Jerry Falwell remembered

By now you are all aware of the passing of Dr. Jerry Falwell. While I had occasional disagreements with him, I am more than thankful for his passion for his Savior and hope that I can be counted as faithful as Falwell when I come to the end of my life. As I was reading today about Falwell’s life I came across the following from a article remembering Falwell. I don’t know what to say, really, other than I thought it was an interesting, and stimulating quote.

“Fundamentalists had been a separatist movement,” Harding [Susan Friend Harding, a professor of anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz] says, “which was stigmatized even by other Protestants” for three-quarters of a century, ever since their “self-imposed exile” after the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, which was ostensibly about the teaching of evolution in the schools, but in effect put fundamentalist intolerance on trial. “Falwell openly and actively disavowed the separatism.”

Before Falwell, in the world of fundamentalist evangelicals, Harding says, “being a minister or a missionary was the highest calling. Now it’s to be a Supreme Court justice, or the president of the United States. Or a lawyer, doctor, corporate executive, journalist, filmmaker, you name it. It even means being a teacher — including of biology — in all the school systems.”

Falwell helped break down the walls of the separatism in many ways. “True fundamentalists didn’t have friendships, even with other fundamentalists who associated with non-fundamentalists,” Harding says. “Falwell said this was wrong; we’re going to stop having religious tests. He included you if you supported his agenda — an agenda that involved attacking other groups.”

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

6 thoughts on “Jerry Falwell remembered

  1. Micah,
    I appreciate the fact that you noted Dr. Falwell’s faithfulness. Most of what is being said of him now, and has been said over the past several years revolves around his political stances. But Jerry Falwell was the pastor of a church for more that fifty years. That is an amazing reality when one considers that the national average for a pastorate struggles to get to two years. God blessed his faithfulness and we were blessed by it as well.

  2. Curious? Why do you feel like it is necessary to state, “While I had occasional disagreements with him…”? Who cares? Tom Ascol did the same thing over at founders. Do you feel that if you don’t get that statement in and just straight up honor the man that we will think you did agree with him on everything? He faithfully served the Lord for many years. Just leave it at that. Lay the politics aside for just a moment.

  3. Bill-

    Aggressive as usual, aren’t we? 🙂

    I didn’t mean to impune the man. I intended to recognize him for who he was, and that was a great man in American Christianity with whom I had disagreements at times.

    Speaking of disagreement, it seems like you have never once left a positive comment on this site my friend. I’m afraid your constant disagreement and negative perspective renders your advice to be without much merit to me. It’s unfortunate that you would rather tear down than build up.

  4. Bill,

    First, I’m not going to read the comments on the Founders blog to check, but I’m hoping you left a similar comment for Tom Ascol over there.

    Second, Micah was giving a context for loving Jerry Falwell that actually highlighted love, not a particular disagreement. In fact, he was demonstrating, just as Tom Ascol did, that he was putting the “politics” you mentioned aside to honor one who is worthy of honoring.

    In the same way Jesus highlighted his love for us “while we were yet sinners” to magnify love not sin, Micah is saying he loved Jerry Falwell “while I disagreed with him” to magnify love, not disagreements. In the same way that Jesus highlighted his love for us, not our sin against him, Micah and others who have made similar comments, have highlighted love, not a particular disagreement.

    Micah can explain himself perfectly well, but man, I hate to see someone who works hard to love be challenged on that very point because of what seems to be your sensitivity.

    Are you a Seminole fan? 🙂

  5. Believers SO love to toss the baby out with the bathwater, don’t they?

    Some wise person told me years ago that we should not let what someone is NOT interfere, in our minds and hearts, with that they ARE. If we want to find fault, what hero of the church or the USA in general DOESN’T have warts galore?

    Even Ronald Reagan was divorced and remarried!

    We know what they say about faint praise. To honor someone for their accomplishments despite (expressly) not agreeing with them on every front, is to honor them, indeed.

    You did it quite well, Micah.

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