The panelists at the “On Faith” site of the Washington Post are discussing the legacy of Dr. Jerry Falwell. So far, there are only two responses, one by Susan Jacoby and the other by R. Albert Mohler, but I expect that we’ll see many more. I’ll post some of my own reflections later.
Dr. Mohler writes:
The legacy of Dr. Jerry Falwell will be debated for decades to come. Political scientists, theologians, church leaders, and historians will all have their say. Jerry Falwell would not be threatened by this analysis. He expected that some would love him for his beliefs and others would not. He was a man in constant motion, and he seemed rarely to look back. He redefined independent fundamentalism and then led his church to associate with the Southern Baptist Convention, which had experienced its own conservative redirection. He mobilized a movement of conservative Christians in America and built a massive empire.
These remain as monuments to Jerry Falwell’s leadership and vision. But, far more than these, I would look to his family. Dr. Jerry Falwell leaves a wife he dearly loved, Macel, and three children who were the pride of his life. The best testimony to Jerry Falwell the man is that his children love him and his two sons stand ready to continue what their father began. For a man who spent so much time in the public eye, this is a truly powerful legacy.
If Jerry Falwell could speak now of what he most loved about his ministry, I believe he would speak of all the achievements listed above. But more than these, he would be thankful for those who had come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through his preaching and witness — and through the multiplied witness of those trained and educated at Liberty University.
Unfortunately, the vitriol is already pouring in to the comments section of Dr. Mohler’s post. Read them here.
They are not all bad. Here was mine.But it does indicate a clear divide between a fine man Rev. Falwell and the bitter hatred of the deranged left.
“I’m Jewish,and I happen to be pro-choice.But Jerry Falwell always struck me as a fine fellow of pleasing cheerful personality,strong faith,intellect and great integrity. I didn’t always agree with him, but so what? I always liked him, and wish him the best. He deserves it. Too bad others are so hate-filled and intolerant towards a fine man with whom they happened to disagree.
Perhaps they should go to church more..or in my case, synagogue. I’ll think of the good Reverend Falwell kindly when I do. So should you.”