falsely accusing. Graham preached the gospel of salvation through Christ alone to literally tens of millions of people and I will not be the judge of his heart (see Rom. 10:5–13).
I’ve never met an Evangelical Christian (at least that I’m aware of) that is a pure exclusivist. Pure exclusivism, by definition, would mean that all babies, mentally handicapped, and Old Testament saints would not be saved. A good discussion on this can be found on GotQuestions.org.
4. By a single vote margin, the Israeli Knesset voted to bar supermarkets and businesses from being open on the Sabbath day. The new law also grants the Israeli government power to override municipal laws that would allow work and entertainment on the Sabbath. It is continuing evidence that the Orthodox Jewish community is growing rapidly in the country and is successfully reverting the nation back to its ancient, biblical customs.
5. In another amazing 70 year / generational marker, Prince William will be visiting Israel, becoming the first British royal to ever make an official visit to the country. His visit will happen this summer, not long after Israel’s 70th anniversary.