Monday, May 21, 2007

Jerry Falwell: What a guy!

As I'm sure you know, Jerry Falwell, the man behind the 1970's and 80's "Moral Majority" movement (they were neither moral nor, thank God, in the majority) passed away last week at age 73.

Falwell's political activities are credited with the conservative groundswell in 1980 that put Ronald Reagan in the White House, and began the creeping American theocracy we're still dealing with 28 years later.

Judging from thousands of posts to various forums on the Internet this week, he was, shall we say, a very divisive man, especially for a minister of God, and was not universally loved.

I'll not say anything negative about him here. I'll let his own words speak for him.
On mixing politics and religion: "I want the members of Congress to understand... that the solution to America's serious moral and spiritual problem is not political. We're in need of a religious awakening."

More on politics and religion: "The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."

On the Antichrist: "If he's going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish. The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish."

Apologizing for the Antichrist remark: "I apologize not for what I believe, but for my lack of tact and judgment in making a statement that served no purpose whatsoever."

On the prophet Muhammad: "I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war."

On the 9/11 attacks: "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad."

Again on 9/11, just days after it happened: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

On the BBC children's program Teletubbies: "As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children."

On banning prayer at college football games: "The NCAA has enough problems with drugs and crime and violence, sex and rape to bother itself with prohibiting prayer."
The man said so many outrageous things in the name of Jesus that even fellow Christian minister Rev. Billy Graham once rebuked him.
On AIDS: "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

On feminism: "It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening."

On God: "God is a Republican."

On Jesus: "Jesus was the first American."

On Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I do question the sincerity of people like the Reverend Martin Luther King...."

On Desmond Tutu: "Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a phony."

On public schools: "I hope to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we don't have public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."

On promoting theocracy: "If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth.... We need to pull out all the stops to recruit and train 25 million Americans to become informed pro-moral activists whose voices can be heard in the halls of Congress."

On geography, science and history: "The Bible is the inerrant... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history...."

On morality: "Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them."

On homosexuals: "[Homosexuals are] brute beasts and a vile and Satanic system [that] will one day be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven."

On being a Christian: "If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
And if he hasn't convinced you to become a Christian with all these messages of Christian love, maybe this will do it:
"Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions."
Curiously, Falwell called lots of people and groups "Satanic" and said they'd be going to hell. But he never made a public statement about Freemasonry, even when the Southern Baptist Convention was on a Masonic witchhunt back in the 80s and 90s.

In 1988, when Falwell was asked in a letter whether a Christian should be a Mason, his "position" on the question was answered by Rick Lawreson, his "theological correspondent": "I have enclosed a commentary addressing the subject of Masons. I would encourage you to take time to study this commentary so that you will have a proper understanding of the position that Dr. Falwell and this ministry [Liberty Home Bible Institute/Old-Time Gospel Hour] take with regard to this subject."

The printed commentary stated:
We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance to you with regard to your inquiry regarding whether or not the Christian should be involved in Freemasonry.

Without doubt, the Freemason organization and especially the Shriners and their particular interest in providing medical assistance to children, both burned and crippled, is to be commended. These humanitarian acts of charity are certainly showing forth the character of a Christlike compassion....

It is unfortunate that there is not more charity being shown in today's society. Jesus Himself is our great example of One who willingly gave Himself compassionately to those who were in greatest need...

Unfortunately, there are some individuals who condemn others to Hell for belonging to the Freemasons. They fail to understand the passage: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). People are not condemned to Hell because of some organization that they do or do not belong to, but people are condemned to Hell because of their unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour....

Dr. Falwell has never belonged to the Mason organization and does not intend in the future to belong to the Mason organization. He feels that all of his time should be given over to the Christian service to which God has called him.

Dr. Falwell does not take a public stand concerning Masonry; but neither does he let this be the issue that draws a line between fellowshipping with other Pastors.
Baptist and Fundamentalist Christians who believe Freemasonry is Satanic took Falwell's wishy-washy response and the fact that he damned just about every other non-Christian or non-Christian group he ever heard of, and didn't badmouth Masonry, to mean that Falwell himself was a Mason.

It's more likely Falwell knew that many patrons of his 24,000-member church and his television ministry were conservative Freemasons, and wisely chose not to attack a part of his "bread and butter" that kept him living large.

Sources:
SaintsAlive.com
Voices of American Sexuality
Huffington Post
and others....

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7 comments:

  1. Curious indeed that Dr. Falwell didn't condemn Freemasonry. It might be because he is part of the Illuminati...da, da, da, dum....:-)

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  2. VISION DRIVEN MAN

    On May 16, 2007 I had been on a 16 hour flight from Bombay to JFK. On arrival I called home and my wife asked me if I seen the news? I asked her if it was the weather again and she said it was Dr. Falwell. The rest of the news was difficult and heartbreaking. It seemed like Lynchburg disappeared from the map. I wasn’t prepared for this news after a two week hectic mission’s trip to India. There are few men that I love and respect like my father. Dr. Falwell is one of those visionary leaders. He certainly has been an inspiration to me. I was deeply saddened by the passing of a great leader but it is a time of great rejoicing in heaven.

    I wouldn’t have come to Lynchburg, VA if it weren’t for Dr. Jerry Falwell and his giant step of faith to start Liberty University. Mine is one of the thousands of lives Dr. Falwell has touched through his life. In 1995 I quit my secular job working in a New York City hospital and was waiting for God’s direction for our future in ministry. We received a letter from Dr. Falwell inviting us to move to Lynchburg, VA with a scholarship to join Liberty Bible Institute. For several days we prayed and debated over the issue of whether to leave or stay. It seemed strange how he got my name and address. Is there a catch behind this offer? We were a young couple with a one year old and expecting and had the desire to serve God. I had to wrestle with this issue. Finally the Lord gave my wife and I the peace to take a step of faith.

    I believe that move made a significant difference in the mission’s ministry of Alpha Ministries and my life. The move helped me to understand the struggles my father faced while moving from south India to northern India as a pioneer missionary to north India. The move from New York to Lynchburg was nothing comparing to what my father faced but it taught me patience, perseverance, and prepared me to see a God sized growth. It all happened because of Dr. Falwell’s vision of Liberty University and the God given desire to teach the Word of God. That one letter of invitation not only brought us into his nook, it helped us to link with many new key friends and partners to make a global impact. In 1995 we had outreach in India but today it has gone beyond the borders into Nepal, Burma, Thailand and now Africa. My preparation field was Lynchburg.

    I remember the first convocation at Liberty Vines center. Dr. Falwell challenged us to have a vision and be a champion for Christ. He was never afraid of speaking what is right. He had confidence in God that challenged students to take giant steps of faith. He showed to others what the God of the Bible is doing in his life. The realistic move of the Spirit of the Lord’s hand was visibly evident in his life and it made young men like me to take a leap of faith.

    As a student with family and ministry responsibility I was struggling to make the ends meet. One story I often share was, “We had a old Dodge van that needed a lot of maintenance. It was not a reliable vehicle and we were concerned about traveling. Every morning on our local radio station they have “Perspective” a short message from people who spoke at the university. On this particular day that I was under great pressure. I had the radio on as we do in the morning at our home. I heard a message of Dr. Falwell sharing the story of Alexander the Great. How he was resting on an island with his army. During that time a man came to Alexander and asked him if he could have that Island. Alexander took a paper from his associate and signed the order that gave the island to that man. Alexander’s associates asked him how he could just give it away. They had fought and many of their comrades had died for that island. Why did you give that away? they asked. Alexander replied, “Because he made a request only a great man could fulfill.” Dr. Falwell concluded his message saying “Ask and ye shall receive.” I had a lot of needs and that message challenged me to ask and cry out to God.

    That afternoon as I was heading to Lynchburg and I saw a good blue Chevy Suburban truck parked in font of a local roofing company on Route 29 with a “for sale” sign. I looked at it thought how good it would be for our family. I said in my heart, “Benny, you have not because you ask not.” I took the address of that roofing company and the owners name and I wrote a letter to the owner of that Chevy Suburban to give that truck to me. Weeks went by with no response to my letter. I prayed to God to work in the heart of the owner to give me that truck. One afternoon I called the roofing company owner and he said, Mr. Mathews I received your letter and I can give you a break on the price of the truck if you can give me a tax receipt from the ministry, but financially, I am not in position to totally donate that. However even after the great discount the price was not right for me and it was beyond my budget. This is one of the many examples how people believed in what Dr. Falwell shared. He walked the talk and lived up to it. Dr. Falwell was a mighty man of God with tremendous faith and vision which challenged and motivated people of all ages.

    I have observed him for the last 11 years living in his neighborhood and people believed in him because he lived up to it. I have met him on two occasions and talked with him for a few minutes. But ever since the day the Lord brought me to Lynchburg I have never ceased praying for him and his ministry. Dr. Falwell’s great faith and vision has left an indelible mark upon my own life and ministry. He will be greatly missed, he will never be replaced and it will never be the same again. Our prayers go out to the Falwell family at this time of grief.

    Benny C. Mathews
    Alpha Ministries
    Executive Director

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  3. There is a disturbing trend in American politics of attacking individual soon after their deaths. Sometimes even before they are buried. How Sad!! Unfortunately,conservatives are just as guilty as liberals in this severe character flaw. It is a derivative of Phelpism. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to wait at least six months before you launch your attacks against Dr. Falwell. If you passed away would your family appreciate 1 days after your death blogs put up attacking you when they are still grieving. There is an old saying that if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.
    Jeff Rhodes

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  4. Jerry Falwell was a true civil rights warrior. I'll always remember him as the trailblazer he was. Watch this video and experience his passion and courage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoL6clBZURE

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  5. The 10 Craziest Things Rev. Jerry Falwell Ever Said
    10. "The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."

    9. "The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews."

    8. "I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"

    7. "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers ... AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

    6. "Nothing will motivate conservative evangelical Christians to vote Republican in the 2008 presidential election more than a Democratic nominee named Hillary Rodham Clinton - not even a run by the devil himself ...I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate. She has $300 million so far. But I hope she's the candidate. Because nothing will energize my [constituency] like Hillary Clinton. If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't." --at a "Values Voter Summit"

    5. "Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them."

    4. "Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America."

    3. "He is purple — the gay-pride color, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle — the gay pride symbol." –from a "Parents Alert" issued in Jerry Falwell's National Liberty Journal, warning that "Tinky Winky," a character on the popular PBS children's show, "Teletubbies," may be gay

    2. "You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I'm for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."

    1. "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'" --on the 9/11 attacks

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  6. Captain:

    This article was not an "attack." It was basically a list of Falwell's own statements over the years. The reader can decide what kind of man he was.

    Why would you expect anyone to wait six months before they said something about a controversial public figure who has died?

    Falwell was a man who used his bully pulpit to blame pagans, abortionists, the ACLU, lesbians, et al, for the Twin Towers attacks before the bodies of innocent men, women and children had even been pulled from the rubble. Does he deserve more respect than he gave those people?

    — W.S.

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  7. The Rev. Falwell never read Matt 7:1

    May the UAoU show him the light.

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