On the Record

   For the last couple of days, many blogs that I read have been offering commentary on the passing of Dr. Jerry Falwell. In the words of an old mountaineer I once met, Dr. Falwell was a “pucker or duck” kind of guy. That is, when you mentioned his name, people would either kiss you or take a swing at you depending on their opinion of him.

   Many in the liberal media have been gleefully celebrating the homegoing of Dr. Falwell. That is to be expected, he stood for everything they were against. What is saddening however, is the number of evangelical Christians who are taking their shots at him during this time. I even read one comment by a reformed pastor who theorized that God had called him home to straighten him out on the “doctrines of grace” because of recent remarks Dr. Falwell had made about the concept of limited atonement.

   Even many of those who are honoring the memory of this man are in some way trying to distance themselves from the extreme positions he sometimes took. They are offering a compliment in one hand and a caveat in the other.

   I want to go on record and say that I liked and admired Dr. Jerry Falwell. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I think I would have loved to have done so. I appreciated his love for God and for his country (yes, I think there is room for both in the same heart). I appreciated his willingness to expose himself to the criticisms of conservatives and liberals alike for the sake of not letting critical moral issues get swept quietly under the rug.

   I am thankful that he didn’t mind adopting an extreme position that was at times even beyond conservative, knowing that backlash was inevitable, yet doing it so that when the smoke cleared and he had somewhat mollified the left, the rest of us would have a position upon which to stand that was still well right of immorality.

   I still smile when I remember the time I saw his frank conservatism frustrate Phil Donahue to the point that all he could do was stand there bug-eyed, spluttering unintelligibly into his microphone.

   I am glad that he invested his time and work in God’s kingdom, preaching the gospel and taking an interest in the lives of thousands of young people who walked through the halls of Liberty University.

   I like the fact that you never had to wonder where he stood in a matter. He always made his position clear, no caveats, no dodges, just the truth.

   He was not afraid to call those who disagreed with him as “friends”. He realized that you don’t bring people to the truth by looking down your nose at them.

   I want to go on the record as saying that even though I did not know him, I will miss him. There is a new gap in the hedge. I wonder who will stand in it?

Editorial Note: The reformed pastor to which I referred in the second paragraph has since issued a clarification and retraction of the comment I mentioned. It was not his intention for the statement to come across in the way that I took it. I appreciate his willingness to clear up the matter.

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16 responses to “On the Record

  1. Gordon,

    I appreciate and respect your position on Dr. Falwell.

    Be blessed, my brother.
    Tony

  2. So well said, Gordon. I haven’t listened to the news too much about him, but last night late I turned on Fox, and some guy was ranting about him on Bill O’Reilly. Made me sick.

    At least you knew what he stood for, he was true tothe Word, and in a day when we needed a voice he was there.

    God bless his family and the school during this time.

    And you do pose a good question at the end of your post? Who will stand in the gap?

  3. Reformed Pastor

    Just to be clear, the post you referenced from a Reformed pastor began tongue-in-cheek. The serious portion was how wonderful it is that Dr. Falwell now knows these matters more fully than us all. No man-centered or man-made systems can remain in HIS presence, just the truth shall remain.

    Here below we struggle and seek the truth . . . and seeing through a glass darkly, we long to know the Truth face to face. Dr. Falwell has entered that glory.

    This is always the difficulty of the written message (or comment) – no tonal clues help you properly interpret the intention.

    And, for what it’s worth, the tongue-in-cheek portion of the comment was simply in the same spirit that Dr. Falwell used when he called certain doctrines “heresy” – a type of hyperbole.

  4. ya know someone will try to stand in his place , but I don’t think they could fill his shoes,

  5. Thanks, Tony.

    Janice, you are probably right.

  6. I’ve always kind of thought that he got a bad rep from the media and “mainstream” society. While he may have deserved some of it from time to time, on the whole he just seemed to become a punching bag for anyone that wanted to oppose him. I think what Larry Flynt had to say about him says a lot – yet b/c Flynt painted the Rev. as a good friend and nice guy, it gets almost no airplay. Sad, really.

  7. I left a response here the other day, but it has disappeared. I agree with you about Jerry Falwell. He stood his ground, and in a day, when Christians were hiding their heads in the sand, he was not afraid to speak out.

    His family speaks well of him also by their lives. To have three children, with two of them lawyers and one a surgeon, shows that there was an emphasis on excellence in every area of their lives.

    I pray for his family and Liberty University this weekend as they have commencement. It will be very bittersweet.

  8. Reformed Pastor

    Gordon, I too tried to post a comment a few days ago to no avail. If you haven’t seen my follow up clarification, go back to the original thread and read. Thanks!

  9. Reformed Pastor

    Oh…btw I was born in Thomasville, right up the road from you.

  10. Bro. Falwell Was a man that tried to understand everyone’s problems. I know I listened to a great many of his messages the 6 months I could do nothing but stay put in my chair , and I enjoyed his preaching ! Reformed Pastor I too am from the Rose City [ Thomasville ] . Maybe we could meet sometime. I probably know who you are and do you have a blog ? I live right across the road from Newark Baptist Church ! Blessings and I’ll see you at church in morning Bro. Gordon. Ron.

  11. Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I apologize for the technical difficulties. I’m not sure exactly why the problem was occurring. I am currently out of town at my nephew’s graduation, so that is why I am responding so late.

    Reformed, thanks for stopping by. I read your clarification and appreciate you making it. Thomasville is a nice town, I was born there, too.

    Just for the record, for all concerned, the reformed pastor that I mentioned in the post retracted the statement. He did not intend for it to come across in the way that I took it.

  12. RP and Beverly, I found your comments buried in my spam folder. I don’t know why they were there, they sure don’t taste like spam. 😉

    Anyway, here they are.

  13. It’s shocking to see how intolerant and awful the liberal media is responding to Falwell’s death all in the name of “tolerance.”

  14. Fiester, you are right. It seems sometimes that those who holler “tolerance” the loudest, are themselves the most intolerant.

  15. God bless Jerry Falwell..he stood in places no other would stand…he definitely stood in the gap and we will see who rises to the occasion next…but upon hearing of his passing my first thought was this…now he knows the Truth about everything…what an enviable position to be in…

  16. Tim A. Blankenship

    Hey Gordan,
    I guess it had been longer than I thought since I came to your site.
    I agree with you of Bro. Falwell. I certainly did not mean to lessen my comments of him by saying that I disagreed with him in some things.
    That is what made him who he was. He only cared for what God thought of Him.
    Bless you Brother.

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