Tomonobu Yanagita, a fundamentalist preacher in Japan in the 1950s and 1960s, described the mixing of evangelicals and modernists by Billy Graham’s big tent philosophy and the resultant doctrinal confusion. “Yanagita has warned repeatedly of the havoc being wrought in missionary circles by the leaders of New Evangelicalism. He recalls the joyful prospect that loomed for sound, fundamental missions in 1945 when General MacArthur issued his declaration for religious freedom for Japan. An unprecedented number of Bible-believing missionaries came to that land to begin their labors. They were reinforced by experienced missionaries that had been forced out of China in 1949 and many new groups began in Japan with the purpose of spreading the true Gospel. ‘Then,’ continues Dr. Yanagita, ‘this period of formation of evangelical groups who stood firmly for the Biblical position was challenged and interrupted by the coming to Japan in 1956 of Dr. Billy Graham, who demanded that all groups, including Bible believers and modernistic pro-Shinto believers, unite for the purpose of evangelism. Billy Graham demanded “a united front of all Christian groups” before he would preach in Japan. The way was opened for the pre-war compromising leaders to take over again by this means of ecumenical evangelism. This joint mass evangelism including modernistic unbelievers and evangelicals caused an influx of modernist thought into evangelical groups bringing about ultimate compromise’” (William Ashbrook, Evangelicalism The New Neutralism, first edition, 1958, p. 34).
(Friday Church News Notes, September 16, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)