The Legacy of Jerry Falwell
Carlos printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:30:07 PM EST
I'm a little late getting to this, but I just read what Rick Warren had to say about the legacy of Jerry Falwell. It is interesting to see what Warren chose to write about.
Rick Warren writes in his blog:

Jerry Falwell was one of the giant figures who towered over the 20th century American church. Most people knew him as the founder of the Moral Majority, the face of the Religious Right, and because of some of his more controversial statements, many saw only a caricature of the real man.

The story was never told about his compassionate heart, his gentle spirit, his enormous sense of humor, and the millions he invested in helping the underprivileged. Jerry founded the Elim Home for alcoholics, the Center for tutoring inner city children, the Hope Aglow ministry for prisoners, Liberty Godparent Home for unwed mothers, and literally dozens of other compassion projects to help the poor, the sick, and others in desperate need.

I believe Jerry Falwell's primary legacy will not be his political leadership, but the church he pastored for 50 years, the university he founded that has produced two generations of leaders, the millions who heard him preach the Good News, the innovations in ministry he introduced, and the thousands of young pastors, like myself, that he constantly encouraged.





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his wife has a new book coming out in December. An interview with her can be found at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/november/17.19.html

by Carlos on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:33:40 PM EST

That was the secret to Falwell's success.  There is no doubt that when he wanted to, Falwell could be as charming and affable as any kindly uncle can be.   I don't think that he had many personal enemies, even amongst those who opposed his political and religious views.

His charisma made him all the more effective a leader, and all the more dangerous an enemy.

Falwell exemplified the religious right's brand of muscular Christianity.  Kind and generous on a personal level, ruthless and unbending on a public policy and political level.  It's a dichotomy I that allows fundamentalists to argue that Christ's teachings don't apply when you're running a country (the Old Testament should be your guide) and one that Falwell excelled at.

Warren can say what he likes, and I am not the least bit surprised he eulogized a fellow pastor, but there is no doubting that to the majority of Americans, and future historians, his political legacy, for good and ill, will be his true legacy.

by tacitus on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:40:12 AM EST

that is what jumped out at me: Here is Warren going out of his way to say that Falwell will not be remembered for his politics, but we all know it was his political agitations that will be his legacy.

by Carlos on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:20:12 AM EST
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His legecy will live in the movement he created. Along with his preaching skills, his personal faith, and his commitment to helping the poor and evangelism, his strong political involvement has attracted many who push his positions even further. The generations of leaders, pastoring and building churches in many areas of this nation, joining with others with power political agendas, and simply motivating lay leaders to inflitrate small congregations everywhere with their special agenda will be a cancer on the body of Christ for generations.

by chaplain on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 08:15:31 AM EST
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solely for the "9/11 was caused by feminists, gays, etc" meme.

Particularly if people like us speak up to remind others of his and other celebrity preachers' demagoguery.

by NancyP on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 12:40:26 PM EST


I have a big problem believing that Falwell was at all generous.  My experiences with that type is that their generosity is only meant to win them brownie points (and to further their less-than-generous political agenda).

If an elite throws pennies at the poor, it is because they expect dollars in return.


by ArchaeoBob on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 01:26:31 PM EST

I personally never knew Jerry Falwell. I never had a desire to know him.  I was familiar with his political rhetoric, which was usually rather hateful. I never watched a sermon of his; couldn't stand to listen to him talk!

But to simply say 'that type is that their generosity is only meant to win them brownie points' is a ludicrous generalization that belongs right up there with any number of racist statements.

The answer to generalized hatred - as often expressed by Falwell and other Christian Right leaders for gays, Muslims, liberals, etc - is not best countered with generalized prejudice.

It is very possible that Falwell was a generous and personally kind person.

by chipmunk on Mon Nov 12, 2007 at 08:43:55 AM EST
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