Billy Graham met privately with Fox News host Glenn Beck for a three-hour discussion last Saturday.
The meeting comes after Beck established himself as an unlikely leader for the religious right with his “Restoring Honor” rally at the nation’s capital last summer – attracting tens of thousands of people, including notable figures like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Richard Land.
Eight months ago, Beck had sought an audience with the aging preacher, but only succeeded in receiving an invitation last weekend. Beck reportedly brought his wife, Tania, to the meeting at the Graham residency.
“When I went to Billy Graham's mountaintop home in North Carolina, I didn't really expect that I would be having Chinese food, chopsticks and all with him, but I did," Beck said on his show Tuesday, according to a transcript.
On his website, Beck called the revered evangelist “a man who’s done profound good.”
Since catching the limelight at the rally last year, Beck has often been paralleled with the Graham family patriarch.
In last year's Gallop poll, Beck tied with Billy Graham for the top ten “most admired man.” Nonetheless, some evangelicals remain wary of Beck’s Mormon faith and motives.
“It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” wrote Southern Baptist theologian Russell D. Moore on his blog entry last August.
“Jesus will build his church, and…he doesn’t need American Christianity to do it.”
On his radio show last March, Beck outraged liberal Christians by telling people to leave churches promoting “social justice,” arguing that it was “the rallying cry on both the communist…and…fascist front.”
In response, Sojourner president Jim Wallis demanded Christians to boycott Beck’s TV and radio programs. Afterwards, Beck called Wallis "an apologist communist for atrocities in Cambodia,” in apparent retaliation.
Notorious for his aggressive-style and controversial remarks, the Fox News firebrand is also known for his affiliation with the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons.
Amongst Mormon doctrines that conflict with mainstream Christian principles is denying the validity of the Bible. Mormons also reject the Apostles and Nicene Creeds, which form the foundation for mainline Christians. Nonetheless, Mormons insist that they are also Christian.
At one point, Glenn Beck hosted one of the highest-rated talk shows on Fox News channel, peaking 2.8 million views by 2009.
However, his show has lost 39 percent of its original viewers since January, marking the fastest decline of any cable news program.