Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Jerry Falwell Did

Certain newspaper columnists (e.g., Christopher Hitchens and Jonathan Alter) have decried the many faults of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. He was lambasted as a bigot, a homophobe, and the embodiment of evangelical self-righteous hypocrisy. Yet as I reflect on his life, I see a man who did a great deal of good for the Lord and God's people. As a Calvinist I disagreed with parts of his theology, but he remained an orthodox, Bible-believing servant, who brought to our nation's attention the precipitous moral decline which began in the licentious 1960's.

Here are some facts not often noted in the news:
1. He started a church with 35 people, and which now numbers 22,000.
2. He started a small Bible college, and which is now an impressive university.
3. He put the issue of the murder of millions of children by abortion front and center in our nation's political discourse.
4. He provided homes for young women who decided to keep their babies instead of aborting them. In other words, he wasn't just pro-life verbally, but was pro-life in action.
5. He spoke biblical truth to power, namely, that "righteousness exalts a nation" and America was (and is) in great peril from God's wrath against sin and the normalization of perversity.

I did not always agree with his methods or message, but I do know that Jerry Falwell was a powerful voice for God's truth, and did more for the Lord than most of us who are quick to criticize or lampoon. I trust he is now in the bosom of his Savior, Jesus Christ, and enjoying the blessed communion of the saints in light. Well done, good and faithful servant.


Blogger Peter said...

We are quick to trash our fellow Christians for their sins, but unwilling to discipline our congregations and unwilling to condemn heresy.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Old First said...

I think Falwell is known best for his pulpit ministry, and there he was forthright, courageous, compassionate, caring, and convicted.

Once I heard him describe himself as a Five-point Calvinist, and he went through TULIP on his fingers.

Some baptists are "particular" baptists, and he was one. And particular baptists consider themselves Calvinists.

We can't imagine how anyone could be a Calvinist and not get infant baptism, but when Calvinism is defined in that narrow sense, then Falwell could consider himself one.

Let's all of us pray that we do as well on our watch.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Scribe said...

I wasn't aware of his Calvinism. Good for him, and thanks for the info.

7:15 AM  

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