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Thursday, May 17, 2007
While I don't know much about the man beyond what the media liked to portray, it would seem to me that America lost a powerful voice for truth when the Reverend Jerry Falwell passed away this week. While during his years as a prominent voice for American evangelical Christians he occasionally made statements that bordered on idiotic or silly (such as these), he appeared to be a very kind and considerate person who's primary concern was bringing people to the Lord. I came across two articles this week regarding Falwell which were written by people who knew him personally or at least had interacted with him on occasion. The first is by Marvin Olasky:
[Rev. Falwell] discussed his willingness to make provocative statements: He didn't mean to be harsh, but he wanted to tell the truth, and he had long ago realized that bold speaking would bring press attention to issues that otherwise would be ignored.

His pronouncements about homosexuality, in which he expressed love for sinners but hatred for the sin, were what critics most remembered after he collapsed in that office on Tuesday.
Here in Lynchburg, a whole community was grieving. Phelps described how, five days before Falwell died, he handed out diplomas to pre-kindergarten kids at his church's early learning center. He tapped her grandson on the head with his diploma, hugged others and posed for photos. "It was such a proud thing for us," Phelps recalled. "How loved he was."

She also described how in the 1960s she lived near Falwell's early church building and her father despised the young pastor: "My daddy absolutely could not stand him." One Sunday churchgoers parked in front of their house, and after that, "my daddy would take kitchen chairs and sit out in the street just so they couldn't park there. He said to Jerry, 'You may get all of Lynchburg, but you'll never get me.' A couple of years later, Jerry reminded my daddy of that when he baptized him."
The second piece is by Ann Coulter:
No man in the last century better illustrated Jesus' warning that "All men will hate you because of me" than the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who left this world on Tuesday. Separately, no man better illustrates my warning that it doesn't pay to be nice to liberals.

Falwell was a perfected Christian. He exuded Christian love for all men, hating sin while loving sinners.
For putting Christ above everything ... Falwell is known as "controversial." Nothing is ever as "controversial" as yammering about Scripture as if, you know, it's the word of God or something.
(If you still think it isn't Christ whom liberals hate, remember: They hate Falwell even more than they hate me.)
Despite venomous attacks and overwhelming pressure to adopt the fashionable beliefs of cafe society, Falwell never wavered an inch in acknowledging Jesus before men. Luckily, Jesus' full sentence, quoted at the beginning of this column is: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

So much for not dancing on a person's grave; Christopher Hitchens is quite gleeful about Falwell's death and has no qualms saying so. And in the comments of a website linking to this video, most commenters were equally as happy to see Falwell die and one even said "I'm hoping Dobson goes next." Does it seem that much of a stretch to imagine a time in the relatively near future when Christians could be killed in this country for their faith? If one thing again proves the existence of God and Jesus to me, it is this: the vile and irrational hatred that Christianity inspires among unbelievers and other religions. It is one matter to not believe in Christ as Savior, but to hate Him??? One of the best pictures of what many God-hating unsaved feel toward Jesus was depicted in the movie The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Not so much the recent version, but the 20-year-old made-for-TV one from the UK. In it, the White Witch and her minions scream and sneer at Aslan as he walks into their midst. That is basically what Mr. Hitchens is doing in this video, sneering at Falwell's Christ. "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted."


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »